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Thread: Fenix PD32 (Prototype, R5) Review

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* candle lamp's Avatar
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    Wink2 Fenix PD32 (Prototype, R5) Review

    I have won the opportunity to join in Fenix PD32 global testing campaign in September. It's a pleasure and honor for me
    to review the light. English is not my native language, so I wish to be understood that my English is not so good.


    Manufacturer's Specifications
    :


    • Cree XP-G (R5) LED with a lifespan of 50,000 hours

    • Uses two 3V CR123A batteries (Lithium) or one 18650 rechargeable battery (Li-ion)

    • 127mm (Length) x 25.4mm (Diameter)

    • 61-gram weight (excluding batteries)

    • Digitally regulated output - maintains constant brightness

    • Reverse polarity protection, to protect from improper battery installation

    • Over heat protection to avoid high-temperature of the surface

    • Anti-roll, slip-resistant body design

    • Tactical tail switch with momentary-on function

    • Side switch in the head

    • Made of durable aircraft-grade aluminum

    • Premium Type III hard-anodized anti-abrasive finish

    • Toughened ultra-clear glass lens with anti-reflective coating

    .

    Packaging is simple white cardboard box with molded plastic insert. Inside I just found the light, manual only
    (no lanyard, spare o-rings, holster, ETC.).

    .

    The light is a prototype sample and may be different from the formal version will be released soon.
    Black anodizing(seems type III) is matte finish, and lettering is white, but not so bright. Knurling is
    not very aggressive on the battery tube and tailcap regions, but provides good grip to the tailcap
    despite the cylindrical body.

    .

    The head has cylindrical design with decagonal shape at the neck(i.e. right under the side switch)
    which provides good grip and anti-roll feature.

    Half of the tailcap is covered in knurling and has two partially raised rims which provides comfortable
    activation of the switch. There are two slits through both rims which allows for lanyard attachment.
    There is no clip, but the groove for attaching the clip is on the battery tube.

    .

    There is a side switch on the head which select the 4 brightness levels and mode change. It feels like
    an electronic switch, has minimal travel and a good amount of tension which produces a quiet clicking
    sound when pressed.

    .

    The light has 3 parts(head, battery tube, and tailcap).

    Note the square-cut threads at both ends of the battery tube and screw threads are anodized at the both
    head and the tailcap. The diameter of the both ends of the battery tube is same, so head and tailcap can be
    reversed on the battery tube. It means the pocket clip is reversible without removing it from the original position.
    There is no risk the light might catch on something and be pulled off. You can unscrew either of the head and
    tailcap a little for lock out.

    .

    My sample features an well centered XP-G R5, with a smooth deep reflector. There is slightly raised button
    on the positive contact board in the head, and my flat-top & button-top 18650 cells work fine in the light.

    .

    Most of the battery tube is covered is knurling which should provide more than enough grip. There are two
    flat faces machined with some letterings printed on. The threads between the head and battery tube mate
    perfectly and very smooth. So does the threads between the battery tube and tailcap.

    .

    The tail switch is a forward clicky which allows for momentary activation. The light can't tailstand because
    the switch cap does protrude out the tail end.

    The (-) spring looks like gold-plated. The switch has a good feel, but slightly stiffer than other lights with
    this kind of switch.

    Overall build quality
    is very good.
    .

    User Interface

    There are general mode(turbo, high, med., low brightness) and flashing mode(strobe, SOS).

    The tailcap switch is a power switch and the side switch is used for selecting 4 brightness levels and flashing
    mode with the light on.

    Just press the tail switch completely to turn on the light. Another complete press on it can turn it off.

    You can activate the light momentarily by half-pressing it as well.

    Press and release the side switch to change 4 brightness levels from Turbo -> Low -> Med. -> High -> circle.
    The light memorizes the last brightness used in general mode even after changing the batteries.


    The strobe, SOS in flashing mode are accessed by pressing and holding the side switch for longer than 1 second
    and 2 seconds respectively.
    When the light is in strobe or SOS, a single press on the side switch returns to the
    memorized brightness in general mode.

    Note there is no memory feature for the flashing mode. i.e. You can use it like an hidden mode.

    .

    From left to right : CR123A, LG unprotected 18650, VicLite protected 18650, Fenix LD10, Spark SL6S-740NW,
    Fenix PD32, Solarforce L2T.
    .


    From left to right : Fenix E15, E05, LD15, LD10, PD32
    .

    PD32 is a compact 1x18650 & 2xCR123A light. The user interface is a lot more user-friendly than older version
    of PD31 by adopting the side switch.

    .

    The net weight is 61g and 108g including one protected 18650 cell.
    .
    PWM

    I was unable to detect any signs of PWM with my test(waving the light sideways). It appears to be
    current-controlled on its low mode too. I couldn't see tint-shift at all brightness levels.

    .
    Runtime


    Regulation is maintained very nicely through turbo level of output on 1x18650, though it drops rather quickly
    towards the end of the battery life. I assume this regulation is same to not only other levels of output but on
    2xCR123A as well. (But note 2xRCR123 is banned.)

    The voltage of the battery at the start and end of the test is 4.19v, 2.83v respectively. The runtime for 50%
    output of turbo level is appr. 134 minutes in my test.


    The light automatically transfer into the high brightness level after working 33 minutes in the turbo to avoid
    the influence due to the high temperature.
    If the turbo level is needed continuously, just click the side switch
    again.
    The above runtime of turbo output is an accumulated time.

    Beamshot

    1) White door beamshot
    - About 40cm from the white door
    - With 1 x VicLite Protected 18650(2600mAh)
    - AWB








    The light has a narrow hot spot with a large, soft corona surrounding it and side spill. The bright ring area
    between the hot spot and spill is noticeable.

    While the reflector and XP-G R5 emitter are very well aligned, the ring around the hotspot can be seen.
    This might be due to the leveling of the reflector.
    i.e. I guess that the bottom of the reflector is slightly
    higher than the emitter, so some beam from emitter might hit it and this make the bright ring.

    Neither of this issue affect practical usage though, but I hope Fenix would solve this issue. Also expect they'd
    consider the orange peel reflector for the PD32 formal version.

    The beam tint on my sample is slightly hint of green on hot spot and cool white on side spill.
    .
    2) Indoor beamshot
    - About 3.5m from the target
    - With 1 x VicLite Protected 18650(2600mAh)
    - AWB









    .
    3) Indoor beamshot
    - About 7m from the target
    - With 1 x VicLite Protected 18650(2600mAh)
    - AWB




    .
    4) Outdoor beamshot
    - About 55~65m from the target
    - With 1 x VicLite Protected 18650(2600mAh)
    - AWB








    .
    [Edit : Oct. 24] Addition of beamshots
    5) Outdoor beamshot
    - About 30 from the target
    - With 1 x VicLite Protected 18650(2600mAh)
    - AWB





    .
    6) Outdoor beamshot
    - About 40 from the target
    - With 1 x VicLite Protected 18650(2600mAh)
    - AWB




    Last edited by candle lamp; 01-24-2012 at 12:25 AM. Reason: Uploading three pictures due to disapperance

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* SuperTrouper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix PD32 (Prototype, R5) Review

    Nice review of this prototype thanks. This actually looks like an interesting new avenue for Fenix to take, offering 2 switches and mode memory in their PD lights. Other than a little personal opinion about medium being too high it looks like a great light.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* HIDblue's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix PD32 (Prototype, R5) Review

    Thanks for the review and great pics.
    My dog ate my flashlight...

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* kj2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix PD32 (Prototype, R5) Review

    Thanks

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Fenix PD32 (Prototype, R5) Review

    Thanks for posting a review.

    Here is my opinion: Fenix dropped the ball on this one. It still has the awesome fenix build quality and the high out put but they really need to add a "moon light" mode. The side switch just isnt enough to stay in the game with all the other new light coming out. I love all my fenix lights but it just seems like they're re-releasing the same lights. This looks just like the pd30 and pd31 with an added side switch. Just doesnt seem like they're coming out with anything new. Oh well, maybe next year they will get it right. Until then I'll keep carrying my ld10

  6. #6

    Default Re: Fenix PD32 (Prototype, R5) Review

    I agree! The lower low mode than the PD31 would have been very useful, maybe 1 lumen. Honestly, they should have gone with a XML and OP reflector, giving us the option of flood. The side switch to me is useless. There's nothing wrog with the way the PD30 / PD31 were with their talcap and head design to select modes.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Fenix PD32 (Prototype, R5) Review

    thanks for the review!

    PD32 is a brand new model? so why didnt they include some brand new LED (XML T6, ..)? Fenix used to be the mass-industry leader (with the bestselling models LD20 and LD10) but i am not too excited about the past few years of "new products".

    Fenix as a brand stands for high-quality stuff. Reliable, durable and popular stuff.
    But it's the others that release the desirable new products (for collectors and connoisseurs)!

    I will pass on that. No thanks, Fenix!!

  8. #8

    Default Re: Fenix PD32 (Prototype, R5) Review

    I want a PD31 with the new XML T6!

    I would hesitate on the PD32 because of the side switch. Dragging the side switch across rocks would worry me.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Fenix PD32 (Prototype, R5) Review

    It is really a detailed review. Thanks for the great work.
    Actually, as far as I see, the PD30/31, maybe even the PD32 are really not good at throw, so it would be better for Fenix to use XML instead, at least it can strengthen the floody performance.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Fenix PD32 (Prototype, R5) Review

    Great review but...Meh.....you know......kinda....well.....blah. No offense to the OP.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* candle lamp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix PD32 (Prototype, R5) Review

    Quote Originally Posted by SuperTrouper View Post
    Nice review of this prototype thanks. This actually looks like an interesting new avenue for Fenix to take, offering 2 switches and mode memory in their PD lights. Other than a little personal opinion about medium being too high it looks like a great light.
    Thanks for good word. SuperTrouper!
    Yes, med. brightness looks like 90~100 lumens in reality.

    Quote Originally Posted by HIDblue View Post
    Thanks for the review and great pics.
    Quote Originally Posted by kj2 View Post
    Thanks
    Thanks too. HIDblue & kj2!

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* candle lamp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix PD32 (Prototype, R5) Review

    Thanks for interest. All of you!

    Quote Originally Posted by weez82 View Post
    they really need to add a "moon light" mode.
    Quote Originally Posted by CyberCT View Post
    I agree! The lower low mode than the PD31 would have been very useful, maybe 1 lumen. Honestly, they should have gone with a XML and OP reflector, giving us the option of flood.
    Thats a good point.
    Moon light mode(firefly mode) is useful as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by kreisler View Post
    why didnt they include some brand new LED (XML T6, ..)?
    Quote Originally Posted by jeffkruse View Post
    I want a PD31 with the new XML T6!
    I would hesitate on the PD32 because of the side switch. Dragging the side switch across rocks would worry me.
    In my view, it's a shame that they didn't use a XM-L & OP reflector. I think they considered a thrower light with a same body.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Fenix PD32 (Prototype, R5) Review

    Quote Originally Posted by regulation View Post
    It is really a detailed review. Thanks for the great work.
    Actually, as far as I see, the PD30/31, maybe even the PD32 are really not good at throw, so it would be better for Fenix to use XML instead, at least it can strengthen the floody performance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Woods Walker View Post
    Great review but...Meh.....you know......kinda....well.....blah. No offense to the OP.
    Thanks for support.
    I have same idea. Hope they release new version with them!

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Fenix PD32 (Prototype, R5) Review

    Thanks for the review. Does the light get full turbo output on the 18650?

    I like the side switch. Still don't love the UI, but it's an improvement over most of Fenix's UIs. I mostly don't buy Fenix's because having the switch that controls on/off also control mode switching just doesn't work for me. Having a tail on/off and side mode switch at least lets me consider this.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Fenix PD32 (Prototype, R5) Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Talmadge View Post
    Thanks for the review. Does the light get full turbo output on the 18650?

    I like the side switch. Still don't love the UI, but it's an improvement over most of Fenix's UIs. I mostly don't buy Fenix's because having the switch that controls on/off also control mode switching just doesn't work for me. Having a tail on/off and side mode switch at least lets me consider this.
    Thanks. Joe Talmadge!
    It's down to the high output after working about 30 minutes in the turbo. But you can use the turbo continuously by clicking the side switch once again.
    Yes, side & tail switch give us convenience.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Fenix PD32 (Prototype, R5) Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Talmadge View Post
    Thanks for the review. Does the light get full turbo output on the 18650?

    I like the side switch. Still don't love the UI, but it's an improvement over most of Fenix's UIs. I mostly don't buy Fenix's because having the switch that controls on/off also control mode switching just doesn't work for me. Having a tail on/off and side mode switch at least lets me consider this.
    Thanks. Joe Talmadge!
    It's down to the high output after working about 30 minutes in the turbo. But you can use the turbo continuously by clicking the side switch once again.
    Yes, side & tail switch give us convenience.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Fenix PD32 (Prototype, R5) Review

    Congrats to be selected as PD32's reviewer!
    I have one question.
    Does it work well with unprotected 18650 battery?

  18. #18
    Flashaholic* candle lamp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix PD32 (Prototype, R5) Review

    Thanks. iso9009!
    Yes, it does. My flat-top unprotected 18650's(old & new version of LG) work well in the light. I like it.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Fenix PD32 (Prototype, R5) Review

    Are they gonna produce this in limited quantities like the PD31?

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Fenix PD32 (Prototype, R5) Review

    Very nice review..thanks
    Can I use AW RCR123 on this flashlight?

  21. #21
    Flashaholic* candle lamp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix PD32 (Prototype, R5) Review

    Quote Originally Posted by digitalsmoker View Post
    Are they gonna produce this in limited quantities like the PD31?
    Hi digitalsmoker,
    I don't know what they are going to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by ogaruk View Post
    Very nice review..thanks
    Can I use AW RCR123 on this flashlight?
    Thanks. ogaruk!
    Sorry to say using 2x3.7v RCR123's is banned according to the instruction manual comes with PD32 prototype sample.

  22. #22

    Naughty Re: Fenix PD32 (Prototype, R5) Review

    thanks for sharing your review.
    what you have write is very professional.
    I like the comparation among the different modes.
    It is very good

  23. #23

    Naughty Re: Fenix PD32 (Prototype, R5) Review

    thanks for sharing your review.
    what you have write is very professional.
    I like the comparation among the different modes.
    It is very good

  24. #24
    Flashaholic* candle lamp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix PD32 (Prototype, R5) Review

    Quote Originally Posted by hapiness View Post
    thanks for sharing your review.
    what you have write is very professional.
    I like the comparation among the different modes.
    It is very good
    Thanks for your support. hapiness!
    I'm happy the comparison picture of the different modes is useful to you.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Fenix PD32 (Prototype, R5) Review

    Quote Originally Posted by candle lamp View Post
    Thanks. iso9009!
    Yes, it does. My flat-top unprotected 18650's(old & new version of LG) work well in the light. I like it.
    Thank you for your detailed reply.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Fenix PD32 (Prototype, R5) Review

    Thank you for providing a detailed review.
    I have placed an order for one a few days ago, tracking says it will arrive tonight.

    Cant wait.

  27. #27
    Flashaholic* ChrisGarrett's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix PD32 (Prototype, R5) Review

    Quote Originally Posted by eztokyo View Post
    Thank you for providing a detailed review.
    I have placed an order for one a few days ago, tracking says it will arrive tonight.

    Cant wait.
    I just picked up a PD32 last week off of Ebay for $60 delivered. My other lights are a Fenix P1D and a Surefire 6P LED, so nothing grandiose.

    So far, it's a nifty little light in a small package. I just received a Klarus P2A and a JetBeam BA-20--both 2xAA, so I'm playing at nights with all three of them.

    Chris

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Fenix PD32 (Prototype, R5) Review

    Candle Lamp, nice review!

    Once Fenix extended the side mode switch from the TK15 to the PD line, installed a momentary switch function, and a non-roll feature I had to have the PD32 and PD22.

    I wrote to Fenix and asked them if they could improve the PD32 by making it more of a thrower like the TK15 but without changing the small diameter of the light. I also asked if they could put spring connections on both ends of the battery to support the use of firearms.
    Thrunite Catapult XM-L, Fenix TK15 (2), PD32 (with Nichia 219 emitter), PD22, LD20, E05, Pila charger, AW and Redilast 18650s, ZTS MBT-1 Battery Tester, Actron CP7672 Multimeter.

  29. #29
    Flashaholic* candle lamp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix PD32 (Prototype, R5) Review

    Quote Originally Posted by RCS1300 View Post
    I wrote to Fenix and asked them if they could improve the PD32 by making it more of a thrower like the TK15 but without changing the small diameter of the light. I also asked if they could put spring connections on both ends of the battery to support the use of firearms.
    Thanks. RCS1300!

    As far as I'm concerned, the former is likely to be possible if new emitter XP-G2 & suitable reflector are used. Also the latter seems to be possible too.

    But the result (i.e., total length of the light, shape of each part of the light.....) could be affected by a number of variables.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Fenix PD32 (Prototype, R5) Review

    Owning both the PD31 and PD32, to me it's a no brainer. The PD31 the winner by far. Fumbling around for a soft push side switch in the black of the night is not exactly a special op activity. The PD31 can also stand on end. Not a major plus, but a plus all the same. The ONLY thing I like about the 31 is the new memory upgrade, but being the kind of guy that only uses turbo for everything, it's not bothersome at all. Not sure why they just didn't come out with the exact same light but a memory feature. My oh my, everyone ALWAYS has to change things....

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