Sunwayman C10R Review - Submitted for consideration for the review forum
Though widely known primarily for ring switches, Sunwayman has on a number of occasions branched out to other control methods. Are these capable of living up to the high expectations that have been set for them?
Meat and Potatoes
Sunwayman is a company that generally possesses a very strong sense of family resemblance, both aesthetically and operationally, however the C10R is the first light of theirs I’ve reviewed that seems to be travelling in such a different direction. Most of the Sunwayman lights that have come across my desk have been understated designs, definitely intended as discreet EDC models. The C10R takes more of an aggressive stance when it comes to design though. While it’s larger head and switchless tail are completely devoid of crenellations so I really can’t fully classify it as tacticool, there is simply something in its demeanor that suggests more attitude than your average understated EDC.
The end result is definitely not a bad thing however. As a matter of fact I think the look really works for it. This is an attractive flashlight. It’s a little large at times when simply pocketed rather than holstered, but this is a minor concern at most. The fit and finish though are simply typical Sunwayman magnificent. The anodizing on Sunwayman products has always been a point of beauty, ever since the original SunwayLED days. This torch is no exception. The coverage is smooth and uniform, even over the myriad of corners of the knurling and heat sink fins. Everything is completely exquisitely well finished with nary a rough edge or unfinished ridge anywhere. A unique added touch is the inclusion of a Stainless steel tailcap insert and a lanyard lug. This appears very well fitting, framing the entire light in SS, though I don’t really know that it was completely necessary. I still like it aesthetically. When you want the lanyard lug removed, you are presented with a nice standard ¼-20 threaded hole, perfect for mounting on a tripod or however else you might choose to use it.
The Sunwayman C10R is another light that uses the same basic electronic switch found in only a few previous models like the L10R. Now dubbed a “Smart Switch”, the UI behind this simple activation method has definitely been improving over its earlier iterations. It is a basic 3-mode H-M-L light with mode memory. Once you have clicked the light on, simply press and hold to cycle through the modes releasing on your desired output. At that point, the light has memorized it and will always activate in that mode. Thankfully there are no strange waiting periods before the mode is memorized like I have seen with other torches recently. It is just simple and straightforward. An interesting aside though is that the light has an incredibly useful momentary mode that is always high output. Even if you keep the light in low mode as a general rule, momentary mode gives you instant access to every available lumen, directly from off, and without forgetting your preferred constant on setting.
Powered by either a single CR123A primary or 16340 Li-ion rechargable cell, the output on the C10R is supplied by a fantastically efficient U2 bin Cree XM-L LED. This small single cell usage of such a powerhouse LED though has been drastically limited to a (now) meager 190 lumens on high. This, combined with a reflector that though it is a smooth, high polish, still manages to be focused relatively floody, could leave you feeling a little cheated if you see the more aggressive looking head and decide to test it out at distance illumination. In actuality though, 190 lumens is still quite bright, and a capable tool for middle to short range lighting.
The side mounted “Smart Switch” on the C10R is doubtlessly useful, especially when you like to hold a flashlight a little more ergonomically at your side, rather than with your fist in the air. However this does come with some disadvantages as well. In an emergency, that switch doesn’t make itself terribly prominent and easy to access. I’ve never needed it in a truly dire situation yet, but I know that if I did, it would not be likely to save my life. Even under normal circumstances I often find myself rotating the light several times before I locate the power button. Plus, when you try to turn the light on, it is actually quite easy to accidentally hold the button down just a fraction of a second too long so that the light believes you to be activating momentary mode instead of constant. This affords you simply a brilliant flash of full power, rather than the potentially lower output you were looking for. This has had unintended results already in my thus far limited usage.
Power levels aren’t necessarily what you would most desire out of an EDC. Thankfully they are fairly well spaced this time, with noticeable differences between each mode, however I would really liked to have seen a lower low mode. Honestly though this could be better accomplished through significantly different means than simply lowering the 3-lumen low to barely-on levels. The C10R has a voltage monitoring red LED situated opposite the power switch. This turns on, and eventually begins to blink as your battery is depleted. I think that utilizing this secondary LED as a super-low mode would actually be ideal, thereby keeping the other 3 modes exactly as they are. Unfortunately this does not appear to be possible, unless there is some super-secret activation method I have not yet discovered.
Extremely well made, and fairly well thought out. The C10R might not be my absolute ideal flashlight, but it is still one I am enjoying carrying.
Provided for review by the kind folks at Sunwayman.