FENIX HM61R v2.0
LED: Luminus SST-40 CW / unknown red LEDs.
Battery: 1x 18650 (included)
Modes: 5 White Light (Turbo-High-Medium-Low-Eco), 2 Red Light (Low-Med-Flash)
Switch: Digital at the head
Rechargeable: via proprietary magnetic USB-cable.
FenixLinternas (Spain's Fenix official dealer)
Fenix HM61R v2.0 on Amazon
The new Fenix HM61R v2.0 is a rechargeable flashlight/headlamp powered by an 18650 battery, direct evolution of the HM61R, model launched back in 2019 and that comes to try to improve an already quite polished tool.
In addition to the flashlight, the box contains a headband, a user's manual in several languages, a Fenix warranty card, a spare gasket and a magnetic USB cable for charging.
Inside the flashlight is housed a 3400mAh (12.24Wh) Fenix ARB-L18-3400 battery with integrated protection circuit that comes properly insulated to prevent any accidental ignition or parasitic consumption of the cell.
The exterior design of the flashlight is quite similar to a variety of flashlights that can be used as headlamps. We have a digital switch located at the top end and the tail cap at the opposite end. An interesting detail to keep in mind is that this Fenix has a drop resistance of 2 meters, unlike most competitors that are limited to 1 meter.
The finish is quite similar to the current Fenix models, maintaining a sober and functional look. The anodizing is slightly shiny, with several laser engravings perfectly defined in different areas of the flashlight, and has bronze-colored bezels for both the lens and the switch frame, giving it a rather original touch.
The unit is converted into a headlamp by attaching it to the headgear with the clip, which in turn is attached to the flashlight with a large clamp in the central area. In my opinion, this solution is much more practical and secure than the first version, which had a flange.
The strap has a very good finish, with perforated bands for better breathability, in addition to the logos and markings in reflective screen printing, and a non-slip silicone band on the inside for a better fit.
Back to the flashlight, the frosted lens hides a Luminus SST-40 emitter and two small red LEDs. On both sides of the head are discrete dissipation fins and on the back is the magnetic connector for the charging system.
The tail cap is the only removable part of the flashlight, it is machined with a large knurling that allows it to be easily operated even with gloves. Inside the cap, behind the spring of the negative contact of the battery, there is a strong magnet that allows to attach the torch to metallic surfaces.
If we look inside the body of the flashlight, we can see the positive battery contact surrounded by two reverse polarity protection mechanisms, so this lamp only accepts "button top" type batteries.
This flashlight/headlamp has 5 white light intensities, two red light intensities and a red flash mode. Overall, the interface is more than adequate for a flashlight of this type.
White light modes: A long click on the switch of the HM61R v2.0 turns on the flashlight with white light. There are 5 different intensities that can be selected with a single click in ascending order.
Red light modes: A double click on the switch turns the flashlight on in low red light mode, and as with the white light, a single click switches to med and another to flash.
Red light flash mode: The last mode of the red light sequence is a strobe signal mode, ideal for cyclists, which emits a red light flash for about 1 second and stays off for another second.
Mode memory: The white light modes have mode memory, except for the turbo mode, which, after turning off in that mode, will lower us to high mode for the next turn on. The red light modes have no memory, they always turn on in the low mode of 1 lumen.
Lock: The HM61R v2.0 can be electronically locked to prevent accidental activation. This is achieved by pressing and holding for three seconds to lock and unlock. In addition, the anodized tailcap threads allow for mechanical locking by simply unscrewing the tailcap a quarter turn. The standby current is one of the lowest I've seen in a flashlight, around 0.05μA.
Charging system: This front panel allows you to charge the battery without removing it from the case. Fenix uses a USB cable with a proprietary magnetic connector for this purpose. A small LED located under the head button lights up red while the flashlight is charging and changes to green to indicate a full charge. This system also allows us to use the flashlight while charging, and we can even use the headlamp without a battery inside using the charging port as power, so the HM61R v2.0 can be used as a home light using a USB power adapter from a phone, for example, although the intensity is limited to eco, low and med modes. The charging system will also charge any button-top battery, not just those relabeled by the manufacturer.
In my opinion, the mode spacing is ideal for this type of tool. Although there are some discrepancies between what Fenix claims and what I was able to measure with my integrating sphere, probably due to the type of lens used, I consider the data provided by Fenix to be credible.
Let's analyze the performance of the flashlight in its high and turbo modes:
The turbo mode offers an initial output of about 1600lm real, although the sharp drop (due to the current consumption and the subsequent drop in battery voltage) after 30 seconds we are already over 1400lm. After a few minutes, the flashlight switches to High mode, where it remains regulated at around 800lm real in a completely linear way for about 60 minutes, at which point it begins a gradual decline, completely losing the regulation of the mode at 75 minutes from ignition in Turbo. We also see how the flashlight automatically lowers the modes as its battery loses voltage, remaining in the lowest mode at minute 110.
I repeated the first few minutes of the test in turbo mode, but this time with an INR18650-30Q battery, known for its high capacity to deliver high currents continuously, and we see how there is hardly any difference in the result with the battery included in the HM61R v2.0, so the step-down is certainly controlled by time.
The high mode offers excellent fully linear regulation for about 145 minutes, where we can see the sequence of progressive dimming that we already saw in the turbo mode. Around 800 lumens for practically two and a half hours with the included battery, wow.
Finally, we will superimpose the High and Turbo modes to see in detail the difference that those minutes of "maximum" performance can make with an LED like the SST-40. As you can see, the efficiency skyrockets when we avoid the turbo mode, which with those minutes really makes a dent in the overall test performance.
With such a lens, the projection can be simply flooded, which makes sense for a flashlight that can be used as a headlamp. With a wide exit angle, the flashlight's white light maintains a large hotspot and well-integrated diffused light, with no ringing or artifacts from the red auxiliary LEDs.
The red light, using two LEDs placed on either side of the Luminus emitter, completely lacks a hotspot and has a much lower intensity, ideal for indoor navigation without losing our visual adaptation to darkness.
Unfortunately, the tint on my unit is noticeably greenish, which is common with the latest generation of LEDs, although I know of others who have received units with a cool tint with little or no greenish tint.
I found the Fenix HM62R v2.0 to be an excellent flashlight, either mounted on its straps and converted into a headlamp or in the classic angled flashlight format, ideal for mechanical or assembly work where we constantly rely on its hands-free function, either hanging from the clip in a pocket, magnetically attached to a surface or directly on our head.
Negative aspects: My only real objection to this device that I was allowed to test is the white tint of the light, which, as usual in flashlights with cool white LEDs, is clearly greenish. I realize that Fenix does not manufacture the LED semiconductors they use, but it would be great if they offered a neutral white LED alternative.
Positive aspects: In my opinion, this model of Fenix is excellent, with a magnificent regulation, an efficiency never seen, a few modes and correctly scaled for headlamp use, and also counting on this auxiliary red light so and so useful to navigate indoors without losing the visual adaptation to the darkness. Another Fenix that does not disappoint me.