IMALENT DD2R (XM-L2 - 1x18650, 2xCR123A) Touch Screen Review: RUNTIME, VIDEO+


May 27, 2006
Warning: pic heavy, as usual. :whistle:




IMALENT is a new manufacturer of flashlights, using a distinctive touch-screen interface (among other features). In this review, I am looking at their DD2R model – featuring a Cool White XM-L2 emitter, and powered by 1x18650 or 2xCR123A. It also supports in-light charging for 18650 Li-ion.

Note that the interface on the DD2R has been updated slightly from the DD4R and EMT16 that I reviewed recently.

Let's see how the DD2R compares to other lights in this class. :wave:

Manufacturer Reported Specifications:
(note: as always, these are simply what the manufacturer provides – scroll down to see my actual testing results).

  • Utilizes CREE XM-L2 (U2) LED
  • Supports Li-ion 18650 3.7V (compatible and can be recharged) and CR123A primary lithium battery (compatible but can NOT be recharged)
  • 100 discrete output levels
  • Sample output/runtimes: 1065 lumens (Max), 1.5 hr - 885 lumens, 6 hr - 225 lumens, 25 hr - 5 lumens (Min), 250 hr
  • Peak beam intensity 16,860cd
  • Effective range up to 250m
  • Side switch to operate with one hand, and much easier to use in dark
  • Super intelligent touch display, softly touch the display to adjust brightness
  • Use microcomputer controlled efficient constant circuit, run time up to 250 hours
  • Double electrical components touch switch display, simple and convenient
  • With power display and power indicating
  • Wide voltage range compatible with rechargeable and non-rechargeable batteries
  • Toughened ultra-clear mineral glass with anti-reflective coating
  • Sophisticated aluminum alloy reflector make it with greater throw than similar flashlight in the market
  • Aerospace-grade aluminum alloy, military grade Type III hard-anodized
  • Impact resistant
  • IPX-8 waterproof ability (2m), waterproof and submersible
  • Weight: 98g (battery excluded)
  • Dimensions: 145mm length, 36m width (head), 25.4mm width (tail)
  • MSRP: ~$72

Packaging is similar across the IMALENT line. Inside the hard cardboard case with cut-out packing foam are the light, spare O-rings, spare display cover, micro-USB charging cable, belt holster with Velcro closing flap, product inserts and manual.




From left to right: AW protected 18650 2200mAh; IMALENT EMT16, DD2R; Olight M20S-X; ArmyTek Viking; Eagletac G24C2-II; Nitecore CR6.

All dimensions directly measured, and given with no batteries installed:

IMALENT DD2R: Weight: 143.6g , Length: 149.4mm, Width (bezel): 36.0mm
IMALENT EMT16: Weight: 152.9g , Length: 150.0mm, Width (bezel): 36.6mm
Eagletac TX25C2: Weight 93.6g, Length: 120.4mm, Width (bezel): 31.6mm
Fenix PD35: Weight: 82.7g, Length: 138.1mm, Width (bezel): 25.4mm
Foursevens MMR-X: Weight 90.8g, Weight (with 18650): 138.5g, Length: 138.6mm, Width (bezel): 31.5mm
Foursevens MMX Burst: Weight 145.8g, Length: 153.3mm, Width (bezel): 38.7mm
Klarus RS11: Weight 158.0g, Length: 160mm, Width (bezel) 34.9mm
Nitecore P12: Weight: 89.7g, Length: 139.4mm, Width (bezel): 25.4mm
Nitecore P25: Weight: 171.3g, Length: 160mm, Width (bezel): 40.0m
Rofis TR31C: Weight: 180.7g, Length: 153.0mm, Width (bezel): 39.8mm
Thrunite TN12-2014: Weight: 80.0g, Length: 140.5mm, Width (bezel): 25.4mm
Zebralight SC600 II: Weight 79.3g, Length: 101.8mm, Width (bezel) 29.7mm








The DD2R anodizing is a matte black, and seems to be good quality on my sample. Labels are minimal and bright white, clearly legible against the dark background. There is some knurling on the battery tube and tailcap, but it is of mild aggressiveness. With the heatsink fins and buttons in the head, I would say overall grip is good.

Note that the light opens at both ends of the body/battery tube. Screw threads are square cut, but are not anodized at either end. As such, tailcap lockout is unfortunately not available.

Light can tailstand stably.

There is no physical clicky switch – the light is controlled by the electronic switch and touch screen in the head. Timings for the electronic switch have been updated from earlier models (see User Interface section later in this review).

The touch screen, when activated, displays relevant information about battery status and output level.



What you are looking at is two conditions: one when the light is running on full power (i.e., all 6 level bars indicated), and one where it is on minimum output (i.e., one level bar showing). You can control the output using the touch screen, as I will explain in the User Interface section below (and in the Video).

Note that there are a lot more than 6 output levels – I can count dozens of individual levels per status bar on the display (IMALENT reports 100 discrete levels). The display is simply showing a relative output level, using 6 bar indicators. Again, scroll down to my User Interface section to learn how to use the light.

The battery indicator on the left is telling you estimated charge remaining on the installed cells. The right battery indicator seems to be specific for charging (i.e., isn't displaying relevant info when simply running the light). Below the IMALENT name is an ON/OFF indicator, which is used to control activation when the light is in a special Standby mode (or strobe, when the light is on). Again, see my User Interface section below for more info.

Incidentally, you may see pics out there of the touch screen with an orange display. The first batch of samples produced by IMALENT had an orange screen – the recent shipping versions all have a blue screen.

The electronic switch has a typical traverse and firm "click" for an electronic switch – although the metal button cover can move around somewhat (i.e., feels "loose"). Just above it, there is a built-in charging port for the 18650 cell.

The light comes with a micro-USB charging cable. Simply plug the light into any USB port (or with an adapter, to any AC outlet). The maximum charge current of USB 2.0 is 500mA, so it will take several hours to charge an 18650 cell. See my detailed results and comments under User Interface section below.

Let's take a look at the head and emitter …



There is a lightly-colored bezel ring that holds the lens in place (I can see an anti-reflective coating on the lens). At the base of a relatively deep and smooth reflector is the XM-L2 emitter, which was well centered on my sample. I would expect reasonably good throw for the class, with a narrower than typical spillbeam. Scroll down for some beamshots. :wave:

User Interface

IMALENT has a novel interface, with the use of a pressure-sensitive touch screen to control output levels on their lights. When you first connect a battery, the display will illuminate for ~3 secs, while the circuit determines the best settings to match the installed battery type.

Using the light

Turn the light on quick click of the electronic switch in the head. Turn the light off by a sustained press-hold of the switch for ~1 sec. On previous models, you had to hold the switch for several seconds (i.e., on the earlier models it was ~2 secs to turn on, ~3 secs to turn off).

When first activating the light, the touch screen panel will illuminate at the same time as the main beam. You can now set your constant output level by sliding or tapping your finger up and down the screen, in the area where the six bars are located. The light sets the output at whatever level you left it when you remove your finger.

Note that although the display only shows six possible bars, there are actually many more discrete levels (IMALENT reports 100). While not enough to make the light seem truly continuously-variable in handling, it is enough that you will not be left wanting for levels. The 6-bar indicator is thus only a rough approximation of output.

The output continuum of the touch display is not "visually linear", but distributed around actual output levels. In practice, this means that there will not be a lot of visual difference between the 4-6 bar levels, and a lot of variation in the low levels (i.e., it is well known our perceptions of relative output are skewed in a non-linear way).

The sensitivity of the screen is reasonably good, but you will likely experience some "jerkiness" as you move up and down between levels. It is also not as touch sensitive as modern smartphone/tablet screens – think more along the lines of the sensitivity of a stand-alone GPS unit. Note that the touch screen is pressure sensitive, not capacitive. This means that you can adjust the output while wearing gloves (although it also explains why it is less responsive than a capacitive screen).

There is mode memory for when you turn the light off/on at the electronic switch (i.e., returns to the last level you left it at).

The battery indicator on the top left gives an estimate of the battery life remaining.

Previously, the "IMALENT" label on the display flashed continuously whenever you are running the light at Max output. At my suggestion, IMALENT has disabled this (i.e., it no longer flashes at you).

The touch display will turn itself off if there is no activity at the panel for 30 secs. IMALENT considers this to be a "lockout function", as you cannot accidentally change modes after the display shuts off. To toggle the touch display on or off at any time, simply click (press-release) the electronic switch. This is unchanged from previously

Strobe is accessed by touching and holding you finger on the "ON/OFF" label on the touch display for ~0.5 secs (previously need >2 secs). Press and hold again to advance to SOS. Press and hold again to return to constant output. Note that there is no memory for the blinking modes (i.e., off/on switching returns to you to the last memorized constant output mode). Interestingly, the output level control works when in SOS or Strobe – simply slide your finger over the display to control the relative output of these modes, at any time. :thumbsup:

There is an alternate way to control the light, which is to put it into official Standby mode. To do this, press and hold the electronic switch for ~0.5 secs from On, and release. Do not hold it the >1 sec required to fully turn off, and do not do a quick click (required to activate/deactivate the screen). The timings are much quicker now – you need to be ~0.5 secs to enter Standby mode. When in this mode, the touch screen remains illuminated, but with only the "ON/OFF" indicator lit. Simply tap the "ON/OFF" label on the display to re-activate the light in the last constant-output mode you left it.

To be honest, I'm not really clear on the value of this special screen-sensitive (and illuminated) Standby mode. You could always just turn the light on by a simple click of the switch (since it is always drawing a standby current).

UPDATE April 12, 2014: IMALENT informs me that they will remove this additional standby mode on the DD2R and DD4R, and further shorten the time required to turn the light off by the electronic switch.

Given that this is a revised version of a relatively novel interface, I recommend you check out the video below for a better idea of how it all works in practice.

Charging the light

To charge an 18650 (but NOT CR123A), simply plug the included USB charging cable into the port on the head.

When you first plug the charger in, both the left and right battery indicators illuminate. The left indicator will cycle between its 3 bars when charging, the right indicator will flash repeatedly. Once fully charged, the battery indicator on the right will stop flashing and remain fully lit.

Total USB charging time was ~6.5 hours in my testing for a 2200mAh cell. The final resting voltage was ~4.17V, which is better than the earlier IMALENT lights (all were <4.15V) - but this is still slightly low for this class. IMALENT reports that they are working on raising this to the more typical ~4.2V.

On the earlier IMALENT lights, there were some inconsistencies in when the charger shut-off. Typically, charging would terminate seemingly randomly, with the display and charger shutting off. If I unplugged and re-plugged the charger, the charging cycle would re-commence, eventually leading to a full charge after several attempts. On the revised DD2R sample tested here, charging continued continuously until fully charged. However, at this point the display simply turned off (it is supposed to stay on, with the battery indicators no longer flashing). :shrug:


For information on the recent 1x18650 IMALENT lights, including the build and user interface, please see my video overview:

Video was recorded in 720p, but YouTube typically defaults to 360p. Once the video is running, you can click on the configuration settings icon and select the higher 480p to 720p options. You can also run full-screen.

As with all my videos, I recommend you have annotations turned on. I commonly update the commentary with additional information or clarifications before publicly releasing the video.


The DD2R appears to be current-controlled. I saw no sign of PWM in my testing, on any level. Like the DD4R though, there was some high-frequency circuit noise (invisible to the eye).

DD2R Noise:

Note that this sort of noise is common on many current-controlled lights, and does not affect performance (nor is it detectable visually). As per my usual review policy, I simply report on all circuit features that I can detect – it doesn't mean they are significant in use. Rest assured, the DD2R is flicker-free in use, at all levels.

DD2R Strobe:

Strobe is a typical fast strobe, of 9.9 Hz in my testing.


SOS was a standard SOS mode.

Note that you can control the relative output level of the Strobe and SOS modes, just as you can for the constant output. :thumbsup:

Standby Drain:

Due to the electronic nature of the switch in the head, there is a necessary standby drain when connected to the battery. When first connecting the head (i.e., when the touch screen first activates), I measured this drain as ~66mA. Once the screen shuts off, the current drops to ~6.3mA. Within a few more seconds, it drops down to an eventual level of ~555uA and stays there stably. This represents the long-term standby current when waiting for a click to turn on the light by the electronic switch.

For a 3100mAh cell, that would translate into a little over 7 and half months before the cell would be fully drained. Unfortunately, there is no way to lock out the light without actually removing the cell. :sigh:

Note that there is the additional special Standby mode where the touch screen stays active, and a press will re-illuminate the main light. I haven't measured this standby mode, but given the power required for the screen, this Standby mode drain is bound to be higher than the one reported above. I recommend you just use the electronic switch to control on-off activation.

UPDATE April 12, 2014: IMALENT informs me that they will remove the additional touch screen standby mode on the DD2R and DD4R, and further shorten the time required to turn the light off by the electronic switch.


For white-wall beamshots below, all lights are on Max output on an AW protected 18650 battery (2200mAh). Lights are about ~0.75 meter from a white wall (with the camera ~1.25 meters back from the wall). Automatic white balance on the camera, to minimize tint differences.













Beam patterns are effectively identical for the DD2R and EMT16. The common beam pattern is what you would expect for lights with reflectors of this size – a narrower than typical spillbeam, but with reasonably good center-beam throw.

Scroll down for detailed output and throw measures.

Testing Method:

All my output numbers are relative for my home-made light box setup, as described on my website. You can directly compare all my relative output values from different reviews - i.e. an output value of "10" in one graph is the same as "10" in another. All runtimes are done under a cooling fan, except for any extended run Lo/Min modes (i.e. >12 hours) which are done without cooling.

I have devised a method for converting my lightbox relative output values (ROV) to estimated Lumens. See my How to convert Selfbuilt's Lightbox values to Lumens thread for more info.

Throw/Output Summary Chart:

My summary tables are reported in a manner consistent with the ANSI FL-1 standard for flashlight testing. Please see for a discussion, and a description of all the terms used in these tables. Effective July 2012, I have updated all my Peak Intensity/Beam Distance measures with a NIST-certified Extech EA31 lightmeter (orange highlights).



Peak intensity throw on my DD2R and EMT16 samples are fairly consistent with the specs, but max output levels are lower than what is reported by IMALENT. My DD2R was slightly brighter overall on max than my EMT16 - but it is difficult to compare exactly, due to fluctuations in initial output on activation. As with my DD4R sample, I believe IMALENT is using "emitter lumens" instead of actual measured out-the-front output (i.e., specs are based on theoretical maximum of the emitters, not taking into account all possible sources of loss in a light). As such, it would be reasonable to knock off ~30-35% from the output specs for approximate output.

Output on 2xCR123A was lower than 1x18650. See runtimes for more info.

In terms of relative output spacing, here is a table giving you a general breakdown of what I was able measure for each of the various indicator levels:


Again, these are VERY approximate - it is difficult to provide reliable estimates for the output range of each "bar" on the display (recall that IMALENT reports 100 discrete levels, but only 6 indicator bars). Take my numbers above as a general indication of what to expect only. I was able to provide a better estimate on my EMT-16, thanks to the defined steps on the remote control. See my EMT16 review for details.

As you can see, there is not a great deal of difference between max (bar level 6), near-max (bar level 5), and the upper part of bar level 4.

Output/Runtime Graphs:

Let's start with a comparison of sample outputs on one of my standard 2200mAh AW Protected 18650 batteries. Again, there are actually many possible output levels for each individual bar - so I would take the exact output levels shown below as being approximate examples.


The first observation is the DD2R has a largely direct-drive like pattern. There was a defined step-down on each of my bar level 5 and 6 runs. The lower bar level 3 and 4 runtimes show a series jumps in output over a period of time initially. As previously noted in my DD4R review, the regulation pattern on these lights is a little unusual.

As you can see, there does not appear to be a great difference in output or runtime between the various 5 and 6 bar levels – or with the upper part of the 4 bar range either.

Let's see how the DD2R and EMT16 perform relative to each other, and the competition, starting with 1x18650.




The EMT16 and DD2R appear to have equivalent circuits, with equivalent runtime patterns on 18650.

The overall performance of these lights seems reasonably good, certainly on par with the continuously-variable Crelant 7G3CS/7G6CS. However, the IMALENT lights are not as flatly-regulated as other lights in this comparison.


Max output is lower on 2xCR123A than the other battery sources. This is due to an immediate step down that occurs, within 30 secs of activation. Overall output/runtime efficiency seems fine.

Potential Issues

The DD2R and EMT16 show a largely direct-drive-like pattern on all levels (with some early variation in output). IMALENT tells me they are working on improving this.

The range of output levels is significant, but not truly "continuously variable" (i.e., you can see the discrete steps). According to IMALENT, there are 100 discrete steps in possible output levels. Mode spacing across the 6 bar indicators is not entirely consistent though (and not “visually linear” for how our relative perceptions are naturally skewed).

The pressure-sensitive touch screen worked well in my testing, but is not as responsive as modern capacitive smartphones/tablets. Output level changes can also seem somewhat "jerky" in practice.

The built-in charger was more consistent than previous models, although still shows a blank screen when charging is complete. Fully charged cells came out of the light reading ~4.17V resting voltage. IMALENT informs me that they are working to set the full charge level to 4.2V.

Manufacturer specs appear to be "emitter lumens", as opposed to actual out-the-front ANSI FL-1 lumens. Max output is not as high as other recent lights in this category, but still reasonable for 1x18650. Max output on 2xCR123A was a bit lower than the other battery sources, however.

There is a quick step-down in output when running on max on 2xCR123A cells.

Some of the display indicators on the touch screen are not entirely clear. For example, the use of two battery indicators is confusing, as both discharge and charge state could be illustrated by just one. Also, the "ON/OFF" indicator never turns the light "off", and only allows for "on" in the limited case of the specific Standby mode (the rest of the time, it actually controls Strobe/SOS).

The manual is a little unclear in its language. See the User Interface and Video sections of this review for an overview on how to use the light.

Due to the electronic nature of the switch and interface, there is always a standby current when batteries are connected to the head. This regular standby current seemed reasonable on my DD2R and EMT16 samples. Note that I don't recommend use of the touch-screen sensitive Standby mode, as this is bound to draw a higher current (and you can always turn on/off by simply clicking the switch). Unfortunately, the light cannot be locked out due to the non-anodized screw threads.

UPDATE April 12, 2014: IMALENT informs me that they will remove the additional touch screen standby mode on the DD2R and DD4R, and further shorten the time required to turn the light off by the electronic switch.

Preliminary Observations

The DD2R shares the same innovative touch-screen control interface as the other members of the IMALENT family (with a few updates on this latest model). With the in-light charging option, you can think of the DD2R as an updated single emitter/single battery version of the DD4R that I recently reviewed.

Overall physical build quality is decent on the light, although I wish the screw threads had anodizing for lock-out. The general body impression is similar to the entry level options from established makers, or the top-line models from the more type budget-style makers (e.g., Crelant, Xtar, etc). But of course, IMALENT has an innovative touch screen which is quite unique and distinctive.

In terms of the interface, I am glad to see IMALENT responding so quickly to some of my suggestions. Overall, I think the switch timings have improved on this latest mode (see User Interface section for more info). That said, the display could use some refinement in its labels to help for clarity (IMALENT informs me that they are working on this). In any case, once you understand how to control the light, it is straightforward to switch and adjust levels. Sensitivity of the touch display is not as high as some modern smartphones/tablets, but still works reasonably well (i.e., it is a pressure-sensitive touch screen, not capacitive).

While not truly "continuously-variable" in the typical sense, the IMALENT lights offer a good range of output levels – a lot more than most lights in this category (i.e., IMALENT reports 100 discrete levels in total). Note there may be some "jerkiness" when trying to hone in on a specific level (as the display is only so large and so responsive). A nice feature is how the Strobe and SOS modes can also be adjusted in output across the same range of levels. :thumbsup:

Overall output/runtime efficiency across all output levels is reasonable, although the DD2R shows a largely direct-drive-like pattern (with some step down/up effects, depending on the level). Efficiency is not as high as the current-controlled, fully-regulated competition (i.e., circuit performance is closer to the continuously-variable Crelant lights). IMALENT informs me that they are working to improve the regulation pattern.

Like the EMT-16, The DD2R has a relatively "throwy" beam pattern, consistent with the relatively deep reflector. Overall head and reflector size is the same for the two lights.

It is convenient that IMALENT offers in-light charging for 18650 cells. I am also glad to see they responded to some of the issues I raised on the earlier reviews samples (i.e., the random charge termination issue appears to be resolved).

At the end of the day, the DD2R is an incremental update to the IMALENT user interface and design. The main draw for the light (and this series in general) is clearly the distinctive touch screen interface. This continues to work reasonably well in my testing (with a few quirks), although the value of this sort of interface is debatable. As always, I'm curious to hear what the members here think of this new control interface. :wave:


DD2R provided by IMALENT for review.
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Flashlight Enthusiast
Jul 3, 2013
Re: IMALENT DD2R (XM-L2 -1x18650, 2xCR123A) Touch Screen Review: RUNTIME, VIDEO+

Thanks for the review!

Mr Floppy

Flashlight Enthusiast
Feb 19, 2007
Re: IMALENT DD2R (XM-L2 -1x18650, 2xCR123A) Touch Screen Review: RUNTIME, VIDEO+

I wonder what new features they are going to bring to the touch screen? Would be nice they introduced a dot-matrix screen/e-ink screen and display the battery voltage, current consumption, maybe charging graph. Sort of doubles as a smart 18650 charger. Too much to hope for?


May 27, 2006
Re: IMALENT DD2R (XM-L2 -1x18650, 2xCR123A) Touch Screen Review: RUNTIME, VIDEO+

I wonder what new features they are going to bring to the touch screen? Would be nice they introduced a dot-matrix screen/e-ink screen and display the battery voltage, current consumption, maybe charging graph. Sort of doubles as a smart 18650 charger. Too much to hope for?
Interesting ideas, but probably outside IMALENT's current scope. Would certainly be neat to have a display that could provide that kind of info. Of course, cost (and durability) could be issues.

Mr Floppy

Flashlight Enthusiast
Feb 19, 2007
Re: IMALENT DD2R (XM-L2 -1x18650, 2xCR123A) Touch Screen Review: RUNTIME, VIDEO+

Of course, cost (and durability) could be issues.

Doh, I meant OLED rather than eInk. I think OLED panels are more durable than the polarised LCD panels. Could be wrong but definitely not cheap at the moment. With OLED, you could even make it curve to the barrel of the light.


Newly Enlightened
Apr 1, 2013
Re: IMALENT DD2R (XM-L2 -1x18650, 2xCR123A) Touch Screen Review: RUNTIME, VIDEO+

Thanks for the review, very interesting. As mentioned, that is some serious current draw, especially with no lockout.
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May 27, 2006
Re: IMALENT DD2R (XM-L2 -1x18650, 2xCR123A) Touch Screen Review: RUNTIME, VIDEO+

Thanks for the review, very interesting. As mentioned, that is some serious current dra
On that note, IMALENT has just informed me that as per my suggestion here, they will remove the additional touch screen standby mode on the DD2R and DD4R, and further shorten the time required to turn the light off by the electronic switch.

I've also suggested they add anodized threads, as it would be good to be able to fully lock out the light.

Chicken Drumstick

Flashlight Enthusiast
Dec 9, 2011
Re: IMALENT DD2R (XM-L2 -1x18650, 2xCR123A) Touch Screen Review: RUNTIME, VIDEO+

Does anyone know if this will run on 2x16340? Thanks.


Never mind, the flashlight has stopped working before getting a chance to see if these would work.
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