LED: 3x CREE XHP70 cw
Battery: 4× 18650
Modes: 3 intensities (Low-Med-High) + Strobe.
Switch: Double, tailcap and handle.
Date: November 2016
Bronte, the popular Asian brand, is about to launch a new flashlight, with which will make the jump to the multi-LED and multi-battery high-performance flashlight.
It is a triple XHP70, powerful LED emitters able to overcome 4000lm each …
Being a pre-production sample, Bronte has been kind enough to send me a sample to compose this review, but I can’t delve into the details of presentation or contents of the package, but as you can read on the product page flashlight come together a set of replacement o-rings, a key to remove the handle and a user manual.
The Bronte BT41 is a high performance flashlight, and it shows in their size and weight.
With a maximum diameter of 96mm in his optics, a total length of 190mm and weighing 1015g (~1200g with four 18650 inside), we have a flashlight with considerable dimensions and weight while maintaining a compact and not overly long design.
Optic end is protected by polished steel crenellated bezel, a glass lens and a huge triple smooth reflector, in which each of the cones overlap slightly with the other.
The huge emitters are slightly offcentered, but given the nature of the beam profile of this flashlight it will hardly affect in practice.
The head is equipped with striking dissipating fins, which also are recessed forming flat spots that prevent the flashlight from rolling if it is deposited on a smooth surface.
The handle has an ergonomic design and is comfortable to hold and operate. Located at the top end we find one of the switches, which is very comfortable to operate due to its natural position.
The handle can be removed easily, you just have to remove an M4 allen screw and pull, since the switch connection is mechanical / magnetic.
The flashlight is anodized black, brilliant. Only two engravings found on the flashlight, both in the central part of the tube, and both very well defined. The central tube has a rectangular knurling finish, quite showy but ineffective to improve the grip of the flashlight.
The tailcap is the only removable part of the BT41. Threads are cut square and shown in crude, clean and lightly oiled finish.
The battery holder has a robust construction with really thick (perhaps too) springs. The cartridge is designed to work seamlessly with button and flat top batteries, and space is sufficient to accommodate abnormally long protected batteries, although the robustness / inflexibility of the springs latter require some force to be accommodated / withdrawn. The cartridge has a 4S1P configuration, so with fully charged batteries have 16.8V.
Inside, contacts between the flashlight and the battery holder are made cleanly, with no visible springs. Both positive and negative contacts are made at the same end, so it is indifferent the orientation of the cartridge at the time of insertion. The tailcap, even having at the base a second switch, allows to place the light in tailstanding in a stable way.
This Bronte BT41 has a fairly simple interface, with only three intensities and a hidden strobe mode. The use of a double switch is due to the possibility of removing the handle if we wish, but both switches operate identically.
- On and off: Simply hold down for more than one second any of the two switches to turn the light on. Repeat to turn it off.
- Changing Modes: With the flashlight is on, a simple click will alternate in ascending order between the different 3 modes.
- Strobe mode: A quick double click, either with the flashlight on or off, will direct engage the stobe mode.
- Memory: BT41 remembers the last used mode (except strobe), and access into the next activation.
Lock-out: Although the flashlight has neither anodized threads nor electronic blocking, you can lock the flashlight, for example to prevent an accidental activation, by unscrewing a few turns his tailcap.Due to the high performance of this flashlight I could not accurately measure the light output of its maximum performance mode (10000lm), as this output level exceeds (by far) the setup and calibration of the integrating sphere.
We can see how the distribution of modes seem to be close with what was announced by the manufacturer, and measurements of Medium, Low and the mode the flashlight falls into after three minutes of continuous use of High mode seem to correspond with excellent agreement.
Again, and much to my regret, we can only do a simple test runtime, in which instead of the usual accurate measurements of this review section I have converted all data to percentage.
We can see how, after 180 seconds of continuous use, the flashlight makes a timed stepdown to about 45%, to remain stable at that output level for about 40 minutes, and then loses regulation and begins a decline, without shutting off completely the flashlight.
As you can imagine, the combination of triple XHP70 (which already is a kind of LED with four emitting surfaces inside) at any flashlight will have a marked flooder character. Still, Bronte has accompanied this CREE emitters with a smooth reflector, probably looking for a more defined beam effect.
The result? A huge hotspot which, together with the vast amount of light produced, requires the highest shutter speed to be “intuit” in my classic against the wall shots.
The tint is cool white, very similar to that found in other last generation cool white CREE, with that typical greenish-yellowish tint in the area surrounding the hotspot.
Bronte achieved some fame a few years ago thanks to its RA01, an EDC AAA flashlight with superior power and efficiency at that time over the rest of their direct competition. Although these flashlights with considerable dimensions are not my favorite given the use to which I submit, the BT41 seemed to me a good start.
Bronte BT41 · Nitecore TM16GT · Fenix LD75c · Manker Godmes
Negatives: Undoubtedly, the user interface is IMHO the biggest downside. The double switch is a little precarious, since both switches are exactly for the same purpose. I would have liked more to have two different switches, say one for on and off and the other for changing modes, as does for example Nitecore in the latest models. On the other hand, 500lm is a considerable amount of light to be considered “low” mode. An extra 10 or even less lumen mode would had worked perfectly. Another aspect to be considered is the lack of direct access to the lowest or highest-: With theoretical 10000lm at hand one must be very careful when turning on the flashlight without knowing exactly which mode is memorized, because we could momentarily blind momentarily ourselves or the ones close to us by just the bounce of the light output from the High mode.
Positives: Overall this Bronte BT41 has excellent mechanical finish. The addition of a handle with built in switch makes it both very comfortable and natural carry and handling. The output of the maximum performance mode is simply amazing, with a real impressive wall of light.
Bronte BT41 preproduction sample provided by BronteLight.com for review.