[Review] Fenix PD36R Pro

rookiedaddy

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Fenix PD36R Pro (2022)

Reviewer's Overall Rating: ★★★★☆


Received a unit of Fenix PD36R Pro flashlight from fenix a couple of weeks back and has been using it almost daily to test. I do not have a Fenix PD36R to compare it with in this review, but from specifications, Fenix upgraded the light output, LED used, faster charging, dual rear switches and provided compatible optional tactical accessories for this new PD36R Pro.

Summary / Specifications:
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Pros:
  • Direct access to Strobe mode using the Mode button (Functional Switch)
  • Type-C USB recharging
  • 5000mAh ARB-L21-5000 21700-size Protected LiIon Battery included
  • Stable runtime at High mode output

Cons:
  • No direct access to Turbo mode output
  • Turbo mode too short (~30 seconds)
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Features / Value: ★★★★☆
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At the core, it features a Luminus SFT70 LED and provide a burst/Turbo output of 2,800 lumens bright. However, this comes at a cost, a very short burst, 30 seconds. The output will drops significantly to below 30% after 30 seconds from 2,800 lumens...
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and the bezel is hot!

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The dual rear switches is a nice change to PD-series compare to the usual side and rear switch. The smaller mode/functional button provides user with direct access to strobe mode whether the Fenix PD36R Pro is in ON or OFF state.


Design / Build Quality: ★★★★☆
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Although I still think Fenix has one of the best build quality flashlight in the world, my review unit has shown pecks of anodizing missing from daily usage and carrying for just a short few weeks. The HA on the Fenix TK-series seems to be thicker and better.

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The crenelated bezel is a nice aesthetic touch, but I would really love to see Fenix supports exchangeable stainless-steel bezel and provide option for slightly more "teething" option.

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Glad to see that the Type-C USB port has now becomes a standard for Fenix rechargeable flashlight models, this provides charging convenient as it can shares the same charging accessories of modern mobile devices.

UI / Recharging: ★★★★★
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With the dual rear switch design, the UI is very intuitive to use, the main tactical switch/button provides momentary ON when half-pressed in previously memorized mode (including Turbo), however, there is a catch in the memory design of PD36R Pro. 3 situations will reset the memorized mode back to Eco mode:
  1. Loosening the tailcap or removing the battery.
  2. When you "fully" charged the battery.
  3. When you connect and disconnect the Type-C USB cable to the PD36R Pro charging port while the flashlight is ON.

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The battery indicator will have the following shown when PD36R Pro was turned-ON (the indicator LED gets turned-OFF after 3 seconds):
  • 100% - 85%, Green light on
  • 85% - 50%, Green light flashes
  • 50% - 25%, Red light on
  • 25% - 1%, Red light flashes

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Lockout is achieve via loosening of the tailcap (a half turn will do just fine). Yours truly highly recommends that you loosen the tailcap when you put the PD36R Pro for long term storage (even better is to remove the battery and keep it at ~50% charge state).

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Fenix PD36R Pro provides a good, sustainable output and runtime at around 900-1000 lumens with the included ARB-L21-5000 21700-size protected LiIon battery. Recharging is through the PD36R Pro's Type-C USB port.

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It supports fast charging and can fully charge the included ARB-L21-5000 battery from almost depleted state in less than 3 hours.

Light Output: ★★★★☆
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The usual disclaimer: I do not claim the above measured lumens as authoritative nor an indication of over/under-stating the number given by manufacturer. It's calibrated against some known light output (e.g. SureFire, Elzetta, etc.) so take it with a grain of salt and just as a relative reading.

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I wish Fenix would programme a longer runtime (~2 minutes) at maybe a lower output in Turbo mode instead of the 30 seconds Turbo/burst mode. But this seems to be the current programmed output for quite a few of Fenix new releases that pushes the envelop of single LED with single cell models.
The High mode on the other hand, provides a stable >1000 lumens output for 5 minutes before stepping down to ~900 lumens and can sustained at that output for more than 2 hours.

Summary: ★★★★★
I could easily recommend this Fenix PD36R Pro to anyone who needed a simple outdoor or BOB flashlight, for home safety and around the house use. Fenix PD36R Pro has one of the most stable 1000-ish lumens output (High mode) I have seen in a 21700-size flashlight.

I do however wish that Fenix would let us choose the instance access between Turbo and Strobe using the Functional/Mode button in their next upgrade.



Thank you for reading.
 

3_gun

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Joined
Jun 27, 2021
Messages
476
Another Fenix light with marketing specs & a less than good UI. Good light .. yes, but .. & lately there have been to many of those. I'm not getting rid of any of my Fenix lights but I haven't seen a new one I'd buy either, including this one
 

syga

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Joined
Apr 14, 2019
Messages
45
I detest any light with a flexible rubber charging port cover such as this one.
There's no way it will last the way I would use it...
 

DRW

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Mar 27, 2022
Messages
163
Location
Michigan
I think you'll find the rubber cover is just for "dust". The port itself carries the IP rating.
 

syga

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Apr 14, 2019
Messages
45
I think you'll find the rubber cover is just for "dust". The port itself carries the IP rating.

After the rubber cover wears, breaks off or just doesn't seal properly, the port fills with dust, dirt, sand, etc. Then the charging cable does not fit right until the port is cleaned out.

Maybe the rubber covers works for most people, but it does not work for me.
 

Labrador72

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 28, 2012
Messages
1,830
Location
European Union
Another Fenix light with marketing specs & a less than good UI. Good light .. yes, but .. & lately there have been to many of those. I'm not getting rid of any of my Fenix lights but I haven't seen a new one I'd buy either, including this one
Couldn't agree more!

It looks like a great light but it has no programmable UI, no shortcut to turbo, and no shortcut to the lowest mode - which by the way happens to be too bright to begin with.

I'm definitely not parting with my money for a light with this UI.
 

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