Review: Surefire P2X Fury Intellibeam (2xCR123)


Flashlight Enthusiast
May 5, 2010
Hove, UK
Author's Statement for Transparency and Disclosure
The test sample/s featured in this article have been provided for technical testing and review by the manufacturer. Test samples are retained by the reviewer following publication of the completed review for the purposes of long term testing and product comparisons.

All output figures and test results published in this review are the sole work of the reviewer, and are carried out independently and without bias. Test results are reported as found, with no embellishments or alteration. Though best endeavours are made to maintain the accuracy of test equipment, the accuracy of these results is not guaranteed and is subject to the test equipment functioning correctly.

After getting to try out the Surefire Intellibeam technology when it debuted at SHOT Show 2015, I have been itching to get hold of this light to give it a more thorough working over. Here we go!


Taking a more detailed look:

The P2X Fury Intellibeam with a couple of Surefire accessories used in the review, the FM44 flip-up diffuser and V25 holster.


To ensure quality and consistency the testing has been powered by Surefire CR123 cells and AW 17670 cells only for critical measurements. A handy SC3 CR123 carrier was also supplied.


These are all the extras used during the review.


Surefire’s FM44 flip up diffuser is a heavily engineered accessory.


The optional V25 holster is a robust and functional holster.


Unlike most holsters with fixed loops or Velcro loops, the V25 has a steel spring clip designed to make fitting easy while resisting accidental removal.


With the P2X Fury you get the light itself, a set of Surefire CR123s and the instructions.


Each light has a serial number, and if you look closely at the reflector you will see a sign of this being the Intellibeam model.


A tactical tailcap is used with protruding forward-clicky switch.


No tail-standing with this light, but the switch is easily accessible.


The Surefire logo is nicely engraved through the anodising without going too deep.


Its knurling is rolled, and there are unshaped crests left from the rolling process which actually add to the grip available, making the knurling very effective.


In this photo I was attempting to show the quality of the surface, but it does not show exactly what I intended. The surface of the P2X looks as if the bare aluminium has been stonewashed and then anodised. The effect is a slightly matt surface (with reduced reflections) which feels more refined than the majority of anodised aluminium lights. The faint machining marks which you can see here are not visible to the naked eye and you need a loupe to see them.


Inside the tailcap is the negative contact spring and a set of three copper coloured contacts that touch the end of the battery tube.


The threads are a cleanly cut standard thread of a good depth. If you look at the far right of the photo you can see there is an insert in the end of the battery tube.


Peering into the battery tube for a look at the positive contact spring.


A Cree XM-L2 LED sits in a textured reflector, and then there is that extra feature - the Intellibeam sensor tube.


The Intellibeam Sensor tube is a black plastic tube which protrudes through the reflector and right up to the glass lens.


A couple more things before we get onto the beam. When fitting the FM44 diffuser, it is a tight fit, and once the clamp is set the plastic is slightly deformed. However, this is not going to come off by mistake.

With the diffuser down, you can’t really use the Intellibeam function (unless you onlky want the lowest output) as the diffuser causes the output to drop to its lowest level due to shining light back into the sensor tube.


To go back to a normal beam, the diffuser front flips open.


For a sense of scale, the P2X Fury Intellibeam is shown next to the 2x Surefire CR123 cells and an AW 17670 li-ion cell.


The beam

Please be careful not to judge tint based on images you see on a computer screen. Unless properly calibrated, the screen itself will change the perceived tint.
The indoor beamshot is intended to give an idea of the beam shape/quality rather than tint. All beamshots are taken using daylight white balance. The woodwork (stairs and skirting) are painted Farrow & Ball "Off-White", and the walls are a light sandy colour called 'String' again by Farrow & Ball. I don't actually have a 'white wall' in the house to use for this, and the wife won't have one!

Starting indoors, and the P2X Fury has a reasonably broad hotspot and smooth spill. Not shown in this photo is that fact that at the edge of the outer spill the sensor-pipe artefact can be seen. In general use you don’t really see this though it is more noticeable at very close ranges. And if you rotate the light.


The hotspot is broad enough to give you a useful view at middle distances but still has a good range.


Modes and User Interface:

A tactical light should be simple, and the P2X Fury Intellibeam is just that.

There are two modes – Intellibeam, and Max, operated by a forward clicky tail-cap switch.

From OFF, and as long as the P2X Fury has been off for at least 1s, on pressing the switch you will get the Intellibeam output.

Intellibeam samples the current lighting conditions and automatically ramps up the brightness to suit. This means that in close quarters the output will be brought up to a comfortable level (not down from “too bright”). The important fact here is that it ramps the brightness UP not down. This ensures it brings the output up to the right level without blinding the user first with a full output blast.

From OFF, a quick double tap of the tail-cap switch gives you Max output. This ensure that regardless of ambient lighting or any other sources of light shining at you, you will get full output.

Batteries and output:

The P2X Fury Intellibeam runs on 2x CR123, but can also operate on a single 17670 li-ion cell or 2x LiFePO4 RCR123 cells (only the 3.2V type not 3.7V li-ion cells).

To measure actual output, I built an integrating sphere. See here for more detail. The sensor registers visible light only (so Infra-Red and Ultra-Violet will not be measured).

Please note, all quoted lumen figures are from a DIY integrating sphere, and according to ANSI standards. Although every effort is made to give as accurate a result as possible, they should be taken as an estimate only. The results can be used to compare outputs in this review and others I have published.

Surefire P2X Fury with Intellibeam using specified cellI.S. measured ANSI output LumensPWM frequency or Strobe frequency (Hz)
High – Surefire CR1236470
High with Diffuser– Surefire CR1234130
Low (using Intellibeam) - Surefire CR123290
High – AW 176703700
Low (using Intellibeam) - AW 17670310

* Beacon and Strobe output measurements are only estimates as the brief flashes make it difficult to capture the actual output value.

Peak Beam intensity measured 16200lx @1m giving a beam range of 255m.

There is no parasitic drain.

From the output figures, notice that with the diffuser fitted the 647lm of the Max mode is reduced to 413lm. At 36% loss, this is slightly higher than the average diffuser loss (typically 15-20% loss).

Operating the P2X Fury Intellibeam with diffuser fitted means that on Intellibeam output you always get the lowest output. This is due to the diffuser causing the sensor to ‘see’ a bright environment and reduce the output.

Altogether the P2X Fury was tested with three types of cell (NOTE: li-ion 4.2V RCR123 cells cannot be used with this light so are not included). Surefire CR123 primary cells, LiFePO4 RCR123 cells and AW 17670 li-ion cells to see if either rechargeable option would function well.

Here is the result. The baseline performance is the red line for the Surefire CR123 cells. This is how you should expect the P2X Fury to run.

In this graph pay most attention to the 17670 output. I use AW cells to ensure the cell is the best quality and is not the reason for any performance issues. As you can see, on 4.2V, the P2X Fury is not giving its best and provides a usable but rather lack-lustre performance.

Look closely at the 17670 output and you can see the individual output levels the P2X Fury steps through in its adjustable range.


Taking out the longer output of the 17670 allows us to focus on the output with Surefire’s CR123s and the LiFePO4 rechargeable option that does somewhat work. The lower voltage LiFePO4 cells follow the same output profile as the Surefire CR123s, right up until the protection kicks in. At only 17 minutes on full output these are not going to be a top choice for anyone relying on the P2X Fury. Using primary CR123s you get reliable predictable output.


Surefire Intellibeam output:

Although this might normally be part of the previous Batteries and Output section, Surefire’s Intellibeam is an important enough technology that it deserves its own section. In this part of the review we will look at the response of the Intellibeam’s automatically adjusted output, so here it is, the “Surefire Intellibeam output” section.

The Surefire Intellibeam uses a feedback control system to adjust the output. Though I describe it as a feedback system this is not strictly true as with the Intellibeam, as well as its own output being monitored, other sources of light that fall onto the sensor, ambient or directed, also affect the Intellibeam output.

As shown earlier, the Intellibeam Sensor is shielded using a black plastic tube which protrudes through the reflector and right up to the glass lens. This prevents the direct output of the LED from falling on the sensor. Only light bouncing back from the surface it is lighting is then sampled by the Intellibeam sensor.

What this means is that the colour and reflectivity of the surface also affects the Intellibeam’s response.


To keep things simple and most clearly show the effect of the Intellibeam, the following graph was created using measurements taken using a white wall target. A Lux meter was fixed to the middle of a large bright white surface, and a series of 1 foot graduations set out to mark where the measurements should be taken.

At each distance the Max and Intellibeam’s outputs were used and the peak lux was measured at the surface.

Comparing these outputs shows where, (when the Intellibeam is used without any other sources of light) the effect begins to be noticed. At 9’ from the wall the lux is slightly moderated and this effect gets much greater, with a significant reduction once you get closer than 4’.

At around 2’ from the wall, the Intellibeam’s output reaches its lowest value so the lux starts to climb again, but stays massively lower than the Max output lux value.

In this test, at distances less than 2’ the lux meter itself also starts to affect the amount of light being reflected back as it is made of black plastic.



This section is included to mention any minor niggles I come across during testing, in case the information helps anyone else.

No issues were encountered during testing.

As per the description of this section, this information is provided in case anyone else finds a similar 'issue' that might be fixed in the same way.

The P2X Fury Intellibeam in use

Firstly, this is a Surefire P2X Fury, so has the same build quality you would expect of Surefire. The body of the light has a different feel to most manufacturers and this is in part due to the apparent stonewashing before final anodising and also the rolled knurling which has much better grip than the average knurling.

This leaves us to focus on the Intellibeam feature itself. Generally the user of a light will have to choose their desired output level or put up with a fixed output. The idea of the Inteliibeam is that it automatically gives you a usable output level and does this based on the light bouncing back at the P2X Fury, just as this light bounces back into your eyes.

While testing the Intellibeam’s output vs distance from a white wall, the first fact to note is that at distances over 9’ the Intellibeam function is not doing anything as the surface lux is the same for all distances 9’ and over. At distances under 2’, the output appears to reach its minimum and acts like a fixed output light between 2’ and 0’. However saying that, it is the Intellibeam function which has reduced the output to its lowest value and keeps it there, so it would not be right to say it does nothing between 2’ and 0’.

So the benefits you get from the Intellibeam are in effect between 9’ and 0’ of the surface and the Intellibeam moderates the output to keep you from being blinded by the 647lm peak output.

Swapping between Intellibeam output and Max output is achieved by releasing the switch and pressing again within 1s. In real terms 1s is a long time and many times I have blinded myself by allowing the Intellibeam output to go off and turning it back on again too soon. My preference would definitely be that a rapid double tap is needed for Max so only a positive attempt to get Max will give you full output. This would be the main change I would make if I could, but I’d also allow the lowest level to be even lower.

With the Intellibeam selected, operation becomes very intuitive. As the distance to the subject increases, or the subject is darker, the Intellibeam ramps up the output giving you a better view. The most natural and intuitive automatically variable output system I’ve used. (others rely on a change in angle or other ambient factor)

Personally within the Intellibeam’s operational range (before it just stays on maximum output) I prefer less light, so find the Intellibeam a bit too bright. In terms of rapid response though, the brightness level ensures the view is clear and well lit. This is especially important as the user may be wearing eye protection and even clear eye protection reduces light getting to the eye, even more so if the lenses are not perfectly clean.

Though I wouldn’t say that the Intellibeam is a ‘must have’ feature, what Surefire have done is made the use of a tactical light more comfortable and easier on the eyes. It is certainly less fatiguing than using a fixed output light especially if you have a lot of close range work to do, so is a definite ‘nice to have’ feature.

Review Summary

Things I likeWhat doesn't work so well for me
Intellibeam makes close-range use less fatiguing Too easy to trigger Maximum output
Surefire build qualityNo reliable rechargeable power option
Intellibeam’s response is rapid and smoothSensor tube artefact in outer spill
647lm Max and 29lm Min output


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Last edited:


Dec 25, 2004
Again, excellent write up on this specific SureFire product.

This one is my current EDC Flashlight and thus far I'm not disappointed with it. While there are some minor things about the SureFire P2X Fury with IntelliBeam Technology, for/in my usage from the get go (out of the package) there was some failure to light issues with the tailcap switch. Possibly with the continual usage it did "break-in" some because I'm not experiencing it any longer. The tubular artifact doesn't bother me nor does the tint, since I'm not white wall hunting. Overall, very very satisfied with this EDC Flashlight from SureFire.

Thanks for your reviews subwoofer!


Newly Enlightened
Nov 4, 2015
Very nice review!

I have the P2X dual mode 600 lumen version. I think is has the same runtime as the Intellibeam version. It is very disappointing to see it goes only around 30 minutes on full output.


Flashlight Enthusiast
May 5, 2010
Hove, UK
It is very disappointing to see it goes only around 30 minutes on full output.

That's CR123 for you. If only Surefire would wake up properly to 18650 and make the battery tube bigger so we have the option on all lights.


Newly Enlightened
Nov 4, 2015
I tried to compare the runtime graphs using CR123 primaries, and I can't see the step down in your graph. Maybe I missing something.


Flashlight Enthusiast
May 5, 2010
Hove, UK
I tried to compare the runtime graphs using CR123 primaries, and I can't see the step down in your graph. Maybe I missing something.

With lights like this, manufacturers often tweak the firmware and adjust the output characteristics. Initially I had a very early one that flickered on its lowest output. A new updated firmware version was supplied that completely fixed this. It is highly likely the one I tested and the one in the other review had different firmware. Which is the latest I could not say.


Flashlight Enthusiast
Jan 5, 2008
Boden, Sweden
If you check my runtime graphs I did include 17670 which will give you an idea. You don't get maximum output.

Sorry, my miss. I read the graph for CR123 and LiFePO4 but missed the 17670 graph. Pretty bad performance with 17670 so I would not consider this light for 16650 either.

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