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Thread: XTAR B20 Pilot-1x18650-Review

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* FlashLion's Avatar
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    Wink2 XTAR B20 Pilot-1x18650-Review

    Hello
    This is a new flashlight from XTAR- XTAR B20 Pilot-multi-functional sport flashlight.Good for riding,hiking,camping and of course for EDC use.
    Let's see what features it offers and how good is the quality.


    Specifications from the manufacturer
    XTAR Sport flashlight B20 Pilot
    ANSI Illumination levels: Turbo High Mid Low Signal
    1000Lm 600Lm 250Lm 30Lm 250Lm
    Runtime: 3.1h 3.3h 7.5h 70h /
    Max Range : 210m
    Max Intensity: 11100cd
    Impact Resistance: 1.5m
    Waterproof: IPX8
    LED: CREE XM-L U3 LED
    Crust Materials: Anodized aircraft 6N01 aluminum alloy, type III hard-anodized anti-abrasive finish
    Working Voltage: 2.75-4.2V
    Battery: 1*18650/18700
    Tactical tail cap switch
    Size: Φ34.5mm(Head dia)x Φ25.4mm(Body dia)x25.4mm(Tail Dia) x 140.0mm(length)
    Net Weight :113.0g(Excluded batteries)
    Additional Functions: Memory function, Hidden Signal modeFeatures:
    1. Use CREE XM-L U3 LED a lifespan of 50,000 hours
    2. Simple mode arrangement: Turbo-High-Mid-Low-Signal
    3. Super bright, max output could be 1000m
    4. Beam throw could be 210m
    5. Excellent heat dissipation design
    6. Gold-plated spring, antioxidant and avoid poor contact
    7. Excellent anodized aircraft 6N01 aluminum alloy plus premium Type III hard-anodized anti-abrasive finish.
    8. Anti-roll, slip-resistant body design
    9. Ultra-clear tempered glass lens with anti-reflective coating
    10 Use 1*18650/18700 lithium battery


    XTAR B20 is available in two versions packaging-full set and simple set.
    XTAR sent me the full set packaging.

    Full set contains-Flashlight,MP1 charger,Stainles steel clip,AC adapter,car adapter,3100 mAH 18650 battery,Lanyard,Spare O-ring,Manual,Warranty card.


    I charged a few times with the charger MP1S and I am not pleased with it. Charging stops at 4.24V and I don't know how much longer will continue the charging process.4.24V is too much. I usually charge Li-Ion batteries to maximum 4.21V.
    The AC adapter gets hot while charging,but works well. The supplied cable USB>Mini USB is long 80cm/31.5inch,which is sufficiently long.

    Very nice lanyard.

    There's no holster included.I like to carry big flashlights in holster.





    Exterior

    Beautiful black matte finish,deep cooling fins(really needed to help heat dissipation),stainless steel bezel,clear white labeling.
    Very good anodizing.




    The pocket clip is well attached and looks sturdy.


    Very well made knurling.I found it a little bit too aggressive to my hands,but this is a sport model flashlight and aggressive knurling helps for better grip and when using with gloves.You may find it very comfortable.Deep knurling is also good if you use the flashlight mounted on bicycle.
    The overall grip is not good enough.There's nothing other in the shape to stop slipping. I don't feel it comfortable enough when pressing the tail switch,it slips out of my hand,even the knurled surface. A tactical/cigar grip ring will be great here.



    There are some sharp edges around the switch.
    The switch used is forward clicky with very nice feel,not too stiff and covered with a nice soft silicon cap.

    LED Cree XM-L U3. Perfectly centered.


    Aluminum Smooth reflector







    Ultra clear tempered glass,anti reflective coated.
    Stainless steel bezel brotects the head,glass and reflector.

    Normal triangular threads-well made,anodized,not perfectly,but enough.

    Tailcap threads are also anodized and lock out is possible.


    The battery tube is very well sized for 18650 and 18700 batteries and even the big,long protected batteries fit without problem.
    A very good idea here-the battery tube contacts on the surface which is part of the tail tube,not directly on the retaining ring.
    This makes B20 a very reliable flashlight.Will not suffer of loose retaining ring.





    There is an anti-oxidant gold-plated spring at the head side.This is excellent for the highest efficiency.
    Good contact with the battery is very important-less losses,higher efficiency.
    The spring protects the driver board and battery from damage.


    The battery tube is thick enough. Net weight-113g. This makes it very comfortable to carry.




    The light from the Cree XM-L U3 is cool white with the typical for the XM-L yellowish tint.
    The beam is excellent combination of bright hotspot and good spill.There's no bad circular patterns.
    Typically for the smooth reflectors,the center of the spot is a little bit darker.
    There is enough bright spill and very good throw. It's very useful light for every day use.



    User Interface

    There are four brightness levels- High(600Lm)-Turbo(1000Lm)- Medium(250Lm)-Low(30Lm)
    and one flashing mode 2Hz signal (250Lm)
    The control is performed with just one button.
    Fully press to turn ON/OFF.
    Half press to change mode or for momentary.
    From OFF-quick double click to activate signal mode.

    The threads on the tailcap and battery tube are anodized and thanks to that the lighting modes can be changed by twisting the tailcap(using the lock out).

    Turbo is very bright. Steps down to lower brightness level after 5minutes. The current draw on Turbo is ~2.5A.
    High is also very bright.
    Medium is very good for walking or close range work.
    Low is nice for reading or walking and for night lighting. B20 tail-stands excellently and can be used in candle mode.

    Sometimes Low is too bright and would be good if there is a lower Low mode,but all depends on the use of the light.

    The light lasts on Turbo for about 120 minutes with Sanyo 2600. With the supplied XTAR 3100 battery will last longer. The brightness is very well regulated,nearly constant output after the step-down.

    Current draw measurements-input current
    Battery XTAR 3100
    U=4,16V
    I turbo=2.5A
    I high=1.7A
    I mid=860mA
    I low=145mA

    I can't detect visible PWM on any of the constant lighting modes.

    The signal mode contains PWM.This probably makes it very economical.


    Because changing the modes comes with half pressing the switch-changing mode is possible only when the light is OFF.
    Using the momentary press for signaling is also not possible.

    Beamshots 1 meter
    Distance 1 meter,ss 1/20sec,f=3.4, WB and focus locked


    Distance 5 meters,ss 1/6sec,f=3.4,WB and focus locked
    XTAR B20-Turbo-High-Medium-Low


    Klarus ST11, Klarus RS11, Klarus XT11, C8 XM-L T6, C8 XP-G2, 52mm SMO XM-L T6, 26mm SMO XP-G R5


    Distance 5meters, ss 1/50sec, f=3.4, WB and focus locked
    XTAR B20, Klarus ST11, Klarus RS11, Klarus XT11, C8 XM-L T6, C8 XP-G2, 52mm SMO XM-L T6, 26mm SMO XP-G R5


    Outdoor beamshots
    XTAR B20, Klarus ST11, Klarus RS11, Klarus XT11, C8 XM-L T6, C8 XP-G2, 52mm SMO XM-L T6, 26mm XP-G R5, 26mm XR-E Q5, Klarus RS16
    Distance 40m 3.2 sec ,f 3.4 , ISO 80 , WB and focus locked





    IPX8 waterproof






    In conclusion:
    This is excellent,reliable flashlight for everyday use and outdoor sport,good lighting modes,very bright maximum brightness,high efficiency current driver,forward clicky,good functionality.
    It's not very expensive and even that the used components are high quality.It really worth it.

    Gallery













    Thanks for reading!

    Thanks to XTAR for providing B20 for review!
    Last edited by FlashLion; 12-18-2013 at 02:50 PM. Reason: pictures fixed

  2. #2

    Default Re: XTAR B20 Pilot-1x18650-Review

    Excellent review. Thank you.
    I find it little big for EDC needs (of course my opinion only), but very good for outdoor activities.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic mhanlen's Avatar
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    Default Re: XTAR B20 Pilot-1x18650-Review

    Great review, nice pictures. I love mine!

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* FlashLion's Avatar
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    Default Re: XTAR B20 Pilot-1x18650-Review

    Thank you!
    Mhanlem,your review is also great!

  5. #5
    Flashaholic holylight's Avatar
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    Default XTAR B20 Pilot-1x18650-Review

    Tks for the review.
    lights: saber1a, v11r, sc52, sc600ii, ea4, tn31, archer1a.



  6. #6
    Flashaholic* kosPap's Avatar
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    Default Re: XTAR B20 Pilot-1x18650-Review

    excellent pics....care to comment on the lighting used?

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* FlashLion's Avatar
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    Default Re: XTAR B20 Pilot-1x18650-Review

    Thank you!
    Quote Originally Posted by kosPap View Post
    excellent pics....care to comment on the lighting used?
    Always use only natural daylight. Never use direct sunlight or artificial sources,they give bad result.
    Thanks

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* FlashLion's Avatar
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    Exclamation Re: XTAR B20 Pilot-1x18650-Review

    I just found a very good design idea in this flashlight.
    The battery tube on the XTAR B20 does contact on the surface which is part of the tail tube,not directly on the retaining ring.This makes B20 a very reliable flashlight.Will not suffer of loose retaining ring.Usually loosening is happens after a few times screwing-unscrewing for battery change and battery tube is rubbing in the retaining ring.

    Time will tell more.
    Last edited by FlashLion; 08-06-2013 at 05:05 AM.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* Ryp's Avatar
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    Default Re: XTAR B20 Pilot-1x18650-Review

    Amazing pictures!

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* FlashLion's Avatar
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    Default Re: XTAR B20 Pilot-1x18650-Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryp View Post
    Amazing pictures!
    Thanks

  11. #11

    Default Re: XTAR B20 Pilot-1x18650-Review

    Great review. I just ordered myself one.

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* FlashLion's Avatar
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    Default Re: XTAR B20 Pilot-1x18650-Review

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnyl View Post
    Great review. I just ordered myself one.
    Thanks
    Enjoy it!
    Last edited by FlashLion; 12-18-2013 at 02:44 PM.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: XTAR B20 Pilot-1x18650-Review

    I really like xtar lights. I have the big S1 and a small 1 18650 which I carry tucked into one of my pockets. Unfortunately, , my grandkids also like it and now they've misplaced it...

  14. #14
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    Default Re: XTAR B20 Pilot-1x18650-Review

    Very nice review!

  15. #15
    Flashaholic Aahhyes68's Avatar
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    Default Re: XTAR B20 Pilot-1x18650-Review

    Very nice review. I bought one of these based on it, great little torch for the money. All of you guys do a nice job. Thank you.

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* FlashLion's Avatar
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    Default Re: XTAR B20 Pilot-1x18650-Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Aahhyes68 View Post
    Very nice review. I bought one of these based on it, great little torch for the money. All of you guys do a nice job. Thank you.
    Enjoy it!

  17. #17

    Default Re: XTAR B20 Pilot-1x18650-Review

    I just got my B20 in today. I really like the build, but am a little disappointed in the UI. It appears to change modes one must select a mode from the off state and cannot soft click when the lite is on to change to the next mode. Mine requires a hard click which turns the light off between modes. Am I missing something or is this normal? Afraid I will wear out the tail cap switch. Oh, also my lanyard is a one piece not the 2 piece that is pictured.

  18. #18
    Flashaholic* FlashLion's Avatar
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    Default Re: XTAR B20 Pilot-1x18650-Review

    Quote Originally Posted by mattw View Post
    I just got my B20 in today. I really like the build, but am a little disappointed in the UI. It appears to change modes one must select a mode from the off state and cannot soft click when the lite is on to change to the next mode. Mine requires a hard click which turns the light off between modes. Am I missing something or is this normal? Afraid I will wear out the tail cap switch. Oh, also my lanyard is a one piece not the 2 piece that is pictured.
    This was one of my first reviews and reading it now,I see it is not so detailed.
    I have added only this words(after the PWM graph)-
    "Because changing the modes comes with half pressing the switch-changing a mode is possible only when the light is OFF.
    Using the momentary press for signaling is also not possible."


    The B20's switch is a forward clicky switch,which means,pressing the switch while the light is ON,does nothing.
    This is the normal way of changing modes with a single switch flashlight,when the switch is forward clicky(makes electric connection before the click sound).
    Changing the mode is possible by restarting the light(when it's ON),or cycling through the modes by half pressing the switch,when the light is OFF.
    Really,not a very convenient way to operate the UI,but this is the price of using a forward clicky switch. In my opinion,using it in this particular flashlight is unjustified.
    There are no enough advantages that I can see. Just,this type switches cause flickering much rarely,than the reverse clicky switches.
    I found that lightly twisting the tail cap (loosening-tightening) also can be used for mode selecting.
    Don't worry for the switch. This switches are designed to resist thousands of clicks. Just click it as much as needed and enjoy the flashlight.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: XTAR B20 Pilot-1x18650-Review

    I bought two of these as the excellent predecessor (the BK12) is no longer available.

    **CAUTION** - This torch does not make a good cycle light. The light switches from flashing (my preferred cycling operating mode) to steady on hitting any reasonable bump in the road. This happens on both my new torches and can be simulated by giving at very firm hit on a surface. Unfortunately for me this means I cant use the light for cycling so I am returning them.

    The other issue which can't be considered as a fault as such but will equally put people off buying it as a cycling light is that the battery rattles in the torch. I have tried various batteries and all have the same issue. Most cyclist will find that quite annoying! I may keep one as an excellent torch but I will have to look elsewhere for a bike lamp. A shame as the previous BK12 is super as a bike light.

    Ride safe.
    Scott.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: XTAR B20 Pilot-1x18650-Review

    Anyone knows how to dissemble the flashlight? Anyone replaced the driver?

    My flashlight is very dim, I removed the lens and reflector, measured the voltage across the LED contact points, it shows only 2.4V so I think the driver is bad.

    Any input is appreciated!
    Last edited by Bullzeyebill; 11-11-2018 at 02:43 PM.

  21. #21
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    Thumbs down Re: XTAR B20 Pilot-1x18650-Review

    Quote Originally Posted by ooz View Post
    Anyone knows how to dissemble the flashlight? Anyone replaced the driver?

    My flashlight is very dim, I removed the lens and reflector, measured the voltage across the LED contact points, it shows only 2.4V so I think the driver is bad.

    Any input is appreciated!
    I was not able to hammer out the led/driver with a metal rod so I started drilling. There is about 5mm thick aluminum disk tight pressed into the tube of the flashlight. With the hole trough the AL disk, I tried to push and the hammer out the driver. I pushed a hole trough the driver, it is such tight fit.

    I think the driver and AL disk are pushed in with a hydraulic press, then the led disk is glued and soldered.

    The bottom line is that this flashlight is not repairable. I will be recycled for scrap metal.

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