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Thread: Review: Fenix E16, EDC, XP-L, 1x16340/CR123A, 700 lumens, beamshots

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* kj75's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    The Netherlands

    Lightbulb Review: Fenix E16, EDC, XP-L, 1x16340/CR123A, 700 lumens, beamshots

    Fenixlight has just introduced the most tiny and the most powerful flashlight that runs on a single 16340. The new Fenix-baby is called E16 and is designed for all-day-use and in and around home. The light is one of the “new-generation” of the manufacturer: It has refreshed style and some nice new accents. Like we often see at a brand new Fenix, the E16 comes with a new feature: The lens has a special design that makes it possible to get a smooth beam out of a thin reflector. In this review I will describe and show the E16 and give my personal feelings about it. I will tell you how it works, compare it to some equal lights and show the beamprofile and the output. Here we go!

    a new “baby-Fenix”flashlight, the E16

    fully made of metal, including the switch

    nice design and big clip

    special designed lens and XP-L HI led inside

    the light has a neutral / warm tint

    compact but good output

    At first, a look at the specifications, given by manufacturer:

    • Cree XP-L HI neutral white LED with a lifespan of 50,000 hours; max 700 lumens
    • Automobile optical lens coating process
    • Two ways of avoiding accidental activation
    • Magnetic tail
    • Two way body clip
    • Low-voltage warning function
    • Compatible with 16340 Li-ion and CR123A Lithium battery
    • Stainless steel side switch for one-switch control
    • Digitally regulated output maintains constant brightness
    • Overheat protection against high surface temperature
    • Reverse polarity protection to protect from improper battery insertion
    • Anti-roll and anti-slip design
    • Made of durable high-strength and oxidation-resistance aluminum
    • Premium type HAIII hard-anodized anti-abrasive finish
    • 51mm Length x 21.1mm Head x 19.8mm Body
    • 21g (excluding battery)

    And the output and runtime specs:


    The Fenix E16 is packed in a good looking in mainly orange and black. Looks good; on the box we see the E16 back and some applications on the sides. It’s a kind of showcase: The light is hidden behind a window that is covered by a flap. Opening the box takes some effort and a tool; unfortunately my box tore out. I hope that Fenix will find a solution for this is future. As you can see on the photos, my light came including a 16340-cell that can be charged directly thanks to the built-in micro usb port. Many thanks to my local dealer knivesandtools! In the box, we find back the E16, a clip, some spare o-rings and a lanyard. A holster is missing. Further we see a manual en some leaflets. Sufficient for most users, but I’d recommend to order it including the optional battery. Below some pictures that show the carton in different positions and the contents.

    I got the E16 including the recommended battery, the ARB-L16-700U

    several applications where you can use the light shown by nice pictures

    main colors are orange and black

    a nice showcase with a flap that covers the window

    this is in: E16, clip, manual and leaflets and spare o-rings


    First impression: Really a nice Fenix baby-light! The copper / golden accents on the E16 give the light something special. I really like the looks of the latest Fenix-generation! This thumb-sized flashlight feels the same like his (large) members of the big family. Fit and finish are very good. A stable torch that hasn’t sharp parts anywhere; anodizing and engraving is done well. This tiny one stands very stable both on head and tail, but looking at the design, that wouldn’t be a big surprise.. Thanks to the hexagonal head the anti-rolling design is very good, even without the clip. The clip can be added at one way. The body has knurling, but the grip could be better in my eyes. There a cut-out in the tailcap with a hole to fix the lanyard. Adding the lanyard took some more time, because of the small hole. The E16 has a fairly small but metal switch in the head. The golden edge on the lens gives an exclusive appearance to the light. I never saw a lens like the E16 earlier on a Fenix torch or someone else: A shallow reflector with a special “TIR-design” and orange-peel structure that will spread the beam and give the E16 a smooth profile. This idea is not completely new, we saw this already back at some other brands, but not exactly like this. The XP-L HI led is perfectly centered and luckily we find back a glass lens here. The “CE” letters on the lights’ tail affect the nice design in my eyes, but mentioning this mark is probably mandatory. There’s a magnet built-in the tale, that can’t be removed. By opening the E16 (just under the lights’ head), we notice that the threads need some glue to expand the lifespan. But that’s not a big issue, the threads are machined well. Looking into the head we see a gold-plated contact and a “plus”-icon. A spring in the tube protects against shocks. The body’s layer is rather thin, but strong. Overall I can tell you that the E16 looks and feels like a durable and stable light and that the finishing is done at excellent way. Please scroll down to watch a couple of photos that show you more details and close-ups of the E16!

    thumb-sized, barely larger than the recommend battery: the Fenix E16

    stylish baby flashlight

    comes in matte black

    special feature: the new reflector

    can be carried always and everywhere thanks to its size

    the clip can added reverse too if you want

    excellent job on anodizing and engraving

    stable standing

    nice accents on the head

    perfectly centered XP-L HI-LED and orange peel-reflector

    a spring in the body protects against shocks

    a look into the head

    the color of the led shows that the light will have a neutral / warm tint

    the knurling doesn’t give the light that uch grip

    a close-up to the head

    the switch is (too) small for an average thumb

    compact with such a nice design

    fine knurling

    lens with “TIR”-optics

    the back with built-in magnet and CE-mark

    the rather big lanyard added

    up to 700 lumens in a thumb-sized torch!

    the physical lock-out of the switch shown here

    hands-free working thanks to the magnet in the tail

    User interface:

    As we have seen in the impressions-chapter, the E16 is a very small flashlight. Sometimes, during the testing, I asked me if I weared it or not in my pants pocket… Fits easily in your hand, but I would recommend to fix the included lanyard to your wrist because it’s so tiny; in particular when you have large hands. Because of the low weight, the E16 can be clipped on to your hand or clothes without causing any inconvenience. Nice to know this!

    The E16 can run on several batteries and I showed you the 16340 with direct USB-charging already by some pictures. This is clearly my favorite for this light: Better for the environment, and the light will reach the highest output that’s possible with this cell. I keep the CR123A for spare battery and for cold days, because the CR123A will withstand low temperatures without problems; another plus is that you can keep this batteries for years without loss of power.

    The E16 must be controlled by your thumb. To me, the metal side switch is too small; it’s hard to locate in the dark. At my dealer, I tried out the slightly larger Fenix E18R-brother, that has a better switch to me. But I found a solution for it: I positioned the body-clip next to the button, so that helps me to find the switch in the dark. Works well to me!

    To turn on the E16, you have to press down the button and hold it for about a half a second. The light has intelligent memory circuit, so it start in last used mode. When on, you can cycle through the four levels by short clicks. Turn the E16 off by pressing and holding for 0.5 second again. Works stable and without issues. The strobe, the only special mode on this light, must be activated by pressing and holding the switch for about 1.2 seconds. Not too long in my eyes, this mode is needed in case of emergency. Good point is that you can activate it directly, no matter if the light is off or on. Keep in mind that the light will turn on for short time from off, and shut off for a split-second if it’s on when you activate strobe. This can’t be fixed another way with a “one-for-all” switch. Another option that you need the button for is the lock-out modus: Quickly press twice to (de)activate it. If the E16 is locked the light will flash two times slowly to indicate this. Fenix has designed the clip that that way, that you can “cover” the switch with it: This is the second (physical) option to lock the E16. A good option that I really like. Third way to unlock is release the lights head by a quarter turn: This has been my favorite way during the testing period.

    The E16 will get hot in quite short time. Therefore it has a overheat protection built-in. The output will be reduced by little steps (not a full level) if the body and head gets too hot. In practice, you see that the light will dimm within about 1.5 minute by little steps when it’s in highest mode. If the temperature has dropped, you can reach turbo again. This is normal on a baby-light like this; flashlights of this format are not designed to work for long time on 700 lumens. For a lot of applications, the medium and high mode will be sufficient. The light has a low voltage-indicator: When the battery needs to be replaced or recharged the E16 will blink three times every five minutes. So, no info about accurate voltage, but a warning when you need to replace or charge the cell.

    The E16 works like other Fenix-lights: Smooth and easy. But I’d like to see some more special features, like a direct-low mode which is an ideal option for in and around home.


    The E16 has four main levels, in the order of LOW > MEDIUM > HIGH > TURBO. The spacing is good, the lowest mode is not too bright, although I still prefer a real moonlight-mode. No direct modes here. The light has one special mode: STROBE. It has a various frequency and is really blinding. No blinking modes either here, but STROBE is the most important in my eyes. The E16 has three ways to LOCK-OUT the light: Electronic, by using the switch and two physical options. Well done of the manufacturer and good to have these options on a light designed to carry the whole day. No information about current voltage on this torch, but a LOW-VOLTAGE warning is there. So, we can say that the E16 has all options you need at most, but I’d like to have some more instant and special modes on this flashlight.

    Size comparison:

    For comparison I picked some lights out of my collection that run on the same of an equal battery. The pictures show again how compact the E16 is. I used these three also for my beamshots; I’ll show you the results later in this review!

    16340-cell, Fenix E16, Olight H1R Nova and Fenix RC09

    Fenix E16, Olight H1R Nova and Fenix RC09

    Fenix E16, Olight H1R Nova and Fenix RC09

    the heads: XP-L HI, XM-L2 and XM-L2 (U2)

    the tails: Fenix E16, Olight H1R Nova and Fenix RC09


    Let’s have a look at the tint now! Next to the other lights that we met in this review the E16 shows a warm / neutral tint. The tint is clearly warmer than an average light with neutral white led. Personally I don’t mind; the color rendering is good with this light. I can strongly recommend the E16 to those who don’t like cool white tints. Take a look at the photo below and see what I mean: The warm tint next to the cool-white tints of the Fenix RC09 and the Olight H1R Nova.


    The special designed reflector with special structure has clearly its effect on the beam: A rather big spot with medium corona that gradually turns into a big spill. As expected, this shows a broad beam in real life. The E16 is designed to light up your path, to check your engine when you have a breakdown or for reading in your tent at the camping. But the flat XP-L HI has also surprising throw for a baby-light with such a shallow reflector. Therefore, the E16 will be your buddy in a lot of situations. The beam is uniform in shape, but not perfectly rounded. This is because of the reflector; outside you won’t notice this. No PWM detected during the testing at any mode; this is what I’m used of Fenix, but a good point.


    Highest time now to see how the E16 performs! As usual, we start indoors by shining a a white wall. The distance to the wall is about one meter; I’ll show you the four output modes of the E16 and after that a GIF. I used the 16340-cell for my beamshots, at this way I can show you the maximum output of this light. Powered by a CR123A, the E16 will reach less than half the output, maximum 300 lumens. I skipped this battery in my test.

    Camera settings: ISO100, WB daylight, F/2.7, 1/125 sec, 35mm


    Time to go outside now; I took the E16 and the other lights with me during a beamshot-session in the forest. It was a cloudy evening with sometimes a bit rain. First chapter is with the light mounted on a tripod; I’ll show the four levels and after that an animation. Again tested with the 16340-cell.

    Camera settings: ISO100, WB daylight, F/2.7, 4 sec, 35mm


    Let’s compare the E16 now to the Olight H1R Nova. What you can see here is that the Olight spreads the beam, it has less throw than the E16. Also big difference in tint, but the H1R Nova uses a CW-LED.

    the E16 against the Olight H1R Nova, both lights on highest level

    Next light is the Fenix RC09. The E16 has again the best throw, and lights up a larger area at middle distance. This is the merit of the special reflector and lens of the E16.

    the E16 against the RC09 brother, both lights on highest levelafbeeldingen omzetten

    A couple of photos now with the E16 in hand. The pictures show again the impressive output and beam for such a small flashlight!

    the Fenix E16 on turbo-mode

    the Fenix E16 on highest level

    the Fenix E16 on turbo-mode


    For a couple of years ago, a flashlight that reached an output this this one was about three times larger. It’s interesting to see the evolution of flashlights; at the moment I can’t say how bright lights will be for (let’s say) three years later. But keep in mind that the maximum output (also on this Fenix) isn’t meant for minutes in a row.

    The Fenix E16 is a bright baby-flashlight with impressive performance. Moreover, it is a quality-product: Well built and finished and equipped with a special lens that gives the light surprising throw and also a wide and smooth beam. I think that some user would like it if a Coolwhite-version would be added too. Best way to use it (in my eyes) is with the direct rechargeable 16340-battery. The triple lock-out function a big plus to this light, the switch could be some larger. I carried the E16 as EDC-light for a couple of months now and this baby is still in pocket... An indication that I like this light!

    Thanks to Fenixlight and Knivesandtools for providing me the E16 for testing!

    Last edited by kj75; 01-21-2019 at 09:31 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Review: Fenix E16, EDC, XP-L, 1x16340/CR123A, 700 lumens, beamshots

    Thanks for the thorough review and great pictures.

    I really like the mode spacing for L-M-H on this light. These would be my most used levels when clipped to my hat brim for hands-free use. I prefer this mode spacing over that of the Olight S1 Mini, but I prefer the UI of the S1 Mini.

    What this light lacks for me to buy it, is direct access to low and high from off, regardless of what mode it's in when turned off. I know that this is possible, because the Olight S1 Mini and Utorch UT01 both accomplish this.

    The S1 Mini has the UI that I prefer and the E16 has the mode spacing that I prefer for hat brim use, which results in me not buying either and staying with the 1AAA light that I've used for the last couple years.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* kj75's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    The Netherlands

    Default Re: Review: Fenix E16, EDC, XP-L, 1x16340/CR123A, 700 lumens, beamshots

    is direct access to low and high from off, regardless of what mode it's in when turned off. I know that this is possible
    Hoping for this too! It would make the light better.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Review: Fenix E16, EDC, XP-L, 1x16340/CR123A, 700 lumens, beamshots

    Thanks for the review. This looks interesting. It wouldn't just work with a d-cell, would it?

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