Wowtac W1 Review ($26, 562 Lumen, 16340, EDC Budget Flashlight)

Wowtac has released a new small form factor EDC style light with the W1. It features a 16340 battery, onboard micro USB charging, deep carry pocket clip and tail magnet all for a very affordable price. Thanks to WowTac for sending this to me to review. 

 

YouTube version of this Review: 

https://youtu.be/4RcYz26y-GQ

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Packaging & Accessories

Packaging for the W1 is much like other Wowtac models, with a brown cardboard box with minimal information. The box does suggest there may be a neutral tint version of this light eventually but it also might just be production flexibility. The included accessories is a Wowtac branded 650mAh 16340 battery, deep carry pocket clip, extra o’ring and recharging port cover, and microUSB cable as well as the manual. 

 

Construction

Construction of the W1 is pretty standard. The tail is magnetic and flat so the light tail stands well. It’s threaded for a lanyard (not included), and the 2 way deep carry pocket clip that snaps in place but can rotate. The body of the light is heavily diamond knurled. It feels nice in the hand for a small light. 

Inside the threads are square cut and anodized, the spring is relatively long in the tail cap. Inside the head there is a solid post instead of a spring. The diameter of the head is a 3.2mm larger in diameter then the body and 6 sided. It features an electronic button that requires a solid click with LED’s underneath to indicate charge status. On the back is the micro USB port and silicone cover that stays out of the way when in use. 

 

The front bezel is a bit thick and silver colored, it’s nearly flat with the glass lens with AR coatings. The optic underneath is wide and shallow with a light orange peel. The LED is nicely centered but seems small for the reflector.

Sizes, Weight, & Competition

I measured the Wowtac W1 at 68mm in length, 20mm in diameter at the body, and 24mm on the head. Weight with the battery and clip was 56.3g. The light is rated for IPX8 for 1.5 meters, so it will easily survive the bucket test here.

Comparing to Wowtac W1 to other similar lights, the two that are most similar are the Olight S1 mini Baton and Thrunite T1. The W1 look a lot like the T1 in design, with the body being knurled instead of milled and being overall smaller due to the different battery sizes in use. The Olight S1 Mini Baton uses the same sized battery as the W1 and is smaller overall. I will compare the beams between the two in my night shots. I do like that the W1 is head down for carry vs Olight’s head up design. 

Retention

The pocket clip is a push on style dual direction clip. It mounts only at the tail. It’s designed primarily for head down carry and does a nice job of being deep carry. However since the size of the head is larger I found myself needing to pull the pocket clip out a little to attach it to my jeans pocket easily.  Overall good but it takes an extra step to clip on to the pocket. 

LED & Beams Shots

The W1 features a Cree XP-G2 in cool white, while neutral white is mentioned on the package they are not available for purchase at the time of this review. The beam here is a little different. It has a small hot center, that throws decently well for a light this small. Then it has a wide, fairly weak spill. On lights this size I do generally enjoy a TIR style optic for EDC use because it does a good job of a blend of beam characteristics. There is Cree rainbow with this light in the beam with the center being warmer with some green tint and the outer spill being cooler.

There is some PWM in this light, its fairly minor and not noticeable to me by eye or by camera but I can see it via the scope. 

Wowtac lists the output specs of the W1 as the following.

  • Firefly 0.5 Lumens
  • Low 12 Lumens
  • Medium 60 Lumens
  • High 197 Lumens 
  • Turbo 562 Lumens with step down to 215 lumens after 1 min.

Heat and Runtime

Heat is well controlled on this light, after 1 minute I measured temperatures at 87F, at 5 minutes 95F, and at 10 minutes 98F. 

 

Runtime 

No big surprises were found in the runtime of this light. Turbo stepdown is large and occurs after 1 minute. From there the output fell as the battery depleted, We got another major step down at the 70 minute mark where the light faded into it’s lowest output of around 0.5 lumens till low voltage protection kicked in (2.88V) at 170 total minutes. Of this total runtime I would say about 70 minutes of that is useable light, not too bad for a 650mah 16340 sized battery. 

UI

The UI here is the same as many other Wowtac and Thrunite lights which is a good thing. When the light is off firefly mode can be accessed by long pressing on the power button. From off a single quick tap will turn the light on in the last mode it was in (not turbo or firefly). To change modes when the light is on long pressing will cycle through the modes in an increasing order, Low, Medium, High. To get to turbo, double click on the button from any mode. Triple click from any mode to get strobe. 

 

Recharging

Recharging the light is accomplished via the built in microUSB port on the head of the light. When charging the main button turns red, and then blue when charged. Charging from LVP at 2.88V to full at 4.142V took 1 hour and 50 minutes and the maximum charging speed I saw was 0.48A which is safe for this size of battery. 

Conclusion

The Wowtac W1 is another good budget light from Wowtac, especially if you’re interested in a new small EDC light. At the price point of around $25 for a complete kit, the W1 is a good value and pretty easy to recommend to people. I do wish they had a neutral white option, that and USB-C would set this light apart from the competition.

 

The beam pattern here isn’t my favorite with it being almost more of a thrower then a small area flood that is typically useful in EDC, at lower outputs the spill isn’t that useful. The light carries in the pocket pretty well, and also clips onto a hat easily for a quick access headlamp if needed. I wish the clip was slightly longer so it rested on the body and made getting it into the pocket just a little easier. All this said this is a high value light for the price and a nice inexpensive place to start if you want to start EDCing a flashlight in your pants pockets on a daily basis. 

 

Pickup the Wowtac W1 on Amazon at https://amzn.to/2UUwlMq

View the full Image gallery at https://imgur.com/a/JsOmc88

 

Wowtac is also looking for 100 volunteers to try the W1 flashlight on Facebook @wowtacflashlights and share their feelings and help WOWTAC improve. (follow us on Facebook and join our group, contact to get a free W1) There are also weekly flashlight GAW on WOWTAC Facebook page.

KeySmart Pro With Tile Review

Today I have a EDC gear review of the KeySmart Pro. This is a Key holder and organizer that can fit up to 14 keys. It also features Tile integration and to help you locate your keys with your smartphone and vice versa and a small flashlight. Thanks to KeySmart for sending this to me to take a look at and tell you about. 

 

YouTube Version of this Review:

Purchase the KeySmart Pro on Amazon at the following Links:

White – https://amzn.to/2twSfuf 

Black, Red, Gray, Pink https://amzn.to/2uZb7Cs 

 

Packaging & Accessories

The KeySmart Pro comes in a nice retail box, that really emphasizes the tile functionality here. The back goes into more what the KeySmart is the accessories that are available for it.  

What comes with the standard pro here is the KeySmart Pro itself, a small microUSB cable, and a manual. Optional accessories are available as add on purchases on the KeySmart website such as a Nano Scissors, USB 3 Flash drive both that go inside, a small pocket clip, quick disconnect carabiner or a magconnect. The magconnect looks the most intriguing to me and is something I would add on myself as it would allow me to more easily disconnect my car key from other stuff which is something I frequently do in the summer or on weekends. 

 

Initial Impressions Physical

Build quality physically the KeySmart is made from a white non glossy plastic, the back piece here has some flex with it. The front side is where all the electronics are and it’s thicker. You have a micro USB port in the middle for charging the small built in flashlight and keeping the Tile going. 

Putting your keys on seems easy enough and in concept it is but in practice it was kind of finicky. The box says it will hold up to 14 keys, 7 on each side but I think that would make it quite difficult to put together. What I found helps is to put about 3 keys on each side separated with the included washers between the keys and screw one side together and then do the other. They used a flat head screw which allows you to not need a tool as you can use a coin but honestly I would have preferred a large torx bit or something that doesn’t slip out as easy. One other thing to note is that when apart you have two sides, a screw side and a collar side. The collar side for me too big on some keys, the order you put the keys is important as a result as is the straightness of the keys. If a key is bent it will bind with others. 

 

 

The bottle opener is a must to include in my book, only because it’s the loop that allows you to connect the KeySmart Pro to other stuff. My car key is too big to fit inside here so having a way to connect my KeySmart to other stuff is important and the bottle opener does that.

 

The Flashlight on the KeySmart is fairly low power, you won’t be using this for much other then to illuminate the key hold on a door and for that it works pretty well. You can click one to be on in momentary mode or double click the small button and the light will stay on for 10 seconds. 

 

Tial integration

So if you don’t know Tial is a system thats integrated into a larger and larger number of devices that allows you to in this case find your keys with your smartphone using Bluetooth. You do need to download a free app to your Android or iPhone and once paired (an easy process)  you can launch the app to find your keys via making the KeySmart play a song. You do have to be in range and from my testing that’s about 45 feet. I put them on different sides of the house and it was too far, but you could easily go room to room in your house and do the find sequence. Alternatively you can double press the Tial button on your KeySmart to find your phone even if it’s in silent mode. KeySmart says the battery will last for up to 45 days, a claim I was unable to verify. 

 

Conclusion

Everyone’s keys are a little different, I like the idea of everything being more compact and in one place but for me I miss the ability to separate and downsize easily for certain situations like formal wear or going to the gym where I just need a car and house key. I also end up having a few bulky keys and fobs that don’t really fit the KeySmart Pro without additional rings and disconnects that I don’t always want to have with me. So for me I think I will use this more in the summer when I don’t have a jacket pocket to throw keys in and want something slimmer for my shorts pockets. That said the Tile feature here is really handy and does slim and organize your keys, I think this would be especially useful if your prone to losing your keys or say had many bags or jackets you put your keys in last and needed to locate them. The little light on the end of it works surprisingly well too to find that key hole at night too. The plastic here flexes a little more then I would hope but so far it’s held up. Maybe they could sell an aluminum back plate if you wanted a little more rigidity without much more weight. 

 

So if you are interested in the KeySmart Pro or know someone it would make a perfect gift for I will have a link to where you can pick it up in the description below. Let me know if you think the KeySmart Pro would be a good fit for your EDC.

 

Purchase the KeySmart Pro on Amazon at the following Links:

White – https://amzn.to/2twSfuf 

Black, Red, Gray, Pink https://amzn.to/2uZb7Cs 

Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/ZQGyeFj