Fenix has a new small higher performance EDC with the updated FenixE18R V2.0. This is running a Luminis SST40 and a 1634 battery. Its biggest competitor would be the Olight Baton 3, and I will be using that as a comparison throughout the review. Thanks to Fenix for sending this to me to look at and review, all opinions are my own.
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Get the Fenix E18R V2.0 at Fenix-store.com and save 20% for first-time orders.
Packaging & Accessories
The packaging here is a nice fully decorated retail-style box. The outside has some of your typical stats on the back. Inside the light is in a plastic tray, but what I really like here is that the accessories underneath are held in place with an extra piece of plastic. While this is minor it really helps to put everything back into the box with ease. If you save boxes and everything that comes with a light like I do this a useful bit of packaging. Accessories include the light itself, preinstalled pocket clip, lanyard, 700mAh Fenix branded battery, USB-A to C charging cable (short), layard, extra orings, port cover, warranty, and manual,
Design & Construction
The E18R V2 is made from 6061 aluminum, and hard anodized in black in a smooth semi-gloss anodizing. The tail is mostly flat, and strong magnetic. It tail stands without an issue despite it only having 2 outer wings. The tailcap as very shallow straight knurls on it for minimal grip.
The body has very fine circular grooves milled into it. They provide a minimal amount of grip but on a light this small I feel like the clip help gives your fingers something to lock on to. The threads on the tail are anodized and inside there is a spring only on the rear of the light. The head is glued onto the body tube, and the clip only attaches in one position but isn’t captured in terms of rotation.
The head has a slightly raised area around the electronic switch. The switch has a metal button cover with LED in the center to give the battery and lockout status. The accent colors here are a rosy copper color that I think is attractive. The USB charging port is opposite the button, and the port cover here is very secure as it has an additional hook to hold it in place. The lens is plastic TIR with a flat top, with no additional cover to protect it. The light has basically no bezel, what bezel it does have is flat.
Lastly, the markings on this light should be mentioned, they are laser engraved, and nicely aligned. I like that they hid the CE mark, and it contains the typical hot warning near the head. What I hadn’t seen before but think is a decent idea is very small directions under the switch to remind you how to lock and unlock the light.
The primary retention method with the light is the dual direction pocket clip. It’s designed primarily as a lens up carry clip which isnt’ my personal favorite method. When carrying this way it leaves about ½” of light sticking out. The same can be said If you flip it over. The clip is also one of the 3 ways to do lockout on this light if you slide it over so it physically covers the switch.
You also have the two lanyard attachment points on the rear of the light. In hand it’s pretty small, the body design doesn’t aid much in grip but the clip does when installed giving you a place to lock into.
Size & Weight
I measured the length at 66.64mm, and the diameter at the head at 21.1mm. I measured the weight with the clip and battery installed at 1.9oz. The light is IP68 water rated and impact resistant to 1 meter. In comparison to the Olight Baton 3, the E18R V2 is just slightly longer.
LED & Beam
The Fenix E18R V2.0 is using the Luminis SST 40 LED in cool white. On my Opple meter, I measured it at 5278K with a 62 CRI. So a fairly neutral tint but a pretty low CRI. There is PWM but it’s extremely fast, I don’t think anyone will notice it.
The beam profile is pretty typical of a TIR-style optic. A reasonably large hot center with minimal spill and no artifacts. Good for short-range EDC tasks and throws further than you think in the higher output modes when needed.
Outputs & Mode Spacing
For my output measurements I tested on my Texas Ace calibrated PVC lumen tube, it’s not professional measuring equipment but usually a pretty good approximation. Outputs here were very close to Fenix’s claim, the only place I saw a difference was turbo and that was only by 30 lumens or so short.
Mode spacing here not taking into account Turbo is 4 modes from 1 to 350 lumens. They are well spaced inside this, and I appreciate they included a true 1 lumen moon mode here. Turbo on the other hand is kind of off the charts at 1200 lumens.
Heat & Runtime
For my heat and runtime shots, I used the Li-ion battery the light came with. Turbo stepped down after 1:45 down to the 600-lumen range. The heat peaked around the 6:00 mark at 46C. The light ends up being very stable at about 11 minutes of runtime around the 400-lumen mark and runs out till 42 minutes before seeing a large stepdown and running in moonlight mode out till an hour.
I also did a runtime test comparing Turbo, High, and Medium modes that you can see in this graph.
The UI is a little different from many other flashlights, so it might take a few minutes to understand if you’re coming from Olight, Thrunite, Nitecore, Sofirn, and others. To turn it on you have to long press. To increase in modes once on long press and the light will cycle from moonlight mode up through turbo. The light does have memory for all modes except strobe and turbo. If you shut it off in Turbo it will come on again in High next time. There is no shortcut to turbo, you have to incrementally get there. You can access moonlight mode by long pressing from off. If you hold the button too long when turning off the light will also go to strobe. Double pressing is a shortcut to strobe. To turn off you long press again. To lockout, the light double tap when off, same to unlock. You can also unscrew the tail cap slightly or cover the switch with the pocket clip.
Personally, this isn’t my favorite UI, and I would prefer there to be direct access to turbo with a double tap, and strobe is a triple tap. I find myself instead putting the light into strobe when I want turbo. Long pressing to turn off isn’t my personal favorite either.
The light has onboard USB-C charging opposite the e-swtich on the light. I had no issues charging via USB-C to C or PD. I ran all tests with the included Fenix 700mAh branded battery. I tested the capacity of this battery at 685mAh on my Vapcell S4 Plus charger which I reviewed previously.
Charging from LVP of the battery at 2.973V to full when charging stopped at 4.163V took 1:21:00. Charging speed was right at 1C for most of the charging, and the charging curve looked pretty typical.
The light is capable of running a few different battery types. The manual notes that it can run a standard button top 16340, but may not be able to achieve peak performance. Same with a CR123a which is nonrechargeable. LiFePO4 16340’s are strongly not recommended due to the lower voltage the charging circuit isn’t designed to handle these.
One thing to note is that the battery level indicator is specified to only work with the Fenix branded ARB-L16-700P battery the light comes with.
There is a lot to like about the Fenix E18R V2.0. I like the design of the light physically I think it looks pretty good with the bronze-colored accents. There isn’t a ton of grip on the body tube but for me, the clip makes up for that. The tint here doesn’t seem to have any noticeable undesirable green tint. While I tend to like more neutral or warm emitters I understand why they went with cool white here to maximize the number of lumens and because it seems that’s what the segment of the market this light is aimed to prefer and it’s not super blue.
I like that battery here isn’t proprietary, and that it can run on CR123a’s in a pinch but with reduced performance. Another plus is that it uses USB-C for charging instead of a proprietary system.
A few things I wasn’t a fan of either, like UI here with no direct access to turbo, and where strobe is only a double pressor extra long press when turning off. I am not as much of a fan of lens up carry with 1/6th of the light sticking up out of my pocket and the switch being right at the pocket hem of your pants or shorts.
Overall a pretty solid light. If you like Olight but want to try another brand that’s similar but different I think this would be a good place to go. The UI will be a change for sure, but it’s a well-built light with a good beam thanks to the TIR lens and above-average build quality.
Get the Fenix E18R V2.0 at Fenix-store.com and save 20% for first-time orders.