Wowtac A4 V2 Review (617 Meter Throw, 1895 Lumens, 26650 Battery)

Today I have a review of the Wowtac A4 V2 flashlight that’s utilizing a Cree XHP35 HI LED an included 26650 battery to produce a handheld thrower flashlight with nearly 1900 lumens. Thanks to Wowtac for sending this to me to review. 

 

WowTac is having a sale for Father’s day on all of their products. 20% off all lights via the WowTac Amazon store, and 30% off the A4 V2 with my discount code in the description only on June 15 through the 20th. So make sure you check that out to get a gift for a dad in your life or to treat yourself. 

 

Get 20% off for all WOWTAC flashlights using the code “2LiquidRetro” at https://amzn.to/3eaPX5W

Get 30% off for the A4 V2 Neutral White using the code “3LiquidRetro” at https://amzn.to/2UHRV6f

Get 30% off for the A4 V2 Cool White using the code “3LiquidRetro” at https://amzn.to/3hoFmXk

The sale runs from June 15 to June 20, 2020

 

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Packaging

Packaging is a brown rigid box with a deep lid that fits all the way to the base. Similar to other Wowtac and Thrunite lights. The outside is minimal with just the light name and line drawing and then emitter option on the side. Inside the light is protected with foam. Accessories include the 5000mAh Thrunite branded button top 26650 battery, basic lanyard, spare orings, and  spare button cover. 

Construction

The light is made from aluminum and anodized black. I have no complaints with the machining. The tail is non magnetic, flat and allows for tail standing. The light comes into 3 pieces, the tail, body tube and head. The tail and body tube has square knurled that are reasonably shallow, they do a good job at adding grip without being too aggressive. 

The tail cap has 2 large beefy springs inside, not what you typically see but it does a fantastic job of making the battery not bounce or rattle. The body tube is non reversible (anodized on the head end, raw on the tail end). The head itself is fairly standard, the steps up the the lens are closer to 90 degrees then angular and gradual. The front bezel is smooth and I was able to twist it off by hand. The glass is anti reflective coated. The reflector is smooth and deep, with the LED having some space around it at the bottom. 

 

Size & Weight 

I measured overall length at 125mm, minimum diameter on the tube at 32mm and maximum diameter on the head at 48mm. Weight with the included battery is 235g

 

Competition

A couple of competitors came to mind with the A4 V2, the Thrunite Catapult V6 and the Astrolux FT03. The Astrolux is closest in terms of price, but it’s head is significantly larger. I wouldn’t think about trying to carry the FT03 on my belt with a holster but with the A4 V2 that’s not an issue. The Thrunite Catapult V6 is similar, but has a slightly larger head. 

 

Retention

There isn’t much to say here on retention. There is a small hole in the tail cap for a lanyard that is included with the light. For lights like this a holster can be a nice option but one isn’t included.

 

LED & Beam 

The LED in use on the Wowtac A4 V2 is the Cree XHP35 HI. A cool and neutral white model are both available, and in my example I have the Neutral white. Tint is on the warmer side of Neutral which I enjoy I would say between 4500k and 5000k. The beam with this LED and the smooth fairly deep reflector is a thrower. You get a small tight hot center and a large dim spill. At lower powers the spill is not very visible. 

Wowtac’s claimed ratings

Turbo – 1895 Lumens

High – 1058 Lumens 

Medium – 208 Lumens

Low – 28 Lumens

Firefly – 0.5 Lumens

Strobe – 1200 Lumens

 

Heat & Runtime

I ran an uncooled heat and runtime test with this light and agree with Wowtac’s claims. Turbo has stepped down at the 3 minute mark to the 50% relative output mark where it ran till the 24 minute mark. Here is ran at about 42% relative output for the bulk of the time about another 108 minutes before stepping down and low voltage protection kicking in on the light at 2.985V. The light gets warm around the mid section where the LED is and other electronics. Maximum heat I saw during Turbo was 57C (134F).

 

UI

The UI here is standard Wowtac/Thrunite. It’s simple with just the features you need and nothing more. It’s a simple electronic switch under a slightly raised dome button. Underneath is a 2 LED (Red & Blue) to indicate charge status. It comes on blue briefly when the light is turned on. 

 

Long press from off to get moonlight mode. A single press turns the light on in it’s lowest mode. When on if you long press it will advance up in modes. You have a low, medium and high. Double press to shortcut to turbo, and once in tubo double press again to go to strobe. 

 

Recharging

The A4 V2 has onboard charging via MicroUSB. The port is slightly offset from the directly behind the button, not typical but not bad either. The silicone cover doesn’t get in the way. Total charge time for the included 5000mAh battery was 2 hours and 53 minutes. Charging started quickly, at 1.8A and generally increased up until the 2 hour and 18 minute mark before slowing down as it ended. Maximum charge rate I saw was right at 2A. The battery measured 4.155V when charging stopped. There is a LED inside the switch that’s red when charging and blue when charged.

Conclusion

The Wowtac A4 V2 is a nice budget thrower, available in both neutral and cool white, so everyone can be happy. It’s less expensive then other similarly sized lights running a 26650 battery with performance that’s just as good. It doesn’t come with as many accessories but for the price I am ok with that. 

 

Don’t forget about the father’s day sale here either, as this would make a great gift. It’s an all inclusive package with the battery and onboard USB charging. It’s available from Amazon so it will arrive fast and has a great return policy. If your dad or someone else in your life hasn’t had a modern LED flashlight powered by lithium batteries they will be amazed at how much and how far the light goes in such a small package. Gone are the days that you need a flashlight the size of a baseball bat, here are the days a ton of power fits comfortably in your hand and only weighs 8.29oz.

 

This is a nice budget light with no budget features. I can recommend it. 

 

Get 20% off for all WOWTAC flashlights using the code “2LiquidRetro” at https://amzn.to/3eaPX5W

Get 30% off for the A4 V2 Neutral White using the code “3LiquidRetro” at https://amzn.to/2UHRV6f

Get 30% off for the A4 V2 Cool White using the code “3LiquidRetro” at https://amzn.to/3hoFmXk

The sale runs from June 15 to June 20, 2020

WowTac A4 Review (2000 Lumen 2x 18650 Thrower)

On my review table today is the new WowtTac A4 thrower. It uses a Cree XHP 35 HI LED and a deep reflector to achieve a claimed 820 meter throw. The A4 follows the older established design of a thrower by using 2× 18650 batteries in series. Thanks to WowTac for sending this to me to take a look at.

Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/avSYy2t
YouTube Version of this Review:

Packaging
The Wowtac packaging is a compact, long box that folds up from the front flap to reveal the light sitting in a foam protection. Underneath is the only accessories the light comes with (2 orings) and the manual.The box on the outside is pretty plain with not many details but it does make mention of an A5 model that currently is unannounced and I wonder what this might be to fit in this box.. . . .



Construction
The light is made from aluminum and anodized in a semi gloss black finish that’s even and without flaw. The tailcap is mostly flat with a slight recess with nice deep diamond knurling on the edges. It does have a small lanyard loop. Threads are square cut. The spring in the tail cap is rather short, and doesn’t have much travel.

The body tube is one long piece of aluminium that is symmetrical on both ends and it’s completely round. Knurling is deep and a diamond pattern. It feels nice in the hand, grip wise. I do miss it not having any flat areas though that help locate it’s orientation in the hand and help find the front power/mode button.

If the head of the Wowtac A4 looks similar, that’s because it is. The Thrunite Catapult V6 is identical in design with the only difference being that the Catapult V6 is that it has micro USB recharging opposite the main button and the threaded area where the tube connects is made to accommodate the different power sources. This makes sense, because Wowtac receives technical assistance from Thrunite on their designs. Think of Wowtac as the value brand for Thrunite. In this end this is good for both companies as it helps increase volume of manufacturer and lowers costs for both. The reflector is deep and smooth, the bezel is silver aluminium and looks like it should unscrew with the proper tool. The button itself is silver and metal, in the middle is a LED indicator that shows blue when the light is on. When the battery power is less then 20% it turns red, and when less then 10% the red will begin to flash.




I measured the length of the A4 at 202mm, maximum diameter at 58mm, minimum diameter at 25.3mm and weight with batteries at 321.5g. The light is IPX8 water rated.

LED/Beam/Runtime/Heat
This light uses a Cree XHP35 HI LED in cool white. It sits in front of a deep smooth reflector with anti reflective coated glass. The LED is nicely centered. It’s tint while cool white is fairly neutral.

The beam pattern is a small very focused hot spot in the center, with a large but dim spill. The spill has a hard cut off on the edges. It’s pretty identical to the Catapult V6. Heat isn’t too much of a concern, it’s big head does a good job of dissipating heat during operation.

UI & Modes
The UI of this light is simple and straightforward. From Off Long press to receive “reading” mode of 0.5 lumens. When on in any mode, long press to move up in brightness. Starting at Low of 22 lumens, Medium of 180 lumens, high of 950 lumens. From any mode the light is on you can double click to go to turbo at 2000 lumens. The light has Strobe which you can get to from tubo by double clicking again.

Runtimes
I performed my runtime tests with 2x Thrunite 3400mAh Protected button top 18650 batteries. Total runtime was just shy of 140 minutes in my runtime test. Turbo runtime was consistent with the 1.5 minutes that WowTac claims. The light stepped down 9 times over 22 minutes until it stabilized and ran for the remaining 120 minutes before an abrupt shut off. Step Downs were not the smoothest and most were drastic.

Batteries
This light does not ship with batteries, which is a first from WowTac. It needs 2x protected button top 18650 cells as specified by the manual. Flat tops without buttons or protection are too short to make contact. There while there is a spring in the tail cap there isn’t a ton of give to it. Magnets will work as a spacer if needed. For my test I used 2x Thrunite 3400mAh protected button top cells. Working voltage is 5.5-8.4v, so CR123A and 18350 cells are not an option for this light.

Comparisons
2018 seems to be the year of the thrower, and I have had several this year to review. I have not been disappointed in any of them. The Thrunite Catapult V6 has a super similar head as the Wowtac A4, and they use the same LED, however they give different throw distances. The WowTac has a claimed 820m, while the Thrunite claims 750m. My assumption is that the WowTac is driving the LED a bit harder due ot the higher voltages.

Pro

  • High Value for a large 2× 18650 thrower
  • Offers a firefly 0.5 lumen mode that throws well due to the reflector geometry
  • It should be pretty simple to change the emitter on this one if you wish
  • Minimal and tasteful branding on the light

Con’s

  • No batteries included, this is the first model from WowTac to have that.
  • Only offered in Cool white at the moment.

Conclusion
2018 Seems to be a popular year for throwers and I am enjoying it so far. The WowTac A4 offers everything you would want in a budget oriented handheld thrower, in a narrow but longer package. I think it’s a nice option for people who have lots of 18650 batteries and a charger already or don’t need USB charging.

Personally I am finding that I enjoy using the 1× 26650 battery format throwers a little better than the 2× 18650 category of throwers just because they are easier to carry in a bag and fit in my hand. That said the 2X 18650 form factor is well proven and works well. The Wowtac A4 is an affordable option, with a great beam profile for long distance throwing.

If you are interested in purchase, the light appears to be sold out at WowTac direct right now, but is available from Amazon yet (Affiliate Link).

Convoy C8+ in Sand (Best Budget Thrower for the $?)

Today I have a Convoy C8+ in the new Sand color to take a look at. The C8+ has a deep smooth reflector and works as a great budget thrower. For those of you who don’t know Convoy they have a reputation of providing great quality lights for very low prices. This sand colored C8+ was provided to me by Gearbest Link) to take a look at and I thank them for that.

Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/RjhQeXu
YouTube Version of this Review:

Packaging
Packaging is pretty much non existent. My C8+ came in a white cardboard box that got got crushed a bit during shipping.The light doesn’t come with any accessories other than a lanyard that was already attached. Nothing on mine was tight either so make sure you tighten up the front lens and body/tail caps prior to first use.

Construction
The C8+ is made of aluminium and is anodized with a color they call sand but it’s pretty close to the Cerakote color Burnt Bronze which I happen to really like. Starting at the tail cap you have a black rubber clicky button. It does full click and momentary. There are lanyard holes on both sides and the light will tail stand. Threads are ACME cut and were lightly greased on the rear. On the body tube the knurling is pretty deep and aggressive. I like the diamond pattern.



The head itself has lots of cooling fins milled into it. It gets larger to accommodate the large and deep reflector which is what gives allows this light to throw. The front bezel has very shallow crenulations. It’s very easy to remove, allowing the smooth reflector to come out and access to the emitter circuit board. This is an easy light to mod.


In the hand I find it’s mostly comfortable. It’s a little short with the larger head unless you grip up on it, it works pretty well in a cigar grip.

Length was measured at 142mm, diameter of the body tube is 25.2mm, diameter of the head is 44.5mm and empty weight is 145 grams. No claims about water rating was made but it has orings everywhere I would expect so it should be pretty decent. It survived a brief sink test.

LED/Runtime
This light uses a Cree XPL HI LED that’s available in 4 different color tints. (6500k, 5000k, 4200k, 3000k). Mine is in 4200K which I quite like as a neutral white. I don’t notice any tint rainbow to it. Beam pattern is consistent with a deep reflector thrower. Small, hot center, with minimal spill and a hard cut off. High mode is listed as 1100 Lumens.

For my runtime test I used a 3500mAh NCR18650B battery. Light fall off started to occur pretty fast and it was a very linear drain for the first 80 minutes down to about 45% relative output. At this point the light started taking larger decreases down to where it shut off at 130 minutes.

UI
This light is using revised UI from Convoy. It’s a little hard to describe in words as there are several modes, so ill include the Diagram that Convoy Publishes. The light has 12 mode groups that you can switch the light into by entering configuration mode by doing a bunch (10+ taps or until the light stops turning on and you will be in config mode) By default from what I can tell I believe the light I received ships in mode 1 which contains 0.1%, 1%, 10%, 35%, 100%, Strobe (Fast then Slower, then fast), Biking (Steady on at about 50%, with super fast strobe every second), and then a battery check that counts out voltage. The light does have memory and momentary. The good thing is between the 12 modes offered there is just about something for everyone and it’s not too hard to switch if you have the directions handy.

Pro’s

  • I love that the C8+ comes in a wide variety of tint options, make sure to pay attention when ordering.
  • It’s great value for the money, for under $30 shipped it might be the best thrower for the money.
  • Moddable – Lots of mods exist for Convoy lights, I think I will do the glowing tail cap for this one.

 

Con’s

  • While I love the new “sand” or burnt bronze color it does feel a little chalky to the touch, and I know some people dislike this.
  • On the larger side of things, not EDC-able in a front pant pocket (Works ok for a coat)
  • Barebones packaging, no extras, or manuals included.

 

Conclusion
The Convoy C8+ is a great bargain 1× 18650 cell thrower. For under $30 shipped to the USA it’s hard to find a better thrower with as many tints as the Convoy C8+ offers and as many operating modes. I love that it comes in 2 main tints (Black and Sand) and that the light is pretty moddable. This Convoy is pretty well built and is a nice value. If you don’t mind waiting for overseas shipping this is a great value thrower.

Gearbest has provided a coupon code of “ConvoyC8” to allow you go get this C8+ in Sand for $19.99 at https://goo.gl/VckBeo (Affiliate Link)

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Up Next I have several lights (Thrower, Headlamp, and more) so make sure you are subscribed to my Youtube Channel so you won’t miss the next review.

Olight M3Xs-UT Javelot Review

Here is my review of the Olight M3Xs-UT Javelot. It’s a very impressive thrower flashlight. It is truly possible to have a flashlight that can reach out to 1000M+. I ran out of room at 860 Meters at a local lake but truly believe it would reach. While not an EDC light, it’s pretty special and is a lot of fun to show people. See my full video review below.

If you are interested in purchasing here you can do so here:
Ebayhttp://bit.ly/M3XSUTeBayUS
Amazonhttp://amzn.to/2qqFSJ0