Rofis TR18 Flashlight Review

Preface

Before the TR10 review, I had only just heard of the Rofis brand, but I was impressed by the features.  GearBest sent this out to me after the review of the TR10.  A lot of this review will be just like the TR10 review (I’d intended to do the reviews together, but didn’t get the lights at the same time): please forgive that.  These lights are very similar indeed.


Official Specs and Features

Versions

There’s really only one version, but that sells the light a little short since it’s quite feature rich.  But just one tint option, and emitter option, and body color, etc.

MSRP

Price is around $50.


Short Review

Quite a nice light, with a good UI and a nice option to switch between right angle and OTF.  And of course, I love some XP-L HI….

Long Review

What’s Included

  • Rofis TR18
  • Pocket clip
  • Spare O-ring (2)
  • Lanyard
  • Detachable magnet tailcap
  • Holster
  • Manual

20170623-IMG_2244.jpg

(Special note: NOT included is a headband to make this work as a headlamp.  Despite what many product shots you see may depict.)

Pictures

Here’s the photo album, an album of beamshots, and a runtime.

Package and Manual

The package is a cardboard box with no window.  There’s a lot of printing, including specs and photos.  GearBest includes their inventory sticker right on the back, which obscures whatever the box has printed on the main back portion.

The manual is a one long piece of paper with English on one side and Chinese on the back.  The manual is comprehensive, describing the UI and specs and warranty quite well.  It also folds small, in case you are inclined to carry manuals in your pocket.  Here’s a pdf of the manual.

Build Quality and Disassembly

Like the TR10, the TR18 is quite well built.  The anodizing is glossy, but doesn’t feel cheap.  (Honestly I find it’s a bit of a crap shoot whether matte or glossy anodizing feels cheap or quality.  Sometimes glossy feels cheap, sometimes it feels quality.  Sometimes matte feels cheap, sometimes quality).  Either way, this anodizing feels and looks just fine.

Now, about the angle head.  As you can see in the photo there, the head switches to the angle type.  The head doesn’t come off, it just twists over.  It’s an easy maneuver, and doesn’t require locking or anything of the sort.  And doesn’t require any special tools, which is nice.  Also noteworthy is how useful this feature could be just based on the fact that this light has a magnet in the tailcap – the angle head might let you get the light exactly where you need it, while stuck to something ferrous.  The light will work through the full range of motion.

The angle head makes removing the bezel a little difficult.  That’s because it’s practically the same motion – unscrewing the bezel requires one to hold the light in the same way as when holding to turn the light to angled head.  This isn’t a big deal, but something to think about if you were considering an emitter swap.

The threads on the tailcap are unanodized, and square cut.  The threads are good threads, but as you can see in that photo, the clip is confounding.  More on that later.

Size

As far as 18650 lights go, this isn’t a small light.  But with the angle option head, it’s probably “small”.  It’s actually a great size and length for carrying in hand, and holding.  And as a right angle light too, the TR18 is very comfortable.

The light is 118mm by 24.5mm, and 69.5g.

Of course may other current lights of the 18650 variety are going to be smaller, but most don’t offer the head option.

Retention

The TR18 comes with a pocket clip installed. As on the TR10, the pocket clip is probably my biggest gripe about the light.  The clip is nearly in the center of the light, which makes the light very unbalanced when clipped in a pocket.  This clip also interferes in a frustrating way when reinstalling the tail cap.  The end of the clip deflects the tailcap just enough to make screwing the cap on to these unanodized threads sketchy.

Unlike the TR10, there’s no magnet in the tailcap.  There is, however, a 1/4″ threaded connection for use on tripods, in the tailcap.

However, there is a magnet available!  The magnet “tailcap” actually screws into the 1/4″ threads.  Now that’s very clever….  The magnet is a kind of “donut” magnet, with the threads in the center.  It’s a nice option to add to this light.

Power

The TR18 is powered by a single 18650.  All my use and testing has been with a EVVA protected button top 18650.  Flat tops will work (there’s a spring on the head and tail end).

Two CR123 batteries may be used as well (per the manual).  I’d extrapolate this to mean it’ll also work with two 18350 cells.

The Turbo runtime terminated at 2.56V – soft termination at that.  Output was very minimal, and the indicating switch was red.  But it was still outputting light.

runtime.png

Note that the stepdown from turbo doesn’t step down to high, but to something much higher than high.  Since turbo only lasts for about a minute, this is effectively another mode, almost a Turbo 2 or something.

User Interface and Operation

There’s a single side clicky, and it has an indicating function.  It’s a plastic button, and very clicky, but also fairly quiet.  I like this button.  But it’s a little easy to activate, so when you have the TR18 clipped in your pocket, be aware where it’s clipped in relation to the button.

The indicating button indicated when the cell gets low, but nothing else.  When the cell gets to 2.6V (or lower) the indicating switch will flash red twice per second to let you know to charge that cell.

20170625-IMG_2373.jpg

The UI is versatile:

State Action Result
Off Click Memory (Excluding strobes and moonlight)
Off Hold Moonlight
Off Long Hold Lockout
Lockout Hold Lockout Off
On Click Off
On Hold Cycle modes (UL>L>M>H>T) (Moonlight is excluded)
Any Triple click Strobe
Strobe Short Hold Next Strobe (Fast, Beacon, SOS)

I can honestly say that I like this UI a lot.  I was able to reliably get the mode I wanted without getting bad modes that I didn’t want with very little practice with the light. That said I’m not sure the light needs this many modes, particularly since the highest two are so visually similar.

Modes

The modes with the TR18 are slightly different than the modes with the TR10.  I’m not sure if this one was first, or the TR10, but the TR18 looks better to me.  Less modes overall, but with smarter spacing, all while removing the High that was too near Turbo, and not having High step down at all.  This looks like a big winner to me.

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Mode Measured Lux* Calculated Output (lm)** Measured Amps (A)
Moon 2 320h 37  – 0.008
Low 16  88h 347  – 0.045
Medium 65  29h 1599  – 0.155
High 230 455m 5550  200 0.592
Turbo 1100/550  30s (stepdown: 75m) 18700  1050 2.61

* This category basically meaningless since I don’t have a calibrated sphere.  I’m still recording these values, and working on calibration.  They are useful in the sense that they give actual mode spacing information.

** These numbers based on information from this chart.

LED and Beam

There’s a Cree XP-L HI in this light, and that’s of course just about my favorite emitter.  My BOSS has XP-L HI’s … well one of my BOSSes, and it’s the one I prefer.  And that’s a fine emitter in this light too.  The reflector is lightly orange peeled, and shallow, so the beam has a spot but quite a bit of spill too.

Beamshots, Runtime, and Lux Measurements

Rofis TR18
Emitter Cree XP-L HI
Emitter Notes V3
Cell 18650
Runtime 18650
Chargetime 18650
Beamshots [0.3″, f/8, ISO 100, 5000k] 18650
Claimed Lumens (lm) 1100
Lux (Measured) 475
At (m) 4.23
Candela (Calculated) in cd 8499.13
Throw (Calculated) (m) 184.38
Throw (Claimed) (m) 136

Random Comparisons and Competitive Options….

The only thing I can turn up that’s like this light is the Klarus AR10.  That looks like a fine light, though more expensive.

Conclusion

What I like

  • XP-L HI
  • Head angle thing is neat
  • Magnet!
  • Clicky is a good clicky (and indicating!)

What I don’t like

  • The clip.
  • Really the clip.  I don’t know how it could have been done better but there has to be a way.
  • Headstrap isn’t included (but is pictured in many of the product photos).

Parting Shot

Draw me like one of your French girls…

20170623-IMG_2253.jpg


Up Next

I have a few other flashlights going right now, but next will probably be the Nitecore SRT9.  I’m also working on another keyboard, the James Donkey 619.

Notes

  • This light was provided by GearBest.com for review. I was not paid to write this review.
  • This review originally appeared at zeroair.wordpress.com.
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