DQG Tiny AA Brass Flashlight Review

Preface

I’m on a brass kick lately!  So I asked GearBest to send me this DQG Tiny AA Brass.  I already know I like DQG lights a lot, and I already know I like brass… So I was excited to see this one in person!

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Official Specs and Features

Emitters: Cree XP-G2
Lumens Range: 1-200Lumens
Luminous Flux: 180Lm
Color Temperature: 4000 – 5000K
Feature: Adjustable brightness
Function: Camping, EDC, Emergency
Light Modes: High, Low, Mid
Battery Type: 14500, AA
Battery Quantity: 1 x AA or 1 x 14500
Battery Included: No

Versions

There are a bunch of versions of this light.  This is the brass version, but titanium and aluminum are also available.  There are three tint options (maybe not available in every metal):  4000 – 5000K, 6000-6500K, and 2700 – 3000K.

MSRP

Varies by body metal, with titanium being the most expensive ($42), and aluminum being least expensive.  As of this writing, the brass is ~$29.


Short Review

This is a pretty typical DQG light, but in brass!  I do not love twisty lights, but I like it in a light this simple.  The tint is great, and the brass puts it over the top: I love this light!

Long Review

What’s Included

  • DQG Tiny AA brass
  • Spare O-ring
  • Split ring for tailcap/keychain*

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*I accidentally dropped the split ring, and it was never to be retrieved.  It’s actually in the gap in that table, …. but… gone.

Pictures

Here are some glamour shots, a runtime, and some white wall shots.

Package and Manual

Just like all DQG lights, this one comes in a small cardboard box with little packaging, and little branding.  In fact the label is just a sticker that’s used for all DQG lights – the same sticker.  The light in the package will be checkmarked.  Very efficient….

My box was torn a little but I believe all the contents were included.  Note that the box only lists NW or CW for tint, though there are three tint options for this light.  I believe mine is the warmest of the warm.

The manual is like the box: used for all DQG lights.  The section of the manual for this light is short but lists what cells can be used, and the UI.  It’s simple, but it works.

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Build Quality and Disassembly

DQG lights are typically more known for being diminutive, and not for their build quality.  This light is marketed as the smallest single AA flashlight on the market.  I can’t say whether that’s true or not.  It’s small though.

The build quality is so-so.  There’s not one single thing I’d point to that needs improvement, but on the whole, the build quality isn’t on par with higher end lights.  That said, this isn’t a “higher end” light – it’s a $30 brass AA light.  The aluminum version is probably easier to compare – is the $20 version of this light on par with other $20 lights?  Convoy S2+ for example probably has overall better build quality.

However, the quality does seem good enough that I like the light overall.  Maybe this is confusing.  Essentially the light is exactly on par with what I expect from DQG, and no better.  Except that it’s brass, which I like.  The particular brass that’s used also has tarnished up rather quickly, and in a way that I really like.  If you like brass, you’ll like this light.

The tail end of the light does disassemble easily.  Even moreso than is common.  The mcpcb on the tail is not glued in at all.  This might be a negative, but it’s done this way to allow access to the magnet in the tailcap.  This means the magnet is easy to get in and out.  Also noteworthy is that the head and tail both come off.  So it’s not likely to get a cell stuck in this light!

The head is less open.  I was not able to unscrew the bezel.  As a matter of fact, I’m not even sure there is a bezel – I can’t see a seam.  (I can see where one might be, but it’s still very clean.)  As a result, I can’t say anything about an emitter or optic swap.

Size

The tiny DQG Tiny AA is 1.70 x 1.70 x 6.80 cm.  It is a small light.

It’s approximately the size of a protected 18650.  I consider that a great size for pocketability.

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Retention

A stainless steel clip is included with the light.  It’s the clip on variety, and as you can see below, the part that connects on the body doesn’t want to stay level.  However it does stay where it’s supposed to stay.  The main part of the clip is great.  It includes a lanyard hole, too.  But the “deep carry” part is a little tight, almost to the point of uselessness.  Still, overall, good clip.  Note that the mouth of the clip is very wide and open, and also where it touches the body (near the mouth) doesn’t interfere with any knurling.

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There’s a magnet in the tailcap, too.  In fact the bumpout on the tailcap fits this magnet perfectly.  It’s not glued in, and is easily removable if needed.

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Power

While it’s maybe made for “AA”s (it’s in the name!), the Tiny AA also works with 14500 cells.  It’s actually very chemistry-versatile.  Li-ion, NiMH, alkaline, Zinc-carbon, and LiFePO4.  AA sized versions of all those chemistries work just fine.  There is a soft donut on the positive terminal, which means button tops are required.

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Here’s a runtime with an AA Eneloop.  The manual doesn’t state about Low Voltage Protection.  Note how stable the temperature is.  Low, but stable.  The light never turned off on it’s own – I stopped the test when the output was below 5%.

User Interface and Operation

This light is a three-mode twisty.  Simply twist the head til the light comes on.  It’ll come on in low.  If you desire Medium or High, just twist the light off then on within 2 seconds, to cycle the modes (L>M>H).  There is no strobe, hidden modes, or shenanegans.  This is a very simple device.

One neat thing that I’ve never seen on a twisty before – a thing I’m not sure is intentional or consequential: twisting the head all the way down (tight) will also turn the light off.  However, mode changing does not seem quite as reliable this way.

There’s also a “just right” tightness which will allow a momentary use of the light by just squeezing the head to the body.  I’ve found this to be a convenient way to use the light – but the modes do still change if the contacts break and touch again.

Modes

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Mode Measured Lux Tailcap Amps*
Low 39 0.028A
Medium  – 837 0.388A
High 180 4020 0.45A

*Measured with a DMM, not a clamp meter.

LED and Beam

This light has a Cree XP-G2 emitter.  The warm tint is very warm (as is usually the case with DQG lights).  If you usually like Warm to Neutral, you might find yourself liking the coolest option available.

The beam profile has a tight hotspot (but very smooth – even all the way across), and a fair amount of spill too.  It’s a great beam profile.  It’s a prime example of why I like TIR optics.

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Tint vs BLF-348

Beamshots, Runtime, and Lux Measurements

DQG Tiny AA Brass
Emitter Cree XP-G2
Emitter Notes 4000-5000K
Cell 14500 AA
Runtime AA
Chargetime
Beamshots [0.3″, f/8, ISO 100, 5000k] 14500
LVP?
Claimed Lumens (lm) 180
Lux (Measured) 127 122
At (m) 3.643 3.625
Candela (Calculated) in cd 1685.5 1603.2
Throw (Calculated) (m) 82.1 80.08
Throw (Claimed) (m)  –

Random Comparisons and Competitive Options….

You want the smallest AA light? Buy this one.  You want the warmest AA light?  Probably this one.  Simple?  This DQG Tiny AA.

A reasonable competitor is the JETBeam Jet-1 MK.  I’ve handled one of those and I have to say, they’re very nice.  For me personally the DQG wins because it’s brass.  Otherwise (build quality, UI, etc) the Jet-1 MK probably wins.  (Now if the Jet-1 MK was available in brass…..)

Truth be told, there are a lot of twisty AA lights out there.  And if you open to clickies too, then you can include something like the ReyLight Pineapple!

Conclusion

What I like

  • Brass
  • Simplicity
  • Multi-chemistry compatibility
  • Very low size-to-cell ratio

What I don’t like

  • I wish the build quality was just *this* much better

Up Next

I’m working on the Emisar D4, but I’ll probably have an item by Nitecore (NU05, i8) first, or the Thrunite Neutron 2C.

Notes

  • This light was provided by GearBest.com for review. I was not paid to write this review.
  • This content originally appeared at zeroair.wordpress.com.  Please visit there for the best experience!
  • Whether or not I have a coupon for this light, I do have a bunch of coupons!!  Have a look at my spreadsheet for those coupons.

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