Sofirn SF14 V2.0 Flashlight Review

Preface
Official Specs
Versions
Price
Short Review
Long Review
  What's Included
  Manual and Packaging
  Build Quality and Durability
  Size
  Retention
  Power
  User Interface and Operation
  Modes
  LED and beam
  Tint vs...
  Beamshots, Runtime, etc table.
  Comparisons
Conclusion
  What I like
  What I don't like
Up Next
Notes

Preface

Another Sofirn for review!  This time it’s a small AA/14500 version, with a mechanical tail switch.  Thanks to Sofirn for sending this light for review.


Official Specs and Features

Versions

This is the new version (v2.0).  So there’s an original version, and this one.  Among the 2.0 edition, there are two possibilities.  One is with charger and cell, and one is without.  Here’s what Sofirn says about the upgrade to v2.0:  “NOTE: We upgraded SF14 with better anodized shell, more reasonable construction, and more stable performance. It’s a better mini flashlight you deserve!”

Price

I have a 35% off code for this light on amazon! The code is YL87LKX4.


Short Review

This is a nice little light, and I appreciate that it supports Li-Ion and other chemistries.  It has a simple UI, and I appreciate that!

Long Review

What’s Included

  • Sofirn SF14 v2.0 Flashlight
  • Sofirn 900mAh 14500 li-ion cell
  • Sofirn Li-ion charger
  • Charge cable
  • Lanyard
  • Spare o-rings (2)
  • Key hook
  • Manual and paperwork

zeroair_sofirn_sf14_v2-03.jpg

Package and Manual

This light ships in the usual Sofirn package, where the only light-specific part is the amazon inventory sticker.  Unfortunately for a while Amazon had their stock wrong, and as you can see below, the sticker is wrong.  I’ve had this review ready for a while waiting for the go-ahead from Sofirn, to confirm that Amazon’s inventory is fixed.  It is fixed, and now if you order this light, you’ll get the correct light.

The manual is again, typical Sofirn.  It’s complete, and has a nice diagram of the light.

manual.png

Build Quality and Disassembly

This is a good quality light.  It feels solid in hand.

zeroair_sofirn_sf14_v2-22.jpg

The clip, like many of Sofirn’s clips, isn’t my favorite.  That said, it’s a step above the stamped out, thin steel clips on some of their other lights.

The head and tail come off the cell tube easily.  The tail switch is held together by an aluminum retaining ring.  On the tail there is a medium thickness, medium springy spring.  On the head there is only a brass contact button.

zeroair_sofirn_sf14_v2-17.jpg

The threads are square cut, and anodized, which makes locking the light out physically as easy as a 1/8th turn on the head or tail.

Size

Officially: Weight of flashlight: 39 g.  Size: 96mm (length)× 19mm (diameter) × 20mm (head).  It’s a pretty good size for an AA light.

But it’s by no means the smallest AA light available.  Below, see it with the Lumintop Tool (AA version).  The Sofirn is thicker, and slightly longer too.

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Retention

There’s a pocket clip included.  The clip is not technically reversible for bezel up or down carry, but the cell tube is.  So in effect, the clip is actually reversible.  The clip is passable, but not nearly deep enough.

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A lanyard is included, too.  It can connect through two holes on either side of the tail cap, or possibly through the pocket clip as well.

Power

The SF14 v2.0 is powered by AA sized cells.  The driver supports both low and higher voltage cells.  Alkaline, Lithium, NiMH, and also Li-ion cells work just fine.  Though the head has only a brass button, the flattest 14500 cell I have on hand still worked fine.  Sofirn includes a 14500 cell with this light!

zeroair_sofirn_sf14_v2-16.jpg

Here’s a runtime on High with the included 14500 cell.  There’s a heavy step down after a shor time (just around 2 minutes), and the output is fairly stable at that level.  The light will reset to the highest output level, but this seems to track with cell voltage and never regains the highest, initial output.

zeroair_sofirn_sf14_v2-27.png

The runtime with a NiMH cell is very different.  Output is greatly reduced, but the stepdown still occurs.  The light may be reset to the highest output, with little change throughout the runtime.

zeroair_sofirn_sf14_v2-28.png

In both runtimes, the light did not exhibit LVP.  However on the bench power supply, there does seem to be LVP which kicks in around 2.6V, which is safe for a cell (generally speaking).

Sofirn also includes a charger (if you purchase the package with a charger.)  I’ve tested this charger before in my C8F review.  It’s a fine charger, but not meant for NiMH (which is fine, since NiMH isn’t included.)

User Interface and Operation

There’s just one switch on the SF14, a mechanical tail reverse clicky.

zeroair_sofirn_sf14_v2-12.jpg

It’s a fine clicky.  In fact, it seems to have addressed a problem I had with a previous Sofirn reverse clicky, in that there was some weird pause after clicking and before the action.  This light does not have that.  It works exactly like it should.

Here’s a UI table!

State Action Result
Off Click Low
On Half click Mode advance (L>H direction)
On Click Off

And that’s it….  It’s a very simple UI.

Modes

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Measured Lumens Tailcap Amps
14500 High 550 1h 6m 520 0.95
14500 Medium 100 5h 34m 112 0.19
14500 Low 5 75h
AA (NiMH) High 180 56m 165 1.50
AA (NiMH) Medium 50 9h 35m 50 0.20
AA (NiMH) Low 5 71h

LED and Beam

The emitter of choice is a Cree XP-G2.  The reflector is smooth.

zeroair_sofirn_sf14_v2-13.jpg

This results in a beam with a distinct hotspot (with sharpish edges), and a good bit of spill.

zeroair_sofirn_sf14_v2-21.jpg

First are beamshots with a NiMH cell.

Next are beamshots with the supplied 14500 Li-ion cell.  The light is noticeably brighter with the 14500!

Tint vs BLF-348

zeroair_sofirn_sf14_v2-35.jpg

Beamshots, Runtime, and Lux Measurements

Sofirn SF14 V2.0
Emitter Cree XP-G2
Emitter Notes 5350-5700K
Cell AA
Runtime Chargetime N/A
LVP?
Claimed Lumens (lm) 230
Lux (Measured) 90 lux @ 3.873 m
Candela (Calculated) in cd 1350.0
Throw (Calculated) (m) 73.5
Throw (Claimed) (m) 0
Sofirn SF14 V2.0
Emitter Cree XP-G2
Emitter Notes 5350-5700K
Cell 14500
Runtime Chargetime N/A
LVP?
Claimed Lumens (lm) 550
Lux (Measured) 232 lux @ 4.191 m
Candela (Calculated) in cd 4075.0
Throw (Calculated) (m) 127.7
Throw (Claimed) (m) 112

Random Comparisons and Competitive Options….

There aren’t all that many competitors, but what’s available are made by the likes of Fenix, Sunwayman, and JETBeam.  All good brands!  I think the XP-G2 emitter is a bit dated, so it’s likely much of the competition has moved on to newer emitters, like the XP-L HD.  The other brands are, on the whole, more expensive than the Sofirn.

Conclusion

What I like

  • Good build quality
  • Multi-chemistry support!
  • Simple UI with no strobe messiness
  • Full package includes 14500 cell and charger

What I don’t like

  • I don’t care for the emitter choice here, but it’s not strictly bad.
  • Stepdowns are quite heavy.

Up Next

Working to get back in the swing of things after a week or so off!  I have more (many more) lights to review – next will likely be a Nitecore or an Olight.  Stay tuned!

Notes

  • This light was provided by Sofirn 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. It’s possible to subscribe and get notifications when the sheet is edited!!

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