Fenix E01 V2 100 Lumen LED Flashlight Review

Fenix Lighting produces a multitude of flashlights, headlamps, lanterns, and bike lights that use LED power to create clear and powerful illumination. The E01 V2.0 is a pocket-sized lamp with 100 lumens of power with a 115-foot (35-meter) beam distance. With a machine all-metal body, it certainly looks the part of a powerful and portable flashlight. But does it live up to its hype? Read on to find out what we think of this popular and affordable flashlight.

Note: This review is based on hands-on experience with this flashlight model, including testing it in real-world situations. I’ve had this flashlight in my hands, put it together, and used it regularly. 

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Assembly 

The Fenix E01 V2.0 comes in attractive packaging requiring a knife or a pair of scissors to open. While not as impossible to open as some packages, getting to it will take a little work. 

Once you open it, you’ll have the flashlight, an AAA battery, a small key ring, an extra o-ring, simple instructions in multiple languages, an advertisement for other products, and a warranty offer.

Set everything but the flashlight and battery to the side for now. Screw the top off the flashlight and place the battery inside, negative pole down. Now, screw the top back on but not all the way, or you’ll turn the light on: more on that later. Finally, take the keyring and carefully slide it onto the hook on the bottom end of the flashlight. This might take a little finagling, but it is fairly easy once you get the hang of it. 

Your flashlight is now basically ready to use. This simple assembly is one of the big things I love about this light. While flashlights rarely require a lot of excessive assembly, the ease at which this came together was nice. Honestly, I spent more time opening the package to get it out than I did putting it together. Even your youngest kid could handle putting it together.

Control 

It took me a moment or two to understand how to control this flashlight, which might seem surprising. After all, you simply tighten the top fully to turn it on and loosen it to turn it off. Frankly, I don’t like that because I think it would be too easy for someone to loosen or tighten it too much. I also worry about the threads getting worn out with time, though the E01 V2.0 held up fine under my rigorous testing. 

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However, what confused me was how to change the brightness of the light. It comes with three levels, which can greatly affect how long your battery lasts (more on that later). When I got it on, it seemed decently bright but not 100 lumens. But I couldn’t get it any brighter. Finally, I read the instructions and found that you had to turn the light on and off quickly (within one second) to change the brightness!

Frustrated, I tried this odd control method and found it worked surprisingly well. Once you got the hang of it, you could cycle through the different brightness levels quickly and accurately. So, they get points for executing this odd idea well. However, it’s more of a compromise than an informed engineering decision. It undoubtedly helps streamline the production costs and size of the flashlight but makes it less user-friendly. Kids will struggle with it.

Body

Fenix gets points for using heavy-duty aluminum alloy with a strong HAIII hard-adonized finish for this flashlight. Though it’s just over 2.5 inches (66 millimeters) long and weighs under half an ounce (13 grams), it feels strong and durable. There was almost no give in a simple stress test (i.e., I pinched, twisted, and squeezed it), which was impressive for such a small flashlight. 

One thing I noticed was that squeezing it when the light was off did cause the lamp to flicker on and off as if the battery was briefly coming into contact with the head. That’s not a major problem, but it does speak to slight give in the body. So far, though, it sat comfortably in my pocket and got plenty of use without feeling weak or flimsy.

Performance

The Fenix E01 V2.0 uses a Cree XP-G2 S3 LED light with TIR lens and reflectors. Specs for its three settings include:

  • Low: 5 lumens, 30 feet (9 meters) distance, 21-candela intensity, 25-hour battery life
  • Medium: 25 lumens, 62 feet (19 meters) distance, 88-candela intensity, 4 hour and 50-minute battery life
  • High: 100 lumens, 114 feet (35 meters) distance, 304-candela intensity, 50-minute battery life 

These specifications come from the manual, and I found them accurate. It doesn’t take a genius to see a big trade-off in performance versus battery power. Getting less than an hour of 100-lumen light is disappointing but understandable. I suspect most people will use the low or medium settings when handling this light.

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Accessories 

I loved that the Fenix E01 V2.0 came with a battery. While it’s not exactly the best AAA I’ve ever used, the fact that it has one saves me time and money. Though I usually have plenty of batteries around the house, knowing I didn’t have to search for a AAA was nice. The spare o-ring was a nice addition, as was the included keyring. 

That said, the keyring is pretty small and not the highest-quality metal. I get that they’re trying to save money and provide an affordable flashlight, but I worry about the ring working itself loose in my pocket. So far, though, it holds pretty well, and I’ve had the chance to use it when going out to trim some fallen branches after a big storm.

Final Thoughts

I was impressed with a lot of elements of the Fenix E01 V2.0. It’s easy to assemble, has a strong metal body, and is surprisingly bright. Unfortunately, it’s hamstrung by an awkward control system, a cheap keyring, and short battery life at the highest level. It’s a worthwhile pocket flashlight for outdoor use, especially as a backup spotting scope. Don’t make it your primary lamp; keep it on your keyring for emergencies.

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