Hands-on review: Fenix E09R rechargeable flashlight
Image credit: Fenix
See your way clear with this blinding little torch.
Time was - back in the heady, now vintage days of last century - having a torch meant something the size of a half baguette in your hand that probably ran on three or more hard to find, heavy and expensive C or D-cell batteries.
Even at full brightness, you'd be lucky to illuminate the other side of a room in any meaningful way - and the chances were equally likely that when you really needed the torch to work, the bulb itself would have mysteriously blown since the last time you used it, and you were never likely to source a replacement, so into a drawer the whole thing went.
Fast forward to the modern day and now we have torches (or flashlights, as our US cousins prefer to call them) that are so bright you can practically dazzle astronauts onboard the ISS. Tiny, powerful torches that fit not just in the palm of your hand, but in the coin pocket of your favourite jeans.
The Fenix E09R is one such torch. It is tiny. It is mighty. With one of these babies in your pocket, or on your keychain, or in your manbag, the future's going to be so bright you'll have to wear shades.
Packing a mighty 600 Lumens wallop, the rechargeable (yes, rechargeable - woot!) 800mAh Li-polymer battery powers a Luminus LED with an estimated lifespan of 50,000 hours. Honestly, however often you use a torch, it's unlikely that you'll outlast it.
The tough aluminium body is lightweight, with a hard-anodised anti-abrasive finish; features a charging indicator, and has an IP68 waterproof rating, meaning you can drop it into a river around six feet deep for half an hour and it will still come up smiling (and shining).
There's a neatly hidden USB-C charging port on the metal body and the torch continues to work whilst charging, so it's not an either/or scenario. This is ideal when you're going to be away from civilisation (and wall sockets) for a long weekend, but you have at least remembered to charge up a couple of portable power banks for your trip.
The torch has five brightness settings, which you cycle through via the metal power button: Burst (a momentary shot of 600 Lumens, projecting for approximately 406ft); High (300 Lumens, runtime for 1.5 hours, 298ft); Medium (100 Lumens; 4 hours; 183ft); Low (25 Lumens, 16 hours, 91 ft), and Moonlight (3 Lumens, 70 hours, 29 ft).
These choices give you a nice range of illumination options, covering pretty much every darkness need from a mellow ambient campsite light to "Dear God, what's that in the bushes??" The adjustable beam ranges from either a wide spill angle of 81° to a narrowed spot beam angle of 13°. Fenix state the lamp's colour temperature as being 6200K, which in practice means a cooler and brighter white than a more natural 5000K yellowy white. This is a good thing for a torch, when you want to light up the world around you with clarity.
To have something as universally useful as a proper, powerful torch with you at all times is ideal. The Fenix E09R is infinitely superior to the torch app on your smartphone; it will never run out of batteries; it's built to last, and given its diminutive size there's almost no reason not to carry it with you in any situation. If you've found yourself cursing any kind of darkness, anywhere, lately, this little Fenix could light up your life.
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