Author Topic: Review WowTac A3S (Zoomable 18650)  (Read 904 times)

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Offline robo819

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Review WowTac A3S (Zoomable 18650)
« on: December 07, 2017, 09:41:12 PM »
This is the Wowtac (fomerly Atactical) A3S zoomable flashlight , sent to me for my review and NO other compensation other than keeping the light.

You can find the Wowtac A3S at either the main site….(links are NON affiliated)……. is external)

Or on Amazon site …. is external)
 For $29.99 (usd) at the time of this review.

The A3S is the newest in the line up from Wowtac , which seems so far to be bringing us some good quality lights for a decent (budget) price. Wowtac receives technical support from ThruNite for thier products and it seems to show in the build quality of the lights I have received from Wowtac so far , as the quality of the lights has been very good with all of them.

The A3S is a pretty compact 18650 sized ZOOMABLE light with a side switch ONLY for controlling On/off and all the modes , which makes it pretty unique , as I do not know of any other side switch only Zoomies. The switch itself is a nice looking metallic one and compliments the light. I personally do not know of other zoomies that incorporate the side switch only feature. This particular model uses a XP-L HI emitter , with what seems to be a constant current driver. The light is unfortunately glued or sealed VERY well , so I have not tried to force it apart as I didnt want to damage the light before I could finish the review. ( even the bezel is rock soild on my sample) The color temp is a cool , but not like super cool , I am guessing in the 6000K to 6500K range , but it does look a little warmer when the light is in flood mode than it does in the focused mode.

The A3S comes with a 3400mAh USB rechargeable cell and charging cord included. You will need to use the proprietary USB rechargeable cell or one of the longer protected cells in this light however , as it is made to fit pretty long cells , such as the proprietary one with USB charging built on. The tailcap does not have a spring in it , but instead a button , or knob made into the tailcap itself so there is only the spring on the driver at the head end. I did try the Panasonic Protected NCR18650B , which works well in the light , as does the protected Voidhawk cells I have. I am pretty confident that any other cells that are 69 mm in length or slightly longer should work fine also. The unprotected cells , flat top or button top either one , would not work in the light. (Efest Purple , LG HE4 , LG HG2 , Lg MJ 1 and such did not power the light as they were too short)

As mentioned already , the quality of the light is really good , especially for a light that only cost $30.00 and comes as a “FULL” package with everything you need. When I took the light out of the box and inspected it carefully I could not find any thin or bare spots in the Anodizing anywhere. The square cut threads were lubed just about right and they are smooth when screwing the tailcap on or off. The head moves smoothly to get the beam where you want it. This is also an improvement over the first (A3) model as that one is so air tight it was hard to get it to stay put when the focus is moved.
 The head does stop just short of full focus , meaning you dont get the really defined edges showing from the emitter or see the dots from the die , but again it is improved over the first version and IS more defined to almost the well defined edges , with just slightly rounded corners.

I like the UI on the A3S ,which has the hidden strobe and also the hidden “Reading” as they call it , I call it Moon mode , but either way it is a long press (about 1 second) to activate that. The hidden strobe can be accessed from the Turbo mode with a quick double click , or 4 quick clicks in a row from off. The rest of the modes are Low / Medium / High /Turbo (double click). The Low , Medium and High modes can be accessed with a long press (1/2 to 3/4 second) or you can simply hold the button down and cycle through each mode and release the button when the desired mode is reached. The Turbo is a quick double click from any of the other modes including if you are in strobe , just double click back to Turbo. A quick click turns the light on in the last used mode for L / M / H and another quick click turns the light off.

Overall the A3S is a nice zoomie light IMO , with a good UI and overall it seems to be a very good quality light with excellent run times.
I would like to see the A3S have a choice of neutral or cool emitters though.

Below are the test charts from the testing I have done with the A3S so far.

For those that don’t not want to watch the whole video , the still pictures of the light and beamshots start at 6:34 of the timeline and the live outdoor footage comparing the original A3 with the A3S starts at 10:52 of the timeline.

The embed codes are not working right now so here is the Youtube link for the video.........

Listed Specs..............
•LED: CREE XP-L HI LED with a lifespan of 20+ years of run time.

•Runs on: Wowtac li-ion 18650 battery (3.6V/3400mAh).
•Working voltage: 2.7V-4.2V
•Reflector: TIR lens.
•Output & Runtime (Tested with Atactical li-ion 3.6V/3400mAh)
– Strobe (1000 lumens /3.3 hrs), – Turbo (1000 lumens /3 hrs), – High (400 lumens /5.4 hrs), – Medium (126 lumens /35 hrs), – Low (27 lumens /4 days), – Reading (16 lumens /5.6 days). •Peak beam intensity: 19200cd (max.) •Max beam distance: 277 meters (max.) •Waterproof to IPX-4 Standard. •Impact resistant: 1.5 meters. •Weight: 83g (excluding battery). •Dimensions: 123 mm in length x 34 mm in head diameter x 25.4 in body diameter. •Accessories: USB Rechargeable Li-ion 18650 battery*1, Cable*1,Spare O-ring*2, Pocket Clip*1