Fenix E35R | Expert Review by Koen van der Jagt
A maximum output from a small tool is characterizing for the current generation of EDC lights: today a light that fits into the palm of your hand can easily produce 3000 lumens! The new Fenix E35R is no exception in that category and has what it takes to become a success. Read all about it in my review!
The box of the E35R contains the bare minimum and is therefore not filled with many accessories. But everything you need initially is there, even though some users might miss a holster. Optionally you can get a practical diffuser with which you can spread the beam and turn the E35R into a reading or ambient light.
First impressions: it cannot get any more compact than this for a light that derives its power from a 21700 battery! I am sure in the future we will be surprised by something even more impressive but for now the E35R is surprisingly small. The design is nicely balanced and enhanced with lines; the copper-coloured accents make the light look very fancy. The raised edges around the switch and the rubber cover for the USB-C charging port ensure that the E35R doesn't roll away on a flat surface. The eye-catcher of this light is the lens: the glass and the reflector look a bit like a funnel when you look into the lens. Thanks to these shapes the SST-70 LED light is located a little deeper in the light to make sure the beam reaches further and also produces a broad beam. Thanks to the solid clip you can easily attach the light to your gear or clothing. The flat back contains a strong magnet which makes handsfree work a lot easier. The light is also nice and solid and can therefore be used as a candle. The raised edge on the back has room for a lanyard. The light is enhanced with a 21700 battery with a high capacity of 5000 mAh which will last quite a long time. A solid spring absorbs blows and makes sure the battery stays in place. When you look at the E35R you immediately see that Fenix has been producing good products for a long time: the overall quality is very high.
When and how:
The E35R is incredibly versatile but cannot be used for all purposes. You can easily use it in and around the house, take it with you on holiday, during a hike, or put in your car. During DIY tasks you can use both hands when you secure the light on a magnetic surface. The E35R is less suited for tactical use because you need a different operating concept for it. I think the lowest mode is a little too bright to be using it as a reading or orientation light, you can, however, 'fix' this by using the optional diffuser that spreads out the beam.
Controls and comfort
The E35R is limited in length and for me fits in between my thumb and index finger. The large 21700 battery contributes to the fact that the body is a little bigger than, for instance, the PD35 V3.0, but it doesn't bother me. The weight of the light is evenly divided and therefore feels great in hand. The clip improves your grip, because the structure of the E35R is quite smooth. In many cases the strong magnet is incredibly practical, but can sometimes also be a nuisance because everything you keep close (keys etc.) will stick to it.
The charging port is nicely covered by a rubber cover, the process works as you might expect. Because of the high capacity of the battery the session will take a little longer, so it is best if you do most of it during the day.
Fenix is not a brand that adds a ton of options to its products: in total the E35R is enhanced with six light modes, so it stays nice and clear. You can control the light via one and the same switch. Even though the raised edges are meant to easily find the switch, in reality the switch is a little more difficult to find, especially in the dark. You turn the light on by holding the switch and you select the modes by briefly pressing the same switch. The E35R has a partial memory function: it starts with the mode last used, with the exception of the High or Turbo mode. This protective feature was added to protect the light from overheating. The Turbo mode can only be used for a short period of time because the light will be almost impossible to hold after a couple minutes. Properly cooling it down or cold circumstances can help if you want to use this mode a little longer. The light is protected from overheating and will, when reaching a temperature of 60 degrees Celsius, take a step back to reach a safe temperature again. The light has one directly accessible mode ("shortcut"): the stroboscope mode. By briefly pressing the switch (about a second and a half) you activate the defensive mode, regardless of the mode the light is using at the time. Not as fast as other tactical lights, but it can help you out when you really need it!
The instructions to electronically lock the light are engraved in the light and can be found above the switch. I am not a big fan of the double-click and prefer to turn the head of the light to create a mechanical lockout. The battery status is displayed with a green and red light: when turning the light on and continuously for a battery status below 25%.
The one-switch controls for the E35R are easy to use and work really well, even though I do believe the switch to be a little small.
This is what I love about the Fenix E35R
The construction quality, ease of use, light intensity and light images are all great features for this light.
Things that could be better:
I would have preferred an additional light mode: an energy-efficient and practical moonlight mode of 1 lumen. For me the switch is too small, I prefer larger switches.
Value for money?
In terms of pricing the E35R is not a bargain but still fairly priced. In exchange you will not receive the world, but a solid product that can immediately be used. That is why I think the E35R is worth its money.
The E35R is a stylish light that produces a massive amount of light. And yet you can only briefly use that massive amount of power because the light will quickly heat up in the highest mode. In all other modes it will last for a very long time, giving you a compact light with an all-round light profile that is easy to use. The endurance is good, especially in the lower modes the light will last a long time. The magnet is very strong and often incredibly practical. I do still prefer adding a lower light mode.
In terms of intensity and image it can definitely match the 'bigger players' although it is fair to say that the 3100 lumens are only available for a short period of time. The beamshots below, however, demonstrate that even when using 1000 lumens, the E35R works really well.
The E35R is a nice and powerful addition to your gear!
The effects of the specially designed reflector and lens are clearly visible in the light image: a large hotspot surrounded by a large portion of residual light. The result is a broad beam with a surprising reach. The colour of the light is cold white, like for most Fenix flashlights. A test on a white surface fortunately didn't show any blue or green hue. Fenix usually has this in order.
I tested the E35R on an abandoned forest trail in the Veluwe. The rows of trees give you a clear indication of the reach and width of the beam. Below you see the five light modes from low to high (strobe mode not pictured).
Below you'll find some more shots while holding the E35R. The shots give you a clear idea of the surprising width of the beam and also the reach.
I hope that after this review the E35R will no longer hold any secrets for you. Until next time!
Koen van der Jagt
Ever since he could walk Koen has been interested in lights, wires and batteries. As a child he was always working with dyno torches, bike lights and electrical boxes. The krypton and halogen lights were replaced by LED lights. A couple of years ago he discovered the ‘professional’ stuff. His first brands were Led Lenser and Fenix. Photography is also one of his hobbies. In addition to nature and meteorology Koen loves to show others what a light can do and what its beam looks like at night. Koen’s reviews can often be found on forums such as candlepowerforums.com and taschenlampen-forum.de. Throughout the years Koen has collected lights in practically any category: from small and compact to enormous powerhouses.