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Fenix PD32 UE (Ultimate Edition) Review

Today I received Fenix’s newest addition to the PD-series flashlights, the PD32 Ultimate Edition. It’s a new, slightly bigger version of the PD32 with a different LED (XM-L T6) which is able to provide incredible 740 lumens on an additional brightness level.

Here’s a little review of this nice flashlight and some photos.

Delivery Contents

The flashlight comes in a compact box with the following extras:

  • A holster for safe transport of the flashlight or to carry it on a belt
  • A lanyard that can be attached to the flashlight’s bottom
  • A removable body clip
  • Two spare o-rings
  • One spare tail switch
  • A diffuser (AOD-S) that can be attached to the flashlight’s head
  • User manual and warranty information

Technical Specs

  • Cree XM-L (T6) neutral white LED with a lifespan of 50,000 hours
  • Uses one 18650 rechargeable Li-ion battery or two 3V CR123A Lithium batteries
  • 138mm (Length) x 24mm (Diameter)
  • 74-gram weight (excluding the battery)
  • Digitally regulated output – maintains constant brightness
  • Low-voltage warning function to remind you to replace the battery
  • Reverse polarity protection guards against improper battery installation
  • Over-heat protection to avoid high-temperature of the surface
  • Anti-roll, slip-resistant body design
  • Tactical tail switch with momentary-on function
  • Side switch on the head
  • Made of durable aircraft-grade aluminium
  • Premium Type III hard-anodized anti-abrasive finish
  • Toughened ultra-clear glass lens with anti-reflective coating
  • Beam Distance: 155m
  • Intensity: 6000cd
  • Impact Resistance: 1m
  • Waterproof: 2m (IPX-8)

Output Levels

Low Mid High Turbo Burst SOS Strobe
Lumens 9 40 140 400 740 140 400
Runtime 130h 27h 7:15h 2:40h 1h

When in Turbo mode, the flashlight will switch back into High mode after 30 minutes and when in Burst mode, it’ll switch back into Turbo mode after 3 minutes. This is to prevent overheating. You can switch back into Turbo/Burst right away again but this might decrease the LED’s lifespan.

As for the low-voltage warning function: If the battery does not provide enough power for a certain brightness level anymore, the flashlight will automatically switch into a lower brightness level. If there isn’t even enough power for Low mode, it’ll blink three times.

Pictures

Overview:

Disassembled into head, body and tail:

Head and tail each have a spring:

Comparison with standard PD32

Due to the additional cooling ribs the Ultimate Edition is about 1.2cm longer than the standard PD32, the diameter seems to be the same (although: according to the specs the standard PD32 should be 1.4mm thicker than the Ultimate Edition, but that doesn’t seem to be the case). On the Ultimate Edition the Fenix logo is not on the body anymore, it’s on the head instead. Reflectors seem to be the same, T6 LED is noticeably bigger than the R5. Apart from these differences, the external designs are pretty much identical.

  

There is a big difference between the beams of both flashlights. The Ultimate Edition has a rather widespread beam compared to the standard PD32 which has a more focused one. Additionally, the Ultimate Edition’s neutral white LED has a slight yellow touch whilst the standard PD32 is rather cool white and has a slight blue touch.  

Operating

The user interface of the PD32 UE is the same as on the PD32. With the tactical tail switch you can turn the light on and off. If you press the switch only half-way down you get the momentary-on function. The mode switch on the head allows you to switch through the five brightness levels (Low –> Mid –> High –> Turbo –> Burst). The flashlight remembers the last active mode and uses this one the next time it is turned on.

If the mode switch is pressed and held for 1 second the light will activate its Strobe mode. When in Strobe mode the light switches between a fast and a slow strobe every 2 seconds. If the mode switch is pressed and held for 3 seconds you get into SOS mode.

Mode Comparison (outdoors, iso-200)

Here is a pic of each brightness level of the PD32 UE. The last picture shows the turbo mode of the standard PD32. Picture quality isn’t the greatest but you can see that the beam of the standard PD32 is a little bit more focused and that the UE’s burst mode provides some serious illumination.

      

My Opinion

With the Ultimate Edition Fenix has made a nice update of the PD32. 740 Lumens on a small handheld flashlight like this is nearly mind-blowing. As always, the light looks and feels high-quality and both switches work perfectly fine. Due to the tail switch’s size the light can’t stand upright like a candle. In combination with the included diffuser this might have been a nice feature, though. As for the diffuser: on Low, Mid and High mode the diffuser can be pretty useful to get some ambient light (i.e. for reading). On Turbo and Burst however it’s not that useful because the diffuser shines so bright that it is dazzling.

In my opinion the brightness levels are picked very well. Low and Mid are suitable for usage in small rooms and for reading. High will probably be my standard setting. Turbo and especially Burst are just awesome. If it wouldn’t drain the batteries that quickly I would use these modes all the time, just because I’m so impressed by the huge amount of light they provide 😀

All in all however, the PD32 Ultimate Edition is an excellent flashlight. I got mine for 65 EUR which I think is a reasonable price for such a nice and powerful piece of craftsmanship. I would definitely recommend this flashlight, but if you think about buying it, keep in mind that the LED is neutral white, the beam is rather widespread and that the flashlight is a little bit bigger than previous models. If you don’t have a problem with these aspects, you’ll love the PD32 UE 😉

6 Comments.[ Leave a comment ]

  1. Hi,

    very nice review, thank you.
    I have ordered one today for (paid £59) and looking forward to using it.
    This is my first Fenix torch.

    All the best and happy Christmas.

  2. Hey, thanks for your comment! Definitely a good choice, I’m sure that you’ll have a lot of fun with it 🙂 Happy X-Mas to you, too!

  3. this is my 2nd PD32, upgraded from the normal cool white PD32.
    what a difference neutral makes, and its way better from the normal PD32, and certainly the way ahead for flashlight users it seems.

    I use this mainly to check my 747 aircraft before take off / checks, and so far, its brilliant on the eyes, and I ended up selling my old PD32 to a baggage handler. that will do. cool whites for me from now, are out!.

    if you like neutral, try this for sure. bright, and the runtimes are good enough.
    well worth the money. neutral is the way!. enjoy.

  4. Will the flashlight hold an 18mm wide 18650 battery? I bought five AW 18650/3400 Lithium Cobalt (LiCo) batteries and found they are 1mm wider than lower AW batteries or CR123’s. The wide batteries fit the Fenix PD35, but not my PD30. I would like to buy the PD32 UE if it will hold the new batteries I have purchased, otherwise I will buy another PD35.

  5. Since I don’t have such an 18650 battery, I can’t guarantee this. But if I measure the inner diameter of my PD32 UE, I get a value of nearly 19mm. The CR123s reside pretty loosely in the body if the tail is removed. So as for the diameter, I would expect that 18mm 18650 battery to fit.

  6. The smaller flashlight could be made use of to make sure that when you are looking for something, you don’t need to awaken everybody in the
    camping tent.

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