A year ago I reviewed the Zerohour XD tactical flashlight and closed by saying that it was probably the last flashlight I’d ever purchase. Well, the folks at Zerohour haven’t been standing still and have recently introduced the little brother to the XD and I may have to eat my words. I’ll give it a test drive and see if it is something I may want to add to my kit.
The major differentiation between the XD and XR is obviously the size. With the Relic XR, you’re able to carry the flashlight discreetly, either in a bag or attached to your belt. This allows me to carry it most of the time and not just leave it in the glove box or on the shelf.
• 1,000-Lumen Tactical Compact Flashlight
• Variable control ring + multiple preset illumination modes
• 3,400mAh USB Battery Backup Power
• USB Port for Smartphones, Cameras, USB-enabled devices
• Versatile Modular Design
• Rechargeable Replaceable 18650 Lithium-ion Batteries
The package I received contained the flashlight, charge cable, belt case, bag and some spare O rings and a spare switch button. The instructions that came with the unit listed a plain bezel as part of the package, but not the case. This is probably a change that’s not trickled down to the documentation yet.
Like the ZeroHour XD, the XR is modular and is shown above taken apart. You’ll notice that the unit operates with one rechargeable battery, but it still puts out 1000 lumens. BTW, the XR can be operated using 2 CR123 batteries, but they cannot be recharged.
By unscrewing a collar the USB output port is exposed and can be used to charge a cell phone or other device. This is accomplished by plugging the device cable into the port and rotating the ring (just above the USB port) to position 2 and then clicking the on/off button.
To charge the battery, use the USB to microUSB cable. You’ll have to supply a 5V 1A AC adapter. I found that the microUSB charging port is a major improvement over the XD’s proprietary charging cable, because now if I lose it, I can use any of the dozens I have laying around.
There is an LED indicator under the USB collar that shows the relative charge of the battery. Here the blue indicates that it’s between 100 and 50% charged.
In testing, I was able to charge my Moto G from 50 to 100% using the XR with a fully charged battery.
This photo illustrates the size difference between the XD (on the top) and the XR.
The ZeroHour XR Relic is a little more complicated to operate than its big brother. You have to manipulate both the control ring and push button switch to enable different modes, whereas the XD modes can be entered using only the push button. The upside is that there are additional modes available on the XR that I find useful.
With the ring in position 1, a single tap on the button turns the light on to low mode (10 lumens). An addition double tap within 3 seconds enables high mode (1000 lumens). Another double tap within 3 seconds and the light goes into defense mode (strobe).
Rotating the ring to position 2, allows for charging from the USB port and enables beacon mode. A single tap on the button will have the light vary between off and on, useful if you’re landing your personal jet on a dark runway 😛
Rotating from position 3 to 4 varies the intensity of the light from off to maximum output. This allows one to use the exact amount of light they need to illuminate something. In position 4 the XR flashes an SOS. Position 5 is self defense mode. It is a strobe at 1000 lumens.
Like its big brother, the ZeroHour XR is rugged built and made to withstand harsh conditions. I’ve now changed my statement about the XD being the last flashlight I’d ever purchase to the XR and XD are the last flashlights I’d ever purchase.
While the Zerohour XD is kept either in the house or the motor-home, I carry the XR with me in my briefcase. This has allowed me to eliminate the battery backup unit I used to carry for my cell phone and other devices.
8 thoughts on “ZeroHour Relic XR tactical flashlight review”
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If you plugged an Apple MiFi cable into the XR, would it charge an iPhone. (An iPad might be too much to ask for.)
Can you find a friend with an iPhone to test it?
I don’t have an iPhone, but I plugged the lightening cable from my iPad mini into the XR and the mini indicates it’s charging. Here’s some of what Zerohour has on their website for device charging.
“ZEROHOUR XR can be used to charge any rechargeable mobile USB device. Here is a list of popular mobile devices and their battery capacities:
Samsung S5: 2800mAh
iPhone 6: 1810mAh
iPhone 6+: 2915mAh “
I love the Cree LED based flashlights like the Zerohour but $125 is an outrageous price. These type of flashlights with Cree LED, charger and a 18650 battery are available on eBay direct from China for less than $10 mailed to your door. I use a double 18650 battery headlamp almost every night when feeding my dogs or blowing snow in the winter with my tractor. Look for Ultrafire branded flashlights on eBay or Amazon.
I’ll grant this thing is a little pricey, but Ultrafire lights are cheaply made and often don’t use the LED they say they do. Worse, their batteries and chargers are potential fire hazards. This is more reasonably compared to lights from Thrunite, Fenix and Nitecore. The feature set is similar to a Nitecore SRT7, but with added USB charging and powerbank functionality and a battery included. The SRT7 costs $100.
I will say, when i first saw these on kickstarter, i was super intrigued. I haven’t had the chance to buy one but I am considering it. Also, are these made in USA or china? I would consider buying it if it was made in the USA, but like Marko said above, you can spend about 50% and get the same powerbank/flashlight combo from Aliexpress or Ebay.
On the box it states” Designed by Zerohour in Orange County, California USA and assembled in China.”
Zak- I would like to see some proof of your assertions about Ultrafire products being poor quality, false claims about their LEDS and that their charges being fire hazards. I have bought and used at least a dozen Ultrafire products and never had a problem. They are very well made and very bright – just as good as Fenix. I’d bet they come from the same factory.