I was recently offered the chance to test the Beauty Flex from Angler. It’s a bi-colored LED designed for selfies and vlogs. I thought that given its unique design, I might be able to use it for product photography instead.
There’s no harm in taking a product designed for one thing and trying to make it work for another. Tests like this can yield some surprising results. If you couldn’t tell from the title, I have been nicely surprised by the Angler Beauty Flex. Let’s take a closer look at it in our full review.
Editors note: B&H Photo sent us the Angler Beauty Flex 11-inch Bi-Color LED light to review and keep. However, this is an independent review. All thoughts and feelings about this light are our own. We have not been influenced in any way. We tell you this as we always want to be transparent with you.
- Easy to use
- Good build quality
- Can be used with a mains adapter or two Sony NP-F batteries
- Bright light output
- Impressive color accuracy
- Adjustable Kelvin from 3000°K to 6500°K
- Flexible smartphone holder
- Mounts to any standard lightstand
- Can be controlled remotely
- It won’t break the bank
- No batteries are included for the remote
- The smartphone holder will not accommodate phone cases
- Poor diffusion
Angler Beauty Flex – Technical specifications
All technical specifications have been taken from the listing on B&H Photo’s website:
- Color Temperature: 3000° to 6500°K
- Color Accuracy Standard: CRI 96.8 at 5600, TLCI 97 at 5600K
- Housing Material: ABS Plastic, Aluminum
- Number of LEDs: 258
- Expected Lamp Life: 50000 Hours
- Two 1/4″-20 threads
- Fixture Weight: 2.3 lb / 1.0 kg
Handling and build quality
The Angler Beauty Flex 11-inch bi-color LED is not an expensive product. So, I was expecting the worst in regards to its build quality. However, I’ve been surprised. The Beauty Flex is made from both plastic and aluminum. The case of the control panel is metal, while the front, rear panels and the smartphone clamp are plastic.
There are metal heat sinks on the back of the lights to help with heat dissipation. The flexible arms feel nice and sturdy and they bend and twist into position without fuss. The control dial clicks into place nicely as well.
The Beauty Flex isn’t one of the most luxurious lights I have ever used. However, it’s not the worst either. The plastics should stand up to continued use in studio settings easily. They’ll survive the odd bump if you venture outside, too. There’s no weather sealing here. So, don’t wander outside if it’s raining. Still, for a light that costs as little as this one does, it’s built very well and is nicely designed.
Using the Angler Beauty Flex
The Angler Beauty Flex is a very easy light to use. There’s is just one dial on the front of the light and an easy-to-read LCD panel that displays either the current power output or Kelvin setting. A single push turns the light on. You then turn the dial to increase or decrease power from 0-100%. Push the button again and you can adjust the temperature of the light from 3000k to 6500k.
The remote, which looks like an older Apple TV remote, controls the same things and comes in handy. However, no AAA batteries are included for the remote, so make note of that.
The smartphone holder screws into one of the 1/4″-20 threads. The bracket held my iPhone 11 Pro Max without any issues. The phone bracket and the lights are easy to position. The flexible arms allow you to place everything where you need them to be. Eliminating shadows or creating them for dramatic effect is incredibly easy because of this flexibility. The lights also twist at the base as well.
I do not own any Sony NP-F batteries, but I can definitely see where owning some would be beneficial. With them, you’d be able to take the Angler Beauty Flex outside without any issues. The power cable that’s included is quite long, though. So you have quite a bit of flexibility when it comes to positioning the light.
Overall, the Angler Beauty Flex 11-Inch Bi-Color LED is incredibly easy to use. There are no complicated menus. You just turn it on, position the light, and you’re off to the races. It’s as plug-and-play as you can get when it comes to lighting.
The Beauty Flex is incredibly versatile
The Beauty Flex is designed for those who love to take selfies, TikTokkers, Instagrammers and even YouTube video creators who want an easy-to-use light. I could definitely see myself using it for talking head segments on my YouTube channel. It’s more than powerful enough for this. It would be easier than dragging out my GODOX VL150 and softbox every time I want to record. Still, I can see where this light can be used for so much more. So, used it for some product photography.
The beauty of this light’s design lies in the flexible arms and color accurate output from 3000°K up to 6500°K. You can position the arms so that the beautiful light falls exactly where you need it. You can also shoot through the arms of the lights which means you create no shadows, nor will you block the light either. This makes the Beauty Flex perfect for product photography and head and shoulder portraits.
There’s just one major downside. The covers over the LEDs offer little in the way of diffusion. This means that if you’re not careful, you’ll cast some harsh light and deep shadows. Still, you can overcome this with good light placement. You could also use a simple scrim.
Should you buy the Angler Beauty Flex?
Don’t just take this light at face value. We know what its intended purpose is. However, it can be used in many ways. The Angler Beauty Flex is well made, it’s color accurate, and is consistent when it comes to light output.
The beauty flex is also easy to use. Beginners and old hats will be able to pick up this light and get the most out of it easily. It costs less than $100 and is regularly on sale for under $70. The only real downside is the lack of diffusion. If you need an easy-to-use light for selfies, vlogs, product photography and more, that won’t take up much space, you should check out the Angler Beauty Flex.
Angler Beauty Flex Twin Stick 11″ Bi Color LED
The Angler Beauty Flex Twin Stick 11″ Bi-Color LED is an easy-to-use, cost-effective light that will appeal to selfie lovers, vloggers, YouTubers, product photographers, and more. The light is powerful, color-accurate, and can be used via mains power or battery power. If you’re looking for a plug-and-play light that doesn’t take up too much room, this could be the one for you.