Today I have A recent light from Astrolux the FT03 Mini, it’s the smaller version of the FT03 I tested last summer. The Mini has some different LED options, and runs off an 18650 or 18350 battery and has RGB Auxiliary LED’s. Thanks to Banggood for sending this too me to review.
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Packaging & Accessories
The astrolux packaging is a heavier cardboard box with a line drawing of the light on the front, and a sticker on the side showing the specs you received. Inside you g et the light itself, a 18350 tube, 2 spare orings and a smaller lanyard. You get a manual too that’s fairly long, but the diagram for Andruil is pretty small.
Overall construction of the mini is pretty much identical to the original except scaled down to fit the 18xxx profile batteries instead of the 26650’s. Threads are anodized and ACME cut, the tail still includes stiff heavy duty dual springs.
The body tube has 4 milled flats instead of 2 but that’s about it. It’s nice they include the 18350 tube here too instead of making it an add on. The button looks and feels the same, and it features the same LED indicators underneath. A slight difference is the charging port cover and how it attaches to the light itself.
To me the diameter of the head looks to be slightly smaller than proportional to the rest of the dimensions, this doesn’t surprise me as it makes the light more carryable. You still have a lightly crenulated bezel, and an anti reflective coated lens with a smooth reflector.
Size & Weight
Maximum length is 145mm, maximum diameter was 44mm, minimum diameter was 24mm.The weight with a Sony VTC6 is 181.6g, compared to the original with a battery was 397.7g so less than half the weight. The light IPX7 water rated but Astrolux makes sure to note not to submerge it in water.
Not much to say here on retention, due to the head size it’s not a light i would EDC in a pants pocket but it does work well in a jacket. The light has a lanyard attachment point on the tail cap. No pocket clip is included or designed to fit here.
LED & Beamshots
There are a couple different LED and Tints offered with this light, there is a SST40 option, and Cree XHP 50.2 at 5700k or 6500k, I have the warmer tint XHP 50.2 model here. The driver in use is the Texas Ace Avengers driver, with aux capability, so in practice the light is actually different from the full size FT03. The beam is tight but not like the lights with the flat top LED’s like the Acebeam L17 or Lumintop GT Mini, it’s a more broad beam which I think isn’t bad, I think it’s a more useful beam for most cases.
There are 4 very small RGB LED’s around the main LED inside the light, By default the light comes in Rainbow mode like you see here with low output, I have it in high output here so it shows a bit better. Through the UI you can set it to a constant color, rainbow or volts mode.
I did my runtime test with a Sony VTC6 battery, and a Vapcell 1100mAh for the 18350 test. I tested directly out of the package without adjusting the thermal configuration since this is a bit of an advanced feature and I don’t think many people will actually do it. That said for best runtime you should.
Runtimes with the 18650 were a bit unstable but pretty repeatable. With both batteries it gets about 3.5 minutes before stepping significantly down to about 5% relative output but then as it cools off output steps up again as you can see from the graph. Most of the output is under 20% though, so on this one only keep it as bright as you need it to maximize runtime and output. The total fon the 18650 was 1:42:30, and the maximum runtime on the 18350 was 0:32:30. Heat wasn’t a major factor with this light while in use with it’s fairly aggressive thermal throttling.
The FT03 Mini features Andruil UI and by default ships in ramping mode which is where I leave it. Stepped mode is available and easy to switch with a trippple press. Double press to go to turbo when on. Andruil is a good UI but complex for a beginner as it has a significant number of modes and options. The manual that’s included does a decent job of explaining things but is very small text. I would encourage you to go take a look at the full Andril diagram and study it if you pick up this light. If you are interested in a more detailed overview of Anduril check out my review on the Lumintop/BLF FW3A.
The light does have USB-C onboard in the head for recharging. It does require the use of USB-A to C cable for this to work. I did my recharging tests with a Sony VTC6 battery (3000mAh) and saw max charge rate at 1.65A, with overall charging taking 2:02:00 minutes. I ran the same test with a VapCell 1100mAh battery and saw the same charge rate, overall charge time was 0:42:00. I had no issues with using onboard charging for the 18650 batteries but for an 18350 this is faster then I prefer to charge mine so I recommend using an external charger like the VapCell S4 Plus to do this and choosing a slower speed more closely in line with 1C for overall battery life.
- It’s just fun with the 18350 tube installed, but much less practical in terms of runtime
- Andruil UI is highly flexible but also not really easy to use.
- Nice selection of LED, Tints, and Body Colors
- I think the claims here of 4200 lumens are probably optimistic at least on my copy when I compare it to other lights I have.
- Aux here is more of a cool thing rather then super useful as it’s fairly dim.
I loved the original FT03 and still do think it’s a great value large format thrower. The mini shares a lot of similar features and somewhat similar performance but overall I am just a bit less excited about it. The Aux LED’s here don’t do a ton for me, they are neat but not that practical. For the money if size isn’t a factor I would go with the larger FT03. If you want the smaller size it’s not a bad light if you want aux and onboard charging, if neither of those are important I would check out my review on the Lumintop GT Mini and consider it as well.