Vosteed Rook Review (1800 Lumens, 3x Nichia 519a, 18350)

You may have seen my posts on social media and my first short here on Youtube on this but here is a review of it. Introducing the Vosteed Rook, a first collaboration flashlight with Reylight. It’s EDC focused, featuring 3 Nichia 519a LED, a USB-C Rechargeable 18350, battery, and a choice of 5 colors, Red, Blue, Black, Gray and Orange. What I have here is a prototype that’s in bead-blasted aluminum, with a different clip design. This is a Kickstarter project that is already funded but joining it’s the best way to get a Rook early and at a discount. Hurry though because the campaign ends early January 3rd, 2023. Full disclosure I helped Vosteed make an intro video for the campaign and my link below is an affiliate link. 

Due to this and a few other changes, this won’t be a full review, but it will be pretty close. Thanks to Vosteed for sending this to me to review.

 

Watch this review on YouTube: 

Follow me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/liquidretro/ 

Join the Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/LiquidretroReviews/ 

Follow me on TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@liquidretro1

Enjoy this review? Buy me a Coffee/Beer: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/Liquidretro

Find all my social media at https://linktr.ee/liquidretro

See my Amazon Store with my gear recommendations https://www.amazon.com/shop/liquidretro

 

Join the Kickstarter Campaign for the Vosteed Rook https://bit.ly/RookLR1

 

Packaging & Accessories

My prototype here was too early to have any of the packaging you will get. That said I have bought several Vosteed knives and the packaging is top-notch I expect nothing different from the Rook. Yours will come with a 18350 battery with USB-C recharging onboard, and if the campaign reaches $30,000 you will also get an EDC Pouch and Vosteed Patch. 

 

Construction & Design

The rook is made from aluminum and will be anodized in a number of colors initially. Red, Blue, Black, Gray, and Orange. Its design takes inspiration from the Rook chess piece. It features 7 places for 1.5 x 6mm tritium vials, 3 in the tail button which my prototype doesn’t have, and then 4 in the tail section of the flashlight. The button here is a mechanical reverse clicky button, meaning you have to press the button all the way to turn the light on, and then half presses will change modes. The button itself takes a little more force to press and is flush with the top so it tail stands well, and should help prevent accidental activations. Tolerances here are better than the Reylight Pineapple/Lan series so there is less side-to-side play but there is still a rubber disk below so keep that in mind.

The light uses a standard “steel flame” screw spacing, so it will have a wide variety of clip compatibility. Right now I have a standard Reylight clip on it, as my prototype came without one. It’s a tad too long and hits the head section which results in a scratch on this raw anodized bead-blasted aluminum. The production light will have a redesigned clip to add some style and take care of this issue. The clip will be the attachment point for a lanyard if you wish too. In the hand it feels pretty good and the recessed area on the body gives your finger a place to index. 

The light does come into 3 main pieces the tail section, body tube, and head section. There isn’t any knurling on the light but ther various aspects of the design give you something to hold on to that should be adequate for many EDC situations. This isn’t a tactical light designed for extreme or tactical conditions. 

The head has a smooth bezel, a very scratch-resistant sapphire lens, TIR style Tripple optic, on top of the LED’s. The result is a pretty nice beam profile I will get into later on here.

I will grade the light as easy to modify emitter-wise, the main pill unscrews easily and gives you access driver and mcpcb should you want to dedome the LED’s or replace them with something else. 

 

Size & Weight

My prototype is going to have a bit of difference from the production light on size and weight. I know the production light will be slightly longer, have a different clip, and battery, and be anodized. So I won’t give too many specifics here. The diameter is 24mm, the length is 74 and the light is IPX68 water rated. Normal use scenarios shouldn’t be an issue. 

 

User Interface

The Rook is using the Reylight Programabale interface from the most recent version of Reylight’s popular Pineapple, Pineapple Mini, and Lan lights. It has 4 preprogrammed modes with different brightness outputs, by default it ships in mode 2, Moon, 10%, 40%, and 100% output. You can toggle memory mode on or off, as well as moonlight on or off. SOS and Strobe are only available in programming mode 4. The interface is pretty easy to use once you have the light set to how you like it. When changing modes though I would recommend consulting the manual. 

 

LED & Beam

The Rook comes with 2 LED choices, the Nichia 519a LED which is what I have here or Cree XPL Hi LED’s. Both are good choices, but for me I will be sticking to and recommending the Nichia 519a LED’s myself. As mentioned in previous reviews these are the most popular LED’s among enthusiasts in 2022 due to their highly desirable tint, ease of dedoming, high CRI, and increased output over previous similar LED’s. 

On my prototype here with the Nichia 519a LED, on my Opple Meter, I measured 3848k tint, with an RA of 97. The tint was very neutral and pleasing. These should dedome nicely too if you want to push it a bit rosier. The beam here is a very even large hotspot from the TIR reflector and has a minimal spill. It’s ideal for short and medium-range EDC-style tasks. On the higher mode, it does a decent job of lighting up things up to about 100 years I would say. There is PDM here on the lower modes, but it’s fast and I don’t see it with my camera or eye.

A quick note on Outputs, I didn’t get the claimed outputs on my sample. The peak output I saw was just shy of 1400 lumens in my lumen tube. I theorize this is because of a few things. #1 I am using a prototype and I know there were planned minor changes to the driver. #2 The two LED options that are being offered, Typically Cree XPL Hi LED’s will have more output than the Nichia 519a I have in my example. My runtime graphs in the next section will give you a rough idea of what’s happening.

 

Heat & Runtime

Here are the heat and runtime graphs. The light sustains its maximum output for around a minute before starting to step down and stays above 1000 lumens for about 2 minutes. Starting on Turbo total runtime was 72 minutes or so and the maximum temp was a very warm 75C. I then did a comparison runtime between Turbo, Hight and Medium runtimes. High runtime gains you an extra hour or so of runtime, and medium goes out to an impressive 9 hours 20 minutes. 

 

Recharging

As previously mentioned the light will be shipping with a 18350 battery that has USB-C recharging onboard. My prototype didn’t come with this battery, however, so I was unable to test this feature further. I can report the light will work with a standard flat top or button top 18350 battery. The light does have reverse polarity protection and LVP protection.

 

Conclusion

I am a fan of the Rook, it has the makings of what should be a nice, reasonably affordable EDC light in the 18350 form factor. A great LED choice here with the Nichia 519a, and Cree XPL Hi LED options for those that want a cooler tint. Combine that with a solid familiar user interface and it makes for a good all around EDC light. 

It’s worth noting these are “small batch” lights from a single maker. While not a true custom, are CNC produced, they are likely assembled by just one or two people. Both Vosteed and Reylight are small companies with just a handful of employees or a single entrepreneur. That said they both have some of the best customer service I have seen in the industry.

Aluminum may turn off some people here but it really is a great material for flashlights, and among the best in terms of cost, weight, machineability, heat dissipation, and durability. That said I wouldn’t be surprised that if the Rook is a success, we see more specialty materials in the future or a 18650 body tube to increase the length and runtime. Be on the lookout for a few stretch goals the campaign has tool. 

If you are interested there will be a link below that does help support the channel if you decide to back the Kickstarter. As always I’m interested in what you think of the Rook and if you will be picking up one. This is likely my last video for 2022, but I have lots more planned for early 2023, so make sure you are subscribed so you don’t miss the next one. 

Join the Kickstarter Campaign for the Vosteed Rook https://bit.ly/RookLR1

Fenix PD36R Pro Review (2800 Lumens, 21700, USB-C)

Today I am taking a look at the new Fenix PD36R Pro. It’s an update on the previous light and includes a substantial increase in runtime. The light may look and sound familiar though because I took a look at the TK20R V2 earlier this year and it shares a lot of similarities with the new PD36R Pro. Thanks to Thrunite for sending this to me to review. 

 

Watch this review on YouTube: 

Follow me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/liquidretro/ 

Join the Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/LiquidretroReviews/ 

Follow me on TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@liquidretro1

Enjoy this review? Buy me a Coffee/Beer: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/Liquidretro

Find all my social media at https://linktr.ee/liquidretro

See my Amazon Store with my gear recommendations https://www.amazon.com/shop/liquidretro

 

Links to Purchase

https://amzn.to/3OYXRCK

https://www.fenixlighting.com/products/fenix-pd36r-pro-rechargeable-flashlight

https://www.fenix-store.com/fenix-pd36r-pro-2800-lumen-flashlight/

 

Packaging & Accessories

The light I have is an early production sample that was sent before the packaging was finalized. That said I expect a typical Fenix full retail package that’s designed to hang on store shelves in your local sporting goods retailer. Included in your light will be a Fenix 5000mAh 21700 battery, USB A to C charging cable, Nylon Holster, pocket clip, Lanyard, spare o-ring, user manual, and warranty card. There is a few accessories that are not included but will also work with this light like a remote pressure switch that screws onto the tail, 3 different rail mounts, and a diffuser cone. All of these are sold separately. 

 

Construction and Design

I am only going to hit the high points here, and let the photos and video do the rest of the talking. The light shares a lot of physical traits with the TK20R V2. The light is made from T6061 aluminum and nicely anodized black, there is a special edition red camo version too at some retailers. At the tail cap you have 2 protruding buttons, a larger round mechanical switch that takes a good amount of force to push, and then a smaller rectangle mode button. The light does not tail stand as a result.

The pocket clip only mounts on the rear of the light. The body tube has a concentric ring knurling-like texture on the body, this provides a good amount of grip and looks nice I think. The charging port is covered with a textured silicone cover that fits very tightly, below it is a small LED indicator to show the charge level while charging. Red when charging, blue when charged.

Internally there is a stiff spring at the front of the light as well as in the tail, threads are smooth, square cut and a bit dry. Up front, the head is glued in place and the bezel is machined into the head. There is an AR glass lens, a narrow deep smooth reflector, and a nicely centered LED. 

 

Retention

Since this is a pre-production light I don’t have the lanyard or holster that the light will ship with in it’s final form. What I can talk about is the pocket clip. It only attaches at the rear of the light and is relatively narrow for the size of the light. It’s stiff and does a good job of retaining the light in my front pocket, with about 1” of the light sticking out. In my medium hands, the light is a nice size without being too bulky.

 

Size & Weight

I measured the length at 5.74”, and the diameter at 1.09” at the head. Weight with the battery and clip came in at 6.00oz. The light IP68 water rated, which means it can survive 6.5ft of water for 30 minutes. The USB port itself is waterproof as well, so even if you don’t have the cover in place that won’t be a problem. Here are a few comparison photos with the Fenix TK20R V2, and some other lights. 

 

LED & Beam

The Fenix PD36R Pro is using the Luminis SFT70 LED in cool white. My Opple meter shows it as 5456k and 60 CRI in medium mode. In higher modes, it cools off slightly and has a slight green tinge to the beam to my eye (and meter). The beam has a large pronounced hot spot in the center and a large spill with some tint shift noted. Compared to the TK20R V2, the hot spots are a similar size but the spill is larger here on the PD36R Pro. The Parasitic Drain was measured at a low 4.0uA with the tail cap off. There was some PDM here, especially on lower modes but my eye or camera didn’t see it only my Opple meter did. 

Measured outputs vs Stated Outputs

All readings were taken at the 30-second mark. The light was cooled in cool water between measurements.

 

Turbo – Measured – 2160 Lumens Claimed – 2800 Lumens 77.14% of Claimed

High – Measured – 978 Lumens Claimed – 1000 Lumens 97.80% of Claimed

Medium – Measured – 349 Lumens Claimed – 350 Lumens 99.71% of Claimed

Low – Measured – 157 Lumens Claimed – 150 Lumens 104.66% of Claimed

Eco – Measured – 35 Lumens Claimed – 30 Lumens 116.66% of Claimed

 

Heat and Runtime

For my heat and runtime, I tested with the supplied Fenix 5000mAh battery, on my Texas Ace Lumen tube. Turbo starts out here a the claimed lumens but by 1 minute it’s stepped down to about 750 lumens because the heat was up to about 43C. It increases the output some in the next 20 minutes as heat dissipates, but the light has a substantial drop at about 2:10:00, then again at 3:20:00, and once more at 4:30:00, where it runs at it’s the lowest output for many more hours. Total runtime was right around 8 hours, and the light does flash in the last hour of use to indicate it’s the battery is low.

I then did a comparison between Turbo, High and Medium runtimes and there isn’t really any real surprises. Lower outputs are more stable and have longer outputs. 

 

UI 

UI here is very simple and it’s the same that was found on the TK20R V2.. The light has 2 buttons on the rear tail cap of the light. There is the larger power button which Fenix is calling the Tactical switch, it’s a forward clicky switch with momentary, and then the smaller button which they are calling the function switch. You can half-press the tactical switch to turn the light on in the last mode used before locking fully on. Once on you use the function switch to cycle through the 5 modes in a linear manner. The light does have memory mode. At any time you can press and hold the function switch to get to strobe mode. 

 

Recharging

Recharging on the PD36R Pro is accomplished via the USB-C port on the side of the light near the head. The port cover is worth mentioning here, it’s very tight fitting, and can be a bit of a challenge to remove despite a small tab to pull on. You have wide access to the port so cable compatibility shouldn’t be an issue here. The light charged via C to C cables and PD chargers without a problem. One thing to note is that you can’t use the light during charging.

I charged the included 5000mAh battery (Rated at 4870mAh in my testing)  from LVP at 3.044V to Full at 4.227V in 4:13:00. The charging speed starts off slow for the first few minutes, then increase significantly with a peak of 2.5A before slowly declining. The total charge time was 4:10:00. One thing that was concerning was that the terminating voltage was slightly too high. Not sure if this was my multimeter or maybe due to the prototype nature of my light. When fully charged the side LED indicator goes from Red to Blue.

 

Final Thoughts

The Fenix PD36R Pro is a pretty large upgrade over the older PD36R in nearly all metrics and is overall a well-rounded flashlight. However, I can’t help to draw on the large number of similarities to the TK20R 2.0 that I reviewed earlier this year. Same LED, Same UI, Same battery, very similar performance, Same tail cap, and same clip. Where they differ is mainly in the charging port cover, and head size. The TK20R V2 is more of a tactical purpose, where as the PD36R Pro is more EDC/General use while also being capable of tactical use. 

It’s a well built light, one of the best USB-C port covers I have seen, and a very easy to use UI with the two dedicated buttons on the tail. I’ll give it a ding for not being able to tail stand and for not lacking a true moonlight mode of 1 lumen or less. 

 

Links to Purchase

https://amzn.to/3OYXRCK

https://www.fenixlighting.com/products/fenix-pd36r-pro-rechargeable-flashlight

https://www.fenix-store.com/fenix-pd36r-pro-2800-lumen-flashlight/

Acebeam Pokelit Review ($22, 5000k, 95CRI, 550 Lumens)

Today I am looking at the Acebream Pokelit. It’s a AA-sized light, that can run on 14500 lithium-ion batteries or alkaline/NiMH. It features a neutral high CRI Nichia emitter and is very affordable. Thanks to Acebeam for sending this to me to look at and review.

 

Watch this review on YouTube: 

Follow me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/liquidretro/ 

Join the Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/LiquidretroReviews/ 

Follow me on TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@liquidretro1

Enjoy this review? Buy me a Coffee/Beer: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/Liquidretro

Find all my social media at https://linktr.ee/liquidretro

See my Amazon Store with my gear recommendations https://www.amazon.com/shop/liquidretro

 

Get the Black Pokelit AA from Amazon at https://amzn.to/3RZxoW9 (10% Coupon on the page)

Get the Orange Pokelit AA from Amazon at https://amzn.to/3xeNkfe

Buy all the colors at Acebeam https://shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=1738751&u=2603230&m=108326&urllink=&afftrack= use code Liq10 to save 10%

 

Packaging & Accessories

The packaging is quite small and compact. It’s a nice retail box with a see-through window. Everything slides out in a plastic tray. Accessories came with the clip preinstalled, optional Accebeam 920mAh 14500 battery with onboard USB-C charging, USB-A to C charging cable, Acebeam lanyard, 2 extra orings, and manual. 

 

Construction and Design

The light comes in 3 available colors as of this review, Green, Orange, and Black that I have here. It comes both with and without a 14500 battery, the version I have is with the battery, and it would be the one I would recommend for most people. 

Starting at the tail, there is a proud button, with a textured grip and hard plastic sides that stick proudly of the light. This is quite a stiff button and is a mechanical switch I believe. The tail cap has straight knurls and is glued onto the body of the light. 

The clip attaches at the rear and is nonfixed in place, more on that in retention. The body is fairly plain with horizontal groves cut into it providing some grip.

The head section is straight with no detail milled into it. It contains all of the engraving of the model name, serial number, brand, and temperature warning. There is a smooth shallow bezel protecting the AR-coated glass lens and a shallow smooth reflector. 

 

Retention

Retention options include the snap-on pocket clip. It’s finished in a glossy blue anodizing. It’s a dual-direction clip that’s reasonably deep carry. A bit of the tail does stick out of the pocket but with the stiff switch, I experienced no accidental activations. Your other option is an Acebeam lanyard. Its only attachment point is the hole built into the clip. Not my favorite attachment method but the clip does fit tightly here. 

 

Size & Weight

I measured the length at 3.74”, the diameter at 0.72”. I measured the weight with the included battery and clip at exactly 2 ounces. The light is IPX8 water rated and drop-rated to 2M.

There are a number of competitor lights that I pulled from my collection. The Olight i5T and i5R are probably your two most similar lights, In general, the Acebeam is slightly smaller in diameter, and the two have a very similar button style. The Acebeam Ryder RX is similar in size, although with its stainless steel outer body and bolt action it’s different. The heads here are not compatible with each other. I will throw in a Reylight LAN as well since it’s dual fuel, although it’s in a different price category. 

 

LED & Beam

The Acebeam Pokelit AA uses a Nichia 219F LED in 5000k and 90+ CRI. I measured the light on medium mode on my Oppple meter at 4438 CCT (k), and 95 RA (CRI). It’s a pleasant tint, without any distracting tint shifts. The beam is a medium-large hotspot and a large minimal spill. Exactly what was expected from the medium-depth orange peel reflector. My meter detects PWM here but it’s very fast so my eye or camera can’t detect it. 

 

 

 

Heat & Runtimes

I will hit on a few highlights here and let the graphs speak for themselves. I primarily will run this light with the 14500 Li-ion battery because of the better performance. High came in just short of 500 lumens, and that decreases to 300 after 1:30. Total runtime slowly decreasing is 1 hour. Max heat here is 61C. This does get pretty warm to hold when on in high. Medium mode with the Li-ion battery is a pretty stable output starting at 150 lumens decreasing to about 80 or so out to 2:35:00 total runtime.

I also tested with an Ikea 2450 NiMH and you get about 225 lumens at the start by 2 and a half minutes you are running at about 70 lumens for two and a half hours, total runtime was 2:45:00. Medium mode extends this out to 3:12:00. 

 

UI

The UI here is very simple with the reverse clicky switch. With the 14500 battery, you have 3 modes with memory mode. Click once to come on in the lowest model, if you fully clicked you do need to shut if off and then on again to advance, but if you don’t fully click you can half click to advance, hopefully, that makes sense. It’s a very simple user interface that I think anyone can understand. 

 

Recharging

While the flashlight itself doesn’t have built-in charging, the optional Acebeam 14500 battery does have built-in charging via USB-C. I had no issues charging this via USB-C to C or PD. Charging here is at 0.5C about .45A at the maximum for most of the charging time. Overall charging time is 2:30:00 at which time the LED on the battery itself goes from red to green. The battery itself has LVP built into it. 

 

Final Thoughts

Acebeam is on a streak of listening to consumers and enthusiasts and has been doing great putting out some new models this year with great emitter options. The Pokelit AA is no different. The Nichia 219F LED here puts out a neutral 5000k tint, with no ugly tones, and a nice beam pattern with High CRI. It does run hot when used for extended periods of time with the 14500 battery in high mode, reaching up to 140F. You may have to change your grip on it to be comfortable when it gets hot, holding more at the rear instead of in your fist. 

 

I like the Pokelit AA better than the Lumentop Tool personally because it has a more desirable LED and a better clip. It also comes with a Li-ion battery here (depending on where you order it from), and is very affordable. It’s available on Amazon right now for about $21 in black or orange. Acebeam sells them directly too, but the cost is a little higher. For a basic, high-quality flashlight that anyone can use with an easy user interface, the Pokelit AA is a great choice that I can recommend. 

Sofirn SC21 Pro Review ($20 Shipped, 1100 Lumens, LH351D, USB-C)

Sofirn has a revision on their SC21, and they are calling it the SC21 Pro. The main difference is that it’s running Anduril 1 despite what the manual says. It still has the Samsung LH351D emitter as the non pro version, onboard charging, and retrains the 16340 battery. Thanks to Sofirn for sending this to me to review.

 

Just a quick shoutout, if you enjoy these videos, don’t forget to like and subscribe to the channel, as it really helps me out with the algorithm. 

 

Watch this review on YouTube: 

Follow me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/liquidretro/ 

Join the Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/LiquidretroReviews/ 

Follow me on TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@liquidretro1

Enjoy this review? Buy me a Coffee/Beer: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/Liquidretro

Find all my social media at https://linktr.ee/liquidretro

See my Amazon Store with my gear recommendations https://www.amazon.com/shop/liquidretro

 

Purchase the SC21 Pro at https://www.sofirnlight.com/products/sofirn-sc21pro-anduril-1-ui-mini-flashlight-with-lh351d-led

Use the code “B1VJQER6” to save 30% until the end of August 2022

 

Packaging & Accessories

Packaging is Sofirns standard no-frills box. Inside the accessories include the light itself, a USB-A to C charging cable, pocket clip, lanyard, and Orings. The 800ma 16340 battery is optional but it only increases the price by about $2. Well worth getting in my opinion. The manual has a rather large misprint, saying that this light is running Anduril 2, when in fact it’s running Anduril 1. This makes the diagram and operating instructions different.

 

Construction & Design

The light is made from aluminum, and available in 3 colors, black, red, and the green I have here. The tail cap is magnetic and allows the light to tail stand even with a lanyard. The pocket clip mounts near the tail only and is non-captured. Knurling is a pretty standard diamond knurling of average grip. Threads are anodized, greased, and smooth. Internally there is a tail spring, upfront just a post in the head. There is easy access to the pogo pins to allow you to flash other firmware or different firmware versions if you want to. 

The head itself has the model name and brand engraved on the front and the “required” markings on the back near the charging port. I think the warning hot at the head is unnecessary even though yes it gets hot. The charging port cover is opposite the switch. Sofirn has used this port on other lights. In this case, I find it a little hard to get out of the way and for some reason a little tricky with the cables I had to keep charging. The port does seem to be set back a bit deep. At the top, there is a minimal smooth bezel, with the AR glass lens, and a light orange peel reflector underneath. 

 

UI

Despite what the manual says this light is running Anduril 1. Sofirn tells me that there was a misprint in production and that the manual is created well in advance. Future versions may ship with corrected manuals. I don’t see Sofirn has posted a corrected manual on their website yet, which would be nice to see them do. I won’t go into depth here with Anduril because most of us know it by now. You have the option of a ramping mode and stepped mode, and all the goodies that Anduril offers. It is disappointing though that a light that came out in mid 2022 as a new design and a “Pro” model doesn’t ship with Anduril 2.

 

Size & Weight

For a 16340 light this isn’t the smallest in class, and is a bit on the longer side of things, more in line with my 18350’s almost instead of 16340. I measured the length at 73mm Max diameter at 22.5mm and weigh with the clip and battery at 2.11oz or 60g. It’s IPX8 water rated too. 

 

Retention

I enjoyed carrying this light around on some recent trips out of town. It’s nearly the same size in diameter as my Reylight Lan/Pineapples which I enjoy carrying typically. The light has a dual direction pocket clip that attaches at the back and rotates but is pretty tight. It was a little difficult to get it started when putting it in the pocket due to the tension, but this tension also creates security which is a good thing. It’s a decent pocket clip that’s very deep carry which I like. There is also a place at the tail to attach the included lanyard. 

 

LED & Beam

The light is using a Samsung LH351D in neutral white, and high CRI. I measured 4951k and 96CRI with my Opel meter. My sample didn’t have any green tinge you sometimes see with the LH351D. The beam has a large hotspot, minimal spill, decent for EDC, but they could have used a TIR here and saved some length most likely. There is PWM here, as you would expect with Anduril, but it’s not an issue. The button on the light does have a built-in green LED that can be configured in the UI for low, high, blinking, and off. In low it’s not a huge consumer of power. 

Due to the nature of Anduril, I won’t give specific output measurements since the light doesn’t have defined modes. I will say when I first started the light I saw 1044 lumens, and at 30 seconds I saw 028 Lumens.

 

Runtimes & Heat

I used the optional Sofirn 800mAh 16340 battery for my calibrated runtime tests. Turbo lasted here for about 4 minutes before stepping down significantly to about 250 lumens to cool off. As it cooled it did increase output. The total useable light was 35 minutes, but the light kept running in the absolute lowest mode to 1 hour. Max heat I saw during this time was 63.5C at about 5 minutes. Keep in mind this was after I calibrated the light and raised that temp threshold.

 

Recharging

The light has built-in recharging via USB-C. I had no issues using USB-C to C or PD Chargers here. The port cover is good as mentioned but kind of large for this small light in my opinion. I tested with the optional 800mAh Sofirn battery. I tested it at 734mAh of capacity. The light charged from where it shut off to full in right at 1:06:00. Max charging rate was 0.9A which is slightly over 1C for the included battery. The shape of the charge curve here was pretty normal. 

 

Final Thoughts

There really isn’t much here that’s different on the SC21 Pro vs the non-pro. A 100-lumen difference isn’t going to be very noticeable to the eye. The biggest difference is the firmware where the SC21 Pro is running Anduril 1 which enthusiasts are going to like, and muggles are going to find confusing. 

They kept the exterior design which I think is solid, and the pocket clip here is pretty good. Best of all the LH351D returns in a neutral white and high CRI. Add into that it’s very affordable at $26 with the included battery before any additional discounts. It’s magnetic and available in 3 exterior colors, overall a pretty great value. Sofirn continues to bring in great budget options to the marketplace. In this physical size of light, you can certainly pay more for a light that I don’t think has as nice of an emitter or as good of UI. This would make a nice gift or entry into the EDC and flashlight worlds without breaking the bank.  

 

Purchase the SC21 Pro at https://www.sofirnlight.com/products/sofirn-sc21pro-anduril-1-ui-mini-flashlight-with-lh351d-led

Use the code “B1VJQER6” to save 30% until the end of August 2022

Wuben X-1 Falcon Review (12,000 Lumens, 3X XHP70.2, USB-C)

Today I am taking a look at a new light from Wuben with the X-1 Falcon. What I have here is a preproduction sample, but the light has now been formally announced. Wuben has been around for a while but isn’t super well known. They are not afraid to try things, and they have done that here with the X-1 Falcon. It has 3 Cree XHP 70.2 LED’s and 2 21700 batteries in a side-by-side configuration in a very rectangular package. Thanks to Wuben for sending it my way.

 

Watch this review on YouTube: 

Follow me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/liquidretro/ 

Join the Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/LiquidretroReviews/ 

Follow me on TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@liquidretro1

Enjoy this review? Buy me a Coffee/Beer: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/Liquidretro

Find all my social media at https://linktr.ee/liquidretro

See my Amazon Store with my gear recommendations https://www.amazon.com/shop/liquidretro

 

Learn more about the Wuben X-1 at https://www.wubenlight.com/pages/x-1

 

Packaging & Accessories.

Since this was a preproduction light, mine came in a plastic hard case, with a paracord style lanyard and a USB-A to C cable (Who doesn’t have a ton of these at this point 🙂 ). I was also able to request a copy of the manual. I suspect the full version will have the full retail box, Charging cable, Storage bag (According to the manual), and normal paperwork. I will note the manual I have is a little rough in the translations. There looks to be an optional bike mount too. 

 

Construction & Design

The light is made from aluminum and anodized black. It’s a bit of a unique design being a large rectangle. The corners are angled and have extra milling into them as well as milled channels on the sides, top, and bottom for style. To me it’s a “space age design” and kind of reminds me of something you would see in a Sci-Fi movie or something. 

The most unique aspect of the design is functional too, right under the button the light has a passageway for active cooling with a heat sync under and a small fan on the right-hand side. The fan is thermally controlled, and it only comes on when it gets hot enough and turns off when it cools. You can hear it slightly and feel it too if holding it near the top. I suspect the fan is why I don’t see a formal water rating either for this light and also why I didn’t really want to test this myself. Opposite the fan is the USB-C port with a silicone cover. It’s tucked nicely away.

The light is a very solid feeling in the hand. The button sits at in a pretty natural position, where you want to rest your thumb. It’s not a small light and one I will probably put the lanyard on. It has some harder edges and isn’t the most ergonomic thing, but it’s not uncomfortable either.

While they don’t advertise the batteries are replaceable, it is if you remove the 4 screws on the tail cap. So here is what I found inside.

Up front is the unique shaped lens to fit the 3 emitters side by side. It’s an anti-reflective coated glass lens with a short orange peel reflector where the 3x Cree LED’s sit behind. 

 

Retention Options

According to the manual, the light will ship with a Storage bag that looks like a holster, and a lanyard. Since this is the prototype I only have the lanyard to show you. You guys know I am not a big lanyard user but on this one, I will be installing it. I think with the size and weight here a bit of extra security when in use is a good idea. 

 

Size & Weight

I measured the length at 128.4mm, width at 56mm, and depth at 28mm. Weight is 13.42oz or 380.5g. Like I said it’s very solid feeling light, and the heft adds to that. There is no official water rating on this light, I imagine do to that fan. I would imagine it would handle light rain ok, but definitely don’t submerge it. I don’t have a ton of lights like this to compare it to, but here are a few that I choose to give a size reference.

 

LED & Beam

This light is running 3x Cree XHP 70.2 emitters in a side-by-side configuration. With my Opple meter, I measured 5369K tint, and 65Ra. The DUV here indicates it does have some green in the tint, which I tend to see more on lower power output. This isn’t uncommon from these LEDs but not too overpowering. Minimal PWM on lower outputs.

The beam itself isn’t completely round, the hotspot is more oval than round. It’s not pure flood but pretty close, there is a minimal large hot center and a significant amount of spill around. The outer edges of the spill does mimic the shape of the reflector too. 

 

Outputs

Outputs for the most part looked pretty close to what was claimed on my homemade lumen tube with the exception of Turbo. My lumen tube and the different adapter sizes are really designed for round lights, I didn’t custom design a rectangular one for this light, so that may be where part of the losses are. Even with that, it’s about 74% of the claimed max output. I have to also mention this is a prototype so there may be some slight differences in it too. It could also be part of the programming mode which I will explain later.

 

Heat & Runtime

Let’s start with Turbo for my Heat and Runtime tests. Turbo as expected here doesn’t very long, right at a minute and heats up the light quickly to 47C within the same amount of time. From there it steps down to about 2200 lumens where it runs happily for the remainder of the 2 hour runtime. Peak heat ended up being about 55C. I think it may have gotten a little hotter, but my tape stretched and didn’t hold the thermal couple as tightly. 

The small internal fan seems to be thermally reactive, not coming on until it reaches a certain temperature, instead of coming on automatically in certain modes. I can’t say how much of a difference this really makes, but I would guess it helps mostly that middle LED that’s less exposed to outside air, and has a smaller surface area with the casing.

 

I did a comparison testing Turbo, High, Medium, and Low as a comparison between each other. Turbo and High were identical basically. Medium ran out to 5:37:00 just under 1000 lumens, and low for 12:30:00 at 200 lumens or so.

 

UI

My light arrived in Lockout mode, so 4 presses of the button unlock or lock the light. Single press to turn on, long press once on to cycle through the 4 main modes. Double press from anywhere to get to turbo. The light does have blinking modes that you can get to from anywhere by triple pressing. Triple press again to cycle between strobe and SOS modes.

The unique aspect of this light is the programming mode, It allows you to adjust the preset value of the 4 main modes by one on Clicking and holding and the light will ramp up slightly and blink when at the top of the range. Just stop when you reach the brightness you want and it will memorize it. There are upper and lower bounds on what each mode will do too, so I will show you the chart here rather than explain it. 

 

Recharging

The light uses 2 internal 21700 batteries, while not advertised to be user replaceable, they are pretty each to reach by removing the 4 (PH#1 Sized) screws at the tail. The included lights are flat tops, unprotected LG INR21700M50T 5000mAh according to the wrapper and have springs on both ends inside of the light.

On the left-hand side of the light, just behind the grill air exhaust, there is the USB-C charging port protected by a silicone cover. It’s a little different design but works well here and stays out of the way nicely. What’s neat is this light will charge at 9V instead of the lower 5V like most lights. This means a little faster-charging speed if your charger supports it. Completed the charge in 2:44:00 which is impressive considering the light has 10,000mAh of batteries inside it, about 41Wh. I had no issues charging it with USB-C to C or with a PD charger. 

 

Final Thoughts

You don’t typically see a lot of side by side lights, especially larger cells like the 21700’s in this light. This is a hefty package but it feels very solid. I like the space age, Sci-Fi type design here, and it seems Wuben is the only one doing that really.  

The UI here is easy to use, and the programming feature of each mode is kind of cool too, it helps you dial in exactly the mode spacing you want within reason. High, medium and low had impressive runtimes, but I wish Turbo lasted for more than a minute, especially with the fan and the compromises that have been made to accommodate it, like water resistance. 

 

I really appreciate here that the batteries are replaceable with a bit of work. That should lead to a long life, on what I am sure will be a higher-priced light. It’s a unique beam pattern that I found to be just fine during normal use. The XPH 70.2 isn’t my favorite LED, but here it’s not too cool white, and the tint is’t overwhelmingly green so it works. 

So all in all a solid offering, in a different format, with a modern design, and something a little different in the flashlight world. I like that Wuben took the chance with the X-1 Falcon to be different. Let me know what you guys think of the X-1 in the comments below.

Acebeam E70 Mini Review(Triple Nichia 519a, 2000 Lumens, 18650)

Acebeam has a new light, in the E70 Mini, it’s a smaller version of the E70 but this time it’s running on an 18650, and runs triple Nichia 519a LED’s. The Nicha 519a LED is the new hotness in the enthusiast flashlight communities. It’s the successor to the popular Nichia 219b, but the new version is brighter, and more importantly, has become known for being very neutral and rosy if you want. Thanks to Acebeam for sending this to me, and these thoughts and opinions have not been influenced by anyone. 

 

Watch this review on YouTube: 

Follow me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/liquidretro/ 

Join the Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/LiquidretroReviews/ 

Follow me on TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@liquidretro1

Enjoy this review? Buy me a Coffee/Beer: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/Liquidretro

Find all my social media at https://linktr.ee/liquidretro

See my Amazon Store with my gear recommendations https://www.amazon.com/shop/liquidretro

 

Pickup the Acebeam E70 Mini from Acebeam Direct at https://shrsl.com/3m7bt and save 10% (on any Acebeam) with the code “Liq10”

Or get it on Amazon at https://amzn.to/3AUDYrF

Package & Accessories

The E70 Mini arrived in a white retail package with a clear window showing the light inside. Pretty minimal info on the package, but it is surprisingly compact. Inside the accessories and extras included, a 3100mAh button top protected 18650 battery with onboard USB-C charging, Short USB-A to USB-C charging cable, Acebeam Lanyard, spare o-rings, warranty card, and manual. 

 

Construction & Design

The E70 Mini for all intents and purposes a scaled-down version of its larger brother the E70 with a few minor exterior changes. For now, it’s available in aluminum that’s anodized matte black. It’s a premium feeling of anodizing, and the inner tube is the same blue aluminum we have seen on other E70 versions and the RX Ryder. I would expect to see different colors or materials of the E70 Mini at some time but for now just aluminum.

 

The tail features the same style of a flat metal button over the eswitch, it has a shiny finish that matches the clip well and is probably made of stainless steel like the clip. It has some interesting mounting options at the rear I will cover a bit later in the review. The light will tailstand too but it’s not magnetic.

The body tube has the same milled pattern as the E70, with a similar inner liner of blue aluminum and at the top 6 slots for 1 x 6mm tritium tubes, where the head has slots for 6 more. Threads on the body are square cut, and anodized. Inside you can see the spring at the tail, and head. Longer batteries or protected batteries are required, here, unprotected flat top 18650s are just too short to make contact. The bezel on the head is made from the same steel as the clip and rear switch. It has a crenulated bezel but it’s not sharp. The bezel does unscrew pretty easily too which should make maybe dedoming those LEDs (A popular thing to do with the Nichia 519s) possible without too much effort. The TIR optic sits behind an anti-reflective coated piece of glass with an o’ring keeping everything watertight.

 

Retention

The rear of the light has 3 wing like parts spaced out evenly around the light, and each is unique, you have the stock clip that comes on the light, with spacing that’s slightly wider than the more standard “Steel Flame” style clip, but to the left, there are threaded holes that fit the standard “Steel Flame” sizing, and then the third has larger unthreaded holes for the lanyard. 

The clip itself is stamped steel but slightly curved and uses a milled piece to make it stand out a bit. I found this to be a fantastic clip. It reminded me more of a custom light with this clip than a production light. It carries pretty deeply in the pocket too. I like the glossy finish here, it seems to almost take on a little color with oils from your hands. I carried this around the 4th of July holiday and found it to be nice and secure in shorts. 

 

Size & Weight

I measured the length at 111.34mm in length, 25.96mm at the head, and 23.39mm at the body. Weight with the Acebeam battery and clip installed came in at 124.8g or 4.4oz. It’s impact resistant to 1M and water-rated to IP68 (2 Meters). Here are a few photos of similar sized or spec’d lights that I have in my collection. 

 

LED & Beam

As mentioned the E70 Mini is using the latest LED from Nichia the 519a. This LED has quickly gained a cult-like following over on /r/flashlight and on the BLF forums because of its great neutral tint, that leans to the rosy side of things and high CRI. With my Opple meter, I measured 4973k and 97 CRI. The DUV of the light is very neutral as you can see. It’s the most neural emitter I have seen in a production light this year for sure. No PWM was observed either.

The TIR optic here produces a large even hotspot with basically no spill. It’s in that middle ground between thrower and flood, good for EDC type users, and the optic does a good job of diffusing that there are 3 LEDs here. I will be interested to see if people dedoam the light as that show make it throw a bit more, and rosy up the tint. I measured the parasitic draw at 72.1µA.

 

Outputs

I measured outputs in my Texas Ace PVC Lumen tube and came a bit short in most of the categories, but everything was within 80% of the claimed lumens after 30 seconds.

 

Heat & Runtime

I tested my runtimes with the optional 3100mAh Acebeam battery. Turbo was good for right at a minute before stepping down to around 500 lumens. The heat peaked at 57C (135F) at the 1:15 minute mark, so this is mostly a thermal-based step-down. You can trigger turbo manually again and I did this during filming some night shots a few times and the light did get hot enough where it was too hot to hold. Running from turbo after the initial step down is pretty flat for 1:45:00 then gradual step downs for another 45 minutes till it shuts off.  

I did runtime measurements for Turbo, High, Mide 2 and Mid1 as well and plotted them all on one graph here. Turbo and High give the same total runtime which was a little bit of a surprise. Mid 2 was good for 3:51:00, and Mid1 shut off just shy of 8 hours. 

 

UI

The UI here is as far as I can tell the same as what was in the full-size E70. It’s a little different from other lights but easy enough to understand once you know you have to double press to turn on and it’s this element that builds safety into not turning on accidentally. 

 

To turn the light on you can double press the tail switch to turn the light on in low, the light does have a memory so if it’s recent it will turn on in the last mode used excluding turbo. Once on, long press and hold to advance into the 4 available modes. Double press to turbo, triple to strobe. The light also has moonlight mode which you can access from off by long pressing, as well as lockout. Lastly, to turn off it’s a simple quick press to turn off.

 

Recharging

The Acebeam E70 Mini doesn’t have onboard USB charging. Instead, it has an optional Acebeam battery with onboard USB-C charging on its side. I had no issues charging via USB-C PD, or C to C cables on a variety of chargers. The battery is a 3100mAh button-top protected cell that I measured at 3049mAh in my Vapcell S4 Plus charger. 

I measured LVP of the cell at 2.931V and charged the battery to full at 4.131V in 3:02:00. Charging curve looked good and the battery charged at an average of around 1A, definitely on the conservative side. The battery does seem to have a powerbank feature, that I can charge my Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra with. With a meter and load, I was able to pull 2A without a problem. 

 

Final Thoughts

I had a positive review of the Acebeam E70, mine was in brass and has the High CRI LED, but it was too big and heavy for a front pocket EDC for me. The E70 Mini solves that problem, with the smaller size it still fits nicely into my hands, but the smaller diameter and lighter weight make it much more carryable. It’s still not a small 18650 light with its dual-wall construction but it’s a lot more doable. 

The best part for me might be the LEDs and beam pattern. The Nichia 519a LEDs live up to the hype for me. I have done LED Swaps on one of my Reylight LANs and a Reylight Pineapple Mini in Timascus where I dedomed it too and the result is just a pretty much perfect tint in my opinion. If you are a tint snob it’s a fantastic LED. It’s not the brightest LED available but it produces one of the best quality light/tints in my opinion right now. The TIR optic makes for a very usable beam too.

It’s not perfect, the UI here with the long press to turn on takes getting used to but it’s really only that small change. It’s not ideal in my opinion but it does provide extra protection so that it won’t come on accidentally in your pocket. It also doesn’t accept flat top unprotected batteries which I happen to have a fair number of. I do wish turbo lasted a bit longer before stepping down on its own too without retriggering, and the markings on the light don’t line up with the clip on my light. I do really like how they put some markings inside the battery tube to hide them.

This is probably going to be my new pick for someone wanting to spend between $50-100 on a 18650 sized flashlight with a tail eswitch, especially if LED and Tint is important to them. While there are cheaper ways to try a Nichia 519a LED this would be a great way to get into one with a great light around it. 

Pickup the Acebeam E70 Mini from Acebeam Direct at https://shrsl.com/3m7bt and save 10% (on any Acebeam) with the code “Liq10”

Or get it on Amazon at https://amzn.to/3AUDYrF

Wuben X-0 Knight Review (EDC, LH351D, Kickstarter Preorder)

Wuben has a new EDC light they are currently offering via Kickstarter. It’s the X-0 Knight and it’s a twist on the right-angle light we typically think of in headlights but this time around more focused for EDC. It’s a modern design and a big chunky boi. Thanks to Wuben for sending this to me, if you are interested I will have a link to the Kickstarter preorder in the description below. The Kickstarter will be running through July 16th 2022.

 

Watch this review on YouTube: 

Follow me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/liquidretro/ 

Join the Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/LiquidretroReviews/ 

Follow me on TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@liquidretro1

Enjoy this review? Buy me a Coffee/Beer: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/Liquidretro

Find all my social media at https://linktr.ee/liquidretro

See my Amazon Store with my gear recommendations https://www.amazon.com/shop/liquidretro

 

Check out the Wuben X-0 Knight on Kickstarter at https://bit.ly/39vySXB

 

Packaging & Accessories

This is a preproduction sample and really only came with a charging cable and spare orings. The clip and battery are preinstalled. The packaging and accessories will be different in the production version.

 

Construction & Design

The Wuben Knight is a twist on the right angle we more commonly see on headlamps. It has sharper, hard angles to it that to me are modern. They have 4 color options, the Black and white versions are made from aluminum with the black being normal hard anodized and the white being what they call Micro Arc Oxidations which is what I have. I thought this was a Cerakote finish at first and it has a silver tint to it. The other dark gray and Green are both made from titanium. The green is my favorite because it has a circuit board pattern anodized into it. 

The top has an operating and battery status indicator as well as a metal cover that acts as the USB-C port cover and the switch pad. It’s an interesting design, and while it doesn’t offer much water protection for the port, the port itself is waterproof. I will note, that because of this design using lockout is a must as this large switch is easy to press when carried. The hinged lid for lack of a better word is magnetically attracted. There are 2 sprung brass-colored magnets that it rests on. There was definitely some engineering that went into this. I will talk about the pocket clip in the retentions section and the lens in the LED section.

The body also features 4 milled slots and 2 on top, for 6mm x 1mm tritium slots if that’s your thing. At the bottom is the round magnetic cap. This is a strong magnet and has no trouble holding the light up. It does unscrew but they have chosen to make it a little difficult. I ended up using an adjustable jewelry wrench to get it open. Once unscrewed you can replace the 18350 battery inside.  

 

Retention

The W0 Knight is designed to be an EDC light and comes with a milled aluminum pocket clip preinstalled. It was quite close to the body and retention was good, however, I bent it pretty easily pulling it out of my pocket one day. It’s just slight and something I could probably fix if I removed the Torx screws and rebent it. It’s a reasonably deep clip but still kind of a chunky carry in the pocket due to the diameter here. The tail is magnetic here as well. There are milling marks in the clip, not sure if those will be tumbled out in production or not.

Using lockout is an absolute must if you’re going to EDC this in the pocket. When carried the lens is facing your pants, and it’s very easy to turn on with the large loose paddle over the switch. This will burn holes in people’s shorts and pants if you’re not careful. You can lock and unlock with 4 quick clicks. 

 

Size & Weight

I measured the length at 57mm, width at 33mm (From clip to lens), and depth at 24mm. I measured the weight at 2.94oz with clip and battery. The light is IP68 water rated. Important here to say that it’s the port itself is water-rated due to the construction. Here are a few comparisons with lights that I have that are most similar. 

 

LED & Beam

The Wuben X-0 Knight has 2 LED options, an Osram P9 LED, and a Samsung LH351D which I believe I have. I tested the light with my Opple meter saw 4950k tint with a CRI of 96. It’s a pleasant neutral white and the TIR optic is good for EDC tasks because you get that hot spot for a bit of throw, but also get a significant amount of flood while in a compact package. Mode Spacing here is reasonable from the moon at 1 lumen, to high at 250. However, Turbo is a huge jump up to 900 lumens. To the eye, it’s not as big as it seems but it’s still big. There was no PWM detected.

 

Output Measurements

Heat & Runtime

Turbo on the LH351D was good for right about 50 seconds before it reached it’s normal output around a measured 200 lumens. This lasted out to 2:15:00 which isn’t too bad for a 1100mAh battery. I did another runtime test comparing Turbo, to High, and Medium. Runtimes are expected with less bright modes being more efficient. The heat peaked around 35C which is just above body temperature so comfortable to hold in the hand.

 

UI

Default UI is pretty similar to many other flashlights. From off a quick press turns the light on in the last mode used, and then long-pressing causes the light to cycle in from moon to low to med to high. Double press to go to turbo. Direct to low can be accessed by long pressing when off. To get to strobe just double click when the light is off or on turbo. 

There is also a programable mode where you can slightly adjust the outputs of each mode, however, the manual only told about this and not actually how to do this. I presume they will fix this before the Kickstarters ship.

Locking is critical in this light and is easy to use, click four times quickly from off to lock and again do this to unlock.

 

Recharging

Recharging is done via the USB-C port on the top. It’s a semi-exposed port but has been waterproofed although debris could be a problem. The total charging time of the 1100mAh 18350 battery was 1:33:00 with a total charging rate right at 1A.

I will note here again that the battery is removable but tools are required to do so. I used a watch wrench but I think a pair of snap ring pliers would work but your chance of scratching would be much higher. It would be nice if Wuben included a simple tool here to help, or changed the milling in the bottom of the light so that you could use a coin. 

 

Final Thoughts

The Wuben X-0 Knight is advertised primarily as an EDC light. While most people think of right-angle lights more as headlamps they work pretty well as EDC too. For me this is probably a little bulkier than I want to carry with shorts on due to its diameter at least with shorts on. 

 

That said I think this is a unique design. I like the exterior look myself, and I like it’s being offered from the beginning with different colors and materials. It’s great they are offering it a neutral white and what appears to be a high CRI LED. I will again remind you if you pocket carry this please use lockout (4 fast clicks) or you have a strong risk of melted pockets)

I do think it would be great to see a small headstrap included so you could use it as a headlamp if you wanted. I do think some type of wrench should be included to help open the tail cap to change the battery out, otherwise, you really need a tool here to help you. 

One small note here is this is being offered as a Kickstarter preorder. Call me old-fashioned but I still think of Kickstarter as a way for small companies to get funding to turn around and make their first product. Wuben is a midsized flashlight manufacturer, well established for many years now. They don’t exactly fit the mold for a startup company, but they are not alone in using Kickstarter as a marketing platform. It seems to be the standard these days. The project has exceeded it’s funding goal so the risk of not getting your light should be minimal.

So some interesting design choices on this one make the exterior kind of unique but the inside seems to be a pretty solid EDC offering if the diameter isn’t an issue for you. Let me know what you think of it in the comments below.

 

Check out the Wuben X-0 Knight on Kickstarter at https://bit.ly/39vySXB

Thrunite Archer Mini Review (400 Lumens, SST20, USB-C, Value)

For today’s review let’s look at the new Thrunite Archer Mini, an AAA-sized light with a tail switch, sealed 10400 lithium ion battery, and integrated charging. Thanks to Thrunite for sending this to me to take a look at with you. 

 

Watch this review on YouTube: 

Follow me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/liquidretro/ 

Join the Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/LiquidretroReviews/ 

Follow me on TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@liquidretro1

Enjoy this review? Buy me a Coffee/Beer: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/Liquidretro

 

Pickup the Thrunite Archer Mini on Amazon at https://amzn.to/3MlIJwK

 

Packaging & Accessories

Here is the packaging it’s just a thin white box with a pull-out plastic tray. The only accessories that come with the light are the pocket clip, USB-A to C charging cable, and manual. The battery is preinstalled and sealed (nonreplaceable).

 

Construction and Design

This is a simple flashlight in terms of design. It looks like the head or tail might unscrew but they are sealed. The light is smooth with no knurling or grip, to be honest, I don’t miss it here. The eswitch in the tail does stand proud and this can cause some accidental activations in the pocket so you will want to use lockout.

The head of the light unscrews enough to expose the USB-C charging port and LED indicator light. It’s a captured design so it doesn’t screw off entirely. There is a retention ring that can be unscrewed on the front of the light to remove the TIR optic and expose the LED.

 

Retention & Carry

The light features a snap on dual direction pocket clip that fits only in the tail position. It carries in the pocket deeply. I will note that with the raised and exposed button, I had issues with this light coming on in my front pocket unintentionally fairly frequently if the light was not in lockout mode. The good news is lockout is easy to access by just holding the button while the light is on until it shuts off and blinks twice. There is also a lanyard in the package if you wish to use it.

 

Size & Weight

I measured the length of this light at 83mm, diameter at the minimum on the body at 14mm, and maximum diameter on the head at 17.2mm. Weight with the battery and clip came in at 35.9g just 1.26oz. The light is IPX8 water-rated and drop rated to 1.5M. 

 

LED & Beam

The Archer mini is using an SST20 LED with a TIR Optic. I measured the tint at 5594 CCT on my Opple meter and a RA (CRI) of 63. So surprisingly on the cool side of neutral white. However, the LED does have a tint that’s pretty green, especially on lower output modes, a known characteristic of the SST20. The beam is a pleasant chape out of the TIR optic, good for the range of tasks this light will be doing. There is a very minimal amount of PWM here on low, and none on high.

 

Output Table

Heat & Runtime

I did my runtime tests with the internal 320mAh battery. Turbo stayed near the rated number just shy of 3 minutes before stepping down to 150 lumen output for 50 minutes and then stepping down to zero for a full runtime of 1:07:00. Heat during this time peaked at about 31C.

I also did a comparison with high vs low modes. As you would expect low at only 20 lumens lasts a considerable amount of time 8:26:00 and is very consistent. 

 

UI

The UI here is very simple but different from what I have seen on most other lights. It’s a 2 mode light and from off a single quick press turns the light on in low, to get to High, you just double press while on or from off. To step down to low from high you have to shut the light off and start from the beginning. While on if you long-press when turning it off, the light will go to lockout mode without a visual indicator. So for me, this is frustrating, only because it’s not how I expect the light to use. Most people won’t have an issue with this. 

 

Recharging

The Archer Mini has onboard USB-C charging that can be found, after partially unscrewing the captured head of the light. Underneath you will see the charging port, and a small LED opposite it to give charging status when recharging. It stays red when charging, and goes blue when charged. The light charges with no issue via C to C cables as well.

Recharging the sealed 320mAh 10400 battery from when the light shuts off to full took 1:06:00 at a maximum speed of 0.32A, so right at a 1C charging speed. The light will operate while charging.

 

Final Thoughts

It’s good to see something different than just a traditional AAA style light. I like Thrunite has chosen to conceal the USB-C charging port here as it is more secure than a more traditional silicone cover. That said it’s a sealed design so you can’t replace the internal 10400 battery, or use Alkaline/NiMH batteries in a pinch which is nice thing to have for a light this size. 

The LED here is just slightly cool white, but with a pretty strong green tinge. The beam pattern with the TIR is good. I find the user interface here to be a little frustrating, just because it’s different than 99% of the other flashlights I own and test. This has gotten better the more I use it, and it’s an issue most people won’t have. I think it’s pretty well thought out but for me will take more practice. 

It’s pretty affordable for everything it brings, but this isn’t going to be the light I reach for when I want a AAA sized light, just because of the UI and LED tint. That’s not to say this is a bad light, it’s just not something that’s currently going to displace others from my pocket with more traditional UI’.