Astrolux FT02 XHP35-Hi

Astrolux FT02 review

Introduction:

The Astrolux FT02 is a mini thrower and claims to throw 160kcd. Which is about triple the amount of the famous and budget friendly Convoy C8. For its size that is quite a number. Let's find out if the claims are true. I'm curious to see how it stacks up agains the mini GT I reviewed as well.

What you'll get:

  • Astrolux FT02 flashlight
  • Carton box
  • Manual
  • Spare O-ring
  • Lanyard

The FT02 arrived in a classy box. Although higher end lights include cheaper boxes, I'm glad Astrolux just walked the extra mile.  Inside the package it has the basic accessories, a manual, spare o-rings and a lanyard.

Astrolux FT02 white box

Handling of the light

I'm not sure if you are familiar with the 21700 battery, but it's 3mm wider than the 18650 battery. The body of the flashlight has therefore a larger diameter. Some people like the diameter of a 18650 type flashlight, but I prefer the little bit wider 26650 or 21700 type better. It's just a tad thicker than a usual 18650 flashlight.

Unlike the Astrolux FT01, the FT02 has only 1 switch. The switch is located on the side, near the head. So you can operate the FT02 single handed. Later on I will explain how to change modes etc.

Can it tailstand?

  • Yes, definitely.
holding the Astrolux FT02 flashlight

Build Quality, Prints and Anodizing 

Although Astrolux once started as a budget brand, it has rapidly grown into a very affordable yet medium class flashlight manufacturer. The FT02 definitely has some class to it. I couldn't find any problems with its anodizing, nor with the prints or any other parts. The anodizing has a matte finish which makes it look nicer. The side switch is a little recessed so it doesn't active accidentally. All parts fit nice and not wobbly.

Threads and O-rings

The FT02 consists of 3 parts, the head, body and tailcap. The tailcap being just a tailcap without a switch. The threads and O-rings came slightly lubed. In the picture below you can see the double spring in the tailcap for max current!

LED, Lens Bezel and Reflector

The Astrolux FT02 has a CREE XHP35-Hi LED for max throw. This is a 12V LED. Its is powered by a single 21700/20700 or 18650 battery. The driver boosts its Voltage in order to achieve 12Volts.
The bezel seems to be glued as I was unable to unscrew it by hand. The lens, as you can see, has some purple hue which indicates a coating. Typically AR (anti reflective). The LED is very well centered in the middle by a plastic white ring.  The reflector is smooth.

Dimensions:

Measured with a cheap digital caliper.

  • Length of the Astrolux FT02: 155 mm
  • FT02 head diameter: 58.5mm 
  • Width body : 29.8 mm

Weight:

  • Weight Astrolux FT02 empty: 264 gr / 0.58 lb.

Size compared to the BLF GT Mini, Lumintop ODF30 and Zebralight SC700d. From left to right. The FT02 is quite a bit larger than the BLF GT Mini, but at the same time has a larger head and bigger battery tube.

size comparison 4 flashlights

User Interface:

The Astrolux FT02 has a rather simple UI fortunately. Sometimes referred to as stepless dimming or ramping.

From off:

  • Press and Hold side switch: lowest ramping mode (it will not start ramping)
  • Single click side switch: Last memorized output mode
  • Double click: Highest output
  • Three clicks: Battery check
  • Four clicks: Lock out mode
  • Five clicks: Momentary mode: you can do morse coding etc in Highest output mode.
  • Six clicks: The side switch backlight will either start or stop "breathing". Which means the LED will ramp up and down continuously as if it is breathing.

From on:

  • Press and Hold side switch: Ramping up brightness / ramping down brightness
  • Single click side switch: turns off
  • Double click: Highest output
  • Three clicks: Battery check
  • Four clicks: Turns off and goes into lock-out mode.
  • Five clicks: Momentary mode: you can do morse coding etc in Highest output mode.
  • Six clicks: The side switch backlight will either start or stop "breathing". Which means the LED will ramp up and down continuously as if it is breathing.

Moon mode:

There isn't really a moon mode, but a low mode.

Battery Check mode:

When you enter the battery

  • 00-20% = 1 blink
  • 20-40% = 2 blinks
  • 40-60% = 3 blinks
  • 60-80% = 4 blinks
  • 80-100%= 5 blinks

Lock-out mode:

Yes, by doing 4 clicks in either the On or Off position. Another 4 fast clicks to go back to normal usage.

PWM

I couldn't detect any by eyes.

Momentary ON:

Yes.. doing 5 fast clicks in iether the On or Off position. When you click the button or hold the button the light is in Highest output. You have to unscrew the tailcap to go back to normal use again.

Batteries anc Charging:

The Astrolux FT02 can use multiple types of batteries, being 18650, 20700 and 21700. These kind of batteries usually need a special charger, so even though you buy a flashlight for lithium ion batteries, you still have to buy a charger. That is not necessary with the Astrolux FT02, you can charge the batteries with the built-in charge system. It charges at a rate of 0.15Amps, according to my USB Amp meter. Which means that a 4000mAh 21700 battery would take about 30+ hours to charge.. That is a little on the slow side. The battery I tested wasn't empty, so it might charge faster at a lower Voltage. Other reviews pointed out a much higher charge current.... not sure what is going on, but you can see the charger current in the picture.

Using 18650 batteries:

Astrolux included a little adapter for 18650 batteries to fit the 21700 body tube. The white battery adapter gives a 18650 battery just the extra bit of length to make good contact on both negative and positive side. Although my Panasonic batteries and other batteries all worked without the adapter!

Parasitic drain:

The FT02 has some parasitic drain of between 4.10mA and 4.15mA. Which is really high... This would mean that a 4000mAh battery would drain in about 41 days. Calculate: 4000/4.15=995,98 hours divided by 24 hours per day= 41 days.

The same parasitic drain is measured in the Lock-out mode! So that doesn't really help either.

charger with charge current in display

Performance:

Lumens measured in my self-made integrated sphere, calibrated with a Convoy S2+ with a constant 137 lumens out, received from BLF (Budget Light Forums) member Djozz. The LUX meter used is the Hagner E4-X. Measurements are within the first few seconds of startup. The low mode actually increases brightness slowly, but there is no difference between High and Turbo. So the max on ramping mode is the same as double click Turbo mode.

Here are my measurements:

Measured Lumens Manufacturer Lumens
Astrolux FT02 Low 24
Samsung INR21700 4oT High 1808
Samsung INR21700 40T Turbo 1808 2215

Throw:

Measured outdoors at 10 meters with 2 lux meters: Hagner E4-X and Skytronic LX-101.

  • Hagner E4-X luxmeter: battery used: Samsung INR18650 25R : 156200 cd = 156kcd
  • SkyTronic LX-101 luxmeter: battery used: Samsung INR18650 25R : 187600 cd = 188kcd

Banggood has the Astrolux FT02 listed as being 180 000cd. Which is not far off rom the reading on the SkyTronic, but higher than the SkyTronic. This means it is the farthest throwing flashlight running on 1 battery!? If not, let us know!

Runtime:

The runtime was measured using a Samsung INR21700 40T battery, without cooling. High mode dropped to about 60% output within 2 minutes. This continued for about another 50 minutes (about 1100 lumens) when it slowly dropped to about 15 lumens. The light turned off after 10 minutes running on 15 lumens.

Max 1800 lumens: 2 minutes
Output at 60% 1100 lumens: 50 minutes
Output drops slowly to 1% at 15 lumens: 12 minutes
Output at 1% 15 lumens: 10 minutes. 

So it has roughly a 1 hour runtime.

 

Beamshots should be coming this month (January 2019).. or beginning of next (February 2019)

Overall conclusion of the Astrolux FT02

Pros:

  1. 1800 lumens
  2. Simple but useful UI that everybody can get used to within a minute!
  3. One of the first lights using the new 21700 battery size
  4. 180000cd throw, which is quite amazing for the size of light!

Cons

  1. No battery included.
  2. At the time of this review, no other LED tint available.
  3. Built in charger is slow on my sample
  4. High parasitic drain

Author: Marco

Overall Rating: Very Good

During the testing the light has performed well, without any problems. The diameter of the body and texture quite pleases me. The only "problem" I see that with 18650 batteries you have quite a bit of extra room, so you should better buy some 21700 batteries! And the 4.15mA parasitic drain! Because of that, I'd give it a 4 stars.

Disclaimer: The flashlight was provided by Banggood for review. I do my best to be as unbiased as possible, always!

 Where to buy Astrolux-FT02

Astrolux FT02 discount code: BGFT02

Best batteries for the Astrolux FT02