Amutorch XT60 NB90.16

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Amutorch XT60 NB90.16 review: flashlight test

Amutorch XT60 NB90.16 specifications

Brand & ModelAmutorch XT60 NB90.16
LEDNB90.16
Lumens11,600 Lumens
Beam intensity?
Battery config.1*21700
Onboard chargingN/A
Modes4
BlinkiesStrobe
ReflectorOP
WaterproofIPX8
Review publication dateJuly 2022

Introduction:

Amutorch is one of those slightly obscure brands kept afloat by a relatively small portion of  the enthusiast market. That’s kind of unfortunate since my experience with the affordable long-throw Amutorch DM90 was positive and I found it to be a solid performer (with a nice buck driver on board). Also known as Linyi High-tech Zone Amu Lighting Equipment Factory, they make interesting flashlights that are definitely skewed towards enthusiasts, and they’re primarily sold through Amutorchs’ website and every enthusiast’s favorite purveyor of flashlight-y goodness, Nealsgadets. A huge shout out to Neal since he sent me a couple of Amutorches to test on, the XT45 and XT60, so I’ll be taking a look at each in a separate review. The subject of this review is the Amutorch XT60. The XT60 is a compact thrower (think Noctigon K1), and has hosted a few popular LEDs over its lifespan, but none are as remarkable as this one, because this XT60 is rocking a pretty special LED: The new NB90.16. How does 10,000+ Lumens from a single LED sound? Interested? Read on for more

Package quality.

Like Convoy and Neal’s in-house brands Nightwatch, the XT45 NB90.16 came in a plain cardboard box, but unlike the ultra-cheap, barely adequate packing on some other lights, this one spent the extra 5 dollars for the upgraded luxo-suite. It’s more akin to something from Thrunite with a lift-off top and sturdy construction. There’s microcell foam cut to fit the light, and a slot for the accessories.

  • Amutorch XT60 NB90.16 flashlight
  • Lanyard
  • Container of silicone paste
  • Spare o-ring
  • Rubber tactical grip ring

Overall, this is a nice surprise and is only missing a battery to be truly ready-to-use. The lanyard is adjustable, with a locking cinch. Nice.

Flashlight in use

This is a compact pocket thrower flashlight, roughly compared size-wise to the Noctogon K1. You’d use it anywhere a mid to long-range thrower would be useful: Long-range surveying, observing, or searching, night walks, general purpose tasks. It’s a bit big for an EDC, but it would ride fine in a jacket or cargo pants pocket. You can affix the tactical grip ring by removing the tailcap and sliding it on, but it’s way too small, and didn’t clear the first ridge after the o-ring so the tailcap didn’t screw on all the way.

Handling is simple. The 21700-size battery tube always fits my (and lots of other folks) hands nicely, with good control and positive grip in all hand positions. Despite the large head and short body, the light is nicely balanced as well, and seems like it should be heavier, but is pretty light.

There’s a single e-switch behind the head, and it looks strikingly similar to the one used on the Amutorch DM90, except the switch boot isn’t transparent, so there is no LVP or battery status on the Amutorch XT60. The rubber boot protrudes nicely and has a stainless bezel. It’s easy to find by feel in the dark as well, but I’d like to see an indicator of some kind at least. Oh well. The clicks are nice and snappy with good feel and just the right amount of pressure to actuate the switch. Tail standing is solid, but don’t count on it to stay put on an incline since there’s no anti-roll features. You could use the tactical grip ring, but that renders the light useless. The tailcap has a couple holes for mounting the lanyard, and they’re big enough for it to pass through! Thanks Amutorch!

Build Quality, and Warranty

The Amutorch XT60 is not Acebeam, Olight, or Fenix quality, but I’d say it’s acceptable or adequate at best. For pricing, the NB90.16 version sells for about $75 US without a battery, which seems a bit steep, but this is a pretty special flashlight, and it’s cheaper than the dimmer, but longer-throwing SBT90.2 version. 

The light is milled from “aeronautical aluminum alloy” so probably A6061-T6. The machining seems adequate, but overall the quality is not befitting of the price. There’s some imperfections on the bare part of the battery tube, but the rest of the machining is fine. There’s no sharp edges, and the part fit-up is good. The stainless bezel is nicely finished as well and the laser engraved text and silkscreening is sharp and precise. The finish is a nice matte black, and the anodizing is advertised as “Military regulations oxidation super-abrasion resistance.” I have no idea what that means, so it’s plausibly type III HA? The finish on the Amutorch XT60 is quite a bit better than the Amutorch XT45 with a more evenly applied finish. However, it has the same issue with the tailcap being a different finish of black, and the same splotches of errant sealant or something in random places. I cleaned it up with isopropyl alcohol, but there’s still an obvious difference between the tailcap’s shade of black, and the rest of the body.

You can completely disassemble the light. unscrewing the bezel gives access to that humongous LED. The threads on both ends of the battery tube are sturdy, fully anodized rectangular cut units, and while not the smoothest or most-lubed I’ve encountered, were…adequately smooth. There’s two o-rings sealing the battery tube, one sealing the bezel, and one behind the lens, and minus an external charge port, this all adds up to IPX8 ingress-resistance, so waterproof to 2 meters depth.

There’s a fairly thick single spring press-fit into the tailcap. It’s supposedly a high-current BeCu spring, and it is nonmagnetic. It needs to be to handle the huge current this will pull. 
Warranty? From Amutorch.com:1 year warranty–AMUTORCH offers free warranty work if the problem is caused by normal usage within 1 year after receipt. Lifetime warranty – For the life of your light, repairs will be made with no labor chargers and as long as parts are available from AMUTORCH. You will be charged for the parts needed to repair your light. Following situations are excluded from warranty–Damage caused by unproper disassemblement, modification and unproper usage is excluded from warranty. Battery is excluded from warranty. If the battery doesn’t work upon receipt, it could be replaced. Accessories come along with flashlight such as lanyards, bag, o-ring, etc. are not covered by the warranty. Not the greatest or most robust, but it will get you down the road.

LED, Lens, Bezel, Beam, and Reflector

You can get the XT60 in several LEDs including the SBT90.2. This one has the mysterious NB90.16 LED, and I say mysterious because if you were to go out looking for information on this LED, you will come up short. No data sheets, no specs, nada. However, it bears a striking resemblance to the more familiar SFH55 LED, and could be made by the same manufacturer, who sells it to third parties who summarily stick their own designation on it. Either way, this is a domeless, CSP type 11×11 mm footprint LED, the same as the SBT90.2. It’s a 3-volt LED, so it will fit on SBT90 MCPCBs without modification. The LES is made up of 16 individual dies arranged together on the substrate in a 4×4 pattern arranged symmetrically. Expect this LED to pull huge amps with the low Vf.

The tint is advertised at 6000K and the Opple Lightmaster Pro has the tint on Turbo coming in quite a bit higher than that at 8090K and 66.8 Ra. Duv is 0.0047, so pretty close to the BBL.
The reflector is an OP (textured) and 60 mm wide and pretty deep. It has a 11 mm wide opening at the base for the huge NB90.16 LED. A thin gasket isolates and centers the LED in the refletor, and unlike the XT45, this time the LED is perfectly centered. The lens is a hardened mineral glass unit with a nice green AR coating, which should tone down the greens a bit since these LEDs tend to be a bit green at low currents. The bezel is a very nicely finished polished 304 stainless unit. No crenulations this time, but the lens is set back a good 4 mm for protection from drops. The beam consists of a nicely diffuse very large hotspot surrounded by bright spill. It’s a bit more focused than the smaller XT45, so it has more reach. The OP reflector does a good job of smoothing out any irregularities caused by the non-homogenous LES, and the tint distribution is very good with minimal corona and no artifacts in the beam. White wall hunters would be pleased since the tint isn’t bad, and I prefer it to the bluer tint or green tint of some other thrower LEDs.

Dimensions and size comparison

Dimensions: 

Amutorch XT60 NB90.16 DimensionMillimetersInches
Length:1505.90
Head diameter:62.52.46
Body diameter:261.02

Weight

Amutorch XT60 NB90.16 WeightGramsOz.
Without battery:229 grams8.1
With Molicel P42A 21700:29510.4

Amutorch XT60 competition

Group 1 left to right: Nightwatch NI03 Valkyrie, Amutorch XT60 NB90.16, Amutorch XT45 NB90.16, Lumintop D3

Group 2 left to right: Amutorch XT60 NB90.16, Amutorch DM90, Amutorch XT45 NB90.16

Group 3 left to right: Convoy L21B, Amutorch XT60 NB90.16

Group 4 top to bottom: Amutorch XT60 NB90.16, Amutorch XT45 NB90.16

Driver & User Interface:

I don’t know what kind of driver is hiding behind the head, but it looks like a dual-sided board with a copper button in place of a spring on the positive end.

The UI seems to be Amutorch’s corporate UI, since it’s featured on the XT45 NB90.16 and the DM90. It’s 4 regular stepped modes plus Turbo and a single hidden Strobe by default. There is also a smooth ramping function, but it’s a bit quirky and weirdly-implemented though.

Available modes:

  • Stepped ramping Low, Mid, High Turbo,

Blinky modes:

  • Strobe with optional Smooth Ramping mode

From OFF:

  • Single click: Turns on in Stepped Ramp Mode
  • Click and hold: Turns on in Smooth Ramp Mode
  • Double click: Turbo
  • Triple click: Strobe

From ON:

  • Single click In Smooth Ramp Mode: Turns off
  • Single click In Stepped Ramp Mode: Changes modes L-M-H-L
  • Click and hold In Stepped Ramp Mode: Ramps brightness up. Releasing and pressing and holding again ramps down.
  • Double click: Turbo
  • Triple click: Strobe

Mode memory

  • Yes, and each mode set has its own memory, and starts in its respective last mode when activated. Turbo and Strobe are not memorized.

Shortcuts:

  • Double click for Turbo
  • Triple click for Strobe

Low voltage warning:

Strobe/blinkies

  • Strobe

Lock-out mode: 

  • Yes, electronic lockout accessed by 5 clicks from off. The light will blink in a very low mode when the switch is pressed. Repeat to unlock. The light will blink to acknowledge.

PWM

Additional info on the UI: 

  • Like the XT45 NB90.16, the mode spacing on the XT60 is a complete joke. The ramping, well, it works, but needs some work especially in the ramp speed. It only works when activating the light from off, and the ramping is a bit slow and not very linear. The ramp top and bottom are indicated by a slow double blink. Also, the ramp mode and stepped mode memories don’t commingle. It will start in whatever mode was last used with the smooth ramping or the stepped ramping modes. Starting in a stepped mode will default to the last-used stepped mode, and vice versa with the smooth ramping. I think this could be good or bad, but a nice feature. There’s no LVP specified, and the switch doesn’t have the indicator LED the DM90 had. We’ll see how it goes in the runtime test.

Batteries & Charging

The XT series are designed around a single 21700 lithium-ion cell. No battery was included with the light, although Neal and Amutorch offers them (and a charger) as an add-on. There’s no onboard charging either, so you will need a li-ion charger. You’re pretty much limited to flat or button top unprotected batteries. I tried some long 21700s with protection circuits and they were way too long. Protected batteries could work, but Turbo could be inaccessible. You’re going to need a high CDR battery for this light, one that can do at least 30-40 amps, so Samsung 40T, 30T, Sony VT6A, and Molicel P42A. You can use a weaker cell, but Turbo mode output will be drastically reduced.

Performance test

Lumen measurements:

Lumens are measured using my home made 50 cm integrating sphere, and I use a Digi-Sense 20250-00 datalogging luxmeter. The sphere has been calibrated using many lights of known output and is accurate within 10% of actual output. All measurements taken at 30 seconds using a fully charged Samsung 30T 3000 mAh battery. Amps were measured with my Radioshack T-RMS multimeter with 14 gauge wires in the meter and higher currents with my FY219 clamp meter and a loop of 12 gauge wire.

ModeAmps at StartSpecsLumens @turn onLumens @30 secLumens @10 minutes
Low500 mA410378378
Medium960 mA760730714714
High2.9 A200018921876 lm1843
Turbo33 A11,60099609130 lm1826 lm

Parasitic drain:

  • 2.1 µA

Runtime graph

Runtimes were measured in my home made 50 cm integrating sphere. I use a Digi-Sense 20250-00 datalogging luxmeter. The sphere has been calibrated with many lights of known output and is within 10% of actual output. I used a Molicel P42A 4200 mAh battery for each test. I tested Medium, High, and Turbo modes.

ModeSpecified runtimeMeasured runtime (ANSI)Time till shut off
Low5h 30min
Medium3h3h 26min3h 26min
High1h 12min1h 6min1h 6min
Turbo*1h 10min1h 30min1h 30min

That NB90.16 LED is a powerful brute. Although it’s not technically a single LED, 32 A is a lot for a small host (almost 100 watts). It does step down to 2.65 A (roughly High mode) after 45 seconds due to thermal throttling, but can be reactivated. The lower modes are much more tame. We’re getting nice, flat current regulated plots with excellent sustainability and decent output. The larger host can dissipate more energy and hold higher output than the smaller XT45, so the sustained output figures are a bit higher. The light was usable after each test, and the battery discharged to 3.0 to 2.8 volts each test. The temps were very manageable with the peak never going over 65 C and staying between 55 and 60 C for each test. 

ANSI FL1 standards: The runtime is measured until the light drops to 10% of its initial output (30 seconds after turning on). This does not mean that the flashlight is not usable anymore. The last column shows how long the light actually works till it shuts off. If there is a + symbol, it means that the test was stopped at that particular point, but the light was actually still running. This happens on certain occasions, with certain drivers, firmware, or batteries.

Throw numbers: Peak beam intensity 

Throw was measured indoors at 5 meters using the Uni-T UT383S luxmeter. Measurements taken at 30 seconds. I used a fully charged Samsung 30T 3000 mAh battery for this test. (rounded numbers in meters)

ModeSpecsCandela measured MetersYards
Low?190087.1795.33
Medium?12,125220241
High?31,000352385
Turbo?157,175 cd793867

Amutorch only lists a single throw measurement, 865 meters, probably the Turbo figure. By the 30 second measurement point, the output had just started dropping, but at startup, I got 168,600 cd for 821.2 meters of throw. Very impressive for such a huge LED and it’s using sheer luminous flux to propel those photons.

Extra info: Peak beam distance according to ANSI FL1 standards: The calculated value of distance in meters at which the flashlight produces a light intensity of 0.25 lux. (0.25 lux is about the brightness of a full moon shining on an object).

Beamshots

I compared the XT60 NB90.16 to some other high-output lights. The fence is 40 meters distant.

  • Amutorch XT45 NB90.16
  • Thrunite TN50
  • Sofirn SP36 Pro
  • Astrolux MF01 MIni
  • Nightwatch NI03 Valkyrie
  • Lumintop D3
  • Astrolux FT02S
  • Imalent R30C.

Disclaimer: This flashlight was sent to me for review at no cost by Nealsgadgets. I have not been paid to review, nor have I been holding back on problems or defects.

Final Verdict

Pros

  1. Simple UI
  2. Versatile beam
  3. Lots of throw for a large LED
  4. Fully regulated output on all modes
  5. Buck driver
  6. Decent tint
  7. Solidly built

Cons

  1. Crazy output is very brief (fast step down)
  2. Smooth ramping needs work
  3. Some anodization issues
  4. No onboard charging?

Explanation on star ratings:

1: Avoid: my phone flashlight would be a better choice – 2: Poor: significant defect or issues; almost unusable – 3: Average: some defects or issues; but still usable 4: Good: recommended (minor issues) – 5: Great: highly recommended

Reviewer Nick
Author: Nick

4.5 stars: ★★★★⋆

Okay, the XT60. Since its debut, this host has been graced with the hottest LEDs on the market: The Luminus SBT90.2, SST40, SFT-40-W and the NB90.16. Wait, NB90.16? What’s that? Now, although this LED is a bit mysterious (and probably moonlights as the SFH55), what isn’t mysterious is the output it’s capable of. Even driving it at 32 amps isn’t really pushing it too hard, and that’s around 10,000 Lumens. Pretty incredible. Now put that LED into a Noctogon K1- size host and you’ve got a crazy, somewhat-pocketable flashlight capable of 10,000 Lumens and 150,000+ cd. If I were rating it on the crazy factor alone, I’d give it 5 stars and call it a day, but I’m not. I like the compact size, the decent construction and handling, and the unique UI is useful (just keep it in stepped ramping, don’t mind the “low” mode). The beam is nice as well, and even though it’s very white, it’s not bad (remember, this is a thrower). I didn’t experience the same quality issues I did with the smaller sibling XT45, so that’s nice. The output is awesome, but the step down is pretty quick, so be prepared for that (you can reactivate Turbo after the step down though). Even though I’m not too annoyed with this, I’d like to see it have onboard charging, since all the competition has it (to be fair, the DM90 didn’t have it), but I get it. There aren’t too many lights out there this size that can do what the Amutorch XT60 NB90.16 can do, thanks to that incredible LED, fully regulated driver, it’s a decent performer. 4.5 stars for the XT60 NB90.16

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