Astrolux FT01 review
Table of contents
Banggood’s home brand Astrolux has a lineup of some very interesting flashlights. Besides the Astrolux MF04 they sport some smaller lights like the S43, S41 to name a few. The FT01 is rather unique in this regard, as it’s one of the first Astrolux flashlights that uses a 21700 battery. You know, the ones that are used in Tesla cars.
What you’ll get:
- Astrolux FT01 flashlight
- Carton box
- Spare O-ring
|4 Cree XHP50.2
Handling of the light
My preference has gone out to the thickness of a 3AAA battery tube or a 26650 battery tube, because of the ideal diameter to fit my hands. This being a 21700 type flashlight it feels nicer than a 18650 in comparison to it’s length. The power switch is in the tailcap, while the side switch is used for changing modes. So you can change modes while holding it in the palm of your hand, and at the same time you can power it off with the main switch, so it doesn’t have parasitic drain….. fortunately. This type of flashlight fits right into the Tactical flashlight category.
- Yes, it does
Build Quality, Prints and Anodizing
Although Astrolux once started on the budget side of the spectrum, it hasn’t stayed there for very long. It is now a very well-established flashlight brand. All parts fit very nicely and are not wobbly. The FT01 is definitely worth the money looking at the way it is machined and put together. The prints on the flashlight are rather thin and not very clear. Take a look at the picture below. You can see that the text isn’t particularly clear. The color is supposed to be grey/silver, but when I’m holding it looks more champagne.
Threads and O-rings
The Astrolux FT01 is built in 3 main parts; the head, body, and tail. The body (battery tube) has threads on either side. The threads towards the tailcap are actually anodized, while the ones towards the head are bare. This has of course a reason. If the tailcap were bare, you would have the light turned on continually.
LED, Lens Bezel and Reflector
This is my first light that sports the CREE XHP50.2 which looks just like a little brother of the XHP70.2. My copy has the Cool White LED, and as far as I can see the FT01 it doesn’t have an NW version nor a WW version.
The reflector is made of aluminum I suppose and has an Orange Peel coating. I can’t get the bezel off by hand, so I can’t really tell for sure. The Lens is clear but I can’t really see any color hue that is usually present on AR coated lenses. So it might be just an ultraclear lens.
The bezel is stainless steel which enhances its looks!
Flashlight manufacturers mainly show dimensions in millimeters.
- Length of the Astrolux FT01: 143 mm
- FT01 head diameter: 37 mm
- Width body : 30 mm
- Weight Astrolux FT01 empty: 192 gr / 0.42 lb.
Size compared to the Convoy C8, Lumintop ODF30, and Convoy T2.
The Astrolux FT01 has a rather simple UI fortunately. The side switch doesn’t do anything without using the tailswitch. It would simply not power on. It will also be possible to just depress the tailswitch to ‘signal’ or morse coding.
- Press and Hold side switch: Strobe, then hold for SOS and then hold to Beacon
- Single click side switch: Moving through the menu, from Low to High
- Double click: Turbo mode
- Triple click: Nothing
When you turn on the light it will not start at Moon, but starts at low, then goes to medium, then high, and THEN it will go to Moon.
Behind the dark translucent switch cover is a mini LED built-in. It is only lit when you charge or when the battery is below 50%. I tried to charge a Jetbeam Hi Amp battery, but it just starts flashing, which is probably not the correct behavior.
You can do a lockout by twisting the body from the tail to break the electric contact but it is not necessary because it uses a mechanical tail cap switch.
I couldn’t detect any by eyes.
Yes, when you turn the light off with the tailcap switch, you can slightly depress the Forward Clicky switch to signal/use morse coding, which is called Momentary On. When you switch it off in Medium mode, that’s the output mode when your turned off the light! So it has Mode Memory
Batteries anc Charging:
Although it is made for the 21700 type battery, a protected Panasonic NCR18650B still worked fine without the little included battery extender. But I can imagine that shorter 18650 batteries wouldn’t fit as well, and you need to use the added battery extender, which is included especially for 18650 batteries. It is a rather tight fit and difficult to get out at times.
TIP: if you want to use the charge function, you have to power the light on with the tailcap switch.. Otherwise, it will just blink. Thanks, BLF member Jerommel for the tip.
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. This time I used the cheap HS1010A lux meter.
Here are my measurements:
Measured indoors at 5 meters:
- HS1010A luxmeter + panasonic NCR18650B : 755lux = 18750 cd (274 meters)
- LX-101 luxmeter + high-drain jetbeam :980lux= 24500 cd (313 meters)
Right on with the manufacturer’s claim of.. 24000cd.
Measured outdoors at 10 meters:
- Hagner E4X luxmeter + Samsung INR21700 40T: 18500 cd (272 meters)
- LX-101 luxmeter + Samsung INR21700 40T: 22600 cd (301 meters)
Interesting, outdoors the lux dropped a bit.
Overall conclusion of the Astrolux FT01
- Rather bright!
- Simple but useful UI that everybody can get used to within a minute!
- One of the first lights using the new 21700 battery size
- No battery included.
- At the time of this review, no other LED tint available.
Overall Rating: Excellent
During testing, the light performed well, and without any problems. The diameter of the body and texture quite pleases me. The only “problem” I see is that with 18650 batteries you have quite a bit of extra room, so you should better buy some 21700 batteries!
Disclaimer: The flashlight was provided by Banggood for review. I do my best to be as unbiased as possible, always!