Astrolux FT03S SBT90.2 Review
Once again Astrolux has come out with another new style of light, this time however it adopts a Luminus SBT90.2 emitter which has recently become popular in a new form factor for flashlights, the high output thrower flashlight! Being a thrower lover myself I have been looking forward to a light like this because it brings together the best of both worlds when it comes to flashlights, high lumens AND extreme throw!
What you’ll get:
The light comes packaged in a plain white box with a picture of the flashlight on the cover (which actually looks very good in my opinion). Inside the light is sitting in foam cut to fit which provides extra protection while shipping.
- The Astrolux FT03s flashlight
- 18650 adapter
- 1 spare o ring
- Very nice Anduril user guide with pictures and detailed explanations about the UI
|Brand / Model||Astrolux FT03S|
|Beam intensity||510.000 cd|
|Review date||June 2020|
Handling of the light
First off I wouldn’t call this top notch machining, there are some rough edges especially on the stainless steel bezel although I do think the knurling is well done. On the other hand the size of the light is very nice, it isn’t too big to fit into a coat pocket or even pants pocket if you put it reflector up and in the hand it feels well balanced and in the grand scheme of things it does feel well built. The light can perform a tail stand and has a surprisingly low center of gravity when doing so
Build Quality, knurling, threads, and anodization
As stated in the handling of the light some of the edges of the bezel are borderline “picky” feeling against the skin which isn’t great but it’s not enough to ruin the experience. There is knurling on the handle of the light and it is very well done and provides satisfactory grip even in wet conditions. The threads on both sides of the battery tube have nicely squared off threads that feel nice and smooth, the threads come with the perfect amount of grease. My only gripe with this light is that the anodization doesn’t seem to cover very well in some spots, on the handle and tailcap it is a solid color all the way around but on the head there are some silver spots showing through.
LEDs, Lens, Bezel, and Reflector
The Astrolux FT03S uses a Luminus SBT90.2 LED, there is only 1 tint to choose from which is 5700k but Luminus makes a 6500k version of this emitter so maybe we will see another version in the future? When the light is not on high or turbo modes the tint shifts from a neutral/daylight color to a greenish color which can be displeasing for some. The reflector is a large and deep smooth reflector, even though it’s a smooth reflector there are no visible artifacts in the beam. Speaking of the beam, there is a nice and defined circle for a hotspot, while other throwers have a tight hotspot this light has a moderate sized one due to the large surface area on the emitter. The bezel is made from stainless steel and has small cut outs so you can tell if the light is on when it’s faced down on a table.
- Length: 17cm / 6.6”
- Head diameter: 7cm / 2 ¾”
- Body diameter: 3.5cm / 1.7”
- Empty: 298g / 10.5 oz
- With cells(shockli 26650 30A): 393g / 13.8oz (cell weighs 95g)
Popular flashlights compared
Size compared to other well known flashlights:
Driver & User Interface:
The Astrolux FT03S uses the popular Anduril Firmware. See UI below:
- Press and Hold: flashlight will start to ramp from lowest programmed setting (default is moon)
- Single click: last used memory (excludes any special mode, only remembers last uses spot on ramp cycle)
- Double click: highest ramp set
- Triple click: Battery check
- 4x click: lockout
- 5x click: momentary (uses last used spot on ramp)
- 6x click: muggle
- Double click: turbo
- Triple click: change from ramp to stepped
- 4x click: ramp config
- To Turbo:
- To Moon:
- To Strobe:
- Has mode memory only from last used spot on ramping or stepped cycle
Blinky modes menu:
- There are plenty of strobes/blinkies to fill your needs with this flashlight! They include candle, bike flasher, party strobe (adjustable strobe), tactical strobe, lightning storm, sunset and beacon.
- Click, click, hold: strobe modes
- 2x click in strobe modes: cycle through strobe modes
- 3x click from off: blinkies
- 2x click in blinkies: cycle through blinkies modes
- Anduril provides lockout mode
- 4x click from off: lockout
- Upon testing and research this light has pwm on all ramped modes except turbo
Batteries and charging:
The FT03S is operable with multiple different types of batteries which is very convenient. The batteries it can be used with are the 26650, 21700, 20700, and the 18650. There is a built in USB C port for ease of charging when on the go, I am glad to see USB C starting to be put on flashlights instead of micro USB because of the strength and quality of the connection on type C.
I used a homemade lumen tube design that many people use, it is made from 3 – 3” PVC Street 90s and a cap with a hole drilled in it to hold the DR Meter LX1330B which I bought on amazon.
- Moon: .2 Lumens
- Low: 35 lumens
- Med: 737 lumens
- High: 2360 lumens
- Turbo: 5770 lumens
This graph represents the FT03S’s runtime when put onto turbo and left for the battery to drain until it turns off. As you can see the flashlight drops dramatically by the time the 30s mark come around, it then keeps declining until it hits a floor of 141 lumens then proceeds to die 7 hours later. It seems this flashlight can not hold turbo for very long due to the heat the emitter produces it automatically turns down on thermal limit.(i did not change the thermal limit in the UI but it is changeable to turn down once the flashlight gets even hotter ie. more runtime in turbo)
The factory claims 1428m of throw, after measuring from 10m with the Dr Meter LX1330B I got a total of 479kcd and 1384m of throw which is roughly 3.1% less output than the factory claims.
Disclaimer: This flashlight was sent to me for review at no cost, by Banggood.com. I have not been paid to review, nor have I been holding back on problems or defects.
- High lumens and high throw
- Small for what it produces
- Lightweight compared to other lights with this kind of output
- Built in charging
- Gets hot fast
- Does not handle turbo for very long
- Tint is a little green in low modes
Rating: 4 stars ★★★★
In my opinion the Astrolux FT03S is a great flashlight I give it a solid 4 out of 5 stars, I am glad to see companies incorporate the SBT90 gen2 in their flashlights because it has the ability to create monsters like this very light. I think it is very useful and can be carried mostly anywhere due to its size and weight. I look forward to what Astrolux will bring to the table next!