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Lumintop GT3 Mini review
Lumintop GT3 Mini specifications
|Brand & Model||Lumintop GT3 Mini|
|Flashlight category||Lumen monster|
|LED||3x Cree XHP50.2|
|Max. output||6500 lumens|
|Max. beam distance||285 meters|
|Max. beam intensity||20,500 cd|
|Battery config.||26350 (or 26650)|
|Blinkies||Strobe, SOS, Beacon|
|Review publication date||December 2022|
Lumintop has a pretty deep line-up, especially when they notice that a particular product is catching on. They picked up production of the now-famous FW3A and it sold like hotcakes. So what do we have now? About 100 (ok, maybe not but close) iterations of the FW3A in different sizes, materials, emitter choices, and battery configurations. The BLF GT is no different. If it works, make several variations and see what sticks, right? Ok, so Lumintop has us flashlight enthusiasts figured out. Yes, some of us will buy every version of a product. So when the Lumintop GT3 and the GT3 Pro have been out for a while, you know what that means – yes, it’s time for a new version! This time, Lumintop went with a “Mini”. It’s instantly recognizable as being in the GT3 family, but this pint-size version sports a single 26350 battery (yes, you read that right) and “only” 6500 lumens.
The Lumintop GT3 Mini that I received was a pre-production light and arrived before any of the packaging, manuals, and other things were ready. Because of that, it showed up in a plastic bag with nothing else except for the battery. So in all that means we’ve got:
- Lumintop GT3 Mini
- Unbranded (“BFH”) 26350 battery
Flashlight in use
What do you call a “baby” (mini) soda-can style light? It’s no longer a soda can… is more of a shot-glass light, I suppose. It looks pretty cute, but its output is anything but. Remember, it’s packing about 6500 lumens. The design language definitely mimics its bigger brothers, in a package and nestles into my fist. The tailcap is perfectly flat, so tailstanding is no problem. There’s a single e-switch on the side of the head which lines up very nicely with the branding that is etched into the anodizing. The button has that adorable bunny that we know and love, and the button is illuminated with a blue LED that can be turned off, if desired. There is no pocket clip, but there is a captive ring by the tailcap that spins around and has a place to mount a wrist strap. The round body does roll around on a table top, so be careful laying the GT3 Mini on its side.
If I’m being honest, this isn’t the most practical light. Lots of lumens and tiny bodies don’t pair well together unless you’re ok with severe throttling issues, as you’ll see on this light. So why would you want the Lumintop GT3 Mini? Well, if you’ve got a Lumintop GT collection, you’ll have to buy this if you want the complete collection. Or maybe you want a light that’ll fit into your palm and can still light up a ball field, if for a few moments. Perhaps you could use this around the backyard or to walk your dog, so long as you’re ok with a 500-ish lumen light that can momentarily give you a big turbo boost up to 6500 lumens. If you’re looking for sustained high output, this is not your light.
Build Quality, and Warranty
The Lumintop GT3 Mini is machined out of aluminum and then hard-anodized. The manual (found online) doesn’t really have specs about the exact anodizing process, but it seems to be well executed – very clean, smooth, and even. It’s on the matte side of things.
The body tube and tailcap don’t have knurling, per se. There is a pattern cut into them that is a miniature version of the big and beefy pattern that I saw on the GT3 Pro. The machining is really well done. The GT3 Mini seems purposefully chunky and yet refined.
Lumintop’s warranty policy is as follows (as copied from their website):
- 30 days free replacement: Lumintop will replace or repair products with manufacturing defects within 30 days of purchase.
- 5 years free repair: Lumintop will repair the products free of charge within 5 years (accessories 1 year, products with built-in battery 2 years)of purchase if problems develop with normal use.
- Lifetime warranty: If repair is required after the guaranty period, we’ll charge for parts accordingly.
- This warranty does not cover normal wear or tear, abuse, force majeure damage, or defaults by human factors.
LED, Lens, Bezel, Beam, and Reflector
While Lumintop opted for some Chineses SFH55 LEDs on the GT3 Pro, the GT3 Mini marks a return to Cree LEDs. There are 3x Cree XHP50.2 LEDs, to be precise. The LEDs are centered in a clover-shaped orange-peel reflector. That is protected by a piece of glass and held in place by a stainless bezel ring, which is always an appreciated touch. Stainless steel and black anodizing look great together, and the extra drop protection from the steel is welcome.
Measurements from Opple Light Master on Turbo at 3 meter:
- CCT: 5759K
- CRI: 67.9 Ra
- DUV: +0.0057
Dimensions and size comparison
|Lumintop GT3 Mini||Millimeters||Inches|
|Length||76 mm||3.0 in|
|Head diameter||40 mm||1.6 in|
|Body diameter||30 mm||1.2 in|
Dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter, and to the nearest tenth of an Inch.
|Lumintop GT3 Mini||Weight in grams||Weight in Oz|
|Without battery:||96 g||3.4 oz|
|With 26350 battery||141 g||5.0 oz|
Weight is rounded to the nearest gram, and to the nearest tenth of an Oz.
Flashlight size comparison with its competition:
Group 1: Lumintop GT3 Pro, Lumintop GT3 Mini
Group 2: Lumintop GT3 Mini, Lumintop FW1AA
Group 3: Rovyvon S3, Lumintop GT3 Mini
Driver & User Interface:
- Moonlight, Low, Medium, High 1, High 2, Turbo
Available blinky modes:
- Strobe, SOS, Beacon
- Press and hold: Moonlight
- Single click: turn on
- Double click: High 2
- 3 clicks: Battery Check
- 4 clicks: Lock Out
- 7 clicks: button back-light Off/On
- Press and hold: turn off
- 1 click: change output
- Double click: Turbo
- Yes, there is mode memory
- To Moonlight: hold for 1 second from Off
- To High 2: double click from Off
- To Turbo: double click from On
- To Strobe: double click from Moonlight
Low voltage warning:
- Output will begin to drop
- Battery Check mode blinks out volts and tenths similar to Anduril. It repeats itself 3 times quickly, then stops.
- From Moonlight mode, double click to go to Strobe
- From Strobe, double click to go to SOS
- From SOS, double click to go to Beacon
- Single click from any of those to exit
- Four clicks from Off goes to Lock-out mode
- Four clicks exits Lock-out mode
- While locked out, Momentary Low is available
- Fast PWM is present, but not visible to the naked eye
Additional info on the UI:
- Aside from the hold-for-off, this UI reminds me of a dumbed-down Anduril
Batteries & Charging
The Lumintop GT3 Mini uses a single 26350 battery. That’s an unusual size, but they can be found. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a 26350 available. Lumintop was kind enough to send one along. Assuming Lumintop offers one to go with the light, it’s probably best to just pick one up at the same time.
According to the manual and Lumitop’s website, an extension tube will also be available separately that will allow you to use 26650 batteries with the GT3 Mini. If you want higher output or much longer runtimes, that’s a good option to have. Just know that the extension tube isn’t supposed to allow you to run the light in Turbo/High for longer bursts. Lumintop says the GT3 will actually step down faster using the larger battery. Lumintop did not send the extension tube with for testing, so I can show you any of those results.
Lux was measured by a UNI-T UT383 BT at 10 meters. Lumens were measured in a homemade lumen tube using a TSL2591 sensor, calibrated with a Maukka calibration light. The temperature was monitored with a MLX90614 IR temperature sensor. The included 26350 battery was used for testing.
Lumen measurements (for each mode)
|Mode||Amps at start||Specs||@turn on||@30 sec||@10 minutes|
|Moon||7 mA||2 lm||1.6 lm||1.6 lm||–|
|Low||0.2 A||130 lm||100 lm||100 lm||–|
|Med||1.0 A||550 lm||432 lm||432 lm||–|
|High 1 (26350)||3.3 A||1800 > 550 lm||1188 lm||1187 lm||432 lm|
|High 2 (26350)||7.7 A||4000 > 550 lm||2830 lm||2777 lm||433 lm|
|Turbo (26350)||14.7 A||6500 > 550 lm||7372 lm||432 lm||431 lm|
|Turbo at 3.6V||6064 lm||433 lm|
- 142 µA with button aux LED illuminated
- 16 µA without button aux LED illuminated
On Turbo, the GT3 Mini hit the max output spec, as long as we’re not talking about ANSI FL1 ratings. Within 17 seconds of Turbo being activated, the output dropped off a cliff and was down to 432 lumens before we made it to the 30 second mark. Even High 1 and High 2 (which both missed their output claims) were down to ~432 lumen before 45 seconds. So unless we’re talking about brief hits of High/Turbo, we’re essentially looking at a 432 lumen light. Which, if I’m being honest, I find disappointing.
Battery Life: Runtime graphs
Using a 26350 battery
|Mode||Specified runtime||Measured runtime ANSI||Time till shut off|
|High 1||1 min + 1 hr 40 min||1 hr 53 min||1 hr 54 min|
|High 2||40 sec + 1 hr 40 min||1 hr 40 min||1 hr 46 min|
|Turbo||20 sec + 1 hr 40 min||1 hr 49 min||1 hr 50 min|
Runtimes were very close to spec.
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.
Peak beam intensity and beam distance measurements
|Turbo (26350)||20,500 cd||20,000 cd @ 0 sec1,600 cd @ 30 sec||283 @ 0 sec80 @ 30 sec||309 @ 0 sec87 @ 30 sec|
Intensity was also very close to spec… as long as we’re talking about turn-on values and not the ANSI FL1 readings at 30 seconds.
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). Columns Meters and Yards show rounded numbers.
Camera settings and distance:
- Beam shots of the building are taken at 15 m (16 yd) using a Pixel 7 set to ISO 200 with 1/10 second exposure time.
- Beam shots of the playset are taken at 30 m (33 yd) using a Pixel 7 set to ISO 200 with 1/2 second exposure time. The trees in the background are around 65 m away.
Beamshots of the following flashlights compared:
- Lumintop GT3 Mini
- Rovyvon S3
- Lumintop GTA
Disclaimer: This flashlight was sent to me for review at no cost by Lumintop. I have not been paid to review, nor have I been holding back on problems or defects.
- Nice build quality
- Very bright (momentarily) for its size
- Stainless steel bezel
- Good UI shortcuts
- Only short bursts of high output
- Exaggerated beam intensity specs
- Unique battery size
- UI: Hold-for-off
Explanation on star ratings:
1: Avoid: a match 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
3.5 stars: ★★★⋆
I’m a bit torn on the rating for the Lumintop GT3 Mini. Physically speaking, it’s a neat light with good aesthetics. With three Cree XHP50.2 LEDs, the lumen output potential is there. My test actually beat the 6500 lumen spec, but only for a few seconds. I’m just not a big fan of going from 7000+ lumens all the way down to 432 lumen in under 30 seconds. When output began to drop rapidly, the body temperature was only 36°C, so why did it need to drop so hard and fast? One thing to keep in mind is that I’m reviewing a pre-production sample. It could be that Lumintop decides to tweak the firmware a bit, and I hope they do. For me, better sustained output would easily add another ½ to 1 star.