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Mateminco FT02 review
Mateminco FT02 specifications
|Brand & Model
|Max. beam distance
|Max. beam intensity
|5 output levels
|Review publication date
Let me start this review with my first thoughts on opening the FT02’s box… “Wow!”.
This torch looks amazing.
If we are giving points out just for looks and styling, the FT02 would be a 10/10.
Mateminco is a company I’ve heard of, but I’ve never owned or used any of their torches previously. The FT02 is a nice introduction to the brand. My personal torch collection exceeds one hundred torches, but I have nothing even remotely close to the styling and design of the FT02. I’m genuinely excited to see what this light can do and if it is nice to use.
The included information claims some strong lumen and cd figures for the FT02, which is apparently fitted with a direct drive driver. Let’s see how it fairs.
The FT02 comes in a brown, but “Mateminco” branded cardboard box with the torch details and LED kelvin rating on a sticker. Inside the box you can find:
- Mateminco FT02
- pocket clip
- spare o-rings
- instruction manual.
Out of the box the light has been well packaged and is in mint condition as you’d expect (or at least hope for) with a new torch.
Flashlight in use
Mateminco describes the light as a camping light. I’d say that sums it up well, it isn’t tactical as it is too many clicks to get to strobe and it has no momentary function.
It is a very good general use light. It is compact in the body and easily fits in a coat pocket or small bag. Although the larger reflector means it isn’t a pocket EDC light for me, as I like to EDC lights in my jeans pocket and the head is just too big.
But using it around the house or when going for an evening walk or even across the fields or around the farm, the light is ideal.
The light doesn’t have the ability to tail stand, which for some might be a deal breaker, but it is always a balance between being glove friendly with the switch and having a shroud to enable tail standing. In this instance I can forgive this, as the switch also looks great with a clear translucent tail cap. The switch has a nice positive click and has given no issues at all during testing.
There is a brass ring that rotates below the switch, this is for the lanyard attachment, but also adds to the visual appeal of the light. There is a bezel just below the switch boot that you can undo to remove the brass lanyard loop if you want, although I’m not really sure why you would do this. Nothing is supplied to replace the lanyard loop. I would assume this was probably the easiest way for the light to be assembled, so maybe it is more a function of that, as opposed to a feature to remove the lanyard loop.
I did initially use the light without the pocket clip installed. Which was fine. Although the clip fits well, it may cause minor scratching of the tube when being installed. With the clip installed the light is just as comfortable to hold. Due to the size of the head and reflector, the clip faces toward the tailcap end, you are slightly limited to what you can clip it to due to the size of the head still, but it does give you some options. You could clip it to a bag strap or similar. The FT02 doesn’t have any form of anti-roll device, but I’m not sure this matters too much.
I wouldn’t say the Mateminco FT02 is a flooder or a thrower, that large shallow reflector and large LED seem to give it a great general purpose beam. It has some beam distance for outdoor use, but is also capable of lighting up a wide area at the same time. The output modes from sub 1 lumen to around 3000 lumens makes it incredibly versatile. I feel the light would be suitable to use to read a book or do other close up work, yet also perfectly capable of lighting objects up on the other side of a field. Making it a very usable light, there really is no reason this light won’t be suitable for whatever you are planning on doing or going.
Build Quality, and Warranty
Everything I’ve seen with the Mateminco FT02 says it is high quality. The machining looks great, not too deep, but there isn’t a sharp edge anywhere on the light. The threads are square cut and super silky smooth, one of the smoothest in my entire collection. They also came pre lubed.
The light is silver, I assume anodised silver, and has a lovely smooth silky feel to it. Everything fits and looks to be quality parts.
LED, Lens, Bezel, Beam, and Reflector
I’m not overly familiar with the SFN55.2 LED, this is the first I have sampled. It is a huge LED, think Cree MT-G2 sized, but without a dome and is made up of what looks like multiple dyes, nine in total.
The box says it is 6500k, which is very cool and not something I’d normally choose for myself. I would normally much prefer neutral to warm white LEDs around the 4500-5000 kelvin range. But I’m pleased to report that while the beam is on the cooler white side of things. It doesn’t look like 6500k, my Opple light meter supports this conclusion. It also seems to carry no real nasty tints either, giving a pleasant white beam.
- 5786 CTT(k)
- 62.7 Ra
- x = 0.3255
- y = 0.3545
- u = 0.1972
- v = 0.3221
The reflector is huge for a light of this size, almost 2 inches in diameter, but it is super shallow. It also has some weird steps where the reflector is completely flat. I’m not entirely sure how these parts are meant to reflect any light, but maybe it is part of the design to get the correct angles in such a short shallow reflector.
I was expecting a ringy beam, but I’m pleased to say that it isn’t. If you hold the light very close to a wall, you can just make out there is a lighter inner spill beam and a slightly duller outer spill beam, which I assume is a result of the different parts of the reflector, either side of the stepped part. But it is very subtle and works really well.
Of note is the size of the spill beam. The only way I can describe it is, it is enormous. The spill is super wide, possibly wider than any other light I own. The large LED also gives a fairly large hotspot too, despite being a wide reflector. I think this is due to it also being a shallow reflector, so the hotspot isn’t super focused or concentrated. Initially I was very skeptical about the beam profile. But having now used the light for a while I must confess it has won me over. The beam is actually highly usable and practical.
To top this all off, the FT02 has a tempered glass lens and a mildly crenulated bezel with super smooth edges. I like this a lot, because if you stand the light on its head, you can easily tell if it has been left on or not.
Dimensions and size comparison
Dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter, and to the nearest tenth of an Inch.
|Weight in grams
|Weight in Oz
Weight is rounded to the nearest gram, and to the nearest tenth of an Oz.
Flashlight size comparison with its competition:
Group 1: Mateminco FT02 & Convoy S2+
Group 2: Mateminco FT02 & Kronos X6
Group 3: Mateminco FT02 & Shadow JM35
Group 4: Mateminco FT02, Convoy S2+, Kronos X6 & Shadow JM35
Driver & User Interface:
Mateminco doesn’t share a huge amount of information about the driver in the FT02, other than the claim it is direct drive.
I do quite like the user interface. The biggest reason for this is consistency, it always turns on in Moon mode. This means I know exactly what the light is going to do and it doesn’t leave me guessing or needing to remember what mode I used last. I wish more torches were like this if I’m being brutally honest. And it means this is a light that I’m more than happy to use as a house light or around other people.
There is quite a jump from Moon to Low, which is really my only complaint with the UI. I kind of feel something around 30 lumens would have been quite handy and a nice step up from the Moon mode.
|Turbo (from Moon mode)
|Strobe (from Moon mode)
The 2 and 3 tap state from Moon mode only, but they work from any mode in practice.
- No. There is no mention of mode memory and 99% of the time, turning the light off and on again results in Moon mode. However once in a while it has reactivated on what looks to be Turbo, which was the mode I was using last. But I’ve not been able to track down any pattern to this. Thus far it has only done this twice and once was after one of the runtime tests.
Low voltage warning:
- Low Voltage is not mentioned, however in the runtime tests the light does switch off before a protected battery low voltage circuit kicks in, I found this to be between 2.7 and 2.8v for High & Turbo modes.
- Strobe only
- Physical lockout via tailcap.
- None that I can see or detect.
Batteries & Charging
The FT02 runs on a single 18650 battery, the manual does specify high-drain unprotected batteries. However, I have tried flattop and button top unprotected and protected batteries in the light and they all seem to function perfectly.
There is no onboard charging and no battery is included.
The FT02 carries some impressive claimed numbers. Let me firstly say, in actual use indoors or outdoors the light works really well, you don’t feel short changed in any way shape or form. It also gets toasty hot on Turbo and moderately warm on High. Which tells me this light is actually working as intended.
But try as I might, I couldn’t get close to the claimed numbers. In lumen output or throw. The numbers came in about 50% below the claims.
I initially tried a Samsung 30Q, as this is my ‘go-to’ 18650 battery, offering good high amp draw and a fairly reasonable capacity. Disappointed with the numbers I tried a Klarus 3600mAh 18GT-36, which is a protected battery. But one that Klarus supplied with the high amp draw XHP35 HI equipped XT12GT torch. I’ve also found it to be a bit of a freak often offering far higher amp draws than you would expect. Still being disappointed with the numbers, I tried a brand new Samsung 25R high drain battery.But overall all three 18650’s offered very similar Peak lumens and tailcap amp draws.
Lumen measurements (for each mode)
To measure lumens, runtime and throw, the Android based CeilingBounce app was used.
|Amps at start
|< 1 lm
|< 1 lm
|< 1 lm
|Turbo (Klarus 18GT-36)
|Turbo (Samsung 30Q)
|Turbo (Samsung 25R)
Battery Life: Runtime graphs
|Measured runtime ANSI
|Time till shut off
|1h 57 mins
|1h 57 mins
|1h 54 min
|1h 54 min
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
Measured at 2.5 meters.
|30,000cd – 346m
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: Canon EOS 200D – Canon 18-55mm EFS IS – 2”/F6.3/ISO 400/WB 5200k “Daylight”
Beamshots at 50 metres distance.
Beamshots of the following flashlights compared:
- Mateminco FT02 – Low output
- Mateminco FT02 – Medium output
- Mateminco FT02 – High output
- Mateminco FT02 – Turbo output
- Manker MC01 LH35D 4000K
- Jetbeam RRT01 Nichia 219c
- Solarforce L2M 12V xenon
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.
- Gorgeous design
- Nice to use
- Real world performance
- Talking point if anyone sees it
- Doesn’t tail stand
- Big head means coat pocket or bag carry
- Doesn’t meet claimed numbers
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
5 stars: ★★★★★
I’ve spent quite a bit of time thinking about how to score this light. Much of this deliberation has involved me picking the light up, turning it on, waving it about the room or outside, before setting it down. Only to repeat the process a while later. However, I have decided that this light is a full 5 star light for me.
The styling and looks of the FT02 are like no other light I own. It makes me want to carry the light with me, just to be able to take it out of my pocket and wait for someone to ask something about it.
I also love the simplicity of the User Interface, this above all makes me want to keep using a light. And of course I can’t forget the beam profile, it is just so useful at so many different things, which really did surprise me. I don’t need to make up an excuse to take the FT02 with me, I know it’ll be the right light and useful for no matter what I end up doing.
The LED is maybe slightly on the cool side, but you know what, colours still seem to look great in all situations and the tint is just easy on the eyes, far more than I’d ever have thought a light of this claimed kelvin rating should be. Maybe I’ve been lucky here and not all SFN55.2 LEDs are equal, but this example is a pleasure to use.
I know the light doesn’t make the claimed specs, but I wonder if this is more about the published numbers than anything with the light itself. None of the other Cons I mention above detract from the light overall, they are such minor things of no real consequence.
Overall the light is just incredibly enjoyable to use, whether it is just rolling it about your hands or actually using it to illuminate something. It never frustrates you as a user and you always feel like you selected the right light for the job, regardless of what you were actually doing. It may be irrational, as on paper it isn’t perfect. But sometimes those things we find endearing are quite often imperfect, but just so right where it counts. The FT02 is certainly that for me.