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ThruNite Archer Mini review
ThruNite Archer Mini specs
|Brand & Model||ThruNite Archer Mini|
|LED||Luminus SST20 cool white, neutral white|
|Max. output||405 lumens|
|Max. beam distance||87 meters|
|Max. beam intensity||1880 cd|
|Review publication date||April 2023|
Alongside their Archer Pro, ThruNite also released the Archer Mini, a smaller version of the Pro using a 10400 battery instead of a 14500. It looks nearly identical to its larger sibling on the outside, including having the battery sealed in, though it only offers two modes instead of smith ramping. Let’s take a look.
The Archer Mini’s box is also nearly identical to the Pro’s, including having the tear away strip for opening. This does not work well. Out of four of these boxes, none of them opened correctly, and all four required tearing the flap open. I do not like this feature.
Inside the box, you’ll find
- ThruNite Archer Mini with 10400 battery inside and clip attached
- USB-C charging cable
- Instruction manual
Flashlight in use
The Archer Mini got the name right; it sure is mini. It’s a tiny, no-nonsense light that you can easily carry with you, clipped to your pocket or tossed in your bag. There’s no nonsense like holes for a lanyard or key ring, or a magnet since it has a tail switch where that would go, so clipping or letting it float free are pretty much your only carry options. The clip’s opening is rather small, so it’s sometimes a bit of a challenge to get it over your pants pocket if it’s made of thicker fabric or baseball cap, if you’re making full use of the dual-direction feature.
The clip and battery are already in place when you open the box, so you can just stick it in your pocket and go.
You’ll want to use the Archer Mini’s lockout mode since the electronic tail switch is very pronounced and easy to accidentally activate. That’s done by holding the button while on low, and while hold-to-lockout isn’t the most secure way to implement it, it’s better than nothing.
Since the Archer Mini only has rings around the body for knurling and combined with the mostly smooth head, it’s a slippery one, so be careful if you’re holding it between your fingers. You’ll probably want to hold this one with your whole fist.
You won’t be tail standing this one, either. The e-switch has a large dome which prevents that, though you could head stand it, if you wanted to.
I feel like the Archer Mini is best suited for daily pocket carry. Its size allows you to forget about it in your pocket, but it will be there when you need it. Without a lot of output, you may want to carry this one as a backup to a larger light, but it does have USB-C charging so if you’ve got one of your many USB-C cables around, you won’t go without power.
Build Quality and Warranty
ThruNite’s lights have always been well-built in my opinion, and the Archer Mini is no exception. Interestingly, the Archer Mini comes in black, tan, or green anodized aluminum, while the Pro only has black. I would’ve expected the larger model to have different color choices, but no big deal.
Not only is the head glued on, but the tail is, too, so there’s no way you can get to the battery or any internals without some work. The only thing you can do is unscrew the shroud around the head to get to the USB-C port. The threads for this section are covered even when the shroud is unscrewed, and thankfully the lube does not get all over the USB-C port area.
While I was carrying mine, the tiny body slipped out of my hand and landed on the hard kitchen floor, but did not take any damage, so that should be an anecdotal testament to ThruNite’s build quality.
ThruNite’s standard warranty applies to the Archer Mini. Below is copied from the manual; see their Customer Service page for full details.
1. 2-years free replacement: We will offer free replacement within 2 years of
purchase if problems develop with normal use.
2. 30-days refund by Amazon: You may return most new, unopened items sold
and fulfilled by Amazon within 30 days of delivery for a full refund.
3. Lifetime limited maintenance: As to those exceed 2 years of the purchase
date, we will still provide with maintenance service, but the cost of parts will be
charged and freight should be paid by customers.
LED, Lens, Bezel, Beam, and Reflector
The Archer Mini uses a Luminus SST-20 for its emitter, in either cool white or neutral white. Based on my measurements with an Opple Light Master Pro, these are likely the 5700K and 5000K, respectively. Usually companies use the 4000K version for neutral white and 6500K for cool white since there’s a greater difference between the two temperatures. My measurements came out very close together and while there’s a visual difference, it’s definitely not very drastic.
As for the other Opple measurements, CRI is low (the 4000K SST-20 has 95 CRI) and DUV is high. This can be seen in the greenish tint of the beam, in either version.
ThruNite used a plastic TIR lens for the Archer Mini, which makes sense due to its size. The bezel is flat so you can head stand it, but you won’t be able to tell if it’s on. There may be different TIRs used, because the hotspot on the cool white version is larger than that of the neutral white version.
|Mode, Cool White||CCT||CRI Ra||DUV||Flicker|
|Mode, Neutral White||CCT||CRI Ra||DUV||Flicker|
Dimensions and its competition
|ThruNite Archer Mini||Millimeters||Inches|
|Length||83 mm||3.3 in|
|Head diameter||17 mm||0.7 in|
|Body diameter||14 mm||0.5 in|
Dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter, and to the nearest tenth of an Inch.
|ThruNite Archer Mini||Weight in grams||Weight in oz|
|With battery:||36 g||1.3 oz|
Weight is rounded to the nearest gram, and to the nearest tenth of an Oz.
Flashlight size comparison with its competition:
Group 2: Emisar D4V2, ThruNite Archer Mini, Convoy S2+
Group 3: Manker E02 II, ThruNite Archer Mini, Lumintop GT Nano Pro
ThruNite Archer Mini UI: User Interface and Driver
- Low, high
Available blinky modes:
- Press and hold: Low
- Single click: Low
- Double click: High
- 3 fast clicks: Strobe
- Press and hold from low: Lockout
- 1 click: Off
- Double click: High
- 3 fast clicks: Strobe
- To Low: Single click
- To Turbo: Double click
- To Strobe: Triple click
Low voltage warning:
- The Archer Mini will blink when the voltage is getting low in high mode. In low, the output just sags until it shuts off.
- There is only one strobe, and it’s accessed by triple clicking
- From low mode, hold for one second to lock the light. Hold again to unlock
- Present, but not visible
ThruNite Archer Mini Charging and batteries
ThruNite built a 320mAh 10400 battery into the Archer Mini, literally. The battery is sealed inside, meaning that once it dies, so does the whole light. At that point, you can either try to break through the glue holding the tail cap on, or try to work with ThruNite’s customer service to have it replaced. My guess is that this is done to allow the electronic tail switch to work without a secondary inner tube, thus saving space and weight, but I’d always rather have a user-serviceable battery.
Without being able to do any testing on the battery, there’s not much I can say about it. The USB-C charging works well, filling it up in about an hour and a half, so that’s about a 250mA charge rate.
To obtain these numbers, I used a very rudimentary integrated shoebox and ceilingbounce on my Samsung Galaxy S10. Measurements have been calibrated using a standardized calibration light provided by 1Lumen.
Lumen measurements (for each mode)
As you can see, neither mode in either temperature meets the specifications set forth by ThruNite. It’s not so far off, though, that it would be a real visible difference, though.
|Mode||Specs||@turn on||@30 sec||@10 minutes|
|NW Low||18||14 lm||14 lm||14 lm|
|CW Low||18||16 lm||16 lm||16 lm|
|NW High||405/157||323 lm||303 lm||111 lm|
|CW High||405/157||369 lm||345 lm||127 lm|
It is not possible to measure current on this light since it is sealed.
Battery Life: Runtime graphs
The Archer Mini has well-regulated output after the timed step down from high, with neutral white almost exactly meeting ANSI specified runtimes and cool white falling a bit short.
|Mode||Specified runtime||Measured runtime ANSI||Time till shut off|
|NW Low||7h 30min||7h 34min||7h 45min|
|CW Low||7h 30min||6h 35min||6h 45min|
|NW High||55min||53min||1h 24min|
|CW High||55min||47min||1h 33min|
About 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
The numbers for candela were obtained with a UNI-T UT383S luxmeter at 5 and 15 meters, then averaged
The numbers for high actually meet or exceed specifications, which is nice! I feel like this shows that this light has a narrow, throwy TIR lens.
|NW Low||–||71 cd||17 m||19 yd|
|CW Low||–||94 cd||19 m||21 yd|
|NW High||1880 cd||1880 cd||87 m||95 yd|
|CW High||1880 cd||2045 cd||90 m||98 yd|
About peak beam intensity: 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). The columns ‘Meters’ and ‘Yards’ use rounded numbers.
These were taken with a Samsung Galaxy S22+ using pro mode and the following settings:
- WB 5000K
- ISO 200
- Speed 0.5
Distance to the other end of the playing field is 100 meters.
Beamshots of the following flashlights compared:
- Lumintop GT Nano Pro
- Lumintop FW1AA
Disclaimer: This flashlight was sent to me for review at no cost by ThruNite. I have not been paid to review, nor have I been holding back on problems or defects.
- Comes in cool white or neutral white
- Includes battery and onboard USB-C charging
- Regulated output
- Not much difference in temperature between cool white and neutral white
- Battery is sealed in
- Small and slippery
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: ★★★⋆
While our star rating provides a reliable indicator, we encourage you to read the full review to make an informed decision based on your own needs and preferences.
The ThruNite Archer Mini is a tiny light you can stick anywhere you can clip it to in case you need a backup. This light would probably be best as a gift for someone who isn’t into flashlights due to it being the full package with battery and USB-C charging, and simple, two-mode (plus strobe) interface. The biggest problem is the fact that they seal the battery in. Without being able to replace it, the ThruNite Archer Mini has a definite end of life. Additionally, the recipient would have to not care about CRI or tint, as neither the neutral white nor warm white look that great, in my opinion. But I do feel like it achieves its purpose of being a small, fairly inexpensive light, even if it doesn’t stand out much at all.
Overall, I give the ThruNite Archer Mini 3.5 stars.