Wuben X3

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WUben X 3 review: EDC flashlight

Wuben X-3 specifications

Brand/modelWuben X3
Flashlight categoryEDC / all-around
LEDSamsung LH351D + red Luminus SST10
Max. output700 Lumens
Max. beam distance102 meters
Max. beam intensity2590 cd
Battery config.Battery pack with 1,000mAh
Onboard chargingProprietary magnetic + wireless
Modes4
BlinkiesStrobe, SOS
WaterproofIP65
Review dateSeptember 2023

Introduction:

Wuben started this specific model on a Kickstarter campaign to gain the necessary funds. We already reviewed the prototype of the Wuben X0 and Gabriel reviewed the Wuben X-1, so it’s time to test out this new sibling.

The X3 has a few cool features, included wireless charging, a swivel head, and a few more.

Anyway, I’m digressing. Here we have the X-3, a small, portable flashlight with battery pack and swivel head with 2 types of LEDs.

Package quality.

I received mine in a some good looking Wuben packaging. And this is what Wuben sets apart from the rest, because many other brands use very simple packaging, and Wuben pays much more attention to detail here.

And this is what I received:

  • The flashlights: Wuben X3
  • Lanyard with USB-C plugs
  • Charging cradle
  • Manual

Before your first use

For safety reasons, Wuben ships their lights locked. So, before using your Wuben X3, you have to deactivate the electronic lockout mode by doing 4 fast clicks. Do these clicks as fast as possible. Once the flashlight is unlocked you can start using it.

Beware: we recommend locking the flashlight when carrying it. You activate the electronic lockout mode with 4 fast clicks when the light is turned off. (It won’t work when the light is turned on)

Flashlight in use

The shape of all Wuben-X models are a bit unique, and just like the X0, and X-2, this one has a rectangular-shaped body. All the edges are slightly chamfered, but that doesn’t take away that the flashlight can still feel a bit ‘pointy’.

With a flat flashlight like this, I’m not 100% sure what is the most comfortable way to hold it. There are other flat flashlights out there where you would put your thumb on the narrow part of the flashlight. Kind of like the way you would hold a Fenix TK35.

But the Wuben X3 has the switch on the top of the flashilght when the LEDs are pointing sideways. And when the LEDs are pointing upwards, the switch is located on the back.

A while back, I had received the prototype of the X3, and sent them my findings after reviewing it. And one problem I found was the swivel head being too loose. It would change position when pressing the small switch, and I’m glad that this has been fixed on the production ones. Now you don’t need to worry about this.

Carrying this is definitely a little different, and you probably need to get used to it. If you want to use or carry it for a couple of hours, you can use the included lanyard which is basically just a USB-C charging cable. But you can also clip it to your belt (or pants) with the strong pocket clip that was already attached.

You don’t need to worry that it might roll of a slanted surface, and you can also make it tailstand.

I can see this flashlight being used for EDC, but also for your camping trips. The swivel head and magnetic base can come in very handy.

Also, the LED display will show what mode you are currently in (and how many lumens), and a battery icon to show the current battery status.

Build Quality, and Warranty

One thing that I have to give Wuben credit for is the build quality, even though the X3 I have a body made of plastic. The translucent version glows in the dark, and the black version is also translucent, but doesn’t glow.

Inside the flashlight you can see a (blue) indicator light that can be turned off. Simply do 5 clicks in sequence, and you can toggle between on and off.

Besides black and white, Wuben also has a blue and green version. And because of the built in wireless charging, the body has to be made of plastic, I assume. Therefore, I don’t think you will ever see a X3 with an aluminum body.

The ‘white’ version glows in the dark, when used inside sunlight, or when it is charged with UV light.

It lacks any kind of traditional knurling, and that’s totally fair for this kind of flashlight. I don’t think you will easily drop it because of the shape, but it feels pretty small in hand.

Warranty:

15 days replacement: Within 15 days from the date of purchase, if the product has quality problems, customers can request free replacement.

1 year warranty: Within 1 year from the date of purchase, WUBEN offers free repairs for the product (excluding accessories) in case of quality issues. This warranty is applicable to WUBEN registered customers.

LED, Lens, Bezel, Beam, and Reflector

The Wuben X3 uses 2 types of LEDs, 1 for white light, and 1 for red light.

Wuben chose for the Samsung LH351D (with High CRI) for the main light, and a 650nm Luminus SST10 for its red light.

Both LEDs sit behind a TIR optic, but it doesn’t seem to be protected by a glass lens.

To measure the color temperature of the beam, and CRI values, I used the Sekonic Spectromaster C-800.

Here’s what I got when measured from about 5 meters.

  • CCT: 4936K
  • CRI Ra: 88.3
  • duv: 0.0079

This means that the beam is just a tad more greenish than red-ish, but it doesn’t look green in person.

Dimensions and size comparison

Dimensions: 

Wuben X3 dimensionsMillimetersInches
Length70 mm2.8 in
Body width35 mm1.4 in
Body thickness20 mm0.8 in

Dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter, and to the nearest tenth of an Inch.

Weight I measured:

Wuben X3 weightWeight in gramsWeight in Oz.
Wuben X3 weight64 g2.27 oz

Weight is rounded to the nearest gram, and to the nearest tenth of an Oz.

EDC Flashlight comparison

Size compared to some other well-known flashlights

Group 1, Wuben flashlights, from left to right: Wuben X2, Wuben X3, Wuben X3, Wuben X0, Wuben X1

Group 2, EDC flashlights, from left to right: Nitecore TUP, Wuben X2, Wuben X3, Wuben X3, Wuben X1, Olight Arkfeld, Nitecore Tip, Fenix E03R

Driver & User Interface:

The Wuben X3 has a pretty good and standard UI. Nothing fancy, but straight to the point with some useful shortcuts.

Available main modes:

  • White light: Low, Medium, High, Turbo
  • Red light: Low, High

Available special modes (blinkies):

  • Strobe,SOS

From OFF:

  • Single-click: to last used mode, (mode memory)
  • Double click: Turbo
  • Triple-click: Strobe (and single click will make it turn off again)
  • Press and hold: Red light
  • 4 clicks: lockout

From ON:

  • Single-click: off
  • Double click: Turbo, and repeat to return to previously used mode
  • Triple-click: Strobe, another triple click for SOS (a single click returns to previously used mode)
  • Press and hold: run through the menu from low to high (no Turbo)

Shortcuts:

  • To Turbo: double click from on/off
  • To Red light: long-press from off
  • To Strobe: triple-click from off, and from any main white light mode. (Not available when red light is activated)

Red light:

  • Simply press and hold the switch when the flashlight is off. Low mode will be activated, press and hold again to move from Low to High mode.

Mode memory:

  • Yes, but strobe and turbo are not memorized. Don’t need, because they can be activated with the shortcuts.

Blinky modes menu:

  • There are 2, strobe and SOS. Blinkies can be activated with 3 clicks.. and another 3 clicks to switch between them. While in blinky mode, a single click will return to the last used mode, and a double click will go to Turbo. When you entered it from Off, it will return to Off with a single click.

Low battery warning:

  • The battery level indicator will show the status, but not with %, but a battery icon.

Lock-out mode:

  • You can activate and deactivate the lockout mode by 4 clicks from off

PWM:

  • Not visible!

Wuben X3 charging & batteries

The X3 comes with a built-in battery, with a total capacity of 1,000mAh. And in order to charge it, you get something a bit special. There are no charging ports on the X3, but it uses magnetic charging, and wireless charging.

Inside the package, Wuben includes a little charge dock, with a USB-C charging cable (that doubles as a lanyard). Inside this little dock, there are 2 pins, which connect to the 2 pins located on the bottom of the flashlight.

Wuben also sells the X3 with a charging box/powerbank instead of the charging cradle. The charging box has a built-in battery for charging the X3 anywhere you are, at any time. It also doubles as a small powerbank, to charge your phone, and it has a total capacity of 3,000mAh.

While charging inside the cradle, the battery level indicator shows 70% rather quickly after it starts charging. And the battery percentage indicator does not increase by 1s, but by 5s or larger. So, when you see that the flashlight is stuck at 70% for a long time, don’t worry. It will soon jump to the next number.

Still, I would highly recommend buying a USB tester, so you can see how much current the battery is pulling. If you don’t, you can end up waiting hours for it to charge, without it being actually charged.

The total charge time was 2h 48min, and I saw a max charge rate of 0.48A. And according to Wuben, the battery has a capacity of 1,000mAh. I would have expected the charge time to be a little bit shorter, but 2 hours and 48 minutes is what it took for a full charge.

During charging, the blue indicator LED shown, which turns off when the battery is fully charged.

Performance test

This is the gear I use for testing:

GearPurposeLink to buy
Hagner E4-XMeasuring beam intensity (throw)Inquire at Hagner.se
2* Extech SDL400Lumens and logging runtimesAmazon.com, Amazon.co.uk,
Leica Disto D2Distance for throw measurementsAmazon.com, Amazon.co.uk,
Sekonic C-800 Spectrometer for LED measurementsAmazon.com, Amazon.co.uk
Uni-T UTi260BThermal Image cameraAmazon.com,

Lumen measurements:

The output measurements in this review are based on my homemade integrating spheres, each equipped with an Extech SDL400 Lux Meter. For consistency and accuracy, a calibration light (Convoy S2+ with 249lm and a Convoy S2+ with 261lm) is measured prior to each set of lumen measurements.
For high-output lights, one of the lux meters uses an ND camera filter to prevent the lux meter to max out. This is either the Kenko PRO1D ND16 up till about 80,000 lumens or Gobe ND32 for anything above.

How Lumens are Measured: Understanding ANSI FL1 Standards How Lumens are Measured: Understanding ANSI FL1 Standards: The ANSI FL1 standards specify that output in lumens should be measured 30 seconds after turning on, as this is the standardized time for measuring brightness according to the industry standard. This is why we focus on this part in our measurements. The ANSI FL1 standards require an ambient temperature of 22 ± 3°C. We record the ambient the ambient temperature to identify potential reasons for any observed discrepancies.

The measurements were taken manually at turn on and 30 seconds. The 10 minute numbers are taken from the runtime graph. These were measured at an ambient temperature of 26 degrees Celsius.

Wuben X3SpecifiedTurn on30sec10min
Low1 lm2.22.2
Med50 lm575755
High150 lm143139127
Turbo700 lm554187 lm169

The Wuben X3 doesnt follow ANSI FL1 standards, and even at turn on, it doesn’t reach the claimed output of 700 lumens in Turbo mode.

Wuben X3 battery life and runtime graphs

How Runtimes are Measured: Understanding ANSI FL1 Standards About ANSI FL1 runtime 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.

The runtime test was done with the 50cm integrating sphere, including the Extech SDL400 data logging Lux Meter.

I also added the room temperature at which the runtime was conducted. Unfortunately, the room is pretty hot during the summer months.

ModeSpecified runtimeMeasured runtime (ANSI FL1)Time till shut off
Low50h
Med6h4h 22min4h 22min
High2h1h 37min1h 37min
Turbo1.5h1h 24min1h 24min

I haven’t tested Low mode, because it was going to run for 50 hours. Generally speaking, I don’t normally do any runtime longer than 24 hours. But with some exceptions.

Medium and High were shorter than specified.

Wuben X3 peak beam intensity and beam distance measurements

About Peak beam intensity: Understanding ANSI FL1 Standards About peak beam intensity 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). This means that the intensity has decreased so much, it becomes difficult to see darker objects, or objects that don’t reflect light. The columns ‘Meters’ and ‘Yards’ use rounded numbers.

Measurements were taken indoors at 5 meters with a Hagner E4-X Lux Meter, after 30 seconds.

Wuben X3SpecifiedCandelasmetersyards
Low000 yd
Med150 cd24 m27 yd
High400 cd40 m44 yd
Turbo2,590 cd500 cd45 m49 yd
Turbo at Turn on1,550 cd79 m86 yd

Also, these numbers don’t match the specified intensity. Especially not according to ANSI FL1 standards.

Beamshots

For the following beamshots, I used a Canon EOS 5D Mk2 with a 50mm lens. Manual settings: ISO1600, 1/4sec, F4, 5000K

The shed is about 65 meters / 71 yards away, and the reflective fence about 200 meters.

Compared to the following flashlights:

The wall is about 5 meters away, and the fence about 4 meters

Disclaimer: This flashlight was sent to me for review at no cost by Wuben. I have not been paid to review, nor have I been holding back on problems or defects.

Final Verdict

Pros

  1. Easy but effective UI
  2. Plenty bright for the size
  3. Very strong, but removable pocket clip
  4. Swivel head doesn’t change position easily
  5. X3 is available in different colors
  6. Has a red LED
  7. Can be charged with included cradle, charging box, or wireless.

Cons

  1. Battery not replaceable
  2. Misses nearly all specifications, in terms of output, beam distance, and runtimes.

Explanation on star ratings:

1: Avoid: my phone flashlight 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

Reviewer Marco
Author: Marco

4 stars: ★★★★

The Wuben X3 is a uniquely shaped flashlight with some very interesting features. This includes a swivel head, so you can use it both as a normal flashlight, as well as a right-angle light.

The pocket clip is plenty strong, and can easily be clipped to a belt or pocket.

Having a red light can also be useful, and I won’t be surprised when Wuben add a UV option in the future as well.

Unfortunately though, Wuben didn’t follow the ANSI FL1 standards, and most of my measurements were lower, or shorter, than specified.

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1lumen selects and reviews products personally. We may earn affiliate commissions through our links, which help support our testing.