Utorch UT02 Flashlight Review

Preface

Gearbest sent over this Utorch UT02.

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It’s a brand I’m not familiar with, and seems to actually be quite new. I happen to really like dome-less emitters, and I’m excited to take a look. Thanks to Kathy and Gearbest for sending this light for review!

Coupon

The coupon UTORCH will make this light cost just $42.99 at Gearbest.com


Official Specs

● Rugged, solid and far-reaching palm-sized light
● CREE XHP35 HI LED, maximum output up to 1300Lm
● Precision reflecting system emits up to 700 meters’ throw
● 6500K cool white and 5000K neutral white dual light color options
● 5 constant outputs as well as 2 flash modes
● Micro USB charging port, 2A quick charge protection circuit
● Charging and power indicator display charging status and remaining battery capacity
● Waterproof in accordance with IPX-7 standard
● High strength and light weight aircraft grade aluminum alloy with premium Type III finish
● Tail stand capability to serves as a candle
● Compatible with 18650 and 26650 batteries (not included)

Mode Output (lm) Runtime
Turbo 1300 1.25h
High 650 3.1h
Mid1 300 5.2
Mid2 100 12h
Low 15 100h
Strobe 1300
SOS 100

Versions

There is just one version of this light, but it comes with two emitter options: 1A 6500K, and 3D 5000K. The 3D 5000K is what we’re looking at in this review.


Short Review:

By far my best thrower, and quite a thrower it is. A very fun light to use, and it works (and throws) quite well. Very easy to recommend.

Long Review:

What’s Included

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  • Utorch UT02
  • Lanyard
  • Micro-USB Cable
  • Manual
  • Spare o-ring
  • 26650-to-18650 adapter tube

Pictures

Big ol’ photo album with some random beamshots. Indoor and outdoor beamshots (with some comparisons to Convoy C8 XP-L HI and Nitecore P30 on the outdoor shots!)

Package and Manual

The UT02 comes in a cardboard box,

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inside a cardboard sleeve,

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with big bold logoing.

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GearBest also adds their stock sticker,

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which in this case, tells me the tint of my light (3D 5000K). I’ve said it before, but I like this kind of package. Recyclable, easy to get into, no unnecessary shiny plastic.

The manual

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is a long affair, printed only on one side. It includes the usual information, including features and UI. It seems to me that the manual might need a little tweaking, at the very least to cause the folds to be in the whitespace, and not over text. Minor issue, but also minorly annoying. But the manual works: the UI is a descriptive flow chart, of a UI that many people in this forum are probably already familiar with.

Build Quality, Disassembly, and Durability

I have been extremely impressed with the build quality of this Utorch.

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I didn’t know what to expect, and as it’s a brand I don’t already know, didn’t have extremely high expectations. However, this light is extremely well built. The knurling is of the flat diamond

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variety, which provides grip but also leaves skin intact. The reflector is extremely smooth

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and the emitter is well centered and has a nice centering ring to boot. The lens is quite clear and has AR coating. The threads on the tailcap are well lubed, square cut, and anodized.

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The lube here is … quite viscous. Not badly so, just notably thick lube. The springs are also not trivial: Head spring

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and tail spring

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are both double springs, and thick (maybe you can see it better here.

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The body tube is reversible,

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but I’ve kept it with the lubed end on the tail end. The micro-USB port is covered with a rubber boot

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and resides down in a specific cutout – ie the top of the boot is flush with the metal body. It doesn’t protrude. I like this kind of boot.

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It’s easy enough to open, and there’s plenty of room to maneuver the cable into the port.

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The cell tube is also right-sized. There’s not much spare room for this Keeppower 26650,

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and that’s the way I’d prefer it – no slop whatsoever. The 18650 adapter

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does have some play, however. Bonus shot.

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Of course the tail comes off. And the cell tube does too. But while I could get the bezel to begin to unscrew, it seemed to not want to unscrew completely. I’m sure it could be done, but I didn’t want to risk sacrificing the lens to get it off.

Based on the build quality as seen above, the durability of the UT02 should be great.

Not related to build quality, but just part selection: I do not care for the switch

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on this light. It works but … it’s hard to describe. Too much travel, and it’s just… mashy or something. It does positively click though, and really works well, it’s just not my favorite. If I was comparing it to a switch, for example, I’d much rather have the Manker switch like my U11 has. Or even the Zebralight style. Too much travel plus too much required force, I believe that’s the problem ultimately.

Size

For a 26650 thrower, it’s not a big light. The head is approximately the size of a Nitecore P30, but bigger than a C8. I’ll just put some comparisons, and not say more.

Retention

The UT02 will tailstand

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of course. There’s an included lanyard, and the lanyard attachment hole

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is on the tailcap.

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A pouch might be a good option for this light, but there isn’t one included.

Power

Runtime

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of the UT02. The light shut off at cell voltage of 3.03. I could continue to run the light at this point, but it was at a non-highest setting (approximately medium). The runtime was…. a little surprising I suppose. Claimed runtime on high of 1.25h, but I found a “highest” of over 2 minutes with a stepdown…. but the stepdown lasted for much longer than the remaining 1.25h. Credit to Utorch for the non-standard-skirting Turbo, and the stepdown steps down to a respectable 69ish percent, and is fairly rock solid for that nearly three hours.

Charging

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the UT02. The claim is “2A fast charging” and while the UT02 does charge higher than 1A, it never quite reaches 2A. Charging did terminate at a respectable 4.18V, though, so I’ll call this ‘good enough.’ (In truth I don’t typically want my cells charged at 2A.)

User Interface and Operation

As stated above, there’s just one button for interaction. It is an indicating button – red means “plz charge me” and blue means “enough juice thanks”. Note that the light isn’t continually on. If you’re charging, it’s on (red or blue). If it’s off and not charging, the indicator is off. If it’s on and low, the red light is on. Note that “Low” means something interesting here: The indicator only lights if the runtime of the current mode is less than 25%. I’m not commmmmpletely sure what that means, but in any case, if while using the light you see the red indicator switch, charge the light, or choose a lower mode.

I should note that the indicating switch can also do the “breath flash”, and in this case it’s color is purple (fading in and out). I really wish these indicating switches would just do more things. (Like, voltage indicator, for example).

I really want to just point you to the manual

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for the UI, but I’ll try to tableize it anyway. The flow chart is very good, though.

State Action Result
Off Click Low
Off Long Press Mode memory (strobe group excluded)
On Click Mode cycle [Low>Med1>Med2>High>Turbo]
On Long Press Off
Regular Mode Double Click Strobe Group (Strobe)
Strobe Click Strobe cycle [Strobe>Breath flash> SOS]
Strobe Double Click Regular Group

Here’s where my issue with the switch becomes evident: The “mashy” ness of it makes it difficult to consistently double click. So entering strobe group requires attention, and specificity. If you don’t do it consciously, you’ll probably get it wrong. (No offence to you, I’m sure you’re great at clicking… just… the switch man…)

LED and Beam

There’s a Cree XHP35 HI

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behind a very smooth (and to my eye, perfectly flawless) reflector. I used to say Cree XP-L HI’s were my favorite emitter, but I’m liking this XHP35 HI more and more.

Easily the most intense light I own, the beam is all throw. There’s some surprising red in the very

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far reaches of the spill, but you’ll likely never notice those when using the light. Here

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for example – the red is foreground, and the background of the pic (the top) – that’s not even the hotspot, or corona – that’s the side spill. So the red is faint and hardly worth mentioning. And here I’ve dedicated a whole paragraph to it. Sorry!

The 5000K XHP35 should be fairly neutral and while not nearly as pleasant as the venerable BLF-348,

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it’s not nearly as green as that photo makes it seem.

And since this is my best thrower ever, and last night was foggy, I got to pay homage to some recently dearly departeds, by busting out the UT02 light saber.

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The tree in the distance

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there is approximately 100m away.

Other outdoor beamshots include the Convoy C8 XP-L HI, and the Nitecore P30. I took two sets of shots of each, so look at the description to note the camera settings. The 0.3 f8 ISO100 5000K is my standard, but I included some at a setting that more accurately represented what I was seeing.

Beamshots, Runtime, and Lux Measurements

Brand Utorch
Model UT02
Emitter Cree XHP35 HI
Emitter Notes 3D 5000K
Cell 26650
Runtime 26650
Chargetime 26650
Beamshots [0.3″, f/8, ISO 100, 5000k] 26650
Claimed Lumens (lm) 1300
Lux (Measured) 2580
At (m) 6.38
Candela (Calculated) in cd 105017.35
Throw (Calculated) (m) 648.13
Throw (Claimed) (m) 700

Random Comparisons and Competitive Options….

The Acebeam EC60

http://acebeam.com/ec60 is a compelling competitor. It has most of the features of the UT02, except that the reflector on the UT02 is quite a bit larger, and the UT02 should definitely throw better. The EC60 is rated for less than I actually measured the UT02… Depending on where you price the EC60, you’ll probably spend at least twice as much, too.

Beamshots vs Nitecore P30.

Conclusion

I really like this light. From what I’ve read, it gets some grief for being very similar to other lights, and I don’t know enough politics to comment on that. But I can say that I’m very pleased with this one! Well before the review I promised this light to a friend. I like it enough to pick up another for myself!

What I like

  • I like the XHP35 HI a lot
  • Very smooth reflector
  • Onboard charging
  • Versatile UI
  • Great price!

What I don’t like

  • The actuation on the switch
  • ^ that’s the only thing I don’t like about this light

Final Thoughts

I fully recommend this light. If you don’t have a thrower, this is a fun one. Here’s a coupon UTORCH, which will make this light cost just $42.99 at Gearbest.com. Utorch UT02 – That’s a ref link!


Notes:

  • Thank you to GearBest for providing this light for review.
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