Preface Official Specs Versions Price Short Review Long Review What's Included Manual and Packaging Build Quality and Durability Size Retention Power User Interface and Operation Modes LED and beam Tint vs... Beamshots, Runtime, etc table. Comparisons Conclusion What I like What I don't like Up Next Notes
This is the second (and final for now) Nitefox review. This is an 18650 light with dual switches, and an indicating switch. Nice light; read on for more!
(That link does seem to be dead at the moment.)
Only one. There’s an option which includes a cell, though.
$30 without cell, $37 with cell.
This is a decent quality light, and for the feature set contained, a good value.
- Nitefox UT20 Flashlight
- Charge cable
- Nylon pouch
- Spare o-ring (2)
- Spare boot
- Spare charge port cover
- Tactical ring
- Manual and paperwork
Package and Manual
The Nitefox ships in a nice slip-fit cardboard box, with a great relief for grabbing to separate the halves. The box is largely without printing. Foam protects the contents.
The manual is good enough. It has a table with runtime and output estimates, and the other usual warranty and UI information is included.
Build Quality and Disassembly
There’s nothing to nitpick about the quality of this light. It feels just fine, and at $30, the build quality is good. The glossy anodizing seems resilient, and the knurling is ok (but not very grippy).
The light is quite long, and there are a lot of different textures going on.
The cell tube separates from the head and tail. The cell tube is not reversible – it’ll only work in one orientation (see photo above for that). The head and tail both have very small springs for contact. Minimally stiff.
The thread on both ends are very nice square cut anodized threads, with a fair amount of thick lube.
The switch end has an aluminum retaining ring which unscrews. The head on the other hand, looks to have a press fit driver, and might pose some challenges to remove (as do many lights with on-board charging.)
I measure the light at about 14cm x 2.5cm.
This light is a bit long, to be sure. Much longer than the Convoy S2+.
The UT20 has included a nylon pouch. It’s a fine (and typical) pouch, and the light will fit in the pouch in either direction.
The lanyard holes for the included lanyard are in the tailcap. One on each side, and they’re different, too.
No pocket clip is included (!!), but there is a tactical ring, to which a lanyard may also be attached. There’s a smoothed spot on the body tube just for this.
Unfortunately the light doesn’t tailstand (reliably).
Power is provided by a single 18650 cell. The manual doesn’t mention support for higher than 4.2V, so I wouldn’t push my luck with 2x 18350 or anything else 2-up.
Since the light has dual springs, it’ll work with any type 18650 without issue.
The runtime is unfortunately very unimpressive. It seems to indicate no regulation at all, and the output simply tracks the cell voltage through the runtime. The side switch does provide low voltage warning, and I stopped this runtime after that, at 2.8V.
There’s also on-board charging, via micro-USB. The port is sturdy, and covered by a rubber boot.
The boot is fairly thick.
Charging looks much better than the runtime looked, and takes place at around 0.85A. I can’t explain the first 50 minutes, but once the light gets up to max charge rate, it’s very steady. This is a good CC/CV charge program. You’ll need to click the tail switch for charging to happen…. (it’s a mechanical clicky, so the system needs it in the “on” position so that there’s a closed loop).
User Interface and Operation
The UT20 has two switches: A side e-switch with indicating led, and a mechanical tail switch.
The tail switch has a bit of (what I’d call) a ‘tactical dome’. It’s a forward clicky, so there’s a intrinsic momentary option.
The indicating side switch will tell the cell power, as follows:
Green: >20% power
Red: Between 10 and 20%
Red flashing: <10% power remaining
Here’s a UI table! This is for the non-tactical option.
|Off||Click Tail Switch (TS)||On (mode memory)|
|Off||Click Side Switch (SS)||No action|
|Off||Soft press TS||Momentary (Mode memory)|
|On||Long press SS||Strobe|
|On||Click SS||Mode advance (Moon, LMHT)|
|On||Long Press (>3s) SS||Switch mode group|
The tactical group is simpler – The side switch does nothing. The tail switch comes on in High (and resets after a few seconds, back to high). If clicked quickly, it cycles H, Strobe, L.
Strangely (in either group), the tail switch causes a bit of medium-ish preflash, no matter the mode. I found this to be a bit off-putting, as most flashes are.
|Mode||Mode Claimed Output (lm)||Claimed Runtime||Mode Measured Lux||Tailcap Amps|
LED and Beam
The UT20 has a Cree XM-L2 emitter, and a smooth, moderately deep reflector. The beam is quite tight, but still has some spill.
Tint vs BLF-348
Beamshots, Runtime, and Lux Measurements
|Glamour Shots||Beamshots [0.3″, f/8, ISO 100, 5000k]|
|LVP?||Switch warning and Flash, shutoff ~2.6V|
|Claimed Lumens (lm)||1080|
|Lux (Measured)||847 lux @ 3.609 m|
|Candela (Calculated) in cd||11032.1|
|Throw (Calculated) (m)||210.1|
|Throw (Claimed) (m)||350|
There are quite a few lights in this category, many which also support 2-up cells. The Nitecore MH12, for example, is a nice competitor (in fact they practically share a body design). Even more similar is the Thrunite TC12 v2, which I reviewed here. All of these are good choices, but the Nitefox is less expensive. I don’t expect any of these others have preflash, though.
What I like
- Charging is good
- Indicating side switch
- Good build quality
What I don’t like
- Light is very long
- Can’t tailstand
That’s all for this week! Next week I have on tap a Nitecore MH23, a Klarus thrower, and possibly another JETBeam, with an emitter I’ve never seen before!
- This light was provided by Nitefox for review. I was not paid to write this review.
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