Utorch S1 Mini 5000K and 6500K Flashlight Review

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
  Beamshots, Runtime, etc table.
  Comparisons
Conclusion
  What I like
  What I don't like
Up Next
Notes

Preface

Utorch has been a brand I liked since a while back, when I reviewed the UT02.  I really liked that one, and it’s been a go-to recommendation for a while.  When I saw these two small lights on GearBest, I was very interested to test them.  So here’s the Utorch S1 Mini, a 16340 aspheric!


Official Specs and Features

The specs for these two lights are essentially the same.

Versions

There are two versions, and I’m lucky enough to have both of them here for review.  There’s a 6500K version, and a 5000K version.  Otherwise the lights are the same.

Price

Normally north of $30, but there’s a flash sale on the 6500K at GearBest right now.  Hit this link for more!  Go see what the price is!  (It’s $26.99 for the 6500K.)  The 5000K is ~$28.


Short Review

This light isn’t perfect, and I have other aspherics that I’d grab first.  But it’s a fun, inexpensive entry to aspherics.  The hardware is good, but I’m not a huge fan of the UI.

Long Review

What’s Included

  • Utorch S1 Mini Flaslight
  • Lumintop 650mAh 16340
  • Spare o-ring (2)
  • Pocket clip
  • Manual and paperwork

20180401-IMG_1602.jpg

Can you believe it?  I remembered to get a shot of the cell.

Package and Manual

The box that the S1 Mini ships in is quite nice – slip fit thick cardboard.  The top has a nice illustration of the light, and there’s really nothing else much on the box.  GearBest has an inventory sticker on the box, but the placement is inconsistent.

The manual is a small slip of glossy paper, printed on only one side.  All the requisite information is there, and laid out well.  It’s a fine manual.

20180401-IMG_1603.jpg

Build Quality and Disassembly

I like the build quality of the S1 Mini.  The feel is nice – good weight, good anodizing.  The anodizing is lightly matte.

20180401-IMG_1614.jpg

The knurling is square cut, and quite raised but not sharp.  Good for gripping.

The threads (which are anodized) are surprisingly lightly lubed.  They are square threads, too.  As far as I can tell, the head does not unscrew from the head.  Doesn’t budge, and also I can’t see a seam.  I also could not get the stainless bezel ring to budge, and there aren’t any internal divots for a tool to help unscrew.  So I can’t really speak toward changing the emitter in this light.

Size

Official size is 59.4mm x 21.5mm x 20.6mm.  And it weighs 26g without cell.

It’s a small light.  It’s not the smallest 16340 light, of course – that honor is still held by [probably] Olight. Seen here are two other lights that are smaller – the Olight S Mini (stainless steel), and the Klarus Mi1C.  The Mi1C is also an aspheric, and also has a magnet.  (I reviewed that one here.)

Retention

The S1 Mini includes a pocket clip, which attaches at nearly the center point of the body.  The clip does not rotate around the body – there’s a specific cutout made for this clip and this clip only.  The clip holds on snugly, and is reversible but if reversed, the mouth is a little below the tail of the light.

20180401-IMG_1615.jpg

There’s also a lanyard hole in the tailcap.  No lanyard is included.

20180401-IMG_1610.jpg

And of course, the tailcap has a magnet.  The magnet is plenty strong to hold the light in any orientation very snugly.

20180401-IMG_1625.jpg

Power

A single 16340 cell powers the S1 Mini.  Utorch provides a Lumintop cell.  I am not sure what the relationship is with Utorch and Lumintop, but it’s not unreasonable to think that Lumintop might be making these Utorch lights.

There’s a rubber donut around the positive terminal, which will prevent reverse polarity damage to the light, and also prevent use of flat top cells.  The light does not have low voltage protection.  In my tests, the light did turn off at around 1.5V, and cites a working voltage of 2-4.2V, so it’s likely that a primary cell will not work in this light.

20180401-IMG_1618.jpg

Here’s a runtime for both tints of the S1 Mini, on High.  As you can see the overall output of the cooler light is greater, and due to a strangely different stepdown pattern, the runtime is also much longer.  The High output of the 5000K version looks to be around 10-13% lower than the 6500K version.

Runtime.png

 

There’s also a battery check (see below in the UI description).  Double click when the light is off and the main (ie only) emitter will flash according to the charge state of the cell.  If the cell is <10%, the main emitter will flash twice every 3 minutes (this is separate from the battery check mode.)

The included cell has on-board charging.  There are also two lights – one red and one green – to indicate if charging is happening (red) or charging is complete (green).

I went ahead and tested charging with both cells – the charge circuit is clearly the same.  The capacity looks appropriately labeled on the cell, too.  Charging happens at about 375mA, which is a good rate for this small cell.  So no complaints about the charging here.

chargetime.png

User Interface and Operation

There’s a single button on the S1 Mini, and it’s a side clicky e-switch.  It’s not a big switch, but it’s easy to find and operate, and is a good level of clicky.

20180401-IMG_1611.jpg

Here’s a UI table!

State Action Result
Off Click On (Mode Memory)
Off Hold  Moonlight
 On Hold Off
On Click Mode advance (Moon>L>M>H)
Moonlight Double Click Strobe
Strobe Click Strobe advance (SOS>Beacon>Strobe)
Strobe Double click Moonlight
Off Long Hold (>4s) Lockout
Lockout Long Hold (>4s) Unlock
Off Double Click Battery check*

* Battery check works as follows:
Four flashes: 100% capacity
Three flashes: 70-100% capacity
Two flashes: 30-70% capacity
One flash: <30% capacity

Modes

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Mode Measured Lux (5000K/6500K) Tailcap Amps
High 600 125m  12850/14250 ~1.5
Medium 100  5h50m  1915/2100 ~0.3
Low 7  88h  130/136 ~
 Moonlight 0.5  31d  6/7 ~

LED and Beam

Both of these lights have Cree XP-L HD emitters.  There are two tint options.  5000K (on the left, below) and 6500K (on the right, below).  The difference in tint between the two is quite marked.

20180401-IMG_1612.jpg

Note that these lights have aspheric lenses.

20180401-IMG_1624.jpg

The beam is quite floody, and ringy.  It’s not entirely unlike the McGizmo Sundrop XR-U, but just feels a little less ‘clean’ (for lack of a better way to say it).  Even the Klarus Mi1C seems to have a better beam profile.

Beamshots, Runtime, and Lux Measurements

Utorch S1 Mini (6500K)
Emitter Cree XP-L HD
Emitter Notes 6500K
Cell 16340
Glamour Shots Beamshots [0.3″, f/8, ISO 100, 5000k]
Runtime Chargetime
LVP? No
Claimed Lumens (lm) 600
Lux (Measured) 70 lux @ 3.353 m
Candela (Calculated) in cd 787.0
Throw (Calculated) (m) 56.1
Throw (Claimed) (m) 50
Utorch S1 Mini  (5000K)
Emitter Cree XP-L HD
Emitter Notes 5000K
Cell 16340
Glamour Shots Beamshots [0.3″, f/8, ISO 100, 5000k]
Runtime Chargetime
LVP? No
Claimed Lumens (lm) 600
Lux (Measured) 70 lux @ 3.195 m
Candela (Calculated) in cd 714.6
Throw (Calculated) (m) 53.5
Throw (Claimed) (m) 50

Random Comparisons and Competitive Options….

Of course the already-mentioned Klarus Mi1C compars nicely with these Utorch lights.  I would give it an edge on a number of things:   size, UI, beam profile, and build quality.  But if you’re just looking to try an aspheric, the S1 Mini is a good one to try.

Conclusion

What I like

  • Build quality is good (square cut threads)
  • Low cost of entry to trying an aspheric
  • Good switch

What I don’t like

  • Threads not lubed
  • Beam profile is unappealing (even if you like aspherics)
  • Naming convention is unacceptable.  “S1 Mini” is taken!
  • UI ramping between modes is annoying

Parting Shot

Look into my eyes….

20180401-IMG_1626.jpg


Up Next

I’m actually fresh out of flashlights to review.  I might review some older lights that I just happen to have around, and I still have a bunch of non-light items to review, too.  I’d love to get that list cleaned off.  🙂  Stay tuned (to the blog, because that’s where those posts will be).

Notes

  • This light was provided by GearBest for review. I was not paid to write this review.
  • This content originally appeared at zeroair.wordpress.com.  Please visit there for the best experience!
  • Whether or not I have a coupon for this light, I do have a bunch of coupons!!  Have a look at my spreadsheet for those coupons. It’s possible to subscribe and get notifications when the sheet is edited!!

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