BLF GT Mini 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
  Tint vs...
  Beamshots, Runtime, etc table.
  Comparisons
Conclusion
  What I like
  What I don't like
Parting Shot
Up Next
Notes

Preface

Anyone reading this site probably knows about the throw King, the BLF GT.  Recently Lumintop made a little brother, the BLF GT Mini.  This was an instant buy for me, and today I have a little review of it!


Official Specs and Features

Also worth mentioning is the BLF development thread for this light.

Versions

What I have here is a NW version, and I believe there is a CW version as well.  Also the light ships as an 18650 light, but there’s a 18350 shorty tube available as well.  I have both, which can be seen in this review.

Price

I only see this available from one non-official amazon seller, and the 18650 is going for $50.

Edit:  Buy this for $35 at banggood!!


Short Review

It’s probably pretty well known that I’m a fan of most Lumintop lights.  I really love the GT, and it’s impossible to not like this little mini version.  Yes, there could have been some awesome improvements (with a different driver) but overall I’m still very pleased with this light.

Long Review

What’s Included

  • Lumintop GT Mini Flashlight (18650 tube)
  • Lanyard
  • Spare o-rings (2)
  • Manual
  • (Optional) 18350 tube

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Package and Manual

The GT Mini ships in a cardboard box with a printed sleeve.  The package and packaging is very nice, and also very secure.

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The manual is all English, and two sided.  Quite big, and very thorough.  Notably since the light has two mode groups (ramping, and discrete.)

Build Quality and Disassembly

The build quality of the GT Mini is like that of the GT itself: great.  I’ll lead by saying that I love the anodizing of this light (because it’s a stark contrast to the main competitor).

16_zeroair_reviews_blf_gt_mini_nw.jpg

The knurling is great – provides a little bit of grip without being aggressive.

26_zeroair_reviews_blf_gt_mini_nw.jpg

The head has some thick fins for dealing with heat, but is generally uncomplicated.

14_zeroair_reviews_blf_gt_mini_nw.jpg

I was unable to remove the bezel from the head, so this is as broken down as I had the light.  The threads on both ends are anodized, and come essentially unlubed.  I think I prefer that to overly lubed, and the threads are very smooth anyway.  They’re thick and square cut.  Very good threads.  That they’re anodized also means it’s possible to mechanically lockout the light with a short twist.   Note also that the cell tubes are directional.  One end has a bit of a neck (unthreaded area) –  this neck goes toward the head.

18_zeroair_reviews_blf_gt_mini_nw.jpg

The driver seems pressed in, or possibly put in through the bigger opening.  Hard to say, but it doesn’t seem to screw in.

The cell tubes are nice and thick.

23_zeroair_reviews_blf_gt_mini_nw.jpg

Here’s a detail of the neck (right).

Size

Officially the GT Mini is 132mm x 50mm, and weight 150g, for the 18650 variation.  Below, it’s in both the 18350 and 18650 configuration.

Depending on the setup, it’s either fairly longer or fairly shorter than the Convoy S2+.

Also slightly longer than the Emisar D1S, but otherwise very similar.

The bezel and reflectors are essentially the same size.

28_zeroair_reviews_blf_gt_mini_nw.jpg

And how does the GT Mini shorty stack up to the GT shorty?  Here you go.  Perfectly complimentary.

Retention

A provided lanyard connects on the tailcap.  Unlike the big GT, there’s no attachment point on the head.

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And that’s it.  There’s no pouch or cover or magnet or clip or anything else for the GT Mini.  The cell tube doesn’t even have a proper place for a pocket clip.

Power

Power is provided to the GT Mini by either 18650 or 18350 Li-ion cells.  Both the head and tail have springs, so the light should have no trouble using any type of either cell.  And the power drawn on turbo isn’t so great that most cells can’t handle.  (Around 4.5A claimed, and measured.)

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Here’s a runtime on Turbo.  This test is with the default temperature setting.  I reset the light a few times to turbo.  Early in the tests, the light still resets to near max output and steps down as planned, but on the last reset, since the light never reaches the critical point, the light just drifts off turbo slowly to it’s Low Voltage point.  The light is highly configurable, but in all of my tests has LVP.

43_zeroair_reviews_blf_gt_mini_nw.png

Here’s a similar test but with the thermal setting completely off.  The light holds near max output for a considerable time, but then drifts as the cell voltage drops.

45_zeroair_reviews_blf_gt_mini_nw.png

Another default setting test, but with an 18350 cell.  Very similar outcome, but with no turbo resets through the run.

42_zeroair_reviews_blf_gt_mini_nw.png

And another 18350 test, but with the temperature setting configured to “off”.  There are many other possible settings, but I chose to test the two extremes.

44_zeroair_reviews_blf_gt_mini_nw.png

User Interface and Operation

There’s a single switch on the GT Mini.  It’s a side, e-switch, and has an indicating emitter under.  The indicator is green, and on my light only lighted half the switch.  I’m not sure if this is intentional, or if half my switch isn’t working like it should.  Either way, it told the information I needed.

17_zeroair_reviews_blf_gt_mini_nw.jpg

The switch is a little too domed for my tastes, and ends up feeling squishy.  I really prefer flat rubber, or even metal switches (Thrunite does good indicating metal switches).  Since this one is only half lit, it either looks like it’s not working right, or is cheap.  And neither of those is good.

The UI itself is a version of Narsil, by Tom E.  The version my light shows is Narsil 1.3.  (Check this by clicking 3x, then 2x, then 2x, and the version will be blinked.  1 blink, pause 3 blinks.)

The UI is much too complex for my usual table, and I’m not going to undertake that here.  This Cheat Sheet is not my work! but is very useful, and thorough.

Capture.PNG

There are two groups.  One group has ramping, one group has discrete modes.  It’s possible to switch between ramping and discrete easily.  The default is ramping, and to switch to modes, firs turn the light on, then hold the switch for 3.2s.  It’ll blink twice, pause, and blink once.  At that point, click once.  This disables ramping.  Once this is done, put the light down so you don’t change other settings (which is very easy to do.)  There are other things you could do to expedite termination of programming, but just skip it, and wait.

Narsil is wonderful firmware.  It’s extremely versatile, and possible to change many (most? all?) of the settings about the light.  I’ll try to put together a video showing programming, because that’s the easiest way to grasp how to do it.

LED and Beam

The emitter in this light is a Cree XP-L HI, and it’s neutral white.  There’s a white centering ring, and the reflector is very smooth and fairly deep.

12_zeroair_reviews_blf_gt_mini_nw.jpg

This provides a beam with very little spill, and a tight spot.

Below the BLF GT Mini is on the left, and the Emisar D1S on the right.

The beams are very, very similar.  (With the Emisar being a shade warmer.)

Tint vs BLF-348

39_zeroair_reviews_blf_gt_mini_nw.jpg

Beamshots, Runtime, and Lux Measurements

Lumintop BLF GT Mini
Emitter Cree XP-L HI
Emitter Notes NW
Cell 18650 18350
Runtime Chargetime N/A
LVP? Yes
Claimed Lumens (lm) >1200
Lux (Measured) 2827 lux @ 6.119 m 2911 lux @ 5.873 m
Candela (Calculated) in cd 105849.0 100406.6
Throw (Calculated) (m) 650.7 633.7
Throw (Claimed) (m) 750 750

Random Comparisons and Competitive Options….

There are a few lights in this category, but the one everyone will compare is the (practically same) Emisar D1S.  It’s a perfectly reasonable comparison, since the BLF GT Mini didn’t end up with the proposed driver, and comes in the same setup as the Emisar.  For me, it’s no comparison.  I hate the way the anodizing of the Emisar light feels in my hand, and the Lumintop is great comparatively.  Everything else is similar enough to be a wash (though the throw is a little lacking on the GT Mini.)

Conclusion

What I like

  • Build quality is great
  • Very programmable
  • 18350 and 18650 versions
  • It really is a Mini GT

What I don’t like

  • Programming the light is a bit difficult
  • Didn’t hit the throw specification
  • Half lit switch

Parting Shot

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Up Next

Next week, more reviews!  I’m thinking that Fun Fund Friday will be a light I’ve had since 2017…. and isn’t even available any more!  What do you all think?

Notes

  • This light was provided by no one for review.  I bought this light myself!  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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