Wuben X0 Knight Flashlight

Is there a perfect EDC Flashlight? The Wuben X0 may check all the boxes.

Wuben X0 Knight Flashlight
The Wuben X0; the modern anglehead pocket flashlight

I have carried a variety of small lights in my pocket (EDC) for years, most of them being CR123-powered lights for the compact size and power density, although I've also carried AA battery-sized lights in the past. I prefer to carry such a flashlight in my pocket, not in a holster so it has to be compact, smooth edges so it does not ruin my pants pockets, and it has to have the features I am looking for in a light I carry every day. Does the Wuben X0 fit the bill? Let's find out!

Specifications

First off, a quick round of features and specifications; the light is 82g (with supplied battery), 57x24x28mm, and has a light output of 1, 50, 150, 250, and 1100 lumens. It is powered by a CR123 battery and comes with a rechargeable 1100mAh (4.07Wh) RC123. It has a single side-firing Osram P9 LED which produces a very useful floody output with a defined hotspot and is waterproof (IP68).

Runtimes vary from 130 hours on Moon (1 lumen) to 2.5 hours on high (250 lumens). Turbo mode (1100 lumens) will ramp down within a minute to 300 lumens which will run for around 2 hours. It also has Strobe and SOS modes which are both can be quickly activated but the user interface is designed so that they aren't easily activated on accident. More on the user interface later.

Look and Feel

While most flashlights have a pretty basic formula where the emitter is at one end of the light and shines outward, the X0 has the LED on the side of the flashlight. This changes the ergonomics slightly but not in a negative way and allows for some alternative carrying positions to normal lights, such as clipped to a pocket or a backpack. It also has a very strong magnet on the end of the light for attaching to a work surface for hands-free operation. Being a side-emitting light, which often makes a light slightly more squared off or forces a bulge on the side of the light, Wuben took a slightly different approach and made the entire light squared off. All of the edges are smooth and it feels good in the hand and gives the light a rather distinctive, even futuristic look. Given that this flashlight is rather squared off on the sides you'll have no worries about it rolling away from you. If you do not need the belt clip, it is easily removed from the light and will make it slightly smaller.

To add to the futuristic look, they included 8 slots on the light in various places where you could insert tritium vials to give the flashlight a unique look and make it glow in the dark for many years without any light source to charge it like traditional glow in the dark materials. If you do decide to put tritium vials in your light, just be warned that they are not cheap and the cheap ones are likely just traditional glow-in-the-dark materials and do not glow on their own. That said you can always get the cheaper glow-in-the-dark vials or mix glow-in-the-dark powder into epoxy and put them into the slots.

If you're looking for a light that's built to be bulletproof, this light will fit the bill. Its body is thick and exceptionally sturdy, I imagine it'd take a ton of abuse as long as the button or LED doesn't get damaged.

User Interface

I've had many flashlights where the user interface lets down the entire light; either the light offers too many modes that are hard to use, it doesn't remember the last used mode, too easy to accidentally get into strobe mode, or just doesn't offer good modes to vary the output of the flashlight to fit the needs of a flashlight you carry every day. The X0 has none of these limitations, and it has a cool trick up its sleeve that's rarely seen on consumer flashlights; the ability to customize the light output. More on that later.

The X0 user manual explains each of the modes well, but basically, it has a memory function so that when you turn on the light it always turns on to the mode you were last in (moon, low, medium, or high) and Turbo is a quick double-tap when the light is on. This light also has a great feature that if you long-press the button when the light is off it will go directly into Moon mode; a feature that is almost essential to not blind yourself in the dark fumbling through modes or when trying to be incognito. Double-clicking the light when it's off will put it in Strobe mode, making this mode quick to reach but not easily accidentally activated. If you want to lock the light out from turning on in your pocket, four quick clicks will put it in locked mode and the same will take it back out of locked mode. I have, however, noticed one small quirk when you lock the light. When you unlock it, it always defaults back to the lowest output setting. In general, it feels like Wuben has put a lot of thought into how people use flashlights.

Custom Light Output

Wuben has gone one step farther and added a feature that I've rarely seen but is exceptionally useful; custom light output, and they've even gone farther with this feature than any light I've seen in the past. I've seen some lights that allow you to set their light output and then that output is the default every time you turn on the light. Some will also have alternate modes, such as forcing it to High output, etc, but Wuben allows you to customize all four normal light modes in reasonable ranges within each. For example, if Moon mode is too low, you can adjust the output to be between 1 and 15 lumens in that mode and once that is set every time you go to Moon mode that light output level is used. Same for Low (15-50), Medium (50-150), and High (150-300). I feel that the default settings of 1, 50, 150, and 250 respectively are very well spaced out and are quite reasonable defaults but this feature makes the X0 extremely flexible and lets you customize it to the light output you need.

Power button and Charging

Wuben has an interesting take on how to do a power button. On the X0 the button is a large metal tab at the end of the light which has a very positive feel and flips open to reveal the charging port. The actual button under the metal cover is rubber, but it seems well-designed and protected. I have had lights with rubber buttons on them which have worn down from wear in a pocket and this cover will eliminate that issue. Also, no worries of fingernails or other things digging into the button, as it's not designed for the user to directly push it, rather it is activated through the metal cover. The USB-C charging port is obscured by the metal tab, but it is otherwise not covered and has no rubber insert which can be annoying on some flashlights to remove to recharge. Time will tell if pocket lint will be an issue in the charging port, but the metal flap should pretty well protect it.

I tried to charge the X0 from a Power Delivery USB charger and it did not appear to support PD as it remained at 5v. I do not currently have a QC charger to test it with. I also tried a variety of random USB chargers I have around, all of which are 5W or higher and the X0 always charges at 5V/1A, which is 5W. This matches what the manual says but I like to try rechargeable devices on a few different chargers to see if there are any quirks or issues and this light seems to be fine. The manual says that a full charge should take about 1.5 hours and the battery capacity listed on the bottom of the light says it is a 1.1Ah battery so that tells me that the light does do some intelligent ramping down once the battery is approaching full which is excellent as this puts less stress on the battery. As it approached full, I watched the charge rate drop from 5W to 3.5W and down to .5W over the last 15 minutes before charging finally completed.

The body of the light gets slightly warm to the touch after charging for a while. The light can be turned on while charging and it does appear to continue to charge at the normal rate, however, given the design of the light, this is nearly impossible to do while the charger is connected.

When you see the battery status indicator turn red when you turn on the flashlight I advise you to charge the light as soon as possible. According to the manual, it turns red at 40% state of charge which is lower than I prefer to discharge LiIon batteries. If it turned red at 60% this would be better as charging at 60% is ideal to keep your battery working as long as possible. If your battery indicator light is blinking red I would highly advise you to use the light as little as possible until you can recharge it because blinking red indicates that the battery is at 15% state of charge or lower.

Battery Replacement

A huge aspect of my purchasing decision on flashlights is the battery; design, size, whether can I use my own batteries, are the batteries oddly sized or proprietary, etc. The X0 uses a standard RC123 battery and I have tested some batteries I have here at the house and can confirm that a typical battery will fit and function. Be aware that this light is rather powerful and will require a battery that can provide a lot of current for Turbo mode; not all batteries are designed for such loads. Usually, I find such batteries will suddenly disconnect themselves and require placing in a charger to make them work again. If you use a third-party battery, test it before going out into the dark to make sure it can handle the load.

Warranty

Wuben has excellent warranty policies that will replace any light, no questions, within 30 days if there is a quality issue with the product and for 1 year Wuben will repair the light for free. They also offer a 1-year warranty on batteries which is excellent as I am used to seeing batteries excluded from all warranty-related claims and consider this to be a consumable item. Wuben also offers 5 years of free repairs for quality issues and paid lifetime repair on their products. For all of the details read their Warranty Policy page.

Real World Usage

As mentioned before, for a flashlight to make it into my pocket as my EDC it has to be compact, has to have multiple modes/output levels, has to have reasonable output as well as runtime, and has to be reliable. I only carry one light at a time, so that light has to do everything I need. I am very picky when it comes to my EDC light and have purchased new lights with better features (often increased light output) over the years to replace my existing light, only to decide later that the features and function of my old EDC light are better and the new light is put into service in some other way. So in the last 15+ years, I've had three EDC lights which I carried in my pocket every day, everywhere I went. A Fenix P2D, a Nitecore Defender Infinity, and an OLight Baton 3. The Nitecore DI had a similar output to the P2D it replaced but could ramp the output to a precise level which I found exceptionally useful. The Nitecore DI remained my EDC for many years even though its light output was only 130 lumen and I considered replacing it several times. The first light to finally replace it was the OLight Baton 3 because of it's compact size, very useful floody output and it's insanely bright turbo mode. It is, however, not without its flaws.

The Wuben X0 covers everything I need day to day; very low Moon level output all the way 1100 lumens and almost anywhere in between. So the question is can it replace the OLight Baton 3? You may not have a Baton 3 of your own to make comparisons to, but the overall observations will hopefully be relatable.

Size: Wuben X0 is slightly shorter but slightly thicker at 57x28mm compared to the Baton 3's 63x21mm. In the pocket, I do notice that the X0 is slightly squared off vs the round tube of the Baton 3, but the difference is pretty minimal so I will consider this one a draw.

Features: Wuben X0's modes and user interface are similar enough to the Baton 3, however, the ability to customize the light output on the X0 gives it a big advantage so X0 wins on features.

Design: Both lights look nice, both appear to have slightly sharp edges but in practice don't and both will not damage pockets. However, the Baton 3 has a major weakness in its power button. It is rubber and over the two years I've owned it the button has worn down purely from wear in my pocket. I don't know if it will wear to the point of failure but it worries me. Seems OLight realized this was a flaw and has replaced this with a metal button in their refresh, the Baton 4. X0 wins here because its button should never wear out.

Ergonomics: The Baton 3 is a traditional flashlight with a button on the side and the LED emits from one end of the light, a formula that has been around for many years. While the side-emitter has also been in use for many years by the military it has not seen a lot of use in the consumer flashlight space. The position of the LED on the X0 works great when clipped onto something, but when held in the hand I can't quite seem to figure out where to put my fingers. If I hold it kind of like a Bic lighter, my finger in the front gets in some of the light. If I pinch it from the sides it's a little awkward and can't easily change modes. I think this one is a draw as both designs have their benefits. Walking with the Baton 3 clipped to a hat makes it a quick and easy headlamp and works better than the X0 clipped to a pocket when walking, but for close-up work either is fine.

Battery: The Baton 3 is going to lose this round immediately; it has a custom battery. That said, replacement batteries were not too expensive at a little under $10/pc and I purchased two additional batteries and rotate through them every few months. However, long-term these batteries will eventually degrade and the light will not use standard RC123 or CR123 batteries at all. X0 uses standard batteries. If you ever do need to replace the battery you just need a tool that grabs the bottom of the flashlight, such as a tool to remove a watch backplate. I usually just use a rubber dog ball as the rubber is grippy enough to press against a flat surface and unscrew. I've done this on several watches and I've also verified that this trick works on the X0 and leaves no scratches or marks. This said; you are not likely to be changing a battery "in the field" with this design.

Charging: The Baton 3 is a winner here as it has a magnetic puck charger that just snaps onto the bottom of the light to charge it, versus plugging a USB cable into the light. That said, I find myself charging the light perhaps once a month on average so this is not too concerning for me.

Light output: Both have similar Turbo output; the X0 will do 1100 lumens and the Baton 3 will do 1200 lumens. While the Baton 3's 1200 lumens sounds impressive on paper and is impressive in person, its normal 300-lumen High mode is often not enough light as the beam battery is so floody. The X0's beam is an even wider flood with a soft hot spot in the middle. Great for some applications but may not be great in others. Neither light is designed as a "thrower", and I prefer to have more flood than tight spot on an EDC, but there has to be a compromise or just too much light is lost in the periphery. The Baton 3 wins here; it has plenty of flood for seeing everything around but can throw plenty of light ahead of you while the X0 seems to throw out a wide wash of light without reaching very far.

Heat: The body of the Baton 3 gets painfully hot within seconds on Turbo mode, while the body of the X0 never seems to barely have gotten warm by the time it has ramped down. Same with the emitter TIR/lens; the Baton 3 gets painfully hot quite fast whereas the X0 takes a lot longer and doesn't get anywhere near as hot.

Overall for "EDC Winner" I think it's mostly a draw. I will update with a long-term usage summary and how the X0 has held up and see if it remains my EDC or if the Baton 3 sneaks its way back into my pocket.

Beam Patterns

Demonstrating beam patterns can be quite difficult to convey, but overall as mentioned earlier the X0's beam pattern is very wide with a soft hotspot in the middle. Nonetheless, here are some shots across my cutting mat on its centimeter scale side for comparison against my Baton 3. In real life, the X0 is a very wide wash of light. It even lights up the ground directly in front of my feet whereas the Baton 3 feels almost too tight of a beam in comparison. I will add more beam shots to this gallery very soon. As for color, the Osram LED in my light is exceptionally white and does not show any green or blue hues at any light level that I have noticed whereas my Baton 3 has a distinctly green hue which I have largely ignored after using it for two years but in comparison to the X0 looks pretty bad. The beam shape on the X0 is slightly imperfect but nothing you would ever notice in any normal usage.

Suggestions to Wuben

First off; keep the user interface and the customizable light output. It's great and it sets your flashlights apart from many others. And keep making interesting lights; your lineup contains a variety of options from basic normal flashlights to exceptionally high output options as well as interesting colors and finishes that should cover the needs of almost any flashlight lover.

Consider an external charger similar to OLight, it uses a system that snaps onto the flashlight and charges it externally but without needing to plug a cable into the flashlight. I know you have at least one light that charges via some pins and/or wireless, but a pin system is pretty cheap, makes recharging easy, and allows you to remove the USB port which is one less thing to get damaged or allow water intrusion.

Make the pocket clip less stiff; it will go over a pocket but just barely. Given I feel the strongest use case of this flashlight is clipped over something this is one area I think that should be improved sooner than later. The clip looks great but it really should be made out of a different more flexible material.

Make the battery easier to access by hand. I know the smooth surface for the magnet is a feature of this flashlight but perhaps there could be a way to keep that and make it possible to change the battery without tools. It's also quite difficult to know when the compartment is screwed down all the way.

Conclusion

Is the X0 for you? I think it's going to come down to how you need to use your flashlight. The Wuben X0 has all the features a flashlight lover would ever need so the deciding factors may be the side-facing LED design and if the ability to change the battery on the fly is important for you. I think this light is great at providing a lot of light in front of you as you walk, but it's not great at sending a lot of light very far away. Holding the light is different from other lights, but perhaps the whole idea of this flashlight is that you don't hold it; you clip it to things, and that it excels at.

As with most product reviews I do, I will update this after I've had more time with the product and how its functionality, fit, and finish hold up in everyday life.

This is a sponsored, but not paid, review and the product was provided to me at no cost. If you want to check out the X0 or any other Wuben flashlights, use my referral link to the Wuben X0 Product Page to save up to 36% off your purchase if you opt for the White color, all other colors are discounted 25%. It comes in a variety of colors and if the X0 isn't your style check out some of their other lights. If you prefer to shop through Amazon you can check out the Amazon Wuben X0 page.

Using the link not only saves you money but also tells Wuben that you're interested in their products and helps them make marketing decisions to bring you more reviews and products in the future.

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