Wuben X2 Flashlight

A look at the Wuben X2, a compact light with big output.

Wuben X2 Flashlight
Industrial design, yet nice to hold and those three emitters will turn the dark into daylight

I have carried an EDC flashlight for many years, technically I carry two as I also have a small Fenix L0D on my keychain. In each car I have a flashlight, I have one on my desk, my bed, in the garage, etc. I even have a few throwers that concentrate their light in a very tight spot for lighting something up at a great distance. I didn't have any that lights up everything nearby and at a distance until now. The Wuben X2 has a beam pattern that covers a great amount of area with enough grunt to also go the distance.

Specifications

Let's cover some of the basic specs of the light. It has three Osram P9 or Samsung LH351D LEDs in a row with a shared orange peel reflector which produces a very wide flood of light and has output levels of 5, 100, 400, and 2500 lumens. Its dimensions are 85x39x20mm (without belt clip) and it weighs 115g. Two 14500 batteries power it, however, these are not user-serviceable. It has an IP68 waterproof rating and specifies that it can survive in 2m of water for up to 1 hour.

Runtime on 5 lumens is 80 hours, and then 100 lumens will run for 10 hours, 400 lumens for 2.5 hours, and finally, Turbo mode has 2500 lumens but will throttle back after one minute to 800 lumens for 1 hour. 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

I wasn't initially sure how usable or comfortable this light would be in the hand and not having thought much about the dimensions initially when I held it I was surprised that it's both much smaller than I was thinking and also a lot more comfortable to hold than I had imagined. All of the edges look sharp and utilitarian, but in reality, they're all quite smooth and refined with no sharp edges or corners except one; where the head of the flashlight connects to the battery portion it's a little sharp along the body near the screws but not in a way I think is concerning at all to the hands nor a pocket. The belt clip does add about 5mm to the stated dimensions but could be easily removed if you do not need the clip. Given this is a side-by-side cell battery I probably don't need to say that this is not a light that will ever roll away from you as it's quite rectangular but does give you options for being placed on its side, tail, or clipped to something.

Like other lights from Wuben, I've looked at recently this light appears to be built to be bulletproof. Its body is thick and exceptionally sturdy and with the thick metal button and slightly recessed LED lens, I suspect you'd have to try to damage this light.

The way the body is designed on this light you could also put glow-in-the-dark resin in various places to customize the light further and make it easier to find in the dark.

User Interface

So far the Wuben lights I've looked at have a similar interface, so you're likely going to hear some repeated information here if you've read my other reviews, however, I think it's worth stating for each light individually how it operates as that can be as important, or more important, than the light output when it comes to how and when I'll carry and use a flashlight. Like other Wuben lights, the X2 has multiple light output modes, all easily selected, has SOS and Strobe cleverly hidden away in the UI yet easily reached but also has the exceptionally compelling feature that lets you adjust each mode to the precise lumen output that you want it to have.

The X2 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 (low, medium, or high), holding the button cycles through the light outputs, and Turbo is a quick double-tap when the light is on or off. This light also has a great feature that if you long-press the button when the light is off it will go directly into low mode; a feature that is almost essential to not blind yourself in the dark fumbling through modes or when trying to be incognito. Triple-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 further and added a feature that I've rarely seen from other manufacturers 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 three normal light modes in reasonable ranges within each. For example, if the Low mode is too low, you can adjust the output to be between 5 and 100 lumens in that mode and once that is set every time you go to Low mode that light output level is used. Same for Medium (100-400) and High (400-800) respectively. I feel that Wuben has really smart default settings of 5, 100, and 400 respectively that are very well spaced out and are quite reasonable defaults. But if you want High to be 800 lumens without waiting for Turbo to throttle down, or 100 lumens for Medium is too high, etc, you can customize the light to your desire. You can change the custom light level at any time, but if you want to return to the factory settings there is a procedure in the manual that will allow you to do this.

Power button and Charging

Wuben has an interesting take on how to do a power button that they are using on some of their more recent lights. The button is a large metal tab on the side of the light which has a very positive feel and flips open to reveal the charging port. The button is held in place by reasonably strong magnets and I don't think it would ever flip up in normal use by accident. The button under the metal cover is rubber, but it seems well-designed and protected. The USB-C charging port is covered 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 port, but the metal flap should otherwise protect it.

I tried to charge the X2 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 X2 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 3 hours and the battery capacity listed on the bottom of the light says it is a 2Ah 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 30 minutes before charging finally completed.

The head of the light gets very lightly 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, I doubt this is something you'd typically do.

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

One let-down about the design of the X2 is that the battery is not designed to be easily user-replaceable. Wuben is very clear that the light should not be disassembled and even has printed such text on the base of the flashlight. I will not get into great details here about the possibilities of replacement, perhaps I'll cover that in another article sometime, but needless to say, not all is lost. The batteries are two 14500 cells in series and are hard-wired to the driver board. With careful disassembly and some experience with battery safety and soldering I don't imagine replacing the batteries would be too difficult if you find that they are getting weak after years of use. So while you'll never be doing a battery swap "in the field" with this light, not all is lost as it's quite possible to do if you know how. That said, don't take the bottom off the light that explicitly says "Do not disassemble" as that would likely void your warranty and the batteries won't come out that way.

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.

So even if your battery does fail five years from now you could contact Wuben and find out how much they would charge to repair the battery if that's beyond your skill level.

Real World Usage

The Wuben X2's size puts it just above what I would consider an EDC light; however, there's no reason why you could not carry it in a pocket every day. It's rather compact, has lots of useful modes, lock-out, tons of light output, etc. For me however, this is probably a light I would carry if I feel I "need a light", similar to how my phone can take excellent photos but if I am going to "take a photo" intentionally I will grab my SLR. Sure my EDC light will cover most situations but what if you're looking for a lost cat, car keys, etc, this flashlight will put some serious light on the situation. Let's say you're looking for car keys in the grass, with a normal light you probably have to scan the beam of the light back and forth across your path as you walk as most flashlights concentrate their light into a central hotspot. This light does that as well, but the flood around it is immense and with the amount of light it can put out there's no need to "scan" as you walk, you can just point the light ahead of you and let its wide beam do the work. I'm not an expert when it comes to optics and design but I believe the central LED on this light is creating a hot spot in the middle while each LED to the side is dedicated to creating a wide flood of light. Most floody lights create a huge cone of light, most of that light wasted in the periphery but this light creates a large oval that is excellent at lighting up everything directly in front of you. One use case that comes to mind when using this light is urban exploring; it would work great to illuminate an entire room at once without scanning the beam around.

For most flashlight reviews I'll do comparisons along the way against other similar lights but the X2 is pretty unique in my collection so there's not a lot I can directly compare it to.

Size: As mentioned earlier the Wuben X2 sounded larger on paper than it is in the hand. I have what I would call fairly small male hands and it fits in my hand very nicely and I've had multiple lights in the past that were wider, although typically were shaped like a round tube. If you've ever had a C-cell battery flashlight, the X2 is only 2mm wider than a C-cell, so even a very slim C-cell light would certainly be wider than the X2.

Features: The X2's modes, mode memory, and user interface are similar to what you'll find on a lot of similar lights in the market, however, the ability to customize the light output makes the X2 (and several other Wuben lights) stand out.

Design: The square body with various cut-outs, fins, etc, gives the light a very industrial look. Exposed screws and grooves make it quite attractive to look at, but is still easy on the hands and pockets. The pocket clip, however, is a bit disappointing. Most flashlights for years have used what is coined "deep carry" meaning the clip attaches to the light and then curves back down the light happens near the lens of the light so that if you clip the light inside of a pocket almost the entire light is in the pocket. The clip design on the X2 would leave around 15mm of the light sticking up. You also sometimes see pocket clips that are designed so that they have an S shape so that they can be clipped to something in both directions; the X2 can only be clipped with the lights facing the same way as the clip. You could not clip this light to a hat for example. This light has no magnets in it, just in case you may have been wondering.

Ergonomics: As mentioned before I'm surprised at how nicely the light fits into the hand, how comfortable it is, how the button is in the perfect position for the thumb, etc. The head of the light is indented on the corners a bit which makes picking the light up and knowing which end is which without looking easy. The pocket clip of course makes knowing which side is up, but even if you removed it the bottom side of the light has some deep grooves in the position where the button is on the top side which would easily let you feel which side is which. If you want to reach into a pocket and put your thumb on the button quickly this light's design makes that easy.

Battery: The batteries in the X2 are two 14500's which are soldered directly to each other and then have short leads to the driver board in the head. You will not be easily changing them, however, assuming they are good cells and you treat them reasonably well they'll last you several years, and replacing them is technically possible by removing the head from the light. This will certainly void your warranty, but by the time the batteries are worn out most likely the warranty period will have expired.

Just a quick note on batteries; if you try to keep the batteries above 60% and keep them reasonably cool they will last you for a long time. The battery indicator does not indicate at 60%, but as soon as you see it at 40% (red LED for 5s) think about charging it when possible. If you need to use the light, use it, but day to day if you keep the batteries above 60% you'll get a lot more useful cycles out of the cells.

Charging: The X2 charges via USB C and the port is underneath the metal flap button on the top of the light. The flap protects the port from damage, but I imagine dust, lint, etc, could still get in there. Given the IP68 waterproof rating, I assume the charging port is of the waterproof variety but I am not sure. The specs say 3 hours for a full charge I plan on doing a quick test to see how much power this light pulls from a few charging sources, such as will a PD charger charge it faster, will it charge off of a basic 500mAh charger, etc. The light does come with a charging cable which doubles as a lanyard and even has a measuring tape printed on it. I think it's a neat touch, but the cap on the lanyard comes off entirely too easily and the measuring tape is pretty inaccurate, but it would do in a pinch.

Light output: The three emitters on this light put out an enormous amount of light in a very wide oval as mentioned earlier. You will potentially need to use a higher power mode to see the same distance as another flashlight with a tighter spot beam but for looking down a trail, watching where you're walking, looking for a set of keys, etc, this light can not be beat. As is typical with the Osram P9 LEDs, the color tint is very neutral and lightly warm-tinted white.

Heat: You would think that having three emitters in such proximity would generate a lot of heat, but the efficiency of the LEDs in this light makes operating it a pain-free operation. Even on the default High output (400L) for several minutes the body and lens cover are only very slightly warm. On Turbo by the time the light throttles down the body has gotten warm but not so hot that you can't hold your fingers on it and when it drops back to 800 lumens it cools off from there. I've had flashlights that I'm pretty sure would melt through a pocket if they got turned on accidentally and are way too hot to touch the lens or head of the light after any amount of Turbo usage and that's not an issue at all for the X2.

Overall how do I see myself using this light? If I were going for a walk or a hike in the dark this would be an excellent light to carry along as it will easily illuminate your path. You can't clip it to a hat or a pocket and use it hands-free but the clip is well-designed and easy to use so you could have a primary headlamp of some sort and have this clipped to a pocket for easy reach to get more light as needed.

It also comes with a red diffuser you can put over the head which could serve as a beacon if you were walking in a group to allow everyone to more easily see each other. Judging how far away someone else is from you based on the light they're holding can be tricky but the red cover on the light clipped to a backpack would make it quite easy to judge where they are ahead of you. The red cover would also likely work well to see where you are going without ruining your night vision and on High mode even with the red cover on the light puts out quite a lot of light. I would probably recommend not using Turbo with the red diffuser on as I'm not sure what kind of material it is. It is a soft rubber and if it is a silicone-type material I suspect it would be perfectly fine, although I don't see a use case for using the light with the diffuser on it on Turbo honestly. You could also use the diffuser to protect the head of the light if it's in a bag or pocket with other objects, although I suspect it would not be necessary.

Beam Patterns

As mentioned a few times, the beam pattern on this light is exceptionally wide and covers the entire path in front of you. I'll add more beam shots soon.

Below I've compared the Wuben X2 on the left to the Wuben X0 on the right. In my review of the Wuben X0 I describe the beam pattern as being very wide and floody. The Wuben X2 makes the X0 look like a spotlight!

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 guys have a very similar X3 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 deep-carry and consider making it the style that lets you clip from either direction without physically moving the clip. This light is a little big for something like clipping to a baseball cap but it'd be handy to have the option.

Conclusion

This light isn't too heavy or bulky to slip into a pocket while going for a walk in the evening but once the sun sets and you need some light it'll provide plenty of it. Carry it in a pack or store it in the car, or maybe it's still the right size for you to EDC. As for me, I'll be reaching for this light a lot but probably not as my EDC. I have a lot of lights and most of them I've never considered an EDC light so don't take this as a criticism, this light is plenty light and compact enough and has excellent features to fit a ton of use cases.

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 X2 or any other Wuben flashlights, use my referral link to the Wuben X2 Product Page to save 25% off your purchase. The flashlight body is available in aluminum, brass, or even titanium and in a variety of colors, and if the X2 isn't your style check out some of their other lights. If you prefer your light come with Samsung LH351D LEDs you'll need to order any color except black; the black model comes with Osram P9 LEDs. Do keep in mind that the Samsung LEDs have better CRI but their output is lower at 1800 lumen vs the 2500 lumens in the Osram models. If you prefer to shop on Amazon, you can check out the Amazon Wuben X2 link.

Using the link saves you money and also informs Wuben that you're interested in their products and helps them make marketing decisions to bring you more reviews and products in the future.

Packaging and Contents

Various profiles of the light

Lanyard/Charge Cable/Ruler