Astrolux M01 Keychain Flashlight Review

Two 10180 lights this week?  I had this one slated for later, but after the Lumintop light being a bit of a disappointment, I wanted to get something better back in that category.  This is the Astrolux M01, a light that’s been around for a long while.  It’s been updated to “219c” but read on to see a little surprise….


Official Specs and Features

Here’s a link to the official product page.

Versions

The M01 is available with the listed 219c and a Cree XP-G3 too.  The M01 is specific to a stainless steel body, but also available is the M03 (copper, XP-G3 only).  Other common metals aren’t mentioned (aluminum, titanium).  (There was a heat treated stainless version a while back, but it doesn’t seem to be available – the M02.)

Price and Coupon

The price is $15.52 for this version, and $17.95 for the M03 copper version.  Buy it at BangGood!


Short Review

I love this light except for one thing.  It’s hard to twist.  Coupled with that, the twist over the o-ring seems to damage the o-ring.  Other than that, I really like this as a keychain light.  But expect to replace the o-rings.  A nice surprise was that mine is Nichia 219b, not 219c as listed!

Long Review

The Big Table

Astrolux M01
Emitter: Nichia 219b ((Really 219b))
Price in USD at publication time: $15.52
Cell: 1×10180
High Runtime Low Runtime
LVP? No
Switch Type: Twisty
On-Board Charging? Yes
Chargetime
Power off Charge Port with no Cell?
Claimed Lumens (lm) 100
Measured Lumens (at 30s) 126 (121% of claim)*
Claimed Throw (m) 42
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 91lux @ 2.346m = 501cd
Throw (Calculated) (m) 44.8 (106.7% of claim)*
All my Astrolux reviews!

* Measurement disclaimer:  I am an amateur flashlight reviewer.  I don’t have $10,000 or even $1,000 worth of testing equipment.  I test output and such in PVC tubes!!  Please consider claims within 10% of what I measure to be perfectly reasonable (accurate, even).

What’s Included

  • Astrolux M01
  • Spare o-rings (2)

Package and Manual

The light ships in this little windowed tin.  I didn’t get a manual.

Build Quality and Disassembly

This is a superbly built little light.  It’s got a surprising heft to it, being stainless steel.

Note that the body is completely smooth…. there’s no knurling or grip of any sort for helping to twist the light on or off.

Here’s the body with the head off.

The silver spot on the head (right, below) is a button that switches modes.  When pressed in (light tightened fully) the mode selected is “high.”

Here’s all the parts – note that the tailcap unscrews, allowing the cell to be removed.  This is a bonus, allowing the cell to be swapped when it gets old and worn out.  It also allows you to use the M01 as a charger for your other 10180 cells.

Inside the cell tube (center, below) is the charging circuit, and a thin spring.  The tailcap is “dumb.”

I broke out the big device for photographing the pill, once I got it apart.  It screws out easily, with the help of a thumbtack or the like.  See that emitter?  That’s a Nichia 219b!!

So this is a bit of an issue…. I’m super excited to have another 219b light in my stable, and even glad that it’s this keychain light.  But the product listing does in fact (mostly) state that it’s 219c (or XP-G3).  That means that the product listing can’t be trusted all that much.  Basically buy this light hoping for a 219b, and keep it even if it’s 219c because you got a good little light for inexpensive, and 219c is still good.


The pill appears to be brass.  The mcpcb is a two sided thing, so an emitter swap will be difficult – unless you are using hot air, which should work easily.

The optic removes easily too, and does not have a lens.

Size and Comps

Officially: 41.75mm x 13mm (length x body diameter).

I measure 13.08mm (head/thickest) diameter, and 42.78mm (length, all inclusive, in the Off position.)

Thumbs up for awesome.

Here’s the M01 beside the EDC Pico, which I just reviewed.

Retention and Carry

This is decidedly a pocket light, but if you want to throw it on a necklace or lanyard or whatever, that’s possible.  The attachment point is on the tailcap, and is not removable.  I’d really rather this not be here, and/or be removable, so that the light will tailstand.

Power and Runtime

The M01 is powered by a single Li-ion cell.  It’s an 10180, and is included with the purchase.

Below is a runtime on both modes.  Don’t worry about the wiggles in the output line, that’s just my luxmeter not enjoying the low outputs.

Here’s the included cell.  It’s a little flat top 10180; isn’t that thing cute!  Looks like some of these have a label, but mine does not.

Also built in is on-board charging, by means of a micro-USB connection.  When the light is connected and charging, the positive terminal is red, and when charge completes it turns green.  The red is very bright, but the green is a very low output emitter.

Charging looks a little weird on my sample….  Both are fine, but it doesn’t seem consistent.  The CV phase in one test just dragged out for hours, while the other test terminated quickly as expected.  Either way, neither charging would hurt the cell.

Modes and Currents

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Measured Lumens Tailcap Amps
High 100 30m 121 0.50
Low 8 6.5h 5 0.01

PWM

No PWM is seen.

For reference, here’s a baseline shot, with all the room lights off and almost nothing hitting the sensor.  And here’s the worst PWM light I have ever owned.  Also one of the very first lights I ordered directly from China!

User Interface and Operation

The M01 is a twisty.  Twist the head tighter to turn the light to low, and twist the head even tighter for High.  Loosen the head to turn the light off.

LED and Beam

The emitter on my review copy is in fact a Nichia 219b, and a good temperature too.  I don’t think this is the 5700K version (which I don’t like nearly as much), so… this is really the holy grail of emitters.

The optic is clear, and provides a beam with a hotspot and a bunch of spill, too.

These beamshots are always with the following settings:  f8, ISO100, 0.3s shutter, and manual 5000K exposure.

Tint vs BLF-348 (Killzone 219b version)

I compare everything to the Killzone 219b BLF-348, because it’s inexpensive and has the best tint!

Random Comparisons and Competitive Options….

Here’s a link to a relevantly filtered page on parametrek.com.  I use that site a lot!  There’s not a bunch in the 219b/219c category, so this is a special light.

Conclusion

What I like

  • Nichia 219b in my sample
  • Good build quality
  • Built in charging
  • Cell can be removed (not built in like so many in this category)

What I don’t like

  • Hard to twist
  • Twisting tends to damage o-ring in head
  • Ordering 219c will be blind luck to get 219c or 219b

Notes

  • This light was provided by BangGood for review. I was not paid to write this review.
  • This content originally appeared at zeroair.org.  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 BangGood and GearBest coupons. Please subscribe and get notifications when the sheet is edited!!

Author: zeroair

2 thoughts on “Astrolux M01 Keychain Flashlight Review

  1. Thanks for the review.
    After untwisting to a safe “OFF” position, how many complete turns until the head falls off?

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