Presented with the opportunity to review the USB rechargeable UT20 from Nitefox, I agreed with the caveat that I would report whatever I found. I ordered it from Amazon at a discounted price, meaning I received a light without any special preparation. Preferring reviews with real life experience using the light to see its durability in actual EDC use I carried the UT20 from January to March before writing this review.
The UT20 arrived in a typical small, tan box. The light and accessories were secure inside the box and there was no shipping damage. The light comes with a pocket clip, a tactical ring (more on that later), lanyard, USB cable, O-rings, a spare button cover, and a holster. The holster is not shown in the Nitefox photo.
The tactical ring is plastic and fits on the back of the light. This prevents the UT20 from rolling and allows easy one-handed use of the rear switch. The photos later in this review show the ring in place. With the tactical ring installed the light must go into the holster lens down.
The holster is black woven material with a hook and loop fastener to close the flap. The flap holds the light securely. Shaking it upside down can’t dislodge the light. The back has two straps. One is sewn in place for a belt loop and over that is another strap with Velcro for a removable attachment. While smaller than a standard molle strap this second strap allows placement on molle webbing or backpack straps.
The UT20 is the usual size for a single 18650 powered flashlight. The first photo from Nitefox shows the manufacturer specifications and dimensions. The other two are my photos after nearly 2 months of EDC use.
The UT20 has a unique user interface with two different operating modes - Outdoor and Tactical – using both a tail and a side switch. The tail switch is a forward clicky. This means that with the light off, a partial press of the switch will turn on the light but not latch it on. This is useful to briefly shine the light if the button is held but have the light turn off when the switch is released.
Tail switch = power on/off
Side switch = change modes (moon, low, medium, high) – hold side switch for strobe.
Tail switch – power on/off and mode control (high, strobe, low)
Side switch – disabled
The side switch has an indicator light to show the light’s status when running or charging. It is illuminated at turn on and at each mode change.
Green = more than 20% battery charge
Red = 10-20%
Blink red = Under 20%
Testing with a battery discharged to 3.0V I verified the low voltage indication:
Moon and low - the indicator LED turned on green, changed to red, and went out. The UT20 operated normally on these low modes.
Medium – the indicator LED turned on green, changed to red, and then continued to blink red.
High – this mode could not be selected, the light remained on medium.
Continued. . .