Brinyte WT01 Apollo

The Product

The light I'm looking at today is the Brinyte WT01. This is a 26650 light with a large reflector, controlled by a single side switch. The light is also notable for charging wirelessly in a provided dock, without any external contacts.
The sample I have is a prototype, and is labelled as a sample. The final production light may have some changes.

Spoiler

I've been wanting to test out this light ever since I first saw that Brinyte was working on it. This is actually an update to the Orcatorch WR10. The main feature of the light is the wireless charging base, and the fact that it automatically turns on when power is cut.
That last feature may not sound like a big deal to nuts like me that usually have 3 flashlights within arm's reach, but for people who only use flashlights in power outages and emergencies it can be a big deal! This light does indeed have that feature, and it works as advertised.
I have a few concerns about UI and charge performance - they do work, but I think they could definitely be improved on. Since this is a prototype, I hope Brinyte can make some changes before the production version is released.

Physical Dimensions

The light measures 155 mm long, 45.0 mm at the widest point (the head), and thins to 35.1 mm in the body.
Compared to the Convoy S2+ and the Lumintop ODF30C, another 26650 light with integrated charging and a tail switch, it's clear to see the large size of the WT01.

Build

The head of this light has a smooth bezel holding everything together. There's a large green switch cover, and a screwed in steel ring holding that in place.
The head has grooves cut around the base for cooling, and the aesthetic is continued along the body for grip.
The tail of the light flares out, and the bottom most section is made of plastic (Delrin?). If I had to guess, I would say this is most likely to enable charging. The flat tail means the light will tail stand.
Unscrewing the head from the body is how the cell is swapped, and is the only readily removable part of the light. The threads are un-anodized, and the body uses a dual tube design.
Looking in to each end, both cell contacts are large springs.

What's Included

The light I got was a prototype, so the final consumer packaging and included accessories may be different. The package included:
  • The WT01 with a 26650 to 18650 adapter and 3000 mAh 18650 installed
  • Inductive charging dock
  • Micro-USB to USB-A charging cable
  • USB wall adapter (EU prongs, so this was not used for my testing)
I will note that when I received the light, the included cell measured 4.21 V. That voltage isn't high enough to damage the cell, but it's certainly not ideal for shipping and storage. I would recommend that Brinyte ship the production cells around 4.0 V to extend the lifespan of the cell, especially if it ends up in a warehouse for a little while.

Ergonomics and Retention

This is a large light, no doubt about that, but it feels good in the hand. I'm a fan of lights that narrow for the grip and flare out at the head and tail, as they always feel very secure.
There is no lanyard or pocket clip included with my prototype, nor is there a reasonable place to attach either of them. A pocket clip on a light this size would seem a bit silly, but a lanyard could be practical.
I wouldn't mind the addition of an optional sheath, but I think for the most part this light is designed to sit waiting on a desk or table.

Modes and Interface

The light turns on automatically in a lower mode when a cell is inserted, or if it's sitting in the charge base and the power goes out. This is the main draw of this light - it can sit on a desk staying charged up, and turn on in a power outage automatically. The orientation of the light head up also means light will bounce off the ceiling, and should light the way well enough for you to safely make it to the flashlight.
The rest of the UI is not to my preference. From off, a single tap turns the light on in high. Subsequent presses cycle down in the modes until the light turns off. There is no shortcut to a lower mode from off, and no shortcut to off from on. Long press to access strobe.

Light Quality and Beam

The LED used in this light is a Luminus SST-40, paired with a large smooth reflector for a relatively throwy beam.
Here's the beam compared to a 4500K Nichia E21A in a JetBeam JET-μ.

Power and Runtime

The light is designed for a 26650, but includes a delrin adapter and an 18650. The included
Testing with the included 18650 cell showed a heavy step down from the highest mode, which I have called turbo, to about the same level as the high mode. Runtime on turbo was just over 2 hours. The high mode was fairly stable for the duration of the test, and lasted just over 3 hours. Of course, these runs would last longer with a higher capacity 26650 cell.

Charging

The charging is the most interesting and unique feature of this particular model. Charging is handled wirelessly with a proprietary dock, and does not require any external connectors on the light.
To charge, simply drop the light in the doc. The switch will glow red. When charging is complete, the indicating switch changes to green.
Current over the USB port was measured while charging the internal cell. Since the power transfer from the charger to the cell in the light won't be 100% efficient, this isn't a great measure of what's actually happening to the cell - but it does give a good idea of the general behavior. There's a section for about 3.5 hours where the current is held steady before it starts to drop, and finally evens out. Total time to charge was just under 5 hours.


The charge started with the cell at 3.457 V, was left overnight, and the cell measured 4.272 V in the morning. Charging over 4.2 V is not great for the cell, and will definitely reduce its lifespan. I would recommend that Brinyte reduce the cut off voltage.
Before the charge, the dock was pulling about 0.2 A from the USB supply. When the charging completed, it was still pulling over 0.3 A. That's a very high standby current for a charger. It's possible, since it was higher after the charge, that the cycle did not terminate properly and the charge continued to trickle after the cell was at the required voltage. Either way, this is not a great design for a light meant to live in a dock.
It's worth noting that another review did not report overcharging the cells, and is linked in the notes below.

Summary

Pros:

  • Wireless charging is nifty
  • Good feel in the hand

Cons:

  • Charger seems to over charge the cell, and has a very high residual current
  • UI forces the user to cycle through all modes to turn off the light, with no shortcuts to low from off, or to off from any mode
  • Size seems very large

Notes and Links

This product was provided by the manufacturer free of charge, in exchange for this review. I was not paid to write this review, and have tried to be as unbiased as possible.
LiquidRetro's review of the WT01 in sand color

Comments

Popular Posts