Fenix UC35 – Ultra Waterproof Rechargeable PD35
|Battery Life (Max)||1.5 hr.|
|Battery Life (Low)||150 hr.|
|Battery||1 x 18650|
|LED Bulb||Cree XM-L2 (U2)|
When it comes to rechargeable LED flashlights, — especially those that charge through micro-usb ports, — the ultimate concern will be what happens should water get into the charging port. Well, apparently Fenix got it all figured out with the UC35, the rechargeable version of the highly popular PD35.
The claim is simple: the UC35 is IPX8 waterproof up to 2 meters… even with the micro-USB anti-dust cover OPENED. If you’re drawn by the sleeker Fenix UC30 and wondering what is the difference between the two… The UC30 is IPX8 ONLY when the micro-USB anti-dust cover is CLOSED.
Micro-USB Port for Convenient Charging
Most of the devices we own nowadays come with micro-USB ports so having the same option on this flashlight greatly increases its charging convenience. No need to hunt around for special cables. Just plug in whatever micro-USB cable you were using to charge your phone and you’re good to go. The anti-dust cover protects the port from dust and water. In the event it gets accidentally ripped off, which happens to the best of us, the UC35 will still be waterproof up to 2 meters. Just be careful when around sand or other particles that might get clogged in the port.
The rubberized side-switch not only acts as a mode switch, but also as a low battery indicator as well as a charging indicator. It will blink red when the battery is low, which a great way to know when to charge your batteries. Coolest of all, it also glows in the dark!
The way to charge this might not be as intuitive as one might think. Once you’ve plugged in the micro-USB cable, you’ll need to switch the flashlight ON to begin charging. If you forget to do that, no charging will take place. The rubberized indicator glows red to indicate charging so look out for that. Once charging is complete, the indicator will turn green. That’s when you can turn the flashlight OFF and unplug the cable.
This setup probably has something to do with the circuitry that needs to be closed to initiate the current flow. Some manufacturers work around this using customised batteries for in-flashlight charging. Of course, there are other more elegant ways to overcome this.
5 Evenly Spaced Brightness with Strobe
Outfitted with a smooth reflector beneath an ultra-clear lens, the Fenix UC35 comes with 5 evenly spaced brightness: eco (14 lumens), low (50 lumens), medium(18 lumens), high (480 lumens) and turbo (960 lumens). Each mode is cycled through pressing the rubberized side switch after turning it on with the rear tail switch. The rear switch also has a momentary on function when half depressed.
There is also a highly disorientating strobe mode at 960 lumens that automatically varies its frequency. This is activated by holding down the side switch while the flashlight is on.
As mentioned earlier, the modes are all very evenly spaced and suitable for many different kinds of use.
Eco mode, although the lowest mode at 14 lumens, is still pretty high and might not be that good at preserving night vision or maintaining light discipline.
The Fenix UC35 is indeed a great rechargeable 18650 flashlight considering it takes much of its best illumination features from the Fenix PD35. It is powerful and versatile with its turbo and 4 other output levels. Strobe also makes it a useful self-defense tool. The only potential issue is that the eco mode might not preserve night vision as well as flashlights that have sub lumen ultra-low modes.
At 5.9 inches, it might be a bit long for some to consider it an EDC, however, its flush bezel makes it easy enough to carry without too much bulk. It should be noted that this flashlight cannot stand on it’s tail cap, therefore, cannot be placed upright on a flat surface to project its beam onto the ceiling.
Of course, its golden feature is its exposed micro-USB port IPX8 (up to 2 meters) capability, which not many flashlights in this category are capable of boasting.
I’ve leave you with a Russian review of the UC35, with a freeze test to demonstrate its durability.
* Images courtesy of Fenixlights. Videos courtesy of BudgetBugout, OnTheEdge72, Living Survival, ghostses and skimen ruslan
Do you own a UC35? Tell us your experience with it below!