Fenix UC01: A Powerful Keychain

Fenix UC01 is a mini sized flashlight which has internal battery and USB charging feature which can deliver up to 45 lumens of light and maximum runtime of 50 hours on lowest mode. It also has battery level indicator feature and ideal for every day use as keychain.

I receive this UC01 as a prize from Fenix by winning their quiz and found this little flashlight is useful and carry it everyday along with my motorbike’s key. I’ve been using UC01 for quite long time and now is the chance to write my experience.

 

Fenix UC01 Overview

fenix uc01 in blister package

It’s arrived inside a simple blister package with following package content:

package content

  • Fenix UC01 flashlight
  • Waranty card
  • Manual book
  • Promotional leaflet

Despite it has micro USB charging feature, no USB cable was included in the package. It made sense because the flashlight price is fairly cheap.

The dimension of Fenix UC01 is pretty small but a little bigger than Nitecore Tube. I couldn’t found any information regarding the capacity of its built-in Li-polymer battery but I almost forget when was the last time I charged it because the battery performance is reliable.

Fenix UC01 dimension on hand

Here’s size comparison to Fenix CL05 which uses AAA battery.

Fenix UC01 vs Fenix CL05 size comparison

Fenix uses Nichia LED for this keychain flashlight with a nice cool white tint color. The key ring is also good although it’s not as thick as the one used onĀ Streamlight Nano.

Fenix UC01 LED nichia and key ring clip

It still hangs on my keychain till today and no sign of wearing was visible at this moment.

 

Operating Fenix UC01

With its obviously visible metal switch, owner shouldn’t find any difficulty operating the flashlight.

Fenix UC01 side switch obvious metal switch

Press and hold the button for about 0.5 second and the light will turned on or off. While the light is on, short press on the button will cycle the mode from low to medium and high. It also has memory so it will remember the last brightness level used.

One cool feature from Fenix UC01 is the battery level checker. While the light is off, press the button shortly and it will display its battery level for 3 seconds.

  • Green light: sufficient power level
  • Red light: poor power level
  • Red light flashes: critical power level (less than 20%)

According to Fenix’s official page, it’s advised to charge the battery every 2 months to maintain its best performance.

 

Fenix UC01 Beamshots

Fenix puts the LED outside the UC01’s body (extrude) thus gives advantage of wide spread beam pattern. I measured the beam spreads for 150 degree and very ideal for close range illumination.

Fenix UC01 150 degree beam spread

I ran two beamshot tests with different distance. First test was 1-1.5 meters and then 4-5 meters distance.

1-1.5 meters distance

These shots are taken with Pentax Q in manual mode: exposure 0.6 sec, f/1.9, ISO 200.

Control shot:
Fenix UC01 beamshots at 1-2 meters distance control shot

Low mode:
Fenix UC01 beamshots at 1-2 meters distance in low mode

Medium mode:
Fenix UC01 beamshots at 1-2 meters distance in medium

High mode:
Fenix UC01 beamshots at 1-2 meters distance in high mode

4-5 meters distance

Same as previous shots, all shots are taken with Pentax Q in manual mode: exposure 0.6 sec, f/1.9, ISO 200.

Control shot:
Fenix UC01 beamshots at 4-5 meters distance control shot

Low mode:
Fenix UC01 beamshots at 4-5 meters distance in low mode

Medium mode:
Fenix UC01 beamshots at 4-5 meters distance in medium mode

High Mode:
Fenix UC01 beamshots at 4-5 meters distance in high mode

Looking at above beamshot pictures, I can say that this is an ideal everyday carry flashlight that will help you through the darkness. I have no idea of the CRI value of the LED but it can reveal nearly true color of the shined objects.

 

Charging Fenix UC01

With its micro USB charging feature, owner of this light can charge the battery with any USB power source available. I usually charge the battery on my laptop or using my LED TV’s USB port.

It tooks about 2 hours to completely charge the battery (indicator light turns green) and it’s advised not to turn the light on during charging time.

However it’s possible to turn on the light during charging but only medium mode is available.

 

Summary

Pros

  • Cheap
  • Lightweight & easy to operate
  • Good CRI
  • Internal battery with USB charging & battery check feature
  • Good battery performance

Cons

  • Not really a con but the switch may accidentally pressed while stored in the pocket

Bottomline
Fenix UC01 is a decent everyday carry keychain flashlight. It’s lightweight, sturdy, easy to use, and has enough brightness for close range illumination. Please take note that the switch can be pressed accidentally while stored in the pocket and there’s no way to “lock” the flashlight to avoid accidental activation.