Review: Fenix UC35V2.0: XPL-HI V3, 1000 lumens, 1x18650, beamshots, compare


Sep 10, 2012
The Netherlands
We often see that popular flashlights get an update after some time. This is often due to the fact that new and more powerful emitters have been launched. Like some manufacturers do, you replace the led, and that's it. But Fenix has done a lot research among their user before and the result is here now: the second version of the UC35. Same output but more throw than the previous version, new switch and charging option. I'd like to show you the UC35V2.0 and it's details in this review, we will have a look at the interface too. Above that, I will compare it some other flashlights in the same class and after that we go out for a lot of beamshots. So, let's start the story.. Enjoy reading and watching!

the second version of the Fenix UC35


improved and more power and throw

powered by a XP-L HI V3

pocket-sized tactical flashlight

a long-lasting 18650-cell is included

First, a look at the specifications, given by Fenixlight:

  • Cree XP-L HI V3 LED, with lifespan of 50,000 hours
  • Powered by one 18650 rechargeable Li-ion battery or two 3V/CR123A Lithium batteries
  • 5V/2A Micro USB rechargeable, included 18650 rechargeable Li-ion battery
  • 140mm Length x 23.5mm Body diameter x 25.4mm Head diameter
  • 89 grams/3.13oz (excluding battery)
  • Boot-up battery level indication and low-voltage warning function
  • Digitally regulated output maintains constant brightness
  • Reverse polarity protection to protect from improper battery insertion
  • Anti-roll and anti-slip body design
  • Tactical tail switch features instant activation
  • Functional side switch for output selection
  • Made of durable high-strength and oxidation-resistance aluminum
  • Premium type HAIII hard-anodized anti-abrasive finish
  • Toughened ultra-clear glass lens with an anti-reflective coating

A chart of the output and runtime specs:


The box of the UC35V2.0 is not surprise, it has the same style and looks of the actual Fenix-releases. A print and some main features on the front, application on the sides and the full features and charts on the back of the box. Beware that you don't tear the flaps; I mostly picked a tool to open the box because I don't like a torn out carton. Inside, a plastic container that keeps the UC35 in place, and most parts we need to use and charge the light. Because the battery and a charging cable is included in all Fenix UC-series, the only thing we miss here is a power source. So, a complete box; you don't need an external charger; the UC35 V2.0 is almost ready-to-use! I captured some shots of the box and what's in, please scroll down to watch!

another carton in "Fenix house-style"

main features and a print on the front

applications on the sides and full features on the back

a plastic container keeps all parts in place

unboxed: except a power source all we need is there!


Everytime when I've unboxed a Fenix light, I notice that all products of this manufacturer are of excellent quality. Same to the UC35 V2.0, the light feels robust and well balanced. It comes in matte black, maybe other colors will follow later. The anodizing-job is done well, the grey engraving is clear; and I'm happy that you can't find too much information engraved on the body. As expected, the light can tailstand, but on the head it is stable enough. Thanks to the heads' design it has an excellent anti-rolling design, which I really appreciate. Tactical lights like these are good to handle with, same to this one: Thanks to the sleeves and the fine body-texture, the strong clip and the design of the head the UC35 V2.0 can't slip out of your hand. Looking into the lights' head we see a rather deep reflector that keeps a perfectly centered XP-L HI V3 emitter. A plus of this led is that it will the light more throw than the previous led, but the beam won't be to focussed. We'll see this later in this review when we have a look at the beamshots. On the head we see two striking details: Eye-catcher is the renewed switch: This is a metal-one with "copper-look" and has a power-indicator in the middle. This switch is insensitive to rust and more resistant when the light will be used in heavy conditions. Above that, I like the looks; it gives the UC35 a more luxurious look. Second detail is the micro-usb charging port: it has inner water-proofing treatment. This means that you never have to worry or the cover is closed securely. A very big plus to the new version! The long and very strong clip keeps the light in place, it can only be clipped on at one way to the body. Looking at the rear we see a double lanyard-hole and the big rubber main-switch. When we disassemble the UC35 V2.0 we see that the light is made of totally three parts. The threads run smooth, but could have some more grease. I advise here to do it by yourself. In the tailcap a strong spring protects the light against shocks. Also inside the head, the body and the cap all parts are well finished. Therefore, at the end of this paragraph about my impressions of the light, I can be short in my conclusion: The UC35 V2.0 is excellent constructed and finished. More impressions and details of the light below; please scroll down to watch a couple of pictures!

the Fenix UC35 V2.0 comes in matte black color

can only stand on its head

a smooth and rather deep reflector

a nice design that has a good anti-rolling function

two battery-options: 18650 or two non-rechargeable CR123A-cells

mid-sized flashlight

good grip thanks to the knurling and the design of the head

the XP-L HI V3 led gives the light a nice combination of output and throw

the new metal switch: long lasting and anti-corrosion

an important spec on the UC35 V2.0: it has moonlight-mode

the emitter is perfectly centered

specialty on the charging port: it has inner waterproofing treatment

a look into the unscrewed head

a strong spring in the cap protects against shocks

there's a power indicator built-in the metal switch

the cover protects against dust

engraving is done well

two holes on the rear for the lanyard

the UC35 V2.0 in the holster

a good option for night reading or camping with the optional diffusor

or use it a bike-light with the Fenix bike-clamp

together with a Ruike-knife, that is produced by the same manufacturer

the big TK72R just has helped it little brother by charging it..

User interface:

It's good to see that rechargeable flashlights actually almost have the same size as the previous generation of non-rechargeables. The UC35 V2.0 is compact enough to wear it in your pocket, or to clip it on to your clothes. The light is well-balanced and easily to control by one hand. The big main switch and the side button can be controlled accurately, even when you're wearing (tactical) gloves.

Before first use, the light needs to be recharged. Relative to the first version, Fenix has renewed the way of charging. And I'm sure that all user will be happy with this. I works directly now, simply plug in the jack and the charging job starts. You don't have to press the tail-switch anymore. Good point, this can't get wrong. Only thing that you have to keep in mind here is that you don't forget to tighten the head and the cap: the light indicator doesn't show when there an error during the charging progress. Charging an empty cell takes between 3 and 4 hours; the indicator lights up in green when the charging-job is done. During the charging, you can use the flashlight on low-mode. So, for example: In combination with a powerbank you can still use the light in case of emergency.

Like we're used of Fenix, the manufacturer has kept the interface simple and easy to work with. Sometimes, I give a flashlight to a "non-flashaholic" to try it out. At this way, I can check or the interface of a light works for everyone. Result of the test with the UC35 V2.0: works for everyone! The rear button is for the power, the metal side-button is to control the modes. Half press the tail switch for momentary, full click for constant-on. The light starts in last used mode, except strobe. The half press is a good option for those who want "silent-operation". To change the current output mode you need a second hand, the side button has a clear pressure-point and is easily to find because it lights up for about three seconds after you turned on the light. By tapping the side button you can cycle through the five output-modes; if you press and hold it for about two seconds the light turn into strobe. You can start directly at strobe by holding down the side button and half of full press the clicky at same time. Modes can be changed with half-pressed button too. A simple and effective interface, but I can understand that some users would demand a direct mode like instant-turbo. An interesting addition to this light is the moonlight-mode. It seems that Fenix has listened to their users; a lot of people like a good low on a flashlight. There's less risk to disturb your sleeping housemates and, above that, the runtime has become much better: More than five times! I showed you earlier that the UC35 V2.0 has a power indicator in the button: Steady green means good to full, flashing green means sufficient, steady red for poor and flashing red means close to depletion. The indicator only works when a 18650 is loaded, the light can run on two CR123A's too. The UC35 V2.0 can be locked out by releasing the cap or head a bit.

The UC35 V2.0 has a no-nonse interface that works for most users. The presence of moonlight is a big plus. Personally, I'd like to see some instant-modes, like moonlight and turbo.


The UC35 V2.0 has in total five output modes, in order of: MOONLIGHT > LOW > MED > HIGH > TURBO. Because Fenix has replaced it's eco mode (mostly 5-10 lumens) for MOONLIGHT, the step between the two lowest levels has become a rather big one. Maybe a sixt level would be a good solution here. No instant modes here. There's one special mode on the UC35 V2.0: STROBE. No SOS on this tactical torch. Information about actual VOLTAGE is built in the side switch. The light has a LOCK-OUT function too. So, nothing special on this light, only the main modes we need and one for self-defense.

Size comparison:

For the comparison, I picked some lights in the same lumen-class. The led of the Thorfire TK15 is different, the Klarus XT11S is the larger one of the three and uses the same led as the UC35 V2.0. So, an interesting couple for my beamshots! Later in this review, I will show you the results!

18650 battery, Thorfire TK15S, Fenix UC35 V2.0 and Klarus XT11S

Thorfire TK15S, Fenix UC35 V2.0 and Klarus XT11S

Thorfire TK15S, Fenix UC35 V2.0 and Klarus XT11S

the heads: XP-L2 at the left and two XP-L HI V3 leds

the backs: Thorfire TK15S, Fenix UC35 V2.0 and Klarus XT11S


When I did a quick check about the (coolwhite) tint I mentioned that it was pretty good. The photo below shows this: Compared to the others the Klarus shows more blue in the spill and the Thorfire has a yellowish blush. So to me, the tint is ok on the UC35 V2.0.



The XP-L HI V3 is a led that gives good throw, but the beam is no to narrow. On the UC35 V2.0 in combination with the smooth reflector, you get a flashlight that reaches a good distance to its size. So, a good option in and around home on the lower modes, and one the higher modes a good solution for tactical use. We see a rather small hotspot, a medium corona and big spill. Later, when we go outside, I will show how this looks in real life. I couldn't detect PWM at any mode, which is a good point. I can tell you also that the beam is "clean" and free of defects.


Highest time now to see how this compact Fenix performs! Let's have a look at a couple of beamshots that I took. First, I will show the five output modes with the beam projected on a white wall, followed by a GIF-animation. Distance to the wall is about one meter.

Camera settings: ISO100, WB daylight, F/2.7, 1/125 sec, 35mm






Now, a look at the main thing that a flashlight is made for: Bringing light in the dark. The location is a dark forest here, I'll show you the five levels of the light followed by a GIF.

Camera settings: ISO100, WB daylight, F/2.7, 4 sec, 35mm






Now some pictures with the light in hand, that show that the UC35 V2.0 is suited for a lot of applications. The light is on Turbo here.

the UC35 V2.0 on maximum output

the UC35 V2.0 on maximum output

Let's see now how the UC35 V2.0 performs against the others that I showed you in the comparison-chapter. The Klarus XT11S has a deeper reflector and therefore some more throw, the UC35 V2.0 clearly more spot and a wider beamprofile.

the UC35 V2.0 versus the Klarus XT11S, both on maximum output

Beyond that the Thorfire TK15S has a warm tint, you can see that this light misses good throw. The beam shows a "hole" at medium distance.

the UC35 V2.0 versus the Thorfire TK15S, both on maximum output

Another picture here on a field that shows that the nice combination of flood and throw that comes out of the UC35 V2.0.

the UC35 V2.0 on maximum output


Fenix did a very good job by updating the UC35. Especially the simplified charging option and the addition of moonlight mode are big steps up. The inner water-proofing treatment is also a big plus, certainly for me because I live in a region where it often rains. My thoughts about the light: It feels like a Fenix! Durable and stable with a no-nonsense interface. But, personally I would like to see some instant-modes added. The beam is a good mix which makes the UC35 V2.0 a pocket sized all-rounder. An extra mode between moonlight and low would make it even better. But, my overall conclusion on this flashlight: Recommended!

Special thanks to Fenixlight and Knivesandtools for the opportunity to test the UC35 V2.0!

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