Wuben X3 vs. Boruit V20 EDC Flashlight Showdown

Wuben X3 and Boruit V20 EDC Flashlights

One tool that helped me quite a bit during this ongoing period of uncertainty and trepidation — taking care of my mother who got hit by a motorcycle — is the EDC flashlight. In my case, I got two of the most popular models in 2024 out of fascination, and then was put in a situation where I really had to use them extensively on a daily basis. While most would scoff at the thought of a fancy flashlight which has more features than just shining a white light in one direction, there’s something to an everyday carry flashlight that was designed for intensive use.

The difference between a run-in-the-mill flashlight and what would be considered by aficionados as an everyday carry flashlight is that the latter is a hell of a lot brighter, more compact, packs more battery life, and has multiple features that can help with various situations. You can light up pitch black rooms, blind assailants, and catch the attention of bystanders and authorities with an EDC flashlight you can clip to your belt or put in your pocket inconspicuously.

We will be looking at the Wuben X3 and the Boruit V20, two of the most popular EDC flashlights in online shopping sites like Lazada and Shopee. They both have similar basic features, but they look, feel, and work differently. I also have found myself using one more than the other, so this comparison will definitely end with a recommendation.

This New Generation of EDC Flashlights

For most of the time I’ve followed the everyday carry trend online, starting from the early 2010s, the flashlights being featured in a lot of EDC loadouts tend to be pocket flashlights in a cylindrical shape emitting X number of lumens. It may be powered by a AA battery or an 18650 lithium-ion battery. Some have bezels up front for striking assailants in self-defense.

That form factor is still recommended for self-defense — I myself still own a cheap CREE flashlight meant for that purpose. I’d rather not have an Olight or Fenix flashlight for bonking someone over the head with.

On a tangent, most EDC loadouts you see on Reddit, Instagram, and Pinterest tend to be so picture-perfect that the items show no signs of use and wear.

This new form factor looks more like a palm-sized rectangle with a belt clip in the back. There could be one or two lights on top, and it can be made to tilt or swivel. The butt end may have a magnet that lets you stick the flashlight to a ferromagnetic surface, which is perfect for working on your car, computer, or electrical system.

No, a small magnet like that won’t kill computer parts.

The size, shape, and layout give this new breed of EDC flashlights more utility, as I can report from my experience. The internal battery makes for both much longer battery life and less juggling around loose batteries. Having to handle batteries all the time can be quite a hassle, both in the moment of need and in preparation.

Let’s now take a closer look at our two candidates.

Wuben X3: The Premium Option

Coming in at around ₱3,500 to ₱4,500 — depending on whether you buy it with a simple charging dock or a self-charging box — the Wuben X3 is the more expensive and seemingly more premium option among the two. This was the first one I ever bought, back when I had more money than sense (which was last April).

I got mine in dark green with the self-charging box because I felt like compensating for my inadequacies that time. Holy crap, this thing is expensive. It costs as much as those flashlights you’d see in those EDC loadouts that don’t look like they get used at all. However, to go with the price, the Wuben X3 feels solid in the hand, features both white and red light modes, and a swiveling head that lets it shine light from the top or the front. 

One click of the button turns on the white light, and clicking then holding it for a bit lets you change the light output between 1lm, 50lm, and 150lm. Clicking again turns the light off. Holding it from off turns on the red light, and holding it again lets you change the output between 1lm and 80lm. Most of the time, you’ll likely be using the white light, so those are the button presses you’ll have to get used to for the most part.

Double-clicking the button turns on Turbo Mode, which is 700 lumens of light for a few seconds. This is perfect for self-defense and lighting up rooms in a pinch. Take note that the unit will heat up really fast while blasting all that light, so you’d want to shut it off as soon as it’s not needed. You’d want to turn it off anyway since it’s a legitimately blinding amount of light. You’ll be seeing spots for a while if you happen to look towards the light even for a moment.

Triple-clicking turns on Strobe Mode, which lets you disco dance the night away or give assailants epileptic seizures. Triple-clicking again will turn on SOS mode, which is a slower Strobe Mode to catch the attention of anyone passing by who can help you in a pinch without draining your battery too quickly. These are modes you hope you won’t need, but can be thankful for if needed and you happen to remember that you have them.

Quadruple-clicking lets you lock the flashlight. This is good if you happen to keep accidentally turning it on with your muffin top whenever you have this clipped to your belt. I’ve done this a couple of times and I have not lost enough weight yet to lose my muffin top (I’ve only lost 12 pounds thus far as of this writing; 18 to go).

Perhaps its most glaring flaw is its dependence on a charging dock or box. Without either one, the only other way to charge it is through wireless charging. If you happen to be up with the times and have a wireless charging mat, then you’ll be fine. But if you’re an old fart like me who only got into wired fast charging recently and don’t have a phone with wireless charging capability yet, then it may be a bit too much of a hassle.

Therefore, if you can help it, don’t lose the charging dock or box.

Boruit V20: The Budget Option

The more affordable option at around ₱1,500, the Boruit V20 gets advertised quite a bit on social media. Its price-to-performance ratio is quite good, especially once you get it and see that it comes with some pretty good additions, such as the rubber light diffusers in both white and orange and its own USB Type-C charging port.

Instead of spinning around the head like with the Wuben X3, you just tilt it along 180 degrees to make the light face the top or either side. The knurling along the bottom helps create a tactile feel to the angle adjustment. It comes with rubber diffusers in both white and orange, which you can choose to keep on if you wish.

At first, it’s a little harder to turn the Boruit V20 on compared to the Wuben X3, but you may find out that it may be for the best. This one has two buttons instead of just one, the right one being for the main white light; the left one being for the red light and other modes.

While it only takes one click to toggle on the Wuben X3, it takes two presses to do so with the Boruit V20. Getting the timing of the two presses right may not come off naturally to those who instinctively double-click, which isn’t the way to toggle on the Boruit V20. It’s more of two deliberate presses with a gap in between — like “1, 2.”

My monkey brain took time to get used to this.

One press of the button turns it on momentarily, then you hold it to keep it on. Once you know how to turn on the white light, that’s pretty much what you’ll use most of the time. The red light is good for seeing in the dark without compromising your night vision.

The other modes are activated by the left button with the electric logo. Holding it turns on the alarm siren, which may elicit surprise and subsequent annoyance. You may accidentally turn it on and startle yourself and everyone else around you, especially if you’re in a hospital and the button gets pressed by the edge of a table or something.

Two presses of the left button turn on the LEDs located on the body of the unit. You can switch between modes with a quick press. There’s a blue LED, blinking red LED, alternating blue and red LEDs, white LED, white and green LEDs, bright green LED, and bright red LED. They can be used for survival purposes as signals and beacons. They also can make the casing itself temporarily glow in the dark, which is pretty neat as well.

Three presses of the left button turn on the red light, which can be made brighter or dimmer with one press. Summing it all up, the Boruit V20 actually has more light modes compared to the Wuben X3. Perhaps you can say the Wuben X3 is more focused, while the Boruit V20 is more about packing features in an affordable package, which it certainly succeeds in.

Its only major flaw is its smaller and less powerful magnet. It doesn’t hang on like the Wuben X3, so you have to be sure it sticks to the metal surface. A bit of an annoyance, but that’s one sacrifice for having its own charging port.

Which is Better?

I found myself using the Boruit V20 more due to its diffuser and more elaborate way of turning it on. The latter may seem like a hassle at first, but you’ll warm up to it once you realize that as you move around during the day with either one of these flashlights on your belt, one becomes more convenient to carry around over the other.

It’s easy to unintentionally press the button on the Wuben X3, which results in the thing shining and heating up on your belt. You then notice that it’s on the whole time once it touches the skin on your waist and slightly burns you. It doesn’t help that the Wuben X3’s metal construction has it heating up like a griddle, especially if you happen to have it in 150lm mode.

You can plug a USB-C cable to it directly, it can shine both red and blue lights, the body can temporarily glow in the dark, and you can clip it to your belt two ways. The Boruit V20 really is the better value for money, no matter how you slice it. While I don’t regret owning the Wuben X3, that’s only because I can afford to keep it around.

Otherwise, the Wuben X3 certainly gets a lot less use.

However, the Wuben X3 does indeed look a lot better. If you put the two beside each other on a table, the Boruit V20 looks like a toy compared to the robust-looking Wuben X3. However, some people may like the aesthetics of the Boruit V20 in a ‘go go gadget’ sort of way.

Compared to the traditional pocket flashlight, I find these a lot handier due to their size and features. As long as the main light isn’t too hard to turn on, they should do you well.

Got Feedback?

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