Seeing as I had picked up a few pocket electric torch lights here on Massdrop, I was sent an early sample and was already impressed by the overall design. Brass flashlight AND a tailswitch? As a collector of Surefire and various solid metal lights, this is my ideal combination.
Overall, I feel the AAA design is the perfect style for a pocket or keychain light as it generally fits everywhere. The addition of the tailswitch end I feel adds just enough to make it the perfect length in the hand; where it doesn't make you feel the need to turn it on, then switch grips to prevent your hand from overlapping the front of the head. While this brass version is certainly heavier than the Lumintop AAA Ti or even the Maratac Brass, it hardly makes a different in the pocket amongst a bundle of keys.
I can't say I'm a huge fan of shiny or otherwise polished items, as they tend to be fingerprint magnets, but with the amount of knurling here, it's hardly noticeable. The polish actually makes the knurling smoother to the touch, making it feel a bit nicer in the hand than the Lumintop Ti. As a pocket light, it would probably stay fairly polished anyway over the years.
The button on the switch also seems to fit better than the Lumintop. No rattle or tilt to speak of! However, I did come across an issue which may or may not be resolved in production; the tailswitch has capacitance and needs to be charged. Initially when I got the light, I slapped a AAA in and let it rip... only to find it didn't seem to work at all. I tried cranking down the head and tail, thinking maybe it wasn't making contact somewhere, but then I noticed a really dim light. Attempting to switch modes all yielded the same light, which meant that this tailswitch needed to be charged up. Now I'm no flashlight or electronics expert, but I am aware of this occurring in other custom lights I have had. I couldn't tell you why it happens, only that the switch assembly has a sort of warm-up period on the first go. After 20-30 minutes, the light was completely operational, with an output expected of a CREE LED. So just a forewarning to any who get one of these in the future and find that no light comes out after sticking a battery in for the first time. Removing or changing the battery later won't effect anything once it is finally operational.
Downsides? Doesn't come with a keyring of any kind. It has one of those annoying tiny holes that only fits the smallest of rings. I'm using the one from the Lumintop drop since it had structurally the same tail. The plating on the clip looks a little weird when you first see it, but isn't really noticeable after a while. Better than looking like steel or some other silver color!
After over a month, it seems to be in pretty good shape if you ask me. If anything, the clamp on the clip has caused the most scratches when I happened to move it around. Comes in handy at the shop, as it has way more throw than a smartphone light. At only $25, you really can't go wrong picking one of these up! I'll be picking up a couple more as I have some friends who would really appreciate one.