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This $20 keychain flashlight is the most versatile accessory I've tested

Finding a powerful keychain flashlight that doesn't break the bank is hard. I think I've cracked it!
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Contributing Writer
Boruit V3 keychain LED flashlight
Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

I thought that with the introduction of flashlight modes on smartphones, the dedicated flashlight would go the way of the wristwatch and the dinosaur.

But the truth is, using your smartphone, a device that costs hundreds of dollars, as a flashlight isn't all that smart. It makes your smartphone vulnerable to being dropped, and turning on the flashlight is a fast way to drain the battery. 

Also: Flipper Zero can be used to crash iPhones running iOS 17, but there's a way to foil the attack

This is why I like to carry with me a dedicated keychain flashlight. Ideally, I want something affordable, powerful, durable, and waterproof. Oh, and while I'm at it, I'd like it to have a UV LED feature to allow me to do things like detect counterfeit banknotes. 

It turns out the Boruit V3 keychain flashlight has all of this and more! 

View at Amazon

Boruit V3 keychain flashlight features

  • Powerful: At the full 900 lumens, the beam can travel an impressive 100 meters.
  • Lightweight and portable: Small and easy to store in your hands, pocket, or backpack, which means you're never without it. Dimensions are 2.2 x 1.2 x 0.6-inch (56 x 31 x 15 mm) and it weighs in at only 1.17 oz (33 g).
  • Glow-in-the-dark: Making it easier to find in the dark.
  • Magnetic: Strong magnet on the base allows it to be fixed onto metal surface such as car hoods.
  • Four LED colors: Choose from white, red, blue flash, and even a UV feature.
  • 12 lighting modes: Choose the power of the white LEDs to suit your needs, and also between static or flashing red and blue, and even an alternating flashing red/blue mode.
  • USB-C fast charging: The rechargeable 500mAh battery offers between 75 minutes and 76 hours of runtime (depending on mode), and only take 2.5 hours to recharge.
  • IP65 water-resistant: Don't let rain spoil your fun. 

So, what do I like about this keychain flashlight?

First, it's highly durable. A keychain is a hostile environment for anything that isn't a key, and I've had several keychain flashlights fail on me quickly. They crack, buttons break, or they just die. 

Not this one. 

I've also had problems with waterproofing. A lot of these keychain flashlights claim to be water-resistant, but a lot aren't. 

Yup, this is waterproof!

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

This one is, so there are no worries on that front. This is one durable keychain flashlight.

Also: You'll never guess how many tech repair tools this little bag can fit

Another feature I like about this keychain flashlight is that is has two LEDs on the front. This not only allows it to pack a bigger punch when you need the light, but the two LEDs mean there's a better spread to the light. I'd previously been using keychain flashlights with a single LED, and I did find these made a rather concentrated pool of light, which a lot of the time wasn't what I wanted. 

Dual LEDs offers a greater spread of light.

Dual LEDs offer a greater spread of light.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

You might argue that powering two LEDs is wasteful, but given that this flashlight offers between 75 minutes and 76 hours of runtime depending on the power mode you choose for the white LEDs, I don't see this as a problem.

At the full 900 lumens, the beam can travel an impressive 100 meters.

At the full 900 lumens, the beam can travel an impressive 100 meters.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Along with the white LEDs, there are red and blue lights, which can either run static or as a strobe. There's even a red/blue strobe mode if you really want to be seen.

Also: The brightest flashlights that experts recommend

The UV LED also has a decent enough power output and is good enough to check things like the validity of banknotes or to spot leaks in cooling or AC systems that contain a UV tracer dye. 

UV light is handy for validating banknotes.

UV light is handy for validating banknotes.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Two buttons control all the lights and functions through a combination of presses and double presses. The manual does a good job of explaining what all of these do, and after you've used the flashlight a bit, it quickly becomes second nature.

Rubber bung covers the USB-C charging port to keep out water and dirt.

Rubber bung covers the USB-C charging port to keep out water and dirt.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

And all this for $20 -- that really is a steal. 

This is a great keychain flashlight that hits that Goldilocks spot of being small enough to not get left at home, but big enough to have a useful power output and long battery life. Without a doubt, this has earned a place on my keychain.

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