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Thread: Olight M20S-X & M21-X [XM-L2 T6, 1x18650, 2x(R)CR123A] Review

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* candle lamp's Avatar
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    Arrow Olight M20S-X & M21-X [XM-L2 T6, 1x18650, 2x(R)CR123A] Review

    Reviewer's note : Olight M20S-X & M21-X were provided by Olight for review.

    The M20S-X and M21-X are Warrior lines from Olight available with an Cree XM-L2 T6 emitter, running on 1x18650 Li-ion or 2x(R)CR123A batteries, designed for tactical uses.
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    The lights come in a very nice black plastic carry case with cut-out foam. Included in the case was the light with removable clip (attached), metal grip (attached), white diffuser, holster, lanyard, three spare o-rings, GITD tailcap silicon rubber boot (it glows teal blue color), battery magazine, two Olight CR123A Litium batteries, manual. (The manual is available for download on Olight website.)
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    Manufacturer Specifications from Olight website & manual :

    1. M20S-X
    • Use the latest in CREE XM-L2 LED, output raises up to 550 lumens
    • Three adjustable brightness levels: 550lumens, 110 lumens, 10lumens and 10Hz strobe
    • Innovative tactical user interface and dual tail switches; New UI assigns the dimmable function to tail-cap switch, which greatly facilitate tactical applications, especially via remote press switch. Tail side switch controls output brightness levels, three brightness levels “low-medium-high” changes by circle. Hold the button to activate strobe
    • Compatible with 2 x CR123A/RCR123 or 1x 18650 batteries
    • Battery polarity reverse protection
    • Water resistant up to IPX7
    • Equipped with a double CR123A size battery magazine
    • Rectangle threads, new pocket clip, as well as new position structure for cigar holder, which greatly raise its reliability
    • Lock-out function: press the tail switch and side switch simultaneously, the light will power off and then locked-out.
    • Dimension : (L) 140mm, (Head) 35.3mm, (Tube) 25mm
    • Weight : 124g (without battery)
    • Output & runnung time : 550lm/1.3hr, 110lm/5hr, 10lm/85hr
    • Beam intensity : 9,700cd
    • Max. throw : 197m
    • Impact resistance : 1.5m

    2. M21-X
    • Utilizing the newest Cree XM-L2 LED, output increased by 20%
    • High-efficient drive circuit, the highest output reaches 750umens, and beam distance is up to 288m
    • Multi-functional tail switch: Under off status, lightly press the tail switch will perform momentary-on, while twice quick clicks will activate high brightness and triple quick clicks will activate strobe, further full press will acquiesce in outputs. Under on status, full press the tail switch will perform power off.
    • Three adjustable brightness levels (low-medium-high), changeable in cycle through screwing the head from loose to tight
    • Anti-rolling cigar holder is convenient for steady holding the flashlight; and there is a 3mm diameter hole can pass through fabric strap
    • Aviation grade aluminum body, with anti-scratch type III hard anodizing
    • Blackening treatment stainless steel striking bezel also available
    • Time limit high brightness steps down. After 5 minutes running, output on high will drop down to 60%. Restart the flashlight or reactivate the high brightness level to recover
    • Water resistant up to IPX8
    • Smooth reflector
    • Dimension : (L) 145.5mm, (Head) 40.2mm, (Tube) 25mm
    • Weight : 126.5g (without battery)
    • Output & runnung time : 750lm/1.5hr, 320lm/3hr, 20lm/30hr
    • Beam intensity : 20,700cd
    • Max. throw : 288m
    • Impact resistance : 2m
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    The M21-X has a larger head than the M20S-X, and there is an electronic side switch on the tailcap of the M20S-X. The build of two lights is very similar to each other. The hard (type III) anodizing is a matt black and consistent throughout with no chips or blemishes to be found on my samples. Lettering is clear and bright white against the black background. There are large checkered portions on the battery tube (i.e., body) and tailcap.
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    The light has 3 parts (i.e. head, body, and tailcap).
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    I think the lights come in a choice of stainless steel bezel types (black crenellated or silver crenellated) which are removable, and my review sample is the black one allowing light to shine through when left placed head down.
    There is a raised positive contact spring in the head, so flat-top 18650 batteries should work fine. The light has reverse polarity protection to protect from incorrect battery installation (i.e., the electronics of the lights has in-built reverse polarity protection). It seems the lights have neither low-battery warning function nor over-discharge protection function.
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    It seems the light use the tempered AR coating lens. The sky blue hue is reflected on the lens. The aluminum reflector has a smooth pattern. Surface finish on the reflector was good from visual inspection, and well-centered LED sits at the bottom of the reflector cup.
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    The battery tube (i.e., body) is mostly covered in a bold checkered portions with two flat faces where manufacturer & model name with serial number are printed on and one flat face where the clip is touching. The aluminum cigar grip ring is removable and is on the end of the body. It acts as an anti-roll feature so the light doesn't accidentally roll off and it helps when holding the light in a cigar-style grip. The stainless steel clip & aluminum cigar ring help enhance grip as well. Overall grip is acceptable, but it's a bit slippery when twisting the body with wet hands.
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    The removable cigar ring holds the clip somewhat tightly. Like the Olight M22, it can be removed easily without removing the o-ring on the body. There is a groove on one side of the cigar ring that fits into a slightly protruded piece of the removable clip. This helps hold the cigar ring on the body in place.
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    There is a small sticker on the inside of the body, showing you the correct orientation of the batteries. I didn't experience any issues with shorter unprotected 18650 or longer protected 18650 cells. The CR123A & 18650 fit well in the tube. All types (i.e., true flat-tops, wide and small button-tops) of 18650's work fine.
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    The screw threads are square-cut of good quality. Threads on both ends are well machined, with those on the rear end being anodized which allows the light to be locked-out when the tailcap is slightly loosened. As supplied, threads on both ends are well lubricated. Threads on either ends on the body mate well with the head and tailcap with no issues of cross-threading or grinding.
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    The included 2xCR123A battery magazine is optional, so you don’t need to use it in this configuration, but it certainly removes battery rattle in case you use it.
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    The tailcap switch is a forward clicky. The negative terminal at the tailcap has a bit strong elastic spring covered with a small metal flat disc to increase surface contact area and have no risk of scratching battery. The tailcap has a similar checkered textured design, and has shallow scallops machined around the end. The pre-installed black rubber push button cap protrudes out the rear end, so the light will not be able to tailstand, Alternatively, you may swap out the black switch cap with the GITD spare one which is included. The switch has average tension with short travel and tactile clicking feedback similar to the M22. The side switch feel of the M20S-X is similar to the electronic switches of other lights.
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    The white diffuser came with the light consists of a front hard plastic part & a rear soft cap to fit the each light's stainless steel bezel. The diffuser cap is a good snug fit and is of good quality. The diffuser does soften output of the light nicely. The diffuser cap of the M21-X is quite the same as the M22 in size.
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    User Interface

    1. M20S-X
    There are three constant output levels and one "hidden" strobe.
    The light is turned on/off by the forward tailcap switch (i.e., press for momentary on, click for lock on).

    Click the side tailcap switch to advance through outputs when on, which proceed in sequence from Low -> Med. -> High, in a repeating loop. The light has mode memory, and remembers the last output level used when you turn the light off and back on, (even after a battery change).

    Pressing and holding the side switch for one second, whatever mode the light is in (even Off), will activate Strobe. Another clicking the side switch will access to the memorized output level.

    A single pressing the tailcap switch (or click) from Off will access to the memorized output level. A double quick press (or double quick click) will activate High directly, whatever mode the light is in (even Off). A triple quick press (or triple quick click) will activate Strobe directly, whatever mode the light is in (even Off). There's no mode memory for the multiple-quick press (or click) mode.

    2. M21-X
    The UI is identical to the M22.

    There are three constant output levels and one "hidden" strobe.
    The light is turned on/off by the forward tailcap switch (i.e., press for momentary on, click for lock on).

    To change the constant output levels, loosen/tighten the head to advance through outputs when on, which proceed in sequence from Low -> Med. -> High. The light has mode memory, and remembers the last output level used when you turn the light off and back on, (even after a battery change).

    A single press (or click) from Off will access to the memorized output level.
    A double quick press (or double quick click) will activate High directly, whatever mode the light is in (even Off).
    A triple quick press (or triple quick click) will activate Strobe directly, whatever mode the light is in (even Off). There's no mode memory for the multiple-quick press (or click) mode.
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    Standby Current Drain


    The side switch on the M20S-X activates Strobe at any time (i.e., even when the light is turned off at the tailcap switch). This means there is a standby current when the light is fully connected. I measured this current as 65.1uA. Considering one 2600mAh capacity battery, that would give you around 4.6 years before one fully charged battery would be completely drained. This is negligible, not a concern, but you can break this current completely by slightly loosening the tailcap a little for lock-out, thanks to the anodized threads, when not in use.

    I understand it's very difficult to do use current controled circuit for this design in the M20S-X. The electronic at the tailcap needs a certain power and it can get it when the light is off (or an extra connection would be required). Using PWM makes it possible to get the power a couple of hundred times per second. I think that PWM and mode control circuit are in the tailcap, not in the head.
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    From left to right, VicLite 18650(2600mAh) protected, Armytek Viking v2.5, Olight M20S-X, Olight M21-X.
    The head size & light weight excluding battery of five lights are as follows :
    Viking v2.5 - 39.4mm / 160g, M20S-X - 35.4mm / 124g, M21-X - 40.3mm / 126g, TR31 - 39.7mm / 165g, SRT7 - 40.0mm / 174g
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    It is good size to hold and can be used as an tactical light. Overall grip is acceptable. Overall build quality is very high.
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    The lights come with a nylon holster with a velcro strap on the head. The light fits in the holster head-down only. The small extra pocket at both sides give a nice space to carry 2x18650 or 4xCR123A's. The holster has a loop allows to carry it in horizontal position.
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    [New 13.09.10]
    Magnet Weapon Mount (X-WM02)




    X-WM02 is the upgrade version of the X-WM01. It has a stronger magnetic force and better protects the barrel from scratching than X-WM01. It comes with spare silicon pads (1.5mm, 2.5mm and 4.0mm thickness) to match 25~26mm, 24~25mm and 23~24mm diameter size flashlights resprctively.
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    According to the specification, the magnetic capacity is 95N (9.65kgf), and available for 23~26mm diameter body size of the lights.
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    I don't have any nice guns to install the X-WM02 and to test its magnetic capacity. However I can use it in many environments in real life, by putting it on the steel things. The magnetic pull is fairly strong. [New 13.09.10]
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    Measured Dimensions & Weight

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    PWM

    1. M20S-X


    There is sign of PWM that I can see, at all output levels. I notice there is buzzing sound at all output levels on my sample. But the PWM & buzzing sound are not bad, but acceptable to use the light in real life.

    2. M21-X


    The lights show no sign of PWM at any output level. The light is constant current controlled. I notice there is no buzzing sound at any levels.
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    Runtime
    The runtime to fall to 10% of its initial output from 30 seconds after the point the light is first turned on (i.e., based on ANSI FL-1) for Max. output is as follows :

    1. M20S-X

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    2. M21-X

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    3. M20S-X & M21-X

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    4. 1x18650 lights

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    Beamshot

    1. White door beamshot (about 50cm from the white door) on Max output on a VicLite protected 18650 (2600mAh)
    - ISO100, F/4.0, 1/640sec, Auto white balance

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    - ISO100, F/4.0, 1/800sec, Auto white balance

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    - ISO100, F/4.0, 1/1250sec, Auto white balance

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    2. Indoor beamshot (about 7m from the target) on Max output on a VicLite protected 18650 (2600mAh)
    - ISO100, F/2.8, 1/4sec, Auto white balance

    - M20S-X
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    - M21-X
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    - SRT 7
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    - Viking
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    3. 55m Outdoor Beamshot on Max output on a VicLite protected 18650 (2600mAh)
    - ISO100, F/2.8, 1sec, Auto white balance

    - Control Shot
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    - M20S-X
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    - M21-X
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    - SRT 7
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    - Viking
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    4. 60~65m Outdoor Beamshot on Max output on a VicLite protected 18650 (2600mAh)
    - ISO100, F/2.8, 1sec, Auto white balance

    - Control Shot
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    - M20S-X
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    - M21-X
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    - SRT 7
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    - Viking
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    Last edited by candle lamp; 09-10-2013 at 03:37 AM. Reason: [New 13.09.10]

  2. #2
    *Flashaholic* kj2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Olight M20S-X & M21-X [XM-L2 T6, 1x18650, 2x(R)CR123A] Review

    Thanks

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* candle lamp's Avatar
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    Wink2 Re: Olight M20S-X & M21-X [XM-L2 T6, 1x18650, 2x(R)CR123A] Review

    Thank you. kj2!

  4. #4
    Flashaholic holylight's Avatar
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    Default Olight M20S-X & M21-X [XM-L2 T6, 1x18650, 2x(R)CR123A] Review

    Tks nice shot!
    lights: saber1a, v11r, sc52, sc600ii, ea4, tn31, archer1a.



  5. #5
    Flashaholic* candle lamp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Olight M20S-X & M21-X [XM-L2 T6, 1x18650, 2x(R)CR123A] Review

    Thanks holylight!

    [New 13.09.10]
    Magnet Weapon Mount (X-WM02)




    X-WM02 is the upgrade version of the X-WM01. It has a stronger magnetic force and better protects the barrel from scratching than X-WM01. It comes with spare silicon pads (1.5mm, 2.5mm and 4.0mm thickness) to match 25~26mm, 24~25mm and 23~24mm diameter size flashlights resprctively.
    .
    .


    According to the specification, the magnetic capacity is 95N (9.65kgf), and available for 23~26mm diameter body size of the lights.
    .
    .






    I don't have any nice guns to install the X-WM02 and to test its magnetic capacity. However I can use it in many environments in real life, by putting it on the steel things. The magnetic pull is fairly strong. [New 13.09.10]
    Last edited by candle lamp; 09-10-2013 at 03:36 AM. Reason: [New 13.09.10]

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