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Thread: Olight SR Mini II (3xXM-L2, 3x18650) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO and more

  1. #1

    Wink2 Olight SR Mini II (3xXM-L2, 3x18650) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO and more

    Reviewer's Note: I am working through a backlog of lights, and this sample was originally received in October 2015.




    The SR Mini II is a refreshed build of the original SR Mini from Olight that I reviewed a year and half ago. Superficially similar, there are some updates to this model that are worth considering.

    Let's see how it compares to the original release, and to other "floody" lights out there …

    Manufacturer Reported Specifications:
    (note: as always, these are simply what the manufacturer provides – scroll down to see my actual testing results).

    • LED: 3 x Cree XM-L2 LEDs
    • Brightness / Run Times: Turbo: 3200 lumens, High: 1600 lumens / 3 hours, Mid: 800 lumens / 5.5 hours, Low: 200 lumens / 16 hours, Strobe: 10Hz
    • Operating Voltage: 2.8V to 6V
      [*}Candela: 18,000cd
    • Beam Distance: 268m
    • Unique TIR acrylic lens having a honeycomb surface structure gives off smooth, satisfying beam
    • Shock resistant stainless steel bezel is crenelated for your protection and safety
    • Four brightness levels available, along with strobe setting
    • Turbo mode activates instantly by a simple tapping motion
    • Charging current of up to 1500mA on micro-USB charging port
    • Flashlight body casing crafted from Type III hard-anodized aluminum
    • Flat tailcap lets your flashlight stay upright; has lanyard hole
    • Switch able to lock and unlock; also cycles through different brightness modes
    • Lens: TIR lens
    • Dimensions: Length: 5.2 in / 132 mm, Bezel Diameter: 1.87 in / 47.5mm, Weight: 6.83 oz / 181 g (excluding batteries)
    • Body material: type-III hard anodized aluminum
    • Battery source: 3 x 18650 (Not Included)
    • Impact Resistance: 1.5 meters drop
    • Warranty: Olight's 5 Year warranty
    • ACCESSORIES: Warranty card x1, User manual x1, New products brochure x1, Micro-USB Cable x1, Holster x1
    • MSRP: ~$130





    Retail packaging is the latest clamshell-style from Olight, instead of the previous clear plastic box (a la Foursevens style). Printed on the front and back are the key characteristics of the light. Inside, included with the light are spare O-rings, good quality lanyard, holster, three CR123A battery magazines, micro-USB charging cable, warranty card and manual.




    From left to right: Keeppower Protected 18650 3100mAh; Olight SR Mini-II, SR52; Nitecore Tiny Monster TM06; Eagletax MX25L3C; Thrunite TN36.

    All dimensions directly measured, and given with no batteries installed (unless indicated), and without the handle:

    Olight SR Mini II: Weight: 280.4g (~422g with 3x18650), Length: 131.5mm, Width (bezel): 47.91mm
    Olight SR Mini: Weight: 285.5g (~427g with 3x18650), Length: 126.9mm, Width (bezel): 48.1mm

    Lumintop PS03: Weight: 313.8g (~502g with 4x18650), Length: 127.82mm, Weight (bezel): 54.8mm
    Eagletac SX25L3: Weight: 315.9g (~457g with 3x18650), Length: 150.2mm, Weight (bezel): 47.0mm
    Fenix LD60: Weight: 334.6g (~476g with 3x18650), Length: 154.9mm, Width (bezel): 63.1mm
    Foursevens MMU-X3: Weight: 172.0g (264.2g with 26650), Length: 135.8mm, Width (bezel): 46.0mm
    Nitecore TM11: Weight: 342.6g (476g with 8xCR123A), Length 135.3mm, Width (bezel): 59.5mm
    Niwalker MiniMax Nova MM15: Weight: 333.7g (without handle), 355.9g (with handle), (539g with 4x18650 and handle), Length: 114.6mm, Weight (bezel): 63.7mm
    REV Captor: Weight: 498.3g (~640g with 3x18650), Length: 182mm, Width (bezel): 68.0mm







    Overall build is similar to the original SR Mini, but with a number of updates.

    Physically, the light is quite compact as before, but with a more rounded tailcap and lower profile scalloped bezel now. It remains a solid light, with built-in wells for the batteries. Anodizing is matte black finish. There is no real knurling to speak of, but there is a large checkered grid pattern all over the handle, as before. Grip is ok, but I do think some actual ridge detail on the body segments would have helped further.

    Body labels are minimal, with most of the info is on the tail cap. Lettering is bright white and clear against the black background.

    The light opens at the tailcap only. Tail threads are square-cut, and anodized for lock out. Tailcap design has been revised – previously, there was a locking column that held the rotating tailcap internals in place as you screwed down the tail. Now, there are three plastic guards that serve the same function (same as on the most recent SR52). More significantly, the cells are no longer arranged in series: now, all three cells are in parallel. This is presumably to accommodate charging, as there is now a built-in charger, using the same micro-USB port design as the SR52. Scroll down to see an analysis of the charging pattern.

    The built-in wells take all widths of 18650s in my collection. However, only button-top cells work in the light (i.e., the positive contact points in the head are not raised).

    The control button has changed from a hard plastic switch with a green LED underneath to a more traditional textured rubber switch. The switch LED previously illuminated any time the light was on, so it served a very limited function. Switch feel and traverse is more typical now. Note there have been changes to the interface as well, as described below.




    The three XM-L2 emitters appear to be in very shallow wells, directly below a flat diffusing optic. Beam pattern should thus be largely flood, as before. But the optic has changed, and no longer has the "honeycomb" appearance of the original SR Mini. I expect this will result in somewhat better throw (i.e., a bit less diffusion). See beamshots for more info.

    There is a slightly scalloped stainless steel bezel installed by default now on the light (previously, this was a flat bezel, with a higher profile bezel option). It is held in place by three hex screws.

    Scroll down for beamshot comparisons.

    User Interface

    Although the manual shows no change to the interface, my SR Mini II functions very differently from what is described in the manual – and from other reviews of this new Mark II model. I am not sure of the reason why, but it is possible mine was a pre-release review model (although the UI seems different from what is reported for those as well). All I can do is highlight the differences below, for my sample compared to the manual.

    Turn the light on/off by the electronic switch as expected.

    According to the manual, the highest output level (Turbo) is only available in momentary mode (i.e., press and hold the switch). Momentary can be activated from off or on. However, on my sample, if you press-and-hold for 5 secs before releasing, the light stays locked on in Turbo. See runtimes below for more info.

    Turn the light on/off by a click of the switch.

    According to the manual, output modes are changed by double-clicking the switch while on. Mode sequence is Lo > Med > Hi, in a repeating loop. Note again that Turbo is not available on the main sequence, but by a press-and-hold only. The light has mode memory for the non-Turbo modes, and returns to the last level used after off-on. Triple-clicking the switch from on or off gives strobe mode.

    Instead, on my sample, double-clicking the switch gives you strobe mode. To change the output modes, you need to single-click the switch within a couple of seconds after initial activation. Otherwise, a single click turns the light off. But if you single click repeatedly (not too fast to trigger the double-click strobe), you cycle through the three main outputs in Lo > Med > Hi, in a repeating loop. Once you stop clicking, the light stays on in the mode selected. Note that this means that when On, you can only change the output level by going to Off first and then re-activating.

    Strobe mode is now accessed by either a double-click or a triple click from either On or Off. Previously, a triple-click was required on the original SR Mini. Note the manual only refers to the triple click process.

    Despite what the manual says, there is no lock-out mode that I can see. Clicking three times from Off (as explained in the manual) just gives Strobe mode on my sample.

    Whatever the final interface of the shipping lights, Olight clearly needs to update the manual's user interface section.

    According to the manual, the light's memory for the last set output mode is 10 mins. After this, it defaults to Med.

    There is a low voltage LED indicator near the charging port. According to the manual, when the battery voltage falls below 3.25V, the LED will blink red. It will change to constant red at 3.05V.

    Video:

    For more information on the overall build and user interface of my sample, please see my video overview:



    As with all my videos, I recommend you have annotations turned on.

    As an aside, if you want to get an instant notification for every new review that I post here on CPF, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel (the vids go public at the same time). Just mouse over my logo watermark on the bottom right-hand corner of the video for the subscribe feature to open up.

    Charging Current

    For these measures, I am using a Xtar VI01 "USB Detector" (basically a specialized USB current/voltage meter). This model has recently been favorably reviewed by HKJ here. For all these tests, I left the USB detector in place for all readings. Note that the voltage reading on this device refers to the input voltage (i.e., from the charging brick). I am using drained Keeppower protected 3100mAh batteries for charging.

    The SR Mini-II uses a higher charging current than typical, and Olight recommends use of a 2.1A-rated adapter (i.e., a tablet charging adapter, not a phone charger). A higher rated USB adapter is necessary to allow max charge rate (otherwise, you will be limited by the adapter and charging will take longer).

    Initial charging current and input voltage was 1.18A and 4.98V:




    Charging current slowly rose over the next several hours, peaking at 4 hours at 1.49A and 5.02V:




    Charging current then declined over the next several hours, terminating shortly after 8 hours of charging, at 0A and 5.13V:




    Here is a summary of the charging stats (again, this is input voltage on the USB detector):

    Time 0hr: 1.18A, 4.98V
    Time 1hr: 1.33A, 5.03V
    Time 2hr: 1.37A, 5.04V
    Time 3hr: 1.42A, 5.03V
    Time 4hr: 1.49A, 5.02V
    Time 5hr: 1.34A, 5.03V
    Time 6hr: 0.64A, 5.07V
    Time 7hr: 0.20A, 5.08V
    Time 8hr: 0A, 5.13V (green)

    Overall, the SR Mini II seems to use a good charging algorithm, but it is not exactly CC/CV. Charging time was reasonable for 3 cells. All cells read out exactly at 4.19V at the end of the charging cycle. Note that the above is consistent with the report spec of 1500mA charging.

    PWM/Strobe

    There is no sign of flicker or PWM that I can see, at any output level, as shown below. I believe the light is current-controlled.

    I did detect a minor fluctuation in the current on the lower levels, but this was not significant enough to be detectable by eye.

    Med Mode:


    Again, these sort of minor current fluctuations are common on many current-controlled lights, and not a source of concern. As always, I simply report was is detectable on my oscilloscope - even when not visible to the eye.

    Strobe:


    The strobe mode was a fairly typical ~8.8Hz fast strobe.

    Standby Drain

    A standby current drain is inevitable on this light, due to the electronic switch.

    I measured this as 423uA on my sample (although it occasional drops down to a lower current, every couple of seconds). Give the 1s3p arrangement, you need to add up the mAh capacity of the cells to get an estimated drain. So, for 3x3100mAh cells, that would translate into about 2.5 years to fully drain the cells.

    This is pretty reasonable – and you can always lock out the light (and the cut the drain) by a simple turn of the tailcap.

    Beamshots:

    All lights are on their standard battery, or protected 18650 ICR. Lights are about ~0.75 meter from a white wall (with the camera ~1.25 meters back from the wall). Automatic white balance is to minimize tint differences.

    Let's start with a comparison of the Hi mode, and the "momentary" max mode (Turbo) on the original and the revised SR Mini:













    It is always hard to try and show floody lights at this ridiculously close distance. The point is that there is not much of center beam "hotspot" in actual use – but the brightness difference above is a good way to judge overall beam intensity differences. In that sense, as I hope you can see, there is a lot more light produced on Turbo than Hi – and the SR Mini II is brighter on max than the earlier SR Mini.

    I would also say that the new SR Mini II optic produces a slightly more focused beam, with less corona "spill" than the earlier optic design. You will really only notice with the two side-by-side.

    For the rest of the comparisons below, I will use the Turbo mode.












    See my original SR Mini review for some outdoor beamshots (I haven't bothered to retake them with the Mark II version).

    Testing Method:

    All my output numbers are relative for my home-made light box setup, as described on my flashlightreviews.ca website. You can directly compare all my relative output values from different reviews - i.e. an output value of "10" in one graph is the same as "10" in another. All runtimes are done under a cooling fan, except for any extended run Lo/Min modes (i.e. >12 hours) which are done without cooling.

    I have devised a method for converting my lightbox relative output values (ROV) to estimated Lumens. See my How to convert Selfbuilt's Lightbox values to Lumens thread for more info.

    Throw/Output Summary Chart:

    My summary tables are reported in a manner consistent with the ANSI FL-1 standard for flashlight testing. Please see http://www.flashlightreviews.ca/FL1.htm for a discussion, and a description of all the terms used in these tables. Effective July 2012, I have updated all my Peak Intensity/Beam Distance measures with a NIST-certified Extech EA31 lightmeter (orange highlights).



    The output measures confirm the SR Mini II is definitely a bit brighter on Turbo, as you could tell from the earlier beamshots.

    Let's see how the rest of the output levels compare:



    Basically, a slight bump up at the Med/Hi modes, and a slightly lower Lo (although still quite bright at ~300 estimated lumens).

    Output/Runtime Graphs:

    For the last year or so, my standard runtimes are done on Keeppower protected 18650 3100mAh cells, under a cooling fan.




    There is clear evidence of thermal management of the "hidden" locked on Turbo mode (as described in the UI section) – and potentially even the Hi mode. As such, I've done a direct comparison with the cooling fan turned off.



    Ok, so without cooling, the Turbo mode ramps down to Hi mode level after ~5 mins, and stays there for the duration of the run. Note you get very flat runtime on the non-cooled run.

    As always, overall efficiency is consistent with an excellent current-controlled circuit.

    Potential Issues

    The SR Mini II is basically a full flood light – do not expect typical flashlight beam throw.

    User interface is not as described in the manual (see UI discussion earlier in this review). Moreover, my review sample differs from others described here on CPF - I do not know what is currently shipping.

    There is an undocumented feature to run the light in locked-on Turbo mode continuously on my sample – simply hold the button down for ~5 secs before releasing. The light appears to have thermal management to regulate the output level (see runtimes above).

    Flat-top cells cannot be used in the light, given the flat contacts in the head.

    The light rolls very easily.

    There is a tiny standby drain when the tailcap is fully connected, but this can be broken by turning the tailcap a quarter turn.

    Preliminary Observations

    The Mark II version of the SR-Mini is a nice upgrade in my opinion (original model review here). Not only do you get slightly higher output, but this new model features in-light charging now, through a similar mechanism as the SR52.

    There's another quirk – my review sample features a different interface than the one reported in the manual (or by other reviewers). Please see the UI section of my review for more info. I don't know what is to be expected for currently shipping models (note that my sample was received in October 2015).

    But one interesting (and undocumented feature) on my sample is the ability to run continuously in Turbo mode, without holding down the button. This has allowed me to do extended runtime tests, which show that the Mark II has a thermal control feature in addition to a timed step-down on Turbo. See Runtimes above for more info. As always, Olight is using a good high efficiency circuit (and is fairly flat-stabilized).

    The other change from the original version is the switch. Gone is the hard plastic switch (which was constantly illuminated when the light was on), replaced by a more standard soft plastic switch. There is now a low-voltage battery indicator located right beside the USB-charging port.

    The USB charging worked consistently in my testing – although you will need to use a 2.1A-rated AC adapter to get the max charging rate of ~1.5A (i.e., otherwise, you will be limited by your AC-adapter's max charging rate). The batteries are now arranged in parallel, not series, to support in-light charging (which is a safer arrangement for charging).

    Although there have been some minor changes to the styling, the SR Mini II remains a sturdy and compact light. Hand feel is good.

    The output beam is still mainly full flood, with relatively little hotspot. This is different from a traditional diffuser on a reflector-based light, with tends to more greatly scatter the beam (and reduce overall output). That said, the new optic of the SR Mini II produces less of a corona "spill", compared to the more highly diffused original SR Mini.

    As I said above, I believe this to be a nice update to the SR Mini. I'm honestly not sure what version of the interface is currently shipping, but I find my sample to be pretty good. I particularly like the thermal output control with locked-on Turbo.

    I would be interested to hear below from those who have recently purchased the light.

    ----

    SR Mini II provided by GoingGear on behalf of Olight for review.
    Last edited by selfbuilt; 02-17-2016 at 09:12 AM.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. Latest flashlight review: Thrunite TN42.
    Gratefully accepting donations to my battery fund.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* Ryp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Olight SR Mini II (3xXM-L2, 3x18650) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO and more

    Thanks for the review!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Olight SR Mini II (3xXM-L2, 3x18650) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO and more

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryp View Post
    Thanks for the review!
    Welcome back Ryp.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. Latest flashlight review: Thrunite TN42.
    Gratefully accepting donations to my battery fund.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Olight SR Mini II (3xXM-L2, 3x18650) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO and more

    Can you tease us with a list of the lights you have backed logged?

  5. #5
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Olight SR Mini II (3xXM-L2, 3x18650) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO and more

    Wow that light is a good upgrade ! Still no flat tops ? I dont get that ?
    I am impressed with the amount of throw it has for that type of beam is impressive. Those new optics look super clear compared to the old ones.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Olight SR Mini II (3xXM-L2, 3x18650) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO and more

    Quote Originally Posted by texas cop View Post
    Can you tease us with a list of the lights you have backed logged?
    Haha, I try to avoid that, since I have no interest to actually "tease" - and it just adds more pressure on me to get the reviews done. It's been a crazy busy year in my work life, and I don't see that letting up any time soon. But I do have the other Olights released last fall on hand to test, and will be be getting to them in time.

    Quote Originally Posted by zs&tas View Post
    I am impressed with the amount of throw it has for that type of beam is impressive. Those new optics look super clear compared to the old ones.
    Yes, the new optic of the SR Mini II is a bit more throwy than old one - and produces less of a corona "spill". The original optic was a bit more diffused.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. Latest flashlight review: Thrunite TN42.
    Gratefully accepting donations to my battery fund.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Olight SR Mini II (3xXM-L2, 3x18650) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO and more

    Great review and pics!

    I notice you didn't ask Olight to illuminate the power button - does this mean finding it in the dark is not really a significant problem, like for a law enforcement situation requiring quick access?
    life's big questions/answers here:
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  8. #8
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Olight SR Mini II (3xXM-L2, 3x18650) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO and more

    Hi, can anyone tell me if it is possible to charge and use the light at the same time ?

  9. #9

    Default Re: Olight SR Mini II (3xXM-L2, 3x18650) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO and more

    Quote Originally Posted by zs&tas View Post
    Hi, can anyone tell me if it is possible to charge and use the light at the same time ?
    On most lights, the answer is no - but in this case, yes, the SR Mini II will activate while charging.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. Latest flashlight review: Thrunite TN42.
    Gratefully accepting donations to my battery fund.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Olight SR Mini II (3xXM-L2, 3x18650) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO and more

    Thank you for the reply, Oh wow that is pretty cool, i wonder how long it could run 1600 lumens with charging, its a neat option for sure !

  11. #11

    Default Re: Olight SR Mini II (3xXM-L2, 3x18650) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO and more

    is that possible to run in turbo while charging or only in low mode? and can it take sanyo ncr18650bf? i dont know sanyo ncr18650bf is button top or flat top.

    Quote Originally Posted by selfbuilt View Post
    On most lights, the answer is no - but in this case, yes, the SR Mini II will activate while charging.
    Last edited by ridwan_neutron; 12-28-2016 at 11:02 PM.

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