Olight M3XS-UT (dedome XP-L, 2x18500/18650, 3x/4xCR123A) Review: BEAMSHOTS + more!

selfbuilt

selfbuilt

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The M3XS-UT Javelot is the follow up model from Olight, after the M2X-UT launched earlier this year. The M3XS-UT is a 3xCR123A/2x18500 light – with an included extender for 4xCR123A/2x18650. These Javelot lights are distinctive due to their stock dedomed emitters. :eek:oo:

As explained in my earlier M2X-UT thread, all LED emitters feature a clear dome covering. These provide protection for the emitter, and help even out the beam profile (especially in regards to tint). However, these also reduces the ability to focus light, as it effectively moves the emitting surface from the smaller die to the entire surface of the dome. As enthusiasts have long noted, custom "dedoming" of the emitter drastically improves the ability of a reflector to focus the light for peak distance throw. I don't know whether Olight is doing the dedoming themselves, or is custom ordering these from Cree, so I will continue to refer to these as "stock dedome" lights.

With and without include extender in place:

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Let's see how the M3XS-UT compares to the earlier model, and others in my collection, including a number of custom-modded dedomes. :wave:

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

  • CREE XP-L High Intensity LED, color temperature: 4000K-4500K.
  • Light output range from 3 lumens to 1200 lumens
  • Max Beam distance: 250,000cd, up to 1000 meters
  • Maximum run time of 360 hours.
  • 3 output modes, plus a moonlight and strobe mode. When the light is on burst mode, the brightness level at 1200lm (5 minutes) ramps down by 60% of the initial light output (55 minutes). 600lm/1.5hrs, 80lm/12hrs, moonlight 3lm/350hrs, 10Hz strobe mode.
  • A brand-new conductive stretch tail cap keeps the light energized even when the tail cap is loosened accidently.
  • The tail switch diameter is 18mm. The tail switch has a momentary ON-OFF functionality, supporting high output and 99% light transmittance rate through tempered glass, with two-sided anti-reflective coating.
  • Reverse polarity protection to prevent improper battery installation.
  • Side switch featuring a battery power indicator glows red and blinks when the power runs low. When the battery power indicator is constantly on, the battery will run out of power and will shut the light off.
  • Able to place upside down on a flat surface.
  • IPX8 water-proof capability.
  • Lens: Tough ultra-clear tempering glass with anti-reflective coating.
  • Dimensions: 8.3in/211mm (Length), 2.48in/63mm (Head), 0.98oz/255g (Body), 9.0oz/255g (Excluding Batteries)
  • Body Material: Aircraft-grade aluminum body with anti-scratch type III hard anodizing.
  • Battery Source: 3 or 4 x CR123A, 2 x 18650
  • Warranty: Olight's 5 year warranty. Please visit olightworld.com/warranty
  • What's Included: 2 x Spare O-Rings, Holster, Extension Tube, Battery Magazine
  • MSRP: ~$150
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Inside the presentation case, the light and all accessories are carefully packaged in cutout foam. Included with the light is a sturdy belt holder, battery extender tube, spare O-rings, 3xCR123A battery carrier, warranty card and manual.

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From left to right: Keeppower Protected 18650 3100mAh; Olight M3XS-UT, M2X-UT; Eagletac S200C2vn.

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From left to right: Keeppower Protected 18650 3100mAh; Olight M3XS-UT, M3X; Crelant 7G5MT; ArmyTek Barracuda; Thrunite Catapult V5.

All dimensions directly measured, and given with no batteries installed (unless indicated):

Olight M3XS-UT (no extender): Weight: 257.0g, Length: 211mm, Width (bezel): 62.3mm
Olight M3X (no extender): Weight: 260.9g, Length 211mm, Width (bezel): 62.3mm
Olight M2X-UT: Weight: 218.6g, Length: 163mm, Width (bezel): 47.0mm

Olight M3XS-UT (with extender): Weight: 271.6g, Length: 245mm, Width (bezel): 62.3mm
Olight M3X (with extender): Weight 277.8g, Length 244mm, Width (bezel): 62.3mm
Olight SR52vn: Weight: 401.1g (501g with 6xCR123A), Length: 162mm, Width (bezel): 63.1mm
ArmyTek Barracuda: Weight 400.8g, Length 264mm, Width (bezel): 64.0mm
Eagletac GX25L2 Turbo: Weight: 320.7g (with battery pack: 412.5g), Length: 251mm, Width (bezel): 62.0mm
Thrunite Catapult V5: Weight: 556.7g, Length: 266mm, Width (bezel) 59.1mm

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Physically, the build of the M3XS-UT is very similar to the M3X and M2X-UT that I reviewed previously.

Anodizing remains matte black finish, hard anodized (i.e., type III). Body labels are bright and clear, and relatively minimal, as always. Overall external styling of the body handle is identical across the models, with the classic Olight raised checkered pattern (which replaces actual knurling, to help with grip).

External styling of the M3XS-UT tailcap matches the M2X-UT and M3X (i.e., fluted ridges). Like the earlier lights, the M3XS-UT can tailstand. Thanks to matching threads, the battery extender of the M3XS-UT is compatible with the M2X-UT. Screw threads are anodized on all lights, for tail lock-out.

Styling of the head of the M3XS-UT is very similar to the earlier M2X-UT and M3X. As with other models, there is a spring mounted on the positive contact board in the head, so flat-top cells can be used In the light.

The bundled cigar grip ring is made of metal, like the other models.

The M3XS-UT uses a forward clicky switch, which similar feel to all the other models.

New to the M3XS-UT is the secondary side switch in the head, for mode changing. Switch feel is a bit soft (i.e., not a very firm click), but within the normal range. There is a clear center region, so that you can see the red LED low voltage warning emitter.

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This clearly isn't your standard XP-L emitter. ;) As with the dedomed XM-L2 on my M2X-UT, the emitter looks perfect here – there is no sign of damage or left-over residue from the dome. This makes me think they are either getting these "factory" dedomed by Cree, or have a found a very good process to automate dedoming in their own hands.

I would expect outstanding throw performance, consistent with other dedome lights. Scroll down for beamshots. :wave:

User Interface

User interface has been revised from the earlier lights, thanks to the secondary electronic switch in the head (earlier models used a head twist mechanism to change modes).

Turn the light on/off by the tailcap forward clicky switch (press for momentary, click for locked-on).

There are three main output levels controlled by the secondary switch (click to change modes), along with a Moonlight mode and Strobe mode.

On clicking the side-switch (once on), the light moves through its main mode sequence of Lo > Med > Hi, in a repeating loop. Press and hold the side-switch to jump to Strobe. The light has mode memory, and retains the last level set when you turn it off and back on (including memory for strobe).

To access Moonlight, hold-down the side-switch while activating at the tailcap. There is no memory for Moonlight.

There are a couple of short-cuts accessible from Off using the tailcap switch. As before, soft-press for momentary On in the last memorized mode. Two soft-presses jumps you to Turbo. Three soft-presses jumps you to Strobe.

Video:

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



As with all my videos, I recommend you have annotations turned on. I commonly update the commentary with additional information or clarifications before publicly releasing the video.

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).

PWM/Strobe

As always, there is no sign of PWM (pulse width modulation) at any output level – the M3XS-UT is current-controlled like its predecessor Olight models. :)

M3XSUT-Strobe.gif


The strobe is a fairly typical fast "tactical" strobe, of 10Hz frequency (as on the M2X-UT).

No Standby Drain:

Thanks to the physical forward clicky switch, there is no standby drain when off.

Beamshots:

For white-wall beamshots below, all lights are on Max output on an protected 18650 batteries. Lights are about ~0.75 meter from a white wall (with the camera ~1.25 meters back from the wall). Automatic white balance on the camera, to minimize tint differences – except for the dedome emitters, which are set to Daylight white balance.

Dedome emitter comparisons:

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Comparison to stock XM-L2, 2x18650 lights:

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As you can see above, the M3XS-UT is another outstanding thrower for its size. Since dedoming reduces the effective surface area for focusing, you get a smaller and further throwing hotspot on the M2X-UT than you would expect from a dome-on emitter with this size reflector.

It also produces the typical green-yellow tint shift seen on custom mod dedome jobs. As always, it is not quite as green looking in real life as these pics seem to show – I find the automatic white balancing on the camera tends to enhance the green appearance somewhat.

Overall beam width and pattern are comparable to other lights in the 2x18650 class (the M2X-UT had a wider spillbeam).

Since you can't tell much from white wall beamshots, we'll head outdoors. For outdoor shots, these are done in the style of my earlier 100-yard round-up review. Please see that thread for a discussion of the topography (i.e. the road dips in the distance, to better show you the corona in the mid-ground). Note there are a lot of bugs out at this time of year, so expect to see some flight trails. ;)

Sorry about any tint effects – I accidentally left the camera on Automatic color balance for these shots.

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The M3XS-UT definitely has more output than the M2X-UT, and thus shines more light on the target. There is a bit more of a corona now, at least on my sample. The M3XS-UT definitely more than holds its own, for a stock 2x18650 light!

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).

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My NIST-calibrated light meter reports very comparable numbers to Olight specs (i.e., 260,000cd on my sample, vs 250,000cd spec). :eek:oo: These numbers match what you can see in the beamshots – the M3X-UT has both more output and throw than the M2X-UT. In fact, it seems to be the furthest throwing stock 2x18650 in my collection. :)

Let's see how the output levels compare to the official specs in my testing:

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As always, my estimated lumens are very close to the published Olight specs. :)

Output/Runtime Graphs:

As always, my standard runtimes are done under a cooling fan.

For these initial comparisons, I am using both my standard 3100mAh 18650 and an older set of 1500mAh AW 18500.

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And now to other lights:

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Regulation pattern is good, with relatively flat stabilization overall. There is a timed ramp-down on Turbo, after 5 mins runtime. This is gradual enough for you not to notice. It is also a sensible safety precaution for the light and batteries, given how hot everything can get on sustained running.

Note that on primary CR123A cells, the M3XS-UT steps down to the Lo level once the batteries can no longer sustain higher outputs.

Overall, the M3XS-UT performs like a good current-controlled light. :)

Potential Issues

Dedomed emitters have a warmer overall beam tint – typically green-yellow, as seen here. Some artifacts in the corona are always possible.

Long-term stability of dedomed emitters (compared to standard dome-on ones) is unknown. However, I would not expect any significant issues from a stock dedome such as this. There is no sign of residue or damage from the dedoming process on my sample.

There is a timed step-down feature on Turbo, but this is gradual.

Preliminary Observations
For fans of maximum throw in the 2x18650 class, the M3XS-UT is a home run. :party:

As with the smaller 1x18650 M2X-UT, these lights manage this feat thanks to the use of stock dedomed emitters (XP-L in the case of the M3XS-UT). As before, I'm not sure how Olight is getting these emitters "sans dome", but I expect there is some sort of custom production run being done (i.e., there are no signs of a messy removal post-production). In any case, the true comparables for these lights are the dedome models available from a number of custom modders here.

As always, all dedomed emitters are somewhat green-yellow tint-shifted. How much is variable, but all dedome lights will be warmer than standard cool white. You can also expect to see some artifacts in the beam, including potentially a "donut hole" hotspot at close distances, and various corona artifacts (i.e., these lights are focused for distance throw).

A significant change from the earlier M2X-UT (and M3X) is the revised interface on the M3XS-UT. Gone is the classic Olight head-twist mode changing, replaced by a secondary electronic switch in the head (with low voltage LED indicator underneath). :thumbsup: The switching worked well in my testing – very straight-forward and intuitive. I also liked the extra "shortcuts" to Turbo, Strobe and Moonlight. And momentary/locked on works as before, thanks to the standard tactical forward tail switch.

As usual for Olight, the current-controlled circuitry shows very good overall efficiency across all levels. :) Note that as with the M2X-UT, there is timed ramp down on Turbo (after 5 mins). I know timed step-downs are not popular here, but I consider this a sensible design - the sustained max mode on the original M3X could lead to primary CR123As overheating and tripping their PTC safety circuits.

If you are looking for maximum throw in the 2x18650 class, and don't want to go the custom mod route, the M3XS-UT is a no-brainer. You get an excellent throwing light with full manufacturer warranty. And the upgraded interface is likely to find favor here, since you no longer need to do head twists to change modes. Frankly, I have no real reservations – it is an outstanding throw light. :wave:

----

M3XS-UT was provided by GoingGear.com, on behalf of Olight, for this review.
 
S

scs

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As always, thanks for the review. Kinda surprised they want you to review it this late in the game. Perhaps good for stimulating sales.
 
selfbuilt

selfbuilt

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As always, thanks for the review. Kinda surprised they want you to review it this late in the game. Perhaps good for stimulating sales.

No, it is just my backed up review schedule - I actually received this one six months ago (hence the summer pics).

The fall was incredibly busy for me at work, so very few reviews made it out the door. Working through the backlog now, should be a bunch coming out in January.
 
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Taz80

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Thank you for the review and beamshot comparisons very nice.
 
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light36

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Thanks for another excellent review selfbuilt
 
selfbuilt

selfbuilt

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Glad you are all enjoying! Hope everyone is having a good holiday. :party:
 
UnderPar

UnderPar

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Great review SB, as always. I wonder if you have a comparison beam shot with the Acebeam T20. Thank you for sharing this! :twothumbs:twothumbs:twothumbs
 
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SG Hall

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Great review selfbuilt, thanks.
I love the M3XS-UT. It's very light, reasonably priced and is the only light that I own that I have not considered sending to Vinh for modding! :)
It is a bit greenish, but to my eye that helps to define perspective of items at mid-range.
 
MAD777

MAD777

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Thank you, Selfbuilt for another great review. Obviously a great performer for its intended purpose here. In addition I noticed how lightweight it is compared to most of its competition!
 
Tac Gunner

Tac Gunner

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Great review! A couple of buddies of mine both got one of these for Christmas and we were out last night for about 2 hours coon hunting. Trees are easily visible at 450 yards and a set of eyes will light up way farther away than you can see.
 
selfbuilt

selfbuilt

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Great review SB, as always. I wonder if you have a comparison beam shot with the Acebeam T20. Thank you for sharing this! :twothumbs:twothumbs:twothumbs
Sorry, I don't have the T20 to compare.

It is a bit greenish, but to my eye that helps to define perspective of items at mid-range.
Yes, all dedomed emitters are. This is one possible advantage to custom modding, if you can select a "premium" dedome tint (realizing that they will still be somewhat green).
 
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Swedpat

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Thanks Selfbuilt for another great review!

The question is: do I really need this light also? Well; for a flashaholic the words "need" and "desire" means very much the same......:rolleyes:
 
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scs

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To me, one other big advantage the M3XS-UT has over the M2X-UT is its larger hotspot: you see more and farther.
 
CelticCross74

CelticCross74

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thanks for the review Selfbuilt!! Had my copy of this light since near the day GG got them in stock. I am flat blown away by how such a compact light puts out such a photon torpedo as this light. Love the moonlight mode gives me an excuse to use it much more often. Olight has knocked it out of the park with their entire Javelot and UT line this year and set new benchmarks for the competition to meet or beat. Fenix has discontinued the mighty TK61 but supposedly have a new big thrower up their sleeve to replace it with. With lights like the Javelots around Fenix has their work cut out for them 2016 will be "interesting" to say the least
 
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Ratmick

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Thanks for the great review, again.

I bought one of these late last year, they're a pretty impressive light.

Third flash-light so far, first Olight.

Pity these weren't around when I was in Boy Scouts as a kid nor the Army (Australian) in the 80s :laughing:
 
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