Author's Statement for Transparency and Disclosure
The test sample/s featured in this article have been provided for technical testing and review by the manufacturer. Test samples are retained by the reviewer following publication of the completed review for the purposes of long term testing and product comparisons.
All output figures and test results published in this review are the sole work of the reviewer, and are carried out independently and without bias. Test results are reported as found, with no embellishments or alteration. Though best endeavours are made to maintain the accuracy of test equipment, the accuracy of these results is not guaranteed and is subject to the test equipment functioning correctly.
Before Olight released their 'Javelot' series, if you wanted a super-thrower you would have had to go to a custom light maker or modifier. Olight have broken the mould by offering production lights with domeless LEDs. I refer to them as 'domeless' rather than 'de-domed' as they appear so perfect that I suspect the dome was never fitted.
Taking a more detailed look:
The M2X-UT is supplied in a nice plastic carry case.
A foam liner holds the M2X-UT and its accessories neatly in place.
There is a holster, lanyard, CR123 holder, spare O-rings, an instruction leaflet and the M2X-UT itself.
Fitted into the holster, the tail-cap protrudes from the bottom.
Carry options include a D-loop and Velcro closed belt loop.
A very large head and reflector top off this light. We will be looking at this in much more detail.
Details of the heatsink, grip ring and machining can be seen.
Taking the battery tube out shows the contacts in the head consisting of the bare threads, contact ring and sprung positive contact (allowing the use of flat top cells).
The tailcap has a contact for the end of the battery tube and a sprung plunger negative contact.
The threads used at each end of the battery tube differ.
At the head end they are standard bare metal threads.
At the tail-cap end they are anodised square cut threads.
The grip ring can be slid off when the tail-cap is removed. When fitted, it 'floats' so moves slightly when used.
The switch boot is recessed, but easily accessible.
Thanks to the four protrusions around the switch, the M2X-UT can happily tail-stand.
Now for the business end, starting with the deep, wide, reflector.
Peeking round the corner the domeless XM-L2 LED comes into view.
Looking dead-on to the reflector and LED.
The LED is so clean did it ever have a dome?
The Domeless XM-L2 LED
Though the head is relatively large, overall the M2X-UT is still a compact light, using only one 18650 cell.
Keeping the test 100% Olight, the Omni-Dok charger was used for charging test cells.
An interesting 'puck' shaped universal charger for li-ions and NiMh/Ni-Cd. Li-ions are charged at 1000mA, so be careful when using RCR123 and 14500. Li-ions came off this charger at 4.21-4.22V.
Getting ready to go.
Though the M2X-UT is not really an indoor light, it has a very useful spill beam, so despite the high intensity spot, the M2X-UT is very usable indoors.
Please be careful not to judge tint based on images you see on a computer screen. Unless properly calibrated, the screen itself will change the perceived tint.
The indoor beamshot is intended to give an idea of the beam shape/quality rather than tint. All beamshots are taken using daylight white balance. The woodwork (stairs and skirting) are painted Farrow & Ball "Off-White", and the walls are a light sandy colour called 'String' again by Farrow & Ball. I don't actually have a 'white wall' in the house to use for this, and the wife won't have one!
But it is outdoors that the M2X-UT really sings!
To get the full impact of the M2X-UT, first here is the reference Fenix TK41 I regularly use for comparison.
And then the M2X-UT. The hotspot is more intense, the spill wider, the colour rendition better and in a smaller package.
But even this is not enough to show the M2X-UT at its best, you need more distance. Here we have a mid-distance tree with the beam lighting up just the uppermost part of the tree.
Finally moving to a more distant tree, which is clearly lit. A true pocket search light. Even with this reach, there is still good spill beam lighting up the area close to you.
Modes and User Interface:
For the user interface, the M2X-UT uses a combination of twisting the head, and the forward clicky tail-cap switch.
Constant output modes are Low -> Medium -> High (back to Low etc) and with the M2X-UT ON, are cycled through by loosening then tightening the head (slightly loosen then tight – as the head goes tight, the mode changes). Whichever mode is selected is then memorised.
From OFF, a full click will turn the M2X-UT on to the memorised mode.
From OFF, a half press will momentarily turn the M2X-UT on to the memorised mode.
From OFF, a rapid double-tap of the switch will turn the M2X-UT onto Maximum output. This will be 'momentary' (it will go OFF as soon as the switch is released), but clicking the switch will latch it onto maximum. Memorised mode is not affected by direct access to Maximum.
From OFF, a rapid triple-tap of the switch will turn the M2X-UT onto Strobe output. This will be 'momentary' (it will go OFF as soon as the switch is released), but clicking the switch will latch it onto Strobe. Memorised mode is not affected by direct access to Strobe.
Batteries and output:
Running on only a single 18650 or 2x CR123 cells, the M2X-UX gives performance that seems to far exceed what you could expect from a compact single 18650 light.
To measure actual output, I built an integrating sphere. See here for more detail. The sensor registers visible light only (so Infra-Red and Ultra-Violet will not be measured).
Please note, all quoted lumen figures are from a DIY integrating sphere, and according to ANSI standards. Although every effort is made to give as accurate a result as possible, they should be taken as an estimate only. The results can be used to compare outputs in this review and others I have published.
|Olight M2X-UT Javelot – Olight 2600mAh 18650 cell||I.S. measured ANSI output Lumens||PWM frequency or Strobe frequency (Hz)|
There is no parasitic drain.
Peak beam intensity is the highest I have yet measured, coming in at 182800lx @1m. This gives a beam range of 855m!
After the initial peak output, the M2X-UT makes a controlled reduction in output to around 630lm which is regulated for the majority of the maximum output runtime.
This is a new section I am adding to mention any minor niggles I came across during testing, in case the information helps anyone else.
Nothing has come up during testing.
As per the description of this section, this information is provided in case anyone else finds a similar 'issue' that might be fixed in the same way.
The M2X-UT in use
Being based on a single 18650 body, the M2X-UT is very familiar and comfortable to hold and it is only the larger head that lets you know you have something different.
The holster is a bit of a tight fit, so much so, the heat sink fins have started to rub off the press-stud cover patch on the inside. At some point this cover will come off the press stud and there will be metal on metal contact between the press-stud and the M2X-UT. If you are careful to push the M2X-UT towards the back of the holster as you insert it, this rubbing is reduced.
Also on the holster, the flap usually needs to be 'folded' round the head to get it tight enough for the press-stud closure to work. This is not a problem in real use and keeps the holster neater than if the flap were longer.
Having the switch exposed does not seem to provide any real advantage as the large flap will always get in the way if the M2X-UT were turned on while still in the holster.
As the grip ring is floating (though it cannot come off, it is not fully constrained and has some play in it), you do find there are occasional metallic clicking/rattling noises when handling the light or fitting or removing it from the holster.
All the machining is crisp, but there are no sharp edges. This makes the M2X-UT feel great and very well made.
These details are all good and well, but really what this light is about is that beam (excuse the light pollution).
What surprised me the more I used the M2X-UT was how versatile the beam was. The fact the spill beam is bright and wide enough to allow you to look away from the hotspot at close ranges when most super throwers become next to useless unless used with ceiling bounce, means the M2X-UT is not just for searching or playing with.
Another useful ability the M2X-UT has is to be able to cast light very precisely even with a bounce.
One unusual example was in a recent caving trip, there was some carved writing in the wall, very high up and difficult to read. Aiming the M2X-UT's hotspot around and getting it to bounce from different locations allowed the details to be revealed in a way no other light could manage.
Underground the M2X-UT became the only light I bothered with, despite having many others in my pack.
The M2X-UT has not yet failed to impress anyone who has seen it, flashaholic and non-flashaholic alike, and despite my large library of lights, has become a firm favourite. So much performance in such a handy package.
|Things I like||What doesn't work so well for me|
|Super throw with 182800lx @1m||Holster fit is very tight and switch is exposed|
|Domeless XM-L2 LED used||Grip ring 'floating' so can rattle|
|Warm tint||Tail-cap 'corners' a little sharp for comfort|
|Great performance on 18650 with ANSI 967lm output||Regulated maximum output 'only' 630lm|
|Compact and light weight despite the large reflector|
|One-handed direct-access to Maximum and Strobe regardless of memorised mode|