Olight S1 Mini Flashlight Review

Preface
Official Specs
Versions
Price
Short Review
Long Review
  What's Included
  Manual and Packaging
  Build Quality and Durability
  Size
  Retention
  Power
  User Interface and Operation
  Modes
  LED and beam
  Tint vs...
  Beamshots, Runtime, etc table.
  Comparisons
Conclusion
  What I like
  What I don't like
Parting Shot
Up Next
Notes

Preface

I’ve been a huge fan of the Olight S Mini (the brass S Mini is one of my most used lights!), and this S1 Mini is in some ways, it’s successor.  Yes, it’s from the S1 lineage, but it’s smaller than the S Mini; which is more important?  And now it’s available in High CRI?  I was very interested.  Keep reading to see how I like it now!


Official Specs and Features

Versions

There are currently two versions.  A cool white (CW) and neutral white (NW).  The NW is also High CRI (90)!

Price

The going price is $49.95 right now; this is a brand new, just released light, so the price will probably stay around there for a while.


Short Review

I like this light.  I liked the S Mini, and I like this one more because it has a magnet, and an indicating switch.  The High CRI is a wash for me (per other more detailed reviews, the XP-G3 isn’t really the best).  But I like the light on the whole.

Long Review

What’s Included

  • Olight S1 Mini
  • Olight 650mAh 16340 on-board charging cell
  • Lanyard
  • Charge cable
  • Manual
  • Promotional material

IMG_7149.jpg

Package and Manual

Another typical package from Olight.  Specs, features, a photo.  Nothing new here.  The inside of the package is probably slightly easier to get into than previous models – I believe a similar package once had the head of the light held in place by a spare o-ring? Not this one.

Here’s a pdf of the manual.  I have cut out the relevant parts to English speakers, which you can see below:

The manual is short and in many languages, and the fold is a little user-unfriendly.

Unfortunately the manual does not adequately cover many aspects of the light, particularly in relation to the indicating side switch.

Build Quality and Disassembly

This is a fine little light.  The build quality is on par with other Olights, which is to say, very good.  Since this is an iterative design (leaning heavily on the S Mini), it’s very refined. The threads are very smooth, but of course, the walls and body are thin metal (perfectly reasonable on a small light like this).

Size

Officially this light weighs 43g, is 54mm long, and has a 21mm diameter body and head.  It’s a small light.

Seen below with the S Mini’s I have (raw brass, S1 Mini, PVD Titanium, Stainless).  It’s smaller than these lights.  But the only difference is the bezel.  On the S Mini, the bezel is press fit onto the head.  On the S1 Mini, the bezel is press fit into the head.  It’s a difference of around 1mm in length.

Retention

The S1 Mini has an updated pocket bi-directional clip.  I don’t love this style because of the (very minimal) extra depth they add to a light.  However this clip works so well that the clip style didn’t bother me.  One thing I do not like about this clip is that the tip is rounded, and thus the light doesn’t like to rest on the clip.  Strangely this is how I most often use my lights (as it’s a very specific and consistent way to place these lights on a surface.)  Works well with the brass S Mini (which I use often) but not well at all with this one because of that rounded tip.

The clip also has a hole at the apex, where a lanyard may be attached.  A lanyard is included.

Something missing from the S Mini was a magnet, and the S1 Mini rectifies that.  I found the magnet in the tailcap to be fairly weak, however, and not quite as useful as I’d want it to be.

IMG_7160.jpg

Power

Olight provides a cell for this light: a 650mAh 16340, which has a built in charge port.  I think these charge ports are a bit silly, but if the port doesn’t diminish the cell capacity much then in the end, they’re fine with me.  This cell is meant to live in a light – there’s no protection around the micro-USB port whatsoever (it’s not waterproof).  But great for living in the (IXP8) S1 Mini.

The cell goes into the light with the positive connection toward the tail.

IMG_7165.jpg

Normally hidden by the pocket clip, but seen below is a silkscreen logo indicating the cell direction.  A good reminder, but probably not something you’d notice unless you remember it is there, and in that case just remember which way the cell goes. 🙂

IMG_7166.jpg

Runtime on Turbo is as follows.  Stepdown is quick and heavy, all the way down to 50% output.  Temperatures stay fairly low, however.

Runtime.png

Like the S Mini, the S1 Mini does not have Low Voltage Protection (LVP).  Or technically it does but the floor is based on primary cells, which will cause the light to turn off around 1V.  This is much too low for the 16340, so be aware of the indicating side switch, which will be useful in this regard.  Note that the behavior of the indicating side switch is ill-defined in the manual.  Based on my testing, the indicator turns on solid around 3.0-2.6V, which is accompanied by a stepdown (to low or moon light), and then the light shuts off around 1.4-1.2V.  Not in the manual, but on the site, the product photos indicate the red led will be lit solid when the “power is below 10%.”

Even though this 16340 cell isn’t specific to this light, and is just a general Olight product available separately, I went ahead and tested it.  So this chargetime is for the cell not the light.  Certainly noteworthy is that the cell tests at a capacity of around 700mAh, which is excellent.  But it does charge at a fairly slow rate of 0.5C, or 350mAh.  Acceptable, anyway, and better for cell longevity.

Chargetime.png

User Interface and Operation

There’s a single indicating side switch on the S1 Mini.  This is by feel, much like any other Olight side switch, but with the addition of the indicator in the center of the button.  As stated above, the manual doesn’t seem to cover what the side switch will indicate, but it should be reasonably clear if it’s any good at all.

The switch itself is fantastic.  Just like all the other Olights with this switch.  It feels exactly the same, which is great because you can know what to expect.

IMG_7167.jpg

Here’s a table for the UI.

 

State Action Result
Off Click On (mode memory)*
On Hold (release at desired mode) Mode cycle (Moon, L, M, H) (no turbo)
Off Hold Moonlight
Any Double click Turbo
Any Triple click Strobe
Strobe Click Off
Strobe Hold Previous Mode
Off Long hold (past moonlight) Lockout
Lockout Hold Unlock
     On Double click and hold Timer (Single blink: 3 minutes, Double blink: 9 minutes)
 Timer  Double click and hold Switch between 3 and 9 minute timers.

* Moon, Low, Medium are memorized.  High and Turbo can be activated but will revert to medium after 10 minutes.

Modes (for HCRI version)

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Mode Measured Lux Tailcap Amps*
Turbo 450/250 1/55m  10070  1.25
High 250 60m  5290  0.43
Medium 50 6h  1074  0.04
Low 12 30h  257  –
Moon 0.5 15d  4  –

* Tailcap amps measured through power supply.

LED and Beam

A huge thing Olight did for this version was to offer it in High CRI.  This emitter is a Cree XP-G3, and other reports are that the High CRI-ness of it is overrated and the quality of light output is not up to the hype.  For me, in my daily use of a light like this, whatever the tint and CRI are, they’re good enough.  Could they be better?  Sure, they could be Nichia.

The Cree XP-G3 resides behind a cloudy TIR, which smooths the beam out nicely.  In fact this TIR beam profile has “softer edges” than most.  I happen to like TIR optics a lot, and this cloudy TIR doesn’t hurt the beam for me, but it doesn’t really improve it, either.

IMG_7163.jpg

Tint vs BLF-348

Below is easiest to see the complaints against the High CRI XP-G3: Green tint.

IMG_6934.jpg

Beamshots, Runtime, and Lux Measurements

Olight S1 Mini
Emitter Cree XP-G3
Emitter Notes NW High CRI
Cell 16340
Glamour Shots Beamshots [0.3″, f/8, ISO 100, 5000k]
Runtime 16340
Chargetime 16340
LVP? No
Claimed Lumens (lm) 600
Lux (Measured) 119
At (m) 3.349
Candela (Calculated) in cd 1334.7
Throw (Calculated) (m) 73.1
Throw (Claimed) (m) 85m (for HCRI)

Random Comparisons and Competitive Options….

I don’t believe there’s another clicky this small, with a magnet, “on-board charging” and an indicating side switch. The only other thing even close would probably be the S Mini, also made by Olight.

Conclusion

What I like

  • Size
  • Output is great (even if there is a timed 1m stepdown)
  • Magnet!
  • I like the faux gunner grip
  • Indicating side switch (regardless of it’s utility, I like seeing it included)
  • High CRI comes with a poor tint XP-G3.

What I don’t like

  • Poorly defined indicating side switch.
  • Extremely limited usefulness of indicating side switch (looking forward to improvements here)
  • New style clip sticks off body too much.
  • Extremely hard to mod (as the bezel is press fit INTO the light, not onto the light

Up Next

What comes up next is just a matter of what light culminates next.  I might fire off a quick shot of Emisar D1S, and hopefully get another light or two in this week?  Lumintop Ant Brass, maybe?  And I definitely have a few blog-only projects that I’d love to wrap up, so stay tuned there too!

Notes

  • This light was provided by Olight for review. I was not paid to write this review.
  • This content originally appeared at zeroair.wordpress.com.  Please visit there for the best experience!
  • Whether or not I have a coupon for this light, I do have a bunch of coupons!!  Have a look at my spreadsheet for those coupons.  Note I’ve upgraded that sheet so that now, you may subscribe and get notifications when the sheet is edited!!
Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Olight S1 Mini Flashlight Review

Add yours

  1. RE:
    Random Comparisons and Competitive Options….
    I don’t believe there’s another clicky this small, with a magnet, “on-board charging” and an indicating side switch. The only other thing even close would probably be the S Mini, also made by Olight.
    ————–

    Actually the Mi1c has the onboard rechargeable battery, and the indicating side switch. The S Mini has neither.

    I have great respect for your reviews, this is in no way a criticism, hopefully just helpful

    I wish the S Mini did have the USB battery and indicator switch, Im tempted to buy an Mi1c to get those features.

    The Mi1c is also Nichia compatible, unlike the S Mini.. otoh, I prefer the 0Light UI and TIR

    Like

    1. Nice point about the Mi1C. To be fair, the original Mi1C was an aspheric, and so not really in the same class as this one. But there are now available, reflector versions. Those came out sometime in November of 2017 I believe, after I’d already been working on and thinking about this review. So while you’re right, the other light was barely on the radar.

      I don’t have the Mi1C reflector version (which is only available in special metals [titanium and copper]), but I really really like the Mi1C aspheric. I hope to get the titanium, too. Great little lights. I like an aspheric, though.

      Thanks for the comments! Always great to have accurate information out there!!

      Like

  2. correction, the Klarus lacks indicator switch but has low battery indicator flashes and battery level flash indicators that the S Mini lacks

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: