Right off the bat I’d like to say that the S30R is an impressive thrower for a pocket-size flashlight. It’s very similar in size and appearance to the S2R Baton I reviewed, with a key distinction of having a much deeper bezel — and a much more focused throw beam as a result.
Powered by a single 18650 lithium ion rechargeable battery, the S30R showcases the advances in LED efficiency of the last few years by offering a turbo mode with 1050 lumens that can run for 200 minutes, or almost 3.5 hours. I can recall flashlights years ago with high modes of 250 lumens with about 4 hours of battery life, so this kind of brightness is awesome.
S30R Beamshots and Impressions
See my video review below for examples of the S30R in outdoor use at night.
The deep bezel gives the S30R a noticeable hot spot in the beam in all modes. Some people don’t like hotspots for indoor use (too reflective), and if you’re one of them the S2R’s diffuse beam might be better for you. But for outdoor or long distance use, the S3oR works like a champ.
The low mode is as you’d expect for 12 lumens: good for up-close usage where you don’t need a ton of brightness and can benefit from the 130 hours of battery life.
Medium mode is great for probably 90% of the things you’d use a pocket flashlight for. With a relatively good throw distance, an excellent dispersion area in front of you, and a 15 hour run time, this mode has a lot to offer. As you’ll see in the video, light detail in trees and other objects under 10-15 feet away were clear and easy to make out, and the light’s hotspot allows for easy focus on particular subjects.
The S30R’s high and turbo modes were truly impressive for a small light. There’s not a huge difference between the 500 and 1050 lumens, but where I noticed it most was projecting a beam over 100 feet down a long hill toward some trees. The detail of the trees and the forest beyond them really took shape with the turbo mode. Closer up the turbo comes off as a slightly brighter high mode, so you could probably get away with either and illuminate a large area in front of you.
I’ve had larger and wider 18650 lights in the past for long-throw uses, and I was surprised by how well the S30R held up to them in terms of distance it would reach and width of illumination area. And with how easy it is the change brightness modes with this light, it’s a great all-around light for just about any use.
Quick access to strobe mode by triple clicking is nice, too. If you’re in a sudden self defense situation where you need to disorient someone it’s an issue if you have to click multiple things and twist the bezel etc. In this case, you can come straight into strobe whether the light is on or off.
Other Impressions for the S30R
The body of the S30R is well constructed. There is no battery rattle and it seems pretty watertight per the IPX-8 standard. With a pocket clip and an included lanyard, you can carry this light pretty much any way you want to. It will fit in the palm of your hand without being bulky or heavy.
One other feature I want to mention is that the light comes with a USB charging dock. The tail of the flashlight magnetically attaches to the dock and charges the battery without ever having to remove it from the light, with an LED indicator that glows green when the charging is complete. For the average user, not having to buy a separate charger for the 18650 lithium ion battery is nice.
Great EDC flashlight, Olight.