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Imalent MR90 review: High power flashlight test
Imalent MR90 specifications
|LED||8*CREE XHP70.2 + 1*SBT90.2|
|Max. Lumens||50,000 lm|
|Max. Beam intensity / distance||629,000 cd (1586 meters)|
|Battery config.||Battery pack (4*21700)|
|Onboard charging||DC 19V 5.5mm x 2.1mm|
|Modes||6*3 (3 light source selections)|
|Review date||June 2022|
There’s no other brand mentioned as often in our list of the brightest flashlights, as Imalent. Their focus is on producing the highest output flashlights on the planet, seems like. And with the MR90, they have yet another spot in the top 10 brightest lights on the planet.
But it’s interesting to note that most, if not all of their brightest lights have shrunk down in size. While the MS18, R90TS, and the original MS12 were all very long and big, their new ones are much shorter. That includes the MS12 mini, MS08, MS06, RS50, and now the MR90.
That’s not to say that all of these flashlights are just the same with a different number of emitters. No. The MR90 has a different approach with 8*CREE XHP70.2 for extreme output, and 1 Luminus SBT90.2 LED at the center for throw.
Do you think the MR90 can really produce 50,000 lumens? Let’s find out!
The MR90 was shipped in a typical Imalant box, with a nice paper sleeve around the box to keep people from opening it easily. Not sure if it’s good or bad, but once removed, you don’t need to worry anymore. The box itself is made of sturdy cardboard, with a magnetic closure. Inside the box, you’ll find the following:
- The flashlight: Imalent MR90 (with 4*21700 battery pack)
- 19V power adapter
Flashlight in use
Okay, where would you be using this kind of flashlight for?
To show off to your friends.. that’s for sure. Or use it as a backup light for your local sports grounds… perhaps.
And how about carrying?
The battery pack contains 4*21700 batteries, and the diameter of the battery tube is therefore noticeably larger than the ones with 4*18650 batteries. This makes it a bit harder to carry for people with smaller hands.
Imalent didn’t include a lanyard but there’s an attachment point on the plate covering the charge port. I’m not totally convinced that this is a great way to carry the MR90, because the plate can be unscrewed and could unscrew by accident, and drop the light. There is no lanyard attachment point anywhere else on the flashlight, nor is there any tripod mount.
Also, if you have really large pockets, this light could possibly fit! Especially in some sweat pants.. not saying that’s comfortable though.
I must admit that it’s a bit easier to find the switch in the dark, on the MR90 than on the MS12, MS12 mini, MS18, or MS08. So that’s a good thing. That’s because the 4 sides feel different (2 sides with fans, 1 side is just flat, and 1 side with the switch). Maybe Imalent could implement the feature to turn the indicator LEDs on the side of the switch. That would help even more. Just do like 5 clicks to turn them on/off.
Build Quality, and Warranty
The Imalent MR90 is black, and won’t be available in any other color. The anodization is referred to as Wear-resistant Type III hard-anodized and has a nice matte finish.
There’s only 2 parts you can separate: the battery pack and head. The threads are anodized, so you can easily break connection by unscrewing the body just 1/10th of a turn. The threads are thick and covered in plenty of lubrication. There’s one o-ring below the threads to keep it waterproof. And it has 1 unused slot to add another o-ring for more waterproofness.
I’m not sure how much that would help though, because the things I worry about most, are the fans. There are 2 cooling fans to keep the temperature down, but I’m not sure how waterproof they are. The water resistance rating (IPX rating) for the MR90 is just IP56, so I wouldn’t recommend using it in the rain.
The fans make quite a bit of noise and reduce speeds when you shake the light. That probably means you shouldn’t be waving with the light too often, or use it on things that move/shake a lot.
Unlike the Imalent MS08 and RS50, the MR90 (as well as the MS12 Mini) doesn’t have the fans built into a plastic shell. Although, they still aren’t controlled by temperature, just by the mode.
Unlike with the MS12 Mini, which looks very similar, the fans turn off the same time as the light turns off.
Imalent’s warranty (copied from their website)
- Free Repair/Replacement within 15 Days after Receipt
Within 15 days after receipt and under normal use, any quality problem with your IMALENT flashlight, you can either send the light to repair or a new one of the same type with same specifications will be replaced; if the same model has been discontinued or not able to be replaced timely due to other reasons, another model with same or better performance will replaced instead;
2. 60 Months’Free Repair
Within 60 months after receipt and under normal use, any quality problem with your IMALENT flashlight, you can send it to repair for free;
. Lifetime Limited Maintenance
IMALENT provides you with lifetime limited maintenance for your flashlight, after the 60 months free repair period, any probems with your flashlight, IMALENT can repair and maintain it,repairing fee will be charged on an actual cost basis, no labor cost charged;
The warranty is nullified in all of the following situations:
- The product(s)is/are broken down, reconstructed and/or modified by unauthorized parties.
- The product(s) is/are damaged through improper use.
- The product(s) is/are damaged by leakage of batteries.
LED, Lens, Bezel, Beam, and Reflector
Most of the flashlights you see have a specific use case in mind. Some are made for tactical use, some for on your keys, and some to see things at a large distance. The MR90 is a bit different because it’s not just extremely, extremely bright, it has actually 2 separate use cases in 1.
There are 8 pieces of CREE XHP70.2 in shallow reflectors to produce a very floody beam, or as some may say: A wall of light.
But there is another LED, sitting in a much deeper reflector, and that’s a Luminus SBT90.2 LED that is very powerful, and can throw really far.
The reflectors are made of 1 piece of aluminum, which is protected by a large AR coated lens. And to protect that lens, the MR90 has a wide bezel, with some small grooves. If you put the flashlight head-down, light will leak, so you can notice when the light is turned on. If you don’t, it might make some burn holes.
I measured the LED with the Opple Light Master III, stood about 4 meters away, and got the following readings:
High mode throw (SBT90.2)
- CCT: 5642K
- CRI (Ra): 66.4
High mode flood (8*XHP70.2)
CRI (Ra): 70.7
Even though the layout of the LEDs may look a bit strange, it doesn’t really have a negative influence on the quality of the beam. It doesn’t have any strange artifacts.
Dimensions and size comparison
|Body diameter||56.3 mm||2.217″|
|Flashlight||Weight in grams||Weight inOz.|
|With battery||903.3 grams||31.86|
Powerful Flashlights comparison
Size compared to other high power flashlights
Group 1, Imalent flashlights from left to right: Imalent MR90, Imalent MS12 Mini, Imalent MS08, Imalent RS50, Imalent RT90
Group 2, high power flashlights: In the rear: Imalent MR90, Imalent MS12 Mini, Iamlent MS08, Imalent RS50, Manker MK38
Front row: Acebeam X50, Acebeam X80-GT, Acebeam X80-GT2, Olight Marauder 2.
Driver & User Interface:
- Low, Middle Low, Middle 1, Middle 2, High, Turbo
- Single-click: to last used mode ( mode memory)
- Double click: Turbo (and another double click for strobe)
- 4+ clicks: Lockout
- Press and hold: turn on cooling fans (repeat to turn them off)
- Single-click: off
- Double click: Turbo
- Triple-click: switching between flood (8*XHP70.2), spot (1* Luminus SBT90.2), and flood + spot
- Press and hold: Cycle through the menu from Low to High
- To Turbo: double click from Off or On
- To Strobe: 2 times double click (it will first enter Turbo, before entering Strobe)
- To Low: there is no shortcut to low
- Yes (single click from off returns ot last used mode)
Blinky modes menu:
- Strobe: double click from Turbo (so if you are in any mode, double click for Turbo, and do another double-click for Strobe
Low battery warning:
- The red indicator lights on the side will flash.
- 4+ clicks from off. Red indicator lights next to the switch blink 3 times to indicate the lockout mode is activated. Repeat 4 clicks to deactivate again, and now green lights will indicate your are back to normal. You can also do 5 clicks or 10 clicks.. works the same.
- Not visible
Batteries & Charging
Imalent chose to use a built-in battery pack rather than separate cells. They also did that on the MS12, MS12 mini, and MS18. A battery pack has some benefits but also several drawbacks. Here’s a short list:
- Need to stop using the light when batteries are empty (can’t replace batteries and continue, but can use a spare battery pack)
- Can’t replace batteries easily when they turn bad
- Can’t use a normal battery charger
- Have a set of batteries with the same use (so can’t accidentally mix discharged and charged batteries)
I’m not 100% sure if it’s a feature, but I could continue using the light when the power was plugged in.
The power adapter for charging has an output of 19V and 2Amps, and I measured an average of 18.8V and 1.8Amps (33watts), but it goes up to 35 watts at times. Charging takes about 2 hours and 15 minutes. During charging, there is a red light, which turns green when charging is finished.
The battery packs for the MS12 Mini and this MR90 seem to be the same. I tried the battery pack of the MS12 Mini, and it worked on the MR90. So that way, you can have a backup battery pack.
At this point in time, maybe it’s smart of Imalent to move to USB-C? And use the battery pack as a power bank, and charge it with any kind of USB-C charger.
All output numbers are relative to my homemade Integrating Sphere. It is set up with an Extech SDL400 Lux Meter for measurements including a Kenko PRO1D ND-16 filter. The base measurement is done with a Convoy S2+ that has been tested at 255 lumens.
All of my readings were taken with a fully charged battery, and measured at turn on and after 30 seconds. The 10-minute readings are taken from the runtime graph.
These numbers are with Flood + Throw combined. So 8*XHP70.2 and 1*Luminus SBT90.2
|Mode||Specs||Lumens @ turn on||@ 30 sec||@ 10 minutes|
|Turbo||50,000 lm||52,326 lm||32,128 lm||8,574 lm|
Turbo reached over 50,000 lumens at turn on.. but in an blink of an eye it drops to below 50,000.. that fast!
Mid2 had the highest output after 10 minutes, but it dropped to 8K+ 10 seconds later.
Next up is just Flood, with the 8*XHP70.2
|Mode||Specs||Lumens @ turn on||@ 30 seconds|
|Turbo||44,500 lm||45,931||30,491 lm|
The manual only states the highest output in Flood mode, and none of the other modes. Imalent likes using the measurements at turn on, but they should follow the ANSI FL1 standards in my opinion, just like Fenix, Olight etc.
And last but not least, the Lumen measurements in Throw mode (1*Luminus SBT90.2)
|Mode||Specs||@ turn on||@ 30 seconds|
|Turbo||4500 lm||5739 lm||3618 lm|
There are no output numbers of the lower modes. Turbo dropped quickly.
Runtime: Battery life
The runtime test was done with the 50cm integrating sphere, including the Kenko Pro1D ND-16 filter and Extech SDL400 data logging Lux Meter.
|Mode||Specified runtime||Measured runtime (ANSI FL1)||Time till shut off|
*This means that the highest output is 20 minutes, and that the light will continue running for 25 minutes after the output drop. Mine dropped after 10 minutes, not 20 minutes.
The luxmeter I use is set to log every 5 seconds, this means that the highest mode don’t exactly reflect the same numbers between manually measured output, and runtime graph. The luxmeter has a short delay when it starts recording. And with these powerful flashlights, it could measure a half-second or full second later, and looks like a different output in the graph.
ANSI FL1 standards: The runtime is measured until the light drops to 10% of its initial output (30 seconds after turn on). This does not mean that the flashlight is not usable anymore. The last column shows how long the light actually works till it shuts off. If there is a + symbol, it means that the test was stopped at that particular point, but the light was actually still running. This happens on certain occasions, with certain drivers, firmware, or batteries.
Yes, Turbo can be reactivated after the output drops. It does increase the temperature a lot, but after 4 times of activation, the Turbo mode doesn’t stay on for long, because the batteries already decreased capacity quite a bit.
Temperature rises to about 84 degrees the third time I reactivated Turbo. The other times it didn’t reach that number, because it already dropped output. Also, the average temperature is about 70 degrees, in turbo mode.
Keep in mind that the luxmeter logs every 5 seconds, so it’s possible that the output was a bit higher, but dropped at the point of recording.
Throw Measurement: Peak beam intensity and beam distance
Measurements were taken outdoors at 20 meters for Throw + indoors with a Hagner E4-X Lux Meter. Flood is only measure indoors at 5 meters. I calculated candelas to meters and yards to get a better understanding.
|Turbo Mode||Specs||Candela measured||Meters||Yards|
|Spot (20m)||484,000 cd||227,600 cd||954||1043|
|Spot (5m)||484,000 cd||227,500 cd||954||1043|
|Flood (5m)||120,000 cd||51,500 cd||454||496|
|Flood+spot (5m)||629,000 cd||277,500 cd||1054||1152|
Unfortunately, Imalent doesn’t use trustworthy measurements to come to their specifications.
Extra info: Peak beam distance according to ANSI FL1 standards: The calculated value of distance in meters at which the flashlight produces a light intensity of 0.25 lux. (0.25 lux is about the brightness of a full moon hitting a surface).
Imalent MR90 vs MS12 mini vs Manker MK38
High power flashlight competitors
Hover your mouse over any particular line to see data points! Or select a flashlight at the bottom of the graph to highlight that particular graph. (Are you on a mobile phone? Hold your phone horizontally).
Here is the list with most of the high-power flashlights we reviewed in this category (Category: high-power soupcan sized flashlights).
|Flashlight (and Link)||Max. Output||after 30sec|
|Acebeam X45 II||17,972||17,116|
|Imalent MS12 Mini||68,773||46,750|
|Manker MK38 (SFT)||16,013||13,129|
|Olight Marauder 2||14,251||13,964|
|Name and model||Lumens||Lumens|
(Interactive line graphs below)
Hover your mouse over the lines in the graph to see more details.
Or click on a name at the bottom of the graph to highlight the specific runtime.
For the following beamshots, I used a Canon EOS 5D Mk2 and a 50mm lens. manual settings: ISO1600, 1/4sec , F4, 5000K
The shed is about 65 meters / 71 yards away, and the reflective fence is about 210 meters.
Disclaimer: This flashlight was sent to me for review at no cost by Imalent. I have not been paid to review, nor have I been holding back on problems or defects.
- Very, very bright
- Built-in fans
- High sustained output (due to fans)
- Quick charging (2h15min)
- The choice between a flood beam, throw, and both in 1 flashlight.
- No shortcut to low mode
- No indication which light sources you are using (flood, throw, or flood+throw)
- Fans are not very quiet
- Exaggerated throw numbers
- No tripod mount
- Not really a con, but perhaps Imalent could include USB-C charging?
Explanation on star ratings:
1: Avoid: my phone flashlight would be a better choice – 2: Poor: significant defect or issues; almost unusable – 3: Average: some defects or issues; but still usable 4: Good: recommended (minor issues) – 5: Great: highly recommended
4 stars: ★★★★
Imalent built yet another very, very powerful flashlight. It can hit over 50,000 lumens at turn on but within a blink of an eye, drops to below 50K, and within 30 seconds it’s down to 30K. That’s still an amazing output, and it can even sustain an 8500 lumens output in Turbo, High, Mid2, and Mid 1.
That’s mainly due to the built in fans, which do their work quite well! It’s not as powerful as advertised, but still one of the most powerful flashlights on the planet.
If you are looking for a very powerful SBT90.2 thrower and a flooder in 1, consider the MR90.