Imalent R90TS review (36,000 lumens)
Table of contents
Imalent R90TS Specifications
|LED||18* XHP35 Hi|
|Beam intensity||765,800 cd|
|Battery config.||Battery pack (8*21700)|
|Publication date||June 2019|
The Imalent R90TS is the successor of the popular R90C, but instead of 9* CREE XHP35, they added another 9 to make it 18. And instead of 20,000 lumens, they now claim a max output of 36,000 lumens. Besides going super throw, they also went superpower LOL. It’s been on the list for the brightest flashlights for a while, but since it’s now discontinued, it has been removed.
The R90TS is brighter than 90% of all flashlights in production, including the Imalent DX80, Acebeam X80, and Acebeam X80GT.
The R90TS was part of an Imalent kit I bought. The kit included a battery pack, an Imalent MS18 head, and the R90TS head. Both use the same dedicated battery pack! If you are wondering to buy the MS18 or R90TS, consider getting the combo!
What you’ll get:
- Imalent MS18 head
- Imalent R90TS head
- Imalent battery pack
- Imalent box
- Storage box
- Shoulder strap
- Spare O-rings
- Charge adapter
Handling of the light
The handling is just like the MS18 I reviewed, with the exact same dimensions, and only slightly more heavy.
The power switch is located on the side of the light, and just above the power switch is a little OLED display that indicates the lumen output and Voltage. The switch remained the same from the MS12 and is a flat iron button, which by itself is a little hard to find in the dark by hand. I would like to see them address this issue. In many cases, this isn’t really a problem, but if you’re in the dark, a physical indicator would be more than welcome. Think about a protruding switch or a ridge around the switch.
The Imalent R90TS set comes with a shoulder strap to help you carry this monster for longer than just a few minutes. It’s a little too heavy to use for an extended period of time without it. They upgraded the attachment points for the strap. Instead of attaching it directly to the body and bezel, they now have a dedicated ring for the clip to fit, and an attachment to the tailcap.
The Imalent R90TS consists of 2 parts, the head and body. Within the batterytube are 8 pieces of Samsung 21700 40T batteries that can withstand this high battery use.
- Yes the R90TS can tailstand, but it’s not very stable!
Build Quality and Anodizing
Just like the MS18, the R90TS is a very decently built flashlight with good anodization. I couldn’t find any weird spots or missing anodization on the body or head. And instead of attaching the carry strap directly onto the bezel and body of the MS12, they now have a dedicated ring to attach your strap. On the tail end of the R90TS is a metal cover for the charge port. This cover is used to attach the other side of the strap.
Please have a look at the following pictures to see the machining on the body tube, which looks very good. Although this is not my favorite style of machining, it is certainly done well, just like it should for this pricey beast.
The Imalent R90TS is one of the dozen flashlights with an active cooling system. It has 2 fans that get activated when the light gets hot. So in the highest modes, the fans start almost instantly. Besides the 2 fans, they also have a liquid to cool down the LED board. Unfortunately, I can’t really see how this is built. But this is what Imalent says about their cooling system:
Built-in heat pip radiator with excellent heat dissipation, and equipped with an inlet and outlet fan silent, waterproof, heavy wind, which is a perfect combinatin of great energy and technology.
Although they say that the fans are quiet, they aren’t. In fact, they are pretty noisy. Since the screws have silicon on them, they can’t be taken off easily. And that is on purpose
In the following pictures, you can see some details and the copper fins on the inside of the head.
Threads and O-rings
This is where it’s get a little questionable. I’m not sure if it’s because of the size and weight of the flashlight, or because of the lube, but the threads are damaged. The anodization is missing on parts on the threads. This is a real con in my opinion. A $600 flashlight shouldn’t have this problem! And there is only 1 O-ring, while the MS12 had 2 O-rings. So maybe 1 o-ring was missing. Threads came lubed though.
Imalent R90TS LEDs, Lens, Bezel and Reflector
The Imalent R90TS uses 18 CREE XHP35 Hi LEDs for maximum reach and power. They choose the XHP35Hi LEDs on purpose. Since they are 12 Volts and can be overdriven by a fair amount. Although Cree recommends a maximum of 1050mA drive current, the R90TS probably multiplies that by 4 or even more.
The XHP35 Hi LEDs are fitting within smooth reflectors to increase throw. Instead of using LOP (light orange peel) reflectors on the MS18.
The bezel isn’t removable by hand, nor can you open the battery pack to replace the batteries. This is a safety feature rather than an annoyance for the average user.
Dimensions Imalent R90TS:
- Length : 265 mm / 10.4″
- Head diameter: 130 mm / 5.1″
- Width body : 58 mm / 2.3″
- Weight:: 1923 gr / 67.82oz.
- Weight Head: 1128 grams / 39.71 oz.
- Weight battery: 797 grams / 28.10 oz.
This makes the R90TS a bit heavier than the MS18.
Powerful flashlights comparison:
Below are some pictures, with some other high-lumen flashlights.
The Imalent R90TS has the same interface as its bigger brother, the MS18.
Modes: 8 with mfg lumens.
- Low (500)
- Middle low (2000)
- Middle I (4000)
- Middle II (6000)
- High I (10,000)
- High II (15,000)
- High III (24,000)
- Turbo (36,000)
- Press and Hold: Activate the mini LED light above the switch (extremely dim)
- Single click: last memorized output
- Double click: Turbo output
- Triple click: Screen turns on to show Voltage
- 4x click: Activate Fan
- 5x click: Lock out
- Press and Hold: Change output from Low to High
- Single click: Turn Off
- Double click: Turbo output
- Triple click: nothing
- 4 clicks: nothing
- 5-10 clicks: Turn Off
I don’t really like the way to change modes. I’m not a big fan of press and hold for changing modes. So this is just my personal opinion. I’d rather like a Magnetic control ring, or a single Click to change modes.
Instead of showing the Mode you are in, the screen shows the number of Lumens and the voltage. Starting at 500, and increases up to 24,000. The display will show the Lumens for about 2 seconds, and then the Voltage for about 2 seconds. I would rather like to see the Lumen setting every time it jumps to the next level instead of Voltage first.
Built-in Switch Indicator Light:
When you press and hold the switch, the indicator LED above the switch will turn on. They are very dim but are useful to locate the switch in the dark. I preferred to have a physical switch locator as well.
Low battery warning:
The Low Battery warning is also a little lame since you have to watch the OLED display to see whether the battery is running out of juice. It will show a battery icon blinking every X seconds. I would have preferred the flashlight blinking or a clearer indicator, maybe with a secondary colored LED or something.
It’s not in the main mode group, but you can enter Strobe mode with a double click from Turbo! There are no other blinky modes.
You can enter this mode by clicking 5 times when the light is off. The screen will show a LOCK symbol. When you do another 5 clicks the lockout mode is deactivated, and the display shows an open padlock.
I couldn’t detect any.
Batteries and charging:
You don’t need to buy any batteries for this bad boy. There are 8 pieces of Samsung 40T 21700 batteries. The package includes an adapter with an output of 19V and 2A. The charge time should be about 4.5 hours. When the battery pack is empty it will show a battery symbol on the screen. See the picture below.
And it also took 4.5 hours to charge!
I have been thinking about what category this powerhouse fits. Is it a thrower flashlight, an EDC flashlight, a lumenmonster, or a tactical flashlight, LOL.
But seriously, this is such a beast, that it could fall in the “thrower” category as well as the Lumen Monster category at the same time.
For testing, I used an ND filter to cover the dome of the lux meter. Tests were done with the SkyTronic LX-101 Lux meter inside an integrated sphere that is calibrated on a 136-lumen Convoy S2+.
I am pretty surprised to see the numbers being pretty close to the ones mentioned by the manufacturer.
Lumens measurements vs (MFG):
Runtime was measured using the Android Ceiling Bounce App, which was developed by a Budgelightforum member. The R90TS was put on a table pointed towards the ceiling to measure the runtime. The step-down is noticeable in fast incremental steps. The Fan is running at full power. The funny thing is that Turbo uses so much battery, that the Fan spins slower than when it steps down. So when the brightness decreases during the step-down, the fan starts spinning faster.
Turbo output is about 1 minute when it drops down to about 25% output. Then it slowly decreases till it’s to about 6 %… This time I set my timer and started checking the Low Voltage Warning, and I stopped the runtime test directly after the Low Voltage warning showed on the screen. Total of 46 minutes runtime in Turbo.
This is where it gets interesting. The Throw I measure at startup (not at 30 seconds) was more than the manufacturer claimed.
- Total Throw measured at 10 meters: 930,000 cd / 930 Kcd (1929 meters, 1,198 miles)
For the following beamshots, I dialed down my camera, so the brightest lights wouldn’t just result in 1 white picture. This way the most powerful lights are easier to distinguish! Canon 50mm F4 ISO1600 1/40 sec. So the brightness in the following pictures is much dimmer than what you see in person!
- Extremely bright and great throw
- One of the few flashlights with active cooling (including fluid)
- Includes a carry case + carry strap
- Simple UI
- Numbers on OLED screen are a bit hard to read
- Anodization on threads isn’t done very well
- I’m missing an O-ring
- Activating Turbo sometimes happens accidentally.
- Not so much grip/knurling on the body
Overall Rating: 4 stars: ★★★★☆ Good
The Imalent R90TS is a special kind of breed. It’s a super-powerful flashlight with an extreme throw. The UI isn’t my favorite, and the threads were damaged, so I would give it something between 3 and 4 stars. If you just want to light up a forest 1 mile away instead of a handful of trees, get the R90TS over the BLF GT or Astrolux MF04, you won’t be disappointed.
The Imalent R90TS has been discontinued.
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