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Olight Warrior 3S Titanium review: Limited Edition flashlight test
Olight Warrior 3S Ti specifications
|Olight Warrior 3S Titanium Water
|Max. Beam intensity / distance
|Proprietary MCC magnetic charging
If you’ve been following the flashlight hobby for any amount of time, you’ve probably heard of Olight. Also known as the Dongguan Olight E-Commerce Technology Co. Ltd.,they have earned some considerable cred with enthusiasts and professionals with their high-quality and innovative flashlights and accessories spanning a pretty vast product lineup. Olights have even gained a sort of cult following amongst some enthusiasts, a bit like Apple products. Olight also maintains a strong presence with police, military, first responders and tradespeople who put their Olights to work every day.
Moreover, Olight is particularly adept at releasing special and limited editions of existing products, with special colors, materials, and designs. Today I’ll be taking a look at a stalwart member of their tactical-use light product line, the Warrior 3S. Marco reviewed this light a few months back, and it’s a great performer with all the typical Olight accouterments. However, I won’t be reviewing just any Warrior 3S, because Olight sent out a limited edition titanium version, part of their Elements lineup consisting of Water, Air, Fire, and Earth (and a special 5th Element). I’ll be taking a look and putting these lights through the usual battery of tests. They’re beautiful and undeniably Olight. Let’s dig in.
Olight packaging is something everyone should experience. Cracking open an Olight box reminds me of the days of yore when expensive mobile phones came in luxurious, often minimalistic packaging with magnetic closures and soft-touch materials. The two lights came in a very nice, very sturdy box with a lift-off top cover. Inside is the typical Olight yellow cover/ intro deal with prep instructions. Lifting that off reveals the light inside the holster with the accessories housed in a separate box.
- Olight Warrior 3S Limited Edition Titanium
- Olight ORB-217C50 21700 battery (loaded in the light)
- MCC charging cable
It’s a complete kit with all the necessities which is nice so you don’t have to buy anything, and this is especially important due to the fact that Olight bundles their proprietary (customized) batteries and MCC charging solution. The battery was isolated with a plastic isolator. Not including o-rings is kind of lame, and no lanyard is a drag as well. I wasn’t fond of the manual either. There’s zero explanation of how the UI works in the manual, so you’re on your own with that!
Flashlight in use
The Olight Warrior 3S is a tactical-use flashlight, but it can also work as a general purpose or (if you’re ambitious) EDC light. Handling is about the same as my Fenix PD36 Tac, with a similar body size for the 21700 size battery. It fits great in my hand, with a very grippy finish and the ultra-aggressive pattern on the tube that really bites into your hand for a super-secure grip. It’s also nicely weighted with a neutral balance that lends itself to easy handling in the overhand or underhand grip. For retention, the Warrior 3S has a detachable 2-way pocket clip for bezel up or down carry. There’s two places on the tube to mount it: one behind the head, and one forward of the tailcap. It’s supposedly removable, but it’s really on there, and removing it buggers up the finish (more on that later). Olight also includes a very nice holster with a clip closure flap instead of the usual Velcro closure. It’s super high quality, and even has grommeted drain holes on the top and bottom, a very nice feature!
The switchgear is carried over from the standard Warrior 3S with a front e-switch and rear dual-position e-switch as found on other Olight tactical lights. The front switch is for on-off and mode switching while the rear has a default setting for momentary use Medium and Turbo, and an alternate configuration for Turbo and Strobe mode. The rear switch is metal and has a magnet embedded in it for the MCC charging interface. The front switch is bordered by 2 sets of 4 tiny green LED indicators around the periphery for mode and battery status, which is super handy and not gimmicky at all. The front switch has a rubberized cover and the action is very low with near zero travel. It requires a firm press, which is good for preventing accidental activation. There’s good feel and feedback. The rear switch is a metal button and seems very pogo-y with a firm action and long travel. There’s a distinct click between the two positions though. I could not get the Warrior 3S to roll off my table, and tail standing is not recommended since the tailcap isn’t completely flat. The Warrior 3S can also be mounted to a long gun with the optional E-WM25 M1913 Picatinny rail mount and sROD-7 remote switch with quick-release magnetic lock.
Olight Warrior 3S Water edition: Build Quality, and Warranty
When buying an Olight you can be assured it will be a quality item. Every Olight I’ve reviewed has been top-notch in build quality, fit, and finish. The Warrior 3S Limited Editions carries that forward to a T. Pricing hasn’t been announced for the Limited Edition lights, but the regular Warrior 3S sells for about $120 US, which is very competitive with similar lights from Acebeam, Fenix, and Nitecore. The titanium and copper versions would probably add a bit more to that price.
The Limited Edition lights are made from titanium for the 4 elements, and a copper 5th element version. I was expecting the titanium version to be lighter, but it’s a bit heavier than the aluminum version. Titanium doesn’t really improve upon standard 6061 aluminum. Although titanium is more durable and tough, it isn’t a great material for flashlights. It’s inferior for electrical conductivity and thermal properties, both of which are important for flashlights. I digress though, since the machining, fit, and finish are flawless with no misaligned parts, gaps, or blemishes. The edges are all chamfered and smoothed, and the silkscreen text and laser-etched graphics are crisp and sharp with nice contrast against the finish. The Limited Edition titanium lights come in fire finish (a rainbow gradient pattern), earth (khaki/sand), air (light gray), and my sample light, water (blue). The finish is a very nice matte that’s super grippy and feels awesome. It’s even and flawless as well, but I don’t think it’s very durable since it’s already damaged from rotating the pocket clip in the groove. If you want a light for hard-use, I recommend the bare titanium version since the finish on this light would get damaged quickly. The copper light is just as nicely constructed and finished. It was oxidization and patina-free out of the box as well.
The light is glued up so only the tailcap is removable. There’s a decent-size gold-plated spring spring on the driver side, and the tail cap has a spring-loaded button. Springs on tactical or pro-use lights are very important because they improve durability and add protection from recoil impulses and shock loads. There’s no signal tube, which adds additional durability. Now, if you’ve never owned a titanium light don’t be alarmed by the gritty threads since it’s a characteristic of titanium. The rear threads are anodized rectangular cut and a bit fine, and they were barely lubed and super gritty/scratchy out of the box, so be sure to lube them with non-petroleum grease. With a glued-up body and single o-ring at the tail, Olight gives the Warrior 3S Limited Edition an IPX8 rating.
Olight’s warranty is one of the best in the industry: 30-day no-hassle returns and a 5-year limited lifetime warranty on most lights. Defective lights can be returned for repair within the warranty period, but the buyer pays for shipping. Olight covers the cost of repairs and parts. Even after-warranty support is generous with a 30% discount for a replacement item. Rechargeable batteries are covered with a 1-year warranty. Accessories such as pocket clips, holsters, filters, lanyards etc. are not included under the warranty.
LED, Lens, Bezel, Beam, and Reflector
You don’t get LED specifics with Olight, and it’s the same silent treatment with an ambiguous designation of “High Performance Cool White LED.” That could mean anything from an XP-G3 to an ancient XM-L, but peeking inside the TIR lens, keen-eyed observers identify the LED as a Luminus SFT-70. This LED is pretty new, and has been featured in the Fenix TK20R V2 I reviewed. It’s a domeless quad-die 5050-size LED running on 6 or 12 volts, and no, it’s not a de domed SST70. It features a similar design to the SFT-40, with multiple bond wires embedded in the substrate. Although it doesn’t get as bright as the domed SST70, it throws better and has a more uniform beam and tint distribution.
The CCT is always cool white for the SFTs, and The Opple Lightmaster III concurs, with the tint right at 6433K and RA 68.1 on Turbo. On high the CCT is 6168K at 66.7 RA, so the tint drifts higher as output increases. The duv for Turbo is 0.0032 and 0.0062 for High. All Warrior 3S use a custom PMMA plastic TIR optic in place of a reflector, and the optic looks identical to the one in the Olight Odin. It’s missing a protective glass lens, but is protected by a finely-crenulated blackened bezel with the optic set back about 4 mm. Olight also incorporates a proximity sensor at the 6 o’clock position that dials back the output to Medium if an object is placed close to the bezel like the Fenix LR80R. This one can be disabled, so thanks Olight! The beam is similar to the Odin series with a very large defined hotspot surrounded by diffuse spill. The spill is dimmer than a reflector, so you don’t get as much side illumination, but it’s a very good general-purpose beam with plenty of reach.
Dimensions and size comparison
|Olight Warrior 3S Ti dimensions
|Olight Warrior 3S Titanium weight
Tactical Flashlights comparison
Group 2 top to bottom: Olight Odin Mini, Olight Odin, Olight Warrior 3S titanium Limited Edition
Group 3 top to bottom: Streamlight Stinger 2020, Olight Warrior 3S titanium Limited Edition
Group 4 left to right: Thrunite BSS V4, Olight Warrior 3S titanium Limited Edition, Thorfire C8
Driver & User Interface:
There’s no mention of the driver, but it’s definitely a boost driver since the SFT-70 needs 6 volts input and a single li-ion is 4.2 volts fully charged. Boost drivers are awesome since they’re constant current and the output doesn’t decrease as the battery drains like a FET driver. As long as the battery supplies voltage needed to keep the MCUs running, the output is laminar.
The UI is identical to the original Warrior 3S. The dual switches are commonplace on tactical-use lights and enable instant Turbo and Medium. On the Warrior 3S, they work independently of each other, with each controlling a different function set. Turbo and Strobe are available from the side switch and tail switch as well. There’s a second mode set available from the tail switch as well. The default mode is half press for Medium and full press for Turbo, and the second mode a half-press for Turbo and full press for Strobe.
Available modes: Moon, Low, Medium, High Turbo, Strobe
- Fully press tail switch: Turbo (or Strobe in the 2nd mode set)
- Half press tail switch: Medium (or Turbo in 2nd mode set)
- Press and hold side switch: Moonlight
- Single click side switch: Turns on in last mode
- Double click side switch: Turbo
- 3 clicks: Strobe
- Fully press tail switch: Turns off (Strobe in 2nd mode set is momentary only)
- Half press tail switch: Turns off
- Press and hold side switch: Cycles through modes L-M-H-L
- Single click side switch: Turns off
- Double click side switch: Turbo
- 3 clicks: Strobe
- To Turbo: Double click side switch
- To Strobe: Triple click side switch
Low voltage warning:
- Olight eliminated the ultra-cool haptic (vibrating) LVP notifications found on the Odin series and other lights in place of indicator lights integrated in the side switch bezel. 4 lights >75%, 3 lights 75% to 50%, 2 lights 50% to 25%, 1 light 25% to 10%. When the battery is less than 10%, the last indicator turns red.
- Strobe, activated by triple clicking the side switch, or from the rear switch in the 2nd configuration mode with a full press.
- Yes, the electronic lockout is activated by clicking and holding the side switch from off for more than 2 seconds. It will switch to Moon mode, then turn off and the light is locked out. The single red indicator will light up if either switch is pressed.
- Fast PWM on all modes except Low, but not visible with the naked eye.
- The proximity sensor can be deactivated, but only temporarily. When the light starts dimming in High or Turbo mode, you can do a double click to temporarily deactivate the proximity sensor. After you switch the light off, the sensor is automatically re-activated at the next power on.
Additional info on the UI:
- This is a nicely-rounded out UI for a tactical or professional use light. It’s simple, easy to learn, and navigate. The mode spacing is a bit abrupt from Low to High and Turbo though. I like the availability of the two mode sets for the tail switch as well, for a general-purpose mode and a true tactical mode with instant Turbo and Strobe on a single switch. Olight doesn’t mention any thermal regulation but it’s probably there. I do miss the haptic LVP though.
Batteries & Charging
Like the original Warrior 3S, the Limited Edition uses an identical battery arrangement, a single 21700 li-ion cell. Olight bundles their familiar ORB-217C50 5000 mAh 21700. I don’t know who makes this cell and there’s no CDR listed, but I expect it to handle at least 10 amps. Unfortunately (for some buyers), this is a “customized” battery (read: proprietary) with the positive and negative terminals at the top, so it’s (supposed) to only be used with other compatible Olights.
Even though proprietary is a dirty word with enthusiasts, I don’t really mind since the battery is high quality and warrantied for 1-year. It also protects the light (and the user), and helps meet the factory specs for output and runtime. Although it’s not recommended, the cell can be charged in an appropriately sized (these batteries are 75+ mm long) charger. They fit in my Vapcell S4+ and I got it to work with my Convoy L21B, Imalent R30C, and of course, the Olight Odin. It would probably work in other lights with long driver springs, but it’s at your own risk. For charging, love it or leave it, but you are stuck with Olight’s proprietary MCC charging solution.
The cable has a standard USB type A on one end, and a magnetic connector on the other. There’s an LED indicator built into the strain relief that’s red for charging and green for charged/standby. It’s rated for 5V 1A or 5V 2A, so it will work with any USB wall wart charger and depending on the input, should charge the battery in about 3.5 hours. I saw about 1.5 to 1.7 amps during charging with a 2.4 A charger. The battery was consistently charged to 4.14 volts, and per Olight, the charging indicator turns green when the cell hits 95% capacity (roughly 4750 mAh), so 4.14 volts is about right.
I tested the Warrior 3S Limited Edition in my 50 cm integrating sphere. I use a Digi-Sense 20250–00 datalogging lux meter, and the sphere has been calibrated with several lights of known output. Current is measured with my Radio Shack T-RMS multimeter with 16 gauge wire directly in the meter. No amp readings this time since the current path is interesting (plus fully anodized threads). I ran the test using the fully charged Olight 5000 mAh battery and tested Medium, High, and Turbo modes.
Moonlight is very low at 1 Lumen, and I believe it since I didn’t get a measurement. Olight dials back the Turbo setting on the titanium version since titanium has inferior thermal properties (less thermally conductive) than aluminum.
I tested the runtimes in my 50 cm integrating sphere. I use a Digi-Sense 20250-00 datalogging lux meter, and the sphere has been calibrated with several lights of known output. I ran the test using the fully charged Olight 5000 mAh battery and tested Medium, High, and Turbo modes.
|Measured runtime (ANSI)
|Time till shut off
|1320h (55 days)
The runtimes are very close to Olight’s specs, and not surprising since they’re lab-tested with the same battery. The output is very consistent throughout the runtimes, with step downs towards the end of the runtimes culminating in hard shut downs as LVP pulls the plug. The titanium light didn’t heat up too much and was hand-friendly the entirety of the Turbo and High tests. The heat was concentrated around the head near the switch as expected since titanium is not a good conductor of heat. The highest temp I saw was 50.4 C at 2 hours into the Turbo test.
ANSI FL1 standards: The runtime is measured until the light drops to 10% of its initial output (30 seconds after turning 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.
Throw numbers: Peak beam intensity
I tested candela and throw using the Uni-T UT383S luxmeter indoors at 5 meters. Readings taken at 30 seconds. I used the fully charged Olight 5000 mAh battery.
Olight only lists throw distances for each mode, and a single candela figure of 16,900 cd, probably the Turbo spec.
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 shining on an object).
I compared the Warrior 3S Limited Editions (copper and titanium) to some other comparable flashlights, the Fenix TK20R V2, Fenix PD36 Tac, TK16 V2, Oligh Odin, Klarus XT11GT Pro 2, and Thrunite BSS V4.
Disclaimer: This flashlight was sent to me for review at no cost by Olight. I have not been paid to review, nor have I been holding back on problems or defects.
- Beautiful limited edition finish
- Awesome build quality, fit, and finish
- Complete kit with battery and MCC cable
- High quality accessories
- Great performance
- Simple UI
- Output dialed back on titanium edition
- Finish is not very durable
- Miss the vibrating LVP warning
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
5 stars: ★★★★★
If it looks like a flashlight and smells like a flashlight, it must be a flashlight, right? Well, maybe so, but there’s flashlights, then there’s Olights. I’ve tested 4 Olights up to this point, and even objectively speaking, have come away mighty impressed each time. The combination of build quality, design, attention to detail, performance, and usability are hallmarks of a great flashlight, and the Warrior 3S checks off those boxes and is up there with the best from the major brands. The Limited Edition lights are icing on the cake, and although titanium is actually inferior to aluminum for electrical conductivity and thermal conductivity, (both important metrics for flashlights), it sure augments the exclusivity and collectability factor quite a bit. Did I mention they look amazing? I’d imagine this light is going to be relegated to my shelf rather than carried or put to work (that beautiful finish would get ruined), but I’m sure it would perform like any other Warrior 3S if called to duty. I really like the UI and the indicator lights, but I miss the vibrating LVP warning, titanium threads by nature and the MCC charging system, while it works, is ultra-proprietary. The finish, while beautiful, seems pretty fragile. Overall, I’m really glad to see Olight releasing these limited edition lights. They’re beautiful and functional, like a Warrior 3S in fancy clothes. 5 stars for the titanium Limited Edition Warrior 3S.