Olight Warrior Mini Review (1500 Lumens, Dual Switch, Tactical, EDC, 18650)

Today I have Olights new smaller form factor tactical light the Warrior Mini. It’s capable of 1500 lumens, runs on an 18650 battery and is available in 3 colors, black, a splatter camo, and the desert tan that I have here. Thanks to Skyben for sending this to me to review, please make sure to check them out in the description below.

 

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Packaging & Accessories

Packaging is no big surprises from Olights the past year or so, it’s the white high quality sleeve over a plastic tray inside that houses the light and all the accessories. On the rear of the box you have details about the light and a runtime chart. Accessories include the light itself with the clip pre installed, Proprietary 3500mAh 18650 battery, MCC2A USB charger, Olight branded lanyard that attaches on the clip, and the manual. No extra orings on this light, but in most scenarios your opening it up to charge so it shouldn’t be a wear item, still a little 

 

 

 

Construction

The Warrior mini shares similar construction to a combination of other Olights, like the Baton Pro and the Warrior Pro. Quality is fantastic for a production light. The tail is a one piece design with the body tube, so batteries go in only from the head side. The button on the rear is all metal exterior construction and features the tri lug design we have seen on other recent Olights. It’s also magnetic and strong enough to hold the light horizontally. The button itself is spongy, and fairly stiff. It’s a two stage actuation which I like quite a bit from a UI perspective but it’s sometimes hard to know how hard to press to get into that first lower output mode. 

The texture on the body is aggressive but not sharp in the hand. I really like the feel of it, and hope we see it on future Olights. The downside is it’s aggressive enough to tear up pockets with pulled in and out during use. Threads are smooth, square cut and nicely greased. 

The head internally has a single short spring in the center, and then a ring with pogo pins for making contact with the proprietary batteries negative terminal on the top. This is a little different design than we have seen in the past but seems to be very compact. On the exterior the clip is captured. The button is the same as Olight has used in recent models with the LED underneath. 

The top of the head has a TIR style optic, with no glass lens over the top. There have a been a few reports online of this lens melting during extended periods of use, I didn’t see that on mine with normal stepdown. There is also a press fit plastic bezel. It has very small raised sections to let light out if standing on it’s head.

 

Size and Weight

I measured the overall length of the light at 107mm, maximum diameter at 23mm, minimum diameter is the same. The weight with the battery and clip is 104.8g. For comparison the warrior mini is between the Baton Pro and S2R Baton length wise. Diameter wise they are all within 1mm of each other. The light is IPX8 water rated.

 

Retention

As an EDC I found this carried well, I carried it in a front jeans pocket for a week every day and found it to be comfortable. I don’t mind Olights dual direction clips, they leave enough from for jeans but they can catch on things like a seat belt. This is a heads up carry, so if the light activates in your pocket, and there have been a few user accounts of this online, it has done damage to people’s clothes by melting them. For that reason I strongly recommend using lockout on this one. 

 

LED & Beamshots

The LED being used in the Warrior Mini is the SST40 in a 6000-7000k tint. It has a little green tinge on the lowest modes but once you apply more power that fades substantially.  I have no problems with the SST40 LED but wish one of the neutral tint bins was used here. 

The beam is nice through the TIR optic, but I wonder if something has changed with the material being used here from older lights as there are several reports of burnt or melted lenses with this it seems. So far mine is fine after extended runtimes. Overall the beam here is great for EDC in my opinion with a medium to large hot spot and quite a bit of spill, good for close up and medium to far range. With the tail switch this would be a good option to do a one handed grip of your weapon and have the light nearby in the opposite hand (Harris or Chapman style) if you wished. 

 

Olight lists the official output modes as:

  • Turbo – 1500 – 500 – 170 Lumens with step downs.
  • High – 500 – 170 Lumens
  • Medium – 120 Lumens
  • Low – 15 Lumens
  • Moon – 1 Lumen

 

Heat & Runtime

The light is able to maintain 98% of relative output until the 2 minute mark (Timed) before stepping down to 32% relative output. At this point the output is very flat for 3:34:00. From there you get another hour at about 12% relative output before stepping below. FL1 output runtime total was 4:18:00. If you let it continue going the light will run out to 8:33:00 suggesting there is no LVP. It shut off at 2.735V which I suspect is where the battery protection kicked in. Max heat I saw was 46C at the 10 minute mark. 

 

UI

The UI on the Warrior Mini is the same that’s was on the Olight M2R Pro. It has 2 buttons for operation, first the two stage tail switch which is the more tactical operation, and then the standard silicone button up front for normal uses. It follows Olights basic UI for the most part. 

 

When you half press the tail button, you get medium in configuration 1, and then turbo 1500  lumens when you full press. This is in configuration 1, In configuration 2 the tail switch goes to turbo on half press and strobe on full press. 

 

UI is similar to other Olights but with some differences. Long press from Off to go to moon light mode, Double click to go to Turbo, and Triple click to go to strobe.There the front eswitch is mostly used as a mode switch but can be used to turn the light on and off from off as well. If you plan to use this for EDC in a pocket make sure you know how lockout mode works too.

 

Recharging

The Warrior Mini comes with Olights newest MCCA2 charging system which is faster and denoted with the red ring inside. The magnetic charging system is convenient and easy but does require a proprietary battery (3500mAh in this case) and the Warrior Mini is no different. The proprietary Olight battery goes with the positive terminal facing the head in this light though which isn’t always the case. 

I saw total charging time take 2:35:00, and as usually my charging monitoring system doesn’t like the drops in current that the MCC chargers do so my graph is incomplete. Max charge rate I saw was 1.3A at 1:16:00 mark. Once full the battery measured 4.3145V.

 

Pro’s

  • Big fan of the desert tan color
  • Great fit and finish for production lights
  • Turns out to be a nice pocket EDC for 18650 size.

 

Con’s

  • Plastic inner bezel, more prone to scratching then metal.
  • Seems to be melting lenses if activated in an enclosed space, make sure to use lockout mode.
  • Proprietary battery, but this one will charge in a traditional charger

 

Conclusion

The two words I would use to describe the Olight Warrior Mini is “Practical Tactical”. Sure you can use it tactically, the rear tail switch despite being a bit mushy and a tad hard to predict works well, and I find myself using it in an EDC roll too, the two stage switch is so much better then just a one mode straight to turbo switch like you find on other tactical lights at least in my EDC style usage. The UI here is the same as other Olights too so you don’t really need to learn a new UI for just this light. The Olight TIR’s are my favorite too for single LED lights. 

Something’s don’t change though, that proprietary battery that’s required here means you have to use the Olight battery and pay a premium for it. It also has the cool emitter which is Olights standard MO. On a tactical light it might make more sense but on a light that does great as an EDC I would prefer neutral white strongly. 

Overall the Warrior Mini is probably my favorite recent EDC/Tactical light, and I can recommend it if your ok with the cool white and proprietary battery. I wonder what special edition color Olight will come up with next on this light.

Pickup the Olight Warrior Mini from Amazon via Skyben at the following links.

Black: https://amzn.to/2GHtORu

Desert Tan: https://amzn.to/3p72YU2

Cammo: https://amzn.to/32nI6OK

Wowtac W1 Review ($26, 562 Lumen, 16340, EDC Budget Flashlight)

Wowtac has released a new small form factor EDC style light with the W1. It features a 16340 battery, onboard micro USB charging, deep carry pocket clip and tail magnet all for a very affordable price. Thanks to WowTac for sending this to me to review. 

 

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Packaging & Accessories

Packaging for the W1 is much like other Wowtac models, with a brown cardboard box with minimal information. The box does suggest there may be a neutral tint version of this light eventually but it also might just be production flexibility. The included accessories is a Wowtac branded 650mAh 16340 battery, deep carry pocket clip, extra o’ring and recharging port cover, and microUSB cable as well as the manual. 

 

Construction

Construction of the W1 is pretty standard. The tail is magnetic and flat so the light tail stands well. It’s threaded for a lanyard (not included), and the 2 way deep carry pocket clip that snaps in place but can rotate. The body of the light is heavily diamond knurled. It feels nice in the hand for a small light. 

Inside the threads are square cut and anodized, the spring is relatively long in the tail cap. Inside the head there is a solid post instead of a spring. The diameter of the head is a 3.2mm larger in diameter then the body and 6 sided. It features an electronic button that requires a solid click with LED’s underneath to indicate charge status. On the back is the micro USB port and silicone cover that stays out of the way when in use. 

 

The front bezel is a bit thick and silver colored, it’s nearly flat with the glass lens with AR coatings. The optic underneath is wide and shallow with a light orange peel. The LED is nicely centered but seems small for the reflector.

Sizes, Weight, & Competition

I measured the Wowtac W1 at 68mm in length, 20mm in diameter at the body, and 24mm on the head. Weight with the battery and clip was 56.3g. The light is rated for IPX8 for 1.5 meters, so it will easily survive the bucket test here.

Comparing to Wowtac W1 to other similar lights, the two that are most similar are the Olight S1 mini Baton and Thrunite T1. The W1 look a lot like the T1 in design, with the body being knurled instead of milled and being overall smaller due to the different battery sizes in use. The Olight S1 Mini Baton uses the same sized battery as the W1 and is smaller overall. I will compare the beams between the two in my night shots. I do like that the W1 is head down for carry vs Olight’s head up design. 

Retention

The pocket clip is a push on style dual direction clip. It mounts only at the tail. It’s designed primarily for head down carry and does a nice job of being deep carry. However since the size of the head is larger I found myself needing to pull the pocket clip out a little to attach it to my jeans pocket easily.  Overall good but it takes an extra step to clip on to the pocket. 

LED & Beams Shots

The W1 features a Cree XP-G2 in cool white, while neutral white is mentioned on the package they are not available for purchase at the time of this review. The beam here is a little different. It has a small hot center, that throws decently well for a light this small. Then it has a wide, fairly weak spill. On lights this size I do generally enjoy a TIR style optic for EDC use because it does a good job of a blend of beam characteristics. There is Cree rainbow with this light in the beam with the center being warmer with some green tint and the outer spill being cooler.

There is some PWM in this light, its fairly minor and not noticeable to me by eye or by camera but I can see it via the scope. 

Wowtac lists the output specs of the W1 as the following.

  • Firefly 0.5 Lumens
  • Low 12 Lumens
  • Medium 60 Lumens
  • High 197 Lumens 
  • Turbo 562 Lumens with step down to 215 lumens after 1 min.

Heat and Runtime

Heat is well controlled on this light, after 1 minute I measured temperatures at 87F, at 5 minutes 95F, and at 10 minutes 98F. 

 

Runtime 

No big surprises were found in the runtime of this light. Turbo stepdown is large and occurs after 1 minute. From there the output fell as the battery depleted, We got another major step down at the 70 minute mark where the light faded into it’s lowest output of around 0.5 lumens till low voltage protection kicked in (2.88V) at 170 total minutes. Of this total runtime I would say about 70 minutes of that is useable light, not too bad for a 650mah 16340 sized battery. 

UI

The UI here is the same as many other Wowtac and Thrunite lights which is a good thing. When the light is off firefly mode can be accessed by long pressing on the power button. From off a single quick tap will turn the light on in the last mode it was in (not turbo or firefly). To change modes when the light is on long pressing will cycle through the modes in an increasing order, Low, Medium, High. To get to turbo, double click on the button from any mode. Triple click from any mode to get strobe. 

 

Recharging

Recharging the light is accomplished via the built in microUSB port on the head of the light. When charging the main button turns red, and then blue when charged. Charging from LVP at 2.88V to full at 4.142V took 1 hour and 50 minutes and the maximum charging speed I saw was 0.48A which is safe for this size of battery. 

Conclusion

The Wowtac W1 is another good budget light from Wowtac, especially if you’re interested in a new small EDC light. At the price point of around $25 for a complete kit, the W1 is a good value and pretty easy to recommend to people. I do wish they had a neutral white option, that and USB-C would set this light apart from the competition.

 

The beam pattern here isn’t my favorite with it being almost more of a thrower then a small area flood that is typically useful in EDC, at lower outputs the spill isn’t that useful. The light carries in the pocket pretty well, and also clips onto a hat easily for a quick access headlamp if needed. I wish the clip was slightly longer so it rested on the body and made getting it into the pocket just a little easier. All this said this is a high value light for the price and a nice inexpensive place to start if you want to start EDCing a flashlight in your pants pockets on a daily basis. 

 

Pickup the Wowtac W1 on Amazon at https://amzn.to/2UUwlMq

View the full Image gallery at https://imgur.com/a/JsOmc88

 

Wowtac is also looking for 100 volunteers to try the W1 flashlight on Facebook @wowtacflashlights and share their feelings and help WOWTAC improve. (follow us on Facebook and join our group, contact to get a free W1) There are also weekly flashlight GAW on WOWTAC Facebook page.