(Review) Olight M2R Warrior

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(Review) Olight M2R Warrior

Like every other Olight that I’ve seen, the M2R Warrior comes in a very attractive package; complete with great graphics and all of the pertinent details listed somewhere on the box. Inside the box you will find several very nice accessories and the usual – for Olight – extremely well-crafted flashlight.

Marketed as an enhanced tactical flashlight, Olight’s M2R Warrior has a variety of features not normally found on most flashlights. Most of which I consider to be grand-slam home runs and others… well let’s just call them whiffs.

Give me a chance to explain.

Suppose you walked into the movie theater and the heavenly smell of buttered popcorn overwhelms you. Walking up to the counter you become intoxicated with that wonderful smell and find yourself ordering the largest container available. As you’re forking over your money, you notice that the container (in a rather prominent display) contains a graphic proclaiming the size (amount of popcorn held).

Not too long after making the purchase, you’re in your seat enjoying the movie as you chow down on some of the most amazing popcorn you’ve ever had. In fact you’re looking forward to finishing the entire bucket of popcorn, and then – much to your dismay – you discover the fact that you can’t really get to the best part; unless you’re willing to eat the wax-covered cardboard too.

1500 lumens. That’s what the box says (rather prominently) and that is what the owner’s manual says too. And the M2R Warrior will put out 1500 lumens – provided the flashlight is in the enhanced tactical mode. Don’t like the disco mode? Then you’re stuck with a maximum of 1000 lumens of output. In reality the difference between 1000 lumens and 1500 lumens isn’t nearly as much as it would appear to be – it certainly isn’t a difference of 50% to our eyes – but there is a difference and there’s that nagging feeling that you paid for something that you can’t really use (unless you’re willing to eat the wax-covered cardboard/disco mode).

In the Box

M2R Warrior
Clip
Holster
18650 battery
Lanyard
Magnetic Charger cable

The M2R is beautifully built and finished. The body features interrupted cylindrical grooves that provide excellent grip and comfort. The head features a series of three longitudinal tear-drop shaped grooves that likely do far more for looks than they do cooling (they do look very nice). The main part of the head (where the side-switch is located) is hexagon shaped, with 3 deeper cylindrical grooves cut (for cooling and grip). The head is not removable. There are springs at both ends – head and tail-cap.

The bezel is blue with small crenellations. To my eye the blue bezel is very attractive. The bezel doesn’t seem to be removable.

The tail-cap has a similar series of tear-drop grooves cut longitudinal – providing both a good grip and good looks. The other switch is located on the tail-cap (more about both switches later). The tail-cap screws off with just the slightest whisper; inside there is a stout spring that appears to be gold-plated. The threads are anodized and well lubricated.

The included clip can be removed with effort, but isn’t likely to come off (the body) by accident. The clip is a dual-direction (can be used head-down or head-up) and reversible (can be attached toward the head, or toward the tail).

The included holster is very nice – a bit thicker than most – and has a D-ring for attachment to a pack. On the back there is a belt loop (can take belts up to 2 ¼ inches wide) and a strap that can be unsnapped so you don’t have to run your belt through the loop. The bottom of the holster features a drainage hole – something I’ve not seen in other flashlight holsters.

The magnetic charging system is, to me, simply ingenious. Plug it in to a USB adapter and put it near the tail-cap – the magnet will attach itself and charging begins (red while charging, green once charged).

The M2R tail-stands without issue (applause). Olight got it right on the money by making the lanyard attachable through the side of the tail-cap – leaving the end of the tail-cap perfectly capable of tail-standing.

Features

Cree XHP35 HD CW LED

Slight orange peel reflector

Dual electronic switches

Direct access to moonlight mode

Direct access to turbo mode

Direct access to strobe mode

Memory

Low battery indication (red light in middle of side-switch)

Compatible with all 18650 batteries (protected) (discharge current over 6A)

Can use 2 CR123A batteries (they can’t be charged in flashlight)

Lockout/unlock

Two programs (regular and enhanced tactical)

IPX8 – waterproof to 2 meters

Drop resistant to 1.5 meters

Dual electronic switches are a first for me. I think this is one of the grand-slam home runs for Olight. The side-switch is covered in a rubber cap and provides good grip and a good feel. There is a definite clicking sound when pressing/releasing the side-switch. Surrounding the side-switch is a blue stainless steel ring.

The metal tail-switch has a more subdued click to it, but feels so good. The surface is slightly concave and seems to naturally draw your finger to the correct location. No need to look or even feel around – your finger just goes to the proper location. Half-press for momentary on, full press for constant on (ordinary program).

Lockout is attained by pressing/holding the side-switch for more than 2 seconds. The flashlight will turn on (moonlight) and then back off. To release lockout, press and hold the side-switch for 1 second. When the side-switch is pressed, while in lockout mode, a small red light will show (center of side-switch) to indicate that the M2R is still in lockout mode.

The owner’s manual lists the reflector as being smooth. I believe that is an error, as the reflector on my M2R is not smooth. The orange peel is fairly minimal, but definitely there. The reflector itself is relatively deep for the size of the flashlight.

Specs

Length – 5.12 inches
Head diameter – 1 inch
Weight – 5.47 oz. (including battery)
Included battery – 18650 3500 mAh

Modes/Programs

There are two programs and six modes (7 actually – if Strobe is counted as a mode)

The M2R ships in regular programming – basically that means the tail-switch can be used for momentary on (turbo mode) or to turn the flashlight on (turbo mode). It can also be used to shut the flashlight off (no matter which mode it is in). In this program, turbo is limited to 1000 lumens.

The enhanced tactical program changes the function of the tail-switch: half-press and the flashlight is in momentary turbo (1500 lumens). Full press/hold puts the flashlight into momentary strobe. Release the switch and flashlight is off. In this program, the tail-switch cannot turn the flashlight on (only momentarily) but it can be used to shut the flashlight off.

Changing programs is simple: press/hold tail-switch and (continue holding tail-switch) press/release the side-switch.

Alternatively, you can change programs by pressing/holding the side-switch for three cycles (through the modes). After cycling through three times, the flashlight will cycle through the two programs (strobe and turbo). Release the side-switch while in the program wanted.

Press/release side-switch to turn flashlight on. Press/release side-switch to turn flashlight off. Press/hold side-switch (while flashlight is on) to cycle through the modes.

Regular modes consist of low, medium 2, medium 1, and high.

The M2R does have memory, so it will turn on in the mode last used (exception being turbo and strobe). It will remember moonlight mode if that mode was the last mode used (when light was shut off).

The mode cycle – if flashlight was shut off while in low – goes like this: low, medium 2, medium 1, high, low, etc…

Moonlight mode is attained by pressing/holding side-switch for just over 1 second. Release switch when flashlight turns on. Press/hold switch to cycle through modes. Press/release switch to shut flashlight off.

Turbo mode can be accessed several different ways: Double click side-switch while flashlight is off – flashlight comes on in high mode, then double click again for turbo. Double click side-switch while in another mode. Press tail-switch halfway for momentary turbo, fully press for constant turbo. If you’re in the enhanced tactical program, fully pressing the tail-switch will go into strobe mode.

Strobe mode is accessed by triple clicking the side-switch (from off or on status). Press/hold to cycle through the other modes. Press/release side-switch to shut flashlight off. In the enhanced tactical program, fully pressing/holding the tail-switch puts the flashlight in momentary strobe mode.

There is no SOS/Beacon mode.

Moonlight Mode – 1 Lumen, and can run for up to 25 days.

Low Mode – 10 Lumens, and can run for up to 70 hours

Medium 2 Mode – 60 Lumens and can run for up to 20 hours

Medium 1 Mode – 250 Lumens and can run for up to 6 hours & 15 minutes

High Mode – 700 Lumens and can run for up to 2 hours

Turbo – 1,000/1,500 Lumens and can run for up to 2 hours and three minutes. Turbo runs for 3 minutes, then ramps down to high mode.

  • It could well be my eyes, but sometimes it seems that I can double click the side-switch (while in turbo) and the light becomes slightly more bright. I don’t have the means of testing it, but it sometimes seems like the light is actually going into the higher turbo (1500 Lumens) – when I double click the light immediately after going into the turbo mode. It doesn’t always happen though, and I can’t be sure that it isn’t just my eyes playing a trick on me. The owner’s manual makes no mention of that ability – in fact it makes no mention of double clicking the side-switch once you’re in turbo mode.

Beam

A mix of very good flood with decent throwing ability, I consider the M2R to be slightly more biased toward flood. The beam is really nice; covering a lot of area and doing an excellent job of illuminating objects near and relatively far.

The M2R is available in two tints – warm and cool white. My version is the cool white, but I would consider it to be on the cool side of neutral. I do own the H2R (neutral tint) and consider that flashlight to be quite warm (color tint).

Conclusion

There are things I love about the M2R, things I like about the M2R, and a couple of things that I dislike about the M2R.

I think Olight made a mistake in not offering the full turbo abilities in mode programs. I think a much better option would be having the tail-switch (both programs) go to the 1500 Lumen version of turbo. I also think double clicking the side-switch should bring the M2R straight to turbo (1,000 Lumen version) with another double click bringing the turbo to the 1,500 Lumen version.

Outside of the whole turbo arrangement, I do like the modes and the interface. While I personally have no use for the enhanced tactical program, I do understand the fact that many others will like it. I really like the beam profile too.

I love the build quality. I love the electronic switches. I especially love the metal tail-switch. I love the charging system and I love the size of the M2R. It is easily pocket carried. I also love the magnetic tail – that makes the flashlight so much more useful in everyday life. I also love the looks of the M2R and the easy access to moonlight mode. I love the fact that I can skip the strobe mode entirely.

The M2R has a lot going for it – some grand-slam home runs and a lot of base hits. There’s also a couple of whiffs. For that reason I’m rating the M2R as a 4 (out of 5). I think the many positives far outweigh the two negatives, and I believe that those two negatives are likely to be a matter of perspective for most people.

Knowing what I know now (about the M2R) I’d still buy it.

M2R Owner’s Manual

Where I bought mine