“REVIEW” – On The Road M3 Pro – 1020 Lumens – 16340 - USB-C charging [***Experience with TIR Optic***]

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MascaratumB
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“REVIEW” – On The Road M3 Pro – 1020 Lumens – 16340 - USB-C charging [***Experience with TIR Optic***]

EDIT 30 Nov 2018Post#3 Experience with Frosted TIR Optic

Hi BLF,

This is my review of the On The Road M3 Pro, the most recent version of the “old” and well known OTR M3. The flashlight and accessories were sent by On The Road Store at AliExpress, to whom I want to thank! Smile

You can find the flashlight on sale here (non-affiliate): https://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/ON-THE-ROAD-M3-Pro-USB-C-small-...

There is also the official store of OTR here: http://www.zlsh.net/M3-Pro

The OTR M3 Pro can be bought in 2 versions, one with the charger kit, and other without! I was sent the package without charger!

Here is another review of this flashlight, by JasonWW: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/62510 .

There are other threads on BLF about this flashlight, I will not link them here, but feel free to check them!

Here are some YT reviews as well, for those interested in a video review:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kd-8a5DnlQU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWp8sA4UAjQ

And now, the review!! Arrow Right

————————————————————————————————————————

GENERAL SPECIFICATIONS

Body Material: T6061 Aluminium
Body Colour: “Titanium” colour
Emitter: XPL HD V6 1A (or XML2 U3-5C)
Lens: Glass, Double Side AR-Coated
Reflector: Orange Peel (aluminium?)
Switch: E-Switch (side)
Beam distance: 133 m
Beam intensity: 4430 cd
Water Resistance: IPX6
Impact resistance: 2 m
Batteries: 16340 Li-Ion / RCR123 / CR123
Low voltage warning: 10% battery (Constant Red) ; 5% Battery (Blinking Red) ; 0% (Power cut off)
In-Built Charger: USB-C

OTHERS
Driver: Constant Current Circuit (by manufacturer)
Battery Protection: Anti-reverse battery protection (Poka Yoke Question )
Other: Active intelligent temperature control

————————————————————————————————————————

PACKAGE: THE FLASHLIGHT & ACCESSORIES

The On The Road M3 Pro arrived in a OTR branded cardboard box, thick, that protects its contents, and that is similar to the one of the OTR M1 and the OTR i3 , that I recently reviewed on BLF!

The box has a protection yellow seal in the opening part. On the side it has a sticker indicating the model of the flashlight and type of LED that we will find inside!

Bearing in mind that this is the version with no charger included, inside the box we can find: the OTR M3 Pro, 2 O-rings, the User Manual, a Pouch, an OTR branded Lanyard, a USB-C Cable, and an On The Road 16340 700mAh 3.7V 2.6Wh Li-Ion (ORB1607) battery.

The battery arrived installed in the flashlight and there was a thick plastic piece in the negative pole to prevent the cell discharge.

Let’s start by the flashlight! Small, compact, well made on the outside and inside, great machining, very good anodizing with a “matte” finish! This is what we can say by looking at / touching the flashlight!

It has an e-switch covered by an rubber OTR branded cap on the front, and on the back it has a rubber cap to cover the USB-C port of the in-built charger!

Outside it has cooling grooves in the area of the driver/charging port, and also 3 grooves around the head, in the area of the LED, that cover all the diameter of the head.


An overall looking also allows to see that on the head we find a well centred XPL HD LED and a stainless steel bezel with 6 grooves that can be used to help unscrewing the bezel. On the flat tail, there is a series number.

The flashlight arrived without a pocket clip, non-included in this package. The OTR Store sent me a clip that I will address later.

From the top to the bottom, again, we have the stainless steel bezel, a double sided AR coated lens, a sealing o-ring and an orange peel reflector.


When dismantled, the head reveals the threads where the reflector is screwed in. Unlike many other lights we have, this one is “proprietary” to this flashlight, in that way that it has threads to fit in! Despite, it can be used in other lights if we want to! Silly

The emitter PCB is aluminium, the wires are well soldered, there is white thermal paste between the plate and built-in shelf. Around the LED there is a white plastic gasket!

On the bottom, let’s see…
The tailcap is unscrewable so that we can access the battery! It is composed by a thin spring and a magnet! The spring can be easily removed (with tweezers or pliers) to reach and eventually remove/replace the magnet.

Outside, the tailcap has a lanyard hole to use…a lanyard Silly I forgot to take a photo, but it’s there!!!

The body threads are square and arrived well lubricated there is no issue while (un)screwing it in or out! It also has a sealing o-ring on the tube!

The “magnetic function” of the tail works well, but I must confess this is not the strongest magnetic tailcap I have/know! The used magnet seems to be thin, being strong enough to adhere to a flat surface (fridge) and held its weight, but being difficult to get it suck in other surfaces (ex: knife). As it is easy to have access to it, the magnet may be replaced or removed!

Still, it is a handy feature and always help in some situations, no doubt Big Smile

As mentioned above, the USB-C charging port (vertical) is on the opposite side (back) of the e-switch! It is protected by rubber cap that protects well and at the same time can be easily “removed” to use the charging cable.

About the charging process:

a) it is recommended to use a 5V 2A charger to increase the speed charge;

b) when charging, the light under the e-switch will glow RED

c) when fully charged, the light under the e-switch will glow BLUE

d) approximate charging time (according to manufacturer specs) = 50 minutes

Some interesting things on the charging process:

a) with the battery inside and the tailcap fully screwed in, the e-switch light will be RED and there is no possibility to use the flashlight while attached to the charging cable,

b) with the battery inside + tailcap unscrewed, or without battery inside and the charging cable plugged in, the e-switch light will glow BLUE and the flashlight can be used as if it had a battery inside Wink

I’m not sure how good or bad this can be for the flashlight. But imagine you want/need to plug it into a powerbank or electrical current…you can have light for hours without using a battery inside Just saying WinkBig Smile

————————————

ACCESSORIES
User Manual

Let’s jump to the accessories and start by the User Manual. It is written in English, being quite effective in what concerns the overall structure and functioning of the flashlight.


As I mentioned above, there was an On The Road 16340 700mAh 3.7V 2.6Wh Li-Ion (ORB1607) battery included in my box/kit! However, buyers must confirm if this is included in the “no charger kit”! This is a standard unprotected battery from OTR, that seems to be around for many years now!! It doesn’t seem to be adequate for high drain devices, but it will behave on these flashlights.

However, I don’t have means to test it, so sorry about it! Facepalm
(right picture was borrowed from my OTR i3 thread Crown )

Another thing that was sent to me by OTR Store was the diffuser! This diffuser is similar to the ones sold by Convoy Store, it fits the S2+ heads, and can also be used in other flashlights with the same head diameter (OTR M1, Jetbeam RRT01, Sofirn SP32, …).

It allows a good light diffusion and evens the beams, “neutralizing” cooler tints Wink

The pocket clip is probably an extra as well on the package! It is OTR branded as on they other flashlights. It is similar to the one of the OTR i3, and not shinny as the one from the OTR M1. It fits quite well, it is not reversible, it is quite sturdy and well made, and also seems to be scratch resistant!

The pocket clip also acts as a lock feature, once it can be placed in the front the e-switch, blocking it and preventing accidental activation. This light has no electronic lockout! It works well in any of the 4 sides of the flashlight!

And this is the flashlight with all the accessories: Lanyard, Pocket Clip, Diffuser !!

————————————

DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT
To end this part, here are some physical measurements of this flashlight!

Dimensions

Weight

————————————

USER INTERFACE

The OTR M3 Pro’s User Interface is well explained in the User Manual, but I’ll make a teardown Silly
It has the following levels:

Moonlight > Low > Medium > High
Turbo
Strobe / Beacon / SOS

The OTR M3 Pro was built to provide a flexible use to its users/owners. Therefore, it has 2 ways of functioning, a “regular” and a “special” ( = MODE LOCK).
About the regular mode, this is how it works.

———————
FROM OFF
1) press the e-switch for 0.5 s – light will TURN ON in the last used mode [it has memory for the 4 regular levels ML / L / M / H ]

2) double click – Accesses TURBO

3) triple click – Acesses Strobe > Beacon > SOS (with single click between these)

4) long press & hold 4 s – Accesses special mode – MODE LOCK

———————
WHEN ON (in the regular used levels)
a) single click to advance and cycle though ML > L > M > H > ML > L…

b) double click – accesses TURBO. When in TURBO:
1 – single click – returns to last used mode
2 – press 0.5 s – Turns the light OFF
3 – triple click – accesses Strobe

c) triple click – accesses STROBE. When in Strobe:
1 – single click – advances in the sequence Strobe > Beacon > SOS > Strobe > …
2 – double click – accesses TURBO
3 – press 0.5s – Turns the light OFF

——————— ///// ———————

About the special modeMODE LOCK – , this is how it works.
This “special mode” allows to lock 1 specific level that we want to use, either it be ML / Low / Medium / High! When that specific level is configured, we are able to use the OTR M3 Pro as a single level flashlight if we want to Wink

TURBO, Strobe > Beacon > SOS can still be accessed in the same way as described above, from ON or from OFF.

A single click turns the light ON or OFF.

The MODE LOCK can be “configured” when the light is ON or OFF by long pressing & hold ( 4s ) the side switch.
a) When the light is ON, chose the level you want to be used as the “one”, and press & hold the switch! The light will switch OFF and blink 3 times. Next time it will only switch ON in the chosen mode.

b) When the light is OFF (after using the regular levels) press & hold the switch. The light will switch ON in the last used mode, will blink 3 times and that will be the “chosen” mode. After that, single click for ON/OFF and the multiple clicks for Turbo, Strobe…

To reverse and get back to the “regular” levels, just press the 4 seconds and it will reverse!!

NOTE: I found this “MODE LOCK” very useful, specially when I want to use the ML level, or a Low/Medium level without having to remember what was the last used mode (memorized)! So I think this is an exceptional feature of this flashlight!

————————————

OUTPUT & RUNTIMES
As stated in the User Manual, the output tests were made with a16340 battery and XPL HD V6 Led, so it will change according to the LEDs used.

Still, these are the outputs vs runtime:
ULTRA LOW > 5 lm >>> 60hours
LOW > 160 lm >>> 2h15m
MEDIUM > 360 lm >>> 1h
HIGH > 720 lm >>> 35 m

TURBO > 1020 lm >>> s/d

STROBE > s/d
BEACON > s/d
SOS > s/d

It is probable that the output will reduce with time due to the temperature protection integrated in the driver!

NOTE: I believe that the lowest output (ML) is actually lower than 5 lumens! Why? Because if compared to the Olight S1R Baton I in the ML mode, these lights are very very similar! I don’t have a way to measure it but, at 50 cm from my luxmeter in complete darkness, both the S1R Baton I (ML) and the OTR M3 Pro (ML) give me “7 lux”. Considering that the S1R supposedly has 0,5 lumens on Moonlight…I guess the M3 Pro also has a lot less than the advertised 5 lumens on the ML level.

————————————

FLASHLIGHT COMPARISON
Some flashlight comparison, with the OTR family and with other flashlights!!

OTR M1 > OTR M3 Pro > OTR i3

OTR i3 > OTR M3 Pro > OTR M1…………………..Jaxmnve M3 > OTR M3 Pro > Olight S1R Baton I

Manker E11 > Olight S1R Baton I > OTR M3 Pro > Wuben E05

Some photos, under UV (notice that it is more yellow than orange, revealing the CW tint that the LED will produce) and above the LED (there is no visible or invisible PWM)

Here we can take a look at the beam pattern! The OP reflector, that is not very tall allows a good centered spot but also a good spread on the light, making the beam quite open to illuminate “peripheral” parts when pointing at a spot!

Here we have some beamshots to see what this light is capable of Wink
INDOOR
1,5M >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 2M

OUTDOOR
Please note that on the more distant ones I photographed the ML modes, but it is so low that my phone couldn’t catch the beam! So it will show more from Low to Turbo Wink

5M >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 5-7M

16M >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 20M

35M (building)

BEAMSHOT COMPARISON on max output
Left to right:
OTR M3 Pro > Olight S1R Baton I > Wuben E05 > Sofirn SF14 (with XPL2 Led & BLF X5/6 Driver)

————————————————————————————————————————

CONSIDERATIONS

What do I like?
1) Overall quality. The size, the machining, the anodizing, the beam quality, the general usability! Even if compare to an Olight S1R (I or II) this is not the smallest light in its segment, this is a very nice pack for it size , output and quality!!!

2) The Accessories. The accessories for this flashlight are very nice and allow a “plain” use for it in different occasions and in different configurations.

3) The MODE LOCK. For me it is the thing that stands out in this flashlight, the possibility to configure it for a single level (+ special modes as turbo, strobe,…).

4) The Shortucts. The shortcuts to Turbo and Strobe, from ON or OFF are a very nice thing that I like in my lights (despite not all have them, of course Silly ).

5) USB-C Charging. Since I have a cellphone with USB-C charging I’ve been surrendering myself to thus USB type. So having it in this flashlight is a plus, as I can take it with me without needing lots of cables or chargers. Also, the possibility to use the flashlight with the USB cable plugged in and without battery is a plus, just in case Big Smile

What would I change?
1) Shortcut to Moonlight. Honestly, to make this my “perfect EDC flashlight”, a direct access to Moonlight mode would be enough (a bit like Olight does…). The output and the overall quality only lack this shortcut to make it “perfect”!

2) The Mode Spacing. There is a big step between ML and Low levels, so a lower Low level would be appreciated to make it more balanced !

What I didn’t try?
Well, I didn’t try to remove the pill as I’m afraid of damaging the driver and the USB port. Otherwise, I would solder some longer wires, make a copper or brass pill and turn this into a triple flashlight Big SmileEvil

What I did so far?
I replaced the OP reflector + lens by a TIR optic and the beam is better now Wink It lost some throw, but it improved the homogeneity of the beam Wink

————————————————————————————————————————

GLAMOUR

————————————————————————————————————————

And that’s all! I really like the On The Road M3 Pro, it is a very reliable flashlight and with a minor adjustment it would be perfect Wink

I thank to OTR Store in AliExpress for sending this for this review!

Any questions or comments, let’em come!! Smile

Best regards Thumbs Up

Edited by: MascaratumB on 11/30/2018 - 13:13
bhstinger
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Excellent & thorough review!

I have the 5C NW version (3800-4000k) and it does have some noticeable green tint, especially at lower levels.
So if you hate green tint, go for the CW version. Other than that it is a great light as noted above.

MascaratumB
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bhstinger wrote:
Excellent & thorough review!

I have the 5C NW version (3800-4000k) and it does have some noticeable green tint, especially at lower levels.
So if you hate green tint, go for the CW version. Other than that it is a great light as noted above.

Thanks Wink
Hum, well, I thought that a NW Led would diminish that shift! This one, maybe due to the orange peel reflector, doesn’t have a massive shift, but it still has some!
That’s why I put the TIR optic to improve it a bit more Wink

But it is a really great light, indeed! Wink I hope you enjoy yours as well!! Party

Tom Tom
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I have the original M3, and the X5 (a recent version, there have been several detail changes over the years), both in 5C.

I would not describe the tint as neutral, it is much warmer than that. I see no green at-all. No idea what the CRI is, but is shows colours well, and penetrates in typical UK misty, rainy and foggy weather, where a cold white tint would just bounce straight back.

The full kits come with very good cells. If you track them on Gearbest they sometimes come on sale. I paid about $15 for each of mine. Should have bought more as gifts.

Very good torches, with some obvious Olight DNA. But the surface finish is not in the same class as Olight (few things are). I like the UI and emitter choices better than Olight.

No PWM, whatsoever, and I have looked hard for it. And seemingly very efficient IME, no scientific testing done, but clearly much better than anything with FET direct drive. Olight DNA (they do know how to make a driver).

Probably my two most-used torches, the M3 particularly has been my EDC for a couple of years. Brassed through the anodising on the corners, but looks all the better for that. Dependable too, unlike many others that I could mention.

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Thanks for the nice review. And I love the idea of mode lock, never thought of that and it sounds very useful: you can lend out the flashlight without having to discuss the (existance of the) user interface.

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Tom Tom wrote:
I have the original M3, and the X5 (a recent version, there have been several detail changes over the years), both in 5C.

I would not describe the tint as neutral, it is much warmer than that. I see no green at-all. No idea what the CRI is, but is shows colours well, and penetrates in typical UK misty, rainy and foggy weather, where a cold white tint would just bounce straight back.

The full kits come with very good cells. If you track them on Gearbest they sometimes come on sale. I paid about $15 for each of mine. Should have bought more as gifts.

Very good torches, with some obvious Olight DNA. But the surface finish is not in the same class as Olight (few things are). I like the UI and emitter choices better than Olight.

No PWM, whatsoever, and I have looked hard for it. And seemingly very efficient IME, no scientific testing done, but clearly much better than anything with FET direct drive. Olight DNA (they do know how to make a driver).

Probably my two most-used torches, the M3 particularly has been my EDC for a couple of years. Brassed through the anodising on the corners, but looks all the better for that. Dependable too, unlike many others that I could mention.

You are completely right, 5C is Warm White! I was thinking about 3B or C, which are “Neutral” Facepalm
I believe CRI will be about 70 on those LEDs, but the warmer tints will surely render colour in a better way and help on foggy situations as you said!

The Led on my M3 Pro is CW, and I didn’t have the time to “test” it on foggy situations, but I assume it will create a “white wall”!

Hum, about the Olight DNA, yup, its true! The only thing I miss on this, if compared to the S1R, is the direct access to Moonlight as I mentioned on the review! That would be perfect for EDC (for me, I mean)! Wink

I understand what you say about the anodizing/surface, but even if this is more permeable to scratches, it is still a different “ano” that is quite resistant! Not so shinny and “soft” in some aspects, but quite competent in my opinion! And it surely gives a “not-so-many-black-flashlights” in my collection Big Smile

About the LED, similarly to what I’ve done with the Wuben E05, I may try to put a Luxeon V on this just to check how it will work! I wish Olight did the same too SillyEvil

djozz wrote:
Thanks for the nice review. And I love the idea of mode lock, never thought of that and it sounds very useful: you can lend out the flashlight without having to discuss the (existance of the) user interface.

Thanks djozz! Yes, the MODE LOCK is one the most ingenious things this (or any light with multiple levels) could have!! Party
We can always have access to the “Special Modes” but locking a specific one can be pretty useful!! Not only to lend the light but also in situations like “I only need Moonlight to locate something in the dark but I forgot which was the last mode I used!!” > Single click for ON and OFF and it’s done!!

It is an overall good light, and very competent in what it proposes to its users Wink

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As I mentioned on the review, I decided to experiment something on the M3 Pro, with a TIR optic (frosted) I have!
Here are some photos showing the results in terms of beam!
If I manage to do that, I will take some photos outside tomorrow night to check distance illumination Smile

Some beams only with TIR:

And, left to right:
NO Reflector nor TIR >>> Frosted TIR >>> OP Reflector (original)

bhstinger
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MascaratumB wrote:
bhstinger wrote:
Excellent & thorough review!

I have the 5C NW version (3800-4000k) and it does have some noticeable green tint, especially at lower levels.
So if you hate green tint, go for the CW version. Other than that it is a great light as noted above.

Thanks Wink
Hum, well, I thought that a NW Led would diminish that shift! This one, maybe due to the orange peel reflector, doesn’t have a massive shift, but it still has some!
That’s why I put the TIR optic to improve it a bit more Wink

But it is a really great light, indeed! Wink I hope you enjoy yours as well!! Party

Do you happen to have a link for the TIR lens you used? It looks like a really nice upgrade to try. Did you have to modify anything for it to fit?
Enjoying the light very much Thumbs Up

MascaratumB
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bhstinger wrote:
MascaratumB wrote:
bhstinger wrote:
Excellent & thorough review!

I have the 5C NW version (3800-4000k) and it does have some noticeable green tint, especially at lower levels.
So if you hate green tint, go for the CW version. Other than that it is a great light as noted above.

Thanks Wink
Hum, well, I thought that a NW Led would diminish that shift! This one, maybe due to the orange peel reflector, doesn’t have a massive shift, but it still has some!
That’s why I put the TIR optic to improve it a bit more Wink

But it is a really great light, indeed! Wink I hope you enjoy yours as well!! Party

Do you happen to have a link for the TIR lens you used? It looks like a really nice upgrade to try. Did you have to modify anything for it to fit?
Enjoying the light very much Thumbs Up

Yes I do! Here it is, bought from AliExpress Store: Yajiamei Optics Co.,Ltd.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/CREE-XML-lens-With-holders-23-3mm-Bead-s...

Later I will add some outdoor comparison with Reflector vs Tir Optic Wink

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As promised above, some comparison on night shots, of the M3 Pro with TIR (Left) and OP reflector (right).

Not much different is felt in terms of range, despite the OP reflector throws more than the frosted TIR! Other than that, I do prefer the TIR due to the widest illumination and the more homogeneous beam !

__________

And a beam and tint comparison from On The Road M3 Pro (XPL-HD CW + Frosted Tir Optic) (left) with the Wuben E05 (right) :
(also posted on the Wuben E05 thread )

House – 65-70 m


Please note that the LEDs produce quite different tints, but both provide a good distant illumintation. Obviously, the Luxeon V is not reaching the 900 Lumens that stock XPL2 produced, but it has a nice range, still!
The OTR, having a frosted lens, has a slighly diminished throw (if compared to the reflector) but it’s still very nice at distance!