This is my review of the XTAR R30 1200 flashlight!
The flashlight was sent for review by XTAR, after being contacted by Hailey/xtarflashlight, to whom I thank for this opportunity. :+1:
There were no other compensations than the flashlight and its accessories.
This is the official flashlight thread on BLF: .
And this is where more information about the flashlight and purchase can be found: XTAR R30 1200 USB-C 21700 Flashlight With Power Bank Function
There are 2 purchase options one with and one without battery. In the Xtar store at AliExpress the first sells for around 83€ and the second for around 69€.
If you want to check some published reviews:
Here is my video review:
- Body Colour: BLACK
- Material: Aluminium
- Emitter: XP-L2 (Cool White)
- Lens: Glass (non AR Coated)
- Reflector: Smooth (SMO)
- Battery: 1 x 21700
- Switch: Electronic Side Switch
- Reverse Polarity Protection: Yes (not stated, but tested)
- Low Voltage Warning: Yes
- Max runtime: 70hours
- Max beam distance: 226m
- Max output: 1200 lumens
- Candela: 12820 candela
- Waterproofness: IPX6
- Impact resistance: 1.2m
- Built-in charging: USB to USB-C :+1:
- Powerbank function: Via USB-C cable :+1:
- Low voltage protection with cutoff: NO
THE PACKAGE, FLASHLIGHT & ACCESSORIES
First of all, this is my first Xtar flashlight, and it is only my second flashlight product, being the first the Xtar PB2 charger/powerbank.
The version I received for review is the “SET”, but there is also a “KT” version (no battery). This package included:
the Xtar R30 1200 flashlight, a user manual, a protected button top 21700 4900mAh 3.6V 17.64Wh battery Xtar branded, an Xtar branded USB to USB-C charging cable, and 1 o-ring.
I suppose that a lanyard is missing but…I guess I can grab one among my 60 ‘laying around’ lanyards…
The box in which these are packed has some general information about the flashlight parameters and specifications. Don’t forget to check the back of the box for your “anti-counterfeit” verification code and the warranty/serial number
First of fall, I learned that Xtar R30 1200 is the evolution of the previous R30 version (reviewed by selfbuilt at CPF). I won’t focus on the previous version, but on the recent one as you may understand.
So, taking a look at the flashlight, what do we have?
Well, this is not a small flashlight, it is not something that you can easily carry in your jeans’ pockets! It can go in a coat pocket, though, or in some cargo pants…on the side pockets of course Of course, it is a 21700 light, but it is a quite long flashlight. Despite this, it is not very heavy, when in comparison with other - smaller - flashlights.
Overall, it is well built, with no machining or construction flaws, as far as I could see! The shape of the flashlight is done to provide a good handling.
In what concerns the grip, the combination of the anodizing and the knurling pattern seem to be make the R30 1200 a bit slippery. The knurling pattern is made of small rectangles that go along the flashlight tube, not in diagonal, which does not stop the hand from letting the light slip. But, the tailcap is larger than the tube, so it acts as a “natural” stopper in this case.
The flashlight is constituted by 3 main parts: head, tube and tailcap.
- The head has 2 identifiable parts:
- the first, in the front, is larger and rounder (with some “petal” indentation outside), and has a un/screwable bezel, glass lens, o-ring, SMO reflector, white gasket and copper MCPCB with the XP-L2 emitter. Thermal paste is abundant below it. The lens is not AR coated, and is quite thick. All the internal materials seem to be of great quality and robustness. Near the bezel there is the logotype engraving on one side and the “hot surface” engraving on the other
- the second part is right below the first one, it has some vertical knurling or grooves that can be seen as “cooling fins”, and it is where the driver (held by 2 screws), the side e-switch and the charging port are placed. The parts where the side button and the charging port cover are placed are more flat than the rest, allowing a good opposition between thumb and index (or other fingers, depending on how you hold the flashlight). A bit below the charging port is inscribed the serial number, and bellow the rubber button there is the model number engraved. The silicone cover of the charging port covers it well, has a small tip to pull it out, but seems to be a bit fragile if pulled too hard. As for the silicone button, it is translucent to let the indicator leds shine (RED or GREEN)
- The tube has thing but well anodized square threads, on each side. There is an o-ring on each side, too. The tube is not reversible, and the upper part threads seem to be larger than the bottom ones. As mentioned above, the tube has some knurling outside, without machining flaws.
- The tailcap is slightly larger on the base, making it larger than the tube, but not larger than the head diameter. Outside it has 2 big lanyard holes (paracord lanyard will have no problems to fit here!) and has some knurling too. Inside there is a golden spring not too soft, not too hard. The spring doesn’t seem to be easily removable, as there are no holes in the retaining ring.
The tailcap can be unscrewed to allow power disconnection, which in the case of this flashlight may be a good thing!!!
Still on the head:
(yeah, I know, it says XHP35, but it is not, it is a XP-L2 )
As seen above, the lines of the R3 1200 flashlight are quite simple but it effective in terms of handling.
Before advancing to some functional aspects, let’s check the dimensions and weight:
As I mentioned, this is not a small flashlight. I just didn’t knew that my calliper would be too small for it So I used a ruller. Official length is 158.2mm:
These are the diameters of each part: top of the head > base of the tailcap > tube > lower part of the head.
As for the weight, I have smaller lights weighing more, so this is not a heavy flashlight, despite all!
After presenting the structural parts, let’s enter the functional side of this flashlight.
For that, I will start for the switch/button.
The switch will shine or blink RED or GREEN depending on different situations.
- It will be GREEN when:
a) the flashlight is ON and the battery level is between 25% and 100%.
b) the battery is completely charged through the flashlight charging port
c) the flashlight is being used as powerbank and the battery level is within the same levels as above
d) when the flashlight is OFF and the battery level is below 3.1V (then turns to constant RED when the level is even lower)
- It will be constant RED when:
a) the battery level is between 18% and 25% (hard to determine the voltage corresponding to each level)
b) the battery is being charged through the flashlight charging port
c) when the flashlight is OFF and the battery level is below 3.1V (indicating the need to charge the light)
- It will be on a smooth blinking RED when:
a) the battery level is below 18% (approximately below 3.2V)
b) the flashlight is being used as powerbank and the battery level is below that same level
c) when the flashlight is OFF and the battery level is below 3.1V (indicating the need to charge the light)
GREEN & CONSTANT RED while ON
GREEN & CONSTANT RED while OFF (indicating low battery levels)
Concerning the battery level indication, I must admit that the XTAR R3 1200 has a somewhat inconstant behaviour. Or maybe I don’t know nothing about this!
The first time the switch turned RED due to battery voltage was when it dropped below 3.58V. However, after that, and for most of the times, it turned ON in GREEN. Even with the battery below 3.1V it turned ON in GREEN, and later turned into RED or blinking RED, depending on the use.
If the flashlight is turned OFF and the battery is removed for, let’s say, capacity measurement, when we turn it ON again the switch may be GREEN and stays that way until the flashlight is used again for a while, and only after that it goes constant or blinking RED.
The constant RED seems to “wake” when the flashlight is used on High or Turbo for a period of time and when the battery is, simultaneously, below 3.5V.
The blinking RED was activated for the first time when the flashlight reached the 3.18V and after some continuous use. It continued blinking till the flashlight is turned OFF.
This note is because in other lights with indicator LEDs, when the battery drops below a certain voltage, the flashlight recognizes that and starts alerting accordingly. On the R30 1200, there are different ways and voltages for the switch to activate. I am not sure if the flashlight reads some kind of response from the battery, but it is not completely consistent or constant.
The second functional aspect I am focusing is charging and use as powerbank.
First of all, charging is done through the USB-C port the flashlight has in the opposite side of the switch.
As mentioned above, one will know that the battery needs to be charged when the switch turns constant or blinking RED. When charging the switch will be RED, and when charged the switch will be GREEN.
The charging took 4 hours from 2.75V up to 4.16V. I unplugged the cable when the button turned GREEN, and then plugged it back again for some more minutes, but the charging value didn’t change, it remained at 4.16V.
The flashlight can be used while in charge, both with and without the battery, with less levels. Strobe and SOS can also be activated.
Despite this, I would advise not to use the flashlight while charging, nor with nor without the battery. Only in emergency case, of course.
Concerning the use as powerbank, it works this way: plug the USB-C cable into the charging port and the plug the other part, with an eventual adapter for micro USB or USB-C. Then plug your phone or a flashlight or other device to that part of the cable and the discharging/charging starts.
The switch light will shine according to the level of the battery inside, so it can be GREEN, constant RED or blinking RED.
Similarly to the charging process, while being used as Powerbank, the flashlight can be used, but with all the different levels and modes available.
I don’t have ways to measure the charging /discharging current, so please check other reviews for it. :+1:
But I do have the possibility to check that the lack of “Low voltage protection w/ cutoff” led the battery to levels below 2.8V and that was when I stopped my test. (Of course, before of this I had the Low Voltage warnings though the constant and blinking RED!!!)
The accessories included in this SET version of ther Xtar R3 1200 include:
1) A protected button top 21700 4900mAh 3.6V 17.64Wh battery Xtar branded/wrapped. It is longer than an unprotected flat top cell (ex: Vapcell T50, in red), but it is still smaller than other protected 21700 cells, such as the Wuben battery (in blue/black). The SET version has the battery while the KT version does not!
It arrived charged at 3.68V.
Comparing the Xtar with the Vapcell battery, we see that the Xtar protrudes a bit more. Despite this, and given the springs on the driver and the tailcap, the shorter battery can also be used. I am not sure about longer batteries, though, such as those that have charging circuit incorporated.
The included protected button top XTAR battery VS the unprotected flat top Vapcell T50.
2) An Xtar branded USB to USB-C cable with around 60cm length. Seems a good quality cable but there’s not much to say about it, right? Unless that I need to say that this is not a cable to transfer data, and can only be used for charging purposes!
3) An o-ring, which I will skip in terms of photo
4) A user manual written in Chinese and English. The information provided is good although some things are strange, namely what concerns the point “6. Memory function”, according to which the flashlight would have a 3 seconds OFF memory. As you’ll see below in the User Interface part, it has some kind of memory, but not as described. And like many other brands and manufacturers, it lacks information about Reverse Polarity Protection and Low Voltage Cutoff.
5) A ghost lanyard . I have dozens spare that I can use I believe that the complete SET has it
The Xtar R30 1200 has a simple user interface. Despite this, I confess that – for my taste – it could be improved with a shortcut to the highest level.
To power ON the flashlight, put the battery into and the front LED will blink once when screwing in the tailcap.
There are 4 regular levels (Low, Medium, High, Turbo) and 2 blinky modes (Strobe, SOS). The Strobe seems to be of single frequency, but sometimes there seems to be a gap in the pattern, so I cannot be completely sure
The flashlight has a mix of memory/no memory for the regular levels. The blinky modes cannot be memorized but have direct access through shortcuts.
This is how the R3 1200 can be operated:
- Single click: turn the flashlight ON in Low
- Press & Hold (1.5s): turn the flashlight ON in the last regular level used (independently of the time the light is OFF)
- Double click: activates Strobe
- Triple click: activates SOS
- Single click: advances in the regular levels in the sequence Low > Medium > High >Turbo > Low…
- Press & Hold (1.5s): turns the flashlight OFF from any level or mode
- Double click: activates Strobe (double click goes to Low, triple click activates SOS)
- Triple click: activates SOS (double click activates Strobe, triple click goes to Low)
When the battery level is quite low, below 3.1V (eventually), only 3 levels can be used: Medium, High and Turbo. Awkwardly, it is not L, M and H, but M, H and T.
By this time the side switch will be already lit up with the corresponding mood (GREEN, constant or blinking RED). When clicking to turn the flashlight ON it will turn ON, but the lowest mode is not visible, so only clicking further you will have the front LED turned ON. Yes, it is an awkward thing because, since the switch is already turned ON due to low battery, there is no way to know if the flashlight is ON or OFF (in this particular situation).
I like that from OFF there is the possibility to go the lowest mode. I wish there was a shortcut to Turbo.
OUTPUT & RUNTIME
I cannot show in graphics how the flashlight behaves in terms of long runtimes. For that I would advise you to check zeroair or FLASHAHOLIC reviews linked above.
However, I did a 10min video showing how the flashlight behaves in terms of output during that time. Also, I measured temperature in several occasions. Keep checking the video (you can chill out meanwhile :D) and my comments start around minute 8.
Here it is:
As for the relation between the different levels and their runtimes, these are the specs from manufacturer.
This is the place to post some of the current readings.
Please allow some margin of error considering the amateurish when doing the measurements :innocent:
- First, the different modes. It does not exceed the 3A on Turbo, which allows the flashlight to have that constant stable output seem for the 10 minutes, and also a relatively low temperature that prevents the flashlight from being hot.
- Second, when the flashlight is completely OFF (left) or when the side switch is lit up (GREEN or RED) even if the front light is OFF (right).
NOTE: According to these readings, the parasitic drain, or quiescent current, seems to very high, even if this flashlight has a 21700 cell. I would advise to twist the tail cap and disconnect power if the light is stored with the battery inside!
As always, here are some photos comparing the Xtar R3 1200 and other flashlights of my “collection”!
Vs Convoy S2+ (18650)
Vs Olight M2R Warrior (18650)
Vs Brinyte PT18Pro (18650)
Vs AmuLuxeon (18650)
Vs Astrolux EC03 (21700)
Vs Wuben T70 (1 and 2 x 26650)
So far I wasn’t able to take some outdoor beamshots so what I will do here is show some indoor beamshots to show you the beam pattern of this flashlight.
First of all, this flashlight has no visible PWM, even under the camera.
Concerning the beam pattern, knowing that this light has a Cree XP-L2 (cool white) under a smooth reflector (pristine, flawless in terms of machinining, but with an apparent blueish invisible coating!!!), I guess it is more or less guessable… that the beam will have some tint shift! :zipper_mouth_face: And fortunately it is not an AR Coated lens, or it would eventually worsen it.
The hotspot is white, the corona is yellowish, and the spill is a mix of colours, from yellowish, greenish, blueish and white. An XP-L HI Led would have been a much much better choice for this flashlight, and even an XP-L HD could have been better than the XP-L2.
Here’s how it looks like. Please note that the camera settings were changed to better portray the illumination sequence, so the highest outputs are, of course, exaggerated.
This is how the beam looks, and the reflections it makes “outside” de main beam itself!
And here’s a comparison between the Xtar R3 1200 (left) with 2 other lights just to show the differences.
Vs Olight M2R Warrior (XHP35 HD, NW, OP reflector)
Vs On The Road M9 (Nichia 219C 5700K, pebbled TIR)
As soon as possible I will add some outdoor beamshots to this review to show how the flashlight behaves in terms of distance and range illumination.
Well, I must confess, I have a mix of feelings regarding this flashlight. Some are good, some not so much. I will point out what I consider for each “block”.
Before that, I guess that an important aspect must be emphasized when assessing this flashlight: this is not an EDC light; this is made for sports or camping or outdoor activities .
So, the use of a CW led gives more output and eventually more visibility when using it.
Also, the lack of a lower low level is on purpose, as outdoor situations normally imply higher outputs.
On the other hand, not being a “pocket rocket” nor a “lumen chaser”, i. e., a powerful flashlight in terms of output, it has an excellent runtime on max output which is what people search most of the times for those activities, without burning the hands
This does not remove the possibility to improve, but it justifies some options on its design, in my opinion.
And now what I think:
What I like
- the overall machining and construction of the flashlight, and the simple but effective design
- the output stability on Turbo for at least 10 minutes, without a significant decrease during that time
- the thermal management of the flashlight specially during those 10 minutes, but that certainly continues further
- the USB-C charging and the possibility to use it as powerbank
- the included battery (on the SET version)
- the relatively high runtime on the different levels
- the direct access to the lowest level, although it is not a “moonlight” level
Things to be improved
- anodize the flashlight with a less slippery coating and/or eventually make a different type of knurling pattern
- utilize a different LED (Neutral White would be better) to avoid tint shifts without compromising efficacy
- implement a lower Low level
- implement a shortcut to Turbo
- avoid long press for OFF!!!
- implement an effective Low Voltage Protection to stop the cell from dropping below 2.8V
- implement Low Voltage Warning in a better way so that users know when the battery is below a certain voltage
- reduce the quiescent current to avoid a big parasitic drain
- implement a better charging port cover, as the current one seems a bit fragile (over time)
- I will probably change the LED for something like an XP-L HI or eventually an Osram W1 or W2, considering that the a) the SMO reflector seems to be good for it, and b) the current is quite good to use these last LEDs.
And this is it! If you have any questions or comments, please leave them here. Later on I will add some outdoor beamshots to show what this light does
Once again I would like to thank to Hailey and Xtar for this opportunity! :+1: