With the lumens race still heating up, finding innovative ways to cram incredible light into ever shrinking packages has become the norm. Revisiting previous torches with iterative advancements is also something Olight is known for. Combining these two givens into one torch can yield some very interesting results
Meat and Potatoes
I stand corrected. Previously I stated that I didn’t know if it was terribly possible to shrink a 3x18650 flashlight to much smaller dimensions than those describing the Olight SR Mini. Today, I hold in my hand the latest revision to that light, the SR Mini II and it at least feels smaller. Not tremendously, but smaller. Not only that, but more lumens have been shoehorned into this compact package at the same time.
Olight has lately become known for their penchant for re-releasing lights with buffed specs, decreased size, and/or UI alterations. The SR Mini II is a culmination of at least two of these. Increasing from 2800 lumens to a monstrous 3200 on the limited time turbo mode. Even the standard high mode is bumped to a much more lofty 1600 lumens. There’s a lot of power here in such a small package. Surprisingly however, without the two lights being viewed side by side, it’s incredibly hard to spot the difference between the two. The logarithmic and adaptive nature of our eyes works hard to filter out those kinds of differences.
Light on the SR Mini II is still produced by a trio of Cree XM-L2 LEDs sitting behind a prismatic diffusion lens. This time though, that lens texturing is much finer to the point of almost appearing frosted instead of the obvious honeycomb structure of the original. The resultant beam pattern appears essentially identical though. Smooth and wide illumination that covers enormous area. Power to those LEDs is supplied by a trio of 18650 rechargeable cells, or double that up and run it with CR123A’s. Built into the body of the light is a handy USB Micro recharge port. Just make sure you don’t try using that with disposable primary lithium cells. Oddly enough, this time around the SR Mini II will function on only one or two cells, unlike the original SR Mini. This is a feature I’d only recommend in emergency situations however, since the drain on that one battery will be 3x what the light is normally designed for.
User interface has been brought more in line with the vast majority of other Olights on the market at present. It really fits in quite well with the Baton series. Single click to activate in the last used memorized mode. Double click from off for Turbo output, which steps down to high automatically to prevent overheating. Long click from off to start in low. This means if you leave the light’s memorized mode as medium, you can easily maintain access to minimum, maximum, and somewhere in between directly from off.
Build quality definitely holds up to the best that Olight has to offer. There isn’t a sharp corner or rough edge on the light. The stainless steel bezel only comes in one model this time, instead of the weird double options found on the original. This one is a blend between the two, sporting a tri-blade crenellated pattern that’s less aggressive than the previous crenellations, but more so than the flat option of the last gen. It’s a good mix.
The only portion of the build that I’m not 100% sold on is the small, plastic sliding cover over the USB port. This seems very likely to get jammed with gunk, or simply break over time. It is definitely a sight less robust in construction than literally everything else on this flashlight. If I had to pick a weak link, this would be it.
That’s it. Really. This light isn’t a be all-end all solution, but instead a purpose-built tool designed specifically for powerful illumination of a large area. The more specific a light gets, the harder time I have finding anything to criticise. I like that. Make bold choices for your light, and be unapolgetic about what it can’t do, provided it’s reasonable.
Big. Powerful. Sturdy, and yet surprisingly compact for what it is. I find the light great for evening walks or setting up campsites in the dark. It works beautifully for late night beachcombing. Just don’t try to check on the sleeping baby with it, or find the bathroom in the middle of the night without disturbing the rest of the house. Choose the light for its intended purpose. If you do that with the right tasks in mind, the SR Mini II works out fantastically.
Provided for review by the kind folks at Going Gear.