Olight, which is currently celebrating their 15th anniversary with a flash sale, sent over a new Warrior 3S LED flashlight for review.
I have only been using the flashlight for a short time, but given that it’s included in their current promotion, I thought it would be best to hurry things along. I will continue to use the flashlight and will provide any updates should I learn more.
Olight markets the new Warrior 3S as a tactical light, and as with most other tactical-leaning LED flashlights, the Warrior 3S can also be used by civilians as an EDC (everyday carry) flashlight.
Meaning, you don’t need to treat this as a tactical flashlight, it’s fine for everyday types of uses.
However, as with Olight’s other standard form factor tactical flashlights, the Warrior 3S has a side button and tactical tailcap.
The side button can be used to cycle through the lower 3 brightness modes, while the tactical tailcap can be used for medium brightness when pressed halfway for “momentary” mode, or maximum brightness when fully depressed.
The way I use and have used Olight’s smaller Warrior and Warrior 2 flashlights, I use the side button for most tasks, and the tailcap when I want instant-on maximum brightness without having to cycle through any modes.
You can program the flashlight with a strobe mode as well, if you’d like.
This is not a small flashlight, but it’s also not very large.
The Olight Warrior 3S is about the size of a traditional 2x CR123A flashlight from Surefire and other brands. The 3S is powered by a 21700-sized rechargeable LED battery with 5000 mAh charge capacity.
As with other Olight flashlights, the Warrior 3S has a “customized” battery and conveniently charges magnetic tailcap and USB charging cord. A wall adapter is not provided.
The Warrior 3S comes with the same holster that was packaged with the M2R Pro Warrior.
Compared to the M2R Pro Warrior, the Warrior 3S has received a complete overhaul, with updated grip, pocket clip, control dial, and a much smoother and subtler crenellated bezel.
The user interface came as a surprise, but instantly won me over. There are two sets of 4 indicator LEDs. On the left, the LEDs indicate the current brightness level. On the right, the LEDs indicate the remaining charge capacity.
Compared to the Warrior Mini 2, the Warrior 3S is a distinct step up in size.
Warrior 3S Key Features & Specs
- 2,300 lumens max brightness
- 23,000 cd max light intensity
- 300 meters max throw
- 1.5m drop test
- IPX8 waterproof rating
- Proximity sensor
- Programmable tailcap switch
- Direct turbo (default) or direct strobe modes
- Side switch for mode selection
- Moon, low, medium, high, turbo, strobe, lockout
- Magnetic tailcap charging
- Smoother crenelated bezel
- Nylon holster is included
- Includes customized 21700 5000mAh battery
The proximity sensor dims the light if it detects an obstruction, such as if you accidentally turn the flashlight on when it’s in your pocket. The flashlight also features a lockout mode, and you can also disable the proximity sensor dimming if necessary.
As with other high-power LED flashlights, the Warrior 3S steps down when in higher brightness settings, to help control temperatures.
According to the spec sheet, the flashlight can sustain 2,300 lumens for up to 2.5 minutes, 800 lumens for 160 minutes, and 250 lumens for 39 minutes. That’s for turbo mode. For high mode, it can sustain 800 lumens for 166 minutes, and 250 lumens for 39 minutes.
The flashlight can deliver 13 hours of runtime at medium brightness (200 lumens), and 130 hours at low (15 lumens).
At the time of this posting, the 3S is available in black and gunmetal grey.
Flash Sale Price: $87.47
Regular Price: $124.95
Flash Sale Ends at 11:59pm ET 4/25/2022
Thank you to Olight for providing the review sample.
I have not taken any measurements yet, but I would describe the beam output to be a broad spotlight. Many tactical LED flashlights have a very bright and focused spotlight. The Warrior 3S is focused, and it’s definitely bright, but its central spot is wider than the other tactical lights I have at my disposal.
The Warrior 3S also has less spill beyond its broader central spot, thanks to its TIR optic lens.
Its close-up usefulness will be limited unless you dial-back the brightness to one of the lower modes, but the broader central spot should make it more suited for work or outdoors-related illumination tasks.
I tend to prefer smaller flashlights for EDC use, but was surprised that the Warrior 3S is around the same size as my 2x CR123 lights. The 3S is a little longer than most, but with a comparable sized body and narrower lamp head.
The crenellated bezel is much less aggressive than on the M2R Pro Warrior, and the Warrior 3, which preceded this 3S model. If you’re not a fan of sharp crenellations, you’ll probably be content about this. If you were hoping for a sharp and aggressive bezel, you’ll be disappointed.
The upside is that the flashlight is a little easier and more comfortable to pocket-carry.
Olight says that the Warrior 3S is for hiking, camping, self-defense, and law enforcement. For everyday users, the clear benefits, in my opinion so far, is in the brightness, throw, and runtime.
Speaking personally, this is not well-aligned with my rechargeable LED flashlight preferences. I love the side switch and tailcap options, but for me the Warrior 2 is a more perfect size.
Once my testing period is complete, the flashlight will go to a train worker I know will take advantage of the flashlight’s brightness, throw distance, runtime, and durability, and I also know they will love the included holster.
The holster features a D-ring, quick-release closure flap, and two styles of belt loops. There’s a loop for passing your belt through, and also a button snap option, so that you can choose between quick or secure attachment.
That’s something I like about Olight. Not every product they release will suit my needs, but it seems they think things through and are constantly iterating.
The Olight Warrior 3S is an impressive next-gen tactical and EDC LED flashlight.
I’m not giving my test sample away so quickly, and will be putting some more miles on it.
Do you have any questions?
No view on tint or cri?
It’s “cool white,” and there’s no information on CRI.
The central spot is bright cool white, and I’m unable to capture or characterize the central beam tint, as there’s no distinct color for me to comment on. The outer rim of the central spot has a purple tint, but most uses and users will be unaffected by periphery tints. It’s output is cooler/whiter than my Warrior 2 Mini sample, which tinges yellow, but I can’t tell if this is by design or bin variation.
I don’t know of any high CRI Olights. My assumption is that the brand often or always opts for cool white emitters for output priority, and so the CRI is whatever it is.
There are several surprisingly good K(elvin) meter reading apps for iPhone (and I’d imagine for Android as well) that appear to be as usefully accurate as our dedicated color temp meters.
Ain’t tech grand?
Thanks, I’ll check them out!
(I am generally biased against smartphone apps that claim to replace or match separate measurement equipment.)
I wouldn’t want to do any audio testing that used a phone microphone as a reference source, but I imagine at least some cameras have image sensors that are calibrated sufficiently to be useful in CRI testing.
I found some reviews that were not favorable.
“App does not measure spectrum. iPhone does not have spectral sensor. I compared this apps readings to Sekonic C7000 spectrometer and a Photo Research PR670 ($20,000 instrument). This app’s readings are completely wrong.”
We’ve come a long way from the Weston and Spectra analog meters that I used in my younger days. I still remember applying the Ansel Adams Zone System – and also under exposing Ektachrome to get greater color saturation. I also think that I looked at a Gossen color temp meter – but concluded that I’d never be a studio photographer – so why bother. Now I mostly just let my Canon digital select the exposure for me and snap away – but once in a while I will bracket one stop up and down – or bring out my old meters and Leicas with some T-Max loaded for nostalgia’s sake
Great overview, though I’m personally not a fan of most olights; I find their light tint either on the too blue or too green side of things.
5000K is usually perfect for me if it’s from a quality emitter.
Bought $175 of Olight last night. I EDC the i5r currently and thought I’d get the Warrior 2 mini LE. They also have some very good pocket knives.
I like Olight a lot. I think they hit a sweet spot for inexpensive high-power LED flashlights that don’t require a guidebook or an extensive list of safety precautions to operate. Quality is high and the user interfaces are comprehensible.
I don’t think this one is for me (I don’t use my flashlights to fight crime) but those are pretty good specs for the price. I would like to add something to my collection with more “throw” one of these days – but maybe the “Seeker” would be a better fit.
Matt the Hoople
For EDC purposes, I much prefer a single AAA size light. I normally have the rechargeable Streamlight microstream with me at all times. Despite its limitations, it is extremely convenient to have on ones person at all times. I do have “tactical flashlights” placed in “tactical locations” for “tactical situations”.
I find it interesting that they reduced the crennulations on a supposedly tactical flashlight. Their purpose is to allow the flashlight to be more effective when used as a striking or pressure weapon.
I do like what Olight has come up with as the interface which allows for tactical use in the conventional fashion via tail cap and more EDC oriented task use via the side button making this more of a multi purpose light. Also, really like the brightness and battery life indicators. I have an archer flashlight that has a side button for adjusting the brightness, but I never know which brightness it is actually on unless I cycle through all the settings. On a rechargeable flashlight utilizing a proprietary battery set up, I think the battery life indicator is invaluable. When the light dies, you can’t just stick a new battery in and keep going. It is out of commission for a while while it recharges at least partially. This is maybe the biggest drawback to the USB rechargeable micro stream. With that light, I have just gotten into the habit of plugging it in and topping it off every few days.
I would like to see this interface including the status lights on a more homeowner/task oriented flashlight.
Matt the Hoople
On a homeowner/task flashlight, I think an adjustable flood to spot beam would also be a great feature.
Off topic…. Stuart, I don’t recall seeing it, what did you ever decide to do about your father’s mag light?
They eventually got back to me with options. I’ll be seeing my parents again soon, and will collect his flashlight. I haven’t decided yet whether to order the replacement part from their warranty department, or send it back for repair. I was told to call them – they couldn’t arrange for the parts via email, and I haven’t done that yet.
In the meantime, I gave him a Pelican 3AA flashlight to use, and haven’t made any decisions about complementing that with something a little more powerful. I have an older but infrequently used Streamlight that I’ll see if he likes. (I actually bought the Streamlight for him, told myself “I should probably test it myself for review” and never passed it along.)
Matt the Hoople
Please be sure to let us know what you end up doing.
I too and considering replacement of a couple of mag lights. I have LED upgrade bulbs in them but the beam is still pretty terrible. Was at Home Depot the other day and saw they have a series of Energizer and a similar series of husky lights ranging from about 600 to 2000 lm with prices from about $15-$40. Other than not being a bright color like you wanted for your fathers flashlight, they seem like a good option for a walk the dog, run out to the shed type of application. Not sure of the quality or mode of operation however. May pick one of the middle of the road ones up to try it out.
I never trust a flashlight sold by a company thats main business is to sell batteries. (Energizer/duracell)
In my personal experience/opinion, they seem to eat batteries faster than normal.
I own an Olight Baton S2R II Flashlight and while I liked it, some of it’s features were not quite right for me. The big down side was the magnetic charging cable, because it meant another cable to deal with. I do a lot of hiking, along with a flashlight, headlamp (Nitecore NU25 w/ UL Headband from Litesmith.com) and cellphone, I carry a battery pack (NiteCore F21i) for recharging. I just didn’t want to add the magnetic cable to the stuff I needed to carry.
So I ended up buying a Sofirn SC31Pro Flashlight. Now all I need is a short (4″) Usb-C to Usb-C cable with a Usb-C to Usb-A mini Adapter (for the headlamp) and I can charge all my electronics. The SC31Pro uses a 18650 battery and produces a max of 2000 lumen at a max distance of 226 with an IPX-8 waterproof rating. I actually lost one in the snow and found it a month and a half later, it turned right on and worked perfectly. It also uses an open-source operating system that can be used to fine-tune the light to work the way you want, it’s called Anduril 2.0. I’ve been very happy with this flashlight and it’s worked flawlessly for me. I actually own 2 since I bought a replacement when I lost my first one in the snow.
Right now it’s on sale for less than $30. The big downside – it’s made in China.
Olight not only is made in China, but their website is clearly made somebody who does not speak English as a first language – and the site designers have never designed a site. Look at how this page renders https://www.olightstore.com/about-us.html
They are also very careful not to say where their products are made.
Finally, these products do not have UL certification (but they claim FDA certification ( https://www.fda.gov/radiation-emitting-products/electronic-product-radiation-control-program ) but this does not replace UL.
that said, I have three Olights and I like them, but given their recent recall issues (and the fact that the recall information is buried on their website) , I’m not sure that I trust the company
They recalled my warrior pro 2 a couple of months ago because of over heating. Other than reaching in my tool bag and getting burned I thought this was the best tactical flashlight I’ve ever owned. I’m an avid flashlight owner have at least a dozen. I use then for just about every use amaginable. After some wrangling with Olight they replaced it with the warrior 3, they wanted to give me the 2 mini. I told them if I wanted the mini I would have purchased the mini.
Any how I’m enjoying the W-3 just not sure I love it as much as the pro 2 it replaced. I’ve only used it for a couple of wks now time will tell. I will say very high quality and I anticipate having it for a long time.
(The 3S featured here has a proximity sensor that avoids the potential overheating issues the Warrior 2 Mini and M2R Pro Warrior were recalled for.)
I fussed a lot with olight over my Warrior pro 2, and they wouldn’t budge. I still haven’t mailed it in for the credit, I was going to wait on a flash sale and buy the W3, but guess now I’ll get the W3S.
The way they handled this recall was (is?) a disgrace and is another indicator that this really is a Chinese company.
I believe the full name of the company is: Shenzhen Olight e-Commerce Technology Co., Ltd.
Most flashlight folks barely tolerate Olight – the lights or the company itself. I have a couple but I don’t really use them, preferring many other lights which are better, less expensive, and not locked into proprietary overpriced cells that are often unavailable. They do have nice looking lights and acceptable quality (“high” quality is debatable here especially when you compare to many other less expensive brands and what they offer these days).
They are shady, though, and nobody should be fooled into thinking otherwise. Props for successfully carving out a niche for themselves in a very crowded dog-eat-dog market. Their responses – active, passive, and absent – to the CSPC recall was really shameful, though. Focused solely on greed and profit, which is not uncommon anywhere and surely not among many Chinese manufacturers that deal directly with the public these days, but Olight has shown their colors more than once. Frankly there are just a handful of flashlight companies that are really stand-up operations, but to many now Olight just isn’t worth supporting. They nudged me over into that crowd. Not so much a baby-with-the-bathwater thing, just that they consistently show very little concern for the consumers and the hobbyists/enthusiasts where rubber meets road.
If they ever bump the quality to match the pricing they’ve chosen to settle in, and if they started to be more communicative and honest, they might win me back. For now I’ll continue to save money and have better lights with cells that I can buy for far less money and usually get better performance from as well. Plus emitter choices that are very, very nice and hosts that are generally easy to access for repairs or mods.
I found that they handled the recall as well as any other brand.
I have found their quality to be good, and customer support to be decent. They had some hiccups over the past two years, just like most other brands that had to learn to work remotely.
While enthusiasts knock on the battery choices, there are huge benefits for more casual users and anyone new to rechargeable LED flashlights.
I recently bought a Streamlight Stylus Pro USB. I’ve looked up its specific type of cell 5 times, and I keep forgetting. If I ever need a new battery, it’s likely to be a Streamlight replacement.
I bought a light that takes 16340 cells, but doesn’t come with one. Picking the appropriate cell took a lot of research. Even the maker wasn’t sure to recommend, as their brand of choice was discontinued a few years ago.
Olight offers decent quality, broad selection, and they keep churning out new designs, and not just special colors.
I have given Olights to friends and family, and most are unlikely to graduate to anything further. They’re happy with the brand.
So far, I’ve been happy with the brand too, even though they don’t satisfy all of my requirements all of the time.
They actually did not – if it were more of a forced recall they’d be in hot water for the stunts they tried to pull with many customers who contacted them. It’s possible they truly do not fully understand the US market and laws/systems.
With the proprietary batteries, some of that is their desire to keep $ in house (like we see with power tools and so many other products), and part of it is a legitimate tweak for their charging circuit design. Some of their lights can use regular cells at the expense of not being able to charge in the light, and some are really locked in to their proprietary cell. That’s a big disadvantage in terms of costs – and quite frequently the availability of their own cells. The little 16340 Baton SIIR or whatever it is…I gave up trying to get their cell for it and just run Vapcell and Shocklii in them now (I’d rather charge on a real charger anyway so I don’t miss the onboard/cable). But it’s been quite a long time since they have had them available, and then additionally if they have one of their (nearly weekly) “flash” sales, they always deny the purchase of cells and accessories during that time, even if a customer is happy to pay normal price for the items and just include them in their sale-light order. It’s almost like they don’t want to sell them.
They certainly aren’t the worst but they are in a dangerous middle ground between the big established brands and all of the up and coming brands. Many feel that Olight and Lumintop could just disappear and that would be ok.
I’m still in the process of returning several recalled lights; I filled out the form early, waited for the shipping label, but it never came. I then realize it arrived early on and I missed it.
I believe I’m supposed to get replacement lights and credits, will report back once all is said and done.
I haven’t been following community discussions about the recall, will take a look. I did encounter issues filling out the forms, and they answered me quickly via chat.
Whether they have “customized” batteries to sell more batteries or not, magnetic tailcap is definitely a user-friendly convenience.
You can find Olight batteries at their dealers, and with no “sorry, we won’t sell this during flash sales to streamline shipping” gaps in availability.
Maybe it’s too cost prohibitive for them to ship batteries direct internationally unless they’re in stock at US warehouses, I don’t know.
I ordered another Olight during the flash sale – another Baton 3. It’s not my favorite light, but it’s currently my most well-used due to its form factor and convenience.
Hopefully they make it easy for you. Filtering out the idgits’ comments/experiences (where they were clearly not reasonable customers) it does seem like Olight was trying to do everything they could to NOT refund/replace lights, but rather forcefully suggesting that customer’s take one or two other alternatives that didn’t involve what normally takes place in product safety recalls. It’s just something you never see with most companies but the attitude is one that is somewhat typical with many Chinese businesses (and that is not a derogatory comment…just the truth).
Most of the retailers that offer their batteries/accessories have also been out of stock for a long time and some charge exorbitant prices (this, because Olight doesn’t have a strong wholesale program…to say nothing of the whole MSRP strongarm game…).
Their new bamboo-look host almost got me to order one – that’s actually pretty cool and while they’re not the first to come up with that, they did a better job with the finish detail than any others have done. One of those lights that I don’t need and would likely not use, but would be a fun shelf/collector item to have (i.e. disposable income fun money). However, it does not appear to be easily modified (opened, in this case) and that’s a deal killer for me. Their emitter choices continue to be mostly cold white, which is just kind of irritating once you compare all of the wonderful bins and temps of various emitters that are available today (and generally no price difference, or just pennies, which they can easily absorb into their higher retail pricing). It’d be nice to swap in a good emitter to that light but it looks like destructive removal is the only way to access the head. Most of their other lights are a little bit of a hassle to modify but can be done.
If you don’t need proximity sensors and other wingdings, but want better drivers and firmware, maybe nicer emitters, check out some of the more popular “budget” brands like Noctigon/Emisar (Int’l Outoors), Sofirn, Wurkkos, and the time-tested Convoy lineup (Fireflies also, maybe). Lots of other very good ones as well. Honestly once you’re inside most of these lights and see what they’re using, it’s a little off-putting to see how little many are adding, considering their costs (Olight, Acebeam, Jetbeam, Armytek, Fenix…to a large degree Nitecore as well). Zebralights is a standout, though, mostly due to their excellent drivers.
After all that, I will say that Olight has some sometimes-innovative and/or interesting aspects in some models. The proximity sensor being one, although many feel that is more of an irritation than a good feature, and it was instituted as an unnecessarily complex solution to the simple problem of just designing a light with a better protected switch, or firmware options that help to prevent accidental turbo use, etc. Drivers are where the money is, and the time/R&D/cost/expertise. I don’t know if Olight actually designs their driver circuits in-house or not but they could sure do a lot better there and they certainly have the profit margin to do so, with or without an accompanying price increase. They could increase their warranty service as well…they do ok but are pretty spotty, it seems, but that is not unusual in the flashlight world.
Gosh, I wrote a book…!
Also, let me add, I do appreciate your site and content a lot. I may come across as a gripey argumentative old codger sometimes, just on a few subjects, and it comes from a healthy dose of skepticism over time. But despite that you always have healthy and respectful discourse here, which is awesome…thanks!
Unfortunately (made in china) I like my Coast zoom-able pocket light. One battery, one switch, one bright enough option.
These tactical lights are cool enough, but not practical for “just turn the light on and light up the area”.
I’m spoiled on 18650 x1 lights with daylight color and no bullseye. They can be very small and “pocketable” A high-quality battery lasts a long time.
I have bought 1 olight, and that will be my last. After having many pairs of pants, and hoodies ruined by it.