Olight has a new flash sale kicking off in a couple of days (6/17/2021 at 8pm ET), featuring several new products, including the Warrior Mini 2.
The Warrior Mini was a hugely popular EDC flashlight, with it and the Warrior Mini 2 being described as intended for EDC or tactical use. I can’t speak to its tactical suitability, but the Warrior Mini is an excellent everyday flashlight.
Key Features & Specs
- 1,750 lumens max brightness
- 5 brightness modes, optional strobe mode
- IPX8 waterproof rating
- Weighs 4.3 oz with battery, pocket clip, and lanyard clip
- 4.65″ length
- 0.98″ head diameter
- 0.91 body diameter
- Reversible pocket clip
- Carabiner-style ring accessory
- Magnetic charging (cable included)
- Powered by a customized 3500 mAh 18650 battery
Olight Warrior Mini 2 vs. Warrior Mini
Olight sent over a review sample of the Warrior Mini 2 for me to check out. Their Father’s Day 2021 flash sale hasn’t kicked off for most customers yet, but I wanted to get this review out early in hopes some of you find it useful.
I have been able to put some time in with the flashlight, and will update this review if any new insights or opinions come to mind.
For me, the biggest question was about how the Warrior Mini 2 compared to the original.
At first I thought the Warrior Mini 2 was a minor update, but there are quite a few changes, and their significance depends on users’ wants and preferences.
To start off, the Warrior Mini 2 has a smart proximity sensor. This automatically dims the light if the lens is obstructed. If the lens remains obstructed, the flashlight turns off after 60 seconds.
Olight sent several emails about the Warrior Mini’s lockout mode, and I got the feeling that some new users were experiencing unintentional in-pocket activations. With the Warrior Mini as bright and powerful as it is, unintentional activation could mean a lot of heat.
So, it seems to me that this new proximity sensor that helps to avoid ill consequences stemming from unwanted in-pocket activations. There is still also a lockout mode.
The Warrior Mini 2 also has a more pronounced crenellated bezel.
There are two pocket clip positions, depending on which way you want the flashlight pointing in your pocket. The Warrior Mini 2 pocket clip is also longer than the one on the Warrior Mini.
The secondary pocket clip position comes with a removable split ring connector. You can use that as a lanyard attachment point, or for the included ring-shaped carabiner clip. Both the lanyard ring and pocket clip can be used in either location.
Additionally, the pocket clip is bi-directional. This gives you a lot of flexibility in how you could carry the flashlight.
Part of the extra height of the Warrior Mini 2 is due to a new reflector. In addition to housing the proximity sensor, the new bezel and reflector throw an improved beam shape.
The Warrior Mini 2 has tighter and brighter central beam, and its flood spill is much more defined than with the Warrior Mini.
Finally, the beam appears to be clean and bright white. Olight says that the new color temperature is around 6000K to 7000K, but it seems a doesn’t seem quite that cool to me. In the image above, the older model appears to give off a blue tint, but this is not visible to my eyes. Against a white wall, there’s not much different in color tint between the two models.
The Warrior Mini 2 will launch with 3 body color options – black, desert tan, and “mountain sky.”
Should You Buy One?
With the Flash Sale pricing, the Olight Warrior Mini 2 will be $67.46 for black or desert tan, and $71.21 for mountain sky.
There will also be new user discounts – $10 off $60+, and $15 off $99+.
This is not an “I’m new to EDC flashlights or rechargeable flashlights” kind of light. if you wait, there’s bound to be another flash sale on the Warrior Mini 2 later in the year, or perhaps on a different light more suited to your needs, although possibly not on these same colors.
Is it an upgrade to the Warrior Mini? Absolutely. It is brighter in the center, and thanks to the upgraded reflector, the beam shape seems improved and refined. The proximity sensor is a neat and potentially helpful addition, although I’ve learned to habitually use the lockout mode with my Warrior Mini.
Additionally, the Warrior Mini 2 has the upgraded pocket clip positions, so you can carry the flashlight bezel-down. If you don’t swap pocket clip positions, there’s also the lanyard clip at your disposal.
I think that Olight made some fantastic updates to the Warrior Mini 2. Most of the changes are improvements – added features or bumped-up brightness, but there is a tradeoff – added length compared to the Warrior Mini.
I’m tempted to buy the Warrior Mini 2 in “Mountain Sky” finish, but I already have several Warrior Mini samples and a purchased light, as well as the Warrior Mini 2 in black as shown above.
Although flashlights like this don’t perfectly align with my tendency to do more close-up work, I really do like the side and tailcap activation buttons, and that’s a big reason to stick with this model over others.
The tailcap can activate 2 different brightness modes or momentary mode, and the side button allows for cycling between modes.
If I didn’t have any Warrior Minis, I’d be compelled to buy this as my “one and only” EDC flashlight, with a headlamp or smaller floodlight as a complement for close-up work where a strong central beam might be a disadvantage.
Despite Olight’s description of the Warrior Mini 2 as a defensive everyday carry flashlight, I think it’s perfectly well-suited for general purpose everyday carry.
Size-wise, it’s about at the limit of what I’d consider comfortable for pocket-carry. Any larger, and I’d think the Warrior Mini 2 would need to come with a belt pouch.
I think a lot of people will be happy with the new Warrior Mini 2, although it’s not for everyone. If you want a broader and more diffuse beam shape for closeup work, or you don’t find multiple brightness modes useful, you can probable save some money and get something different or more basic.
Buy Now via Olight
Olight Flash Sale
Olight will be offering several Warrior Mini + i3T EOS flashlight bundles as part of their 6/17-6/18/21 flash sale.
The black and desert tan bundles will be $71.44, and the mountain sky bundle will be $74.69.
The Warrior Mini 2 is rated at delivering 1,750 lumens of illumination, and it can sustain this for 4 minutes. After that, it drops to 500 lumens for 206 minutes, after which it drops to 200 lumens for 40 minutes.
Similarly, its second brightness mode can deliver 500 lumens for 218 minutes after which it drops to 200 lumens for 55 minutes.
Its 3rd brightness mode can deliver 120 lumens for 19 hours. 4th and 5th modes deliver 15 or 1 lumens for 164 hours or 45 days, respectively.
The “customized” 18650 battery allows for magnetic tailcap charger, for which you’ll need your own USB charger. Standard 18650 batteries won’t work.
As with other Olight flashlights, the Warrior Mini 2 has different configurations and different activation methods. If you’re on the fence or simply want to learn more, definitely look at the online manual.
Finally, lockout mode is strongly recommended. This requires holding the side button for 2 seconds. Lockout is disabled by pressing the side button for more than 1 second.
These flashlights can put out a LOT of heat, and you need to be careful about not putting pressure on the tailcap especially. This is also a benefit of the Warrior Mini 2 – with the pocket clip positioned at the rear, you can easily carry the flashlight bezel-down, which *might* help with unintentional activation.
“This is WAY TOO MUCH Flashlight for Me!”
Perhaps consider the 1xAA i5T EOS instead? This is a very good light, and I would recommend that you pair it with Energizer lithium batteries.
The 1xAAA i3T is also a good buy, and there are usually a couple of color options. This is the same light that’s also presently available in a mountain sky color scheme.
The i3T is an excellent compact and low-frill pocket flashlight, and I’m sure it’s been more than one person’s gateway flashlight.
On one hand, it’s clear to me that the Olight products are the superior lights in the assortment of everything we have here. The multi-function button is terrific. On the other hand, due to the simple designs of most of the other lights here, I frequently have to think about operation of that button. Not a huge deal, but it lingers in my head that I’m confused, and it’s only because of too many alternatives. If they were the only lights I had or I used them more often, I’m sure that confusion would dissipate quickly.
For me, the Olight I3E (tiny, single AAA) is the creme de la creme. I put a short piece of 3/4″ vinyl tubing over the body for teeth, and it came out of the box with a good lanyard too.
Even those tiny Olights are impressive. I really like the I3E too!
That’s actually what I like about these Olight lights – it takes seconds to realize what the tailcap button does and what the side button does. If you need more advanced functionality than that, the condensed user manual will reveal slightly more functionality.
I have even more complex lights that allow for custom programming, but default settings work well for me most of the time.
Having different options can be beneficial if one’s needs or wants change over time.
It does require some learning, but the instructions are pretty simple. For example, to get to strobe mode, press the side button 3 times.
Having a more sophisticated flashlight can help alleviate common frustrations. For instance, a non-smart flashlight might start at high when you would prefer it to start at low power, or another might start at moonlight mode when you want high power. Lights with different options and memories help better align a flashlight’s operations to users’ specific preferences.
With Olight, I generally have to refer to a manual to remind myself of special modes, but tailcap operation and side button operate are very intuitive and come back to me in seconds.
Koko The Talking Ape
I have to say, I’m in the simpler is better school, even if you lose some function. Flashlights are small, and don’t have much space for clear markings and controls. So everything tends to be done by one button, which is poor design.
You can see the same issue in some tiny cameras, but at least with cameras, you also have a large display which can show you menus and such. Slow and clunky, but at least it’s an option.
But with a flashlight, you need one most when you can’t see anything, including the flashlight. You may also be in a hurry. So I prefer a flashlight with super-simple controls.
If I were designing a more sophisticated flashlight, I would have one button for on-off, and a separate control, either a slider or twist knob, for intensity. For example, a slider might just have momentary “more” and “less” positions, so you flick it forward to increase brightness, and back to decrease (and it defaults with a spring to the center.) I know there are flashlights designed this way.
Those mechanical controls would be possible failure points, of course, and also might allow water or dust to enter. Making them reliable would mean cost, and probably also bulk.
I always thought a slider for intensity would be better. I don’t like having to cycle through all the different modes to get to the one I want.
Having one button for momentary and full power, similar to tactical-style flashlights from Surefire and the such, is good for simplistic control.
Having a side button is good for mode-shifting.
This has become a popular combination in more premium flashlights, and it works.
Sliders tend to move on their own, and knobs are more costly and complicated to implement.
The two-button combination works for a lot of flashlights, and they also allow for easy one-handed operation.
If you grow accustomed to one flashlight’s two-button interface, you can easily use any brands’ similar controls.
Some of Olight’s smaller flashlights have just a side switch, and I’ve grown to like them, as they put mode control within easy reach during use.
If you (Koko) are up to it, I have a brand new-in-box Warrior Mini (not the 2) if you want to give it a try. Just be sure to use the lockout mode when carrying it, and read the safety instructions before use.
Koko The Talking Ape
I’d be glad to! (and flattered.)
I’ll PM you my address.
I like that beam shape when using a flashlight outdoors. It’s really handy for spotting things in the distance – checking on cows after the sun has gone down in the winter, for example. I’ve no doubt, considering the beam shape and power, that this flashlight will have impressive throw. That looks like a very good lens considering the size.
I generally prefer a wider beam (such as on my Nitecore EC4s) if I’m trying to illuminate a space or do work closer-up. A wide beam gives up throw though – in part because you can be blinded by objects close-up and unable to see the light that reaches farther.
Stuart – how about a review of the Maurauder. Just knowing it exists makes it want one… even if I don’t know what I would do with it. 😄
The Marauder is one of the few Olights I haven’t tested yet. It’s almost a light cannon, and one I don’t think I’d have any practical use for.
I was going to give a Warrior X to my father (I ordered a lot of flashlights and got a LOT of freebies last winter holiday season). Before heading out there, I tested it briefly without even charging the battery to full power, said “nope, nope, nope” when I saw its “low power” beam profile and put it back down.
My only concern on this is the customized therefore likely proprietary battery. I have a couple Lights, very happy with them.
i haven’t tried a 18650 in my warrior mini, but on my older lights I’m able to use a regular 18650 in the light, i just lose the charging functionality. The customized battery physically has a negative ring around the positive, but still has a negative on the other end.
I tried it last night and didn’t work, now I’m wondering if the other battery was charged or not. Will try again tonight. I know some of the smaller lights are compatible.
Things might be different here because the high power does need batteries capable of delivering higher current.
In the same vein, if I put the “wrong” 18650s in my Nitecore EC4s (e.g. not capable of high drain) or if the good ones are not reasonably well-charged, I can’t use the “turbo” 2200 lumen mode. It only goes up to high (~1100 I think).
I live in a rural area. Although I just have a house, there are farms all around. At night I have pitch black farm fields behind my home.
I have the Marauder 2 (as well as the Javelot, Odin, Seeker and many others) and it lights like no other light I have.
Just about every other light I have have a narrow beam for distance (varying with each model), and a weaker flood area beam, that can help make you aware of something in your proximity, but not well illuminated. The Marauder lights up the whole area quite evenly and to quite a good sized are; I never really measured it but it feels you are on a movie or photography shoot.
It is very impressive and I am sure there are other flashlight makers that have lights that are floods more than throwers, but not sure there are many that match this torch. On the Olight side, aside from the Marauder X9R, which is the only current Olight I do not have, the are no other models that are in any way close to the Marauder 2. The Seeker may be the next best flood, but far behind the Marauder 2.
It is built very, very solid and it is big, like holding a beer can in your hand, and weight expected for the size. There are “special” settings but it does varying intensity and can also be set for flood or straight ahead like a thrower….but the thrower is like 4 louvers that eliminate the beam shooting to the sides an gives you a Square beam shooting straight ahead, with no additional distance.
Basically, you buy this because you want a strong and powerful flood, not a thrower.
**** Looking at the Marauder X9R, its max distance is bested by the Javelot, and Warrior X Turbo, both throw about 70% further, as well as others that throw about the same X9R, I would guess that the 25,000 lumens are being focused mainly as a flood. and being that the Marauder 2 is 12,000 Lumens, I would guess the X9R must be a super impressive flood.
Thanks for the info!
While I like the lineup and bought a handful last year, I’m mightily confused about the naming convention and, like others have said, while the different light levels are great, navigating the different levels can be difficult at best.
OTOH, the dimmest level makes it great at night to navigate stairs and hazards (dog sleeping at the top/bottom of stairs) without waking you up fully.
The magnetic charging is great too and I keep one of the lights in the car with the charger glued into the center console. For this application I would like to see an option for a shorter attached cord.
The proximity sensor seems like a really good solution. There was a Facebook group this past holiday season that included a lot of a) owners showing pictures of clothing they’d accidentally burned through with the Warrior Mini, and b) posts pushing back on those complaining about the Warrior Mini.
I really want to go with some Olight but the proprietary charger just becomes too much of a hassle with as much travel as I do. It’s easy till you forget it somewhere. The Milwaukee rechargeable lights have become my go-to work flashlight. For EDC style I’m still either a Surefire with 123 batteries or a little thin AAA MKE light.
If your point is that it’s easier to source a standard USB charging cable than a spare Olight charging cable when traveling, I agree.
Personally, I’d rather pack an Olight magnetic USB charging cable than an 18650 cell charger.
There are several other reputable brands that feature in-light charging via micro USB or USB-C. You don’t need proprietary batteries with many of these, just a standard USB cable and wall plug. Take a look at Thrunite and Sofirn for example.
Olight is fine, but there are many other great options out there.
Olight used to have some USB rechargeable lights – S1 Baton comes to mind. They must have transitioned away from it for whatever reason.
The only one I know of that uses that style now is the I1R that uses a micro USB. I like that light by the way – but it’s not a high power light. More like a surprisingly capable keychain light. Or, on the other end of the Spectrum, I think the Marauder has USB-C charging.
For an 18650 cell charger – check out the universal magnetic usb charger. I have it and it’s great. Super compact and handy since it can charge cells of various sizes and works with NIMH or Li-on. I pack it for camping trips in case I want to recharge one of my flashlights – this way it doesn’t matter which one.
I bought that for testing, but for my own use I generally use a separate charger, except for batteries with built-in USB. It does seems convenient to travel with though, and I forgot about it here.
I haven’t sorted out my feelings about in-flashlight-charging yet.
I like Olight’s system better than having to plug into a USB port, but I also don’t have to worry about sourcing a charger when travelling. When travelling, I’ll usually grab an AA or AAA light or CR123 with an AA/AAA as a backup.
In theory, I like having options – being able to swap batteries and charge with standard USB methods.
The magnetic charger is compact enough that it barely takes up more space than a spare battery carrier.
I like knowing that Milwaukee’s RedLithium flashlights can charge the battery in the tool itself, but I typically just swap the batteries and charge via external chargers.
With these Olight flashligts, even the smaller ones, I generally don’t fully run down the battery in a single use, and so if travelling I’d charge them first.
I thought I had set preferences, but my usage habits don’t seem to reflect them.
The universal magnetic charger isn’t without drawbacks, it’s just a very nice solution in the right context. Keep in mind it’s slow and only does one cell at a time.
Agreed. It’s simple and elegant, and as you said not without drawbacks.
That proximity sensor sounds like a real winner. I have an Ledlenser P7 Signature and, literally, just the other night I discovered it on in the pocket of one of my coats. The incident came very close to a disaster with the heat produced inside the pocket by the light enormous. Had I left my jacket elsewhere, I could have lost the flashlight (and at $200 that would have hurt), a coat ($300 more pain) and, possibly, my house (I don’t even want to describe that sort of pain in a dollar value). While I still find Ledlensers to be the nicest torches to use by a considerable margin, the company stopped innovating a while ago. Buying the Signature was a mistake caused by being around on the day of its launch combined with a 33% discount on that day. I compounded the mistake by giving my brother my MT10 (no longer sold where I live) before I had given the Signature a proper workout. If I had, my brother would have received the Signature for Christmas and I would still have my beloved MT10. While I am too enamored with the overall quality of my Ledlenser to switch to Olight, smarter people probably should , if just for the proximity sensor alone. If you are not convinced about how good an idea a proximity sensor is, just try holding a 2000 lumen flashlight by the head, rather than the tail. That will convince you very quickly.
I still go for the compact E12 v2 from Fenix store. It is small but produces bright light and is of high quality, a very reliable EDC.