April 27, 2014

Olight i3S Flashlight

Flashlights. I like them, use one almost every day, and I've written about three of my flashlights before (link is here). The EagleTac D25A Mini flashlight mentioned in that post is a nice torch, but for various reasons I don't carry it often. Reason 1: my front left jeans pocket is where I carry my flashlight and my phone, and there isn't enough room to comfortably carry the EagleTac (it's a fat AA light). Reason 2: the butt end of the EagleTac has a "sharp" edge that scratches my baby soft hand skin from time to time when I reach into my pocket. Reason 3: I find that my smaller AAA flashlights generate more than enough output for my everyday needs.

What does all of this mean? Why, a new AAA flashlight of course. I've had this little gem for a while, but have been too lazy/busy to write about it. I've carried and used it enough to say with utmost certainty: "the Olight i3S AAA flashlight is very nice."

The i3S is an update of Olight's i3 flashlight, which had some shortcomings. The i3S is available in several different colors, including the shiny blue version I acquired. Features and specs of interest include: Cree XP-G2 LED emitter; three output modes (0.5 lumen moonlight mode; 20 lumen low mode; and 80 lumen high mode); snap-on pocket clip; keychain. The Internet tells me that the i3S goes for about $25.00 (as of April 2014).

The i3S is very compact. It is about 70 mm long, and it's noticeably shorter than my Preon P1 (also a AAA flashlight).

AAA Battery, i3S, Preon P1
What's to like about the i3S? I personally like the reversible clip, which can be handy when I need to fashion a headlamp out of a baseball cap. The keychain is nice and sturdy, although I removed mine. The back end of the i3S is flat (good for tailstanding) and it has a smooth rounded edge that plays nice with my soft and supple skin.

I really like the moonlight mode of the i3S, which outputs a mere 0.5 lumens. Some may think that 0.5 lumens is useless, but I think it's a great option for times when you don't need a strong blast of light. My only gripe is that it takes three twists to reach the moonlight mode . . . the twisty UI of the i3S cycles through the following sequence: Low > High > Moonlight > Low > High > Moonlight > Strobe. I understand why the sequence begins with Low, but I kinda wish it started on Moonlight. Don't get me started on the ridiculous Strobe mode. Oh well, perfection is hard to find.

Small Things Come In Small Packages
One final note. Olight packages the i3S in a cool plastic box that includes a AAA battery. This is a nice touch, although simpler packaging might result in a lower price point. Whatever, for $25.00, the i3S is a great buy. Overall, I'm impressed and very satisfied with the i3S.