XTAR R30 1200 Flashlight Review

XTAR R30 1200 Flashlight Review

Today I have in hand the XTAR R30 1200 flashlight, which offers substantial upgrades to the original.  USB-C charging and powerbank functionality among others! Read on!


Official Specs and Features

Here’s a link to the XTAR R30 1200 Flashlight product page.

XTAR R30 1200 Flashlight Versions

There is only one version of the XTAR R30 1200 Flashlight.  This is a generation 2 though, so there are substantial upgrades here versus the original.

Price

I’m not sure yet where the XTAR R30 1200 Flashlight is available for sale!


Short Review of the XTAR R30 1200 Flashlight

While the XTAR R30 1200 Flashlight is overall larger than I’d really want for an EDC style flashlight, this light offering powerbank functionality is very nice.  For that reason, I can excuse the size (a little bit).  Like the other XTAR, I just reviewed, how much of a value this light is will come down to the price.  If the price is reasonable, then this will be a good purchase.  That is to say:  the market here won’t leave too much room for this light to be expensive.

Long Review

The Big Table

XTAR R30 1200 Flashlight
Emitter: Cree XP-L (W2)
Price in USD at publication time: ?
Cell: 1×21700
Turbo Runtime Graph High Runtime Graph
LVP? Warning
Switch Type: E-Switch
Quiescent Current: Around 5mA when off, up to 7.5mA when indicating (!!!)
On-Board Charging? Yes
Charge Port Type: USB-C
Charge Graph
Power off Charge Port with cell: level 2 only
without cell: level 2 only
Claimed Lumens (lm) 1200
Measured Lumens (at 30s) 1001 (83.4% of claim)^
Candela per Lumen 17
Claimed Throw (m) 226
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 577lux @ 5.447m = 17119cd
Throw (Calculated) (m) 261.7 (115.8% of claim)^
All my XTAR reviews!

^ Measurement disclaimer:  I am an amateur flashlight reviewer.  I don’t have $10,000 or even $1,000 worth of testing equipment.  I test output and such in PVC tubes!!  Please consider claims within 10% of what I measure to be perfectly reasonable (accurate, even).

What’s Included with the XTAR R30 1200 Flashlight

XTAR R30 1200 Flashlight what's included

  • XTAR R30 1200 Flashlight
  • XTAR 4900mAh 21700
  • Charge cable (USB to USB-C)
  • Spare o-ring
  • Lanyard
  • Manual

Package and Manual

XTAR R30 1200 Flashlight manual

XTAR R30 1200 Flashlight manual

Build Quality and Disassembly

XTAR R30 1200 Flashlight feature photo

In general, I’m going to let the photos describe the build quality.

Overall it’s fine.  Nothing exceptionally good or bad stands out.

You’ll see later in the dimensions but this is a long flashlight.  Very “baton-y,” I think.

XTAR R30 1200 Flashlight bezel

head

The body here has knurling but it’s like “mini Kit Kats.”  Not traditional knurling (and that’s fine.)

body

tailcap

Threads are long, anodized, and properly lubed.  Loosening the tailcap just a smidge will lock the light out mechanically (and you’ll want to do that.)

XTAR R30 1200 Flashlight tailcap removed

Both head and tail have springs.  Only the tailcap comes off, even given my best no-tools-used effort to remove the head.

head and tail springs

I have a sneaking suspicion that the bezel can be unscrewed.

Size and Comps

Officially 158.2mm long, 36mm in head diameter and 28.4mm in body diameter.  The weight without cell is 148.

If the flashlight will headstand, I’ll show it here (usually the third photo).  If the flashlight will tailstand, I’ll show that here, too (usually the fourth photo).

XTAR R30 1200 Flashlight in hand

Here’s the test light with the venerable Convoy S2+.  Mine’s a custom “baked” edition Nichia 219b triple.  A very nice 18650 light.

And here’s the light beside my custom engraved TorchLAB BOSS 35, an 18350 light.  I reviewed the aluminum version of that light in both 35 and 70 formats.

XTAR R30 1200 Flashlight beside torchlab boss 35

Retention and Carry

The only means included for carry of the XTAR R30 1200 flashlight is a lanyard, which attaches on the tailcap.

lanyard holes

The tailcap attachment is “almost” quite nice.  XTAR has thought of the tailstanding-with-just-one-hole issue, and provided cutouts to allow the lanyard a place to rest while tailstanding.  They just don’t work all that well.  Just throw two holes in there, and we’ll call it good.

lanyard installed lanyard installed

There’s no pouch and no pocket clip.

Power and Runtime

XTAR includes a 21700 cell with the XTAR R30 1200 Flashlight.  It’s a 4900mAh button top.

included 21700

This is a standard cell, but you’ll need to use a button top in the light – otherwise, the cell will be too short.

xtar 18650

The cell is installed into the flashlight in the usual way: positive end toward the head.

xtar 18650 installed

Below you can find a few runtime tests.  I’m not really sure why the output is jagged in this way – it certainly doesn’t seem to be a modulation due to temperature….  It’s very unlikely that you’ll notice this in use though.

I did not observe low-voltage protection, but the indicating switch is very bright, and very positively alerts to low voltage.  The indications are as follows:

Solid green: 100-25% power
Solid red: 18-25% power
Flashing red: <18% power

That’s maybe a bit of a strange breakdown of power bands, but it works fine.  By the time the red is flashing, you probably want to manage your cell – voltage might be in the <2.6V range.  This is definitely time to recharge your cell.

I didn’t note a way to turn off this battery indication.  That’s a bit frustrating.

Charging

The XTAR R30 1200 Flashlight has built-in charging, by way of a USB-C charge port in the “head area” (not really head, because the light is so long – let’s call it the “shoulder”?)

The port has a decent press-in rubber cover.

USB-c charge port

XTAR includes a USB to USB-C charge cable with the light.

USB-C to USB-C works well too, and I’ve included data for that in the graph below.

While charging, the indicating switch is red.  When charging is complete, the switch turns green.  Note at the beginning of the charge cycle, there’s a sort of “soft start.”  That’s good since the light can discharge the cell below 2.6V.  Past that, the CC phase of charging is quite quick, at over 2A.  Charging stops “a bit” early at around 4.12-4.13V, but the additional mAh to top the cell up to 4.2V is minimal (around 80mAh.)

Powerbank

The XTAR R30 1200 Flashlight also serves as a USB-C powerbank.  This is a remarkable and surprising addition to the feature set.  As far as I can tell, XTAR doesn’t really make any output claims, but it is USB-C.  I performed a bit of testing and saw a peak over 3A.  That’s with a fairly dramatic voltage drop, though.  However, the system will output around 2A (actually just over, at around 2.1A) while staying at or around the USB voltage specification.  I’ll have a graph for you in a bit.  The output looks positively steady at 2.1A though, while voltage fades downward.

Shutoff was at 3.08V.  I stepped the current down when voltage began to fade, from ~2.1A to ~1A.  As a powerbank, this is pretty good performance.

Below is the same data as above, but zoomed into the first couple of minutes where I ramped current as high as it’d go before shutting off.

Modes and Currents

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Measured Lumens Tailcap Amps
Turbo 1200 2.6h 1001 2.62
High 650 3.4h 453 0.93
Mid 300 9.1h 179 0.32
Low 30 70h 27 0.06

Pulse Width Modulation

There isn’t PWM on any modes, but each mode does have a sawtooth.  This isn’t perceptible.

For reference, here’s a baseline shot, with all the room lights off and almost nothing hitting the sensor.  Also, here’s the light with the worst PWM I could find.  I’m adding multiple timescales, so it’ll be easier to compare to the test light.  Unfortunately, the PWM on this light is so bad that it doesn’t even work with my normal scale, with is 50 microseconds (50us).  10ms5ms2ms1ms0.5ms0.2ms.  In a display faster than 0.2ms or so, the on/off cycle is more than one screen, so it’d just (very incorrectly) look like a flat line.  I wrote more about this Ultrafire WF-602C flashlight and explained a little about PWM too.

User Interface and Operation

Only one switch controls the XTAR R30 1200 flashlight.  It’s an indicating e-switch, and can indicate red and green.

indicating e-switch

The switch is proud, and flat, and has a white cover.

indicating e-switch profile

All in all an “ok” switch, but very great for diffusing the indicating colors beneath.

indicating e-switch green

Here’s a UI table!

State Action Result
Off Click Low^
On Hold Off
On Click Mode advance (LMHT)
Any Double click Self-defense strobe
Strobe Double click Low
Strobe or SOS Click No action
Any Triple click SOS

^ The manual states that there is a “Memory function” which “is designed to memorize brightness level, it will be activated after 3 seconds from turning off the flashlight.”  I did not experience this memory, and couldn’t go through any button clicks to indicate that there is actually memory.  That’s great for me (I don’t like mode memory) but I wish to understand better what the manual means here.

LED and Beam

XTAR has put a Cree XP-L (W2) in the R30 1200 flashlight.

emitter

I have a sneaking suspicion that the product page might have had a naming difficulty, though, and that this is a Cree XP-L2, just like in the B20 1200 I just reviewed.

smooth bezel

The reflector used here is smooth and deep.

smooth reflector light is on

These beamshots are always with the following settings:  f8, ISO100, 0.3s shutter, and manual 5000K exposure.

Tint vs BLF-348 (KillzoneFlashlights.com 219b version) (affiliate link)

I keep the test flashlight on the left, and the BLF-348 reference flashlight on the right.

I compare everything to the KillzoneFlashlights.com 219b BLF-348 because it’s inexpensive and has the best tint!

Conclusion

What I like

  • USB-C charging
  • Charging at around 2A is nice and quick
  • Powerbank functionality
  • Complete package includes 4900mAh cell
  • Cell is standard aside from the (also standard) button top
  • User interface is fairly straightforward
  • Indicating switch seems to do just enough

What I don’t like

  • High quiescent current with or without indicating switch lit
  • Can’t turn off indicating switch (though it does turn off on its own after some time)

Notes

  • This light was provided by XTAR for review. I was not paid to write this review.
  • This content originally appeared at zeroair.org.  Please visit there for the best experience!
  • For flashlight-related patches, stickers, and gear, head over to PhotonPhreaks.com!
  • Use my amazon.com referral link if you’re willing to help support making more reviews like this one!
  • You are invited to support me on Patreon.  Feeding all these lights is expensive!  And funding Fun Fund Friday even more so.  I deeply appreciate your support!7
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