RovyVon Search S23 Flashlight Review
RovyVon has introduced the Search S23, an interesting new flashlight. It features USB-C charging as well as claiming 4000 lumens! Read on!
Official Specs and Features
Here’s a link to the RovyVon Search S23 flashlight product page.
There’s just one RovyVon Search S23 flashlight, but it’s available in two colors. There’s black (seen here) and Gunmetal, which is a gray color.
MSRP for the RovyVon Search S23 flashlight is $129.95, regardless of the body color you pick. This does include a Samsung 50E 21700 cell (which you can see here in this review.) You can buy the RovyVon Search S23 flashlight on amazon.com (referral link) right now.
The RovyVon Search S23 flashlight is an incredible and interesting light, packed with features and outstanding at most of them. The claim of 4000 lumens is not a joke, and the output is truly very high. Even the lower modes are exceptional, and the rotary (ish) interface works well, making the light very predictable.
The Big Table
|RovyVon Search S23 Flashlight|
|Emitter:||Cree XP-L HD (6500K)|
|Price in USD at publication time:||$129.95 and it’s available on amazon.com!|
|Quiescent Current (mA):||0.15|
|Charge Port Type:||USB-C|
|Power off Charge Port||with cell: lowest 2 modes
without cell or tailcap: lowest mode only
|Claimed Lumens (lm)||4000|
|Measured Lumens (at 30s)||2411 (60.3% of claim)^|
|Candela per Lumen||4.4|
|Claimed Throw (m)||200|
|Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s)||Turbo: 768lux @ 4.969m = 18963cd
High: 440lux @ 4.882m = 10487cd
|Throw (Calculated) (m)||Turbo: 275.4 (137.7% of claim)^
High: 204.8 (102.4% of claim)^
|Measured CCT Range (K)||6500-7500 Kelvin|
|Item provided for review by:||RovyVon|
|All my RovyVon 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).
- RovyVon Search S23 flashlight
- Samsung 50E flat-top 21700
- Spare o-ring
- Charging cable (USB to USB-C)
- Spare charging port cover
- Manual etc
Package and Manual
Build Quality and Disassembly
There’s a lot going on with the RovyVon Search S23 flashlight. I’d say most features you could think of that this light might have, it seems to have. That’s not a slam on build quality, of course – build quality is great.
RovyVon has another 21700-cell light, the S3 Pro. Broadly speaking the lights are similar but the S23 has a much better build. That’s nothing specific, though. It just is a clearly better-made light. If I had to point to one thing, it’d probably be that the cell tube walls feel thicker.
The tailcap has a big beefy spring, that’s actually nested spring. I think this offers more cell contact.
Inside the light is a spring for contact on the positive end of the cell, too.
I didn’t force on it, but the bezel didn’t seem interested in unscrewing.
Size and Comps
138mm x 30.7mm and 188g
If the flashlight will headstand, I’ll show it here (usually the third photo). If the flashlight will tailstand, I’ll also show that (usually in the fourth photo).
Here’s the test light with the venerable Convoy S2+. Mine’s a custom “baked” edition Nichia 219b triple. A very nice 18650 light.
Also above is 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.
Retention and Carry
There are a few ways to carry the RovyVon Search S23 flashlight. First is the pocket clip. It’s a fairly standard friction-fit pocket clip, with a mouth that hits right in the middle of the cell tube – very easy to use.
The pocket clip is fine and sufficient.
The tailcap offers a couple of holes for attaching the included lanyard.
Because there are two holes, the S23 will tailstand nicely while the lanyard is installed.
There’s also a magnet in the tailcap. This magnet is surprisingly sufficient to hold the S23 in a horizontal or hanging position.
There is no carry pouch.
Power and Runtime
The RovyVon Search S23 flashlight is powered by a single lithium-ion cell. RovyVon provides the cell: a Samsung 50E 21700. The provided cell is a flat top and unprotected cell.
It’s installed into the RovyVon Search S23 in the usual way – positive terminal toward the head.
Below are a number of runtime tests. Turbo isn’t a mode that can be turned and left on. It’s more of a “momentary” type Turbo. I have no complaints about that, really. A light this size would get so hot if it tried to stay at 4000 lumens that it’d be untouchable after a very brief time. So making this a momentary-only mode is fine with me. But that does make testing harder, so what I did is just keep putting the light back into Turbo almost immediately after it stepped down.
What you can see in this shorter view is that the light does output very high for quite some time while being reset this way. So if you desperately needed high output (higher than the 1200 or so lumens of high), this would be a reasonable way to achieve it. Notably in the test below between around 4 minutes and 24 minutes was a sort of “cool down” period where the S23 wouldn’t reenter Turbo, also wasn’t in an off state. After minute 24 or so, the light seemed willing to go back into Turbo in a momentary way. I’m not sure why the light wouldn’t go into turbo – I would guess either the cell had voltage-sagged and was preventing it or the light has a thermal sensor that was preventing it. The light was hot to the touch, but not that hot.
Above the switch is a set of four LEDs that are used to tell the battery status. If the rotary switch is in the center position (as seen below) and you click the switch, the LEDs will indicate, as seen below. The indications are as follows:
Four solid blue: 60%-100%
Three solid blue: 40%-59%
Two solid blue: 20%-39%
One solid blue: 5%-19%
The light does seem to exhibit low voltage protection.
A nice feature that RovyVon has kept (as many of their other lights have it, too) is charging. There’s a USB-C port on the head (opposite to the switch), and it has a press-in rubber cover. There’s a spare cover, too.
An appropriate cable is included. It’s USB to USB-C.
USB to USB-C works great and is very quick.
C to C charging works too. If you leave the S23 on the C to C charging cable (and maybe the A to C cable too, but I didn’t test that long), charging will pick back up and give the light another shot. The cell was not overcharged after this event, so it doesn’t seem to be a problem.
While charging, this little LED beside the charging port is blue and “breathing.” When charging is complete, this switches to green.
Modes and Currents
|Mode||Mode Claimed Output (lm)||Claimed Runtime||Measured Lumens||Tailcap Amps|
1200ish (30s, because of timed stepdown)
Pulse Width Modulation
The modes don’t really seem to have PWM, but the highest mode (seen at the far right below) does have some saw tooth. Nothing noticeable in action, though.
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). 10ms. 5ms. 2ms. 1ms. 0.5ms. 0.2ms. 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
There are two parts to using the RovyVon Search S23 flashlight. First, there’s a sort of rotary, or “toggle” switch. That’s seen at the left in the photo below. Normal state is in the center, where there’s no light output.
Push that to the left and you get into the strobe group. Push that to the right and you enter the steady group.
Next is the e-switch, and it’s very much a RovyVon e-switch. There’s a nice big metal cover and a nice bezel around the switch that is also metal.
The e-switch action is great, too. It’s shallow and nearly inaudible.
Here’s a UI table!
|Rotary Dial Center position||Click Switch||Battery indicator (as described earlier)|
|Strobe (Rotary Dial Left position)||Click Switch||Iterate Strobe and SOS|
|On (any on state)||Hold Switch||Momentary Turbo|
|On (Rotary Dial Right position)||Click||Mode advance (Eco>Low>Medium>High)|
|Off (Rotary Dial Center position)||Move rotary to right position||On in mode memory|
|On (any on state)||Move rotary to center position||Off|
LED and Beam
RovyVon doesn’t state what these emitters are but mentioned in an email that they’re Cree XP-L HD. There are four of them, and they have domes.
Each also has a smooth reflector (or part of one).
What these emitters are won’t matter too much, since we can see CRI and CCT below.
The bezel, which is also a sort of “strike” bezel, has four ceramic bearings for breaking glass (not breaking faces.)
LED Color Report (CRI and CCT)
No surprise that a light producing 4000 lumens is being driven pretty hard. Over 12A through four emitters means that the CCT creeps up toward 7500K, but output is really high! CIR is also fairly low, at around 71.
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!
What I like
- Feature-packed light!
- USB-C charging works great
- Charging is fast at well over 3A!!
- Uses standard flat top 21700
- Includes standard 21700
- Great e-switch
- Very strong magnet
- Neat rotary interface makes it possible to use this as a “one mode light” if desired
- Momentary (only) Turbo (yes, I am saying I like this.)
- Hits throw rating with just the High output (and Turbo greatly eclipses the throw rating!)
What I don’t like
- Very cool white output
- It’s not possible to change the output level before turning the light on, so it’s not possible to start in Eco unless you turned the light off in Eco.
- The light is sort of big. More than just “big for the feature set” – it seems bigger than the feature set.
- Quiescent current is high
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1 thought on “RovyVon Search S23 Flashlight Review”
Thanks for the review.
I hate it when manufacturers don’t say what emitters they use. Rovyvon eventually say in the description in the YouTube product video. They’re Cee XPLs. No mention if HI or HD, but since they’re domed, then I guess HD.
Direct access to strobe and momentary Turbo are nice, but no moonlight mode or direct access to lower modes is a deal-breaker for me.
The concept is good, but execution is poor. Need to wait for v2.0.