Author Topic: Skilhunt S2 and S3 Review ( 1*18650 )  (Read 88 times)

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Offline old4570

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Skilhunt S2 and S3 Review ( 1*18650 )
« on: July 08, 2018, 08:52:44 AM »


 For Review I have the Skilhunt S2 and S3 from 

   S2 Product page >

   S3 Product page >

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  I was sent the Skilhunt S2 and S3 for review by and I must say both lights are very interesting . I do like the single 18650 format a lot and both the S2 and S3 are some what throwy with a good amount of spill to make both lights very useful for more than showing off . A very interesting feature is the ability to chose the amount of light from each light level or mode . What you are offered is 4 light modes - LOW / MEDIUM / HIGH / and Turbo ( with 3 hidden blinky modes ) . Each of those 4 light modes has 2 light levels to chose from . Also the S2 and S3 have USB battery charging built in , making charging possible anywhere you have access to a USB power source .

   Taking the S2 and S3 for a walk I found both lights easy to use , how ever the S3 with it's larger head did give some issue going into and coming out of my pockets . It was a very cold and some what slightly foggy evening and walking past my favorite park it was very hard to tell the difference between the S2 and S3 in terms of throw . ( The fog might have had something to do with that ) .. With both lights on Turbo and out to 50 meters the S3 had the edge on brightness ( to the naked eye ) but only ever so slightly . After Light Boxing the S2 and S3 I am quite impressed by the S2 and it's ability to almost match the S3 in the real world .  ( Lets move onto some figures )


 Performance S2 :

 Low 1 Lumens - Medium 52 Lumens - High 210 Lumens - Turbo 618 Lumens  ( Remember each mode has 2 light levels to chose from )

 Low 10 Lumens - Medium 122 Lumens - High 389 Lumens - Turbo 930 Lumens

 At 930 Lumens I measured some 20,000 Lux at one meter ( for throw )


 Performance S3 :

 Low 21 Lumens - Medium 91 Lumens - High 327 Lumens - Turbo 770 Lumens ( Remember - 2 light levels to chose from )

 Low 50 Lumens - Medium 185 Lumens - High 485 Lumens - Turbo 1280 Lumens

At 1280 Lumens I measured some 29,500 Lux at one meter ( for throw )


 Now both the S2 and S3 were very consistent in Low / Medium and High modes , but once you got into Turbo then the quality of the 18650 you used came into play ( or became noticeable ) . With the S2 I saw output from 928 Lumens to 980 Lumens ( VTC4 ) .  With the S3 I saw output from 1280 Lumens to around 1340 Lumens . None of the batteries used were cheap budget brands ( LG 3500 - Panasonic 3400 - VTC4 ) , and the best performance came from the VTC4 . = Night time beams



 USB Recharging :

  A very nice feature to have in flashlights , especially if you are mobile and taken away from your normal charging solution . To date I have put 2 charging cycles through both the S2 and S3 and each time I used different batteries . The first charge cycle resulted in the S2 terminating charge at 4.13 volts and the S3 terminating at 4.04 volts .  The second charge cycle with different brand batteries now resulted in the S2 terminating at 4.11 volts and the S3 terminating at 4.08 volts .  Depending on how low the battery voltage is , I have seen the charge rate start as high as 0.87A . The current does seem to fluctuate a reasonable amount and as an example , I have seen it move from 0.61 to 0.68A rather consistently .  ( See pictures - taken within about a 10 second span )


 UI - User Interface :

 Once again this is where both Skilhunt's become interesting .

 On and off - There are two ways to turn the S2 and S3 , on and off . The first way is through the tail clicky . ( Forward Clicky ) The tail clicky does not change modes ( light levels ) , it performs 3 functions . It turns the lights on and off as well offering momentary on .  The other way to turn the light on and off is VIA the side switch . Turn on the light ( tail clicky ) - To turn the light off VIA the side switch - hold the side switch own till the light turns off ( takes about 2 seconds if that ) - Then to turn the light back on , simply click the side switch .

 Changing Modes ( Light levels ) -  This is easy , just a quick click of the side switch , the light has mode memory so will restart in the Mode ( Light level ) you turned the light off in .

 Blinky Modes -  To enter the blinky modes you need to do a nice clean and quick triple press of the side switch . To change modes in the blink level you need to double click ! , a single click will bring you back to the normal mode ( light level ) from which you entered the blinky modes . Here is an interesting side note , the blinky level has mode memory as well . Also if you turn the light off VIA the tail clicky in the blinky mode of your choice , the light will turn back on in that blinky mode . But if you turn the light off VIA the side switch , when you turn the light back on it will be in normal mode ( light levels ) . There are 3 blinky modes - In order - Slow Strobe ( or fast beacon ) - Beacon - and SOS .

 USB Recharging -  To USB recharge the S2 and S3 - The light needs to be on ( Tail clicky activated ) - Plug in the provided USB cable to the USB port in the light and to the USB source .  When the S2 or S3 detects the USB connection it will enter the charging mode .

 Battery Level -  When you turn on the S2 or S3 there is a light that comes on in the middle of the side switch to indicate battery level . A constant blue light means you have 80% or better , a flashing blue light means you have between 50% and 80% .  A constant RED light means 50% to 20% and a flashing red light means you have less than 20% remaining .

 Mode Light Levels -  ( Setting the light level for each mode ) ..  Easy enough , what ever mode you are in ( Low - medium - high - turbo ) just give the side switch a double click and the light level will change higher or lower depending on what it originally was . Yeah , that's how easy it .



 Conclusion :

  I did not report any current measurements as they don't come close to matching output , most likely due to some sort of safety feature that limits current when something NQR is detected ( In this case my Multi Meter ) . Neither light came very close to advertised output , though both came very close to what I would call expected output ( compared to other similar lights ) . Both the S2 and S3 are extremely well made and I simply can not fault the build quality , fit or finish on either light . There is plenty of room for protected batteries and batteries that are a little wider than normal . The internal USB charging does terminate some what early , especially the S3 . This is a little bit of a non issue for me as I normally use a dedicated battery charger for my batteries , but if out camping then you do have the option to USB charge VIA the lights internal charger . For some one like a security guard that might do night patrols , USB charging could be a life saver .

 In actual use I found very little practical difference , it was very hard to tell the S2 apart from the S3 by just looking at the light emitted . They feel the same in the hand , they operate the same way and if not for the larger head on the S3 . The S3 is harder to get in and out of pockets if you plan to carry , even jacket pockets . Both lights come nicely packaged in cardboard boxes with a cover sleeve . Accessories include a clip , lanyard , rubber boot for the tail clicky and a spare O ring for the tailcap . There is a included instruction manual with tiny writing I needed a magnifying glass for ( I don't think I have 20/20 anymore ) .


 Both the S2 and S3 tailstand on a flat surface

 Tail clicky is easy to operate

 Side switch sits flush - hard to feel even with bare hands

 Smooth throwy reflectors


 Lots of output options ( 8 light levels )

 UI is easy

 Extremely well made and finished

 Hidden flashy modes

 Rubber covers on USB ports fit well

 No detectable PWM on either light


   Do I have to score the lights ?

 S2 - 9/10  Did not come very close to claimed output , USB charging was close ..

 S3 - 8.5/10 Again did not come very close to claimed output and the USB termination was early .. 


  USB termination - Well for lights with internal charging I would really like to see a terminating voltage of 4.15 volts . For safety and just a figure that should be relatively easy to achieve , with what I would consider a decent quality battery .   A flashlight with internal charging , I really don't see the need to push for 4.2 volts , isn't that what dedicated chargers are for .