Olight H2R Nova Flashlight review

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The Olight H2R Nova Flashlight is a powerful, versatile flashlight that functions great both as a handheld light and a headlamp. The design, battery life, and brightness of the $89.95 flashlight exceeded my highest expectations and it has quickly found its way into my every day carry kit.

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The H2R Nova comes in a very sturdy, well designed box with clear product specifications.

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Once the outer sleeve is removed, the box opens up revealing the H2R Nova set stylishly into the packaging.

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A separate compartment holds all of the Olight accessories and there are clear icons describing the contents.

Package Contents

  • Olight H2R Nova
  • Two-way Pocket Clip
  • Head Strap
  • Silicone Mount
  • Olight 18650 3000mAh Lithium Battery
  • Magnetic Charging Cable
  • EVA Pad
  • Single-sided Adhesive Replacement EVA Pad
  • Instruction manual

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One of my favorite features of the Olight H2R is that it functions both as a handheld light and a headlamp.

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The headstrap has a silicone latch and a magnetic base that securely holds the unit in place.

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The included USB-A charging cable also utilizes magnets to stay in place and has a LED indicator.

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The H2R Nova is powered by a customized Olight 18650 3000 mAh lithium battery. You can also use any button-top 18650 batteries to power the unit.

One concern that a lot of users have is short circuiting the battery because of the exposed contacts, but Olight engineers have confirmed that there is over-current protection on the battery that activates at 27 amps. This feature will protect the unit and battery from damage in the case of a short circuit.

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Like most parts on the H2R, the charging cap on the bottom of the flashlight is also magnetic. The magnet is strong enough to keep the unit mounted in place on metal surfaces, which is very useful for an EDC flashlight.

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The main purpose of the magnetic cap is so that the charging cable cap snaps into place when near the charging end of the unit.

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Because the unit is shipped about 30% charged, my initial charging out of the box took about two hours and fifteen minutes. Charging fully from a depleted battery takes a little over four hours in my testing.

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The LED indicator on the charging cable lights green when connected to a power source and when the battery is fully charged; it lights red while charging.

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I love the grip and form factor of the H2R, especially the 90-degree angled light and large top mounted power switch.

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The Olight also comes with a two-way pocket clip which I found to be a terrific bonus feature.

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The clip design doubles your carrying options and allowed me to mount the Olight on my person no matter what gear I was using that day.

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The pocket clip easily pops off of the Olight when needed, like for placing it in the headstrap, but maintains a solid hold on the unit when in place.

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When placing the unit in the headstrap, magnets in the base hold the unit in place once the pocket clip is removed.

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The silicone latch of the headstrap stretches firmly over the H2R and locks the unit in securely.

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The H2R Nova has a number of brightness modes and is quite a smart little flashlight. The five brightness modes are moonlight, low, medium, high and turbo. There is also an SOS mode which can be triggered by quickly triple clicking the top switch from off. The Nova will then flash the Morse code equivalent of SOS. Turbo mode is activated by double clicking the switch from off. The basic modes are accessed by pressing and holding the switch during normal operation. The H2R will cycle through the modes until you release the switch to choose your desired mode.

You can also engage a button lockout to prevent accidental activations by pressing and holding the switch for about two seconds from off. The unit will confirm it is in button lockout with a single blink.

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One additional mode feature allows the Nova to memorize the last brightness setting. This also works for High and Turbo mode, but it only remembers those brightness settings for 10 minutes to avoid turning on a blindingly bright light hours after using it last.

The high and turbo modes of the H2R are seriously impressive. The run times at those levels are understandably short, and their usefulness is a bit questionable, but they are impressive nonetheless. Some have likened those modes to being able to “carry the sun in your pocket”.

Light Runtimes

  • Neutral White Level 1 : 2000 lumens(~750lm) /1h50m (1m)
  • Neutral White Level 2 : 550 lumens – Cool White/2h30m
  • Neutral White Level 3: 140 lumens – Cool White/10h
  • Neutral White Level 4:  27 lumens – Cool White/50h
  • Neutral White Level 5: 1 lumens – Cool White/45 days
  • Cool White Level 1 : 2300 lumens(~750lm) /1h50m (1m)
  • Cool White Level 2 : 600 lumens – Cool White/2h30m
  • Cool White Level 3: 150 lumens – Cool White/10h
  • Cool White Level 4:  30 lumens – Cool White/50h
  • Cool White Level 5: 1 lumens – Cool White/45 days

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Overall, I love the H2R Nova Flashlight, both as an EDC flashlight and a headlamp. It has a number of useful features and is designed to take a lot of abuse. The price is right in line with other flashlights with similar features and the unit is backed by a five-year manufacturer warranty.


  • Waterproof Rating: IPX8 (Suitable for continuous immersion in depths over 1 m)
  • Light Intensity: 5850 candela
  • Drop rating: 1.5 m / 4.9 ft
  • Weight: 64 g / 2.26 oz
  • Length 110mm / 4.33 in
  • Head Diameter 25 mm / 0.95 in
  • Body Diameter 23.2 mm / 0.91 in
  • Led: Cree XHP50 Cool or Neutral White

Source: The sample for this review was provided by Olight. Please visit their website or eBay for more info.


Product Information

  • Lightweight
  • Great battery life
  • Powerful
  • Versatile
  • Waterproof
  • Magnetic Mounting
  • Concerns about exposed battery contacts
  • Brightest settings have questionable usefulness

1 thought on “Olight H2R Nova Flashlight review”

  1. Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
  2. I’ve got two O-Lights and they are fantastic torches. I was on a beach once and a guy had lost his dog. I handed him my R40 seeker and he laughed and gave it back saying he needed a proper torch. When I turned it up to full power it lit up the dunes as far as he could see and he changed his mind pretty quickly. It’s also great for walking on the roads at night and lighting up the cars who don’t dip their headlights for pedestrians. However, the move to non-standard charging connectors means I won’t be buying any more O-Light torches. What was wrong with USB? I’ve got USB cables all over the place; every room in the house, the garage, the shed, the car, at work, my travel kit, my work bag, my camping kit – and if I haven’t got one then someone in spitting distance will have. I don’t want a torch that can only be charged with one cable that is as rare as rocking horse crap. It’s just pointless “innovation’ for the pointless sake of it.

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