Note: this light was sent to me at no cost for the purpose of review. This review was not sent to Prometheus before publishing.
I’ve had a Beta QRv2 around my house for — well it’s been through four moves with me, so it’s been a fair bit. It’s always been a very solid, to really good light, and it was one of the first I got with a significantly better LED than you find in non-enthusiast lights. I was pretty excited when the QRv3 was announced and came out — it seemed likely something I would instantly buy. But the images didn’t look quite right to me and I held off, so when they asked if I would like a review sample, I jumped at the chance.
And while I still think the images make the light look visually out of scale, I can tell you that this is better in every way than the QRv2, and it’s been getting a tremendous amount of pocket time.
Specs & Materials
As of right now, this light comes in titanium only (and feels amazing), with a Nichia 519a emitter at 4000k (90+CRI). That’s essentially one of the best all around emitters on the market — realistically it is the best. It’s not my favorite of the 519a (I like warmer tints because I am nuts) but even I have a hard time saying there would be a better choice for this particular light.
This is all powered by a AAA battery, which can be NiMH rechargeable or those overly expensive “lithium” AAAs you can buy at the drug store.
All of this weighs in at about 1.4oz (depending on if you are using the clip or keychain). And measures at a tiny .55″ x 2.95″ (3.5″ with QR attached) — that’s a very small light. The entire package is IPX8 rated, so you should never have to worry about this light (and NiMH AAAs hold their charge really well if you buy good brands).
The entire housing of this light has been redone, but Prometheus notes this is still considered ‘pre-production’ and adjustments could/will be made. I am not sure they should adjust anything on this light, because it’s very good as it is.
In Use & Carry
QRv3 on left.
Let’s tackle the looks first. As I mentioned, the product shots seem to make the head of the light really large, and generally seems to be a downgrade from the clean looks of the QRv2, which looks stellar. In person, this is not the case at all.
QRv3 on left.
While the design has more character, the head of the light is not nearly as pronounced as I expected it to be. And the matte/warm look of the titanium means that the package itself looks quite good. It’s not the, perhaps, posh look of the QRv2, but it has a more ‘this is a really nice tool’ vibe. I like it a lot in person.
One of the big outcomes on this redesign is that the entire body of the light, and the head of the light, offer a lot more grip than the predecessor. It could be hard to operate the twist action on the older design, but this new design with a larger head, and plenty of ridges and bevels mean that you almost always have a very sure grip on this tiny light no matter what you are trying to do. It would be hard to understate how good of a change this is. I generally don’t like twist lights, but this QRv3 really nails the execution, and it is trivial to operate single handed now.
One thing unchanged is the ‘QR’ system, where you can use either the keyring tail end, or the pocket clip. I use the pocket clip, and it’s the same pocket clip as before — a truly excellent pocket clip. The grip/machining on the body does mean that the light stays clipped more securely, while not being cumbersome to unclip. It’s a better balance than before.
QRv3 on left.
The runtime on this model ranges from 50 minutes at the low end, to 50 hours at the high end. The middle output should give you a couple of hours. I’ve found that because of the small reflector size, I tend to use this light only at full output. It doesn’t quite offer enough throw for the beam at the lowest output of 1 lumen. Though I very much appreciate the lowest output when I want to preserve my night adjusted vision.
All of that brings use to the beam, reflector, and emitter. In use, it’s a true upgrade from the QRv2, as the beam shape is slightly nicer and more pleasing because of the new emitter and the larger reflector that the new head allows for.
One of the key characteristics of this line of lights, has always been the fact that it is one light you can carry which is both excellent and tiny. The QRv3 is slightly less tiny, but still tiny by comparison to anything else I might look at replacing it with. And adding to that, it’s simply better than the QRv2.
This is easily the best AAA format pocket light you can buy. I love something like the Laulima Hoku Clicky, but the QRv3 has been stealing tons of pocket time from it. It’s not a better light, but it’s a far and away better package overall. It disappears in your pocket.
I suspect I am going to be recommending and gifting this light a ton.