Nitecore TINI Keychain Flashlight Review

I’ve liked the other tiny plastic Nitecores (Tip, Tube, Thumb), but when the TINI was announced, I knew it was the one for me.  I’m happy to have this blue TINI, and run it through some testing.


Official Specs and Features

Versions

There’s only one version of this light, but there are some available body colors.  Red, blue, black, gray, light gray, green, and gold are all available.  I have the blue model. No orange.  No orange… 🙁

Price

Retail price is $29.99.  Buy yours on amazon! (Referral link.)


Short Review

I love this little light.  It’s essentially what I always wanted out of the TIP and TUBE, in a better form factor.  I like the dimpled TIR, and overall, this is a fine little light!

Long Review

The Big Table

Nitecore Tini
Emitter: Cree XP-G2 (S3)
Price in USD at publication time: $29.99
Buy yours on amazon!
Cell: Internal
Turbo Runtime
LVP? Warning
Switch Type:
On-Board Charging? Yes
Chargetime
Power off Charge Port with no Cell? ?
Claimed Lumens (lm) 380
Claimed Throw (m) 64
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 377lux @ 1.939m = 1417cd
Throw (Calculated) (m) 75.3 (117.7% of claim)*
All my Nitecore reviews!

* Standard 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

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  • Nitecore TINI
  • Split ring and keychain
  • Manual and papers

Note that no charge cable is included.  At NitecoreStore.com one can be added to the order for $2.95.

Package and Manual

As with other lights in this category, the unit is accessible from the outside of the package, and in Demo mode.  So a user can test the light without even opening it.  The package has the Nitecore-normal amount of text and photos – which is to say a fair bit of text and photos.

Here’s a pdf of the manaul.  Just like all recent Nitecore manuals, it’s fairly comprehensive and useful, describing all the specs and features and warranty.

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Build Quality and Disassembly

The body of this light is aluminum, and in two parts.  That’s always been my biggest complaint with the other small lights like this; that the body is two parts, requiring a seal between the parts, and around the micro-USB port the seals were questionable.  The TINI is much more solidly constructed.  The halves seem to match up perfectly, and everything is completely snug (to be fair the TIP is like this too, but I do feel like the TINI is more solid).

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The keychain hook has a bit of ingress into the body, but from what I can tell this also is sealed the same way as the rest of the body.

Size

Officially 43.3mm x 25.4mm x 11.5mm.  The TINI is in fact tiny!

Compared to the TIP, it’s smaller in every regard (except reflector!).  Compared tot he Tube, it’s a little thicker but also shorter (and metal body, too!)

Retention

This is a keychain light, so there’s a keychain loop on the body.  And Nitecore includes the pieces needed to attach the light to a keychain too.  Even a reasonably quick quick release.  There’s no magnet or any other way to retain the light.

I carry this in the pocket though, without any attachment.  I prefer it that way.

Power

TINI has a built-in internal cell, which is claimed at 280mAh.  Nitecore has been accurate in the past with their other similar models.  This isn’t a user-replaceable battery.

Here’s a runtime on “Turbo” – This means me standing over the runtime machine holding the momentary Turbo, until it seems obvious that it won’t step down from this on it’s own.  (As far as I can tell there’s no way to leave the light ON in Turbo, but it is what it is.)

Runtime.png

Once I stopped holding turbo (around 4 minutes), the light steps down to around 36% output.  Toward the end of the runtime, the indicating side switches blink blue.

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Charging is by micro-USB.  A cable is not included, so be prepared to bring your own!  Here’s a chargetime, showing the battery is around the claimed capacity.  When charging is complete, there does not seem to be any trickle charge.  This is a small battery (claimed 280mAh) and charges at around 0.27A, which is approximately 1C.  Good charging.

Chargetime.png

User Interface and Operation

Two indicating switches are on the side of the TINI.  One is the “Power switch” (PS) and the other is the “Mode switch” (MS).  There are two mode groups on the TINI, as well.

Here’s how to operate the light:

State Action Result
Off Click (MS or PS) No action
Off Hold PS On (mode memory, no turbo)
Any Hold MS Turbo (momentary)
Off Both (>1s) Switch mode groups*
Off Double click (either) No action
On Click PS Off
On Click MS Mode advance (L>M>H)

* One flash indicates Demo Mode, two flashes indicates Daily Mode.

Demo mode: Light will turn off after 30 seconds.
Daily mode: Light must be turned off manually.

Modes

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Mode Measured Lux
Turbo 380 15m 7940
High 145 1h 3030
Mid 38 4h 708
Low 1 60h 29

LED and Beam

A Cree XP-G2 is in the TINI, behind a TIR with texture.  The beam has a typical TIR shape but the stippling on the TIR diffuses the edges of the spot more than with clear TIR’s.  I’d say this is a good keychain beam profile.

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

Tint vs BLF-348

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Random Comparisons and Competitive Options….

Here’s a relevantly filtered page on parametrek.com.   Nitecore makes some of the main competition in this class, and among all those I’d pick the TINI.  Acebeam is releasing the UC15, which is similar but really more in the class of the TIP.

Conclusion

What I like

  • Metal, firm body
  • Nice big lens (bigger than TIP’s)
  • Good output from tiny light

What I don’t like

  • Can’t leave the light on in Turbo
  • UI is a little unusual

Up Next

Next week I should have a few more lights including a Xiaomi light I’d never heard of, a Zebralight SC63w, and an Eagle Eye X1.  I’m hoping to have a couple other posts, but I’m not sure yet what those will be.

Notes

  • This light was provided by Nitecore for review. I was not paid to write this review.
  • This content originally appeared at zeroair.org.  Please visit there for the best experience!
  • Whether or not I have a coupon for this light, I do have a bunch of coupons!!  Have a look at my spreadsheet for those coupons.  Note I’ve upgraded that sheet so that now, you may subscribe and get notifications when the sheet is edited!!

Author: zeroair

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