Nitecore MH12GTS Flashlight Review

Preface

Another Nitecore enters the mix!  This is a tube light with an indicating switch and on-board charging.  This one adds an interesting thing to the list though: waterproof charge port!  Read on!


Official Specs and Features

Versions

There’s just one version of this light.

Price

This is a $100 flashlight, and the package includes a cell.  Since the light has charging, it can be seen as a complete package light.


Short Review

This is a nice light, and the waterproof charge port is very interesting!

Long Review

What’s Included

  • Nitecore MH12GTS Flashlight
  • Nitecore NL1835HP 3500mAh 18650 cell
  • Charge cable
  • Pocket clip
  • Lanyard
  • Spare o-ring
  • Manual and paperwork

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Package and Manual

Standard Nitecore box:

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Here’s a pdf of the manual.

Build Quality and Disassembly

In my experience, Nitecore has nice quality lights.  This one is no exception.

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Here’s a look around the light.  It’s a pretty standard dual-switch tube light.

The tactical ring is removable.  In fact it’s threaded on, and unscrews off easily.

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This photo makes the knurling look a little aggressive, but it’s actually not.  It’s grippy enough.  There isn’t all that much knurling on the light, all told.

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The threads for the tailcap are square cut, and unanodized, which means a mechanical lockout on this light isn’t possible.

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Because all the charging for this light happens through the tailcap, special concessions must be made.  Those can be seen below, with the dual wall cell tube.  That tube isn’t removable.  At least it’s not removable without removing the head of the light, which I wasn’t able to do.

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Here’s the tailcap and the body.  The head is quite tight on the cell tube, and it wouldn’t budge.  Both ends have nice thick springs.

Size

Officially: Length 144 mm.   Head Size 25.4 mm.  Weight 99.5 g

This light is much longer than the Convoy S2+, but adds a second (and indicating) switch, and on-board charging.

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Retention

There’s a pocket clip which allows for only bezel-down carry.  It’s a friction fit clip, but leaves 1.75″ sticking out of a pocket.  Much too much!

There’s also the nylon pouch, in which the light fits ideally bezel down.  (With the tac ring, removed, it’ll fit easily either way.)

The included lanyard can fit in a number of places.  There are two holes in the tailcap perfect for the lanyard.  And there’s a single hole in the tac ring also suited to the lanyard.

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Power

The MH12GTS is powered by a single 18650.  Nitecore includes an “8A” 3500mAh 18650.  It’s also possible to use 2xcr123 cells.

Since there are springs on both ends, any type 18650 should work fine.

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Here’s a runtime on Turbo.  Output isn’t stable and trends downward expectedly for about 4 minutes.  I measured thirty second output at around 1800 lumens, which is exactly the claim Nitecore makes for this light.  Once the light reaches it’s stepdown of High, it’s very stable.

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The output on High is very stable almost from the start.

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I wasn’t able to test if the light has LVP, but it does have a switch warning.  The switch has a blue ring around the edge, and blinks blue when voltage is low.

Nitecore includes a nice USB to micro-USB cable for charging.

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The charge port is on the tail, and has a rubber cover that sort of “snaps” into place.  In all honesty, it doesn’t snap in very tightly, and tends to come out.

Even though Nitecore labels this as “fast charging,” they also state it’ll take around 8 hours to fully charge the cell.  That’s not fast, but the 8 hour statement seems to be accurate.

Charging is very consistent (so much so that the graph below has two charge events, and they look exactly alike).  Charging at 0.6A seems a bit anemic for this cell/light.

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The micro-USB port is unusually waterproof.  I was curious how that worked, so I pulled back the cover and ran the light for a while in water.

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It was uneventful, fortunately, and does support the claim that this is a waterproof port.

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After removing the light, I did shake the water out (it was filled with water!).  I didn’t attempt to charge the light immediately (though the manual doesn’t say not to).  I let it dry out overnight and then charged it through this port successfully.

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There’s also a battery check that occurs when a cell is installed.  The light blinks the ones then the tenths.  Four blinks pause 2 blinks is 4.2V, for example.

User Interface and Operation

There are two switches on the MH12GTS.  The first is a mechanical tail forward clicky switch.  It’s a nice rubber button, and fairly resistive.

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The other switch is a side, indicating, e-switch.

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It’s not proud at all, but the light is built so that there’s plenty of reveal for good access to the switch.

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When the switch indicates, it’s very noticeable, and even in it’s illumination

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The UI is much like many of Nitecore’s other dual-switch lights but I think adds some features that are interesting.

Here’s a UI table!

State Action Result
Off Click Tail Switch (TS) On (Mode Memory including Strobe)
On Click Mode Switch (MS) Mode advance (L>H direction)
Off Hold MS, Click TS Ultralow
Off Depress TS Momentary Mode Memory
On Depress TS Momentary Turbo
On Double click MS Strobe
Strobe Long click MS Strobe advance (Beacon>SOS>Strobe)
Strobe Click MS Return to regular modes (mode memory)
On Click TS Off
Off Press MS Power Indication on indicating switch

Power indication is as follows (and is typical for Nitecore):
1. 3 Flashes represent battery level above 50%
2. 2 Flashes represent battery level below 50%
3. 1 Flash represents battery level below 10%

Modes

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Measured Lumens Tailcap Amps
Turbo 1800 30m 1411
High 900 2h15m 852
Mid 240 5h45m 262
Low 70 19h 90
Ultralow 1 250h

Due to the inner sleeve/charging function of this light, I wasn’t able to test the amps.  I tried a bunch of ways, and I could just never get it to work with my setup.

LED and Beam

The emitter used in this light is a Cree XHP35 HD.  It’s a good choice in this tube light, and outputs the claimed 1800 lumens according to my test setup.

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The beam has a lot of hotspot, and still some spill.  The reflector is smooth, and deep.

Tint vs BLF-348

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Beamshots, Runtime, and Lux Measurements

Nitecore MH12GTS
Emitter Cree XHP35 HD
Emitter Notes
Cell 18650
Runtime Chargetime
LVP? Warning
Claimed Lumens (lm) 1800
Lux (Measured) 704 lux @ 4.45 m
Candela (Calculated) in cd 13941.0
Throw (Calculated) (m) 236.1
Throw (Claimed) (m) 226

Random Comparisons and Competitive Options….

Included in the competitors for this light include the Klarus XT2CR, which I already reviewed.  That light also has micro-USB charging but it’s in the head.  It’s also dual-switch, but the second switch is a paddle switch on the tail.  It adds dual mode groups, one being tactical.

Conclusion

What I like

  • Output hits specification
  • Throw hits specification
  • Is complete package light
  • Micro-USB port is waterproof

What I don’t like

  • Charging is slow
  • Light is long
  • Charge port cover doesn’t like to stay closed

Up Next

Tomorrow I hope to have a cell review complete, and later in the week, more flashlights! (Including one light I’ve reviewed before, and am reviewing an updated/different version of).

Notes

  • This light was provided by Nitecore for review. I was not paid to write this review.
  • This content originally appeared at zeroair.wordpress.com.  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. It’s possible to subscribe and get notifications when the sheet is edited!!

Author: zeroair

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