Nitecore NM01 Flashlight Review

Nitecore’s just released a light with what appears to be a built in 18650.  It’s fairly low cost, and can be considered a “complete package” light, and has features that can make it a compelling entry point to flashlights.  Read on for more!


Official Specs and Features

Here’s a link to the official product page.

Versions

There’s only one version of the NM01.

Price

The price of the NM01 at NitecoreStore is $39.95.


Short Review

I have a feeling flashlight enthusiasts will dump all over this light but for someone who’s just getting into lights or wants to not have to mess with any chargers or accessories, this is a very good low cost option.  It meets or exceeds output/throw specs, too.

Long Review

The Big Table

Nitecore NM01
Emitter: Cree XP-L HD (V6)
Price in USD at publication time: $39.95 at NitecoreStore.com
Cell: -xInternal
Turbo Runtime High Runtime
LVP? Presumed
Switch Type: E-Switch
Quiescent Current (A): ?
On-Board Charging? Yes
Chargetime
Power off Charge Port with no Cell? Low and Medium while connected
Claimed Lumens (lm) 1000
Measured Lumens (at 30s) 983 (98.3% of claim)*
Claimed Throw (m) 178
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 409lux @ 5.346m = 11689cd
Throw (Calculated) (m) 216.2 (121.5% of claim)*
All my Nitecore reviews!

* 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

  • Nitecore NM01 Flashlight (with internal cell)
  • Nylon pouch
  • Pocket clip
  • Lanyard
  • Charge cable (USB to micro-USB)
  • Manual and paperwork

Package and Manual

Typical Nitecore package.  And whether I mention it in every review or not, I think just about every Nitecore item is serialized, as shown below.

Here’s the English part of the manual.

Build Quality and Disassembly

Here’s the most brief Build/Disassembly section ever.  The light is built well.  It’s not intended to be taken apart, nor could I get it taken apart.  I’m going to try to motivate it some more later, but I do not expect to break it free.

Size and Comps

Officially:
Length 118.6mm
Head Size 24mm
Weight 99g

It’s not the smallest 18650 light, but then…. technically it’s not even claiming to be an 18650 light.  Since we all know that’s what’s in there, let’s call it what it almost is.

It’s nearly spot on size of the Convoy S2+.  But don’t forget that it adds at least one feature, which is on-board charging.  So some of that length is warranted.

Retention and Carry

Included is this nylon pouch, in which the NM01 will fit bezel up or down.  Without the clip the light goes in very easily.

There’s also a lanyard, which generally will attach to the tailcap, but could also attach to the pocket clip if you really desired.

The pocket clip is a friction fit clip, which attaches only on the tail end of the light, for bezel down carry.

Power and Runtime

The power for the NM01 is an internal (aka built-in) cell.  While the product literature doesn’t state it (at least as far as command+f tells me), this is an 18650 light.  That 18650 is not replaceable, at least without breaking the light apart in a more-than-just-unscrewing-it way.  I expect it’s thread-locked, but I didn’t break the threads to find out.

The light also isn’t driven all that hard.  Max output isn’t even called Turbo.  There are just three outputs in fact; High, Medium, and Low.  High is claimed at 1000 lumens, and by my amateur measure, it hits that.

Here’s a runtime on High.

Here’s a runtime on Medium.

The light eventually shuts off after stepping down fairly dramatically.  By all means this should be LVP but since I can’t test that or test the cell voltage after a run, I can’t [shouldn’t] say.

Since the cell is built in, of course there’s on-board charging.  Charging happens over USB, and Nitecore includes a USB to micro-USB cable for the purpose.

The charge port cover is adequate, but not the best ever.  It does seat onto the port in an interesting way, though.

Just like the output, the charge current is fairly conservative.  Here’s a graph:

Modes and Currents

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Measured Lumens
High 1000 1h45 983
Medium 200 6h15 231
Low 5 245h 7

Unfortunately current per mode isn’t something I can test, since I can’t get the light apart.

PWM

No PWM at all.  Yay!

For reference, here’s a baseline shot, with all the room lights off and almost nothing hitting the sensor.  And here’s the worst PWM light I have ever owned.  Also one of the very first lights I ordered directly from China!

User Interface and Operation

There’s a single switch on the NM01.  It’s a tail e-switch, but has a nice large metal button cover.

The switch itself isn’t an indicating switch, but there’s an indicator right beside it.

Here’s a UI table!

State Action Result
Off Hold Low
On Click Mode advance (LMH)
On Hold Off
Off Click Battery Indicator*

* Power indicator works as follows:
Three flashes: power >50%
Two flashes: power <50%
One flash: power <10%

There is apparently no lockout.  There really should be a lockout.  Also there are no strobes.  No strobes is just fine with me.

LED and Beam

The emitter here is a Cree XP-L HD.  The reflector is smooth.  This makes a beam with a mostly hot-spot profile, but a bit of spill.

The bezel has some reliefs so that light spills when headstanding.

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

Tint vs BLF-348 (Killzone 219b version)

I compare everything to the Killzone 219b BLF-348, because it’s inexpensive and has the best tint!

Conclusion

What I like

  • Complete package with fairly low cost
  • Meets specifications
  • Very simple UI
  • On-board charging works adequately
  • Metal switch cover, and also a very solid switch in general
  • No Strobes

What I don’t like

  • Cell is built in and there’s no possibility to change it
  • No lockout, and no way to lockout.

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!

Author: zeroair

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