Nitecore TUBE 2.0 Keychain Flashlight Review

Here’s a version 2 light by Nitecore, where I have surprisingly never reviewed the first version.  It’s the TUBE2.0; a slim keychain light, with a bare 5mm emitter and ramping.  Read on for some testing!


Official Specs and Features

Here’s a link to the official product page.

Versions

Only one version is available but it comes in a host of body colors.  The superior orange is seen here, but there’s also (using their official color names):  Black, Blue, Red, Olive, Transparent, Azure, Jacinth, Lemon, and Green.

Price

These are selling for around $10 on amazon (referral link).


Short Review

This light is ok.  It would live nicely on a keychain and be useful with low output in “keychain type needs” but it’s not anything past that.  As such, it’s a fine low cost light, available with many color options.

Long Review

The Big Table

Nitecore Tube V2.0
Emitter: Yes
Price in USD at publication time: $9.99
Cell: Internal
Turbo Runtime
LVP? ?
Switch Type: E-Switch
Quiescent Current (A): ?
On-Board Charging? Yes
Chargetime
Power off Charge Port? Yes
Claimed Lumens (lm) 55
Candela per Lumen
Claimed Throw (m) 25
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 9lux @ 2.794m = 70cd
Throw (Calculated) (m) 16.8 (67.2% 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 TUBE2.0
  • Split ring small
  • Split ring large

Package and Manual

“Frustration free” open package.

The manual is a pared down Nitecore manual – only English here.

Build Quality and Disassembly

This feels like a plastic body light.  The halves are screwed together by tiny Philips screws

But overall the build isn’t bad, and the halves stay together securely.

Size and Comps

Officially
Length 56.5 mm / 2.22 in
Weight 9.6 g / 0.33 oz

Retention and Carry

This is a keychain light, so it’s intended to attach to your keyring.  Or if you don’t have a keyring, it’s intended to attach to either of the two included rings.

There are two metal loops in the tail for this purpose.  These are very secure.

There’s no pocket clip or pocket clip option, and no magnet, etc.  Since there’s no clip, it can’t be used as a hatlight, either.  (Though that would be a smart addition).  A very small magnet somewhere clever inside the body would make this work well, I believe.

Power and Runtime

The TUBE2.0 is powered by an internal lipo.

Here’s a runtime on the highest output.

I also tested the lowest mode but after 30 hours or so, upon realizing my copy of Excel would die a sure death trying to process this file, I stopped the test.  The output was extremely stable for the duration of that time.

Since the battery is built in, on-board charging is a must.  Here that’s done by micro-USB.

Charging looks very good and steady at around 1C.  The capacity also checks out.  (125mAh claimed.)

While charging, an internal LED is lit.  When charging is complete, this emitter shuts off.

PWM

The lower modes have PWM.  The lowest mode has extremely visible PWM.  Possibly to the point of needing a strobe warning.

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 e-switch on the side of the TUBE2.0.  It’s rubberized, which is in contrast to the body which is slick plastic.  So it’s easy to feel and find.  It’s click, with very low travel.

Here’s a UI table!

State Action Result
Off Click Low
On <3s Click High
On >3s Click Off
Off Double Click High
 Off Hold Momentary High
Off Click then hold Ramping from Low
On Hold >3s Lockout
Lockout Hold >3s Unlock to High

LED and Beam

There’s no claim to what emitter is used here.  It’s an exposed 5mm LED, though.

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

  • Orange (and all those other inferior body colors)
  • Easy operation
  • Good charging, at 1C (improved over V1)
  • 55 lumens is plenty for keychain use (55 is improved over V1)

What I don’t like

  • PWM is fairly bad on the lower modes
  • The UI can be easy to mess up

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!
  • Shop my amazon.com store for the best lights!
  • Whether or not I have a coupon for this light, I do have a bunch of coupons!!  Have a look at my spreadsheet for BangGood and GearBest coupons. Please subscribe and get notifications when the sheet is edited!!

Author: zeroair

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