Nitecore MH12 V2 Flashlight Review

Today I have in for review an iterative Nitecore.  A new take on the MH12.  This is the MH12 V2, and incorporates at least one new feature that should be welcome!  Read on for testing and thoughts!


Official Specs and Features

Here’s a link to the official product page.

Versions

There is just one version of this model.  Of course this is V2, so there’s a previous generation of the MH12, and there is quite an array of lights in that series.

Price and Coupon

Nitecore Store has these for $79.95 (referral link right there).  It’s probably the best place to get these right now!


Short Review

This is a fine light with the included upgrades – 21700 and USB-C charging.  It’s very long though, which is something to consider.

Long Review

The Big Table

Nitecore MH12V2
Emitter: Cree XP-L2
Price in USD at publication time: $79.95
Cell: 1×21700
Turbo Runtime High Runtime
LVP? Yes
Switch Type: Both
Quiescent Current (A): ?
On-Board Charging? Yes
Charge Port Type: USB-C
Chargetime
Power off Charge Port with no Cell? ?
Claimed Lumens (lm) 1200
Measured Lumens (at 30s) 925 (77.1% of claim)*
Candela per Lumen 9.7
Claimed Throw (m) 202
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 385lux @ 5.54m = 11816cd
Throw (Calculated) (m) 217.4 (107.6% 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 MH12 V2 Flashlight
  • Nitecore 5000mAh NL2150 21700 cell
  • Charge cable (USB to USB-C)
  • Cell adapter – 21700 to 18650
  • Pocket clip
  • Lanyard
  • Spare o-ring
  • Spare rubber switch cover
  • Belt mount
  • Manual and papers

Package and Manual

Build Quality and Disassembly

Build quality is good.  Pretty standard Nitecore fare here.  The main/first thing you’ll probably notice here is that this light is long.  Maybe it’s to be expected and it’d certainly be ok in the belt loop, but this isn’t a light you’re going to pocket.

The knurling is good.  Not overly aggressive, but sufficient.

My charge port seemed a little bit off center but this did not affect functionality at all.

The tailcap has a big thick spring.  Note here that the switch is held in place with an aluminum retaining ring – so it should be easy to swap out the switch cover if you need to do so.

The head end also has a spring.

Only the tailcap is removable.  The threads here are small but square cut and anodized.  They’re good threads – no issues here!

The bezel is crenelated, so light escapes during head stands.  I was unable to remove this bezel, though.  Same for the head as a whole – it doesn’t come off the cell tube.

Size and Comps

Officially 158mm long, 25.4mm in head and tube diameter, and 27.2mm in tail diameter.  The weight is 84.5g.

Retention and Carry

Likely the main means for carry of the MH12 V2 will be this belt clip.  It’s very … official – it has a clear intended purpose and it works well for that.  The belt loop has an adjustment point, for good secure carry.

I confirmed with official photos that the light goes into the holster bezel down (since I’ve gotten this wrong in the past).  This way the light can still be used.

 

The next option is the pocket clip.  It’s a steel friction fit clip, and has a few placement positions.  They’re all practically in the center of the light though, so the difference is minimal.

The deepest carry option is the one seen below.  The light is so long though, that this is still a well balanced carry.

The clip also has a couple of holes which allow for lanyard placement.

Another option for lanyard attachment is on the tailcap, through a dedicated hole.  This is the more secure location for the lanyard.

Power and Runtime

The MH12 V2 is powered by single 21700 cell.  The right cell is included.  It’s a button top 5000mAh 21700, and has Nitecore branding.

It’s not the typical Nitecore hexagonal button though.  Neither good nor bad…  The anode has Nitecore’s name.

Also included as an option is this 21700 to 18650 adapter.

The cell goes into the light in the usual way – positive terminal toward the head.

Here are a couple of runtimes.  Note that no “Turbo” mode is listed – “High” is the highest option.  One possibility for this reading a bit low (77% of claim) is that the bezel is crenelated and some of the light was escaping out of the system and not being captured by the testing apparatus.

On the bench power, low voltage was indicated with a fast switch flash at 2.9V, and the light was completely (and electrically) off at 2.7V.  In runtimes, the switch seemed to blink slowly at first, then fast before shutting off.  I didn’t see that on bench power though, so I’m not sure what voltage the slow blink happens.

The light also has built in charging, by way of a USB-C port in the head.  It’s covered by a press-in rubber boot.  The fit here is quite secure.

As stated above, the port in there is just a bit off center, but function was just fine.

Nitecore includes a cable – USB to USB-C.  Note that it’s not USB-C to USB-C…

I performed two charge tests but below you’ll see only one.  My excel lacks the 1000000gb of ram needed to graph two of the lines you’ll see below.

I can’t really explain why the charge drops out so much like this.  It’s not so bad, because the 5000mAh cell charges in 4.5 hours.  But it’d probably be moderately faster if this wasn’t the case.  The light will charge USB-C to USB-C but it doesn’t seem to be PD.  It does seem moderately faster though.

While charging, the indicating switch blinks.  When charge is complete, the switch is steady blue.

Modes and Currents

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Measured Lumens Tailcap Amps
High 1200 3h45m 925 2.95
Mid 300 8h 310 0.54
Low 55 46h 56 0.10
Ultralow 1 1500h ~ ~

PWM

Mode order – low to high – but there’s no PWM.  This is most likely “sawtooth” or something like that.  Not noticeable.

Here’s a shorter timescale, for a better look at the sawteeth.

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 are two switches on the MH12 V2.  First is a mechanical tail switch.  The cover has a Nitecore “N.”

The second is an indicating e-switch on the head.  It’s exactly opposite the charge port.

There are two mode groups.  Daily (default), and Tactical.  Here’s a UI table for Daily!

State Action Result
Off Click Tail Switch (TS) On (Mode Memory*)
Off Hold TS Momentary Memory
Off Click Side Switch (SS) No action
On Click TS Off
On Click SS Mode Advance (Daily: Low toward High)
(Tactical: High toward Low)
Off Holt SS and Click TS and continue holding SS for ~5s Mode group change (indicated by fast blinking switch)
Upon release, the light will turn on.
On Hold SS Daily: Strobe then Beacon then SOS (then back to Strobe)
Tactical: Strobe (only – no other modes in this group)
Any Strobe Click SS Return to previous steady output
Off Hold SS and Click TS – release both Battery indication (Blinks ones digit, then pauses, then blinks tenths digit).
Upon release, the light will turn on.
  • Four main modes plus strobe can be memorized in Daily.  In Tactical, only High and Strobe can be memorized.

LED and Beam

In the MH12 V2 is a Cree XP-L2 V2.  The light utilizes a reflector.  The depth of the reflector accounts for some of the light’s size, too – it’s a pretty deep reflector.  This provides a good hotspot, but allows spill as well.

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

Tint vs BLF-348 (Killzone 219b version)

Test light on left, as usual.  Two modes this time.

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

Conclusion

What I like

  • Good build quality
  • Nice complete package
  • Uses USB-C for charging
  • Fairly good use of the indicating switch

What I don’t like

  • No USB-C output
  • Light is very long

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!
  • For flashlight related patches, stickers, and gear, head over to PhotonPhreaks, another site where I write!
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Author: zeroair

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