Nitecore MH27, Rechargeable 18650 flashlight,XP-L HI LED REVIEW

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FlashLion
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Nitecore MH27, Rechargeable 18650 flashlight,XP-L HI LED REVIEW

The MH27 is a new 18650 powered flashlight from Nitecore.
It has a great looking tactical design and various nice to have features-like additional color LEDs and an option very appreciated by many users
in the last years-a micro USB charging port with built-in charging electronics.
The model is also equipped with the specific for the latest Nitecore flashlights,back-lit button.
For a great results in terms of beam performance,the MH27 is equipped with a latest Cree LED,the XP-L HI V3,high intensity LED.

The review sample was provided by Nitecore for test and review.




Regarding the machine work done on the flashlight,build quality and anodized finish,my sample of the MH27 is on a very high level.It is hard to criticize it.

I found the form factor quite convenient for my hands.The conventional rear switch and the side dual-switch can be accessed with no problems.

Matte black finish.Excellent knurling without scratches or dents,on my sample.
Good design,which provides comfortable grip.
The grip ring is now better than ever.Made of metal,threaded for optimal stability,with no rattling,wobbling.
Big double side switch for mode selecting.

 

This is one of the most well designed flashlights,I have tested. Lots of good options are integrated into this flashlight,
which has the size of a regular tactical flashlight working on a single 18650 battery.

 

To charge the battery without taking it out of the flashlight,you just need to connect the supplied MicroUSB cable to your computer,power bank,or а wall charger.
I measured the maximum current draw during charge 540mA. This means,the MH27 can be charged from any USB power supply,even from not so powerful sources that support only 500mA charging.

The semi-transparent side button is blinking to indicate the charging status.
The charging port is covered by tick silicone cover/pad,which should keep the water and dust away from the MicroUSB port.
According to the specifications,the MH27 is IPX8,up to 2 meters waterproof and submersible.
I don't have a way to test it,so have in mind the port if you plan to use the flashlight for deep diving.

 



The stainless steel bezel is also matte and does not cause visible parasitic reflections.
The exterior machining and anodizing quality are on a very high level on my sample.
Total 6 cooling fins help the heat transfer,and keep the LED temperature in an acceptable range.

As almost any other side switch the MH27's switch takes some time to find it by touch.
Once you find it,it 's easy to operate and does not take much effort to press the needed side-left or right.
Here the button has a shape that helps a little to find it by touch and of course the side switch is a secondary switch-for mode selecting.
It is quite large in size,so pressing it with big fingers should not be a problem.


The side switch cover is made of soft silicone(or rubber),as it is partially transparent,allowing the blue light from the indicator underneath to be displayed.

 



Easy access to both switches from any position.
Forward clicky switch with momentary On possible at the tail.
All edges around the switch are well rounded-no sharp uncomfortable edges.
The tailcap design allows also tail-standing,but not stable enough for frequent use.


Nitecore EC4S, Nitecore MH27, Nitecore SRT6, Olight M23 Javelot







Pictures from the user manual: Specifications,features and User interface.

 

 

 


Here is the user interface well explained in the user guide.
The user interface is very well implemented and completes the overall idea of the MH27.




You can also check the battery voltage-indicated by the blue light under the side button.
Press and hold both buttons of the dual side switch and Turn the light ON. The blue light is flashing,indicating the voltage-4 times plus 2 times indicate 4,2V.
After showing the voltage,the blue light goes in to location flashing state,as the main white light stays OFF(during the voltage indication,too).
If you want to start the light,you have to restart the light by the rear switch.
The MH27 has a lot of options in the user interface,still for the regular user,operating the flashlight is easy and does not take much effort,even to a new user.
(I say this mostly because of the last tendency for different ways of turning the light ON and OFF-press and hold is hard to remember for new users).
The MH27 is quite intuitive if you use it without too much clicking-just leave it on the desired mode and turn it ON/OFF by the tail switch.
The more advanced users will also be satisfied with couple of useful features.


Below is the MH27 disassembled on three main parts.
You can see the typical for most Nitecore flashlights,physical reverse polarity protection.It requires the use of button top batteries.
All individual parts fit well without gaps.The overall construction of the flashlight seems very stable.
Rectangular cut threads at the head part of the battery tube,triangular cut at the tail end.Both threads anodized,for better wear resistance.
All parts feel solid,with sufficient thickness of the tube walls.





Standard Nitecore packaging.
Micro USB cable is included.

 
 

The MH27 comes with a holster,lanyard,pocket clip,spare switch cap,spare charging port cover,two spare O-rings.

 

Here is a GIF showing the holster.

 


Below is a picture of the MH27 with the pocket clip attached.The clip that came with my sample needs some bending to give it a better form and more tight sitting.
The grip ring is close to the attaching point of the clip,but does not lock it,as seen in other flashlights.

 

A comparison showing the different way of attaching the clip of the Olight M23.
The M23's clip is locked under the grip ring and also is wider and more stable.

 


The most important part of a flashlight-the light emitting zone. Deep reflector with a Cree XP-L Hi V3 main white LED with integrated holes for three 5mm,rounded color LEDs-RED,GREEN and BLUE.
The 5mm LEDs are not the best choice for a good beam,but their form and size save a lot of space and this allows mounting them into the same reflector with the main white Cree LED.

There is what more to be desired from these beams,but I am sure many will find the extra option for using RED,Green,or Blue light quite useful.
Beam distance of the three LEDs is good.I don't think it could be used for distance illumination,most likely for close to mid distance operating.Reading maps,trace finding,etc.
Color light may be used also on camping,or even indoor as a night light.

The main reflector has a smooth reflecting surface(not orange peel),but still has some texture for better mixing the beam,which is recommended for LEDs with very small emitting area.

 


 

Below is a very close picture of the RED LED.



Close up picture of the Blue LED.(below)

 

Close up picture of the Green LED.(below)

 
 

Cree XP-L Hi LED (below)
The best choice for good throw from a compact reflector,without sacrificing quality of the beam.
My impressions of all flashlights with a Cree XP-L HI, I've tested so far,are only good. Quality beam profile with no tint change,a nice clean white beam.

 
 

Run-time performance.
Below is a run-time test on Turbo mode done twice,once using a cooling fan for keeping the flashlight temperature low and relatively constant,once without cooling,just static flashlight.
Testing the flashlight with a cooling fan demonstrates its optimal performance and how it will work outdoor in the cold weather.
Indoor ambient temperature was ~20C during the tests.

I am pleased to see that the Nitecore's Advanced Temperature Regulation is functioning really well in the MH27.
The electronic driver is maintaining optimal working temperature,without leaving it to reach uncomfortable or dangerous levels.
Great work from the Nitecore engineers on this driver!

As expected,without a boosting circuit and using single Li-Ion power source the MH27 is not able to keep the advertised 1000 lumens for long.
Once the voltage drops,the output starts to decrease.Yet,the MH27 does quite well in the first 15 minutes.Just 100 lumens drop,which is hardly noticeable by eyes,especially if it's gradual.
After about 15 minutes comes the difference in output regulation.The driver is registering high temperature and start to decrease the output,until the temperature comes again to the triggering point.
Then it is raising the output back to its maximum possible level,as this time it is lower due to the lower battery voltage.
On the left side in the graph is the output in lumens measured by me in an amateur integrated sphere.
I can't guarantee full accuracy of the values taken by me.

My lumen measurements-
Battery-Keeppower 3400mAh
High mode= ~970 initial output,920Lm 30sec after activation
Mid mode= 297Lm
Low mode= 100 Lm
UltraLow= ~1Lm

I measured also the color beams-but I have no information about the wave length sensitivity of the photodiode I use.
Red=33Lm, Green=19Lm, Blue=19Lm

 
 


Beamshots

The MH27 produces a Cool white beam.Clean White on my sample.No bluish or greenish tint.
No visible distracting artifacts. Very well focused beam.Smooth transition from hotspot to spill.
The beam is not just a dot,good only for outdoor use. There is a quite good spill,too.
Significantly better throw distance than the beam from a flashlight with a Cree XM-L2 LED.
53,500cd maximum peak beam intensity,according to Nitecore's data.

The three additional LEDs do not affect the beam quality. I have nothing to criticize here.


A point in the MH27 that many would criticize,is the shape of the Red-Green-Blue color beams.
The 5mm LEDs sit in holes that have part of the reflector on one of its sides.This part of the reflector reflects part of the light and distort the beam shape.
Depending on the way you would use these beams,their shape might be very distracting/annoying,but in my opinion for regular use without hunting on a white wall,
the option to have color beams,together with the long throw white beam is still a big advantage.




Blue-Green-Red-Low-Mid-High-Turbo


Beam very closed to the wall.




1 meter,1/20sec


1 meter,1/250sec


1 meter,1/500sec


1 meter,1/1600sec


5 meters, 1/6sec


5 meters, 1/50sec


5 meters, 1/250sec


5 meters,1 sec exposure time



After testing the Nitecore MH27,my impressions are only good.There were no flaws and using the flashlight was pleasure.
The MH27 covered all my expectations and even more-the beam profile is much better than I expected.
This is one of the better flashlights I have tested recently and is not hard to recommend it to anyone searching for a good 18650 flashlight.

Strong points:
Good build quality; Great design; Comfortable,stable grip; Metal grip ring with threads; Physical tail switch is usually a plus-real disconnecting the power,no parasitic stand by drain,easy for new to modern flashlights users; Convenient double side button with well thought out interface; Good modes; Great user interface; Actually working Temperature Regulation; Good heat transfer design,plus latest XP-L Hi V3 LED keep high lumen output,maintaining the temperature in acceptable range,at the same time; Great beam in terms of color temperature and shape;High peak beam intensity,thanks to the XP-L Hi LED; Great distance of throw for this size reflector;
Even the three holes for color LEDs,the main white beam is not affected; Charging port;

Weak points:
No low voltage warning,nor lv protection; Basic pocket clip; Color beams not symmetrical in shape; Not so stable tail-standing;



Thanks for Reading!

Thanks to Nitecore for providing the MH27 for test and review!

Edited by: The Miller on 03/01/2016 - 14:25
bugi
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Thx for great review! Great closeup photos.

On my wishlist!! Glasses

FlashLion
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bugi wrote:
Thx for great review! Great closeup photos.

On my wishlist!! Glasses


Thanks for watching! Smile
The Miller
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Nice review

Pity you can’t use the colored LEDs in three levels and at yge same time.
One could create their own color of the beam.

my9221
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Thanks for the lengthy review and pictures as well!