REVIEW: Nitecore EC11 (XM-L2 , 1x18350)

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realista
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REVIEW: Nitecore EC11 (XM-L2 , 1x18350)

First impressions:
Shipped from: GearBest http://www.gearbest.com/led-flashlights/pp_169466.html

This is my first flashlight which does use a 18350 little battery and i was not fully convinced by this particular battery format, but the claimed “smallest, lightest and BRIGHTEST torch available” Nitecore advertisement did instantly sound so very engaging in my mind Wink
At a first “unpacking” i promptly observed that the overall size of the flashlight was smaller than i thought, but still stransmitting a nice sensation of hardness to the hand touch (something that others small flashlights can’t make you feel, being made by too much “thin” aluminum layer) .

I can also confirm to see a nice and organized container package by Nitecore, afterall it’s not a low budget item, being sold at a regular listing price of about $ 60 ( but much cheaper with discount) and you can also feel the quality of the unit looking at the included instructions, much detailed! (and with so many modes….i suggest you to read it carefully!)








Modes and estimated lumens:
Switch type: ELECTRONIC
There are “ 5 ” modes in the following order:
Ultralow – low – med – hi – turbo + Strobo and SOS + location beacon
there’s also a little RED led with constant ON and intermittent light modes (once per second)

My estimated lumens are 850

>>>LIGHT >>> The angle of refraction:

Weight and dimensions measurements (made myself, not by specs):
This flashlight weighs precisely 46,4 gr
Height 7,5 cm
Diameter 2,5 cm
Head diameter 2,5 cm

Construction quality:
As you can see looking at the pictures, quality is very palpable and visible!!
Nitecore used a much futuristic design for this host, but without forgetting to keep some USEFUL DESIGN CONCEPT such as…. the tailstand capability feature (thanks to a flat tailcap) and an anti-roll central body design.

What about runtimes?
With a 18350 700mah IMR (IMR chemistry battery is needed to deliver high Amps, you can’t use it with a “not-imr” battery) you should not expect high runtimes especially at high mode, they advertised 45minutes (and 300 lumens) of runtime but in my real life test i obtained about 42 minutes at high, but i could always rely on the lower powered medium and low mode if i don’t need to benefit from a wide amount of light around me.

I found really “strange” the added little RED led af a first glance, thinking that not being an HIGH POWERED one…. it would not have been enough useful !! but i was wrong…
It’s not meant to be a light to reach and illumen high distances around you, but its full potential appears when used as a night “easily eye adaptive” light, just to silently and discreetly walk around ….. like a “spy in the night” without to attract undesired (and maybe suspicious) eyes, something used to be similar to the ultralow mode (with XM-L2) but made to be “more invisible” from the other people sight.

One last nice added feature is the integrated “multimeter” battery power status, that in a few words just let you see by a number of red flashes, the voltage of the inserted battery. Ok…a little display was preferable but i think that’s better this (even if not being fast to check) …respecting nothing else Wink

About the quality of the beam and the reflector, i can say it’s all machined with nice attention and cure, and fortunately the RED led (included in the reflector perimeter) still doesn’t affect the integrity of the projected spot and spill beam on a white wall, nice!

Lanyard hole: PRESENT (one) but very tight

Threads came FULLY GREASED, great!










Led Tint, reflector and lense:
The led is well centered and its tint is cold white
Reflector made of: SMOOTH (but slightly ORANGE PEEL)– ALUMINUM
Lense made of: GLASS

Outside beamshot at 25 meters, only at FULL power (same place for all my reviews)
(1GIF)
Wall beamshot at 250 centimeters, from lower to higher power (same place for all my reviews)

Ceiling bounce test with LUXmeter:


PROS:
- WOW effect assured at 900 lumens, when friends see it
- small but still powerful
- lightweight but still feels not “cheap”
- LOTS OF FEATURES: direct access modes, waterproof, red led, integrated multimeter and more!
- PRICE!! the Gearbest price… is really attracting (PM me for info)

CONS:
- maybe a not standard and easy to find 18350 format (and only need IMRs)
- it overheats at turbo but this is normal

Final thoughts and why you should buy it:
Just the fact that’s the most powerful small flashlight , isn’t that enough for YOU?
If your response is “meh”, i remind you that’s also a nice overall flashlight, enough smart to be used in differents moment of the day and good to be comfortably carried with you everytime in your pocket…. being really short ( but not as thin as a classic 10440 EDC flashlight is used to be).
I can firmly admit that i changed my initial thoughts concerning the usefulness of these little flashlight, and while my preference remains for 18650 flashlights, this EC11 was one of the few little flashlights (maybe the only one!) which recently convinced me to being purchased to increase my growing collection Smile

Thanks for reading…..
….and if you notice some bad written phrases, feel free to correct me suggesting the right way to write it!! Smile

Edited by: sb56637 on 09/02/2017 - 12:11
Hobo
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Thank you for this review. I’ll have to get one, too.

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saypat
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one of my FAVORITE lights in my collection! Love all the modes but at times I forget how to access all of them. I put diffuser film on the lens, it really cleans up the beam. Try it.
khas
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Great review Beer

I think it’s a great little light, two things on my not so good list is the cool tint, and the fact that the light does not have low voltage protection.

AaLF
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Just saw a nitecore 18350 700mAh battery alongside an Olight RCR123A battery. The nitecore appeared longer to me. Will my Olight RCR123As fit the EC11?

Hobo
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RCR123s are also called 16340. So they are supposed to be one millimeter shorter. In general they should work, but they don’t have good performance in high drain situations (http://lygte-info.dk/review/batteries2012/Olight%2016340%20RCR123A%20650...).
So if you want to use the EC11 at the higher modes you should get yourself a high-drain battery.

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AaLF
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Quote:
……….So if you want to use the EC11 at the higher modes you should get yourself a high-drain battery.

Which battery is a “high drain” that you recommend for the EC11??

MG
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Thanks for the review. The comparison chart is useful.

Hobo
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AaLF wrote:
Which battery is a “high drain” that you recommend for the EC11??

I’m not an battery expert, but the one you can see in the review pictures should be fine since it can handle up to 10 Amps. (“Nitecore NI18350A 700mAh” http://lygte-info.dk/review/batteries2012/Nitecore%20NI18350A%20700mAh%2...)
If you want to keep the 16340/RCR123 size you could probably (I’m not 100% sure) use “Nitecore 16340 NL166 650mAh” with the spacer that comes with the light. (http://lygte-info.dk/review/batteries2012/Nitecore%2016340%20NL166%20650...)

There may be other/better suggestions. Can someone else verify?

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will34
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Efest purple 18350 are the best you can get.

realista
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AaLF wrote:
Quote:
……….So if you want to use the EC11 at the higher modes you should get yourself a high-drain battery.

Which battery is a “high drain” that you recommend for the EC11??


Nitecore NI18350A 700mAh or the efest one, and i’ve sent you a PM Wink
Hobo
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I’m sure the EC11 requires a button top battery.

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realista
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if a flat top does not work, just solder a dot of tin on top of it, or just over the “+” central point of the flashlight, so it can also accept flat top batteries Wink

AaLF
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realista wrote:
AaLF wrote:
Quote:
……….So if you want to use the EC11 at the higher modes you should get yourself a high-drain battery.

Which battery is a “high drain” that you recommend for the EC11??


Nitecore NI18350A 700mAh or the efest one, and i’ve sent you a PM Wink

The PM never arrived. Plz resend.

realista
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sorry, was my error. now really sent Wink