Nitenumen E01 vs Nitecore MH20 - 2 Nites enter...

21 posts / 0 new
Last post
gangstead
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 1 day ago
Joined: 02/05/2016 - 23:44
Posts: 153
Location: Texas
Nitenumen E01 vs Nitecore MH20 - 2 Nites enter...

During Gearbest’s earlier cattle call for light reviewers I was selected to receive the Nitenumen E01 for review, with the promise to compare it to my Nitecore MH20. I consider the E01 a clone of the MH20. This isn’t a bad thing, but most of my review is focused on comparing the two lights since they are so similar. In most of my reviews I try not to focus on things you can read for yourself on the spec sheets but look for things that you have to get a light in your hand to notice.

I totally got this light for free. I’d like to keep the free lights coming so I must fulfill the terms of the agreement and drop the link and coupon code:

- Nitenumen NE01 http://goo.gl/cDed8A
- Coupon: NE01GB
- Price: $22.69

The coupon code takes a few bucks off the price of an already pretty affordable light. This is the link provided by Gearbest and not an affiliate link.

TL;DR up top

The E01 is a good way to get into that MH20 form factor (mini thrower?) for a lot less money. There are a couple small compromises in quality, but nothing major and a UI that you may or may not prefer to Nitecore’s. Probably not worth getting in addition to the MH20.

Obligatory Box Shot
Here are the cousins. Front & Back.


“Multitask Hybrid Series”… they should make a bunch of them

Inside is the standard junk:

The only difference is that the MH20 comes with one more O-ring. This almost stopped the review dead in it’s tracks. But I pressed on.

The sleeping bags are identical in every way, down to the buckle and the way I throw them in the box and never use them. Uncanny.

Close up of the spec sheets (E01 on the left, made for ants). Pretty closely matched except the E01 is slightly brighter in every mode. More on that in the UI section.

Only other thing I’ll point out here is that the clip that came with the E01 was extremely tight. Tight to the point that I thought it was for a smaller flashlight. The lack of the flared bits at the end make it even harder to put on. Needless to say that clip is going NO WHERE, but make sure you want it on because it’s not coming off without a fight.

Comparison

Frontsies:

Nitecore makes you choose whether you want the buttons to line up, or the logos, but not both. Do not review both flashlights if you are OCD.

Backsies:

Topsies (or bottomsies):

E01 has more aggressive knurling on the vestigial bump on the cap. More tactical.

Family:

From left: Nitenumen E01, Nitecore MH20 (neutral white), Olight S20R, Nitecore MH12, BLF A6 (regular and un-anodized mashup)

Earthquake:

(this always happens right after I line them up)

The E01/MH20 are much deeper, wider, throwier reflectors. Someday I’ll always have a bevy of relevant flashlights to compare, but for now these are all the compact 18650’s I have.

Externals

Without the logo the E01 is a dead ringer for the MH20. They are the same in every dimension. There are only a few trivial ornamental differences in the little tactical cuts and stylings. The biggest stylistic difference is the bright red ring around the E01’s button, which makes it go faster.

Anodization is good, and free of defects. It must be high quality because when I put that stiff clip on it didn’t scratch.

Threads are anodized for lockout, trapezoidal, came well greased:

I did notice a quality defect in the reflector:

Different angle:

The little hair or bur inside the glass (so I guess this should really go in the internals section). Luckily the bezel threads weren’t stuck on with loctite (unlike the MH20 which I can’t get to budge) so it was easy enough to unscrew and blow out. The inside of the lens had some other dust in there as well.

Internals

Not a lot going on in there:

Button tops are necessary (just like the MH20), that center brass stud is shallower than the bars on either side.

The spring (not pictured, but imagine any spring ever) could be a little stiffer. If you shake the light around you can hear the battery rattle inside the tube. It’s quite the nit to pick because that’s not really a valid use for a flashlight, but it makes it feel less premium for a light to be rattly. I have this same complaint for the MH20.


Aluminum star, not very big but that’s what you get in this form factor. Visible thermal grease pressed out from the side so it looks like they used enough. Easy to get to due to lack of loctite so a good light for modding.

Like the MH20 there are status LEDs underneath the switch. But the MH20 helpfully uses rubber that lets light through.

This took some major camera trickery to capture. Neither light is that bright and the room was dark. I had a high ISO and long exposure. The point is that the MH20 lights up the whole switch evenly. The E01 kind of lets some light out one side.

Charging:

The status lights are functional, but this is one area where the MH20 is a lot nicer.

UI

First off, the biggest difference is that the MH20 has a spiffy 2-stage electronic switch. Like a camera shutter you can half-press and full press for different actions. It’s unique, but in my use it hasn’t exactly redefined flashlight activation. The E01 has a regular one-trick-pony switch.

While there are one button interfaces that allow direct access to low and turbo, the E01 is not one of them (sad face). Do not despair, it’s not that bad. The light always turns on in low (aka “shimmery” in the manual, which I think we can all agree is what we need to start using instead of “moonlight”) and advances up through the modes like my much beloved BLF A6. It also offers a direct from-on-to-turbo double click. Strobes are available only from off only from a double-click. If you like strobes then they should probably be available direct from off. If you don’t like strobes these aren’t hidden well enough.

Off takes a 1.5 second press or one-click-too-many from turbo. The 1.5 second press feels a little sluggish to me.

Overall the UI is pretty good. There’s something to be said for simple and I’ll take simple, but not quite perfect over the downright awful UI I reviewed last time. The MH20 UI is cool and fun, but you have to learn it. You can hand the E01 to someone and they don’t spend any time figuring it out.

Beam shotz

Manual mode: f/3.5, 1/125 exposure, ISO800, least-crappy white balance preset. The tints are as close as a match as I can make my camera get without putting any effort into figuring out how white balance works. It’s just not a priority in my life. I’m only going to include the E01 and MH20 because the other 18650 lights are flooders, there’s not much value in contrasting them here.

E01:

Key features: Brighter hot spot than MH20, which makes sense due to the slightly larger throw specification. Much less spill and the spill is much cooler than the hot spot, this doesn’t show up well in the picture. My BLF Integration Sphere isn’t ready yet so I can’t measure the lumens. My totally uneducated opinion is it isn’t as bright as my MH20, but this could be an illusion caused by having a brighter hot spot and less spill. I’m satisfied with the tint, it seems on the warm end of the claimed 6500 – 7000k. Regular to maybe slightly-more-than-average tint shift across the beam for a cool white light.

MH20:

Key features: basically the same beam profile, but there is a lot more spill. Since the reflectors seem pretty identical I speculate that this is an XML-L2 U2 (MH20) vs XML-L2 U3 (E01). If you want the throwier thrower then E01 wins, but I prefer the more spill of the MH20.

I don’t have a beam shot of this because it is beyond my skills as a camera man, but I can perceive (just barely) PWM being used on the E01, on all modes except maybe turbo. It passed the traditional PWM test (shake the light real fast, see strobes), but not the enhanced badass-flashlight-reviewer test (shine it at water trickling from a faucet, see a string of beads). I didn’t notice this in practice over using the light for the last 3 days, I’ve heard some people are more sensitive to it. My BLF A6 claims “ultra fast” PWM and it passes the faucet test (water looks like a stream).

My last comment about the beam is that I wish the shimmery aka moonlight mode was lower. There is a noticeable difference between the 2 Lumens of the E01 and the 1 Lumen of the MH20.

Summary

What you give up choosing the Nitecore MH20 over the Nitenumen E01:
- Simple UI that always starts on low
- Three times as much money (at Gearbest’s list prices, as they sponsored the review)

What you give up choosing the E01 over the MH20:
- Two stage switch
- NW tint option, if that’s your thing
- Lower low mode
- Higher quality assembly (I’m referring to the dirt inside the lens of my E01)
- Current controlled output at all levels

The lights are the same in almost every regard and except what I’ve noted above plus some micro-differences in styling. If none of the above features is a deal breaker then the E01 is just fine and leaves you with more money for other flashlights. You probably don’t need both.

Notes: Imgur album of all pics, Same review submitted to /r/flashlights

Edited by: gangstead on 04/26/2016 - 11:37
kiriba-ru
kiriba-ru's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 16 min ago
Joined: 01/17/2016 - 02:34
Posts: 1923
Location: Russia

Current over led in different modes? Waterproof test?

The Miller
The Miller's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 7 months ago
Joined: 12/14/2015 - 12:08
Posts: 9630
Location: Charente France

Nice review
Except for that small reflector issue they have similar build quality? Br the clone has less glue, that is a plus I’d say.
How does the internal charger work for them?

Trevi_lux
Trevi_lux's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 2 days ago
Joined: 09/04/2012 - 10:52
Posts: 2296
Location: Spain

How about regulation and runtime with same battery?
The specs on the user manual are similar”, but I see your beam Pic and I think MH20 is more brighter (I think that the information on specs about lumens on Nitenumen are not ANSI FL-1 , je,je….. Oops )

Thanks for review!!!

gangstead
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 1 day ago
Joined: 02/05/2016 - 23:44
Posts: 153
Location: Texas
kiriba-ru wrote:
Current over led in different modes? Waterproof test?

After the recent death of my Huawei watch I’m no longer in the business of testing the supposed waterproofness of things. The o-rings all over are nice and fat. The usb cover fits very snugly, possibly a little snugger than the MH20. They are both rated IPX-8 for waterproofness, which means “to manufacturer’s specifications”. Nitenumen does not specify. MH20 says 2 meters, but doesn’t specify a time. I think common sense applies here and when a Chinese manufacturer says IPX-8 what they mean is as long as all the rubber boots are in place the light can survive an accidental splash, maybe even an accidental submersion if you’re lucky, but if you plan on going underwater at all for any amount of time then you need a dive light.

I’ll attempt some tail cap readings but I don’t put a lot of stock in them. It’s hard to do with an e-switch light because any adjustment sets the light back to off or low. Also I don’t put a lot of stock in current draws. The measured draw is different from actual load since you are bypassing the spring. Ultimately they are a proxy for what you really want to know, which is lumens and efficiency and current by itself doesn’t tell you much. I got in on the BLF Integration Sphere project so sometime I’ll be able to estimate lumens.

The Miller wrote:
Nice review Except for that small reflector issue they have similar build quality? Br the clone has less glue, that is a plus I’d say. How does the internal charger work for them?

Yes they both seem to have the same build quality, which is to say pretty good. Threads turn smoothly. The E01 threads seem a little more thicker and trapezoidal so they are a tiny bit better. The difference in threads prevents the heads and tubes from being interoperable. If you are looking for one to mod the E01 is just dandy to start off from for the price.

E01 charged to 4.13V, the MH20 to 4.20V. They both took roughly one eon to fully charge. Good enough for me. I only expect basic and safe charging from built in chargers, so that I have an option when I’m in a pinch. If I want precision or speed charging an external charger is always going to be better.

This light is definitely easier to mod thanks to the lack of loctite. I don’t have any modding experience but I plan to some day. The star was easily accessible:

It’s aluminum, kind of what I was expecting for this price range. It’s also not very big so I don’t think you are going to be able to pump a ton of heat away from it. I can see thermal grease squeezed out the side, so that’s a good sign.

Trevi_lux wrote:
How about regulation and runtime with same battery?
The specs on the user manual are similar”, but I see your beam Pic and I think MH20 is more brighter (I think that the information on specs about lumens on Nitenumen are not ANSI FL-1 , je,je….. Oops )

Thanks for review!!!

I’m not really equipped to make accurate long run time tests. I will say completely subjectively that they are both too-hot-to-hold after 5 minutes on high (I left them tail standing). I couldn’t tell if output had dropped during that time. So whether it can do 1.5 hours or 2 continuously on high isn’t of much use. It will probably get more total run time during my actual use: one or two minutes on high at a time and cooling off between uses, because it won’t be as hot.

I agree the MH20 appears brighter, but the E01 has most of it’s light concentrated in the hot spot, so it could still be a similar max lumens. I’ll know when that BLF Integration Sphere is ready. At all lower modes the E01 appears brighter than the MH20. I’m shocked that you are insinuating that Shenzhen MingXiao Technology Co., Ltd might be risking their name recognition on exaggerated specs! Shocked I say. Good day, sir. Wink

grayski74
grayski74's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 10/08/2014 - 10:37
Posts: 228
Location: Leicestershire, UK
gangstead wrote:
kiriba-ru wrote:
Current over led in different modes? Waterproof test?

After the recent death of my Huawei watch I’m no longer in the business of testing the supposed waterproofness of things. The o-rings all over are nice and fat. The usb cover fits very snugly, possibly a little snugger than the MH20. They are both rated IPX-8 for waterproofness, which means “to manufacturer’s specifications”. Nitenumen does not specify. MH20 says 2 meters, but doesn’t specify a time. I think common sense applies here and when a Chinese manufacturer says IPX-8 what they mean is as long as all the rubber boots are in place the light can survive an accidental splash, maybe even an accidental submersion if you’re lucky, but if you plan on going underwater at all for any amount of time then you need a dive light.

I’ll attempt some tail cap readings but I don’t put a lot of stock in them. It’s hard to do with an e-switch light because any adjustment sets the light back to off or low. Also I don’t put a lot of stock in current draws. The measured draw is different from actual load since you are bypassing the spring. Ultimately they are a proxy for what you really want to know, which is lumens and efficiency and current by itself doesn’t tell you much. I got in on the BLF Integration Sphere project so sometime I’ll be able to estimate lumens.

The Miller wrote:
Nice review Except for that small reflector issue they have similar build quality? Br the clone has less glue, that is a plus I’d say. How does the internal charger work for them?

Yes they both seem to have the same build quality, which is to say pretty good. Threads turn smoothly. The E01 threads seem a little more thicker and trapezoidal so they are a tiny bit better. The difference in threads prevents the heads and tubes from being interoperable. If you are looking for one to mod the E01 is just dandy to start off from for the price.

E01 charged to 4.13V, the MH20 to 4.20V. They both took roughly one eon to fully charge. Good enough for me. I only expect basic and safe charging from built in chargers, so that I have an option when I’m in a pinch. If I want precision or speed charging an external charger is always going to be better.

This light is definitely easier to mod thanks to the lack of loctite. I don’t have any modding experience but I plan to some day. The star was easily accessible:

It’s aluminum, kind of what I was expecting for this price range. It’s also not very big so I don’t think you are going to be able to pump a ton of heat away from it. I can see thermal grease squeezed out the side, so that’s a good sign.

Trevi_lux wrote:
How about regulation and runtime with same battery?
The specs on the user manual are similar”, but I see your beam Pic and I think MH20 is more brighter (I think that the information on specs about lumens on Nitenumen are not ANSI FL-1 , je,je….. Oops )

Thanks for review!!!

I’m not really equipped to make accurate long run time tests. I will say completely subjectively that they are both too-hot-to-hold after 5 minutes on high (I left them tail standing). I couldn’t tell if output had dropped during that time. So whether it can do 1.5 hours or 2 continuously on high isn’t of much use. It will probably get more total run time during my actual use: one or two minutes on high at a time and cooling off between uses, because it won’t be as hot.

I agree the MH20 appears brighter, but the E01 has most of it’s light concentrated in the hot spot, so it could still be a similar max lumens. I’ll know when that BLF Integration Sphere is ready. At all lower modes the E01 appears brighter than the MH20. I’m shocked that you are insinuating that Shenzhen MingXiao Technology Co., Ltd might be risking their name recognition on exaggerated specs! Shocked I say. Good day, sir. Wink

Its moddable, and virtually the same as the MH20, with a slightly lesser quality driver…

+1!

Thats what I wanted to know.

Brilliant.

Think I might have to order one.

Smile

1dash1
1dash1's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 months 1 week ago
Joined: 08/29/2015 - 22:02
Posts: 1576
Location: Hilo, Hawaii

Great review! Good insights, I like your sense of humor. Big Smile

Rule 1-1 as it applies to life, take it as it comes.

Trashman531
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 2 months ago
Joined: 04/21/2016 - 18:10
Posts: 36
Location: Orlando,fl

Mine is in the mail and I can’t wait to get it. It will go along good with my mh20. I’m the kinda person where if I love something. I want more then one. God forbid something happens to my mh20! But this is a good alternative for the price and I won’t feel so bad about beating this one up. I think the other one will become a safe Queen! ( Yes, I keep my torches in a safe lol)

The Miller
The Miller's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 7 months ago
Joined: 12/14/2015 - 12:08
Posts: 9630
Location: Charente France

1dash1 wrote:
Great review! Good insights, I like your sense of humor. Big Smile

yeah +1

Also thanks for the in depth responses!
I have written off Niteore because of their not true claims over charger so will not buy something with that brand, but apart from that, you get a light that is easier to mod, same quality of the important not easy to change parts and much cheaper.

blueb8llz
Online
Last seen: 5 min 18 sec ago
Joined: 06/02/2012 - 01:16
Posts: 2990
Location: California

Thanks for this review. The always starting on low was the deal breaker. And having to hold switch to turn off.

Andybibbville
Andybibbville's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 5 hours ago
Joined: 08/09/2013 - 09:25
Posts: 377
Location: Bibbville, Alabama

I just received mine in the mail today, but I got mine from Amazon under the name of soonfire. When I opened it up the driver says nitenumen, so I figure it’s the same flashlight. And I have to say I absolutely love this flashlight so far, and three times cheaper than the mh20 Gotta love it!

John 12:46 “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” Genesis 1:3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
hangar
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 9 months ago
Joined: 04/23/2016 - 01:26
Posts: 16

Thanks for the review of the joust! Can I just say, I love the humour in the review. Smile

realista
realista's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 1 week ago
Joined: 10/16/2014 - 20:37
Posts: 245
Location: italy

nice comparison….great light both

grayski74
grayski74's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 10/08/2014 - 10:37
Posts: 228
Location: Leicestershire, UK

Ordered.

Be interesting to see how easy it is to change the emitter..

Looks a tangle of wires inside the head.. Lol.

Trashman531
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 2 months ago
Joined: 04/21/2016 - 18:10
Posts: 36
Location: Orlando,fl

I just got mine in the mail as well. But it seems there is a smudge, scratch or crack in the LED dome. Looks like I need to send an email… Will it hurt anything to use a qtip and maybe some rubbing alcohol to make sure it’s not a smudge?

gangstead
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 1 day ago
Joined: 02/05/2016 - 23:44
Posts: 153
Location: Texas

I’d say you have nothing to lose because I’m sure you aren’t going to get much support for a $20 mail order chinese light. My bezel wasn’t sealed with any loctite and it ended up just being a little sliver of something leftover from manufacturing.

Trashman531
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 2 months ago
Joined: 04/21/2016 - 18:10
Posts: 36
Location: Orlando,fl

Mine has small slivers on the reflector too but this is on the LED itself. I’m curious if it will affect performance.

gangstead
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 1 day ago
Joined: 02/05/2016 - 23:44
Posts: 153
Location: Texas

Are they loose like mine were? Mine just fell off when I took the bezel off, turned it upside down, and tapped it on the table.

Trashman531
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 2 months ago
Joined: 04/21/2016 - 18:10
Posts: 36
Location: Orlando,fl

Yes the slivers are loose. I got them out. I just don’t want to damage the dome.

RobertB
RobertB's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 hours 39 min ago
Joined: 12/18/2015 - 17:49
Posts: 3335
Location: USA, Michigan

Got my Nitenumen in the other day and I have to say, I’m quite impressed. Even the holster looks like the same manufacturer that made the Nitecore. Not super fond of cool white, but everything about this light is excellent.

DavyKOTWF
DavyKOTWF's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 4 months ago
Joined: 05/19/2016 - 19:29
Posts: 57
Location: HillbillyCountry

Just bought the E01 based on your review…$26.99 free ship.
Had been on the fence wavering about the MH20, so this was easy.
Bring on the dark!

"The successful man is the average man with laser like focus." BL