Review: Nitecore P10GT (XP-L HI, 900lm, 18650)

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stephenk
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Review: Nitecore P10GT (XP-L HI, 900lm, 18650)

Disclaimer

The Nitecore P10GT flashlight was sent to me for an honest review by FastTech. No other payment was received, and I receive no commission from links or sales.
Product page https://www.fasttech.com/product/7634500-nitecore-p10gt-led-flashlight
5% off with code: saving

Introduction

The Nitecore P10GT is a “tactical” 18650 tube light, which has not received as much review attention as some other lights in it’s class. Time for a review then!

Construction

The Nitecore P10GT came in a Nitecore branded cardboard box, and contained the flashlight, instructions, warranty card, lanyard, belt clip/holster, tactical/anti-roll ring and spare O-rings. This is a pretty good selection of accessories.

The Nitecore P10GT is an 18650 tube light class. It uses a cool white Cree XP-L HI V3 LED, with a fairly conservative output (for 2017 lights) of 900 lumens. There are dual tail switches, similar to the Klarus XT range of lights, though I find the Nitecore’s secondary switch easier to find in the dark. There is also a light in the tail cap which displays an indication of battery charge. User interface will be explained in more detail in a later section. There is a crenelated bezel, which is thankfully not too aggressive, but is sadly not removable. The body has cooling fins near the head, an anti-roll section, and good knurling on the body. Unlike some lights in this class, there is no USB or magnetic charging, and no battery is included.

The light is in three sections, with the battery tube unscrewing from the head and body. This light only fits button top 18650 batteries, which is a step back from most newer 18650 tube lights. I tested the light using the somewhat obese Klarus protected 3600mAh 18650, which fitted fine.

User Interface

The Nitecore P10GT has two tail switches, the circular main switch, and the paddle like “strobe ready” or mode switch. There are three mode groups – Tactical, Law Enforcement, and General. To change between the modes, the light needs to be off. The head needs to be un-tightened, then tightened at the same time as holding the strobe switch. A light then flashes the mode number. This needs to be repeated until the light is in the desired mode.

Tactical mode (1) has high mode only from pressing the main switch – both full on or momentary; and strobe mode from pressing the mode switch from off – momentary only. If the light is on high, the mode switch toggles strobe on and off.
Law enforcement mode (2) has high mode from pressing the main switch – both full on or momentary; the light can be toggled to/from low mode by a quick tap of the mode switch; strobe mode from pressing the mode switch from off – momentary only. If the light is on high, holding the mode switch for more than half a second toggles strobe on/off.
General mode (3) enters the memorised mode from pressing the main switch – both full on or momentary; the light can be switched between high>low>mid>high by a quick tap of the mode switch; strobe mode from pressing the mode switch from off – momentary only. If the light is on high, mid, or low, holding the mode switch for more than half a second toggles strobe on/off.

I really like this user interface, which is fantastic for my hobby of light painting photography, and should also meet most LEO requirements. There are options for momentary in all modes (including strobe), and the ability to move between any mode and strobe on the fly.

There is also the option of using the Nitecore RSW2 remote pressure switch. The remote pressure switch has a side button on the tail cap, and 4 buttons on the pressure switch – one for strobe/mode, and three that have the same function (I assume they may have different functions in other Nitecore lights). The following instructions are for mode 3. If the side switch is off, then the strobe button is momentary strobe only, and the other buttons are high mode momentary. If the side switch is on (and thus the light is on), then the strobe button can change output level (quick click) or enter/exit strobe (long click). Pressing the other 3 buttons will then turn off the light, and subsequent presses will have momentary in the selected output level.

Beam, output, and runtime

The claimed max output of the P10GT is 900 lumens, and 20,500cd. However, this is for 2xCR123 rather than 18650. For those with 18650s, the claimed outputs are:
High 820 lumens (approx. 18,500cd) – step down from 3 minutes
Mid 250 lumens
Low (mode 2) 140 lumens
Low (mode 3) 40 lumens
My testing showed these claims to be accurate within +/- 10% at 30secs.

The light stepped down from 3 minutes to 85%, at 4mins 15secs to 66%, and at 6mins to 52%. Changing modes will return to 100% output.

The deep and smooth reflector, combined with a Cree XP-L HI LED emitter results in an impressively throwy beam for this class of light. Due to the more sensible lumen output, the light takes 3 minutes until step-down (2.5 mins according to the manual) which is considerably longer than 30-60secs for XHP35 based lights in the 1500-1600 lumen category such as the Klarus XT2CR and Olight M2R.

The tint is cool white, I would predict around 6500k. The tint on my sample is very pure white. The CRI appears to be around 70, and illuminated objects can appear quite washed out. There is noticeable PWM (and associated audible whine) in all modes when using 18650s (I didn’t test with CR123A). The strobe is a single frequency strobe (yay!), but with an on/off ratio of 33%/66% (I prefer 50%/50%).


Yes, that’s PWM!

Low,Mid,High,Strobe modes through a lightblade. f/11, ISO100.

Conclusion

Things I liked:
Impressive peak beam intensity for this class of light
“Sensible” lumens output – with relatively long time till step-down
Flexible user interface
Memory for any output level (mode 3)
Momentary for high and strobe (all modes), and on any output level (mode 3)
Single frequency strobe (but I would prefer even on/off time)
Ability to change between any output level and strobe on the fly
Good build quality
Good range of accessories including excellent remote pressure switch

Things I didn’t like:
Only accepts button top batteries
No internal charging or battery included
CRI is not as good as its peers
PWM on all modes

The Nitecore P10GT’s lumen output is fairly conservative/sensible, which allows for a relatively long time until step-down. Peak beam intensity is impressive for this class of light. The user interface is excellent – with momentary for high and strobe, and momentary on any memorised output on mode 3. The strobe is an increasingly rare single frequency strobe. Lack of internal charging and included battery may decrease consumer appeal. I would also like to see a neutral white version. This light is among my favourite “tactical” 18650 tube lights.


Nitecore P10GT on high mode, on a giant sand dune. f/5, 3secs, ISO400.

Edited by: stephenk on 01/18/2018 - 23:35
netprince
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nice review. I like the PWM test.

Enderman
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Uh, no?
Only strobe is using PWM…
The low medium and high are constant current, which makes sense because that’s what almost all nitecore drivers are.

If it was PWM the low and medium modes would look like the 4th line but with smaller increments, as you can see in lines 2 and 3.

Your image just proves that it is not PWM in low, medium, or high.