[Review] Nitecore EC22 (1000lm, 8600cd, 185m ANSI, Infinitely Variable Brightness Switch, 1x18650/2xCR123/2xRCR123/2x1634)

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Neil_Tennen
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[Review] Nitecore EC22 (1000lm, 8600cd, 185m ANSI, Infinitely Variable Brightness Switch, 1x18650/2xCR123/2xRCR123/2x1634)

Hello everyone,
thanking them for the trust that they gave me, today we will review the Nitecore EC22 that was kindly sent me by Nitecore itself.


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CLICK HERE to go to the official page of the product on the Nitecore website.

I want to clarify that the reviews are made at an amateur level and without the aid of scientific instruments or tests in cutting-edge secret laboratories therefore, among the lines that follow, there will also be my humble observations.


Official features:
 
- infinitely variable brightness portable flashlight
- utilizes a CREE XP-L HD V6 LED
- max output up to 1000 lumens
- integrated "Precision Digital Optics Technology" provides unparalleled reflector performance
- boasts a peak beam intensity of 8600cd and a max throw of 185 meters
- infinite variable brightness adjustment from 0,5 to 1000 lumens
- high efficiency constat circuit provides unwavering output with runtime up to 500 hours
- Advanced Temperature Regulation module
- two-way titanium plated stainless steel clip included
- constructed from aero grade aluminium alloy with HAIII military grade hard-anodized finish
- waterproof in accordance with IPX8 (tho meters submersible)
- impact resistant to 1 meter
- tail stand capability



Where to buy it

 You could buy the EC22 faster from Nitecorestore.com


The package and the accessories

The EC22 is sold in the classic yellow and black cardboard package that Nitecore has accustomed us to see for its products.
On the its front stands the photo of this EC22, next to it and well in evidence there are written the name of the flashlight and its maximum lumens. Smaller than those, there are the written that indicate the type of LED that this flashlight mounts, the type of power supply and the writing that indicates that this model is equipped with a circular switch that, by rotating, is able to go from 0.5 lumens to 1000 maxima without intervals prefixed but at will. This switch has been defined by Nitecore as "Infinitely Variable Brightness".
To finish, a stamp warns us that the flashlight is covered by a 5-year warranty (you will find the specifications of the warranty coverage in the manual).


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On the back of the package there are the specifications of the model, the classic drawings with the features of the model, a QR-code that led us on the product page on the Nitecore website, company data and CE certification.

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On one side of the box there are various generic photos to indicate the various fields of use to which this flashlight is intended while,

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on the other, the Infinitely Variable Brightness is emphasized.

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Inside the package we will find:

- EC22
- the metal pocket clip
- 2 spare O-rings of different thickness
- the wrist strap
- Cordura scabbard

- the multilingual manual
- the warranty card

P.S. The Nitecore, for the tests, gave me a 18650 of 2600 mAh. I have not included in the picture because it is not supplied with the flashlight.

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The scabbard is of the classic type, made by cordura and with a velcro closure.

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Laterally there is the inevitable flap with the company name.

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On the back there is a plastic D-ring and there are 2 loops, one of which is closed with Velcro and can be used in systems with M.O.L.L.E. attachments.

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Due the size of the EC22, the flashlight can be inserted inside the scabbard with its head pointing upwards

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or downward.

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The manual can be easily viewed or downloaded from the Nitecore website by clicking HERE . For convenience, I have reported only the parts in English and Italian.

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The flashlight

The EC22 is one of the most recent cigar-shaped flashlightes presented by Nitecore. Its peculiarity is that it is free of any pressure switch. Its UI is entirely controllable by a rotary switch in stark contrast to the black of the flashlight body. Body made entirely in anodised aluminum alloy.
According to specifications, the flashlight can be powered by 1x18650, 2xCR123A and even 2x16340.


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On the head we find a CREE XP-L HD LED with a cold color tint that, at a very low output, tends to be yellow / brownish but which, at medium / high levels, does not present dominant. The LED is perfectly centered at the base of an SMO dish, thanks to a black center-led.

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The bezel has a slightly pronounced battlements to protect the lens which, of course, has anti-reflection treatment.

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As I said a little while ago, the UI is controlled by this jagged and metallized rotary switch. The 16 grooves have been inserted both for an aesthetic factor and to have a grip on the switch so good that it can be rotated with a single finger.
In my example, this switch has had an excellent fluidity right from the start. It rotates a little less than 3/4 of a turn to light up the flashlight and move it from the minimum level to the maximum level (thanks to the infinitely variable brightness).
Needless to say that finding the switch in the dark is disarmingly easy.

To turn on the flashlight, turn the switch clockwise while to turn it off it will be turned anti-clockwise. When turned on and off, you will hear a "click" not too noisy.
I have also noticed that the first and last degrees of rotation do not change the brightness.
Above the switch we find the usual little drawing that tells us that the head can burn us (obviously after a few moments at the maximum level). Moreover, on the sides of the switch there are grooves which run all around the head to improve the dissipation. While underneath it there is a slightly angular part that blocks the (steady) flashlight on a horizontal plane and prevents it from rolling, but does not work as well if the flashlight is moving and / or on an inclined plane.


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On the body we can see a rhomboid knurling that allows an excellent grip in case we had wet or soaked hands. This is also in the tail and facilitates access to the battery compartment.
The knurling on the body is partially interrupted on one side by a space with the name Nitecore, its website address and the name of the flashlight


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and the CE and RoHS certifications on the other. The lettering of these writings and of the design on the head is perfect and does not present smudges.
To the left and right of the central knurling there are two grooves able to accommodate the supplied pocket clip.


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The tail is flat and we can place the EC22 standing on a horizontal plane.

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In addition there is a hole for the strap that, like the pocket clip, is included in the package.

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Zoom in (real dimensions: 1920 x 1084) The pocket clip can obviously be inserted either downwards or upwards, has a good press on the flashlight and on thick clothes like a sweatshirt.

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The entire flashlight can be divided into three different parts: head, body and tail.
The two anodized threads, placed on the sides of the central part of the flashlight, have a similar pitch but the flashlight will not light up if we make a mistake while reassembling it.
At the end of each thread there is an O-ring that ensures water resistance according to the IPX8 standard. According to specifications, the EC22 can resist submerged to a maximum depth of 2 meters.


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Zoom in (real dimensions: 1920 x 1084) Zoom in (real dimensions: 1920 x 1084) At the negative pole we will find a golden plating spring. There are no magnets in the tail.

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At the positive pole there is a raised contact and a protection device against reversing of the polarity, made of rigid plastic. This should allow the use of only button top cells but I had no problems with my HG2 flat top.

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Battery

As I said in the first paragraphs, this battery is not included in the EC22 package but I still preferred to test it.
This is a 18650 protected button top with a nominal 2600 mAh and with the Nitecore's sheath, model NL1826.

At a discharge test with Opus (at a speed of 500 mA), the battery have 2721 mAh.

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Here is the positive pole protruding from the cell,

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and the negative one. Note that the name Nitecore is engraved on it.

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And here is all the information on the sheath.

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How does it work

The Nitecore EC22 has, virtually, infinite levels covering a range from 0.5 lumens to 1000 lumens. There are no special levels.

According to official Nitecore data, the minimum and maximum levels have the following characteristics:

- Turbo -> 1000 lumens for 1 hour
- Ultra-low -> 0.5 lumens for 500 hours

NB The declared duration was reached by Nitecore during laboratory tests using a 18650 with 3500 mAh.


On / Off

A slight rotation of the switch in the clockwise direction makes the flashlight light up and a rotation in the anti-clockwise direction makes it turn off. The on / off switching is marked by an unmistakable "click".

Change levels

To increase or decrease the luminous output of the EC22, simply turn the switch (clockwise or anticlockwise). This is possible thanks to the infinitely variable brightness.

ATR system

This is the Nitecore system to adjust the light output of the highest level of the flashlight depending on the outside temperature. More the conditions are favorable to the flashlight (low temperatures / cool wind) and more, the high level, will emit light.


Dimensions: weights and dimensions

The Nitecore EC22 is 12.90 cm long, has a minimum diameter of 2.20 cm and a maximum diameter of 2.52 cm.
It weighs 76 gr without anything and 121 gr with the 18650 inserted. The battery alone weighs 45 gr.

Next here there is a dimensional comparison with a big BIC lighter and a 18650

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and with the Olight M2R and Nitecore MT21C.

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Lumens, runtimes, candles and beamshot

NB The tests below were made with the 18650 2600mAh supplied by Nitecore . Everything was done in a home environment at 20 ° with and without forced ventilation.

The following values were taken with the 18650 charge and are considered peak .

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The following values were taken with the 18650 charge and are considered peak .

NB The discharge curves are obviously indicative, the result could vary in positive or negative depending on the batteries used by the end user or the conditions of use that may vary from mine during my tests.

Any slight discrepancies related to the tests carried out on the same level can be attributed to a different positioning of the measuring equipment.

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The following values were taken with the 18650 charge and are considered peak .

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All the following photos were taken with the white balance set to 5200k.
This photo was taken at a distance of 40 cm from the wall. At a distance so close and on a white background, I noticed that the spot takes a slightly square shape but, in everyday use, which you do not perceive in the slightest.



Beam width



Beamshot at the Turbo level only. The tree line is at 25 meters away. The spill, with the spot facing the infinity on the horizontal plane, starts from about 60 cm from my feets but there is a subtle light that is closer to us.



The house at the end of the road is at 70 meters away. The level used is the Turbo.




Personal considerations

This Nitecore EC22 proved to be a very handy and compact flashlight. Its one-finger rotary switch is quick and precise in selecting the desired brightness. The only negative thing about this system is the absence of precise positions to know what brightness level we have selected to get an idea of the remaining battery. The great positive thing is that we can finally choose the degree of brightness that is most optimal for us, without having to be relegated to the levels imposed by the brand.
Overall it's a no-frills flashlight, without a magnet and without a charging circuit... I would call it almost essential or minimal.
Obviously it can be an excellent companion for everyday use. I see it well for the classic evening walk with the dog, for example.
You select the desired level and walk away without worries. With minimum effort you can even lower the light output without having to cycle all the levels or immediately access the turbo in a very simple way.
The only thing that I think that could be added is a system that indicates to us, in anyway, when the battery is about to give up but, for the rest, this EC22 is well promoted.

What do you think about it? Would you buy this EC22?