[Review] Nitecore MH23 (XHP35, 1800lm, 21600cd, 294m, 1x18650, 2x16340, USB Rechargeable, EDC)

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Neil_Tennen
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[Review] Nitecore MH23 (XHP35, 1800lm, 21600cd, 294m, 1x18650, 2x16340, USB Rechargeable, EDC)

Hello to everyone laughing
Thanking them for the trust, today we will review the MH23 which was kindly provided by Nitecore itself.

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

I want to clarify that my reviews are made at an amateur level, so without the aid of science fiction tools or tests in secret laboratories and cutting edge. Therefore, among the lines that follow, there will be my humble observations and even my humble opinions.

Official features:

- high performance rechargeable palm-sized spotlight
- utilizes a CREE XHP-35 HD LED to emit maximum output of 1800 lumens
- crystal coating technology combined with "Precision Digital Optics Technology" for extreme reflector performance
- a maximum beam intensity up to 21600 cd and beam distance up to 294 meters
- utilizes a two-stage power switch to control all functions
- high efficient constatn circuit with runtime of 330 hours
- integrated power indicator light displays remaining battery power (Utility Model Patent, No. ZL201220057767.4)
- power indicator displays battery voltage (accurate to ± 0,1V)
- intelligent Li-Ion battery charging circuit (via micro-USB charging port)
- integrated Advanced Temperature Regulation (ATR) technology
- reverse polarity protection
- optics lens with anti-reflective coating
- constructed from rugged aero grade aluminum alloy
- rugged HAIII military grade hard-anodized aluminum alloy
- IPX8 waterproof (2m submersible)
- impact resistant to 1 meter
- tail stand capability


Where to buy it

Nitecore Concept 2 could be purchased from NitecoreStore.com

 

The package and the accessories

The Nitecore MH23 is sold inside a light cardboard box with the classic black and yellow colors.

On the front, under the Nitecore logo, stands the photo of the product (smaller than about 15-20% compared to the actual model). Next to it we find the phrase "Palm-sized spotlight" to emphasize the compactness of the model, the big name of the flashlight, the LED that mounts, its maximum power and is clearly highlighted in red that this flashlight has the recharging circuit (another photo shows a USB cable inserted into the flashlight to recharge it).

A red sticker communicates that the flashlight is covered by a 5 year warranty. More details can be found in the manual.

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On the back we find the essential features of the product, the company data, the CE and RoHS certifications and a QR-code that addresses to the product page on the Nitecore website .

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On one of the 2 sides, under the inscription "Multitask Hybrid Series", there is the summary panels with the relevant product data

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while on the other side there is a photo of the flashlight beam with the maximum power generated by the flashlight and the maximum distance reached (expressed in ANSI meters) well highlighted.

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Once the package will be opened, we will find:

- MH23
- the metal clip
- the wrist strap
- the USB-> microUSB cable for recharging (about 1 meter long)
- a replacement plug (for the microUSB connector)
- 2 different spare O-rings
- Cordura sheath
- the warranty card
- the multilingual manual

NOTE: no battery is included

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The sheath supplied in the package is made by cordura and its opening / closing is entrusted from the velcro.

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On the back of it we find a plastic D-ring, a belt loop and a loop with Velcro to attach the scabbard to a MOLLE system.

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The flashlight can easily be inserted into the sheath with the head both up or down.
On one side of the scabbard there is the flap with the company logo.

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Here is the manual in the English and Italian languages. Alternatively, it can be viewed in full and / or downloaded from the Nitecore website by clicking HERE .

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The flashlightes a

The MH23 boasts a compact flashlight body, like the classic cigar-shaped, and a slightly larger sized head that gives it a good shot (considering the overall compactness).

Officially it can be powered by 1x18650, 2xCR123A and / or 2x16340.

The aluminum alloy body has not excessively angular shapes. At the top there are the dissipating fins and on the body and tail there is a rhomboidal knurling. Anodization is perfect.
The protrusion given by the fins and those notches that can be seen in the tail dampen very quickly (any) rolling of the flashlight.

On the side of the switch, on the head, there is the classic little drawing that warns that it can become very hot and on the body there is the name of the model.

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On the opposite side, on the head, there are the certifications and on the body we find the logo and the Nitecore site. Obviously all the writing is free of smudges.

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The head houses a CREE XHP35 HD LED with a cold tint, very white at high modes but which become slightly yellow at the low.
The LED is centered in a generous SMO dish thanks to the black center-LED. A lens with the classic anti-reflection treatment dominates the whole.

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The bezel is smooth and is raised above the lens in order to offer good protection in case of accidental fall.

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The MH23 is equipped with a single switch that has the task of controlling the UI. It is easily identifiable in the dark, provided that no gloves are worn, and is, as for cameras, a dual stage switch (it means that both a half-pressure, TAP, and a complete pressure until the end of stroke can be performed).

By pressing the switch to the end of the stroke it can be noticed that it is not too long and the click is not very noisy.

Under it there is a blue indicator light (we will look at its functions later).

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Looking the switch from its side you can be see that it is in flush with the flashlight body but that it still allows a comfortable position to the thumb.

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On the opposite side of the switch, protected by the silicone plug against powders and liquids according to the IPX8 standard, there is the microUSB port. A tongue facilitates its opening.
It should be noted that both the symbol of the USB and the word OPEN are imprinted on the rubber.

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By removing the rubber pad, you will have access to the microUSB port.

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The tail of the MH23 is completely flat, which obviously allows the tailstand but no magnet is inserted inside of it.

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Laterally we find the hole where you can insert the wrist strap.

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Just to understand the compactness of the flashlight body, here is a 18650 alongside the MH23.

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The central part of the body can be divided from both the head and the tail. The two threads, which have a different pitch, can not be reversed and each has its O-ring and comes well greased.
Both are anodized and obviously allow the physical lock-out of the flashlight.

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At the negative pole there is a single large golden spring

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and at the positive pole there is a raised contact with the exposed circuitry. On it, which even has the Nitecore logo printed on it, there is no anti-reverse polarity device. This allowed me to turn on the flashlight with my LG HG2 Flat Top (with the positive flat pole) without any problem.

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The battery and the charging system

As anticipated, the MH23 is sold without any battery but in the manual there is a table where the supported ones are indicated.

As 18650, Nitecore recommends its NL1835HP or an IMR or any battery capable of providing an output ≥ 8A because, if the batteries are not adequate, the flashlight may not light up or may not work properly ( you will not have access to the Turbo).

It not be also possible to use the Turbo using the other compatible batteries (a pair of CR123A, not rechargeable, or 16340 / RCR123). Using these types of batteries we will not even be able to use the integrated recharging circuit due it ONLY works with the 18650.

For my tests, Nitecore has provided me its NL1835HP , a 3500 mAh 18650 Button Top protected with high performance and able to provide the 8A required by the flashlight.
It came to me with a voltage of 3.54V and, with a 500 mA test with Opus, it results to have 3464 mAh.

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As said, it is a button top battery

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and at its negative pole is even imprinted "Nitecore".

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Here are the written, where it is clear the 8A certification, which are on its sheath.

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To take advantage of the flashlight recharge circuit, simply remove the protective cap, insert the microUSB plug of the supplied cable and connect its USB plug to any device capable of delivering 5V (powerbank, mobile phone chargers, etc.).

However, the circuit will absorb a little more than 0.5A and when the recharging started, the indicator under the cap will start to flash.

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When charging is complete, the blue indicator will remain lit.

With the battery used by me, the whole charging process (with the battery completely discharged) takes about 8 hours to be done. By measuring the battery voltage with the multimeter, I measured 4.20V accurate.

NW The flashlight can not be switched on if the battery is charging.

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How does it work

The MH23 has eight selectable modes, three of which are special modes (Strobo, SOS, Beacon).

According to official Nitecore data, normal modes have the following characteristics:

- Turbo -> 1800 lumens for 30 minutes *
- High -> 760 lumens for 1 hour and 45 minutes
- Mid -> 260 lumens for 4 hours and 45 minutes
- Low -> 55 lumens for 19 hours
- Ultralow -> 1 lumen for 300 hours

Each special mode (Strobo, SOS, Beacon) will use all 1800 lumens available to operate .

NW The declared durations have been recorded in the laboratory by Nitecore with a 3100 mAh IMR battery (obviously) charged.
* this duration was reached by adding the duration of the mode in question before the intervention of the ATR.

Before reading the operation of the flashlight, remember that the switch on the MH23 is a dual stage switch. It can be pressed either halfway (TAP) or completely pressed (until end of stroke).

Power On / Off

With a single full click of the switch, we will turn the flashlight on or off. Due the presence of memory, the last mode previously used will always be repeated.
NW Special modes are not remembered from memory.

Change modes

A lighted flashlight will require a single switch TAP to cycle all 5 normal modes in ascending order. Obviously 1 TAP = 1 change mode.

Quick access to Ultra-Low or Turbo

Due the presence of memory on each normal mode, it may happen that in a given situation we should quickly access the lowest or highest available mode.
Performing a prolonged TAP with the flashlight turned off will turn on the Ultra-low mode. When the switch is released, the mode will remain lit. Recalling this mode in this way will not let it remember from memory and at the next normal power-up the mode used before Ultra-low will be re-proposed.
Performing a prolonged full pressure with the flashlight turned off will cause the turn on of the Turbo mode. When the switch will be released, the LED will switch off. It is a real Momentary-ON.
Running a prolonged TAP with the flashlight turned on from any mode will turn on the Turbo mode. Also in this case we will have a Momentary-ON mode but releasing the switch will return to the previous mode.

Special modes

As written at the beginning of the paragraph, the flashlight includes 3 special modes: the Strobo, the SOS and the Beacon.
These modes can only be selected with the flashlight turned on by performing a complete and prolonged pressure on the switch .
In this way we will immediately access the Strobo mode and, as for normal modes, with 1 TAP of the switch, the special modes will also cycle (which will follow the order written above).
In case of an emergency, you can switch from the SOS and / or Beacon mode to the Strobo mode by performing a prolonged TAP of the switch .
NW To exit the special modes, the flashlight must be switched off by performing a single full pressure on the switch .

Lock / Unlock

This particular model does not have an electronic lock but, thanks to the anodization on the threads, it is possible to use the (always reliable) physical lock-out by unscrewing the tail-cap at least a quarter of a turn.

Charge indicator

With the MH23 it is possible to know, in a precise way (with a margin of error of ± 0.1 v), the remaining charge of the battery.
Each time the tailcap is screwed in
(and then the circuit is closed ), the blue indicator located under the switch will start to flash and then be followed by other flashes.
For example, if we have a voltage of 4.2V, we will have 4 flashes, pause and then another 2 flashes; with 3.8V, we will have 3 flashes, pause and then another 8 flashes.
As you can see from the examples, the system is as simple as it is ingenious. It's like having a multimeter inside the flashlight.

Locator

With the MH23 it is possible to use the blue indicator as a locator in such a way as to be able to identify the flashlight in complete darkness.
When the flashlight is off, it is sufficient to do a single TAP on the switch to enable or disable the flashing of the indicator. Once enabled, it will flash every 2 seconds. According to the manual, the locator can have a 6-month autonomy.

ATR system

This is the Nitecore system to adjust the light output of the highest mode of the flashlight depending on the outside temperature. The more the conditions are favorable to the flashlight (low temperatures / cool wind) and higher the higher modes will emit light.


Dimensions: weights and dimensions

The Nitecore MH23 is 11.23 cm long and has a minimum diameter of 2.25 cm and a maximum of 3.20 cm (measured by measuring the dissipating fins). From empty it weighs 97 g while with the supplied battery supplied weighs 147 gr. With an IMR (LG HG2) it weighs 141 gr. The NL1835HP battery weighs 50g while the HG2 weighs 44g.

Next, here is the dimensional comparison with a big BIC lighter and the NL1835HP,

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and with the EC22 and the MH20.

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Lumens, runtimes, candles and beamshot

NB The tests below were made by the battery supplied by Nitecore. Everything was done in a home environment at 26 ° with and without forced ventilation.

The following values have been taken with the battery charged and are considered to be peak .

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The following values have been taken with the battery charged and are considered to be 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 mode can be attributed to a different positioning of the measuring equipment in my tests.

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The following values have been taken with the battery charged and are considered to be 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.

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Beam width

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Beamshots at the Turbo, High, Mid and Low modes. The tree line is 25 meters away. The spill, with the spot facing the infinity on the horizontal plane, starts from about 1 meter and 50 cm from my feet.

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The house is 70 meters away and I used the Turbo, High and Mid modes .

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The trees at the bottom are about 150 meters away. I have always used the same 3 modes used before.

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This is a short video that give better the idea of the potential of the flashlight.




Personal considerations

This Nitecore MH23, in my opinion, is an excellent EDC flashlight because it is not very long and its maximum width is not excessive so allows it to stand quietly in the pocket of a jeans or to be attached to the belt thanks to its sheath. Its overall dimensions make it fit comfortably in any hand and the overall weight is right for a 1x18650 flashlight.

With its switch, slightly larger than the average size that allows it to be found without much difficulty, you control the excellent UI that I found very easy and intuitive.

The LED used, in its HD variant, is not for extreme shooting but you can easily reach the real 150 meters in Turbo, a mode that still allows you to have as many as 1800 lumens.

If necessary, you can also take advantage of the integrated recharge circuit but remember that the flashlight can not be used if the battery is charging. It is not necessarily a defect, it depends on the final use you have to make of the flashlight and how long you keep it on.

The only drawback I found is the charging speed, only 0.5A in my opinion are a bit 'little and make the charging a bit slower than other systems.

What do you think of this MH23? Would you buy it?

stephenk
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Thanks for the review. Can I ask, what is the strobe frequency?

DavidEF
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Nice, well written review. Thanks. This seems like a great compact XHP-35 light.

Reason is not automatic. Those who deny it cannot be conquered by it. Do not count on them. Leave them alone.
-Ayn Rand

Neil_Tennen
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stephenk wrote:
Thanks for the review. Can I ask, what is the strobe frequency?


Hi Smile
should be 17.5 Hz according to this graph Wink