[Review] Nitecore MH12GTS (XHP35 HD, CW, 1800lm, 12760cd, 226m, 1x18650, 2xCR123, 2x16340, USB Rechargeable, Tactical)

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Neil_Tennen
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[Review] Nitecore MH12GTS (XHP35 HD, CW, 1800lm, 12760cd, 226m, 1x18650, 2xCR123, 2x16340, USB Rechargeable, Tactical)

Hello to everyone laughing
Thanking them for the trust, today we will review the MH12GTS 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:

- utilizes a CREE XHP35 HD LED, with a maximum output of 1800 lumens
- maximum peak beam intensity of 12760 cd and maximum throw of 226 meters
- an optical system combined with crystal coating and "Precision Digital Optics Technology" (PDOT)
- high efficienct constant circuit provides stable output up to 250 hours
- the metal side switch controls 5 brightness levels and 3 special modes
- a power indicator beneath the side switch indicate the remaining battery power (Patent No. ZL201220057767.4)
- the power indicator can also display the battery voltage (± 0,1V)
- built-in Li-Ion battery charging circuit with a microUSB port
- NITECORE 18650 rechargeable Li-Ion battery (NL1835HP 3500 mAh) included
- rigid double layer tube design
- incorporated Advanced Temperature Regulation (ATR) module (Patent No. ZL201510534543.6)
- electronic reverse polarity protection
- optical lenses with double-sides scratchcoating
- constructed from aero grade aluminum alloy
- HA III military grade hard-anodized finish
- waterproof in accordance with IPX8 (2 meters submersible)
- impact resistant to 1 meter
- tail stand capability

 

Where to buy it

The Nitecore MT12GTS could be purchased from NitecoreStore.com

 

The package and the accessories

The Nitecore MH12GTS is sold in a light cardboard box with the classic black and yellow color.

On the front, in addition to the Nitecore logo, stands out the model name with the type of LED used and the maximum lumens generated by the flashlight (1800!).
In the central part of it we found the photo of the product (smaller than the actual model) flanked by those of the Nitecore battery (included in the package) and of the tail of the flashlight to show you in detail that, in addition to the switch, there is also the microUSB port, that takes care of charging the 18650, protected by a rubber cap.
At the bottom of the box we find the phrases "USB RECHARGEABLE" and "Ultra Compact Dual-Fuel Searchlight" to underline the peculiarities of the model.

A red baloon clearly shows 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 characteristics of the product, the company data, the CE and RoHS certifications and a QR-code that directs the product page on the Nitecore website .

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

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while on the other side the name of the flashlight is repeated with the phrase "Ultra Compact Multi-Fuel Searchlight".

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Once the package is opened, we will find:

- the MH12GTS
- Nitecore 18650 NL835HP (which was supplied to me separately but which is normally included in the package)
- the metal ring for the cigar-grip (already mounted on the flashlight)
- the metal pocket clip
- the wrist strap
- the USB-> microUSB cable for charging (a little more than 1 meter long)
- 1 spare O-ring
- Cordura sheath
- the warranty card
- the multilingual manual

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

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On the back 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 down

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  or with the head upwards, but in this case we should unscrew the metal ring for the cigar-grip from it.

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On the side there is a flap with the Nitecore logo.

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And here is the cable to recharging the battery (both included) that can be connected to any device with 5V output (car charger, wall charger, powerbank, solar panel, etc.) and it is not included in the package.

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The cable has the classic USB and microUSB male plugs.

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

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The flashlight

The MH12GTS is the new Nitecore cigar-shaped flashlight, which can be powered by 1x18650 (capable of guaranteeing 8A or more of discharge), but also by 2xCR123A or 2x16340.

The flashlight body maded by anodised aluminum alloy has not excessively aggressive shapes but has clean lines almost everywhere except for the area near the side switch where some dissipating grooves are hinted and there is a slightly angular part that prevents the flashlight rolling away on sloping surfaces.

Going down to the tail, we find a rhomboid knurling on the flashlight body (where it will be held), a groove in which you can insert the pocket clip, the ring (removable) that allows the cigar-grip and another knurling rhomboidal on the tailcap that facilitates the opening.

The Nitecore logo and the name of the flashlight are placed in the central part of the body

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and, on the other side, we can find the CE and RoHS certifications.

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The head houses a CREE XHP35 HD LED with a cold hue that become very white hue at high levels but which turns slightly yellow at low levels.
The LED is centered at the base of an SMO dish thanks to the black center-LED .

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The lens that overhangs the whole has anti-reflective treatment and is protected from accidental falls by a bezel without battlement.

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Right on the bezel collar we find the identification code of the product

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and the classic little drawing that warns us that the surface can become hot enough to burn us. All the writing is free of smudges.

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Immediately below the triangle there is one of the two flashlight switches. This is electronic, has a short run and make an average noisy.
With it you can control the UI of the flashlight and, looking better, we can see that it is surrounded by a ring of translucent plastic through the light of
a blue indicator pass (we will see then its operation).

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The switch protrudes slightly from the flashlight body to be easier located in the dark with bare hands but with gloves it becomes more difficult to find .

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On its tail the MH12GTS houses both the second switch (mechanical this time) that turning the flashlight on and off and also allows the momentary-ON, which has a classic stroke and the "noisy" click, and is the microUSB port protected from any infiltration of powders and liquids according to the IPX8 standard by a rubber cap.
It should be noted that the Nitecore's "N" is on the rubber switch and on the plug there is the USB symbol.

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The switch is located slightly below the "wings" of the tailcap (which have two holes for the lanyard) so you can make the tail-stand.

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Remove the cap is extremely easy (maybe a little too much) and under it, in addition to the microUSB port that allows you to recharge the battery (only 18650!), we also find another blue indicator (in the photo placed at the top to the left of the door) that tells us the progress of the recharge.

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Even the cigar-grip ring (which can be removed at will) has a hole in which the wrist strap can be inserted.

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The flashlight body can be divided into just two sections

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and the threading, even if not anodized (therefore physical lock-out is not possible), arrives well greased.

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The negative pole of the MH12GTS consists in 2 golden springs.

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Another 2 golden springs can also be founded at the positive pole, positioned at the center of the visible circuitry. I tried to turn on the flashlight with my LG HG2 Flat Top (with the positive flat pole) and it turned on without problems.

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The battery and the charging system

As anticipated, the MH12GTS is sold with a 18650 Nitecore NL1835HP battery (Nitecore give me a separate one in its protective blister but I preferred to reuse that provided for the review of the MH23).

Obviously if you need extra batteries you can use any unprotected 18650 INR / IMR battery that can supply 8 or more A or use 2xCR123A or 2x16340 (or RCR123). Keep in mind that with the CR and the 16340 will not be possible to use the Turbo and that using 18650 with inadequate outputs the flashlight may not even work.

Last thing to remember: the recharge is possible ONLY with the 18650.

Here are the pictures of the NL18350HP battery inside its sales blister

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In detail, the positive pole

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and the negative one on which "Nitecore" is imprinted

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and the writings (where the 8A certification is shown) that are on the sheath.

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To take advantage of the flashlight recharge circuit, simply remove the protective cap and connect the supplied cable to any device capable that deliver 5V (powerbank, mobile phone chargers, etc.).

The circuit will absorb approximately 0.70A and, when the charging is started, the indicator next to the microUSB port will start to flash.

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When charging is complete, the blue indicator will remain lit. With the battery used by me discharged (about 3.10 V), the whole charging process takes just over 7 hours. Measuring the final voltage of the battery with the multimeter, I detected 4.22V.

NW You can not turn on the flashlight if the battery is being charged and, even if you try to connect the cable having the flashlight on, the LED will turn off and then turn on automatically when you unplug it.

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How does it work

The MH12GTS has eight selectable levels, three of which are special modes (Strobo, Beacon, SOS).

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

- Turbo -> 1800 lumens for 30 minutes *
- High -> 900 lumens for 2 hours and 15 minutes
- Mid -> 240 lumens for 5 hours and 45 minutes
- Low -> 70 lumens for 19 hours
- Ultralow -> 1 lumen for 250 hours

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

NW The stated durations have been recorded in the laboratory by Nitecore with a 3500 mAh battery (obviously) charged.
* this duration was reached by adding the duration of the level in question before the intervention of the ATR.

Remember that the Turbo is only available using high performance 18650 batteries, with all the others it will not turn on.

Power On / Off

With a single full click of the tail switch, we will turn the flashlight on or off.
Because the presence of memory, the last level previously used will always be repeated. Levels that can be used with the momentary-ON of the tail switch
NW Of the 3 special modes available, only the Strobo is remembered in the memory and can also be recalled with the momentary-ON.

Change levels

With the flashlight on, just click on the side switch to cycle all 5 normal levels in ascending order. Obviously 1 TAP = 1 change level.
You can cycle the levels even if we have the LED turned on in momentary-ON.

Quick access to Ultralow and Turbo

Due the presence of memory on each normal level, it may happen that in a given situation we should quickly access the lowest or highest available level.
To access the Ultralow level, keep the side switch pressed and then press the tail one.
With the flashlight turned on you can switch to the Turbo level from any level, just keep the side switch pressed to turn the LED on at maximum power. However, releasing the switch will return to the previous level because the Turbo, on this flashlight, can only be activated as momentary-ON.

Special modes

As seen at the beginning of the paragraph, the flashlight includes 3 special modes: the Strobo, the Beacon and the SOS.
These modes can be selected only when the flashlight is turned on by making a quick double pressure on the side switch.
In this way we will immediately access the Strobo mode and to cycle the other special modes we have simply to apply a slightly longer pressure on the side switch . The special modes will follow the order written above.
In case of emergency you can switch from the SOS or Beacon level to the Strobo level by double-clicking on the side switch .
NW A single click on the side switch will lead to the normal levels, while a click on the tail switch will turn off the flashlight.. Thanks to the memory, if we turn off the LED on the Strobe we will find it at the next restart.

Lock / Unlock

This particular model does not have an electronic lock and, due the absence of anodized threading, it is NOT even possible to use the physical lock-out by unscrewing the tail-cap. In this particular model, if we unscrew the flashlight tail-cap and press the tail switch, the LED will not turn off and vice versa will not light if we press it and unscrew the flashlight tail-cap.

Charge indicator

With the MH12GTS 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.

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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 higher the higher levels will emit light.


Dimensions: weights and dimensions

The Nitecore MH12GTS is 14.44 cm long and has a minimum diameter of 2.28 cm and a maximum of 2.60 cm (without the ring for the cigar-grip).
Empty (and without clip / ring for the cigar-grip) it weighs 98 gr while with the supplied battery supplied weighs 148 gr. The battery alone weighs 50 gr.

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

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with the EC22 and the MH23

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and with the Rofis R3 and the Olight M2R.

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Lumens, runtimes, candles and beamshot

NW 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 .

NW 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 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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Beamshot at the Turbo, High and Mid levels. 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 same levels as before.

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The trees at the bottom are about 150 meters away. I used only the Turbo and the High.

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I also take this opportunity to attach a short video that show better the potential of the flashlight.




Personal considerations

The MH12GTS has been confirmed as a practical cigar-shaped flashlight. The packaging with a rich content, the recharge circuit (which only works with the 18650), and the included battery make us to be operational as opened the package.

The two switches (one on the tail and one on the side) are part of the DNA of this kind of flashlightes and I find them very comfortable to use. Especially for the momentary-ON of the tail switch that also works with the Strobo. Of course, with normal levels, remember that you must have to select it first to get it immediately available.

As mentioned before, the flashlight has a practical charging circuit in the tail. IMHO, the only flaws that have this flashlight are just that, in a possible dagger grip, the rubber cap that protect the microUSB door will be easily released (if we hold the flashlight on its side) and the charging speed of the integrated circuit, although it has been speeded up a little, it is still a little slow compared to the other.
If you only have one battery and you need the flashlight urgently, you can consider to buy one of the many Nitecore chargers like the SC4 which even reaches the 3 A speed (obviously check if the battery you want to load supports such speed).


What do you think of this MH12GTS? Would you buy?

Edited by: Neil_Tennen on 10/26/2018 - 13:38