[Review] Nitecore EA42 (1800lm, 353m ANSI, 31200cd, XHP35 HD, 4xAA)

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Neil_Tennen's picture
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Joined: 07/16/2016 - 09:19
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Location: Italy
[Review] Nitecore EA42 (1800lm, 353m ANSI, 31200cd, XHP35 HD, 4xAA)

Hello everyone,
thanking them for the trust given to me, today we will review the Nitecore EA42 that was kindly provided 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 my reviews are made at an amateur level, so without the aid of science fiction tools or tests in secret and cutting edge laboratories. Therefore, among the lines that will follow, there will be my humble observations and even my humble opinions.

Official features:

- AA battery powerwd high intensity spotlight
- utilizes a CREE XHP35 HD LED with a max output of 1800 lumens
- integrated "Precision Digital Optics Technology" provides extreme reflector performance
- boasts a peak beam intensity of 31,200cd and a throw distance of 353 meters
- dual switch offers a user-friendly interface
- 5 brightness levels and 3 special modes optional
- high efficiency circuit board provides up to 280 hours runtime
- power indicator beneath the switches displays remaining battery power (Patent No.: ZL201220057767.4)
- built-in Advanced Temperature Regulation module
- toughened ultra-clear mineral glass with anti-reflective coating
- the head is constructed from aero grade aluminum alloy with HAIII military grade hard-anodized finish

- the tube is constructed from Polycarbonate (PC) material
- waterproof in accordance with IPX8 (tho meters submersible)
- impact resistant to 1 meter

Where to buy it

The Nitecore EA42 can be easly buyed from Nitecorestore.com

The package and the accessories

The EA42 package is the classic that Nitecore uses for its products: yellow and black made in cardboard.
On the front there is a nice picture of this EA42 and the name of the flashlight and its maximum 1800 lumens are well indicated. In small are indicated the type of LED that mounts the flashlight, the type of battery with which it is powered, detail remarked by a beautiful yellow sticker with four AA batteries designed to indicate that this flashlight is powered by 4xAA (Ni-mh or alkaline) .
Another stamp, this time red, warns us that the flashlight is covered by a 5-year warranty (you will find the specifications on warranty coverage in the manual).


On the back of the package there are the features of the model and the company data.


On one side of the box there are various generic photos to indicate the various fields of use to which this flashlight is intended and the CE certification logo


while on the other side are summarized the main features of the EA42.


Inside the package we will find:

- the EA42
- 4xAA Ni-Mh incellophanate together
- 1 spare O-ring
- the wrist strap
- Cordura scabbard

- the multilingual manual
- the warranty card

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


Laterally there is the unfailing flap with the name of the company embroidered.


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


Due the size of the EA42, that can be inserted inside the scabbard with the head facing upwards


or facing down. But, because of the size of its head (compared to that of the body) I recommend to always put it down to have much security.


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

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The flashlight

The EA42 is the latest multi-battery flashlight powered by AA, both Alkaline and Ni-Mh, released by Nitecore.
Unlike other more "compact" can-shaped flashlightes, the Nitecore for this EA42 has chosen to insert paired the 4xAA (2S-2P).
The head of the flashlight, where there are also the two switches that control the UI, is made of aluminum alloy as well as the ring to which the battery compartment is screwed. While the compartment is made in polycarbonate.

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Seen from the side, the particular conformation that the body of this flashlight has is better. Also note the grooves near the keys to dissipate the heat, the knurling that helps to unscrew the ring that closes the battery compartment and those on the flashlight body that improves the grip.

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At its head we find an XHP35 HD LED with a CW tint without dominant details. The LED is well centered in a SMO dish and the whole is topped by a lens with anti-reflection treatment.

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A metal bezel without battlements is placed to protect the glass.

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On the side of the head there is the usual image that warns us that the surface can burn after some time that the flashlight has been lit at high levels.
Immediately below there are the two electronic switches that control the UI. They have a short stroke and emit little noise. In my model, the switch above emits slightly more noise than the bottom one.
Thanks to the fact that they are made of plastic material with a translucent finish, below we find a blue indicator that we will then see how it operate in the appropriate paragraph.
Accomplice also the shape of the flashlight body, the switches are easily findable even in the dark and without gloves.
On the sides of the switches there are grooves that improve dissipation and the head, not perfectly circular, has triangular grooves that give an aesthetic touch to lines that otherwise would have been too minimal.

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As I said before, the whole body is made of polycarbonate, a material chosen especially for its resistance to heat, low temperatures and impacts.
On one side, in the plastic, the name Nitecore is written and 

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on the other side there is the name of the flashlight and the CE and RoHS certifications. Inside of it, once the ring is unscrewed, the batteries will be inserted.

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In the tail protrude the two "wings" that house the holes for the strap and that, seeing the flashlight from the narrowest side, form this catchy groove.

ImmagineZoom in (real dimensions: 1920 x 1084)

Zoom in (real dimensions: 1920 x 1084)Seeing it from the wider side, we can clearly see these holes, one on each side.
The flashlight can be putted in the tailstand but, due its precarious balance, I highly recommend to paying attention to any bumps that could make it fall.

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To access the battery compartment, unscrew the metal ring between the aluminum head and the plastic body.

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Zoom in (real dimensions: 1920 x 1084) Once the ring is unscrewed, it will come away completely detached from the flashlight

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and we will then find the flashlight divided into three parts: the head, the ring and the body / battery compartment.
The thread (anodized and well greased) is only found on the side of the head, in fact the body will fit into it thanks to four protuberances arranged in such a way as to align it in the right direction and the ring will then have the task of close the parts between them by screwing to the head.
On the body, under the aforementioned protuberances, there is an O-ring which ensures resistance to water and dust according to the IP68 standard. According to specifications, the EA42 can withstand to a maximum depth of 2 meters.

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Inside the body we find a spring (negative pole) and a slightly raised contact (positive pole) where you will insert the batteries (2 per side) respecting, obviously, the polarity.
Even if slightly out of focus, you can see the protuberances I told you before (three on the left and one on the right).


By inserting the four batteries, we will find the one with the positive pole that protrudes more out of the body than the other. Do not worry, it's normal ... it's the spring that makes them stand up.


Obviously the batteries will hit the respective poles under the LED. Here we will find a spring and a slightly raised contact lying on a plate with visible circuitry.
To close the two parts, once the batteries are put inside the compartment, it is mandatory to use both hands because everything is calculated to the millimeter to make the flashlight as compact as possible and the springs are a little resistance.


The batteries

From the pack of the flashlight come out 4xAA Ni-Mh branded Enelong, with a good nominal capacity of 2100 mAh that come with a voltage of 1.30V.
At a discharge test with Opus (at a speed of 300 mA), the batteries have a MEDIA capacity of 2280 mAh.

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Obviously the battery is a classic AA Ni-Mh, so here is its protruding positive pole

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and the negative one.

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And here is all the information on the sheath.


NB Only the batteries are supplied, so it is necessary to have a charger able to charge the Ni-Mh. Zoom in (real dimensions: 1920 x 1084)

How does it work

The Nitecore EA42 has eight selectable levels, five of which are normal and three are special (the STROBO, the SOS and the BEACON).

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

- Turbo -> 1800 lumens for 30 minutes (not reachable with Alkaline)
- High -> 850 lumens for 1 hour and 45 minutes
- Mid -> 300 lumens for 4 hours and 45 minutes
- Low -> 55 lumens for 20 hours
- Ultra-low -> 1 lumen for 280 hours

NB The declared duration has been reached by Nitecore during laboratory tests using 4xAA Ni-Nh of
2450 mAh. If you use Alkaline, the Turbo level may be inaccessible.

As seen in anticipation the flashlight has 2 switches placed one on the other. The topmost (which we will call T1 ) is recognizable by the 4 horizontal bars, while the second (which we will call T2 ) has the usual symbol on / off.

On / Off

A single press on T2 will turn the flashlight on and off. Since the EA42 has memory, the last level used the previous time will be remembered.

Change levels

With the flashlight on, just press T1 once to cycle the 5 normal levels, which will then be repeated in loop, in ascending order.

Quick access to Turbo and Ultra-low

When switched off, just keep the T1 pressed for 1 second to access the Turbo, while holding down T2 will turn on the Ultra-low level. The levels will remain in operation when the button is released
When turned on, just hold down the T1 to have immediate access to the Turbo but it will be like a sort of momentary-ON since the key will return to the previous level.

Access to special levels

Only with the flashlight turned off can it be accessed. Just press twice in rapid succession T1 to access special levels. Another T1 pressure will cycle special levels (in the order STROBO, Beacon and SOS) while, a T2 pressure, will turn off the LED.

Charge indicator

On the EA42, as well as many other Nitecore, there is the possibility to know the remaining charge. On this model in particular just press, once the flashlight is off, once T1 flashes the indicator under the switch.
3 flashes indicate a residual charge of > 50%
2 flashes indicate a residual charge between 50 and 10%
1 flash indicates a residual charge of < 10%
When the flashlight is on, the indicator will start to flash (autonomously) slowly for a charge value < 50% and quickly for a value < 10%.
Every time we insert the batteries, the flashlight checks the cell voltage and communicates it to us through the indicator
Here is a picture of the indicator on



Activating the locator and finding the flashlight in the dark is very simple. Just turn on the flashlight and hold the power switch off. The LED will go off but the blue indicator located below the switches will turn on, flashing once every 2 seconds. According to specifications, the flashlight can flash continuously for 6 months. To turn off the locator, simply turn on the flashlight or check the remaining charge.

Block system

The flashlight, because it is not possible to physically lock it, is equipped with an electronic lock that prevents unintentional lit when the batteries are mounted.
To lock it, just press the T1 and T2 switches at the same time, with the flashlight off. When the LED flashes, it means that the lock is active and the flashlight will no longer respond to any command.
It will be enough to press both switches again to release it. When the lock is released, the LED will light up.
Removing and replacing the batteries will not disable the electronic lock.

ATR system

This is the Nitecore system to adjust the light output of the highest level of the flashlight depending on the outside temperature. The 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 EA42 is 16.9 cm long, the head has a diameter of 4.01 cm while the body measures 3.46 x 1.94 cm.
It weighs 130 gr without anything and 238 with the 4xAA Ni-Mh outputs from the package. The single battery weighs 27 gr.

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


with Olight S2A and Zanflare F2



and with the Nitecore SRT9.



Lumens, runtimes, candles and beamshot

NB The tests below were made with the 4xAA Ni-Mh outputs from the package . Everything was done in a home environment at 21 ° with and without forced ventilation.

The following values have been taken with the charged Ni-Mh 4xAAs and are considered to be peak .


The following values have been taken with the charged Ni-Mh 4xAAs 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 level can be attributed to a different positioning of the measuring equipment in my tests.



At the end of each curve, the battery voltage was 1.16V (at rest).

The following values have been taken with the charged Ni-Mh 4xAAs and are considered to be peak .


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.

Beam width

Beamshot at the Turbo, High, Med and Low levels. The tree line is at 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 but there is a slight under-spill that is closer to us.
The Turbo level is slightly brighter than the reality.

Same levels as before, the cottage at the end of the road is at 70 meters. Even here the Turbo is slightly brighter than reality.

Personal considerations

This Nitecore EA42 amazed me a lot, I never imagined seeing so much power from a flashlight powered by 4xAA. It is ideal for those who want so much power and do not want to convert to Li-Ion.
On the other hand, the dimensions will be slightly more abundant but remain manageable. The flashlight, with 4 batteries inside, is not overly thinking and the weights are well balanced.
The grip on the whole is comfortable, the switches are easily reached (and found) and can be pressed without problems.
The charge indicator is always present but this time, instead of the multimeter-style flashes, the flashes have been adopted in percentage. Probably the fact is due to the use of AA batteries that probably did not make it possible to use the first method.
Ending talking about the ring that closes the flashlight. The idea itself is fast and functional. Everything flows well and without problems but I would have preferred the addition of a collar on the flashlight body that would not allow him to run away.

What do you think about it? You would you buy it?

Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Joined: 02/10/2013 - 18:04
Posts: 15
Location: Rio de Janeiro

I´ve bought one of these. I have the EA41 and as 18650s are difficult to buy in Brasil, I wanted a more powerful new AA flashlight.
I feel disappointed by Nitecore. This thing is unnecessarily large, most of the weight is in the head.
It couldn´t tail stand due to the bizarre wings at the bottom end, so I sanded it around 1.5 mm to have a flat surface on the wings.
What a disappointment it was: the polycarboshit is soft as butter !!! Not that it´s soft, it´s really like compressed shit.
Any way, after sanding and finishing, its appearance got a little more coherent and it can tail stand, but, as most weight is in the head, it´s not stable.
The whole thing is weird when seen at hand. The pictures on Internet don´t show how bad the finish is. The injection moulding seams are evident.
It seems you found the head of an 80 dollar flashlight in the garbage bin and the end of a 5 dollar one and attached them together!
To close the thing you need 3 hands, 2 to compress the 2 parts together and a 3rd one to set and rotate the ring.
The battery that protrudes from the tube is unstable because the tube only supports half of it when open, so it wobbles while trying to close.
The performance is OK, it works. It´s in fact larger than the soda can form factor, there is no advantage of the batteries arrangement.
I would like to have an update of the EA41. I don´t like to bash a product like this, but I´m seriously disappointed.

Last seen: 1 month 1 hour ago
Joined: 01/14/2019 - 18:21
Posts: 131
Location: Ohio

So with two switches, does that mean it has a mechanical switch?  Any parasitic drain?

BlueSwordM's picture
Last seen: 1 day 4 hours ago
Joined: 11/29/2017 - 12:34
Posts: 6609
Location: Canada

It doesn’t have a mechanical switch.

It uses a dual e-switch design.

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

Last seen: 1 month 1 hour ago
Joined: 01/14/2019 - 18:21
Posts: 131
Location: Ohio

Darn...yet another one.  Thanks.

Last seen: 15 hours 38 min ago
Joined: 04/24/2015 - 00:02
Posts: 498

Discontinued. Maybe they’ll have even better replacement.