[Review] Nitecore TIP Cu (keychain, 360lm, usb, built-in 500mAh Li-Ion battery)

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Neil_Tennen
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[Review] Nitecore TIP Cu (keychain, 360lm, usb, built-in 500mAh Li-Ion battery)

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

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CLICK HERE to go to the official product's 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 cutting edge laboratories. Therefore, among the lines that will follow, there will be my humble observations and even my humble opinions.


Official features:

- premium copper case keychain light
- TIP /TIP SS /TIP Cu: fitted with a CREE XP-G2 S3 LED capable of outputting 360 lumens
- TIP CRI: fitted with a Nichia 219B LED, CRI ≥ 90
- integrated “Precision Digital Optics Technology” provides extreme reflector performance
- built-in Li-Ion battery
- USB rechargeable with onboard charging circuit
- multi-purpose clip
- daily and constant-on modes available
- dual switch design
- 4 brightness levels with direct access to low and turbo outputs
- memory function
- high-efficiency regulation circuit provides unwavering output
- advanced temperature regulation (ATR)
- built-in power indicator (Patent No. ZL201220057767.4)
- rear suspension ring capable of sustaining 30kg weight
- TIP /TIP CRI : HAIII military grade hard-anodized finish
- TIP SS :
    - Glacier: stainless steel by surface polishing
    - Jet black & Tropical: stainless steel by PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) titanium coating
    - TIP Cu: Copper body formed by stamping technology
- impact resistant to 1 meter



Where to buy it

Nitecore TIP Cu could be purchased from NitecoreStore.com


The package and the accessories

This new version of TIP 2017, this time copper maded as the acronym "Cu" indicates, is sold in a box of light black cardboard.
On the front stand out the information about the mounted LED type and its maximum power output, the flashlight's photo (slightly larger than the original ones), the words "TIP Cu" to indicate that the flashlight is entirely made of this metal (copper 'in fact).
The presence of the microUSB port to recharge the integrated 500mAh Li-Ion battery is also highlighted on the box. Finally there is a link to the Nitecore website.

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On the back there are the features and summary data of the flashlight's performance. Following there are the company information, a barcode and CE and RoHS certifications.

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On one side of the box is highlighted again the name of the flashlight and we find a QRcode that sends us to the TIP 2017's page on the Nitecore website (since this is a special version of it).

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Once we have extracted everything from the package, we will have:

- TIP Cu (arrives in a hermetic chellopahen bag to avoid oxidation before being sold)
- 2 key rings with different diameters
- a mini carabiner with attached a key ring
- the manual in several languages

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The manual can be easily viewed or downloaded from the Nitecore website from THIS page. Here there is only the parts in English.

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The flashlight

The Nitecore "TIP Cu" is the latest special version of the famous TIP 2017 release. It differs from the classic TIP in colorful aluminum and the TIP SS in steel for the fact of having the body entirely maded in copper.
As it was possible to see in the previous paragraph, this flashlight arrives in a cellophane bag to prevent oxidation and the damaging its surface before the time. Thing that will only increase its appeal with a pleasant vintage air.
Dimensionally and aesthetically it remains faithful to the others "sisters". The body is still smooth with grooves on the sides for the clip, even the UI is the same as the TIP 2017.
On the front we find the classic two switches (backlit, with a short stroke and a decisive click but not excessively noisy) to control the UI, the TIP inscription engraved in the copper body and the visible screws that close the body (4 on this side

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and 4 from this other). On the back we also find engraved the name Nitecore.

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The CE and RoHS certifications are laser printed on the back.

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  On the head there is the small CREE XP-G2 LED with a CW tin (with a very light celestine dominance on the edge of the spot) surrounded by an OP dish.

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A slightly pronounced, but flat, metal bezel protect the lens that has the usual anti-reflective treatment. Unfortunately, I was not able to show it.

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From TIP 2017 it also inherits the multi-functional clip, made of partially translucent plastic material. The name Nitecore stands out on it.

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Thanks to these "wings", the clip can be hooked to the flashlight with appropriate grooves of the body that we have seen previously.

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If placed above the switches, it can also act as a safety system to prevent inadvertent switching on. Very useful feature due the absence of an electronic or mechanical lock-out of the switches.

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If placed in the opposite direction we can instead use it to hook the flashlight to our clothes or to the visor of a hat as a frontal flashlight.

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The real added value of the clip is to provide protection to the microUSB port against powders and liquids according to the IP54 standard.

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To end this paragraph, here is the tail of the TIP with its metal support to attach the keyrings that are came out of the package. The shape of the tail, without the rings, allows the tail stand.

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The charging system

As written on the instructions, this TIP Cu is equipped with a built-in non-removable 500 mAh Li-Ion battery that can be recharged using the charging circuit integrated in the flashlight. Just take a USB -> microUSB cable (not included in the package but now available everywhere) and connect the flashlight to any power source with 5V output such as a powerbank or PC or a wall / car power supply.

Zoom in (real dimensions: 1084 x 1920) Once the flashlight is connected to the current, the light between the two switches will turn red and the charge will start at a rate of 0.43A.

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The whole process will take about 2 hours to complete, since the battery is completely discharged. The green LED will indicate completion of the operation.

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NB during the recharge, all the flashlight levels can be used.


How does it work

The Nitecore TIP Cu has four selectable levels. There are no special levels.

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

- Turbo -> 360 lumens for 30 minutes *
- High -> 150 lumens for 1 hour and 30 minutes
- Mid -> 35 lumens for 6 hours and 30 minutes
- Low -> 1 lumens for 46 hours

NB The declared duration was reached by Nitecore during laboratory tests using the built-in flashlight battery.
* the half hour has been reached adding the duration of the Turbo before the step down intervention.

On / Off

A single press on the bottom switch will turn the flashlight on or off . TIP Cu have memory so the last level previously used, excluding the Turbo, will be remembered every time you switch it on again.

Change levels

A single press of the top switch, after turning on the flashlight, will cycle the levels in ascending order. The Turbo can instead be recalled separately, always with the flashlight on, like a momentary-ON by holding down the switch at the top.

Quick access to Low and Turbo

With the light off you can quickly call up the Low or Turbo levels.
Holding down the switch below will activate the Low level. If the pressure of the switch lasts longer than 2 seconds, we will activate the momentary-ON of the Low level and the LED will switch off when the switch is released.
Holding down the switch at the top will activate the Turbo.

Daily and Constant-on mode

TIP Cu, like the other TIP, is equipped with these two modes: the Daily ( DM ) and the Constant-On ( CM ).
In the DM any power level will go off after 30 seconds and restarting the flashlight within 3 seconds after the automatic shutdown will automatically activate the CM. The flashlight, from default, comes with active DM .
In the CM, any level remains on until the battery charge runs out or until the flashlight is manually turned off.
Switching from DM to CM manually is very easy. Just press both switches at the same time for 1 second. A single flash of the LED will indicate that the DM is active and a double flash will indicate that the CM is active.

Charge indicator

With the TIP Cu it is possible to know, in approximate way, the remaining charge of the battery. When the light is off, press the switch at the top once and the indicator below the keys will start to flash.
3 flashes indicate a charge between 100% and 50%
2 flashes indicate a charge between 50% and 10%
1 flash indicates a residual charge < 10%

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.


Weights and dimensions

The Nitecore TIP Cu measures 6.10 x 2.45 x 1.15 cm. It weighs 35 gr with the clip.

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

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an AA and an AAA,

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with the Nitecore TINI and another TIP (the size of the two TIP is pratically the same)

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and with the Olight ION and i1R.

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Lumens, runtimes, candles and beamshot

NB The tests below were made with the battery integrated in the flashlight. Everything was done in a home environment at 25 ° with and without forced ventilation.

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

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The following values have been taken with the integrated 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 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 integrated 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 with Turbo and High levels. The trees' line was 25 meters away. The spill, with the spot facing the infinity on the horizontal plane, starts at about 20 cm from my feet.

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




Personal considerations

With this TIP Cu, Nitecore has not made any changes to the shape of the beloved TIP 2017... it remains a small keychain flashlight with built-in battery that can provide good power despite its size but has been used excellent copper to make the whole body, making it very trendy thanks to the patina of oxide that will give a very "vintage" look to the flashlight over time.

Between this version and the classic one in aluminum alloy, I found a weight increasing (of only 10 grams) and a faster heat propagation. Imaginable changes due the use of copper for the construction of the body.

If you like the "vintage" effect that this flashlight will begin to have thanks to the oxidation to which copper is subject, you can not let it escape.

The model carries with it the same "defect" of the version from which it derives: its being only IP54. So watch out for splashes of water.

Personally I can say that, just opened, the shine of copper has a wonderful effect but, as the days gone by, the patina that was formed makes it even more beautiful. I recommend it.
And, if you really do not like copper color but still look for a compact and powerful keychain flashlight, you can consider to buy the aluminum version (available in many colors) or the steel one (called SS and available in other 3 very cool colors).


What do you think about it? Would you like to buy it?

Edited by: Neil_Tennen on 06/25/2018 - 12:09