[Review] Nitecore LC10 (Li-ion, magnetic, portable, USB, powerbank, microUSB, backup flashlight, charge indicators)

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Neil_Tennen's picture
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Location: Italy
[Review] Nitecore LC10 (Li-ion, magnetic, portable, USB, powerbank, microUSB, backup flashlight, charge indicators)

Hello to everyone laughing
Thanking them for the trust, today we will review the LC10 which was kindly provided by Nitecore itself.

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:

- portable magnetic outdoor USB charger
- with charging and discharging functions
- capable of charging cylinder rechargeable Li-Ion battery
- integrated USB 2.0 input and output ports
- intelligently identifiers the positive and negative tips of battery
- sensory white light for 3 brightness levels and power indicators
- 3 power indicators show the charging/discharging status
- automatically detects battery power status and select the appropriate charging mode (cc, cv)
- overtime charging protection
- compatible with power bank, 5V solar panel and USB adaptor
- made from fire retardant / flame retardant PC+ABS material
- certified by RoHS, CE, FCC and CEC
- insured worldwide by Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China, Ltd.

Where to buy it

The Nitecore LC10 could be purchased from NitecoreStore.com

The packaging

The Nitecore LC10 is sold inside a plastic blister almost completely enclosed in a yellow and black cardboard that shows all the information about this charger.
On the front there are the name and the photo of the product and the phrase "Portable Magnetic USB Charger".

On the back are repeated this phrase and the name of the product and we find a representation of the charger where are indicated and described the various parts that compose it. Below there are a list of compatible batteries (Li-Ion / IMR only) and CE, FCC, CEC and RoHS certifications. Finally there are the company's data and their website.

On one side it is explained that this charger is magnetic, so is compatible with all cylindrical batteries (Lithium Ion), and with Android and IOS systems and that has white courtesy LEDs and red LEDs that indicate the charge.

On the other side is repeated the writing "Portable Magnetic USB Charger" and a warn that, to download and view the product manual, you need to scan the QRcode that will direct us to the product page on the Nitecore website .

Once we extract everything from the package, we will find:
- the LC10 charger
- a white adapter for Apple devices (microUSB -> Lightning)
- the multilingual manual

Here is the detail of the adapter that has a Lightning plug on one end

and on the other end have the microUSB port. If your phone is equipped with USB Type-C, do not worry, there are obviously microUSB -> Type-C adapters available on any market.

Here below there are the manual pages. It is however possible to view (and download) the manual in its entirety at THIS address.

The charger

The LC10 is one of the more compact and lightweight Nitecore's portable chargers. The body is entirely made of black plastic that is able to delay any flames.
It works both as a battery charger (all cylindrical lithium-ion batteries) and as powerbank for the various compatible electronic devices.
At the center of the charger there is a kind of satin dome under which there are 6 small LEDs, 3 red and 3 white.

In order to recharge the batteries, you need to connect the USB adapter to any source that can supply 5V (wall charger, car charger, solar panel, powerbank, etc.). Note the Nitecore logo on the adapter and the USB symbol on the microUSB plug .

Looking sideways at this section we can see how everything is not excessively thick.

The connector contacts are not visible from the back as it is a compact USB adapter. But we find the name of the charger on the USB adapter and the word "OUT" on the microUSB plug to indicate that can be used like a powerbank.

Drawing and writing are not there by chance ... In fact, grabbing and moving out that USB adaptor, will be released the plug microUSB that we can insert in the various compatible
devices with the 5V input (even Apple thanks to the adapter) and we can recharge them using this charger as a real powerbank, taking advantage of the charge of the batteries that most have. Obviously, by purchasing another adapter separately, we can also charge devices equipped with USB Type-C.

Here is the microUSB plug.

The satin dome, under which there are the LEDs, allows us to glimpse those that will then make white light.

On the side opposite to the dome there are the CE certification (top) and the input and output specifications (below).
We also find the symbol on / off because it works as a tactile sensor and will allow us to cycle the various levels of the LEDs inside the dome (when obviously they will be powered by an energy source).

On the opposite side of the USB plug there are 2 magnetic connectors with the Nitecore logo on the outer shell.

These two magnetic connectors are golden and will firmly attach themselves to the poles of the batteries that we want to recharge. There is no defined polarity to be respected because the charger will automatically recognize it and start recharging autonomously and in complete tranquility.

How does it work

As mentioned before, this particular charger allows you to recharge all types of Li-ion batteries (21700, 26650, 18650, 18350, 16340, 14500, to name a few) or to use this latter to charge other devices (for example the mobile phone in case of extreme need) just as a powerbank.

To charge the batteries

Connect the USB plug of the LC10 to a power source capable to deliver 5V (wall charger, car charger, powerbank, solar panel, etc.) and connect the magnetic terminals on the battery poles to start charging automatically. I remind you that there is not a polarity to respect

To recharge devices in case of emergency situations

Insert a battery (possibly of large capacity) between the magnetic terminals, remove the USB adaptor to reveal the microUSB plug and attach it to the device that need to be recharged to start charging automatically. I remind you that you can use the adapters if your device has the Lightning or USB Type-C port.

In any case, regardless of the use you will make of the LC10, the red indicators under the dome will light up to indicate the charge or discharge status.
3 lit indicators indicate a charge between 100% and 80%;
2 lit indicators indicate a charge between 80 and 50%;
1 lit indicator indicates a charge lower than 50%;
1 flashing light indicates that the battery must be removed as soon as possible.
NW Insert the battery between the magnetic terminals, without connecting anything else to the charger, will turn on the red LEDs to tell us, in an approximate way, the remaining charge that the cell has.

Here are the three red indicators lit.

White indicators

In addition to the 3 red indicators, under the dome there are also 3 white indicators that can act as a real emergency flashlight because we will have 3 levels available.
Just power up the system in one of 2 ways (with a battery or with a USB charger / powerbank) and leave the red indicators on. Intervening on the tactile switch we could cycle between the three light levels available.
NW If a recharge process is in progress, the white indicators can not be turned on.

Here below there are the 3 levels available (they have a variable duration depending on the used batteries or the connected USB device):

Low - 0.3 lumens - 550 hour runtime if battery powered

Mid - 1 lumens battery powered and 1.8 lumens powered through USB - 300 hour runtime if battery powered

High - 6 lumens battery powered and 10 lumens powered through USB - 100 hour runtime if battery powered

As mentioned before, you can also use the charger to turn any Li- ion battery (in the picture I used a classic 18650 from the Nitecore, the NL18350HP) into a powerbank (in this case I'm recharging the TINI Cu).

I also performed charging tests on various batteries. I used a nominal 5000 mAh 21700, a nominal 5500 mAh 26650, a nominal 3500 mAh Nitecore NL1835HP (18650) and a nominal 750 mAh 18350. Here below there are all the values with the case and the timing.

Dimensions: weights and dimensions

The Nitecore LC10 is 24.5 cm long, the dome that containing the indicators measures 4.4 x 2.42 x 1.41 cm, the magnets have a total diameter of 1.82 cm and all the charger weighs 28 gr.

Next here there are the dimensional comparisons with a large BIC lighter, a 18650

and the Olight UC (the other magnetic USB charger I have available).


As I said before, the white indicators can be used as an emergency flashlight, so it also the matter that their light power and shooting are very few.

The following photos were taken with the white balance set to 5200K.

These photos were taken at a distance of 40 cm from the wall and at the maximum level.

Beam width, always maximum level.

Here is a video to show you in detail the charger and how the information is shown on the display

Personal considerations

This LC10 is most compact and lightweight
Nitecore's charger, perhaps even more than the F1.
In this small object you can find a charger that can also be used as a powerbank and an emergency flashlight.
The charger is compatible with all existing Li- ion cells and has an average speed of 0.80A. Remember that if you are dealing with batteries that are too small or too large, the charging times in this last case will be quite high. I remember that there is a diagram of those speed in some chapters before.

It is not a product suitable for people who need high charging speeds because it is not its strong point. It must be seen for what it is: a backup charger, perhaps as the backup charger par excellence for its qualities.

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

lohtse's picture
Last seen: 9 months 3 days ago
Joined: 05/19/2017 - 04:18
Posts: 328
Location: UK

We have both the olight charger you show here and the LC10 as well…. The Olight is far prettier but the LC is far more functional… We also noticed the LC10 charges our olight 3200 and 3600mah 18650 batteries quicker that the Olight one same with our 16340 olights and Fenix/nitecore 16340/18650 batteries….. The LC has become part of my EDC kit as it is that good(my opinion)…

Highly recommend it to everyone and have done…

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Parametrek's picture
Last seen: 3 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: 02/08/2017 - 19:50
Posts: 205

Thank you for the review and particularly thank you for measuring the lumen output. Nitecore doesn’t give this information. By any chance did you happen to measure the candela? I’m guessing it will be around 3 or 4 candela from the beam pattern.

Also very interesting that the lumens change with the power source. It sounds like they are using an unregulated resistor drive.

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