Review: Nitecore NU32

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Lumeniac's picture
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Review: Nitecore NU32

Before I tested some stuff from Nitecore NU line, I was pretty skeptical about this type of headlamps This is understandable: a plastic case, a relatively small capacity of the built-in battery and brightness make it not as impressive as fullsize 18650 lights. But the real use showed the inconsistency of these fears – for the mass of everyday situations there was enough brightness and duration of work. Even, it would seem unimpressive for the characteristics of brightness and capacitance, tiny NU05 and NU25 showed decent usefulness. First of them I constantly cling like a beacon to my kids . And the last one I sold to one of my regular customers (a person with a sufficiently large number of flashlights, so he knows what he says), he bought it as a gift to his nephew and said he could hardly resist not to keep it for himself.

Nitecore NU32 official page

u can buy it at ➤ Aliexpress | ➤AMAZON | ➤ BANGGOOD | ➤ NITETORCH they generously offered 20% code HJK5KDNQ valid for all the items in store, including other brands

Package and appearance

Package is quite typical for Nitecore. Black and yellow cardboard box with a recognizable design and decent printing. Some chic is not here, just a good package.

Set is expectedly modest – the Nu32 itself , headband, charging cable and instruction. what else to add?

Well, here is the hero of the review. This is a tightly knit plastic thing with the primary and four additional LEDs. The dimensions are quite modest – 63×43.5×31.5 and 99.5 grams of gross weight with fastening. As in previous models, the quality of plastic molding is good, there are no gaps, scuffs, squeaks and crevices. Everything is assembled neatly and Nu32 is felt in the hand as a monolithic piece of plastic.

Headband – not “pants” with three straps, but just a mere strap. This one could be better done by adding the gel strip (the one that holds the sweat) inside, and the outside reflecting elements. It would have no effect on the cost…

The angle can be adjusted.

No chance to disassemble, everything is sealed. It is appropriate to mention the Ip-67 waterpoof standard. Flashlight survived shower test without any problem.

The charge port cover is reliable (which mostly relates to the issue of waterproofness). The cover is thick enough, comes in tight.

Both buttons are large and soft with red-green indication backlight.

And if the primary light is not very bright (but, of course, bright enough for such sort of headlamp), this is balanced by a good set of additional light. And they are very convenient for close range work: diffused HiCRI neutral light and bright red light. The reflector is smooth, somewhere 2×2cm in diameter and depth, quite decent for such headlamp.

Overall impressions in appearance are good. The flashlight is lightweight and compact, apparently there are no complaints about the quality.


Simple and convenient, typical UI for the NU line

Flashlight performance

Here we have XP-G S3 for the primary light with the color temperature around 5000K, which is pretty good. And a couple of additional LEDs with diffused neutral and red color.

The brightness of the additional neutral in the photo does not look impressive relative to the main one, but only in the photo. For their own purposes – work at arm’s length it is enough. Nice reading light, for example. Headlamps are rarely needed for a long distance, so most of them are about close range need.

nu32 high->turbo-> Convoy S2+ high

Charging amperage is good, 3 hours before full charge, the capacity corresponds to the declared – 1900mah and these are quite good numbers for the built-in battery. Still, about 3 years ago, the standard capacity of 18650 batteries was about 2600mah.

The turbo is short here, but 30 seconds should be enough to highlight some distant objects.

But High surprised me. This is a fairly small brightness and should to be stabilized either by thermoregulation and by amperage drain from the built-in battery. In fact, it turns out a slow slide with a 20% drop every hour. That is what I did not expect. The eye of course adapts to this and you will not see a visual difference (up to a certain point, of course). But instead of 5hours slide, I would rather get 3 hours of normal stabilized work. Specification states 17 hours..heh, nothing close to reality. I can not find any explanation for this. The Nitecore TUP capacity is less by one third (like 1300mah) and it holds 200lums High 100% stabilized for almost 4 hours.
In general,High mode definitely could have done better.



As for the light in general, then I have zero complaints.

Just see the close-range indoor.

Additional LEDs are bright. I would even make here two levels of brightness for each type of additional light.

for something like reading, that is more than enough. compare
1) HiCri additional light

2) primary LED, low\mid

high is quite sufficient for working at a distance of 10-15 meters, that is (in my opinion) at the limit of the most familiar distance for the such things. In most of cases you use it in closer range.

At maximum brightness, the flashlight provides enough light to illuminate for about 50 meters. This is more than enough for the headrest in general and for the headrest of this type in particular.

see this at video

Overall impressions

NU series is definetely good for some light hikes and walking arounds, where there is no serious need for real brightness and throw. And, well, of course, you don’t expect to see people jogging around with full-size 18650 lights on head….

For such simple needs NU model line and NU32 is suitable and reliable for the number of different types of modes and their brightness, for being compact and lightweight.

If we talk about Nu32, I liked it for everything except stabilization in High, which after 3 hours will drop to half the brightness, i.e. about 100 lum. Though, I must admit, this is also a good number. In fact, this is the maximum brightness for modern AAA keylights and it is more than enough. But the comparing to other Nitecore stuff like TUP, the lack of stabilization looks frankly dull.

Again, for me this is the only significant disadvantage.

+ capacious battery
+ good maximum brightness
+ charging current under 0.75A
+ appearance and expected good workmanship
+ additional LEDs

- no stabilization in High
- A headband could be made with gel strips and reflective elements.

Edited by: Lumeniac on 02/07/2021 - 11:45