[Review] Nitecore MH11 (Basic UI, USB-C Recharging, 1000 Lumens)

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liquidretro
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[Review] Nitecore MH11 (Basic UI, USB-C Recharging, 1000 Lumens)

Today I am taking a look at a preproduction sample of the Nitecore MH11. This is the basic, budget model for Nitecore in their MH series, and they advertise it as the least expensive 1000 lumen Nitecore model available today. That said it still comes with an 18650 battery and has onboard USB-C charging or it can be ran with 2x CR123 or 2× 16340. Thanks to Nitecore for sending this to me to take a look at along with this Nitecore Tiki in blue. I previously reviewed the green glow in the dark models so ill include a link to that below.

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Get the Nitecore MH11 at https://shrsl.com/2xj4k

Packaging & Accessories
The light I received didn’t come in a box, since it wasn’t printed yet, but I will include a picture of what it looks like. My light came with a USB A to C cable, 2 extra orings, hand lanyard and a pocket clip. I believe the retail light will also come with a basic holster.

Construction
The MH11 is made from aluminum and anodized in a hard black finish. It appears to be the same finish as the MH12S I reviewed recently. The overall design is simpler than recent Nitecores, a cost cutting measure I would assume to make machining time quicker. At the tail cap you have a single large mechanical on off button on the tail that servers as the on/off switch and mode button. It’s flanked by wings that can protect it but also server as attachment points for the lanyard. It does tail stand either when on or off but isn’t the most stable.

Inside there is a dual spring in the tail cap, and threads are anodized, and ACME cut. The clip only attaches at the rear of the light. Knurling on the body is pretty standard diamond shaped, fairly knocked down, so the light isn’t super grippy. It does have 2 flats milled on the sides with the branding and model number laser engraved.

On my sample the flats don’t line up with the head, but then again the head doesn’t have any buttons on it so is there really a top or bottom? The light does disassemble into 3 pieces. The head itself has a very simple heat diffuser at the front thats shallow. The USB charging port cover runs horizontally across the light. It’s well concealed and didn’t pop loose easily. The front has a crenulated bezel thats shallow. It has a glass lens with a smooth and deep reflector.

Retention
The light comes with a branded lanyard that seems to be standard on most Nitecore lights. It also comes with a pocket clip that attaches at the rear of the light only. It’s reasonably deep carry with about 13.5mm of the light sticking out of pocket. The bad news it has a very large step off the body of the light without a ramp. It will catch a pocket every single time and requires 2 hands to put back in. Not a great design in my opinion..


Size & Weight
The length is 128mm, max diameter is 24mm, minimum diameter is 22.5mm. Weight with the battery and clip is 110.8g. The light is IPX68 waterproof, and water resistant to 1 meter. Here it is when compared with a few other lights.


LED & Beam
The NItecore MH11 is running a Cree XP-L2 V6 LED in cool white, no exact tint data is given but it’s pretty typical. The beam does have tint shift across it and it’s not a super smooth beam. The center is hot and intense, with a bit of yellow/green as you move into the spill, and some blue on the outer fringes.

Official Outputs are the following. There is quite a jump between high and turbo.

  • Turbo 1000 Lumens
  • High 230 Lumens
  • Mid 50 Lumens
  • Low 3 Lumens

My scope didn’t measure any PWM here which wa a bit surprising.



Heat & Runtime
I did my testing with the included 2600mAh 18650 battery. The light will also run on 2x CR123a or 2× 16340’s but you loose the ability to recharge the smaller batteries. With the 18650 Turbo is good for 4:20 before the light steps down. It will then run for 1:48:00 at about the 50% relative output. At the 2 hour mark it’s running on it’s low mode of 3 lumens for another 3:10:00 before LVP kicks in at 2.907v. Max temp I saw was 46C at 3:45.

I do wish they would have included a larger capacity battery. 2600mAh is pretty low capacity and larger capacity batteries are minimal additional cost.

UI
The UI here is very simple, the light has one button and it serves as your on/off as well as mode button. It’s a mechanical button that takes a decent amount of force to use. The light has memory that remembers where you left off, so it’s possible to turn it on in turbo if that’s what you last used. It’s a simple 4 mode light and it goes from lowest to highest output and restarts at the top. You can half press the mode button to cycle between modes once the light is on. There are not shortcuts or blinking modes.

Recharging
You can recharge this light via the onboard USB-C if your using the included 18650 battery. The battery itself is a standard button top cell, so other brands will work here, nothing is proprietary. Charging does work via USB-C to C which is nice to see on a budget light. Charging here is a little strange, with it not being a constant current charging algorithm like we see in most other things. Periodically the charging rate here drops to zero every few seconds. My charging graph shows this but it’s not complete since as the cell charges it tirkcs my charger. Real charging time is closer to 3.25 hour. Max charging speed I saw was about 1.2A at the beginning of the charge. The battery measured 4.102v when full.

You do have an LED on the side of the head of the light that glows blue when charging and slowly fades in and out. When the light is full this goes solid. This same side LED acts as a low voltage warning and comes on when the light is needing recharged.

Pro’s

  • No proprietary battery
  • Can take CR123a, as well as 16340 batteries.
  • Simple interface, for a basic light.

Con’s

  • Beam isn’t great, has artifacts at closer range.
  • 2600mAh battery is included.
  • Pocket clip has way to large of step, it catches pants every time.

Conclusion
The MH11 is an interesting offering from Nitecore. As a light it’s basic but does everything most people need from a flashlight. The build quality is still good, but it does feel like a more basic design and the anodizing feels the same as Nitecores more premium models. The UI is basic, but functional. While I appreciate the use of USB-C for charging and it’s C to C compatible.

While I don’t always comment on price I kind of have to here, given how this light is being marketed. The MH11 is more affordable than many Nitecore models for it’s output, it’s still more expensive than other well regarded brands that I have reviewed here that offer budget lights.

It’s hard for me to recommend it for that reason if budget is one of your top priorities. That said if you were looking for a solid, basic light, from a company that’s been in the LED flashlight industry since the beginning this would be a decent place to start. It also has a very simple interface that anyone could understand which is a big selling point sometimes.