[Review] Nitecore BR35 (2x18650 integrated battery pack, bike's flashlight)

Hello everyone, today we will review the Nitecore BR35 which was kindly provided to me by Nitecore itself, whom I thank for the trust granted to me.

CLICK HERE to go to the official page on the Nitecore website.

I want to clarify that the reviews are made at an amateur level and without the aid of scientific instruments or tests in cutting-edge secret laboratories therefore, among the lines that will follow, there will also be my humble impressions.

Official features taken from Nitecore:

- rechargeable bike light with dual distance beam
- utilizes 2 CREE XM-L2 U2 LEDs to emit a maximum output of 1800 lumens
- uses a diffuser reflection board to illuminate the blind spot under foot with short-range beam (Patented No. :ZL201220314015.1)
- onboard OLED display
- built-in 6800 mAh Li-Ion battery
- intelligent Li-Ion battery charging circuit (via Micro-USB charging port)
- 3 modes available for different scenarios
- remote switch provides convenient operation
- 4 brightness levels and 1 special function available
- a maximum beam intensity up to 7750 cd and a maximum beam distance up to 176 meters
- high efficient constant circuit with runtime up to 17 hours
- flood lighting system provides 100° lighting angle
- optic lens with anti-reflective coating
- Advance Temperature Regulation module
- Crystal Coating Technology combined with "Precision Digital Optics Technology" for extreme reflector performance
- die cast unibody full metal housing
- in accordance with IPX7 waterproof
- 1 m impact resistance

Where to buy it

The BR35 can be purchased at the official Nitecore store

The package and the accessories

The BR35 arrives in a rectangular box of rigid cardboard.
On the front we can clearly see the name of the model, flanked by some badges that show the key features of this flashlight, which can be recharged via USB and has a peak of 1800 lumens. Everything is accompanied by a beautiful close-up of the flashlight and the stylized image of a bike with the representation of the area that will illuminate the BR35 with its 2 LEDs.

On the back there is a description of the product, a diagram with the performance of the LEDs lit both individually and simultaneously and the representation of the beam that we will have once we will put into operation this BR35.
In small (and below) we find the list of accessories, company data and various certifications (CE and RoHS).

On the other four sides of the box there is nothing except the writing Nitecore

and a sticker with the model name on it, the type of LED it uses and a barcode.

Opened the package we can see that the flashlight is stored, well protected, inside a shaped sponge and properly cut.

Once extracted everything from the package, we would have:

- the BR35
- the support to anchor the flashlight to the handlebars of the bike
- two rubber spacers, thicker than those already mounted on the support
- a USB-> microUSB charging cable about a little over a meter long
- the remote key with a cable approximately 30 cm long
- the warranty card
- the manual in several languages

Below, here is part of the manual in the English and Italian languages only, which, however, you can also download or view in full from the Nitecore website.

The flashlight

The BR35 is the first Nitecore's bike flashlight. The exterior of his body is almost entirely in aluminum except for the OLED screen (black and white with high contrast), the keys and the silicone cap that covers the microUSB port.
On the main façade, above the screen, there is the usual little triangle that warns us that the surface can become very hot, the model name and a plate with the Nitecore logo.
Below the screen there are three keys and, subsequently, some more aesthetic and functional carvings.

The keys, which forms an imaginary triangle, are rubberised and have engraved an "M", a "-" and a "+". The "M" takes care of turning the flashlight on / off, to select the mode and to use the options of the modes (we will see them in detail in the specific paragraph). The "-" and "+" are only concerned with changing the modes.
The keys have a very short stroke, they have a not very noisy click and, for ease the night detection, are backlit.

And here are the backlit blue keys. Each key seems to have a pair of indicators.

On the opposite side of the screen there is an area, apparently made of plastic, white and shiny, which acts as a reflector to divert part of the light, produced by the second LED, downwards.
Immediately below it is the LED and the attachment to fit the flashlight in the appropriate support. All the screws you see are torx.
Finally, we find the name and site of Nitecore, the CE and RoHS certifications and the identification number. This lettering and the one seen above are free of smudges.

The two CW-colored CREE XM-L2 LEDs do not go unnoticed on the front, with a slight brownish dominance on the lower mode but which disappears as the modes rise.
The main one is surrounded by a SMO dish and is protected by a metal bezel without battlement.
On the right and on the left there are horizontal cuts which improve the dissipation of the LED.

The secondary LED is also surrounded by a SMO dish whose dimensions (obviously) are smaller. Due to its location, further back than the main LED, it has no bezel but has a mask, also in aluminum, anchored by four torx screws.

The glasses of both LEDs have an anti-reflective treatment. From this angle there is a better to perceive of how both the second LED and the attachment protrude from the main body part.

Seen from the side, the "encumbrances" given by the "additions" are perceived more. There are light grooves that improve the dissipation of the entire flashlight body, also improved by the normal ride of the bike.

The grooves continue on the back side

while on the other side there is the rubber pad that protects the microUSB port, according to the IPX7 standard.

And here is the visible microUSB port. I recommend to fit the cap securely when you close it to ensure protection against liquids.

The various screens

The advantage of having a screen available is to have access to a virtually infinite variety of information.

As soon as we turn on the flashlight, we receive Nitecore.

We then have the three modes available (TRAIL, CITY and ROAD, but we will see their operation in detail), which can be selected using the "M" key.

We will then see in detail the chosen mode, the current light level and, in large, the approximate duration of residual light according to the mode and the selected level.

A triangle will light intermittently when we activate the "caution" mode

and the word BATLOW will appear when the battery pack voltage is so low that it no longer provides adequate power for high levels.

NB In this paragraph I have not reported the recharge notches that indicate, approximately, the remaining charge of the battery. The countdown numbers (only 3 seconds) of a function in the CITY mode are also missing.

Support and remote key

This is the support, almost entirely made of plastic, which allows the BR35 to be attached to the handlebars of a bicycle.
At the center there are 2 rubberized semi-circles that offer an excellent grip thanks to their teeth but do not damage the handlebar itself. These thicknesses must be changed according to the diameter of the handlebar. You can leave these thin, put the thicker ones or combine a thin one with a thick one. The manual also shows the measures on how to correctly match these rubbers according to the handlebar diameter.
The name Nitecore is engraved on the body and at the bottom is the knob that opens and closes the whole.

From above you can see the rail that holds and blocks the flashlight.

A spring has the task of making the flashlight's release device work. In fact, it is sufficient to intervene on that little plastic tooth that can be seen at the top to unhook it.

Here is the mechanism (in plastic) seen from the inside, closed

and open to allow the flashlight to release. The only part that takes care of blocking the flashlight, also in plastic, is detached from the rest of the support and is anchored by two torx screws. Which makes us think of a hypothetical spare part sold separately.

From this angle we can see, in the hole, the tooth that holds the rubber semicircle still.

Same thing that happens in the under part of the support for the other rubber semicircle. Just push it with a minimum of force and it comes away, allowing a quick replacement should it serve.

To anchor the handlebar support, it must obviously be opened by unscrewing this long screw. The grooves of the knob, according to my personal opinion, could be a little more pronounced so as to offer a slightly better grip.

At the base of the screw there is a wide opening that allows it to have a minimum of game when we are going to tighten it. As can be clearly seen, the head of the screw has a slightly smaller diameter than the rest of the body,

this facilitates its insertion into the special metal nut placed at the other end.

Connecting the two parts together is extremely easy ... so easy that you can do it with just one hand. It is sufficient to align the respective tracks and push the flashlight up to a click sound.

Here are the two connected parts.

The second accessory that we find inside the package is the remote key (we will see its functions). Obviously it has a long cable that allows us to connect it in the best according to our needs.

Obviously it connects to the flashlight with the microUSB connector.

It interacts with the flashlight with this large (thumb size) rubberised button and with three rims that offer good grip. Its stroke is short and the click generated is not very noisy. The key, unfortunately, is without backlighting.
On the sides of the button are the two eyelets designed to accommodate the Velcro strip

that will serve when we are going to place the button on the handlebars. Just find the right position, pass the velcro into the appropriate eyelet and fold it on itself.

So recapitulating everything: after putting the appropriate rubbers, just open and close the support around the handlebars,

insert the flashlight into the track until you hear the click at the end of the stroke,

insert the remote button cable into the side USB port ( NB this operation will lose the complete waterproofing of the flashlight)

and put the key where we consider it most convenient and easily reachable.

The battery pack and the charging system

As written in the initial features, this BR35 has a 6800 mAh integrated (Li-Ion) battery pack that can be conveniently recharged through the microUSB port on the side of the flashlight.

Due the capacity of the battery pack itself, a power supply (or power bank) that is able to supply at least 5V and 2A is recommended.

With the battery pack completely discharged, the charge starts from 1.5A.

Charge that, with the passage of time, rises up to about 1.75A. During charging, the indicators under the keys will flash

and they will stop doing it, staying on, when the charging process ends. Meanwhile, on the screen, we will see the percentage of the recharge through the bars that will fill the design of a battery.
The whole process, with the flashlight completely discharged, took 4 hours and a half to be complete.

N.B. You can't use the flashlight while charging the battery pack.

How it works

The Nitecore BR35 gives us the possibility to choose between 3 modes (with the possibility of individually turning on one of the 2 LEDs or both) that have 5 levels selectable in total, of which 4 normal and 1 special to recall (the Caution mode).

According to the official data of the house, normal levels have the following characteristics:
- Turbo (or Mode4) -> 1800 lumens (1000 * + 800) with 1 hour of autonomy with both LEDs or 2 hours if you use 1
- High (or Mode3) -> 1015 lumens (550 * + 465) with 2 hours and 30 autonomy with both LEDs or 5 hours and 45 if you use 1

- Mid (or Mode2) -> 615 lumens (330 * + 285) with 4 hours of battery life with both LEDs or 8 hours and 30 if you use 1
- Low (or Mode1) -> 300 lumens (180 * + 150) with 8 hours of battery life with both LEDs or 17 hours if you use 1
* obtainable with the main LED

I immediately start by saying that the 3 modes are called CITY, ROAD and TRAIL. They are chosen when the flashlight is lit, just press and hold the "M" key to see the names of the screen modes cycling and release it to select the desired mode.
Each of the modes has a different operation, now we will analyze it.
TRAIL: is the most suitable mode for off-road use. In this mode we could take advantage of the full power released by the flashlight, as both LEDs can be turned on. By pressing (on) the "M" key, you can turn off the main LED in the quieter sections and save a minimum of battery. Pressing the "M" button again will turn it on again.
ROAD: is the mode designed for use on asphalt. With this mode we can choose to keep on or the main LED or the secondary LED. Obviously one can select one or the other by pressing the "M" key.
CITY: it is the quietest of the three and is, as you can guess from the name, the one designed for the city. With this mode we will have only the secondary LED available. In case of need, by pressing the "M" key, the main LED will light up (side by side) for only 3 seconds and a countdown on the screen will inform you of the short remaining time.

Now, regardless of the mode chosen, we will see how it works:

Power On / Off
The BR35 is switched on or off by pressing (for 1.5 seconds) the "M" key. The flashlight has memory and therefore will remember the last mode and the last mode selected.

Change levels
Once the flashlight is switched on, we will change the 4 levels simply by pressing the "-" key or the "+" key. Thanks to the present screen, we will know in every moment in which mode we will find ourselves.
By keeping the "-" or "+" key pressed for 1 second, we can use the "shortcut" to get quick access to the minimum or maximum levels.

Caution mode
This is a mode that allows the secondary LED to flash (in CITY or ROAD mode) or both LEDs (in TRAIL mode). To activate it, just keep the "-" and "+" keys pressed simultaneously and with the flashlight off. To switch off the Caution mode simply hold down the "M" key.

Charge indicator
With the flashlight off, the state of charge of the integrated battery can be known approximately. In fact, just press one of the three physical keys to turn on the monitor. On the whole screen I will have the design of a battery (like that of mobile phones) with inside 4 notches, each of which will indicate a percentage:
- 4 notches indicate a charge > of 90%
- 3 notches indicate a charge between 90 and 50%
- 2 notches indicate a charge between 50 and 10%
- 1 notches indicate a charge between 10 and 1%
- 0 notches indicate a charge of less than 1%

With a flashlight on, however, we can rely on the information given by the screen. The indicated time is the remaining TOTAL time that we will have available before the charge expires. But take it as an indicative timetable, many factors in fact (such as low temperature or wind) will affect the REAL duration of the battery and the really exploitable light. Rely rely on the hours declared by the house, indicated in the manual, and which are also reported at the beginning of this paragraph (which must then be stored). Also refer to the discharge curves in the penultimate paragraph to see the trend that will follow the light with the passage of time.

As in almost all Nitecore (if not all), you could not miss the ATR (Advanced Temperature Regulation) system that allows the flashlight, thanks to a thermal sensor placed inside it, to independently adjust the light output (of the modes higher) depending on the temperature inside the flashlight and external (since it affects the internal one)

The remote command
As we have seen, the BR35 has, as an accessory, this practical additional button. This button is nothing more than the extension of the "M" key which, thanks to the cord and the velcro, can be conveniently positioned near our thumb while driving.
With this extension we will then have access to turning on / off the flashlight, changing the mode and the settings that each mode allows without removing the hands from the handlebars.

Dimensions: weights and dimensions

The BR35 alone measures 10.92 x 4.7 x 3.10 cm without considering the secondary LED, if we take it into consideration the height becomes 4.10.
The flashlight alone weighs 234 gr, reaches 261 gr with the addition of the support.

Next, the photos for a dimensional comparison with a big BIC lighter and a 18650,

an Armytek Wizard and a Zebralight H52W,

and a Nitecore Concept1 with the Rofis R2 .

Lumens, runtimes, candles and beamshot

NB The tests below were made with the 6800mAh Li-Ion battery pack integrated into the device. Everything was done in a home environment at 18 ° only with forced ventilation as the flashlight is used with the bike in motion.

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

The following values have been taken with the charged battery pack 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 mode can be attributed to a different positioning of the measuring equipment.

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

The following picture was taken at a distance of 40 cm from the wall with both the main and secondary LEDs.

Beam width with the main LED, the secondary LED and both LEDs on

Beamshot at all levels with the main LED. The tree line is 25 meters away. The spill, with the spot facing the infinity on the horizontal plane, starts from about 1 meter from the wheel.

Same levels and distance as before but this time with the secondary LED.

Always the same 4 levels but with both LEDs on.

From this angle you can see the light generated by the secondary LED only. Thanks to the white part under the flashlight, the light actually manages to get behind the front wheel.

The cottage is 70 meters away. The levels used are the same as before, with the exception of the Low level.

Following, a short video of the ROAD and TRAIL modes on a mountain road surrounded by trees.
Forgive the uneven pace but the road was not set very well and I had to drive with one hand because with the other I changed the modes.
In reality, the light produced was more but, unfortunately, the action cam could not do better.


Personal considerations

This first Nitecore bicycle flashlight turned out to be a well-made product as usual. Materials and finishes are top notch!
To the touch, the feeling of having a solid object on your hands is very strong.

Thanks to the rich equipment, we can attach this BR35 on many handlebars and control it even without taking your hand off the handlebars. Easy operation thanks to the remote control.
Unfortunately, with this command it is not possible to change the levels and, in case of rain, it is not recommended to connect the remote to the flashlight because you risk getting water into its USB port and damaging it.

The power generated by this flashlight is so large, the levels are well spaced and you can proceed in the dark thanks to the Mid level only.
I particularly liked to find 3 different ways to better adapt the flashlight to 3 different scenarios.
The only thing that I did not like is the power on for 3 seconds of the main LED in CITY mode. I would have preferred to find a dazzling car-like operation that would allow a single (or multiple) flashing with a single (or multiple) pressure or stay on until the command is released after a long press. In order to attract more attention to us.

Convenient presence of the fast microUSB port and I found reasonable the charging time of the battery pack. Adequate solution for users who do not like things that are too complicated but a little less for purists or for those professional users who, by making extensive use of high output modes, would need a quick battery change in order to resume the march.

Apart from the issue of impermeability that may be missing in some situations (and that could perhaps be resolved differently), I have not found any major flaws.
I would have liked to see a small indicator light (and not even a not very powerful one would have been enough) under the remote key.
Apart from this hair in the egg, I found this Nitecore BR35 a very good product.

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

What a great review… :THUMBS-UP:

Thanks. Always want bike flashlight. and Nitecore BR35 is great choice i think.

Good review, currently looking for a discount code so i can buy this.

Thanks for the review Neil. :THUMBS-UP:

Im searching for my first bike Light.
I have 2 options available for purchase, Fenix BC30R 2017 and Nitecore BR35.
Which one should I get?

What a great review… :THUMBS-UP:

thanks a lot for the compliments :slight_smile:
s. sorry xxx for the message, I confused you with CM2010

I sent you one by PM, sorry for the delay :wink:

Unfortunatly I haven’t tried the Fenix BC30R and I can’t say too much, sorry

Would this run plugged directly into a power bank?

Unfortunally it can’t be used with a powerbank plugged because, IMHO, using the flashlight during the charging of the battery pack may stress it and compromise the life expectacy of the battery pack