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Thread: NITECORE P25 SMILODON (XM-L U2 | 1 x 18650 / 2xR/CR123) Review

  1. #1

    Thumbs up NITECORE P25 SMILODON (XM-L U2 | 1 x 18650 / 2xR/CR123) Review

    Nitecore's P25, has been bestowed the moniker "Smilodon". For those of you not up to date on long-extinct felidaes, Smilodons were a breed of saber-tooth-cat (not tiger as they are classified in the Machairodontinae subfamily vs. Pantherinae)

    It was one of the largest "cats"; to wit, the smilodon populator had a body mass range of 220 to 360kg (290 to 790lb) and was likely one of the top predators of its time. I'm sure this was not lost on Nitecore's marketing team as the P25 has been touted for tactical applications. So, does it live up to the lineage of fearsome hunters or is it more a furry kitty? Let's see...

    · Premium CREE XM-L U2 LED
    · Maximum output of 860 lumens
    · Integrated “Precision Digital Optics Technology” provides extreme reflector performance
    · Boasts a peak beam intensity of 20,000cd and a throw distance of up to 283 meters
    · High efficiency circuit board provides up to 325 hours runtime
    · Integrated dual Picatinny connectors / rails provide a huge variety of mounting options
    · Innovative single button two-stage switch offers a user-friendly interface (patented)
    · Intelligent charging circuit with voltage detection charges safely and rapidly
    · Integrated micro USB charging port is water, dust and impact resistant
    · Eight rapidly switchable brightness levels to select from
    · Integrated power indicator light displays remaining battery power (patented)
    · Power indicator’s secondary function displays battery voltage (accurate to 0.1V)
    · Intelligent charging circuit with voltage detection charges rapidly and safely
    · Intelligent memory function stores preferred brightness setting
    · Integrated spring-loaded impact absorption mechanism featuring reverse polarity protection (patented)
    · Stainless steel titanium-plated two-way clip
    · Stainless steel retaining ring protects the core components from damage
    · Toughened ultra-clear mineral glass with anti-reflective coating
    · Constructed from aero grade aluminum alloy
    · Sturdy HAIII military grade hard-anodized
    · Waterproof in accordance with IPX-8 (two meters submersible)
    · Impact resistant to 1.5 meters
    · Tail stand capability

    I received an early production sample so was not provided w/any of the original packaging/accessories, however as posted on mfg's site, the P25 will ship with the following accessories: Quality holster, clip, tactical ring, lanyard, USB cable, spare tail cap and spare O-ring

    Here is a high-level video summary of the P25 while while I work on fleshing out this review:

    The P25 features a brushed stainless steel bezel that matches the gray finish nicely:

    The smooth reflector was specially designed to eliminate rings:
    Case in point, the above shots shows beam cast by P25 on left and a different light also featuring XM-L U2 with similar output and smooth reflector.

    The machined grooves towards the base of the head are not merely for aesthetics as they also help w/anti-roll:

    Likewise, the mass of the picitanny rails serve as heatsinks:

    The throat of the light features a 2-stage electronic switch (please see UI section for full details) that is surrounded by a clear rubber backlit by a blue LED:
    This LED conveys multi statuses depending on the frequency and duration of blinks (please see UI section for further details).

    More to come...


    L to R: RediLast 3400 | XENO S3A | Shadow GF1 | Lighten6 Elite S1A | Shadow TC350 | ThruNite TN11 | Niwalker 550N3 |ThruNite TN11S | Crelant V9-T6 | NITECORE P25| Niwalker 600N1

    The above is a shot of the P25 compared with other 1x18650 (mostly) turbo-head lights.

    Indoors (5m)






    For details of the above indoor shots and comparo vs. many other lights, please check Epic Indoor Shots Trilogy

    The relevant battery stats are provided above each runtime graph along with:
    - Voltage of the battery at the start and end of the test
    - Current draw
    - Actual runtime using ANSI FL1 (first in HR and then in M so for the RL3400 on Turbo, read this as 2.6hrs or 153min)
    - As of May 2012: Lumens measured on my PVC LMD @ 30 seconds
    - Also for Turbo, captured the temperature: ambient, the head/fins at start and the max it reached (fan was used for all bats)

    Max output measured @ 30 seconds was 1040lms w/a RediLast 3400 (note: although I calibrate my PVC LMD before each runtime/lumens testing, the ambient temp will also cause deviations in readings).

    There is a general mild decline in output from the moment the P25 is first turned on which is gradually done between 3 - 7.5 mins until it regulates at 800lms for ~13min before a second step down to ~550lms where it'll stay regulated until the cell is no longer able to maintain output. So in total, it spends ~20min above or at 800lms. Overall heat wasn't bad, however, this is in consideration of the initial declining output which doesn't allow it to get all that hot.

    Here in order for each cell are measurements for:
    * step-down; timea
    * avg lms in first minute + current draw and calculated runtime for each of the four non-turbo levels
    * stand-by; since the P25 utilizes an electronic switch, the current draw + calculated time before cell is drained


    The P25's built-in charger exhibits a CC/CV’ish curve that although not a perfect one is still pretty good:

    - current starts to decline a few minutes after the start of charge, although not a steep drop, this does prolong charging a little
    - termination current is ~70mA which is very good
    - upon termination, there is a minute current draw of 3.62mA (due to the charging indicator light), otherwise stand by current drain is extremely little at 607µA w/spike to 1.4mA due to locater beacon
    - charging end voltage hit 4.22v on some newer/low internal-resistance cells.
    - charging will reinitiate with very low current if power is interrupted and restored
    - doesn’t seem to adapt to charging algo of external source, will always utilize its own charging algo and set
    - charging rate maxed @ ~500mA; no advantage to using 2A input (e.g. Apple iPad 10W charger)
    - is able to reset a tripped PCB on cell

    Here is a deep dive of the charging and voltage read-out feature:



    P25 provided by Nitecore for review.
    Last edited by turboBB; 03-02-2013 at 05:08 PM. Reason: Indoors 5m shots added

  2. #2
    Flashaholic holylight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    Default Re: NITECORE P25 SMILODON (XM-L U2 | 1 x 18650 / 2xR/CR123) Review

    good review as always. Ty so much!
    lights: saber1a, v11r, sc52, sc600ii, ea4, tn31, archer1a.

  3. #3

    Default Re: NITECORE P25 SMILODON (XM-L U2 | 1 x 18650 / 2xR/CR123) Review

    It looks very nice, good products.

    Edgar Liu
    Tel: +86-20-39938383
    Fax: +86-20-39938383
    Skype: soledpower




  4. #4

    Default Re: NITECORE P25 SMILODON (XM-L U2 | 1 x 18650 / 2xR/CR123) Review

    Indoors 5m shots added.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* buds224's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Yokosuka, Kanagawa, Japan

    Default Re: NITECORE P25 SMILODON (XM-L U2 | 1 x 18650 / 2xR/CR123) Review

    Excellent review. Thanks!

  6. #6

    Buttrock Re: NITECORE P25 SMILODON (XM-L U2 | 1 x 18650 / 2xR/CR123) Review

    Holy review! Awesome! I just acquired my Smilodon yesterday and I can tell you already that its worlds better than most of the other tac-lights I own, and I do own a few. The interface on it is a little to get used to at first, coming from a background of having a single momentary switch or a single clicky button on most of my lights. Makes for a great EDC light for those of us who have tactical clothing or just regular plainclothes with accessible, decently sized pockets. I already had to use it this morning on my drive to work (5:00 am Houston) when a guy walked towards me whilst I was using an ATM. Just the four or five second burst from turbo at his feet was enough to let the fella know I could very clearly see him and his hands.

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