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Thread: Nitecore MH20: XM-L2 (U2),micro-usb, 1x18650, max. 1000 lumens, (beam)shots, compare

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* kj75's Avatar
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    Default Nitecore MH20: XM-L2 (U2),micro-usb, 1x18650, max. 1000 lumens, (beam)shots, compare

    After the Tiny Monster series and the compact EA11 and EC11 Nitecore launches again a real compact one: the new MH20 should be one of the most compact 18650-lights available. Because it is usb-rechargeable you should never run out of power. Also interesting at this light: the new, improved interface. Let’s have a closer look and compare this light to some competitors!

    MH20, one of the most compact lights in its class




    powered by XM-L2(U2) LED


    a 18650 powered light with a dimension of about 10 centimeters



    So let’s start, as usual, with the manufacturer specs:

    Features:

    · The smallest, lightest 1x18650 USB rechargeable flashlight
    · Utilizes a CREE XM-L2 U2 LED
    · Max output of up to 1000 lumens
    · Integrated “Precision Digital Optics Technology” provides extreme reflector performance
    · Boasts a peak beam intensity of 12,500 cd and a throw distance of up to 220 meters
    · Features advanced temperature regulation (ATR) technology
    · Innovative single button 2-stage switch accesses multiple functions and modes
    · Integrated power indicator notifies battery voltage (accurate to 0.1V)
    · Intelligent charging module with a micro USB port charges Li-ion battery rapidly
    · High efficiency constant current circuit enables maximum runtime of 235 hours
    · Direct access to ultra-low and turbo output
    · Detachable two-way anti-rolling clip
    · Toughened ultra-clear mineral glass with anti-reflective coating
    · Constructed from aero grade aluminum alloy
    · HAIII military grade hard-anodized
    · Waterproof in accordance with IPX-8 (2 meters submersible)
    · Impact resistant to 1.5 meters
    · Tail stand capability

    Dimensions:

    · Length: 4.13” / 105mm
    · Head diameter: 1.25” / 31.8mm
    · Tail diameter: 1” / 25.4mm
    · Weight: 3.08oz / 87.3gram (without battery)

    And the output specs:


    Unboxing:

    A small box for a 18500-light! Again, a colorful, neat box around the MH20. Most of the specs and contents are mentioned on it. Inside, we find almost everything that’s needed, except a battery. Personally, I can’t believe that a usb-rechargeable is delivered without a cell. (So far I know now, most dealers deliver this light including a cell.) For the rest, a very complete package. Please scroll down for more details and contents!

    as usual, the colorful, neat box in Nitecore house-style


    contents the light, manual, warranty card, spare o-ring and usb cover, lanyard, holster and clip


    Impressions:

    First impression: a rather big head and tiny tube! Really compact for a 18650-light! But it is well balanced and easy to handle with. It has a smooth, very clean reflector and lens and also a perfect centered led. Good grip, a sturdy. deep clip and well-greased threads. The well-fitting usb cover protects the micro-usb port against dust and water. Anodizing could be little better: I found some spots at my sample. The lanyard’s hole is to small: a had to fix the strap by using a needle…
    Charging of the light is easy: Simply plug the micro-usb cable into a usb port, that’s all. All chargers that support micro-usb can be used. The power indicator in the switch will tell you about the progress: Blinking once per 3 seconds while charging, constant on when full, or rapidly blinking when there’s something wrong. At first, I had to get used by the shape of this light, because the head seems (to) big. But after using it some weeks, I really like it! Advantage of the bigger head is that the MH20 will not get that hot after a few minutes. Good job here Nitecore! Please scroll down for more impressions, told by pictures…

    this Multitask member


    has good looks and proportions


    about finger-length…


    compact “pocket-rocket”


    almost everywhere to charge


    voltage and power indicator; also a location beacon


    smooth, clean reflector, LED perfect centered


    a lot of output by a little light


    the most important accessories



    deep cooling-fins, light can run longer time at turbo-mode


    stable tailstand


    good machining


    and well-greased


    a look inside


    the cover can be turned 360 degrees


    and seals perfectly (not as shown at this picture)


    a hard job to insert the lanyard: I almost needed a needle



    in the holster


    waterproof to IPX-8, so a rain shower is no problem


    the long clip prevents against loss


    together with 1000-lumen-output MultiTask brothers.


    a "three-way" and and "two-way" shutter button


    User interface:

    Real innovative: Nitecore shows what’s possible with only one button! The switch operates like a camera shutter. Earlier, Nitecore used this idea on the TM06. But on the MH20, they have improved this interface. Nitecore is talking about a 2 way shutter, but it has three: Slight/Half press (no click), Normal click and Deep(er) press. I can tell you this works fine! Use a normal click for on/off. Choose your desired level by half pressing, starting with lower up to turbo mode. Second (silent) option for on is by half-pressing the button: this is meant for instant Lower, but when activated, you can simple cycle through the other modes too. Really like this silent mode! Only for off you need one “click”. A deep press from off will give instant turbo, deep press when on will bring into the special modes, starting with strobe. Cycle through the special modes by half pressing the button. Deep press again to leave special mode. Instant turbo works also with the light on, half press and hold the button to activate. Not surprising that this light hasn’t momentary-on. By deep pressing the button the switch under the cover feels like “piercing” you finger or thumb, because it is sharp.

    Modes:

    Like most Nitecores, this light has 5 normal and 3 special modes: Lower > Low > Medium > High > Turbo. The special modes are: Strobe > Location Beacon > SOS. You have direct access to Low and Turbo from off. Also instant Turbo when the light is on. Mode spacing is well done, not that big lumen jumps between the modes.

    ATR:

    The MH20 has advanced temperature regulation to avoid the light will be overheated. When it gets hot, light will (dynamically) increase output. Time of increasing depends on the actual conditons. It’s no problem to use this light longer time at turbo mode, it will not get, like some tiny lights, very hot in a few minutes.

    Size comparison:

    To show the dimensions, I’ve compared the MH20 with his MH12 brother and also with the Klarus RS11 and the Sunwayman C25C Ti.

    CR123A, 18650, Nitecore MH20, Sunwayman C25C Ti, Nitecore MH12 and Klarus RS11


    Nitecore MH20, Sunwayman C25C Ti, Nitecore MH12 and Klarus RS11


    reverse…


    a zoom-in to the heads


    and the tails


    Tint:

    The MH20 has a bit warmer tint than most XM-L2(U2) lights, with a slight yellow-/greenish tint. I’ve compared the tint to the Olight ST25 Baton.



    Beamprofile:

    For its size the light has a rather big reflector. It’s a smooth one, so a “throwy” light here. Suited for a lot of outdoor situations, for indoor (for example bed reading) I can recommend an (optional) diffusor. Maybe Nitecore can add a real firefly mode (0,5 lumens or less) in future. For the rest, a nice profile without spots or rings. No PWM at any mode, good point!

    Beamshots:

    The light projected on a white wall. Distance to the wall about 0,75 meter.

    Camera settings: ISO100, WB daylight, F/2.7, 1/125 sec, 35mm










    animation picture


    Going outside now…..At first, the five output modes. After that, an animated picture. Finally a shootout against the Klarus RS11, the Nitecore MH12 and the Sunwayman C25C Ti, also powered by a single 18650 cell.

    Camera settings: ISO100, WB daylight, F/2.7, 4.0 sec, 35mm










    animation

    LOCATION 2:

    MH20 against Klarus RS11


    a shootout against Nitecore MH12 brother


    the MH20 compared to the Sunwayman C25C Ti


    Conclusion:

    For me, the MH20 is one of my favorite single 18650-lights. The good built quality, easy interface and possibility to charge everywhere are good points here. I like the silent operation too. It has a bit throwy, but nice beam, this makes the MH20 a good search- and outdoor light, but for camping I can recommend a diffusor. The MH20 has a warmer tint than the MH12, what a lot of people will prefer. To make this an ideal light for me, I’d like to see it with a tailswitch, that gives momentary too. And I would like that the sidebutton could be used for stepping up and down through the modes, like the TM06. One thing I’m sure of: This one I’ll carry a lot of times!

    Nitecore MH20 provided for review
    Last edited by kj75; 08-10-2015 at 11:52 PM.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* WarRaven's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore MH20: XM-L2 (U2),micro-usb, 1x18500, max. 1000 lumens, (beam)shots, comp

    Awesome review, good read.

    Thank you very much.

    I want it, sigh..got me all jammed up.

    Any idea how long it takes to step down?
    Maybe I missed that sorry.

    Have a great day.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Nitecore MH20: XM-L2 (U2),micro-usb, 1x18500, max. 1000 lumens, (beam)shots, comp

    Thanks for the nice review. Very informative. Glad to hear that you like the UI. I was not sure about that but ordered anyway. Mine is coming in a couple of days hopefully.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* kj75's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore MH20: XM-L2 (U2),micro-usb, 1x18500, max. 1000 lumens, (beam)shots, comp

    Quote Originally Posted by WarRaven View Post
    Awesome review, good read.



    Any idea how long it takes to step down?
    .
    Hard to say...because of the ATR it increases dynamically its output. So, I think there's no full step down.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* CelticCross74's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore MH20: XM-L2 (U2),micro-usb, 1x18500, max. 1000 lumens, (beam)shots, comp

    its like a throw version of the ZL SC600 MkII L2! Just ordered the MH20 will have on Monday! Would still like to see some output testing to see how close it actually is to manufacturer spec. Nitecore has been rolling along MUCH better with their lumen claims lately so Im gonna say the MH20 actually puts out 950-960 lumens on turbo. Like the USB charging feature but with my new Xtar VC4 charger Ill never use it. Got a fairly new Olight 3400mah cell waiting for the MH20 to arrive. All lights that come with a clip should come with a deep carry clip! Great review you sold me

  6. #6
    Flashaholic LeafSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore MH20: XM-L2 (U2),micro-usb, 1x18500, max. 1000 lumens, (beam)shots, comp

    One of the best reviews I have read on CPF so far. Am very keen on this light now based on your review. Will order it very soon, not yet, as I have two other lights coming as well

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    Flashaholic djburkes's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore MH20: XM-L2 (U2),micro-usb, 1x18500, max. 1000 lumens, (beam)shots, comp

    Excellent review...have you "played" with the EC4 yet?

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* kj75's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore MH20: XM-L2 (U2),micro-usb, 1x18500, max. 1000 lumens, (beam)shots, comp

    Thank you all guys for your kind words

    have you "played" with the EC4 yet?
    Not yet, but will come

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* WarRaven's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore MH20: XM-L2 (U2),micro-usb, 1x18500, max. 1000 lumens, (beam)shots, comp

    Quote Originally Posted by kj75 View Post
    Hard to say...because of the ATR it increases dynamically its output. So, I think there's no full step down.
    Neat, thank you friend.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Nitecore MH20: XM-L2 (U2),micro-usb, 1x18500, max. 1000 lumens, (beam)shots, comp

    Great review , got mine a week ago and very impressed !!

  11. #11

    Default Re: Nitecore MH20: XM-L2 (U2),micro-usb, 1x18500, max. 1000 lumens, (beam)shots, comp

    Quote Originally Posted by CelticCross74 View Post
    its like a throw version of the ZL SC600 MkII L2! Just ordered the MH20 will have on Monday! Would still like to see some output testing to see how close it actually is to manufacturer spec. Nitecore has been rolling along MUCH better with their lumen claims lately so Im gonna say the MH20 actually puts out 950-960 lumens on turbo. Like the USB charging feature but with my new Xtar VC4 charger Ill never use it. Got a fairly new Olight 3400mah cell waiting for the MH20 to arrive. All lights that come with a clip should come with a deep carry clip! Great review you sold me
    I wouldn't quite call it a better thrower. More of a concentrated hot spot, but not something I noticed at larger distances. Here is a comparison at a shorter distance. Just more blue/purple

    MH20


    SC600w II L2


    MH20


    SC600w II L2
    GOOD TINT!

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* CelticCross74's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore MH20: XM-L2 (U2),micro-usb, 1x18500, max. 1000 lumens, (beam)shots, comp

    Just got the MH20 today! I LOVE this thing! It is my new EDC. Takes much longer to get hot vs the P12. I appreciate the above shots it really shows the difference in tint! Using my large back yard as a gauge to my eyes the MH20 totally outthrows the ZL that and the MH20 has a reflector twice as large. Still love my ZL for its blinding wall of close range light though

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* CelticCross74's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore MH20: XM-L2 (U2),micro-usb, 1x18500, max. 1000 lumens, (beam)shots, comp

    just took both lights out back again and WOW these things are bright! I dont see much of a drop off in output from turbo on either light. MH20 has a very nice defined hot spot. Nitecore has really impressed me with this one! Also just got the Olight M3X Javelot today so Im having a flashaholic blast tonight! Will try for beam shots later

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* WarRaven's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore MH20: XM-L2 (U2),micro-usb, 1x18500, max. 1000 lumens, (beam)shots, comp

    Quote Originally Posted by CelticCross74 View Post
    just took both lights out back again and WOW these things are bright! I dont see much of a drop off in output from turbo on either light. MH20 has a very nice defined hot spot. Nitecore has really impressed me with this one! Also just got the Olight M3X Javelot today so Im having a flashaholic blast tonight! Will try for beam shots later
    Wow, nice haul CC.
    When you do your pictures, can you include your PD35 for comparison, even if just roughly.
    MH20 is appealing.
    Have a great day.

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    Flashaholic* CelticCross74's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore MH20: XM-L2 (U2),micro-usb, 1x18500, max. 1000 lumens, (beam)shots, comp

    sure! Am rounding up some bungee cords at HD tomorrow so I can attach the lights to one of my tripods. First shots will be totally experimental and will likely blow...thankfully I have really nice neighbors and a tall fence lol. Am loving the MH20 more each day. The deep carry clip is a god send Idk why the rest of the field doesnt at least offer a deep carry clip for their 1x18650 lights etc. Love this light its half the size of my P12 and just blows it away

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* CelticCross74's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore MH20: XM-L2 (U2),micro-usb, 1x18500, max. 1000 lumens, (beam)shots, comp

    PD35
    MH20
    M3X
    M3X
    M3X

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Nitecore MH20: XM-L2 (U2),micro-usb, 1x18500, max. 1000 lumens, (beam)shots, comp

    Nice review. I'm considering this one, but I've already spent my current budget on a 4Sevens MMU 3XR instead.

    BTW - Can anyone please tell me how to start a new post on this forum? I forgot and it seems like there's no simple, straight forward way (i.e. a one click dialogue box on the pages). Even the "instructions" are of no help as far as I can see.









    x

  18. #18
    Flashaholic* CelticCross74's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore MH20: XM-L2 (U2),micro-usb, 1x18500, max. 1000 lumens, (beam)shots, comp

    to post simply first log in then at the top left of any forum thread list there will be a "start new thread" box. Click it and go from there

  19. #19
    Flashaholic* CelticCross74's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore MH20: XM-L2 (U2),micro-usb, 1x18500, max. 1000 lumens, (beam)shots, comp

    forgot to turn off the light on my back porch for those beam shots. Will make sure to turn them off for tonights MH20 beam shots. An amazing little light!

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    Default Re: Nitecore MH20: XM-L2 (U2),micro-usb, 1x18500, max. 1000 lumens, (beam)shots, comp

    Thanks!

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Nitecore MH20: XM-L2 (U2),micro-usb, 1x18500, max. 1000 lumens, (beam)shots, comp

    Quote Originally Posted by CelticCross74 View Post
    forgot to turn off the light on my back porch for those beam shots. Will make sure to turn them off for tonights MH20 beam shots. An amazing little light!
    Right on, is it going to replace your PD35 duties which it looks close to in the shots above?

  22. #22
    Flashaholic* CelticCross74's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore MH20: XM-L2 (U2),micro-usb, 1x18500, max. 1000 lumens, (beam)shots, comp

    I have so many lights that I rotate through them all just so they get used although I must admit the MH20 has not left my front right pocket since I got it. The PD/UC35 put out a very unique beam profile that the MH20 doesnt have(huge hot spot etc)so no the PD will still get use. Likely be my glovebox light. The MH20 is actually much brighter in person it just didnt come across in those shots cause I had the back porch light still on like an idiot. Tonights beamshot efforts (barring rain) are to be dedicated to the MH20 and M3X. My back yard is 65 yards wide so Ive got some room to work with at least. To bad all Ive got as objects to shine light onto are my fence, the back of my house and the treeline of the woods behind my house for now. All pics were taken with the camera set to automatic everything so ISO etc could be better

  23. #23
    Flashaholic* WarRaven's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore MH20: XM-L2 (U2),micro-usb, 1x18500, max. 1000 lumens, (beam)shots, comp

    Nice.
    Thanks for the feedback.

    👍CC74

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    Flashaholic* CelticCross74's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore MH20: XM-L2 (U2),micro-usb, 1x18500, max. 1000 lumens, (beam)shots, comp

    less sloppy MH20 back yard beam shots
    yes looking down the turbo beam is this bright

  25. #25

    Default Re: Nitecore MH20: XM-L2 (U2),micro-usb, 1x18500, max. 1000 lumens, (beam)shots, comp

    This was another light I was fighting to resist. Really wanted the Thrunite TN36, as I have no ultra bright lights. But reality (wallet) narrowed it down to the MH20 or the TN4A. Ended up going with the TN4A as I have no "can" type lights in my arsenal. And I have the somewhat similar Nitecore EC25 (NW) that I absolutely love.. But now this one is back, nibbling on my mind again. I like the short style...it just looks totally awesome to me. If Nitecore releases a NW version I will probably have to give in to my desires.

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* CelticCross74's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitecore MH20: XM-L2 (U2),micro-usb, 1x18500, max. 1000 lumens, (beam)shots, comp

    TN4A is king of the "can" style lights. Have both the NW and CW TN4A they will be the subject of tonights awful backyard beam shots. MH20 still hasnt left my front right pocket since I got it. Heat sinking on it is incredible. Thermal regulation rocks just as it does on the TN4A. Would be interesting if a NW MH20 came along, doubt one will but would be nice. MH20 is the size of my Zebralight SC600 MKIIw L2 its crazy how good this light is for how small it is.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Nitecore MH20: XM-L2 (U2),micro-usb, 1x18500, max. 1000 lumens, (beam)shots, comp

    Neutral white MH20 would be great! Just a little larger than the SC600 but a lot less $$$!
    GOOD TINT!

  28. #28

    Default Re: Nitecore MH20: XM-L2 (U2),micro-usb, 1x18500, max. 1000 lumens, (beam)shots, comp

    Quote Originally Posted by CelticCross74 View Post
    TN4A is king of the "can" style lights. Have both the NW and CW TN4A they will be the subject of tonights awful backyard beam shots. MH20 still hasnt left my front right pocket since I got it. Heat sinking on it is incredible. Thermal regulation rocks just as it does on the TN4A. Would be interesting if a NW MH20 came along, doubt one will but would be nice. MH20 is the size of my Zebralight SC600 MKIIw L2 its crazy how good this light is for how small it is.
    Look forward to seeing them! If you can slip a comparo with the MH20 in there. Well, maybe not...dam it...yea, slip one in. My daughters a school teacher and comes down to visit every summer. She'll be here in two weeks. I can already hear the flack I'll get. "MORE flashlights dad...aren't you EVER going to grow up! How much did you spend this year? But...I did not buy one of those 65" 4K 3D tv's, like I've been saying I was, going to wait a bit longer...so, why not buy a flashlight...or...maybe two

    And that TN36 as well...keeps singing love songs to me...a real temptress.
    Last edited by Badbeams3; 06-16-2015 at 12:25 PM.

  29. #29

    Default Re: Nitecore MH20: XM-L2 (U2),micro-usb, 1x18500, max. 1000 lumens, (beam)shots, comp

    Quote Originally Posted by markr6 View Post
    Neutral white MH20 would be great! Just a little larger than the SC600 but a lot less $$$!
    I like the look of the MH20 more. Aggressive, but not overly so. Cute, but not to cute...just has a great look about it, I think.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Nitecore MH20: XM-L2 (U2),micro-usb, 1x18500, max. 1000 lumens, (beam)shots, comp

    Quote Originally Posted by Badbeams3 View Post
    I like the look of the MH20 more. Aggressive, but not overly so. Cute, but not to cute...just has a great look about it, I think.
    Agreed. That's why I purchased one even though I avoid cool whites like death! But the size, looks and UI really drew me in. I did end up selling it, but see it's potential. If they made a NW (without having to pay more for modding), I would pick two up. A nice general use light 1x18650, and 1xCR123 as a car/emergency bag light.
    GOOD TINT!

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