[New][Review] Nitecore TUP - 1000 lumen keychain light

gteague

Newly Enlightened
Joined
May 14, 2010
Messages
141
Location
buffalo gap
the grey tup i got doesn't seem to have the blue backlights on the keys as described. perhaps because they're ?metal? compared to the black plastic looking ones on the black model pictured? pretty sure my tini light has button backlights although it's hard to tell if it's not just spillover light. i just went into a dark room with both and confirmed this.

i dislike non-removable batteries in general--it means the life of flashlights is so crippled it will always be years shorter than ones with replaceable batteries which is a shame. and they will deteriorate in light output over time while you can do nothing about it. but then again, i'm an enthusiast and (with exceptions for exceptional lights) usually replace lights once a year to get desirable features.

i've been away from nitecore and onto olight for several years now and the last nitecore i had was the tm35 which put out what? 3500 lumens? no, surely too low but 35k lumens sounds too high. at any rate it was a breakthrough flashlight for the time, but was lacking in form factor and weight and charging. it was just too big and heavy to hold comfortably for any length of time and would rip out the bottom of any pocket it was placed in. it got hot pretty fast and battery life wasn't great and it took a proprietary charger although i'd simply take out the 18650 batteries and charge them separately. can't deny it was dammed impressive to show the neighbors though! it finally got so bad i trashed it with full honors.

which brings me to why i abandoned olight. they put out a light which i thought would replace the tm35 ?tm36?, the r50 pro which was 3200 lumens on a battery bigger than a 18650. the pro model was for emergency workers and fire and police with a rapid charger and was easily handheld, unlike the tm35.

but the first one died within two weeks with little use. the rapid charger had a mode where you kept the light in the charger and if power was lost the light would come on as an emergency light. olight blamed me for this but sent another battery. this new battery died in a week. i bought two batteries with my own money and stopped keeping the light in the charger in that emergency mode, but the first time i charged a battery in their charger, it died. i wrote olight and called olight over and over and they finally said they had gotten a bad batch of batteries and actually sent me two. these met the same death as soon as they were charged in the light and they were such large batteries i had no other way to charge them.

but here's the stupid part--i liked the form factor of the light so much that about six months after i bought the first one, i bought a second one. olight stubbornly refused to replace my first light under warranty despite going gear weighing in on my side since i bought it from them. by this time more people had joined me on candlepower with reports of identical failures of the first batch of lights, but i hoped they'd corrected the issue by this time. after all, this was a light they flogged to the law enforcement and emergency community and where tolerance for such failures was below zero. but you know the ending to the story--the second light was the same as the first although by then i had acquired a slow charger and i now have only one battery left and just keep the light by the door for emergencies--i don't use it routinely. but olight lied to all of us over and over again and i abandoned them entirely.

i know i'm all over the place on this review thread, sorry. but i wanted to say that i now have the nitecore tini, tup, and the tm10k and it's very nice that all the ui's work nearly the same. the tup is nearly exactly the size of the olight s1 and s1r and i still have several of those deployed in various places. i like that it's square and won't roll. and i like the deep and wide belt clip. i have the tini for the keychain, so i don't need the tup for that. i do feel that the tm10k is obscenely overpriced, the tup is overpriced, and the tini is slightly overpriced. i think you are paying for the geek factor and the innovation of nitecore putting so much power into such tiny lights. but i'm not bitter at that--after all, i'm the target audience! :)

/guy
 

AVService

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Dec 30, 2011
Messages
2,167
My Gray TUP button lights do glow blue although not bright at all.

There are sure no other lights on the market right now with an OLED display like the TUP and I am excited about what it does for me and that helps make the price easier to swallow I decided.

I am planning on being able to put new batteries in mine when it dies and I hope I can find some when the time comes.
I paid a premium to get mine right away and I bet they go cheaper before too long too.


the grey tup i got doesn't seem to have the blue backlights on the keys as described. perhaps because they're ?metal? compared to the black plastic looking ones on the black model pictured? pretty sure my tini light has button backlights although it's hard to tell if it's not just spillover light. i just went into a dark room with both and confirmed this.

i dislike non-removable batteries in general--it means the life of flashlights is so crippled it will always be years shorter than ones with replaceable batteries which is a shame. and they will deteriorate in light output over time while you can do nothing about it. but then again, i'm an enthusiast and (with exceptions for exceptional lights) usually replace lights once a year to get desirable features.

i've been away from nitecore and onto olight for several years now and the last nitecore i had was the tm35 which put out what? 3500 lumens? no, surely too low but 35k lumens sounds too high. at any rate it was a breakthrough flashlight for the time, but was lacking in form factor and weight and charging. it was just too big and heavy to hold comfortably for any length of time and would rip out the bottom of any pocket it was placed in. it got hot pretty fast and battery life wasn't great and it took a proprietary charger although i'd simply take out the 18650 batteries and charge them separately. can't deny it was dammed impressive to show the neighbors though! it finally got so bad i trashed it with full honors.

which brings me to why i abandoned olight. they put out a light which i thought would replace the tm35 ?tm36?, the r50 pro which was 3200 lumens on a battery bigger than a 18650. the pro model was for emergency workers and fire and police with a rapid charger and was easily handheld, unlike the tm35.

but the first one died within two weeks with little use. the rapid charger had a mode where you kept the light in the charger and if power was lost the light would come on as an emergency light. olight blamed me for this but sent another battery. this new battery died in a week. i bought two batteries with my own money and stopped keeping the light in the charger in that emergency mode, but the first time i charged a battery in their charger, it died. i wrote olight and called olight over and over and they finally said they had gotten a bad batch of batteries and actually sent me two. these met the same death as soon as they were charged in the light and they were such large batteries i had no other way to charge them.

but here's the stupid part--i liked the form factor of the light so much that about six months after i bought the first one, i bought a second one. olight stubbornly refused to replace my first light under warranty despite going gear weighing in on my side since i bought it from them. by this time more people had joined me on candlepower with reports of identical failures of the first batch of lights, but i hoped they'd corrected the issue by this time. after all, this was a light they flogged to the law enforcement and emergency community and where tolerance for such failures was below zero. but you know the ending to the story--the second light was the same as the first although by then i had acquired a slow charger and i now have only one battery left and just keep the light by the door for emergencies--i don't use it routinely. but olight lied to all of us over and over again and i abandoned them entirely.

i know i'm all over the place on this review thread, sorry. but i wanted to say that i now have the nitecore tini, tup, and the tm10k and it's very nice that all the ui's work nearly the same. the tup is nearly exactly the size of the olight s1 and s1r and i still have several of those deployed in various places. i like that it's square and won't roll. and i like the deep and wide belt clip. i have the tini for the keychain, so i don't need the tup for that. i do feel that the tm10k is obscenely overpriced, the tup is overpriced, and the tini is slightly overpriced. i think you are paying for the geek factor and the innovation of nitecore putting so much power into such tiny lights. but i'm not bitter at that--after all, i'm the target audience! :)

/guy
 

xevious

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Dec 29, 2007
Messages
1,022
Location
Hoboken, NJ
You could always put some anti-scratch protector over the OLED... and while no tempered glass version exists that would fit perfectly, the vinyl ones can be cut to fit--just buy one for any mobile phone and then cut away.

The proprietary battery on a light in this price class bothers me. No problem with a sub $20 Olight i1R EOS key chain light (got it on sale for less than $10 actually). But when you're talking $45 (discount) to $69 (retail), I'd want a standardized battery. How many charge cycles will such a proprietary battery actually withstand before a notable degradation of run time? Granted, as a near "key chain" light, it would endure pocket carry usage in due time and eventually show the wear. If it's used enough to need a new battery in about 3 years, Nitecore should still have those available... although the question would be the cost. If it's half the cost of a new light, then you're faced with upgrading and your old TUP is useless. It would be interesting to find out the actual cost of a new battery and I wonder if it would make sense to buy now, rather than wait later. Keep in reserve for the day you need it. And after that, by the time the 2nd one goes, you'd probably be ready for a new light anyway.


About Olight, I had read up on the R5 Pro Seeker reliability stories... and it's a real damned shame. Seems like such a nice light in many respects. I guess that impacted sales, as there was a decent holiday discount for those. But I passed. I wouldn't use that letdown as an excuse to abandon Olight, though. They make many great lights and I think they've got a bright future. (no pun intended!)
 
Last edited:

idleprocess

Flashaholic
Joined
Feb 29, 2004
Messages
6,487
Location
dfw.tx.us
The proprietary battery on a light in this price class bothers me. No problem with a sub $20 Olight i1R EOS key chain light (got it on sale for less than $10 actually). But when you're talking $45 (discount) to $69 (retail), I'd want a standardized battery. How many charge cycles will such a proprietary battery actually withstand before a notable degradation of run time? Granted, as a near "key chain" light, it would endure pocket carry usage in due time and eventually show the wear. If it's used enough to need a new battery in about 3 years, Nitecore should still have those available... although the question would be the cost. If it's half the cost of a new light, then you're faced with upgrading and your old TUP is useless. It would be interesting to find out the actual cost of a new battery and I wonder if it would make sense to buy now, rather than wait later. Keep in reserve for the day you need it. And after that, by the time the 2nd one goes, you'd probably be ready for a new light anyway.

I gather that replacement cells can be had from specialty suppliers for a modest sum; the user may have to do some slight fabrication to make them work, however.
 

xevious

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Dec 29, 2007
Messages
1,022
Location
Hoboken, NJ
I gather that replacement cells can be had from specialty suppliers for a modest sum; the user may have to do some slight fabrication to make them work, however.
There's no question that new battery would have to be soldered into place. But it would have to be the exact shape as OEM... it's a tight fit. I expect Nitecore had these made to their precise specifications, so either Nitecore supplies it or a vendor for the original supplier to Nitecore would make them available. Unfortunately, Nitecore makes no mention of battery replacement on their product page.

One minor nitpick I wish they'd done on this light -- used more appropriate top level mode menu labels. They use "DEMO" and "DAILY." Demo? The description says that's for typical EDC carry, and DAILY is for outdoor use. Seems to me that they should have chosen "DAILY" (DEMO) and "MAIN" (DAILY) labels. I'd though maybe "EDC" instead of "DEMO," but that's more of a flashaholic term. But "DAILY" suggests how you'd use for EDC... so that seems more appropriate.
 

idleprocess

Flashaholic
Joined
Feb 29, 2004
Messages
6,487
Location
dfw.tx.us
There's no question that new battery would have to be soldered into place. But it would have to be the exact shape as OEM... it's a tight fit. I expect Nitecore had these made to their precise specifications, so either Nitecore supplies it or a vendor for the original supplier to Nitecore would make them available. Unfortunately, Nitecore makes no mention of battery replacement on their product page.

I doubt the cells were custom-engineered for this product. Searching nothing more than the apparent SKU on the cells in the teardown photo and "li-poly cell" I was able to find something visually quite similar with the same specs for <$2 a unit.
 

gteague

Newly Enlightened
Joined
May 14, 2010
Messages
141
Location
buffalo gap
My Gray TUP button lights do glow blue although not bright at all.

[del]

after dark last night i went into a back closet and closed the door and tried again to see any 'glow' from the buttons and couldn't. i tried with the light on the lowest setting and i tried by just hitting the /mode/ button to activate the lcd. i swear i cannot see the least trace of light from the buttons.

as this is not a feature i depend on, it hardly matters to me, but i was just curious why some say they are backlit and i'm not seeing it.

/guy
 

PartyPete

Enlightened
Joined
Aug 14, 2015
Messages
486
after dark last night i went into a back closet and closed the door and tried again to see any 'glow' from the buttons and couldn't. i tried with the light on the lowest setting and i tried by just hitting the /mode/ button to activate the lcd. i swear i cannot see the least trace of light from the buttons.

as this is not a feature i depend on, it hardly matters to me, but i was just curious why some say they are backlit and i'm not seeing it.

/guy
I'm not sure if they are supposed to necessarily glow during use but I never really looked at the manual closely about this.

They definitely glow while charging, though.

It would be a nice touch if they had a faint glow during operation but not something I really expected. Good light nonetheless.
 

xevious

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Dec 29, 2007
Messages
1,022
Location
Hoboken, NJ
I doubt the cells were custom-engineered for this product. Searching nothing more than the apparent SKU on the cells in the teardown photo and "li-poly cell" I was able to find something visually quite similar with the same specs for <$2 a unit.
Thanks, you're right -- I looked over the original teardown battery photo and the Alibaba listing battery photo and they do appear to be the same. So that's promising. So 1200mAh altogether, for the two batteries soldered into the circuit.
 

xevious

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Dec 29, 2007
Messages
1,022
Location
Hoboken, NJ
What does TUP stand for? :thinking:
Nitecore has a basic nomenclature to their model numbers, but they're not completely thorough.
For example, we have:
TM - Tiny Monster
C- Concept
E - Explorer
P - Precise
SRT - SmartRing Tactical
MT - Multi-Task
MH - Multi-Hybrid
H - Headlamp
....

After this, they stop "explaining" the meaning.
My guess is that the "T" as a leading letter always means "Tiny."
So the T-Series is "Tiny" (not tactical).
TINI is obvious... a play on TINY.
So what about TIP, TUBE, and TUP? All Tiny.
I think TUBE is simply to suggest the emitter being a large tubular 5mm type.
TIP... not sure... but I'm guessing the "P" may stand for "programmable." Because you can put it into different operation modes -- Daily and Constant-On. And if it's the first tiny programmable for small pocket carry, then TIP may mean "tiny initial programmable."
TUP... tiny ultimate programmable?
 
Last edited:

Morelite

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 29, 2005
Messages
2,250
Location
Central PA
I got the gray one and it does indeed have the blue backlight on the buttons but it is only ever on when connected for charging.
 
Top