Nitecore EA4 (XM-L U2, 4xAA) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO and more!

JaimeB

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Aug 14, 2013
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Hi Guys-

I recently received my EA4 and am not very pleased with it. The hotspot is donut shaped in that the very center has less light output than the "donut" ring that provides most of the illumination. This is followed by a very yellow tinted spill ring - and I mean very yellow - and ends with a cool white final portion of the spill area.

I don't know if Nitecore got a batch of defective CREE XM-L's or if the reflector is not properly centered, but the light pattern on my EA4 is not what Selfbuilt caught on camera. Buyers beware!
 

selfbuilt

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I don't know if Nitecore got a batch of defective CREE XM-L's or if the reflector is not properly centered, but the light pattern on my EA4 is not what Selfbuilt caught on camera. Buyers beware!
From your description, it sounds like a depth issue with the reflector (i.e., it is not fully seated). Sometimes an o-ring can get pinched under the lens/bezel, preventing proper fit. You could try opening up the bezel to see if you can manually reseat everything (being careful not to touch the surface of the reflector). Or simply return for a replacement. A mild donut effect can sometimes occur, due to natural tolerances - but if it is significant, you should be justifited in a return.

And :welcome:
 
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JaimeB

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Selbuilt- Thank you so much for your incredibly quick response! Thanks also for welcoming me into the CPF Forum. I'm in contact with the Nictore customer service dept in China - let's see what happens. Bought my torch from the good people at Goinggear (I'm in South Florida).

Thanks again! Keep up the incredible work you do for all quality flashlight enthusiasts.

Jaime
 

AMD64Blondie

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Nov 2, 2007
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Portland,OR
So anxiously waiting to order my new Nitecore EA4 from Amazon.
(have to get my paycheck first.)

Looks to be an awesome light.I like the fact that it runs on AA batteries,as opposed to CR123A.

Quite shocking that a light barely bigger than 2 D batteries laid out end-to-end is brighter than my old Fenix TK40.
 
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AMD64Blondie

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Just received my new Nitecore EA4.

I'm stunned at how stupid-bright this fairly small light is.

The first thing I stupidly did after unboxing it was insert the batteries and turn it on(full 860-lumen turbo) right at my bathroom mirror.OUCH MY EYES!!

I think i'm going to love this new little wonder.
 

Gene

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Dec 19, 2000
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Good for you and yes, the EA4 is a bright light and I like mine too.

My only complaint with all these new lights is I wish they would come with TRULY SIMPLE U.I.'s! Like it was stated earlier in this thread, it's frustrating to remember each light's U.I. when switching from one light to the next and trying to remember a light's U.I. when you haven't used it for awhile.

The manufacturer's all claim their lights have "simple" U.I.'s but they could do better than all this pushing and holding and pushing! :)
 

Capolini

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Aug 4, 2013
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I will be getting mine in a few days. I guess you can call me a "Turbo" freak!! lol! I use ALL my high powered lights[TK-75, BST] on turbo constantly. I am disappointed that this steps down after three minutes of turbo. If I go back to turbo immediately it will step down again in three minutes, right??? If so, I would have to constantly step it up every three minutes?

Has anyone used it continuously on turbo[with step ups!] and had any heat issues?

Ciao,,, Roberto,,,"Capo di Capo" "KEEP LIGHTING UP THE DARKNESS"
 

Fallingwater

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Jul 11, 2005
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Trieste, Italy
I recently lent my modified L-Mini (1x18650, new driver, XP-G) to a friend for a camping trip. He was ecstatic about how powerful it was, and his jaw pretty much dropped on the floor when I told him it was old-generation by now and showed him how soundly my SC600 beats it. I may have created a new flashaholic. :p

Anyway, looking for lights of similar power to my SC600 but that don't require a commitment to an unfamiliar battery type that you can't find on shelves, I came across the EA4. Seems just what my friend would need, except I'm not sure how EDC-able it is, seen how it's quite a bit thicker than a 18650 light. What's your opinion on this?
 

markr6

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Jul 16, 2012
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I recently lent my modified L-Mini (1x18650, new driver, XP-G) to a friend for a camping trip. He was ecstatic about how powerful it was, and his jaw pretty much dropped on the floor when I told him it was old-generation by now and showed him how soundly my SC600 beats it. I may have created a new flashaholic. :p

Anyway, looking for lights of similar power to my SC600 but that don't require a commitment to an unfamiliar battery type that you can't find on shelves, I came across the EA4. Seems just what my friend would need, except I'm not sure how EDC-able it is, seen how it's quite a bit thicker than a 18650 light. What's your opinion on this?

Some people will say you can EDC it, but personally I say no way. On a duty belt in the holster, sure, but I would only do this maybe while camping. In a pocket, it would feel like I was carrying around a brick.
 

selfbuilt

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Anyway, looking for lights of similar power to my SC600 but that don't require a commitment to an unfamiliar battery type that you can't find on shelves, I came across the EA4. Seems just what my friend would need, except I'm not sure how EDC-able it is, seen how it's quite a bit thicker than a 18650 light. What's your opinion on this?
Personally, I like EDCing things in the 1xCR123A-1xAA size range - so i would find the multi-AA lights a bit much. The EA4 or its competitors would do great in a jacket pocket. Highly recommended for the general user.

Do check out my Sunwayman D40A and Eagletac GX25A3 reviews for some alternate user interfaces (all are similarly bright and throwy).
 

CampfireTalk

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Nov 21, 2013
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Great review! I've been using the EA4 since this past summer & it's traveled with me to the beach & inside some caves. Using this light is a breeze. I was directed to this light by Patriot. At the time I told him I wanted something that ran off of AA's, was fairly priced & good quality. I feel like the EA4 met all those points.
 

HikingMano

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Dec 23, 2009
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Thanks for the excellent review, selfbuilt:thumbsup:. I purchased the EA4w as a vehicle light and should be receiving it today. Can you (or anyone else) tell me what mode the light enters after activating it out of lockout? Does it go to one of the general use modes, or does it go straight to turbo/high?

Edited to add:
My light was waiting for me when I got home, popped some eneloops in and got to playing :D When bringing the EA4 out of lockout, the light always goes to the default "daily use" mode, or the 2nd level of the 4 half-click levels. It has no memory when coming out of lockout.

I would rather the light be brought out of lockout on turbo. My girlfriend is not one for remembering UI's beyond click for on and click for off. If she wanted to use the EA4 in an emergency, and I had locked it out, she wouldn't remember to press and hold to turn on, then turn off and on again for max light. Too many steps. Press and hold to activate on turbo would be ideal, but I would have settled for press and hold to activate on High (4th of half-click levels) if the memory was retained after lockout.
 
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Patriot

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Great review! I've been using the EA4 since this past summer & it's traveled with me to the beach & inside some caves. Using this light is a breeze. I was directed to this light by Patriot. At the time I told him I wanted something that ran off of AA's, was fairly priced & good quality. I feel like the EA4 met all those points.


Gotta love Selfbuilt's reviews Campfire! You were asking me why I never bothered doing one on the EA4? Once Selfbuilt reviews a light it's an impossible act to follow...haha :)
 

Swedpat

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Jan 5, 2008
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Boden, Sweden
A bit late, but thanks Selfbuilt for the review!

Today I received an EA4 in neutral tint. This is a heavy light which gives a reliable feeling. It could be better knurled but the shape gives a pretty good hold.
Unfortunately it seems like I got a faulty sample: I have carefully read the manual and read your description of the UI and can't come to another conclusion.
While momentary on works properly the constant on doesn't: when I push the button to the buttom I can then cycle through the brightness modes with soft presses, but there is no strobe when I do two full double clicks(I can live with that). But the worst: when the light is on, it's not possible to turn it off with the button, when I do a fast full press it just cycles to the next mode instead of turning off. The only way to turn it off is to remove the tailcap. Otherwise I really like the feeling of EA4 and I am looking forward to get it replaced to a proper sample.
 
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markr6

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Thanks. Would be good if only the switch could be replaced but I guess that's not possible. I will contact the dealer.

Hopefully they can get you set up quickly. It's a great light and worth waiting for a second chance after repair/replacement.
 

markr6

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I got tired of locking out my EA4, so I just left it sitting on standby for the last couple weeks. I turned it on last night and it acted strange and I figured it was a bad connection or switch problem, putting out less than the lowest mode (guessing 20 lumens or so). I put the Eneloop XX batteries into my charger and got low readings ranging from 0.84v - 1.08v.

This thing sure sucked them dry on standby! They were probably 90% charged since the last time I used the light. I'll need to go back to my habit of locking this out for sure.
 

HikingMano

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Dec 23, 2009
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I experienced the same on my EA4w. Was kinda surprised - didn't expect it to drain that quickly. I'm going to put a set of full charge eneloops in there and note down how long it takes to drain a full set (n=1). Ever since then, I lock it out as a rule and just don't use it as a vehicle light (more for the GF's refusal to learn how to bring it out of lockout rather than anything else). My old Quark 2^AA went back into the car as a glove compartment light.
 
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