Nitecore P12 (XM-L2, 1x18650, 2xCR123A/RCR) Review: BEAMSHOTS, RUNTIME, VIDEO+

UnderPar

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Dec 16, 2013
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Based on experience, Nitecore clips are not that sturdy and easily slips from the light. Thus, I don't clip it on my belt but instead use the holster or clip it in my front pocket.
 

zebraa

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Apr 3, 2014
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Based on experience, Nitecore clips are not that sturdy and easily slips from the light. Thus, I don't clip it on my belt but instead use the holster or clip it in my front pocket.
Agree.

I used superglue, it not just stays on but stays lined up with the mode change button.
 

TCY

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Oct 15, 2013
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I'm here to report that my P12 is dead after 2 drops on concrete floor, each less than 1m. By dead I mean that only the 1 lumen mode is responding to me.
Contacted Nitecore, they were happy to give me a replacement(or repair?), RMA number was issued. Will probably send the light to them in the next few days.
 

oKtosiTe

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I'm here to report that my P12 is dead after 2 drops on concrete floor, each less than 1m. By dead I mean that only the 1 lumen mode is responding to me.
Contacted Nitecore, they were happy to give me a replacement(or repair?), RMA number was issued. Will probably send the light to them in the next few days.
I think I read somewhere that drop tests are usually performed on thick plywood, so the drop height ratings are usually pretty useless... :(
Hope it works out for you.
 

selfbuilt

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I think I read somewhere that drop tests are usually performed on thick plywood, so the drop height ratings are usually pretty useless... :(
Actually, the ANSI FL-1 standard requires that they be dropped on cured concrete at least 4cm thick (and a minimum square meter in surface area). Each light is to be dropped 6 times (corresponding to each possible orientation, as if it were a cube), and 5 samples per model are to be tested. Requirement to pass is all samples continue to function after repeated 1m drops, with no visible cracks (scratches and dings are fine).

So the ANSI FL-1 standard is quite reasonable. The question of course is who knows which manufacturers actually perform the ANSI FL-1 tests on all their models. :rolleyes:
 

oKtosiTe

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Actually, the ANSI FL-1 standard requires that they be dropped on cured concrete at least 4cm thick (and a minimum square meter in surface area). Each light is to be dropped 6 times (corresponding to each possible orientation, as if it were a cube), and 5 samples per model are to be tested. Requirement to pass is all samples continue to function after repeated 1m drops, with no visible cracks (scratches and dings are fine).

So the ANSI FL-1 standard is quite reasonable. The question of course is who knows which manufacturers actually perform the ANSI FL-1 tests on all their models. :rolleyes:

That's good to know. :eek:
 

chang1

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Oct 20, 2008
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1 Lumen Fault

I'm here to report that my P12 is dead after 2 drops on concrete floor, each less than 1m. By dead I mean that only the 1 lumen mode is responding to me.
Contacted Nitecore, they were happy to give me a replacement(or repair?), RMA number was issued. Will probably send the light to them in the next few days.

My P12 only arrived last week and I have had the same thing happen. The first drop of about 50cm did no harm but the second of about 75cm, bouncing off my leg and a wall which reduced the impact, gave it the 1 lumen fault. It will cycle through all the other modes (with no illumination) including the flashing ones and return to the working 1 lumen mode. The blue led works OK. If I have it in another mode and tap the head it will flash so it is probably just a bad joint.
As I use it for work and it will get a lot of abuse this is not a good start. Has anyone dismantled a P12 yet and found the week spot that causes this to happen? I would prefer to repair it instead of sending it back and possibly ending up with another doing the same thing again.
 

ice_man

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Jul 27, 2014
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Re: 1 Lumen Fault

I love the P12. I got it a couple of days ago and it's been pretty awesome. I hope that when I do drop this, it won't have this problem.

I also got the Thrunite TN12 and the Nitecore SRT5. However I still liked the P12 more and decided to retrun the other 2. The TN12 has a greenish tint which I didn't like and it is so smooth that I didn't like handling it. As for the Nitecore SRT5, the body was well made and the knurlings are excellent. But it is thinner and handles rather too light for my taste. It also runs hot faster than the P12.

All in all, I stuck to the P12 because of handling and ease of use.
 

ice_man

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Jul 27, 2014
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Loved this light so much that I decided to buy another one for $39.99. What a sweet deal. Will be giving it to my Dad...

Thanks for posting the ebay link joshjp...
 

johnroq220p16

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Aug 9, 2014
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Nice review of the P12, hope to see the review of Nitecore P20 & P16 as I want to know if this light is using PWM on any mode...thanks.


Sent from my iPhone using Candlepowerforums
 

TCY

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Oct 15, 2013
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I'm here to report that my P12 is dead after 2 drops on concrete floor, each less than 1m. By dead I mean that only the 1 lumen mode is responding to me.
Contacted Nitecore, they were happy to give me a replacement(or repair?), RMA number was issued. Will probably send the light to them in the next few days.

It's been a whole month already.. didn't realise that.
So basically I sent the light to Nitecore about two weeks ago, and I haven't heard back from them yet. I shipped my light with airmail without a tracking number(or code?) so I don't even know if Nitecore has the light or not.
 

joshjp

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Jul 23, 2014
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Hmmmm, well you should call them, i would be mad if it took that long, let us know what the deal is?.
 

TCY

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Oct 15, 2013
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Back to update. I sent an email to Nitecore and they replied 2 hours ago(apparently they don't check their inbox during weekends but I'm ok with that) saying that they have received my light and will return it to me asap, but they didn't mention if they were going to replace the light or simply repair it.
Anyway I will be back after I get my light :)
 

TCY

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Oct 15, 2013
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I just got the parcel and Nitecore sent me a brand new light. The tail cap feels much tighter though. Maybe a new batch just got off the production line?
Anyway kudos NC customer service:thumbsup:
 

North light

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Sep 2, 2014
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I have just posted detailed individual reviews of Fenix PD35, Nitecore P12 and Thrunite TN12-2014. Since the lights are all very similar, the decision most of you have will be which one to get.

To help with that, here are direct comparisons of key features of the lights, to allow you to better choose the one that is right for you. Please see the table/figures in the review for more info.

Overall Build Quality and "Feel": The PD35 has most solid build in my estimation, with the most "grippy" overall hand feel and the best built-in anti-roll feature. The P12 is a close second on most of these measures, whereas the TN12-2014 has the smoothest body (contributing to a lower hand "feel" on this model, compared to the others). The pocket clip works well on all three models (note that the PD35 has the stiffest clip retention).

Switch "Feel" and Access: The P12 has significantly easier access to the tailswitch, relative to the PD35 and TN12-2014 (which are roughly equivalent to each other). This is odd, as it is only the P12 and TN12-2014 that allow tailstanding out of the box. That said, the PD35 has the best electronic side switch feel, with the most definite "click" - followed closely by the P12. The TN12-2014 has the "softest" side switch feel, but is the easiest to find by touch alone, as it is more raised than the other two. Note that only the P12 has a low-voltage and battery read-out LED located under the side switch.

Constant Output Modes: The TN12-2014 has the widest range of outputs, from ~0.2 lumens to >1000 lumens, with five well-spaced levels. The PD35 has five good levels as well, but lacks a true moonlight mode (i.e., from ~11 to ~1000 lumens range). The P12 has a good range from ~0.8 lumens to ~900 lumens, but only four levels (i.e., could use an extra Med-Hi mode).

Blinking modes: Only the P12 has additional modes beyond tactical strobe (i.e., SOS and Beacon). All three lights have the additional mode(s) "hidden" behind a press-hold of the side switch, but only the P12 allows you to memorize the tactical strobe mode (i.e., can return to strobe from Off).

Beam Pattern: The TN12-2014 and PD35 have similar wide spill beams, with the P12 slightly narrower. The P12 and TN12-2014 have roughly equivalent peak center-beam throw, with the PD35 having a bit less. The PD35 also has the widest hotspot, with the smoothest transition (i.e., least defined hotspot edge, and could thus be consider the "floodiest" of the three). Beam quality is pretty good on all of them, although the PD35 probably the most consistently "clean" beam, due to its slightly shallower reflector (i.e., slightly less likely to have beam rings and artifacts).

Circuit Efficiency and Regulation: All three lights are current-controlled, and highly efficient. The PD35 and P12 have more consistently flat regulation at all levels on all batteries – but have defined step-downs from their max levels. The PD35 is probably the most efficient pick, but performance is very close among all three. Note that I do not recommend you run the TN12-2014 on its max level on 2xCR123A/RCR for sustained periods, as there is no step down on this model. Please see the runtime graphs in this review for more info.

Reverse-Polarity Detection: The PD35 and TN12-2014 have electronic reverse-polarity protection, and P12 has a physical one. However, the P12 positive terminal has been re-designed to allow all type of button-top cells to be used (i.e., wide button as well as small – it is just true flat-tops that won't work in the P12).

Package and Accessories: Bundled extras are pretty similar across the three models (and fairly basic for the holsters and wrist lanyards). Note the P12 comes with an additional grip ring. The lights all share a common sized head, so standard beam shaping accessories from any one maker should fit pretty well on the others.

Value: The TN12-2014 has the lowest manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP), the PD35 has the highest, with the P12 is right in the middle. This relative order matches my general "hand feel" experience, but you will have to make your own assessment as to perceived value depending on all the characteristics above. ;)

And there you have it - there is no clear knock-down winner is any category. All three lights are similar overall, with each one specialized in some areas over the others. I recommend you pick based on which constellation of characteristics above matters the most to you. :wave:

P.S.: As an aside, I did a blind "taste preference" of the three models with Mrs Selfbuilt. This was based solely on her physical and visual assessment of the lights and their beams, as we didn't get into circuit testing or price. She was initially drawn to the PD35 for its grippier hand feel, higher perceived build quality, and smoothest beam pattern. However, lack of a true low mode and inability to tailstand (despite reduced tailswitch access) led her to ultimately choose the P12 as the best overall candidate. She was similarly able to accurately rank the lights by estimated price, but felt that the difference between the three models was not as great as the prices would suggest (based solely on a bulid assessment). She felt that a regular person would be amazed by what any of these lights can do, and would be happy with any of them. :wave:
 

smallmagnum

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Apr 1, 2008
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Hello selfbuilt.

Three days ago i received my Nitecore P12, and i am very satisfied with it.
I agree with all of your descriptions. With one exception. The beam - maybe it's only my imagination, but i see a donut hole.
Not very intensive, but the beam gets a little bit darker towards the center of the spot. This effect becomes less intensive in medhigh and nearly disappears in high level.
One can only notice this effect on a smooth, white wall. As i don't want to be a white wall hunter, i underline, that the P12 has a first class beam in practise. But i'd like to know, whether there is anybody out there, who agrees with me.

By the way.
The price for the P12 in Germany is about 60.- Euro. This equates to 76.- USD.

Thank's and Kind Regards from Germany
Peter
 

selfbuilt

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I agree with all of your descriptions. With one exception. The beam - maybe it's only my imagination, but i see a donut hole.
Not very intensive, but the beam gets a little bit darker towards the center of the spot. This effect becomes less intensive in medhigh and nearly disappears in high level.
Thanks for sharing your experience. That can certainly happen (on all lights) - precise focusing can be variable. If it is not severe enough to be distracting, I think most would chalk it up to normal variation. But it is indeed something that can be variable from one sample to another.
 
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