Nitecore Tube - Review and test

Budda

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Nov 30, 2009
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Italy
The Nitecore Tube was purchased from GearBest.
The light comes in a very simple box: cardboard and plastic.
It contains only the light and 2 splitrings.



The Nitecore Tube is really compact :faint:
I've seen it in many pics, but still, in person it is smaller than expected.


Here compared with a medium sized lighter, a 0.05€ coin and a medium sized key.
It is also very thin




I got 3 Tubes, and all 3 are looking exactly the same. The dark plastic is flawless and has the same colour in every part of the light
Inside the plastic are molded 2 metal pieces, useful to attach splitrings and lanyards




The light can be disassembled removing the 4 screws.



The botton protrudes slightly and has a good grip, not slippy at all. The click action gives a clear feedback. Even with the gloves I had no troubles using it.



The cover for the micro usb requires a bit of patience to be removed



On the circuit board inside the light there is a blu LED that works as charge indicator: on when charging, off when charged.
It is really bright.


UI:
When the Tube is off, a single click will turn the light on at the minimum output. Now, a continue pressure will make the light enter in ramping mode
When the Tube is off, a double click will turn the light on at the maximum output.
When the light is on, a single click will turn the light off.
When the tube is off, a continuous pressure will give you momentary maximum output (as soon as you depress the botton the light will turn off).


The Tube doesn't have memory for the ramping genereted output.

At low level the Tube has eye detectable PWM, and it desappears as you increase the output. I could not detect it by eye at the maximium output.

The lowest output, 1 ANSI lumen, is more than enough to see the keyhole or to move inside the house in the dark.
The maximium output, 45 lumens, will give you a useful amount of light within 10/15 meters from your position
The light has almost 100° angle, creating a wide beam as you would expect from a led without reflector or optic.
The LED tint is good for a keychain, a CW slightlty on the light blue.

Here the Tube with my Victorinox Minichamp, an EDC must have




Runtime Test: Maximum output

Good regulation for the size of the light. Will not leave you in the dark without letting you know it.

Beamshot: 1 meter from the wall
Nitecore%20Tube_Hi_zpsyxjthpfg.jpg

Nitecore%20Tube%20Hi%20underesposed_zpsxt9q0gn7.jpg


After 3 weeks of owning and using the lights, these are my conclusion.
The Tube from Nitecore is a great light: so small and light that you can forget about having it in your pockets.
Keep in mind that most of the Keychain light widely available have many buttons cell that will run out quickly, are not regulated (short timed hi output, long runtime at low output), and changing the battery is expensive when compared to the cost of the light.
The Tube It is well regulated, has an adequate output for a Keychain light, and has a micro usb port for charging. Oh, and also has 2 + 1 output (min, max and ramping).
For a flashlight person as myself (and you reading this, I guess :sssh: ) it isn't a problem mastering the UI of the tube, but I have seen my family members using it just with a single click (momentary max and minium output).
I think this light can easily be enjoyed from not flashlight pepole: they are happy not having to remove the battery or connecting a special charger for the battery: we have many USB power supply and micro usb cables around the house.
Runtime and quality of the beam (relative white tint, absence of major artifacts) is a big improvement for their EDC Setup.

Beamshots will come (I'll have to steal back my Tubes from my family members).

Thanks for reading.
 
Last edited:

more_vampires

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Nov 20, 2014
Messages
3,475
Good review so far, this is one of my favorite lights. Only one nitpick about this light: Low mode PWM. It's enough to bug me so I just use momentary max all the time.

Just one nitpick?? Wow, that's pretty good! :)
 

Str8stroke

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Nov 27, 2013
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On The Black Pearl
Great light for sure. It makes a perfect zipper clipper for me. It does have some PWM for sure on low. But for the price and features, I am good with it. Send it to Vinh, he can fix the low mode PWM. :whistle:
 

Scourie

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Mar 22, 2007
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56° 24' N
I bought 3 as keyring lights a while ago, one has died already. It charges and terminates charge but no light output. At least not in the visible spectrum.

Apart from that, they're great.
 

LetThereBeLight!

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Feb 26, 2014
Messages
636
I love my Tube-- sleek, compact, bright, unencumbersome, quickly-reached...

Can't wait to to give a few out as Christmas presents.
 

akhyar

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Mar 12, 2013
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780
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Malaysia
It's a great no frill keychain light, especially when it was on sale for 6 bucks a pop.
Difficult to beat at that price :D
 

Budda

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Nov 30, 2009
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564
Location
Italy
It's a great no frill keychain light, especially when it was on sale for 6 bucks a pop.
Difficult to beat at that price :D
I fully agree. At that price in a mall you can find a box of 4 AA batteries, here you have a very good light.
 

tops2

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Nov 10, 2015
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Ordered 2 of these (along with a Fenix E12) as my first entry into the flashlight world. Happy with the Fenix. Can't wait for these to come in tomorrow so I can play around with these.
 

Swedpat

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Jan 5, 2008
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Boden, Sweden
Thanks for the review!

I just wonder: with the protruding button, isn't it a big risk for accidental activation in the pocket?
 

PartyPete

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Aug 14, 2015
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Ordered 2 of these (along with a Fenix E12) as my first entry into the flashlight world. Happy with the Fenix. Can't wait for these to come in tomorrow so I can play around with these.
The E12 is near bulletproof. For a 1x AA light it's pretty darn good. I might revisit the Tube sometime. I got mine from Amazon and it was dead in a week. It's a pity because it's a neat light but I'm a bit reluctant with NC stuff now. I wanted something the same size with mostly flood so I settled with a UC01 and that was a more like the beam profile I was looking for in a tiny light.
 

Timothybil

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Nov 9, 2007
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The great state of Misery (Missouri)
Thanks for the review!

I just wonder: with the protruding button, isn't it a big risk for accidental activation in the pocket?
I was one of the first people to get my pre-order Tube and it has been on my keychain ever since. I have had only two accidental activations, and only one of those actually drained the battery. Still works fine.

I also have several still in package that still have a charge, enough to light up on high when tested.
 

excalibur71

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Apr 15, 2017
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Canada
Thanks for the review! I think i'm going to have to pick one of these up perfect size for a key chain. I have had other key chain lights but their usually twist head to turn on which i'm not a big fan of. Really like the idea of the ramping up light the longer you hold down the button. Nitecore got this one right for sure.
 

Budda

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Nov 30, 2009
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Italy
glad someone is still reading my old reviews.
Personally I find the TIP and the Thumb (I have reviewed both) much more worthy as keychain lights.
 

Timothybil

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Nov 9, 2007
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The great state of Misery (Missouri)
I bought about a dozen when they first came out - I got one of the first shipments when I pre-ordered some. I still have a few that have never been opened, and they still light up when I press the button through the plastic. I know there is parasitic drain because it is an electronic switch, but it has to be very, very small.
 
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