REVIEW: Nitecore P20i + TSL10i

ro.ma.

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 3, 2012
Messages
129
Nitecore P20i + TSL10i
1 x 21700 - 2 x CR123/RCR123 - Strobe Ready 1800 Lm.






I received the Nitecore P20i with the Tail Cap TSL10i directly from Nitecore for the review.
For technical details and to purchase: https://www.nitecorestore.com/NITECORE-P20i-1800-Lumen-Rechargeable-Flas...
The Multilingual Manual: https://flashlight.nitecore.com/Uploads ... d / p20i.pdf












The Nitecore P20i is the latest flashlight released by NITECORE of the P series (Precise Series). Compared to the previous model, the P20i adds high performance by bringing the maximum light output to 1800 lumens and using a highly efficient NITECORE patented 21700 lithium battery. The Nitecore P20i is, like the previous one, a purely tactical flashlight with two switches in the queue; one equipped with the “STROBE READY” technology with quick activation of the Strobo. The beam of the P20i now reaches 343 meters for over 29500cd. Nitecore P20i is equipped with the Luminus SST-40-W (6500K) LED, has 3 light levels (High, Mid and Low) plus the special Strobe level and can also be powered by two CR123 / RCR123 batteries via the adapter included in the packaging. It is IP68 certified (submersible up to 2 meters) with an impact resistance of 1m.












Main features:
• Utilizes a Luminus SST-40-W LED with a max output of 1,800 lumens
• An optical system combined with crystal coating and “Precision Digital Optics Technology" (PDOT)
• Max peak beam intensity of 29,500cd and max throw of 343 meters
• Highly efficient constant current circuit provides a stable output for up to 50 hours
• Dual tail switches enable intuitive operations for tactical applications
• 3 brightness levels and 1 special mode available
• STROBE READY™ Technology to enable a quick access to STROBE Mode (Patent No.: ZL201320545349.4)
• STROBE Mode uses randomly changing frequencies for stronger dizzying effects
• Intelligent Li-ion battery charging circuit with a USB-C port
• NITECORE 21700 Li-ion battery included (NL2140i 4,000mAh)
• A power indicator beside the charging port indicates the remaining
battery power (Patent No.: ZL201220057767.4)
• The power indicator can display the battery voltage (±0.1V)
• Strike bezel uses high strength silicon nitride ceramics to enable excellent glass breaking performance
• Incorporated Advanced Temperature Regulation (ATR) module (Patent No.: ZL201510534543.6)
• Optical lenses with double-sided scratch resistant coating
• Constructed from aero grade aluminum alloy
• HA III military grade hard-anodized finish
• Waterproof and dustproof rating in accordance with IP68 (2 meters submersible)
• Impact resistant to 1 meter
Specifications:
Length: 142.6mm (5.61")
Head Diameter: 31.8mm (1.25")
Tube Diameter: 25.4mm (1")
Tail Diameter: 28.5mm (1.12")
Weight: 113.5g (4oz)
Accessories:
NITECORE 21700 Rechargeable Li-ion Battery (NL2140i 4,000mAh),
Tactical Holster NTH20, Clip, Lanyard, Spare O-ring,
CR123 Battery Magazine, USB-C Charging Cable


Technical Data:

Note: The data shown is measured in accordance with the ANSI / PLATO FL 1-2019 International Torch Test Standard, using 1 x 21700 Li-ion battery (4,000mAh) under laboratory conditions. Data may vary in actual use due to different battery usage or environmental conditions.






The packaging of the Nitecore P20i is the classic one; it comes in a dark-colored cardboard box with writings showing the main characteristics that distinguish it. Inside the package, in addition to the Nitecore P20i, we find the Clip, the NTH20 tactical holster, the USB-C charging cable, the adapter for CR123 / RCR123, the lanyard, a spare O-ring, manual and warranty.







Among the accessories supplied are particularly interesting the CR123/RCR123 battery adapter different from those seen previously where the right direction of insertion of the batteries is indicated inside and the NTH20 Tactical Holster, designed especially for law enforcement. , allows the extraction of the flashlight from the holster faster. The NTH20 is made of rigid black plastic, has 4 adjustment points according to the width of the belt and allows the complete use of the P20i even if inserted into it.
The NTH20 is compatible with the “MOLLE” system.





Together with the Nitecore P20i I received, as an accessory sold separately, the new TSL10i tail cap designed for the Nitecore “i GENERATION” series.








This tail cap has a warning light with multiple flashing modes including white, blue, green, red and red/blue warning flashing. This is done simply via an independent silica gel button. I found the use of the TSL10i very well made and intuitive, certainly ideal for tactical applications. The Nitecore P20i with the TSL10i mounted increases the length by almost 20mm.
















Nitecore P20i has good build quality, good finishes and clearly legible writings. What struck me right out of the box are the very minimal dimensions (142.6 mm long) and the really well done design with the tail and the head wider than the body. It is built in aluminum alloy with an anodized finish, well made, in a glossy black color. Excellent grip and weight which stands at 113.5 grams (without battery). The P20i consists of two parts: head with body and tail. Note the particular shape of the base of the head which helps to avoid rolling. The main button of the P20i is very protruding and it is therefore impossible to put the torch vertically (candle).







On the head of the Nitecore P20i we find a SMO parabola with the Luminus SST-40-W LED in the cold version in the center with a CCT of 6500K, certainly suitable for a tactical flashlight. Glass and parabola have anti-reflection, crystal coating and PDOT (Precision Digital Optics Technology) treatment. Nitecore P20i is equipped with an aggressive bezel (Strike Bezel) with 3 high hardness silicon nitride ceramic balls that allow quick and easy use for personal defense or for breaking a glass, with a smooth surface to avoid scratches accidents on clothes or backpack.









Also on the head we find cooling fins and the USB-C charging port protected by a rubber flap.
The P20i is equipped with an intelligent battery charging system. Just use the supplied USB cable, connecting it to an external power source (e.g. a battery charger for mobile phones or tablets, a PC or any other compatible power system) to begin the charging process.
During the charging process, the blue charge indicator will flash slowly; when the battery is fully charged, the P20i will cease the charging process and the charge indicator light will stay on steadily.
The charging time for a 21700 (4,000mAh) Li-ion battery of approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes was confirmed in my tests (using a 5V / 2A power supply).

The blue notification LED also acts as a remaining charge indicator. When you insert a battery into the flashlight, the blue light indicator will flash to indicate the battery charge status. The blue indicator also has the function of warning, with a quick flash, when the charge is about to run out.








The central body of the Nitecore P20i has a rhomboid-shaped non-slip knurling with clearly visible spaces in the center to insert the supplied Clip or the Tactical Ring Pro sold as an accessory.











In the lower part of the central tube we find the threads that arrive well lubricated and being anodized allow, by slightly unscrewing the tail, the mechanical block of the torch. There is also a sealing O-ring for protection against water and dust. The Nitecore P20i is IP68 certified (2 meters submersible).
At the two poles, for contact with the battery, we find a particular contact system for both negative and positive. The P20i has shockproof reverse polarity protection mechanism.








The battery supplied with the Nitecore P20i is a protected 21700 (NL2140i) patented by Nitecore. It allows a highly efficient output by minimizing the loss of power due to the internal resistance. It has a two-way output with positive and negative polarity on both ends and a high energy density. Nitecore P20i accepts only Nitecore proprietary batteries for the “i” series with double pole both in the head and in the tail.
I personally always remain in favor of non-proprietary batteries for the reasons we already know. However, continuous research must be considered of particular importance to have more efficient and performing batteries.









The only unscrewable part of the Nitecore P20i is the tail cap. There are no holes on the tail cap for inserting the lanyard that will be inserted into the Clip.
Tactical and modern tail design with two switches. We find the mechanical tactical button to turn the flashlight on or off (on-off) equipped with the “momentary on” function (which can be operated with the flashlight off). To operate it you have to do a fair amount of force and the click is noisy. Next to this we find the flat electronic (mode) selector with "Strobe Ready" technology by Nitecore. With this we will vary the three available levels and instantly access the special “Strobe” mode.






Nitecore P20i vicino alla precedente Nitecore P20 V2.





...... and close to other Nitecore torches.



-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------




USER INTERFACE (UI):





Nitecore P20i has two switches in the queue, one tactical and one for level variation (mode) with instantaneous activation of the Strobe (Strobe Ready).
With the Nitecore P20i we have 3 light levels (HIGH, MEDIUM and LOW) and a special mode (STROBE). The Nitecore P20 has no memory and always turns on from a high level.
o High: 1800 lumens / 1 hour and 30 min / 343 meters
o Medium: 280 lumens / 7 hours and 15 min / 118 meters
o Low: 35 lumens / 38 hours / 47 meters
o Strobe: 1800 lumens
Note: Using CR123 batteries the High level and Strobe level will have different power and running times.

Tactical Momentary Illumination
Half press and hold the Power Button to turn on the light momentarily. Release to turn it off.
On / Off
On: When the light is off, press the Power Button until a click sound is heard to turn it on and access the HIGH Level.
Off: When the light is on, press the Power Button until a click sound is heard to turn it off.
Brightness Levels
When the light is on, short press the Mode Button (STROBE READY™) to cycle through the following brightness levels: HIGH – MID – LOW.
STROBE READY™
• When the light is off, press and hold the Mode Button (STROBE READY™) to access the STROBE Mode. Release to return it off.
• When the light is on, long press the Mode Button (STROBE READY™) to access the STROBE Mode. Short press the Mode Button (STROBE
READY™) to return to the previous status, or click the Power Button to turn off the light.



BEAM and RUNTIME:

The beam of the Nitecore P20i has an irregular uniformity due to the shape of the bezel. Distant from the wall this shape is not particularly noticeable.




The beam of the Nitecore P20i is very nice with an excellent shot and a well usable side lighting; the color, not particularly cold, turns green at the edges of the spot to violet. Moving away from the wall these tonings disappear almost completely. I don't see any significant PWM by eye. The start of the spill from the walk is about one meter.








The Runtime were done indoors with an ambient temperature of about 20 ° C using the battery supplied with the fully charged 4000 mAh Nitecore 21700 flashlight.
I would like to clarify that the values expressed by the graphs must be taken, above all, as a reference because they are made with means and environmental conditions different from those used in the laboratory.
Nitecore P20i is well regulated; after 2 minutes we have a sudden drop in brightness until we reach about a third of the initial output. This trend is then held for over 160 minutes. When the battery is low, the notification LED flashes quickly to indicate that the battery needs to be charged or replaced. The P20i features the ATR (Advanced Temperature Regulation) module, which adjusts its output power by adapting to the surrounding environment, maintaining optimal performance.
Note: The "HIGH" level can be recalled until the battery charge is almost exhausted. However, the corresponding exit will be lower each time than the departure one. I did a test by measuring, with the battery showing 3.50V, the light output which was approximately 30% lower than the initial one.


Nitecore P20i at HIGH level (1800 lumens) without ventilation.



Nitecore P20i at HIGH level (1800 lumens) without ventilation for the first 5 minutes.



Nitecore P20i at MEDIUM level (280 lumens) without ventilation.










My Conclusions:

The Nitecore P20i surprised me positively. I found the new Nitecore of the P series (Precise Series) beautiful and well built; certainly together with the new MH12S among the most successful and complete.
Nitecore P20i is compact and grips very well; it is powered by a high-performance battery in 21700 format protected by 4000 mAh and has the latest generation charging port in USB-C format for fast charging.
Excellent beam quality and performance with a maximum peak radius of over 343 meters and a luminous flux of 1800 lumens.
The 3 light levels are well spaced and the strobe is effective. The well-regulated runtime and the simple user interface are of particular importance.
Finally, the package including the excellent NTH20 tactical holster and everything you need to use the flashlight complete. Highly recommended.
Thank you for reading the review.


 
Last edited:

Snulfur

Active member
Joined
Nov 11, 2020
Messages
28
Location
Sweden
I hate how Nitecore has very nice designs, but their brightness levels are absolute madness. 1.800 for high and then 280?! Like, sheesh that is one insane jump.
 

ro.ma.

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 3, 2012
Messages
129
I hate how Nitecore has very nice designs, but their brightness levels are absolute madness. 1.800 for high and then 280?! Like, sheesh that is one insane jump.

Hi Snulfur, thank you for reading the review.
The only three levels of the P20i depend on the type of flashlight. The P20i is purely tactical a bit like the old Surefires. If you want a flashlight with more levels, just move towards the new MH12S also from Nitecore and you have a lot more choice on levels with less jolts between them. Nitecore builds many types of torches according to the various needs of those who buy them.
 

Snulfur

Active member
Joined
Nov 11, 2020
Messages
28
Location
Sweden
I'm aware that some others offers a little more diversity in the levels, but it still seems very small to me. The most popular levels seems to be 100 - 30 and around 1%, which would make the 1.800 lumen Nitecores drop to 540 lumens, yet their mid is often around the 300 lumen mark which just feels a bit too low in my opinion for a mid level. Then again this might simply mean that Nitecore lights are not really for me.
 

ro.ma.

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 3, 2012
Messages
129
I'm aware that some others offers a little more diversity in the levels, but it still seems very small to me. The most popular levels seems to be 100 - 30 and around 1%, which would make the 1.800 lumen Nitecores drop to 540 lumens, yet their mid is often around the 300 lumen mark which just feels a bit too low in my opinion for a mid level. Then again this might simply mean that Nitecore lights are not really for me.

These are the levels of the MH12S that I reminded you before, not purely tactical flashlight. In my opinion they are perfect. Consider that 300 lumens are enough to see where you are walking. Still good choice.
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Last edited:

Scotty321

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 13, 2021
Messages
175
Thanks for the great review! I recently purchased a P20i and an i4000R (as well as a few other Nitcore products) to update my flashlight options. I thought I'd give a few initial observations after playing with the light a few times...

1. If you use the included flashlight holster (I tried it at 4-5 o'clock on the belt), you can tailstand the light while in the holster (flashlight mounted upside down in the holster). Of course, you need to take the holster off the belt to do this. Side note, an alternative Nitecore holster is available with locks, is MOLLE compatible, and can be adjusted to hold/mount the light at different angles.

2. Although I haven't tested the USB C onboard charging with the P20i, with the i4000R USB C onboard charging, when the light turns blue (indicating full charge) the battery measures around 4.0 volts on my Nitecore UMS4 charger. I haven't tested keeping the onboard charger plugged in long after the blue light comes on to see if it will eventually charge the battery closer to 4.2 volts.

3. Although Nitecore markets the TSL10i tailcap for the i4000R and Px0i flashlights, the i4000R will not turn on with the P20i tailcap (haven't tried the other way around because of the extra pin on the i4000R tailcap).

4. ***Probably the most important for "tactical" considerations.*** Without knowing the orientation of the flashlight in the dark, "mashing" on the tailcap can accidentally activate the mode switch. Although the result is even worse with the i4000R with "mode memory," what can happen with the P20i is either strobe activation (mode oriented on the bottom), or medium brightness (mode oriented on top). Two "fixes" for me, are 1. train oneself to use the bony part of the thumb to actuate the button (might not be practical with winter gloves on), and/or 2. use the pocket clip (or something else) to always know the orientation of the flashlight. So far, I usually place the pocket clip above the mode button's pivot point. That way I know the mode button is on the left or right (depending on which side of the pivot you put the clip on), and without the mode button inline with the thumb it makes it much harder to accidentally actuate the mode button. Until I experiment more with the P20i, I'm still using my SF lights for "bump in the night" purposes.

5. At lower brightness modes, it has a greenish tint compared to my MH25GT at lower modes (MH25GT seems consistently white throughout the modes).

It's my understanding that the modes' brightness (among other things) was designed around requests from the Singapore police, therefore it might not suit many people's EDC wants/needs (MH12S as you mentioned might be better for most people). I could be wrong. I think this is why many people complain about SF's high/low modes.

Also, although I didn't purchase the TSL10i, how cool would it be if they offered that tailcap with a 'constant on' output for adding a tailcap moonlight option for those that want all the tactigoodness of this model?

I might as well mention... At 1800 lumens at around 75 yards (guesstimate) the hotspot seems about as bright as my MH25GT (1000 lumens), although with a wider hotspot and more spill.

All in all, I like the light a lot, and it will be replacing my go-to, mid-size flashlight for heading out the door without any specific purpose or situation in mind.
 
Last edited:

ro.ma.

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 3, 2012
Messages
129
Thanks for the great review! I recently purchased a P20i and an i4000R (as well as a few other Nitcore products) to update my flashlight options. I thought I'd give a few initial observations after playing with the light a few times...

1. If you use the included flashlight holster (I tried it at 4-5 o'clock on the belt), you can tailstand the light while in the holster (flashlight mounted upside down in the holster). Of course, you need to take the holster off the belt to do this. Side note, an alternative Nitecore holster is available with locks, is MOLLE compatible, and can be adjusted to hold/mount the light at different angles.

2. Although I haven't tested the USB C onboard charging with the P20i, with the i4000R USB C onboard charging, when the light turns blue (indicating full charge) the battery measures around 4.0 volts on my Nitecore UMS4 charger. I haven't tested keeping the onboard charger plugged in long after the blue light comes on to see if it will eventually charge the battery closer to 4.2 volts.

3. Although Nitecore markets the TSL10i tailcap for the i4000R and Px0i flashlights, the i4000R will not turn on with the P20i tailcap (haven't tried the other way around because of the extra pin on the i4000R tailcap).

4. ***Probably the most important for "tactical" considerations.*** Without knowing the orientation of the flashlight in the dark, "mashing" on the tailcap can accidentally activate the mode switch. Although the result is even worse with the i4000R with "mode memory," what can happen with the P20i is either strobe activation (mode oriented on the bottom), or medium brightness (mode oriented on top). Two "fixes" for me, are 1. train oneself to use the bony part of the thumb to actuate the button (might not be practical with winter gloves on), and/or 2. use the pocket clip (or something else) to always know the orientation of the flashlight. So far, I usually place the pocket clip above the mode button's pivot point. That way I know the mode button is on the left or right (depending on which side of the pivot you put the clip on), and without the mode button inline with the thumb it makes it much harder to accidentally actuate the mode button. Until I experiment more with the P20i, I'm still using my SF lights for "bump in the night" purposes.

5. At lower brightness modes, it has a greenish tint compared to my MH25GT at lower modes (MH25GT seems consistently white throughout the modes).

It's my understanding that the modes' brightness (among other things) was designed around requests from the Singapore police, therefore it might not suit many people's EDC wants/needs (MH12S as you mentioned might be better for most people). I could be wrong. I think this is why many people complain about SF's high/low modes.

Also, although I didn't purchase the TSL10i, how cool would it be if they offered that tailcap with a 'constant on' output for adding a tailcap moonlight option for those that want all the tactigoodness of this model?

I might as well mention... At 1800 lumens at around 75 yards (guesstimate) the hotspot seems about as bright as my MH25GT (1000 lumens), although with a wider hotspot and more spill.

All in all, I like the light a lot, and it will be replacing my go-to, mid-size flashlight for heading out the door without any specific purpose or situation in mind.

Thanks for your impressions.
 
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