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Thread: **NEW** Nitecore MH12 NEUTRAL WHITE (XM-L2 U2) Review

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    Flashaholic BugoutBoys's Avatar
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    Naughty **NEW** Nitecore MH12 NEUTRAL WHITE (XM-L2 U2) Review

    Nitecore MH12 Neutral White















    Manufacturer specs

    LED: Cree XM-L2 U2
    Max Lumen: 1000
    Uses one 18650 rechargeable battery or two CR123A batteries.
    Output/Runtime (1x18650): Hi 1000lumens / 1hr 15min – Med 240lumens / 6hr – Lo 70lumens / 28hr – Lower 1lumen / 520hr
    Output/Runtime (2xCR123A): Hi 1000lumens / 45min – Med 240lumens / 5hr 15min – Lo 70lumens / 20hr – Lower 1lumen / 300hr
    Beam Intensity: 13,500cd
    Beam Distance: 232m
    Impact resistant to 1.5 meters
    Waterproof in accordance with IPX-8 (two meters submersible)
    Second generation ‘Crystal Coating Technology’ combined with ‘Precision Digital Optics Technology’ provide extreme reflector performance
    Maximum output of up to 1000 lumens
    Innovative single button offers access to four brightness levels and three special modes
    High efficiency constant current circuit provides max runtime of 520 hours
    Integrated power indicator light displays remaining battery power (Patented)
    Power indicator's secondary function displays battery voltage (accurate to 0.1V)
    Charging module with a micro USB port charges Li-ion batteries rapidly
    Direct access to ultra-low output
    Reverse polarity protection prevents damage from incorrectly inserted batteries
    Constructed from aero grade aluminum alloy with HAIII military grade hard-anodized finish
    Tail stand capability
    Dimensions: Length: 154mm (6.06”), Head Diameter: 40mm (1.57”), Tail Diameter: 25.4mm (1”)
    Weight: 170grams (6 oz)(without battery)
    Accessories: Quality holster, clip, metal tactical ring, lanyard, spare tail cap, spare O-ring, spare USB cover, Nitecore 3200 mAh Li-ion rechargeable battery
    MSRP: ~$90



    In the box

    You get all of the usual Nitecore accessories. A belt clip, high quality lanyard, spare O-rings, spare USB cover and tail clicky cover, (Better than normal) quality nylon holster, and a tactical ring. The MH12 also comes with a Nitecore 3200 mAh 18650 battery! This belt clip is a deep-carry belt clip rather than the standard Nitecore belt clip you get with most lights!





    Here is the light inside the holster.

    PROS
    Tough nylon is trustworthy for holding onto your belt and this light
    D ring
    velcro for your belt, as well as to close the holster
    another permanent loop for your belt if you don't want to use the velcro loop
    nice tight fit

    CONS
    Plastic D ring (Although a metal one isn't too necessary, as this one is still very tough)







    Appearance

    The MH12NW has a black HAIII hard anodized finish over an aircraft grade aluminum body like most of Nitecore's selection. The finish is not matte, but it isn't very reflective. My sample came without any scrapes or chips. The finish was clean and in perfect condition.

    the body of the MH12NW has moderately aggressive knurling on the body and around the tailcap. The cuts form small diamonds. The MH12NW is pretty good at anti-roll by itself, but if you add the belt clip and/or the tactical ring, the anti-roll is perfectly effective.
    Overall gript is very comfortable and doesn't feel like the light will slip out of your hand, regardless of the fact that it is just a tube. Adding the tactical ring helps with gription but is not the most comfortable unless holding cigar-style. Adding grip tape makes this design even more perfect! I don't feel that I would drop this light.

    User Interface
    The MH12NW has the same UI as the P12. The forward clicky button activates the light. If you half press the button, you get momentary. While the light is on, press the mode button on the side to switch between modes in ascending order from lowest to Hi.
    If you press and hold the mode button while the light is on, you get strobe. Press and hold the mode button again for SOS, and again for Beacon. If you click the mode button it will return to the last standard mode you had the light on.
    All above features other than SOS and Beacon are memorized, meaning if you turn the light off and back on, it will be in the mode you last had on.
    If you press and hold the mode button along with the tail switch, a blue LED under the mode button will flash with the remaining battery voltage.

    4 flashes, a pause, and 2 flashes means that the battery is full at 4.2V.
    The MH12NW can be recharged with the USB charging port on the opposite side from the mode button. Open the flap, and you can plug in the included USB cable to charge the light from a computer, or a USB wall/car adaptor. When you plug in the light, make sure to turn it on for it to charge.. When the light is charging, the mode button will be solidly lit up. When the light is finished charging, the mode button turn off.















    Comparisons

    (Left to right)
    Fenix UC30, Nitecore P10, Nitecore MH12NW, Nitecore P12, Nitecore MH27




    ​Here is the tail standing capability
    The light tail stands well, probably one of the best in it's class




    The MH12NW is waterproof in accordance with IPX-8 (submersible to 2 meters)





    Physical Tests

    I submersed the MH12NW completely in water while pressing the forward clicky and the mode button. I did not find any water to have entered the light at all, even through the USB cover.

    During usage on Hi, I begin to feel the light heat up after about a minute. Only the front where the LED is significantly heats up, the rest stays cool. The heat never gets to an unbearable temperature, but you can definitely feel it


    The MH12 is completely current controlled, meaning that there is no PWM (pulse width modulation) on any of the modes. (This results in no flickering at all, even when used with a camera or fan)

    The MH12 includes Nitecore's signature physical reverse polarity protection. If the battery is inserted backwards, cannot make connection. This also means that the light can only be used with button-top cells. Flat tops will not work without modification. (which voids warranty)
    Both ends of the battery compartment feature a spring to dampen impact of inserting batteries.

    When the battery is at 50%, the mode button will flash every 2 seconds. When the battery is "low" it will flash rapidly.

    The MH12NW has a timed step down feature. This means that on Hi (Only hi, none of the other modes) the light will "step down" from max brightness gradually after 3 minutes of use. This protects the LED from excessive heat and helps to cool it as well as extending the battery life. The Step down goes to around 550 lumens. After about 50 minutes, there will be another step down to 280ish lumens and it will hold constant at that for almost 5 hours (on a 3200 mAh battery).
    These step downs are some of the best out of all of the lights in this class and give you the most consistent light output for the longest amount of time compared to any other lights of the same class.
    Keep in mind that as long as the battery can produce enough voltage, you can simply turn off the light and turn it back on to achieve maximum brightness again!








    Beam pattern
    The Beam pattern on the MH12NW is identical to the P12.
    The New CREE XM-L2 V2 Emitter is domed, meaning that there is a dome over the diode which helps to spread the light to the reflector


    The MH27 also features a smooth reflector which produces better throw than an orange peel reflector would, but the beam pattern is slightly rougher than it would be with an OP reflector.





    ​In the beam shots below, notice the tint, it is what my eyes see.



    ISO 100, f/3.5, 1/60




    ISO 100, f/3.5, 1/250



    ISO 100, f/3.5, 1/2000






    DISTANCE BEAMSHOT
    The MH12 has great throw for a 1" diameter light powered by a single 18650 with an XM-L2 U2 LED. The first fence is around 30 meters away. The treeline is around 122 meters away (measured). The image is edited to be almost exactly what my eye sees.

    NOTE the tint. The grass is much more green under this tint as opposed to the cool white.


    First fence is 80 feet away. 2nd fence is 228 feet away. Far trees are 400 feet away.




    Comparison




    I walked out to the furthest back fence while the light was shining from the deck where these images were taken, I definitely had a useable amount of light.
    The pictures do not show it, but all of the trees in the far back are illuminated. The branches and trunks are lit up clearly and easily seen. Dark colors such as the black fence are hard to see, but anything else is lit up clearly.


    Personal Opinions

    The MH12 is all around a great flashlight, one of my favorites in the class. I have never particularly been a fan of Neutral white because of the orangish tint. I prefer cool white because I like the blue tint; however, the Neutral white does have many benefits. One of these benefits is that when you are outside, greens and colors are much more saturated and easier to see. When using the Cool white, colors such as green seem to desaturate a bit. As a handheld EDC flashlight, I would prefer cool white. For weapon mounting, though, I would prefer neutral white because objects would be easier to separate from each other and define what they are.

    The MH12 is built incredibly! I love the 1 inch diameter and ~5.5 inch length. The profile of the flashlight is perfect for my needs because it is comfortable to hold and easy to use. The design of the forward clicky button to be used as momentary or constant on is great. Partner that with the mode button on the side and you have a fantastic user interface. I like having the two separate buttons to control the light; one for activation and one for mode cycling.
    Another plus side to the UI is the fact that the "special" modes are "hidden." The Strobe, SOS, and Beacon modes are not regularly used, so it's good that they are not a part of the normal mode cycles but are still available and easy to get to if they are needed.

    The MH12 mode spacing is absolutely perfect for my taste. Each mode (other than moonlight) is around a factor of 4 to the past mode. This creates even spacing between the modes with each mode being a noticeable step up from the last one.

    When I first started using flashlights, I was somewhat opposed to the USB rechargeable feature that some lights had. I felt that it was just one more piece to break or one more cover to leak. Once I started trying out lights that had the USB rechargeable feature, I realized how useful it is. The cover on my sample is very well fitted and secure. I don't see the possibility of water leaking inside the dust cover at all. The Micro USB is a very common cable which means that if yours breaks, it will be easy and cheap to replace. This also means that it is able to plug into computers, laptops, and many other devices so that you can recharge your flashlight without even having to remove the battery

    Another valuable feature of this light, as I have mentioned before, is the very low mode of 1 lumen. Many manufacturers overlook this feature that I find very valuable. If you are out walking your dog or walking in the woods or on a trail and don't want to kill your night vision, this is great to have because it is just enough to see your surroundings but it won't hurt your night adjusted eyes. Next is the extreme brightness and mixture of the hotspot and spill. This light will reach out two hundred meters giving you useful illumination, especially if using a rifle with a scope (tested). My backyard is 122 meters from the house to the forest start. This light reaches out there with enough brightness to clearly see what I need to see. The beam profile is great because at a distance of around 100 meters, you can see a good wide area clearly. The hotspot is not too tight to where you get tunnel vision.

    The only negative I can find with this light is the USB flap being easy to open. Of course this is great if you are wearing gloves or just want to simply open the USB cover without trouble. The downside to this is obviously the possibility of you inadvertently opening it without knowing.

    All in all, this light is incredible. The durability, waterproofing, throw, brightness, UI, and overall versatility is amazing. This light is a combination of everything I look for in a flashlight. This is the swiss army knife of flashlights. If I had to pick one flashlight and stick with it, I would choose the MH12 as a top contender because of it's ability to have a feature for almost every scenario.

    PROS

    Brightness
    Great Throw for the size
    Battery readout
    Grip
    Low voltage warning
    Rechargeable in-flashlight with USB
    Good runtime on all modes with incredible runtime on low of over 21 days
    Waterproof
    Impact resistant
    mode spacing


    CONS

    The USB flap is easy to open. I am slightly worried that it could be accidentally opened

    P12 OR MH12?
    I personally find there to be no difference in brightness between the MH12NW and the P12. Although the tint is different, I saw no brightness difference. The only thing that the P12 has on this light is that there aren't any flaps to accidentally get opened. The MH12 is great because it has the in-light recharging capability. I can not express how great this feature is to have. When you are sitting at your computer or driving in the car, you can just plug in the light to get anything from a full recharge to just a bit of extra juice to top it off.
    I would recommend each light for a different purpose. If you are planning to camp a lot or go on trips where you may get wet, I would recommend the P12 because there isn't a USB flap. If you want an included battery, USB recharging function, and a deep pocket carry clip then I would recommend the MH12.

    NW or CW?
    I personally like cool white better than neutral white. This is not something I can recommend because it is all personal taste. Neutral white is more of a warm tint and brings out colors such as green to be more vivid and saturated. Cool white in my opinion is easier to look at.

    IMPROVEMENTS:
    The one thing that stands out that's I'd say could use improvement is the USB recharging port. I feel that they should make this waterproof even if the flap is open like a few of the Fenix models. This feature would make this light PERFECT!

    Bottom line:

    I would absolutely recommend this to a friend and/or complete stranger


    MH12 provided by Nitecore for review
    Last edited by BugoutBoys; 12-12-2015 at 07:01 AM.
    Sometimes life is about risking everything for a dream no one can see but you

  2. #2

    Default Re: **NEW** Nitecore MH12 NEUTRAL WHITE (XM-L2 U2) Review

    Great review! Did you see any signs of water leakage thought the usb flap?

  3. #3
    Flashaholic BugoutBoys's Avatar
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    Default Re: **NEW** Nitecore MH12 NEUTRAL WHITE (XM-L2 U2) Review

    Quote Originally Posted by En Fuego Mark View Post
    Great review! Did you see any signs of water leakage thought the usb flap?
    Thank you!
    I saw no leakage through the usb flap! The fit is tight and snug, it is just easy to open!
    Sometimes life is about risking everything for a dream no one can see but you

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* KeepingItLight's Avatar
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    Default Re: **NEW** Nitecore MH12 NEUTRAL WHITE (XM-L2 U2) Review

    Nice review. Thanks for all the hard work you put into it.
    Prince plays George Harrison's masterpiece While My Guitar Gently Weeps. R.I.P.
    Great vocals & guitar by LeAnn Rimes & Joss Stone as they cover Gershwin's Summertime.

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    Default Re: **NEW** Nitecore MH12 NEUTRAL WHITE (XM-L2 U2) Review

    Quote Originally Posted by KeepingItLight View Post
    Nice review. Thanks for all the hard work you put into it.
    No problem! I'm glad it's appreciated!
    Sometimes life is about risking everything for a dream no one can see but you

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* CelticCross74's Avatar
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    Default Re: **NEW** Nitecore MH12 NEUTRAL WHITE (XM-L2 U2) Review

    P12GT FTW. I noticed that the MH12 does not have ATR like the GT and MH20. Mode spacing is good. I do not see why NC cannot make their micro USB ports waterproof with the flap open ala UC35. I dont rely on built in micro USB chargers as they always seem to cut off below 4.2v say like 4.15-4.17 and take forever to charge vs a stand alone charger. MH12 is the 2nd Gen P12 with built in micro USB. Timed regulation vs the recent and much more useful themal regualtion lights. MH12 gets pretty hot on turbo real quick just like the first 2 P12's. Glad to see it has a quality emitter that looks well done and even tint wise. The first P12 was all over the place and had a harsh beam full of harsh purples and uneven tint.

    EDCing a micro USB light with a rubber flap cover over the port just means that the flap will eventually break loose and leave the port exposed leaving the electronics totally vulnerable to dirt, debris and other damage. I see the MH12 as a lateral quality release to the 2nd gen P12 in an attempt to counter Fenix waterproof with no flap UC35. Granted the MH20 is not waterproof with the flap open either but the MH20 is just so good overall it makes up for it.

    P12GT is the best out of all the MH10's,12s etc. You may have to remove the cell to charge it but at least a stand alone charger charges the cell to the full 4.2v.

    Thank you for the review though its always good to see new reviewers put in the effort

  7. #7
    Flashaholic BugoutBoys's Avatar
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    Default Re: **NEW** Nitecore MH12 NEUTRAL WHITE (XM-L2 U2) Review

    Quote Originally Posted by CelticCross74 View Post
    P12GT FTW. I noticed that the MH12 does not have ATR like the GT and MH20. Mode spacing is good. I do not see why NC cannot make their micro USB ports waterproof with the flap open ala UC35. I dont rely on built in micro USB chargers as they always seem to cut off below 4.2v say like 4.15-4.17 and take forever to charge vs a stand alone charger. MH12 is the 2nd Gen P12 with built in micro USB. Timed regulation vs the recent and much more useful themal regualtion lights. MH12 gets pretty hot on turbo real quick just like the first 2 P12's. Glad to see it has a quality emitter that looks well done and even tint wise. The first P12 was all over the place and had a harsh beam full of harsh purples and uneven tint.

    EDCing a micro USB light with a rubber flap cover over the port just means that the flap will eventually break loose and leave the port exposed leaving the electronics totally vulnerable to dirt, debris and other damage. I see the MH12 as a lateral quality release to the 2nd gen P12 in an attempt to counter Fenix waterproof with no flap UC35. Granted the MH20 is not waterproof with the flap open either but the MH20 is just so good overall it makes up for it.

    P12GT is the best out of all the MH10's,12s etc. You may have to remove the cell to charge it but at least a stand alone charger charges the cell to the full 4.2v.

    Thank you for the review though its always good to see new reviewers put in the effort
    this charger inside the MH12NW actually charged all the way up to 4.2V! I tested it with multiple batteries.
    Sometimes life is about risking everything for a dream no one can see but you

  8. #8

    Default Re: **NEW** Nitecore MH12 NEUTRAL WHITE (XM-L2 U2) Review

    Nice review Bug!

    Having a a couple other 18650 powered lights means still needing a seperate charger. And we are at times where the only electricity available is when the generator is fired up. So having a couple extra batteries and seperate charger for my situation is better than having built in charging capability. BUT, I look at that feature like cw vs nw, each persons needs and preference is different.

    Celtic,

    Some very good points. As I mentioned, it gives us a lot of options to choose from to suit our individual needs. And if we decide we don't like a feature, the next gen light(s) will be out before we know it! Lol

    TY!

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