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Thread: Review: Nitecore P30: thrower, XP-L HI V3, 1000 lumens, 1x18650; (beam)shots, compare

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* kj75's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    The Netherlands

    Lightbulb Review: Nitecore P30: thrower, XP-L HI V3, 1000 lumens, 1x18650; (beam)shots, compare

    The past year, Nitecore released and also updated a bunch of their lights with the powerful XP-L HI V3 LED. Popular models like the MH20 and EC4 got this emitter that gave the torches the same output but an impressive increase in throw. During testing of those lights, I asked me if how this LED would perform if it was built-in a bigger and deeper reflector. Recently, Nitecore answered my question and launched a palm-sized thrower with big head, deep reflector and stunning throw: the P30. Recently, this light came in my mail, and I’ll show you the details and how it performs (also against other throwers) in this review!

    the most compact real thrower made by Nitecore

    the P30

    deep reflector

    big head relative to the body

    powered by the flat XP-L HI V3 LED

    suited for hunting and tactical use

    such a nice thrower!

    To start with, the features and specifications here, given by Nitecore:

    • Utilises a CREE XP-L HI V3 LED
    • High efficiency constant current circuit provides maximum output up to 1000 lumens
    • Precision Digital Optic Technology (PDOT) ensures superior beam uniformity
    • Maximum throw up to 618 meters
    • Side switch designed for tactical applications provides easy access to 5 brightness levels
    and 3 special modes
    • Memory function (Excluding SOS and Beacon)
    • Built-in power indicator reports battery voltage (Patent No. ZL201220057767.4)
    • Advanced Temperature Regulation (ATR) module automatically adjusts brightness
    according to operating temperature to maintain optimal performance
    • Electric reverse polarity protection
    • Aerospace grade aluminum alloy construction
    • Titanium plated pocket clip
    • Mineral optic lens with anti-reflective coating
    • HAIII hard anodising
    • Waterproof in accordance with IPX8 (2 metres submersible)
    • Impact resistant to 1.5 meters

    The dimensions:

    5.57” (141.5mm)
    Head diameter: 1.96” (50mm)
    Tail diameter: 1” (25.4mm)
    Weight: 5.83oz (165gram) (without battery)

    And the output specs:


    No major changes here: the P30 comes in a familiar “Nitecore-carton”, like almost all Nitecores, except the “big” ones. As always, an attractive box with some pictures on it with the P30 in action, also the output and throw in big letters. The box is full of information about specifications and accessories. It’s a hard job to get the plastic container that keeps the light and the accessories out of box without something falling out…. Maybe a good option to Nitecore to redesign their packages and make it easier to restore the light and the parts. Nothing to complain about the contents: except batteries all needed (spare) parts are in, including CR123A-holder, tactical ring and clip. Summarizing: Nice and complete package. Scroll down for a couple of pictures!

    a well-known Nitecore package

    colorful, attractive and filled with information

    the pictures show what the P30 is meant for

    inside: P30, leaflet, manual, holster, lanyard, CR123A adaptor, clip, ring and spare-parts


    Maybe because I’m a “flashaholic”, but I am a fan of lights like this one: Such a big head relative to the tube, a huge and smooth reflector and a tiny but powerful emitter. This is the design of a real thrower! Especially with the tactical ring and the clip added-on, the P30 has powerful appearance. The P30 comes in nice deep-black color, feels slightly heavy but durable and is built and finished very well. The anodizing job is done well too, but I damaged it on the knurling by adding on the clip. The engraving still looks a bit blurry. Tailstand isn’t possible, but the light has (especially with the tactical ring added-on) an excellent anti-roll design. The absolute eye catcher of the P30 is the lights’ head: Through the clear glass-lens we see a smooth and deep reflector without any defects and a perfectly centered XP-L HI V3 LED. No dust or defects found, well done! During unscrewing the lights’ head or cap (the P30 is made of three parts), we see the inner parts are well machined and finished too. So, my overall impressions are that this palm-sized thrower not only has a nice design, but the light is also durable built and well finished. Please scroll down to watch a couple of pictures, that will show you more impressions and details of the P30!

    the Nitecore P30

    big head relative to the body

    powered by the flat XP-L HI V3 LED


    with clip added-on

    nice looks and appearance!

    different battery options, 18650 and 2 x (R)CR123A

    comes including tactical ring

    well machined and finished

    very deep reflector

    the lanyard can be fixed at the tactical ring

    the LED is perfectly centered, this is a must for thrower-light

    the engraving is clear, but little blurry

    no defects in the deep reflector

    the clicky is easy to locate

    the P30 is also designed as a hunting-light

    the P30 in three parts

    smooth running and well lubed threads here

    a look into the cap

    and into the P30’s head, a button-top must be used

    the P30 in the holster

    built-in voltage indicator, that warns also when the battery gets low

    one of the deepest reflectors I’ve seen before on a palm-sized torch

    the P30 together with a rifle

    the light has a good lower output mode too

    tiny power-thrower!

    so compact if compared to other throwers!

    having fun with my sons…the P30 mounted on a Nerf gun

    by using the Nitecore gun-mount GM-03..ready for a Nerf darts-fight!

    User interface:

    The P30 has a carry-friendly shape: Due to the mall tube and big head with notches this torch won’t slip out of your hand. Best way to me to carry the P30 is with tactical ring but unless clip. The light is easy to control by one hand, but to enter (for example) direct strobe you need two hands. Loading the battery or the two (R)CR123A cells is an easy job, for the (R)CR123A you need the included adaptor.

    I’m happy to see that the P30 has the accurate voltage indication: Press and hold the mode button, click the power button and release the mode button. Blue flashes in the mode button will inform you about actual voltage, for example: three flashes > a short pause > again nine flashes means 3.9 volts. I would like to see this great option both from on and off, now the light will always go on after the check.

    Half press the tail/power button for momentary-on, or click for constant-on. The P30 memorizes its last used mode, including strobe. Press the mode button to cycle (only up) through the modes, and click again to shut the light off. Press and hold the mode button (with the P30 on) to enter the special modes, starting with Strobe. Mind that another long press is needed to cycle through the specials, a short click will bring you back in last used normal mode. The P30 misses direct-modes like we mostly see at Nitecores. On a light like this, I would like to have a direct-strobe. I think that it may be a nice idea to add a programming option here, so that it’s possible to choose your favorite interface. Technical it works perfectly, it takes some effort the press the clicky, but to me it’s okay here , and the mode button is (thanks to its special structure) easy to locate.

    The P30 can be mounted on a gun using a G(un) M(ount) accessory. Mind that you need the right one, because there’s difference, and otherwise it won’t fit to your weapon. A remote control can be screwed onto the light too.


    The P30 has five normal output modes, starting at LOWER > LOW > MID > HIGH > TURBO. I’m still happy with the lowest output mode of 1 lumen. The mode-spacing is good for a light like this, the step between LOWER and LOW is the biggest in ratio. Three special modes: STROBE > SOS > BEACON. Those three will be sufficient for most situations. No direct modes here, but Strobe can be activated directly whilst pressing and holding the mode-button out of any normal mode. Unscrew the lights’ head or tail-cap a little to UNLOCK the P30. I told you earlier about the VOLTAGE-INDICATOR that’s built-in to the P30. All-in all, no special wishes here.


    This means Advanced Temperature Regulation. The P30 will dynamically decrease power when the temperature will be too high. The decrease will not be a full step down, so in real life, it could be barely noticeable. Thanks to the big head and the cooling’ fins the P30 won’t get hot that quick.

    Size comparison:

    The P30 on the photos below shown against some other throwers, the Manker U21 and the EC4GT-brother. I’ll use those three later when we go out for some beamshot-sessions!

    Nitecore P30, Manker U21 and Nitecore EC4GT

    Nitecore P30, Manker U21 and Nitecore EC4GT

    Nitecore P30, Manker U21 and Nitecore EC4GT

    the heads: two XP-L HI V3 LEDS and one XHP35 HI in the middle

    the tails:
    Nitecore P30, Manker U21 and Nitecore EC4GT


    Like you can see at the photo below, the P30 is almost equal to the other showed flashlights. A good cool-white tint, and like we see more often, a little greenish tint at the lower modes. No comments here, this tint is ok to me.


    The profile is no surprise I think: the deep and smooth reflector combined with the flat XP-L HI V3 creates a tiny and a very bright hotspot, a little corona and a very wide spill. As you can see at my beamshots later in this review, the P30 does a very good job for a thrower-light here: A narrow beam, that creates a real light-saber. The beam is free of artefacts and rings, no PWM detected at any mode. This shows that the manufacturer knows well how to design a thrower-light!


    At first, the five modes of the P30 shown here when we project the torch on a white wall, followed by a GIF. The distance to the wall is about 1 meter.

    Camera-settings: ISO100, F/2.7, WB daylight, 1/125 sec, 35mm


    Going outdoors now with the P30! The first location that is showed is a road besides a wall with some trees at medium distance. The five normal modes shown here, followed by a GIF.

    Camera-settings: ISO100, F/2.7, WB daylight, 4 sec, 35mm


    Next picture is the P30 show against the EC4GT. This shows the difference in profile when another reflector is used in combination with the same LED. The P30 emits a narrower beam.

    The P30 against the EC4GT brother

    Let’s see now how the P30 performs against the Manker U21. The U21 has a larger head and reflector, a more powerful XHP35 HI bulb and is powered by a high-drain 26650-cell. Nice to see that the P30 does a good job against this light too!

    the P30 against the Manker U21

    Location 2:

    Another location now! The target is a tree at about 250 meters away. The pictures were taken at full moon phase, not my favorite weather for beamshots, but the photos got a special effect now

    the P30 at Turbo-mode

    the P30 in a shoot-out against the EC4GT, both at highest mode

    the P30 against the Manker U21, both at highest mode

    At the third location I’ll show you the P30 against the Fenix FD41. Clearly to see here that the reflector of the focusable FD41 is not as deep as the P30. So, the FD41 has nice throw, but the P30 is a thrower..

    the Nitecore P30 against the Fenix FD41 on spot modus, both lights at highest level


    The P30 is the first serious palm-sized throwing-light. I’m sure there are not many lights that have these dimensions that reach the distance the P30 does. To me, I like it that much that a palm sized stock light can reach now such an impressive distance! A couple of years ago, we needed a big light to reach this. Like we’re used of, this Nitecore is again well built and finished, it has enough light- and output-modes and options and an easy interface. I’m happy with the accurate voltage indicator too. So, this light may be a nice option to hunters, but is also suited for search jobs and law enforcement.

    The main things I would like to see on the P30 is some extra direct modes, especially direct-turbo. A rechargeable version would make it also more user-friendly to customers.

    But I’m sure you will have fun with this far-throwing pocket-light!

    Thanks to Nitecore for providing me the P30!
    Last edited by kj75; 02-07-2017 at 07:56 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Review: Nitecore P30: thrower, XP-L HI V3, 1000 lumens, 1x18650; (beam)shots, com

    Thanks for review kj75.

    Still waiting mine coming.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Review: Nitecore P30: thrower, XP-L HI V3, 1000 lumens, 1x18650; (beam)shots, com

    hi KJ75,
    Thanks for the review and for sharing the photos, very useful.

    Just to share:
    + I have managed to use Flat-Tops IMR cells in the P30 and this worked fine.
    + Swapped out the P30 tail-cap and replaced it with the tail-cap from the MH25 allows tail stand.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* kj75's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    The Netherlands

    Default Re: Review: Nitecore P30: thrower, XP-L HI V3, 1000 lumens, 1x18650; (beam)shots, com

    Quote Originally Posted by proceed5 View Post
    + I have managed to use Flat-Tops IMR cells in the P30 and this worked fine.
    Thanks for the suggestion, but IMR won't give extra power and less runtime.

    + Swapped out the P30 tail-cap and replaced it with the tail-cap from the MH25 allows tail stand.
    Good idea! Tail standing issue fixed....if you own a MH25

  5. #5

    Default Re: Review: Nitecore P30: thrower, XP-L HI V3, 1000 lumens, 1x18650; (beam)shots, com

    Great review kj76! Including those pictures, as always.... Thanks for sharing!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Default Re: Review: Nitecore P30: thrower, XP-L HI V3, 1000 lumens, 1x18650; (beam)shots, com

    Nice review as always man
    Fyi looks like its your standard nitecore tail cap, which is solarforce surefire compatible, its possible to buy a cheap solarforce extender and run two 18650s for massive runtime.

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