Friday, January 13, 2017

Nitecore P30 Compact Thrower (XP-L Hi,18650) Review

Beamshots section is not yet complete.

Nitecore P30 is a new flashlight from Nitecore's Precise series lights.
It is designed for maximum distance of illumination and compact size for easy carrying.
The P30 features Cree XP-L Hi LED,large smooth reflector and dual switch operation.
Protruded tail switch allows comfortable On/Off operating,while modes can be selected by the electronic side switch.

Size comparison with other flashlights with tight focused beam-
Olight SR52UT- Olight M2XUT- Nitecore P30-Nitecore MH27-Olight M23- Niwalker C26

Reflector diameter comparison. Nitecore P30 with 45mm reflector.

Here is anther comparing picture with Nitecore MH27 and Nitecore EC4.
I added also maybe the most popular and well known budget flashlight-the classic UltraFire C8.
It is hard to not think about the C8 design while looking at the P30,as the designers idea is the same-maximum compact 18650 sized flashlight with wide and deep reflector for high beam intensity(distance of throw).

In my medium size,very thin hand. People with very big hands may find the body a little shorter than the optimal for best grip.The P30 fits well in my hand and I found it sufficiently comfortable,especially with the grip ring. I was extremely happy to see a C8 style flashlight coming with a grip ring-however my happiness was shortly cut by a fact which I will write about later in the review.

The P30's tail cap is specially designed for quick and easy access to the switch.
It is very well rounded,without any sharp edges. The switch can be easily pressed even when wearing gloves.

Below are pictures of the official instruction sheet coming with Nitecore P30.

This is the package and the accessories.
Two spare O-rings,spare tail switch cap,lanyard,battery magazine for two CR123A.
Good holster and pocket clip are also included in the set.

Nitecore P30 supports one 18650,two CR123A and even two RCR123A for stable output.

My lumen measurements show:
Turbo mode 864Lm initial, 824Lm after 30sec. (about 900Lm with IMR battery)
High mode 470Lm
Mid mode 240Lm
Low mode 62Lm
UltraLow mode 1Lm

Batteries used for the test Keeppower 3400/3100 mAh.

Watch my quick video demo below.

Nitecore P30 disassembled on its three main parts.
In terms of build quality and machining the P30 is on the expected for Nitecore high level.
There are no sharp edges,dents or scratches on my sample.
Perfectly done anodizing,as well.

Beautiful looking front of the flashlight exposing the large reflector,secured with a relatively thin bezel,which makes the reflector look even bigger.
The bezel is not designed with aggressive shape and is crenelated just enough for some light to pass when the flashlight is left on a flat surface.

Cree XP-L Hi LED,aluminum reflector with smooth reflective surface.
As you can see on the picture,the reflector is not absolutely smooth.It has some circular texture probably for better mixing of the beam.

Well machined front threads-anodized,rounded rectangular-cut type.
No spring or physical reverse polarity protection on the positive contact this time.
Button top and flat top batteries can be used. All batteries that I have fit well in the battery tube.

Well made rounded triangular-cut threads at the tail end of the battery tube.
You can take also a closer look at the often controversial grip ring.
A little unexpected,the grip ring is made of plastic,which material many times was proved to broke easily.
In the case of my SRT6,the ring broke just from the different expansion of the different materials-metal and plastic while the ambient temperature is changing..
I have no information about the actual reason for choosing again the old type plastic ring in this flashlight after the metal ring for the MH27 and hope it will be replaced with a metal version in the next batch.
The grip ring is being locked when the tail cap is tightened and does not spin freely.
It provides the only lanyard whole,as well.

Full user manual from Nitecore's website-

Runtime Performance

As most of the latest flashlights coming from Nitecore,the P30 features ATR technology.
This is advanced temperature regulation which has the purpose to adjust the brightness according to the current temperature of the LED board.
In my tests so far the different models performed in different ways-some of them keeping the flashlight output high despite the high temperature,others decreasing the brightness with a step down reminiscent of programmed timed step down.
In the P30 the ATR technology clearly shows its work.
I tested the flashlight 3 times on Turbo mode and once on High mode.
First run was on Turbo mode with a small cooling fan which helps to keep the P30 optimal cool to track its maximal performance(high initial output as long as possible).
I found the fan accidentally stopped before the 10th minute after the start.
I don't know how long it was off,but I turned the fan again on to track the rest of the runtime.
This is the Orange curve in the graphs below.
The second run(Green curve) is again Turbo mode,this time with the fan constantly working.
As can be seen from the curves,the P30's ATR does decrease the brightness down to the 470 lumen High mode.
If the temperature is still low after the first minutes,the driver decreases its output to about 630 lumens and keeps this output as long as the battery can keep its voltage stable.
If the temperature is high,the output will be decreased to 470Lm level until lowering the temperature.
When the temperature is again on the threshold level,the output is unlocked to the maximal possible according to the battery's voltage.

Third test(Red Curve) was done without additional cooling. The ambient temperature was about 18 degree Celsius. According to the higher LED temperature the P30's electronics decreased the output to High mode and did not recover it anymore.
As expected with a high output between 800 and 700 lumens the P30 runs hot.However at not so high ambient temperature,I would like a little higher threshold temperature for the step down.
Yet,I can't test every possible scenario but my experience with other flashlights tells me that is possible to allow a little more time on Turbo mode without activation of the ATR.
Overall I am pleased with the presence of ATR in many of the latest flashlights as this is the right way to more efficient lighting. The ATR unlocks the potential of the flashlight allowing optimal brightness in the cold nights outdoors,when the flashlight is less likely to overheat. On the other side in the warm summer nights,the ATR will effectively protect the flashlight from excessive heating.
These are only the first 50 minutes of each run time curve,for easier comparison.

This graph compares Turbo mode with the High mode.
We can see that Turbo mode step down is exactly to the output of High mode.
High mode(Green Curve) was done without external cooling. Brightness is almost constant for 130 minutes when tested with a Keeppower(Panasonic)3400mAh battery.

Nitecore P30 features back-lit side switch which supports Low voltage warning and battery voltage reading.
The switch is flashing in blue color when the voltage is too low and the battery  has to be replaced.
Low voltage protection is not available.The output is very low at the end of the discharge and give us some time to find another battery. It is recommended though to use protected batteries as in case of leaving the flashlight activated for a long period,the battery will not be critically discharged.

I don't detect PWM regulation in my tests.The output should be constant current controlled.


I planned to take some nice outdoor beamshots,but the temperature outdoor is too low for taking my camera outdoor at the night.
I took indoor beamshots on a wall at 3 meters distance.The will also be updated with larger ones in thenear future.
For now we can compare the size and the intensity of the beam by comparing it to a few other good throwers-
Nitecore MH27 (Cree XP-L Hi)
Olight SR52UT (Cree XP-L Hi)
Niwalker C26 (Cree XP-L Hi)
Olight M23 (de-domed XP-L version)
Olight M2XUT (de-domed XM-L2 version)

The beam from the Nitecore P30 is well focused cool white light with very bright hotspot and corona.
There is also not so bright but usable spill.
Thanks to the factory flat LED the light is clean white without any greenish or bluish tint.
3 meters


The M2X and SR52 beat the P30 thanks to their larger reflectors.
The MH27 has a little higher output but its reflector is smaller diameter and provides less hotspot intensity.

Nitecore P30 was provided by Nitecore for test and review.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Upcoming Nitecore P30 Review HNY

Check out the full review in progress here-

Happy New Year!
Have a nice and successful new 2017!
Thanks to all flashlight fans for reading my reviews!

Size comparison:
Nitecore MH27, Nitecore P30, UF C8, Nitecore EC4

Large aluminum reflector. Cree XP-L Hi LED.
Watch my quick video demo below.