Preface Official Specs Versions Price Short Review Long Review What's Included Manual and Packaging Build Quality and Durability Size Retention Power User Interface and Operation Modes LED and beam Tint vs... Beamshots, Runtime, etc table. Comparisons Conclusion What I like What I don't like Up Next Notes
I’ve long been a fan of the Nitecore MH20/MH20GT format, and Nitecore has a new similar light in the series. It’s the MH23, and Nitecore sent one over for review. (And to be completely honest I’m pumped to have it.)
There’s just one version of the MH23. As I mentioned above this is the next in that line.
Base price is $99.95, but at NitecoreStore.com there are a bunch of options (cell, adapters, etc) that bump the price a little.
I just like this format. It has a great feel in-hand. The steps down from turbo are quick and noticeable, but the output and beam are good.
- Nitecore MH23
- Nylon Pouch
- Spare boot for charge port
- Spare o-rings (2)
- Manual and paperwork
Package and Manual
Absolutely standard Nitecore package here. Photo on the front, description/specs on the back. It’s a good package.
And the manual is standard fare for Nitecore too. Here’s a pdf, which I’ll say yet again I’m thankful to Nitecore for providing!
Build Quality and Disassembly
The Nitecore MH23 has a nice build quality. It feels like a Nitecore. The anodizing is good, and the threads are quite buttery.
I’ve carried this light a good bit, and wear can be seen on the anodizing. To be honest this doesn’t bother me.
Make no mistake, the head of this light is large. It’ll head and tailstand, of course.
The MH23 has a brass button on the head, and a thick, long brass spring on the tailcap. The light comes apart into three sections. I wasn’t able to get the bezel off, so I can’t speak to emitter swap potential. The threads on both ends are anodized (and again, very smooth.)
Officially the light is 4.38″ long, and has an unspecified head diameter. The head is big (diameter), and long.
One thing I like about the MH23 is one of the things I like about many flashlights. It looks ‘flashlighty.’ Below, the MH23 can be seen with two other flashlighty lights, and also the TorchLAB BOSS.
The MH23 ships with a nylon pouch, which has a large plastic d-ring and, really is a very standard nylon pouch.
There’s also a pocket clip, which will attach for bezel up or bezel down carry. The head is specially designed so that the clip will work in either orientation, but really most comfortably carries with bezel down orientation.
The MH23 is a 18650 light. The head end has a brass button and there’s a large spring on the tailcap. As a result, the MH23 works with any type 18650 (flat/ button; protected/ unprotected). Seen below is a rather long Nitecore cell, which naturally sticks up this far. The tailcap has long threads, and a cell sticking out this much isn’t a problem at all. Nitecore does recommend a cell capable of 8A discharge.
Here’s a runtime on Turbo. As you can see, the stepdown from the claimed 1800 lumens is very, very fast. The light will reset to Turbo, but it’s not “100%” Turbo. All in all this makes the 1800 lumen claim not all that useful, even if true.
The MH23 also has on-board charging, via a micro-USB port on the head. This is covered with a rubber boot, which presses in. As far as I can tell in the product description doesn’t say at what speed the light charges, but my experience is charging settles at about half an amp. The manual does say charging should take 6 hours. My charging took over 8 hours. This is slower than I would have expected, but I don’t mind charging my cells slowly.
The light also has a battery check feature. When a cell is installed, the indicating side switch will blink the voltage. For example: four blinks pause two blinks, = 4.2V.
It’s also possible to use two CR123/RCR123 cells in the MH23.
User Interface and Operation
There’s a single e-switch on the head of this light. It’s a big, textured, indicating switch. The indicator has two blue LEDs. I quite like this switch. It’s a double-action, responsive clicky switch.
The blue is quite bright.
Here’s a UI table! It’s a very thorough UI, so stay with me.
|Off||Half Click||Turn beacon on or off|
|On||Half Click||Mode advance (L>H)|
|Off||Full Hold||Momentary Turbo|
|On||Half Hold||Momentary Turbo|
|Strobe||Half Click||Strobe advance (Strobe>SOS>Beacon)|
|Strobe Group||Half Hold||Strobe|
As far as I can tell, there is unfortunately no electronic lockout! The most minimal of turns on the tailcap will disconnect the cell, however.
|Mode||Mode Claimed Output (lm)||Claimed Runtime||Mode Measured Lux||Tailcap Amps|
LED and Beam
In the MH23 is a Cree XHP35 HD, and it’s under a smooth and deep reflector. As you’d guess, this setup makes a beam with a fairly hot hotspot, but with a good bit of spill.
Low is low, but not terribly low.
I am not sure why this light wouldn’t get the Cree XHP35 HI. It’s clearly intended as a pocket thrower, and the beam profile of the HI emitter would have suited this light much more.
Tint vs BLF-348
Beamshots, Runtime, and Lux Measurements
|Emitter||Cree XHP35 HD|
|Glamour Shots||Beamshots [0.3″, f/8, ISO 100, 5000k]|
|Claimed Lumens (lm)||1800|
|Lux (Measured)||1250 lux @ 3.802 m|
|Candela (Calculated) in cd||18069.0|
|Throw (Calculated) (m)||268.8|
|Throw (Claimed) (m)||294|
There are a few direct competitors to the MH23. I’ve reviewed at least two of them, the Skilhunt S3 Pro (larger), and the Nitecore Concept 1 (smaller). I really liked the S3 Pro, and the Concept 1 is fairly good too. The S3 Pro outthrows the MH23 by a large margin, but it would – it has a much larger reflector. It’s also not pocketable at all, but charges at 1A. Either of these two would be good choices.
What I like
- Size and shape is great
- Throw good for a small light like this
- Immediate output is great
- Charging is extremely stable.
What I don’t like
- Stepdown from turbo is very fast
- Didn’t quite meet throw claims.
I have a bunch of Olights in for review; I can’t wait to get into those! I also have a couple of other lights, one by MecArmy, and one by Lumintop. Lots of work left to do on those items, though. Stay tuned!
- This light was provided by NitecoreStore for review. I was not paid to write this review.
- This content originally appeared at zeroair.wordpress.com. Please visit there for the best experience!
- Whether or not I have a coupon for this light, I do have a bunch of coupons!! Have a look at my spreadsheet for those coupons. Note I’ve upgraded that sheet so that now, you may subscribe and get notifications when the sheet is edited!!