Nitecore recently released the New P12 and I’m excited to review it today. It says New on the box and New on the flashlight so I guess the name of the flashlight is actually the New P12. It’s a little interesting to see this because most flashlight brands out there will add an extra letter to the end of a flashlight or add a “Version 2”. Nevertheless, I’m excited because I really do like the Nitecore P12 so this new one is pretty cool! In this review I’m going to go over all of the features of this tactical flashlight including my impressions of the flashlight and some pros and cons you may want to think about before making the plunge to buy it.
21700 Tactical Flashlight
First, I want to say that this flashlight takes a 21700 battery. I am excited to see more flashlights use this battery due to its power and compact size. It’s more powerful than an 18650 battery but not too much bigger so that way you can still have a handheld and even an everyday carry flashlight that runs on a 21700 battery. The New P12 does include a battery magazine so that the flashlight can run on an 18650 battery or two CR123A batteries. I am psyched about this because with this battery magazine you now have several options of which battery you would prefer to use. Since the new P12 not rechargeable flashlight, it would be really unfortunate if it could only run on a 21700 battery. So I’m glad that it includes that battery magazine so you can use multiple battery types.
I also should mention that the New P12 features a battery power indicator located underneath the side switch that displays the battery voltage. I’m glad to see more and more flashlights use a battery power indicator. It’s such a useful feature and really comes in handy.
1200 Lumens LED Flashlight
The New P12 features a Cree XP-L HD V6 LED and delivers a maximum output of 1200 lumens. This isn’t a massive amount of light for a 21700 battery, but what the P12 lacks in power, it makes up for in run times and we’ll talk about that later on when we talk about the outputs.
1200 lumens is still an excellent amount of light and is more than adequate in most tactical and outdoor situations. We can often get extremely excited about the higher lumens and the more power, but at the end of the day, a light that delivers 1000 lumens it still extremely handy. So 1200 lumens is still great and I really like the beam pattern on this flashlight. It has a spotlight to it with a really good spill so it’s not just a completely focused beam but it’s also not a diffused beam. It’s a good tactical and general-use beam in my opinion.
Easy Flashlight Operation
It’s easy to operate the New P12 tactical flashlight. I really like Nitecore user interfaces so I was glad to see that this one is also intuitive and familiar. If features a tail switch which will turn on and off the flashlight and give you a momentary-on and a side switch that’s going to cycle through the brightness levels and outputs. It’s a pretty standard user interface which is easy to learn and very intuitive.
The P12 features many outputs, a total of seven! You’ll have four brightness levels and three flashing modes. Let’s talk about those brightness levels first. You’re going to have a high of 1200 lumens and this runs for 3 hours and 45 minutes, a mid of 340 lumens and this runs for 8 hours, a low of 60 lumens and this runs for 52 hours, and an ultra low of one lumen which runs for 1200 hours! I think 1200 hours might be the longest run time I’ve seen so far for a moonlight mode. So you can see how impressive these runtimes are. For many high output flashlights, we often won’t see a turbo mode lasting longer than maybe an hour or so. This 1200 lumen output lasts over 3 hours, nearing 4! I’m extremely impressed by these runtimes. Nitecore really made the most out of the 21700 battery power. This light is going to last you a very long time before you need to change the batteries out or charge them.
Okay, let’s talk about the flashing modes. Nitecore included three flashing modes for the new P12 flashlight: a strobe, a beacon, and an SOS. With these three flashing modes, you’re covered for any emergency that comes your way. One thing to note is that the strobe is not quite immediate. In order to access the strobe mode, you hold down the side switch. In a situation where you need to use this light for defense, you may have a better time using the momentary on and flashing the light in an attacker’s face rather than accessing the strobe mode. Nevertheless, it’s nice to see a flashlight that has these emergency features just in case something happens.
Tactical Flashlight Operation Settings
The new Nitecore P12 also features two operation modes: the Tactical Mode and the Daily Mode. The only difference between these two modes is going to be that the Tactical Mode will access only the strobe along with the four brightness levels whereas the daily mode accesses all of the flashing modes along with the four brightness levels. So if you don’t care about the SOS or the Beacon, then you may prefer the tactical mode. Also, the P12 features a mode memory function but it’s only available in the Daily Mode. So if you want to access that mode memory, you definitely need to have this flashlight in the Daily Mode. It’s easy to remember the difference in the two modes. I’m not really sure there’s that much of a difference between the modes that matters. I could see myself happily using either mode. I’d probably keep it in the Daily Mode just because I do like that mode memory function and I do like having access to the Beacon and SOS just in case.
Impressions of the New Nitecore P12 Tactical Flashlight
I’m really impressed by the design of this tactical flashlight. Many 21700 flashlights have bigger and bulkier designs to them such as the Klarus XT21X 4000 lumen tactical flashlight, but the New P12 flashlight is very sleek very compact. It would be easy to clip onto your pocket and take with you and it feels comfortable in your hand. It comes with a two-way pocket clip which I’m a huge fan of. It also has a crenelated bezel, but I’m not sure I’d consider it a strike bezel necessarily. It could probably do some damage if you needed to use it.
I also want to mention that the new P12 comes with a really nifty belt clip. I can definitely say that I could see myself using this belt clip more than I would flashlight holster. The belt clip is made out of plastic and feels fairly durable. It’s just included accessories so I don’t really expect too much out of it. It does it’s job really well though. You just clip it onto your belt, place the flashlight in it, and you’re able to draw the flashlight out extremely quickly. One downside to this belt clip is that it doesn’t protect the whole flashlight. So half of the flashlight, maybe a little less, is sticking out of the belt clip while you carry it. For some this may not be a big deal, but I know other people really like to have a holster because it covers the entire flashlight and protect it.
Pros: First of all, I love the run times of this flashlight. The battery is going to last a long time before you need to replace it and I think that’s great. The less I need to remove the batteries in my flashlight, the better. I really like the compact design of the light; it’s easy to carry with you and is pretty small for a 21700 flashlight. I really appreciate both the battery magazine and the belt clip that Nitecore includes with the new P12. 21700 batteries can be costly and difficult to come by, so it’s a good thing that the P12 comes with that battery magazine. As for the belt clip, I like seeing something different other than holster. I didn’t really use holsters much as it was, but I could see myself using this clip. The P12 tactical flashlight has a great user interface so you don’t need to spend a ton of time reading the manual and trying to memorize the features.
Cons: One downfall is that the strobe is not instant. I think most tactical lights should probably have a strobe mode on the tail switch or at least a more immediate way to get to it. Holding the side switch down takes a little too long in my opinion. I also really wish this was a rechargeable flashlight. I think I’m starting to get a little spoiled here because I want all of my flashlights to be rechargeable. It’s just more convenient and a lot easier in general. Also, 21700 batteries can be a little difficult to find and quite costly so I would much prefer to just charge the battery in the flashlight.
Conclusion: I’m pretty happy with the features that Nitecore included in the New P12 tactical flashlight. For you Nitecore flashlight fans out there, I think you’ll really enjoy this flashlight. It’s also compatible with multiple tactical accessories which is great! It’s always a bummer when you purchase a new tactical flashlight and the manufacturer hasn’t come out with tactical accessories yet. Thankfully, that’s not the case with this Nitecore light! So if you’re wanting a compact tactical flashlight, check out the New Nitecore P12 (or is it Nitecore New P12?).