Nitecore P10i | Expert Review by Koen van der Jagt
My first impressions
Simply a “good” torch: Not too small, but still handy. The diameter of the lamp head is small, so it fits perfectly in your jacket pocket and even in a trouser pocket. The P10i feels solid and also shows no optical flaws; Nitecore has this well figured out. Some noteworthy design details: the three rings on the body that you can attach the clip to, and the small blue LED in the lamp head that indicates the battery status, accurate to 0.1 volts. I'm used to Nitecore supplying complete packages. Which is also the case for the P10i: it comes with a battery, cable, lanyard, tactical holster (made from plastic) and a battery adapter. Nothing to complain about here. In terms of build quality and finish, the P10i also cuts a good figure.
When and how
The P10i is intended as a “buddy” for enforcement personnel, security, and the police, among others. But there are also various accessories available that you can use to mount it on a weapon or direct traffic in the right direction. Versatile and ready for unexpected and sometimes dangerous situations. Due to its special interface, it's not really suitable as a “household” torch. The P10i lends itself perfectly to search, control and defence applications. Why? Because the torch always starts on the brightest light mode, both for constant light and for strobe mode. So you never have to think twice or doubt, even in an unexpected situation. That gives the user peace of mind. Fortunately, less bright is also an option: You can switch back two steps and thus make the P10i an energy-efficient torch for longer sessions.
Controls and comfort
The manual reveals everything: the P10i isn't a torch with bells and whistles - it's designed to be as functional as possible. Charging the battery is self-explanatory via the USB-C port that you can find on the side of the lamp head. Charging is complete when the blue light is solid instead of flashing slowly. I don't understand the colour blue, why not red and green? Please note: You can only charge a suitable 21700 battery in this way. The other battery option is two CR123A batteries using the supplied adapter. Super handy: a few sets of CR123As on hand for emergencies. The 18650 battery commonly used for torches must NOT be used.
The P10i fits comfortably in hand, and thanks to the variations in the body structure, it doesn't slip. Even with (tactical) gloves on, you have excellent control over the large operating buttons. The large button has an obvious pressure point which is slightly “deeper”. This means you can easily enable “momentary” by not “clicking” the button. It also means you can switch it on silently, which can be very important in some situations. The “flat” switch is in a crescent moon shape and can be recognized in the dark by its grid-like texture. In standby you can use this button as a momentary for the stroboscope, and when continuous light is switched on you can shift through the three light modes with this button. Even with continuous light you have direct access to the dazzling strobe with this button.
You can attach the torch to your clothing via the clip, carry it in the holster on your belt or mount it on a weapon. Plenty of options. A lanyard is also included, which keeps the torch hanging on your wrist if you let go of it unexpectedly. In summary: A handy torch with effective, straightforward controls.
The strengths of the P10i are its effective controls and the surprising light output. These controls are a solid foundation for a tactical flashlight. The light image is suitable too: more than sufficient reach, but also a wide light beam.
Areas for improvement
The indicator light in the lamp head continuously indicates the status of the battery when the torch is switched on. This is a great feature, so you're not easily surprised by a suddenly empty battery. But why a blue light and not just green and red? In my opinion, that system is clear to everyone, and this way isn't. Also clearer during charge cycles.
Value for money?
The price of the P10i is a bit higher than that of its predecessors. The big difference (and advantage) is that it comes with an original Nitecore battery. That explains the price difference, along with the fact that the P10i is a lot more powerful. In my opinion, you're getting a complete package for a very reasonable price.
The P10i scores highly in user-friendliness: the torch can be used immediately and in the right way when needed. On the other hand, the brightest light mode can only be used for a limited time, a maximum of a few minutes in a row. The light also gets fairly warm in a short time at maximum output. So for the longer sessions you really have to use the lower light modes. Still, I'm convinced of this product, and the torch gets a rating of “more than satisfactory” from me. The P10i holds its own wherever the action is!
Nitecore has a huge number of accessories available for the P10i that make this torch even more versatile.
Last, but not least: the beamshots!
Location: In the forest
The P10i has a wide light profile with a large hotspot. The colour of the light is clearly cold white.
Location: On a road
With a row of trees on the left and a dike on the right. Here you can clearly see that the P10i illuminates a wide path and also has a good reach.
While holding the light
The 1800 lumens and the good reach allow you to illuminate a fairly large area in front of you.
Koen van der Jagt
Ever since he could walk Koen has been interested in lights, wires and batteries. As a child he was always working with dyno torches, bike lights and electrical boxes. The krypton and halogen lights were replaced by LED lights. A couple of years ago he discovered the ‘professional’ stuff. His first brands were Led Lenser and Fenix. Photography is also one of his hobbies. In addition to nature and meteorology Koen loves to show others what a light can do and what its beam looks like at night. Koen’s reviews can often be found on forums such as candlepowerforums.com and taschenlampen-forum.de. Throughout the years Koen has collected lights in practically any category: from small and compact to enormous powerhouses.