NITECORE E4K Flashlight – Full review
What is the NITECORE E4K?
The NITECORE E4K is a powerful everyday carry (EDC) flashlight with rechargeable batteries and a long runtime. With its compact size and waterproofness, it can be used just about anywhere you plan to go. It also has a wide range of possible uses, ranging from home to outdoor hobbies to professional life-and-death situations.
Inside the Box
The E4K is shaped like a black cylinder and the body is made from anodized aluminum. At 2.82 ounces (5.6 ounces with the battery and clip), it is lightweight and easy to carry. E4K also comes with three additional hands-free carrying options. As for the flashlight itself, it features four Cree XP-L2 V6 LED bulbs with a maximum output of 4,400 lumens. The light from this flashlight also shines up to 211 meters, which is roughly 692 feet. Also, the bulbs also have a maximum lifespan of about 50,000 hours, which is quite impressive.
The E4K is fairly easy to operate. The flashlight has a really conveniently placed button, which is in easy reach of your thumb. It has five levels of brightness to tailor its use to your specific situation:
- High; and
- Turbo.The E4K also has special modes: Strobe, SOS, and Beacon. Strobe is a defensive mode that uses the individually controlled bulbs to send flash random dizzying patterns at would-be attackers. So, as you can see, this is an extremely versatile flashlight.
The full list of items included in the packing is:
- NITECORE E4K Flashlight
- USB-C charging cable
- Rechargeable battery (NL215HPR 5.000 mAh)
- Battery magazine (for CR123/RCR123 batteries)
- Attachable deep pocket clip
- Nylon belt holster
- Spare O-Ring
- Warranty card
- User guide
- Quick-start guide
How Does the Nitecore E4K Differ from Previous Flashlights?
The E4K is the latest in its series, and it is the most powerful by far in terms of brightness. For example a similar product, Nitecore EC23, has a max output of 1800 lumens. The models in this series are known for their flat bases. This allow it to stand stably on a level surface for hands-free light. While the E4K has a smaller head size than the EA41. And although EA41 has a longer max beam distance of 335 meters (1099 feet), E4K is still far more powerful in its luminosity. All products in this series, including the E4K use rechargeable batteries except the EA41, which uses four AA batteries.
User Experience of Nitecore E4K
Design and built quality
Before discussing the E4K’s performance, let us take a quick look at its design. It has a small frame that easily fits in your hands, and diamond knurling that makes it easy and comfortable to grip. The sole button is in easy reach by the thumb, making the E4K comfortable not only to hold, but to use.
Lens of this flashlight is scratch resistant, which protects it from accumulating those pesky scratches that block and refract light. This is important for such a heavy-duty product that you want to use in rough situations. Due to the aluminum case, E4K has a 1-meter impact resistance rating. That meansyou don’t have to worry about damaging it if you happen to accidentally drop it.
The E4K’s power and versatility make it a great resource with quite a few applications. Its Ultralow mode is great for home use when you need a bit of extra light but do not want to interrupt anyone who happens to be nearby. Flashlight is also great for outdoor situations such as camping or hiking when you need more powerful light. It works well in all weather, even in heavy rain. You can use this flashlight under two meters of water. So as you can see, it is an extremely versatile product. The flashlight does not float. Therefore users need to be careful not to drop it into deep water. E4K will sink right to be bottom, making it hard to find, even if it is still working at that depth.
Different modes and handling
The Nitecore E4K has various modes and options for which you have to use a single button to access. Due to that it might take a bit of time before you learn how to handle the E4K. To turn the flashlight on, you simply have tp press on the side button. Then you have to hold it down until it cycles through intensity (from Ultralow to Turbo). When the flashlight reaches your desired luminosity, then you just have to release the button. If you want to turn E4K off, just give the button a short press. To turn it back on in the same mode, all you have to do, is another long press. For switching the flashlight to Ultralow while the E4K is turned off, you just have to press the button twice.
To access the special modes, which are great for signaling and emergencies, the user presses the button three times while the flashlight is turned on. It first goes into Strobe mode, but a long press will switch it to SOS mode, and another long press will switch it to Beacon mode. A single short press will close the special mode feature and switch the light off.
The E4K can be set to two user modes: Daily mode and Practical mode. In Daily mode, three presses in quick succession turn on Turbo brightness. The same three presses in practical mode will turn on the Strobe feature. To switch between user modes, follow the following steps: At first ensure that the light is off and loosen the tail cap. Then, while holding the button, tighten the tail cap. The LED will flash once to indicate a switch to Daily mode, or twice for Tactical mode.
Of course, the runtime depends on the selected brightness. It can only maintain the Turbo brightness of 4,400 for just above 20 seconds, at which time, it steps down brightness to High brightness. This is a protective feature to prevent the E4K from overheating. The flashlight can maintain the other brightness levels for longer, though, a full battery being able to maintain constant light for periods ranging from 3 hours and 15 minutes on High brightness to 700 hours (almost 30 days) on Ultralow. Likewise, the beam distance ranges from 3 meters on Ultralow brightness to 211 meters on Turbo brightness.
See the table below for brightness, output, runtime, and beam distance comparison:
|Runtime||~22s||3h 15m||7h 30m||45h||700h|
Additional features of Nitecore E4K
One of the most useful features of Nitecore E4K is that its button flashes to indicates how much charge is left in the battery. To check the battery’s charge, give the button one short press. If the light flashes three times, the charge is above 50%. When it flashes twice, it is between 10% and 50%. On flash means the battery level is under 10%. As simple as this method is, it does take a few unnecessary moments to indicate battery charge. A system with three simultaneously flashing lines indicating above 50%, two indicating less than 50%, etc., would be a more economic use of time.
Who is the E4K Meant For?
This flashlight is made for the demanding conditions of recreational activities like hiking and camping. It can also be used for emergency services like search and rescue in dark terrain. Flashlight’s functionality allows it to have many different applications that would make it very useful in activities such as these.
Its waterproofness makes it ideal for rough weather conditions, making it an invaluable tool for outdoor activities. Since the E4K has a solid cylindrical casing has no moving parts, dropping it accidentally will not damage it.
The Nitecore E4K’s emergency features can be potentially lifesaving. Its Beacon and SOS features send out powerful intermittent beams of light to let people know where you are if you are hurt or otherwise in need of assistance. This flashlight has uses outside of rough outdoor activities, too. Even in everyday life, its Strobe feature can provide protection by disorienting unscrupulous individuals that may attack you under cover of night. However, if you are not into outdoor activities, you might want to consider a cheaper strobe-capable flashlight.
Police officers or other such professionals who work out in the field would find this flashlight useful, too. The Strobe feature can be useful in apprehending suspects, the bright light is useful for search and rescue, etc.
Pros and Cons
This flashlight is extremely versatile. You can use it at home during a power cut or in the great outdoors where you are exposed to the elements. The E4K’s hotspot (the main focused beam) might be a bit tight depending on your preference. If you want wide luminosity, this might not be the flashlight for you. However, some users like that it focuses its light, as it would be less disturbing to nearby people.
The E4K’s user interface is both simple and complicated. There is only one button, which means less parts to potentially damage. However, although it is easy to operate with this one, easy-to-access button, having to use it to access every mode and function is arguably not very convenient. After all, is it time consuming to switch through the different modes, which could lose you valuable time in an emergency.
The Strobe feature, is marketed as a defensive capability. This feature may only provide a few moments’ protection. But at the same time this might be all you need in such situations. Likewise, its way of indicating battery life also makes inefficient use of time. Even memorizing all the methods of switching through modes might require a bit of a learning curve. So, the E4K makes inefficient use of time.
The Nitecore E4K is labeled as an EDC flashlight. But we would argue with that statement. Although it is lightweight and should be able to fit in your pocket, it may be a bit too bulky to fit there comfortably. Of corse this depends of the clothes you wear. Wearing it around your neck on the lanyard or swinging from your belt in the holster might also be less than comfortable, as well. However, it fits quite snugly in a bag or in the more robust clothing with bigger pockets that tends to be worn by hikers or police officers in the field.
Although the E4K is waterproof up to two meters, it does not float, which means that if you drop it in a large body of water, you are not likely to be able to recover it. Fortunately, though, it comes with a lanyard that you can wrap around your hand if you happen to be in, on, or near water. If the water is clear, you will have good visibility under water using this flashlight.
The flashlight also comes with a five-year warranty, so you are protected from any potential damage that results from faulty design. For example, in the off chance that you happen to drop it in a tub of water and it stops working, you can contact the manufacturer and get a replacement.
Overall, we give the NITECORE E4K an 8/10.
Its functionality is quite good, but the fact that the user needs to cycle through light intensities and functions rather than simply moving a switch is somewhat tedious. What’s more, its battery charge indicating system would be better. This feature is useful in outdoor situations to which it is designed. But the downside is that it may cost valuable time to switch between different modes. Specially in emergencies situations.
Where can you buy Nitecore E4K?
You can probably buy Nitecore E4K from all of the well equipped hunting stores.
Final Verdict of Nitecore E4K
The NITECORE E4K is a good flashlight for outdoor activities, with application to everyday life, as well. It is good for more leisurely activities like hiking and camping, and even more severe activities like search missions. The flashlight is robust, able to survive impact, harsh weather, and even being submerged. However, if you are looking for a tool to use in emergency situations where every moment counts, you might want to shop around for a flashlight that makes more efficient use of time in its user interface.
So, if you want a flashlight that will illuminate your way through that hiking trail and also help you lose your keys during a power outage, the NITECORE E4K might very well be the flashlight for you.
What are your thoughts about Nitecore E4K? Let us know!