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NEXTORCH P82 review: thrower flashlight test
NEXTORCH P82 specifications
|Brand & Model
|1,200 Lumens Max
|Review publication date
If you have ever heard of anyone described as a “wolf in sheep’s clothing”, you understand in a sense, they are understated but have an aggressive nature about them. The NEXTORCH P82 would more relate to a “sheep in wolf’s clothing”, IF, the sheep were genetically modified to be vicious and have 4 inch long fangs. Using High Optical Density technology, the P82 effectively blurs the line between more affordable (but shorter ranged) LED torches and their LEP counterparts, lights that use a laser and phosphors that create a more focused and much longer throw. Now, NEXTORCH definitely is not a new entry into the flashlight game. As a matter of fact, there is a pedigree to this outfit that is quite impressive. They are a founding member of PLATO, a group of industry experts who spell out specific testing and reporting measures for portable lighting. Additionally, they currently hold 142 patents and multiple international awards for lighting products and solutions. This light is a great example of the ingenuity that NEXTORCH is moving forward with on their designs and technology, but we will address those in a little bit….
The last three lights I have opened, in order, have been a Wurkkos and two Convoys. None of them are renowned for having incredible packaging, so to open the NEXTORCH P82 was a…. welcomed relief. In a heavy paper box with ink on all sides, this packaging is very well done. My only complaint (other than the box being bent during transit) would have to be the interior plastic that the light is housed in is quite tight and could potentially leave marks if removing it from the packaging multiple times. A small sheet of polyethylene foam would protect the light during transit, but there really isn’t a way to make the foam look nice. Ultimately, it is professionally packaged and very nice to see manufacturers moving towards this style of packaging.
Inside the box are:
- NEXTORCH P82
- 1x 21700 Protected Battery
- 2x Spare o-rings
- USB-C Cable
Flashlight in use
While the NEXTORCH P82 is larger than keychain lights, for what it accomplishes, the form factor seems rather petite. The head measures at just over 6cm (2.39 inches) wide so this is no pocket light, but the body is just over 2.8cm(about 1 1/18 inches) wide and it lets you wrap your hands around it easily without fear of dropping it. The knurling helps the smooth anodizing feel more grippy. It is a search and rescue light, and feels sturdy, like it wants to take some abuse.
The main switch is a forward clicky that engages high mode on a half press. Once you fully engage it, the firmware switches over to medium brightness, as NEXTORCH states, it is suitable for most applications. A half press will continue cycling through the other modes if needed. The other switch, sitting RIGHT above your main switch seems to be an e-switch of sorts, and activates the strobe feature of the P82 immediately when fully pressed. If the light is already on, pressing it again will switch back over to whatever mode you were previously in. The light can be used in a variety of different positions. The tail cap is completely flat and the light is evenly balanced so you could tail stand it all day and into the night. The head has protrusions that remind me slightly of my old Streamlight that came with a rubber “anti-roll” ring that you could attach. This is not the same, as these are machined very nicely into the head and stop your flashlight from rolling away from you. The tailcap, in addition to the flat bottom, also has a machined hole for the included lanyard. There are no cut outs for a pocket clip, but that would be pretty useless on a light of this design. This is a purpose driven flashlight and it is designed strictly for that purpose.
Build Quality, and Warranty
With all of the positives of this particular light, I have to personally say that this is where the P82 excels with only one small, if not ridiculous caveat. The body, tail and head are all made of 6061 aluminum and feel fantastic in the hand with the satin finish on the type III hard anodizing. The finish is so uniform on the body, it is unreal. After inspecting it thoroughly, I could not find one blemish that wasn’t intentional. The fingers wrap neatly around the body and the thumb rests nicely against the head. It just feels nice. And I do mean very nice. That being said, I do have one complaint. And only a small one. The knurling. It is beautiful. It is well done and allows a lot of positive engagement with every piece of the light. But, the knurling is a different cut depth on the tail than it is on the body. Maybe that comes across as pretentious of me, but something about it gets to me. The difference does not affect usability at all, but once I noticed it, I cannot unsee it. Back onto the positive side of things, the switches and the battery indicators are stout, and provide a top notch level of feel. The strobe and main switch are a thick but soft rubber that provide a very defined feedback with good resistance so as to not allow accidental engagement. The battery indicators sit flush with the rest of the body so they do not get in the way while doing their job. When unscrewing the tailcap, you hear the constant sliding noise of square cut threads and I could not pick up any discernible noises or visual of artifacts to indicate something might be wrong with the thread cuts. If there are any genuine issues with your P82 however, keep in mind that NEXTORCH will replace any defective product within 15 days and will provide maintenance services for quality problems with the light for five years. If you drive over it, that does not fall under the purview of the warranty. The included battery is only warrantied for one year.
LED, Lens, Bezel, Beam, and Reflector
The LED on this torch is where all of the time and technology shows itself. While the smooth, polished aluminum reflector is pretty par for the course, the shape and design of the LED allows, what NEXTORCH calls, High Optical Density. This allows a 40 percent higher concentration of light to a single, farther source (longer throw without requiring more lumens). Upon visual inspection, things seem pretty standard across the board.
The lens is listed as hardened acrylic, but it definitely feels like a glass lens. After testing the light in a high brightness setting, the lens did cool quickly, as to indicate it is glass. Maybe they revised materials? While we are on the subject of materials, the bezel here utilizes embedded zirconium strike beads, to act as a glass breaker. Zirconium operates much the same way as ceramic, but with a much higher pressure rating which lends itself to striking. The LED itself is where this light shines (yes, pun intended) and it comes forward at a temperature rating right at 5450k temperature, so it is just a hair on the cooler side of lights. The beam is heavily focused on the hotspot and it comes through in spades. There are almost two iterations of spill with this lens. First, there is an aurora type effect around the immediate hotspot and you get a larger spill that separates it from LEP type throwers. It is a very distinct spill with an immediate cut off that allows you to make out the slight crenulations on the bezel at any distance. The P82 is designed for long distance search and rescue, so straddling the line on spill and throw is very necessary and done quite well.
Dimensions and size comparison
|NEXTORCH P82 Dimension
|NEXTORCH P82 Weight
NEXTORCH P82 flashlight comparison
For size comparison, I have set it up against other familiar 21700 lights, including another 21700 offering from NEXTORCH themselves.
From left to right: Convoy S21B, NEXTORCH P82, NEXTORCH TA30 Max, Wurkkos DL10R
Driver & User Interface:
The P82 has two seperate switches. The main switch, a forward clicky, will cycle through the brightness modes. When it is half-pressed, you will engage maximum brightness and distance, but once the main switch is fully pressed, the firmware automatically defaults to medium brightness. NEXTORCH says this is intentional, as not everyone needs maximum brightness all the time. Continue half-pressing the main switch and it will continue cycling through the brightness levels. Now, if you remember, I said it has two switches. The second switch seems to be an e-switch and is dedicated for strobe use. If the light is off, you can fully press this and the P82 will strobe at maximum brightness until pressed again. If the light is already on, the e-switch will take precedence and switch the mode to strobe. If you press it again, you will go back to the mode you were previously on.
Available modes: Low, Medium, High and Strobe
- Half-Press (Main Switch): Momentary on high
- Single click (Main Switch): Medium brightness
- Single Click (Auxiliary Switch): Strobe mode
- Click (Auxiliary Switch): Strobe mode
- Half-Press: Cycles through brightness modes
- No memory mode. Every time this light is turned on with the main switch, it will automatically revert to medium brightness. If the light is on when the auxiliary switch is pressed, it will revert back to the previous mode when pressed again.
- To Strobe: Dedicated Switch
Low voltage warning:
- The battery indicators on the body will flash red when you are running out of juice.
- Strobe with dedicated switch
Batteries & Charging
The P82 utilizes an onboard USB-C charging circuit. Unscrew the head to reveal the USB-C port. The light included a protected 21700, and while there is a decent amount of tension from the springs, testing showed it could not swap over to an unprotected cell in a pinch. The charging circuit in the body of the light will charge at just under 10W (4.94V @ 2.01A) and will take 3 HRS and 35 MIN to completely charge from empty. The battery is labeled as a 4800mAh cell, but the charge meter I used indicated an additional 49mAh of capacity. I’ll take that as a win.
Outputs were taken in a purpose-built integrating sphere with measurements coming from an ExTech SDL400 with an ND16 filter. Base measurements performed off a source light with known numbers.
In high, the NEXTORCH P82 came in at 1160 lumens, an astonishing 96.7 percent of its claimed specifications. In Medium, it came in at 396 lumens, 93.2 percent of its specification. And finally, in low, the P82 came in at 87.9 percent of its claim, 29 lumens. At this low of a level, it is nigh impossible to discern a difference of 4 lumens. Each test was done with the included battery fully charged. One interesting thing to note, in medium, the beam actually got slightly brighter by the 30 second mark. This isn’t the first time I have seen this, but it is not common. By the ten minute mark, both low and medium modes stayed consistent with their initial numbers. The numbers were so consistent, even after 8.5 hours, I decided I wanted to go all the way and see if the low mode runtimes were accurate. To my surprise, every mode bested its claim, by as much as almost 5 hours.
Now, the throw figures were slightly above the claimed specifications, while the lumen output was slightly below. The throw is based more on the reflector design and lens and the output comes from the actual led used and the power pumping through it but it was interesting to see these figures straddle both sides of the line.
Extra info: Peak beam distance according to ANSI FL1 standards: The calculated value of distance in meters at which the flashlight produces a light intensity of 0.25 lux. (0.25 lux is about the brightness of a full moon shining on an object).
Beamshots from NEXTORCH P82 at Low, Medium and High at 70 meters. Then for good measure, there is a beamshot at 355m to a power line.
Additional comparison shots:
- Convoy S21B
- Wurkkos FC12
Disclaimer: This flashlight was sent to me for review at no cost by NEXTORCH . I have not been paid to review, nor have I been holding back on problems or defects.
- Fantastic finish and feel
- Button engagement and ergonomics
- Knurling inconsistencies
- Needs a memory mode
Explanation on star ratings:
1: Avoid: my phone flashlight would be a better choice – 2: Poor: significant defect or issues; almost unusable – 3: Average: some defects or issues; but still usable 4: Good: recommended (minor issues) – 5: Great: highly recommended
4.5 stars: ★★★★⋆
An absolutely fantastic long-range thrower with a fine fit and finish. With the long-range, the spill could be a little tighter, or the hotspot a little larger, but those would compromise the purpose of this. I spoke of a wolf in sheep’s clothing and it is an accurate description of this light. With that said, the NEXTORCH P82 is very deserving of 4.5 stars