Nitecore EC4GTS Flashlight

Nitecore EC4GTS

9.3

Build quality

9.8/10

Aesthetics

9.8/10

Design

9.0/10

Value for money

8.5/10

Pros

  • Excellent heat dissipation
  • Good thrower
  • Bright
  • Drop resistant
  • Can be attached to a tripod

Cons

  • Quite big for EDC

Hello everyone! Today, I will be reviewing the Nitecore EC4GTS Flashlight, one of their updated flashlights with an improved brightness, run time and more!

Overview.

The Nitecore EC4GTS is the updated version the EC4 (which has been discontinued). This particular model is compact and lightweight, making it ideal for carrying in your pocket. I believe it is aimed at “urban explorers” (E – explorer series), security personnel and obviously lovers of EDC and flashlights. Now, I’m sure some of you have realised that this is similar to other products in the “Explorer” series, so here’s what Nitecore changed…

What’s New?

Nitecore have improved several things, for example:

  1. The lumen output – using a CREE XHP35 HD LED, Nitecore have increased the output by 800 lumens (1,000 lumens – old model, 1,800 lumens – new model)
  2. The maximum potential throw (increased from 322 metres to 396 metres)
  3. The intensity of the beam (EC4 had a beam intensity of 26,000 candelas; the EC4GTS has a peak beam intensity of 39,200 candelas)
  4. The maximum run time has been increased from 260 hours (10.8 days) to 380 hours (15.83 days)

The Unboxing…

Nitecore EC4GTS Flashlight
A photo of all the accessories that come with the EC4GTS

The EC4GTS comes in a cardboard box with some photos, detailing the flashlight’s possible uses and other useful information. I prefer plain cardboard boxes, as it keeps the overall cost down, but that’s just my opinion.

  • Multi-lingual instruction manual
  • Warranty card
  • Nitecore lanyard
  • Heavy duty nylon holster
  • Moisture absorber (inside flashlight)
  • Nitecore EC4GTS

Features.

Nitecore EC4GTS Flashlight
The EC4GTS battery tubes

The Nitecore EC4GTS is powered by two 18650 high drain rechargeable batteries. They are connected in parallel – there are several advantages for this. For example, in a parallel circuit, the voltage remains the same in both batteries but the power increases, meaning the batteries last longer. Also, if a flashlight requires two batteries, connecting them in parallel makes the flashlight more compact, which means less material is used to produce the flashlight, keeping costs down without compromising quality. This also makes the flashlight lighter.

Nitecore EC4GTS Flashlight
How to insert the batteries inside the EC4GTS

The EC4GTS is constructed from die cast aluminium. Die casting produces durable parts with thinner walls, smoother surfaces and closer dimensional limits (i.e. tighter tolerances). The top and bottom surfaces of the body feature square knurling which has been designed in such a way that any moisture will run off, increasing the ergonomics of the flashlight. The tail cap features rough diamond knurling which allows the user to get a better grip when twisting it.

I Can See the Light.

Nitecore EC4GTS Flashlight
The CREE XHP35 HD LED that powers the EC4GTS

Nitecore have used a CREE XHP35 HD LED, coupled with a deep, smooth, aluminium reflector. This allows the EC4GTS to have a maximum lumen output of 1,800 lumens, a maximum intensity of 39,200 candelas and a 396 metre throw. Turning on the EC4GTS couldn’t be easier. Simply insert the batteries and press the “power” switch. Next, hold the “mode” switch (above power switch) to instantly access turbo or press it quickly to cycle between the modes. To access the three special modes, when the flashlight is off, double tap the mode switch quickly. Pressing the mode switch when the light is in strobe mode (the first of the special modes) will allow you to cycle between the other modes.

Here is a table of information, such as run times and lumen output:

FL1 Standard Ultralow Low Mid High Turbo
Lumen output 1 50 240 800 1,800
Run time 380 hours 58 hours 12 hours 3 hours 15 minutes 1 hour
Beam throw (metres) 9 64 148 260 396
Intensity (candelas) 21 1,040 5,520 16,960 39,220

The three special modes (strobe, S.O.S. and beacon) all have the same run time, output, throw and intensity as turbo mode.

The EC4GTS is drop-resistant up to one metre and waterproof and submersible up to (or down to?) two metres. If you like urban exploring, or any type of exploring, the drop resistance and water resistance is vital.

The Switches.

Nitecore EC4GTS Flashlight
The EC4GTS has a “mode” switch and a “power” switch

There are two switches near the head. They are covered with a grey, translucent, rubber material. Pressing the mode switch when the light is in strobe mode (the first of the special modes) will allow you to cycle between the other modes. The EC4GTS can be locked to prevent accidental activation by pressing and holding both switches until the blue LED flashes once. To unlock, simply repeat this process. Also, a built in power indicator (press the mode switch when the EC4GTS is off) tells you how much battery is left, with

  • 3 flashes meaning the power level is above 50%
  • 2 flashes meaning the power level is below 50%
  • 1 flash meaning the power is nearing depletion and the batteries need replaced or recharged as soon as possible

The Enemy.

Nitecore EC4GTS Flashlight
The EC4GTS has very deep cooling fins which allows the heat to dissipate

Every brand of flashlight has a common enemy – heat. Therefore, Nitecore have decided to deal with this by implementing deep cooling fins around the head of the flashlight, as well as using an advanced temperature regulation module in the EC4GTS. The fins allow heat to dissipate quickly, protecting the internals and increasing run times. These cooling fins are the deepest I’ve seen to date, and they certainly help the heat to dissipate.

The Beam.

The beam is fantastic for outdoor use. It offers sufficient flood and spill and yet there is plenty of throw – thanks to the deep reflector. For my night shots, I decided to explore the countryside a little (on Google Earth – still counts, right?) and I realised that there was a dam near to where I live. It is a perfect location for beam shots. The only issue is, on a December night, it is absolutely freezing. So cold, in fact, that I completely forgot that one of the compartments on my bag was open and as I lifted it to move to a different location, the EC4GTS fell out. Thankfully, the EC4GTS is drop proof up to 1 metre. Needless to say, I’ll be wrapping up much warmer and keeping a note of what part of my bag is open!

A Gripping Flashlight.

Nitecore EC4GTS Flashlight
A photo of the square knurling on the spine of the EC4GTS

The EC4GTS features large, square knurling on the body, specifically on the “spine” and “belly”. This is incredibly effective, especially in cold, wet, windy conditions when you can’t feel your fingers… (trust me, I tested this!).

Nitecore EC4GTS Flashlight
The aggressive diamond knurling on the tail cap of the EC4GTS

However, the EC4GTS features aggressive diamond knurling on the tail cap which allows you to tighten it and loosen it easily, even when wearing gloves.

The Tail Cap.

The tail cap is flat, which means that it can stand upright with no issues whatsoever, should the need arise. However, for me, this specific tail cap is a completely new concept. Sure, it screws/unscrews normally, however, its features are interesting. Here’s why:

Nitecore EC4GTS Flashlight
The O-ring is actually attached to the PCB

Firstly, most, if not all O-rings are circular – not in the case of the EC4GTS. The tail cap has an almost rectangular O-ring which prevents water from getting in and messing up the electronics.

Nitecore EC4GTS Flashlight
The “prongs” matching up with the grooves of the EC4GTS

Next, upon removing the tail cap, the first thing you notice is the two “prongs” with the Nitecore brand stamped into them. These slide into two grooves on either side of the EC4GTS, which makes aligning the tail cap easy with gloves, as it decreases the chances of you damaging the fine, lubricated threads.

Nitecore EC4GTS Flashlight
The hole in the tail cap of the EC4GTS is threaded, allowing it to be mounted to a tripod

In my honest opinion, the most important feature is probably the tripod-compatible mount in the base of the tail cap. Sure, not everyone will need it, but it’s nice to know that it is there.

Improvements and Suggestions.

I think Nitecore have done a fantastic job when it comes to the EC4GTS. However, there are some minor rooms for improvement. For example, I think more knurling on the body would increase the ergonomics of the EC4GTS even more. In addition, I think if Nitecore continued the cooling fins the whole way around the head, it would allow the heat to dissipate even more effectively. Apart from that, I’m very pleased with the new, upgraded version of the EC4.

Night Shots.

Finally, here are a few night shots I took up at the dam I mentioned earlier:

Nitecore EC4GTS Flashlight
The path is approximately 270 metres long – no problem for the EC4GTS!
Nitecore EC4GTS Flashlight
A similar night shot of the EC4GTS
Nitecore EC4GTS Flashlight
As you can see, the EC4GTS throws well
Nitecore EC4GTS Flashlight
The EC4GTS lighting up a close area while simultaneously demonstrating its throw capabilities

Buy the EC4GTS here:

I hope you find this review useful and informative. If there is anything you think I could do to improve my reviews, do not hesitate to contact me via my email address: productreviewsbymatt@gmail.com

Review sample kindly provided by Nitecore in exchange for an unbiased, in-depth review.

Thank you for reading!

Written by Matthew Crozier


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