Nitecore TINI Keychain Light Review

Here is yet again a brand new keychain light from Nitecore as they quest for the perfect keychain light.  One of the lights that got me started with Nitecore was there very affordable TUBE keychain light and I love it, so lets see if the TINI is my new favorite.

Nitecore TINI Keychain Light Review CivilGear 001


Overall, I’m very impressed with the new beaded TIR optics, (a first for Nitecore!), and the brightness packed into such a small form factor. What I don’t prefer is how long it takes to turn on the light, non-latching TURBO, and non-tactile buttons. I also would have preferred a lockout mode instead of the daily/demo modes.


The TINI currently has only 1 LED option (CREE SP-G2 S3) but you can pick from 7 different body colors (grey, green, blue, red, gold, silver, and black).


Price at the time of writing ~ $30 USD


I was sent an early release version so I did not received the final packaging but not much else comes with the light.

  • TINI
  • Several keychain loops and hook
  • User manual
  • Warranty card


Here is the spec sheet from Nitecore’s TINI product page. Here is the TINI user manual.



Type: (1) XP-G2 S3 by Cree @ ~380 lm (domed)
Color: To me, the light has a pretty uniform beam with slight tint of blue


  • Small metallic body
  • TIR optical lens!
  • USB charging (micro)
  • Battery saver mode
  • 7 color options (red, green, blue, gold, silver, gray, & black)
  • Wide degree beam angle
  • Constant current circuitry (non-PWM)
  • Low stand-by power drain (not verified by CivilGear)
  • Built-in battery
  • IP54 rating
  • Demo and Daily switchable modes


  • Automatic temperature regulation (ATR)
  • Overcharge/discharge protection
  • Impact resistance of 1.5-meter drop
  • Aero grade aluminum alloy with HAIII hard-anodized finish


  • Head diameter: 0.95″ (15.04mm)
  • Size (LxWxH): 1.7″x1″x0.45″ (43.3mmx25.4mmx11.5mm)
  • Weight: 0.47oz (13.4g) (with built-in battery)


The light is quite small but is little wide. The buttons are inset a bit to help prevent activation. The buttons have a very quiet click when pressed. The buttons are plastic which can light up to display the battery level when the mode button is pressed but rattle a little when the light is shaken. I think the body, overall, could have used a little more texture for increasing grip. I also did notice that the silver bezel is plastic as well.






Nitecore is on the quest for the perfect keychain light and has developed now 6 different types, I believe, of keychain lights. I have the TUBE, TIP, and now TINI. I’m a bit torn between the TUBE and TINI. I love the thin and tactile feel of the TUBE but love the TIR optics of the TINI. I kind of wish for a mashup of the LED of the MT06MD with, perhaps, a reflector-less TUBE for somthing in the 100+ lumen category

  • T0, T2, T5 -> single AAA battery type with rotating head, sub 65 lumen
  • TUBE -> poly carbonate plastic, thin and wide, single button, built-in battery w/ USB charging, 45 lumen, only $10 USD!, now multiple body color options, and LED color options, uses PWM for lower modes, has output ramping
  • T360 -> large TUBE on a swivel for headlamp or magnetic base, still 45 lumen and built-in battery w/USB charging
  • THUMB -> tilting head, longer TUBE with twin LEDs, 85 lumen, secondary red side light with a dedicated button, built-in clip, plastic body, and built-in battery w/ USB charging
  • TIP -> high 360 lumen output, back-light dual-button interface, CRI versions, removable clip, metal body, constant current, multiple body colors, built-in battery w/ USB charging
  • TINI -> high 380 lumen output, TIR beaded optic lens, back-light dual-button button interface, metal body, constant current, multiple body colors, built-in battery w/ USB charging


160 degree spill with very minor 30 degree spot






This UI is a departure from Nitecore’s typical 2-button interface which I’m a bit sad to see. Highlights: has mode memory, battery indicator, direct turbo access. Comments: no lock out, no direct low, no latching turbo.

As I said before, the UI seems to suffer from too many measures against accidental activation, so a single click to power on has been removed and they added a time out feature where if the buttons aren’t pressed within 30 seconds the light turns off. I’m not sure my pockets have ever done a 2-button press to unlock one but maybe many others have? Also, I think the naming it a whole other mode is a bit misleading as none of the user interface changes; overall, it’s more of a setting.




The light has a built in 280 mAh li-ion battery.


You can check the remaining battery life, when the light is off, by taping the mode button once; the buttons will both blink blue; 1 blink = battery is less than 10%, 2 blinks = battery is less than %, and 3 blinks = battery has more than 50% power.

When the batter is low, the buttons will blink once every 3 seconds.


It uses micro USB to charge the battery and, for me, it took about 2 hours to fully charge. Similar to the TIP, the light can operate, on any mode!, while being plugged in. When charging, the buttons will blink; when finished charging the lights will be steady on.


Overall, my runtime numbers line up with Nitecore’s except on TURBO and the temperature doesn’t appear to be regulated very much


Duration estimated from beginning of highest output measured between 30 sec – 2 min to the time of the 10% of that value. Light is measured in relative LUX, I have not calibrated for lumens estimation. All run-times are measured without fan cooling in a room about 75°F (24°C). I am still very new at doing these run time measurements so I am no authority on on this subject, but please let me know if things don’t look right or you see anything that I could do to improve for next time.

 Test Results TURBO
380 lm
145 lm
38 lm
1 lm
 Measured  1m 50s  50m  3h 45m  N/A
 Advertised  15m  1h  4h  60h



As advertised there is no PWM and I have confirmed that there is no PWM on any constant output level. Below is a plot of the MID mode, which shows the LUX only varying by about 4 over a 50 millisecond test sampling 3000 times per second. For comparison, the second graph shows PWM variance of 120 LUX used in the LOW mode on the Nitecore R25 flashlight.



I measured the temperature on all my runtime tests and found the hottest it got was 102.2°F (39°C) on the HIGH mode



  • Great optics!
  • Bright output in an even smaller body
  • Batter indicator
  • Bright back-light buttons
  • Momentary turbo
  • 5-year warrenty


  • I do not like waiting 2 seconds to turn on the light
  • Feels a little overboard on preventative measures against pocket turn-ons (sorry that sounds weird), like the 2 second turn on time, the inset buttons, and the demo timed-off mode.
  • I think the only necessary preventative measure needed on a 2-button interface is 2-button hold lockout, which is Nitecore’s tried and true UI feature used in major series such as the E, NU, and other series.
  • I would have preferred rubber button covers
  • I like momentary Turbo but wish I could also have the option to latch it in
  • USB cover is in the way during charging, needs a bit longer of a tail.
  • The attachment loop coming off the light is durable but still prefer the solid and more spacious attachment of the TUBE
  • The light comes with so many key rings I’m not sure if I’m supposed to use them all or what the right order is
  • Seems to get a bit warm for a keychain light
  • Wished that the ramping that was in the TUBE would come back but have mode memory, I really don’t mind PWM on a keychain light.


All the pictures below are taken with the light in TURBO.

Nitecore TINI Keychain Light Review CivilGear 020Nitecore TINI Keychain Light Review CivilGear 018Nitecore TINI Keychain Light Review CivilGear 019Nitecore TINI Keychain Light Review CivilGear 017


Below is Nitecore’s warranty statement. Worth mentioning that it is also important to purchase Nitecore products from authorized dealers so not as to jepordize the warranty.

All Nitecore products are warranted for quality. Dead-on-arrival or defective products can be exchanged for a replacement through a local distributor/dealer within 15 days of purchase. After 15 days, all defective / malfunctioning Nitecore products will be repaired free of charge for a period of 60 months (5 years) from the date of purchase. After 60 months, a limited warranty applies, covering the cost of labor and maintenance, but not the cost of accessories or replacement parts.

The warranty is nullifed in all of the following situations:

  1. The product(s) is/are broken down, reconstructed and/or modified by unauthorized parties.

  2. The product(s) is/are damaged through improper use (i.e. reverse polarity installation).

  3. The product(s) is/are damaged by leakage of batteries.


The current price for the light is about $30 USD and ff you appreciated my review and would like to support me, feel free to check out this product on amazon using my affiliate link (does not cost you more, amazon gives me very small % of their profit):

Amazon: NITECORE TINI 380 Lumens USB Rechargeable Keychain Flashlight




  • CivilGear Reviews received this product for testing and providing an honest review.
  • CivilGear Reviews was not paid for writing this review.
  • CivilGear Reviews is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

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