Nitecore has now begun to expand their EZ series of lights with new power options including this model utilizing the minuscule CR2 cell. This series drops the standard programmable, feature-rich user interfaces that Nitecore is known for in favor of a simple 2 stage light that requires no complex learning curve to operate.
Meat and Potatoes
The Nitecore EZ CR2 is an extremely small light designed for easy carry and use. The light itself is barely bigger than the cell powering it. I was extremely surprised when comparing the size of the EZ CR2 to the Nitecore EX10. Previously the EX10 was viewed as a nearly impossibly minute light when considering the power source. I had never conceived that I would see the day the EX10 would appear to be bloated and overweight. Next to the EZ CR2 it looks just that, due to the EZ series’ surprising compactness amplified by the significantly smaller cell. Nitecore has also done a fantastic job taking their existing high quality knurling and finish and applying it once again to this new light. The flawless black type III anodizing and the addition of the brass heatsink/threading/accent is a fantastic aesthetic treat that is a beauty to behold.
Nitecore has chosen a 2 stage twisty switch for the EZ CR2 in an attempt to make a much simpler, easier access light. This is realized in a basic to understand: tighten the head to turn it on and tighten more to switch to high. What really shines about this concept is that there is so little explaining to do if you ever have to hand your light to a friend or family member to use. You don’t have to run through any kind of preflight checklist before you are able to let them loose with your light.
The beam of the EZ CR2 is quite surprising actually. Since their introduction, the Cree XR-E based lights have struggled with a now infamous dark ring surrounding the central spot of light. In the EZ this ring seems to have been very drastically minimized. There is still a couple small artifacts in the beam but no where near what I expected with a very lightly textured reflector of this insignificant size. My own personal preferences for an EDC style light are for a wide smooth beam and the CR2 seems to fit this desired profile better than the other lights in the EZ series.
Nitecore has designated Low power to be 20 lumens and High to be 130 lumens, however I suspect that these numbers are strictly calculated numbers based on the current being provided to the LED rather than measurement of the torch itself. My own experiences, though less than scientific, have been that both numbers appear mostly accurate at least considering the numbers before optical losses from the reflector and lens. The 130 lumen High mode is nearly indistinguishable from the similarly rated full power setting on the Nitecore EX10, creating an incredibly small powerhouse of a light. The low power setting is an even more pleasant surprise. What Nitecore deems to be a 20 lumen low level presents itself as an extremely useful general brightness beam. I personally have found it perfectly adequate for the vast majority of my daily lighting needs.
With the especially diminutive nature of the EZ CR2, it draws undue attention to one area of the EZ series that I have not taken exception to on any other model. When compared proportionally to the remainder of the light, the tail portion containing the standard tripod mount and keychain attachment points is a much larger portion of the light than it was with any previous variation. Since I do not see much demand for the ability to tripod mount a light this minute, and as of yet, I have not stubled across any accessories designed to mate with the threaded attachment point, I suggest that this “feature” is actually wasted space on this particular light. Nitecore could have seized the opportunity fo produce an even more amazingly miniature powerful pocket sized torch by redesigning this section of the body to better utilize the available space.
When running for any extended period on High, the EZ CR2 definitely gets quite warm rather quickly. With so little metal in use in the body of this light, heat dissipation becomes more of a challenge. Once again it comes to mind that Nitecore may want to consider the possibility of ever so slightly decreasing the top end output of their EZ series in favor of both increased runtime and better thermal management on the high levels. As it stands currently, I recommend this to be a short burst mode only. Thankfully the low level is, as previously stated, the low level is adequate for the majority of EDC lighting needs.
The EZ CR2 definitely shines as a capable light in a very diminutive space. It’s simple to use design, solid output, and extreme compactness come together in a very attractive package. This CR2 flavored EZ light is a worthwhile addition to Nitecore’s already impressive lineup, and finds itself routinely accompanying me in my daily treks.
Provided for review by: Nitecore