There are lots of closed systems on the market already, and whilst I wasn’t a big fan of them (especially because the liquid pods tend to be really expensive) – I do get the idea behind it. Some of my friends want to stop smoking but don’t want to fiddle around with priming and changing coils, refilling a.s.o. They just want to stop smoking and switch to a healthier alternative.
Closed systems are a hassle free and easy alternative. Put in the liquid pod and start vaping. When empty, remove and plug in the next one. No coils to have an eye on, no refilling. Plug in and go.
A downside with most of the closed systems is that you have to live with the given flavor range. If the liquids does not suit your preferred flavor style, you are pretty much fu**ed. You can crack open most of them and refill / rewick them, but that wasn’t the original intention of the closed systems.
Here are the devices I will take look or at least try to get in my hands:
The Mage GTA looks pretty dope, is very easy to build on and the flavor is stellar. But there is one thing that makes this atty unusable for me: It does not wick. Not at all. The clearance between the chamber and the glass does not let any juice through if is is higher than 75VG (rest PG). I did dremel some slits in the chamber and it works better now (see picture), nonetheless it is really disappointing. I hope that they will make a 25mm version – would be a dope single coiler.
The IJOY Maxo Quad is naturally a huge and heavy mod. It does not feel very high-class but comes with lots of customizations options for the side stickers which is nice. The display is crystal clear and really good and easy readable. One big con here for me: The battery door bulges out when 18650s are inserted. Will do a pic later. Not sure if the 30qs are a tad longer than others but this does not look good at all. For battery life, the Maxo is killer of course – especially with 4*3000mAh cells!
The Combo RDTA will go into a giveaway soon, but beforehand I’ll try to do a side-by-side comparison with the Limitless classic since they are very similar. Also curious how the Mage GTA will perform since people are complaining because of lack of clearance between the glass and the barrel. The Maxo is just a big boy but might be a good one for at home with 4 cells :). Didn’t know it comes with so many stickers for the sides to adapt it to your preferred looks. And they seem to be actually 3M stickers.
Inevitably there will be a bunch of reviews summing up the last year with a best of list. Actually a good one has been released by MikeVapes. I am not a huge fan of his reviews but he sums it up pretty good and is close to my list (if I had to do one 😉 ). Take a look below.
Without a specific ranking, here are some of my highlights this year. Prices aren’t the best ones, just to get the idea for now. Keep following the blog for good deals 😉
OBS Engine RTA ($21.67 – but very often in a flash sale for a few $ less)
Nothing special going on today, so just posting a handcheck. I’ve just realized that I have the SOI Proto RTA ($27.09) laying around and never tried it so far. If you are looking for a UD Bellus ($19.84 here) with an awkward build deck, this is the RTA you are looking for. Be sure that the wicks are cut short and bend straight up – otherwise it will leak. So far it works fine for me, flavor is good, wicking too but only used it for half a tank so give me a few more hours with it.
Battery door is super strong, other than that there are no complaints.. but only 14 puffs so far 😀 To be continued…
Update: Dang it, I was really hoping I can start a rant on an overhyped mod, but so far it is gorgeous. Shape is nearly identical to the Sigelei 213, a few mm shorter but with a better fire button/bar and a better display. Though the Alien is about 25-30g heavier.
Got my PraxisVapors Banshee ($42.06 after coupon code MAP) from customs today and I am excited as GrimmGreen is in his review. It is a pretty lightweight mod and I love the looks of this unique LED display so much. The rubbery finish feels very nice and it fires instantly. Not a lot to complain so far. Of course the battery meter isn’t very accurate and my ohm reading is between 0.37 and 0.40 jumping around – so this will not be the most accurate in TC. Using a 25mm atty on it so maybe this is the reason.
Flavor wise it is for sure not the best tank out there, but for a top airflow RTA, it is pretty decent. Building on it is super easy and it wicks like a champ. 80-85W are not a problem at all (6 wrap 26/32 kanthal claptons). I did not tuck down the wicks through the holes, the cotton is just laying on the feeding holes under the coil. Of course no leakage at all, also no spitback. It drinks juice, but that’s not uncommon for this type of tanks. I do not see this as a con. 80W.. what do you expect? 😀
So far, it is definitely in my Top 5 tanks, maybe even Top 3. For around $20 – go for it. Worth a try imho!
Upfront two cons: The potentiometer is indeed pretty hard to dial, the other con is in my opinion the fire button. A gentle push is enough and it starts to fire. This means you really have to be careful when picking up the mod or lay it down somewhere. You definitely can not put it in your pocket without the 5 clicks.
I used it the whole day today and it is really fine so far (only power mode used). The button in rattling when you shake it, the display isn’t as beautiful as the RX series but the big pro is the battery door compared to the RX2/3 and the 510 seems to have more travel and will hold up better.
That squeeeeky yellow and black isn’t my thing though but there are other color options 😉
Sled looks similar to the RX2/3 (which is a pro), door fits very good with strong magnets. Also it is more on the lightweight side (compared with other bricks 😉 ). Will post an update in a few days.
I have high hopes for both. For the Griffin that I can finally handle the wicking and that it does not leak (though I read it tends to leak between airflow and juice flow control 🙁 ), and for the EHPro Billow v2.5 since it has a pretty small chamber and should give great flavor! I’ll keep you updated.
PS: Both are pretty large and the Griffin is fat too! 🙂
I want to drop a few words here about the Wismec RX2/3, the DNA167 (DNA250 chip) and my observations about the 6V limit.
Every day there is a new thread somewhere and someone is complaining that their RX2/3 is not working properly since they can not go up to 150W in dual cell configuration. This is because it has – like the DNA133 and DNA167 – a 6V limit. Having a 0.48 ohm coil, you can only go up to 75W (which equals 6V). Either that or you hit the maximum Amps Limit on the chip (25A on the DNA).
I do have the Boxer DNA167 and really like it (despite its absurd price point of $250). Also my standard build is a 5/6 wrap clapton 26/32 at 0.48 ohms and 75W – exactly at the 6V limit. If you set the Watts to 76 for example, you get an “Ohms too high” warning on the screen and the mod throttles back to the allowed maximum. BUT: Around 3.8V per cell it seems that the DNA can not deliver 6V any more and you get the Ohms too high error again, throttling back to around 68W. This is a bit annoying, but makes sense since it can only buck down voltage and not boost. Having a Volt drop – especially with lower Amps (=15-20A in this case) cell – the combined Voltage when firing is not enough to keep the chip running and deliver 6V. Nonetheless I did not experience this on the RX2/3 but have to try again and take a closer look.
Keep in mind that you have to build accordingly and you might not want to rely on the full 6V. Better calculate with 5.5V.
TLDR: 6V limit on the RX and DNA (otherwise you get “ohms too high”) – more a 5 to 5.5V limit with half drained cells.
Got my SXK Petri RTA clone in today ($18.09 after coupon code MAP here) and I am really happy. This is the first RTA since the Moonshot that gives me the same satisfying vape and flavor. Machining on the SXK clone is great, that included allen key is for the bin but other than that I have not found a single thing to complain. Loosening and tightening the 510 to dis-/assemble it is unusual but not a big hassle. Only used it for a few hours so far but I am already in love.
That gold is definitely not my thing so I have big hopes for the silver ShenRay clone that is available here for $15.90. Ah I love it when I am that excited about new vape gear.. has been a while ago that I am so curious about an RTA.. I am mostly into Mods recently because there is more going on regarding shape/looks/weight.
The DJLsb review for the Pioneer4You IPV6X is out finally and clarifies some rumores.
There are 3 software versions out there. 1.2, 1.3 and 1.5.
Second: the device is not firmware upgradable
v1.2: no reverse polarity protection, no button lock, non working TCR mode
v1.3: reverse polarity protection, button lock, non working TCR mode
v1.5: reverse polarity protection, button lock, working TCR mode
It seems that they also improved the battery door somewhere between these versions so it does not pop open so easily. Personally I never this problem but heard lots of them.
My luck: I have a 1.2 from the first batch in blue and just got my black one which is 1.3. Damn it!
Nevertheless, I really like this mod. Obviously I am attracted to flawed mods since I love the Sigelei 213 too :). The missing button lock an my blue one is a show stopper though, the black one is perfect for me (since I am not using the manual TCR anyway). The finish on the black one is beautiful too, the centered 510 and the weight makes it one of my favorite mods.
With the 1.5 this seems like a pretty perfect mods, except the missing firmware upgradability :(. So, do I recommend it? Yes. Do I understand that people are super pissed? Yes 🙁
Having an authentic I was really curious how this Hexohm 3.0 clone will be since the manufacturer pics were pretty nice and the board pictures actually looked like an authentic one on a quick glance. I’ll try to do this quick and highlight some differences.
The shape is exactly the same, the weight of the authentic is 180g, the clone is 165g.
The authentic button has a bit of a travel first and then a nice high-pitched click. The button on the clone has no travel at all, is clicky too but with a very dull click. Also it is near impossible to push the button just a bit on the clone, you need a bit of the force and then the click happens and you have it pressed in all the way. It isn’t bad on the clone, just completely different and I like the Otto P9 on the authentic a lot more.
The finish on the authentic is perfect and has a smooth just lighly textured paint. The clone has a pretty rough paint on it – it feels like sandpaper and not very good in the hand.
The potentiometer looks very similar but is not the same. I gently pushed against the poti on the clone and I pushed it in for 3mm… Gr8.. now I have to open it again and push it back. Nothing like that happens on the authentic.
The 510 connector looks very similar too but the finish on the clone is a bit rougher. The one on the Clone is easier to press in and has more travel. The one on the authentic is stiffer and doesn’t have that much travel.
The battery door on the authentic fits perfect. You have to give it a last push for it to close perfect and the magnets are very strong. The battery door on the clone has half a milimeter play all around and the magnets are not as strong, but still strong enough for the door to be securely in place. That play is a bit annoying though.
Both mods have battery straps to remove the cells with the Hexohm logo. On the clone they are upside down 🙂
The shape of the battery sled is exactly the same. The one on the authentic has a matte “finish”, the one on the clone is shiny black. The spring loaded contacts are stiffer on the authentic compared to the clone.
The board and wiring. As you can see on the pictures below, the wires are soldered directly on the board on the clone and use some sort of clamps on the authentic (sorry, no clue what this is called). Whilst the board looks similar at a first glance, it is just the layout that is the same. The cloners board is a bit dirty and on the clone it says “Hexohm 2s”, the one on the authentic “Hex-T”. Definitely not the same board but they did copy the layout.
The on/off switch on the authentic has a shorter throw.
Does the clone work? So far, yes. At 100%, both seem to have the same power. I did not notice any differences but have not used it a lot yet.
Would I buy this for a whopping $50? No, sorry. If you always wanted to have a Hexohm, I’d go for the real deal with lifetime warranty and a well build mod. That does not mean you should do this – just my personal opinion. The clone seems to work fine, but overall I was really disappointed with so many differences, most of them to the negative side.
The Eleaf iCare Mini is still in a flash sale for $10.97. I’d highly recommend to try this one out – this is a vape for ants. Sizewise it is like a bic lighter and blows some serious clouds for its size. Actually you can do direct lung inhale with fully open airflow.
I do not get any noticeable flavor out, but only used it for a few minutes – so still break in period. Also do not forget to use more nic on this one 🙂
I just got my SBODY Macro DNA75 ($71.74 here after coupon code MAP) in the mail. People were afraid that the battery door is moving and the buttons rattle. Nothing like this is happening on the DNA75 version. No rattle at all and absolutely no movement on the solid battery door. Bonus: A Sony VTC4 cell is included :). And it is super lightweight.
Will update with more impressions after a few days. So far so good.