Eleaf iStick – The MVP2 Killer?
The Eleaf iStick made huge waves in the e cig world last year for a box mod that not only packed a punch in terms of functions but it did so in such a small device. The iStick also beat other e cigs hands down to win ‘Best Box Mod 2014’ in our Ecigclick E Cig Awards. Voted for by readers and fellow vapers.
My recent review of the eLeaf iStick Mini showed that they could go smaller still without the performance being effected.
Back to this review and we are taking a look at the 20W iStick and what it has to offer. If you have come across an e cigarette called The Curve from TECC or Totally Wicked then this review can be taken into account as they are the same product, just a different brand name.
Also, take a look at our best box mod list for our favourites.
In the box / Presentation
The Eleaf iStick comes in a tidy cardboard presentation box and includes the following.
- 1 X 20W iStick (2200 mAh)
- 1 X EGO Adapter
- USB Charging Cable
The Eleaf iStick design is so simple yet so effective. The corners are rounded which not only gives a nice smooth finish but also sits comfortably in the hand, fitting perfectly into the palm.
It kind of makes the MVP2 look a little outdated now although and that is no surprise, you could argue that Innokin were ahead of the game for a couple of years with that device.
I know there are two new MVP’s hitting the market as I speak, I already have the 20W version so I will leave the comparisons until I have given that a good run out! In the meantime this is what they look like side by side.
I purchased the iStick in black but there are a few other options available which include silver, blue and pink.
The OLED screen runs between the power buttons down to the voltage selection buttons. In the black it blends in with the overall design and only comes to life when a button is pressed. The information screen is small but the details are set out well and easy to read.
The battery capacity indicator is followed by the atomiser resistance reading, current wattage or voltage depending on your preference and the voltage/wattage you have the e cig set to (ranging from 3v-5.5v in 0.1 increments and 4.5W-20W in 0.1 increments).
Selecting the voltage/wattage is simple through the up/down arrow buttons, if you want to race through them quicker just keep one of the buttons pressed for a couple of seconds, this zips through the settings automatically allowing you to stop at any point by pressing the opposite up/down button.
Depending on the resistance of your atomiser you will see different maximum watt output readings, I am using a 2.0oHm coil and this allows a maximum output of 15.1W.
I was mostly vaping this in watts mode though as that is my personal preference and helps with detecting and working with the atomiser attached. The only downside at this point is that in watt mode it can take a while to go through the selections, be nice to see something that could speed this up a little. Maybe I’m just being impatient though!
There are a number of other features.
- 510 Thread (comes supplied with EGO adapter)
- On/Off function. Press firing button 5 times in quick succession.
- VV or VW Switch between the two by pressing firing button 3 times in quick succession.
- Can vape the iStick while it’s charging
- 10 Second cut off
- Atomiser short circuit protection
- Low Voltage Protection
- Low power alert
So lots of features to sink your teeth into!
When it comes to performance the 2200 mAh battery is excellent. As a moderate vaper I was managing a few days at first from a fully charged battery. This has dropped a little over the last few weeks but the iStick is still getting me through a couple of days no problem.
A problem with overpowering
Phil Busardo came out with a video review/test of the iStick that shows that the voltage and wattage settings are inaccurate compared to the actual settings. In this case the iStick is firing at slightly higher voltage/wattage than the reading on the device.
Is this a big problem? Well it’s not ideal for sure and something I’m sure iSmoka, the company behind Eleaf, will be taking a look at. Has it effected the performance for me? Not that I have noticed personally, if I even get a hint that there is a burnt taste coming through I just notch the settings down a touch but this goes for any device.
Also, the 20W output is only achievable with lower resistance coils between 1.0-1.5 oHm.
I’m a big fan of both the looks and functionality. The size and weight is perfect to carry around in your pocket or bag and with the huge 2200mAh battery you won’t need to worry about running out of power before the day is out. The actual build quality is superb as well, very impressed so far.
I plonked the Aspire Mini Nautilus on top (with a 2.0oHm coil), which looks great by the way, and filled it with Decadent Vapours Rhubarb & Custard. I found my sweet spot was in between 9W-10W to bring the best out of this e-liquid and it really didn’t disappoint, the iStick/Nautilus combo works well to provide good flavour and vapour volume.
I did whack a few different tanks on this including the Nautilus and Aerotank Mega and while they worked a treat they were a bit oversized for the e cigarette.
Overall – Not much else to say apart from that I was very happy with how the iStick combined with a number of tanks to give a top quality vape.
Overall – Final Thoughts
This is a great device for all levels of vaper if you are looking for a small device that still has a great battery life.
Here are the good and not so good that I found:
- Battery life is superb.
- The build is quality and the compact VV/VW device sits perfectly in the hand.
- Light weight
- The VW/VV function works well.
- Simple to use.
- 510 & EGO compatible, the latter by way of adapter.
- OLED display is clear and displays all the information.
The Not So Good:
- Buttons have a slight rattle.
- The maximum 20W setting is actually pretty redundant as most atomisers that can be used with this won’t allow you to reach that output.
- Takes a while to go through the watt settings.
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Final Eleaf iStick Review Verdict:
Excellent: Highly Recommended