The Alien Mini Mod and Badass Baby Beast

This is the SMOK AL85 vaping kit and trust me the world of the mini mods just got a new badass big brother and this little beast packs a mighty punch.

al85 kit review

Call it the Alien Baby or Alien Mini if you want – it certainly has the same styling including the awesome fire/trigger bar.

But like the creature in the Alien films this little monster arrives fully grown and ready to rumble.

So enough about its looks and attitude – how does the SMOK AL85 vape?

Let’s take a look.

[my apologies for photo quality – more than few technical issues lol]

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Inside the Box

It’s the usual Smok packaging – why change something that works!

al85 box contents

And inside you’ll find:

  • 1 x Smok AL 85 Box Mod
  • 1 x Smok TFV8 Baby Beast Tank
  • 1 x TFV8 V8 Baby Q2 Core 0.4 ohm
  • 1 x TFV8 V8 Baby Q2 Core 0.6 ohm
  • 1 x USB Cable
  • 1 x User Manual
  • 1 x Spare parts Bag

There’s everything you need to get sub ohm vaping – except for an 18650 battery.

Smok AL85 Box Mod Specs

  • Size: 71x48x27mm
  • Weight: 120g
  • Battery: Single 18650 (Not Included)
  • Top Battery slot
  • OLED Display
  • Wattage Range: 1W – 85W
  • Voltage Range: 0.35V – 8.0V
  • Temperature Control Range: 200*F – 600*F / 100*C – 315*C
  • Resistance Range: 0.1ohm with VW, 0.06 With TC
  • The stock coils provided are not suitable for temperature control – you’ll need to add another tank set-up and suitable coil if that’s your style of vaping.

Smok TFV8 Baby Beast Tank

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  • Material: Stainless Steel
  • Size: 22x53mm
  • Weight: 47g
  • Capacity: 3ml
  • Thread: 510

Good to see Smok adding two coils to the kit – however maybe I was unfortunate but the stock coils included lasted shorter than you could say ‘Game Over man…Game Over…’

More on those later.

AL85 Mod Key Features

It’s the sheer power of this little device that stands out.

Capable of maxing out at 85watts and a voltage range of between 0.35 and 8 volts this is a mini mod able to handle pretty much anything you choose to throw at it.

al85 kit

Anyone who’s owned or used the Smok Alien will know the trigger fire bar is part of its charm.

I absolutely love this feature and found it works perfectly with the size of the AL85 fitting snugly in the hand.

Smok has packed a ton of Alienesque features into the chip too with your Hard – Normal and Soft settings.

This is calibrated to your preferred way of vaping – for instance soft means you get a gradual ramp up of power whilst hard mode instantly zaps the coils at a higher wattage when you fire.

The screen is slightly dimmer than some mini mods out there and it also dims even more the moment you lift the pressure off the fire button.

I’ll talk more about the screen in the build and design – let’s just say it is rather crowded on there.

al85 screen

There’s a USB port for possible future software upgrades – none announced at the time of writing. I wouldn’t advise using this to charge the single 18650 battery.

For the purposes of this review I can say it does charge the battery and it does have pass through – meaning you can vape whilst it’s charging.

But once again I can’t stress enough that to be completely 100% safe it is ALWAYS safer to use an external charger when charging batteries.

Smok Baby Beast Tank Key Features

The baby Beast tank is to all intents and purpose a shrunk down version of the TFV8 Cloud Beast – but there’s no shrinkage in performance.

It’s a 3ml capacity with a hinged top fill tank that can handle coils from 30 to a staggering 130watts.

baby beast tank top filling

There’s an RBA kit for the Baby Beast incidentally though unfortunately this isn’t included in the kit.

After just reviewing the baby Beast’s granddaddy the TFV12 I can say whilst the Baby isn’t as powerful [obviously] this little monster certainly chucks out the clouds with a reasonable flavour profile – but more on its performance coming up.

Should you wish to read more about the original Alien and Baby Beast tank then checkout Mike’s excellent and extremely detailed review here: Smok Alien Kit Review .

Design and Build Quality

Build wise it’s well put together and feels solid in the hand.

The trigger fire bar is a delight to use and gives just enough resistance to your grip.

al85 kit carbon fibre

Design wise it’s as if the Eleaf Pico got together with the Alien for a bit of vaping luuurve and rumpy pumpy and 9 months later the AL85 was born.

They certainly look startling similar.

The 18650 battery is easy to swap out.

How to change the 18650 battery on the Smok AL85 modUnscrew the cap and drop the battery into the compartment on the top of the mod – just like the Pico.

al85 battery cap

Like a few Smok kits I’ve reviewed – the threads on this top-cap are at first extremely ‘scratchy’ and extremely ‘screechy’.

So screechy they set my teeth off – bit like chalk on a blackboard.However 2 weeks later and it has settled down noise wise somewhat – but you do find yourself fumbling to get the threads lined up.

As you might expect the Baby Beast tank has a superb build quality with a 510 pin that screwed easily into a whole host of my regulated mods.

I received the Gun Metal colour combo and as you can see from the photos this kit comes in a myriad of colour choices which is great to see.smok al85 colour options

There’s the smallish screen on the front and a lovely carbon fibre panel on the other side. Not sure if this is genuine carbon fibre but it certainly looks and feels good.

Apart from that top battery cap the AL85 kit is a looker that might be small in size but it definitely has an edge to it – if you catch my drift.

This screams badass vaping device in the style department.

How To Use & Gest Started With The AL85 Mod

Here’s some of the basic operating modes and how to get into them.

  • X5 fast clicks turns the device on [making sure you have a battery inside!]
  • To vape or fire you hold in the side bar.
  • Whilst device is on – x5 fast clicks will lock or unlock the device.
  • Holding down the fire bar for x5 seconds will turn the device off.
  • To enter the menu hold fire and the down button – then use up and down button to scroll through modes – Wattage – Temp Control and Memory Mode.
  • Fast click the fire bar x3 times and enter the operation menu where you can change mode – check puff count – change settings or power off the device.
  • Once you’ve scrolled through and selected the modes these are automatically saved.

That’s a very basic quick look at the SMOK AL85 user manual and after a few minutes with the device it will become second nature.

How Does the SMOK AL85 Kit Perform?

Like an absolute dream – eventually – more on that in a sec!

Having not owned an Alien I have always been a little unconvinced about the fire bar – but now I’ve had a go on the AL85 I absolutely love it.

al85 kit in the hand

Talk about ergonomic design and given this is a mini mod this fire bar is the perfect solution.

I’ve reviewed a ton of the nano and mini mods and have indeed found the usual placement of the fire button can lead to uncomfortable finger gymnastics.

No matter which way you hold the AL85 in your hand firing it is so natural it’s untrue.

As to vaping on this little beauty? It is an absolute pleasure.

Even on the Soft setting it fires instantly and it is a match made in heaven for the Baby Beast tank both aesthetically and as a vaping combo.

However – and we’ve been here before with more than one set of coils inside kits from various manufacturers.

Stock Coils in Vape Kits

The two stock coils I received with the kit – the Q2 Core 0.4 ohm and the Q2 Core 0.6 ohm were awful!

And trust me I mean bloody awful!

al85 coils

I was getting dry hits galore right from the get go using a 70/30 VG and PG e-liquid – and yeah I had primed and left them for a good 20 minutes.

If I vaped on either of the coils for longer than 2 seconds I got hit with dry hits – yuk!

However after going to my local vape shop and buying the same coils and following the exact same priming and soaking procedure the AL85 kit came to life.

I guess once again the stock coils added to a kit are not the best – I dunno why maybe the little bag of silica inside these kits to keep everything dry – dries out the cotton too much?

I don’t know I’m no scientist – but it happens to often – to me anyway – where coils included in kits are inferior.

Any scientific types please let me know if I’m way off the mark!

Anyway once I’d got hold of some new coils the SMOK AL85 kit roared into life.

The flavour on the Q4 and Q2 coils were reasonable with awesome cloud production even at the lower wattage they’re designed for.

However things went up a few gears when I used the Baby-T8 coil and at 70 watts I got a vape to die for and clouds for days and days!

With the right tank and/or coils – this is a superb vape simple as that.

What I Like

I love the design – and even the top battery cap has grown on me.

I’m loving the side fire bar – it really is the most comfortable way I’ve ever vaped truth to be told.

The vast array of colour combinations means this is a vape kit that will appeal to tons of people of all ages and genders.

Smok has stayed true to the original Alien and the AL85 incorporates most if not all of the Alien’s features and modes.

The Baby Beast tank is the absolute perfect ‘matchy matchy’ combo – though the device itself is wide enough to take up to a 25mm tank – RDA or RDTA with little or no overhang.

I was impressed with the length of time between battery swaps too – obviously with the higher wattge coil I was managing just over half a day.

But with the Q2 and Q4 coils at the lower wattage I can see you getting a full eight hours out of it which isn’t bad going.

What I Don’t Like

It goes without saying I didn’t like the stock coils included in the kit – but if you’re close to a vape shop it isn’t the end of the world – just a little disappointing.

There’s no designated battery venting as such – though I guess the top cap isn’t exactly airtight – but even so some venting at the bottom might have been a good option.

Now to the screen.

This as you can guess is a small device – however Smok seems to have packed the quite dim screen with tons of info.

It’s extremely crowded on there with a lot of info that maybe all but the geekiest of vapers needs to see all of the time.

Just a small critique but nonetheless it is a busy screen.

Final Review Verdict

I like it.

If you own the original Alien and want a little device for work – leaving in the car or using whilst out and about – then the SMOK AL85 mod is the perfect solution.

al85-rx-mini-pebble
al85 – rx mini – pebble

It’s got everything you like about the Alien only more compact and less power –perfect for your go to ’out and about’ vape.

Obviously I wouldn’t recommend this kit to a brand new vaper – as in coming to vaping straight from packing up the cigs.

But add a MTL tank to this and you have a device that will fire low enough for beginners and then you’ve got a tank you can slap on if and when you fancy trying sub ohm vaping.

I’ve just had a look online and can see this is proving extremely popular with many places already sold out – and I can see why.

It really is a nifty little vape kit that will appeal to beginners and established vapers alike – good price too 😉

Pros

  • Powerful
  • Compact
  • Great design
  • Variety of coils
  • Original Alien modes and settings
  • Decent price

Cons

  • Stock coils included with the kit were poor
  • E-liquid guzzler!
  • Crowded dim screen

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REVIEW OVERVIEW
Build Quality
Design
Mod Functions
Ease of Use
Flavour
Vapor
Likelihood of Replacing
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Neil H
I began vaping over 5 years ago and found it easy to give up a 40 per day roll-up habit! Current set-up : Yosta Livepor 160w + Augvape Merlin RTA - JacVapour DNA 75 + Nautilus 2 for MTL - RX200S + Doge III or Merlin Mini on desktop when working - others at a whim :) A former journalist, I'm now a freelance copywriter - blogger and author. I'm an Army veteran - love dogs - camping - traveling and never happier than with a good book on a beach.

33 COMMENTS

  1. I bought SMOK AL 85 recently. I am moderate smoker. I have been told that this is quite good. But for some reason i getting cough when i inhale/exhale vape even for fire trigger less than 0.2 seconds. I tried with both 0.4 and 0.6 ohms coil. The settings i tried are with WATT/Temp mode with watts between 25 and 40. Still the same.. I have used vape liquids from 0mg nicotine to 6mg. Can anyone help /advise if this is the product defect or it is doing what is expected.

    • Hi Dinesh,

      Vaping is quite different in terms of ‘how you do it’ compared to smoking.

      Not 100% sure what tank you have but the Sub ohm coils (coils rated below 1.0Ohm) you have are for whats called a Direct to Lung (DTL) vaping.

      Since you are coming from smoking I’m presuming you are used to a Mouth to Lung (MTL) style of inhalation.

      Read more about DTL Vs MTL here.

      Which method from the above are you using when you vape?

      Also, what is your PG/VG ratio in your e-liquid?

      Higher VG is recommended for sub ohm vapes and provides a smoother vape. 70VG/30PG is a good starting point. If you use higher PG e-liquids it’s possible these are adding to the harshness.

      Read more about PG vs VG in e-liquid here.

      When you inhale, don’t take a sharp draw/drag. Simply inhale slowly and steadily directly into the lungs. Practice with the 0mg e-liquid while you get used to the act of vaping as the higher the nic strength the harsher it will be.

      Let mw know how you get on and if you have any questions!

      Thanks

      Jonny

  2. I have the al85 but use a serpent mini 2.5 ml by wotofo.
    It’s a single coil you build tben just change cotton no need to keep buying coils. Using a .5 clapton @ 35 watts in normal mode. Great flavor great tank love this combo.

  3. What is the max mah 18650 battery should be used with this? Also can other tanks be used on it? I have a cubis tank I love and would like to keep using it. The coils on it last almost forever. thx

  4. I’ve got a v8 stick and I use the same coils .so what I do I get a little cotton needle and pin the cotton twice in each bit of cotton showing .I now get at least 3 week out of 1 coil .b4 I did this I b Lucky to get a week .like u say there cotton is so compact that’s y I pin it at top and bottom of each hole .do they do a smok mini with just plug in and charge thx dave

  5. My husband bought me the alien mini, loved it, I’ve had it for 2 1/2 days and now it says “low battery” and it cuts me off at .3 seconds, I reset it, i let it charge to 100%, I turned it off repeatedly, and it STILL says “low battery”, I’ve tried changing the wattage, tried changing everything I can and it won’t stop. I changed all settings to original settings and nothing. I haven’t dropped it, it hasn’t hit any hard surfaces, nothing’s happened for it to mess up. I don’t want to ship it to the manufacturer because that’ll be DAYS till I get it back. I have no clue why it’s doing this and I’m ready to throw it against the wall 😒

  6. Upgraded to one of these, was using the smok pen. Mine didn’t come with a tank, just two coils and charger cable, £49 it cost me, I bought a spare and can use the tank from the pen.
    Was told in the shop I could only use the expensive liquids, which I don’t mind, but the flavours are a bit meh! I’ve only found 4 liquids I like, 2 from defenders and 2 from 12 monkeys. I’m looking for just blackcurrant, and ones I’ve bought are overpowered by the mint 🙁

    • Hey Stockra, you can use any priced e-liquid you want! It doesn’t need to be expensive.

      Obviously keep in mind the best PG/VG ratios for the tank itself.

      Not used any Blackcurrant myself for a while but if anyone else can recommend a good one then please let us know!

      Cheers

      Jonny

  7. Hi, I’m Jude. I’m kinda wondering if I use 25 RDTA (like Medusa 25 RDTA) it is safe? Because if I use 25 it will really close to the battery cap? Since the RDTA tend to really hot and using 25 really close to battery. Sorry for bad english.

    • Hi Jude, it should only really transfer heat if it’s touching but then again if it’s touching it probably won’t screw on in the first place 🙂

      If it isn’t touching then I would say you should be OK. Just keep tabs on the battery cap to check it’s heating up.

      Thanks

      Jonny

  8. I bought this AL85 kit last Friday, 07/07/17 from a local vape shop and had my last cigarette that evening. I filled the tank and primed the coil overnight, before starting to use it on the Saturday morning. I had never used a vape device before so had no idea what to expect really, but I went overnight from 30-40 cigarettes, (roll ups albeit) a day to zero, smoker for over 30 years.

    I struggled the first couple of days as I actually had no idea how to vape and was coughing with every inhalation, but after reading some articles here about coughing I realised there is a method to vaping. Now it is a dream and I am really happy with it.

    Still on the original coil that was installed on 60W but have bought some T8 coils as the author claimed they made the device even better. I will wait to see if that is true for me when I change the pre-installed coil.

    I do still cough with my first vape in the morning, but I’ve had a bad cough for several months which is why I wanted to stop smoking anyway, so maybe it is just that initial hit? But after a cup of coffee this little device is perfect.

    My only criticism is not about the device, but the shop I bought it from. They charged me £80 and after reading about it on the internet I found it could be bought for between £40-50 and it comes in rainbow colour. But I will just buy that coloured device eventually anyway. Be careful with vape shops ripping off customers that are clueless about vaping. Also it does get through juice quickly, but it’s cheaper than smoking and I feel better for stopping smoking after just a week already. (My cough is nowhere near as bad as it was with my first cigarette of the day).

    In short, I love this device, it fits in my handbag perfectly, is nice and small in the hand and I have not wanted a cigarette since I began using it one week ago today. I’m using Liberty Flights, Cherry Nice, 12mg nicotine juice which tastes really nice too.

    • Hey Lana,

      Brilliant to hear you’ve literally gone from smoking to vaping full on in such a short period of time!

      Vaping is, as you now know, a fair bit different from the actually act of taking a drag on a cig. It does take a little getting used to as you get used to the e-juice ingredients.

      Sorry to hear it cost that much, I guess if you look at it as an investment to get you off the roll ups it’s money very well spent.

      Thanks for stopping by and letting us know and keep us updated. As always if you have any questions just drop us an email or a comment.

      Cheers

      Jonny

      • Hi Jonny, thank you and it’s so great you reply to everyone that comments here. I just wanted to share my experience with this device and it has totally helped me stop smoking. I will update when I install the new coils to see if my experience matches the reviewers. I hope it does.

        The cost was annoying when I saw how much cheaper this device was online. but in the long run I’m quite happy with what I spent as I stopped smoking and that was all I wanted. I have a favourite flavour and now I understand how I can actually modify my vaping to suit my own need. Your reviews are so helpful. Thank you!

        • Thanks Lana!

          Would be great to hear back how your getting on so be sure to stop by and keep us updated! We all love hearing how our fellow vapers are getting on 🙂

  9. Great mod, but damn do you go through juice!, also I go thru coils like nobody’s business. Using the x4’s at 55W, anyone have coil suggestions?

    • Hey Pieter,

      I take it you are using the TFV8 Baby Beast tank that came with the AL85? If so then yes, it’s kind of the ‘nature of the beast’ with these tanks. They do go through the juice quick time.

      Higher wattage tanks will do that as the higher the heat (watts) being sent to the coil result in more juice being vapourised.

      Also, sweeter juices can have a big effect on coil life due to them clogging the coils up quicker.

      What flavour and PG/VG ratio are you using?

      The only thing that will help a little with juice consumption is to lower the wattage unfortunately.

      After that, maybe trying a tank that isn’t quite as thirsty.

    • There isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to wattage settings Pete.

      It all depends what tank/coil you have and whether you want a warmer/cooler vape

      Best thing to do is start low and work your way up little by little until you are happy with the vape you are getting.

      Cheers

      JOnny

  10. Just bought the Smok AL85 with stock Baby Q2 .4 Ohm, 40-80W, 55-65W Best. Replaced a Tesla Nano 100W TC that quit after two months of use.

    Had one AL85 hit when first fired up, then nothing for a day, the Smok AL85 sat at 0.6W and no vaping until I found this site.

    The explanations for the buttons got me going strong at 60W. For some reason I finally realized the unit needed to be unlocked to vape.

  11. I love the size of this mod, fits the hand perfectly and doesn’t weigh down purse or pocket. The one drawback I am having is that the battery gets super hot and if I accidently touch the cover I get burned. Also, am only getting about 6 hours at 40w, sometimes less…almost like iffy connection. Anyone else experiencing the same?

    • Hi Dianne,

      Is it the battery itself getting hot to touch? You should stop using straight away if that’s the case. The battery itself should never get too hot to touch. In fact, the mod itself shouldn’t be getting too hot that it burns you either.

      It can happen with tanks which isn’t generally a problem.

      What battery are you using and how long have you had it?

      You may need a new 18650 battery.

  12. I’ve never had any issues with the rubber stop at the top and when I have taken it out it only took a second to put back in.

    – Does anyone have any experience with the internal charging on this device i have been vaping for about 4 years but never have I got technical about it until now. I have always charged the batteries internally until recently and I was quite mythed when some one told me it’s a bad idea.

    – Also is it just me or does this device drink the juice!!

    – when changing the wattage mode to hard rather than soft or medium will it effect the lifespan of the coil?

    • Hey Tom,

      Thanks for stopping by.

      In answer to your questions:

      – To answer this I will just quote a comment by Mooch, who is regarded as one of the go-to sources in the vaping world when it comes to batteries. Taken from this post on Reddit.

      “In my opinion we can’t say that external charging is always safer or that charging in the mod is always less safe.

      We just don’t know what the quality (accuracy, consistency, reliability) is of these internal charger circuits. We also don’t know what the quality is of these external chargers.

      But external charging lets you charge faster with a consistent voltage, monitor the charge and temperature of the batteries, see how many mAh were put back in (with some chargers), easily check the balance of batteries that were used in a series mod, and help to prevent wear and tear of the delicate USB connector that you might need for firmware updating.

      But external charging also subjects the battery wraps to a lot of abuse with some mods. In these cases the chances of something going wrong actually increase by charging externally.

      How does that compare with any risks that might be present when charging internally? I don’t know. It all depends on the mod.

      Personally, I feel that a well known charger gives you a lot of advantages over charging in the mod. Perhaps the most important is that if anything goes wrong, it’s much better to have it happen in the charger rather than the mod.

      But this has to be balanced with possible increased battery wrap damage, As always, keeping an eye on the condition of your wraps is recommended.”

      For me personally, I would use an external charger but if I don’t have one handy then I would have no problem charging the AL85 via the USB as it is a single 18650 mod.

      When it comes to multi-cell mods though I will always charge batteries externally.

      – Not just you! These SMOK TF series coils are well known for loving a drink!

      – Hard to say. In all likely-hood it may have a slight impact but nothing that I would think would be too noticeable. As you likely know using ‘Hard’ basically sends an initial burst of power to the coil to lower the ramp up time. So you get more of an instant hit than waiting touch like you would in soft mode.

      If using a new coil I would tend to break it in a little first.

  13. I’m completely new to vaping, so take my review knowing how little I have to compare. I bought Smok AL85 a couple weeks ago. My only other vaping was an ecig purchased 6 years ago, and a complete waste.

    I’m a pack/day smoker who has found the transition to vaping rather painless.

    I still have a smoke w/ my morning coffee, but otherwise I’m only using the Smok.

    I have it set at 30W and the amount of smoke and feel has surprised me by how satisfying it is, as a replacement. I’m using the original coil and have 772 puffs as of writing.

    I think I understand the author’s comment about the dry hit, but I wouldn’t have known to put it to words w/o reading the article. With the lower wattage, I’m not burning through juice or battery life.

    I haven’t experienced the rubber ring issue posted above. Overall, I’m extremely happy w/ my purchase and would recommend

    • Great to hear Jason and glad you’re liking it!

      Yeah… Vape gear has come a long way in the last 6 years, luckily for all of us 🙂

  14. The tank on this is rubbish…I had mine for a couple of days and the rubber ring where you fill the tank came out and its nigh impossible to get it back in again

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