The Alien Kit by SMOK – Introduction
When I heard that the latest box mod from Smok, the Alien, was winging its way to me I was a little apprehensive as to what would be in the box!
Don’t get me wrong, a lot of the hardware Smok releases I do actually like. Take the H-Priv for example. A very good but sadly underrated mod.
The only qualm I have with some of Smok’s devices is that they all look very similar. The X-Cube Ultra, H-Priv, you get where I’m coming from!! It’s what I call the 3B’s syndrome, Big, Bulky and Boxy!!
So, when the SMOK Alien Kit arrived and I opened the box the first word that entered my head was ‘Wow’!
What’s In The Box
- Alien 220 Mod
- TFV8 Baby Tank
- 1 x V8 Baby – Q2 Core 0.4ohm dual coils (Pre-installed)
- 1 x V8 Baby – T8 Core 0,15 ohm octuplet coils
- USB cable for charging / Upgrading
- Replacement glass tank section
- User’s manual
- Bag of spares
- Alien 220 Mod
- Size: 85 x 44 x 28.4mm
- Power Range: 6.0 – 220W
- Voltage Output Range: 0.35 – 8.0V
- Resistance Range: 0.1Ω-3Ω (VW) / 0.06Ω-2Ω (TC)
- Temperature Range: 200-600°F / 100°-315°C
- Minimum Kanthal Resistance: 0.1 – 3.0ohm
- Minimum Temperature Resistance: 0.06 – 3.0ohm
- Supports Nickel, Titanium, and Stainless Steel wire types
- Intuitive OLED Display
- TFV8 Baby Tank
- Stainless Steel With Glass Tank
- 22mm in diameter x 53mm tall
- E-liquid Capacity: 3.0ml
- Standard 510 Threading
Build Quality & Design
The outer casing of the Alien mod is constructed from a zinc alloy, which provides a robust & weighty feel to the device.
The casing is coated with a spray applied black satin paint finish. Around the outer front & rear faces of the mod there is a metallic accent which encloses the front facing OLED screen and rear carbon fibre effect panel.
This accent is a available in six different colours (silver, orange, champagne gold, red, gun metal and blue)
Overall, the curved lines and smooth finish provided a very comfortable feel in the hand.
At the top of the Alien mod there is a standard 510 stainless steel connection for atomizers complete with a spring loaded brass centre pin.
The front face of the devices comprises of the OLED screen, the “+” & “-” buttons and a micro-USB port. The OLED screen has a clear and bright display and provides a wealth of information:-
- Wattage / Temperature (in °F or °C)
- Working Effect (Soft, Normal, etc) / Coil type (Ni, Ti, SS)
- Battery life
- Volts, Ohms, Amps
- Wattage Mode / Temp Mode
- PCB Temperature / Working Wattage
- Puff Counter
- Vape duration (in Seconds)
On both front and rear panels of the Alien mod there are 2 sets of 6 vent holes, presumably to assist with battery venting and to keep the board cool.
The “+” & “-” buttons appear to be constructed from zinc alloy and have the same black satin finish as the mod.
Both buttons are slightly raised from the face of the mod and are positioned at an angle to match the metallic accent.
Both buttons were easy to use and provided a good positive click when pressed.
A micro-USB port has been provided on the front face of the Alien 220 mod for charging and firmware upgrades.
As with all of my previous reviews I would only use the USB for firmware upgrades, battery charging is best done externally in a suitably protected charger.
With regards to the Alien 220 firmware, when I initially received the Alien kit the firmware on the device was version 1.1.3.
I had noticed that on the odd occasion the mod would mis-fire, i.e. when I pressed the fire button nothing would happen, but as I said, this was on the very odd occasion.
I did a little investigation on the SMOK website and found that there was a firmware upgrade (v1.2.2) which addressed the mis-fire issue and also incorporated a couple of refinements for temperature control.
Having upgraded the firmware the mis-fire issue appears to have been resolved but I will report back on this if this is not the case.
If you do decide to upgrade the firmware on your Alien 220 mod, please read the instructions on the support page first. Follow them to the letter otherwise you could end up with a useless piece of metal.
Right, now back to the Alien 220 mod!
Firing the mod is very similar affair to the SMOK H-Priv, as one side of the mod has been fitted with a fire bar.
However the bar only operates when the top section is pressed. The bar was extremely easy to use and provided a good positive click when pressed.
In addition to firing the device, the fire-bar also provide navigation the the Alien’s menu system:-
- 5 click of bar turns the mod ‘ON’ / Locks & Unlocks the device when on
- 3 clicks of bar enters menu system
The menu system appear to be very similar to that of the H-Priv :-
- Mode – Wattage & Temperature Control
- Puffs – Puff counter
- Settings – Screen Time, Screen Lock, Contrast, Adjust Ohms, Download (Firmware)
- Power – Turn device off
The battery door is located at the base of the Alien 220 mod and access to the compartment is easily obtained by sliding the door towards the back of the device allowing the door to unlock and the swing open to reveal the battery compartment.
On the inside face of the door are two brass battery contacts each identified as positive (+) and negative (-). The Alien 220 is a serial device and batteries must be installed as indicated on the mod.
There is no mention anywhere within the user manual or the packaging as to what safety features are built into the mod so be careful when installing those 18650’s.
The SMOK TFV8 Baby Tank
The SMOK TFV8 Baby is a sub-ohm tank, the smaller sibling to the TFV8 Cloud Beast Tank and for all intents and purposes a scaled down version of the Cloud Beast.
Tank capacity is approximately 3ml and is filled through the swivel top cap which incorporates a standard 510 compatible black Delrin wide bore drip tip.
Inside of the tank we have our coil head which appears conical in shape and contains 5 vertical elongated juice ports which SMOK refer to as the “Turbo Engine Coil Structure.”
SMOK have produced a good variate of coil heads for TFV8 Baby which are available seperately to buy:-
At the base of the tank we have our adjustable airflow ring which comprises of two air slot on opposite side of the tank.
These measure approximately 13mm x 1.5mm each and provide an extremely airy draw more suited to a direct lung style of vaping.
The AFC ring can be rotated very easily and will remain in the desire position of your choice.
Finally, on the base of the TFV8 Baby there is the standard 510 threaded connection which has a non-protruding, non-adjustable silver plated centre pin.
How Does The Alien Kit Perform?
Overall, performance of the SMOK Alien 220 Kit was very good.
There was the issue of the mod misfiring on the very odd occasion, but this was resolved with the firmware upgrade and has performed flawlessly without any issues whatsoever ever since.
For its size, the Alien certainly packs a punch with its whooping 220 watts of power at your disposal.
Battery life I would say is probably average for a device of this type and taking into account that all the coils for the TFV8 Baby are rated between 30 to 90 watts for best performance.
You’ll probably get anywhere between a day to half a days usage out of your batteries depending on your style of vaping.
With regards to the TFV8 Baby tank, this was an absolute delight to use. It produced very good flavour and if clouds are your thing it’s very capable.
It’s also simple to use and fill and most importantly easy to clean.
What I Liked
I thoroughly enjoyed using the Alien Kit. It was easy to setup and use. Menu navigation was intuitive making it simple to switch between different modes.
Refilling the TFV8 Baby tank could be achieved in seconds. There was no leaking, no spit-back and no more misfires.
Aesthetically, the Alien Kit is a really good looking piece of vaping hardware and a very welcome change to the previous format of SMOK’s high wattage devices.
Since receiving the Alien Kit I have found myself using it more and more to the extent that it has quickly replaced my old everyday setup!
SMOK have definitely pulled out all of the stops with their new Alien 220 mod.
What I Dislike
My first issue with the Alien kit is that there is no mention anywhere on the packaging, user manual or the SMOK website of what safety feature have been incorporated into the mod.
In my mind this is a little strange to say the least but possibly a genuine oversight by SMOK.
Secondly, the battery door has a tendency to open of its own accord, but this is only when there are no batteries installed. Nonetheless, a little annoying each time you pick up the devices.
Final Review Verdict
The Alien by SMOK is an excellent kit and I would not hesitate recommending it to fellow vapers!
- Price point – £60-£65 ($78-$85)
- Excellent Performance
- Upgradable Firmware
- No mention of device safety features
- Battery door randomly opens when no cells are installed
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