Introduction – The iStick Amnis By Eleaf
Eleaf has been a household name in vaping ever since the industry took flight, particularly as a popular choice for new vapers and working people who were looking for sleek affordable options that do the job without making too much of a statement.
With the Iwu pod mod, which I recently reviewed, the brand was answering to a trend that’s really huge at the moment, that of low powered, compact devices with mouth to lung (MTL) capabilities, to cater to the huge nic salt craze that’s going on at the moment.
Today’s subject of review is no different, only it goes a step further to achieve truly ‘on trend’ status. This device combines the MTL, salt nic class with the flavoursome mesh coil type that’s so much the rage right now. The result being something that would have been truly satisfying, had it not fallen apart while I was writing this.
What’s In The Box
- 1 x iStick Amnis
- 1 x GS Drive Atomizer
- 1 x GS Air M 0.35 Ohm Head
- 1 x GS Air 0.75 Ohm Head
- 1 x QC USB Cable
- 1 x User Manual
- 1 x Spare parts
- Weighs 63g (with tank)
- 18 x 24 x 122 mm (with tank)
- built in 900mAh battery
- 30W max output
- Direct Output mode
- Resistance range: 0.15 -3.0 Ohm
- Available in Blue, silver red, black, green and purple
GS Drive Tank
- 2ml capacity
- Coil heads: 1 x GS Air M 0.35 Ohm Head,1 x GS Air 0.75 Ohm Head
- Sliding top fill with lock
- adjustable bottom airflow
Build Quality & Design
Opening up the neat, white, eLeaf Box packaging, I find the mod and tank, separately tucked into their snug foam seatings.
The mod itself is just under 7cm long, with the tank just under five…when combined, they are roughly the same length as your average ballpoint pen, and twice the thickness.
The mod has a micro USB port under it for charging on its side, The panel which is home to the small, clicky, almost rectangular fire button is textured with long grooves for grip and this panel, along with the base and a narrow band around the 510 connection are plastic.
The rest of the mod, save the SS 510 connection, is coated in a highly rubberised paint.
The shape is basically like a narrow rectangle that’s been rounded and indented at one side, making it highly ergonomic is you place your little finger at the base, middle and ring finger at the indentation and your forefinger on the button, with your thumb on the straight side of the ‘rectangle.’
On one side of rubber finished section, there is Eleaf and iStick Amnis branding in small white lettering. I received the blue version for review, it’s a very dull navy blue but the finish is good and seems relatively scratch resistant.
The 510 connection is deep and has a tight spring to it with heavy threading around the connection.
2 Small screw are visible at the base and top of the mod for those of us who’re keen to take this baby apart.
GS Drive Tank
The drive is a tall, narrow tank, made much taller by the extremely long, 15mm MTL drip tip.
I’d been using the sliding top cap for almost two weeks, to fill the drive but as I was writing the previous sentence, I decided to try and remove the drip tip, which is…usually, removable.
The top cap came shooting off, with the top lock mechanism and its two tiny springs shooting out. I managed to retrieve the microscopic springs but after about 6 failed attempts to put all the tiny pieces back together again, 1 of the springs shot off and is now officially missing…my tank rendered broken and basically unusable, since the top cap refuses to replace without the lock mechanism in place.
I’m now pissed off. So much for my good review, I wonder if it had something to do with that crack about taking this baby apart..?
Okay so below the drip tip, which is clearly stuck on far too tight, thanks to too large o-rings, is the top lock which, when pressed, allows you to slide open the cap at a right angle to the lock, to fill through the port.
We all know the quality of the top lock system, by now, feeling the bits and bombs, they feel more like plastic than SS, quality of materials seems below par.
Now that my top cap is removed, I can see the central shaft, narrow and perfect for MTL airflow, not that it will be doing me any good now.
The base of the tank has a narrow airflow ring that turns easily to adjust airflow through two 12mm long cyclops slots which. A small raised ‘lock’ on one side of each slot prevents the airflow ring from twisting all the way round.
A 0.75 Ohm coil head is also included, as are all the spares you could hope for…except, of course, for spare glass, as the glass is not, in any case, user replaceable. Not sure how I feel about this. A couple of vape bands should have been included if breaking your glass means losing your tank, in my opinion.
How Does The Eleaf Amnis Perform?
It’s such a pity that not all the GS Drive’s bits were properly put together, low quality, brittle materials have now ruined my tank. It’s a pity because up until now, I was very pleased with the performance.
While MTL vaping necessary high resistance and low wattage can make it a bit of a flavour downer, the Air mesh coil that’s pre-installed, combined with the narrow shaft and perfect MTL drip tip and airflow on the GS Drive make it an killer at the 30W output from this teeny little device.
Vapour that you wouldn’t expect to see below 50W and flavour that’s so full and tasty that it’ll basically blow your socks off. Damn, such a downer that my tank just exploded into a gazillion pieces.
Before the ‘incident’ this was basically the nic salt device of my dreams, all the flavour punch of a sub-ohm device in a perfect MTL package, a real breakthrough using mesh coils for MTL.
Okay, I’m gonna stop sulking about this and just get on with the show.
First up, on filling the tank I felt that the device was extremely top heavy. With the battery weighing a mere 35g, once the tank is filled it actually outweighs the base…which is a big no no if you like a device to stand upright.
Now since I did experience a little bit of through-airflow leaking when the airflow was left open, I felt that it was best to keep the thing upright…which, due to the weight issues is easier said than done.
Beyond that, it was smooth operating, the top fill worked alright, although you have to be careful to allow air out on one side of the tiny juice fill opening, to prevent a vacuum and mess.
I found the device ergonomic, effective and really, were it not for the tragic falling apart of my GS Drive, a highly recommendable cessation aid and Nic-salt friendly vape.
How To Fill
- Press in the tiny lock button on the side of the top cap
- Slide the top cap away from the small pointer on the side of the top cap
- Fill through the hole
How To Change the Coil
- Unscrew the tank from the base
- Unscrew the coil head from its seating
Stock Coil Performance
The GS Air M coils are MTL Heaven, outstanding vapour production and flavour on a coil head that works perfectly in unison with the Drive’s airflow to be absolutely perfect for a restricted but full hit.
The 0.75 ohm GS Air head feels ever so slightly more restricted vape without the killer flavour that you get off the mesh coil, so, for me, a bit of a let down and a crying shame that the included spare was not a mesh coil as well.
Battery life is great, with 900mAh lasting around 8 hours. The battery level indicators are a great help also, displaying as follows:
- Green: 60-100%
- Orange: 30-59%
- Blue: 10-29%
- Red: 0-9%
Given that this is a direct output device, wattage will decrease with battery life and, although both coils do still perform at the bottom of their wattage ranges (both have a 10-25W range), vaping with the device less than 60% charged is a bit of a drag for me. Charge takes approximately an hour.
- Compact and ergonomic
- Outstanding flavour and vapour from the mesh coil
- Great battery life
- Quick charge
- Top fill design
- Perfect MTL Airflow
- Tank top cap breaks easily, revealing shabby manufacturing and cheap materials
- Direct output so wattage diminishes with battery life
Final Review Verdict
I would have given the eLeaf iStick Amnis with GS Drive tank a dazzling review, on the back of outstanding flavour, vapour production and battery life in a tiny, MTL and nic salt friendly device.
Sadly, while writing this review, my top cap broke of, sending parts of the top lock mechanism flying everywhere!
I have since been unable to fix it and my inspection of the in workings of the top cap have reviewed cheap manufacturing and a standard of materials that leaves much to be desired. I can’t in good conscience recommend this.
Would I buy this if I lost/broke the device? No.