The Hotcig RDS Dual System review and this one follows in the latest trend of taking a pod or tank.
It’s becoming almost compulsory for companies that make pod mods (especially those with removable batteries) to offer a standard 510 adapter as an optional extra.
I think this is a great idea as it allows people to move from pod systems, to other tanks, whilst still retaining some of the use of their investment.
With most companies this is an optional extra, but I was interested to see that the Hotcig RDS Dual System comes with it in the box.
In fact not only does it have the option of using it as either a mod or a pod, the device will actually tell which one you are using and switch appropriately!
What Can We Expect From the Hotcig RDS Dual System?
Hotcig was founded in 2013, so it’s certainly been around for a while.
The brand apparently originated in the US, but are based in Shenzhen where it has both the HOT brand and Hotcig.
Looking back through the archives it doesn’t look like we’ve reviewed many of their output in the past.
In fact the only one I could find was Red Beard Vapes’ review of the Kubi Refillable Pod here (spoiler, he liked it!)
In fact I have never used a Hotcig product myself, so I’m going into this one a little blind.
This was sent over from Heavens Gifts for the review (thank you), as usual this will not affect my review, and I shall report back honestly on what I find!
Inside The Box
- Hotcig RDS Device
- Hotcig RM Pod
- 510 Adapter
- RM1 Mesh Coil 0.3Ω
- RM3 Mesh Coil 1.2Ω
- DL Drip Tip
- MTL Drip Tip
- Manual and Warranty Card
- Cleaning Cloth
- Type C Cable
- Dimensions – 130 x 41.5 x 25mm
- Weight – 92g
- Material – Stainless Steel & PCTG
- Power Output – 5-80W
- Modes – VW, VV, Bypass, Temp (Ni, Ti, SS, TCR), Pod Mode
- Battery – 1x 18650
- Charging – 1A USB C
- Display – 0.96″ TFT Screen
- Capacity – 4.2ml (4.5ml with MTL Coil)
Design and Build Quality
The body is made of transparent PCTG and comes in one of four different colours.
I received the amber version, and it also comes in Clear (by far the best looking in my opinion!), Black, and Purple.
The purple one is definitely an interesting choice!
One thing that is worth noting is that the amber one is not actually made of ultem, so it may not match up with an ultem tank.
Hotcig RDS Dual System Body
It’s a relatively tall device, with a cut out to show off the battery tube on the rear.
On one side it has a USB C connection that charges at 1A and can also be used for firmware updates.
Hotcig RDS Dual System Battery Cap
The base of the device has your regulatory marks, as well as RDS Designed by Hotcig.
It uses a screw down battery cap, which is a little crunchy and doesn’t catch the threads very easily.
So a minor con for fit and finish.
On the horizontal bar of the battery cap, it has an extra cut out to denote the fact that this is for the negative contact of the battery.
There is a positive indicator inside the far end of the tube, but as it’s moulded into the PCTG body, it’s not terribly easy to see.
Hotcig RDS Dual System Pod Attachment
At the top end of the device you have your magnetic attachment and contacts, for either your 510 adapter or the pod.
There is a little cut out on the front side of this to make sure you put either of these in the correct way, it won’t sit in correctly otherwise.
There are also two airflow slows in the body that line up with the pod when it is inserted.
Hotcig RDS Dual System the RDS Pod
Looking at the pod you have a choice of two drip tips that come with the kit.
One is a thinner bore vase shaped tip, more suitable to mouth to lung, the other is a more stumpy wide bore tip, for direct lung.
Of course if you don’t like either of these, it is a standard 510 connection so you can replace it with your favourite drip tip.
One slight issue I did have, was that the wide bore drip tip refused to sit down into the pod properly.
Because only the base of the pod sits in the device, it is always very easy to keep an eye on your e-liquid level.
This may be a little more challenging on the black transparent version (depending on how dark it is) but on the amber it wasn’t a problem at all.
Hotcig RDS Dual System Airflow Control
Airflow is adjusted on the device by rotating the whole of the pod, lining up the dual cyclops airflow holes on the pod.
Due to the cut outs it will only fit in one way, and will close fully open or closed.
If you put the 510 adapter in, the airflow holes are totally covered up (as they would serve no purpose).
And the adapter (unlike the pod) does not rotate at all.
How To Fill the Hotcig RDS Dual System Pod
- Remove the pod from the device and locate the red silicone stopper
- Unplug the red stopper and fill with your preferred e-liquid, it has a large enough fill hole but you should still be wary of trying to fill it to quickly
- Once full, replace the the silicone stopper and remember to leave it to sit for 5-10 minutes to prime
Be careful though, I had the red stopper detach completely a couple of times, and it’s a pain to get it to go back in!
Don’t pull too hard, and just gently lever it up where the arrow on it shows.
How To Change The Hotcig RDS Dual System Coil
- Remove the pod from the device
- Pull out your current coil
- Push your new coil into place, making sure to line up the flat edges
Hotcig RDS Dual System Screen and Controls
The front of the device has an unusual profile, but it makes for a surprisingly ergonomic device.
There’s only one control on this but it manages to do everything it needs to.
It’s a rather interesting cog shaped wheel.
Scrolling clockwise increases your wattage in 1W increments, from 1W to 100W, scrolling anticlockwise will decrease it.
It does not round robin, so it’s quite a lot of turning you have to do to go from one extreme to the other.
However I think this makes most sense, as if you’re using it near it’s minimum wattage, you would not want to accidentally knock the wheel and have it round robin up to 100W!
Another negative niggle from me is that the control wheel on my example is slanted to one side a bit.
It certainly doesn’t seem intentional, as it’s almost as though the whole wheel as been attached lop sided. Depending on where it is on it’s rotation it will be either more or less noticeable.
Hopefully this is just my one, but again it doesn’t speak to the best quality control. I really like the control wheel as a concept, and I’m glad it’s made of metal as I thought it may be plastic when I first saw photos.
You can also click it in to make selections, and it is your fire button on top of this.
- 5x Clicks – On/Off
- 2x Clicks – Lock/Unlock Wattage Adjustment (can still fire)
- 3x Clicks – Menu
The smallish screen is sitting right at the base of the front, and there’s a gap of blank plastic between it and the control wheel.
However this makes a sensible place to rest your thumb when you’re not firing it.
One of the most clever tricks of this device is it’s ability to know whether you have inserted the pod or the 510 adapter, and the screen will display one of two screens showing either Pod or Mod.
With the pod in place the wattage will be limited to the maximum that the coil in use is recommended for. Clicking into the menu you only have the option to change the colour of the display.
Alternatively you can click on Mod, and switch it into the other mode to regain full control and ignore the wattage limit.
If you place the 510 adapter into the device it will switch into Mod mode. This makes a slight difference to the display.
However the main difference is that if you click into menu you have the option of all the various modes
- Power (variable wattage)
- Variable Voltage
- Temp (with a submenu giving Ni, Ti, SS and TCR)
- Change Display Colour
- Pod Mode
The 510 adapter is a fairly basic bit of kit, as you would expect it has a spring mounted 510 adapter at the top, and it will take up to a 25mm tank before it starts to overhand.
On the lower half it has a rather large piece of metal which adds a reassuring weight to it, as well as acting as your battery contacts and magnet.
How Does the Hotcig RDS Dual System Perform?
So I’ve done a fair bit of testing over the past few weeks, both with the two coils that fit into the pod, and also the 510 adapter.
For the 0.3Ω coil I used Ohm Boy’s Apple, Elderflower and Garden Mint at 70/30. I also used this for the 1.2 Ωcoil, before trying out some Vape Simple Berry Ice at 50/50.
0.3Ω Coil – Airflow and Cloud Production
Although it’s listed as a 0.3Ω coil, the device registered it as being a 0.45Ω
Airflow is quite a restricted DL draw on this coil. On a 1-10 scale from tight to wide open, it starts off around a 6.5.
Closing it down all the way you still get a decent amount of air coming through, such that it can still do a loose MTL. On the 1-10 scale it closes up to a 4.
One thing that’s worth noting is that as with a lot tanks that have plastic AFC, tanks and drip tips, it is quite a noisy pod on the inhale, there’s a lot of “whooshing”.
Cloud production is pretty passable, but this coil certainly isn’t aimed at cloud chuckers!
0.3Ω Coil – Flavour
Flavour it pretty good from this coil, it’s certainly coped with all the e-liquids I’ve thrown at it.
Provided you stay within the recommended wattage (which you are locked into unless you switch to mod mode) then I’m very pleased with the flavour output.
1.2Ω Coil – Airflow and Cloud Production
This coil read as a 1.4Ω on the device.
This is a much more restrictive coil (as you would expect). With a thinner bore, even wide open you are going to struggle to get a direct lung draw.
At it’s widest, it’s 4 on the 1-10 scale. Closing it down and it makes fairly little difference, even totally closed it’s about a 3 on the scale.
Being a much higher resistance coil, it also produces a lot less vapour.
1.2Ω Coil – Flavour
Flavour is not bad at all for a mouth to lung coil. It can handle 70/30 e-liquid with no problem, but it definitely performs at it’s best with a thinner liquid like a 50/50
Flavours are clear throughout the wattage range, but there wasn’t much of a throat hit.
It also wasn’t as impressive as the flavour from the 0.3Ω coil. In fact for mouth to lung use, I actually ended up preferring that coil with the airflow shut all the way down.
Hotcig RDS Dual System As A Mod
I did a bit of testing using this as a pure 80W single battery mod, and whilst it feels pretty easy to use, the measurement of the coil seems way off.
By comparing the same tank and coil on the RDS Dual system, to a DNA mod and also my ohmmeter, I noticed quite a significant difference.
I typically run between a 0.5Ω and a 0.8Ω coil depending on the tank for mouth to lung.
The Hotcig RDS Dual System would consistently read it as about 0.2Ω higher than the actual resistance. I’m not sure exactly what is causing this, and I originally suspected that the 510 adapter may be the culprit.
But I was also getting slightly higher readings than I expected on the stock coils, so it may just be that chipset itself is overestimating the resistance.
Now obviously it is perfectly usable when the mod is read the wrong resistance (especially if you switch to variable voltage). But it doesn’t fill me with confidence, and aside from the testing that I did, it’s not something that I would continue using in this way.
I thought I was going to be able to do my normal test of the battery life by keeping an eye on the puff counter.
However, I ended up taking the battery out a couple of times during testing, and it was only afterwards that I realised that this resets the puff counter!
Having said that, it did seem to perform as well as I would expect most single battery 18650 mods to perform. Certainly I ran into no problems!
- Clever switching from Pod to Mod
- Comes with a 510 adapter
- Control wheel works really well
- 510 adapter reads resistance too high
- Drip tip doesn’t fit properly
- Control wheel leans over to one side
- Battery door is grindy
Final Review Verdict
It’s an interesting take on the pod mod, and the control wheel is actually one of my favourite interfaces.
I love it on a Double Barrel, and Hotcig have done a credible job of creating one here. It’s just a pity mine is on the wonk!
In fact there were a lot to times when reviewing this product where I had an initial positive impression, only to be let down by the fit and finish of it.
I like screw down battery doors, but this one is grindy and doesn’t catch well.
It’s great to have an option of a couple of drip tips, but one doesn’t sit properly.
Really clever to have the device switch from pod to mod mode when you attach the 510 adapter, but it’s resistance reading is way out
In short I really wanted to like this device, the control method is interesting and works well, it has some clever tricks up it’s sleeve, and it feels comfortable and lightweight in the hand.
It’s just not very well put together.
It is worth noting that all of my criticisms have nothing to do with the design of the system itself, so there is a possibility that I was just really, really unlucky and I got a duff one with lots of little flaws.
However if that’s true, then it doesn’t speak to their being a great amount of quality control either!