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.
Call it the Alien Baby or Alien Mini if you want – it certainly has the same styling including the awesome fire/trigger bar.
What Can We Expect From The AL85 by SMOK?
Like the creature in the Alien films this little monster arrives fully grown and ready to rumble. The AL85 is a compact 18650 single cell mod that can take you upto 85W. If temp control is your bag it has that too. The kit version includes the TFV8 Baby Beast.
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]
Inside the Box
It’s the usual Smok packaging – why change something that works!
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 Specs
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Unscrew the cap and drop the battery into the compartment on the top of the mod – just like the Pico.
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.
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 & Get 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 sidebar.
- 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.
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 small vape 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!
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.
Looking for juice ideas? Check out our top rated vape juice brands.
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 wattage 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.
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 😉