The Bluetooth Enabled SMOK BT50 Mod – Just A Gimmick?
The Smok XPRO BT50 is an interesting concept from SMOK, you have an upgradeable 50w chipset that is compatible with Bluetooth offering you control over the mod through a compatible Android or iOS smartphone.
The BT50 itself offers up to 50 watts of power and a micro USB port for charging and upgrading the firmware, as well as being able to handle low ohm builds down to 0.2ohm, so SMOK are really aiming this one at the cloud chasers.
Is the Bluetooth function a winner and will it help to push SMOK to the forefront of box mod popularity? Let’s find out here…
In The Box
SMOK love Perspex when it comes to mod packaging, and the same is present here for the XPRO BT50. The mod itself is housed within a foam insert, you get a small package containing some spare hex screws for the battery compartment plus an allen key, and there is also a USB charger included for charging
Battery and Build
Really impressed with how the SMOK XPRO BT50 looks here. The finish is excellent, made from aluminium, and during using it the XPRO BT50 didn’t accumulate any scratches. The battery compartment on the back is screwed in with two hex screws, which means you have to carry around an allen key should you need to change batteries on the move.
I do wish mod manufacturers would move away from using screws on battery compartments and use magnets instead! Hex screws are not particularly friendly as if you do lose the supplied allen key (not hard to do as it is not particularly large) then you are pretty much stuffed.
The battery goes in negative side up here. No need to panic if you do insert the battery the wrong way around, as the SMOK XPRO BT50 contains inbuilt reverse polarity protection, so you won’t short your battery or fry the chip. A micro USB port is located at the bottom of the SMOX XPRO BT50 for USB charging on the move and also interestingly to upgrade the firmware of the mod itself.
The SMOX XPRO BT50 as with pretty much all mods requires 5 clicks to turn on with the power button, however I was a little disappointed with the buttons, they did not feel particularly responsive, they sometimes stuck in the mod or even no input was registered when pressing the buttons!
Ergonomically this feels really nice in your hand. It has a good weight to it, it isn’t too heavy and is not too light either. The edges are rounded off so there are no sharp edges digging uncomfortably into the palm of your hand.
- Short Circuit Protection
- 510 threading
- Takes 18650 batteries
- Voltage range- 3V-12V
- Wattage range- 6W-50W
- Restart button on the side
- OLED screen
- High frequency flat signal
- Handles resistance down to 0.2ohm
- Can be operated using the device or from a compatible smartphone using the SMOK Bec app (compatible with Android 4.3 or iOS 6.0)
- Micro USB Charging
- Bottom vent holes
- Intelligent display
- High Frequency Flat Signal
How Does The SMOK BT50 Perform?
Interestingly, the firmware is upgradeable via the micro USB port on the side, and I was pleased to see that mine had already been pre-upgraded to the latest firmware which boosted the available power from 50 to 65 watts. The micro USB port is also used for charging should you wish to take advantage of this option.
5 clicks of the power button will turn on the SMOK XPRO BT50 and it then goes into a boot screen. The power in watts is displayed to the right of the screen, resistance, battery voltage and a battery meter are displayed to the right. A further 5 clicks of the power button will lock the SMOX XPRO BT50, the mod will stay on however pressing any buttons will not do anything.
You will need to click the power button 5 times again to unlock the mod- however I have found this very hit and miss. Sometimes it will unlock first time, other times I find myself having to repeatedly click the power button to unlock it. I have found that the quicker you press the power button the more chance you have of unlocking it first time!
There is a limited menu system available, this is accessed by pressing the power button 3 times in quick succession. You are then faced with three available options which you can cycle through with the power button. Option one is wattage mode or mech mode. In wattage mode you can change the selected power output as you would do with a standard regulated mod.
By holding down the power button you can change to mech mode, whereby the regulated mode is bypassed and the SMOK XPRO BT50 acts like a mechanical mod, where the output is governed by the resistance of your build and the available battery voltage. Nice option, but I don’t see a real need for it. Option two displays a power symbol. This is how you switch the mod off- by holding down the power button with this option selected the mod will power off.
Option three is a very interesting one, this enables Bluetooth compatibility. By holding down the power button over this symbol the inbuilt Bluetooth will be activated and it will begin to search for an available device to pair with.
By enabling Bluetooth on your iOS or Android phone and downloading the SMOK Bec app, you can use your phone to interact with the mod. You can track how many puffs a day you have, adjust the power output in voltage or wattage, see the status of your battery and enable mechanical mod mode. It works really well, but unfortunately it is one of the only things that does work well with this mod.
Coming onto the worst issue, and the one that kills it for me, is the ‘Power Reduced’ issue present in the M65 and M45 Mods. Essentially, for whatever reason, SMOK have decided to restrict the amount of power the mod actually puts out dependent on the available charge left in your battery. This decreases accordingly with your battery lifespan. It is incredibly annoying to put a fresh battery in, push the output of the mod to the highest setting, and have it last for around 4 puffs before the mod decides to push the power down to 40-45 watts.
It will keep doing this and pushing the power down further and further as your battery life decreases, until you are unable to go above 25 watts. The only fix I have found online will essentially void the warranty of the mod, so I am not going to detail it here, but it is easily found with a quick Google search. This is really not good.
It has frozen on me a couple of times- it does worry me that SMOK were already aware of potential freezing issues as they included a reset button on the mod for this purpose. Hit that, and you should be back in business with no need to remove the battery and start again.
Finally, there is also an annoying half second delay with firing when you depress the power button. You may want to start pressing the power button before you put your atomizer to your lips! All in all I have not been impressed with the performance of the SMOK XPRO BT50 at all unfortunately.
SMOK have unfortunately missed the mark here with the XPRO BT 50. It is unfortunate, as there are a lot of really good ideas here, that have been let down by poor execution, a clunky user interface and the issue with the power being throttled, which you need to essentially void the warranty of the SMOK XPRO BT50 by taking it apart.
That is a really serious issue and a big time deal breaker for me. I really cannot understand why this feature was included, SMOK have no need to nanny potential users of the XPRO BT50- surely the inbuilt short protection is enough to prevent anyone from causing themselves some damage with this mod?
It is a lovely looking mod, the finish on my one in particular I thought was excellent, and the Bluetooth function is a great idea although more of a gimmick than something genuinely useful. I really wanted to like this mod, especially as it looks great, but there are far too many things that let the Smok XPRO BT50 down, and this feels like a mod that has been rushed. There was an awful lot of promise here, but I think SMOK need to go back to the basics!
Update: I have recently carried out a review of the SMOK M80 box mod which I have to say is a great device.
- Very nice looking box mod
- Bluetooth functionality works well
- Chip is upgradeable
The Not So Good
- Power throttling issue- from what I have found this can only be remedied by taking the mod apart.
- Not user friendly
- Complex menu system
- Annoying hex screws on the battery compartment- you need to carry around an allen
- key to swap batteries
- Clunky buttons
- Much better and more reliable options available in the same price range