You simply just gotta love the way the Chinese do business, there's no honour, no morals.....no Patents either by all accounts... an almost 'tongue in cheek' strategy that creates the above reaction every time I check out a suppliers stock and see the word 'Styled'....or '1:1' ....Don't misunderstand me...I'm not about to review a clone, not at all..but every so often the line between clone and 'unique' can become a little blurry... ..and I have to admit, when I saw the pictures and read up on what I am about to review the penny didn't drop at all......not until I opened the box and picked it up did I think....'hmmm...really?' ...then it all just fell into place...and I almost felt stupid for not 'getting it' earlier....
AAARGH.....AvP!......I mean....it's not even that clever....bit like myself....evidently.
And a gloriously familiar hello to you all my veritable vaping virtuoso's, there is of course a chance..albeit a slight one...that some of you might not know what the hell I'm waffling on about...well...for you...I shall give a brief explanation....AvP happens to be a relatively popular film franchise which pits your well known Xenomorph against the equally well known crab faced Yautja (totally googled that) in a bloody battle to the death....So when Smok had themselves a hugely successful home run with the Alien.....well...Rivals Wismec really only had one course of action.....to take the Alien head on in true Chinese dodgy business style with a device that for all intents and purposes....was a blatant rip off......and the name of this copycat Alien hunter?......courtesy of my friends at @Heaven_Gifts ....the Wismec Predator 228 kit....welcome to Alien Vs Predator....3...?
Admittedly the appearance alone is different enough for you not to notice the similarity's with the Alien straight away, but believe me, as soon as you pick up the Predator it hits home, it's the same shape, the same size, the same weight, the same trigger bar, the same display position, the same 510 position (annoyingly), it takes the same 2 batteries through the same bottom battery door and if you had an Alien in one hand and the Predator in the other...closed your eyes...you'd be hard stretched to tell which one was in which hand.
Now....the Predator wasn't designed by Wismec...or Jaybo for that matter.....it was in fact designed by a company in the USA called Sinuous Designs, A company I can find very little about...other than they surf...? ...now I'm no tin foil hat wearing conspiracy theorist but this seems a little ....'convenient' ....I mean if I was going to bring out a device who's design was obviously heavily influenced by another companies design then would I put my name to it?...or would I outsource a little known designer in another country and say 'hey...design me our version of the Alien and we'll let you put your companies name on it'.....makes you think how these things come about....and why...
I'm just sayin.....
Of course...there are enough differences to make it 'legally different' but if this was the music industry...and these devices were songs....somebodies ass would be hung out to dry.
However...the Predator wasn't released as a head to head rival, it sat in the background watching, hidden... and waited for the fallout from the Alien...
From a business point of view it's a sound strategy, In order to take the crown from the (arguably) best selling regulated device of the year you need an edge, so you wait for the feedback, listen to the issues and counter attack with a device that not only deals with any problems the current victor has but also throws in a few extra brownie points.
For a start the Predator's willy is 8 watts longer....and apparently 8 watts makes all the difference, and having a willy this big means you really need to think about protection....And here is where the Alien fell out of favour....the dreaded paintwork, as you can see from the pictures my Alien has been dragged behind a car on a gravelly road for the last few months.....truth be told it's been sat in a soft groove in the passenger seat of my car but you'd be forgiven for believing the former, I have only had the Predator for just over a week but I have taken it everywhere, it's been out on the lash with me twice and I'm no gentle drunk, it's been to work with me, it's been shoved in the top pocket of my rucksack with other mods and so far.....only very few tiny 'nicks' have surfaced...so that's the first round to the Predator
As far as performance goes they both pretty much do what you would expect in very similar ways, yes the Predator has 8 more watts but....so what?....I mean really...it's 8 watts...and most people won't go over 200w or anywhere near that so it's a bit of a moot point, they both handle TC and all wires with similar resistance levels so nothing spectacularly different in that respect either.
The predator does have that reverse power tech that the RX300 has meaning that if you buy the optional adaptor you can use it as a power bank....I have never used this option though...nor do I know anyone that has...still....it's an option that the Alien doesn't have....so there's another round won...
Of course....this is still a Wismec....which means you have to contend with the Wismec 510...
And I have had more 510 problems with Wismec than any other device, never had a Smok 510 go on me and I don't know if this is a different design on the Predator or not, it seems more 'springy' but looks just the same, so in this respect it comes down to trust...which I don't...but only time will tell on that score, and why the hell don't they put it in the middle instead of being offset, it just doesn't make sense to me at all and makes the whole 'look' of the device seem unsymmetrical as well as it limits the width of tops you could use....still....I'm hoping the 510 won't end up being a blow for the Predator..
But lets be completely honest...neither Smok or Wismec are renowned for their build quality, they are built to a price which is normally reasonable as is the case with both these devices, wiring has been a known issue in both in the past as well as technical gremlins...That being said my Alien has never skipped a beat nor done anything 'odd' , in fact it's been a solid mod from day one and seeing as the Predator is still too new to tell I would be happy if it just performed as well as the Alien.
So as far as all that goes there really isn't anything dramatic that gives one the advantage over the other in every day usage terms, It really comes down to which one you prefer the look of, personally...I wouldn't say that I am a huge fan of the Predators looks over the Alien, but that could only ever come down to personal preference, At the end of the day these 2 devices would play well together in anyone's collection...
There is one point I haven't touched on yet.....because to be perfectly honest...I wasn't that fussed about it when it arrived, but this was the Kit I was reviewing and the Elabo tank came with it....stock coils....eesh......time to put on the big boy pants and do my job....or so I thought...
The Elabo tank is a 4.6/4.9ml (depends what coil you have in) 25mm tank ...and was BY FAR the biggest surprise out of the whole deal....This tank....THIS....stock coil powered dark horse....is nothing short...of fucking amazing, the build quality, the sliding top cap to reveal the fill hole.....
The bottom airflow, the flavour...and yes...from the stock coils...was way way WAY better than I was expecting, there was not even the slightest weird taste from the 0.2 ohm triple coil ...just pure...nice...full..flavour production and an exceptionally smooth vape straight off the bat. Now as far as the Smok baby tank goes that came with the Alien kit feedback was mixed..it did however have an optional RBA coil ...which for me...was a pile of shit, and the Smok stock coils just didn't do it for me at all...so the Baby tank was given away....now if they made a workable RBA for the Elabo ...that would make me very happy indeed, don't get me wrong....like I said the stock coils are by far the best stock coils I have ever tried but...they're still stock coils...which don't last...and are too expensive compared to me building my own and I can tell you now that as soon as this coil is done I won't be buying any more, which is a real shame because I really like this tank....something for Wismec to work on I think, but the upshot is, if you don't build, then you need this tank in your life it is truly an awesome piece of kit.
So...unlike the Movies which I found hugely entertaining, here are the specs..
Size: 25 x 52.8mm
Capacity: 4.9ml (triple 0.2ohm head)/4.6ml (NS Triple 0.25ohm head)
Coil: Triple 0.2ohm (40-80W); NS Triple 0.25ohm (40-120W)
Predator 228 MOD
Size: 43.6 x 29 x 86.7mm
Thread: 510 spring loaded thread
Cell type: high-rate 18650 cell (not included)
Output mode: VW/TC-Ni/TC-Ti/TC-SS/TCR mode
Output wattage: 1-228W
Resistance range: 0.05-1.5ohm (TC);0.1-3.5(VW)
TEMP Range: 100-315C/200-600F
Max charging current: 2A
Max output current: 50A
Output voltage range: 0.5-9V
It comes with
1x Predator 228 MOD (no cells)
1x Elabo tank
1x Triple 0.2ohm head
1x NS Triple 0.25ohm head
1x QC USB cable
2x User Manual
1x Warning card
My final thoughts on the Wismec Predator kit would be, it's a very good kit, does it take the crown from the Alien though?....not right now I don't think, call it a gut instinct but I think that ship has sailed, there are far too many Aliens out there for the Predator to compete....however hard it tries
That's not to say one would be a better choice over the other, the Alien is tried and true and the Predator is yet to stake it's claim on any durability issues, and obviously with the Predator being the newer product the price is still at it's peak where as the Alien has dropped slightly so....if someone was to come up to me and say the inevitable 'Alien Vs Predator...which would you choose?' ....well...as far as the Mods go....let them fight it out for themselves there really isn't enough to distinguish one over the other...
But as far as kits go....my money would go on the Wismec based purely on the Elabo tank over the Baby, and that's only if you don't build.....the truth is the jury is going to be out on this extra terrestrial battle for quite some time and I'm sure both companies will be checking the figures and the reviews as they role out..
Unless of course the likes of Ijoy or Kangertech jump into the fray with another middle shelf contender....Kangertech Wolverine anyone..??
For now I shall be enjoying both devices, their compact size and functionality make them both ideal carry rounds and if you're just starting out down the vaping rabbit hole your money could be thrown in far worse places.
You can get your hands on one of these Kits from the link below, Use code APUGS15 for a 15% discount at checkout and the full kit is yours for £50.59 ...
Wismec Predator 228 Elabo Kit discounted price
And the mod on it's own can found in my shop, just click the link on the home page and feel free to peruse the sale that's currently on ...bargains to be had!
Until next time
yours eternally vapeful