Hello once again ELR and thank you for taking the time to read my review of the Smoant Charon TC 218 Mod sent directly from Smoant for the purpose of this review.
If you want to find out really quick my overall conclusion you can scroll down to the Pros and Cons section and Conclusion to save you some time.
Smoant Charon TC 218 Mod Package includes:
1 Smoant Charon TC 218 Mod
1 Usb cable
1 User Manual
- Size: 91mm(H)*25mm(W)*53mm(L)
- Takes dual 18650 battery
- Material: Zinc alloy & High quality leather
- VW Mode power range: 1-218W
- Temperature Control Mode support Ni200 Nickel, Titanium, Stainless Steel, Ni-chrome and TCR(Temperature Coefficient of Resistivity)
- TC temperature range: 200-600℉/ 100-300℃
- Support resistance low to 0.1ohm
- Firmware Upgradable
- Magnetic back cover, be easy to replace the battery
- Can be charged through usb port
- Weight(Without batteries): 195g
- Low Resistance Protection
- Over-time Protection
- Reverse Polarity Protection
- Overheating Protection
- Colors : Copper/ Golden/ Black/ Stainless Steel/ Hell’s Angel/ Thor’s Hammer/Brazing Skull/ Evil Wolf/ Camo colors Available
I will state right off the bat that I am a big Smoant Battlestar fan, own 4 of them and love em. I was on the fence about ordering a Charon though because of the different form factor.
Out of the box the finish was a very smooth matte black, kudos to Smoant on there great finishes that have been really durable for me over time, other mfg’s should take note. The leather is rather plain looking, it doesn’t distract but I feel it doesn’t add as well. The leather does have a nice hand feel though but really I am on the lookout for maybe a rattlesnake skin to reskin it, if I find something that works I will update my review. In the month I have had the Charon with daily use I only got a small nick and the leather has stayed on, no peeling and that was with a couple of spills of juice on it.
Nice clicky buttons and no rattles when shaking, feels like a really solid mod.
The battery door I have no complaints about, easy enough to remove but stays in place really well, a really well designed device from top to bottom.
So what does it look like inside?
There has been some mods with substandard 510 connections so I decided to take the Charon apart and see what it was all about. Please do not try this yourself, I have worked in the manufacturing sector for over 25 years so have the experience to do this. There are a lot of small parts which can get easily lost and if put back together incorrectly can cause harm.
First off, solid 510 connection, I had a feeling it was a good one based on use but wanted to confirm:
The buttons are chunks of metal and the fire button has a wedge so it won’t spin once installed:
Here is a pic showing were the fire button goes and the stopper to keep it in place, the is a stopper on the other side as well:
Here is a pic of the battery contacts, there is a cover that goes over it to keep the springs in place and the soldering is nicely done, another solid connection point.
Naked chip…sexy time
No complaints here except when I tried vaping my ECO 12 with the 350 watt coil at the full 218 watts. I loaded up a fresh pair of LB HB6 batts into the Charon and a fresh set of Sony VTC5A batts into my Lost Vape Triade DNA250 to compare. At 218 watts on both the Charon felt like it was hitting harder, could get into dry hit territory on my 3rd hit easily. On the DNA I could nearly chain vape, felt like I was getting another 20 to 30 watts out of the Charon with the same tank and coil. I dropped it down to 150 watts which is closer to my style and there is felt a lot closer. The DNA had a smoother delivery but the Charon still felt like it had more punch, not sure if that was because of the power being off.
In everyday use on power mode it never felt underpowered, if anything it was a brute in power mode, great mod for high powered vapers.
I have always been real happy with the Battlestars TC performance and the Charon didn’t disappoint. It is on the high side, I usually test with the temp set to 430F and if I start to get dry hits or worse, a mouthful of burnt cotton when the tank runs dry I know it is bad. With the Charon it started to get a little dry at 430, lowered it to 420 and that was better but at 410 I found to be the sweet spot for it with most tanks. Some SS316L builds worked well at 420F but I never felt the need to dive into the TCR mode like I do with some mods, the SS TC preset worked well with a smooth TC delivery I enjoyed just as much as I do with the Battlestar.
A friend of mine actually reminded me about the NC (Nichrome) TC mode and since I had just reviewed the Asvape Cobra tank with Nichrome coils I gave it a shot. With a coil that was broken in nicely the TC worked well, I was surprised. Still on the hot side and not as good as SS TC but still enjoyable. I then tried it with a fresh coil and blah, was choppy and not so good. I decided to recoil one of my Smoant Battlestar RTA’s with some Nichrome coils and the first tank was choppy as well but I decided to keep using it in power mode until 3 tanks went by to see if break in would help. It definitely got better, not great but with a little fiddling with the temp I could get a real nice TC vape. I went back to the Asvape Cobra with the newish coil and still not great, had to up the temp to 500F so it wasn’t choppy. The Cobra coil is a 0.50ohm coil so not the best to use for TC anyway, with low wattage tanks I generally prefer watt mode.
Kudos to Smoant for taking TC seriously for a value mod, both the Battlestar and Charon are great choices for the TC user, just remember to drop your temp 10 to 20F to match some of the higher end TC mods on the market.
DTC and DVW Curve
I am not sure what DTC or DVW actually stands for but I will take a guess Digital Temperature Control and Digital Variable Wattage? I am pretty sure I got the last 2 words right, not sure about digital but what the heck do I know anyway. I do know what they do and how you can get it.
Smoant released a software suite so you can input a Temperature Curve and a Wattage Curve. This is done on your PC then uploaded onto the Charon. You can get the software by contacting Smoant at this email address and asking for it: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here are some pics of the software:
You can only make changes in the software which I am not a big fan of, a lot of mods let you do it on the mod itself. It works well though if you are into making your own power curve and it has something like 32 points of adjustment which has to be the most. It does show M1, M2…etc but only M1 is available so no setting up multiple power curves.
If you really wanted to get into it and love to spend time on vape related software like escribe then you will enjoy this. I setup up my Charon with a temp and power curve and it works well, not something I use often though even on my other mods. That is just a preference thing though, it might not be for me but it is there so others can use it and it works well.
Pros and Cons
- Well built
- Solid 510 connection
- Hits like a mule in power mode (might be firing a little hot though)
- Easy to use and solid battery door, getting your batteries in an out is easy peasy
- Very good TC performance (runs a little hot about 10 to 20F)
Leather is so so but not bad considering the price point of the mod
Power and Temp curves not configurable on mod, need to use a PC
I only have 1 small nick in the paint but the matte finish does show some rub marks after 30 days of use, almost like the matte topcoat is wearing off in certain spots
Battery life could be better, hopefully they release a firmware update to lower the voltage cutoff
I wasn’t in the market for the Charon since I already own 4 Smoant Battlestars, what can I say, love that mod. After using the Charon for a month I can say the performance is just as good if not better than my beloved Battlestars. From what I know now I would definitely buy a Charon, Copper for me please.
The Charon checks off a lot of boxes in regards to performance and after taking it apart to see how it is built I have gained a greater appreciation for it. Is it a perfect mod…No…Is it an excellent value for the price…hell yeah. I have paid close to $200 for some mods and the Charon performs better.
Thank you for reading my review and if you have any questions or something I might have left out please feel free to ask away.
I want to thank Smoant for sending me the Charon to review, it is always fun to review great products.
Here are some nature shots with different tanks