I received this device free for reviewing. The following review is my unbiased thoughts on it.
I apologize in advance, as this review became almost an app manual, but I was learning it, and writing at the same time.
The SMOK XCUBE II is a beast. It is a heavy, shiny 160W box mod with temperature control. It is also a tinkerer/tech-geek’s wet dream. It can communicate with your phone over Bluetooth LE (Low Energy), using the SMOK BEC app, where you can see and set all sorts of settings.
Initial presentation is good. Nice box in a paper sleeve. The box comes with the mod, a carrying pouch, warranty card, a USB-cable and two packs of delicious little pellet-candies
Ok, don’t eat the pellets, mkay?
This is a dual 18650-mod. You should marry a fresh set of batteries to this mod. I suggest Samsung 25R or LG HE2 (or HE4).
Oddly you can buy this without temperature control activated. You can then upgrade it through the app for $2.99 - weird. Also it seems that you can “buy” support for titanium. Again. Strange. Kinda like buying a laptop, and then you find out that you have to pay to use the top part of the screen. I guess they figure they can sell it cheaper this way.
The XCUBE II boasts an impressive 160W max, which should be enough for even the biggest clump of metal … I mean intricate work-of-art coil!
The 510-connection is spring loaded (of course).
Five clicks of the huge fire button reveals a big, bright and pretty screen on top of the mod. Turning it on shows the firmware version (current version is 1.08). The screen is sealed, so e-liquid can’t get down there. Not sure about the +/- buttons though, so don’t pour e-liquid down in those.
At the bottom, beside a bunch of venting holes, is a micro-USB port. This is only for firmware upgrades. You can’t charge with that. Get a real charger, man!
The firing button is the entire side of the mod. Pressing lights a big LED under the button, which looks kinda cool. You can even change the color of the light, to any in the RGB-spectrum, make it blink and pulse, or, if you’re not attending a techno-rave in the 90’s, turn it off. I kinda like it set to one color though.
The battery cover is held by two fairly strong magnets. The cover is fairly flush with the device, so it looks rather nice.
Here, it’s open:
Here it’s closed:
This thing is HEAVY. If you thought the eVic VT was heavy, this is heavier! It feels good though!
Pressing the fire button three times in a row, enters settings, where you can choose from:
- BTH (Bluetooth connection)
BTH turns bluetooth on and off.
Mode lets you select wattage, temperature and memory mode.
LED lets you set colors, pulsing speed of different colors, or turning it off.
Puffs lets you see your puff counts, and set a maximum… Don’t know why you’d set a max though. This device should be used as much as possible
Settings has a lot. Screen time (when it turn off), contrast, direction (you can flip the screen), time/date, and download firmware (through USB).
Power just turns the thing into a pretty paperweight.
There are 16 memory slots for wattages in wattage mode, which is handy, if you’re in a hurry and don’t want to be holding +/- for several seconds
The mod also supports “mech mode”.
Pressing the fire button five times in a row, turns the device on, when it’s off. When it’s on, it locks or unlocks it. This is handy, because the button is very big, and I imagine it could pretty easily turn on in your pocket.
Dual coil and temperature control
As you know, TC works by monitoring the coil resistance. As the coil heats the resistance of the coil increases as it gets hotter by a known amount (the temperature coefficient of resistance, hereafter TCoR). As you know, when you have put two 0.5 ohm coils in parallel, you get 0.25 ohm - you halve the resistance. Using parallel coils also impacts the TCoR. Using two coils , the TCoR is: C1*C2/C1+C2 where C1 and C2 is the coefficient of coil 1 and 2. For two identical coils, the TCoR is essentially halved.
I don’t know of any other mods where you can set the temperature coefficient of resistance, or indicate that you’re using a dual coil TC-wire. So if you’ve ever noticed that your other temperature controlled mods run a bit hot when you have dual coil TC-wire in it - this is the explanation. If you have this problem on other mods, I suggest that you lower your temperature.
To use titanium, you have to pay an extra $0.50 - this is done through the app. I prefer titanium. When using titanium other than grade 1, you might need to play around with the temperature coefficient setting, along with temperature.
The App / Bluetooth
I apologize in advance: This section became a user’s manual more than a review
There is an app available for download from either the app store or google play. No Windows Phone love for this device.
Go into the BTH-setting on the device, turn that on. Then start the app, and let it search. When “X Cube II”-shows up on your phone, tap it, then enter the default bluetooth password, which is 000000 (six zeroes).
You’re then presented with a screen with some information in the middle, and 5 icons at the bottom.
First one is power settings for the X Cube II. Here you can set Min/Soft/Normal/Hard/Max at the top. The rest can be a bit confusing. First you need to tap the big button at the bottom to select which type of coil you’re using.
- Normal atomizers has “Variable Power Mode” and “Custom Power Mode” enabled.
- Both “Atomizer with Ni200 Coil” and “Atomizer with Ti Coil” has “Temperature Mode”, “Temperature Coefficient”, “Variable Power Mode” and “Custom Power Mode” enabled.
Oddly none of the coils enables “Variable Voltage Mode” or “Custom Voltage Mode”.
“Temperature Mode” you simply set the temperature.
“Temperature Coefficient” sets just that.
When using titanium other than grade 1, you might need to play around with the temperature coefficient setting, along with temperature.
Next icon is “Plan”. You can see set a limit to how many puffs you can take any given day. Not useful to me.
Next icon is “Vaping record”. This shows you a log of each time you’ve taken a drag, along with what voltage, duration, wattage and ohms was recorded at the time. In the top right there are two icons:
A map which shows you where you’ve vaped. Pretty crazy. Not very useful to me. If I want to be tracked, I’ll let my phone do that
A graph that shows you when you vape, graphically, either by day, week, month or year. That’s actually pretty interesting to watch, though I’m not sure of the usefulness of it. But I like it.
Next icon is a light-icon. Activating this enables the fire button LED.
Last icon is settings. Here you can:
- “Vaporizer Name” sets a custom name for your device (showed on bluetooth).
- “Set a password” sets the bluetooth connection password. You might want to change this, and turn on “Save the password”, then tap the checkmark at the top right. That way you won’t have to re-enter your password when connecting.
- “Temperature Unit” sets centigrade or fahrenheit. This only affects the app. The device will still show degrees fahrenheit. To change to centigrade, change it on the device.
- “Charging alert” lets you set when you are notified that battery is running low.
- “Time to close BLE” sets when the bluetooth is disconnected after inactivity.
- “Set the LED time” sets the amount of seconds before the device display is turned off after being activated.
- “LED Color” lets you set the color of the firing button LED. You can choose in the RGB-spectrum on the big dial, or choose red, green, blue - the fourth small icon makes it switch color each time the firing button is pressed and the last flashes different colors as it’s pressed. The big on/off switch at the bottom, turns the LED on or off.
- “Reset Temp Coefficient Rate” - not sure what it does.
- “Vapor Up-gradation” shows you what can be upgraded, if anything.
To enable titanium coils, you need to enter the “Vapor Up-gradation” option, which will take you through the steps. You probably want to start by entering your email, then press login - it will then tell you that you don’t have an account, and if you want one created - do that. I tried directly with the “Register user” but that didn’t work. Do the other thing instead. From there you can buy the titanium option. You can use a credit card or paypal. I chose paypal, and the app started my phone’s paypal app and it all went smooth.
Going back to where you connected to your XCube, there are some icons at the bottom. The other ones are:
- “Topic” - A forum.
- “News” - Here you can see news such as firmware releases. Clicking one lets you read it, and at the top right is a red number, these are the comments. You can write a comment by clicking the bottom button.
- “Mine” - an overview of your profile. Your comments, posts, devices etc.
- Settings galore
- Supports dual coil TC
- Setting the temperature coefficient of resistance (thereby supporting all TC-capable wires)
- Huge button fires no matter where you press it
Since you can set the coefficient yourself, setting dual coil is a bit redundant, unless you don’t know that you should just halve the coefficient…
- Uses min/soft/norm/hard/max instead if wattage in TC-mode
- You must know the temperature coefficient of resistance (you should anyway, so not really a con)
- Temperature coefficient can only be changed through the app.
- Huge fire button is a bit weird
- Huge fire button might fire in your pants (lock it with 5 clicks before squeezing it into your pocket)
- Buggy app. Temperature etc resets if you exit the app.
- Not all settings are available on the app - you have to use the device
- Not all settings are available on the device - you have to use the app.
- Sometimes their servers are down, and you can’t upgrade
Don’t get discouraged by all the cons. It is a great device that I fully recommend! It’s usually priced much more competetively than similar devices! I mean MSRP is around $100, but I’ve seen it down to around $60 a lot of places - and for that price, it’s a steal.
UPDATE 2015-09-02: SMOK has released firmware 1.091 which adds support for stainless steel wire in TC-mode. This is an add-on that you buy through the app. Go to “Vapor Up-gradation” - select and buy it ($0.99), then activate it. I haven’t tested this yet, but if it works as intended, it should be a valuable upgrade - In the app it sets the TCoR to 0.00100 but on the mod the default is 0.00150…
- 100mm x 60mm x 24.5mm
- Weight: 238.6g (without batteries)
- Wattage: 6-160W
- Voltage Range: 0.35-8V
- Temperature Control Range: 200°F-600°F / 100°C-315°C
- Resistances: 0.06-3.0 ohm (Temp Mode) / 0.1-3.0 ohm (Wattage Mode)
- Batteries: Dual High Drain 18650s
- Material: Zinc Alloy and Stainless Steel Construction
- Available Color: Gun Metal
- Other Features: Supports Bluetooth 4.0 via Phone or Tablet and App (Applicable to Android 4.3+ and iOS 7.0 Operating Systems)
- OLED Screen
- Magnetic Battery Cover
- Customizable LED Light
- Spring Loaded 510 Connection
- 16 Wattage Memory Modes
Should you buy it? If you’re a tech geek, that like your settings and tinkering. I don’t see why not. It might be heavy, and the fire button a bit weird. But you get SERIOUS bang for your buck! You get the ability to input your temperature coefficient of resistance. This alone makes it extremely interesting for me. I’m thinking about buying a second one!
If you’re not into all the settings, bluetooth etc, then maybe you should look for something simpler. Like the IPV 4S perhaps.
SMOK and e-liquid-recipes.com is giving away FOUR X Cube II boxes soon! Stay tuned!