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Sticks and Boxes
Why Do I Always Have Three Different Mods on My Desk?
The short answer is because I overdo everything and because I can. That being the case, I have a single-battery stick, a dual-battery box, and a quad-battery beast on my desk, not because I'm reviewing them– I wasn't sent these for free. This is just what I happen to be personally using at the moment. Is it overkill? Absolutely, but since I have three different vape mods of different types, let's take a look at what I like and don’t like about each.
If I had to grab one and go, it would be the (dual-battery) Predator. But you see, then I’d also have to bring my battery charger. The (quad-battery) GX350 would last all day, but it’s nice to have a tank for convenience. Plus dripping while driving is dangerous, so I'd better grab the Stick for the road. (Meaning the Smok Stick Prince. I rarely use the Prince tank that came with it, so I'll call it the Stick) It’s small and easy. But if I’m grabbing the Stick, I may as well go ahead and take the Predator as well.
Wait, if I've got the Predator AND the Stick, what do I need the GX350 for? Variety! I like to have an RDA out so I can dabble in different flavors. With a tank, you’re committed to one flavor for a while. And I'm scared of commitment. I need the freedom to switch it up. So I have to bring the Goon.
And the Goon needs power. You think I have tiny, cute little coils on this thing? Think again. My build is sick and my coils are straight-up dumb. But we'll get into that another time. I need to run this thing at 140W, which would drain the Predator in about an hour. The GX350 will blast out high-wattage like that all day and the next.
Battery life is the differentiating concern. More battery life is better. So you’d think the single battery Stick Prince with its measly one battery would be the weakling here. If you’re out and about, it is. However...
The Stick Prince has pass-through USB charging. So, if you’re near a USB port, battery life becomes a complete non-issue.
That means you can use it while it's plugged in charging. It stays at a full charge all day and I never even think about it. Pass-through charging and a long cord mean unlimited battery life. The others will “let you” charge via USB, but it is not recommended. I have turned a new Smok Alien 220 into a paperweight by frying the chip trying to charge it with USB. I have no use for paperweights so it went into the trash, and I learned my lesson. Unlike the others, the Stick Prince has an integrated battery. I can leave it plugged in all the time and it will always fire at full capacity. For road trips and work days at a computer, this is pretty ideal.
When I praise what I like about the Stick, notice that I didn’t mention “portability", or "ease of carrying". Give me a break.
I’m schlepping myself around Austin, not hiking the Appalachian Trail. I’ve never been in a situation where a few millimeters or grams makes anything less portable. If anything, the Stick is rather awkward. It doesn’t have the ergonomics I enjoy from my box mods. It wobbles around in the pocket, it rolls around on the desk. If you try to stand it up it WILL get knocked over sooner rather than later. I don’t give a bunch of undue credit for things being slightly smaller or lighter than other things.
Can you fit it into certain nooks and crannies the others wouldn't fit? In theory, you could. But who cares? The hypothetical tiny places in which something could fit isn't a concern of mine. If you’re dancing at a club, I suppose it would be better to have the Stick in your pocket than the GX350. I’ll give it that. But by and large, Its best feature is the USB pass-through charging.
One more complaint about the Stick is the sensitive fire button. It’s always poppin’ off like it has a mind of its own. Barely graze the side and it starts trying to conjure up a cloud. And it has auto-fired in my front pocket, which is no fun at all.
If you’re going to put it in your pants pocket, turn it off first.
If it sounds like I’m hating on the Stick, I assure you I'm not. The never-ending power is such a handy feature that I’ll put up with this goofy little thing wobbling, rolling, and going off in my pocket.
The Goon needs power, so it sits atop the Smok GX350 which has 4 batteries.
Bigger doesn’t mean more cumbersome. The GX350 feels great in the hand. It’s heavy, sure. It’s not an “on-the-go” mod. But not once have I ever looked at it and thought “ugh I wish this thing took up less space”. It’s a sturdy little brick of a thing and I bet it outlives all the others. It's ugly and rugged. I could run over it with my truck. If I had to fend off an attacker, I could chuck it at them.
It's solid, reliable, and powerful. That’s what I’m getting at. I charge the batteries on this thing about once a week.
It goes up to 350W. Not that I can imagine ever wanting to do so, but I don’t have to be shy about bringing my big, ridiculous coils to a roaring orange glow in a hurry.
You would have to punch this thing right in its face to knock it over. The Predator stands sturdily also. But the Stick? Yeah right. I knocked the Stick over 14 times just trying to take that picture of it
The dual-battery Predator 228 with a Falcon tank is my all-purpose go-to.
If the Stick Prince is for battery and the GX350 is for power and variety of flavor, what is the Predator for? I just like it. It's my favorite.
It’s got good (not great) battery life, does what it’s supposed to do and feels nice in the hand. It’s nice. There's nothing particularly special about it. I don’t have a good reason, but the Predator 228 with the HorizonTech Falcon is the one that gets the most hand-time.
Before that, it was actually the Rouleaux Gen3 by Wismec, which is a 3 battery mod. But here’s my gripe about 3 battery mods: symmetry.
As soon as you get a 3 battery mod into the mix, your whole battery charging system gets thrown out of whack.
Who needs that? Not me.