Joyetech eVic Review
Is the Joyetech eVic the high-tech, user-friendly future of vaping, or is it simply a bunch of needless features tacked onto a tube mod to convince you to give up your hard-earned cash? We’ve put it to the test to find out.
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- Customizable display screen.
- Comes with a 2600 mAh battery, USB charger and wall adapter.
- 510 and eGo threading.
- Variable voltage from 3 to 5 V and variable wattage from 2 to 11 W, in increments of 0.1.
- Firmware updates allow for improvements to functionality.
- Reasonably priced – there are cheaper options available but it’s still affordable enough.
- Some features could be very useful for trying to cut down your nicotine consumption.
- In-built temperature sensor to prevent over-heating.
- Light-weight design and not too hard to carry around.
- Many features are unnecessary and/or stupid: for example, who wants their voltage to change over the course of an individual puff? Nobody.
- Menus are hard to navigate at first, not very user friendly.
- My Vapor Record software has a lot of problems.
- The USB slot cover is hard to open up, presenting problems for some.
- Quite fragile in comparison to other mods.
- Included battery isn’t safer chemistry and has a low amp-limit.
- Minimum coil resistance is 1.2 ohms, and the eVic can only be turned up to 5 V or 2.5 A of current, whichever you hit first.
Joyetech eVic Review
The eVic was pegged as a potential “game changer” in the world of mods by some, sporting high-tech features, a full display screen and updatable firmware, but the reaction to it since it release has been mixed. If you’re considering picking up Joyetech’s popular mod, there’s plenty to consider before you pull the trigger, especially with the eVic Supreme now available – a pretty similar device that ramps things up a little and cost a bit more. We’ve put the original mod (with firmware version 1.4) to the test in our Joyetech eVic review to see if it’s worth the investment.
Joyetech is a Chinese manufacturer that got started in 2007, before e-cigarettes were widely available in the US. They’re mostly known for their eGo batteries – the mid-sized options that many vapers start with – but they also offer other mid-size e-cigs, variable voltage options and one cig-a-like device. They have a pretty good reputation overall and there a numerous websites and brick-and-mortar vape shops that stock their devices, so you won’t have any trouble getting hold of one.
The eVic (“Vic” stands for “vapor intelligent cigarette,” by the way) is generally bought in a small kit, and while the recommended price is $139, you can pick them up for just over $100 in many places or even cheaper if you opt for a stripped-down kit (prices as of January 2015).
What You Get
The eVic comes in a neat little black-and-grey box with a picture of the mod on the top, silver logos around the sides and a description on the back clearly not written or proofread by a native English-speaker (“it can realize human-machine interaction through connecting with computer,” to give an example). It looks pretty suave overall, and makes the purchase more satisfying in an irrational sort of way.
Inside, your eVic sits comfortably in a molded plastic insert, with a USB charging cable, wall adapter and manuals inside. My kit also came with a couple of rubber covers for the USB slot, assumedly a response to vapers who found the stock option hard to work with.
You also get a flat-topped 2600 mAh Samsung 18650 battery (ICR18650-26F) inside, which is a nice addition that means all you need is your kit, some e-liquid and an atomizer and you’re good to go. The battery has a max discharge current (amp limit) of 5.2 A, according to the specifications, meaning that it can’t take too much in the way of amp draw, but the eVic will stop you before you get close to that point anyway. Still, an included battery – even if not a safer-chemistry IMR one – is always a good thing. You definitely feel like you’re getting enough for your money, even though you can pick up cheaper variable voltage/variable wattage (VV/VW) devices.
Design and Compatibility
The eVic itself is a 5-inch long tube mod (without atomizer), coming in a silver-grey color with chrome moveable parts and a black section for the “control head” – which is where the display screen is and where all the action happens inside the unit. It’s pretty uniform in appearance apart from the control head, tapering inwards towards the atomizer connection and with “Joyetech” and “eVic” printed towards the bottom of the unit in a slightly darker grey. The chrome bottom-cap has the Joyetech logo printed on it, and has a single vent-hole in the center. It isn’t going to win any beauty contests (although you can buy different-color parts if you want to improve the aesthetics), and it can look a little mismatched with some atomizers, but it gets the job done.
The “fire” button in the center of the control head is oblong, and although it’s ever so slightly loose, it’s snug-fitting enough and the shape makes it pretty comfortable to press down. There is a chrome ring around the bottom of the control head, used to select menu options and voltage/wattage, which has little grooves cut into it to make it bumpier and easier to turn (unlike the end-cap). The ring is notably loose, but springs back into place after you’ve moved it one direction or another.
The most annoying part of the design is undoubtedly the USB connection cover the eVic comes with – it sits pretty flush to the black background of the control head in a recessed slot, so it’s not always easy to open up, especially if you don’t have long fingernails. There’s a small gap at the bottom that’s supposed to help you get it open, but many people still need to use a tool. Also, the flap is connected to the device at the top so it has a tendency to pop back into place when you do pry it out. This is why they often ended up broken and Joyetech started including replacements – I didn’t personally need to use a replacement, but many have and it is hardly user-friendly. The bottom-cap can be a little difficult to get on when your battery is in place too, but that’s a more common problem and is easily overcome when you get used to it.
The eVic has a 510-threaded connection, and the small top silver-grey section above the control head unscrews to reveal a full eGo connection. In practice this means you can use most atomizers, clearomizers and eGo-threaded cartomizers with the eVic, and even though you can remove the upper section of the mod, you can connect clearomizers easily with it still in place. There are four small rectangles cut out of the body where it connects to your atomizer, so there’s always plenty of airflow in either case. The eVic is great for connectivity overall – this is all you want from a mod, so no complaints here.
The eVic is loaded with features, and in many ways the user interface and high-tech software elements are the main selling-point of the device. When you switch it on (five quick presses of the fire button), the Joyetech logo is displayed as a sort of start-up screen, then the date and time before taking you to the “home” screen. This displays a lot of info, always showing your current set voltage/wattage on the bottom portion, and with other useful bits of info on the left and right of the upper section.
These can be altered to suit your preferences – you can have puff counters (total puffs and puffs remaining), the date and time, voltage/wattage and ohms, or you can have a puff or time-based alarm, if you like (which warns you – but still lets you vape – when you reach a pre-set limit). I opt for V/W and ohms on the left and battery on the right, making for a pretty useful set of info as soon as you activate the eVic. Right at the bottom there is also a temperature warning, which tells you when the device has gone over a specified heat by displaying a flashing thermometer symbol. When you take a puff, the screen changes to a timer – literally a fire-button-stopwatch that tells you how long your puff lasts as well as showing your current voltage or wattage setting.
There are many other settings hiding within the menu screens of the eVic. Pressing the fire button five times in quick succession takes you to the menu, navigating which can be a bit frustrating at first. The options from the main menu are to put the unit to sleep (five-presses to switch it back on – good for when you’re carrying the eVic), adjust your vaping-related settings, configure the device, find out your device ID, firmware version or current resistance, put it in “stealth” mode (killing the screen unless you multi-press to bring it back up and removing the visual puff-timer) or turn the device off. And that’s just the main menu.
In the “vapor set” menu, you can adjust your home-screen layout, alarm and puff-counter, but you can also switch from VV to VW mode and from manual to automatic. The “automatic” setting requires you to set a puff-length, and then instead of just holding the button down (which is obviously such hard work) you press it and the eVic fires for the designated length of time. Is that really automatic? Barely. Is it useful? I suppose it depends how lazy you are, but since you’ll need to hold the device anyway I’m going to go with no.
The VV/VW “switch” option is genuinely useful, and you can also use it to select a customized power setting: this is a fluctuation in power within your puff, so you could have a strong 10 W start then decrease to 8W as your draw gets longer, for example. This sounds cool at first, but like many of the features on the eVic, it ultimately comes down to the simple question of why you would even bother. The option may be nice if you want an obsessive-compulsive level of control over your vaping experience, but with VV/VW functionality anyway it’s hard to see the point.
The “Configure” settings are the next most useful, allowing you to set your screen-off and sleep mode timer settings (to conserve power), tell it the capacity of your battery, set the time and date, check your temperature (or setting the temperature that triggers your warning) and put the unit in “inverse” mode. This flips the dark background for a backlit one so you can use the device in sunlight more easily.
Many of these features were added with firmware updates, with the most recent being version 1.4 (at time of writing). The option of firmware updates is a fantastic feature, because it allows many of the gripes raised by users to be addressed in updates, and effectively means the eVic is liable to get better in the future too. This is a pretty unique addition, and likely one set to become more common in future.
Finally, there is the My Vapor Record software, which offers another way to change settings, lets you update your firmware and also offers a bewildering array of stats on your vaping habits. We’ve covered this last aspect previously, but the short version is: the software is buggy, badly designed and the information you get is way too detailed for comfort. Do you want to know how long you spent vaping at 8.5 W in May? Me neither, but I can find out. It could be of some use if you want to cut down your vaping and, again, you are seriously obsessive-compulsive about it, but for most it’s a pointless feature. Thankfully, all you really need to do with the software is update your firmware.
In brief: there are a ton of little features on the eVic, but the truth is you probably won’t use most of them. It really comes off as all pointless bells and whistles that might seem useful to a research and development team at 7pm on a Friday evening, or even to vapers when they’re reading about the eVic’s “high tech” style, but the truth is it isn’t needed. Many vapers use mechanical mods; VV/VW devices are more feature-laden, but when you get right down to it you don’t need extensive menu screens, a time and date display or anything of that sort when you’re vaping, just a battery, wick, liquid and wire in suitable housing. There are some cool elements to the eVic’s features, but on the whole it’s just too much.
Current and Resistance Limitations
As is standard for VV/VW devices, there are protections built in to prevent you from doing something stupid with your battery. The problem is that these are always a little over-cautious, and many vapers would rather extra freedom. The power can be adjusted from 3 to 5 V or 2 to 11 W (both in increments of 0.1), with the limit basically working out to either 2.5 A or 5 V, whichever you hit first. The voltage limit can be annoying for anyone making higher-resistance coils, and testing indicates that the voltage delivery is actually a little lower than that stated. It will fire coils at 1.2 ohms at the lowest, and will otherwise read a short or simply measure the resistance without firing. This is more ordinary for VV/VW devices, though, and if you want to go sub-ohm you’ll need to use a mechanical mod anyway. However, the eVic Supreme improves this aspect notably, allowing up to 30 W or 6 V and an atomizer resistance right down to 0.5 ohms – making it an appealing option for vapers in search of a powerful VV/VW device.
Despite all the features included on the eVic, most of the time you’ll just use it like any other mod. The screen works really well in practice, because you can immediately see all the info like battery level and resistance you’d otherwise have to manually check. If you attach a new atomizer, the resistance will show onscreen automatically, it’s easy to adjust the voltage or wattage with the dial (although admittedly I prefer buttons) and – aside from the slightly lower voltage delivery than stated – it works really well when you’re vaping.
When you try to do anything complex, you’ll be faced with some annoyances, though. The menu is awkward to navigate, requiring a lot of scrolling to “exit” to jump up a sub-menu, invariably turning the ring the wrong direction frequently at first (a left-turn moves down, not up as you may expect) and generally not finding things where you’d expect them. Also, any screen involving editing numbers works terribly: you have to turn the wheel left to increase the number and right to move to the next editable field, rather than using both directions to move up and down and the fire button to advance to the next field. This all may seem nit-picky, but it’s hard to get used to and quickly becomes frustrating.
Thankfully, you don’t often need the menus. If you turn the wheel to the right and hold it there you switch between variable voltage and variable wattage modes (or your custom settings), which saves you navigating the menu and makes the most common change you’ll make very simple. You can change the layout of the home-screen by doing this to the left, too.
A couple of small gripes persist outside of the menus, though. Adjusting voltage in 0.1 V increments makes sense, but it doesn’t really seem necessary to offer 0.1 W increments. The only saving grace when you’re making is a big change is the fact that three quick adjustments in the same direction sets it off scrolling automatically, and you can stop it by turning the ring the opposite way. Also, there is a slight delay when you press the fire button, which you get used to but annoys some vapers.
Leaving your device alone for a specified length of time sends it to sleep to conserve battery power, but “waking it up” is a bit too long a process. After five quick presses it comes on your resistance displays before you can fire, meaning it takes five to six seconds from switching on to vaping, which doesn’t seem long but it definitely feels it when you didn’t want the device to go to sleep in the first place. If you make it take longer to switch to sleep mode, your battery will suffer, so it’s all about striking a balance.
Charging is an easy process (once you’ve got the flap open), and it’s nice to be able to charge your battery with the device itself via USB, with the progress displayed on-screen. Unfortunately it doesn’t have a pass-through mode, so you can’t vape while you’re charging. Most vapers have spare batteries (and separate chargers), but if you’re stuck with one or your eVic is your only 18650 charger it’s an annoying limitation.
Although it’s a little long (like most 18650 mods), you can also carry it around easily enough; it isn’t a monster like the iTaste 134, but it isn’t easily portable unless you pick up an 18350 tube and battery for it or have a backpack or purse.
Other than these small points, there is no real cause to complain about the eVic in use if you ignore the pointless features and can cope with the limitations on voltage, wattage and resistance.
The manufacturing quality on the eVic seems OK overall, but there are some problems. It doesn’t feel quite as “indestructible” (obviously not literally) as many other mods, though, but the light-weight probably contributes to that a little. Mine has survived a couple of two-to-three-feet drops (onto carpet), but others haven’t been so lucky. It seems the head snapping off is the most common problem, obviously very much dependent on how it lands (one Reddit poster had a break after just a 15-inch drop onto carpet). If you’re liable to drop your mod, especially on a hard floor, it’s definitely worth considering something sturdier that can take a bit of a beating; the MVP springs to mind, but many other VV/VW devices seem much more resistant to accidental dropping too.
You get a 90-day warranty from Joyetech, but this doesn’t cover you if you drop the device, just if there’s a general fault that’s not related to you mistreating your eVic. This is understandable really, but obviously vapers who’ve had their device break would rather it if you got one replacement.