Pioneer4You iPV5 Review
Our Pioneer4You iPV 5 review takes a look at the dual-18650 mod and what it has to offer. With a huge 200 W maximum power output, a full-featured TC mode and a formidable design, it looks promising, but does the reality live up to the expectations?
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- Up to 200 W of power.
- TC vaping with nickel, titanium or stainless steel, and adjustable TCR.
- Well-built, sturdy mod.
- Simple operation.
- Magnetic battery door.
- Excellent price: under $50 for the mod.
- Comfortable to hold, especially for a dual-battery mod.
- Upgradeable firmware.
- Five memory spots for your most common settings.
- Perfect for cloud-chasers and long-term vapers.
- Heavy and a little bulky, could be more portable.
- Slightly cramped display.
- Menu could be improved.
Pioneer4You iPV5 Review
Pioneer4You’s iPV series has gone through tons of different iterations. From the compact iPV D2 and D3 to the iPV Mini and the full-sized iPV mods, the devices have definitely made a name for themselves in the industry. The iPV 3 Li in particular grabbed tons of votes in our best VV/VW mod poll and landed a spot in the top 10 devices as a result. The iPV5 may have already been superseded by the iPV6, but since it’s available for under $50 and is well-equipped with all the features you’re likely to need, there’s no need to discount it right away. So is the dual-battery mod worth picking up for the very affordable price? Our Pioneer4You iPV5 Review finds out.
What You Get
The iPV 5 comes in a basic box, with a foam insert on the inside cradling your mod. Underneath, you get a high-quality USB cable (for firmware updates) and a very short manual. This is a very basic offering, but still all you really expect from a mod, so there are no major complaints here.
iPV 5 Review – The Design
The iPV 5 has a formidable appearance. Mine is a solid black, with a metallic structure, curved edges and standing about 4 inches tall. It also comes in silver, white, blue and pink, but the black version really looks excellent. The branding is absolutely minimal, with “IPV 5” down the back edge and the Pioneer4You logo on one of the large faces. The mod manages to look great without doing anything too flashy or unusual: it has the no-nonsense look most vapers want.
Layout and Structure
The layout of the mod is very straightforward. The front edge bears the display screen, a fire button, two adjustment buttons and a USB port. The larger faces are bare, but one also serves as a battery cover, which is held in place magnetically. Both of the faces have a recessed section in the center and a small circle segment towards the bottom that cuts into the body of the device more deeply. On the battery cover, this segment makes it much easier to open with a swift pull downwards.
Two slots beneath the battery cover bear battery outlines with the positive and negative sides clearly marked. The bottom of both slots has a depressible contact point so you can get your 18650s in there easily. There’s also a loop of ribbon attached to one edge so they’re easy to remove. On the whole, the magnetic door and battery slots work exactly as they should, and there are no complaints at all.
There’s not much going on at the bottom of the device, but there are three sizable vent-holes cut into the body as part of three hook-shaped trenches. This works well from a design perspective, but the vent-holes are really about safety and give plenty of room for any venting gas to escape in the (unlikely) event of catastrophic battery failure.
Display and Interface
The front edge of the device is where most of the action happens, and everything is kept pleasantly simple. The fire and adjustment buttons are circular, with the fire button slightly larger than the others. The buttons have a satisfactory amount of resistance to them and let out and audible click when you press them down. The screen and USB port are slightly inset into the body of the device, adding to the sturdy look and protecting both from any damage.
The screen layout is simple but it gets the job done. The screen displays your wattage or joule setting towards the left, with your voltage and resistance to the right and a battery icon showing your remaining charge to the far right. The screen is OLED, so it’s pretty clear and bright, but isn’t as polished and well-presented as screens on other devices like the eVic VTC Mini.
The 510 connection is pretty standard, with a spring-loaded and screw-topped contact point and a metallic, circular section surrounding it. The threading is high quality – your atomizers screw down nice and smoothly, and the grip on your atomizer is solid.
The whole thing is well-sealed off, so any leaks around the edges of your atomizer won’t find their way into the body of the mod. You could still get some juice leaking into the 510 connection, of course, but on the whole the device protects you well against and errant leaking atomizers.
Comfort and Ergonomics
Finally, from a comfort perspective, the rounded shape of the mod works excellently. The iPV 5 is big due to its dual-18650 nature, but the curves mean the device fits comfortably in your hand. As you hold it, your index finger naturally falls on the fire button, so it’s about as comfortable to use as you can get with a dual-battery mod. From a comfort perspective, this represents a big improvement over the iPV 3 and 4, although they’ve gone further down this road with the new iPV 6.
On the whole, the design of the iPV 5 is beautiful. It’s simple, and won’t win any beauty contests, but it’s also rugged and to-the-point, with a wealth of extra little touches that make day-to-day use of the device as comfortable and painless as possible.
iPV 5 Features
Variable Wattage Mode
The iPV 5 has all of the features we’ve all come to expect from modern box mods. Firstly, the device offers a substantial power output of between 10 and 200 W. I’m not a huge cloud-chaser and I never push the power beyond 100 W, but if you’re looking for a mod to maximize your clouds, this is a big bonus. It goes without saying that you need to use high-amp drain batteries to push this device to its limit, though. The wattage setting is shown to three digits, so you can adjust in 0.1 W increments for anything under 100 W, then afterwards you increase 1 W at a time.
The iPV 5 does things a little differently to most devices, though. Although you can freely adjust your wattage like with most devices, it also comes with five memory locations (labeled M1 to M5), which you can use to store your most commonly used settings for easy recall. This is a great feature, because by cycling through your chosen settings using the “+” button you drastically reduce the amount of time you need to spend changing your settings. Pressing “−” puts you into adjustment mode so you can use it like any other mod, though.
Temperature Control Mode
The mod also features temperature control, and this works with Ni200, titanium and stainless steel (304) wire types. It also supports Yihi SX pure coils, although I’ve never used these personally. There’s also an adjustable TCR mode, so you can tailor the performance of the TC to suit your preferences or your specific build. The TCR setting ranges from 0.0005 to 0.007. You can also use this to adjust the TC to suit other grades of SS coil. The power setting in TC mode works in joules (it’s even called “Joule Mode” rather than TC by the device), but this is effectively identical to watts for vaping purposes (more on this here).
For TC mode, you’re limited to 120 J with titanium wire and 100 J with other wire types. This may be a bit of an irritating limitation for some, but personally I prefer lower settings for the ramp up, and I’m yet to run into issues as a result of this. For resistance, you can use any coil with a resistance between 0.15 and 3 ohms for standard wattage mode and anything from 0.05 to 1.5 ohms for TC mode.
The device uses the Yihi SX330-200 chipset to handle all of your vaping needs, and you can upgrade the firmware via USB. Some users have run into a little glitch where the device won’t allow you to adjust beyond 75 W, but this can be fixed quite easily: go to TC mode (Joule mode), choose titanium and increase the joules to the maximum allowed (120 J). Then go back to wattage mode and the problem should be solved.
The functions of the device are controlled by a basic menu system. Five clicks of the fire button takes you to the menu, and from there you press the fire button to cycle to the next item, and the adjustment buttons to change the settings. Menu systems aren’t always great, but the iPV 5s is at least fairly simple to get around.
The mod also comes with all of the expected safety features, including low voltage, low resistance, high voltage, short circuit, reverse battery and temperature protection. As mentioned earlier, it also has a physical safety feature in the form of vent holes just in case anything goes wrong.
On the whole, the iPV 5 does a great job in terms of features: it offers everything you could need from a substantial power output right through to a full-featured TC system. Additionally, the setting memory is a nice bonus feature that takes the hassle out of making large wattage changes.
iPV 5 Review – In Use
The iPV 5’s excellent features and sturdy design are one thing, but how does the device do when it comes to performance and day-to-day use?
Dialing in Your Settings
Broadly, the quality evident in the design and the multitude of features aren’t let down by the performance of the device. First off, as mentioned in the previous section, the memory feature for your most-used settings is a huge benefit in use. If you have a few different atomizers and use a similar wattage for each, you can get by with the iPV 5 without having to make many manual adjustments to the wattage at all. You simply cycle to the appropriate setting using the “+” button and vape away.
Menu System and Changing Modes
Changing modes is also pretty easy. The menu system could be a little more intuitive – even after testing the device for several weeks I still instinctively try to use the adjustment buttons to scroll through the menu – but it’s fairly straightforward regardless. To switch from wattage mode to TC mode, for instance, you simply press the fire button five times, press it again to go to the “Mode” setting and then press one of the adjustment buttons to change to joules. The device then asks you which unit you want to use (°C or °F), which coil type you’re using (or whether you want to adjust the TCR) and what temperature setting you’d like to use. If you’re using manual TCR, it also gives you a final option to change that before you start vaping.
Temperature Control Mode
The TC on the device works excellently, too. With the adjustable ramp up wattage (i.e. the adjustable joules) and the manual TCR option, it gives you everything you need to set up the TC to suit your preferences. For me this means quite a low ramp-up wattage, but regardless of what you prefer the option is there. A reviewer hooked the device up to a thermocouple and measured the temperature of the coil as it ramped up, maintained temperature and cooled down. The results show a smooth ramp up and then a relatively consistent temperature throughout the vaping process.
Of course, there are variations in temperature as you vape, but without the graph I wouldn’t have known. The performance in TC mode is consistent and smooth, and you don’t get the “stop-start” jumpiness you do with some TC devices. This is a big plus-point for me, because otherwise TC vaping really falls flat on its face.
Although the performance is great, it must be said that the device does suffer a little when it comes to portability. The mod is a little bulky, especially when it comes to weight, so you’ll probably prefer to take something else out of the house with you. However, the size is a necessary evil for dual-battery mods, and realistically it isn’t too bad to use out of the house if you have no other options or need the extra battery life.
The display screen is also a little smaller and more cramped than many devices. The eVic VT series (and the eGrip 2) from Joyetech have more aesthetically-appealing and spacious displays, but really this is a minor point in comparison to the performance. Plus, the screen does still get the job done. Your wattage (or joules), voltage, resistance and power level are all still clearly displayed (along with your temperature setting in TC mode), and there’s a small battery icon to show your remaining charge level. It could be better, but on the whole it’s not a downside so much as an area with room for improvement.
Other than that, there isn’t too much to complain about with the iPV 5. It’s comfortable to use, hits hard and performs consistently excellently.
The iPV 5 is built like a tank. The metallic body is rugged and feels like it could stand up well to any abuse, although mine did pick up a little scratch on the paintwork from a dink. The threading on the 510 connection is well-machined and smooth, the battery door has a solid fit and the design means you don’t have to prize it off with your fingernails, and the whole thing gives you a definite sense that Pioneer4You paid attention to detail when putting the device together. No complaints here apart from the minor dink affecting the paint job.