Saturday, 4 June 2016

Review: iStick Pico by Eleaf

Eleaf has been around for a while now, releasing nicely priced, powerful mods (among other stuff) that has been praised for performing really well. I never got around to try out the iStick 30W or the original iStick though. Was pretty close to buying a 30W once but I was in a hurry to get a small travel mod, but sadly my only local shop, dampoteket.no, was out at the time so I ended up with another one. But now I finally got my hands on the new iStick Pico, which looks pretty impressive, at least on paper. I was quite excited to see if they really could deliver all this functionality and power at this price.

In the box
  • The mod
  • A USB charging cable
  • User Manual (English, French, German, Spanish, Russian and Italian)
Specifications
  • 45mm*23mm*70.5mm
  • 510 thread
  • Uses one 18650 battery (Continuous discharge current should be above 25A)
  • Output modes: VW/Bypass/TC(Ni,Ti,SS,TCR-M1,M2,M3) mode
  • Output wattage: 1-75W
  • Resistance range: 0.05-1.5ohm (TC modes)
    Resistance range: 0.1-3.5ohm (VW/Bypass mode)
  • Temperature range: 100-315℃/200-600℉ (TC modes)
Look and feel

I don't think you can make a single 18650 powered temp. control mod much smaller than this. Just 70,5mm in height it just adds 5.5 mm to you battery height. You could probably make it slimmer... if you really really wanted, but there is no point in that to be honest. Due to the design with the battery lid raised above the mod side by side with the 510 connection it is strictly limited to 23mm tanks (or smaller of course), you couldn't fit a wider tank on it if you wanted to (unless you use some kind of adapter that is). And that's ok. This mod was made for people who wants quite a small setup so no point messing it all up with a huge atomizer. Besides, there is a lot of options out there when it comes to 23mm tanks. I've been using the Steamcrave Aromamizer V2, the EHpro Bachelor and the Wismec Theorem and they all look awesome on the Pico.
The mod itself also looks pretty good, has a good size display and feels very solidly built. It now comes in 7 different colors. It seems they've just added "full black" and "brushed silver" in addition to pink, silver, white, black and grey. I've got the silver version and I think it looks nice, although I can see it will get scratches pretty easily. I guess it has to do with the finish on it. I don't know if the other colors have the same kind of finish though. Personally, from the pictures, I think the black ones and the grey look the best. All in all I think it's a damn sexy little mod, although the silver finish I have honestly makes it look a bit cheap. But it doesn't feel that way at all. It has some rattle in the buttons, but I actually had to check for that just now, so it's not something that is going to bother you at all.

In use


Using this mod is pretty straight forward. The usual 5 clicks to turn it on and off. 3 clicks to go into the menu and + and - buttons that are placed under mod to adjust wattage, temperature and switch between vaping modes in the menu. You can lock the adjustment buttons by holding them both down for a while when the mod is on and there is a stealth mode that you can turn on and off by holding down fire and - for a while. When the mod is turned off you can hold the + and - button to rotate the screen 180 degrees and you can adjust the three manual TCR modes to your liking by pressing + and fire for 10 seconds.

It also has a built in charger, and I'm happy to see that it's on the side so you can charge it standing up avoiding leakages. I see some people complaining that the adjustment buttons are on the bottom of the mod, but honestly I've had no problems with that. They need enough force to be pushed so in my opinion this is actually a good placement as it makes the mod pretty pocket friendly.

On a daily basis most of us will probably only need to adjust wattage or temperature and maybe switch modes from time to time and all this is really easy and straight forward to do. Same goes for entering stealth mode for those of you who need to do that. So all in all, very easy to use and I haven't really had any problems with it.

Performance

There is really not much to say about the performance of this mod. It is just really really good. It packs a hell of a punch, on par with other mods I have that costs 5 times as much. Some of the cheaper mods I've tried seems to output less power when compared side by side with for DNA200 and SX350 mods with the same setting, but not this one. It feels about the same. I've been using it in wattage mode, tried out the bypass mode (which basically turns it into a mech mod and I've tried the Ni temp. control (a material I absolutely hate working with but my EHPro bachelor came with a pre-made Ni200 coil so...). All works really well. It doesn't seem to waste your battery time either. I've been vaping at around 50W with a 0.5 Kanthal coil and charged it about once a day. Then again I do use other mods in between, so if I was to use this exclusively I'd estimate I'd use approximately two batteries a day with those numbers. All depends on how much you vape and your style really.

Again, this is a really great little mod when it comes to performance and has quickly become one of my preferred ones when I'm going out because of it's size and ease of use. Seems to deliver really stable power as well, and it doesn't "slack off" when your battery is low.

Pros and cons 

+ Size and design
+ Stable power
+ Powerful
+ Build quality
+ Charge port on the side

- Scratches easily (at least the silver version)

Conclusion

Great performance, great design and ease of use makes it one of the best buys out there if you need a powerful, pocket friendly mod. Here in Norway it's priced at only around 400 NOK (395,- at dampoteket.no) which makes this a no brainer really. You can get it at around $30 elsewhere without battery and shipping I guess. Even if you really don't need another mod, this is cheap enough to just try it out... who knows, maybe you'll end up needing it after all, like me.

Thanks a lot to Birger at dampoteket.no for giving me this mod for review.



Disclosure:
  • All my reviews are my honest opinion even if I am affiliated with the company manufacturing or selling the product. 
  • This product was given to me free of charge for the purpose of this review.
  • This review does not contain affiliate links.

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