Joyetech eVic VTC Mini Review
Joyetech is a name that should be familiar to vapers — after all, it's one of the largest and most well-established e-cigarette manufacturers in the world. It's hard to believe that just a few years ago Joyetech's eGo technology revolutionized the industry. Oh how things have changed! Since then, the company's profile has been somewhat diminished by a growing list of competitors, but it's trying to make a come back with its sleek new devices offering a wide range of advanced features. Enter the Joyetech eVic VTC Mini.
The eVic VTC Mini is actually an update to the eVic VT, a similar box mod which was Joyetech's first attempt at a temperature controlled device. The VT received stellar reviews, known for its solid construction and competitive price point. The VTC Mini is no different, and perhaps even better than the original for several reasons… so on to my Joyetech eVic VTC Mini review.
Construction & Design
One thing you're going to notice right away from the time you open the box is that this is no chintzy mod. It's compact in size, but the body is comprised of a rugged metal casing, with a durable recessed fire button above the display and control buttons to the bottom. And the display is outstanding! A vertically oriented OLED screen graces the side of the box, and is possibly one of the clearest displays I've seen on a mod to date. The VTC Mini can be charged through the micro USB port below the screen and navigation buttons; an almost standard feature on box mods these days.
Those who might have been turned off by the eVic VT and its internal battery will be happy to know that Joyetech has decided to go with a removable battery here: all you have to do is replace the 18650 battery with a new one when battery power gets low. Even the battery door is solid: you won't need a rubber band of any kind to keep the door on. The magnets are very strong, and it actually takes a bit more force than you might be used to to pull the door off. Shoddy magnets were a huge problem with the Kangertech Subox I reviewed a few months back, but you certainly won't have that problem with the Joyetech eVic VTC Mini.
One note on those magnets: keep this mod in a separate pocket from magnetic strip cards! The magnets are very strong — strong enough that metallic items on my desk were finding themselves attached to the side. Not a huge problem, and it's actually nice to see good magnets for once.
The eVic VTC Mini comes with Joyetech's eGo One Mega tank just like it's older sibling. The tank holds an impressive 4ml of juice, which should be sufficient for most to last the entire day, and is capable of supporting both Titanium (Ti) and nickel (Ni) coils for temperature control mode.
Device Operation & Performance
Like the VT before it, the main attraction with the VTC Mini is the temperature control functionality. This might be the hardest thing to get used to as it requires you to throw out just about everything you know about mod operation. Before proceeding, I recommend that you get yourself familiar with how temperature control works: I actually burned up a coil and had a less than perfect experience the first time around simply because I didn't know how to operate the mod correctly.
(COMING SOON: CigBuyer.com's Guide to Temperature Control Vaping)
The Joyetech eVic VTC Mini and eGo One Mega tank do support variable wattage operation as long as you have the standard coils in. There you will be able to adjust wattage in .1 watt increments up to 60 watts. When using the variable temperature mode, you'll be able to select either nickel (Ni) or titanium (Ti) coils and operate between 200-600°F, which is pretty standard. I found navigating between the different modes fairly simple, although it may take some getting used to when compared to other temp control devices.
Personally, I'd recommend using the mod in temperature control mode, because once you get the settings down and your airflow dialed-in the vapor production is quite impressive. I did find that the vapor production suffered quite a bit when the adjustable airflow was open more than halfway: in fact, I typically had it open less than a quarter. Flavor production was decent with the standard coils, but being a DIY'er I preferred the rebuildable coil heads. Not only did they improve the flavor and work much better for me, but with the ability to change out wicks — and the coils too if you desire — the usable life was extended considerably.
My Thoughts on the VTC Mini
I have to say that I was extremely impressed with the Joyetech eVic VTC Mini. For such an affordable device it had a considerable amount of heft to it, while still being comfortable in the hand. Everything about it seems to be built around the concept of making it durable: after about a month of use the device shows next to no signs of wear. For a setup that will only set you back about $50-60 (with mod and tank included), that's impressive. I've seen way to many mods look like they've been through the ringer (ahem, Subox) after just a week or two of use. That's unacceptable.
What I absolutely love about the eVic VTC Mini is the box design, and especially the screen. It is clear and readable, and doesn't look cheap. OLED screens are supposed to be bright and easy to view – even in sunlight, but most of the OLED's I've seen on today's mods leave me extremely disappointed. Aligning the text horizontally when the mod is held vertically? Brilliant, and I'm in love.
Temperature control is also the way to go, and I've been impressed with all of the advantages it has to offer. This was my first temperature control experience, and within the first few days I noticed I was charging the battery less. With a standard box mod I may be running a new 18650 every day, but I found that sometimes I was getting two, even three days out of a charge. It has a lot to do with how temperature control varies the wattage, thus decreasing the amount of drain on the battery. It also helped reduce my e-juice consumption a bit, and I didn't have one nasty dry hit.
Now everything isn't roses with the VTC Mini, and most of the issues I had with the device came with the tank. First, the standard non-rebuildable coils for the eGo One Mega just didn't work well for me. I had next to no flavor, but I could be a bit biased since I use RDA's and regularly build my own coils. This was all fixed with Joyetech's rebuildable eGo One Mega coils.
Another annoyance was the airflow adjustment. It's placement all the way at the base sometimes makes it annoying because you can accidentally unscrew or tighten the tank. I prefer the design of the Kanger Subtank where the airflow adjustment is not on the bottom of the tank and instead above a fixed base. Just personal preference here: this may not be an issue for others.
Bottom line? At this price point, this is one of the top budget box mods of 2015. I've tried quite a few products this year, but Joyetech is blowing everyone away, and even some at slightly higher price points. If you haven't considered the company in a while (this was my first Joyetech device since I started vaping), you might want to reconsider. The eVic VTC Mini is the real deal.