Eleaf provided me with the device, but I always try to give a realistic review, usually after a week or more of daily use. I try to give a “real user” review rather than delving into the numbers, others do that much better than I can. I normally use a well known premium e-liquid for all my reviews, it’s high VG, zero Nic and uses fruit flavourings with complex flavour notes, I know how it tastes in many devices and with varied settings, in that way I can try to judge how good a device is at releasing subtle flavours.
I received an iStick Rim kit that I assumed was blue, but apparently it’s “Rainbow” … in fact the reflective IML panel surface does change it’s colour somewhat in different lighting, but I’ll stick with saying it’s blue… or purple, no blue!
I don’t normally like lots of chrome, but in this case I like it … a lot. Reminds me of a couple of motorbikes I had back in the day with teardrop tanks 8) There are six colour options to suit many tastes, three with chrome and three with black fittings. The chrome and coloured parts, display and a rubber panel for grip are well built of quality materials. They are all striking to look at, mine has attracted positive comments, which doesn’t happen a lot.
The Rim & Melo 5 combo is a little over 13cm tall, 3.5cm wide and weighs 187.4g unfilled, the result is a solid, chunky yet rounded feel that fits well in the hand without being too big for comfort, angular it is not. There’s a 3000mAh internal battery and a USB-C charging socket on the bottom, not my favourite place for a charge socket as I’m always nervous about laying tanks on their side, but it seems OK. The QC3 quick charge technology states a full charge is achieved in around 40 minutes, I managed near 50 min from empty.
Let’s run through a few of the features before giving my user experience over about three weeks of daily use.
The monochrome display is bright and clear, menu options are fairly basic and easy to navigate. The Rim is a wattage only device, TC is not available so there are few multi nested settings. As usual 5 clicks of the large and solid fire button gives on/off, pressing the two navigation buttons below the display together unlocks/locks the controls apart from the fire button. Press up and fire to enter the menu that consists of a row of icons for access to – Exit, Sub (choose display of puffs, vape time, or volts), Stealth Mode on/off, Pre-heat – wattage and duration, Timeout settings, Device version info, the final icon gives a reading of the internal 3000mAh battery voltage.
Wattage is adjusted simply by the use of the up/down nav buttons by the main screen, usefully the Rim adjusts in increments of 0.1W up to the 20W level, then in 1W steps up to the max of 80W.
The Rim has Dry Burn Protection (DBP) running when the EC-S 0.6 Ohm SS316L coils are fitted and the device is set below 30W, this protects the coil when juice runs dry by monitoring the temperature of the coil, by shutting off the power and displaying a warning.
There’s the usual safety protections as well as DBP inc short circuit, over current, over charge, over discharge etc.
The Melo 5 tank.
This new 4ml/2ml Melo variant has several useful features, the fill cap needs to be lifted slightly before sliding for effective child security. There are two tank glasses supplied in the TPD version I received, a plain 2ml and a 4ml bubble version that has a spiral rubber banding, they both seem to be acrylic rather than glass. There’s a silicon seal in the fill slot, with a membrane that seems to be effective at stopping leaks and spills from this area.
Eleaf provide a spare silicon seal that is more open if you should prefer that. The Melo 5 has a cunning chimney and base design described as “Liquid Lock” that means you can change the coil even when filled, this doesn’t mean that the process is completely mess free but it’s a big improvement over stripping a tank down completely. Don’t neglect regular cleaning however!
There’s two coils provided, a 15-30W EC-S 0.6 Ohm with SS316L mesh coil that is stated as being suitable for MTL or low power DTL and a Kanthal meshed 30-75W EC-M 0.15 Ohm coil for higher wattage users. Other Eleaf EC coils should be compatible too, but I didn’t test this.
There’s a wide range of air flow control available, with a loose DTL and MTL being possible and everything in between, the air flow range and the different two coils should provide most users with a satisfactory vape.
I preferred the pre-installed EC-S coil as I normally like a cool vape using around 20-30W, with the airflow set at about 50-60% it suited me perfectly. I tried the EC-M coil at around 50W and it was too warm a vape for me, but then I’m strange 8) The battery lasted for a day and a half of use at 25W or so. A very satisfying vape with good flavour and cloud volume even at that low wattage, not the best I have experienced with mesh coils but perfectly acceptable.
I experienced zero gurgling, spitting or leaking – that’s an achievement.
Included in the kit I received:
1 x iStick Rim battery
1 x Melo 5 tank
1 x EC-S 0.6 Ohm coil
1 x EC-M 0.15 Ohm coil
1 x USB-C charge cable ( has an attached mini USB adapter so can be used with other devices too)
1 x Spare tank glass
Bag of spare parts including various o-rings & seals
1 x user manual
In summary- it’s easy to set up and use, comfortable in the hand, with good flavour and mess free operation. The only negative for me is that odd placement of the USB-C socket on the bottom … I would buy it without hesitation, Eleaf have produced a good one.
Full information – iStick Rim with MELO 5