The original iStick was one of my first regulated devices when I made the switch well over five years ago. Eleaf and their iStick line has to be one of the most ubiquitous and well known product lines in the industry. Over the years they’ve grown and evolved to keep up with buyers constantly changing demands. Often characterized as one of the more affordable options the iStick line of devices actually contains some of my favorite devices of all time with the iStick Pico being a prime example. Most recently they released a new iStick called the Mix and I was fortunate enough to get my hands on one. Here are my honest thoughts on the iStick Mix with Ello Pop from Eleaf.
1 x iStick Mix(without cell)
1 x Ello Pop Atomizer(6.5/2ml)
1 x HW-M2 0.2ohm Head
1 x HW-N2 0.2ohm Head
1 x QC3.0 USB cable
2 x User manuals
1 x Bag spare parts
Listed features and specs:
Weight: 209.5g(without cell)
Battery type: Dual 18650
Output wattage: 160W max
Resistance range: 0.05Ω-3.0Ω
Colors: Seabed Snaker, Hell Witch, Glary Knight,
Wind Ninja, Skyline Numen
Packaging and contents:
The kit comes packed in a nice cardboard box with a sleeve over it depicting an image of the kit on the front and a listing of the contents on the back. Inside the mod and tank are well protected by a thick black sponge insert with the contents of the kit hidden underneath. Inside the kit you get the iStick Mix mod, an Ello Pop atomizer, two coils for the tank, a handy USB C QC3.0 cable with an attached Micro USB adapter, a spare bubble glass, two user manuals, two warning cards and a bag of spares. In the bag of spares you get a set of black orings and a couple of replacement tank fill port seals. It’s a well stocked kit but you don’t get any real notable extras like spare drip tips or things like that. Still you get everything you’d need to get started so no real complaints from me.
The mod is an eye catcher. The new iSitck Mix uses a mix of colour and styles to make it stand out in a crowd. It’s a 160W dual 18650 device with one side bearing a patterned IML plastic panel and the other sporting a colourful swirly resin door panel. IML stands for In-Mould Labelling which means the design or label is applied during the moulding process which basically means it becomes a part of the plastic it’s being moulded with. This means the applied design is extremely durable and should hold up really well to day to day wear and tear. The colourful resin side which also acts as the battery door should also hold up well to abuse. Each device in the line is themed and on their site they match them up with fantasy characters each with it’s own back story. Obviously someone at Eleaf is a fan of RPGs.
At the top it comes equipped with a centered stainless steel 510 connection. The threads on it are nice and smooth and it’s got a gold plated spring loaded 510 center pin. The device is 27mm wide and should support atomizers up to 27mm without any overhang. The 510 is secured to the device via two Torx screws but I noticed it sticks out from the body of the device just slightly. It’s enough that it will leave a slight gap which I know can annoy some people. It doesn’t really bother me unless I’m looking for it though. Down the working face of the mod is the rounded fire button, the OLED screen and the adjustment buttons. They don’t state the size of the screen but I believe it’d be about 0.69″. The OLED screen is fairly bright and contains all the information we’re used to seeing including Watts, Volts, Resistance, Amp(puffs/time) and dual battery bars. It’s well laid out and easy to read and should be familiar to anyone who’s used an Eleaf device in the past. The round fire button has some concentric circles on it with a dot in the middle to add a bit of style not to mention grip which is echoed on the rounded adjustment buttons which also bear a dot in the center.
Popping open the battery door reveals the dual battery integrated sled, it uses a ribbon to help remove the batteries and is clearly marked for both positive and negative. The USB C charge port it located on the side with the IML plastic panel near the bottom and balance charges at a rate of 2.5A and should top a pair of batteries up in about an hour and a half. It can also be used for firmware updates but at the time of this review no updates were available. The device itself, though it isn’t stated anywhere is probably made of some type of alloy. It feel solid, almost heavy in hand and reminds me a bit of a VooPoo Drag or Drag Mini but with rounded edges and corners. On the very bottom of the device it’s got some slots cutout for venting should anything go amiss with your batteries.
Powered by a new Avatar chip the Mix fires fast and stable. To use the device it’s also quite familiar with five clicks to turn it on and off and three clicks to get in to the mode selection screen where it has support for the following modes VW, TC-Ni, TC-Ti, TC-SS, M1-M3(TCR) and Bypass. Pressing and holding fire and up will bring up the submenu where you’ve got options to change the on screen sub parameter(amp, puff, time), enable/disable stealth mode, configure a pre-heat, enable/disable the logo on bootup, display the version information for the device and firmware as well as display the actual battery voltage and not just a battery bar. If you’re in a TC mode you’ll also have options to lock/unlock resistance as well as set a TCR value. To adjust watts while in TC mode click the fire button four times and it will switch from temp to watts. The adjustment buttons increment in 0.1 increments up to 20W and then increment by full increments. With the device turned on holding both adjustment buttons locks them and with the device off pressing both buttons rotates the screen. As with nearly all regulated devices it also includes all the usual protections we like to see including over-charge, over-discharge, over-current, short circuit, reverse polarity and a 10 second cutoff so in nearly any situation it should remain safe.
The tank that comes with the kit is called the Ello Pop. I believe it’s the sixth Ello tank in the series. It’s 26.5mm diameter tank but with the bubble glass attached it bulges out to 28mm. It’s the evolution of the original Ello tank and with nearly every iteration we’ve seen new features or changes in the design. With the Ello Pop it pretty much sticks to a similar design as the Ello Duro and Ello Vate with a childproof top fill and bottom adjustable airflow but with a few minor improvements. So what’s new with the Ello Pop? It comes with a glass tank that’s ringed with silicone in a sort of swirly pattern. It’s meant to protect the tank breaking from tips and falls. It’s a thin layer of silicone so it likely won’t protect against a full on fall but tipping over on your desk it should be safe. The childproof cap has also seen a slight improvement now requiring you to pull it up before sliding it open. This means it’s much less likely to pop open in your pocket like past versions of the tank. Aside from those minor details the Ello Pop works and performs just like the Ello Duro which we’ve seen ship with the iJust 21700 and the Lexicon. The tank holds a very comfortable 6.5ml of liquid unless you get the TPD version which is limited to just 2ml. It comes equipped with a colourful resin drip tip which should match nicely with the device and it’s available in two colours silver and black.
The tank comes packed with the same coils we saw with the iJust 21700, namely the HW-M2 and HW-N2 which are both 0.2ohm kanthal mesh coil heads. The main difference between the two is the type of mesh that they use, the M2 uses what is essentially a strip of metal with a bunch of holes drilled through it while the N2 uses a more traditional wire mesh. Both are rated from 40-90w and I found they both worked well around the 55-60w mark. You might have noticed a shiny metal bit in the middle of the coil, it’s actually an airflow diffuser which helps spread airflow evenly around the inside of the coil. Flavour and vapour production from both coil heads was full and warm but I hardly see a difference between the two. I’ve been able to get well over a week out of a single coil but obviously that can vary depending on juices used, personal vaping habits and QC on the coils themselves.
The iStick Mix is a fantastic new addition to the iStick line of devices. Not only does it work well but it looks good doing it! It’s incredibly well made and feels absolutely solid in hand giving it an almost premium feel. The Ello Pop is also a nice addition to the kit and works well with the HW-M2 and N2 coils providing a fantastic subohm mesh vape experience. I think this kit would be well suited to both new and seasoned vapers alike looking for a solid yet affordable dual battery mesh coil based kit. Nice one Eleaf!!
Overall Score: 8.7/10
By Chris Sisson