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The last products I tested in this brand, more than a year ago, were the Magneto 2S or Fury Bec pro… This is to say that I had somewhat neglected -wrongly- this brand that produced bad, not bad, average and also some good stuff. This TFV4 Mini is actually part of that latter: good stuff. Although this type of atomizer starts accumulating in our drawers and are not suitable for “all day” use.

IMG_2723But one must recognize that this TFV4 in its Mini version has the merit of pushing the logic to the limits,  offering a transversal product that will let you test almost everything. By transversal, I mean that you can furiously vape on a 6-wrap coil resistor or a more classic one with the RBA base included in the basic package at a reasonable price, given the multitude of elements provided.

IMG_2697You’ll notice at first sight that I have not tested the first version and so I have no a priori. Secondly, and this of importance, the TFV4 Mini by SMOK is dedicated to people who already own or will buy a mod or a box capable of providing sufficient power to turn on the huge resistor, and we speak about power beyond 40 W and a for a minimum resistor of 0.2 / 0.3 Ω.

In January 2015, I rose up against the normalization of Power Vaping and of the Subohm mode in my test of the first version of the Atlantis by Aspire. But the innocent I am must also admit that these trends are now rooted in our habits. In parallel, I recognize that vapers around me do not care about this escalation.

This atomizer is not for beginners although its aim is to offer access to extreme vape. The fact is that your preexisting equipment has to support these uses. This however remains an atomizer designed for subohm vaping that will produce the largest and hottest vapor clouds.

Now you’re aware of it, we can talk about the double merit of this TFV4 Mini to offer you the unique chance to try Clapton resistive wires and to also enjoy a large family of resistances of all kinds, eight in total, ranging from temperature control in NI or TI to more classic 1.5 Ω ones but always with the choice of a large or reduced airflow.

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The TFV4 Mini by SMOK is another device for big clouds that opts for an easy filling of a new type… And this is welcome because you will have to fill it very often.

SMOK is not used to be at the top of innovation but it comes close to Aspire and Lemo with this new product. If we look more into detail, I would say that the benefit of this atomizer is its excellent value for money, given the supplied accessories. I see nothing missing to have fun, even a central airflow reducer is provided, that you can easily plug if, like me, you don’t like very aerial Subtank-like draughts. SMOK was smart enough to design its atomizer to a versatile use. I feel Kangertech’s inspiration with its first Subtank, and it is good news for the consumers as we are.

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IMG_2721Let’s acknowledge SMOK for the hinge opening system of the drip tip that allows easy refill. This is obviously convenient but not better than, for example, an Innokin by iSub or a Lemos by Eleaf. I would even say slightly less because identifying the opening direction so as not to force the so-called hinge is precisely tricky. I have a doubt about the longevity of the latter and in any case it will a part to be handled carefully because of its delicate design and position.

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The assembly and design of this TFV4 Mini are more traditional at this rate. Everything is removable and you will even receive a replacement tank. Special mention to the double glazed drip tip: you will find inside a small Pyrex drip surrounded by a metal one.

This drip tip also incorporates an Eleaf- or Aspire-type airflow that may be useful to those who vape at excessive speed because some resistors, especially the 6-wrap coil, reaches high temperatures. Personally I do not like and I do not use these drip tips that provide an unpleasant window effect, counterproductive in terms of flavors.

At the end of my preliminary remarks, I guess that to this rate, Santa will be satisfied!

Technical review:

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Features:

  • Content: 3.5 ml
  • Diameter: 22 mm (same as Aspire)
  • Length: 73.5 mm
  • Screw holes: 510
  • Weight: 85 grams (20 grams more than an Atlantis)
  • Drip tip: metal and Pyrex, removable and interchangeable, integrated airflow ring
  • 1 upright resistor
  • Resistors : TF-CLP2 0.35 Ω (Clapton coil, installed) and TF-S6 0.4 Ω (6-wrap, 30-100 W)
  • A rebuildable RBA TF-RCA board with 4 screws
  • Pyrex replacement tube
  • A seal of top cap plus
  • 2 silicone seals
  • 1 large screwdriver (a bit too large)
  • Japanese cotton
  • 1 Clapton resistive wire
  • Adjustable air inlet system
  • Non-adjustable connection pad to the battery, without spring
  • Material: Stainless steel

Clean but not intuitive, the classic assembly classic combines with an innovative filling

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The assembly of the 7 parts is simple and without any surprise, except that the junction of the top cap with the base is achieved via a thread between the central column and the air resistance, ensuring a perfect seal at this level. Pay great care to securize the resistor to its base while checking the insulating white seal is firmly seated.

This system is similar to many atomizers such as the Atlantis 2. I did not say they copy each other but I’m not far anyway.

SMOK deserves special acknowledgments for the filling of this TFV4 Mini through a sliding system of the drip tip on an offset axis. Ingenious, but it requires to push it in the right place, roughly at the beginning of the almost invisible arrow on the top. The easiest in my opinion is to identify the joint or the axis and slide around it. The advantage of this setting is that the top of your top cap will remain clean. SMOK also provided a white replacement cover, the cover probably wears out with the friction and no longer fulfills its sealing task perfectly. The filling would be perfect with a syringe but more tricky with a glass pipette…

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Second acknowledgment to the big family of SMOK‘s resistors. SMOK will commercialize 9 different resistances that roughly cover every vape styles that may exist to date but also three types of rebuildable bases for the single, dual and Clapton coils… You can not complain except of course to find a reseller. I have to inform you that each of these huge coil or resistors is supposed to be independent of the others and use separate chambers, which is reassuring for the longevity of the latter.

Just a remark: these 9 resistors range from simple to 6-wrap coils, some of them are designed for monitoring via temperature with nickel and titanium, 2 are classic 1.5 Ω resistors for which you can choose the type of airflow…

The power required to operate the resistors ideally varies from 20 to 100 W. It is an understatement to say that you must be equipped with a mod or a good box that safely sustain such a power. Added to this, the smallest resistors are very low and you will therefore be obliged to consider your equipment and usage before choosing such an atomizer.

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Kanthal palm to the special Clapton  RBA base

The two resistors provided in the pack are obviously highly effective and have the merit to be able to make such extremes coils accessible to all, but whether you like it or not, they work hard. Such resistors require careful boot to prevent them from burning, it is essential before use to moisten the tip with a few drops.

The interest for me was to make sure that I was not attracted by this type of vape; I had 5 minutes of fun but it was too hot, it sucked up the battery too quickly and it drained my tank within a few minutes…. But the quality of vape and restitution of aromas of your liquids were there.

I was amazed by the RBA/RCA base thought for Clapton wires that provide a better return of flavors… The base is wide enough to make its use is simple. SMOK also provides a small piece of Clapton wire so you can build your own restistor.

I now use this base but without the enclosed cotton to which I prefer my Fiber.

The airflow is good and less noisy than the Aspire and other subohms devices.

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This TFV4 Mini would then be a Kanger-style Aspire

Indeed, it is as effective as an Aspire Atlantis and as versatile a Subtank with its multitudes of resistors but especially with the RBA/RCA base provided in the basic package. This could be a smart purchase for whom is not already equipped with this kind of hybrid atomizer that allows going back and forth home-made and extreme manufactured resistors.

The “+”:

  • Multiple choice of resistors for different uses
  • Easy filling from the top
  • Complete pack for this price
  • Good manufacturing quality
  • Drip tip with airflow and double tip
  • Base special RBA/RCA Clapton-compliant base, very well-designed
  • Easily disassembled and reassembled
  • Airflow controller

The “-“:

  • Low Capacity
  • Power vaping made accessible
  • Price of the resistors not yet available
  • Use limited to the mods that can deliver high power 20/90 W
  • Requires a mod/battery accepting subohm mods
  • Assembly and reassembly of the tank too resistive on its upper part
  • Huge e-liquid consumption

CONCLUSIONS:

4/5 with the limitations of its use and a special mention for the versatile RBA/RCA base

It’s not my vaping style if one talks about 6-wrap coils and other very low-resistances (Sub Ohm), but it can be a very good choice for those who want to use Clapton wires on a rebuildable base for a very competitive price.