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Review Geek Vape Athena Squonk Mech - Pulse Beater?

Discussion in 'Mechanical Mod Reviews' started by Vapaneezer Scrooge, Jul 31, 2018.

  1. Vapaneezer Scrooge

    Vapaneezer Scrooge Vendor

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    I know these aren't hot off the press but with these little beauties coming down in price recently I thought I would do a brief review, being a mech there's little to discuss so most of it will be about the build quality and user experience as well as some detailed photos and comarison to the Pulse.

    **If you do not know what a mech is or new to mechs please research them first - this is NOT a starter/beginner kit**

    Unboxing first impessions:
    The shrink wrap is overzealous and no matter how careful I was it peeled part of the box wrapping - a little annoying as I like to look after my stuff including boxes.

    Opening the box you are greeted with the gorgeous looking mod and RDA already (loosely) attached nicely presented in black foam, underneath is a spare bottle and a bag of goodies including:
    • Tri tool
    • 510 drip tip and adaptor
    • Spare seals
    • Spare screws
    • 510 normal screw for dripping
    Athena-9.jpg

    Mod First Impressions:

    The moment I got my grubby paws on it brought a smile to my face, it's has a quality wow factor feel to it, with it's all metal (II think it's anodised aluminium) outer body, geometric patterned magnetic panels and superbly matched RDA design, branding is actually quite pleasing with matching logos on the mod & tank with ATHENA embossed discreetly on the opposite side to the fire button.

    It comes with a hard plastic bottle already installed, but I swapped it for the included silicone one, removing the metal magnetic panels to have a good look inside and it's simplicity is superb, obviously no electronics and unlike the Pulse it has no soldering either, the fire button action is as expected, simple push to contact with a sliding lock on the outside - a big thumbs up for that!

    It's a mod you can love, it just feels so right in your hand, compact and natural feeling squonk action and your index finger easily reaches the firre button.

    The squonk bottle takes a while to reshape but does it in time for the next time you need to squonk, minor niggle, I did snip the end of the tube at an angle to let it breath but made no difference.

    RDA Deck

    I'm always sceptical about included RDA's in kits but obviously I had to give it a try, especially pleased to see it's a top airflow with channels to direct it to the coils, it's postless deck makes it very easy to build on and shoved in a 0.30 Ohm SS316L (fused clapton), 2*28/38 AWG - BINGO! this RDA performs fantastic with this setup and is high amongst my favourites, decent airflow, slightly restrictive but a flavour machine - Big thumbs up for the RDA.

    There is an airflow control ring at the top which is very easy to use but I find fully open gives me the best vape, for those who prefer a more restricted airflow the options there.

    Being classed as an RDA it's not very practical to drip into if you are dual coiling it as dripping down the bore will miss the coils unless you remove the whole top cover, but in single coil you should not have any issues.

    Athena-6.jpg

    Athena-8.jpg

    Inside.

    The photo does it little justice but you can see it's shear simplicity, more simple than the Pulse even and with the lock slider on the outside you only need access to fill your bottle or change battery.

    The rear has a cutout to make removing your battery easy.

    The metal panels have magnets that snap into place securely with very little wiggle and they pleasingly snap into place.

    Athena-5.jpg

    Athena-4.jpg


    Compared to the Pulse Mech:

    The main difference between the 2 ignoring the construction is the Pulse takes 20700 & 18650 batteries where as the Athena only takes 18650, you would think that's a deal breaker for some but I've noticed very little difference, it lasts really well especially with the single coil setup and it's not a biggie as I always carry spare batteries.

    Size:
    The Athena is clearly smaller than the Pulse in every dimension but not by a huge amount, the battery is the main factor why the Pulse is larger, they are both compact but the Athena really feels a lot smaller in the hand, both take 24mm RDA's the Pulse might just take a 25mm with a little overhang, the Athena will look daft with a 25mm as the 24mm is flush with the edge.

    Weight: (with battery & full juice).
    Pulse with 24mm Pulse RDA = 0.2kg
    Athena with Athena RDA = 0.19kg

    A pretty even match but the Athena edges it, mostly due to a smaller battery and juice capacity but still a surprise for metal vs plastic, my mind plays tricks on me as the Athena 'feels' heavier.

    Athena-2.jpg

    Athena-7.jpg

    So which do I prefer and why?

    The Athena is better in almost every department except for the battery, so much so I am going to sell all my Pulse's as they are now redundant, as much as I loved the Pulse's quirky 3D print and transparent panels it's not enough for me to want to keep them.

    Why?
    Better construction
    Better looks
    Better RDA
    Smaller
    Solid
    Outer locking slider.
    Simpler design.
    Anodised Aluminium colour schemes
    Leak free (I know it's early days but I've had brand new Pulse's leak)
    And the final hard to explain factor, it's a mod I get pleasure from looking at.

    Athena-1.jpg

    Conclusion, Pro's & Cons:

    Conclusion:
    This little mech squonker kit is top quality in every way, the build, looks, user friendly build, high quality RDA, I really am going to struggle to find any cons for it but I will be as subjective as I can, if you already own a pulse like I do then this feels like a proper upgrade, Geek Vape have done a great job and haven't skimped on anything.
    I rank this a 9 out of 10.

    Pro's
    • High quality construction
    • Visually pleasing looks
    • Superb leak free RDA
    • Compact Size
    • Solid Alloy/Aluminium material outer.
    • Geometric etched metal magnetic removal-able panels.
    • Interchangeable panels for different looks (if you have more than 1)
    • Outer locking slider.
    • Simplest mech design.
    • Anodised Aluminium colour schemes
    • Battery fitting & removaldoesn't snag or tear wraps
    • Leak free (I know it's early days but the bottle is a good fit)
    • It's a mech so simple to use (as long as you know the safety with mech devices)
    • And the final hard to explain factor, it's a mod I get pleasure from looking at.

    Con's
    • Only takes 18650 battery - not an issue for me, battery life is good enough.
    • Square edges might not suit everyone's comfort level.
    • Shrink wrap ruins the box (OCD niggle)
    • Slightly restrictive airflow for some - I found it perfect and better than the Recurve for example
    • Squonk bottle takes 182 hours to reshape (okay a slight exaggeration but it doesn't pop back that quickly).
    • 1 isn't enough - it has the same 'must get another' factor that the Pulse had.
    To sum up, the question of 'if I lost this would I buy another?' is mute as I have 3 now - Pulse beater for sure.

    I've put a lot of time and effort into this review, comments or at least a thank or like would be appreciated and motivates me to do more - thanks for reading if you managed to get this far!

    Corrections, if you see a mistake or false statements please comment (constructively) and I will revise accordingly.
     

    Attached Files:

    #1 Vapaneezer Scrooge, Jul 31, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2018
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  2. eyeball kid

    eyeball kid Legend

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    Nice work bud. A far more comprehensive review that came to the same conclusions as mine.
    In short. If you want to try mech squonking first learn ohms law. Second buy one of these as pound for pound it's the best I've used.
    Also as I bang on about, The rda is also probably one of the best dtl squonk rda' s to be released last year.
    If I was a mechanism user, and this almost converted me, I'd pick this one.
    Fantastic work buddy.
     
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  3. Simon G

    Simon G Legend

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    does it have a button lock or a disable thing like the pulse?

    Edit, I just read that it does. :D
     
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  4. tootingyoda

    tootingyoda Achiever

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    Great review mate, much better than the one I did for something else, but never submitted.

    I have 2 mods, but no rda (yet), and the silver coloured one is perfect. The gun metal one had a very stiff lock, and still misses a fire every now and again, which I haven't cured, even after several total strip downs. I still use both quite regularly, and it imho knocks the Pulse out of the ring on every aspect, unless you really must have a larger than 18650 cell.

    Again, great review.
     
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  5. tony68

    tony68 Achiever

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    Great review again. That must have taken a fair bit of work. Good pics good content, your mojo is flying. FAB
     
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  6. tony68

    tony68 Achiever

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    Im liking written reviews much more now. They seem more real than video reviews. Might be bullshit but I take in far more information on something well written rather than something on video. Anyhoo well done again.
     
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  7. Vapaneezer Scrooge

    Vapaneezer Scrooge Vendor

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    Just revised it, the ones I had from Ecigone had coils but the ones I have just received from Ace of Vapes have no coils so I have revised my review to include no coils.

    I have just dual coiled one to 0.30 ohm's which was disappointing so I am rebuilding with the single coil as detailed in my review as it's definitely better in single coil mode.

    Thanks for the kind comments, makes it worth the effort :)
     
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  8. Vapaneezer Scrooge

    Vapaneezer Scrooge Vendor

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    I had thought of doing a video but my monotone voice would send people to sleepat the intro - I could always get Siri to dictate it lol

    With this one I didn't jump in as quick as I did with the Pico Squeeze 2 as I wanted to use it for at least a week to remove the novelty factor.
     
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  9. Banjostring

    Banjostring Achiever

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    Another great review. Good format, great content and the quality of the photos is terrific. I've recently found myself reading your reviews of things I have no intention of buying
     
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  10. eyeball kid

    eyeball kid Legend

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    Yeah I found a spaced single brochrome 24awg at a very safe 0.4 ohms was awesome in that rda.
     
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