Aspire BOXX Review by Antony Lord

Review Date: 
23.06.2021

Aspire BOXX

Aspire BOXX

The Aspire BOXX was supplied by UK Aspire Vendor for the purposes of review. RRP = £94.98 at the time of writing.

Specs at a glance

  • The BOXX has been partner designed alongside Sunbox and Atmizoo
  • Supplied with Nautilus coils pod for MTL & RDTL
  • BP coil pod and Rebuildable Qbix pod available separately 
  • Dimensions: 52.5 x 24 x 87mm (without drip tip)
  • Replaceable 18650 battery (Battery not included)
  • Output modes: VV/VW/Bypass
  • Output range: 1-60W / 0.5-8.4V
  • 0.91 inch OLED screen

Aspire BOXX review

Antony: UK Aspire Vendor has kindly sent out the latest entry from their Prestige line up where they team up with some of the worlds best mod makers and add in their mass production know how to bring us the kind of kit you would normally only dream of owning because of its rarity or cost (and usually both!). This time it’s the turn of SunBox who have brought us a modern twist on the billet box in the form of the Aspire BOXX.

Simon: Aspire has really treated us with this review bundle, they even sent out the Qbix rebuildable pod kit which I wasn’t expecting, so that’s an extra bonus. It’s going to be difficult not to compare the BOXX to the Billet Box, although it looks very different I suspect it will vape exactly the same.

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Aspire BOXX Dark side

Antony: Dark Side - The BOXX is currently available in two colours, Quicksilver and Tuxedo, and UK Aspire Vendor were even kind enough to allow us to pick which colour we would prefer. For myself, I picked the Tuxedo version as I liked the bold contrast between the black main chassis and the stainless steel battery tube. Simon wanted the Quicksilver version so I’ll let him chime in here for his reasoning:

Aspire BOXX light side

Simon: Light Side -  I chose the Quicksilver one as I don’t really do black vapes by choice, it’s a bling thing. Mine is also contrasted with stainless steel the same as the Tuxedo version, the only thing that looks a little odd is the included white drip-tips but I soon swapped those out.

Aspire BOXX first look

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Antony: The BOXX arrives in typical Aspire Prestige packaging and I’ve come to recognize that this usually means we're in for a bit of a treat, even the unboxing experience is something a little bit special. On the top layer you have the BOXX itself along with an instruction manual, a couple of spare o-rings and a 510 nut tool, underneath this you get a Nautilus Pod with two coils and the airflow control base. As an added bonus, you’ll also find a second standard 510 nut and a whistle style drip tip.

Aspire BOXX packaging and coils

Simon: This is the third Prestige kit I’ve received, I love the black & gold presentation packaging, the whole unboxing was pleasing, the base layer especially.

Aspire BOXX unboxxed

Simon: The included bundle is very generous and I’m especially glad Aspire included the standard 510 drip-tip nut as part of the package. Whilst I like the way Aspire have implemented the top screw with the preinstalled drip tip, you simply pull the drip-tip off and it reveals a knurled metal piece that you can screw/unscrew with your fingers. I much prefer to add my own style drip-tip.

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Antony: I’m actually enjoying the preinstalled drip tip nut although I will admit some might find it a little too short, I’m not too keen on the whistle tip sleeve though. If you have custom Billet box 510 nuts/drip tip,s you’ll be happy to hear that this uses the same threading so those should all work here as well, I tried one of mine and it was fine.

Aspire BOXX drip tips

Antony: One thing I did find a little frustrating with the unboxing was that the Boro tank door was stuck down with a little clear sticker. This has clearly been done to stop things coming loose in transit and getting banged up or scratched which is a good thing, however with the Tuxedo version this left a nasty sticky residue which took an age to get rid of. Additionally Boro style devices are notoriously messy affairs, you haven’t lived until a Boro tank has taken a massive dump on you, and one downside to the Tuxedo black finish is that it shows up any e-liquid you might have on your hands like a sore thumb! How’s the Quicksilver version on that front Simon?

Simon: The Quicksilver one doesn’t show any marks fortunately, it also matches my Quicksilver MIXX perfectly. The sticker came off pretty cleanly and left no sticky marks. I was pretty keen to get the photos finished so that I could crack on and vape on this little beauty. I set-up for mouth to lung (MTL) using the included 1.8ohm coil. That said, the 0.7ohm coil works well for MTL and RDL.

Aspire BOXX basic breakdown

SMKD

Antony: Moving on to the BOXX itself, now this certainly differentiates itself from the classic Billet box with clear SunBox design cues in its bold aesthetics and just a hint of the earlier Aspire SunBox collaboration, the MIXX side by side mod (SBS). Constructed in anodized aluminium and stainless stee,l this is all precision CNC machined, a process which apparently takes 60 minutes just for the main chassis alone, and the attention to detail certainly shows. 

With the Tuxedo version, I love the contrast between the matte black chassis and the stainless steel buttons and battery tube. The branding isn’t too in your face either with the BOXX and Aspire logos cleverly integrated into the design on the front control panel. Despite its obviously boxy design, this is surprisingly comfortable in the hand as all the corners have been nicely rounded off, I can’t find a single sharp edge anywhere that might cut into you. The matte black finish also has a slightly sandblasted texture/feel which, when combined with the cutout on the back for the battery tube, means that I’m not wandering around all day in fear that this is going to slip out of my fingers. How’s the finish and texture on the Quicksilver version Simon?

Simon: The Quicksilver has the same satin finish which feels so nice in the hand, again it matches the finish of the MIXX which has a very similar ‘in the hand’ experience. The machining quality is really impressive, I come from an engineering background and I really appreciated the work that has gone into the BOXX.

Aspire BOXX both sides

Antony: Whilst I’m happy to report that the buttons all have a nice positive clicky response with zero button rattle, I was initially a little worried that I wouldn’t like the position of the fire button in particular. This is placed quite low down as you would find in a SBS mod and, having never owned one of these in the past, I found it to be quite an alien experience. After a day of use, I quickly got used to this and found a comfortable way to use the button for trigger firing. The fire button is slightly recessed in from the front in a conveniently finger sized cutout which definitely helps you quickly locate the button without needing to look first which is a clever touch, but there’s absolutely no way I could use this as a thumb fire mod! I know Simon has a few SBS mods so I’ll let him chime in with his thoughts on this:

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Aspire BOXX all round look

Simon: I have a few SBS mods and all seem to have an oddly placed fire button but they all seem to work well. You do have to hold the BOXX a certain way in your hand. I tend to support it with my pinkie finger and fire it with my ‘flippin the bird’ finger, works for me and I like it’s quirkiness. That recess you mentioned does make all the difference as it makes finding the button very intuitive. The adjustment buttons are also spot on; flush and firm enough to prevent accidental adjustments. Overall I found it surprisingly comfortable to hold.

Antony: Strangely enough I hold my BOXX exactly the same way as you describe so this would seem to be the most natural way to hold it.

Aspire BOXX battery bay

Antony: The battery is inserted from the top of the mod with a screw cap design, and the bottom of the battery tube is clearly marked for polarity (positive down). There’s no USB port in play here so you’ll need to use an external charger. Whilst I’m on this subject, I believe the battery cap for the MIXX will also work on this if you want to customize your BOXX, and these are already available for purchase separately. Any chance you can give that a quick whirl and report back simon?

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Simon: There’s something rather pleasing about this battery loading method, it might not be the easiest way to swap a battery but it helps the cosmetics of it and keeps the dimensions down. The MIXX battery cap does indeed fit the BOXX though it has a raised top and distracts the flat profile of the design slightly. I think they made the right choice with a flush cap. It also has bigger slots which make it easier to grip, but as you say, it is a customisation option.

Antony: With a battery inserted, this reveals the screen on the bottom of the BOXX which is bright enough to be read outdoors. You can additionally put the screen in stealth mode by quickly pressing the fire button three times and this has the added benefit of also locking the up/down buttons at the same time.

Simon: Being slightly OCD, I noticed that the screen is slightly off centre, there must be a reason for this with the board positioning perhaps? It doesn’t bother me much but something I notice every time I look at it. This led me to notice that the mouthpiece is offset by the same amount, so it appears that the magnetic panel door thickness had an influence on this.

Aspire BOXX screen

Antony: I had noticed the screen was offset and thought this was probably down to the size or length of a component like a ribbon cable. I hadn’t actually noticed that the drip tip was offset as well until you mentioned it and now I can’t unsee it, bugger!

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There’s a maximum output on the board of 60 watts and 8.4 volts and both are adjustable in 0.1 W/V increments which should please the MTL crowd especially. This looks very much like the board used in the MIXX with wattage, voltage and bypass modes available so I’m sure Simon can tell us more about his long term experience with this. 

Simon: As for the chipset, this is pretty basic stuff and very old-school. There’s no TC (Temperature Control) options for advanced users. On the plus side of that; the functionality is far easier to navigate and use with no bloated features to drain the battery. The screen is also simple and clean, no pointless puff counters and the like, which makes it easy on the eye and VERY bright and clear. The quick option to turn it off is really useful - a job well done in my eyes.

Aspire BOXX battery and screen

Antony: Finally we come to the whole reason behind the BOXX, the Boro tank. This is covered by a small door which is held firmly in place by four magnets, for filling you can simply slide the door up and it will be held in place by the top two magnets on the main chassis but I’ve found it’s sometimes easier to remove the door altogether for this, particularly with larger e-liquid bottles. There are two slots on the Boro tank door which are supposed to allow you to see your e-liquid levels but I’ve found this to be of limited use especially in lower light conditions, sliding the door up with my thumb for a quick peek is often quicker and more effective. The slots also contribute some of the available airflow as well.

Simon: I’m glad you called it a ‘tank’ and not a pod, I’m not sure if it’s classed as a ‘Boro’ though as it’s a different style without the sliding glass. I could be wrong though? Either way it’s not a pod in my eyes and the BOXX takes Boro tanks also which is clearly a big part of the appeal.

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Antony: I think it’s still technically a Boro. If you look at things like the VapeSnail which also uses a custom tank, people still class that as a Boro tank. I agree that the larger appeal here is with other Boro inserts and bridges, it’s certainly a bit part of the draw for me.

Aspire BOXX coils and filling

Antony: On the inside is where things get interesting. First of all the positive connector on the bottom is spring loaded unlike the solid connector on traditional Boro tank devices, I haven’t found any issues with this in use and it seems to work quite well with a stable connection to my bridges. Die hard Boro tank users will have also noticed something I suspect a lot of casual users wouldn’t even consider…the Boro tank is on the wrong side of the BOXX!

Aspire BOXX tank attachment

Simon: I didn’t even notice it was spring loaded - nice! I’m hoping that Aspire has sealed the inside of the pin to prevent any leak damage, so far the Aspire Nautilus Pod has been completely leak free though. Being right handed, I actually prefer the tank on this side. I am trying my hardest to forget about the comparison to the BB, so far I am finding it different enough to be its own thing but with BB Boro compatibility.

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Aspire BOXX pod cover

Antony: This is important because a lot of Boro tank users like to use condensation plugs and airflow reducers under their Boro tanks, these are obviously designed for the airflow to enter from the right side and because of the shape of a Boro tank they are “handed” and can’t simply be flipped around the other way if the airflow suddenly gets shifted to the left hand side of the device. Aspire have overcome this tricky issue by bringing the airflow in via the two large openings on either side of the main chassis and then channeling this to the bottom right of the Boro tank where your airflow would normally come in from, ingenious! I’ve tried this with a couple of the airflow reducers I have and they have all worked. You’ll need to experiment with your own as I suspect some of the super tight MTL airflow reducers might have issues depending on their exact design.

This clever design also has an extra hidden bonus, long time Boro style device users will be all too aware that it’s all too easy to accidentally cover up your airflow which means you have to hold your device in a very particular way to prevent this from happening. Because the airflow on the BOXX comes in from both sides, it’s practically impossible to block the airflow by accident in use and it doesn’t matter if you’re left or right handed either.

Simon: Antony has brought up a few things I hadn’t considered about the airflow, although I totally agree about the clever way Aspire have worked around the old ‘blocking’ problem, I have just realised it could potentially create another one for me. I often use ‘Condensation Plugs’ underneath my Boro tanks to restrict the airflow for MTL (as well as a cotton slot to absorb moisture) which are designed for side airflow intake. These will no longer work, but on the plus side I can 3D print my own for the BOXX, but it’s something worth considering.

Aspire BOXX nautilus coils and holder

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Antony: If you’re new to the whole Boro tank scene, Aspire has thoughtfully included their own spin on this in the package in the form of the Nautilus Pod to get you started. This should be familiar to anyone who has used a modern pod/aio system, simply screw the coil into the supplied airflow adapter and press fit it into the bottom of the pod, but the next bit might be where newcomers might be a little unfamiliar with this particular system. You need to unscrew the top 510 nut and drop the pod into place with the fill bung facing outwards, then screw the top 510 nut in place. This top nut actually makes the negative connection in the circuit and “bridges” across to the positive pin below, this is where the term Billet bridge comes from.

Simon: There’s no getting away from the fact that the BOXX borrows the Boro tank fitting (pun intended), this is one of the main appeals for me as it means it opens up a ton of options. For those that are new to this style, a Boro tank is basically a plastic tank which has a glass panel on the front to seal it, with a ‘bridge’ for the coil which can be either a stock coil adapter or a rebuildable deck (RBA). 

There are a wealth of existing bridges available which use the standard Boro tank, and also a few tanks that are similar to the Aspire pod/tank, I could go on and on about this but pop along to the POTV Billet Box sub forum if you have ANY questions about the options and how to use them.

Aspire BOXX yoda feels the force

Antony: I know Simon has been enjoying using the Nautilus Pod immensely with the 1.8ohm MTL coil, but I have a confession to make here, I’m not a big fan of Nautilus coils! I can’t use the higher ohm MTL coils because they’re Nichrome, and from my own past experience the 0.7ohm coil doesn’t always play nice with 70VG e-liquids. I have tried the Nautilus Pod with the 0.7ohm coil and it does appear on this occasion to be behaving itself and it’s a great design for using these coils, but I’ve primarily been using the BOXX with one of my own Boro tanks and rebuildable bridges (as I suspect a lot of others will also do).

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Simon: I have been enjoying using the BOXX with the included Nautilus Pod very much indeed. I am mostly a MTL user but I also enjoy DL and the BOXX ticks both box(x)es for me. As Antony has pointed out, thinner juices work better with the Nautilus coils, 60VG/40PG works well, as does 50/50. Although it’s not quite a full blown sub-ohm cloud lobber, it’s slightly restrictive and can go to a proper RDL vape and is ideal for flavour over cloud users. The 0.7ohm Nautilus coil strikes a good balance as it also gives a pretty decent MTL option too. Even if you’re not into the whole Boro tank thing, you still have plenty of options as the BOXX takes the full Nautilus coil range which should have you covered. Aspire aren’t just leaving it there either; they have also collaborated with Atmizoo to produce an RBA tank, the Qbix, which we will be reviewing very soon after this.

Aspire BOXX coil choices

I really love this tank, it’s just far easier to use than a Boro. A little finishing touch like the filling bung flipping up makes it a doddle to fill and is mess free. Obviously the TPD version has that ugly 2ml bung in it which I will attempt to remove after the review is done. The airflow ring is spot on, it is easy to fine tune with the tank fitted and it adjusts from RDL right down to a tight MTL draw.

Antony: working in full knowledge that I probably wouldn’t get on with the included Nautilus Pod, and for the sake of completeness, I took the opportunity to order myself one of the BP Coil Pods and some coils. 

Aspire BOXX pod

SMKD

The pods come in their own little Prestige branded packaging, I was a little disappointed to find that there wasn’t a coil included (good job I bought some) and one other omission is any spares like o-rings or fill bungs. I was relieved to find that mine came sans bung though!

Once I’d fitted a coil, I immediately came across a problem, the dreaded “check coil” error message! Turns out that for some reason this particular setup doesn’t like the default drip tip nut and will only work intermittently with wonky ohms readings. Using the extra 510 nut or my own integrated drip tip fixed this issue. Further investigation led to the discovery that the ohm readings are far more accurate with any of the pods/bridges when using the standard 510 nut over the preinstalled one.

This is much more up my street with a slightly restricted direct lung hit, although you do lose any ability to alter the airflow. This has the added benefit of the BP coils being Kanthal and they work much better with 70VG e-liquids.

One other thing of note here is that the new Aspire Nautilus Pod, BP Coil Pod and Qbix RBA Pod will all work in other Boro compatible systems so they’re a great inexpensive option for you to consider if you already use one of those. They’re constructed from a food grade nylon material so they should be durable as well.

Simon: Mixx & Match - The cherry on the icing for me was the similar contrast to my Aspire MIXX which is also Quicksilver, they are completely different devices, but they do compliment each other very nicely. The BOXX is noticeably larger but it is a bit lighter. Both feel similar in the hand, and that unique way of gripping them really makes them feel like part of the same family.

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Aspire BOXX vs MIXX

Pros

  • Great twist on a classic design
  • Fantastic build quality
  • The new pods and rba are well designed
  • Boro tank/bridge compatible 
  • Included drip-tip options

Cons

  • Offset screen and drip tip
  • 2ml TPD bungs
  • Unreliable ohm readings with the default drip tip nut (use the extra one!)

Conclusion

Simon: The BOXX is a very welcome release from Aspire/Sunbox which sits well in their Prestige range. The quality is outstanding, the ergonomics are far better than I thought they would be, the screen and controls are just right, and I love the Nautilus Pod design and the little tank/pod cover panel.

Sunbox and Aspire have collaborated to produce something rather special. The BOXX is not a billet box (BB), it has its own unique style and is different enough to not fall into the copycat category. It vapes just like a BB and uses the same tanks/boros which makes it a very versatile kit, and new users that know nothing about BBs will find it an ideal ‘bridge’ into the world of Boros and Bridges. Even if that doesn’t appeal, then there’s still plenty to offer in this kit as is. There’s so much to like about the Aspire BOXX and I don’t have ANY major cons, just a couple of minor niggles at worst.

I have been eagerly awaiting the release of the BOXX and it hasn’t disappointed. Some devices are just special and the BOXX certainly falls into that category, I would buy it in a heartbeat.

Antony: I think Simon has wrapped this up perfectly here so I’d like to take the opportunity to thank you all for taking the time to read through this rather long review. Massive thanks to UK Aspire Vendor for sending the kits out for review, and keep your eyes peeled over the next day or two for our review of the Aspire Qbix RBA Pod to use with the BOXX.

TMBNotes

Aspire BOXX big boxx!

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 Antony Lord
Article by Antony Lord
I was a twenty a day smoker for 25 years and like most smokers I was always going to quit "next week". Having hit my mid forties and having the usual smokers cough and difficulty with anything more than moderate exercise it was obviously time to give up the cancer sticks. I tried vaping in 2013 but it wasn't until 2016 that I fully made the switch and gave up cigarettes completely.
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