UK Aspire Vendor recently got in touch and asked if we’d like to take a look at some of the latest offerings from the Aspire lineup, so today it’s the turn of the Aspire Paradox mod which has been designed in conjunction with “high end” Italian vape house No Name Mods. This is being marketed as part of the Aspire “Prestige” lineup and is loosely based around No Name’s Saudade mod, which starts at an eye watering €520, so can Aspire take the high end design ethos and bring it to the masses? Read on to find out.
Initially the packaging for the Paradox looks like any other Aspire product, with a picture of the device on the front and a sticker showing your colour choice, a scratch ‘n’ sniff code on the top, and list of contents on the back. Slide this outer sleeve off and lift the lid, and you’ll find an Aspire Prestige envelope with a few stickers and your instruction manual which finally reveals the Aspire Paradox mod itself in a foam tray, and a usb-C charge cable.
- Size 78 x 42 x 27mm
- 167 grams
- Single 18650
- Variable Wattage/ Variable Voltage / Bypass modes
- Output 1~75 watts / 0.5~8.4 volts
- Resistance range 0.1~3.5 Ohms
- 0.91” OLED screen
- Type C charge port
No name mods are known for their minimalist designs, and that has been carried over to the Paradox with clean simple lines throughout. The main chassis has a matte, media blasted finish with “aspire” and the “no name” logo on one side and a plastic grip down the back. The top, bottom and fire bar all have a contrasting brushed metal finish with a high polish. I’ll give Aspire and No Name mods all due credit here as it all looks very sleek and quite different from anything else I own. The pistol grip design is very comfortable in the hand but perhaps more suited to trigger firing due to its shape, but one thing that does strike you when you first pick it up is the weight, a whopping 167 grams without a battery, due to the zinc alloy construction, especially as this is only a single 18650 mod.
Up on the highly polished top section there’s a spring loaded 510 connection which is offset slightly towards the front of the mod. Whilst there’s plenty of room side to side for a 25mm atomizer, anything above 24mm will overhang slightly at the front. I really wish this had been set back just a hair here.
The battery cap is the screw in type. This has decent sized holes for you to grab onto and the threads are good, but battery polarity isn’t marked. There is a positive sticker in the bottom of the 18650 battery tube though should you forget which way round to install it. During my charging test, it peaked at around 1.9 amps and the mod got noticeably warm. I’m not sure how comfortable I feel about charging an 18650 at that rate and would always suggest using an external charger whenever possible, just in any case.
This looks like it’s a simple bypass mod due to the lack of any visible screen or other controls but the specifications clearly state it’s a variable wattage/voltage mod, so where are they? Well that’s the Paradox comes into play, quite literally! Put a finger tip into the gap above the fire bar which runs down the full length of the mod where the Paradox logo is situated and pull away...
The whole fire bar comes away to reveal the controls underneath. This is held on by two powerful magnets one at the bottom and a second one which attaches itself to the fire button, and these do a brilliant job of holding the bar in place. You shouldn’t have any worries about losing the fire bar as it requires quite a deliberate amount of force to remove it. On the back of the bar are cutouts for the usb-C port and up/down buttons, and there is a subtle ledge in this area so the whole bar can pivot around this point when you press the button. This can be done from about a third of the way up from the bottom of the bar and has worked flawlessly throughout my time with the Paradox.
The screen is small but functional, and realistically it doesn’t need to be anything more than that as it’s going to spend 99% of the time hidden away from sight anyway. The ASP board seems responsive with all the safety features you would expect from a modern mod, but one criticism I would have is that it’s a little tricky to get your fingers into the area around the up/down buttons even for someone with small fingers like myself. The controls follow Aspire’s previous interfaces which are a little non-standard but easy to remember once you’ve got used to them.
- Eye catching design
- Comfortable to use
- Cleverly hidden controls
- A bit on the heavy side
- Up/down buttons difficult to press
If, like me, you look on with envy at the likes of Mr Todd on YouTube as he shows off the latest high end piece of kit but then baulk at the prices, then this might just be the ticket. Aspire and No Name mods have successfully adapted the design language from the Saudade mod and packed it into a more wallet friendly mass market product. This will definitely be taking pride of place in my collection.