Innokin Coolfire Z80 and Zenith II
Today for review we have the Innokin Coolfire Z80 Kit including Zenith 2 tank which was provided to me by Innokin themselves.
Innokin have been around for a decade now and are well known within the vaping industry for producing some quality products. The original Zenith tank was a big hit with vapers and the Coolfire range of mods have also been incredibly well received over the years, so will this new kit continue the long lineage of great devices?
Innokin are proudly proclaiming of the Zenith 2 tank that “The King is back!” which begs the question, where did he go? Did he win a Nobel Prize for physics by unlocking the secrets of dark energy? Did he set up a travelling theatre company comprised entirely of penguins performing Shakespeare plays? I guess we’ll never know but smashing through the door like Jack Torrence, here is he with his accomplice Coolfire Z80 who is a distant descendant of the ZX Spectrum. Shakespeare invented many words we still use today including Zenith which he first used in his little known play The Merchant of Vaping, so will this kit be As You Like it or will it end up being Much Ado About Nothing? Let’s begin our play…
Innokin have recently moved over to all cardboard and paper packaging to make it authentic to Shakespeare’s time or so it’s planet friendly as it’s all recyclable, I’ll let you decide, but the packaging for this kit is no exception. It’s all nice and neat to open and in the box you get:
- Coolfire Z80 mod
- Zenith 2 tank
- 0.8ohm z-coil
- 0.3ohm z-coil
- USB-C charging cable
- RDL drip tip & spare O-rings
- User Manual
- Warranty Card
The kit is available in four designs – black, white, cloudy grey and ash grey. The black and white mods have a leather style grip, and the grey ones have a suede style grip. The tank, if bought separately, comes in black, stainless steel and gunmetal.
For a full list of specs please visit the Innokin website here but the main highlights are:
The Coolfire Z80 Mod
“Double, double toil and trouble, Fire burn and caldron bubble” – Macbeth Act 4 Scene 1
Now I’m not saying that Innokin are witches at all, but they have implemented the F0 technology and the Refresh from the Sensis into the Coolfire Z80. They say “F0 extends coil life and boosts flavours using alternating current (ACM) to produce a waveform that runs continuously while you vape. This is made possible by sending an electrical output in two directions across the coil, in a much more precise and efficient way”. Is that all nice and clear? I don’t have a degree in electronics so although I understand the words, I don’t really understand what is going on, much like most of Shakespeare if I’m honest, but what I do know is that the F0 tech works to an extent. Unlike the Sensis, they show recommended Hz levels when you go to adjust the F0 setting, 20-50Hz for RDL and 50-100hz for MTL. I know some people haven’t been able to detect any difference and it does take some playing around with the settings, but my experience with it is that it can make a subtle difference in taste of your liquid. It’s not necessarily that it makes it taste magically better, but adjusting the Hz can make certain flavours in the liquid more more prominent. When using the feature with the Zenith 2, it didn’t really make much of a difference but it was more noticable when using the mod with an RTA and actually did make one of my liquids taste slightly better. You may find no change at all, but it’s worth having a play about with the feature to see if it works for you.
Refresh runs 40% of the power through the coil to draw more liquid in and also helps extend coil life. You can choose auto which will run this for you, or manual and hold the fire button for how long you wish to run this for. I honestly didn’t notice much of a difference at all when using this, but if it extends coil life then I’m all for it.
The finish on the mod is nothing short of superb, and the build quality is fantastic. Your hand is drawn to the grip, and you feel how plush it is as you begin to caress it like a soon to be lover whose pleasure button you will soon be pressing. This is the same for the leather as it is the suede, both are quality materials and they captivate you with the deftness of touch, although I do have some concerns over how long the suede grips will last. The curves round off the design nicely and the branding is visible but never intrusive. The buttons are responsive, and I like the gold accent of the fire button. It’s a design success as not only does it look good, but it feels good too, maybe the witches spell is working on me after all.
As it’s Innokin, three clicks turns the device on and off, so it is not like some mods that take five clicks which has you mashing the button like you’re playing Daley Thompson’s Decathlon (one for the 80s kids there!).
Pressing fire/down locks the wattage buttons, and pressing fire/up allows you to choose to reset the puff counter. To adjust the wattage simply press and hold the up or down button, and wait until it flashes then find your preferred wattage level from 6W to 80W, and it does round robin. Pressing up and down together opens the menu with the following options:
- Power – choose whether you want Wattage mode or Voltage
- Settings – Select the Pro or Minimal screen display, Adjust the fire cut off time, Adjust the screen off time, view the device ID and reset to factory settings.
The screen itself is quite bright, but I did find it a little difficult to see when out in the sunshine.
The main difference between the Z80 and previous entries in the Coolfire series is that they have done away with the internal battery so this is a single 18650 battery mod. The well threaded hatch on the bottom simply screws off, pop in your battery and off you go, and with a USB-C port you can charge the battery in the mod should you need to.
The Zenith II Tank
“The Devil hath power, T’ assume a pleasing shape” – Hamlet Act 2 Scene 2
Why the devil? Well when I look at the tank, it makes me think that the devil himself has collected all the Zenith tanks in and melted them down in the fiery pits of hell, cackling as he does, and then forges the Zenith 2 which rises from hell to our mortal plane surrounded by fire and plumes of vape as it lifts itself up to replace the eye of Sauron to cast it’s look over all of us, judging us, calling us to it, one tank to rule them all, mwah ha ha ha! Well yes and no, it’s the tank I imagine the devil from Futurama would make. It’s kind of industrial, like a good wrench would fit on it to unscrew it. There’s a beauty to its simple but eye pleasing design. There’s not a great deal to it, but there’s no doubting that it’s a good looking tank and the build quality is outstanding as you would expect.
The tank is compatible with the entire z-coil range, and coils are a doddle to fit. Unscrew the base, pull out the old coil, and push in the new one making sure to line up the side of the coils with the markings on the bottom of the tank, then screw the bottom back on. To fill the tank you simply twist the top of the tank to reveal the fill port, which direction to turn to open or close is handily marked with printed padlocks. The fill port itself has a membrane over it to help prevent any air-locks and any leaking. Now, I’ve seen a video of Phil Busardo filling his Zenith 2 with a shortfill bottle, but I found this an issue. If I tried to use a shortfill or a 100ml bottle, then I found that the drip tip got in the way and the nozzle of my bottle only just fitted past the membrane which meant that when I went to fill, I would get liquid backing up out the top and dribbling down the side of the tank. Personally I found it much easier to remove the drip tip when filling which prevented any of this. When you need to clean the tank you can take the whole thing apart and even remove the glass which you couldn’t with the original Zenith.
The kit contains two drip tips, one for MTL and one for RDL, which is a nice touch and gives people options. However, I’m not a huge fan of ultem drip tips and I think that the colour on top of the tank just looked a bit odd, but the good news is that you can fit any 510 drip tip to personalise the looks.
The airflow is adjusted using the bottom ring which has a nice resistance to it and consists of a large cyclops opening for a more RDL vape, and then three small holes for your MTL vape. It works really well and actually gives a wide range of airflow options, but it’s not the quietest airflow as there was almost always a whoosh sound which was verging on a whistle.
“Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown” – King Henry IV Act 3 Scene 1
The kit comes with two coils, the 0.8ohm coil for MTL rated 15W–18W and the 0.3ohm coil for RDL rated 30W–40W. The 0.8ohm coil is pre-fitted so I primed it with my Crème De Tabac liquid and off I went. I like a nice tight MTL draw and even with one hole open on the airflow, I found this too loose for me, so I had to shut the airflow off completely to get the kind of draw that I like. I played around with the wattage and found my sweet-spot for this coil was at 15.5W which gave a nice warmth but not too hot and I was getting really good flavour from this coil. I did find that it took a little time to break in and for the flavour to really come through, and I had to run about 4ml through this before I noticed a marked improvement so stick with it and you’ll be rewarded. I’ve been vaping this coil for nearly two weeks now and it’s still going strong.
On to the 0.3ohm coil rated 30W–40W, which I loaded with Unicorn Shake and took a vape. I played around with the airflow and the wattage to find what suited me best which turned out to be at 27.5W with the airflow slightly closed off with the Cyclops hole part covered and one of the airflow holes showing. I found that I preferred the MTL drip tip for RDL as I found it gave me a more concentrated vape and a little bit more flavour and warmth. Overall it’s a really nice RDL vape, but again it took a little while to really bring the flavour through. My first 0.3ohm coil burnt out in two days which was disappointing, but the second one I’ve been using a lot for about 10 days and it’s still producing very good flavour. I was using the first coil to push the wattage up to see how the coil performed, and up near 40W it started to taste a little burnt so I suspect this is what killed it. If using this kit, I really wouldn’t recommend going over 35W to keep the coil longevity.
“The course of true love never did run smooth” – A Midsummer Night’s Dream Act 1 Scene 1
Is this a tale of star crossed lovers or will it end in tragedy? Will people be writing sonnets proclaiming their love for the Coolfire Z80 and Zenith II kit? In some ways yes, there’s a lot to like here, the main thing being the mod. I love this mod. It’s designed well, it’s built brilliantly, it feels great in the hand, it fires quickly, it’s a replaceable 18650, and it does what it does with aplomb. There’s no TC but the new F0 and refresh are welcome additions so it has never been far from my hand and it will continue that way for a long time. It really is outstanding and if you are looking for an 18650 mod, I would recommend it without any hesitation and it would be the first suggestion to roll off my tongue.
The tank I think is slightly flawed but superb anyway. It looks good, it’s a piece of quality craftsmanship, and they have made improvements from the original such as being able to remove the glass to clean it and making sure you can put your own 510 drip tip on it. You can use any of the z-coils range which gives lots of choice. The twist to fill works well and the airflow gives a very wide range of options to tailor your vape. If you liked the original Zenith, then you are going to love the Zenith 2 without a shadow of a doubt. I should, by the sound of it, adore this tank and I do, but it’s not quite perfect. It does MTL and RDL well, and the flavour from both coils with the kit is very good indeed. There’s a few other niggles I have with it, such as having to remove the drip tip to fill, plus it’s big for a 2ml tank (not Innokin’s fault though, that’s the TPD monster). I’m not a huge fan of the drip tips either but you can use your own. Admittedly these are just small things and I think it’s a delightful tank indeed, in fact I’d say this is THE best z-coil tank out there for me. The King is dead, long live the King.
Overall as a kit, this is an excellent piece of hardware indeed and I would definitely recommend it, but for me the real star of the show is the Coolfire Z80 mod, it’s been a revelation.
“Parting is such sweet sorrow, That I shall say good night till it be morrow”