Innokin Kroma 217 & Z Force Kit
Supplied by Innokin for review
Innokin’s latest kit in the Kroma series is quite the upgrade as it now takes a very welcome 21700 battery and has a spanking new Z-Force tank with ZF coils, along with a few more refined tweaks. Unsurprisingly the result is the best Kroma yet.
- Device Dimensions 132*45*30mm86*45*30mm (Without Tank)
- Replaceable External Battery Compatibility 18650/20700/21700
- Tank Capacity: 2ml/5ml
- Resistance range 0.1Ω-3.5Ω
- Charging Current 5V/1.7A
- Body Material Zine-alloy
- Coil material KA1
- Max. Output current 18650 Battery: 28.5A; 21700 Battery: 32A
Innokin introduced their environmentally friendly packaging earlier in 2021 and they are still leading the way in this area, the Kroma 217 kit continues this trend with fully paper based packaging with no plastic/foam or plasticised foil.
They also keep the box size and layout as compact as possible which makes it less wasteful in other ways too, such as for shipping and shelf space, which just makes total sense. The top layer holds the mod and the tank, underneath that are the extras.
You get the usual bundle that mod and tank kits include; a second 0.3ohm ZF coil, a pack of spare seals, a reasonable length USB-C cable, and the documents.
The aesthetic of the Kroma looks familiar but is more refined in places, and I had to remind myself it takes a 21700 cell as the size is still so compact. It also features all the latest Innokin innovations such as the embedded fire button/screen and updated chipset functions.
The mod feels intuitive to grip due to the subtle contours and leads you to favour ‘grip firing’ as your fingers wrap around it. You can still finger or thumb fire it, but that doesn’t take advantage of the shape. The embossed branding is discreet and there’s nothing overstated on this mod (on this brushed steel version anyway), yet it still remains very stylish and modern. The adjustment buttons are quite small but are tactile and easy to use.
The 510 connection is ever so slightly raised to avoid the tank scratching the mod (atty rash) but the gap is barely visible which is impressive precision and shows a nice attention to detail.
Innokin have bucked the trend of leather wrapping and have opted for the thinner printed cloth which gives it a sleek look, and being more inset helps it sit into your grip more, I’m not quite sure if I would have preferred the softer spongey leather though.
I liked the tapered top at the rear which gave it much more style and an alternate firing grip as I found it comfortable to pop my thumb on it. Innokin have made the top and base a contrasting smooth finish which just works with the brushed steel finish of the main body.
The battery door feels slightly loose without a battery finish but that’s to be expected as the sprung battery tension is how it keeps closed, the door was a little tricky to open due to the smooth finish but no biggie, inside the battery bay is an 18650 adaptor, once removed you can fit either a 20700 or a 21700 battery, to make the most of this kit a 21700 is a must but it’s handy to have the options.
Once the battery is in, I found it satisfyingly firm to close as this door isn’t going to pop open during use or storage. The door has a few vent slits for added safety.
The spanking new Z-Force tank looks gorgeous and oozes style without looking too flash. They have kept it straight lined and the engraved details give it the style, along with the diagonal airflow slots.
The internal chamber has a diamond knurled pattern to give it a bit more visual appeal. The drip tip is superb, and the various colour options have their own look but this dark mesh style suited the mod nicely. It is an 810 fitting with O-rings so you can fit your own if you prefer.
It all unscrews apart counter-clockwise into a minimal amount of components which make it easy to deep clean it. The TPD 2ml version has thick walled plastic instead of glass, but the regular version has a straight and bubble glass option.
The coil chamber is interesting as it self-seals when you remove the coil with a sprung mechanism inside (see top-right photo) which means you can swap the coil with juice still in the tank – nice!
The ZF coils look deceptively simple but they have a hidden trick up their sleeve as they feature a dual wall mesh separated with cotton, you can’t actually see this but here’s Innokin’s diagram:
Pretty innovative, eh? Hopefully they will deliver where it counts but they sound promising. At the moment there are just the 2 ZFs available; 0.2ohm and 0.3ohm.
Filling the tank is convenient with the sliding top fill mechanism, the top marking arrow is small but the ‘Z FORCE’ logo is in line so I found it easy to locate. The sliding action is quite tight but that’s ideal as it will be difficult for it to accidentally open when stored in your bag/pocket.
The drip tip is short-ish and I was able to refill the tank with a chubby 100ml bottle without mess, but the TPD ‘glass’ inner seam did get in the way a little so try to angle the bottle tip inwards.
Innokin’s latest chipsets get easier and easier each time and the Kroma 217 is very easy to get going, in fact most users won’t find the need to go any deeper than the default setup as it is in the best mode ‘ COIL +’ so all you need to do is dial in the power (wattage).
- 3 x Fire = Turns device On/Off
- Press & Hold either adjustment button until wattage flashes = Unlocks wattage adjustment
- Press Fire & Up = Displays battery status, Ohms and puff counter (with option to reset)
- Press Fire & Down = Fully locks/unlocks adjustment buttons
- Press and hold ALL buttons for 999 seconds = I don’t know as I gave up after 30 seconds :p
The wattage adjustments auto-lock which is perfect. To adjust the wattage you simply hold down Up or Down for a second and it will flash ready to adjust, once you’ve dialled in the wattage and press fire then it locks itself again.
The first menu is pretty much all you need, but there is another SETTINGS sub-menu but there’s only two things in there you might want to use: Timeout (screen) and Cut-off (puff time limit in seconds).
Coil+ and Refresh
It’s easier if I just quote Innokin’s own description as it simply sums it up better than I could:
Revitalise Your Vape with Coil+ & Refresh
Extend coil life and maintain intense flavor output with Coil+ and Refresh modes. Coil+ mode sends a pulse of current through your coil at the end of every puff to increase your coil's lifespan. When flavor becomes muted, use Refresh to pulse the coil at 40% of your vaping wattage. This draws liquid into the coil and deters residue build-up.
This is where the Kroma 217 falls short as there are limited options, variable wattage or variable voltage is all you get! You can apply preheats (soft/normal/hard) but there’s no TC (temperature control) or Bypass modes which was a little surprising for a 21700 mod.
That said, I’m not sure that too many users actually use TC mode these days and if you’re only going to use the stock ZF coils, then those options are wasted anyway. Whether Innokin omitted these features to keep the mod beginner friendly and simple to use is unknown, but it’s something experienced users need to be aware of.
So it’s time to see how the Kroma 217 and Z Force performs.
I started off with the 0.2ohm ZF coil which had a broad wattage range: 50-80 watts, so I started off at the lower end to ease the coil into life, far too cool for my tastes but the flavour was coming through already. I closed down the airflow to see if it was suitable for RDL at 40 watts and it was ideal as the flavour and warmth were spot on, I could have possibly gone lower on the wattage but I will leave that for the 0.3ohm ZF coil. Increasing the wattage to the mid-range of 66 watts was more like my preferred DL warm and flavourful vape with the airflow fully open and the flavour was spot on. Vapour production was reasonable but I wouldn’t call it a cloud chucker as it clearly favours flavour over clouds which suited me fine, but if clouds are your thing then the upper limit of 80 watts will produce more.
I chain vaped it until I could vape no more and it just kept up without a hint of a dry hit, but I think the 2ml in the tank would run out first. It appears the new ZF coils were living up to expectations.
So onto the ZF 0.3ohm coil which had a narrower range of 30-45 watts, starting at 30 watts and it was obvious that this was going to favour RDL and gave a bit more flavour, with the airflow closed even more I could go down as far as 20 watts and still get a decent RDL vape, more surprisingly I could even get a MTL draw but the 810 drip-tip made this impractical. Increasing the wattage to the max 45 watts was far better than I had expected and wasn’t far off the 0.3ohm coils performance which made it a pretty good alternative if you want less juice consumption and a longer battery life.
Both coils had generous wicking ports and the coil life looks promising, even the one I had hammered to chain vape test shown no signs of the cotton darkening when I removed it. The COIL+ will also help coil life.
Battery life was pretty much what I expected it to be (using a Molicell 21700), at 66 watts I was getting most of a working day and at 45 watts I was getting well into the evening. The screen doesn’t display the percentage though which was a bit meh, but the battery icon was good as it colour changed as it decreased.
Charging time was superb at 1.7 Amps and took less than an hour on average, but again the charging screen only had an icon and no percentage or estimated time.
There’s a lot to like with the Kroma 217 mod, and the Z-Force tank is a perfect partner for it. The size and shape make it comfortable to use and the grip firing method felt intuitive. There’s not a whole lot of innovation going on with the mod, but it has been updated with Innokin’s latest advances (such as the fire bar, screen and UI). The Z Force tank is almost faultless, and with the new coil tech I can see this one being popular with new and existing users alike.
Innokin’s quality and classy design really shine through on this kit and it is a worthy upgrade to the previous Kroma’s for sure, this kit is suitable for DL and RDL users and excels with the stock coils, how-ever DIY users looking for TC modes won’t find them here.
But as a stock coil DL kit, then it’s just superb and does more than it needs to. The new Z-Force tank and ZF coils work so well in the default COIL+ mode that I found the kit is a perfect marriage.
- Solid and high quality
- Classy styling
- The Z Force tank is near faultless
- ZF Coils perform superbly
- 18650/20700/21700 battery compatibility
- Nice 810 drip-tip
- No advanced DIY options
I had a couple of niggles that didn’t really affect me once I got used to them, the battery bar icon is accurate enough that I didn’t get caught short and the TPD plastic isn’t a design problem (just those bullies at TPD) and can be easily remedied.
Previous Kroma users are going to love the improvements of the 217, as will new and existing users if the looks appeal to you. Innokin have really evolved over the past couple of years and produce quality, stylish and no-nonsense hardware, I’m guessing they haven’t rested there and I look forward to seeing what they come up with next.
Score: 8.5/10 – May Z Force Be With You