Eleaf iStick 20W review by

Review Date: 
28.01.2015

Having heard many positive stories about the iStick by Eleaf, I decided to order one and see what all the fuss was about. Cheap, effective and easy to use they said… lets find out!

The Eleaf iStick is made by iSmoka Electronics Co. Ltd  in Shenzhen City, China. Established in 2008 they now create a number of products including atomizers, batteries and ePipes and trade worldwide.

Basic Info

  • 2200mAh internal Li-Ion Battery
  • Variable Wattage (VW) up to 20W and  Variable Voltage (VV) from 3v – 5.5v
  • Bright OLED display
  • 510 threaded connection
  • Power on/off: Press the button for five times to turn the iStick on and off.
  • 10-sec Protection: Maximum of 10 seconds per drag.
  • Atomizer Short-Circuit Protection: If atomizer short-circuits, the OLED screen show “Atomizer Short”.
  • Low-Voltage Protection: Once the battery is below 3.3V the OLED screen will show “Lock”, which means its time to recharge.
  • Unlock the Low-voltage Protection: The iStick begins working again once it reaches 3.65V.
  • Low power Alert: If the battery’s power is lower than 10%, the power symbol on the screen will flash.
  • Atomizers from 1ohm to 3ohm capable
  • Pass-Thru vaping while charging

Initial Thoughts

The Eleaf iStick comes in a well made, sturdy looking white gloss box with a picture of the iStick on the front. Inside you’ll find everything well packaged in it’s own little compartment and the box contains a charging cable, a set of basic instructions, a useful converter (to allow you to use tanks with a recessed thread like the CE4) and of course the device itself.

The actual iStick is quite a nice looking piece of kit! The smooth metallic finish comes in a range of colours (Black, silver, pink and blue) and is topped either end with a metal chromed plate. The “back” of the mod is curved which allows the device to sit comfortably in the palm or fingers and in general has a quality feel about it. The black strip on the side hides the screen which turns off when not in use as well as the three control buttons, power up, power down and the fire button. The buttons are made with a similar chrome finish to the top and bottom of the device but unfortunately on my particular iStick they do have a bit of a rattle is the device is shaken. OK, so not something to get worked up about on a box mod in this price range but a little annoying to my ridiculously high standards! 

The bottom of the mod has a mini USB that is used for recharging the iSticks battery and thus far has performed faultlessly, whilst the top features a 510 connector with fixed centre pin.

Build Quality

I have been pleasantly surprised with the finish of these devices which not only look sleek but perform very well too. Of course for a box mod in the £30 region there are a few niggles but these prove to be very few and not too serious.

Firstly, as stated above the buttons on my iStick do rattle a bit, however, I have friends that have also bought one of these and their buttons do not! Perhaps a foible of the earlier models? I’m not sure but lets hope that’s been fixed in hindsight.

Secondly a couple of atomisers with short posts have not fired on the iStick.  Have tried the usual of giving the pin a wiggle with my tweasers but to no avail.  Due to the size of the device I have been using it mainly when out-and-about - it is so light and the battery is superb so great to just put in the pocket and go.  Fine with Nature Vape tanks and Mini Nautilus, anything bigger than these tanks makes it look a bit unbalanced.

I will say again, the battery life is superb and the recharge time is amazing.  Timed this evening at around two hours from totally discharged to full charge.  Another big plus point in my opinion.  Another point, the battery keep on pushing at full whack until the end.  Other devices I have used let you know when the battery is on the way out, taste and vapour production diminishes but this little beauty delivers until the end.

To switch the iStick from voltage mode to wattage is easy, three clicks of the power button and you can swap between the two.  Hold the power up / down buttons and the value will scroll through quickly, even when you take your thumb from the button.  Hit the opposite button to stop the control and then a click or two for fine control - it's a nice feature.  Although due to the device not firing builds below 1 ohm I haven't gone above 11W with my usual 1.2-1.6 builds.

Aside from the points above, I can’t find much else wrong with the iStick and those points as you can see, were very picky.

Conclusion

Is the iStick good value for money? Yes, I think it is. Whilst it doesn’t have the greatest range of power available or the build quality of some of the more expensive mods, you’ll find in the Eleaf iStick a great box mod for new and seasoned vapers alike.

Whilst this product is not exactly brand new to market, it does have the advantage of massive sales without any reported major design or build flaws and should provide you an excellent vape at a very reasonable price. With the iStick Mini and iStick 30W already available in the UK and the iStick 50W dropping any day Eleaf are certainly capturing a good slice of new device sales. We have the 30W on order and will grab the 50W as soon as we can so we can try it with lower-rated builds. To us, the iStick Original now positions itself excellently as a great introduction to the world of box mods. The new eGo battery? Quite possibly. A smoker looking to convert and wanting a low cost starter could do a lot worse that pick up one of these. The iStick is both reliable and excellent value for money.

We have purchased a few of these items over the last few months for our own use and to give away to friends we wanted to encourage away from smoking and we haven't heard one single complaint about them.  The device purchased for this review was from Puremist.  We are also giving away one of these to a lucky reader - you can enter the competition here. The unit we are giving away was purchased from a relatively new overseas vendor Ecig Pro Seller - Tom was a pleasure to deal with and we wish him well with his business and will certainly buy from him again!

Images courtesy of iSmoka Electronics Co. Ltd

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 Toby Kilroy
Article by Toby Kilroy
Toby set up Planet of the Vapes in 2012 after another major vaping site was taken down. With a history in web development and running websites for clients he was well placed to use his previous knowledge to build and run a site on the scale of POTV.