Sigelei 213 review by

Review Date: 
28.08.2016

Sigelei 213

The 213 box mod is the latest device from well-known manufacturer, Sigelei. It features a new design that is very different to existing Sigelei devices and offers up to 213 Watts of power. The 213 can be used in both Variable Wattage and Temperature Control modes. At long last Sigelei have finally added Stainless Steel Coil support and also firmware upgradeability.

Sigelei 213 features

  • Dimensions: 88 x 44 x 29mm
  • Carbon Fibre Reinforced & Aluminium Space Frame
  • Wattage Range: 10-213W
  • Temperature Range: 200-570°F/100-300°C
  • Voltage Output: 1.0-7.5V
  • Voltage Input: 6.4V-8.4V
  • Requires 2x 18650 batteries (not included)
  • Numerous Modes: Variable Wattage, Temperature Control, TCR (Temperature Coefficient Of Resistivity) and TFR (Temperature Factor Of Resistivity)
  • Supports all major wire types: Kanthal, Ni200, Titanium and three types of Stainless Steel
  • Resistance Range: 0.1-3.0ohm
  • Fast Balance Charging Support via Micro USB): DC5V/2A
  • Brass Spring-Loaded 510 Pin
  • OLED Screen

What’s in the box?

  • 1 x Sigelei 213W box mod
  • 1 x Micro USB Cable
  • User Manual
  • 1 x Warranty/Authenticity Card
  • Silicone Protective Sleeve

Sigelei 213 styling and build quality

As someone whose first box mod was a Sigelei device it is interesting to see just how far the company has come in terms of their designs. Once upon a time a Sigelei device was just a very plain but highly robust box that was extremely reliable. We have seen the company make the move into Temperature Control devices with the Sigelei 75W and the Batman accessory-like 150W TC and recently they have paid far more attention to the form factor of their devices with products like the Fuchai and have aimed for a more experimental designs with their Touchscreen device.

The Sigelei 213 by contrast is once again vastly different to anything that has proceeded it. Upon first impressions I would say that you won’t immediately recognise it as a Sigelei device. The form factor of the 213 is for the most part excellent and for a dual 18650 device it is far less bulky than those mods of old. It has really nicely rounded edges and it feels comfortable to hold! In comparison to other Sigelei mods it still has some noticeable weight but is considerably lighter. The main reason for this is due to the device being constructed around an aluminium frame and covered with zinc alloy. The majority of the zinc is coated with a carbon fibre material. The device is available in grey/black with an overall gun metal scheme (the item we received for review) and also in grey/black with a polished gold scheme.

The 510 connector is made from Stainless Steel so the threading should be very durable. The 510 pin itself is made from brass. All of the atomizers that I tried fitted this device extremely well with no noticeable gap.

The three buttons are well made and thankfully rattle free. Typically Sigelei devices often have all three buttons on the front of the device but the 213 breaks with tradition. The fire button is located on the front at the top of the device but the plus and minus buttons are now on the upper left-hand side of the device. As someone who uses Sigelei devices often I have to admit I found they took some getting used to. Additionally it did not feel quite as comfortable to use as my existing devices and due to the fact that the buttons are recessed with a raised lip of the device frame being on one side means that they are slightly more awkward to use. Nevertheless the buttons are very responsive and have a nice metallic “click” to them.

The screen is also located on the side of the device which is another change from traditional Sigelei mods. There is a massive amount of information displayed including Wattage, Resistance and Voltage. In addition battery charge is shown as both a bar and a percentage. The Voltage of both batteries is also displayed. Temperature is also displayed when using that mode. For the most part the information is well set out but it may look a little busy to a first time user.

The Micro USB port is located on the bottom front of the device but please note that it is fitted vertically rather than horizontally. The device can be charged via USB and features 2A fast charging. As I mentioned earlier this is the first time Sigelei have actually offered firmware upgradeability and it’s nice to finally see them offer this feature.

The battery compartment is located on the base of the device and it features a press fit lid that seems to be spring-loaded. This is another break from tradition since Sigelei devices typically used a metal battery compartment plate that was secured with strong magnets. If you are used to Sigelei’s previous devices this will certainly take a little getting used to. The lid is certainly very secure but to actually open it you need to press your nail into the recess which causes it to flip open. To close it you need to press the lid down and slide it back into position. The correct battery orientation is clearly marked. There is no battery ribbon but it is not actually needed.

What does trouble me somewhat is the amount of venting since there is only a single slot in the battery compartment lid. This is unlike previous Sigelei devices that typically featured numerous venting holes. I will be honest and say I don’t personally feel this is sufficient for a device that is capable of 213 Watts.

Ease of use

The manual covers all of the features of which there are many. At first glance it might all sound a little confusing if you are new to these devices so take time to reread sections because it does gloss over some of the features a little.

In many ways the 213 is similar to older Sigelei products but it does have some notable differences:

  • Five clicks of the fire button switches the device on.
  • When the device is switched on click the fire button five times to lock it.
  • Three clicks of the fire button brings up the menu. Cycle menu options with the plus and minus buttons and confirm your selection with the fire button.
  • The Sigelei 213 supports all major wire types including Titanium, Ni200 and Stainless Steel. In fact the Stainless Steel option even allows you to choose between 304, 316 or 317. The menu also gives you the option to adjust the TCR values (temperature coefficient of resistance) and TFR values (temperature factor of resistance).
  • By holding down both the plus and minus buttons this brings up another menu allowing you to either lock/unlock the resistance or simply read it.
  • Hold down the plus button and the fire button to bring up the Preheat Power Adjustment menu. This allows you to set the Preheat Wattage and the number of seconds it should fire for.
  • Should you really mess up your settings you can go into the menu and restore it to factory defaults.

Purely as an opinion of someone who uses Sigelei devices often I admit I do like the features on offer but I really don’t feel that the 213 is as immediately accessible as their older devices. In some ways the menu system is rather convoluted and it is no longer a simple case of setting your temperature and your desired Wattage. Of course like anything it is something you will probably get used to in time.

Sigelei 213 performance

To test the Wattage mode of this device I used an Innokin iSub V E tank and set it to 35W. When I took my first vape I must admit I was a little disappointed. For some reason the Sigelei 213 just feels seriously underpowered to me. To confirm I wasn’t going completely mad I took the tank off the 213 and put it back on my Sigelei 150W TC. In terms of vaping at exactly the same Wattage I get a far better vape on an older device, especially in terms of heat, flavour etc.

Comparing the vape at 35W on both devices the 213 gives a much cooler vape. I found that I had to ramp up the Wattage to 50W on the 213 to get a comparable vape. Something doesn’t add up about that and to be quite honest I was not impressed since I like some consistency with my devices. Vaping at 35W on the Sigelei 150W TC or at 35W on the iPV3-Li or the iPV4S is pretty much exactly the same yet the 213 seems weak at that Wattage.

I think it is fair to say that with the 213 you are really going to have to experiment a lot with the Wattage since you will likely have to increase it to get a similar vape to what you are used to.

Due to the iSub V E using 316 Stainless Steel coils I could test both Wattage and Temperature functionality. I set the temperature to 240°C which is what I typically like. I also made sure to lock the resistance first and made sure that the tank was completely cold so the readings would be accurate. The first thing I should point out is that if you try to vape in Temperature Control without firstly tinkering with the Preheat options you will be lucky to even get vape out of it. Some people will not appreciate having to do this as previous Sigelei devices made the whole process much simpler since you just had to set your temperature and then your desired Wattage/Joules. Once I messed around with the Preheat settings I certainly got a vape out of it and to be fair it was okay but once again it felt much worse than the one I get with my Sigelei 150W TC. I also tried my Freemax Scylla using an Ni200 coil and once again it felt very underpowered and my Sigelei 150W TC without a doubt offers a much better vape in that mode which is kind of ironic.

I mentioned venting earlier and I have certainly noticed that the 213 tends to get quite warm even when vaping at 40W. Another thing that I noticed is that sometimes when adjusting settings the display messes up a little and sometimes has sections superimposing themselves over one another which is far from desirable.

All in all despite the numerous bells and whistles on offer the 213 seems somewhat lacklustre to me and I will happily stick to my older Sigelei devices which seem far more consistent in their performance than this one. One major con for fans of Temperature Control will be the fact the device only reads down to 0.1ohm and not down to 0.05ohm like many other mods do.

Conclusion

I have always liked Sigelei products and I guess you could say that I used to be a fan boy but in my opinion they seem to be dropping the ball lately. I suspect this is due to how often they are bringing a new device on to the market and I am starting get the feeling that they are not testing these mods thoroughly and just rushing them out of the factory.

While the Sigelei 213 has a lovely finish and a great form factor it is let down by slightly awkward button placement, unnecessary complexity for simple tasks that will not be desirable for many users and a somewhat busy menu (along with superimposed screen error on occasion). I also don’t like the small amount of venting on this device and I can feel it getting quite hot often even when only vaping at 40 Watts. One single slot for a 213W device does not seem sufficient.

While it is true that this device has a lot of functions that will be of value to advanced users most of them won’t be of use to the average vaper and a far simpler method of operation like previous devices such as the 150W TC would have been the most sensible decision. Another potential issue is that the 213 only reads coils down to 0.1ohm and a lot of other Temperature Control mods read down to 0.05ohm, hopefully Sigelei correct this with a firmware update.

When you also factor in that it doesn’t actually vape as well in Wattage or Temperature Control Mode as older Sigelei devices the 213 seems far less appealing. On the plus side of things at least the device finally has firmware upgradeability and supports Stainless Steel coils. Sadly this is something of a moot point if their competitors offer firmware upgradeability, better functionality, performance and ease of use for half of the price of this device.

What’s more I will point out that the Sigelei Fuchai 213 is already waiting in the wings, built with cheaper materials and yes it does have a much lower price tag. So I would suggest if you really love the look of this device that you wait and see what the Fuchai 213 offers first before parting with your pennies.

At one time Sigelei used to be a name synonymous with reliability, durability and excellent performance, in fact my 100W+ still works perfectly to this day and I really used to love Sigelei products but with some of their recent offerings it seems they are now more of a mixed bag.

Please note after my experience using this device and doing some further reading online there are notable problems with the initial run of Sigelei 213’s and apparently these issues have been fixed in their new version but sadly this is no compensation for anyone who has purchased one from the first batch and it seems judging by the issues that I had that the review item is also one of the problematic ones. Be certain to make sure you have the fixed version if you are buying one of these devices.

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