Vaporesso GEN S Review by Si Davies

Review Date: 
17.08.2020

Vaporesso Gen S and NRG Tank Kit

Vaporesso GEN S and NRG-S Tank Kit

Supplied by Vaporesso for review purposes – MSRP: $90.20
https://www.vaporesso.com/vape-kits/gen-s

Vaporesso Gen S and NRG Tank Kit colours

Introduction

The GEN S kit is not a whole new kit, more of a special edition, hence the ‘S’, that said; there are a couple of improvements on the original but nothing new in the shape or build.

For anyone who isn’t familiar with the original GEN from 2019, the AXON chipset’s features were very innovative and the fastest firing mod I own, I didn’t review the original but I did buy one and is still ahead of the game.

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Vaporesso Gen S and NRG Tank Kit with box

So why the new release? I don’t actually know, but if I were to hazard a guess I would say it was to not let this superb mod vanish into obscurity with all the new releases. The GEN is still current GEN (see what I did there?), to make an excuse for this re-release Vaporesso have given it a bit of a makeover with its ‘Sunny’ styling and, more importantly, some new coils which are worthy to sit in the NRG tank.

Unboxing and kit contents

The kit includes:

  • 1 x GEN S mod
  • 1 × NRG-S tank (8ml)
  • 1 × GT4 Meshed coil
  • 1 × GT Meshed coil
  • 1 × Extra glass tube (5ml)
  • 4 x O-rings
  • 1 × Micro USB cable
  • 1 × User manual
  • 1 x Warranty card

Obviously the killjoy TPD option will be 2ml.

Vaporesso Gen S and NRG Tank Kit contents

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The box is pretty tall, solid quality and with the current Vaporesso contemporary styling. I do like this style of artwork, no nonsense and classy. Sadly Vaporesso still haven’t adopted cutting notches in the box so shake the crap out of it to open.

The top tier holds the GEN S mod and the NRG S tank, underneath in a slip box are the spares, cable and documents, the micro usb cable is superb quality if a little short.

The six page manual is a little vague for inexperienced vapers and the print is tiny. I found it easier to refer to the online manual:
https://www.vaporesso.com/hubfs/imgs/downloads/manual/Gen-s-manual.pdf

It appears to be the same as the original manual which is fine, except it omits one of the GEN’s best new features, the SMART VW (variable wattage) which is buried in the SYSTEM sub-menu, more on that later.

First impressions

Although I am already familiar with the GEN, I will do my best to describe the first impressions. One of the first things you notice is just how light this kit is, even with 2 x 18650 batteries fitted it feels really well weighted, not in a cheap way either. The alloy chassis is really well engineered to be strong and lightweight, and Vaporesso nailed it on the GEN. It weighs 275g with a full tank and batteries fitted, the mod only with batteries is just 199g. Then there’s the feel of it in your hand, the textured, rubberised coating feels great, it’s so damn grippy with no hard edges. The buttons are slightly protruding but just enough to be able to feel them. They add to the sleek, minimalist look. The tiny OLED screen is simple and functional though near impossible to see in bright light/outdoors. The NRG S tank was slightly less impressive. I did like the matching knurled styling, but apart from that it all looked pretty generic with no obvious innovations. I also didn’t like the drip-tip which looks cheap.

SMKD

Overall I was impressed with the GEN. I try to think back to when I bought my first one, I was trying my hardest NOT to buy any more mods at the time, until a friend loaned me his. Within a couple of hours I HAD to order myself one and even after a year, it is still one of my all-time favourite mods.

GEN S Mod

I won’t go too in depth as the GEN original has already been reviewed on Planet Of The Vapes, though I will try and cover parts the original review skirted over. Also this review includes the tank which I will also cover.

  • Dimensions: 93.5 x 53 x 27mm
  • Net weight: 107g
  • Output wattage: 5-220W
  • Resistance: 0.03~5.0Ω
  • Battery:2x18650 (Not Included)
  • Charging current:2.5A
  • Display:0.91' OLED screen
  • Software version: AXON

As previously mentioned, the mod feels fantastic in the hand due to its shape and rubberised coating. The gradient two tone colour has an iridescent look to it as it changes as you rotate it in the light, this is pretty much the same on my old blue one.

Vaporesso Gen S up close

The battery door is magnetic and is a near perfect fit. The panel doesn’t move at all in everyday use, you can push it a little vertically if you force it. To remove it, there’s a little fingernail tab at the base of the panel which I found reasonably easy to pry the door off but not too easy that it comes off accidentally. For me, the fit and battery access are near perfect.

SMKD

The 18650 battery bay has a ribbon to aid removing the batteries so pay attention to this when fitting them. To be fair, it’s not difficult to remove them without it, but it is still handy. The + and - markings aren’t highlighted, but I don’t find that an issue on large battery bay devices like the GEN as you can still see it easily, although perhaps you might struggle in low light.

Vaporesso Gen S battery bay

Batteries fitted and the panel back on, the mod springs into life. It takes a couple of seconds to boot up and by default it is in variable wattage and PULSE mode. The wattage is 5.0 Watts minimum and adjusts in 0.1 watt increments right up to 220 watts but it does not round robin. Holding down either adjustment button speeds up the scrolling.

The 0.91' OLED screen is small but easy to read the important info on, and the menu is also very clear. The main drawback is the brightness when outdoors, it’s one of those things that is rarely an issue in the real world but a pain if you need to change a setting on the move. It is part of the price paid for such a power efficient chipset, though the dark plastic screen doesn’t help.

The AXON chipset is where the innovation comes into play. Not only is it the fastest firing device I have tried, it also is one of the least power hungry mods out there. Then there’s the feature packed menu that should satisfy both novice and experienced users.

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The firmware is the very latest version which now includes SMART VW which didn’t appear on the previous release, though you could upgrade the firmware. This feature was a later innovation so it ended up hidden in the SYSTEM sub-menu:

  • Press and hold ‘Function’ key (middle adjustment) to enter the menu
  • Select ‘SYSTEM’ and confirm
  • Select ‘SMART VW’ and confirm
  • Select ‘YES’ and confirm

You are now in SMART VW mode BUT nothing will change until you remove and replace the tank so it can detect the new coil. It will then auto select the optimum wattage for that coil, it might not be the sweet spot for you but it will be damn close and the best option for coil lifespan. It is also very handy if you forget the wattage range for your coil.

To navigate the menu, there are three small buttons at the base of the mod. The top and bottom ones are + and -, with the centre one as the menu and confirmation button. To go into every function would be epic, but here’s a summary:

5 x FIRE = Turn device on/off

3 x FIRE = Lock/Unlock adjustments

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3 x MENU (small lowest button) will enter the main menu which includes:

(or you can press and hold for a couple of seconds)

Pulse Mode

  1. Power Eco
  2. Smart TC (Temperature Control)
  3. DIY Mode - Sub Menu which includes:
    • VW (Variable Wattage
    • VV (Variable Voltage)
    • VT (Variable Temperature)
    • CCW (Customized Curve of Wattage Mode)
    • BP (Bypass)
    • SP (Super Player)
  4. SYSTEM SET - Sub Menu which includes:
    • SMART VW
    • AUTO ECO
    • PUFF
    • BRIGHTNESS
    • FLIP SCREEN
    • DEFAULT
    • VERSION
    • EXIT

There really are some superb functions as you investigate them in the manual. For me personally, I find PULSE mode, SMART VW and occasionally POWER ECO the most useful, the rest of the options are more for DIY rtas or rdas and are of no use for GTX coils. Most users won’t need to stray into the menus at all.

The screen holds all the information you should need depending on which mode you are in, but by default it displays:

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  • Battery Percentage
  • Resistance (Ω Ohms of the inserted coil)
  • Puff Counter (up to 9,999)
  • Selected Wattage (In 0.5 Watt Increments)
  • Mode (PUL = Pulse by default)
  • (Variable) S will appear in Smart Mode

The only feature I found lacking is a full lock mode, you can lock the adjustments by 3 x Fire, but there’s no option to prevent the mod firing in your bag/pocket so you have to 5 x Fire to turn the device off.

All in all the navigation of the GEN S is really simple and mostly intuitive. If you get lost or are unsure, you can simply press fire to go back to the main screen and start over if you wish.

There is a micro usb charging port at the base of the mod but generally it is safer to recharge your batteries in a separate dedicated charger. The usb port is also used for firmware updates.

NRG S Tank

I have tested the NRG tank on the SWAG 2. It’s a decent tank, but not my favourite. This was down to the current generation of coils available. Thankfully Vaporesso have come along in leaps and bounds with their latest coils and wicking material. I was sent a sample pack of the new GT4 Dual Meshed to test along with the included GT Meshed (single bore) coil.

Tank- 8ml

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  • Dimensions: 30 x 56mm

Tank-2ml

  • Dimensions: 27 x 56mm

Vaporesso NRG Tank Kit

The S edition of this tank appears to be identical in construction and only the colour options are different. The knurled design matches the GEN mod perfectly, and the colour matches the upper gradient of the GEN.

Stripping the tank down is simple as the main sections unscrew, and the glass is secured with silicone seals. The coil, however, is plug-n-play push fit which is pretty effortless, though you need to have an empty tank before you swap coils.

The capacity is 8ml with the bubble glass or 5ml with the straight glass (unless you are unlucky enough to suffer the TPD 2ml). 5ml in a straight glass is very welcome, especially for those of us that don’t like bubble glass. For me, I don’t mind either as the style looks good with both.

Sacowin

Airflow is very good and airy when wide open. The dual air slots are opposite each other, and the draw is smooth. Adjustment will take it down to a restrictive DTL (direct lung) draw. It is possible to get a MTL (Mouth To Lung) draw, but this tank and coil selection is clearly aimed at DTL or big cloud users.

Filling is achieved with a sliding top-cap. When open, it exposes the kidney shaped fill port. I had no issues filling with traditional shortfill bottles but wider nib diy bottles were a bit trickier.

The drip tip is a 510 fit opening out to a wide bore. I was unsure about this at first as I would have opted for a wider 810, but in use it works really well. The fitting is well done as it slips over a lip on the metal top cap making it sit flush, though I do not like the cheapened look of it. A nice hybrid or stainless steel one would look much nicer. That said, we all have different tastes and the standard black shouldn’t upset anyone.

Vaporesso Gen S and NRG Tank Kit with spare coils

Performance

So onto the best part. After priming my coil up with my favourite 3mg 70/30 Rhubarb & Custard, I took it for a toot. The SMART VW set the wattage on the 0.15Ω GT4 Dual Mesh to 50 Watts. This is on the lower end of the suggested wattage but ideal for breaking in the new coil. By default the GEN was set to PULSE mode.

Univapo

The first thing you notice is the speed that it fires, instantaneous and full power which feels so consistent throughout. I did find the flavour a little lacking at first but once the coil had bedded in and I upped the wattage to 60 watts, I couldn’t help but smile. I finally found a perfect crown to do the GEN mod justice!

For me, the GT4 Dual Mesh was my ideal vape. I favour flavour over vapour and you get a really nice flavourful warm vape with a decent amount of vapour production. Chain vaping at the default PULSE mode was no problem, no dry hits and a consistent vape time after time. No need for pre-heating as it was great right out of the box.

The older GT Meshed still delivered decent flavour, and its wide single bore is better for cloud chasing, but the flavour wasn’t as intense as the GT4.

Regarding settings, having owned a GEN for over a year, I simply don’t need any of the settings unless I want to try a fancy temperature control coil in an rta. The default PULSE and default VW is all you will need with a stock coil tank such as the NRG.

Feel the Pulse?

What is this trickery all about? If I’m honest I have to admit I haven’t a clue! The best I can gather is that PULSE mode delivers the power in a more even way. If anyone has glanced at the voltage applied when vaping with other mods, you may have noticed it jumping around while trying to achieve the desired wattage, often up and down a little as it tries to keep up. To be fair, you will likely not have noticed this whilst vaping, it’s only when you compare the same tank on a different mod that you notice it. I wouldn’t go as far as to say PULSE is game changing, but it does achieve a more consistent vape so that has to be a plus.

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There’s a high chance I could be talking out of my backside, so here’s Vaporesso’s official blurb on it:

"Powerful & Stable
The advanced AXON chip brings up a responsive vape that can access an innovative Pulse Mode, boosting the installed coil every 0.02s to satisfy you with a delicate controlled vaping experience."

At the end of the day, it just works and, as you can see by the response time, it works FAST. The higher the wattage of the coil you use, the more noticeable it becomes.

Battery life is excellent, the trade off by having a tiny OLED screen pays off but the efficiency of the chipset means your dual 18650s work more efficiently and last longer. It’s one of a few mods I can trust for a long day away without letting me down. Better still, if I get caught out then there is always the ECO mode which essentially restricts the power down to preserve what little battery life you have left.

Vaporesso Gen S and NRG Tank Kit selection of pics

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Conclusion

Having owned the original GEN for a year, I was surprised just how well it still stood out. There’s little more I could expect from the mod apart from a locking feature, the rest is just so damn good and feels great in the hand. I tend not to fall for all the gaff of ‘featuring the Superduperninjabastard V6.66b chipset’ from manufacturers, but I will take notice of AXON in future. The only other chipset I rate higher is the DNA75c but the price of that board costs more that the GEN mod.

The GEN S is simply a special edition of a 2019 mod, but it still stands out in the crowd and is still current ‘gen’ if not next gen. The colour won’t be to everyone’s tastes (mine included), but there’s a colour option to suit your tastes. I still love my two tone blue. Colours aside, the latest GT4 Dual Meshed coil has crowned off this re-release from a great mod to a great kit.

If the tank isn’t to your liking, there is always the new GTX 22 tank which has the same styling but suits lower wattage vaping using the GTX coil range. It looks great on the GEN into the bargain.

T-t-talkin about my g-g-gg-GEN-eration……..

Vaporesso Gen S and NRG Tank Kit generations

SMKD

It might be the emperor's new clothes, but the GEN is well endowed underneath. Okay, technically the GTX ONE isn’t a GEN but it is in my eyes. I love the options from sub-ohm cloud chucking down to low wattage MTL.

Pros

  • AXON chipset is all that
  • PULSE Mode works well
  • Battery life is excellent
  • Power saving option
  • Lightweight
  • New GT4 Meshed coil is superb
  • Large juice capacity (non TPD)
  • Rubberised texture is grippy
  • FAST firing (quickest draw in the West)

Cons

  • No fire locking feature
  • Drip tip is dull
  • Generic looking tank design

No deal breaking cons, I’m not a fan of the colour though that’s a personal choicel.

Final thoughts

For a re-released mod to still rate highly after a year shows just how good the GEN is. I have looked back at a lot of my reviews and few stand the test of time as something better always comes along, I’m struggling to think of a mod in its price range that I love more than the GEN. The NRG tank has a new lease of life with the GT4 coils and it is likely to stay in my main vape rotation for a long time to come.

Scores

GEN S Mod: 9/10
Close to a 9.5 but the screen and no locking mark it down.

NRG S Tank: 8/10
Older tank revived by a great new coil.

SMKD

Vaporesso Gen S and NRG Tank Kit all the angles

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 Si Davies
Article by Si Davies
Now into my 50's I smoked ciggies for most of my life, I used to smoke tailor mades for 20+ years then onto rollups for 15+ years, as much as I enjoyed smoking I was forced to quit after an operation, started vaping in 2017, managed to quit the ciggies in 4 days, plodded along vaping using local shop naff vape gear until I discovered POTV then learned so much and enjoy vaping far more than smoking.
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