Mod Reviews

VT200 "V2" by Hcigar

The VT200 is Hcigar’s first entry into the DNA 200 market. Featuring Evolv’s patented chipset the VT200 offers 1-200W of power, temperature control and fully integrated Escribe software for a massive amount of user customization.

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VT200 "V2" by Hcigar

The VT200 is Hcigar’s first entry into the DNA 200 market. Featuring Evolv’s patented chipset the VT200 offers 1-200W of power, temperature control and fully integrated Escribe software for a massive amount of user customization.

Powered by an 11.1V 1300mAh 30C lithium-polymer pack, this battery outputs an equivalent of approximately 4200mAh compared to what we're used to with 18650 batteries!

This mod is both highly durable and comfortable while retaining an excellent small form factor!

VT200 Features

  • Genuine Evolv DNA 200 Chipset.
  • Powered by an 11.1V 1300mAh 30C Lithium-Polymer Battery. Outputs an equivalent of 4200mAH compared to 18650 Batteries.
  • Large OLED Display.
  • Aluminium Construction.
  • Gold Plated Stainless Steel Spring Loaded 510 Connector.
  • Built-In Balancing Charge Board.
  • Voltage Step Down Technology.
  • Power Regulation.
  • Variable Wattage Control.
  • Temperature Control Protection Technology. Note: Nickel Wire (Ni-200) or Titanium Grade-1 Wire is required to build your coils, in order to activate the temperature control features.
  • Built-In Micro USB charger. Allows pass-through charging/vaping. Port indicator light identifies the charge status of the battery. Red when charging, green when complete.
  • Output Power: 1 to 200 Watts
  • Accepted Standard Resistance: 0.1 Ohms to 2.0 Ohms
  • Accepted Temperature Control Resistance (cold reading): 0.08 Ohms to 1.0 Ohms
  • Output Voltage: 1 to 9 Volts
  • Temperature Limit: 200°F to 600°F or 100°C to 300°C
  • Product weight : 0.150 kg
  • Package weight : 0.39 kg
  • Product size (L x W x H) : 54 x 25 x 95 mm
  • Functions: Lock. Unlock. Stealth Mode. Display Rotation. Temperature Adjustment. Temperature Display in Celsius or Fahrenheit. Atty Resistance Lock.
  • Screen display, all functions, and all features are adjustable via EScribe software suite.
  • Available in black, silver or blue.

What’s in the box?

  • 1x Hcigar VT200.
  • 1x Micro USB Cable.
  • User Manual.
  • Hcigar Warranty Card (1 year factory warranty, taken care of directly through your vendor or directly through Hcigar). Please note only 1 Month Warranty for the battery.

VT200 styling and build quality

I have to admit I really like the styling of this device. In terms of size it is roughly the same height as the Lavabox DNA 200 and while is a little wider than that device it is not as deep. The finish is lovely and the curved edges make for a very comfortable feel when held in the hand!

The device does have three stripes on each side panel so if you are not a stripe fan then this may not appeal. I do understand this since I hate the stripes on my Sigelei 100W+ and my OCD causes me to hide them with a wrap! Personally I felt the stripes on the VT200 looked fine on the silver version that was sent for review but they do stand out on the coloured versions. The device does have one small logo but I think it is tastefully done and does not stand out.

The device itself is constructed from aluminium and despite it being lightweight I think it strikes just the right balance between comfort and durability. The VT200 is what I would describe as being of medium weight and is neither so light that you don’t want to risk using out or so excessively heavy that it gets tiring constantly vaping on it.

The initial release of the VT200 caused a bit of an uproar especially if you check Reddit forums. Apparently the 510 pin was made from brass and many users complained to Hcigar about its lack of durability. Hcigar make some nice devices but in my opinion the 510 connector is often the weak link in their designs and I remember the issues with the RDNA40 that was sent for review. To their credit Hcigar did remedy this problem with the VT200 and the device now has a gold plated stainless steel 510 connector which is spring loaded.

I had absolutely no issues fitting any of my atomizers to this device and all of them sat completely flush. The buttons are really nicely done and have a good “click” to them. The display is excellent being both bright and large with all typical information clearly conveyed to the user. Through the use of Escribe the display can be completely tailored to show whatever information you want.

The Micro USB Port is on the front of the device just beneath the plus and minus buttons and thankfully this means you can charge the battery while keeping the mod upright or if you are really impatient to have your next vape you can make use of the Pass-through functionality. In addition the Micro USB port allows you to make use of Escribe software on your computer as well as offering the ability to receive Evolv firmware updates.

The VT200 has more than adequate venting for the battery and features twenty four air holes in the base. Should you ever have to replace the Li-Po battery you will have to firstly remove two sets of screws so please don’t mess with those.

The internal Li-Po battery is 1300mAh capacity but do keep in mind that while a typical 18650 battery might seem to offer more power the way these batteries work in terms of watts per hour is completely different and it is not appropriate to compare them.

Ease of Use

Being a DNA 200 device means it operates exactly the same as others currently available on the market. If you wish to make use of EScribe then you will require a PC running Windows XP or higher with an active Internet connection. Without EScribe you will really limit the full potential of this device. The basic functions are as follows:

  • Five clicks of the fire button to lock/unlock.
  • With the device unlocked hold down the plus and minus buttons to lock the power. Press the plus or minus button twice to open up the profile menu.
  • With the device locked hold the plus and minus buttons to allow you to change the temperature. Adjust temperature with the plus and minus buttons.
  • With the device locked hold the fire button and plus button to enable resistance lock.

The device will go into standby mode when not in use and after long periods it will ask you to confirm if the atomizer has been changed.

VT200 Performance

Like all DNA 200 devices the VT200 does an excellent job and offers a highly enjoyable vape experience. Thanks to the Evolv chip temperature control works perfectly and resistance readings are incredibly accurate.

I used my Achilles II RDA with a Kanthal build and my Heron 1.5 and Heron V2 with Kanthal builds to test wattage mode. To test temperature control functionality I used my Sense Herakles, Freemax Starre with a Ni200 coil and my Freemax Scylla. Everything worked flawlessly and I got a cracking vape with all the atomizers I tried!

One brilliant advantage of all DNA 200 mods is that you can save up to eight different profiles so you can swap your atomizers easily and be vaping right away without a lot of unnecessary hassle and while it does require some initial set up in Escribe it is definitely a real time saver long term.

The only real downside I can find with this device is the battery life. To be fair it does offer a reasonable amount of vape time and how quickly the battery drains is entirely dependent on the amount of wattage applied and how often you use it. When using my Freemax Starre fitted with a 0.2ohm Ni200 coil with the device set to 45W at 245°C I would say I got at least 8-9 hours of typical vaping but that is only an average wattage and if you were to vape at 80W plus then you are going to see that vape time heavily reduced.

I have tried quite a few DNA 200 devices and all of them have worked exceptionally well in terms of the vape experience they offer. However the question that springs to mind is what is the point of having a device that is capable of outputting up to 200W if the battery only lasts a very short time? I suppose it is always nice to have the option to vape at high wattage but if you are regularly planning to vape often then another mod with higher capacity would probably be a much better choice.

To be fair this is a very good product but one that specifically caters to more modest users or people that don’t need obscene amounts of power. While the extra power is definitely there should you wish to make use of it keep in mind it is only viable for shorter sessions. The Evolv chip as I have mentioned before is excellent and anyone who enjoys finding their inner geek and loves tweaking will have a great deal of fun playing with EScribe!

In terms of charging time via USB cable I would say it was roughly three to four hours but to be honest I just left it to get on with it while I used one of my other devices.

Conclusion

While the initial release of the VT200 prompted HCigar to adjust their product the revised V2 is an excellent DNA 200 device. The form factor is excellent and it feels really good in the hand. I feel that the overall design is attractive and the large bright display is great! For all intents and purposes this device functions exactly like any other DNA 200 device due to the excellent Evolv chip. The only weakness of this device is the battery and if you are a heavy vaper it certainly won’t last you all day long. If you are someone who enjoys vaping at high wattage this device becomes less desirable because you will end up draining the battery extremely quickly.

Nevertheless if you are happy to vape at lower wattages and want a device with arguably the best chip on the market right now then this is a very worthwhile product! One definite advantage is that it is typically priced a little lower than a few other DNA 200 devices so this might be just what you are looking for if it really appeals to you.

VapeMaster avatar

VapeMaster

Reviewer at POTV
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