Pod System Reviews

SXmini PureMax Pod Kit

There is a lot of buzz about the SXmini PureMax pod kit, and we got to find out first hand why

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SXmini and YiHi are two names that are pretty much guaranteed to get me to sit up and pay attention. They were one of the first companies to bring high end vaping to the masses with products of such high quality previously only available to those with deep pockets and big dreams. I remember when the original YiHi boards first came out, they seriously shook up the scene which had previously been dominated by American electronics, but not only did these new boards compete, but they also came out with a few tricks on their own and really put on the squeeze on the existing vape establishment. They offered performance, reliability, and affordability along with great functionality, all of which made a massive difference to the end user. This was many years ago now, but SXmini and Yihi still very much represent these same core values and they have brought that same ethos to their latest kit, the PureMax pod kit. They may not have reinvented the wheel, but I think they may have just revolutionised the pod market as we know it.

SXmini PureMax Pod Kit boxed

First Impressions and Specs

On first glance, you may be forgiven for thinking I’ve gone slightly insane with that build up, after all the PureMax on the surface just looks like a pod kit like any other, well maybe it looks like a posher one, but it is still just another pod, right? Well, no, this is a very special device and that soon becomes apparent, but we will get to that in good time. The box doesn’t really give much away either, the only clue that this might be something a b it different is printed on the back where is says “Pure Mode Anti Dry”. The mystery deepens…

The specs also didn’t really give much away either, and I guess this makes sense as your average vaper probably isn’t going to care much about the tech as long as they get a great vape, but if you are taking the time to read vape reviews, I would assume you are a bit more of a geek so we will be digging deeper to really find out what this little baby can do.

  • Chipset: YiHi SX303J
  • Battery Capacity: 1050mAh
  • Wattage: 12-25W
  • Output: 3-6V
  • Size: 94*26*19mm
  • Quiescent Current: <20μA
  • Resistance: 0.6Ω-1.2Ω
  • Max charge: 5V/1A

SXmini PureMax Pod Kit unboxing

The first thing that really stood out when I slide open the cover of the box and got my first look at the PureMax was the built quality and finish, you can instantly tell that this is as close to a high end kit as you could get in a pod form. Whilst it is compact, there is nothing that looks cheap or poorly thought out, the finish is beautiful from top to bottom. I was sent three colour options, and two have a laser etched pattern which is super clean and detailed. The third is a solid colour but the depth and finish are some of the best around. I don’t think I’ll be seeing any scratches or chips any time soon. I picked one as my main test unt, the Quantum Gunmetal variant, and it has been out in all weather (mostly rain!) and has been living in my pockets for a few weeks and it still looks box fresh. I like to put my review gear through as much real world usage as possible and the PureMax has flown through everything I’ve thrown at it with flying colours.

SXmini PureMax Pod Kit contents

There are a lot of nice visual details too when you take the time to look. The branding is understated and clean which adds to the classy looks, and the button and airflow slider doesn’t look cheap or flimsy. The very bottom of the device is transparent and you can see the battery through it, this is a really nice idea as you can see the custom wrap through the dark plastic along with the bottom of the board. It gives it a techy vibe which is very attractive. The base is flat so you can stand the device up when you aren’t using it, but this is also where the USB port is, so it does need to be laid on its side when charging.

Between the button and the airflow slider, you will find four LED lights which tell you all you need to know when you are vaping. As you inhale, they light up to let you know how your battery is doing, and if you want to change the power input, these lights indicate your power settings. It is a simple system, but it is very functional and easy for anyone to get their head around regardless of how long they have been vaping. Everything has been well thought out to be user friendly which makes this suitable for vapers of all levels.

SXmini PureMax Pod Kit parts

We will get into more detail later but whilst we are covering the basics, let’s take a quick look at the pod. These slide into place, and the recess for them is quite deep so they fit very well. When in place, they look like they are part of the device, the lines are perfect and it has a very satisfying look. They are quite a dark plastic though, so you need pretty good light to fully see your e-liquid levels. I found it was easier to remove the pod to fill, but it isn’t necessary unless you have poor light. The filling system is tidy, there is a slider on the front which needs to be pushed up to reveal the fill port. It is big enough to take most e-liquid tips, but I found you need to angle the pod slightly backwards to get the juice flowing in well. If you are unlucky enough to get an airlock bubble, a quick blow will soon sort that out, but realistically, when you have filled it a few times, you soon get to know what it likes and it becomes completely mess free.

SXmini PureMax Pod Kit filling

The kit also comes with its own mouthpiece which is comfortable to use and looks smart enough, but it is just a regular 510 fitting so if, like me, you have your own favourite drip tips, you can use them instead. This is a major plus in my books as I like the familiarity of my own accessories. I found my really narrow bore mtl tip needed a bit more of an enthusiastic inhale to work as well and theb included mouthpiece, but more medium bore tips worked brilliantly and added a bit of the personal touch to the kit.

SXmini PureMax Pod Kit drip tips

On paper, the battery doesn’t sound that impressive, and I thought that might be the PureMax’s Achilles heel, but the wizardry going on under the hood makes it crazy efficient and I can get a full day of heavy vaping before I need to recharge. I have other kits with far bigger batteries that run out way quicker. Charging is also fast so when you do need to charge up, it should only take about half an hour from flat to full so you should have minimal downtime.

SXmini PureMax Pod Kit charging

A Deeper Dive

Cosmetically, the PureMax is lovely, but looks alone are only a small part of what makes this such a special device. The tech is where it’s at, and this unassuming little pod device is packed to bursting with the very latest innovations. Back to the “Pure Mode Anti Dry”, well this is just the start. The real genius here is that it uses temperature control to provide the cleanest, most consistent vape I’ve ever had from a pod kit. Traditionally temp control vaping has been a particularly nerdy sub-genre of vaping as you have to manually set your own temperature parameters depending on your coil material, the external environment, and the characteristics of your juice. When done right, it offers exceptional flavour and massively improved coil life, but it is fiddly and can be unreliable as there are just so many variables. The PureMax has taken all of the good bits and has removed all the faff from the equation leaving you with the ultimate in flavour and coil life without needing a degree in science or physics to get things right.

SXmini PureMax Pod Kit pod fitting

If you look at the base of where the pod sits, you will see that instead of the usual flat contacts, there are two prongs which are inserted into two holes in the base of the pod, and it is these that read what is going on with the coil. By carefully monitoring what is going on, the PureMax will give you the cleanest possible vape, so you get to fully taste your e-liquid and nothing else. It uses a pulsing sinewave, delivering power when it is needed and backing it off again when it isn’t, and this keeps the vape pure and consistent. It also keeps an eye on how much juice is in the tank and when you run out, it will not fire so you can kiss dry hits and burnt coils goodbye. It can also fine tune the vape from puff to puff, and it can tell if you have a cold coil or if you have been chain vaping, and it discreetly adjusts the power accordingly. You won’t even notice that it is doing all this amazing stuff in the background. The only thing you might notice is a very subtle hum as it checks everything 200 times a second…let that sink in for a moment because that is just insane for a humble little pod kit. I only noticed the hum when I first used it, and if I wake up in the night and have a sneaky vape, then it is slightly audible, but it isn’t loud or offensive, and I actually find it quite reassuring as it just means that it is working hard to give me a world class vape.

I have tried to keep things as simple as possible but the tech in the PureMax is incredible and it is genuinely mind-blowing that SXmini have packed in this kind of innovation into such a user friendly pod kit.

SXmini PureMax Pod Kit top and bottom

The Pods

The PureMax kit comes with a 0.6ohm Black PX pod which has a power rating between 14.5W and 22W. You can select the power by holding down the button until the light flashes and then pressing it again to cycle through the lights until you hit the one you want. I’m not really a numbers girl, but I found the options were really good for finetuning the flavour. Different power enhances different notes in your e-liquid, so it is well worth having a play. For example, I love the Ferocious Black Jack 50/50 e-liquid we reviewed for Vapoholic recently, and higher power really brought out the sweet flavours, but dropping it down massively enhanced the aniseed. It almost tasted like different juice. Now whenever I use a different e-liquid, I try it at all the settings before settling on what tastes best to me.

I was also sent the 0.6ohm and 1.2ohm Black PX pods to try. They all tasted fantastic and performed equally well so you only really need to choose the ones that work best for your favourite e-liquid. The 0.6ohm is best for 70VG/30PG juices so is more aimed at your traditional subohm style liquids, whereas the 0.8ohm works better for 50VG/50PG. Finally, the 1.2ohm is going to suit more traditional MTL vaping styles, I loaded mine up with some Manabush Deadwood Blends Calamity AM, and it was a match made in heaven, the flavour and vape quality were both phenomenal. The 1.2ohm is also going to give you slightly better battery life if that is an important consideration, although the board is so efficient that I can’t see it will make much difference for most people.

SXmini PureMax Pod Kit PX Black Pods

All of the pods use 316L stainless steel mesh which is perfect for using with temperature control and has the added bonus as being much better tolerated so if you have any metal allergies, you should be perfectly safe here. It is also one of the more neutral tasting coil materials so once again, you should only taste your e-liquid and nothing else.

Normally when filling a pod for the first time, we would always recommend letting it sit for five minutes for the e-liquid to fully saturate, but the PureMax can be used after just 45 seconds which is great as I have very little patience!

SXmini PureMax Pod Kit mesh wick

At the moment none of the current Black PX pod options will work well with the new wave of bar salt/disposable e-liquids as they are just too thin and could cause flooding, but SXmini are going to release the Blue PX pod range shortly and these should be idea for these types of e-liquids.

The pods come in packs of two and most places seem to sell them for around £7.99 a pack here in the UK. Initially I thought that was a little expensive for what you get, but you will get way longer life from them that any other pod on the market at the moment so in real terms, they are an absolute steal. There are members on the forum who managed to pick up their kits on early release at Vape Expo in October last year and they are still using their original pods now we are nearly in March. That is just unheard of.

Final Thoughts

There is so much more I could say about the SXmini PureMax kit, but I don’t want to totally nerd out and bore everyone, so I am going to round it off now. Needless to say, this kit has absolutely blown me away, from the first puff I knew I was vaping on something very special, and after living with it for a while, that feeling has not changed. Game changer is a term that is easily thrown around these days, but in this case it is the real deal. The PureMax is not only one of the best small kits I’ve ever used, but I would also say it is one of the best vaping devices of any size or style I have ever used. Every now and then, a new kit comes along which has the potential to revolutionise everything we think we know about vaping, and the SXmini PureMax is one of those kits.

SXmini PureMax Pod Kit with juice

Pros

  • Clean looks
  • Great battery life
  • Superb flavour
  • Incredible coil life
  • User changeable drip tips
  • Easy to use
  • Top quality fit and finish

Cons

  • A slight hum which might bug you if you are noise sensitive
  • I don’t have a purple one (yet)

OK, I might have been trying too hard to find any cons so you can discount the second one! On the principle that nothing is perfect, I don’t score anything with full 10, but this is the closest I have found to perfection, and I am so tempted to give it a clean sweep but one day something might top it, but I can’t imagine that will happen anytime soon, so for now I will give the SXmini PureMax…….

9.999/10 – Pure class, Pure innovation, Pure Flavour

Many thanks to SXmini for sending the PureMax in for review.

SXmini PureMax Pod Kit handcheck

Michelle (Purplefowler) avatar

When her usual forum closed, Michelle found herself in a brave new world full of excitement that something fresh and new was happening. A few days later she somehow found herself on the moderating team and is still not really sure how that happened. Even stranger, she slowly worked her way up to admin and now helps behind the scenes, liasing with vendors and coordinating social media but she can still be found making smutty comments on the forum. If all that wasn't enough, she also is a proud member of the Potv review team specialising in E-liquid reviews for the discerning vaper.

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