Lost Vape Drone BF DNA250c Squonk Mod review by Si Davies

Review Date: 
07.07.2019

Lost Vape Drone BF DNA250c Squonk Mod

Another 'bought with my own money' review and tips.

There is also a section on the DNA & Evolv Escribe software, anyone familiar with it can skip this part.

One Line Review

A high end DNA dual battery squonk mod that oozes quality and features - the best I have used!

8.5 / 10 rating

In the box

The Drone comes in a stylish triangular fold box, the inner tray is a bit naff and mine was cracked, typical contents for a mod with the exception of the rather natty Power Bank Cable which is a neat idea as you can charge your phone etc. with the Drone.

It’s also nice that they include a spare squonk bottle.

Contents:

  • Drone BF DNA250c Mod
  • 2 x 8.5ml Squonk Bottles
  • USB Data / Power cable
  • USB Powerbank Cable
  • User Manual
  • Warranty Booklets

Features & Specs

Main Features:

  • Powered By Evolv Firmware Upgradable DNA 250C Board
  • Dual 18650 Cells Setup For Long-Lasting Power
  • Theme Designer Software/Customizable User Interface
  • Temperature Limit: 200°F - 600°F
  • Output Power: 1W - 200W
  • Replay and boost Function
  • USB On-The-Go Charging
  • 2 x Silicone Juice bottle
  • Body Material: Ultem & Die Cast Zinc Alloy
  • Removable battery cover
  • Spring Loaded Nickel Plated Brass Center Pin
  • Integrated 2A Onboard Charger
  • Max Power: 200W
  • Atomizer Compatible: 36mm (Diameter)

First Impressions

The first thing I noticed was how light the package was and I have to admit when I first opened it up and held it I was a little disappointed as it felt a bit cheap, though this didn’t last long, as soon as I had the batteries (2 x 18650), the included clear 8.5ml squonk bottle installed and one of my closest ‘matchy matchy’ dual coil RDA’s (UD Smith) it transformed into something rather special!

It felt so good in the hand, a really nice weight too it and all of a sudden it had that Lost Vape quality feel to it, with its Zinc alloy metal frame made it feel solid and very comfortable.

Though I generally am not a fan of Ultem coloured mods I carefully weighed up my options while buying and decided to go with the Amber & Silver option, I am glad of my decision as it’s more transparent than traditional ultem and Amber is indeed it’s colour, it says it’s made of ultem but I am pretty sure it’s made from Polycarbonate but it looks really nice seeing the internals and battery wraps.

Available colours:

  • Silver / Amber
  • Black / Amber
  • Black / Silver
  • Black / Black

On to how it performed. Anyone familiar with DNA colour mods will know it’s one of the best chipsets on the market - if not the best in my opinion. I had my RDA setup with 2 x Stainless Steel (SS316L) coils ready for Temperature Control (TC) mode, so selected the SS316 profile and selected 50 Watts and took a puff, adjusted to the sweet spot then set it to Replay and happily vaped away with a smile on my face, the combination of Lost Vape quality, squonking and a DNA colour board is a perfect recipe.

More on “what’s the big deal with DNA?” later, but to wrap up the first impressions the only negative I have so far is the plastic battery / bottle cover, it’s a poor design as it requires some force to pull it off and feels like it’s going to snap when you do, I soon found a better way by removing via the squonk aperture and wiggle it loose, fitting it back was better with a satisfying click into place.

Menu & Navigation

The included manual is pretty good to get you started with decent pictures and instructions.

The screen is a little small so some things are hard to read.

It’s one of my favourite mods to navigate, the top fire button is used to wake up the mod by clicking 5 times (this can be changed to less or more) and apart from firing the mod that’s about it.

The 3 buttons below the screen are your main adjustment and navigation buttons:

Top = Up or +
Middle = Confirm
Bottom = Down or –

You rarely need to venture from the main screen, simply scroll to the option you want to adjust by using the Up or Down buttons then press the middle button to enter that option, for example if you have a new coil then scroll to the Ohm’s value and it will take you to a sub menu where you can measure, tweak and lock the ohms.

This review is getting a bit too long so I can’t cover everything but you can find more detailed information from the boards spec sheet:
https://downloads.evolvapor.com/dna250color.pdf

Compared To...

Dovpo Topside Dual

Hardly a fair fight but the highest quality dual battery high spec regulated squonk mod I had, now I highly rate the Topside, it’s got a lot going for it and excels in TC mode, it does beat the Drone in a few areas:

  • Larger clearer screen.
  • Higher capacity (10ml).
  • Very fast start up and fire speed.
  • Simpler menu & operation (yet has less features).
  • Easy fill system.
  • All metal chassis should take more hammer.

But the Drone beats it overall including:

  • Ergonomics, the Drone feels far better in the hand.
  • Much lighter.
  • DNA Colour screen (topside is monotone).
  • More stylish and pleasing to the eye (not that the Topside isn’t stylish).
  • Huge amount of settings in a good way.
  • Evolv Escribe software so you can tailor your Drone exactly how you want it.
  • Replay Mode.
  • Full visibility of your juice level.

It kind of sounds equal on paper, battery life on both are excellent, perhaps slightly better on the Topside, apart from the much better looks the main Topside beater is the heart of the Drone which is the DNA chipset, I will attempt to explain it next.

Which would I choose out of the two? – The Drone by a country mile.

Lost Vape Therion BF DNA75c

Though the Therion is only a single battery squonker I’ve chosen it to compare as I see the Drone as an upgrade which is the main reason I bought one.

Though the DNA is pretty much the same obviously the Drone delivers more power, comparing the two feels out of sorts, the Therion is more robust and smaller yet they both weigh the same when loaded up (300 grams), the Drone feels more comfortable and doesn’t feel much larger such is the way of the compact design.

So is it an upgrade? Yes and no, it’s better sure, but the Therion still has its own charm and actually feels like something completely different if that makes sense, so which would I choose?

Hard pushed but the Drone, that said I will be keeping the Therion too.

DNA Chipset & Evolv Escribe Software

This is going to be tricky to word without it becoming a whole essay, but I will attempt to narrow it down to a brief introduction.

To make the most of this superb board you will need a PC or Mac and download the Evolve Escribe software suite, it’s very easy to use and you can fully customise your vape and how your menus act and display, you can also fully customise your screens, there’s loads of premade themes out there for free. LINKS AT THE END OF THIS REVIEW!

As you connect the Drone to your PC (USE THE INCLUDED CABLE!) it auto detects which model it is and offers any firmware upgrades.

Screenshot showing the options for profiles, within the software mousing over will give you a guide of each option so it’s newbie friendly, first time I used it I was blown away how easy it was and how many things you could do.

Within the suite is a Theme Designer, you don’t need to go too deep into it (unless programming is your bag), all I changed was the 3 backgrounds with some simple Photoshop ones I made.

Here’s the brief bumf from Evolv website

The DNA 250 Color is a power regulated digital switch-mode DC-DC converter for personal vaporizers. It features Evolv's patented Wattage Control, patent-pending Replay and Temperature Protection, Preheat, Onboard Buttons, Synchronous Rectification for maximum battery life and minimal heat generation, and a 160 x 80 pixel Color TFT Screen. The DNA 250 Color runs from a 2, 3, or 4 cell lithium polymer battery, and features cell-by-cell battery monitoring and an integrated 2A balance charger.

Evolv's EScribe 2.0 and Theme Designer software can be used to make the DNA 250 Color look and act exactly like you want. Designed for ease of use while allowing complete customization, the DNA 250 Color is vaping down to a science.

In the shortest way I can put it: Though it’s great out of the box the software is what makes it special, especially in Temperature Control where it really excels. With the addition of ‘Replay’ it gets even better, find your perfect puff and it records and plays it so you get the exact same draw each time (juice permitting).

New to Temp Control Vaping?

It’s not as big a mystery as you think, using SS316L wire for example in your chosen RDA, set the desired temperature (start around 230c and increase or decrease to your tastes, set the wattage higher than normal and it should give you a decent warm flavourful vape BUT NO DRY HITS that’s what TC mode is in a nutshell, the mod detects the temp of your coil by how much juice is cooling it and drops the power if there is not enough juice, you can almost vape away until the cottons dry without the dry hit.

I am no expert so it’s better described within the PDF linked to at the bottom of the review.

Here’s the Replay Option without the need of going into Temp Control:

I will leave it there for now, it might sound all alien and daunting to some but trust me it’s all VERY simple, pop onto the POTV forums if you have any questions: https://www.planetofthevapes.co.uk/forums/.

Conclusion

Before I go off praising possibly my favourite mod of all times I feel I need to cover a couple of gripes. As mentioned earlier, the Polycarbonate cover is a potential accident waiting to happen. But my main gripe is the screen size - my eyes aren’t what they used to be and on some sub menus and settings I need reading glasses, it’s one of the few mods I need to do this for. Evolve spend a lot of time in R&D, support and updates yet the full color 80 x 160 pixel TFT screen has seen little change in years, even if they made it 90 x 160 it would make all the difference – gripe over and not Lost Vapes' design.

This is so close to the ‘ultem’ate Squonk Mod, near perfection only let down by 2 minor flaws but I have yet to find a perfect mod and doubt I ever will, you will never see a 10 out of 10 from me as things ‘Evolv’ (oh dear here come the puns...) yet at this point in time the Drone is such a fantastic bit of kit, I love its looks, ergonomics, performance, capacity and the enjoyment personalising to my tastes is the icing on the cake.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Dual Battery.
  • Colour Evolv DNA Board.
  • Stylish and a thing of beauty.
  • Long battery life.
  • 8.5ml squonk bottle.
  • Spare bottle.
  • Amber Polycarbonate is transparent.
  • Software and upgrades.
  • Replay mode.
  • Very comfortable.
  • Nice weight, not too heavy and not too light.
  • Easy front end navigation.
  • Dig deep for a wealth of features and functions.
  • Compact.
  • Power bank feature.
  • Oozes quality.

Cons

  • Why is it called ‘Drone’? I couldn’t get it to fly as it just fell to the floor!
  • Weak panel is worrying.
  • Screen is on the small side.
  • Not sure how it would fair being dropped (or flown).
  • Pricey (but worth every penny).

Final thoughts and rating

I had put a lot of thought into buying this pricey mod, when a deal came up I couldn’t resist it, sold 3 of my mods to buy 1, from the moment I assembled this and took it for a vape I have zero regrets, this is a keeper for certain, it might not appeal to some but to me it’s become the best mod I currently own (and I have a ridiculous amount).

If it broke would I get another – F**K YEAH, it’s going to hard to resist getting a ‘spare’.

Rating 8.5/10 – Close to perfection

Useful Links

Escribe Software Suite
https://www.evolvapor.com/escribe

Escribe User Manual
https://downloads.evolvapor.com/escribe/EScribeManual.pdf

Evolve DNA 250c PDF
https://downloads.evolvapor.com/dna250color.pdf

Free DNA Themes 75c & 250c
https://www.planetofthevapes.co.uk/forums/advanced-pv-mod-making-and-diy-discussion/temperature-controlled-vaping/threads/dna-75-color-250-replay-color-themes.166505/

https://forum.evolvapor.com/files/
 

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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.