Eleaf iStick Rim 80W Kit with Melo review by Si Davies

Review Date: 
08.07.2019

Eleaf iStick Rim & Melo 5 Kit

Provided by Heaven Gifts for review purposes.

RRP = Current Sale Price: $60.97 (£50.53).

Before I begin I have to admit this kit didn’t appeal to me, that was until it arrived and got my hands on it, a total 360 from me as this kit impressed me in many ways, I’ve hardly put it down, read on for why this kit is so special.

Also in an attempt to keep this review professional, I am going to try my hardest to avoid ‘rimming’ puns ;)

One Line Review

Innovative, ergonomic, superb performance, SS316L coils with dry hit prevention, pocket friendly thing of beauty – highly recommended.

Score = 9 out of 10 – Eleaf raising the bar.

In the Box

  • 1 x iStick Rim Mod (inbuilt battery).
  • 1 x MELO 5 Atomizer.
  • 1 x Extra Plain Bubble Glass.
  • 1 x EC-S 0.6ohm Head (SS316L Mesh).
  • 1 x EC-M 0.15ohm Head (Mesh)
  • 1 x QC3.0 USB Cable.
  • 2 x User Manuals. (Tank & Mod)
  • Spare Parts for the tank.

Unboxing & First Impressions

The kit comes in quite a plain box with an outer sleeve with basic info and contents. Opening the box, you are greeted with the Rim & Melo 5 Tank and underneath that are all the other goodies as listed and photographed above. Seeing the mod for the first time and taking it out of the box actually brought a smile to my face - it looked and felt great. All of a sudden I was very keen to get it on charge and get vaping, so I grabbed the included new style USB C cable (which also has micro USB) and popped it on charge. I turned my attention to the tank and was surprised that one of the coils was Stainless Steel (SS316L) so opted to test that one first, primed it up and waited for the mod to charge.

Overall first impressions were very good and it’s no exaggeration to say I was quite excited waiting for the first vape, more on that later...

The colour option I received would not have been my choice, Rainbow, it’s actually one of my personal pet hates but this rainbow was closer to blue iridescent and I really love the look of it, there’s a good selection of colours and patterns available:

(Photo Courtesy of Heavens Gifts)

Mod Review

The mod itself features an internal 3000 mAh battery cell, the charging time with USB-C is only 40 minutes which is a huge pro, maximum power is 80 watts, resistance range is 0.05-3.0ohm, the design is very well thought out with its arc profile with a rubber grip piece opposite from the control display face. I really liked the chrome accents, I still find myself admiring it especially with the matching tank, though I did change the 510 drip tip to a chrome one which finished it off nicely.

Size-wise it’s: 30.3 x 36 x 80mm which fits in my hand perfectly, I find I can fire it easily with thumb, fingers or even just squeezing it in my hand. For a regulated mod with included battery I’m impressed how compact they have made it and it’s also pretty pocket friendly though I would say it’s a bit too heavy for a shirt pocket.

On the bottom of the mod there is the on-trend new style USB-C fast charging port along with plenty of air holes.

As many ‘stick’ style mod owners know is that they are easy to knock over, the Rim is far more stable than other stick style mods I have tried, though you still need to be careful as it doesn’t take much to knock it over.

Menu and navigation is done via the fire button along with the traditional up / down buttons:

  • Turn on or off with 5 clicks of the fire button.
  • Enter the settings menu by holding down the up and fire button simultaneously.

The menu itself offers most of the usual Eleaf features, seems a little out dated but there are a couple of extra options:

  • Puff/Time/Voltage on screen display options.
  • Lock Ohms (only visible for the SS316L coil).
  • Power Curve (only visible for non SS coils)
  • Stealth on/off.
  • Puff timer: 5s 10s 15s
  • Hardware & Firmware versions.
  • Battery voltage status.
  • Holding down the up & down keys simultaneously locks or unlocks the device.

The screen is small and nothing special, similar to most Eleaf mods, not very bright and basic but just enough to see the info you need.

The buttons feel great, the fire button has extra resistance so very little chance of pocket firing.

One of its useful features is the auto wattage reset when you change tanks or coils; let’s say you have it on 70W and change the tank/coil it detects the resistance and puts the power automatically to 30W so you’re not going to accidently hit your coil with too high watts.

Dry Hit Prevention

This only works when using the EC-S (SS316L) stainless steel coil, it’s based on Temperature Control though the mod itself does not have TC Mode, it does act in the same way though. If the coil is too hot (lack of juice flow to cool it down) then the mod automatically cuts the power to zero while it wicks, which is pretty fast, you don’t need to do a thing to enable it as the mod detects if a compatible TC coil is attached and likewise disables the feature when a normal coil is attached.

Naturally I had to give it a test, I had to chain vape vigorously before I got it to kick in and it works, no dry hit and cut the power with a ‘dry hit prevention’ on screen. In normal use it’s rare you will need it but it will be useful when your juice is too low.

There’s more to the mod and tank but I highly recommend you have a quick look through the features on Heaven Gifts page as pictures speak a thousand words, this review is dragging on and I haven’t even got to the tank yet! https://www.heavengifts.com/product/Eleaf-iStick-Rim-Kit.html

So, onto the Melo 5 Tank.

Melo 5 (4ml version) Tank Review

The mod is superb but despite a few flaws the tank is the jewel in the crown, here’s the bumf/specs:

  • Outside Diameter: 28mm(4ml)/26.5mm (2ml)
  • Base Diameter: 26mm at the airflow ring
  • Height: 57.3mm
  • E-liquid capacity: 4ml with bubble glass / 2ml with TPD straight glass.
  • Coil: EC-S 0.6ohm Head (SS316L); EC-M 0.15ohm Head
  • Thread: 510 thread

The Melo 5 features a few innovations; the most obvious is the coil shaped silicon? wrap around the bubble glass to potentially save it from breaking if it gets knocked over, the next one is the internal juice seal which is difficult to show in photos but in a nutshell you can remove the top part of the tank from the base while it still has juice in it! HUGE pro, so you no longer need to have an empty tank to change your coil, I have tested this a few times and works flawlessly, finally there is the top cap filling which is spring loaded, to open it you need to pull the top cap upwards then slide in the direction of the arrow, it also features a no spill bladder seal, I held the tank upside down with the fill cap open and almost no juice leaked.

Though it’s perfectly secure the top cap has wiggle in it due to the spring loaded design, a minor niggle.

Stripping the tank to clean or change the glass is a breeze:

It strips down into 5 main components:

  • 510 Drip Tip
  • Top section filler cap (this cannot be stripped down any further)
  • Bubble Glass (or straight glass TPD)
  • Coil
  • Base section with airflow control

The quality of the machining and threads is superb, the glass is a little fiddly to get off (best to wiggle it off) as it needs to be tight for the way it seals juice in when you remove the base, you can just make out one of the slider doors (for want of a better word) which close as you unscrew the base.

Visually this tank looks great with a lot of thought gone into the design and visuals, the only let-down is the drip tip which just doesn’t compliment the tank, I popped on a chrome and black one onto it which improved it.

Coils

The kit comes with 2 coils, both very different and are new designs.

  • EC-M 0.15 Ohm Mesh Style - Wattage range 30 – 75W
  • EC-S 0.6 Ohm SS316L Mesh Style - Wattage range 15 – 30W

I started out with the EC-S coil as I was keen to try out the dry hit protection which worked a treat as already described, the flavour was great for such low wattage though I did find the stated wattage range underrated, at 15 watts it barely worked, at 30 watts it was decent but I ended up at 40 watts before I got the best flavour. I had no problems with dry hits even though it was above the coils rating, when I swapped coils to try the EC-M I was pleasantly surprised at the condition of the coil, it still looked like new with no signs of gunk or burning.

I then tried the EC-M 0.15 Ohm coil, the wattage rating was more accurate on this one, 30-75, I found 45 watts to be the sweet spot and prefer it to the SS316L coil, no problems chain vaping with dry hits, though I like the idea of stainless mesh I will likely buy the normal coils as I prefer a warmer vape.

Niggles

So all sounds fantastic yes?

Not quite, my main gripe is with the good idea of the glass protection actually being a bad idea, the problem is you can’t see your juice level or what coil / wattage range as the protection totally blocks your view, thankfully they include a clear version which I now use so problem solved, I’ve yet to break a glass on any mod so touch wood it won’t be a problem for me.

Next there is the filler cap, if you have a 100ml bottle I have to remove the drip tip to be able to get the nozzle into the juice slit, there’s no workaround for this unless you use 10ml bottles.

Then there’s the boring drip tip, some might like it but it looked so much better with chrome or stainless styled one.

Compared to...

I have many mods but the closest internal battery mod I could find was actually the Eleaf iStick 50 watt, the Rim kit is just worlds apart so not a fair fight, the pen style mods I own (Prince Stick, Ijoy Saber or Berserker) are nothing like this, I’m sure there are plenty of similar kits but sadly not any I own so I will have to skip this.

Conclusion

I own a few Eleaf mods (Pico Squeeze 1 & 2, Grande, iStick 50W) and they have all been great quality and just last and last, some are meh and nothing special but this one stands out like the Pico Squeeze 2 did in its day, it not only functions perfectly it is also a kit to love, novelty factor aside I can’t see myself replacing this any time soon.

It has so much going for it, no doubt some of its innovations will appear in competitors mods and tanks but as it stands this kit is something special and is different enough to include in my vape rotation, like the Pico Squeeze 2 still gets plenty of use even though better spec mods have come along, this kit will be with me for a long time (ordering a shed load of coils for it).

So I will be ‘rimming’ for a long time to come.
(I did well without the rimming puns until now)

Would I buy another if it broke? (in 5-10 years time?)

Absolutely 100% but in Black if they are still around then.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Innovative mod & tank.
  • Auto TC style dry hit protection.
  • Very stylish and ergonomic.
  • SS316L Mesh style coil (at last!)
  • Central 510 connection.
  • Takes up to 27mm tanks.
  • Simple menu (though outdated).
  • Sturdy with a nice weight.
  • Superb new Melo 5 tank design.
  • Great flavour mesh style coils are long lasting.
  • Removable top section with juice valve for easy coil swap.
  • Pocket friendly.

Cons

  • 2ml TPD tank is near useless for higher watt coils.
  • Dull boring drip tip.
  • A PIA to fill without removing the drip tip.
  • Dim screen, hard to read in the sunshine.
  • Old chipset and outdated menu. (though reliable)
  • 4ml tank bubble glass rubberised spiral blocks view of coil and juice.
  • SS316L coil is under-rated.

I haven’t got any deal breaking serious cons, the few flaws it has can mostly be resolved or get used to.

Summary one line review and rating (as above):

One Line Review

Innovative, ergonomic, superb performance, SS316L coils with dry hit prevention, pocket friendly thing of beauty – highly recommended.

Score = 9 out of 10 – Eleaf raising the bar.

Thanks go to Heaven Gifts for providing the kit for review:
https://www.heavengifts.com/product/Eleaf-iStick-Rim-Kit.html

(Photo Courtesy of Heavens Gifts)

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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.