Freemax Starre Sub Ohm Tank review by junglist

Review Date: 
26.03.2015

The subohm tanks are hitting the market at an alarming rate.  But how low can they go?  The Aspire Atlantis and KangerTech range of Subtanks all weighed in at 0.5 Ohm but this one was sent into us a couple of weeks ago and it claims to deliver the ability to work in the range of 20-100W with a 0.25 Ohm coil.  Let’s see if the Starre really does shine.

The Starre is manufactured by Freemax Tech Co Limited in Shenzhen, China.  A relatively unknown manufacturer who has released a few other tanks recently, the Silus (a dual ceramic coil tank) and two quad could tanks, the Tetra and the Scion.

Just like the Aspire Atlantis this tank comes in a hard-plastic clam shell box.  The box contains the tank, already fitted with a coil, and a second coil and spare glass under the tank casing.  Also under the casing is an information and instruction leaflet and on the underneath of the packaging is some more info about the unit.

Freemax Starre Specifications

The underside of the box states:

“The Starre is a revolutionary tank system made of high quality stainless steel and glass. The Starre tank uses a long-lasting Dual Vertical Coil (DVC) system that is unique to the industry. Low sub-ohm resistance provides outstanding performance that rivals an RDA. Offering dual airflow holes and eight adjustments, the Starre provides an outstanding airflow system. This Tank gives massive clouds, a smooth vaping experience, and an incredibly pure taste!”

Basic Specifications:
Capacity of 5ml
Working Power is 20 to 100W
Coil options: 0.25ohm and 0.5ohm

Build Quality and Features

The upper and base hardware are manufactured from SUS304 Grade Stainless steel and the glass tank is made from borosilicate glass.  Borosilicate is thermally stable, it won’t expand under heat and is therefore very well placed for use in these sub ohm devices.  It is also resistant to chemical reaction and corrosion.  The stainless steel used throughout the tank is of a high, medical grade quality and it is clear that safety has been front of mind in the creation of this item.

The base section is a thing of beauty.  The notched stainless steel air control ring is a celestial being worthy of a full mark review as a stand-alone item.  High praise is well worthy here.  Take a look at the dual airflow holes.  Like dual black holes ready to suck whatever enters their vicinity they are truly massive.  The design of the notched ring is fantastic to look at and great to the touch.  Changing the airflow diameter is a pleasure, each setting clicks nicely into touch, giving excellent tactile feedback and leaves you certain that the act of picking up the device won’t knock that setting easily and if it does move you are likely to notice it. 

Other manufacturers could learn a lot from this unit in terms of the airflow set up.  The intake holes are wide and deep, this is a photo opportunity I have missed so will have another look once the review is up - they are truly amazing.

Another really nice part of this tank is the massive wide-bore drip tip.  It is huge.  On the right you can see I have taken a snap of the Starre (on the left) next to the original KangerTech Subtank (on the right).  The Subtank looks like a pin hole in comparison.  OK, maybe I over exaggerated on that one but in real terms the Subtank has a top opening diameter of 6.66mm and the Starre 8.50mm - the bottom of the Subtank drip tip is 3.90mm and the Starre 6.00mm.  According to my dodgy Maplin callipers.

The coil heads are made with medical grade cotton.  They have four decent sized holes to allow eliquid to soak into the cotton and they have four holes in the bottom pin.  Exactly like the Subtanks, the air coming in through the airholes is pulled in through these holes in the bottom of the coil head and up the through the coil.  But everything about the airflow in this tank is bigger than the Subtank.   

Using the Freemax Starre

So, having checked out the tank I was ready, if not a little apprehensive, about giving it a go.  I told you a bit of my history in the Aspire Atlantis review I did a week or two ago.  I am a clearo using mouth-to-lung kind of fella.  The Atlantis helped me to see that lung inhales could be really good.  I have used the Subtanks too and they are good.  I have built the YouDe Goblin at around 0.6ohm and these were all fine at 25-35W.  But 0.25ohm?  Hmmm…  I checked out a few of the videos of people using this tank, one silly beggar using it at 100W and saying how unpleasant it was kind of put me off using it.  Sod it, I said to myself, stick in the 0.5ohm head and give it a try first. 

Now, here was a minor annoyance.  The base unit screws off but leaves a steel assembly in the tank.  Unlike the Subtank where the chimney screws down into the coil head, on the Starre the base unit screws into this section and the top of the coil pushes up against the chimney.  This means you have two slots to push your juice through when filling it.  It has a 5ml capacity though and even with 80VG juice I was able to fill it easily once I had a longer nose on my bottle.  Subsequent fills were a lot easier and I am now happily pipette filling without leak or spill.

So, tank filled - stick the base back on and put it on the Sigelei 100W and have a quick toot.  Powered the unit up - quick hit of the fire button.  0.3ohm.  OK, thought I was going to stick the 0.5 coil in to warm myself up to the lower ohm one - looks like that’s out the window then!  So the 0.25ohm coil is in there and the Sigelei only reading to .1ohm range so showing 0.3, no problem. 

Let’s have a go at 40W to start.  A measly 3.6V but not bad.  A decent amount of vapour on the home brew 80VG 20PG custard and the taste is there.  But it can go higher.  50W - 4.1V - that’s more like it.  A gentle warmth to the vape, loads of flavour and the room is getting foggy.  Nice clouds.  60W - 4.6V…  Hit the button and inhale quick.  I can easily pull for 4 seconds on this - loads of flavour and big clouds now.  Looking good!  70W, better open the window.  70W - 4.8V - again a 4 second draw is easily done, really big clouds now and a warmer vape, lots of flavour.  80W - 5.2V - do you dare me?  OK, 2 seconds is about it at that level for me.  Vape is getting hot, still doable and not unpleasant but due to the short pull the amount of vapour is no better than at 70W and the flavour is dulled due to the heat for me.  90W - 5.6V.  In for a penny, in for a pound.  Pull hard to keep the temp down and it is doable.  100W - 5.9V.  Can’t let you apes down can I…  Short pulls at 100W and it is fine, most definitely capable of performing at 100W.  But the clouds are smaller and the taste is mangled. For me the 0.25ohm coil hits nice at 60-70W depending on the juice.

I have used this tank a lot the last few weeks,  I am using it over the Aspire and Subtank.  The Subtanks are good but the draw on them is tight compared to this in my opinion. 

Another big bonus over this tank - not a single leak.  I have had this in my bag, in my pocket, used it in the car, laid it down on the desk and it hasn’t spilled a drop.  I love this tank.

Overall Impression

I’ll say it again.  I love this tank.  I am not joking, I flipping love it.  I was sent this one for feedback by Shane at Ecigone when he sent us up the juices to review.  I have bought another two since then with my own money.  Actually I bought another for someone else to try as well.  He broke it.  I cried myself to sleep the night he told me.  You know who you are!

OK - so I am not a die-hard dripper and therefore not comparing this to the clouds and flavour I could get from a RDA but for ease of use and results I am seriously impressed with this tank.  Even when comparing it to the big hitters of the minute, the Subtank and Atlantis I would say this comes out on top.  You can use it at 100W but 60-70W is ideal for me and this power coupled with the massive airflow gives vapour beyond belief.

I have been using it mainly in the evenings and have had a couple of weeks out of one coil using around 40ml of juice, custard at that so coil life time is good.

Costs and availability

Not many of these about in the UK.  I was told this evening that there is a delay in manufacturing.  They are still available at Ecigone.co.uk at the time of writing but I am told it will be 14 days before the next batch is in.  They are currently listed at £34.99 on their store, so more expensive than the Subtank and you don’t have the choice of the rebuildable deck. Replacement coils (0.5ohm or 0.25ohm) cost £3 each. 

Positives:
Massive bore drip tip
Massive airflow
Beautifully  engineered airflow control
No leaks
Amazing vapour production
Really good flavour
Long coil life time

Negatives:
Cost of coils
Small gap between glass and coil housing could lead to slow wicking.
Could be easier to fill
No spare orings
Price

Final thoughts

All in all I think this is an amazing tank that is well  thought out and does what it was made to do.  The price is a few  quid more than the Subtank and the coils are 60p or so each more expensive but they will last longer than the Subtank.  Freemax have clearly taken care to use the best materials possible and manufactured it to a really high standard.  The little touches on the airflow and the volume of airflow available nudge it above the Subtank for me.   If you want something different to the Subtank and don’t mind paying that little bit more this is well worth checking out.

Safety

This is a Sub Ohm tank and you should only use it when you are sure that you have the right equipment to hand.  Vaping at 100W will put a large strain on your batteries so make sure they are working well and that if you feel any large amount of heat being generated from them you stop using them at once.  Battery safety should be of the forefront of your mind at all times when using advanced gear of this nature.

Ecigone have given us a Starre to give away to one of you lucky readers.  Enter the competition here!