Elephone ELE Cigar E1 Review
Temp Ctrl: 200°F-600°F
Resistance: 0.05-2.5 ohm
Elephone, one of the largest smartphone makers in China, has recently entered the electronic cigarette market with the ELE Cigar E1, an elegant 70W vaporizer that supports temperature control vaping. Since this is the world’s first mod launched by a mobile phone company, I will admit I was more than a little excited to get my hands on it for this review. Let’s check it out:
The Elephone E1 mod comes in a square cardboard box with the company’s “ELE” logo on top. Apart from the actual mod, you also get a little user manual and…Well, that’s it. You might say that most advanced mods come in austere, unimpressive packages, and I would agree with you, but there is one very cheap yet essential accessory that Elephone forgot to include – a USB charging cable. You see, the E1 is powered by an 18650 battery that you need to purchase separately, but it also features a micro-USB port that you can use to charge the battery inside the device instead of using an external charger. But if you don’t happen to have one lying around the house, you can’t really take advantage of this function. Sure, everyone has a micro-USB cable these days, but let’s not forget that using a charging cable other than the one provided by the manufacturer can lead to very dangerous accidents.
The Elephone E1 is actually a very nice looking mod. Standing at 88 x 40.45 x 25 millimeters, it’s about the size of a Koopor Mini or an Eleaf iStick 5oW, so it definitely gets points for handling and portability. It has an aluminum-zinc alloy body with a spring-loaded 510 connection on top, a micro-USB port on the bottom, and the classic three-button combination and OLED display on one of the sides of the device.
But what really sets the ELE Cigar apart from similar mods is the leather-like material on the battery cover. Not only does it improve grip, but it also gives the device a high-end look and feel. I’m pretty sure it’s not genuine leather, but it’a good quality material that doesn’t shoe any signs of wear-and-tear after about a month of use. It’s definitely a nice touch that adds a bit of elegance to the mod.
The magnetic battery case itself is a whole other matter, however. First of all, it’a made of a cheap plastic, which doesn’t go very well with the metallic body of the mod. But I could probably get over this aspect, if the case actually worked properly, which it doesn’t. The problem is the battery case connects to the ELE Cigar via two pairs of magnets that are really not as strong as they should be. Yes, it snaps into place fairly easily, but pull on it ever so slightly and it comes off.
Worse still, after you’ve inserted the battery and the mod becomes heavier, if you accidentally grab the mod by the battery case alone, which, because of the design of the device, is not as unlikely as it might seem, it just comes off and you’re left with a piece of leather-covered plastic in your hand. The problem is that the magnets are really small, and apparently just not strong enough to remain firmly attached during handling. Hopefully, Elephone realize their mistake soon and come out with a version 2.0 that doesn’t have this annoying issue.
It’s not all bad, though. The metallic buttons of the E1 are as clicky and responsive as they come, and the OLED display is one of the brightest I’ve ever seen on a mod. It’s a pity that the low-quality plastic magnetic cover ruins the otherwise nice design of the ELE Cigar E1.
Like a lot of other small-size mods, the ELE Cigar does away with a complicated settings menu, relying instead on button combinations. To turn it on, you have to press the fire button five times in rapid succession, and repeat the process when you want to turn it off. To lock the buttons and prevent accidental activation of the battery while carrying the device in your pocket, for example, press the fire button and the ‘+’ button simultaneously and the screen will display the ‘System Locked’ message. Repeat the process to unlock the mod.
You can switch between wattage or ‘power’ mode and temperature control (Ni200 and Titanium) mode by pressing the ‘+’ and ‘-‘ buttons simultaneously for two seconds. use the same buttons to browse through the modes and press the fire button to confirm your selection.
Finally, when you change atomizers, you can prompt ELE Cigar to detect the resistance of the new atty by pressing the fire button and ‘-‘ buttons at the same time.
Compared to more advanced high-power mods like the SMOK X Cube 2, the Elephone E1 is relatively easy to use and set up, making it a suitable choice for both beginners and intermediate vapers.
As I’ve already mentioned, the OLED display is one of the best features of the ELE Cigar. It’s both larger and brighter than the screens commonly used on mods. The wattage or temperature is displayed in very big font making it perfectly visible even if you have eye problems, and other information includes a battery icon, atomizer resistance and real-time voltage.
Performance-wise, the Elephone E1 was ok, both in wattage and temperature mode. It runs from 5 W to 70 W in power mode, which is pretty decent, allowing you to try some serious sub-ohm builds, but not too extreme. There is a bit of a delay after pressing the fire button, but it’s barely noticeable (definitely not as bad as the now-fixed delay on the X Cube Mini). The ELE Cigar supports resistances between 0.05Ω and 2.5Ω.
In temperature mode, the E1 supports Ni200 and titanium coils, but not stainless steel. Hopefully, that micro-USB port can be used for upgrading and Elephone will add SS support soon, because that is quickly becoming the most popular temperature control option. In this mode, the ELE Cigar runs at between 200°F~600°F/
The device doesn’t automatically detect the kind of coil you are using, so you have to select it manually by pressing the ‘+’ and ‘-‘ buttons simultaneously for two minutes and select either ‘Ni’ or ‘Ti’. If you accidentally choose one of these modes but you are actually using kanthal coils or other unsupported materials, the mod automatically switches to power mode.
The only negative thing I can say about the Elephone ELE Cigar’s performance is that it doesn’t seem to accurately read resistances. For example, a dual-coil setup that shows up as 0.35 ohms on my ohm reader and other mods, shows up as 0.33 ohms on this mod. The difference is not huge in this example, but if you’re going down to 0.05, and the device reads it by 0.02 less, I’m guessing that it’s not going to fire.
Since this is a single battery device, battery life isn’t going to be very impressive, especially if you’re using at 70 W, but it is pretty decent. I personally have been using it at peak wattage, with an LG HG2 INR 3000 mAh battery, and I’ve been getting about 8 hours of use out of it.
The ELE Cigar does have quite a few flaws, but it also has something really important going for it – the price. This things costs just $29.99 on the Elephone Store, which for a variable wattage/temperature control mod is simply a steal. The 75W X Cube Mini, for example, costs around $70. Yes, it does support stainless steel coils and has a few extra bells and whistles, but the price difference is huge. You’re not likely top find a cheaper TC mod, so if you can live with its few problems, you should definitely consider the ELE Cigar E1.
Before we wrap up this review, Elephone also send me their new RTA, the ELE Fog. It’s a 4.5 ml tank that comes with an 0.4Ω power mode coil head and an 0.15Ω Ni200 coil head for temperature control. It’s actually a nice looking device, with a stainless steel and pyrex glass body and airflow control on both the base and the mouthpiece. It is a bottom-filling tank, which can make things a little messy, but I guess that’s just subjective, since I’m a big fan of top filling systems, like the TFV4.
All in all, I guess you can say the ELE Cigar E1 mod is a decent first attempt by Elephone, but personally I was expecting more from them. The e-cigarette market is already crowded right now and launching a new device that brings nothing new to the table isn’t exactly a recipe for success. I guess I thought they’d somehow use their experience in the smartphone industry to implement some new technology into this device and blow everyone out of the water. That is not the case. The E1 is an elegant-looking mod, with decent specs, but also design flaws. The price point is tempting, but Elephone have to step up their game if they hope to have real success in this very competitive market.