UD Simba Tank Review
Price: $42.34Visit Website
With hits like the Zephyrus, Bellus or Goliath tanks under its belt, it’s safe to say that Chinese company Youde (UD) Technology is an industry leader when it comes to designing high-quality sub-ohm tanks. The new UD Simba follows in the footsteps of its predecessors – it’s chuck full of innovative features and promises users the best flavor and vapor production they can get out of a tank. Let’s see if the Simba can live up to the hype:
I was really excited when the guys at Heaven Gifts contacted me about doing a review of the UD Simba. I had just ruined a brand new Ephro Billow V2 RDTA after just three days of use and I was in the market for a new sub-ohm tank that came with a rebuildable RBA deck right out of the box. But first let me just rant a bit about what happened to the Billow. One day, after having just refilled the tank, I screwed it back on to a box mod, set it on the kitchen table and at some point accidentally hit the mod with the back of my hand. The mod fell over and the tank git a porcelain cup and the glass cracked instantly. I couldn’t believe it. There was juice leaking out and tiny pieces of glass were coming off the tank. It was the gentlest contact and yet the glass cracked so bad, but that wasn’t the worst part. Accidents like this can happen, but tanks usually come with a spare glass cylinder. Well, apparently not the Billow V2, and none of the shops in my country seemed to carry them either. So I was stuck with a new yet completely unusable RDTA.
Performance-wise, I was very pleased with the Billow. It held plenty of e-juice, had great airflow and both the flavor and vapor production were above average. I just wish I could have used it a bit longer.
Luckily, the UD Simba arrived sooner than I had expected, so I had a new toy to play with. The tank comes in a standard cardboard bow with a picture of the Simba on the front and a scratch-and-check authenticity seal on the back. Most other companies also have a package contents list as well, but apparently not Youde. Anyway, upon opening the box you find the tank itself with a preinstalled cotton-ceramic coil head. Take out the foam tank holder and you discover the second layer of the box which holds another type of coil head, a spare glass cylinder (yay!), an RBA deck and a bunch of gaskets and o-rings. Instead of a user manual, Youde opted to include a rudimentary instruction card that, while helpful to advanced vapers, is really not enough for someone starting out with sub-ohm tanks.
I would say the UD Simba kit is a bountiful offering, if only considering the included RBA deck that lets you build your own coils, and the very handy glass tube replacement. However, at $42.34, it’s definitely not the cheapest sub-ohm tank you can buy right now.
The UD Simba is 22 mm in diameter and 60.5 mm in length, from the tip of the mouthpiece to the 510 connection pin. It holds up to 4.5 ml of e-liquid and features a top-filling system designed to prevent leaking. I don’t use the term “innovative” very often, especially with new tanks hitting the market so often, but the Simba does have a number of features that set it apart from everything I’ve ever seen so far.
Let’s start from the top and work our way down. The stainless steel drip tip looks pretty common on the outside, but it’s the inside that is interesting. Looking down inside the metallic tube, you can see that it is permanently half closed and can be closed even further by rotating it clockwise or anticlockwise. Youde says that this strange feature does not restrict airflow, and after using the tank with a normal drip tip, I am inclined to agree. You can actually close the airflow completely and that basically prevents any vapor from coming through, but that doesn’t make any sense, so I suspect it’s more of an anti-leaking feature for when you have to carry the tank in a purse or other baggage. Closing the airflow on the drip tip almost all the way makes for a tighter cigarette-like draw, so if you prefer that, you may actually appreciate this feature. To be honest, I always leave it wide open and control the airflow via the metallic ring on the base of the tank.
The tank’s top cap unscrews to reveal two large filling slots that make refilling the Simba a simple and clean operation. Further down we have the stainless steel chimney, which is where one of the most important innovations is located – two adjustable e-liquid intake slots. By rotating the glass cylinder clockwise, you can open these slots to let the juice flow to the atomizer, and rotating it counter-clockwise closes the slots. I use the UD Simba with the massive holes wide open and I have yet to get a dry hit from it, but I guess closing them up completely can prevent accidental leaking while the tank is not in use. One thing you have to remember, though – always close the juice slots before changing coils or otherwise taking the tank apart or you will be swimming in e-liquid.
The base of the tank features two large adjustable airflow slots that can be opened an closed by rotating a metallic airflow ring. I actually prefer to use this to control the tightness of the draw, rather than the adjustable drip tip. Also worth a mention are the inner ceramic parts designed to collect any potential leaks and prevent condensation. I guess they actually work, because I didn’t have any leaking issues, at least not though the base of the tank. I did notice some juice drops once, but it turned out to be my fault, because I hadn’t screwed on the glass cylinder all the way, after taking the tank apart for cleaning.
Now on to the things that really got me excited about the UD Simba tank – the new ceramic coil heads. I had my first experience with ceramic while testing the Vaporesso Target 75 VTC, and I remember thinking this material could be a game changer, especially for vapers who appreciate better flavor over big clouds of vapor. Now, the thing is Vaporesso’s cCELL coilheads did have a ceramic shell, but also some cotton in them, while the Youde SCC (Solid Ceramic Coils) coil heads are all ceramic, no cotton.
The UD Simba comes with a preinstalled ROCC coil head which looks remarkably like the Goliath coil heads, with one particular difference – a ceramic cylinder around the two kanhal A1 coils. But here’s the thing about the Youde ROCC, it still uses organic cotton for wicking, so I don’t really know what the purpose of the ceramic is in this case, At least the cCELL coil heads actually had the wire embedded in ceramic so the juice was filtered through it, but these ROCC coil heads wick through cotton, and the kanthal wire only comes in contact with the cotton. Basically, you can burn the cotton as easily as you would with a regular coil head, which is exactly what I did.
Because the UD Simba can be disassembled into a million pieces but not always in the order you want, I encountered a problem while trying to unscrew the ROCC coilhead from the chimney. It proved more difficult than I anticipated, so I twisted its base by accident and messed up the resistance. What was originally an Ω0.5 dual-coil became a dangerously low Ω0.06 coil head. I only fired it once at 32 watts, while checking the resistance, but it was apparently more than enough to burn the cotton. Although I managed to change the resistance back to normal by making sure the base of the connected to the coil wires, the damage had been done and the vapor had this weird slightly burned taste.
In the short time I got to use it, the ROCC coil head seemed pretty decent, producing average vapor and ok flavor, but it was really nothing spectacular. I was definitely getting better flavor from my Cubis tank and in terms of vapor production, it came nowhere close to the capabilities of the SMOK TFV4 tanks.
But the one I was really excited to try was the SCC full-ceramic coil head. This is a Ω0.5 stainless steel single coil with a ceramic wick and a solid steel casing. There is no cotton inside this thing and it really shows in the flavor you get when using it. This is definitely not a cloud chaser’s dream, as the vapor output is average, but the taste is downright phenomenal.
My experience with the SCC coil had a bumpy start, but I take full responsibility for that. As I am not a big fan of temperature control, I started using it in wattage mode, and in my experience, 30 watts is usually enough for an Ω0.5 coil. Only it didn’t seem to produce any vapor. Despite dragging long and hard I was barely getting any vapor and that was unusually cool. This is where a proper user manual comes in handy, but the UD Simba doesn’t come with one. Instead, they did have a sticker on the side of the box which recommended the SCC ceramic coils be used at 40 – 50 watts. That’s higher than usual for this resistance, but because there is no cotton to burn, the flavor only gets better and so does the vapor production.
Finally, the UD Simba tank also comes with a dual-build RBA deck, which may not interest beginners too much, but is actually one of the highlights of this kit for advanced users. This is the same RBA deck that comes with the Youde Goliath tank, but if you’re not familiar with it, you should know that it lets you use your own coils, has very good airflow and the posts have big enough post holes to accommodate even the thickest Clapton wire. It also comes with a ceramic adapter single coil mode use.
I haven’t had much time to play with the RBA deck, but my first impressions are pretty good. Flavor is ok and vapor production is superior to the Youde coils, especially with low resistance dual builds. However, juice consumption is much higher as well.
So is the UD Simba a perfect sub-ohm tank? No, there’s no such thing and I’m sure Youde will improve on it with a version 2 in the not so distant future, like it has with its other products. But the Simba is definitely a solid choice, if you’re looking for an advanced tank that’s more about flavor and less about vapor production. The ceramic coils, especially the SCC really bring out the taste of the juice and make dry hits a non-issue as long as you stay within the recommended wattage or temperature ranges. Right now, you can only choose from two different Ω0.5 coil heads, but I’m sure they’ll be introducing lower resistance ones very soon.
The included RBA deck is also a big plus for me, as is the fact that I’ve had no leaking issues with it, which is very rare for tanks in general.
I do wish Youde had included a more detailed manual for this tank, as beginners are sure to struggle with it at first, but overall I have to say that the UD Simba is a solid tank. The $42 price tag might put some people off buying it, but you have to keep in mind that the Simba comes with an included RBA deck as well as spare parts. Plus, with the cutthroat competition in the vaping business these days, I’m sure the price is bound to go down very fast.