Vaptio Ascension S150 Review
Price: $65Visit Website
The Vaptio Ascension S150 is a revolutionary kit that promises to take temperature control vaping to a whole new level. The incorporated ATC (Accurate Temperature Control) technology makes use of a proprietary 3-pin structure and a chip embedded in the ATC coil heads to precisely read temperature during vaping.
I for one had never even heard of Vaptio prior to this review, but when the guys at Heaven Gifts approached me about testing the new S150 starter kit and sharing my thoughts with the community, I was more than just a little bit intrigued. Here was one of the most elegant-looking high-power mods I had ever seen, which came with its own sub-ohm tank and promised to revolutionize temperature control vaping as we know it. So I decided that the Vaptio Ascension S150 was definitely worth a look.
Vaptio may be a relatively unknown brand, but they pay as much attention to packaging and presentation as big players like SMOK or Joyetch. The S150 kit comes in a big sturdy cardboard box with a three-color scheme (grey, red and white) that’s both eye-catching and elegant. On the front, you have a picture of the Vaptio S150 mod and the included ATC tank, and on the back, they put a small presentation of the package and the new ATC technology, the necessary warning pictograms and a scratch-and-check seal to verify the product’s authenticity. On the sides, you have more photos of the Ascension S150 and the starter kit contents.
Inside the box, you have the Vaptio Soar 150W box mod, a proprietary sub-ohm tank, two coil heads, a micro USB cable and a user manual. I found it a fairly standard starter kit offering, but one that promised to be well worth the $65 price tag.
At 95 x 52 x 23 millimeters, the Vaptio S150 may seem like a huge device to vapers not used to high-power devices, but for a 150W device, it’s actually quite compact. You have to consider that this is a dual 18650 battery mod, so it’s never going to be as small as an iStick PICO, for example. It’s both smaller and thinner than other vaporizers in this category, like the SMOK X Cube 2 or the Koopor Plus. In fact, the only other high-power mod smaller than the S150 that I’ve ever used is the SMOK R200. So I guess you can say it’s of an average size.
The Soar S150 is one of the most beautiful mods I have ever used, so whoever was in charge of the design definitely deserves a big raise, as far as I’m concerned. It has a half-rounded, half square shape to it, where one side is completely rounded off, while the other – where the buttons and OLED display are located – is square. This was completely new to me, and although I loved the look of it from the first moment I saw it, I did have some concerns regarding the sharp-looking edges of the square side. Those fears were put to rest when I finally got to hold the S150 in my hand for the first time and noticed that the edges are actually rounded, even though you can’t really tell from the official photos that Vaptio has released. But it’s not just the unusual shape that makes the mod very appealing, but also the very inspired black & red and white & red color schemes, and the general minimalist approach.
The metallic buttons are nice and clicky, although they do rattle a bit if you shake the device. The OLED display is large and easy to read even if you don’t have 20/20 vision, but I wish it was somewhat brighter, or that you could at least change the brightness of the screen. It shows the battery level, atomizer resistance, real-time voltage, wattage, and the mode you are currently vaping in. The connection is 510, so it supports the vast majority of atomizers and tanks, but it’s not a standard 510. This is one of the Vaptio innovations I was talking about in the beginning – the gold plated pin has a smaller pin in the middle that the company claims allows the mod to read the temperature more accurately that standard temperature control devices. More on this later.
There are a few things I didn’t like about the Soar S150. The most important flaw is the complete lack of battery venting holes anywhere on the mod. The battery cover on this thing is one of the best I’ve ever seen. Just slide it back a bit and it snaps upwards, without detaching completely, thanks to the inclusion of spring-loaded hinges. Insert two 18650 batteries, press the cover back down, slide it inwards and you’re good to go. But there are no vent holes on it, or on the mod and that’s kind of a big deal. The S150 does come with a series of safety features, like overheat protection, short circuit protection, low battery protection and a 10-second cutoff, but what if the battery malfunctions? What if it’s damaged and needs to vent? You need vent holes, and this thing doesn’t have any. I really hope they come up with a version 2.0 that has them, because it’s one of the easiest things to implement.
Another thing I’ve come to hate about the S150 is that the fire button becomes unresponsive when the mod goes into sleep mode. Let me explain: after you insert the batteries, the device turns on automatically, but if you don’t use it for two minutes, the display turns off and is goes into sleep mode. Now, if you press the fire button, the display comes on again, but the mod doesn’t fire. You have to press it again for it to actually activate the battery. That’s just stupid and bound to become annoying, unless you’re a chain vaper and can’t go two minutes without taking a hit. Having to press the fire button twice – once to take it out of sleep mode and another to actually vape on it. Horrible idea, and I hope they fix this soon.
Finally, there’s the charging issue. I’m not an expert on this topic, but I’m pretty sure charging batteries in series is a bad idea. That’s why most dual-battery mods don’t even allow you to use the micro-USb port for charging, recommending instead that you charge them externally using a smart charger. According to the Vaptio S150 user manual, you can charge the batteries on board, using the micro-USB port, although they recommend using a charger for a faster charging time. Not vent holes whatsoever and on-board battery charging is just asking for trouble, if you ask me… Get an external charger and stay safe!
Operating the Vaptio Soar S150 mod is pretty straightforward. Press the fire button 5 times to turn it on and off, and use the smaller buttons – we’ll call them “left” and “right”, as they are not marked with the usual “+” and “-” symbols” – to scroll through the wattage and temperature ranges. The S150 doesn’t have a setting menu, so all the changes are done through various button combinations. For example, pressing the fire button and the “right” button for 2 seconds allows you to scroll through the different modes – wattage and temperature control (ATC, titanium, nickel and stainless steel). While in TC, pressing the fire button and the “left” button at the same time, lets you change between Fahrenheit and Celsius degrees. Lastly, pressing the “left” and “right” buttons for two seconds, locks the two small buttons, making sure your settings are not altered by mistake. That’s about it.
The Soar150 is an upgradable device, and considering the serious flaws I’ve mentioned above, I suspect a firmware update is already in the works. Also, this will allow Vaptio to keep the mod relevant in the long run, by making it compatible with any new coil materials and even upping the power output, as was the case with the SMOK X Cube 2.
But the Soar 150-watt mod is just half of the Vaptio Ascension kit. We also have a sub-ohm tank with the same 3-pin connection as the mod and special coil-heads that the company claims makes temperature control much more accurate.
The 22-mm Vaptio tank shares the same color schemes as the Soar S150 mod, which makes sense, since they’re obviously made for each other. What makes less sense is the gap you’re left with even when you screw the tank on the mod all the way, considering other tanks and RDAs I’ve tried sit flush on the vaporizer. I guess it must be that 3-pin connection that both devices share. It’s a minor defect, but one I considered worthy of a mention.
The included drip tip is made of delrin and even though it looks to be wide boar, it actually narrows to a much smaller size at the bottom where it connects to the tank. Under the drip tip, you have two airflow control slots that you can close off or open by rotating the drip tip. This sort of slots were first introduced by SMOK in their original TFV4 tank, but they got a lot of negative feedback, so they were discontinued on later iteration of the tank. I doubt the community feels differently about them nowadays.
The Vaptio tank has a nifty top-filling system that makes refilling both easy and mess-free. The location of the filling slot is marked by a golden droplet symbol, and is concealed by a hinged cover. Just slide it outwards to expose the filling hole, pour in the juice using either a dropper or a syringe, slide back the cover and you’re good to go. This system is also reminiscent of the one of the SMOK TFV4, only in this case you only slide off a portion of the tank top, instead of the whole thing.
The glass tube of the tank can be taken for through cleaning, but the metal chimney is permanently attached to the upper section. In the bottom part, we have the main airflow system, made up of four air slots – two smaller ones and two large ones. By rotating a metallic ring, you can switch between them, but they are paired, meaning that you can only switch between either two large slots or two smaller ones. I personally prefer to use the larger slots, as the small ones make the draw too restrictive. In fact, I think some people will find trhe larger ones a bit restrictive as well, so maybe four big ones, with the possibility of gradually opening and closing them would have been a better idea.
The tank works well in both wattage and TC modes, but what really makes it special is the ATC mode, which you can only take advantage of with the S150 mod and Vaptio coils. The latter have built in chips that help the mod accurately read the temperature via that unique 3-pin connection, and adjust power output accordingly. How exactly it’s able to do that is still a mystery, as the company hasn’t offered any details so far, but it’s definitely an interesting concept. If it proves successful, this may be the next big thing in TC vaping.
As you probably know, if you’ve read any of my other mod reviews, I am not a big fan of temperature control, so it probably comes as no surprise that I did not like the ATC feature very much. It works, I can tell you that, but is is any more accurate that regular TC? Maybe, but I for one can’t tell. Just like in regular temperature control, the power goes up to a certain level and then the mod adjusts the power output so it doesn’t burn the wicking. It does that perfectly, but I’m just not enjoying my vape as much as I do in wattage mode. TC enthusiasts may find some notable differences between Vaptio’s Accurate Temperature Control and regular temperature control, but I couldn’t.
So, all things considered, is the Vaptio Ascension S150 worth the $65 price tag. I would definitely be inclined to say yes, if not for the serious flaws I mentioned above. If they add battery vent holes and get rid of that annoying two-button press to activate the battery, i’d buy this thing in a heart beat. You get a nice looking 150W mod that does temperature control with all currently supported material, a decent sub-ohm tank and let’s not forget the ATC feature, which may really be the future of TC. But as things stand right now, I’d hold off on purchasing the Ascension kit until these problems get resolved.