E-Cigarette Reviews and Rankings

5stars

iJoy Captain 2 Mod Review

The iJoy Captain PD270 is one of my all-time favorite vape mods, so I was stocked to hear that after three long years, the Chinese manufacturer was planning a version 2 of its popular device. Better yet, it was supposed to compete against GeekVape’s Aegis mods, which meant that it was going to be shock, dust and water-resistant.  The Aegis line could use so competition, and what better mod to take up the mantle than the sturdy iJoy Captain?

iJoy Captain 2 Packaging and Presentation

The newest Captain vape mod comes in a large, rectangular cardboard box, with a large picture of the device on the front, and a short description, list of contents, and some technical specifications on the back side.

Inside the box, we have the iJoy Captain 2 mod sitting snug in a Styrofoam holder and a smaller accessory box that contains the micro-USB charging cable, a user manual and a warranty card.

It doesn’t really seem like the most generous vape kit ever, but if you’re looking for a more complete package, you can always go for the more expensive version of this kit, which includes a sub-ohm tank as well.

iJoy Captain 2 Design and Build Quality

The original Captain PD270 was one of the bulkiest mods I ever owned, and the new Captain 2 is very similar in that regard. It measures 911mm x 53mm x 33mm, and is made primarily of aluminum alloy, with plastic, leatherette and silicone inserts that come together to create a sturdy, shock-resistant, yet stylish vape mod.

Now, while the first Captain owed its bulkiness primarily to the 20700 battery compatibility, the Captain 2 only takes 18650 batteries but is slightly thicker and larger in general. That’s because the new generation Captain has other ambitions. It aims to be “The Strongest Warrior” and to get that title it’s willing to take on the seasoned strongman of the vaping world, the GeekVape Aegis.

iJoy makes no mention of any IP standard on the box or even in the user manual of the Captain 2, but the sturdy frame of the mod, the silicone cushioning on the top and bottom, and the insulation around the battery door all hint toward a vape mode resistant to dust, water and shocks. Let’s call it an unofficial competitor to the Aegis series, although it certainly has its work cut out, considering the popularity of the Aegis brand.

I would be lying if I said I didn’t see any similarities between the Captain 2 and Aegis Legend 200W vape mod. They both have virtually the same top plate and 510 connection, the same style of battery door, and even the large, very visible screws keeping the mod together are very reminiscent of the Aegis Legend.

The two fake leather panels remind me of Aegis mods as well, as they are known for their nice leather inserts, and so does the silicone cover over the micro-USB port. It’s supposed to prevent dust and water from getting in, but it looks a bit too conspicuous in my opinion. It’s just too large, in my opinion, but at least it looks tight enough to actually keep water from reaching the charging port.

The iJoy Captain 2 features a center-mounted 510 connection with a gold-plated, spring-loaded pin. The central positioning and the girth of the device ensure that you can use it with atomizers up to 30mm in diameter without the slightest bit of overhang, which is good news, because the Captain 2 seems to have been made for big attys like the Aromamizer Plus V2 RDTA.

One of the things I loved most about my old Captain PD270 was the large, square-shaped fire button, and I was glad to see iJoy kept the same design for the new Captain 2. Not only is this massive button easy to press with both the thumb and the index finger, but it’s also pressable on the entire surface, not just the upper or the lower half.

Under the fire button and on the opposite side, we have some lovely leatherette panels that not only look great, it offers a bit of cushioning as well. It’s the same high-quality leather imitation we saw on the lovely GeekVape Aegis X mod and the newer VooPoo Argus GT, so i have a feeling it will hold up well in the long run.

On the bottom we have the same battery door as on the Aegis Legend 200W mod, with that bulky tab-style locking mechanism. It is better than the screw-on battery door of the Aegis 100W, I will say that, but it’s still not my favorite battery door. It is easy to open, as the door pops up at the slightest pull of the tab, but locking it in place requires quite a bit of pressure. Definitely not a con, though, especially since the door needs to be tight enough to keep water and dust out.

The back of the iJoy Captain 2 mod features a plastic-like panel with a carbon-fiber imitation design, which is supposed to be a throwback to the original Captain PD270. For some reason, this panel came all scratched up right off the box, but at least it has a protective plastic cover that you can peel off. I suggest you keep it on for as long as possible, though, as once it’s gone, there will be nothing to protect the plastic panel.

So far, I was really pleased with the latest entry in the iJoy Captain series, but then I put two batteries in and turned on the mod, only to see the exact same display as three years ago. When the PD270 came out in 2017, it had one of the nicest screens in the business, but three years is an eternity in this industry, and today the display looks horribly outdated.

The layout of the screen is still pretty cool, and I can get over the black-and-white color scheme, but the low brightness makes the screen almost impossible to see in certain lighting conditions. And just like the 2017 version, it has no brightness adjustment. The screen is definitely a disappointment, and I was personally shocked to see that iJoy used a three-year-old display.

I was happy to see the Captain 2 retain the same general design that made the original great, while also getting some serious durability improvements. The build quality is superior to the PD270, the mod feels super solid in the hand, and that huge fire button is the icing on the cake. The only thing I was disappointed by was the display, which is straight out of 2017.

iJoy Captain 2 Menu and Features

The iJoy Captain PD270 was one of the most advanced vape mods of its era, and the fact that iJoy decided to go with the exact same menu system and suite of features in 2020 is a testament to that. Indeed, at first I was surprised to see the exact same menu, but after browsing through its menu system a bit, I realized just how little we’ve progressed in the last three years.

The vaping industry has been touted as one of the most rapidly-evolving, but that is only accurate if we’re talking about the sheer number of products hitting the market every year. In terms of actual technological advancement, I’d say the industry has been pretty stagnant the last 5 years. The iJoy Captain 2 is a great example of that.

Multiple pre-heat settings, temperature control mode, TCR, custom curves, they were all available on the PD270 in 2017, and they are still relevant three years later. Apart from the slightly outdated layout of the menu, there is literally no feature missing from this mod that would make it feel inferior to much newer chips.

Same features and menu structure means same chip, and I was a bit surprised to see that iJoy chose to go with a 3-year-old board, but I shouldn’t have been. As I said, no significant technological progress has been made in the last three years, and they did tweak it to make battery activation much faster than it used to be, so why invest in a new chip if they didn’t have to.

For a full rundown of the menu system, check out my review of the Captain PD270, but if all you’re looking for is a short guide, I can tell you that you access the menu by pressing the fire button three times in rapid succession. You then use the + and – buttons to cycle through the different modes and options.

There is Power mode which is your regular wattage mode with three pre-heat setting (soft, normal and hard) and  a fourth one called “user”, which basically allows you to set your own custom wattage curve in 0.5 second increments. Then there is TC (temperature control) for three supported materials (nickel, titanium and stainless steel), and TCR mode.

In terms of settings, there isn’t much to choose from. The Captain 2 gives you the option to set how many seconds the displays stays turned on for when the mod is idle, and to reset the pudd counter. And that’s about all there is to the menu.

iJoy Captain 2 Performance

The original iJoy Captain PD270 was one of my all-time favorite mods. It’s one of the few devices that I actually used for about 6 months or so, long enough for the paint to chip around the battery door. Anyway, it was a really good mod, and it still works to this day, after over two years stored in a box on my closet.

The new Captain 2 works just as well as its older brother, in my opinion, which is not at all surprising considering that they are both powered by the same board. It fires faster than a 2017 mod, but other than that, it’s virtually the same as the PD270. Well, not quite, as it only has a maximum power output of 180W, compared to the 234W of the PD270, for some reason…

Luckily, there is more to the iJoy Captain 2. It’s not just another dual-18650 vape mod, it’s meant to be a competitor to GeekVape’s Aegis mods. While the manufacturer doesn’t list any IP ratings on the packaging or in the user manual, the Captain 2 is referred to as a “military-grade mod”. Is it as tough as an Aegis? I can’t really say, as I haven’t put it to the test, but it definitely feels a lot more solid than most dual-battery advanced mods on the market.

Conclusion

It took iJoy a while to come out with a successor to one of its most popular vape mods ever, and when it finally did, it turned out to be a repackaged version of the original. Well, at least they tried to go a different route, marketing it as a military-grade vape mod and trying to go after the GeekVape Aegis brand, which so far had virtually no competition. Is the Captain 2 really going to chip away at the Aegis? It’s too early to say, but at least it gets points for trying.

The new iJoy Captain 2 vape mod was sent to me by Sourcemore, for the purpose of this review. They currently have it in stock for only $39.99. Or you could spend $50 on the Captain 2 kit, which includes the newest Captain tank.

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