SMOK H-Priv Intro
SMOK has come a long way since the fiasco of fake temperature control on the SMOK XPRO M80 Plus a year ago. Smok’s temperature control chips are now up to speed with other manufacturers in their price niche (Joyetech, Sigelei, etc.), and their mods continue to improve in design and innovation. The H-Priv 220W TC is their most powerful box mod to date, and arguably their most interesting.
The SMOK H-Priv 220W TC box mod is currently available either as a Mod Kit (containing only the box mod) or a Full Kit (bundled with a SMOK TFV4 Micro Sub-Ohm Tank). Online prices for the two kits are typically in the range of $45–55 for just the mod, and $60–75 for the bundled Full Kit with the TFV4 Micro Tank.
Design of the H-Priv
The first thing that leaps out to the eye about the H-Priv box mod is the aesthetic of the case design. While slightly smaller than some of its dual-18650 powered counterparts, the zinc alloy rectangular case (available in silver, white, or black) has nicely rounded edges and a striking color contrast. Rather than a typical firing button, the H-Priv uses what SMOK call a plastic “red triangle design” firing bar that runs almost the length of the mod. The addition of a pull-out battery cover at the bottom made of the same red plastic gives the mod the look of a piece of industrial art rather than a typical box mod. Not everyone may like that, but I find the appearance stunning. I liked the side-firing rounded plate of the iStick 120W TC, and I approve equally of the “red triangle” firing bar. No one will ever have to fumble for a small firing button on this mod. For a rectangular design, the H-Priv feels very good in the hand.
In addition, the display screen and up/down adjustment buttons are located on the mod’s top plate between the 510 connector on one end and the red firing bar that runs down the other side. Relatively few mods are designed with a top-mounted display, and especially not one of such generous size as the H-Priv. Beyond that, the H-Priv offers menu options for changing how long the screen is illuminated before shutting off (to save battery power) and for lowering the contrast of the OLED screen for a stealthier vape experience. Screen brightness is adequate for indoor vaping, but in bright sunlight? Probably not.
The location of the OLED display on top seems iffy to me. Will it short from leaking tanks or RDAs? I don’t know, but I’d think it possible. Also, the tank I used for testing (a Council of Vapor RST) happened to align when screwed on so that one of the air intake slots was directly next to the screen. The small release of vapor from the air intake slot was enough to fog up the screen, and I found it a little aggravating to have wipe the screen with my thumb fairly often. The display screen itself is fine, although I wished it were brighter. Numeral size of the power in wattage mode or the temperature in TC mode is large and easy to read. Even the smaller numbers — for resistance, puff count, voltage, and intensity of ramp-up — are large enough that even my old eyes could read them without difficulty.
Functions, Interface and Performance
Temp Control works with all the usual suspects: Nickel, Titanium, and Stainless Steel wire, in either single or dual coil builds, and TCR values for each wire type are user-adjustable. Both Wattage and Temp modes offer different “outputs” — Max, Min, Hard, Norm, and Soft.
In addition to Wattage Mode and Temp Mode, the H-Priv also offers “Power Mode.” The chip will remember 16 different power settings (M1 through M16). I can see how this might be useful for someone who changes tanks and builds often, but it seems almost OCD geeky to me. How does one remember 16 different settings? I still haven’t figured out how to set any power other than M1, but that’s OK, since I tend to use the mod in Wattage Mode.
Perhaps I will warm over time to the slide-off battery cover, but so far I’m not a fan. The red plastic cover fits into slots on both sides of the bottom plate, and while taking it off is easy enough, putting it back in place after swapping out the batteries requires fairly precise alignment and the application of considerable pressure, which I found slightly annoying.
Also, the H-Priv has a noticeable firing delay. SMOK’s engineers may have their reasons for that, but I guarantee that vapers won’t like putting up with a firing delay.
I don’t have electrical testing equipment. For all the power graphs, I’d refer readers to Phil Busardo or Daniel from DJLsb on YouTube. I don’t know if the H-Priv can actually crank out 220 watts, nor do I care. I judge performance of a new box mod in the old-fashioned way, by comparing how it feels to other mods I own, using the same tanks. That’s hardly scientific, of course, but close enough for horseshoes. Performance of the H-Priv passed my comparison test with flying colors, but keep in mind that I never asked it for more than 70 watts.
- Innovative Design
- Striking Aesthetic
- “Red Triangle” firing plate
- Good performance
- Modest price for so many features
- Top-mounted display seems vulnerable and fogs up
- Menu navigation is non-intuitive and causes errors
- Sliding battery cover didn’t thrill me
- Noticeable firing delay
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