Joye eGo-T 18650 Mod from LiteCigUSA
The Joye eGo 18650 isn't a perfect electronic cigarette, but it is good enough that it will likely become a mainstay at the inexpensive end of the mod segment. It really is more of a mod than an ego, but its real strength lies in the fact that it borrows useful design elements from both types of devices. The test device was purchased from LitecigUSA and arrived packed simply in a plastic bag. Unlike complete electronic cigarette kits, mods often arrive with few additional components and this one is no exception.
At the basic level the design is very much that of a mod. There is the battery tube with a spring at the bottom that is just large enough to hold the 2200mAH 18650 battery. The aluminum tube feels sturdy and a little more substantial than some similar configurations we've tried.
The switch is enclosed in a separate top cap that screws securely into the battery tube and this is where the eGo 18650 differentiates itself from most other mods. The switch assembly shares many characteristics with the popular eGo line, including regulated 3.3v voltage and the 5-click on/off feature. The button is nicely sized and provides satisfactory feedback when clicked.
The on/off feature is an obvious plus and makes this device very pocket or purse friendly. The regulated voltage, on the other hand is a little more disputable. Many mod proponents will prefer to have their voltage unregulated, firing the atomizer at whatever the battery charge is currently capable of. Others are quite happy with the performance at 3.3v and would prefer their device to maintain that output all the time. I find myself in the latter camp, especially after disappointing results experienced with the E-power, which drops below 3v under load with a low resistance cartomizer attached. The eGo, on the other hand, maintains 3.3v even with a low resistance cartomizer. Voltage under load does drop off a bit as the battery charge depletes.
Low resistance (LR) atomizers and cartomizers are not typically recommended for the eGo line, as there have been reports of LR components damaging the circuit boards of eGo and Riva style batteries. Many vapers use the combination with no problems, however, and a 1.7ohm cartomizer has been used on the test unit with no ill effects. By comparison, 3.7v mods with a simple switch have no issues with LR components.
The eGo switchgear adds another advantage not found in many mods in that charging can be accomplished without removing the battery. It can be charged with any eGo charger, eliminating the need to carry a large charger as well as the inconvenience of having to remove the battery for charging. Batteries can also be charged in a standard lithium ion charger, allowing for more flexibility in carrying extra charged batteries.
The atomizer connection is another feature that bridges the gap between egos and mod. It has the relatively obligatory 510 atomizer connection, but unlike other mods, it also has eGo outside threads, making it completely compatible with the full line of eGo accessories.
As expected, the eGo 18650 vapes pretty much the same as any other eGo. The power to the atomizer or cartomizer is consistent, so once the preferred combination is found there is no variation. It works well with the 1.7ohm cartomizer I've been using it with, although regulated 3.7v would be even better. The added capacity of the 2200mAh 18650 battery means that it can be enjoyed longer, and the replaceable battery makes it easier and less costly to carry spare power. More than a day of moderate use is easily accomplished with a single battery.
If Joye created the eGo 18650 to compete with a particular device, then the E-Power is that device. It does a very good job of meeting that challenge. The button feels more substantial on the eGo, as does the rest of the device. The on/off feature and eGo component and charger compatibility are all exclusive to the eGo. The E-Power provides unregulated voltage, which may or may not be a positive attribute. It is also thinner and lighter than the eGo 18650. At 17mm, the E-Power is also slimmer than the eGo which measures 23.3mm. In length, the E-Power measures 99.5mm without the cone, while the eGo 18650 measures about 106mm.
Whatever device it is compared to, the Joye eGo 18650 fares pretty well. At $19.95 for the tube and switch plus $8.95 for the 18650 battery, it is cheaper than most mods. It also gets much better battery life than its eGo siblings and uses less expensive replacement batteries. A little higher voltage would be welcomed, but this is otherwise a great addition to the Joye lineup.
Joye has apparently listened to the call for higher voltage and has approached the problem in a novel way. A new “V2″ head for the Joye 18650 mod is now available at Litecig that allows the user to switch from regulated 3.3V power to unregulated power at will. A series of button presses makes the switch. Unregulated power means that the device will deliver as much power as the battery is capable of and as we've seen with other 18650 mods, that typically gives pretty good satisfaction. This is the first I've seen a device with this capability.