As a vape reviewer…..you get to play with a lot of gear, some you keep…..some you give away….but after doing it for a few years seldom are you actually excited to receive a device. Sure…it’s fucking awesome at first, and receiving anything gratis that’s to do with something you’re kind of obsessed about is like someone just giving you a present…
“I just have to tell you what I think??”
But as the years go by your attitude changes, a lot of the gear starts to look the same, does the same, feels the same, the excitement of vape mail wavers and the way you view new vape gear becomes…..almost sadistic…
You want to find what’s WRONG with it…you want people to know that this thing…..this device that some company has had the nerve to present to the good vapers of the world…actually isn’t all that they pertain it to be…….I mean how fucking dare they…..
At least….that’s how it goes for some…not for me you understand….I still hug the postman everytime he brings me my new new, which is probably why I have a different postman every week…. but even I…with my angelic child like innocence and rose tinted spectacles (??) have felt this tinge of pessimistic egocentrism from time to time. You’re presented with a device…it has a glaringly obvious fault….you sneer at it with utter contempt…as you mutter under your breath….”oh…..oh you’re gonna get both barrels you little fuckweasel” …..
But then…..there are days like today. You’ve been waiting for this for what feels like years, you’ve been a passenger on this particular hype train since day one, you heard about this device long before it was released, you’ve been privy to the innovation, information and specs since before it was announced, you know the designer….and he’s sent you this device and asked for your opinion…..even though….he knows you dislike this particular kind of device….
I mean where do you even go with that?…..I cordially invite you to read below ‘the line of no particular purpose’ to find out just how this emotionally unstable endeavour unravelled…..here it comes…..steel yourselves..
It’s a skill….what can I say…
Welcome back my cloudy cretinous critiques, Today’s review is one that…truth be told…has been churning away in my overactive, slightly unhinged brain pan for quite some months. From the moment I heard about it, through to the moment that the designer told me about it, past the time that it was revealed to the expectant public, right up to the second I clung onto my postman like a horny dog as it landed on my doorstep.
Yet….since I was asked to review it, I have had the weight of one single burning question pulling at my moral compass like an annoying child tugging at the skirt of its mother…..
“What if it’s shit..?”
And the man responsible for burdening me with the arduous turbulent endeavour?……well some call him ‘The Devious Doctor Drop’ (literally no one calls him that), others may know him as one half of the Drop Dead or a third of the The Vape Team, but most know him as Mr TVC, the mind behind the The Vapor Chronicles channel. Me?….I call him Beryl…for no other reason…than I know he hates it -it is of course, Mr Brian Herb, and this time he’s teamed up with Dovpo to bring us his vision…. of how a single battery Squonk mod…..should be done.
Time to board the Hype Train yet again, to find out whether or not the journey was worth the ticket…..Courtesy of Dovpo & Brian Herb, The Dovpo Topside Squonk Mod…..and if you read until the end, I’ll give you details of how one of you can win one.
Now, like I said earlier, I was privy to the in’s and out’s of this device long before it was released. When Beryl spilled the beans about it, I felt like I was being given the blueprints to a new kind of planet-saving renewable energy source….the man was passionate about his new baby like it was…well….a new baby. For the months that followed, while he was building interest and intrigue to his loyal fanbase about this new ‘innovation that is so simple, designers will be wondering why they didn’t think of it first’, he had them foaming at the mouth…”What the hell is it going to be??”…….”I need to know what it is!!”…..and “I think I just pee’d in my pants!!”….
were just some of the comments being displayed on social media….the man sure knows how to drive the hype I’ll tell you that much, and all the while, sworn to secrecy, I sat and watched in the wings with a smug grin upon my portly yet ruggedly handsome face…all like..
Of course…I’m a massive man-child, and I couldn’t keep it completely to myself. I actually told my one year old daughter, just for release, who coincidentally was born on the very day I reviewed Brian’s first born, the legendary Drop RDA. She looked at me all glazed, with a soggy half-eaten custard cream biscuit matted into her eyelashes, and mumbled the words…..”mum mum”…..which as we all know in baby language translates to “Dude…this thing is gonna be the shit, thank you for sharing this fountain of unfathomable wisdom with me, even though it means you just broke your promise to keep it quiet – which begs the question…can you really be trusted to be my father?”…..which I chose to ignore….it’s the last time I get owned by a one year old girl I’ll tell you that much….and don’t even get me started on her foul language.
The Topside, in a nutshell, is a 90w squonk mod powered by a single 21700 battery (or 18650 with the included conversion tube), which holds an admirable 10ml of liquid in it’s silicone bottle. Out of the box it comes in only 2 modes, Variable Wattage, and Bypass. TC is available for you people out there that probably iron your shoelaces via a firmware update, but…..I rarely even tie my shoelaces, so…I didn’t bother. If you would like to know how accurate the TC mode is…I’m afraid you’re in the wrong town buddy.
The Topside is constructed from a single cast aluminium shell with bolted on end caps; the bottom being the spring loaded battery door and bottle cartridge access …
And the top…obviously housing the gold-plated, spring-loaded 510…as well as a mysterious knurled turny thing….patience my little one…
On the front we have the display, which gives you all the information you need on a 0.96″ OLED display. Below are the 2 control buttons, above you will find the fire button right where you would expect it to be, and nestled in the side, is a micro USB socket for firmware updates.
Now….what I have just described is pretty much what you would expect to read on any single battery, regulated squonk mod. There’s nothing new there, it’s completely normal…but here’s the thing; Brian Herb, just like many a reviewer out there, has been asked to give his opinion on a ridiculous amount of devices. It is simply impossible not to see the pitfalls and faults, or to have ideas on possible improvements with every single thing he uses….and it’s only when you take the Topside out of the box and look at it properly….that you start to see all this come into play. So let’s look again….
The main shell is one piece all the way around, and it is SOLID. Its contours hug the battery and squonk bottle, giving it excellent hand feel yet still remains as compact as possible. It’s also heavy – with a full bottle and its battery in place it probably weighs the same as most of my dual battery mods. Because of its weighty and solid presence…it feels high quality, it’s NICE to hold…something lacking in a lot of its competitors….or at least it would be…if there were any….
But then…with a name like ‘Topside’….you’d expect it to be a little (ahem)….beefy…
Then there’s the fire button….
I don’t own anything with a fire button that is quite so satisfying. It’s completely domed, almost like a really big, old school BB button and perfectly clicky and responsive. This is mirrored in the two control buttons below…..and how nice is that silver vent panel tucked behind the fascia?
Still…no signs of any real groundbreaking innovation at this point…so what is all the fuss about then?..What did Beryl do…that no one else thought of?…Well…an image speaks a thousand words, so…this…..
What you are looking at there….. is the world’s first ……top fill squonk mod…
Only people that squonk regularly will truly understand what a revelation this is. People that don’t…will probably be left thinking “What? We don’t already have that?”……No…..no we don’t.
Gone is the ball-ache of removing the bottle to fill it, gone is the removal of the batteries in order to take the bottle out to do so (cough-G-box-cough)……Efficiency & simplicity win the day…..no…we didn’t already have it….but FML we should have done.
Filling the Topside is practically the same as filling a top-fill tank, simply unscrew the beautifully knurled top cap…
pull out the plug, fill it with 10ml of your finest and screw it back on again…..simples. The simples don’t stop there either – the bottle itself is proprietary, so with every Topside mod you get an extra bottle ‘cartridge’ kit, as well as the one already in it. It’s even got its own knurled plug (not screwed),
so you can take a spare bottle around with you for a quick flavour change, or just to prevent you having to carry a bottle of liquid around in your pocket.
Just pull the bottle cartridge out of the battery door, via the little groove at the bottom…and slide the new one in…..bosh.
And while the bottle is out you can actually see how the whole squonk process works…
Just a simple little tube that takes the liquid from one side to the other…seriously…why did no one think of this…?
The bottle itself is the perfect amount of squidgy, soft enough to give you a good push, and firm enough to suck back any excess juice. The man that designed this has clearly used a lot of shit squonkers.
Now……on to a topic of probable controversy – the display.
In today’s market, where modern day mods are adorned with full colour graphical displays, some will undoubtedly say that the Topside’s display is dated….and if this display was bigger, and on the side of the mod, I’d more than likely agree. However….the space where the display is placed is relatively small; you couldn’t put it on the side without losing the excellent ergonomics, so there is literally no other place for it. Knowing that…..you could never put a full-colour display on the Topside without sacrificing clarity…..but even though this is the case….once again, you can see glimmers of experience from knowing the cons that other manufacturers regularly fall foul to. There is no smoked plastic screen cover making it difficult to see in sunlight, there isn’t an abundance of information that people rarely need….instead we have a super-bright, super-clear display that gives what you need and nothing more. Even I can read it without my specs on….whether I’m indoors…or out.
The chip itself is fantastic, if for no other reason than just how efficient it is. Sure…it’s still a single battery squonker; you ain’t gonna be powering the sun with an abundance of power here – you get 90w, so to really get the most out of your battery you’re gonna want to build between 0.2 and 0.3 ohms at the lowest. A 0.3 ohm single coil will really surprise you with the battery life. That being said, I run the Drop Dead with dual coils coming in at 0.23 ohms and I have it at full pelt all the time. Sure…I go through a couple of batteries a day, three even…but it keeps up the pace with a quick ramp up (I absolutely recommend the Samsung 40T for best results). And no matter what you have the power set to, when you hit the fun button the display will show what it can give you out of what’s left in the power bank, in order not to stress the battery too much….simple and safe. It gives 90w right down to a third of the battery’s power before it starts to lower…..unlike some single battery mods that become a diva if you try and push them a little too hard….
The Topside is almost polite with its power output when things get a little ….’tricky’
And to top it off….. 0.5w increments! I can’t tell you how much 0.1w increments rile me, it’s utterly unnecessary. I’m good with 1w increments, but 0.5 is no hardship to anyone, although I’m sure it’ll come as a shock to some of the nerdier amongst you…
Build a bridge…get over it.
Another little point worthy of mention is that when you swap out the battery the mod stays on, meaning you don’t have to ‘5 click’ to restart the Topside – right off the bat it’s ready for business. Might sound like a moot point, but that’s 2 seconds of your life you don’t have to waste…or a minute a week…..an hour a year of pointless button bashing…this mod literally gives you more life…..
Ok then, the last two points are at each end of the spectrum; the first is just bloody brilliant, but the second…..not so much. We’ll start with the good news and that’s the packaging. Usually I’d put this at the start of the review, but it’s worthy of a little more attention. You remember the Wotofo Flux kit with the reusable box?…..Well, Brian went one step further….take a gander at this…
A sliding lid with four holes in it that you can use as an atty stand. And once you pull the plastic inlay out…there’s enough room to pack it with whatever you choose, like your favourite meat for example….in this case…..bacon….
Absolutely love that.
The second thing…well….it’s not really a con. It was a late addition, an idea that is almost just as brilliant. Underneath the Topside you have 2 magnets built into the battery door, they don’t really help the door in any way as it fits snugly enough as it is, but what they are actually for is this…
somewhere to put the screw cap whilst you fill it up. It is a great idea, but unfortunately the magnets aren’t very strong – so although it does stay there, it falls off too easily…..so close….yet…forgivable.
● Support 1 x 21700 / 18650 battery ( not included )
● Resistance: 0.08 – 3.5 ohm – Power 5-90w/1.0 to 8.5v
● World’s first top-fill squonk mod with various working modes
● 0.96 inch OLED screen, large fire button for easy operation
● Soft silicone squeeze bottle with 10ml large e-juice capacity
|Product Details||Brand: DOVPO
Accessories type: MOD
Material: Aluminum Alloy,Stainless Steel,Zinc Alloy
|Dimension and Weight||Package size (L x W x H): 7.60 x 3.80 x 11.80 cm / 2.99 x 1.5 x 4.65 inches
Package weight: 0.5000 kg
Product size (L x W x H): 5.40 x 2.70 x 9.40 cm / 2.13 x 1.06 x 3.7 inches
Product weight: 0.4000 kg
|Package Contents||Package Contents: 1 x Mod, 1 x USB Cable, 1 x Bottle ( Pre-installed ), 1 x Extra Bottle, 1 x 18650 Battery Adapter, 1 x English User Manual|
I don’t quite know what happened to the extra bottle kit in that pic – it comes in it’s own box but I….erm….forgot to include it in the pic…
My final thoughts on the Dovpo Topside mod would be this: It was a real acid test for me – I do squonk more than I used to, but I simply don’t get along with single battery devices. I use high power lipo mods for my every day or dual 18650 at a minimum, and the purpose of this review, for me personally, was to see if the Topside was good enough for me to choose it naturally as an everyday device. Honestly?….I had my doubts, and I know I’m not alone – dual battery mods are the staple diet of the majority of vapers, and yes…you could wait for a dual-battery version of the Topside to surface, which Brian has recently announced….but you will sacrifice the compactness of the Topside. Any dual-battery squonk mod will be the same size as a triple 18650 device. You ever used a G-box?…..that’s the point in question – I use one….I fucking despise the thing, but it’s the only dual-battery squonk mod I own, and you aint gonna go out with one in your pocket…let’s put it that way.
I have now been using the Topside for little over 3 weeks, every day. I didn’t need to – Brian wouldn’t know and nor would he be bothered. I could have run a couple of bottles through it, written the review and stuck it on the shelf….But I have been ‘choosing’ the Topside as an everyday runabout, which is something I didn’t think I’d do. There’s just so much that impresses me about the thing, the way it feels, the way it performs, the battery life, the simplicity of using it, the way it looks (especially with the matching Drop Dead RDA), the way it’s machined, and the fact that….the only damn thing I can find wrong with it are slightly weak magnets that make absolutely no difference whatsoever on an ‘add-on’ that the vast majority of vapers wouldn’t use anyway. I mean look at it this way….this is his first mod….and then take another look at this picture..
FIRST mod? I mean you’d expect something like this 4 or 5 versions down the line, but the first one?…..To nail it on your first attempt?
Trying my damnedest not to fangirl here….
All that’s left now….is the price.
Well, oddly, Dovpo themselves don’t appear to have a shop on their site, so I can only presume that they are wholesale. But you can read more about the Topside here if you so desire…
Thankfully for me however, I have the Topside listed in the Steampugs shop. At the time of writing the price is £66.03/$84.31, find that deal here…
Which….in the grand scheme of things may seem a little high in comparison to other mods on the market….but what can you really compare it to? For this build quality and performance I have absolutely no quarrel with that price point, it’s worth every penny..
And of course, red and purple aren’t the only options available….
I would not hesitate to recommend this device to anyone who likes single battery squonkers, hell…I’d recommend it to people that vape….full stop. All I can say is…just like the Topside’s USP……Beryl….hats off bro! Your hard work and passion with this project has paid off….you made a truly impressive device…..which is a huge relief for me…cos, you know….awks.
With the current success of the Topside, which is already explosive…I mean seriously this thing is everywhere… I, for one, cannot wait to see what comes next….He has set his own bar, and…It. Is. High.
AND FINALLY……To celebrate the fact that I have actually been nominated for an award in this years ‘Ecigclick Awards’… I am giving one of you lucky readers the opportunity to own the purple Topside shown in this review, for absolutely cock all. Well…..not completely cock all – you’re gonna have to earn it a little bit. No, it’s not been used, no…you can’t have the red one because that’s mine, and no…it doesn’t matter where you live. If your country allows it…I shall get it to you, and all you have to do to get this amazing device for yourself….is be nice, by doing the following on trust alone…
Share this giveaway and review in as many places as you can with this link – https://bit.ly/2Pye9qE
Vote for me (If you like my nonsense) at the Ecigclick Awards https://www.ecigclick.co.uk/ecigclick-vape-awards-2018/
Follow us on Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/steampugs1970/
Join our Facebook group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/1744305765894136/
Join our forum – https://vapingcommunity.co.uk/
And once you have done some or any of that, you MUST go into the comments section below this review on the Steampugs website and write…
“Done – give me your purple love machine”
Hey…it’s my giveaway…I can write what I want…but incorrect entries won’t be approved….ooh….so bossy…
Apart from the comment on my site, none of the above will be checked, it’s all on trust alone. It would just be a really cool thing for you to do for me, and the winner will be chosen from the comments section with a randomizer on my birthday, which gives you a couple of weeks…I mean..why should I get all the presents, right?….Good luck to all, the winner is gonna love it.
As always, if you would like to see more of my write-ups as well as a plethora of awesome reviews from the rest of the Steamteam then by all means have a gander around the site. Plenty to choose from, and while you’re here stop and take a gander around the shop where you will find a veritable treasure trove of highly discounted vape gear….just follow this link.
As well as here, you can also find the same reviews plus much, much more over at our little forum, by following this link…
where we promise a warm welcome and a drama-free environment – hope to see you there.
Until next time.
Dovpo Topside Mod£66
- Innovative top fill
- Easy to use
- Excellent build quality
- Solid construction
- 10ml capacity
- Extra bottle kit free
- Bright screen
- Brilliant fire button
- Squonking performance
- Magnets not strong enough