“You can’t polish a turd“
You know….technically you can, it involves baking it in the oven until it’s hard, then sanding it with very fine sandpaper followed by wax and a bloody good buffing…or….rolling it around in your hand for a very…very long time. But, for the sake of argument…and because….if you actually follow either of the above processes you should probably be locked away somewhere quiet…..and padded….we’ll say you can’t…..sometimes…..even I wonder where the fuck I’m going with this…..I’d say bear with me, but I’m not totally convinced you should…
What turd am I actually talking about?….Well…to be honest, it’s not really a turd at all, just something that we’ve seen soo many times before over the last 6 or 7 years that well…by default…it becomes a bit of a turd. Something forgettable, a regurtiation on the senses if you will – it’s been seen in every colour, with every chip, with squonk, without squonk, with every possible combination of repetitive sameness that well….when I think of any other word to describe it… my mind interrupts me and tells me what it thinks it actually is..
Hey….I can’t be the only person whose mind sounds like Britney Spears……can I?
The turd in question is in fact the aluminium box mod, I wouldn’t even have to describe it to you, I could randomly pick one from the thousands that’ve been put on the market over the years, and ask you to draw it without seeing it, and chances are you’d be incredibly accurate, this thing…to put it mildly….has been done to death….and then dug up….and done again in some twisted necrophiliac ritual….
Can you indeed polish a turd?….What can possibly be done to an aluminium box mod that we haven’t seen already…many, many times? Well….enter Shenzhen Hot Technologies, AKA Hotcig, because when they were asked whether or not they could polish a turd…they simply replied..
“No….but you can roll it in glitter”
Welcome once again my steamy little bum sausages, back again with the same old shit, and yes….I mean that in every sense of the word. When I was told I was going to review another Aluminium box mod I wasn’t exactly bowled over with enthusiasm…and the part of my questionable sanity that comes up with all this codswallop, upon learning of my acceptance of said device….was also nonplussed with this arrangement …
That’s right….my mental tantrums also sound like Tom Hiddleston……just me again?…….Right oh…
Now….this was my attitude right up until the moment that I actually found out which dual battery ‘aluminium re-run’ I was being asked to review, but then…..once I actually opened the rather exquisite if not slightly flimsy balsa wood box, my mind went from ‘meh’….to..
Because the flirty party of my psyche simply oozes with flamboyant silky smoothness and unadulterated irresistibility …and….pffft, who am I kidding? In reality I’m about as smoldering as…….well……erm…
Still….I hadn’t been this happy to see a turd since the last time I spent 3 days on postoperative morphine…if you know….you know.
SO!…..I’ve probably rambled on for too long as it is – let’s take a look at this so-called highly polished, glittery, alloy turd before we all lose the will to live. Courtesy of my long term Eastern lovers Heavengifts, may I present to you…the Hotcig R150s..
To say that I have a soft spot for highly detailed engraved metal…is a shit load of sugar coating.
Now, before I start, I have to tell you that I was put in a very unique position with this mod, through no fault of my own. You see…when the package arrived a couple of months back I was actually sent down a path of utter bewilderment, sure….I loved it when I opened it with all that deep swirly loveliness, but…I had that ‘feeling’….
And to be honest….despite the overly flamboyant appearance, it all seemed….a bit…familiar?…Not just because it was another aluminium box mod…but because I knew I’d seen this before…..ages ago….
So….I got on the old interwebz and before I knew it I was seeing posts of Mark Fagan reviewing the very same mod whilst naked in the shower…..now there’s a sentence I never saw myself writing. And him being naked in the shower, you might think, was the strangest thing about that post…but you’d be wrong. The strangest thing about that post was in fact….that it was three years old.
Why am I being sent a device that’s been on the market longer than I’ve been an internationally known award winning reviewer (oh…you had to do it didn’t you)…..What?…It’s like…my full name now….anyway, I went back to Heavengifts to ask politely WHATTHEFUCKISGOINGON….to which I was calmly told “Yes…it’s the new version, with the colour screen”
To which I replied….
“It hasn’t got a colour screen…and it’s exactly the same as the old version…I know this, because I’ve just watched Mark Fagan naked in the shower”
It was a while before I got a reply, but when I did, it soon became apparent that I had in fact been sent the old version – the R150, released in 2016 – and then had to wait another couple of weeks for the new super duper upgraded version to arrive….
What you have there is 3 years of aluminium box mod evolution……’turd’.
So…you can see how easy a mistake this was to make. Same size, same form, same buttons… I mean even the flimsy balsa packaging was identical…so….what indeed….is the difference….?….Well….this..
The all important ‘S’ …….yes sir….this is the R150s…..and what does the ‘S’ stand for?….Actually, I don’t know….sausages probably.
The Lowdown (finally)
The R150s is a dual 18650 powered 150w aluminium box mod, all kept in check by Hotcig’s HM waterproof chip set. Just like the R150 of three years ago….it has the same engraved design, the same power, the same full TC suite and is exactly the same in almost every single way….except one…
This one has a colour screen.
Now…..I’m gonna lay my cards on the table. Apart from the screen…..I don’t know of any other difference between the R150 and the R150s. I have searched – I haven’t been lazy – but details about the new version are sketchy to say the least – I mean, on their own website they’re still touting the R150 and the ‘S’ version is nowhere to be found?…. Maybe it’s because the screen IS the only difference and they’re slightly embarrassed that it’s taken them 3 years to implement such a low resolution upgrade…who the fuck knows? But then again….when a turd looks as pretty as this, you could turn your attention to another well known saying…
“If it ain’t broke…..don’t fix it”
Sure…it’s a true statement, not with me you understand, I’m more of a “if it ain’t broke, fuck with it relentlessly until it dies a horrible death” kinda guy…..but for the sake of this review, I’m going with the more popular version, and this is the attitude I took when comparing the two…
Like a fight between two robotic Liberace’s….
Now, like I said, the mod itself is largely unchanged. It’s still made from a solid chassis of aluminium, and it still has two magnetic panels either side, one for the batteries…
And one to push the batteries out (no ribbon)
Obviously this is being touted as ‘changeable magnetic side panels’…….and as far as I can see the extra panels available for purchase don’t match the rest of the mod in the slightest, so why would you?…It would look fucking ridiculous. As it is…I think it’s rather beautiful…..don’t change the fucking panels.
And these are removable via a groove at the bottom for those of you with child’s fingernails..
Down the front we have all the components in exactly the same place as that drawing you did, I mean where else would they be? You have up and down, the fire button, and the micro USB, the only thing that irks me about this, is that the buttons are once again made of plastic. I would have much preferred these to be matching alloy, but that’s personal preference. I guess the ‘S’ budget didn’t stretch that far….what with all the upgrades they did…..(sarky)
The menu system on this apparently upgraded chip is pretty self explanatory – three clicks to change modes between wattage, all the usual TC options, a bypass mode, and a custom (curve) mode. Five clicks on and off…(no TCR mode as far as I could find), and as I mentioned, yes…the screen is a really low res affair. But it’s clear, it’s easy to read, and has all the information you would want.
They’re really loving that ‘S’ aren’t they…….oddly, when you hit the fire button 3 times and scroll down to that ‘S’…it actually opens the menu…which begins with ‘M’…..I don’t know what else to say about that…
What I do love about this chip though, and I am being sincere here, is that just like it’s predecessor, it’s waterproof…sorry…I mean..
THIS is why Mark Fagan reviewed it in the shower….I was very happy when that came to light….because I can’t unsee that….but after having more than my fair share of mods failing due to liquid making its way into the belly of the beast, this for me…is something that every single mod ever made should have. You’d be surprised at just how many mods fall short of that mark, and when you consider that the R150 is now 3 years old….I think it’s quite ridiculous that this is still the case with some manufacturers…. (coughSmokcough)
Also worthy of mention is just how light this thing is, even with batteries installed it’s still less weighty than some of my devices which are more compact. Add in its rounded edges and the R150s is actually very pleasant to hold….much like myself.
Something which displeases me however, is the 510 plate….
Sure…it’s nice and sturdy and ‘press fit’ free with it’s bolted on construction, but it’s way too close to those rounded edges, which becomes a bit of an issue for anything over 24mm….three years ago when the original R150 was released there were probably a lot more vapers using 22ml tops. But now?….They really should’ve thought about that for the updated version, because even with a 25mm top, you still get a little overhang over that curve at the front….
It’s not preposterous….but to some it might as well be hanging out 12 inches…..which if you ask my Mrs….is about 10 inches too much.
Size: 90 x 55 x 25mm
Battery type: 2 x 18650 cell (not included)
Material: Aluminum Alloy
Coil Resistance Range: 0.1-3ohm
Output wattage: 1.0-150W
Output mode: VW/TC(Ni/Ti/TCR)/User Mode/Bypass mode (oh would you look at that….TCR)
Temperature range: 100-300°C/300-600°F
Thread: 510 Spring Loaded Connection
High-quality Aircraft Aluminum Alloy
Exquisite Embossed Panels
Interchangeable Magnetic Panels ( front and back )
New Added User Mode
Dual 18650 Cells with 150W Max Output
Innovative Waterproof HM Chip
0.96 inch Colorful Screen
Support for Ni200 / Ti / SS316 coil, Coil Upgradable
Supporting Firmware Upgrading
510 Spring Loaded Connection
It comes with
- 1 x Hotcig R150S MOD
- 1 x USB Cable
- 1 x Manual
My final thoughts on the Hotcig R150s would be thus…I really kinda like it. But then…why shouldn’t I?…..Yes, it’s another aluminium turd – but my word it’s a polished one. Is it a throwback?….A retro, old skool device born from what’s tried and true?….Of course it is! It’s the staple diet of advanced vapers everywhere – a square box with dual 18650’s and a waterproof chip that caters for most people. It’s about as generic as it gets, yet…..that engraving just makes it look really, really classy – so much so…that the older black H150 has been my go to device for when I adorn my smartest glad rags….(which admittedly are predominantly black because, well….stainless steel clothing tends to chafe) and go out on the town, because it looks smart, and I really really dig that. It’s the kind of device that, with a nice looking tank on it, just a makes a really nice looking kit which you’re kind of proud to have displayed on the table – because I’m a massive attention whore…
Where it attracts adorning looks and comments of “oooh….look at that snazzy little thing”…..which is nice…..just as long as they don’t pick it up and try and take a hit…
The 150w max power is a bit of an odd one has to be said, what with today’s device pushing the boundaries of what dual 18650’s can do with 220w etc….but…even I, with my insatiable lust for power, rarely go over that. More often than not, especially with an RTA, I am usually just under 100w – so 150w is not only plenty, but safe too.
It’s also available in quite an odd looking range of colours….
And yes….that first one in silver is STILL the R150….I mean seriously that thing hangs around like a bad smell…..
I can’t comment on how accurate the temp control is, but everything is there to be tinkered with and I can’t find any information to make me think it wouldn’t do what it is supposed to do. In wattage mode it certainly feels about right; fires as quick as anything else I have, seems to be efficient enough, has absolutely zero rattle, is incredibly sturdy and is super easy to use……like I said….what’s not to like? And with its waterproof internals you’d kind of expect it to last longer than some more ‘modern’ devices hitting our shelves more recently….yes…I went there…
Yes…..yes I did….I literally just said that…..wtf…
So, would I recommend the Hotcig R150s?…..Yes of course I would, hell…I’d recommend the three year old R150. Great little mods, and I really…REALLY love they way they look…which leads me to the only real con that I had with either of these mods…..I just can’t find a damn top to go on it that looks as good as the mod…..do you know how infuriating that is…
That could have worked!….If it wasn’t for that fucking ridiculous drip tip – yes….I’m low on nice looking 510 drip tips….go figure.
Okay…well….you have to think, if you strip away all that beautiful engraving on the outside, it’s still a pretty basic mod – so at a price point of £49/$65….I would feel better if maybe it was £10 less than that. With it being Hotcig, who aren’t as big as some of the Shenzhen vape giants, then maybe it won’t be as mass produced as some, so it’s kind of understandable. On the plus side, it does look and feel like it could be a real work horse, especially with those waterproof internals. So…if you really dig the way it looks then I guess you could spend 50 quid on much worse devices than this….oh…and of course, if you use my discount code APUGS15 at checkout then the price drops to a little over £41/$55……which makes everything I’ve just said….kinda pointless …(sigh)
Find that deal here…
As always, the doors over here at Steampugs are open 24/7, so if you want to see how this device scored against other bits and pieces of awesome vapeology then feel free to peruse the site, where you will find a treasure trove of awesome reviews from the Steamteam as well as a Shop choc full of highly discounted vape gear. On top of that, if you’d like to come and chat to the team as well as a whole host of loveable little vape scamps, then hop on over to our little forum at Vaping Community Forum where we promise a warm and drama free welcome.
Until next time
- Tried and tested form
- Beautifully classy appearance
- Simple to use
- Lightweight construction & waterproof chip
- Nice Handfeel
- It's still a Alloy box mod
- Plastic buttons
- 510 too close to the edges
- Low res screen