Bottom Vertical Coils, Ceramic Wick Nautilus Mini
I would like to thank our good friends at Vapor Authority for donating the Aspire Nautilus Mini for review. Vapor Authority is a fine vendor with an ever-expanding inventory of vape gear at rock bottom prices. They also have the fastest shipping I’ve ever seen. Despite the distance between our two companies we’ve never had to wait more than 2 days from the moment we click the “Buy Now” button to opening the box delivered by our postman. Dave tells me that Vapor Authority will, on most occasions, fill the order and get it into the USPS system the same day.
While I love all these big, fancy, glasso-tanks (my slang for the larger glassomizers) as much as the next vaper, there are two things that stop me from using them on a regular basis, the cost (they are expensive) and the intensive chore of cleaning them and getting them ready for new eLiquid (they are reusable for long periods).
I am always changing eliquid flavors and brands during the day, so it’s a real pain to use a $30-$40 glassomizer, and cost prohibitive to use 4 or 5 at a time, and it is why I continue to use 1.6ml clearomizers like the X.Jet Spider or Aspire CE5-S for casual vaping. Having said that, you can’t beat the quality of the vape with these larger, almost magical devices.
The Nautilus Mini by Aspire
I’ve been writing reviews for electronic cigarettes for nearly 3 years now and how Aspire has sprung out of nowhere to become one of the leading glassomizer/clearomizer brands is astonishing. And the thing is, Aspire deserves the acclaim it is receiving. The clearomizers and glassomizers are among the best in the world.
The full size Nautilus is in the Top 5 of high-end mainstream glassomizers (non-RBA variety), and with the recent, ‘seen-from-a-mile-away’ introduction of the Nautilus Mini there isn’t any doubt it too will be widely accepted by most vapers and will surely become a huge bestseller.
But, it is not just a smaller version of its full size brother; it’s an updated and upgraded evolution of the Nautilus, and those updates and upgrades will be the focus of this review.
Nautilus Mini Specs
Powered by a new bottom-dual-coil atomizers, the Nautilus Mini delivers as much flavor and vapor as its older, larger sibling, some say the Mini performs even better, on in many cases I agree with them.
Aspire has made some notable improvements to Nautilus Glassomizer line, including the new coil head that many reviewers have referred to as a sort of cartomizer hybrid coil. Before I get into all that, here’s what the Nautilus and Nautilus Mini have in common.
Both glassomizers can be fully disassembled, making the task of cleaning easy and thorough. They are constructed with high quality stainless steel and strong Pyrex glass, making for a durable and long lasting glassomizer. The tank that comes with the Nautilus is Pyrex, making the Nautiluses resistant to the corrosive ingredients in high citrus or cinnamon eliquids that can kill plastic tanks. You can purchase stainless steel tubes to replace the Pyrex for either unit, as well as all the other parts.
- NEW Bottom Vertical Coil head
- Airflow Control – .9mm, 1.1mm, 1.4mm or 1.8mm hole options
- 2ml Glass Tank
- 510 Connector
- Includes a removable Drip Tip
- Includes a 1.8 ohm BVC atomizer coil
- Includes an eGo threaded cone
- Includes a User Manual
- Diameter: 19.5mm
- Height: 69.8mm
The Aspire Nautilus and Nautilus Mini also offers a proprietary four-port airflow control valve, which gives you unprecedented control over the amount of air that enters when you use it. From an easy drag to a tight drag, the 4-port airflow controller is very precise. The airflow port sizes are 0.9mm, 01.1mm, 01.4mm, and 01.8mm.
However, this time out Aspire has redesigned the airflow controller on the Mini, allowing for greater precision then original, full size Nautilus.
The Cartomizer Coil?
Aspire is an innovative company, and the Nautilus Mini is the first to feature their new Bottom-Vertical-Coil (BVC) atomizers. This vertical coil build is being called a hybrid cartomizer. This ‘ingenious’ atomizer technology does provide a great vape, and I’ll have more to say about it in my real work usage report below.
Ceramics – What makes the new coils so different is its ceramic wick. They will undoubtedly last longer than the BDC coils, but how much longer I’ve yet to determine. They are also a bit harder to clean. The most important aspect to consider then is whether the BVC is innovation for the sake of innovation, or does it improve upon the already excellent coils used in the full size Nautilus. Is the vertical build and ceramic wick a better solution, or simply a different one?
Real World Usage
My real world usage report is not written to convince you to buy the products I review. Whether you buy it or not means nothing to me financially. On the other hand, if I am blown away by a new product and I think most vapers would be as blown away as I am, well then I might urge you to least try one and see if it works for you, whether it’s a piece a of hardware like this glassomizer or an eliquid I happen to love. When it comes to something like the Aspire Nautilus Mini, I have to walk a fine line. It is, after all, a $30 device.
Spending $30-$40 for a glassomizer is not something every vaper needs to do. Although much easier to use than any rebuildable atomizer, glassomizers like the Nautilus and Nautilus Mini can provide a much ‘larger’ vape experience than the clearomizer, and the difference in performance between rebuildables and glassomizers are becoming blurred.
By ‘a larger vape experience’ I mean more intense flavor, immense vapor production, and a much stronger throat hit, allowing the possibility of vaping with a lower nicotine level. The better these mass-produced atomizers become the more efficient they become of utilizing all the eliquid, including the nicotine solution. Better efficiency means more nicotine absorption, the bigger throat hit, and the ability to use a lower strength nicotine solution in the eliquid. There is no doubt in my mind that if I were able to use a high-end mass produced glassomizer like the Nautilus or Aerotank lines then I could lower my nicotine strengths from 18mg to 12mg easily, perhaps even lower.
At the same time, a glassomizer at this level is more difficult to maintain that a simple clearomizer. Cleaning, changing coils, while easily accomplished, involves more steps than simply swapping out the coil head in an X.Jet Spider.
Why You Might Want A Nautilus
If you are unsatisfied with the quality of your vape with a normal clearomizers like the Spider, then these new types of atomizers might be just what you need. If you’re quite happy using a clearomizer and you’re interested in spending as little money as you can on your vaping habit then this type of atomizer could be overkill and unnecessary… for you.
Comparing Performance Between The Nautilus and Nautilus Mini
New is not always better, so when it came to comparing the quality of the vape between the original Aspire Nautilus and it’s new little brother (sister?), I had to devise a way to get as accurate a picture of the two of them that I could. The two differences between them, size and the coil heads, so in reality all I could do had to be directed at the coils, not the capacity of their respective tubes.
Capacity – The full size Aspire Nautilus holds a large amount of eliquid, 5ML at least. You can squeeze in a bit more than 5ML without getting juice in the post, but the official capacity is 5ML. The Nautilus Mini, on the other hand, holds just 2ML officially, but again you can squeeze in more than that without flooding the post. Looking at them side-by-side (or as my friend from upstate New York says, side-by-each) they sure don’t look like the Nautilus can hold 150% more juice than the Nautilus Mini, but it does.
BDC vs. BVC
Some vapers have complained about all bottom dual coils at one time or another. The most common complaints are the occasional dry hit (very rare in my experience) or burnt taste (also very rare). So far, most vapers that have tried the new Bottom Vertical Coils have loved them and I haven’t heard a peep about dry hits or burnt juice.
To compare the two coil setups I used Mountain Oak Vapors Chai Tea Latte (High VG) at 18mg nicotine (it was the only strength I had in stock) eliquid in both glassomizers. Both were equipped with 1.8ohm coils.
Mountain Oak Vapors Chai Tea Latte was chosen for its intense, unique flavor and its high VG content. It is a high performance eliquid, easily at home in normal clearomizers, glassomizers, and rebuildables. When I buy eliquids that I know I will use in all types of atomizers I will buy 18mg and 9mg. I have hopes that perhaps one day Mountain Oak Vapors will begin selling 3mg and 6mg nic-strengths for their High-VG flavors at least.
Chai Tea Latte, in a glassomizer of the quality of the Nautiluses should display the maximum potential of the units, and it did. Had I had access to the new high performance, PG-Free Mythos eLiquid that would have provided an even better testing ejuice and no doubt even better results. But during the review period I didn’t have Mythos to use.
As the power source for the Nautiluses I decided to use my Sigelei 30W. The reason for choosing the 30W over other choices at my disposal was to see just how far I could push both coils before having to back down. This was not a question of voltage; it was a question of pure power, wattage.
Nautilus Full Size w/BDC 1.8ohm coil
Before the Nautilus Mini was a tinkle in the eye of Aspire it performed so well that it became an instant hit among vapers. Even its $40 price tag didn’t scare away many higher-end vapers looking for a great performing glassomizer, and they found it in the Nautilus. That being the case, vaping Chai Tea Latte was, in a word, fantastic.
Clouds of vapor similar to my experience with a Kayfun Lite, pure, unadulterated flavor that revealed every nuance of flavor born into the recipe of Chai Tea Latte, and a massive throat hit (18mg) that was borderline too hard hitting, the Nautilus performed like a champ. In terms of power (wattage) my Sigelei 30W was able to push the Nautilus only to about 11w for the sweet spot, 12w was okay, but it was the magic number 11 that won the day. 11w of power put the voltage at 4.1v.
Nautilus Mini w/BVC 1.8ohm coil
What changed things from the above set up was the ceramic wick, which can handle more power without breaking down the juice. Watt for watt, the 1.8ohm BVC is able to deliver a bit more flavor and a bit more vapor. Ohms Law and other conversion methods should work okay no matter what you’re using in the glassomizer, and for an average vape you can do the math and settle in for a nice, warm vape just doing the math and dialing it in.
That said, the ceramic wick works better at the same settings. So, once again using 11w with a 1.8ohm coil I was able to experience ‘more’. Not a lot more, not enough to toss all the extra BDC coils I have, but certainly enough to warrant buying nothing but BVC’s for both glassomizers. At the same time, you could lower the amount of power when using a ceramic wick, so the BVC coil produces a fantastic vape with less power.
One thing that I think is worth mentioning about the above scenario and the results is this; because I only had 18mg nicotine on hand I found the Chai Tea Latte to hit harder on the throat with the ceramic coils in the BVC equipped Nautilus Mini.
I found it amusing that here was two Aspire Nautiluses, both equipped with 1.8ohm coils, using the same wattage level and the same device, and while flavor and vapor were slightly improved over the BDC coils in the full size Nautilus, in the Nautilus Mini and the BVC ceramic wick coils the performance, especially the throat hit, was closer to my experience with 9mg nic Chai Tea Latte in a Kayfun with a 1.4ohm hand built cotton and wire coil.
Naturally, your experience with either Nautilus, with either the 1.6ohm or 1.8ohm bottom dual coil, ceramic wick or otherwise, may differ from my own
Bottom Line and Buying Advice
I’m going to assume that if you’ve made it this far in the review than the desire to at least think about buying a Nautilus Mini is pretty strong. If you’re already using a full size Nautilus than you can expect a somewhat better vape with the Nautilus Mini in all areas except juice capacity, and throat hit.
The only way juice capacity would affect me is if I was away from a convenient refill. A true all-day-vape in a great performing glassomizer with a 5ML capacity is enticing, and using the better coil replacement of the Nautilus Mini inside that 5ML tank will provide the best of both worlds.
I can say with confidence that $30 is a good price to pay for a vape experience that was so close to that of rebuildables, but, like rebuildables, I’m just not so sure it should be the only thing you use. Most of the time I’m fine using less expensive clearomizers for casual vaping, but when the time comes for something bigger, usually in the evening when I’m just hanging out watch TV, taking the time necessary to set up a great vape with either Nautiluses is very much worth my time, and probably yours.
Finally, after using both the full size and the mini version of the Nautilus I strongly suggest using only the BVC coil replacements that come with Mini Nautilus, it will markedly improve your full size Nautilus.
CORRECTION: I forgot to mention that while vaping both Nautiluses I used their drip tips AND a wide-mouth drip tip from Vitreous. It was the 510 Type B, slanted cut tip. With a tight draw setting on the airflow controller in combination with a wide-mouth drip tip every drag is more intense than either drip tip shipped with the Nautilus. All my tank and glassomizers are equipped with these fantastic drip tips.