“Elegance” isn’t a word that’s often mentioned during a Vape Mod review. In an industry so hell-bent on power and features, it’s not common to hear how understated a device can be. That’s why we were intrigued by the all-new Joyetech Espion Mod Kit – which is being marketed as an “executive-level” Vape Mod.
Now don’t get me wrong, the Espion certainly has the specs to compete with similar devices in the compact, high-wattage Mod category. But is this “sophisticated” description warranted? Or is it just another offbeat way to market a Vape Mod? Let’s take a closer look at the Espion, to see exactly what audience it’s trying to reach, and whether the performance is worthy of the executive suite.
It wasn’t that long ago that we were wondering how companies could generate 200+ watts out of compact devices like the SMOK Alien or Sigelei Fuchai 213. But the Joyetech Espion might be the most streamlined design yet – and yes, for executives, this might factor in their buying decisions.
Standing just 82.5mm tall and 43mm wide, the Espion is notably smaller than the afore-mentioned Alien, and also more solid-feeling in the hand. It’s not heavy, but there is a comfortable amount of weight to instill confidence in its durability and build quality.
But this is also clearly an advanced vaping device. The 28mm depth means the 200-watt Espion can handle almost any sized tank or RDA around on its centered 510 connection, with no overhang to be found. The overall dimensions are just slightly taller than the awesome Wismec Ravage 230, but the slender profile makes the Espion more pocketable overall.
On a physical level, my blue and silver test Model Espion has a unique “ridged” texture on the bottom half of the Mod. It’s mostly an aesthetic choice, but it feels good to hold, and helps to keep sweaty hands a little cooler and drier. I just wish it didn’t so closely resemble a painted, wood-paneled wall.
The massive fire key might be my new favorite in this category. For nearly two years I’ve discussed iJOY’s absolutely fantastic, clicky fire buttons, but Joyetech might have taken the crown here. The Espion’s button sits flush with the frame, has a shallow throw, and features an amazingly even click. It even fires well no matter where you press it. No misfires, no pocket fires. Just even fires.
The centered 510-connection is built into the Espion’s zinc alloy top plate, and is really sturdy and reliable. All of my usual test tanks and RDAs sat perfectly flush with the recessed connection, with no problems with connectivity or firing power.
I DID have two problems with the Espion. First, the hinged bottom battery door, while secure, is FAR too snug with a pair of cells installed. I repeatedly found myself grabbing rubber jar openers just to get enough traction on the door to open it. Even with the grooves and vent holes, I nearly launched the Espion across my office several times from the tightness.
Secondly, the paint job is just okay. The matte color was fine and matched the “executive” design choices. But after just a week of use (without ever dropping it, dinging it or shoving it in my pocket) the paint was already chipping and peeling like it had gone through a rinse cycle in a washer full of loose change. If there’s a silicone case available, I highly recommend one.
Operating the Joyetech Espion Mod Kit
One standout element of the new Espion is the fantastic 1.45-inch color display. Though there’s nothing original about a graphic display, Joyetech did a nice job balancing the information with the real estate available. Though I think Wismec’s Ravage has the more appealing design, this new layout is light years ahead of previous Joyetech screens, with suitably bright colors and clear contrasts.
Navigating the menu system is a breeze, thanks to an intuitive control scheme, and a three-button setup that makes it easy to make adjustments and work through the menu trees.
The buttons themselves are interesting. Instead of putting the “enter” button in between an up/down control, it sits to the left, next to a rocker-style, single-bar mechanism. Though I’ve never preferred rocker-style bars on Mod, this one works well, with no mushiness or accidental entries to be had.
I think the only “quirk” on the Espion menu is how the fire key is used to go back, instead of forward. The Ravage had that handy “back” button on the top of its device, and I think Joyetech’s latest would have benefited from one, as well. Still, once used to it, it’s a clean, Modern setup that hits all the right notes.
The Joyetech ProCore X
We’ve reviewed several iterations of the Joyetech ProCore tank series this past year and have been largely satisfied with their versatile performance. We especially liked the ProCore Remix (reviewed here), which had an unbelievably good RBA section for coil-building newcomers.
With the ProCore X, Joyetech offers the same ProC coils we’ve come to appreciate, but the tank is also compatible with SMOK Baby Beast coils, Vaporesso NRG coils, and possible more. They all fit beautifully in the provided space, in both the standard 2mL setup, and the extended 4.5mL setup.
This top-filling “all in one” tank comes with two ProC coils – the 0.4-ohm ProC1 and the 0.25-ohm ProC1-S – but to be 100% honest, I didn’t notice much difference in their performance, aside from the wattage ranges. I believe the ProC1 was designed for more restrictive airflow setups, but truth be told, they tasted and performed nearly identically to one another.
Though the ProCore X isn’t exactly a threat to the Modern sub-ohm vape tank leaders, its versatility and reliable performance are more than welcome in the kit. However, if you’re looking for a standalone tank to buy, there are better options to be had, even with the multiple coil compatibility.
Vaping the Joyetech Espion Mod Kit
I’ll come right out and say it. The Joyetech Espion is a reliable, high-performing Mod. On a pair of freshly charged 18650 cells, it offered a decent five hours of steady vaping at Moderate wattages, including heavy use of menus and Mode adjustments. I imagine more realistic, everyday use could bump that number a bit. The Espion isn’t a world-beater, but it’s more than adequate for the light to Moderate vaper.
I’m also happy to report that the Espion is a fully capable 200-watt Mod, with smooth, steady escalation to higher levels without any stuttering or misfires. Plus, the Mod is extremely quick when ramping at any wattage. Within a nanosecond of hitting the fire key, your coils will activate, providing intense, flavorful rushes of vapor.
However, it should be noted that the Espion display occasionally stutters when chain vaping. Not to the point of being a distraction, but when vaping steadily at higher (>100 watts) ranges, there is noticeable pixilation and brief blackouts on the screen before it returns. It’s hardly a deal breaker, but worth mentioning for those concerned about seeing their information at all times.
Another mild concern was the occasional hiccups in the Espion’s TCR Mode. While the standard temperature control Modes (nickel, titanium, stainless) all work extremely accurately, TCR is unnecessarily finicky for setting and saving resistances. More than once, the system refused to lock in my values, often booting me back to the main screen with nothing saved or entered.
Vapers who rely on TCR adjustments for more complex coils should take note, as the Espion isn’t quite as customizable as we’ve come to expect from Mods in this category.
Joyetech Espion Mod Kit Specs and Contents
Joyetech Espion Mod Kit Specs:
- Mod size: 43mm(L)*28mm(W)*113mm(H)
- Screen type: 1.45-inch TFT color screen
- Screen resolution: 240*320 dp
- Output wattage: 1-200W
- Output Mode: Power/RTC/TC/Ni, Ti, SS316/TCR Modes
- Resistance range: 0.05-1.5ohm for TC/TCR Mode
- Resistance range: 0.1-3.5ohm for Power Mode
- Temperature range: 100-315°C/ 200-600°F
- Battery using: Dual replaceable high rate 18650 cells (CDC25A)
- Max charging current: 2.0A
- Max output current: 50A
- Max output voltage: 9V
Joyetech Espion Mod kit Contents:
- 1 * ESPION (no cell)
- 1 * ProCore X atomizer
- 1 * ProC1 (0.4ohm) head
- 1 * ProC1-S (0.25ohm) head
- 1 * Spare glass tube
- 1 * Extended vent pipe
- 1 * QC USB cable
- 2 * Manual
- 1 * Warranty card
- 2 * Warning card
- Spare parts
THE JOYETECH ESPION STARTER KIT IS AVAILABLE NOW AT ELEMENT VAPE