Intro and Specs for the SMOK D-BARREL 225W Box Mod – SMOK’s recent “limited edition” mod releases are an interesting lot. But, despite the company’s constant boasts that “innovation keeps changing the vaping experience,” none of these recent releases seem to be pushing any envelopes.
Where the recently reviewed SMOK A-PRIV looked a lot like a neon-infused Devilkin, the all-new D-BARREL is a direct descendant of the popular SMOK MAG series. You know those, right? Those are the ones that emulate gun triggers for an industry that really doesn’t need any more bad press. But, I’ll put that aside for now and give this a straight-up review.
Here are the particulars…
The Official Word;
The SMOK D-BARREL 225W Box Mod is an ergonomic handheld vaping box mod. Implementing a dual high-amp 18650 battery configuration, extensive temperature control options, and can be paired with a myriad of vape tanks and atomizers.
Featuring a dual high amp 18650 battery configuration, the D-BARREL is equipped to fit two 18650 batteries in the bottom hinged battery door at the base.
Construction and Finish
Along the zinc-alloy chassis construction, the D-BARREL is coated in a shiny metallic finish, capturing the eyes of those nearby with wonder and awe. Within the circuitry of the D-BARREL 225W Box Mod, the proprietary chipset within unlocks a complex temperature control suite that is compatible with the usual wire compositions.
Finally, with the vast resistance range provided, the D-BARREL is perfect for pairing with nearly any other tank or atomizer available in the vaping market segment.
SMOK D-BARREL 225W Box Mod Features:
- Dimensions – 87mm by 54.85mm by 33mm
- Dual High-Amp 18650 Battery – Not Included
- Wattage Output Range: 10-225W
- Voltage Output Range: 0.5-8.2V
- Resistance Range – VW Mode: 0.1 – 2.5ohm
- Resistance Range – TC Mode: 0.05 – 2.0ohm
- Temperature Range: 200° – 600°F / 100° – 315°C
- VW Mode -Soft, Normal, Hard
- TC Mode
- Memory Mode
- Nickel, Titanium, and Stainless-Steel Wire Compatibility
- Zinc-Alloy Chassis Construction
- Intuitive Firing Button
- Two Adjustment Buttons
- TFT Color Display Screen
- Bottom Hinged Battery Bay
- Short Circuit Protection
- Overheat Protection
- 10s Cut Off Protection
- Low Resistance Protection
- Low Voltage Protection
- Spring-Loaded 510 Connector
- MicroUSB Port
- Available in Black
SMOK D-BARREL 225W Box Mod Includes:
- 1 D-BARREL Box Mod
- 1 User Manual
- 1 MicroUSB Cable
- 1 Spare Parts
Impressions and Aesthetics of the SMOK D-BARREL
After getting past the weirdly loving, poorly translated description of gun barrels on the box, the D-BARREL mod immediately reminded me of a smoother, more streamlined MAG-series mod. It might not be as overtly “gun-like” as the MAG, but the D-BARREL has the same general form factor and top-heavy weightiness as its predecessor.
The mod also features the same top-positioned OLED display as the A-PRIV (not to mention a bunch of older SMOK “PRIV” mods), which frees up a lot of real estate on the side of the device, and can be reversed, depending on the type of grip you prefer. But, on a “limited edition” device, the screen just seems a little underwhelming, especially considering some of the other displays SMOK has used over the last few years.
The SMOK D-BARREL also shares the same up/down control rocker as the A-PRIV, though it is strangely more responsive and firmer here than on the other device. I don’t generally prefer single-piece rocker buttons, but overall this was a positive addition to the D-BARREL.
The front-mounted trigger key was equally good and responsive, though there’s a little more rattle and play than I’m happy with. I don’t imagine it will become an issue with extended use, but all the same, if noisiness bothers you, the D-BARREL fire key might be a red flag.
Finally, there’s the overall ergonomics, which are pretty strong. Though the recessed/exposed battery tubes might seem a little awkward to grip at first, they quickly settle into the palm. I found myself instinctively hitting the tube with my ring finger, as if this was a squonk mod, but once I was used to the format, it all felt pretty good.
Standout Features of the D-BARREL
Because this is effectively an “old school” vape mod, there’s not a hell of a lot of innovation here. So I’m going to call out the one major negative I experienced here – the recessed cutout for the vape tank. Because of the raised lip around this section, the D-BARREL isn’t going to accommodate any tanks beyond 26mm.
Atomizer? Your Choice
Sure, that covers the lion’s share of today’s atomizers, but who knows where tank design is going to go? I just feel like this design element hinders compatibility.
Fortunately, most of the standard-sized tanks in my collection attached and operated well on the D-BARREL, so there’s no immediate concern. But it seems like there could have been a better allocation of real estate throughout the top portion of the mod.
Vaping the SMOK D-BARREL
Though the box and specs indicate the D-BARREL is using a “proprietary” chipset, there’s absolutely nothing in the documentation that explains what it is, what it’s called, or what it does differently. And based on its familiar performance, there’s no reason to, either. That’s not a knock on the mod, mind you – the D-BARREL is a perfectly fine, high-performing vape mod. But there’s nothing proprietary about a three-year-old user experience mapped to a two-year-old design concept.
But one thing I do need to mention is the firing speed and consistency. More impressive than the A-PRIV, the D-BARREL ramps almost immediately, offering instant blasts of flavor and vapor. I’m 99% sure this is the same board as the A-PRIV, but it seems to be a little punchier here. Who knows, maybe it’s the power of a gun-like trigger in my hands.
Other than that, the D-BARREL’s wattage and temp control modes work as expected, with zero surprises, stutters or slip-ups, all the way to its 225-watt limit. Again, it might even outperform the A-PRIV, which seems to share the same internal DNA. That’s why I’ll compare the two devices in the next section, as well.
Comfort-wise, the D-BARREL sits well in the palm, and is far more ergonomic and fun to use than the irritating A-PRIV. Though I’m not big on the who gun motif, I quickly grew to enjoy the format as a vape mod. I had never reviewed any MAG mods in the past, so this look and feel was unique to me, if not the industry at large.
My only notable performance concern was the exposed “barrels” themselves, which got far too warm above 120 watts. Though I don’t vape at that level too often, much of the D-BARREL’s audience will, making hear dissipation a problem. Add in the fact that there’s no visible venting on the mod’s surface, and it’s something to consider before adding the D-BARREL to your cart.
– Comfortable grip and design
– Outstanding firing speed
– Hiccup-free performance
– Screen (and gun motif) is antiquated
– Barrels get really hot at higher wattages
– Limited tank space
Look, I like the D-BARREL enough. In fact, I like it a lot more than I probably should. Because despite the silly weapon design and failing to give us anything remotely “limited edition” quality, the mod won me over with solid, predictable, unwavering performance. It doesn’t do anything but what it needs to. And these days, that might be enough.
If you’re looking for something revolutionary, I suggest you keep browsing. But if you’re a SMOK fan, this is a better choice than the less-comfortable, but fundamentally identical A-PRIV.