Finally! After literally dozens of “me too” squonk mods, someone has listened to my wishes at last! And it’s strange that it even took this long, considering what an obvious upgrade it is. So, thank you to the collaborators for releasing the top-filling, 21700-capable Dovpo x TVC Squonk Mod. Power, more accessible filling, and rock-solid performance makes the Topside one of the brightest surprises of the year… and easily the most-unique squonk mods ever made…
From the moment you see the Topside, you’ll know that this isn’t just another bottom-feed squonk box. No, there aren’t any hollow-feeling side panels, or awkwardly placed bottle openings. And there’s definitely not a lack of battery life and power. Nope, the Topside is a fully regulated, temp control-capable, heavily featured squonk mod that not only feels bomb-proof, but looks damn good, too.
Oh, before we dive in, we should mention that the Topside is a collaborative effort designed by Dovpo and the nice folks at The Vapor Chronicles. While I’m not sure who influenced what, the Topside definitely seems like a design that was inspired by things REAL VAPERS want, and not just another “same-y” device to attract similar audiences.
The first thing that will jump at you is the sheer heft and durability of the mod. The Topside is built from an amalgam of zinc alloy, stainless steel and aluminum, resulting in a stiff, slightly heavy, but reassuring device that feels like it would survive more than one drop from a decent altitude. Not that we’re recommending you do that, but it’s nice to know your investment won’t shatter the instant it’s dropped from your pocket.
The curved, ergonomic design feels considerably different than the usual slew of boxy, bulky squonk mods. Instead, the Topside doesn’t feel much broader than a standard high-wattage mod. Maybe the 90-watt output seems a little lightweight for a device this large, but truth be told, my best squonk experiences come at the 60-75 watt range, so I don’t anticipate many BF vapers are going to struggle with this limit.
The firing and operation keys are VERY firm, which I always appreciate. While it’s not the easiest mod to fire on a whim, I think this stiffness fits into the overall aesthetic of the Topside, and I think most will agree.
Plus, because of the relatively conservative power output, the Dovpo x TVC Topside gets quite a bit of battery life when a single 21700 battery is installed. Amazingly, I didn’t test to see how the mod performed with 20700 or 18650 cells, but they are compatible (with included adapter). Still, if you have a 21700 cell on hand, that’s the way to enjoy the Topside.
I managed roughly five hours of steady vaping on a single cell, which was VERY impressive when compared to similar BF devices. Squonk mods don’t have the best reputation for power management, but the Topside did a hell of a job trying to change that image.
The 0.96-inch OLED display is nice, and manages to feature a lot of information in less than an inch of space. On a side note, if I never have to type “0.96-inch” in a vape review again, it’ll be too soon – how on earth did this measurement become the industry standard for vape devices? On a mod this sizable, something wider would have been appreciated, but the screen and linear menu system do their jobs well.
I should mention that the Dovpo x TVC Topside is also firmware upgradeable – and for once, it’s pretty necessary, since my temperature control functionality did NOT work out of the box. Thankfully, Dovpo’s website has the TC firmware ready to download, but to be honest, this is a black mark against the Topside. In 2018, if you’re going to release a mod that promises certain functions, make sure they work BEFORE the mod hits shelves, not after.
In short, firmware downloads are NOT a crutch for releasing incomplete hardware. Truthfully, I expected more from Dovpo, especially on a collaborative effort like this.
Despite my firmware troubles, the Dovpo x TVC Topside isn’t going to move because it has TC functionality. It’s going to move because it’s attempting to eliminate the most annoying parts of squonk mod vaping – refilling and messiness.
By integrating a proprietary top-fill system, the Topside literally turns BF vaping upside down. The 10mL bottle (the kit comes with two of these gems) slots in perfectly, and filling is as easy as unscrewing a cap. Fans of groundbreaking devices like the iJOY RDTA Box (my beloved brick) will appreciate getting similar levels of flavor and convenience, rather than being forced to leave your squonkers at home because of messiness. Well done, all around.
In practice, I feel the top fill design is about 95% of the way there. My only (slight) complaint is the cap itself, which doesn’t have the best threading I’ve seen, and can be difficult to screw on firmly. It’s not a huge problem, but on a mod designed to eliminate so much effort, this cap seemed a little “slapped together” when compared to the rest of the build quality.
Dovpo x TVC Topside Top-Filling Squonk Mod Specs:
- Dimensions – 92mm by 54mm by 27mm
- Collaboration with The Vapor Chronicles – TVCreation
- Single High-Amp 21700 Battery – Not Included
- 10mL Silicone Squonk Bottle
- Wattage Output Range: 5-90W
- Voltage Output Range: 1.0-8.5V
- Resistance Range: 0.08-3.5ohm
- Temperature Control Functionality (Firmware Upgrades Require)
- Supports Ni200, Titanium, Stainless Steel Compatibility
- BYPASS Mode
- Stainless Steel, Zinc, & Aluminum Alloy Construction
- Intuitive 0.96″ OLED Display Screen
- Circle Firing Button
- Two Adjustment Buttons
- Unique Top-Fill Method – Convenient Squonk Bottle Refill
- Bottom-Loaded Hinged Battery Cover
- MicroUSB Port
- Leak-Resistant 510 Base
- Spring-Loaded 510 Connection
- Available in Red, Black, Silver, Gunmetal, Blue, Purple
Dovpo x TVC Topside Top-Filling Squonk Mod Contents:
- 1 Topside 90W Squonk Mod
- 2 10mL Squonk Bottle
- 1 Micro-USB Cable
- 1 18650 Adapter
- 1 Instructional Manual
Observations While Vaping
I usually start these sections with an overarching word or term to describe my experience, so why break tradition? The word I used most when describing the Dovpo x TVC Topside’s vape quality is “dry.”
Now, don’t freak out – I don’t mean “dry” in that the experience is boring, because it’s not. The Topside is one of the finest squonk mods I’ve ever used (which you probably gathered by scrolling to see the score before reading, you cheaters). But there are both positive and negative meanings to be had.
The Dovpo x TVC Topside is the most leak-free, mess-free squonk mod I’ve used to date. Sure, plenty of them stay dry most of the time. And most “leaking” occurs when changing bottles. But by implementing this format, the Topside reduces these instances to near-zero.
In other words, I felt like I had a standard mod/tank setup in my hands, not a squeeze bottle ready to blow at the lightest touch. The mod, bottle and connection design sync up beautifully to make for a truly effortless experience. And with a 10mL bottle onboard (with another one ready to go) you could theoretically vape steadily for hours without having to refill.
The vape quality was also top-notch, with effortless ramping to its 90-watt limit, and no struggles toward the top end of the range. I did notice some faster battery drain above 80 watts, but that’s to be expected. Using a 0.3-ohm kanthal build on my trusty NADA BF-RDA, I enjoyed thick, warm vapor at just 40-50 watts, rendering that top-end limit meaningless.
If you want to take some time and read about some other Squonk Mods we’ve reviewed, Click Here
Buy it. What else can I say? If you’re a squonk mod fan, this is the innovative new product you’ve been waiting for while buying endless arrays of hollow boxes. If you’ve avoided squonking because of size, format, mess or other legitimate problem, the Topside is the mod that erases those concerns. It’s not quite perfect (and the firmware thing still irks me), but the Topside is about as close to it as we’ve seen in a VERY long time – avoid at your own risk of lesser enjoyment.