I’ve done hundreds of reviews for Spinfuel VAPE, but none have been more difficult to submit than this one. Because as much as I want to love the all-new GTRS VBOY 222W box mod, it has a set of flaws that severely outweigh the positives.
Now, to be fair, I might be a little nitpicky. But I’m also paid to offer a fair assessment of a mod’s performance and user experience, and the VBOY 222W box mod swings and misses too many times. Let’s dive in to explain what I’m talking about.
Previous GTRS Mods that have crossed my desk have had unique, exciting, ergonomically driven designs. So it was a little deflating to open the box and see a large, rounded corner, rectangular mod. There’s certainly nothing UNattractive about the VBOY, but after loving the flanged grip and comfortable curves of its predecessor, it was a little underwhelming to hold a polished metal box this time around.
But I should say the color schemes are understated and attractive. My box had a PINK sticker on the front, but this actually represented “rose gold,” which has a pinkish hue, but certainly doesn’t look dainty here. It’s polished and mature, which are two positives in my eyes.
One standout feature is the stunning 1.3-inch TFT display, which pops in grand fashion, thanks to the high-resolution, full-color screen and beautiful layout, courtesy of the YiHi SX520 chipset.
However, these good feelings were quickly erased by the flush 510 connection, which is press-fit, and seemingly held in place by hot glue and prayer. Every atomizer I tried on the VBOY – from tiny RDAs to monster SMOK tanks – caused the 510 to wiggle and even raise above the top of the mod. No connection seemed secure, and more than one misfire happened during testing.
Another red flag is the flimsy fire button, which feels perfectly clicky and responsive to start. However, within minutes of first firing the VBOY 222W Box Mod, I had the button stick in place, requiring a fingernail to get it straightened out. I eventually realized every click needed to be done DEAD CENTER on the sizable button, otherwise it would get caught on the frame. Unacceptable, especially on a high-end vape device.
The biggest problem of all...
But the most egregious flaw on the VBOY is the ludicrous battery compartment, which is designed to handle pairs of 21700 cells, 20700 cells, or 18650 cells (with the included adapter sleeves). On paper, this seems like a great idea. In practice, I’m not sure how this made it past quality control.
For starters, 21700 batteries fit snugly in place, but are an absolute bear to remove, thanks to minimal space between the cells, and no removal ribbon to be had. I actually resorted to using a small flathead screwdriver to dislodge one stubborn battery – AND WE DO NOT RECOMMEND DOING THIS.
Considering that 21700 cells offer little in the way of battery life improvement, I don’t understand why any user would go down this frustrating road, unless there were no other options.
However, this paled in comparison to the 20700 cells, which simply didn’t fit at all. These thinner batteries are simply not big enough to be used in this compartment without some kind of adapter. Using every set of 20700s in my collection, I could never get them to stay in place, nor could I stop the incessant rattling of the loose cells hitting the weak battery door.
So, on a device designed (and sized) to take advantage of larger battery types, the only realistic option is to use a pair of 18650s and the included adapters. Now these aren’t perfect, either. But they did an adequate job keeping the batteries in place, so I could vape without concern.
But, this leaves users with an oversized Box Mod that doesn’t justify the format at all. Extremely disappointing, especially from a company with usually high standards.
Operating the GTRS VBOY 222W Box Mod
Thank goodness for the YiHi SX520 chipset, which is the VBOY’s saving grace. These chipsets have narrowed the “DNA gap” over the last year or so, and the new SX520 only furthers the cause, with a fantastic three button control scheme, stunning full-color display, and some of the most intuitive menu structures around.
Not only does the VBOY easily achieve its 222-watt limit – especially with the 21700 cells wedged in place – but the power is smooth and steady throughout, without any pulsing or stuttering along the way. The same can be said for temperature control, which is a major selling point for YiHi chipsets.
Once users get past the initial quirkiness of working in joules versus watts, they’ll quickly find it a breeze to find their preferred settings. And with deep customization options for all coil types, deep heating curve adjustments, TCR settings with five memory slots, and more, the TC suite is as full-featured as any on the market. Maybe there’s no Escribe with YiHi chips. Maybe you don’t need it, after all.
On a more physical level, the VBOY’s three control buttons are MUCH better than the failed fire key, with a nice, clicky throw, and fast responsiveness. They’re laid out vertically, with an “enter/ok” button in the middle, much like the new DNA color chipsets. It does a good job simplifying what could have been an overly difficult control scheme.
In regular use, I had no problems making quick, on-the-fly adjustments, making this portion of the VBOY 222W Box Mod is a definite highlight.
Vaping the GTRS VBOY 222W Box Mod
Once I got the battery situation sorted, I installed a pair of fresh 18650s and attached my current go-to RTA, the Geek Vape Blitzen. My first build was a standard Kanthal wrap, reading at 0.25 ohms. The VBOY did a good job reading the new coil and maintaining a steady resistance, no matter how many adjustments I made while vaping.
And you know what, it vaped well. The power was smooth and the my modified preheat curve gave the initial draw a nice kick. I managed to get this coil to nearly 100 watts before things got a little too warm, but to its credit, the VBOY never faltered.
For temperature control testing, I moved to a go-to Ni200 build on the same RTA, which came in at 0.15 ohms. Again, the YiHi SX520 chipset shone, as the resistances locked and never wavered. The board quickly identified my coil, and adjusting settings with the system made this as effortless as any complex TC setup could be.
And in turn, the VBOY ramped quickly and smoothly, allowing for nice, easy draws and flavorful vaping throughout.
Unfortunately, the battery placement issues were a constant nuisance while vaping. Even the included 18650 sleeves (which are one-sided) occasionally jostled out of place, resetting the VBOY and forcing me to make readjustments more than once. Only the 21700s offered a rattle-free experience, but to no benefit to battery life whatsoever.
In fact, the 21700s offered the worse battery performance of the two types I tested (I didn’t bother with the 20700s, since the cavernous compartment rendered them useless). The 18650s gave me a decent four hours of moderate vaping before needing to be replaced – hardly world-beating numbers, but respectable considering how much is going on under the hood.
But, I still have to consider the battery performance disappointing, since the YiHi SX520 chipset boasted a 94% efficiency rating. I’m not confident that my results align with those claims. Then again, I’m not sure what to believe with this strange, flawed device.
Finally, the large frame and lack of ergonomic grip made the VBOY a little cumbersome to hold. The zinc alloy frame is light, but not sturdy, and the overall feel was a little weak.
Wrapping Up and the Score
If we were reviewing a chipset alone, the GTRS VBOY 222W Box Mod would be a winner. But in reality, the VBOY needed another round of quality control testing before being released to market. While it DOES vape well when the stars align, the flimsy 510 connection, sticky fire button, and inexplicable battery compartment problems made using the VBOY more work than enjoyment – and there’s no excuse for that with so many other options available.
GTRS VBOY Score: A probably too-generous C-
Available Now at Element Vape
- Dimensions – 93mm by 49mm by 31mm
- Dual High-Amp 18650/20700/21700 Battery – Not Included
- Optional Dual High-Amp 20700 Battery
- Advanced YiHi SX520 Processor
- Wattage Output Range: 5-222W
- Joule Output Range: 10-120J
- Voltage Output Range: 1-9.5V
- Temperature Control Range: 212-572F
- Minimum Atomizer Resistance: 0.05ohm
- Output Efficiency: 94%
- Comprehensive Temperature Control Suite
- TCR Adjustments
- Power & Joule Memories: 5 Memory Modes
- High-Quality Zinc Alloy Construction
- Anti-Slip Silicone Grip
- Centralized Control Face Design
- 1.3 Inch Full-Color TFT IPS Display
- 240×240 Display Resolutions
- Oversized Firing Button
- Reverse Polarity Protection
- Output Short Protection
- Low Resistance Protection
- Low Battery Voltage Warning
- Overheat Protection
- Firmware Upgradeable
- MicroUSB Port
- Stainless Steel 510 Connection
- Available in Silver, Black, Rose Gold, Gold, Blue, Red
- 1 GTRS VBOY 222W SX520 Box Mod
- 2 18650 Battery Adapters
- 1 MicroUSB Cable
- Instructional Manual