Last Updated on December 11, 2018 by Team Spinfuel
I’ve had the HAVA Goliath Beetles mod kit on my desk for about a month. But I purposely waited to review it, simply because I didn’t want the foul taste of the company’s Firefly kit misstep to affect my opinion. And for the most part, my thinking worked – the Goliath Beetles, even with a weird name, is a MUCH better effort from this fledgling vape company.
Whereas the Firefly was an awkward, limp, misguided experience head to toe, the Goliath Beetles is far more polished and powerful. It’s far from perfect, but this is proof that HAVA might have a future in this industry, if it can focus its efforts and eliminate the nonsense.
At first glance, I wasn’t encouraged. It’s not that the 220-watt Beetles is ugly – far from it, actually. It’s that there’s just so much visual adornment that has nothing to do with performance or usability. For starters, my rainbow test model is HAVA’s take on that common “oil stain in sunlight” metal effect, but taken to the next level. Every slight shift in position revealed another range of colors and shades – some people like this, based on mod sales. But I don’t need this much visual stimulation on my vape devices.
(For the record you can also get the kit in Champagne Gold, Gun Metal, Burgundy Red and Meteor Blue.)
Additionally, the Goliath Beetles is covered in lines and grooves – most of which serve no purpose other than aesthetics. In other words, anyone thinking there’s extra venting or functionality will be sorely disappointed. There’s just divots and grooves that don’t really do much beyond distributing the rainbow effect even further.
I will say this – the glossy metal exterior is extremely well done, and even after an unexpected drop to a wood floor, the Beetles is no worse for wear. With so many of my devices looking like the survived weeks in a foxhole, this was a pleasant surprise.
Features and Highlights
Ergonomically, the Beetles is a mixed bag. In terms of comfort and grip, the mod sits comfortably in the hand, and is easy to fire in either hand, or type of grip. HOWEVER, if you’re a lefty and plan on making adjustments with one hand, you might want to reconsider. The positioning of the up/down controls on the left side of the screen makes it near impossible to reach with a natural grip.
(Hint: How do you think that “unexpected drop” occurred?)
That said, the controls and fire key all have firm, responsive buttons, and for that I’m thankful, given the glut of mushy, plasticky keys I deal with everyday. But I strongly recommend traveling with a small microfiber cloth, since this might be the most fingerprint prone vape mod I’ve ever used.
The 510 connection is built extremely well, but may be a little too stiff for some atomizers. While most of my tanks and RDAs fit and performed without concern, a handful of VERY popular tanks – including my beloved FreeMax Fireluke Pro – simply wouldn’t register. Either they sat elevated above the connector, or kept losing connection when the mod was tipped.
Unfortunately, one of the worst offenders was the companion V-Tank sub-ohm atomizer, which only worked with the Goliath Beetles positioned vertically. The INSTANT I tipped it to vape, the power would cut off entirely. Once upright, the connection would re-engage, and we could vape it.
Consider this another knock against the V-Tank, which didn’t really impress us when we reviewed the Firefly kit a while back. But at least the tank FIRED on that device. The company’s “flagship” atomizer just continues to chip away at my patience, so I’m not going to devote much ink to it here.
One thing I failed to mention in the Firefly review, however, is that the V-Tank is fully compatible with the FreeMax Fireluke mesh coils, which will undoubtedly outperform the stock offerings. But we can’t review the tank based on that fact, so onward we go.
Just know that – even with a 5mL capacity, compact design, easy fill format and 25mm diameter – there’s just no real reason to own one, other than as an emergency backup. The draws are limp, the coils are short-lived, and the flavor is muted and benign. Take it out of the box, keep it somewhere safe, and attach a much-better atomizer to see what the Beetles can do in the real world.
One key highlight? The vertically oriented display is bright, simple and easy to read, even in direct sunlight. There’s certainly no beauty awards in the Beetles’ future, but the screen does a great job displaying a lot of info, in a minimal space, and staying out of the way.
But the menu system is a different story, simply by virtue of the button arrangement. Now, it’s been a LONG time since I called for the inclusion of an “action” button to be used for different contextual menu commands, but it’s certainly warranted here. In a major UX snafu, the Goliath Beetles doesn’t allow you to “back out” of any menu option, meaning you’re forced to make a selection or adjustment.
On top-level menus, this isn’t a big deal. But if you’re navigating deep into the adjustments only to slip up once, you’re forced to start over. And the same goes for the settings, which are automatically reset once you swap batteries. It’s not a big deal, but it just seems so unnecessary in this day and age.
HAVA Goliath Beetles Kit Specs:
- Dimensions – 88mm by 45mm by 31mm
- Dual High-Amp 18650 Batteries
- Wattage Output Range: 5-220W
- Voltage Output Range: 6.6-8.4V
- Resistance Range – Temperature Control: 0.05-1.0ohm
- Resistance Range – Variable Wattage: 0.1-3.0ohm
- Temperature Range: 200-600°F/100-315°C
- Supports Ni200, Titanium, Stainless Steel Compatibility
- TCR Mode
- BYPASS Mode
- Zinc Alloy Chassis Construction
- OLED Display
- Oversized Tactile Firing Button
- Two Adjustment Buttons
- Proprietary Protections
- Vented Bottom Hinged Battery Bay
- Spring-Loaded 510
- MicroUSB Port
- 24mm Diameter
- 3mL Standard Glass Tube
- 5mL Bubble Glass Tube
- Superior Stainless Steel Construction
- Pyrex Glass Reinforcement
- Threaded Top-Fill System
- Dual Adjustable Bottom Airflow
- HAVA VTANK Coil System
- 0.5 Standard Coil – Rated for 30-50W
- 0.15 Mesh Coils – Rated for 40-90W
- 810 Widebore Drip Tip – Dual O-Ring Seal
- Detachable Structure
- Gold-Plated 510 Connection
HAVA Goliath Beetles Kit Contents:
- 1 HAVA Goliath Beetles Mod
- 1 HAVA VTANK
- 1 0.15 Mesh Coil
- 1 0.5 Parallel Coil
- 1 User Manual
- 1 Warranty Card
- 1 Spare O-Rings
- 1 HAVA Profile Card
- 1 USB Cable
- 1 Conformity Certificate
- 1 Warning Card
- 1 3mL Standard Glass Tube
- 1 5mL Bubble Glass Tube
Observations While Vaping
Despite what seems like a negative experience so far, the Goliath Beetles mod is a solid device, performance-wise. It’s not perfect – I had some momentary stuttering at higher wattages, and the temperature control modes were unnecessarily finicky. But overall, I found HAVA’s top-tier offering to be a smooth-ramping, altogether powerful vape experience.
The two preheat options (normal and powerful) are distinctly different, where most devices only provide subtle, minute variances in power. I stayed in my “normal” comfort zone, and still enjoyed pretty potent draws in wattage mode.
Temp control, as mentioned, was finicky, which kept me from exploring too deeply. But overall, the coil recognition was solid, as was the protection suite, which kept me from accidentally firing a Kanthal build in nickel mode.
Surprisingly there’s also a custom curve setting, which is unexpected on devices in this range. It’s not going to make you forget YiHi or Escribe experiences, but for those who want to make the most of their time with the Goliath Beetles, this mode is worth exploring. (Unfortunately, the menu hiccups mentioned earlier make using this mode more of a chore than it should have been.)
But at the end of the day, once you get past the quirks and nuances, I think you’ll find more to like than dislike with the performance. It’s a true 220-watt mod with mostly stutter-free power output.
The HAVA Goliath Beetles is a unique entity. It’s definitely different looking, even if those design choices were odd. It’s mostly a smooth performer, save from some connection and power-output issues. And the gorgeously simple display does a great job, but is let down by the broken menu system.
Though HAVA isn’t a household name, it’s certainly a good option for collectors, or those who just want something different than anyone else. If you don’t fiddle with settings too often, already have a good tank at the ready, or don’t get turned off by occasional hiccups, I think there’s some pretty good performance to be had here.