Here’s a riddle – when can a perfectly good product be considered a disappointment? When it’s the HCigar Towis Aurora squonk mod. Because there’s nothing inherently wrong with the mod, and it even does some things particularly well. But there’s just SUCH a sense of “been here, done that” with the Towis Aurora that the standout features really don’t even matter.
For starters, the 80-watt Aurora is nothing to look at. It’s a rough-edged, brushed aluminum box, with a few jutting edges, and a removable side panel that doesn’t quite fit right. If HCigar was going for a “tough and burly” aesthetic, then mission accomplished. But truth be told, I found it boring, especially coming from a company with such a strong legacy of high-end vape mods.
One of the problems is the Aurora’s sheer size. Because it’s capable of handling 21700, 20700 and 18650 cells (using built-in, sliding adapter) the Aurora is boxier and thicker than most. Yet the depth is still just 27.5mm, so anyone imagining they’d use their larger RDAs might have a rude awakening ahead of them. For me, it was fine, but I know there are 30mm enthusiasts reading this and wondering.
Even with the extended space inside the Aurora, the included pair of squonk bottles are listed at 7mL – which means you’ll only realistically get 6mL in there before risking some spillage. Strangely, one of the bottles in my test kit was firmer than the other, so I’m guessing some users have a preference. For what it’s worth, both worked well, and without incident.
The 0.96-inch display is standard fare by modern standards, with a vertically oriented layout displaying all pertinent information, like wattage or temperature, coil resistance and all the usual accoutrement. Revolutionary? Hardly, but it does its job well enough. I just look forward to the day when 0.96 inches is no longer the standard for vape mod displays.
My one HUGE problem with the Towis Aurora is the stiff, unresponsive 510 connection. Not only is the 510 pin NOT spring-loaded, which could potentially damage your RDA, but the connection itself is also really loose. I noticed a lot of play, even with smaller atomizers, and the whole thing just felt well below the standards of a company like HCigar.
Plus, because HCigar went for a “beveled edge” appearance, the top surface area is reduced, leading to significant overhang with more modern Drippers.
HCigar Towis Aurora Specs:
- Variable Wattage Range: 5.0w to 80w
- Battery: 1*18650/20700/21700 High-drain battery (Not Included)
- Supports Nickel, Titanium, and Stainless Steel in Temperature Control
- Temperature Adjustment Range: 200°F-600°F
- Minimum Resistance 0.10 Ohm
- 0.96” Color Screen
- Silicone 7mL Squonk Bottle
- Micro USB Port
- USB Charging Capability
- Resistance Protection
- Short Circuit Protection
- Low Battery Protection
- Overheating Protection
- Overcurrent Protection
HCigar Towis Aurora Kit Contents:
- 1x – HCigar Towis Aurora 80W
- 1x – 7mL Squonk Bottle
- 1x – Replacement Squonk Bottle
- 1x – Micro USB Cable
Though it’s strange to write, the meaty fire key and adjustment buttons are a highlight of the Towis Aurora. They seem to be made of a weighty plastic, they never got stuck or presented any issues. They stayed immediately responsive, even when navigating the device’s antiquated, but functional menu trees.
In a nice touch (and a nod to Hcigar’s higher-end products) the Aurora has a defined “select” button underneath the up/down controls. While it doesn’t seem too advanced in 2018, it does make operations easier than the usual finger gymnastics.
(This is especially true considering your ring finger will get plenty of working out from squeezing the side-panel squonk port. Those 6 milliliters aren’t going to last too long, even with a max output of 80 watts.)
Beyond that, the Towis Aurora is a straightforward squonk mod, even with the inclusion of temperature control functionality (which I tested JUST long enough to confirm it works as intended). At this point in your vaping life, you’ve probably decided whether or not you want to employ temp control. And if you’re new to vaping, and haven’t tried it, I can’t recommend an 80-watt squonker be your introduction to the format.
The onboard protections are nice features, as is the versatile battery compartment, which eliminates the need for rubber battery adapters, even if it comes at the expense of bottle capacity. Overall, it seems like HCigar put some thought into the internals – if only they had spent this much time on the exterior.
Observations While Vaping
Again, as a straightforward squonk mod, the Towis Aurora is a pretty plain device to use and review. If you don’t mind a larger size and the awkward squonk bottle port, the Aurora isn’t going to bring any surprises to the table, nor is any element of it going to wow you.
But the stock performance does the job, and it does it fairly well. Using five different BF-RDAs, I enjoyed near-flawless squonk performance and smooth, leak-free squeezes and refills. The somewhat loose side panel stays intact enough to keep everything in place, but occasionally slips in the pocket. Nothing tragic, but again, also not the quality control we expect from HCigar.
What bothers me is how poor battery performance was, even when using the 2X700 batteries. I’ve never been a HUGE fan of these larger cell types, but recent reviews have shown that companies are starting to learn how to harness and manage the extra power. The Towis Aurora isn’t one of those devices.
Sure, the Aurora is a single-battery device, but with a max 80-watt output, I was shocked to see how little lifespan I had, even with moderate use. On a fully charged 21700, I barely managed 3.5 hours of steady (but not heavy) vaping before I started getting some weak draws, and eventually a low battery warning. I get that power seems to “flow differently” in squonk mods, but this was especially disappointing.
Again, at the risk of being redundant, the HCigar Towis Aurora does everything it’s supposed to do, but nothing exceptional came from the experience. And within minutes of putting it down, I picked up another, more comfortable, better designed squonk mod to use in its place. There’s nothing inherently wrong with anything included here, but I can’t say there’s anything special, either. It just works – try one out for yourself and see if you think differently.