This is the first of two reviews. It’s not that the Joyetech Espion Silk deserves or requires TWO reviews, but rather after turning this review in to the boss, he told me that we’d publish it, but in order to provide a better “balance”, he would give a couple of them to another reviewer for his or her input. I have no idea if the second review will come to the same conclusion that I did, but for you, our readers, you’ll have the opportunity to gain the insight of two experienced vapers that have more than 5 years’ experience of writing vape gear reviews.
My Espion Silk Review
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how difficult it must be for mod makers to design anything “new”. Most mods and tanks we see today are variations on a theme. If a design ‘type’ hits with the vaping public, you can bet that that design will be copied and tweaked as much as possible.
Consider how many variations there are of the original 2015 3x 18650 WISMEC Reuleaux (reviewed here) for example. Nearly all 3x cell mods have that triangular shape, and its aesthetic became very popular. Partly popular because it was the best design to hold 3 cells, and partly popular because it formed a natural, comfortable grip. Even the latest Lost Vape Triade DNA250C (reviewed here) uses the basic Reuleaux chassis shape, albeit in an attractive classic high-end fashion.
Anyway, just as I was about to consider design innovation in vape industry dead, along comes the Joyetech Espion Silk, an example of just how far mod makers will go to build something “different”. In this case, something very unattractive. The Espion Silk is butt-ugly, doesn’t deserve to carry the “Espion” name, and in this reviewer’s mind, it will be forgotten in weeks.
The ESPION Silk mod won’t be everybody’s cup of tea, but at least it’s not a variation of something we’ve seen before, at least not overtly. Yes, it uses the ESPION moniker, but when comparing the display, the chassis, and even the fire button, there isn’t any “Espion” in this Silk mod.
It was just a few months ago when we reviewed the Joyetech ESPION (review here), with its 200W of power, its large 1.45” full color display, and its dual-18650 batteries. After that there was/is the Espion Infinite, (reviewed here) another high-wattage mod with futuristic design elements and the Joyetech ProCore Air Plus Tank
The new Espion Silk is vastly different, and, for whatever reason, it is “hypoallergenic”. (Was being allergic to mod EVER an issue?)
The uniqueness of Espion Silk doesn’t come in any breakthrough technology, there is nothing new in internals of the mod, but it is the first mod to use the word “hypoallergenic” in its official description. The Espion Silk has a body design that looks more like a mod built for the interior of an automobile more than a mod built for anything else. (I was surprised the included USB cable did not include a car adapter.) If I decide to continue using it, it’s home will be inside the console of car.
Joyetech ESPION Silk 80W TC Starter Kit Features:
- Dimension – 80mm by 40mm by 29.5mm
- Weight – 100.5g
- Integrated 2800mAh Rechargeable Battery
- Wattage Output Range: 1-80W
- Maximum Output Voltage: 9V
- Resistance Range – TC Mode: 0.05-1.5ohm
- Resistance Range – Power Mode: 0.05-3.5ohm
- Temperature Control Range: 100-315°C/ 200-600°F
- Ni200, Titanium, and SS316 Stainless Steel Compatibility
- TCR Adjustments
- POWER Mode
- BYPASS Mode
- 0.69″ OLED Display
- Hypoallergenic Material for Sensitive Skin
- Lightweight Ergonomic Design
- Intuitive and Tactile Fire Button
- MicroUSB Charging – Firmware Update Support
- Centered Spring-Loaded 510 Connection
- Available in Black, Orange, Brown
Joyetech NotchCore Tank Features:
- 22mm Diameter
- 2.5mL Juice Capacity
- Superior Stainless-Steel Construction
- Pyrex Glass Reinforcement
- Dotted Design
- Massive Dual Slotted Bottom Airflow
- Push-To-Open Top Fill Design
- Notchcoil™ Coil System
- 0.45ohm NotchCoil™ Head – rated for 20-30W
- Gold Plated Atomizer Base
- 510 Connection
- Detachable Structure
- Available in Black, Red
Joyetech ESPION Silk Starter Kit Includes:
- 1 Joyetech ESPION Silk 80W Box Mod
- 1 NotchCore Sub-Ohm Tank
- 5 0.45ohm NotchCoil™ Coils
- 1 QC USB Cable
- 1 Spare Parts Bag
- 1 User Manual
- 1 Warranty Card
Running on an internal 2800mAh cell, the lightweight, plastic, ESPION Silk uses a proprietary 80W chipset for the now-standard set of modes; Power, TC, Bypass, and so on. The wattage range goes from 1W to 80W, throws a maximum of 9V, it’s resistance range is 0.005-3.5-ohm in Power Mode, and 0.05-1.5-ohm in TC Mode. The .69” OLED display (vastly smaller than its namesake predecessors) offers no colors but does output all the needed information in a neat, organized fashion, typical of today’s most basic mods. The MicroUSB port sits underneath the vertically placed adjustment buttons, allowing for both recharging and firmware updating.
The Joyetech ESPION Silk 80W TC Starter Kit lays claim to be; “ergonomic and hypoallergenic”. Maybe it is ergonomic, a feature used in the description of every mod ever made, but how Joyetech can make the claim that this Espion Silk is “hypoallergenic” is laughable. Which parts? The plastic “bumpers”? If that’s their claim, then what about the Sub-Ohm tank in the Starter it? The exposed painted parts? I don’t know, maybe it’s me, but seeing the audacity of Joyetech claiming their mod to be a hypoallergenic mod just rubbed me the wrong way.
Trying to be Open-Minded about the Espion Silk
I made the decision when I took this job that no matter what, my primary objective would be to judge all vape gear on “performance against the cost of owning one”. What I think might be a butt-ugly mod others may think is a beautiful mod, so while I say with confidence that the Espion Silk has no “ESPION” traits, that it looks more like an automobile accessory than anything else; but if it vapes well, if its battery life is decent, and if it sells at a price worthy of its performance, then I’ll do my best to give it a deserved review score.
Espion Silk and Battery Life
The Joyetech “proprietary” Chipset inside the Espion Silk has a wattage range of 1W to 80W (with a fully charged internal battery), along with a full temperature control suite. The power cell is 2800mAh, which offered me roughly 2-2.5 hours of moderate vaping. Once depleted, the Silk will need to recharge.
The 0.69″ OLED screen displays battery life, temperature and wattage outputs, and user mode. Compared to the original Espion, or the Infinite, the Silk display is smaller and lacks color, but in this case that works toward extending the battery charge. Had this version of the Espion carry the same large color screen it would have sucked the power from the 2800mAh cell much faster. But still…
The Innovative NotchCore Sub-Ohm Tank
The Starter Kit includes the Joyetech NotchCore Tank, which features a horizontal 0.45ohm NotchCoil that fits into a gold-plated coil base that is supposed to deliver exceptional flavor from any e-juice blend. It also features a “push-to-open” top fill design, and dual adjustable bottom airflow slots.
The NotchCore Tank’s only innovation is the NotchCoil System, and I hope to see this system used in much better tank housings. Perhaps Joyetech can build a housing similar to the ProCore Air Plus (a sub-ohm tank I truly love) or even the Riftcore Duo.
The Vaping Industry a couple years back was all about attempting to build extremely high wattage coils for huge cloud chasing tanks. The trend is now in full reversal, and the new NotchCore is a perfect example of this reversal.
The maximum wattage of the included NotchCore Tank, with 1 preinstalled NotchCoil and 4 additional ones in a small box in the kit, is just 20-30W. This low power requirement definitely helps with battery life, and e-liquid consumption as well. I have to admit that the design of the coil system is impressive, offering an RTA vape experience for users that have no interest in building or wicking coils.
Unfortunately, swapping out one NotchCoil for another isn’t as simple as replacing a prebuilt coil, but Joyetech does include a small tool in the kit that makes working with the cotton wicking strips fairly simple. A box of 5 NotchCoils, fully assembled and ready to use, cost just $7.95, so while I’m sure some vapers will spend time re-wicking the NotchCoil, most will simply toss the old ones and replace it with a new one.
While I’m not that impressed with the Tank’s design or construction materials, the NotchCoil System works well. Flavor Fidelity was excellent, and with the airflow wide open the vapor production was more than satisfying. I’d just like to see in a better looking and better built “tank”.
I’m including a video in this review for those of you that might have an interest in this Joyetech Kit and want to see it in action.
I can see a future for this new NotchCoil technology, and I expect (hope?) Joyetech runs with it for a while. The NotchCore Tank is a solid B+, perhaps even an A-, especially in the flavor fidelity at such low wattages. But the Espion Silk? Just… no.
Look, I liked the Joyetech Espion Starter Kit. I thought it was a mindful, classic business mod and sub-ohm tank starter kit that deserved a bigger audience that it got. So, when Joyetech decides to take a completely different mod and tank that have no reason to carry the Espion name, it’s a slap in the face to the excellent, high-wattage, high-performance Espion.
Like a million other vape mods and tanks, the Espion Silk and the NotchCore tank performs just fine. But other than the new NotchCoil System, the Espion Silk starter kit is a bundle of mediocrity.
Lastly, no one needs a hypoallergenic mod, and it’s a silly idea to even consider it. It is just a silly angle to sell more mods and I don’t think will work.
If you couldn’t already tell, the Espion Silk angers me because the Chinese vaping industry continue throwing anything and everything they can think of at the vaping consumer’s virtual wall, hoping something will stick. It will be a sad day in the vape community if another manufacturer releases another hypoallergenic mod.