Awkwardly designed. Strangely uncomfortable. Mostly powerful.
You have to give it to the designers at the Limitless Mod Company – they certainly follow their own path. The American company’s extensive line of mods and tanks all adhere to a unique design process, backed by solid performance to support the polarizing look and feel of its devices. The Limitless Arms Race continues the company’s dedication to standing out. But does this 200-watt dual-battery device have performance to match? You’ll just have to read on…
Medal of honor for packaging
Unlike most Limitless products, the packaging for the Arms Race is striking, but decidedly understated … especially when compared to the device itself. A pressed foil gold medallion adorns the box front, while a hint of digital camouflage peeks from between the top and bottom box sections.
Nowhere on the packaging is there any indication of what’s inside. No photo of the device. No color/style indicator. In fact, there’s barely any branding at all. Buyers will need to open it up at the shop to make sure they’re getting what they want.
Once open, you begin to realize why there was no listing of contents – there isn’t any. Other than the Limitless Arms Race mod itself, there is nothing included beneath the foam device cutout. No USB cable. No tank. No spare parts.
Hell, there isn’t even an instruction manual – just a card with a QR code to download directions online. It’s a little confusing. And for that matter, so is the Arms Race mod.
A Real American Hero?
Looking at our Blue Digi Camo Limitless Mod Arms Race mod is a different story than the spartan packaging. With its large, boxy, angular design, and a half-camouflage/half matte color scheme, the Arms Race makes a commanding first impression. There are three design schemes for these sleeves, all of which are interchangeable, and available to purchase separately.
The medallion from the box is prominently featured on the front of the mod, protruding enough that I tried to use it as a fire button more than once. The same goes for the raised sections on either side of the Arms Race, which look as if they could be used as control buttons. But, alas, these are just cosmetic, as the standard issue plastic buttons are located on the back side of the mod.
The matte, almost velvet-soft coating makes the device look cheap and plasticky, but once picking it up, it’s clear this is a durable device, made from well-disguised stainless steel. The fairly pedestrian buttons are solid, and do not rattle, which is reassuring.
Batteries are inserted into the Arms Race through a gun-like “magazine clip” which locks into place reassuringly, and opens easily when cells are inside. However, opening the tray without any weight against it was an exercise in frustration, especially when standing. This might be a security measure, but it’s also extremely annoying when you’re in a hurry.
Thankfully, the Limitless Mod Arms Race mod has onboard 2-amp charging, so these awkward battery swaps can be avoided, if needed.
Perhaps most curious is the raised lip that surrounds the 510-connector. While it first seems like a nifty design choice aimed at adding protection to tanks and RDAs, I noticed this lip often blocked the airflow on my tanks. It also hid several leaks I would have spotted right away on other devices – BEFORE the e-liquid pooled into the grooved channel atop the device.
It should also be mentioned that this lip prevents the Arms Race from accommodating any tank or RDA wider than 25mm, which might present a problem for some vapers.
Fire when ready…
Operating the Limitless Mod Arms Race is surprisingly familiar, especially given its obtuse looks and design choices. Five clicks of the fire button get things started, and within a few seconds, the 0.91-inch side-mounted screen displays wattage, temperature, and battery charge levels.
It should be noted that despite a fairly bright display, the screen’s reflectiveness makes it very difficult to read outdoors, even in moderate sunlight. Expect to cup your hand around the screen whenever making daytime adjustments.
Getting into temperature control isn’t intuitive, but the system works well once you have the gestures down. The standard nickel, SS316, titanium and TCR options are here. But despite being a recently released device, it doesn’t appear any additional firmware updates are planned to add some functionality.
The Arms Race does feature an automatic detection of temperature control coils, which makes TC a little easier for newcomers. But it’s unclear as to why it selects the levels that it does. Still, it’s a nifty feature that I wish I could turn off to gain a little more control over my experience.
Finally, given the military theme and styling behind the Arms Race, it’s only right that there is an easily accessible stealth mode, for those that think turning off a narrow OLED screen is subtle … even on a large box mod with color camouflage graphics.
The Limitless Mod Arms Race in Battle…
Before firing, the first thing I noticed about the Arms Race is how awkward the box felt in hand. For those familiar with the company’s other large box mods, this extended grip might be more familiar. But my hands are on the smaller side, and I found reaching for the fire button to be strained and uncomfortable, with the device’s rounded edges digging into my palm more than they probably should.
Perhaps those with larger hands will find this design to be more forgiving, but had Limitless made the Arms Race a little taller and thinner, something tells me I’d have enjoyed a better experience.
Ergonomics aside, the Arms Race is a solid performer. The fire and control buttons are cheap-feeling but responsive, and I noticed all of the atomizers I tested fired in speedy, smooth fashion, all the way up to its advertised 200 watts. Likewise, the Arms Race handled my low-resistance RTA coils without problem, down to its 0.1-ohm lower limit.
There is nearly zero ramp-up in either wattage or TC modes, and the coil resistances remained steady through a hectic testing session. The TC suite also worked as expected, but for once, I wished there was more to customize. A device that heats coils so quickly and efficiently would benefit from a more customizable experience.
I do wish the buttons were firmer – perhaps made of the same metal/alloy as the Arms Race chassis. Instead, the ridged plastic fire button, and small, squared off adjustment buttons, are odd, flimsy and a little uncomfortable during prolonged use.
Another negative of the Limitless Arms Race is the battery life, which is just average below 60 watts, and atrocious above that mark. Using the device with a SMOK Big Baby and a 0.2-ohm coil, I barely got two hours of steady (but not heavy) vaping from two fresh 18650s before power levels dropped, and performance began to wane.
The strange battery meter does nothing to help matters, as the my batteries only showed as “full” for a handful of puffs before the display showed a lower level. Minutes after that, the bar dropped to 50% full, where it stayed for most of my vaping time, until it plummeted to near empty without warning, rhyme or reason.
And, as mentioned earlier, the strange lip around the press-fit 510 connector proved to be more of a hindrance than an asset. Not only did it partially block airflow with certain bottom-adjusted sub-ohm tanks and RTAs, but it also made these devices extremely difficult to access. Since you can’t grab the base to spin the AFC rings, the only comfortable way to make adjustments is by removing the tank from the mod.
I could handle a little lost e-liquid from time to time. But losing functionality because of a questionable, poorly-thought design choice? It’s inexcusable, especially from a company so laser-focused on providing top-tier vape experiences.
Unsurprisingly, the Limitless Mod Arms Race worked best with a top-airflow tank – in this case, their own Limitless Plus RDTA. This is how I spent most of my time with the device, to avoid the process of making adjustments. It performed admirably when outfitted with the right accompaniments, but I have to imagine this odd piece of “design for the sake of design” is going to limit the long-term potential of the Arms Race mod.
Losing the Battle, AND the War?
The Limitless Mod Arms Race is a striking, but ultimately disappointing mod to use. For every strong, accurate puff it provided, there was a reminder of how uncomfortable and bulky it was to hold. For a design so inspired by modern weaponry and military strength, the shockingly cheap buttons were a major misstep, especially at the listed price of $60-80, in a bare-bones offering that includes none of the usual extras.
If you’re looking for a showpiece-type mod to add to your growing collection, and don’t mind a little extra finger gymnastics when vaping, the Arms Race is an adequate purchase. It does work as well as advertised, the unique, attention-getting design is certainly noteworthy, and it will stand out in a crowd … especially because you’ll have to keep it out, since it won’t fit comfortably in most pockets.
But in this range, there are better, easier-to-use, more feature-filled options than the Arms Race. I hope Limitless strongly reconsiders its commitment to function over flash, since the core performance is there, but the usability is not.
Specs and Package Contents
Limitless Mod Arms Race Box Mod Contents:
- 1x Limitless Arms Race mod
- 1x Instruction card with QR code link to online manual
Limitless Mod Arms Race Mod Specifications:
- Wattage Range: 5w – 200w
- TC Range: 200 – 600 Degrees Fahrenheit
- Resistance Range: 0.1 ohm – 3.0 ohm
- Thread: 510
- Material: Stainless Steel
- Product Size: 3.43 x 2.2 x 1.06 inches