Sometimes, simpler isn’t better. Take, for example, the Joyetech CuBox kit, which is aimed squarely at new vapers, and those who want a hassle-free MTL rig for stealth purposes. But for all the experience I have with vape mods, I’ve never struggled more with a beginner device than I did with the CuBox. Let’s see why…
A simple MTL setup that is simply confusing
The CuBox kit comes in a disproportionately large white box, which includes the CuBox mod, a Cubis 2 tank with two coils, spare glass, 510 drip tip, USB cable, spare parts and a ton of decently translated documentation. With all of this, you might actually miss finding the mod itself, which is just outright tiny.
Standing just 105mm tall with the Cubis 2 tank installed, the CuBox is highly reminiscent of those 10-watt iSticks that were all the rage a few years back. It’s deceptively 22.5mm wide, so most smaller atomizers will fit without overhang.
There are is venting for the internal 3000mAh battery at the bottom of the CuBox, which seems a little odd, considering the battery exudes a considerable amount of heat throughout the tiny device. But I’m not sure another 10 vents would have helped.
The clicky plastic fire button is large, in proportion to the rest of the diminutive device, and the offset, press-fit 510 connection is spring-loaded and secure. All in all, the CuBox mod is an attractive device. My brushed metal and black test model looked sharp, as did the red and black replacement that came a few days later. But we’ll get to that in a bit.
Less isn’t More
The most notable part of the CuBox is its lack of any meaningful display. Instead of any wattage and power readings, the minimalist screen features nothing more than a Joyetech logo, indicating the mod is on, and a five-bar power meter. Though the CuBox has a 50-watt maximum output, there is no indication of this anywhere on the display, so users are going to have to trust the technology.
That’s because the CuBox is basically a direct wattage device, with no adjustment capabilities. Instead, the mod detects the coil, and makes automatic adjustments for what it “feels” will be an optimal power level.
This is where I had my first problem with the CuBox. Though I understand Joyetech’s goal of making vaping as simple and accessible as possible for newcomers, allowing them to simply slap on a tank and vape up to 50 unregulated watts is irresponsible. Without knowing what the device is doing, or WHY it’s doing it might make it simple to puff away, but it does nothing to educate them on safe vaping practices.
Yes, I know companies have made similar “autodetect” devices with much more power output, but those are aimed at experienced, high-wattage vapers. These users likely have the know-how to decipher when things are working, and more importantly, when they aren’t. The CuBox is designed for ex-smokers and curious new vapers, making the unregulated format concerning, and potentially dangerous.
An All-Too-Real Safety Lesson
As mentioned earlier, I needed two CuBox kits to complete the review, because my original silver and black test model was faulty from the outset. Though I can’t be sure, I believe the internal battery was defective, causing the mod to exude an uncomfortable amount of heat after just a few seconds of firing on a full charge.
On top of this, the heat continued to pour from the venting for nearly an hour after using the CuBox. When it finally cooled to the touch, I realized it was because the battery had drained completely without being used more than three draws. Mind you, the mod wasn’t FIRING, but the battery was somehow engaged.
I recharged using the included USB cable, which also produced a tremendous amount of heat – likely from the overpowered 2-amp quick charge feature. After nearly three hours, the indicators finally showed full, and I tried again. This time, I managed to get five puffs before the mod once again became unbearable to hold. Additionally, the device was clearly pushing out wattage well above the tank’s limitations, as I got nothing but dry hits before giving up entirely.
The replacement kit technically worked without overheating, relieving my concerns a bit. But the included Cubis 2 tank remained a problem, and even the “working” device proved to barely function as needed.
An Odd Duck Tank, with a Confusing Purpose
The Cubis 2 is an odd atomizer, to say the least. Though it was initially advertised as a tank that could accommodate all types of vapers, this is a strict mouth-to-lung device, with no viable use for any style beyond MTL.
With a 3.5mL capacity (2mL in the EU version), and a child-proof locking top-cap with airflow control, the Cubis 2 certainly looks like a modern vape tank. But in use, this is a throwback of the highest order. Using tiny replacement coils, with TINIER juice flow channels, it’s best to use only high-PG liquids in the Cubis 2.
I’ve seen recommendations of 50/50 or thinner, but after receiving nothing but dry hits after just a few puffs, I was forced to dig deep in my e-liquid graveyard to find some “vintage” juice that could wick adequately. Doing so made for a more tolerable experience, but the razor-thin juice ports still had trouble keeping up. And the seemingly varied wattage output of the CuBox – often shifting puff to puff – only made the Cubis 2 perform more erratically.
Even stranger is the inclusion of two PROC stainless steel replacement coils in the box, rather than using a kanthal composition. Considering the CuBox is a straight-wattage device, why not use a coil that heats more steadily and consistently? Rated at 0.6 ohms each, the coils could probably handle higher wattage use, but the juice flow restriction ensured this would never happen.
Finally, the semi-wide bore drip tip is fixed, but there is a 510 adapter included in the box. However, using the adapter and a standard 510 made the tank oddly lanky, with reduced flavor as a result of the increased distance between cap and coil.
When the Cubis 2 performed well, the flavor was strong and vapor was surprisingly good. But these moments were all too rare. If you’re a converted smoker looking for a few stealth puffs from time to time, the Cubis 2 could be adequate. In short, this is not a tank for steady vaping.
Back to the Box…
Getting back to the star of this review, the CuBox proved to be just as unsteady using tanks other than the Cubis 2. In fact, “unsteady” might be too generous. I had trouble getting any type of consistent performance using other MTL and restricted lung devices, as if the device was having a difficult time reading these different coils, and setting an appropriate output.
The result was erratic puffs on even the most proven MTL atomizers, including stalwarts like the Kayfun Mini v3 and the Digiflavor Siren. The CuBox overpowered these RTAs at first, then seemingly backed itself down to the point where the vape was limp and benign.
Switching to older tanks like the venerable Kanger Subtank Mini with a fresh 0.5 ohm coil (yes, I still have a bunch of these lying around), the CuBox teased me with a few strong draws that produced an ample amount of vapor. But this too was short-lived, and before long, the mod backed down to nearly no power output at all.
I even went so far as to hand off testing to my wife, who only vapes mouth-to-lung. She was immediately thrown by the lack of control options, and didn’t fare much better than I did, though she did report better flavor than me, using her own Kayfun Mini v3.
It’s pretty clear that Joyetech wanted the CuBox paired with the Cubis 2 at all times, which is disappointing. But considering the strange heat bursts and battery draining concerns, it’s probably safest for users to do just that. The only successful vape I got from the CuBox was with a fresh PROC coil. But again, these moments were fleeting.
Complicated Kit, Simple Conclusion
Considering the no-frills, non-adjustable design of the Joyetech CuBox, this kit should have been a boon for new vapers and those looking for an effortless, stealthy vape. But there’s a fine line between lack of difficulty and lack of usability, and the CuBox absolutely obliterates it within nearly every use case.
When coupled with the lack of warning and dangerous heat I received from my defective test model, the problems only mount for vape newcomers.
In the end, with a bafflingly erratic power output, unclear display, and the handcuff of basically limiting users to one tank, Joyetech aimed for simplicity and ended up making something complicated. Something so complicated, that it’s outright unusable.
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Joyetech CuBox Kit Specs and Features
Joyetech CuBox Kit specs:
- Size: 22.5mm(W)*41.0mm(L)*105.0mm(H)
- Battery capacity: 3000mAh
- E-liquid capacity: 3.5ml/2.0ml
- Max output: 50WMax
- Input voltage: DC 5V
- charging current: 2A
- Atomizer head: ProC-BF (0.6ohm) head/ProC-BFL (0.6ohm) head
- Color: Black, White, Yellow, Silver, Red, Blue
Joyetech Cubox Kit contents:
- 1pc Cubox mod
- 1pc Cubis 2 atomizer (with mouthpiece)
- 2pcs ProC-BFL 0.6ohm head
- 1pc Cubis 2 atomizer mouthpiece (510 thread)
- 1pc spare glass tube
- 7pcs silicone ring
- 1pc QC USB cable
- 2pcs manual
- 1pc warranty card