Let me lead with this – do NOT use the Sigelei Fuchai R7 mod as a necklace. I don’t care if your neck is ripped and your lanyards are made of chain link – just don’t do it. But, if you want a unique-looking, decently spec’d, mid-wattage vape mod, with no frills and solid performance, the R7 mightbe what you’re looking for.
Make no mistake, a bunch of notable flaws will keep the R7 far, far away from year-end “best of” lists. But Sigelei’s latest is at least better than its other recent devices (VCIGO K3, I’m looking at you), and is worth a glance for those seeking something decidedly weird-looking in their vape collections.
Opening the box reveals an angular, stark design concept, not too far removed from a “Transformers” aesthetic, but not in a trademark-infringing kind of way. My white and black test model looked solid, but there was more plastic in the frame and operations buttons than I’m normally comfortable with. Still, it felt good, so no complaints in this department.
The first thing you’ll notice after the R7’s color scheme is the protruding section that I can only assume is a lanyard/belt clip. Modefined included one of these on its fantastic reviewed here mod a while back (reviewed here), albeit in a much more subtle fashion. On the R7, this raised lip sticks upwards, nearly half the height of an average sub-ohm tank.
This piece is made of zinc alloy, so it’s certainly durable. But it’s also unnecessary, since the R7’s weightiness keeps it from being a realistic addition to your neckwear. (Yes, I did try this.) It fares a little better on a belt clip, but ultimately none of this makes a lot of sense.
More importantly, this raised section gets in the way when trying to clear and clean the top of the mod while a tank is still attached. Silly and unnecessary if you ask me.
Another thing you’ll spot immediately is the antiquated display. Actually, let me rephrase that – the display is downright old. With dull, lifeless stock Chinese fonts, a low-res screen, and a single-column battery meter (on a dual-18650 mod!) there is nothing noteworthy about the R7’s display other than how much it detracts from the otherwise futuristic vibe of the mod.
The menu system is equally dated, with a familiar but poor functioning linear menu system that evokes memories of my first sub-ohm vape device… in 2013.
Another antiquated design choice is the narrow width, which barely contained my 25mm tanks without overhang. And the side “flaps” attached to the lanyard clip holder all but ensure you can’t go much wider than 25mm anyway. Sorry Steam Crave RDTA fans – you’ll have to look elsewhere for a good fit.
Fuchai R7 Highlights
Other than the design, everything about the Fuchai R7 screams “2015.” This wouldn’t be such a bad thing, as long as it all worked flawlessly. But if I’m bringing it up here, I’m pretty sure you know where this headed.
On the positive side, the Fuchai R7 blows through every inch of its 230-watt capacity with ease. It ramps extremely quickly for a mod in this price range, and elevates smoothly all the way to its maximum output.
If there are any complaints about the R7’s wattage performance, it’s that the mod might be a little overpowered, with some infrequent, but occasional bursts of heat once you cross the 100-125-degree range.
The problems come from the nearly non-existent temperature “control” features, which are another throwback to 2015 – and this isn’t a fun trip down memory lane. Owners of the original Fuchai 213 remember all too well how inconsistent and erratic the TC performance was on that device, and Sigelei has decided to honor that legacy here.
No matter how solid my coil placement and deck screws were, I simply couldn’t get the R7 to give me a steady read on my TC builds, regardless of coil material. Ohms jumped like kids in a trampoline park, wattages jumped at random, and I couldn’t get more than a few draws before the warnings popped onto the screen.
As usual, manually entering values in the 5-slot TCR mod was better, but I avoided temperature control more than usual when using the Sigelei R7, and imagine most users will as well.
Finally, the plastic battery door is a low point for the R7. One of the most used and handled parts of a vape mod, and they made it of flimsy, bendable plastic? I was extremely disappointed seeing this, and even more disappointed by how easily it came off during the course of regular use.
Of course, it didn’t matter much, since the two 18650 batteries practically need salad tongs to remove them from the vise grip-like compartment. I actually tore the wraps on two different 18650s trying to remove them from the rear compartment, and haven’t tried putting any more in since, for fear of further damage.
Observations on the Sigelei Fuchai R7
Normally, I’d have a lot to say in this section, but I feel like we’ve already covered most of the major highlights and concerns. But let’s summarize some of the good and bad points of the Sigelei Fuchai R7 mod.
On the positive side of things, when kept at moderate (<100W) wattages, the Fuchai R7 performed well, with smooth, steady ramping, pulse-free performance, and responsive operations. Moving above that point produced a few hiccups and misfires, but nothing terrible. Overall, wattage performance was on par with other devices in this category and price range.
If there were any notable occurrences above 100 watts, it’s that battery life begins to drop exponentially after climbing toward 200 watts. And by the time the R7 is hitting its peak, the batteries are pushing out power and heat fat too quickly for anyone’s liking.
In short, the Fuchai R7 will get you to 230 watts, should you want to fly that high. But it won’t keep you there for very long. At more reasonable wattages, however, the R7 is comparable to most competing devices, and should get users through most of the day without worry.
Despite the relatively narrow depth and awkward belt clip-thing, all atomizers (below 26mm) sat flush on the R7, with no gaps or firing issues. I only wish there was more room to try different tanks, because the raised clip section offers nothing to the overall design. In fact, removing it might actually improve the looks, and the functionality.
If you need a straightforward wattage mod that will get you some attention in the bar, the R7 is a passable option. But if you’re looking for something that offers a lot of features, modern interface and an overall ease of use, your money would be better spent elsewhere. The Fuchai R7 just has too many flaws and missteps to confidently recommend for modern users.
Sigelei Fuchai R7 Specs:
- 230W Maximum Output Wattage
- 10 to 230W
- 1.0 to 7.5V
- 0.5 to 3.0 ohm Atomizer Resistance Range
- 35A Maximum Output
- Preheat Power
- Set Output Wattage and Time
- Hugely Increases Vaping Capability and Precision
- Temperature Control
- TCR Functionality
- 5 Coil Memory Bank
- 200 to 570 Degrees Fahrenheit
- Side Battery Access Door
- Accepts Dual High Amperage 18650 Batteries (sold separately)
- Ergonomically Placed Controls
- One Handed Operation
- Adjustment Buttons Clustered Next to Firing Button
- 0.96″ OLED Display
- Three Column Display
- Atomizer Resistance
- Output Voltage
- Output Current
- Battery Life Indicator
- Output Wattage
- Output Temperature
- Micro USB Charge and Update Port
- 2.5A Maximum Charge Rate
- Stainless Steel 510 Connection
- Spring Loaded Gold Plated Connection
- High Input Voltage/Reverse Battery/Low Resistance/Battery Imbalance/Low Input Voltage/Short Circuit/Overheating Protection
Sigelei Fuchai R7 Kit Contents:
- 1x Sigelei Fuchai R7 230W Mod
- 1x Micro USB Charging and Update Cable
- User Manual