I have to say, this has been a weird batch of products to review. Earlier this week, I tested a vape mod supposedly designed after a Greek Temple. And now I get the Sigelei GW 257W Vape Mod, which is a tribute to one of the seven wonders of the world, the Great Wall of China.
Well, one thing’s for sure – the Sigelei GW (available now at Element Vape) is about as large as the wall itself. But is it as wondrous? Well-l-l-l-l-l-l, not quite. But depending on your preferred style of vaping, and the size of your hands, Sigelei’s latest quirky mod might fit the bill.
Let’s dive in and see why.
Initial Impressions of the Sigelei GW 257W Vape Mod
Have we mentioned the size of the Sigelei GW? This dual-21700-capable vape mod is quite a handful, to say the least. But despite the sheer mass, and odd jutting sections, this monumental beast manages to stay fairly ergonomic.
However, that’s not the first thing I noticed when opening the box. Instead, I was caught off guard by the color scheme of my test model, which was a two-tone gold and bronze design. Well, let me be clear – the box described it as “gold and bronze.” My test model was tan and brown. Like desert fashion. Like a variety pack of gourmet mustard. Like… well, you get the point.
Taste is subjective, and I love that Sigelei is trying something new, beyond the legions of black and gray vape mods out there. But I really couldn’t get behind this peculiar color scheme, no matter how open my mind became. That said, this mod is a definite upgrade over the usual parallel tube-style devices, and it’s solidly built, to boot.
The Sigelei GW has an extremely solid 510 connection, which is firm, but springy, and handled a wide range of atomizers from my collection. In my use time, I experienced no misfires or lost connections – and most of my tanks sat flush without concern.
Plus, the broad 36mm depth of the GW means your larger tanks and RDAs will sit with plenty of room. Even my 30mm tanks looked proportional on the mod, and I never once felt like it was top-heavy or unbalanced.
After getting past the miles of tan, I noticed the Chinese-inspired engravings and design elements throughout the zinc alloy frame. What I liked about them was how subtle they were. But maybe they were too subtle, since I didn’t realize the pattern was there until I FELT it with my fingers.
The battery compartment is a good size, since the GW mod is optimized for use with a pair of 21700 cells, but can also operate with 20700 and 18650 batteries, using the included adapters. As you might have expected from our other 21700-capable mod reviews, the GW doesn’t show much battery life improvement with the larger cells, so newcomers shouldn’t be afraid to stick with their current battery assortment.
Finally, as much as I hate complaining about these things, the standard, full color TFT display is a poor fit for the Sigelei GW mod. For starters, the 0.96-inch screen is ridiculously small for such a large mod, making it look dwarfed by the surrounding frame.
But also, the subtle, ornate design choices of the frame sit in direct contrast with the gaudy, low res screen. It doesn’t mesh, and actually degrades the overall appearance of the device. Considering Sigelei is likely treating the GW as a flagship-level mod, this screen is a letdown.
Sigelei GW 257W TC Box Mod Specs:
- Dimensions – 93mm by 57mm by 36mm
- Dual High-Amp 20700 / 21700 Battery – Not Included
- Optional Dual 18650 Battery – Requires Adapter
- Wattage Output Range: 10-257W
- Voltage Output Range: 1-7.5V
- Minimum Atomizer Resistance: 0.05ohm
- Temperature Range: 200-600F
- Versatile Temperature Control Module
- Supports Ni200 Nickel, Titanium, and 304/316/317 Stainless Steel
- TCR Adjustments
- Preheat Functionality
- Durable Zinc Alloy Frame Construction
- Beautiful Metal Side Panels
- Bottom-Loaded Hinged Battery Door
- Intuitive 0.96″ TFT Full-Color Display
- Three Button Operations
- Bottom-Loaded Hinged Battery Door
- Onboard Reverse Polarity Protection
- Micro-USB Port
- Spring-Loaded Gold-Plated 510 Connection
Sigelei GW 257W TC Box Mod Contents:
- 1 Sigelei GW 257W Box Mod
- 2 18650 Adapters
- 1 MicroUSB Cable
- Instructional Manual
Operating the Sigelei GW Vape Mod
Despite the relative ugliness of the display, the format DOES work well, and navigating through the menus is fast and intuitive, even with the antiquated two-button control scheme. I realize the current chipset doesn’t accommodate three-button setups, but if there is going to be a follow-up to the GW, I strongly suggest a new board to handle a more advanced operating system.
That said, making adjustments to temperature control settings is a breeze, thanks to an intuitive, linear menu layout that puts everything in front of the user. It’s nothing groundbreaking, but it’s clear and it’s legible – what more could you need?
Under the hood, the Sigelei GW has a somewhat arbitrary 257-watt maximum – a numbering scheme I never quite understood. Why not take a few notes from DNA devices, and down-throttle things a bit to maximize energy performance?
At the very least, just shave a few watts off the total to make it a round number, rather than trying to squeeze every last possible ounce of power from a chipset. If you’re vaping at 250 watts, and don’t think it’s powerful enough, it’s unlikely seven additional watts is going to improve anything. Tactics like this are a little silly when most vapers never come near these totals.
On a physical level, the Sigelei GW operates well. The fire key is bulletproof, and has a great, shallow throw that instills a lot of confidence when firing. The up/down control buttons are also pretty good, though my test model had some stickiness on longer presses.
Vaping the Sigelei GW
If you want a tl;dr for the GW’s vaping performance, it goes like this: The GW is a strong, powerful mod, best used for straight wattage vaping.
If you’re into more customized fine tuning, read on.
The Sigelei GW is designed for power users… and probably just them. It’s not that the temperature control is bad – it’s actually pretty accurate. But the mod just seems more comfortable in straight wattage mode.
I realize that’s a weird thing to say, but for some odd reason, I just felt the GW was smoother and more reliable in wattage mode than in TC. Whereas I experienced zero stutter or misfires in wattage, and the mod ramped smoothly, all the way to its 257-watt limit, temp control was more erratic, with occasional misfires and some odd pulsing at higher temps.
It had nothing to do with the coils I used, since the performance was consistently “off” using any of the preset materials. Even TCR mode – which usually gets me through temp control “rough patches” had the same pulsing and stuttering. It was never BAD, mind you. But it was just less confident and powerful overall.
Power users? Have at it – the GW is a strong, strong workhorse of a vape mod, and if that’s a priority, then you can buy with confidence.
One final note: As we mentioned before, we saw little-to-no difference in battery performance using 21700 or 20700 cells versus standard 18650s. But regardless of which format you choose, please note the Sigelei GW battery life is below average. I saw just three hours of moderate vaping before my meters were in the red – well below what we’ve become accustomed to in 2018.
The Sigelei GW 257 mod makes a commanding first impression – for better or worse. Though it’s not my cup of tea by any means, the two-tone brown and massive height makes an impact. And some intricate Chinese design elements keep things visually interesting, while the ergonomic design keeps things comfortable.
But the GW’s temp control performance, poor battery life, and dated low-res display were definite downers on an otherwise powerful, unique vape mod. If power is your preferred style, check one out.