Intro and Specs for the SMOK A-PRIV 225W Box Mod. During the first half of 2019, SMOK was quiet, releasing only a handful of smaller devices, and seemingly rethinking its former “rapid release” distribution plans. Well, as we enter the last few months of the year, the veteran vape company seems to be back to its former self, with no fewer than three (3!) high-wattage mods sent to us this month.
What’s even more interesting? All three of these unique-looking mods (including today’s highlight, the A-PRIV 225W mod) are limited-edition releases, meaning SMOK completists are going to want to jump on these as soon as possible. But if you’re hesitant about buying “another SMOK mod” you’re going to want to read on – this is a niche product and probably not going to change your mind.
The Official Word:
SMOK A-PRIV 225W Box Mod is a recent release by SMOK, implementing an impressive 225W output, a dual high-amp 18650 battery configuration, and a spectacular light show mode that is responsive to music and sounds to create the next generation of box mod that will excite vapers, novice or advanced.
Constructed from durable zinc-alloy, the chassis of the A-PRIV Box Mod is not ultra-lightweight but is light enough to transport around in the pocket or purse. In addition, the weighted feel conveys quality materials and construction, making this a nifty beginners first mod or a competent benchwarmer in a vapers’ collection.
Sporting a series of LED lights, the A-PRIV’s LEDs are sensitive to music and sounds, flashing and activating at the slightest trigger or can be used to relay the remaining battery life. Paired with the proprietary chipset within, the A-PRIV utilizes a pair of high-amp 18650 batteries to raise the output to a whopping 225W, while allowing the voltage range to go as low as 0.05V in Temperature control mode.
This gives the SMOK A-PRIV box mod compatibility with a myriad of atomizers and tanks available today in the market segment.
SMOK A-PRIV 225W Box Mod Features:
- Dimensions – 87.5mm by 50.43mm by 32mm
- Dual High-Amp 18650 Battery – Not Included
- Wattage Output Range: 1-225W
- Voltage Output Range: 0.5-8.2V
- Resistance Range – VW Mode: 0.1 – 2.5ohm
- Resistance Range – TC Mode: 0.05 – 2.0ohm
- Temperature Range: 200° – 600°F / 100° – 315°C
- Zinc-Alloy Chassis Construction
- Intuitive Firing Button
- Two Adjustment Buttons
- LED Battery Life Indicator Light – Music Activated
- Bottom Hinged Battery Bay
- Short Circuit Protection
- Overheat Protection
- 10s Cut Off Protection
- Low Resistance Protection
- Low Voltage Protection
- Spring-Loaded 510 Connector
- MicroUSB Port
- Available in Black
SMOK A-PRIV 225W Box Mod Includes:
- 1 A-PRIV Box Mod
- 1 User Manual
- 1 MicroUSB Cable
- 1 Spare Parts
Initial Impressions and Aesthetics
Before we dive into the mod itself, let’s discuss one of the lines from the specs above:
“…making this a nifty beginners first mod or a competent benchwarmer in a vapers’ collection.”
Now, we know that Chinese translation can often be problematic, but this seems like a VERY odd way to describe a limited-edition product. If you’re trying to motivate people to buy your “cutting edge” vape device, how is saying it’s a competent backup a good plan? Let’s chalk this one up to a broken Rosetta Stone and move on.
At first glance, the A-PRIV is going to catch some glances. Its basic shape is similar to last year’s Devilkin series mods, but with dramatic, jutting cutouts, frosted white underlays, and a rainbow-hued fire bar up the side of the device. In short, if H.R. Giger designed a vape device, it would look a lot like the A-PRIV. It’s not subtle, it’s not shy, and frankly, it’s not going to be for everyone, since those dramatic cutouts dig into your hands after a while.
But things get even gaudier once you realize the “frosted white underlays” are actually LED light panels. That, in and of itself, isn’t newsworthy. What IS interesting is that the LED light show actually reacts to music and sounds, thumping and pulsing accordingly. I’ll admit, the first three minutes I spent with this feature were pretty entertaining. But then I turned it off, because the device had a very strange reaction to hearing Patton Oswalt’s voice, flashing uncontrollably.
The A-PRIV also features a top-mounted OLED screen that hearkens back to several older “PRIV” mods from yesteryear. While the LED light show likely prevented the use of a full-sized screen, moving back to this odd, top-mounted format seems like more of a regression than a forward-thinking move on SMOK’s part.
But the usual features – full-length side fire bar and up/down adjustment buttons – are responsive and well-implemented, even if the adjustment is a single-piece, “rocker” like format. But the build quality is typical SMOK quality, even if the look is a little left-of-center.
Standout Features of the A PRIV
As gaudy as it is, I’m not spending much digital ink on the A-PRIV’s musical lightshow feature. Not sure how they managed to get a sound-activated light system into a mod at this price level, but if these are the things that excite you, know that it works well on the device.
To me, the true standout feature is the latest implementation of the SMOK fire bar. I’ve loved their interfaces since the original Alien launched, and the A-PRIV’s version might be the best one to date. Clicky and firm enough to sit in a pocket safely, but responsive enough that you don’t need to squeeze too hard to get it going. Overall, it’s a solid, responsive vape mod, no more, no less.
Sadly, the other real standout feature of the A-PRIV is the slight discomfort you’ll get from operating it. While it shares the same basic curves and ergonomics as the Devilkin (which we loved) the dramatic cutouts start digging into the crook of your hand over time, making things a little uncomfortable by the end of the day.
I get that the light effects required this look and feel, but when a mod chooses fashion over function, it bugs us a little. Don’t get us wrong – the A-PRIV works well, but the comfort level suffers for its ornate exterior design.
Vaping the SMOK A-PRIV
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the A-PRIV vapes like virtually every other SMOK mod made in the last four years. Sure, some have been better than others, with the X-PRIV and Devilkin standing out above the crowded pack, but by and large, SMOK mods have offered mostly the same user experience since the Alien first landed years ago.
Because of the small, simplified screen format, the A-PRIV menu is a bit archaic by modern standards – especially to those who’ve experienced their more-modern interfaces. But for all intents and purposes, the linear option trees do a solid, predictable job in getting users where they need to be.
As expected, the A-PRIV offers the usual slate of wattage and temperature control options, with both working well. As a 225-watt mod, the A-PRIV performed to expectations, with only a SLIGHT bit of stuttering toward the high end of the mod’s limits – nothing worth worrying about, unless you’re an absolute power perfectionist.
Temp control is also solid, with only the usual quirks rearing their heads occasionally. By that I mean it takes a little finagling to lock in a proper resistance, and every now and then there’s some jumpiness with ohm readings. But for a mod in this category, the A-PRIV works as intended, with no erratic nonsense to get in the way.
I used several tanks and RDAs with the A-PRIV and was satisfied – hardly a life-altering experience, but certainly a solid, no-nonsense vape mod.
– Smooth ramping power
– Comfortable, familiar SMOK mod experience
– Unique look and feel
– Music-activated lights is a little odd, even for the vaping industry
– The exterior becomes uncomfortable quickly
– It’s fundamentally the same mod SMOK has made since 2016
It’s hard to assign a score to the A-PRIV (or the other two limited-edition SMOK mods coming our way soon) because they weren’t really meant to be mass-produced devices. But to me, “limited-edition” should carry some unique value, and outside of a music-activated light show, the A-PRIV is the same SMOK mod we’ve been vaping for nearly four years.
But, that means it’s a good, solid, high performing vape mod, which does what it says it will, minus any surprises. If you’re a SMOK enthusiast and want to obtain all their lineup, the A-PRIV is certainly going to fit in well with the rest of your collection. But if you’re looking for a revolutionary experience, you might want to try it first.