Tom Tells It Like It Is – The SMOK BEC Pro Review
This article spans two pages
Bluetooth – 50W – 12v – Stainless Steel
Ave40 donated the SMOK BEC Pro for review purposes. We liked the device so much we ordered and paid for 3 additional units. Ave40 is selling the device for $102.99. An unbeatable price so far.
Buying From Ave40: If you decide to purchase the SMOK BEC Pro from Ave40 you’ll have the option to have it delivered from China via DHL, UPS, or TNT. Shipping charges when I placed an order as a “guest” was $27.48USD for a 3-4 day delivery window. The entire cost was $130.47. According to “VapingCheap” the only other place it was currently available at the time I wrote this review was from an eBay seller, I’ve been burned one too many times over the past decade to buy anything from eBay, I don’t care what the seller’s score is. My advice is to go with Ave40 and choose DHL if you can. In addition, the delivery cost did not go up when I added a few Aerotanks to the order, so if you do order from Ave40 check out the prices of other items you might need, its worth it.
Another APV takes the Bluetooth route, this time from SMOK.
The SMOK BEC Pro is a Variable Voltage Variable Wattage APV that not only looks ultra-modern in design, but also offers advanced Bluetooth features, along with lots and lots of power. I received my SMOK BEC Pro just over a week ago, and although that’s not long enough to tell me if the device is capable of a long lifespan (though I suspect it is), it is long enough to tell me, and now you, that it’s a real performer and for vapers that enjoy Bluetooth operations for their vaporizer, it’s the most spec’d out device yet.
Having opened with a positive note, I’ve discovered that it’s been a troubling vaporizer for some vapers, and I’ve decided to address those concerns directly.
The Bandwagon Effect – One of the reasons I like reviewing vape gear is that some people in the community seem to thrive on gossip. They hear something negative about a product, and not knowing if its true or not they pass it along, forum to forum, comment to comment, without regard for the facts. Gossip can kill a great product faster than anything else. Sometimes this gossip takes on a life of its own and it spreads like wildfire. I’m not saying that gossip is never correct, what I am saying is that before you make your mind up about whether or not you want to invest your hard-earned dollars in a new device, seek out real, honest, reviews by people that actually own the device, and have used the device, and is not afraid of facing criticism that goes against the gossip. What you are about to read are my direct impressions of the SMOK BEC Pro after having used it for about 30 hours over the past week. The only thing I cannot honestly address is what the device will be like in 6 months. If I find that after a few weeks it breaks down, then I’ll update this review accordingly. Sound fair?
SMOK BEC Pro
Specs: – The SMOK BEC Pro is a VV/VW, 510 APV with 3v-12v range in .1 increments, 6w-50W in .5 increments. It delivers a PWM High Frequency Flat Signal, (whatever the hell that is!) carries it own SMOK chipset, and is certainly capable of being a cloud-chasers dream for sub-ohm vaping. The mobile app is available for Android and Apple devices, including iOS 8 (I’m an Apple Dev and running iOS 8 now). Its 304 stainless steel tube exterior is downright beautiful to look at and to hold. The OLED display provides a large readout screen. It uses only 18650 high-discharge batteries.
Additional Specs: The center 510 pin is adjustable – Resistance ranges from .2-ohm to 9.9-ohms. If you find yourself wanting to bypass the battery requirements, which we sometimes do when faced with a discharged battery and no charged up replacement, the BEC Pro will alert you to a short-circuit and it will shutdown. Exact size is 138.5mm Tall and 24mm wide.
Description: The overall look of the SMOK BEC Pro is very slick, very modern. With most of the tube covered in a fine ‘grill’ look, much like an electric razor, it’s a fine texture for gripping. The ‘tube’ is slightly curved and narrower than the head of the device. Like many other APV with similar features, the head is a black plastic with a fair sized display, topped with two screw on / screw off caps (beauty rings) in order to facilitate different atomizer devices, from 510 tanks to standard clearomizers. Use one cap for 510 devices, and use the other, with a wide-mouth opening for times when you want to use a clearomizer or some other ego-threaded device.
First Impressions – Addressing The Gossip Point by Point
Immediately after receiving it and putting out the word to my friends in the vape community I was deluged with comments ranging from “beware squeaking treads” to “Bluetooth connection drops constantly. POS”. Not yet a month old and the SMOK BEC Pro seems to have legions of haters. So, let me set the record straight, point by point.
Squeaky Threads – Owning several vaporizers I will admit that the threads to the BEC Pro are slightly louder than the silent threads on my Sigelei 30W, or eVic Supreme, but nowhere near “squeaky”. If you’re really bothered by the threads on the BEC Pro then you have a problem, or a faulty device. Period.
50W of Power? – Yes, the device is capable of 50W of power. Out of the box however its maximum power level is 38w. (Some see 36w). You’ll need to upgrade the firmware with the BEC app to unleash the full 50w.
Bluetooth – The first thing you need to do after you’ve charged an 18650 High-Discharge battery is to download the SMOK app from your respective app store. For me that was Apple’s store. Search for SMOK and the app comes right up. It’s a free app, download it and open it up.
Click the BEC Pro 5 times in less than 2 seconds and the first menu to come up is “B”, for Bluetooth. The Bluetooth connection happens almost instantaneously. My BEC Pro showed up in less than a second on the SMOK home screen. Touch the icon for the BEC Pro (it looks like the device), tap in 00000 (the default pairing number) and be taken to the various customization screens, which I’ll get to later.
Some of the complaints I received from vaper friends include the constant dropping of the Bluetooth connection. My real world usage showed otherwise. The only time I lost the connection was when I shut down the BEC Pro, switched out the battery, shut off my phone, or ignored by battery power level indicator. The Bluetooth connection will drop at a certain battery power level, or if it gets out of reach of the Bluetooth signal…all normal operations from any Bluetooth equipped device. In addition, when it DOES drop the connection it alerts you to the fact, at least with iOS8.
Battery Installation – Yes, the manual tells you to unscrew the tube from the black control head and insert the battery that way. I received email from a couple of people that told me it was difficult to do, and even more difficult to insert the battery from the bottom. Nonsense. While you can unscrew the tube from the control head and insert the battery that way, it is much easier to simply unscrew the end cap, insert the battery ‘positive’ side up, and then screw on the end cap again. I can’t understand why anyone would do it any differently. I have a feeling that SMOK preferred it that way in the manual as a “feature” to a practicality.
Display – The Display is a nice large OLED display, easy to read and easy to scroll through. I heard it was difficult, almost impossible to read outdoors in the sun, but then, what isn’t? I found it no more annoying than any other APV I own to operate it outdoors.
Firing Button – The firing button is not a straight ‘press in’ firing button. You can maneuver through the menu system by pressing to the left, right, up, and down direction. The firing button, or menu button, is large enough even for my large fingers to operate easily and accurately.If you prefer not to use the mobile app the firing button / menu system is capable of all the normal APV operations.
510-eGo Threading – The BEC Pro comes with 2 beauty rings, as I mentioned above, not one. The device itself is both 510 capable and eGo capable. Using several different 510 tanks and RBA’s I got a nice flush fit with every one of them, including an inexpensive Vivi Nova-S from Aspire. Switching to the wide-mouth beauty ring allowed me to use every eGo-threaded clearomizer I had here, from iClear 16D’s to Aspire and X.Jet clearomizers. The wide-mouth beauty ring allows the clearomizer to sit deeper in the well, looking less obvious than otherwise. Is it superfluous? Probably.
Bluetooth App and Menu
After you download and install the SMOK app, turned on Bluetooth on your phone, and launched the app it immediately seeks out whatever SMOK device is around and equipped with Bluetooth. Once it’s on go to the BEC Pro, click the firing button 5 times and the “B” icon shows up, giving you the option to turn on or turn off the Bluetooth module. Click to the left or right, or up or down, to go from on to off or off to on. For this part of the review, let’s say the Bluetooth module in the BEC Pro is on.
No sooner than I looked at the display on the BEC Pro to make sure the Bluetooth module was on, I looked back at my iPhone and the app had already discovered the device. The “default” pairing number is “000000”, tap that number in and the device and the app are connected. It happens in a blink of an eye.
After tapping the BEC Pro icon you are moved to the next screen with a large center circle and a few icons across the bottom. The amount of information available to you is more than you would expect. In addition to the atomizer reading, the puff count, the voltage, wattage (Power), symbols at the 12, 3, 6, 9 o’clock positions around the large center dial, at the center is a large readout for the amount of time you can take a drag from the device. (A maximum of 12 second draw by the way). Across the bottom are symbols for VV/VW Setting, Information/Customization, and General Setting. At the very bottom of the screen in much smaller symbols are the internal temperature of the device, battery power, and signal strength.
You can change the information in the Setting page and name your BEC Pro anything you wish. You can reset counters, and more…much more. Renaming the device comes in handy when there are 4 other people using theirs and your phone is in the vicinity…all 4 show up so I named mine Tom’s BEC.
Real World Usage
Like I said, I’ve only had the SMOK BEC Pro for a little over a week, but I’ve put in a good 30 hours of use in it and it has performed remarkably well. It is a hard hitter, with up to 12v or 50w of power. The word “Pro” is well deserved with specs like that, and the way it handles, the sure grip, the removable beauty rings/caps, the Bluetooth “system”, and the 4-way firing button, are indicative of a pro-level APV.
A Week To Review
When I take just a week to review a new mod or APV I try to use as many different tanks and glassomizers that I can in order to judge not only the compatibility, but also how certain devices hit and if there is a difference in balance of performance or physically. As I’ve said a hundred times before, the best piece of hardware is only as good as the tank/glassomizer sitting atop the unit. That said; the top performances were had with the following devices.
- Aerotank Mega – 1.6ohm
- Genitank – 1.6ohm
- Nautilus Mini – 1.8ohm
- Gauntlet by Grand Vapor – .8ohm
- Gold Cyclone AFC by Vicious Ant – 1.2ohm
With respect to the Rebuildables used, the ohms of the coils were only from the coils I built, my usual preferences. I just didn’t have time, or desire, to build and use a .2ohm coil.
As much as I like RBA’s and RDA’s I have to admit that I most enjoyed the BEC Pro with the Nautilus Mini. This glassomizer has quickly become my favorite device to use with any APV I happen to be using. The clean flavor, the incredible vapor from a prebuilt coil head rivals my experience with most other devices. Our video host of Daily Vape TV, Nick Bessette turned down the opportunity to review the BEC Pro, but I would have loved to see how well it performed in the real sub-ohm territory, one of his many specialties.
If you’re looking for an APV that provides a good looking physical appearance backed up with a wide voltage/wattage range, the BEC Pro is an excellent choice. Even if you don’t want to use the mobile app its onboard menu system and versatile firing button access is remarkably easy to use. The price for such an advanced APV makes it one of the best devices ever offered by SMOK, and a contender for the Tom’s Top 10 APV’s of 2014. (Coming in December)
I would like to thank Ave40 for providing the BEC Pro review unit…and much appreciation for selling us the additional units despite a low inventory at the time. They have since restocked and have plenty available for immediate shipment. I highly recommend the BEC Pro.
DISCLAIMER: Spinfuel has NO affiliation with any vendor and do not profit from any sell of any product reviewed in Spinfuel or anywhere else. The opinion of the reviewer is his or her own opinion, based solely on personal use of the product, and never based on monetary concerns of any kind.