SMOK Galileo Mechanical Mod – $49.99 Vaporetti.com
Mechanical Mods are meant for experienced Vapers. Unless you have a specific need for a purely mechanical PV you would probably fare better with a variable voltage or variable wattage APV. Having said that, if your inclination is toward mechanicals the Galileo, for less than fifty dollars, is an extraordinary value.
Before I get into the review, I’d like to acknowledge the fine folks at Vaporetti because they have graciously provided by the SMOK Galileo mechanical mod for this review. And within the next couple of days you can expect an eLiquid review for two brand new flavors of V-Drops from John Manzione, Julia Hartley-Barnes, and me.
I’ve devoted a fair amount of verbiage to the SMOKTech Magneto in the pages of Spinfuel eMagazine lately, and I guess it was inevitable that I would do so again while composing this review of its newer companion, the SMOK Galileo. But the Galileo, despite being similar to the Magneto in that it’s a telescopic mechanical with a magnetic firing switch, really brings SMOKTech’s magnetic-fired mechanicals up a notch. However, that is not to say that my opinion for the Magneto has changed. The Magneto (also available at Vaporetti.com by the way) is a terrific mechanical, especially for the price. While I will use the Magneto as a comparison vehicle in this review, please realize that I do so because when you get down to it, they are very much alike in many ways, though the Galileo is an improvement on an already excellent fifty-dollar mech-mod.
Vaporetti offers both the SMOK Magneto and the SMOK Galileo for $49.99, (body only), plus shipping and handling. You’ll have the option to add a multi-volt charger for $9.99 and a battery, your choice of a protected 18500 for $8.99, or the protected 18350 for just $6.99. For the review I used a variety of batteries, including the new flattop EH IMR 18650 1600mAh 30AMP High Drain battery that Vaporetti were kind of enough to include. (Just $12.99 at Vaporetti) Because the Galileo is telescopic it can handle three different battery sizes; the 18350, the 18500, and the 18650. If you need more power you can use the Evolv Kick 2 with both the 18350 and 18500 batteries. The Magneto mechanical can use a fourth battery, the 16340, with excellent results. When I attempted to use a 16340 in the Galileo I couldn’t get it to fire. Then again, SMOK didn’t say that it would, I just wanted to try. Call me curious. If you have your own batteries now, please make sure they are “protected” batteries. The Galileo (as well as the Magneto) need protected batteries for safe operation. If you don’t have a couple of protected batteries Vaporetti’s prices are excellent.
The differences between the Magneto and the Galileo aren’t merely cosmetic; though they are subtle, the Galileo provides an overall better vape experience in my opinion. Let’s get into some specifics, and I think that by the time you’ve finished reading, you’ll see exactly what I mean.
The build quality of the Galileo is solid, yet lighter in the hand than you may be accustomed to if compared to the Magneto. The brushed stainless steel finish is attractive, and quite wonderfully, not a fingerprint magnet.
The threads are somewhat smoother than the Magneto, and while they do produce a slight ‘whisper’ when they’re used, they’re certainly smooth and quiet enough so as not to be bothersome.
Magnetic Switch – Opposites Attract
The next thing to discuss when it comes to build quality is the magnetic switch and locking ring assembly. The switch on the Galileo really is, for me anyway, a step up from the switch on the Magneto.
Both the Magneto and the Galileo switches use their magnetic poles to keep the switch in an outward position, and pushing against the magnetic force is what produces the smooth ‘throw’ that you feel in both mods. It is my opinion that the throw is slightly better with the Galileo. While the Magneto’s switch feels just fine, the action of the switch on the Galileo feels like something you’d expect from a more expensive mechanical. It might be a subtle difference to you, but I could feel the difference.
Now we reach the place where the Galileo really steps out in front of the Magneto: the feel of it in the hand. This device has a markedly different feel to its older brothers, and there are probably a dozen small details of which that experience is the sum.
Its design aesthetics enhance that greater emphasis on compactness; the tapered foot and head, as well as the faux “portholes” in the head giving the illusion that the head is merely a stylish “beauty ring”, all contribute to the visual sense that this is a small, stealthy device. And due to the lightness in the hand, the hand does not disabuse the eye of that illusion.
The Galileo is also, again thanks to its rounded head and foot, much more comfortable to hold and use than the Magneto with its flat, not-quite-sharp lines. With the Galileo packing an 18650, I find that I can rest the firing button on the inside of my pinky, between the first and second knuckles, while my thumb rests perfectly on the inner tube between the outer (base) tube and the head. With the Galileo smuggling the tiny 18350 battery my thumb rests on the rounded head, next to my AD (atomizer device), while the rest of the Galileo disappears into my hand.
Let’s come back to the firing button for a moment; here’s where it makes a huge difference to the ergonomics of the entire device: Because it’s smaller in diameter than the one on the Magneto, and because it protrudes farther from the body of the mod, it’s much easier to press, and though the throw feels a touch longer, it also feels more sure and more smooth.
From an ergonomic standpoint, then, the Galileo is a whole new expression of the statement SMOKTech made with the Magneto… a smoother, yet bolder, statement.
As we move on to discover the features of the Galileo, there really is only one “breakout” distinction to be made: The 510-only threading common to mechanicals has been joined by full eGo compatibility on the Galileo. This means that, along with the RBA, cartomizer, or cartomizer tank of your choice, you can now also employ your favorite clearomizer without the need for a 510-to-eGo adapter that the Magneto needs in order to use an eGo-threaded clearomizer.
I’ve personally very much enjoyed configuring the Galileo with an 18500-plus-Kick 2 internally, then slipping an X.Jet Spider onto it. The overall feel of the device with this combination of components is so comfortable and so capable that I could hardly put it down. Though I do admit that with the X.Jet Spider the pull ‘on the inhale’ is stiffer and not quite as easy as using a 510-threaded cartomizer or tank, but I happen to enjoy a stiffer pull. (Get your minds out of the gutter people.) The reason for a stiffer pull is that the ‘well’ surrounding the 510/ego connector sits further down so it blocks the air holes in the clearomizer. The Galileo does have an adjustable center pin, so perhaps with some fine adjustments that stiff pull can be minimized.
Performance on the Galileo isn’t really where its standout quality is to be found; that’s in the ergonomics and the native eGo threading. Owing to its use of the same materials as the Magneto for the internal contacts, everything I related in my review for that device (Magneto), performance-wise, also holds true for its new sibling.
To recap: Performance on this device is solid and competent, though nothing that stands out of the mechanical crowd. It delivers power cleanly from the battery it’s equipped with, delivering that power with no noticeable drop in voltage until shortly before the battery fades away fully and will need to be recharged and swapped out for a fresh one.
Recommendation and Conclusion
When you visit the Vaporetti website and read up on the SMOK Galileo and the Magneto you might notice that the verbiage is the same on both product pages, except for the word ‘Galileo’ and ‘Magneto’. While most of the information is correct for both mods, the product page for the Galileo indicates the ability to use the 16340 batteries. That’s incorrect, according to SMOK and my own experience. In addition, the product page for the Galileo doesn’t mention the eGo threads and instead advises you to use the eGo adapter. That is also incorrect; the Galileo needs no such adapter. Other than that the product pages are accurate enough.
The bottom line is this; would I recommend the SMOK Galileo? Sure, with certain caveats. The Magneto and the Galileo are, internally, extremely close in quality, workmanship, and performance. There are some differences, albeit some may be my own perception since I own both mods.
Some of you will prefer the feel of the Galileo to the Magneto because of its smoother lines and tapered ends. You might also like the longer firing button, or the smaller diameter of the firing button, while others may like the stark minimalism of the Magneto. Generally speaking, except for the smoother lines of the Galileo and one or two other aspects of the mod, they are the same mod in different clothes. If I were you, I would go with the one that speaks to you on a visual level. Which one do you prefer by simply looking at them, because, when all is said and done, whichever you choose I believe you’re going to be very happy with it.
SpecificationsSmok Galileo Mech-Mod 18350/18500/18650 Battery Material: Stainless Steel (only) Threading: 510 and eGo Voltage output: 3.7 to 4.2v (unregulated)