The SMOK H-Priv 220W TC Box Mod Review
One of the most visually appealing box mods to come from SMOK, the SMOK H-Priv 220W TC Box Mod can be one of the most annoying as well. There is plenty of good stuff to say about this new, powerful box mod, and I will write about them below, but first a couple of gripes I have to warn you about.
Battery Door – Remove the plastic battery door by sliding is out. It sits on the bottom of the mod, and removing it is certainly easy enough. The annoyance comes into play when you try to insert two batteries and return the battery cover to where it belongs.
Battery placement is one battery with the positive side up, and one with the negative side up, look for the indicators next to the battery slots.
Sony and Samsung batteries were tried (30amp) with the SMOK H-Priv 200W TC, and attempting to slide the battery door into the grooves, and then back into place took me 30 minutes on the first attempt, and every attempt thereafter took 10-15 minutes, plus or minus a minute. It is the struggle among struggles, and it could have been easily avoided had SMOK created the battery cover with a permanent hinge, so that all the user would need to do is lift the cover, insert the batteries, and close.
I open with this particular annoyance only because SMOK tells its potential customers that the battery cover is simple, fast, and magnetized, leaving the impression that the cover is something it is not. If in fact the door is magnetized, its magnetized to an extent that it is impossible for me tell.
My second ‘gripe’ about the SMOK H-Priv 200W TC is the zinc alloy body. The body is painted, thank God, unlike the X-Cube’s horrible zinc-alloy oxidized finish, but even through the paint that ‘stick to your skin’ zinc alloy property gives it a weird feeling, despite the fact that it is anything but. Though, in some ways it’s not a gripe, because if anything, a zinc alloy body for a mod is very light in comparison to stainless steel and other materials. So, if you don’t mind a zinc alloy you’re appreciate the weight of the H-Priv.
From where I’m standing, the SMOK H-Priv 200W TC is a lot like the X-Cube, but with better electronics, smaller, less expensive, and a fancy firing panel that is cut to give it a triangular slice instead of that horrible squeaky fire panel of the X Cube. There were some good things about the X-Cube, just like there are good things to say about the H-Priv, just don’t go in to it believing that the H-Priv is something it is not. In essence, this is a reworked X-Cube. A very good ‘reworked’ X-Cube.
At the same time, it is also one beautiful box mod, with massive power and very good resistance meter accuracy. Will this 220W box mod become the next big SMOK success story? Only time will tell, but it certainly could. Whether that is to be, or not to be, I present the features and specs for you to use to determine its value to you. My real world report will be at the end of this review.
Resistance Range of the SMOK H-Priv 200W TC
The SMOK H-Priv 200W TC will fire with a Resistance Range: 0.06ohm – 3.0ohm (TC mode); 0.1ohm – 3ohm (VW mode) and with a much-needed accuracy of +/- 0.01-ohms. This kind of accuracy comes in very handy with ceramic coil heads as well as ultra-low RDA builds. Ceramic coil heads have a tendency to overreach or under-reach it’s supposed resistance. Using my Kanger Protank 4 with the 0.5-ohm ceramic coil, the H Priv reads 0.71-ohms, while my Reuleaux 200S reads it as 0.58 and the iStick 200W TC reads it as 0.61. So, there you go…
The SMOK H-Priv 220 also has a flexible temperature control system for firing practically any RDA, RTA, or Sub-Ohm Tank you want to throw at it.
The SMOK H-Priv 200W TC is an intelligent box mod, with a built-in Adjustable Initial Resistance system that prevents any coil head contact problems that plague some other, lesser, mods, as well as an auto sensing system that allows for a solid consistency with every pull on the drip tip of the atomizer attached.
With respect to its Temperature Control features there isn’t much new to report; it works with Ni200 (pure nickel) Ti (Titanium) and Stainless Steel, (which works with TC and VW). The usual temperature range of 200-600 Fahrenheit is the same with the SMOK H-Priv 200W TC, and you can set the temperature in Fahrenheit or Celsius. Most TC mods do this as well.
SMOK H-Priv 200W TC Menu
Like the X-Cube the (OLED) display sits atop the box mod. If you’re not used to that it takes a while for it to become second nature. The display is square, but not small, and its bright and clear, easy to read. Directly under the display are the two adjustment buttons.
This whole top-of-the-mod display is not my favorite way to present the screen, though by the end of the review period it became a non-issue.
Basic Menu Functions – Not So Basic
The SMOK H-Priv 200W TC is a 5-click on/off device. Accessing the menu system is a 3-click affair.
If you attach a new atomizer the display will read out “Is this a new atomizer. Y/N” and with the adjustment buttons you click the appropriate choice. If you remove the tank to refill it you’ll need to answer the question again. Interestingly, on the occasion when I was vaping with the Kanger Protank 4 I removed the tank, then reattached it and I was asked the question. I clicked the NO choice and it wouldn’t take it. I tried it 5 times, and each time it would ask again. Finally, I click the Yes choice and it was accepted, and on I went.
Menu Cycling – Down the Rabbit Hole We Go
Clicking the fire panel 3 times accesses the menu, and your first option will present itself with a sort of slanted lightning stroke, a special character I can’t seem to identity.
Now, if you do nothing for 5 seconds the character will go away and you’ll enter the system, but if you press and hold the fire panel you’ll gain access to the sub-menu immediately. To get out of the menu system, press and hold the fire panel.
It is in the sub-menu where you can cycle through WATT MODE, TEMP MODE, MEMORY MODE.
WATT MODE – Wait 5 seconds, or press and hold the fire panel to access menu, where you can choose one of the following: MAX, MINI, HARD, or SOFT. The default is HARD. The English-only manual does not go into details about what these choices mean, but with a little experimentation the best I can come up with is these settings set an initial burst of power when you fire. I say this because the default is HARD and my changing the setting to SOFT, I recognized a longer ramp up time. Once you remove yourself from the menu you’ll be able to use the adjustment buttons to increase or decrease the wattage.
TEMP MODE – Wait 5 seconds, or press and hold the fire panel to access the Temp Mode menu. There is where you can choose the wire material for the atomizer you’re about to use. Choose between, NIC, TI, or SS. Interestingly enough, if you choose Nickel as your wire material you can also choose NICKEL SC or NICKEL DC, which means nickel single coil or nickel dual coil. Once you remove yourself from the menu you’ll be able to use the adjustment buttons to increase or decrease the temperature.
MEMORY MODE – 6 presets available for power values
Menu 2 displays another character that resembles a pipe with smoke coming out the top. Again, wait 5 seconds or press and hold the fire panel to access the sub-menu. This menu will show you the current puff count, and using the +/- buttons you can increase or decrease the maximum puffs. You can also choose NEVER, which will allow unlimited puffs. You can clear the puff count by pressing and holding the fire panel while in this sub-menu.
Menu 3 displays as the universal symbol for “settings”, the cog wheel. Wait 5 seconds or press and hold to reveal the Settings interface.
First choice is called SCR Time (screen time) – Use this to set the following screen parameters.
Screen Lock – Switch from Locked to Unlocked
Contrast – Change the contrast of the screen display
SCR DUR – Screen orientation
TIME – Set the time
ADJ OHM – Adjust the resistance of the atomizer – Please do not use this unless you know exactly what you’re doing.
DOWNLOAD – Firmware upgrades
The rest of the menu system and various error codes can be seen if you buy the device and real the manual. Suffice it to say there are plenty of possible readouts you might need to know about.
SMOK H-Priv 200W TC Safety
SMOK calls this “Self Protection”, safety measures for the device. Built-in electronics will detect System Over-Heating, Current Overload and Short Circuit, Low Voltage or High Voltage Protection, and, believe it or not, Vaping Time Limit Protection.
SMOK H-Priv 200W TC Body ‘Notations’
The only ventilation holes I see are on the removable battery cover, 10 vent holes in total. Seems to be enough though. So far, the mod has not gotten
very warm even using high wattages with some of my atomizers.
The battery terminals are 24K Gold-Plated to improve the battery switch out procedure and connection. Supposedly, these gold plated contacts are easier on the battery poles.
As far as simplifying the annoying act of removing the battery cover to switch out batteries, I’m afraid that’s the only way to keep the device running. The USB port is for upgrades only; it will not charge the batteries.
As you can see from the product shots in this review, the SMOK H-Priv 200W TC is one good looking, sleek mod, with a slight touch of the futuristic styling due to the various body cuts and color contrasts.
Before the Real World Report part of this review, here’s a quick rundown at the specs and features in the SMOK H-Priv 200W TC:
- Dual 18650 High Amp (30a) Batteries – Not Included
- Wattage Output Range: 6~220W
- Voltage Output Range: 0.35~8V
- Temperature Range: 200-600F
- Atomizer Min Resistance: 0.06ohm
- Resistance Accuracy: +/- 0.01ohm
- Zinc Alloy Construction (with a nice painted finish this time)
- Durable Soft Feel and Shiny Finish over the Zinc alloy
- Top-Screen OLED Display
- Adjustable Initial Resistance Technology
- Intelligent Atomizer Recognition
- Red Triangle Firing Panel
- Dual Adjustment Buttons at the top of the mod
- Magnetic(?) Battery Cover plus 24K Gold Terminals
- Ventilation Holes – 10 on the battery cover
- Overheating Protection
- Puff Monitoring/Limitation System
- 12 Seconds Cut-Off – that’s a long pull!
- Short-Circuit Protection
- Low Battery Warning
- MicroUSB Port – Firmware Upgradeable Function Only
- 510 Center Pin
Real World Report
When I read the the SMOK H-Priv 200W TC had a Zinc Alloy finish I immediately flashed back to the X-Cube review with a cringe, oh how I hated the feel of the oxidized finish. Zinc alloy bodies are light, and durable, but feel creepy in my hand. It helps that SMOK applied a lush paint finish over the alloy to mostly avoid the creepy feel of Zinc. Needless to say, it is a huge improvement for me, and had it been applied to the X Cube my impressions would have surely been better than they were.
The top side display window feels unnatural at first, but it’s a nice size. After a while I adjusted and I began to feel okay with it. I wouldn’t say that I prefer a top side display now, but on the SMOK H-Priv 200W TC it works well enough. I do like the clarity of the OLED display.
Tanks and Coils
I really pushed the SMOK H-Priv 200W TC when it came to using atomizers. I used everything from the SMOK TFV4 with various coil heads, to the new Kanger Protank 4, and all the mainstream and specialty tanks I have. Not a one failed, and the performance was splendid in every one. I never had to get anywhere near the maximum 220w of power, but with the Horizon Krixus I was pushing 85-90-watts with no problems, even the body stayed fairly lukewarm. Whatever you want to use on this new mod I’m pretty certain you’ll find it more than adequate.
Battery Warning – SMOK has included a battery safety card, a card that should be taped somewhere in your house that gets the most traffic. I cannot emphasis this more, using any battery that is frayed or damaged in any way is flat out dangerous. Not just in vaping, but in any device that uses any type of battery. I know it hurts to toss out a battery you paid $11 for, but you don’t want one exploding inside the device.
Battery Life – Hitting 220w on a dual cell hi-amp 18650 mod is an accomplishment on its own, but the battery life will drain fairly quickly when used in the higher wattage settings. Temperature Control mode helps with battery life and e liquid consumption, but if you’re like me and use VW mode most of the time, battery life can be an issue when using higher wattage settings with ultra low resistance coils.
Using the SMOK H-Priv 200W TC in my usual comfort zone of 30-60 watts I got decent battery life, no worse, no better than the dual 18650 Sigelei 213, but a bit shorter than the WISMEC Reuleaux Rx 200S.
Series or Parallel – As for whether the dual batteries run in parallel or series, we know that series mode doubles the voltage, but pulls the same amperage out of both batteries, and in parallel it halves the amperage load, but doubles the voltage. For instance; with 30a batteries, which SMOK recommends for the SMOK H-Priv 200W TC, a parallel battery configuration will draw 15 amps from each of the batteries, totaling 30amps in the draw.
I cannot find anything on SMOK’s website that tells us the dual batteries are running in series or parallel, but because the specs indicate a voltage of up to 8v, and maximum wattage output of 220w I’m thinking they run in parallel mode.
The SMOK H-Priv 200W TC is offered in two versions, the body only and a Kit model that adds the SMOK TFV4 Micro atomizer. The body alone is $44.95 at Element Vape, – As of the time of this review the Kit version is not in stock. I’ve seen the Kit version for around $60. That said, the TFV4 Micro holds just 2.5mL of e juice, and although the TFV4 is a great tank, the micro doesn’t hold enough ejuice to make it appealing to me. Therefore, I recommend buying the body only model.
I can say with some certainty that I like the SMOK H-Priv 200W TC a whole lot more than I do the X Cube II. I don’t much care about the 220w of power, I simply don’t need that much, but I like this box mod (White/Red), and I would not hesitate to recommend it, in any color combo, to someone asking for my opinion about it.
“A powerful and feature rich box mod with a just a couple of annoying features. I would hope that only intermediate or advanced vapers would consider buying one, in the hands of a new vaper it could be quite the hassle to tame this beast.”