Last Updated on March 27, 2017 by Team Spinfuel
SMOK OSUB 40W TC Kit Review
There’s nothing exciting about a 40W device for me anymore. On the other hand, any product with the SMOK name implanted on it is something I always welcome into my collection with open hands. SMOK is demolishing the vape game with their endless supply of powerful and affordable devices. While visiting the SMOK website, they enlisted in a short story summing up the purpose of the OSUB. “Grab the pocket-friendly SMOK OSUB 40W TC Kit instead and throw away that Zippo lighter!” I couldn’t agree with them more!
The SMOK OSUB 40W TC Kit ($41.95 at Element Vape) consists of the SMOK OSUB mod that’s made of Zinc Alloy and has elegance to it you’d have to see to appreciate. The brushed Stainless Steel finish looks and feels great but does attract plenty of fingerprints; nothing a quick wipe down couldn’t fix. The other half of the kit is the SMOK Helmet Mini Sub-Ohm Tank which is the 22mm version of the original 24.5mm Helmet Tank seen with the SMOK Kooper Knight Kit (check out our review here). It’s slightly smaller diameter a couple millimeters taller allows the same amount of eJuice capacity while maintaining top notch flavor the first iteration provided.
The SMOK OSUB is a miniature 40W Variable Wattage Mod that stands out with its portability and sleek aesthetic it provides so well. I received the Silver (but more of a brushed Stainless Steel) and is also available in Black/Silver, Black/Gold, Red/Silver and White. With up to 40W in Power Mode and 50W in TC Mode, this isn’t your ideal cloud chasing setup. Luckily with a max output voltage of 9V, it can handle any resistance you throw at it (0.1Ω in VW, 0.06Ω in TC and up to 3.0Ω in either). SMOK designed a device that fits in the hand so comfortably, is easily transported and very visually appealing regardless if it’s only a 40W mod.
The SMOK OSUB is powered by a non-removable 1350mAh internal battery that SMOK claims to last all day. With my aggressive style of vaping, the battery only lasted an hour or two but could in fact last longer for the casual vaper. Charge the battery with the included micro USB cable with up to 2A charging capability (with the correct adapter). From a completely depleted battery to fully-charged took roughly 90 minutes which was excessively long for such a small capacity battery. When plugged in, the display screen gives you the current charge percentage for around 10 seconds then the screen shifts to the normal operating screen. The only way to see the actual percentage again is to unplug and plug it back in. The five battery vent holes on the bottom of the mod serve as very little heat dissipation since chain vaping at the full 40W will warm the device up quite rapidly.
The magnetic C-shaped side cover that wraps around the top, down the side and finishes underneath gives the OSUB that awesome sleek appearance. By removing the side cover by simply pulling it off reveals the micro USB port, a pin hole sized reset button and a 6.5mm round fire button (SMOK calls it the Fire Key Connect). The side cover is held on by a magnet that inserts into the fire button (allowing you to fire with the entire side of the device) and an oval magnet towards the bottom. The magnets are very strong and will pull the door to the device when held close. There’s not any play when the side cover is attached and is held solidly in place.
With the side cover serving as the fire bar when connected, you can fire the OSUB in pretty much any hand position. Ordinarily I hold it in my left hand in a trigger fire position since the display screen is still visible and easily accessible. Once you engage the fire bar, you can count on instantaneous vapor production; within 0.1-0.2 seconds! In other words, this is one of the fastest firing lower wattage devices I’ve ever owned. The small OLED display is very bright, easy to read and located out of the way but still easily seen in several hand configurations.
Don’t let the compact size fool you, the SMOK OSUB is made to last with no rattling at all, feels durable and well put together. Quality control from SMOK is rarely an issue so count on getting your money’s worth. The two 3.5mm rounded off regulatory buttons click easily, are responsive but are located too close together. The nubby feeling of the buttons has me running my finger over it constantly when holding the device. It’s not a concern or a negative, just one of those quirky things I do after holding some many different devices; vaping OCD maybe?
The SMOK Helmet Mini Sub-Ohm Tank pairs perfectly with the SMOK OSUB Pocket Mod! Its 22mm diameter sits flush and clean with zero overhang; almost like SMOK designed both together! Even though it has a 2.5mm smaller chassis than the original, SMOK achieved the same TPD compliant 2ml eJuice capacity by only increasing the height by a few millimeters. You’re never going to get any leaking (unless you overfill it) thanks to the U-shaped cupped design which is one solid piece. The 2ml capacity is definitely not my favorite feature of any Sub-Ohm Tank but for being such a compact kit, I think 2ml is sufficient.
The top adjustable airflow system features the same push & spin child-proof element as the bigger Helmet Sub-Ohm Tank. By spinning the top cap in either direction, you’re adjusting the two slots that feed down around and up through the center of the coil. When you feel the top cap click into place that signifies the airflow is wide open. To remove the top cap, push down and twist counterclockwise releasing the top cap that’ll have your coil attached to it. Simply dump you eJuice into the big open space but only fill until you reach the 2ml fill-line indicated on the outside of the tank. It’s messy to refill as was the first Helmet Tank. Removing the coil, you’re going to have dripping eJuice flowing off the coil. Unless you have somewhere clean to set it down, don’t be surprised to find a few drips and drops on your lap.
The airflow system does give a decent amount of airflow but is definitely leaning more on the restrictive side; even when wide open. There’s not much airflow that’s needed to push these lower wattage coils to the max so SMOK did a great job recognizing that. The conical Delrin drip tip is really comfy to vape on and is tall enough to keep my lips away from the top cap. If you don’t like the drip tip, the top cap allows for a 510 compatible option. When taking 6-8 second pulls, you won’t have any trouble with heat because of the 40W power limit (50W in TC Mode).
The preinstalled Helmet-CLP 0.4Ω coil head consists of a 3mm ID Fused Clapton coil with three 5.6mm x 2.2mm wicking slots. The wattage range is 20-45W, plan on setting and leaving your wattage at 40W to achieve a worthy enough vape. The flavor was on par with other SMOK tanks but didn’t bring it over the edge. With a 0.85Ω single Clapton coil and 0.6Ω Fused Clapton dual core coil heads (both rated up to 60W) available separately, you have other options if the preinstalled coils weren’t cutting the cake. All four coil heads are cross-compatible with the full-size Helmet Sub-Ohm Tank (Grab a 5-pack of any of the four coil options for $12.95 at Element Vape).
The Helmet-CLP 1.0Ω single Clapton coil head was also included with the kit and was the show stealer for me! A 3mm ID coil and wattage limit of only 35W, this thing threw me for a loop; in a good way! First thing I noticed was a couple small Orange silicone seals (referred to as Airflow Retention Rings) that plug into the top of the coil to help limit the spit back and gurgling that bottom-feeding coils are known for. SMOK states it will restrict some of the airflow but since the air goes around the outside of the coil and back up through the middle, I don’t notice any difference between having it installed and not. The pre-installed 0.4Ω coil head doesn’t have them installed but SMOK includes extras if you want to give them a shot. Overall, with or without the Retention Ring, the 1.0Ω at 35W was a fantastic vape at such low power output. Higher ohm coils continue to surprise me and this one didn’t disappoint. The flavor is ridiculously good and I’ll be purchasing a few packs of these since this really made the vape experience that much better!
Final Grade – B+
“For what the SMOK OSUB 40W Kit set out to accomplish, it does deliver. The 40W will deter a lot of potential buyers away but this is an excellent portable kit that’s pocket-friendly, produces concentrated flavor and an overall great vape experience; another stripe on SMOK’s belt.”