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SMOK TFV12 Prince COBRA Edition Review

Prince COBRA Edition Intro

Is there enough “new” in the SMOK TFV12 Prince COBRA Edition to warrant paying a big premium for the privilege? You see, today you can pick up the original TFV12 Prince at Element Vape for under $23, while scoring the new Prince COBRA Tank will set you back a full $32, $9 dollars more. (I’ve seen some sites attempt to sell this new tank for nearly $50, which is ridiculous.) As I’ll explain below in my review, I actually do believe that, if you’re a fan of the SMOK TFV12 Prince, it’s definitely worth picking up at least one Prince COBRA Sub-Ohm because this new sub-ohm is a slightly better tank in more ways than it is not. The real magic however, are the new coils.

Spinfuel VAPE rates this vape gear as a Score of XXX in our in-depth review

The Real Improvements are the new Prince Coils

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This time out SMOK has created 3 new Coils (Kanthal of course) that come with the Prince COBRA, which is one of the great new features. The new Coils are:

 

  • 0.15ohm V12 Prince Strip Core – rated for 40-100W
  • 0.15ohm V12 Prince Mesh Core – rated for 40-80W
  • 0.4ohm V12 Prince X2 Clapton Core – rated for 60-140W

 

Inside the box you’ll find one of each, and these new coil configurations are improvements. Sadly, SMOK has a reputation for poor quality control when it comes to their myriad of replacement coils, and while I don’t think this rep is deserved any more than many other tank makers, you’ll find these new coils perform better with flavor fidelity, and longevity.

 

Vapor cloud improvements are harder to quantify, so the sincerest way to comment on the vapor production is to say that the new coils are as good as previous coils. There just isn’t a way to measure vapor output since there are so many variables, length of the draw, strength of the pull, and more.

SMOK TFV12 Prince COBRA Edition Review

Prince COBRA Claim to Fame

Officially, SMOK is claiming two main factors have the biggest selling points for the new Prince COBRA. The first is the Cellular Mesh Wall Sleeve and something they call Magic Gradient, but this magic gradient is only available on select colors (huh?), and I’ve yet to see it.

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While the mesh sleeve, or “Cellular Mesh Wall” is a nice touch, it’s function is visual, nothing more, and it takes away a half a milliliter of juice capacity. Cute idea, yea, sure, but if it isn’t going to improve the flavor or vapor production, what’s the point? The SMOK TFV12 Prince (reviewed here) is already a gorgeous tank, as is the SMOK Resa Prince (reviewed here). Does adding a mesh sleeve qualify for a “reboot” of the Prince?

 

 

The SMOK TFV12 Prince Cobra Sub-Ohm Tank is an update to the high-performing TFV12 Prince series, I’ll give it that. Anyway, the other biggest claim to fame, or reason to choose this Prince or the original one, is Magic Gradient. So, what is Magic Gradient, and why is it only available on certain colors?

 

Below is a GIF image supplied by SMOK. The idea of Magic Gradient technology is explained by SMOK as: (paraphrased into standard English)

 

The top and bottom parts can change colors as you increase the number of puffs. The Red or Blue tank changes from a deep red or blue to a light red or blue and then finally into a white tank while the user continues to vape.”

 

Now, my test unit is the Red Cobra tank, and after days of vaping with it the color has remained the same. I even attempted to “chain vape” to activate this color change and still nothing happened. Clearly, either I’m doing something wrong, or this whole idea is hype.

What’s the Deal with Acrylic?

Seriously, all of a sudden, we’re seeing the spare tank in some sub-ohm tank kits being switched out from glass to acrylic. Why? I mean acrylic tanks are so 2012/2013, and users are back to watching which e-juice is being used in an acrylic tank, high acidity juice can damage acrylic tanks, and alter the flavor. This has to be some sort of cost cutting measure if you ask me. I don’t like it, and I have no intention of sticking a lightweight acrylic tank on my sub-ohms.

 

SMOK claims both the acrylic drip tip and tank are non-toxic and that’s not hard to believe. They are lighter than glass tanks and the cobra resin 810 wide bore drip tips, but they feel cheap and unworthy.

Prince COBRA Upgrades

The addition of the Cellular Mesh sleeve does add an aesthetic complement to the already gorgeous tank, and each tank color comes with the same stainless color sleeve, but SMOK will offer Mesh sleeves that in black, gold, prism blue and a 7-color rainbow.

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SMOK also plans to offer a new Globed shaped Glass tank that increases the capacity of the tank to 8mL. I’ve included a photo of these upcoming glass tanks, and personally I don’t like them at all. Sure, an extra 1mL of e-juice is nice, especially with thirsty coils, but with the way the tank is extended out beyond the width of the top and bottom caps, I can see a whole lot of folks cracking their glass tanks if they’re dropped. I’ve broken plenty of glass tanks in my time as a Vaper, and the Global glass is just asking to be cracked.

 

The TFV12 Prince Cobra does have an upgraded rotary hinge for the top-fill method. The side button that unlocks the hinge seems firmer, with a more sure-footed release mechanism.

 

The new Cobra V2 Resin Drip Tip is upgraded by way of using a more durable material for its construction. It’s slightly thicker than its predecessor, with a refined pattern. This is an aesthetic upgrade and doesn’t affect the performance one way or another.

 

Lastly, SMOK has made a few refinements in the stainless-steel top and bottom caps, but these are hardly upgrades or improvements… they are just “new” and “different”.

Vaping the SMOK TFV12 Prince COBRA

I spent a couple of days vaping this Prince COBRA with each of the three included Coils. All of them provided an excellent vape experience.

 

0.15ohm V12 Prince Strip Core – rated for 40-100W

 

The new Strip Core Coil is the preinstalled coil, so it was the obvious choice to begin my evaluation of the new Prince coils. It also happens to be my favorite new coil, which surprised me. I’ve been enjoying the performance of a variety of Mesh coils, especially in my review testing of the Freemax Pro Mesh (review coming very soon), so I believed the new Prince Mesh coil would be my favorite.

 

The Strip Core coil has a large heating area, allowing more eliquid to vaporize faster, and purer.

 

Rated as low as 40 watts and as high as a 100W, the Strip Core delivers incredible flavor. As far as optimal wattage goes, even at 80W the huge clouds of vapor was barely warm. As it turned out, my optimal power was 90-95W, and with 90+ watts the vapor was thick, flavorful, and yet not nearly as warm as I thought it would be. At 100W I finally got the warmth I wanted, but it seemed to have a slight effect on the flavor, muting it just a bit.

 

 

0.15ohm V12 Prince Mesh Core – rated for 40-80W

 

Next up was the new Prince Mesh Core, with a range of 40W to 80W, and an optimal vape (for me) of 62W. The flavor fidelity and cloud production were very close to that of the Strip Core, and only after an extended break from the Strip Core was I able to discern a difference between the two. That said, the new Mesh Core is an excellent coil, and the ability to come very close to the Strip Core performance at a much lower wattage allows for less e-juice consumption and a longer battery life.

 

The new Prince Mesh coil also has a larger heating surface, allowing for more juice to vaporize instantly.

 

 

0.4ohm V12 Prince X2 Clapton Core – rated for 60-140W

 

The X2 Clapton Core is clearly designed for the highest power users. I was able to throw 135 watts at this coil without being on the receiving end of hot vapor. But, even at 135W I could not honestly tell you that the thickness or volume of the vapor was any thicker or more voluminous as the other two coils.

 

The X2 Clapton is one thirsty coil however. It vaporized e-juice so fast that the 7mL capacity lasted less than an hour of vaping. Battery life suffered as well, which is to be expected when you’re throwing 135W at it for the duration.

 

Vaping the Prince Cobra Bottom Line

 

If these 3 new coils from SMOK wind up with significantly longer lives then it won’t be long before they become the go-to SMOK coils for any sub-ohm capable of using them; i.e., this new Prince Cobra, the original Prince, and the RESA Prince.

 

 

When it comes time to order replacement coils, you’ll find them here:

SMOK TFV12 Prince Replacement Coils

What Does Zophie Think?

Element Vape Demo Video

VERDICT

I’ve been nitpicky in this review, probably more than the Prince COBRA deserved. When I first heard that SMOK was building this new Prince, back before the February Chinese holiday, I was more than excited about it. Back then, just a couple of months, the TFV12 Prince could do no wrong in my book, and I stocked up on every color I could and purchased plenty of replacement coil packs. The Prince, and the Resa Prince, were my ideal sub-ohm tanks. I expected a new Prince to be something big.

 

But then came the Freemax Pro Mesh, the Vaporesso Cascade Baby SE, the Voopoo UForce T1 (reviewed here), and the iJoy Diamond Sub-Ohm, all supremely excellent vape tanks. As it’s been said in Spinfuel VAPE before, most sub-ohm tanks released this year perform extremely well, and this made impressing me with a new Prince harder than it might have been just a few months ago.

 

The Magic Gradient is a big fat goose egg, and the Cellular Mesh Sleeve is nothing more than an aesthetic addition (and removes .5mL of juice capacity), to an already great looking sub-ohm tank. And the switch to an extra acrylic tank rather than a spare glass tank is just nonsense.

 

Having said that, the TFV12 Prince COBRA is an awesome sub-ohm tank in its own right, thanks in part to the original Prince design, but mostly due to the 3 new Coils included in the tank kit. Knowing this, the decision to buy the Prince COBRA or the original Prince must be made by comparing the cost against the ‘changes’, and the 3 new coils. Not an easy decision.

 

When I review a vape product I must remember that just because I receive free products from Spinfuel VAPE, my employer, with the express directive to write the best, most honest review I can, the first thing I have to do with put my own money on the table. I need to think like people that do not get free vape gear, and remember that $30 is $30, which to most of us is real hard-earned money. Only then can I recommend buying the product, or letting it pass. In the end, when it comes to this particular sub-ohm tank, my sincere recommendation is… “Buy one”. Here’s why…

 

The SMOK TFV12 Prince COBRA Edition is a great tank that will satisfy any sub-ohm vaper I know. The refinements are real, and the tank kit is slightly better than the original Prince kit when you discount the acrylic tank and drip tip. But more than that, the price difference between the original Prince and the new Prince COBRA comes down to vaping with the 3 new, superb coils. So, spend the extra $9 for Prince COBRA and get the slightly better tank and the awesome new coils. At the same time, if you’re like me and think that the introduction of a cheap acrylic tank and drip tip is a bad idea, pick up an extra glass tank.

 

Score: A

SMOK TFV12 Prince Cobra Sub-Ohm Tank Features:

  • Cobra Edition
  • 25.5mm Base Diameter
  • 28mm Diameter – Widest Section
  • 7mL Maximum Juice Capacity
  • Superior Stainless-Steel Construction
  • High-Grade Glass Reinforcement
  • Optional Acrylic Bulb Glass – Resin Design
  • Cellular Mesh Structure
  • Magic Gradient – Color Changes When You Vape
  • Convenient Top-Fill Rotary Design – Lock Button Mechanism
  • Massive Dual Adjustable Airflow Control at Base
  • 810 Cobra Resin Ultra-Wide Drip Tip
  • Performance-Grade V12 Prince Coil Structure
  • 0.15ohm V12 Prince Strip Core – rated for 40-100W
  • 0.15ohm V12 Prince Mesh Core – rated for 40-80W
  • 0.4ohm V12 Prince X2 Clapton Core – rated for 60-140W
  • 510 Connection
  • Available in Stainless, Red, Black, Rainbow, Blue Prism, Gold, Green, Purple

 

SMOK TFV12 Prince Cobra Sub-Ohm Tank Includes:

  • 1 SMOK TFV12 Prince Cobra Tank
  • 1 0.15ohm V12 Prince Strip Core
  • 1 0.15ohm V12 Prince Mesh Core
  • 1 0.4ohm V12 Prince X2 Clapton Core
  • 1 Preinstalled Convex Bulb Glass Tube
  • 1 Acrylic Bulb Tube
  • 1 Acrylic Drip Tip
  • Spare Parts & O-Rings
  • Instructional Manual
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About The Author

All original content is written and produced for our readers by the Spinfuel Staff. The writing staff includes Julia Hartley-Barnes, Keira Hartley-Barnes, Tom McBride, Jason Little, Melanie Hendrix, and Dave Foster. Spinfuel also publishes guest contributors on occasion. All original content is protected by US copyright laws.

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