SMOK X Cube Ultra Review
SMOK has been releasing incredible devices one after the other these past few months. Sure, like eLeaf, Joyetech, WISMEC, and even Aspire, a rush to market before the August 8th FDA Deeming Regulations kicked in, they’ve almost had to get their new products out the door and into the marketplace. But, unlike some, SMOK’s products have been one delight after another (mostly). After much anticipation, and being one of the most wanted mods by the masses this year, SMOK presents the X Cube Ultra 220W TC OTA Box Mod. SMOK has had ample time creating the ultimate dual battery mod that not only improves on the X Cube II but is strongly competitive with all the high-performance devices currently on the market. There’s been a lot of talk about the SMOK X Cube Ultra and finally I’m able to use it, review it, and enjoy it. Now I have enough information and first-hand experience to let you know if the X Cube Ultra was truly worth the wait.
SMOK X Cube Ultra Features and Specs
The SMOK X Cube Ultra is a 220W Box Mod that has a full Temperature Control suite that supports all the popular resistance wires (Nickel, Titanium, Stainless Steel as well as Manual TCR) and fires down to 0.06Ω and 0.1Ω in Power Mode. Memory Mode is another option that has sixteen total presets, M1-M16, which allows you to set up to sixteen different saved wattages. Pushing the plus and minus buttons will scroll through your presets in order. Normally I don’t like this type of system and if you’re like me, you’ll be happy to know that you’re not married to it, it’s optional. Users can set it from 25W all the way up in 5W increments to 100W… it is a faster way to adjust the wattage this way than having to manually scroll up the presets, in my opinion anyway.
Over The Air Technology in the X Cube Ultra
The OTA (Over-The-Air) Bluetooth V4.0 function is nothing new from SMOK but makes it very convenient to wirelessly upgrade the firmware and make other adjustments through the Vaping Tour App. Make sure to download the app from the Google or Apple Store. Activate Bluetooth on the X Cube Ultra menu, then open the Vaping Tour App. Click the top left icon then select My Vaporizers. The app should recognize your device and once clicking on it will ask for a password. After doing some searching, the default password for all OTA SMOK devices is 000000, six zeros. Once it gives you access, you are able to change that six digit password to your preferred arrangement, which I highly recommend. Very useful feature and be sure to utilize this excellent platform to get the most from SMOK products!
The X Cube Ultra Unboxing & Batteries
Opening the packaging, you’re greeted to the SMOK X Cube Ultra 220W TC OTA Box Mod made from
premium zinc alloy (available in Stainless Steel or the one I received Black) with a very simplistic boxed design with a few etched SMOK logos. The Matte Black provides instant visual appeal but I noticed right away my fingerprints were instantly magnetizing to the finish, though not as bad as the Stainless Steel version. The huge fire bar that takes up an entire side of the mod with a clear plastic filling in the gap is stiff but provides enough flex to comfortably fire it in any hand position. The SMOK X Cube Ultra takes two 18650 high-drain batteries (not included). While inserting batteries for the first time I immediately noticed SMOK fixed the obnoxiously loose battery door of the X Cube II, something many X Cube owners longed for. The only thing I didn’t see included was the velvet SMOK carry pouch that came with the X Cube II.
There’s a small notch where you put your fingernail in to pull the battery door off. It’s held on by two very strong circular magnets that do a superb job holding the battery door in place, resulting in no movement or play. Inserting the dual 18650 batteries takes a bit of effort and are a snug fit, but removing them is easy thanks to the battery ribbon. With plenty of venting on the underside, the X Cube Ultra stays cool and never heats up above luke warm. To put the door back in place, there are two small tabs on the bottom of the battery door. Simply insert the bottom of the door in first, lay the battery door down and the two magnets pull the door into place. There’s no battery door rattle or sliding at all. SMOK did an awesome job listening to users and eliminated the issue inherent in the previous X Cube II.
X Cube Ultra Operation
From the moment the SMOK X Cube Ultra boots up you’re stunned by a soft vibration when first powering on the device. This new Vibration Feedback feature SMOK introduces here provides something new and a little exciting. It creates an interesting sensation that’s never been implemented in a vaping device before now. You can customize the vibration or ‘Shake’ in the settings menu. Being able to turn the vibration on and off for things like attaching an Atomizer, checking an Atomizer, powering on and off, max puffs (if you set a limit) and a warning shake for error codes is very innovative and I must admit, very clever. If you don’t want the vibration on at all, you can turn it off or change it from minimum (soft vibration), middle or maximum (stronger vibration). This vibration feedback being something completely new really threw me off my game at times thinking there was something wrong with the mod every time it vibrated.
The RGB LED lighting feature between the fire bar and chassis is back from the X Cube II and really is a fun little feature to have available. I’m not too fond of flashy lights or extra unnecessary functions but I find myself playing around with the lighting more than I thought I would. You can really tweak the LED colors with the RGB (Red, Green & Blue) setting by changing certain percentages of one and/or adding to another. You can adjust how fast the colors jump between each other and how fast the shading effect fades in and out. This is one of those features that I probably won’t use often but it is cool to know it’s there just in case I want to show off.
Not knowing if the LED lighting and vibration function could drain my battery faster, I put together a small test to see if there was any difference in battery discharge rate. Taking the SMOK X Cube Ultra, two TFV8’s and observing the puff counter, I started my two day evaluation. I took the two TFV8 tanks, both with a brand new TF-T8 0.15Ω coils and a pair of fully charged LG HG2 3000mAh 20A batteries and reset the puff counter. At 100W I wanted to see how many 3-second pulls I could take until the device wouldn’t let me fire anymore (which took me two full days for the test). Doing this with the LED lighting and vibration on, I was able to get 220 puffs. With both features turned off, I got 235 puffs. Not as many as I thought I would, so there’s not much of a difference in battery life (according to my unscientific puff test) when using or not using vibration feedback and LED lighting features, which should be good news to potential owners that love all the bells and whistles.
Fire Panel on the X Cube Ultra
I love how the fire button takes up the whole side of the device! Unlike the SMOK H-Priv that could only be fired towards the top of the device, you can fire it pretty much anyway you see fit on the X Cube Ultra. It’s easy to push but has enough resistance so it feels solid, not cheap or flimsy. I would think there’d be some rattle because of the big fire button pivoting in different directions but it’s not going anywhere. When physically trying to move it, it does have a tiny amount of side to side play but it’s made that way so it can be fired comfortably from different angles. The X Cube Ultra is a big device and just barely rounded on the corners. So it’s not the most comfortable mod to hold for long periods of time, but the ease of firing counterbalances the shape and feel, for me anyway. It weighs 298g with batteries installed and is a 12% weight reduction over the X Cube II as well as 10% smaller in overall size.
The micro USB is located on the bottom for firmware upgrades (after double checking, mine came updated with the current firmware) and 1-2A battery charging; yet another small improvement over the X Cube II. When plugged in to charge the display screen shows the percentage the batteries are currently charged to. Thanks to the X3 Chipset the SMOK X Cube Ultra has balanced charging just in case one battery discharges more than the other or you start off with unmarried or unbalanced batteries. (Always marry your dual or triple mod batteries for safety and longevity)
X Cube Ultra OLED Display & Buttons
The OLED screen is located on the top of the device like most SMOK devices and is bright and easy to read. The up and down buttons are big enough and easily compressed with little effort. The plus and minus indicators are etched next to the up and down buttons but because the buttons change when you flip the screen orientation, I’m not sure why they decided to include these markings. All of my Atomizers have been fitting flush with no back and forth movement thanks to the Stainless Steel 510 connection and the spring loaded 510 pin.
Overall, the X Cube Ultra is an amazing improvement over the previous SMOK X Cube II and I believe the X Cube Ultra will be the flagship model for SMOK moving forward. It’s a very customizable, rock solid, superior performing box mod that just flat out gets the job done. There’s absolutely no fire delay or misfires, and provides unlimited power up to 220W. My only gripe is it’s a big square box (mod). It isn’t the most comfortable mod to hold. And when firing a really hot build, the OLED screen fogs up constantly so I’m always wiping it off. Neither of these are a deal breaking problem for me and I can see myself purchasing the Stainless Steel model as a backup.
Available Now at Element Vape – $57.95
Final Grade – A
“The SMOK X Cube Ultra is a technologically advanced piece of machinery that would appeal to any vaper with little or a lot of vaping experience. Pair this up with any of the SMOK Tanks – I’ve been using the TFV8 Baby Beast – out there right now and you’ll have a killer combination in your hands! Yes, it was definitely worth the wait.”