The first of two reviews for the SMOK X-PRIV Starter Kit. The second review will publish tomorrow.
It seems like more and more vape companies are producing “executive” type devices to complement the garish colors and bold LED displays that dominate store shelves. Of course, the ever-prolific SMOK wasn’t going to sit out this trend, and just introduced the sleek, stylish, mature SMOK X-PRIV Mod Kit to its lineup.
But, where other companies have offered “executive” styling at the expense of performance, the X-PRIV might just be SMOK’s new flagship Mod, since it’s also the best-performing device in their huge rotation.
Let’s dive in and see why.
Initial impressions of the SMOK X-PRIV Mod Kit
The overall design of the X-PRIV is both strikingly different than SMOK’s other devices, but also reassuringly familiar. If I had to make a comparison, the recent line of Vaporesso Revengers (reviewed here) is a good starting point, although the X-PRIV’s curvier edges and smoother lines stand out.
The rear of the device features the “cobra” pattern it recently introduced on the Prince tank drip-tips, and it’s surprisingly understated here, adding just enough visual interest to break up the otherwise subtle look and feel.
The large, top-tier display is a highlight of the X-PRIV, with a bright, updated version of its proven screen design. This newer version does an even better job of making all pertinent information clear and legible than its predecessors. The X-PRIV screen even surpasses the touchscreen G-PRIV 2 (reviewed here) – not a small accomplishment by any means.
I fully expect SMOK to implement this display on all its upcoming devices – partly because the company always gets its money’s worth from a design, but also because it’s just that darn good.
The awesome fire bar returns and works as well as ever. Plus, the curves of the X-PRIV make the fire bar “disappear” into the design even more smoothly than before; if the slight gaps from the main frame weren’t there, most users couldn’t tell where the fire button actually began and ended. Very slick design overall.
The included SMOK TFV12 Prince tank (reviewed here) appears in a lot of different Kits these days, but like a good outfit, the X-PRIV really looks perfectly matched to the tank here. We won’t be reviewing the tank any further, but if you want a classy, unified setup, this is a very good starting point for your search.
I have just two gripes about the X-PRIV Mod. First, my gunmetal and black test Model had an unusually tight battery compartment. Using a wide range of 18650s (seated in parallel on the X-PRIV), I noticed that most were a little snug inside the chamber, and any with thicker wraps required force to remove. I imagine the spring loaded connectors will loosen over time, but this was worth mentioning.
My other gripe is that the X-PRIV is one of the most beautifully symmetric Mods in SMOK’s lineup, let even with the narrow width of the Mod, SMOK still felt it necessary to offset the 510 connection, rather than centering it like the rest of the form factor. The result is a slightly awkward lack of balance with a tank attached.
Though I’ve criticized the company for releasing too many versions of the same Mod, I’d welcome an updated X-PRIV with a centered 510. To me, that would complete an absolutely gorgeous setup.
Operating the SMOK X-PRIV Mod Kit
Though the X-PRIV is a definite improvement of the ProColor basis, the company remains steadfast in using a two-button control scheme (with the fire key acting as the input button), rather than advancing the OS further. While the SMOK operating system is about as user-friendly as they come within this construct, I’d really like to see the next evolution of this system to match what other companies have already done.
That said, the system is time-honored and works well. Those familiar with SMOK Mods will easily jump right in, making wattage and temperature adjustments on the fly. The system is excellent at recognizing new coils, detecting potential warnings and errors, and easily locks resistance for fiddly coils. It might not be as innovative as I want, but SMOK has a strong baseline here, and I can understand why it didn’t want to stray too far here.
One minor gripe with the X-PRIV operations comes from the positioning of the two-button controls. Though locating them at the bottom right of the screen looks fantastic and staves off any inadvertent button entires, it’s near-impossible to access them with one hand – at least without the risk of dropping this gorgeous Mod on a hard surface.
Is two-handed operation a deal-breaker? Of course not. But when so many vape Mods are doing their best to simplify their control schemes, SMOK took a slight detour toward fashion-over-function, and it’s a slight detriment.
The only other comment about the operation is really more of an aesthetic comment – but the X-PRIV might be the biggest fingerprint magnet in SMOK’s arsenal, so invest in white gloves, or have microfiber handy at all times. I’m not a huge fan of those neoprene skins they sell, but I might invest in one to protect my X-PRIV over the long-term.
Vaping the SMOK X-PRIV Mod Kit
I don’t know how companies do it, but they continue to optimize chipsets to produce massive power on just two 18650 cells. The X-PRIV continues this trend, with true 220-watt performance that somehow still manages decent battery life, and stutter-free vaping all the way to its max. I don’t live at these elevations, but high-wattage vapers in search of a “do it all” Mod could do a lot worse than the X-PRIV.
In temperature control, the X-PRIV is steady and reliable. At this point in the evolution of Modern vape Mods, there isn’t much to say about temperature control – that is, unless a certain device simply doesn’t work in these Modes. Thankfully, that’s not the case here. I tried my usual array of test coils – comprised of nickel, titanium and stainless steel – and I was happy that all types worked on the X-PRIV without a hitch.
Making adjustments using the familiar menu system was equally comfortable and reliable. I did have one random bout of difficulty setting a power level, but I’ll chalk that up to user error.
Wrapping Up, and Score…
Though the fingerprints and the offset 510 connection were slight disappointments on such a stylish Mod, that is really all I had to complain about on the X-PRIV. In fact, I’d go as far as to say the SMOK X-PRIV is every inch of the “executive-level” Mod they say it is. Smooth, potent power, great battery life, and a high-end design makes the X-PRIV my new favorite SMOK device … and one of my overall favorites, as well.
SMOK X-PRIV Starter Kit Specs and Contents
SMOK X-Priv TC Features:
- 1 to 225W Power Output
- 0.5V to 9V
- 0.1 to 2.5 ohm Atomizer Resistance Range
- Three Setting Output Mode
- Firmware Upgradeable
- Temperature Control Output
- Ni200 Nickel Support
- Titanium Support
- Stainless Steel Support
- Adjustable Initial Resistance
- Adjustable TCR
- Preheat Capability
- 200 to 600 degree Fahrenheit Output Range
- 0.05 to 2.0 ohm Atomizer Resistance Range
- 2″ Colorful HD Screen
- Vibrant Display Resolution
- Icon Based Display Matrix
- Highly Visible
- Comprehensive Menu Settings and Adjustment
- Full Display
- Dual Battery Life Indicator
- Menu Color Customizable
- Innovative and Ergonomic Firing Mechanism
- Comfortable and Easy to Use
- Squeeze to Fire Operation
- Back Panel Battery Bay Door
- High Amperage 18650 Battery Powered
- Sold Separately
- Zinc Alloy and Carbon Fiber Paneling
- Spring Loaded Internal Contacts
- High Amperage 18650 Battery Powered
- Zinc Alloy Chassis
- Stainless Steel 510 Threading
- Gold Plated 510 Contact
SMOK X-Priv Dimensions:
- 46.5mm by 30.4mm by 88mm
TFV12 Prince Product Features:
- 25mm Diameter Base
- 28mm at Widest Point
- Hinge and Lock Top Fill System
- Swivels Open and Shut
- Fill Port
- 5ml Max Standard Capacity
- 8ml Max Convex Glass Extension Capacity
- SMOK V12 Prince Coil Family
- V12 Prince-T10 Decuple Coil Head
- 0.12 ohm
- Patented Decuple Coil
- 60 to 120W Range
- 80 to 110W Recommended Range
- V12 Prince-Q4 Quadruple Coil Head
- 0.4 ohm
- Patented Quadruple Coil
- 40 to 100W
- 60 to 80W Recommended Range
- Compatible with Additional V12 Prince Coils
- V12 Prince-T10 Decuple Coil Head
- Dual Adjustable Airslots
- Stainless Steel and Glass Construction
TFV12 Prince Product Dimensions:
- 28mm by 63mm
X-PRIV Kit Contents:
- One SMOK X-Priv 225W TC Box Mod
- One SMOK TFV12 Prince Sub-Ohm Tank
- One V12 Prince Q4 Coil Head
- One V12 Prince T10 Coil Head
- USB Charging Cable
- Replacement Parts and Glass
- User Manual