The Vandy Vape Swell Kit
By a show of hands, how many people lost a vape mod recently? Okay… a few of you…maybe. Of those with their hands up, how many wished they had a dedicated smartphone app to make the mod beep? Yeah, we thought so. But we have to hand it to Vandy Vape – they never leave us bored. Especially with the all-new Vandy Vape Swell kit.
Did we mention that the Swell is also impact-resistant, waterproofed and endorsed by vape personality Tony B? Yeah, there’s a lot going on here… and most of it’s pretty good. But that’s just “most” of it, so let’s dive in. First, the propaganda.
The Vandy Vape SWELL 188W Box Mod deploys a highly-durable lightweight vape device made in collaboration with Tony B.. Integrating an advanced Chipset with multi-functional App control and dynamic power adjustments for a dual 18650 platform (batteries sold separately).
Constructed from lightweight zinc-alloy, the chassis of the SWELL starter kit is impact resistant to light and moderate drops and falls. In addition, the exterior construction is well-engineered, initially presenting a waterproofed PCBA to prevent short circuits or water from damaging the vaping systems.
Smartphone “Find” App
Equipped with the nifty retrieval function, the SWELL Box Mod can be located if lost, emitting an audible ping with the help of a smart phone loaded with the Vandy Vape App. This innovative feature is what sets Vandy Vape apart from other manufactures, outfitting vaping systems with new features and pioneering technological advances in the vaping industry that improve vaping quality of life.
Vandy Vape x Tony B. SWELL 188W Box Mod Features:
- Dimensions – 82mm by 55mm by 26mm
- Dual High-Amp 18650 Batteries – Not Included
- Wattage Output Range: 5-188W
- Voltage Output Range: 0.5-7.5V
- Resistance Range: 0.05-3.0ohm
- Zinc-Alloy Chassis Construction
- Power Mode
- TC Mode
- Voltage Mode
- BYPASS MODE
- Intuitive Firing Button
- Two Adjustment Buttons
- OLED Display Screen
- Magnetic Battery Door Panel
- Waterproof PCBA Chipset
- Bluetooth Retrieval Function – Pings Vape from App
- Short Circuit Protection
- Open Circuit Protection
- 10s Cutoff Protection
- Over Current Protection
- Over Heating Protection
- Low Battery Warning
- Spring-Loaded 510 Connection
- Available in Obsidian Black, Red Arowana, Brown Alligator Snapper, Green Anaconda, Blue Iguana, Violet, Rock Black, Swamp Green, Wave Blue, Flame Red
Vandy Vape x Tony B. SWELL Tank Features:
- 26mm Diameter
- 5mL Juice Capacity
- 3mL Standard Juice Capacity
- Quartz Glass Reinforcement
- Stainless Steel Construction
- 90° Turn Threaded Top Fill System – Single Fill Port
- Tank Fill Vent – Prevents Positive Pressure
- Vandy Vape Swell Coil Series
- 15ohm Single Meshed Coil
- 15ohm Triple Meshed Coil
- Dual Slotted Bottom Adjustable Airflow Control Ring
- Raised Tank Base for Increased Airflow
- Gold-Plated 510 Connection
Vandy Vape x Tony B. SWELL 188W Box Mod Kit Includes:
- 1 SWELL 188W Box Mod
- 1 SWELL Tank
- 1 0.15ohm Single Mesh Coil
- 1 4.5mL Replacement Glass
- 2 User Manual
- 1 Accessory Bag
Impressions/Aesthetics of the Swell Mod
If you had told me that I would EVER review a vape device with the design “Brown Alligator” I’d laugh at you, but that’s exactly what my test model Swell turned out to be. I won’t go as far as to call it “unattractive,” but I encourage you to review all 10 (!) design choices before jumping in on the gator. It’s an… ahem … acquired taste.
But moving beyond the garish exterior, the dual-18650 Swell strikes a nice balance between lightweight portability and reassuring heft. While it’s hardly a substantial device, the Swell seems pretty durable, even though we need to clarify that the Swell isn’t ENTIRELY waterproof. The mod is rinsable with BATTERIES REMOVED only — don’t be fooled by the marketing and ruin your mods, kids. But you might figure that out on your own, anyway – between the venting holes, and sizable gaps in the battery and side panel doors, this doesn’t have the same “all-weather” look and feel as the company’s awesome Jackaroo.
I have to give Vandy Vape a shout for the really nice, bright, easy-to-read color display. It’s nothing ridiculous, and uses the right amount of color balance to easily read and determine settings. This, along with the linear and beginner-friendly menu system, is a highlight of the Swell.
Another highlight is the surprisingly heavy-duty buttons, which have (what I feel to be) the perfect amount of click and throw. I know it seems odd to get caught up in such minutiae, but after trying so many devices over the years, some fire buttons just “register” with more oomph and authority. Consider these among the best we’ve seen in a while, even if the rest of the mod isn’t quite up to the same standard.
Overall, the Swell is a little plastic-heavy for my tastes, but it’s solid and well-built, so I imagine most users will appreciate the balance more than me.
The included Swell tank is a pretty decent throw-in, too… considering it’s nearly identical to the Jackaroo tank we covered a few months back. This mesh-coiled sub-ohm offering makes for a nice companion piece with the kit, and at only a few dollars more than the mod alone, it’s really a no-brainer. While the tank won’t make you forget your HorizonTech Falcon King or Ehpro Raptor, the included mesh coils are pretty flavorful, and durable, to boot.
For the record, the two coils offer similar levels of flavor and vapor performance, with the lower-resistance coil kicking a little harder in both departments. I managed about 5-7 days from each, under testing conditions, before they gave up the ghost. I imagine those numbers will only improve under more moderate use.
Vaping the Vandy Vape Swell Kit
First, let me address the elephant in the room. Normally, in the “Standout Features” section, we’d cover the best features and highlights. However, on a mod that touts waterproof mechanicals and a Bluetooth location finder, neither feature managed to stand out. First, I don’t test waterproofing, because this is a vape site, not Cabela’s.
Secondly, my Bluetooth feature didn’t work. Not sure if it was the mod itself, or user error (a VERY likely possibility) but in practice, I don’t really care. If you’re losing mods so often that you need Bluetooth and a phone app to rectify the problem, it might indicate a bigger need than a vape product can offer. Sure, it’s nice to have, but we prefer to focus on what really matters — vaping performance.
[ED NOTE: The app also allows users to control basic settings and adjustments from a phone. But it doesn’t always work, since the Bluetooth connection seemed to waver, even from close distances.]
On that end, the Swell kit does a fine job for a mid-wattage vape mod. With a 188-watt max output, low (0.05-ohm) resistance capabilities, the Swell performs as expected, with fast ramping, precise temp control and resistance locking, and an overall sense of power that belies the lightweight exterior. Not surprising, coming from Vandy Vape, but worth mentioning all the same.
I did have two notable performance complaints. First, the Bypass mode — which I rarely use anyway — was less-than-functional during my testing. On no fewer than five occasions, trying to vape in Bypass mode launched me back a few steps in the menu trees, and defaulting to wattage/power mode. Hardly a big deal for me, but I imagine those who pay for the mod will feel otherwise.
Secondly, I experienced a handful of misfires and weird power spikes above 120 watts. Nothing that triggered warnings or shutdowns, but definitely a concern for those who regularly live above 100 watts. Though these mishaps didn’t happen consistently or frequently, I would have preferred Vandy Vape lowered the mod’s output range to something more reasonable, containing these errors.
Not only is 188 watts more than a mod in this category realistically needs, but it’s also not enough to cater to the “high power” crowd. Why mislabel a mod’s capabilities when it’s nowhere near modern extremes for power output?
But overall, the Swell vapes fine, with predictable, unassuming performance, and a nice companion tank to complete the experience.
- Lightweight, but durable construction
- Truly unique design schemes
- Rapid ramp-up time
- Weird power spikes above 120 watts
- Some designs are iffy
- The experience feels a little half-baked
A word I’ve been using a lot lately is “essential.” But there’s nothing in the Vandy Vape Swell Kit that warrants using it. While this is a perfectly fine, solidly performing vape mod, there’s a strange sense that the company focused more on marketing claims and gimmicks rather than making a “must-have” device. I think these ideas could mature into something special down the line, but for now, the kit falls short of “swell.”