How did this one get by us? We just received a shipment of branded Aleader Funky 160 box mods from e-liquid powerhouse Vape Wild. But, according to the information superhighway, the Funky 160 has been available since the middle of last year! (Hey, we never claimed we could review them ALL, no matter how hard we try…)
Well, consider this a throwback review for anyone who may have missed this underground gem the first time around. Vape Wild/Aleader’s Funky 160 is a fantastic, resin-plated box mod that doesn’t try to reinvent the game, but rather offers top-level performance for a VERY attractive price. And it does it in spades.
I’ll hand it to Vape Wild – the company is usually known for its friendly, sometimes over-the-top branding (it worked on my wife, who now won’t stop vaping their Twin Mint juice), but the Funky 160’s packaging is really subdued. In fact, it might be TOO subdued. Because the Funky’s gorgeous, replaceable resin side plates should be the star of this show.
Once you open the box, you’ll see why. With a look similar to the Cartel Revenant (and to a lesser extent, the Voopoo Drag) the Funky 160 really shines. My blue/purple resin test model was accented with that “rainbow effect” metal on the frame, and gives off a really nice, polished sheen throughout. It doesn’t hurt that the Funky 160 is also built really well and has a nice heft in the palm.
We’re a VERY safety-conscious site, so it’s no surprise the next feature that jumped at me was the ample venting ports on the bottom and side of the mod. Maybe the Funky isn’t the most powerful beast on vape shop shelves these days, but it’s nice to see Vape Wild and Aleader putting battery safety at the forefront of their design choices. It works, too. Even at the 160-watt max wattage, the Funky stays cool to the touch and never becomes uncomfortable to vape.
The reverse side of the device contains your entire operation suite, with firm, stainless steel buttons that have a fantastic throw, and a simple but attractive 0.9-inch OLED display. Certainly nothing revolutionary in 2018 (or 2017, when the Funky debuted) but it’s clear that the company wanted the interchangeable resin plates to be the visual hero.
Speaking of which, the magnetic plates are replaceable on bothsides of the mod. A little research shows that Vape Wild once sold these with a few sets of plates in the box, but my test models only contained one set per package. It’s just as well, since the purple/bluish combo is far and away my favorite. But I imagine there’s a healthy trading market for Funky 160 side plates out there, and I encourage you to track them down.
Finally, the Funky’s offset 510 connection has to be mentioned. Not only is this spring-loaded connector built to survive several missile strikes, but it also has a nifty ring-shaped channel surrounding it, which not only helps capture stray drops of e-liquid, but also does a nice job dissipating heat during higher-wattage vaping. Intentional or not, this is a hell of a design perk.
Aleader Funky 160 Specs:
- Unique Interchangeable Resin Faceplates
- Power Output: 1-160W
- 0.9″ OLED Display Screen
- Full Temperature Control Suite (NI, TI, SS)
- Power Modes: Soft/Standard/Powerful
- Water Resistant
- 2A On Board Charging
- Battery Ventilation
- Fahrenheit & Celsius Temp. Control Settings
- Separate Battery Indicator for each battery
- Recessed 510 Connection
- Built-in Catch Cup
- Magnetic Battery Door
- Full Featured Display
- Requires 2 x 18650 Batteries (Not Included)
- Dimensions (LxWxH): 54mm x 26mm x 88mm
- Weight: 6.6 oz
- Resistance Range in Wattage Mode: 0.1 – 3.0 Ohms
- Resistance Range in Temperature Control Mode: 0.05-1.0 Ohms
- Temperature Control Range: 200°F-600°F (100°C-315°C)
- Battery cutoff protection: 3.2V (6.4V combined)
Aleader Funky 160 Contents:
- Funky 160 Box Mod
- Aleader User Manual
At the time of this writing, the Vape Wild/Aleader Funky 160 is being sold for around $44 – a decent price point for a mid-wattage vape mod in 2018. Yet the VERY similar Cartel Revenant still carries a price tag with an extra digit, and near-identical performance.
Now, I don’t know if this is a proprietary chipset, or something other mods have used and rebranded. But I also really don’t care, because the Funky 160 is an extremely strong performer. Looking past the full temperature control suite (it works fine, but doesn’t seem to have TCR settings), the real hero under the hood is the powerful and distinct preheat settings.
Sure, we’ve all seen “soft,” “standard” and “powerful” preheat options before. But rarely do they offer such distinct experiences. Because the Funky 160 fires almost immediately, it’s initially hard to detect. But once you get used to the speedy firing, you’ll start to appreciate the differences in heating over the first 3-4 seconds of your draw.
The soft setting is perfect for newcomers, while standard is probably where most users will live. Powerful? Well, when combined with the ultra-quick firing speed, it’s a bit too intense for me. But I imagine power-hungry vapers will eat this up in droves.
Thankfully, the clean, professional display helps users see what’s happening inside the mod at all times. Maybe 0.9 inches, laid out vertically, isn’t exactly “roomy,” but the bright, legible Funky 160 screen shows you modes, watts, battery power, preheat level, ohm reading, puff counter and even joule output. It’s a VERY impressive format that might be overkill, but never feels overwhelming.
Observations While Vaping
First and foremost, the resin faceplate on the non-battery side of the device is a little loose, meaning it might come off in a pocket or purse if you’re not careful. Even though the panels slide into place, there’s a little more play on that side, so be wary when using it.
Secondly, the spring-loaded 510-pin might be a little too stiff. For the first time in a while, I noticed that some of my older tanks and RDAs didn’t sit flush with the top of the Funky 160. It wasn’t a huge problem, there wasn’t much wobble, and newer tanks and drippers fit just fine. But if you’re looking to dust off some nostalgic atomizers, check the connections before heading out.
Finally – and this is personal preference more than anything – the fire key might be a little too close to the tall display. It doesn’t affect performance, but whether holding the Funky 160 in a trigger or thumb firing grip, my fingers draped across the screen, leaving a slew of fingerprints on the display.
Thankfully, the rounded corners and edges on the mod make it comfortable to hold in both grips, so if smudges don’t bother you, feel free to ignore the last 50 or so words of this review. Because performance-wise, there’s little to complain about here.
The Funky 160 is a throwback to what many think is a better era of vaping, before touchscreens and phone apps started dominating the landscape in lieu of no-nonsense performance. Vape Wild and Aleader have managed to bridge the gap between old-fashioned simplicity and new levels of reliability, then wrapped it in a very attractive package. Resin plates might not be for everyone, but the Funky pulls off the look extremely well.
Again, I’m not sure how we missed this mod when it came out last year, but we’re definitely going to keep an ear to the ground to see if there’s a follow-up in the works. Other than a few nitpicky things, the Funky 160 might be the most pleasant surprise of 2018 … even if the mod came out more than a year ago.