Wismec Luxotic Surface Squonk Kit Review – Just last week, I got to review the Desire Squonky (review here) sub-ohm tank, and now I get a full kit to try a proprietary squonk-ready, coil-less RDTA – there’s something good happening in the vape industry, and our latest positive sign of change comes courtesy of the Wismec Luxotic Surface squonk kit.
Tiny but brash. Compact but potent. Convenient and unique. The Luxotic Surface might not be the best squonker we’ve seen of late. But it IS the most original… and I think bigger things are going to come from the coil-free squonk format. Let’s see what the official line is for the kit.
The Wismec LUXOTIC SURFACE 80W Squonk Starter Kit is an innovative single 18650 squonk set-up with 6.5mL ergonomic squonk bottle and advanced AVATAR Chipset to paired with the nifty Wismec KESTREL RDTA adopting a new mesh heater element. Constructed from durable zinc-alloy and stainless steel, the Wismec Luxotic Surface 80W Starter Kit houses the appraised AVATAR chipset within to regulate the battery and vaping functions. Within the chassis sits an impressive 6.5mL soft silicone squonking bottle, accessible behind the sliding ventilated bottom battery door and giving access to juices at the simple press of the squonking bottle from the juice viewing window.
Wismec Luxotic Surface Mod Specs:
- Size: 78×25.5×43.5mm
- Battery: Single 18650 (not included)
- Output: 1-80W
- User modes: VW, Bypass, TC (Ni, SS, Ti), TCR
- Display: 0.49in OLED
- Squonk bottle capacity: 6.5ml
- Resistance range: 0.05-3ohm
- Upgraded Avatar chip set
- Instant fire – 0.001 seconds
- Multiple circuit protection
Wismec Luxotic Surface Kestrel RDTA Tank Specs:
- Size: 24×36.7mm
- Capacity: 2ml
- Mesh heating element
- Long lifespan heating mesh
- Side refilling port
- Side airflow control
Wismec Luxotic Surface Starter Kit Contents:
- Wismec Luxotic Surface Mod
- Wismec Kestrel RDTA
- Spare glass
- Mesh heating element
- Squonk bottle
When I think “squonk mod” my mind immediately centers on bulk and cumbersome mechanics. But the Luxotic Surface belies that thinking with a slender, solid form factor that sits beautifully in the hand, and has a really nicely machined exterior.
Wismec wasn’t being shy when it came to the Surface’s color patterns – my Picasso-like test model was awash in bright colors and bold outlines that would feel as at home in a museum as on a subway train. Perhaps this wasn’t my personal style, but as loud as it is, the paint job is done is a classy, balanced way that doesn’t become too obtrusive or juvenile.
The up/down controls and fire key are top-notch, as is all the machining throughout the Luxotic Surface. However, I have to question the bottom-cornered position of the squonk bottle opening. Not only is it awkwardly placed, but the bottle itself is too recessed in the chamber, making it very difficult to get a confident, controlled press when trying to refill.
It might not seem like a big deal, but the compact, palm-friendly design just screams for one-handed ease of use. So it was a bit of a shame when I was forced to use both hands to get a better squeeze on the pliable rubber bottle.
The included Kestrel RDTA is a tight, strong-vaping little tank that seems like it might help rejuvenate the stagnant RDTA market. And it accomplishes this by not REALLY being a rebuildable tank atomizer.
Oh sure, you replace the mesh screen and drop in some cotton. But it’s barely more difficult than popping in a standard coil head on a sub-ohm tank. The slots are clearly marked and designed for maximum ease of use, so newcomers can dive right into more advanced vaping atomizers. Experienced vapers will also appreciate the effortless swapping of mesh screens and cotton, making this about as simple a “rebuildable” as we’ve seen.
Vaping the Kestrel was a mostly excellent affair, with one major problem – the tank swallows juice at an unbelievable rate. With just 2mL of capacity and an overabundance of airflow working its way through the deck, I found myself thankful this was a squonk-ready RDTA. Of course, the 6.5mL bottle isn’t exactly breaking records, either. But as a compact setup for a night out, the capacity was enough to satiate me without much worry.
The mesh screens were strong performers, offering even heat distribution that ramped quickly, even at low-mid wattages. I managed roughly three weeks of steady use before the cotton started to foul more quickly and flavor diminished – not a terrible run-time but modern standards.
I’ve read some reviews indicating the Kestrel RDTA wasn’t much on flavor, but my experience was different. Though hardly a world-beater, I found the Kestrel to be a rich and flavorful RDTA when used as a restricted lung atomizer, rather than a full-on cloud machine. Sure, it can be pushed into service for foggier pursuits, but always at the expense of liquid consumption and loss of flavor. At lower wattages and snugger airflow, the Kestrel turned into a surprisingly good MTL performer – the juice consumption was still pretty bad, but the flavor was worth the few extra drops.
Even with the nitpicking about the juice capacity and bottle opening, I mostly enjoyed using the Luxotic Surface kit – mostly because of the promise it represents for the future of squonk rigs. While there have been other squonk-ready RDTAs on the market, there haven’t been any that use effortless mesh screens to do it. And while it’s hardly a perfect RDTA in this form, I’d love to see a Kestrel 2 with a little more capacity and a little more oomph, to boot.
The mod itself has a pretty standard list of modes and features – variable wattage, temperature control, TCR and bypass – and all work as intended. Because this is a single-18650 device, I don’t recommend trying to max out the wattage, unless you like carrying spare batteries, because there’s no USB charging here. Besides, like we mentioned above, slow and low is the best way to enjoy this setup, so save the battery power and embrace the flavor at lower wattages.
If Wismec was going to improve the design, I’d definitely recommend widening the bottle opening so users didn’t have to remove the panel to get the last bits of juice out before refilling. It simply isn’t a comfortable position in either hand, which is odd, considering how comfortable and easy it is to use the rest of the device.
– Solid, compact form factor
– Unique RDTA
– Long-lasting, flavorful mesh screen
– Juice consumption is awful
– Battery life is middling at best
– Awful squonk bottle opening
We always talk about innovation. While the Wismec Luxotic Surface with Kestrel RDTA isn’t QUITE the answer we’re looking for, it’s a big step closer to it. With a little more power, a little more capacity and some ergonomic tweaks, we could be looking at a platform for the ages. Fingers crossed it’s already on Wismec’s drawing board.