Review of my EGO eVic PV, part I.
by, 12-09-2012 at 06:07 PM (10530 Views)
What if you could change the way your PV behaves, after you bought and used it? What if you could see how much you vape in a day/week/month? If you think that’s nice to have in a PV then maybe this EGO eVic might be just for you.
Upgrading the firmware is indeed a nice new feature for a PV. And as you will see in my review, I think that is a necessary feature for the eVic, as it still had some things that can be (should be) improved.
All in all, this eVic is a nice PV. Although I am not able to test the performance of it other than by simply using it, I included a link to a German website (use Google translate if you want to read itJ) of which the author put the eVic to the test and did some measurements on it.
My review is split into a review of the eVic itself (Hardware) and a part in which I will shortly describe the MVR software that you can download from the Joytech site (Software). I will end this review (in a second part) with a summary of strong and weak points. Needless to say these are my opinions and YMMV.
The eVic is nicely packed in a hard carton box. When you open the box the eVic lies on top of a plastic holder. Underneath the holder you’ll find the additional items all nicely packed it separate boxes: the battery, the USB cable and the USB charger.
After placing the battery, screwing the battery cap back on can be a little tedious, as it is quite small. I like the big battery spring however. And you don’t need to unscrew it again since the battery can be charged from the USB connection on the eVic.
The ring around the drip well can also be screwed off. This is very handy. When I used my Kanger T3 I screwed it on too tight. When loosening it the bottom end stayed on while I was actually unscrewing the tank from its base. Unscrewing the ring makes handling this much more easier and a lot less messier.
The eVic feels sturdy. The button is placed right for pushing with your thumb and it has a ‘clicky’ feeling to it. While taking a puff the eVic shows a counter indicating how long you puff was.
The display of the eVic is very clear and nicely organized. It shows the battery level in two ways (graphically and a percentage level), the total number of puffs you took, the remaining number of puffs, based on set Voltage, used resistance and remaining battery power, and the current Voltage set for vaping. In sunlight however the screen is hard to read.
Increasing or decreasing the Voltage goes via the direction key. It’s a comfortable way to adjust the Voltage. The drawback here is that it increases or decreases the Voltage only with 0.1V per turn. There is no turn-and-hold function to change the Voltage in repeating steps automatically. That is strange because in the menu you can change settings by just turn and holding the direction key. It automatically keeps on increasing or decreasing the setting, until to leave the direction key. Hopefully that can be changed with a new firmware version.
The menu structure is not optimized for vaping. Two of the most used menu options will probably be to show the resistance of the device you’re using and to modify the Wattage level. Both are quite hidden in the menu structure. For example, when I want to modify the Wattage level I need to perform 17 actions: 5 clicks to enter the menu, turn left 2 times, click, turn left 1 time, click, change the Wattage level or, click, turn left 1 time, click, turn right 3 times (or left 5 times), click. And that’s without changing the actual level, only confirming the set level. Again, hopefully this will be changed with a new firmware version. I would be nice if the ‘most used’ options are just a few actions away.
Modifying settings is not very intuitive, as the direction key has 2 functions then. For example, when I want to change the Wattage level, turning left will increase the tens. Naturally if I want to decrease the tens I would turn right, but that changes the position of the cursor from the tens to the decimals, where I can increase while turning left again. Changing the tenths requires tuning right to change the position of the cursor and tuning left to increase the tenths. IMHO it would be more intuitive to use the direction key for increasing and decreasing the value of the tens, decimals en tenths, and use the ‘enter’ button to change the position of the cursor. Again something for a new firmware version.
The eVic performs quite well, though I don’t have the equipment to verify its output conditions. From a German reviewer: Joyetech eVic: VV Akkuträger mit PC Anschluß » Mountain Prophet (thanks, Mountain Prophet), I found that its performance is not quite what they advertise with. It seems the output is restricted to 11 Watt / 2.8 Ampére, though it should perform up to 15 Watt. I hope that this is not a hardware limitation and that they are able to increase the output via the firmware to a higher level.
From the mentioned review I learned that the Voltage output is accurate compared to the set value. However, there seems to be quite some difference between the set Watt level and the actual output Wattage. Again, I cannot confirm this as I don’t have the equipment to test this.
Another important issue is that IMO this is not a variable Wattage device. Yes, you can set the Wattage level. Yes, it calculates the output Voltage based on the set Wattage level and the resistance of the currently used device. But it seems to set and forget. When I changed to a different device with a lower Ohm, the eVic kept its set Voltage, rather than the set Wattage level. I had to confirm the set Wattage again to let it recalculate the optimum Voltage and set this. It does not ‘dynamically’ modify the output Voltage. I would rather see that they change the menu option ‘Output power’ from a Wattage level setting, into a setting to choose between Voltage set or Wattage set. Set it on Voltage if you want to modify the Voltage in the main screen. Set it on Wattage if you want to modify the Wattage in the main screen. This also would be a nice modification for the next firmware version.
Another firmware-issue is when putting the device in Standby mode. If I do this and wake it up again by clicking the ‘Enter’ button 5 times, its default output Voltage is 3.3V, regardless of the previous set Voltage value. Only when I power it off it seems to remember the set value when I start it up again. This is regardless of the Wattage level I set.
The last function I tested was the Low Voltage protection. I was under the impression that it has some sort of ‘active’ protection that shuts the device down when the battery charge becomes too low. Although the eVic showed a ‘Low Voltage’ warning on its screen, I vaped it until I had only 1 puff left according to the eVic’s screen. I was hoping that it would shut off before the battery would reach the critical level. But it didn’t. When I shut the device off myself I wasn’t able to charge the battery anymore. Even when I put the battery in a separate charger, it will not charge anymore, hence its level got below the critical battery level. I think it’s dead now. So, if there is a ‘active’ low voltage protection, it does not work with the battery supplied with the eVic (Samsung). That’s a shame because now a very good battery is dead and won’t charge anymore.
Advice: keep the battery level above 10%!!
I use the V1.1 of the MVR software on my PC.
When I connect my eVic to the PC via the USB cable, the MVR starts up. It gives me the choice between only charging the eVic or use the MVR software while charging the device. Unfortunately I cannot vape with the eVic while connected to the PC. That is, when I want to see my statistics. When I select the option to only charge my eVic it will allow me to vape while charging. Also when using the USB adaptor you can vape while charging.
With another option I can download the data from my eVic to the PC. In the ‘User Information’ I can enter my name, age and gender. The ‘Current Status’ option shows me some general information about the eVic. It enables me to set the puffs and output power. Hit the ‘Modify’ button to write the data to the eVic. The MVR confirms the successful sending of the data. It does this in a separate dialog window where I have to click the ‘OK’ button to remove it from my screen. Not a big issue, but it would be nicer if a message was displayed in a status bar in the main window of the MVR.
In the ‘Statistics’ window you can see your vaping behavior in a few graphics. You are able to view it on a monthly, weekly or daily base. You can view the set Voltages, total puffs and used resistances and how many puffs you did on these. A nice feature but not very important for the average vaper. On the other hand I think this is one of the reasons for buying an eVic altogether, otherwise there are other alternatives out there.
The last, important feature of the MVR is the ability to upgrade the firmware of the eVic. This is a very good function. Its importance reveals itself by the ‘issues’ I found and described above. I think most of them can be corrected by a new firmware version.
For the summary see my second part of this review (have to keep the number of characters under the max. limit)