The Hero SX 50W mod is a variable wattage mod featuring a genuine Yihi SX 300C chip with G-sensor technology. The Hero SX 50W mod is actually the second edition of SX Zero style mods which are manufactured by Shenzhen Eachely Technology, who is also known under the trade brand of Hotcig.
This review has been a long time coming considering that I received the Zero SX version of this Eachely made mod back in December 2014. I held off on the review because the Hotcig Zero SX was very difficult to keep on vendor shelves because they usually sold out within 24 hours of being listed, and I didn’t like the idea of reviewing a product that would most likely not be available for purchase by the time the review would go live.
For the sake of clarity the Zero SX Mod is the removable body sleeve version, similar to the DNA Zero Modz, and the Hero SX has a non-removable Red Wood or PMMA body (2 Hero SX variations). What both versions of this device have in common is that they are “C” framed mods that are based in part on the SX Zero Modz by Carlos Creation.
This product review will feature both the Hero and Zero SX 50W mods. Both the Hero SX, and Zero SX mods came from Focalecig.com, and they retail for $84.50 and $68.58 respectively. Each mod is packaged in a hard zipper case and include the mod, usb charging cable, an allen wrench, and a user manual.
HERO/ZERO SX MOD SPECIFICATIONS
- Brand: Hotcig
- Type: variable wattage mod
- Material: Stainless Steel and Red Wood
- Connection threading: adjustable 510 (reverse threaded/Hero) (spring loaded/Zero)
- Battery compatibility: single 18650 ( High drain rated for 15A or more)
- Diameter: 25mm
- Height: 86mm
- Width: 48mm
- Weight: 207 grams (Hero) 248 grams (Zero)
- Variable wattage: 7.0W to 50.0W
- Firing resistance : 0.3-3.5ohm
- Input voltage: 3.2-4.3V
- Input current: 1.5-15A
- Output voltage: 3.6V-11.0V
- Efficiency: 92%
- 0.66″ LCD display
- Gravity Sensor
- Short circuit protection
As I mentioned earlier, the Hero SX 50W comes in two variations which are a real Red Wood and PMMA material finishes. Out of the box the Red Wood body is really nice, albeit a bit ashy in its finish. I did use some wood polish on the Red Wood to help give it a natural looking luster. The machining of the stainless steel frame is very good, and it has a smooth finish around the edges of the frame.
Before I received the Hero SX I was a bit concerned about how well the Red Wood inner body would fit with the frame, but the Red Wood part of the mod is very sturdy feeling and for the most part it lays flush with the frame. When I look really closely I can see the slightest of gaps between the Red Wood and C frame, but for the most part I was pleased with the overall appearance and feel of the Hero SX.
The Zero SX is very similar in style and construction to the Yosen DNA Zero Modz clone that I reviewed several months, but it does have a few differences. While The Zero SX is typically sold with a plain stainless steel body sleeve, Hotcig does offer this version with a removable black PVD coated stainless steel Mask sleeve as shown below. This particular body sleeve can also be purchased as an optional extra.
The Zero SX 50W mod shown below is actually my second Hotcig Zero SX, the first of which came directly from Shenzhen Eachely. So at this point I have had three of the Hotcig SX mods in my hands, and they are all from different production batches. The Zero SX shown below is actually a bit better than the first one that I had in terms of construction. The sleeves fit better, and the finish of the C frame is more even, and blemish free.
The removable body sleeve has three cut outs that allow the battery wrapper to peek through. When I first saw the promotional photos of this Mask style sleeve I wasn’t that jazzed on it however, in person it is much, much nicer than I had expected. I would actually rate the Hotcig body sleeves as being a little better in terms of fit and finish than the Yosen DNA Zero body sleeves.
The overall size dimensions of the Hero and Zero SX mods are identical, even as there are also a few differences between the two. The most obvious is that the Hero SX has a fixed Red Wood body that cannot be removed, and the Zero SX has a removable body sleeve with a Red Wood inner battery housing.
Both the Hero and Zero SX mods use the same chip, fire button and display. One of the things that concerns me with the fire button is the possibility of the button giving out over time. With the first Zero SX that I had, within a couple of weeks of use the center of the fire button became more depressed than it originally was. It was as though the button board behind it had lost its springiness.
With the current Zero SX mod that I have, it is starting to show signs of the same potential. If you look at the Hero SX on the left compared to Zero SX on the right, you can that the Zero SX is ever so slightly more recessed in the switch housing. It has not gotten to the point of the first Zero SX mod that I had, but it is something to be aware of.
In the photo below you can see the difference between the copper adjustable 510 pin of the Hero SX, and the spring loaded 510 pin of the Zero SX. You can also see that there is a larger countersink around the hex bolt on the top frame of the Hero SX mod.
When I first received the Hero SX 50W mod I was not very happy with the construction of the 510. First, just like the Yosen SX 50W mod that I previously reviewed, the Hero SX has a threaded, and removable 510 connector. While the threads of the 510 connection are well machined, it is the housing of the copper 510 pin that I have an issue with.
In my opinion the 510 pin’s housing is set too low inside of the device. I do not like how far up I have to adjust that 510 pin in order to make contact me all of my atties. I have also read a report from a Hero SX user that their 510 pin was off set way off center, and from another user I read that their 510 was set too high within the housing — Ay vey!
This is my one and only gripe with the build quality and construction of this mod, and initially it really took the wind out of my sails. After waiting for 2 months with giddy anticipation to receive this mod, I was little let down by this fiddly 510 connection. I usually don’t have a problem with adjustable 510s, but I feel like this 510 pin housing needs to be reworked by Eachely. On the other hand I have no issues or complaints about the spring loaded 510 pin of the Zero SX.
The Yosex SX that I previously reviewed also has an adjustable copper 510, but it is constructed much better in my opinion.
Both the Hero and Zero SX have a good amount of weight to them, although the Hero SX is 42 grams lighter than the Zero SX. In spite of their weight both of these mods handle very nicely, and feel perfect in the hand — although they may be a little too heavy for your pockets.
The last difference between the Hero and Zero SX 50W mods are their battery housings. The Hero SX has a battery slot milled into the Red Wood body, and your battery would be inserted into the bottom of the mod after you remove the threaded battery cap.
The Zero SX has an inner battery housing just like the DNA Zero Modz however, all batteries are a very snug fit inside of the Zero SX inner housing. I found this to be true with both Zero SX mods that I have had, even though they do seem to loosen up over time and with repeated battery changing. Both the Hero and Zero SX have usb charging ports at the back of the device.
Being that I have previously reviewed the Yosen SX 50W, and have gone over the functional features of the menu interface and gravity sensor of the Yihi SX 300C in detail, I don’t see the point in repeating the same here. The Hero and Zero SX 50W mods use the exact same Yihi chip, so if you are interested seeing the features of this chip in detail then please refer to that review.
Beyond the annoyance of the fiddly 510 pin on the Hero SX 50W mod, I didn’t have any issues with how this mod and the Yihi SX 300C chip performed. While the Yihi SX 300C chip is spec’d to not have buck conversion, the SX 300C actually does step down voltage output to 3.64v on a freshly charged battery. However, at the same time this chip cannot fire sub ohm resistances below 22W, regardless of your wattage setting.
I do not see this as a bad thing especially considering that most people who vape at sub ohm resistance levels also tend to vape over 20W. Personally, I do enjoy vaping sub ohm resistances below 20W, but I am ok with vaping .5 ohms at 22W.
In the photo demonstration below you will see that I used an inline 510 volt meter on both the Hero and Zero SX mod with the same atomizer attached to compare their performance and output. I used the Typhoon Tank atomizer by Council of Vapor, which had a .5 ohm atomizer head installed. The first difference you should notice is that the Hero SX mod read the atomizer resistance as .6 ohm, whereas the Zero SX reads the atomizer resistance as .5ohm. I believe the difference in resistance on display is directly related to the difference in how the 510 connections are constructed.
Of course the atomizer resistance is going to affect the actual voltage output, which is not huge in this instance. Overall I was happy with how the chips in both devices performed. The .1 difference in atomizer resistance didn’t really change how I experienced the vape between these two mods. That being said, changing atomizers on Hero SX mod is a PITA, especially since the threaded 510 connection tends to unscrew with my atomizers.
In the end I did warm up a little to the Red Wood Hero SX because it is a really good looking mod, and it feels nice in the hand. However, I do believe that Hotcig needs to rework certain aspect of this mods construction, specifically the 510 connection. The Zero SX on the other hand is great all around for me, it looks great, the removable sleeves are really nice, and I like the way the chip performs.
Who would have thought that it would be Hotcig who would put out one of the better Zero Modz style devices? While I am not in love with the 510 connection of the Red Wood Hero SX, it is an attractive and otherwise good performing device. As far as the removable body sleeve Zero SX mod, well it beat the pants off of the Yosen/SXK DNA Zero Modz clone.
I have read some reports regarding defects on the Hotcig Hero/Zero SX mods, ranging from minor things like gaps between the sleeve and frame, and hex bolts that do not sit flush, to two reports of SX 300C chips frying with smoke. With that said, the rates of defect are much, much lower than what we saw with the Yosen/SXK DNA Zero Modz — at least so far.
As much as I really like the look of the Red Wood Hero SX, the Zero SX with removable body sleeve is the winner for me, namely due to having the better, more stabile 510 connection.