IPV Mini Review – 30w Box Mod
IPV Mini Mod Review
The IPV Mini is a 30W variable wattage mod made by Chinese manufacturer Greenleaf/Pioneer4U. With the breakout popularity of the iStick 20W made by Eleaf, it would seem that the IPV Mini is Poineer4Us answer and opportunity to capitalize on the market demand for smaller devices within the 20-30 watt range. Early IPV Mini pre-orders had this device priced between the $60-70 mark however, even as the IPV has just begun to hit shelves we have seen the price point come down to $50-60USD at various online retailers.
The IPV Mini featured in this review came directly from Pioneer4u, and it is packaged in a brown paper gift box with felt inserts. The IPV Mini also comes with a Asmodus distribution warranty card, a user manual , and a micro usb charging cord.
IPV MINI SPECIFICATIONS :
- Brand: Greenleaf/P4U
- Type: variable wattage APV (Yihi SX-130)
- Material: Aluminum
- Connection threading: 510
- Battery compatibility: 18650 (minimum 10A rated)
- Diameter: 23mm
- Height: 94mm
- Width: 43mm
- Weight: 150 grams
- Work wattage: 5-30W
- output voltage: 3-8V input voltage: 3.2-4.5V
- Resistance ohms: 0.5-3.0 Ohms (13A maximum current output)
- Battery: 1*18650
- Chip: SX-130 (from YIHI)
- Usb charging for battery
- Screen size :0.96″ OLED
I received the IPV Mini in the gold color, which is actually a lot more attractive in appearance than I had anticipated. I do like the overall body styling of the device, especially the clean lines of it. The IPV Mini is fully constructed with pressed aluminum and has a smooth anodized finish. The finish itself is fairly even, although there is a slight shade variance between the left and right sides of the device.
The body of the device is in part held together by two hex bolts on the right panel of the device. Even as I am not a huge fan of the button style used, the fire and wattage buttons look better in person than in the early promotional photos. I think that if P4U had opted for fabricating the buttons in stainless steel, it would have elevated of the overall quality and appearance of the device.
The IPV Mini does have a reasonable amount of weight to it, so it does not have a cheap feeling. I was surprised to hear that the IPV Mini is actually a little heavier than the Yihi SX Mini which costs approximately three times as much as the IPV Mini. It is clear that IPV Mini was to some extent inspired by the Zen ZNA 30, but still manages to be quite unique in its appearance.
The construction of the 510 connection is very good. There is a brass spring loaded fire pin that allows flush mounting of any atomizer regardless of its pin length. The atomizer seating can accommodate atomizers up to 23mm in diameter. There are four top cut channels around the atomizer seat, which do not lead all the way out to the outer diameter of the atomizer seat.
If you look closely at the 2nd photo below you can see a minor imperfection in the finish to the left of the atomizer seat. It is not really a big deal, but it is there so I have to mention it.
The battery cap is knarled around its perimeter to assist with removing the battery cap. It appears to be constructed from either aluminum or some type of metal alloy. The threads on the battery cap and the female threads inside the battery tube are clean, and the battery cap threads on and off easily. The battery cap has six vents holes drilled into, and there is also a serial # etched on the bottom.
The micro usb port is placed on the bottom of the device, which some vapers really do not care for. However, since it is very easy to remove your battery for recharging I dont really see the usb charge port placement as an issue. With a 18650 battery installed the IPV Mini weighs approximately 194 grams, which is not heavy, but not feather light. I do like the weight of the device, which I do consider pocket friendly.
Before I go into details about the function and menu of the IPV Mini, I have to mention that the display screen is covered by a thin protective film that needs to be removed upon receipt. When I first receive the IPV Mini I actually thought the screen had several micro scratches on it because I could not see or detect the protective film on it.
As previously mentioned the IPV Mini houses a Yihi SX-130 chip, which is supposed to be capable of a 5-30W power output, and a 3-8v voltage output based on the specifications provided by the manufacturer. After an 18650 battery is installed the IPV Mini requires 5 clicks of the fire button to power it on. Once turned on you will see the Pioneer4U, followed by IPV Mini. The Mini will power on to the last wattage setting used since the chip does have flash memory. When you use the 5 clicks to power off you will see system off across the display screen.
The display screen is nice and clear, and I do like the sort of mirror effect of its appearance. The display screen shows the wattage setting on the left, and the firing voltage and atomizer resistance on the right. This device has the following safety features:
- – Low voltage protection
- – Low resistance protection
- – High input voltage warning
- – Output short circuit protection
- – Reverse battery protection
- – Temperature overheat protection
The SX-130 chip lacks many of the basic features of the Evolv DNA 30 chip, such has stealth mode, wattage lock, and left/right mode. However, this chip does have a couple of unique features that we don’t usually see with DNA 30 devices.
You have the choice between running this device in either PWM mode or DC-DC mode. To switch the device into PWM mode you hold down the fire button and wattage up button at the same time until the PWM mode appears on the screen. To switch to DC-DC mode hold down the fire button and wattage down button at the same time until DC-DC mode appears on the display screen.
The IPV Mini also has a memory mode that allows you to save 5 pre-set wattage settings. There are 5 default memory settings when you receive the device however, they can be changed to suit your preference. The memory mode is accessed from standby mode by pressing the + wattage button. You can change each of the 5 memory setting by hitting the button from standby mode, followed by using the wattage up/down to change the power setting, then hitting the fire button to store that wattage setting.
The fire button on the IPV Mini is not clicky as much as it is click clanky. The feel of the fire button is a little toyish however, it is a very responsive button. The fire button itself has a rectangular shape, and it will fire whether it is press at the bottom, middle or top of the button. While I dont love the buttons, I dont hate them either, they work.
The ergonomics (Im so over this term) of the IPV Mini do make for comfortable and easy handling. While this device is called the IPV Mini it is really not that small, although I do like the size of the device. When compared to the ZNA 30 in 18490 mode and the Zero Modz clone in (18650), the IPV is a little taller than the ZNA , and a good bit taller than the Zero Modz.
While using the IPV Mini with an LG-HE2 2500mah battery, I felt like it was lasting too long according to the battery indicator. When the battery indicator was at about 25-30% remaining, I pulled the battery and put it on my Digicharger and it read 3.53v. Then I realized that battery voltage cut off happens at 3.2v with the IPV Mini, which in my opinion is too low. I am a stickler for battery health, and for the sake of maintaining healthy, long lasting batteries, they should not be repeatedly discharged below 3.5v, even as 3.6v is ideal. I do know that there are those who prefer the lower battery voltage cut off, to which I say to each his own.
I have used the IPV Mini primarily with two atomizers a Kayfun built to .7 ohm, a GP Heron built to 1.2 ohm, and an Aqua V2 built to .5 ohms. The first thing that I noticed is that the IPV Mini reads all of my atomizers at .1 higher than my ohm meter. The IPV Mini also does not fire from standby mode, there is roughly a 2 second delay.
When I set the IPV Mini to 15.5W with the Kayfun/.8 ohms the vape did feel more powerful than I thought it should have. Initially I didnt think a lot about that, I just set the wattage down to 11.5W and kept vaping with the intention to meter the voltage output later.
Using an inline 510 volt meter I tested the voltage output of the IPV Mini using a .5 and 1.2 ohm build across 4 wattage output setting of 5w, 15.5W, 20W, and 30W. With the IPV Mini set to the DC-DC mode, one of the first things that I noticed on the inline meter is that I was not getting a flat DC signal. Regardless of where I set the wattage, the voltage output for each setting started out high, and then rolled down in numbers until it landed on a certain number, where the voltage output would remain until I released the fire button.
For example, at 1.3 ohm set to 5W, the inline would first read 4.24v, then roll down to 4.15, 4.02, and then land on 3.90v where it remained until I released the fire button. Even if I used the lowest voltage output of 3.90v to calculate the actual wattage output (11.7W), this device is still way over the 5W setting. In fact the IPV Mini didnt even come close to firing accurately until I got near the 20W-30W range firing at 1.3 ohms, although the 15.5W setting was only over by .63 watts.
The voltage output pattern is not like a pulse width modulated frequency which cycles up and down repeatedly through voltage output. The voltage output pattern of the IPV Mini starts out high and gradually comes down to a certain voltage output and then remains there unchanged until you stop firing. Being that the IPV Mini specs claim to fire down to 3v, I was surprised to see that this device came nowhere near that minimum voltage output. I was even more surprised to see how inaccurate this Yihi chip is. I have watched Phil Busardos review of the SX-350 chip which had much better results.
Initially I wasnt going to attempt to capture any of the voltage output reading in photo because of how the voltage output reads, starting high, then coming down. But I decided to capture what I am going to call the resting voltage output number with a .5 ohm build (.6/.7 on the IPV Mini), the results of which you can see below. You will notice that even the “resting voltage output” does not match what the display screen indicates as the voltage output.
And before anyone comments to ask, yes, the IPV Mini did fire higher at the 5W setting than at the 15.5W setting. While this device should not be able to accurately fire .6ohm at 5W based on specs, the actual voltage output should not have been any higher than the 3 volt minimum output. Likewise, it should have also been able to accurately fire .6 ohm at 15.5W (3.04v), 20W (3.46v), and 30W (4.24v), but it did not.
At the end of the day I would rather deal with an overpowered device, than a underpowered device however, this Yihi chip is not very impressive.
Before I got to the point of testing the voltage output with the IPV Mini I, was for the most part very satisfied with its overall performance. Even as I did find the device to be too powerful at certain settings, in reality I was able to get the vape that I like by simply adjusting the device down. At the end of the day so long as I am able to find my vape, and the device fires when I hit the button, I am happy. I like the way the device looks and feels, and if I had not put my inline volt meter on it, I am sure that I would have said that the IPV Mini is a great little device. The build quality is solid, especially at this price point. The price point also makes it a little easier to forgive the chips shortcomings.
I think that it is also worth mentioning that I did receive a sample from Pioneer4U, and in a color that I have heard that P4U is having major delays with producing in large numbers, along with the blue color. In fact, I was actually supposed to receive a silver IPV Mini, and I bugged the crap out of P4U to get them to send me a gold one instead. I mention this because I feel that perhaps it is possible that I received an early beta/promotional sample version of this device, and maybe that would explain the inaccurate voltage output numbers perhaps? I am speculating, and attempting to give both Pioneer4U and Yihi the benefit of the doubt here.
While I am certainly not soured on the IPV Mini (I still like it), I am certainly not at all impressed by this Yihi chip. In the voice of the infamous Flavor Flav dont believe the hype. Maybe the Yihi SX-350 is all that, as it has been fabled to be. But the Yihi SX-130 chip that I received certainly is not, although again it is reasonable to think it possible that I received an early beta unit.