Pioneer4You IPV5 Review
This time around I’m going to take a long hard look at the Pioneer4You IPV5, provided by the great team over at VAPORDNA. The current price at the time of this review is $59.99, and you can get it here.
In The Box
Pioneer4You has come up with a nice professional looking package for the IPV5. It’s a traditional cardboard box with foam insert that protects the mod during shipping. The first thing you see when you open it is the IPV5 mod, and below that is the multi language instruction booklet, warranty card, certificate of authenticity, and USB upgrade cable. Please note that this cable is purely for upgrades, since the IPV5 can’t be charged via the USB port.
The instruction sheet is a multi-fold single page, double sided, glossy sheet. It is separated into 8 panels, with 4 on each side of the page. It looks very professionally done and the instructions are easy to read and follow. There are illustrations and text to make it easy to use the IPV5. It is a better set of instructions than many (I might even argue most) of the multi-fold styled manuals I have seen. Pioneer4You has got the right idea by making sure their instructions are professional and easy to read. This helps to ensure that their customer can use the product. Because if they can’t use the product due to poor instructions, then they may not remain a Pioneer4You customer very long.
Upon opening the box, the first thing that struck me was that the glossy deep blue paint job is simply gorgeous. The blue is striking, and reminds me a lot of Dr. Who’s Tardis. I also realized, after taking it out of the box, that the painted finish is a quite smooth and actually a bit slick to hold. The sides are indented to make it a little easier to hold, but I personally would have preferred a slightly textured finish on a mod this heavy to reduce the risk of it slipping out of my hand. The paint on the one I received was flawless, although that changed very quickly, but I’ll talk about that in just a minute. The lines and styling follow those of the IPV D2 and IPV D3, making it feel very familiar, even though it is easily twice the size. Overall, the first impression is that this could be a pretty good quality mod.
Here are the specifications and features that I pulled from the internet.
- Output Power: 10W-200W
- Output Joule: 10 Joules – 100 Joules / 120 Joules for Titanium
- Standard Resistance: 0.15ohm – 3.0ohm
- Joule Mode Resistance: 0.05ohm – 1.5ohm
- Output Voltage: 1.0V – 7.0V
- Output Current: 1.0A – 45.0A
- Minimum Atomizer Resistance: 0.05ohm
- Temperature Range: 212-572 Farenheit
- Utilizes Yihi SX330-200 Chip
- Accepts 2×18650 Battery
- Maximum 200 Watt Output
- Temp Control with SS/Ni200/Ti Wire/SX Pure/Manual TCR
- Firmware Upgradable
- Customizable Logo by GUI
- Magnetic Battery Door Panel
The features listed are what you would expect from almost any 200 watt device, except for two. The first is the SX Pure mode for TC, which I’ll briefly talk about under the heading of temperature control below. The second, while it’s not necessarily a useful feature for me, the ability to customize your logo might be of use for someone that is really into customization.
Fit And Finish
To look at, the IPV5 is a thing of beauty in deep, glossy, blue. Unfortunately, the finish on this mod seems to have some of the issues of previous Pioneer4You cheap finishes. Within a matter of a few moments, simply from handling the mod, a paint bubble on one side of the mod “popped” and flaked off. While it isn’t a big spot, about the size of a pin head, it’s certainly highly visible against the deep blue color of the paint. To make matters worse, in less than an hour it was sporting another tiny spot along the top seam of the mod. Thankfully, unlike the IPV Mini 2, the paint is not flaking off every time I touch the mod. The real issue is that this speaks to the quality of the components used in this mod.
The battery door is a partially sliding magnetic design that takes both hands to get it open. First you need one hand to slide the door downward about half an inch, then you need the other hand to grasp the bottom edge and lift the door off the mod. To give credit where credit is due, the magnets are relatively strong under normal usage conditions, with one at the top and two at the bottom. The top one is mounted on a post that fits into a notch to keep the door properly aligned. The problem is that the manufacturing tolerances are quite sloppy, allowing the door to noisily shift around a little while I’m holding the mod. This sloppy quality might just explain why the door is able to easily fall off under certain conditions, like when carried in a pocket.
The stainless buttons are solid and provide good positive feedback when pushed, but are a little more clicky than I like. They do protrude quite a bit, but the front face design minimizes that so they don’t feel like they stick out too far. I haven’t had a problem with them accidentally changing settings like I’ve had with some of my other mods. They are a good size and are well placed on the face of the IPV5.
The display is fairly small, but with a battery indicator, coil resistance, temperature setting and voltage, it displays enough information to be useful. It does brighten when you are pushing any of the buttons, and dims when you release them. The design of the front face allows the display to be inset far enough to protect it from damage, and provides enough of an edge to have great visibility in strong light.
Below the display is the USB port. This may be a design concern as the port is set pretty deeply into the front face, making it difficult to use with a normal USB cable. That doesn’t matter too much, as the mod cannot be charged via USB anyway, the port is purely for updating the mod when new firmware is released.
It would seem that Pioneer4You expects you to be using a modern side airflow tank as the 510 connector does NOT have any air flow slots. The IPV5 510 connector is a flat, stainless steel, flush mounted design. The center pin is gold plated and spring loaded, it worked well with every atomizer that I put on it.
This mod feels comfortable, yet slightly slick (due to the sleek glossy finish), while holding and using it. It is not overly heavy, but solid enough to feel good when I’m holding it. If you have owned any other Yihi SX chipset powered product, you will be quite at home with using this one. A large issue for me in daily usage is the loudly shifting battery door. Every time I pick the mod up, or shift my grip on it, the battery door moves and makes noises under my hand, and it drives me nuts.
The IPV5 functions almost exactly like my IPV D2. Click the fire button five times to get into the menu mode, once there, single clicking the fire button cycles through the menu options, while the up and down buttons are used to make adjustments, except when on the exit and system options. On those two options, the up and down button auto activate the setting, exit leaves the menu, and system shuts the mod down. My one concern here is that my mod occasionally suffers from problems when hitting the buttons, they don’t always register that they have been pushed. I don’t think it is a serious issue, as it does happen very infrequently, but it does happen.I can’t tell if it is a button problem, or just a glitch, but either way you need to know that it could happen with this mod.
The mod also has five memory settings in Power mode, and each of these will store a separate and distinct bank of settings. You can set up each of the 5 modes with pre-configured settings for up to five combinations of atomizer preferences. This allows you to quickly change settings for different tanks, making it easy to switch between a .2 ohm dripper, 1.2 ohm mouth to lung (or MTL) coil, .5 ohm clapton, etc. To access these modes, simply push the up adjustment button once to cycle to the next mode. Once it is in the memory mode you want for your atomizer, simply hit the fire button to select it. Changing settings for the current profile in use is done by pushing the up button once followed by the down button once. This will allow you to adjust up and down to set your desired wattage, and once set, hit the fire button to retain the setting.
The IPV 5 feels pretty sleek and thin, but unfortunately it is a pretty tall mod, making it more top heavy than most. Do not set this mod down with a tank on it but no batteries in it, if you do, you are asking for trouble. The IPV 5 definitely needs the weight of the batteries to counter balance the tank. Several times when I have set it down, it wanted to topple over, but thankfully I have caught it every time, and it hasn’t actually dropped. When you remove the battery door, you can see that there is a substantial amount of room in the top of the mod. I find it very difficult to believe that Pioneer4You couldn’t have decreased that space and made the mod quite a bit shorter. To be honest, I would like to have seen the IPV D2 or D3 expanded for a second battery. It would have made the mod wider, but I don’t think it would have made it any wider than the IPV5, and the size would have been a little more manageable.
Yihi does things a little different in their chipsets than most other mod manufacturers, so temperature control is not quite as straight forward as it is with the Evolv or Joyetech chipsets. That said, different or not, it is every bit as capable and consistent with every vape. Pioneer4You did well choosing to go with the SX 330-200 chipset in this mod.So lets talk a little bit about how this chipset differs from the others.
When in Power mode, the mod works as expected, you adjust the wattage up and down as necessary to get the vape you want. When you switch the mod into Temperature Control mode, you set the readout for Fahrenheit or Celsius, next you set the desired temperature, then you set the coil type, and finally, if you selected manual TCR as the coil type, then you set the TCR value. The mod is capable of multiple coil types for temperature control, Nickel, Titanium, Stainless Steel 304, SX Pure, and Manual TCR. Once you exit the menu, you will see that the wattage setting has changed to Joules. Note the SX Pure listed, this is for a new and proprietary temperature control wicking material, scheduled for release in the IPV Pure X2 atomizer (currently not available).
Joules, as it turns out, is a unit of measurement that expresses the output power of one watt expended over one second of time. This can make it a little confusing when your previous devices have all used the term watts. For simplicity sake, at least in the terms we are used to in the vaping world, Joules is effectively the same as saying watts. With the IPV5, Joules are set the same way as the wattage is in Power mode, so I won’t bother describing it again here. What is of note is that there are 5 setting banks in this mode as well so that you can adjust, set and save 5 distinct profiles like you can in Power mode.
The different coil types supported should cover just about any type of atomizer coil out there, although I would have preferred if it were set for SS 316L instead of SS 304. As it is, since I use SS 316L, I ended up setting a manual TCR to get the proper vape out of my coil and it worked exactly as expected. I was unable to test the SX Pure setting as I don’t own the IPV Pure X2 atomizer it’s meant for. Finally, mine has a buzzing issue in temperature control mode. Sporadic reports across the internet show that I’m not alone with this issue. While it doesn’t seem to affect performance of the mod, it is definitely annoying.
The IPV5 performs admirably in either Power or Temperature Control modes, with one exception. Periodically, during my testing, the mod would display the message “Dry Coil, No Liquid”, even though the tank had plenty of juice in it. The fix, is to reset the coil resistance by pushing both the up and down adjustment buttons at the same time. I’m not sure what causes this, but it has happened a half dozen or so times over about a 2 week span. Otherwise, once you get used to using the menu system and switching between setting banks for different setups, it works quite well. In both Power mode and Temperature Control modes, it performed exactly as expected.
The Pioneer4You IPV5 takes dual batteries to power the Yihi SX 330-200 chipset. Battery management seems to be great, it easily lasts as long as my dual battery Cuboid in daily usage. As with any dual battery mod, make sure you use married, identical battery pairs for best results. Do not mix and match different battery types with a high powered mod like the IPV5, as it could be very dangerous and cause a battery to vent while using the mod.
Do I love this mod? The answer is a resounding “no”, but I do like it. Pioneer4You has done a lot with this mod, and I do like some of what they have done, such as the overall IPV 5 design, the police box blue color, and dual batteries. There are some things I don’t like though, sloppy tolerances on the battery door, flaking paint, button inconsistency, buzzing and the overall height of the mod.
The shifting battery door and imperfections in the paint speak to the quality control of Pioneer4You. Unfortunately, these are problems that they have struggled with for many of their previous mod designs. These issues could have been caught and corrected at the factory if the QC were better. The end result would be a much better product.The height is a different issue, this was a conscious design issue that just makes the mod feel top heavy with a good solid tank on it. I haven’t yet been able to determine the problem with the button presses, it could either be the chip, or the button design, as for the buzzing, well that is a definite Yihi chip problem, not Pioneer4You.
Bottom line, for the price of the mod, if you can put up with the potential imperfections of the one you receive, it’s a relatively cheap way to get a good performing chipset. Be forewarned though, there is no telling how long it will last, given Pioneer4You’s history of having quality control issues with their products.