YiHi SX350 SXmini Review

SXmini Review

The Yihi SXmini 60W variable wattage APV is made by Dongguan Yihi Electronic Co., Limited, who is a China based electronics manufacturer with a strict focus on the electronic cigarettes industry. While Yihi has gained their name recognition on the strength of the popularity and well reputed accuracy of the SX350 chip, the reality is that Dongguan Yihi has been building the chips featured in some of this industries most popular APV’s for the last 4 years.

Yihi is in fact the electronic chip manufacturer responsible for one of the first variable voltage/variable wattage chips made, which was featured in the very first Vamo APV. Once upon a time I can recall reading an endless number of threads on the Ecig forums asking whether users preferred the Vamo, SVD, or Zmax APV, but what most did not know at the time was that all of these devices featured chips made by Yihi.

Fast forward to 2014, and Yihi releases what would become one of the most sought after variable wattage chips by box modders everywhere, the SX 350 chip. What made the Yihi SX350 so desirable amongst modders is the fact that it has the ability to fire down to .2 ohms, has a buck/boost converter, and it is upgradeable from 30W +. At the end of 2014 Yihi brought forth the next incarnation of the SX 350 chip, the SX350 Mini chip. Yihi then created their first variable wattage APV to showcase their newest chip design, the Yihi SXmini 60W.

The Yihi SXmini 60W retails for a minimum MAP controlled $189.00USD at various online and brick & mortar locations throughout the United States. The Yihi SXmini featured in this review was sent to me by a friend who also happens to own several B&M vape shops. The SXmini is packaged in a trademark branded gift box which also includes a usb charging cord, and an envelope containing a user manual and warranty card.

Where to Buy an SXmini S Class Mod:

Update: New SXMini M Class w/ Temperature Control:

*click all photos to view in full size*
SXmini collage 1

YIHI SXMINI 60W SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Brand: Yihi
  • Type: variable wattage APV
  • Material: Aluminium (anodized) and Stainless steel (powder coated)
  • Connection threading: 510 (spring loaded 510 pin)
  • Battery compatibility: Single 18650 (rated for at least 20A)
  • Weight: 152 grams

Features:

  • Powered by the YiHi SX350 mini processor
  • Maximum Watts: 60W and future upgrades will be available
  • Single & Dual battery capability (dual battery only with after market extension tube)
  • Single Battery 60W regulated, 85W in bypass mode (direct connection mode) allowing your device to become a mechanical mod
  • Output Voltage: 1.0 – 9.5 volts
  • Resistance: 0.15 – 3.0 ohms
  • Buck&Boost, DC-DC Converter
  • Three modes: Powerful, Standard, Soft
  • Charges via USB, takes one (1) 18650 Battery
  • Joules Display
  • Gravity Sensor System (Adjust the wattage without the need of the +/- buttons)
  • Upgradable software
  • Graphic User Interface
  • Reverse Polarity, Output short, Low resistance, Low battery Voltage and Overheat protection
  • One Year Manufacturers Warranty

BUILD QUALITY

In my opinion, the SXmini is one of the most aesthetically appealing variable wattage APV’s presently available on the market. From the first time that I saw the SXmini I was completely sold on its style alone. The SXmini is a brilliant mash up of the Zen ZNA and Wapari W-Box style, and even as it borrows design elements from both of these devices, I feel that the SXmini exceeds them both in overall style and ergonomics.

The SXmini is available in silver/black, and silver/grey which is pictured below. The body is constructed of an anodized aluminum frame, and a powder coated stainless steel inner body. The silver/grey color scheme lends a very classy, and refined to look to the SXmini. While not very heavy at 152grams, the SXmini has a very solid, sturdy feel to it. The materials used to construct this device do lend themselves to a feeling of quality, even as I do have some questions as to the durability of its finish.

The early versions of the SXmini did not have a logo on the body, and while I am typically not a fan of printed logos, I do not feel like the SXmini trademarked logo that appears on later versions of the device take away from its aesthetic appeal. The buttons, screen display and usb port arrangement all play nicely to the user friendliness of this device. The contoured shape, and clicky responsiveness of the stainless steel fire button also makes it one of the best switches that I have used recently.

SXmini collage 2

In spite of the solid feeling of quality, all that glitters is not exactly gold with the SXmini. As I inspected the device there were a number of minor flaws and imperfections present on the body of the device. At first glance these are flaws that you would not necessarily notice during normal viewing however, they do exist.

If you look closely at the top and bottom right photos, you can see a sort of cut/beveling along the edge of the silver aluminum frame which runs from the top down to the sides, which is not present at all on the opposite side of the device in the same areas. It appears as though the edges were shaved off in an attempt to cover more severe machining flaws. And that is in addition to the apparent misalignment between the frame and the body sleeve on the left side of the device.

While absolute perfection is an unrealistic expectation, the reality is that once a device reaches a certain price point I simply don’t expect to see detectable cosmetic flaws. In all honesty, I have clones with fewer cosmetic flaws than the SXmini. Any device that markets itself as a high end limited edition selling for nearly $200usd should be near flawless in appearance.

SXmini collage 3

The 510 housing is constructed of stainless steel, and the brass center pin is a spring loaded for flush mounting of your atomizers. The slot at the center of the 510 pin has created a little confusion, and unfortunately a few tragic occurrences for a handful of users of this device. In spite of the slot in the pin, it is not screw adjustable, and under no circumstances should a screw driver be used to attempt to further adjust it, as doing so will break the phenolic gasket that holds the pin. As per Yihi, if you break the 510 pin as a result of adjusting it with a screwdriver, you will not be covered under the “1 year warranty”.

In the photos below you can see the breakdown of the construction of the 510 pin, which is rather basic yet still effective. The good news, after a few users were reported to have damaged their 510 pins while believing that they could adjust it with a screw driver, Yihi has since revised the 510 pin to remove the slot in the pin as shown below. All devices shipping from Yihi as of the first week in January 2015 will feature the new 510 pin, even as there are still some devices with the older 510 pin available for sale.

SXmini collage 4

For the most part I have not had any issues with flush mounting my atomizers however, certain devices with long 510 pins (2mm or more) will not flush mount to the SXmini. In the photos below you will see presented as an example, three different 510 pin lengths, two of which will flush mount to the SXmini (Kayfun V4 and Aqua V2), and one that will not (Geyser RDA). The Geyser RDA which has the longest pin, will leave a gap of approximately .5mm. Luckily for me I do not normally use the Geyser RDA with the SXmini, and here I did so for demonstration purposes only.

SXmini collage 4a

The SXmini is powered by a single 18650 battery which is installed ala Wapari Style through the bottom of the device. If there is any one thing that I do not enjoy about the SXmini, it is removing and installing the battery cap. First you will need a quarter or a screw driver with a larger enough flat head to remove the battery cap. Due to the fine threading of the battery tube and cap, which appear to be approximately .5mm in pitch, it takes quite of bit of screwing to remove and install the battery cap.

This is also where I discovered another flaw in the construction of my SXmini. You can clearly see in the photos below that the battery cap and inner battery tube are off center. Now with the battery tube being constructed out of brass which is a soft metal, in addition to the fine thread pitch, there is the potential for accidentally cross threading the battery cap. So whether your battery tube is perfectly center, or off center, care and attention needs to be taken when installing the stainless steel battery cap.

Since the SXmini is also equipped with a usb charge port, there is the option to simply use the usb for recharging your battery. When using the usb charger you will see a thunderbolt symbol on the battery level indicator. You will know that charging is complete when the battery level reaches 4.20v on the screen display. The SXmini does not have a charge indicator light.

SXmini collage 5

FUNCTION

The Yihi SXmini 60W does come with a well written, easy to understand user manual. In this review I will cover all functions in brief. When an 18650 battery is first installed into the SXmini the SX350 splash will appear momentarily to let you know that battery contact has been made. The device is not powered on at this point, you will then have to click the fire button 5X to turn the SXmini on.

Once power is activated you will see SXmini, followed by the SX350 splash screen, then the main interface screen will appear. To lock/unlock the device you would click the fire button 3x. On the main interface you will find the usual values of wattage, firing voltage, atomizer resistance, battery bar indicator, as well as the numerical value of the installed battery level. However, the SXmini displays additional values which are not found on the main interface screens of chips such as the Evolv DNA.

Across the bottom of the main interface on the left there is a joules display, which calculates how much vapor you are producing per minute or hour. Now, the joules display is in my opinion is a gratuitous and impractical value that does not enhance the user experience, or provide any genuinely useful information to the user. The average person has no idea what joules mean or represents, and I cannot think of one time within the 4 years that I have been vaping that I have heard a fellow vaper inquire about how much vapor per minute they were producing.

At the bottom center of the interface you will see the flash memory pre-sets represented as values M1-M5, with each corresponding to a default setting which can be changed by the user. You can scroll through the flash memory pre-sets by using the up button. To change the value of any particular pre-set, the main interface must be on, then you hit the down button followed by the up button to change the value of that setting.

SXmini collage 6

At the bottom right of the interface you have the power delivery settings which are soft, standard, and powerful. The soft setting will initially fire below the power setting, then increases into the power output selected. The standard setting fires at precisely the set power output from the time that you activate the power button until it is released. The powerful setting will initially fire above the selected power output setting, then come down to the power output selected.

I have found the ability to change the type of power delivery to be a genuine enhancement to my overall vape experience. These settings really allow you to tailor the kind of vape experience that you wish have with any given atomizer resistance and build. Of the three power delivery settings I tend to use the standard and powerful settings most often. Later in the review I will demonstrate how these three power delivery settings correspond to actual numbers.

Please note that the SXmini also has gravity sensing left to right mode, and the display screen will change position according to the physical orientation in which the device is held at the time. I love this particular feature of the SXmini, which certainly trumps the manual preset left/right mode of chips like the DNA 20/30/40.

SXmini collage 7

It is important to remember that when using the gravity sensor menu interface, that the SXmini should be held in an upright position in order to effectively utilize the gravity sensing menu navigation by tilting the device to the left or right. To access the menu interface click the power button 5x. Once into the menu, click the fire button until you arrive at the desired menu option. From the menu interface you can select wattage adjustment, exit, bypass (mechanical mode), system (power off), or link.

To adjust wattage settings you have the option of using the up/down buttons from the main interface (as described above), or you can change wattage with the gravity sensor from the menu interface. Use the Bypass feature if you wish to run the SXmini from direct battery voltage/current like a mechanical mod. Use the Link feature when you are connecting your device to your computer via the usb for software upgrades to the SXmini.

SXmini collage 7a

The SXmini featured in this review is running the V1.3 firmware, which is most current firmware version for the SXmini. V1.3 has a voltage output of 1.0-9.5v, and a wattage output of 5-60W on a single 18650 battery, and up to 120W in dual 18650 battery configurations. An after market battery extension tube is required in order to use the SXmini in dual 18650 mode and to access the full 120W capacity.

The addition of the battery extension tube for dual 18650 mode is in my opinion one of the most ridiculous after market accessories that I have ever seen proposed. It is also my opinion that Yihi should scrap the extension tube idea altogether and instead create a new device that is capable of housing dual 18650 batteries in a more practical and aesthetically pleasing manner. The new dual 18650 device should be called the SXmaxi, an idea which is a no brainer.

SXmini collage 7 boot

PERFORMANCE

So here is where we get to the heart of the SXmini, the SX350 mini chip. Let me start out by saying that the SX350 mini chip is the most accurate variable wattage chip that I have tested to date. It was even more interesting to be able to test the different power deliver settings of soft, standard, and powerful to see how these settings translate into real numbers. And I can tell you that the SXmini does exactly what it promises to do which is to allow you to tailor your vape experience with pinpoint accuracy.

Using a .60 ohm atomizer, I tested the voltage output of the SXmini at 20W across the three power delivery settings while using an inline voltage meter. An inline voltage meter is a perfectly acceptable apparatus to use for testing the voltage output of any device with a flat DC signal output. An inline voltage meter is also quite useful in determining whether a device has a flat DC signal or a pulse width modulated frequency output. An oscilloscope is a necessity only in the case of a pulse width modulated device, which the SXmini is not.

Vapro Supply posted a YouTube review of the SXmini where they demonstrated the visual difference between the power modes using vapor production, however, here in this review you will see actual numbers. Below you will see how perfectly the actual voltage output of the SXmini corresponds to the power delivery settings at soft, standard, and powerful modes.

SXmini collage 8

Now here is where you will have to bare with me as I explain what happened when took the SXmini up to its max of 60W. While the display resistance of .60 ohms remained steady throughout my testing at 20W, the display resistance kept changing on me while I was testing at 60W, which was frustrating to say the least.

In the far left column where I have the device set to soft, while the SXmini initially displayed .60 ohm, as I fired the device the resistance changed to .59 ohm, which also changed the displayed and actual value of the voltage output. The photo below of the 5.93 voltage output in the bottom left column reflects the resistance change to .59 while I was firing the device, not the .60 ohms that I initially started with. So the voltage output of 5.93 is accurate according to what was actually appearing on display after I started firing.

While testing in standard mode the resistance remained steady at .59 ohms, and you can see that the actual output is dead on accurate. However, once I changed the power delivery setting to powerful mode the displayed atomizer resistance had changed once again to .58 ohm. Then while firing the device in powerful mode the resistance changed again to .59 ohm, and so the voltage output of 5.93 in the bottom right column actually reflects the display voltage at .59 ohm.

You can tell from reading the joules display and battery level values that these tests were run back to back, on the same battery and atomizer.The point of showing this to the viewer is not to point out the changes in display resistance, for which there could be several reasons why this occurred, including changes in temperature, and thread tolerances at the connection points, etc. My point is to actually highlight how accurate the actual voltage output is according to the displayed values at the time. Whatever the voltage values are on the display screen, this is exactly what the SXmini puts out in voltage.

SXmini collage 9

OVERALL

The only thing that I do not like about the SXmini is the fine threading of battery cap and the uneven placement of the battery tube on the device that I received. I would like to see the battery tube and cap updated and constructed with a larger thread pitch, with far fewer threads. The issue of the cosmetic flaws did not only appear on my SXmini, it was reported but on several of them. This is something which cannot, and should not be overlooked by anyone, most especially on a device at this price point. Overall I find the SXmini to be a good quality, very attractive device however, there have clearly been some shortcomings in the quality control and this needs to be addressed and corrected by Yihi going forward.

Just as I found with the Vapor Shark rDNA, the true hero of the SXmini is the SX350 mini chip housed within it. I am genuinely impressed by the engineering and pinpoint accuracy of this chip, with which I cannot find a single fault or flaw. I can’t imagine that there would be a single vaper on this planet who would not enjoy using this chip. Between the acute accuracy of voltage output, the option for three different power delivery modes, and its upgrade capabilities the SX350 mini chip is second to none on the market at the present time, and that includes the Evolv DNA40.

However, there remains some question and pause as to the legitimacy of Yihi’s “1 year warranty” on this device. Even as I understood that a spring loaded 510 pin cannot be further adjusted by the slotted head with a screwdriver, I do understand how some others may have believed otherwise. Most especially since there were no directives or warnings issued on Yihi’s website, or in the user manual that warned against adjusting the 510 pin. The users that incurred the unfortunate accident of breaking their 510 pins by attempting to adjust them were left high and dry by Yihi, who refused to cover any repairs of the broken 510 pins under warranty for those users. In my opinion this was a decision that did not lend itself to buyer’s confidence, or respect for the brand of Yihi.

With the SX350 and SX350 mini chip Yihi has absolutely proven that they can stand toe to toe with the worlds best innovators of intelligent chip design and engineering. However, Yihi has yet to demonstrate the level of integrity, honor, and commitment to consumer satisfaction that Evolv is currently known for. The SXmini is great little device with a fantastic intelligent chip, albeit made in China.

SXmini final photo b

Pros:Cons:

  • Stellar intelligent chip design

  • Attractive aesthetic/form factor

  • Removable battery

  • Upgradeable firmware

  • Power delivery options

  • Gravity sensing left/right mode


  • Questionable warranty terms

  • Quality control

Where to Buy an SXmini S Class Mod

Update: New SXMini M Class w/ Temperature Control:

<p>Nicole Lea is a committed vape gear enthusiast of 3 years, who is dedicated to informing, educating, and guiding the vape community in this amazing world of electronic cigarettes.</p>

37 COMMENTS
  • PaulyB 01/19/2015

    How heavy is it compared to the lead weight ZNA50 from Cloupor?

    I wAnt the black … Really want it.. But no one in the usa, thus far, sells it.
    This thing is a beast, though the gravity sensor is pretty much a novelty.
    I really like the powerful setting and I don’t know why more chips don’t offer it.
    I also think the joules reading is rather pointless unless it’s an adjustable setting, which it isn’t. It’s just bling.
    I want it, just wish it was more in the $125 price range. But agree quality and performance will always carry a price tag.

      • Diy Fifteen 01/28/2015

        I saw on a YouTube channel that it charged at a .5 amp snail pace. Is that still the case?

  • jas wats 01/19/2015

    Too bad they chose to mate a high end chip with sub par QC at a premium price. Although I am in the market for this type of device, I will pass for one of the many well made, much more affordable items. Great review!

  • Portertown 01/19/2015

    A very good and detailed review of the SXmini. Well done Nicole.
    I have found a really good use for the joules display and that is to compare the capacity of different batteries. If you run different batteries from fully charged to low battery cut off you will find the actual capacity of each battery.
    One joule is the passing an electric current of one ampere through a resistance of one ohm for one second.
    Also as batteries are used and charged over and over they start to lose capacity. This joules display can be used as a tool to monitor a battery over time if someone wanted to keep records of each of their batteries condition from the time it was new.
    My SXmini is my favorite mod and I am looking forward to and hoping Yihi will offer a mod with twin batteries in a side by side configuration instead of the extension tube they have shown.
    Again, a very good review. I can not think of a thing you did not cover about this mod.

    Portertown

  • duwaynebrayton 01/19/2015

    Considering the entire chipset, pre-soldered, is available for $82 (individually) from Varitube, and I would imagine other sources, that is an absurd price for a mod with cosmetic flaws and such a ridiculous extension tube for doubling the batteries. I like the sound of the chip, but not so much this particular mod.

    I would really like to see the temp control on a YiHi chip though…

  • Paul (Nailz) 01/19/2015

    Awesome review as always Nikki 😉

    I’ve been vaping nearly 2 years, and without a doubt, the sx mini is the best mod I have had, I don’t normally buy mods over $100, as normally over hyped (like the provari), but the sx mini is one mod I am very glad I paid out for, I have so many mods that have become shelf pieces, but can’t see that happening with the mini.

    I wanted a device that is hassle free, just press the button and do what it is meant too every time, and the mini does that, I’m sure I will have many more devices, but think the mini will always be a daily device for me 🙂

  • iñaki (haku) 01/20/2015

    perfect deep detailed review, completely updated. congrats, Nikki, for another perfect review.

    i refused to get another regulated mod due to their chipset. the sx350 and sx350 mini are the one i was waiting for. i love it, and i love you, Nikki, you made my dream become true, and you helped me a lot when i nerfed the phenolic gasket.

  • iheartharvin 01/20/2015

    Received my sx mini about a week ago and couldn’t be more pleased. I’ve been vaping for 7 years now and this is by far the best unit I’ve owned. I have none of the issues Nicole has. My guess is that the more made, the better build quality. This happens with all sorts of devices. The sx mini just feels right in the hand.

    • Nathan 01/20/2015

      What was your first e-cig?

  • iheartharvin 01/20/2015

    A 901. Shortly after that the 510 came out. Pretty much just cigalikes back then. My first “real” mod was the screwdriver. lol

    • Mark K. 01/20/2015

      901’s and a driver!!! just what I had back in the day 2008/2009, god, how vaping has changed comparing my dse901 with my rDNA 40 and kayfun v4 lol…

  • Anthony P. 01/21/2015

    Great review Nicole! I love my SX Mini, but agree that there are some finer points lacking in the QC area. The durability of the finish is a con for me. My original grey is wearing in spots and I spoke with another owner who has had the same experience. That said I feel my $190 was very well spent and this remains one of my favorite mods.

  • Dave Gozal 01/27/2015

    Thank you for this very well thought out and presented review, one of the best I have read thus far. Now what to do? I want it badly but with March/April comes the addition of temp. control for $10 more. Then next, your ‘maxi. may well become a reality and the silly tube extension a thing we laugh about..or the next iPV may have the same chip and even higher wattage potential..what would you do, pull the trigger?

    perfectionist

      • Dave Gozal 01/28/2015

        Thanks for the perspective Nicole. Once again, I find you are spot on. My gut feeling said the same thing-plus, I can always get another one and rationalize it as a late Birthday or early Christmas present:)

  • Spike 03/13/2015

    Excellent review. I purchased this mod based on your review and you were spot on. You’ve become one of a very small group of “go to” reviewers that I look to for accurate and honest information when I’m in the market for vape gear. Thank you Nicole.

  • Nate Smith 04/07/2015

    Nicole,

    Were you able to reset the sleeve so it sat in place? I just got the Mini M in the ail today and the sleeve is a little wonky like the one you have here. If the fix is as simple as removing the tor screws and adjusting the sleeve then I’m less irked by the issue given the $200 price point.

      • Nate Smith 04/07/2015

        Thanks Nicole! I knew you would have the answer. Fingers crossed; I don’t screw anything up lol.

        P.S. I have a sensor on the way that is going to allow me to compare Evolv, yeah and kangxin chips side by side. Hopefully once the sensor in, the hiccups cease.

  • Anon 06/08/2015

    Just bought the Mini M class all black and was looking for more info on this mod and saw your review Nicole, knowing how thorough you are and even though this is an older review different model, the body style is the same and low and damn behold I read what you saw as manufacturing flaws then started looking at mine, like battery tube and same damn thing still, Thanks Ms Nicole and I was honestly thinking I finally found a flawless mod.. blah never and if I think it’s flawless well then I’ll just go read your reviews,
    And then what do I see?
    A gap up on the top plate under the 510 similar to a Vapor Flask I saw one time, hum.
    Your reviews are always the go to must read whether new or older, you are the best in the business IMO.
    Crooked off center battery tube and those threads on that battery cap, bugged me immediately and then to see it in your review, wow, you do NOT miss a thing, keep up your great work..!

  • Anon 06/08/2015

    Yes, when you get that SX in your hand it’s like your awe struck, the hefty feel and just the over all beauty of the mod and I got the all black which is hard to find,
    The overall mod is so nice, with the pretty box and the little bag and all that you really don’t immediately start looking for any flaws and honestly it never occurred to me to look, kind of like a head fake I suppose.
    As I mentioned I was looking for a better manual on operations, which I did find at YIHI, but I saw your review on this older version and went, “Ah Shit” here goes, got to read it and then the flaws suddenly are THERE, yikees, and like you said, and still…
    Oh well, I read your reviews for the straight scoop on what YOU think of performance and of course any flaws, and your always unbiased views
    So that’s your calling dear lady and your damn good at it.
    Personally I do want to know what you see being the good and the bad, always.
    I saw a guy post a pic of his SX with a huge scratch on a two day old Mini M and I thought oh shit, better get one of those silicone covers, so with that said I won’t be able to see a few flaws, but I will always think of you Nicole every time I change that damn battery, thanks a lot .. LOL
    Short of that poorly designed and immediately noticed battery cap FLAW and it’s 5k threads, I probably wouldn’t have noticed the entire thing is crooked, but now I do , thank you very much Ms Nicole … LMAOF
    It’s still an awesome mod, and the chip I think flawless and I personally don’t care if I ever see another Evolv, I immediately threw my volt meter on it just to make sure it’s DC and then I noticed same results you showed, it’s a bad ass chip and I have a lot of Evolv’s, seems they need to do some catchup now, and they said China could never do TC.. ha guess they were wrong, Vape On Nicole, you are the best, period..!!

      • Anon 06/09/2015

        That is a great idea,
        I was thinking today about that silicone cover and thought I didn’t buy this mod because it looked like rubber I bought it because it’s down right beautiful with all black, I’m crazy over black, black everything.. LOL
        I think I have something like the new car syndrome and once I get that first scratch I can stop parking way out in the parking lot and can now park with everyone else..
        Those J wraps are nice & will take a look at the vapor skinz, after I scratch it up some.
        Thanks again for the smart advise Ms Nicole..!!

  • nebojsa 09/17/2015

    Dear Nicole,

    can you please advice which wall charger is to be used with SX350M Mini. Will I go wrong if I use 1A wall charger or shall be 0.5A.

    Kind Regards

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