Zero Modz Clone Review
Zero Modz DNA30 Clone Review
The authentic Zero Modz by Carlos Creation is a custom handmade DNA 30 box mod made by Malaysian modder Carlos Pang. The Zero Modz DNA 30 was first announced on May 5, 2014 via Facebook, and was offered by interest list only through three different distributors in the US and Malaysia. The authentic Zero Modz cost $400 USD for the Zero Modz with a sandblasted stainless body sleeve, plus one brushed finished sleeve. Additional body sleeves cost between $40-150 USD. At present the USA Zero Modz interest list is approximately 500 names deep, and with 15-40pc batches being produced it will take the better part of 1 ½ years to fulfill the list. In addition to the Zero DNA 30, there is also the Zero SX which features the SX-350 chip, and is not available via the USA Zero list.
The Zero Modz by Carlos Creation has become a topic for controversy which extends beyond the release of the 1:1 clone of this underground sensation that has sparked outrage in some, and joy for some others. There has also been questions, and criticism regarding the âoriginalityâ of Carlos Pangâs Zero Modz design.
You see, before there was the Zero Modz by Carlos Creation there was the W-Box by Wapari Designs, who is a custom modder out of Helenski, Finland. It appears that the Zero Modz by Carlos Creation was to a large extent inspired by the W-Box by Wapari Designs, which was released 5 months prior to the Zero Modz by Carlos Creation (announced on January 14, 2014 via Facebook). While the Zero Modz is definitely an âexpanded ideaâ that took the W-Box design a few steps further by creating a removable body sleeve, changing the battery housing style, wattage button style, and overall size dimensions, there is no denying that the Zero Modz appears to get its base design from the W-Box by Wapari.
It is also worth mentioning that Wapari Designs also produces a SX-350 version of the W-Box â¦
But the question of âwho is copying who?â doesnât end there. There is also the Champion Box by Ahmad Faiz who is also a modder out of a Malaysia. Yet again we have a custom variable wattage box mod that is eerily similar to the Zero Modz by Carlos Creation. The Champion Box by Ahmad Faiz was announced via youtube on January 16, 2014 by Ayie Jangguttouch who also has ties to Carlos Pang. For whatever reason, it appears that the Champion Box did not take off like the W-Box and Zero Modz did, but it is clear that all three modders subscribe to the same school of design.
Regardless of which modder was the first to conceive of this brilliant thick stainless steel framed design, it is the Zero Modz by Carlos Creation that has been copied and cloned by Guangzhou Yosen Electronic Technology. I must also mention that the Zero Modz clone that Infinite had previously announced for pre-sale is in fact the 1:1 clone made by Yosen, and that Yosen and Infinite are actually sister companies. I have also been advised by Yosen that Infinite Technology will not be reselling the Zero Modz clone.
The 1:1 Zero Modz clone featured in this review came directly from Yosen Electronic Technology. I actually received two Zero Modz clones for the purpose of this review, and both were packaged in a brown cardboard type box marked Zero. Both of the Zeroâs that I received were supposed to be shipped with upgraded gift box packaging however, the new packaging was not received in time for my shipment. The Zero Modz clone is currently being sold with the updated gift box as shown below.
1:1 ZERO MODZ CLONE SPECIFICATIONS:
- Brand: Yosen Electronic Technology
- Type: variable wattage box mod
- Material: 304 grade stainless steel and Resin impregnated glass fiber
- Connection threading: 510 ( reverse threaded copper adjustable pin)
- Battery configuration: 18650
- Height: 82.5mm
- Width: 45mm
- Depth: 24mm
- DNA 30 clone chip made by Yosen Tech
- 3.7-7v output ( actual minimum voltage output is 2.2v)
- Buck/boost converter
Right out of the box the Zero Modz clone is just a sexy, sexy thing to behold. The Zero Modz clone is one solid and hefty feeling device, although its weight feels balanced when handling it. The main body is thickly framed in stainless steel and is engraved with Zero Modz and a serial # at the bottom front of the frame, and Carlos Creation on the bottom back of the frame. It is the thick and wide stainless steel frame of this box mod that creates such an attractive contrast for the removable body sleeves.
Like the authentic Zero Modz, the clone comes standard with the sandblasted stainless steel sleeve, and is laser engraved with the word Zero. The finish of the sandblasted sleeve is even, and very smooth to the touch. If I had any complaints about the sandblast finish it is that it seems to pick up residue from the hands easily, which can read like a stain on the finish. However, any residue/dirt is easily removed with a damp cloth.
âErgonomicsâ seems to be the new catch phrase when discussing and describing current APV mod styles, and I must say that in terms of ergonomics the Zero Modz trumps them all in my opinion. The wide back design that tapers to a rounded curve at the opposite end of the mod plays perfectly to the hand. When I hold the mod with the fire button facing my thumb, and my fingers wrapped around the rounded end it feels like perfection.
The big button style is both functionally practical, and attractive. The fire switch and wattage buttons are all clicky, and I am a fan of this button arrangement which I prefer over the classic DNA style which has the wattage up/down buttons placed lower on the body. The countersunk display window also adds a nice sense of depth to the overall appearance of the mod. One feature that I am genuinely grateful for is the charge indicator light next to the USB charge port which makes it very easy monitor the charge the status of the battery.
However, I was surprised, and a little disappointed that Yosen is not providing a USB charging cable with this device, especially at its price point. I am of the mindset that if a device is built with a USB charge port, then the device should also come with a compatible charging cable like most DNA 30 box mods do. Now of course I have a plethora of USB charging cables however, I am sure that there are first time box mod buyers who may not. If Cloupor can include a retractable USB cable with every box mod, Yosen can too.
One of the more deceptive aspects of the Zero Modz clone is its size. With the thick and wide stainless steel frame this box mod has the tendency to come off rather large looking in photos. In reality the Zero Modz is the smallest 18650 box mod that I have ever held, and is only 82.5mm tall. For those of you who are familiar with the ZNA 30, most would agree that in 18490/500 mode that it is also much smaller in person than you might expect .. well the Zero Modz in 18650 mode is even smaller, albeit a bit wider.
Now we get to the aspects of the Zero Modz that really makes it something to talk about, which is the removable body sleeve that also reveals the inner battery housing. The inner housing is made of a resin impregnated glass fiber which I am told is commonly used in some electrical applications. The inner housing is very solid feeling, although it is interesting that Yosen chose to create the clone with a âwornâ look that is actually cultivated over time on the authentic when consistently installing and removing the body sleeve. At the top of the battery slot you can see the positive brass contact plate, and there is a brass screw for the negative battery contact.
The inner body also stores the removable key tool which is engraved with Zero Modz, and it adds a nice touch of style even as it is intended for functional use. It appears that the early first batches of the Zero Modz clone had the key tool glued to the body, as had been reported by youtube reviewer Timmy Chin. Initially I also thought that my key tool was glued to the body, but it turned out to just be a snug fit, and it is indeed removable. The key can be used to screw/unscrew the negative brass contact for battery insertion/removal, or it can be used to adjust the 510 pin.
In reality this key is so small that I really wouldnât recommend using it except for when you are out and about, and need to change batteries. I actually prefer to use my mini flat head screw driver when I am changing the battery because the tiny key tool can be a bit annoying to handle.
I really like this style of battery housing because it makes accessing and changing the battery so much easier than the typical box mod. It is a huge bonus to have the option to either swap out batteries when it is time to recharge, or to use the USB charge port. Installing a battery is easy breezy, just unscrew the negative contact a bit, slip the battery into the slot, and tighten up the negative contact. The Zero Modz clone is only compatible with flat top batteries, and should be used with IMR or Hybrid chemistry high drain batteries rated at 10A or higher. The Zero Modz clone is powered on as soon as the negative contact is screwed in to secure the battery.
At present Yosen is offering the sandblast, and Special Edition/Style of Life body sleeves in silver, gray, gold, and glossy black. Yosen created a bit of confusion by picturing a black carbon fiber sleeve option which I have recently confirmed is not yet available for sale.
I received the Special Edition silver and black sleeves for the Zero Modz however, please be advised that the additional sleeves come DIY press to fit. The only body sleeve that comes pre-fit to the body is the sandblast sleeve that comes with the Zero Modz. I was not aware of the DIY press to fit situation when I first received my additional sleeves, neither of which fit to Zero clone upon receipt. The additional sleeves are bent to shape however, the open ends are not pressed to fit the body, so this you must do yourself.
While this was very easy to do, I do consider this to be a CON for Yosen. I feel that the sleeves should be sold ready wear, not DIY. To press the sleeves to fit I recommend that you place the sleeves on a towel with a hard surface underneath (table), and place the base of your palm on the open end of the sleeve, then place your other hand on top and apply steady pressure to open end of the sleeve. Hold for about 30 seconds or so then check the fit. Repeat the same until the sleeve fits well to the body.
You can see in the photos below that I actually custom wrapped one of my sandblast sleeves in red faux leather, which was very easy to do. I absolutely love the aesthetic options that these changeable sleeves offer. While the additional sleeves are deeply engraved with âSpecial Edition, Zero Style of Lifeâ, you will also notice that the Special Editions sleeves are sans Carlos Pangâs name on the back, which does appear on the authentic Special Edition body sleeves. Smart choice â¦
The Zero Modz clone can accommodate atomizers up to 23mm in diameter, and with the copper adjustable 510 pin you can also flush mount any atomizer. The 510 pin is reverse threaded, so be aware of that. One of the things that I like about the copper 510 pin is its broad contact surface area. Now, I am very much aware of the horrible 510 threading on the clone that Vaping Shozza received, and reviewed however, the two pieces that I received are not anything like what Shozza received. I have also recently received direct feedback from two fellow vapers who have received the Zero clone, also direct from Yosen, and both report that the 510 threading on their Zero clones are without issue (shout out Ben Mears, and Nathan Phillips for sharing their experiences with me).
As I previously mentioned, I received two Zero clones from Yosen which allowed me to compare consistency and to check variances between the two pieces. When I closely examine each piece I can tell that the two pieces came off of two different production lines, as there are small variances between them. If you look at the top of the mod near the 510 connection (photo below) you can see that the Zero on the left is more countersunk around the hex bolt. Also, the 510 threads on the Zero on the right is slightly larger than the one on the left, which may be difficult to see in the photos, but I will elaborate further in a bit.
Another difference between the two Zero clones that I received is the tactile feel of the fire buttons. Both are clicky however, one does have a softer press than other, even as neither switch has given me any problems. Both switches are very responsive, and I have not experienced any misfires. I would describe both switches as having a âsoft touchâ, but one does have a slightly firmer feel than the other. This may be what Timmy Chin was referring to in his initial impressions video on youtube when he said that some switches felt softer than others.
For me, the soft switch was a turn on, rather than a turn off because I like the sense of effortless firing. One of the draw backs for me on the Hana style DNA 30 devices is the firm fire switch which requires a harder press.
It wasnât until after I had received no less than 5 alerts regarding Vaping Shozzaâs review of the Zero clone, which became like NY Times/Page Six level news in the vape community, that I did examine my own 510 threads more closely. As I already mentioned, there is a slight size difference between the 510 threads on each piece with one being a slightly wider than the other. In the photograph below you can see that when I partially screwed an atomizer on to each Zero clone that the atty on the right slightly leans. However, it is not even close to what Shozza experienced, and demonstrated in his review of the Zero clone. In fact, my Zero with the slightly larger 510 threads is more reminiscent of what Timmy Chin expressed in his video review, which is not the best, but far from being unusable.
All in all, the tactile feel of the fire switches, and slight variance in 510 thread size were the main differences between the two Zero clones.
The DNA 30 clone chip used in the Zero Modz is made by Yosen Tech. I really wish that Yosen had not used the Evolv DNA boot up screen because this 30W chip is actually a bit different from every other DNA 30 clone chip that I have used, and does not function the way that a Evolv chip does. Like most other DNA 30 clone chips, this one also has its Proâs and Conâs as well.
The only Evolv DNA function/features that the Yosen DNA 30 chip are:
- Fire button lock (actually 3x clicks, not 5x as the screen display reads)
- Left to right mode ( from the locked position hold down the fire button and wattage down button simultaneously for 10 plus seconds)
There is no stealth mode, or wattage lock function with this chip. These are not conâs for me because of the 5 DNA 30 devices that I own, these are two features that I never use. However, this may be a deal breaker for someone else. I also donât mind that it only requires 3x click to lock/unlock the fire switch however, it does appear a little janky when the display screen is telling you to click 5x to lock/unlock. It would also be nice if it didnât take so long for the screen to change from left to right mode, because this is the one feature that I do use. This chip also does not fire from sleep mode.
There has been some speculation within the vape community that the chip in the Zero clone may be the same DNA 30 clone chip found in every other 30 watt clone however, this is not the case. Aside from the unique lack of a few functional features, this chip made by Yosen also has buck and boost circuitry, and there is no âtoo low wattageâ warning. The only other DNA 30 clone chip that I am aware of that has buck/boost is the one found in the Wotofo ZNA, yet the Yosen chip still differs from that one also.
In the photos below I compared the display screen of the Yosen Zero clone to the Robbot and Wotofo ZNA 30âs. You can see the Yosen chip uses a different font on the display, and the alpha and numerical characters are thinner. The âWâ on the Yosen display has a pointed bottom, while the Robbot and Wotofo ZNA are flat and square across the bottom of the W. The battery life indicator is also smaller on the Yosen chip. When the Zero clone is firing the battery life indicator goes down, and then returns to the true battery level once firing ceases, a behavior which is not present on my other DNA 30 clone chips.
The Yosen DNA 30 chip also does not have flash memory, so when you change your battery the last wattage setting will not be remembered.
When I first received the Zero Modz clone I had commented on a few ecig forums that I felt that the chip had some âpunchâ to it, which I rather liked. I have not experienced any burnt, harsh, or dry hits, I simply felt that I was getting a better throat hit from the same atomizers and e-liquid that I was vaping on with my other DNA 30 devices. According to the specs for this chip it can fire resistances from .5-5.00 ohms. I find the 5.00 ohm limit to be a bit ridiculous as you would be hard pressed to find someone vaping at 3.00, let alone 5.00 ohms. The minimum firing resistance of .5 ohm is accurate because I could not fire a .48ohm RDA with the Zero clone.
Yosenâs chip specs also indicate a working voltage output of 3.7-7v however, the actual minimum firing voltage is 2.2v, which is a good thing because it means that the chip steps down. For the sake of this review I have done several voltage drop tests at 7W, 15W, 20W and 30W using .7, 1.5, and 2.4 atomizer resistances to test the accuracy of the voltage output of the Zero Modz clone. The tests were performed using a freshly charged LG-HE2 battery, and across the board, at each level of resistance I found the voltage output to be fairly accurate.
As I already stated, I do feel like this chip has a punch to it however, I think the difference in this chip may be found in its typical current output, which may be higher than other DNA 30 chips. A higher typical current output would be mean that the same voltage is being delivered with greater force, hence the âpunchâ that I spoke of. A friend of mine did tell me that he adjusted the amount of wick used in his atomizer to accommodate the punchy voltage delivery of his Zero clone, and is now vaping happy.
The Zero Modz clone has fired with every atomizer that I have put on it provided that was within the chips firing range. At present I am vaping the Zero Modz clone with a GP Heron built to 1.5 ohm, and set to 16 W, and it is a very nice vape. In fact, I have grown to now prefer the GP Heron with the Zero Modz clone. So overall I am pleased with the performance of the Zero Modz clone. It does exactly what I want it to do, which is to give me a good vape when I hit the fire button.
Outside of the SXK Stingray X and ZNA 30âs clone, I have never been so excited for a product review as I have been for the 1:1 Zero Modz clone. Based on style alone this Zero Modz trumphs all other box mod styles, at least for me. What other box mod style on the market offers this kind of functional and aesthetic versatility? For my personal tastes, and needs the Zero Modz clone gives me everything that I want from a box mod. That being said, what is good for the goose is not always good for the gander.
For those who are interested in the Zero Modz clone I would suggest that you weigh the sum total of feedback, and reviews available for this device in order to determine if itâs a good fit, and worthwhile purchase for you, especially at this price point. The lack of a few functional features on this chip may not be acceptable some. I am not bothered that this chip is not like my other DNA 30 style chips because quite frankly I donât see the point in buying something new if my experience is going to be identical to every other device that I have received before it.
That being said, I would still like to see some improvements made to the chip, namely its ability to fire out of sleep mode, and flash memory. However, I feel that this chip finds some redemption in the fact that it does step down voltage output. There is also the fact that the cost of this mod plus upgrading the chip to an authentic Evolv DNA 30 would still be well under the $200 mark, which is half the price of the authentic Zero Modz without the 1 1/2 year wait. All in all the 1:1 Zero Modz clone made by Yosen Technology is a win for meâ¦ and the sexy factor of this device is major folks.