Disclaimer, I bought this used, from a seller that claimed it was lightly used and nearly new.
When I received this, it was packed in the original box with the instructions and a USB charging cable. I opened the box and examined the mod, and the first thing I noticed were the tiny silver specks where the finish had chipped away in a few spots, presumably from normal usage. I took the mod out of the box and noticed a “rub” on the back and some flakes of black paint in the general vicinity of the rub. Already I am starting to lose confidence and I haven’t even put in a battery yet. A quick google search revealed that the paint is a problem, so I am either going to wrap it or strip it, haven’t decided which yet, maybe both! A closer examination revealed that the screen was covered in micro-scratches I took the battery cap off, and inserted a Samsung 25R battery, hit the button 5 times to turn it on, and we were off to the races.
Initial Impressions: It is strangely reminiscent of my ZNAs, and felt very comfortable in my hand. Side by side with the ZNA, it’s clear that the IPV Mini 2 was inspired by the ZNA style. It is slightly taller, wider, and deeper, but not so much that it was uncomfortable. Given that it holds an 18650 battery and the ZNA only holds an 18490, I was actually pleasantly surprised by the size. I had anticipated it would be a LOT larger than it actually is. It only has one display mode, it cannot be set to “right” mode or stealth mode. So if this is important to you, then look elsewhere. One feature that immediately grabbed my attention is that the mod calculates the battery voltage output for the coil as soon as you change the wattage in real time, unlike the Evolve DNA30 which only calculates the voltage as you press the fire button.
Operating it seemed a little foreign at first, after using ZNAs for so long. I managed to completely screw up all the presets within 5 minutes. Once I actually figured out what I was doing, the presets grew on me. One thing that stands out is the display, mine (being used) is covered in micro scratches which make it very hard to see the screen in certain lighting conditions. The troubling part of all the scratches on the screen is indicative of an inherent problem with the quality of the plastic used to make the screen cover. It is very low quality, and obviously not very hard or scratch resistant. The black smoke plastic is nice from a “stealth” perspective, and add to the overall look, but really is pretty bad from a usability standpoint. between the micro scratches and black plastic, I am NOT a fan. I think a lighter “smoke” color would have done well, and still worked much better. The other problem with the display is that it does not have a “left” or “right” operating mode. Unfortunately for me, what this means is, since I cannot change the display orientation, the display is actually upside down with regards to the way I hold the mod. Every other regulated mod that I use can be oriented to the way I hold and use the device, I’m not sure why they did not include this in the feature set.
Fit and finish: It seems to be fairly solid and well constructed with the exception of the paint job. The gloss black paint, as mentioned earlier, is highly problematic. In addition to the flaking problem, mine (after only 2 days use) has developed a flat colored “rub” where my thumb sits while holding it. This is not a scrape or flaking problem, it appears more like the paint is just wearing through from normal use. Overall though, The IPV Mini 2 has clean lines and rounded edges, no sharp corners to cut into your skin. It’s not as heavy as my ZNAs, but it does have a weighty feel to it. The 510 connector on mine works perfectly, but is ever so slightly crooked (another common problem), but you really have to look to see it. I do have a small gripe about the buttons, but it is a personal thing, not a problem. These are very soft buttons, so soft in fact that I have fired it by accident a couple of times because I can’t always tell when they are depressed. I know some folks like soft buttons, but I prefer mine to give me at least a little feedback that I have pushed it. The battery threads are okay, but thin, it almost wants to cross thread itself when installing the battery cap. The battery cap does the job, but it just feels cheap and tacky compared to the rest of the mod. The fact that it’s chromed doesn’t help either. It’s a thin chrome plating that appears to scratch easily. I hope it holds up over time.
Overall Impression: Even with the cheap quality of some of the components, especially the horrible paint and finish problem (I highly recommend putting a wrap on it right away to protect it), this looks like a good value for the money, a mod that will go to 70 watts at a sub $100 price (new around $70 or less) is awesome, provided it lasts more than a couple months. Despite the inability to adjust the display orientation, I do actually like and use this mod a lot. The real question is will it hold up over time? I walked into a local vape shop tonight, and there must have been a dozen people all with this mod. Every single one of the black ones had paint chipping or flaking off, but all of them were working, and everyone I asked loved theirs. A couple of them had really canted 510 connections, but the owners were happy enough with performance for the cost of the mod.
Ultimately, this is not mod for folks that want nice looking, collectible vapes. It is, however the right mod for anyone that just wants a powerful and capable device for low price. Given the huge bang for the buck with the IPV Mini 2, it is an exceptional value if you can live with it’s flaws and it withstands the test of time.