Eleaf iStick Pico 75W TC Starter Kit Review

We review the Pico, the new 75W TC starter kit by Eleaf that features the Melo 3 mini sub ohm tank

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Eleaf iStick Pico Kit
Eleaf iStick Pico Kit

iStick Pico 75W TC Starter Kit Intro

From the Eleaf web site:

The iStick Pico, just like its name, is preferable, innovative, compact and outstanding (PICO). Powered by single interchangeable 18650 cell, it provides you with 75W maximum output and switchable VW/Bypass/TC-Ni/TC-Ti/TC-SS/TRC modes, With top e-liquid filling design, hidden airflow control and detachable structure, the new MELO 3 Mini is the best match for the iStick Pico.

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iStick Pico 75W TC Starter Kit Intro Specs and Features

Eleaf iStick Pico Kit Content
Eleaf iStick Pico Kit Content
  • One iStick Pico 75W TC
  • One Melo 3 Mini Sub-Ohm Tank
    • One 0.3 ohm Kanthal Coil
    • One 0.5 ohm Kanthal Coil
  • Micro USB Charging Cable
  • Colored Tank Seals
  • User Manual (multi-language)
  • 1 to 75W Power Output
    • to 3.5 ohm Atomizer Resistance Range
    • Bypass Mode Feature
    • Firmware Upgradeable
  • Full Temperature Control Output
    • Ni200 Nickel Support
    • Titanium Support
    • Stainless Steel Support
  • Three Memory TCR Mode
    • Set Own Temperature Coefficient of Resistance
    • Fine Tune Output
  • 05 to 1.5 ohm Atomizer Resistance Range
  • 200 to 600 degrees Fahrenheit Range
  • Ultra Compact Form Factor
    • 45mm by 23mm by 70.5mm
  • Two Line OLED Screen
    • Battery Life Indicator
    • Output Wattage/Temperature
    • Atomizer Resistance
  • 18650 Powered
    • Top Loaded
    • Battery Not Included
  • Three Button Operation
    • Bottom Button Adjustment
  • Spring Loaded 510 Connection
  • Micro USB Charge Port
  • 22mm Diameter
  • 2ml Tank Capacity
  • Top Fill System
  • Melo Mini 3 Coil System
    • 3 ohm Kanthal Coil
      • 30 to 80W
    • 5 ohm Kanthal Coil
      • 30 to 100W
    • Compatible with Atlantis, Triton and cCell Coil Structures
  • Invisible Airflow Control
    • Discreetly Throttled Up and Down
  • Heat Insulated Drip Tip

Notable Remarks

Price

Eleaf iStick Pico Battery Compartment
Eleaf iStick Pico Battery Compartment

The Pico/Melo MSRP on the Eleaf site is $65.99, with some vendors asking as much as $70 during the initial roll-out. Online prices for Eleaf iStick products are typically discounted. I expect to see the Kit for $40-50 before too long.

Thoughts

Eleaf iStick Pico Front
Eleaf iStick Pico Front

Having just finished my review of the large and heavy Beyond Vape Wismec Centurion mod, we now waltz across the dance floor to the other side of the hall to review the diminutive and light iStick Pico mod that’s bundled with a Melo 3 Mini sub ohm clearomizer. Where everything about the Centurion felt substantial and heavy-duty, Jay Bo Designs took the opposite tack with the Pico. I wouldn’t say that the Pico feels insubstantial, since it offers all the features of a normal 75W temp control single-18650 regulated mod, but it crams those features and performance into a micro-package that’s half the size and weight of the Centurion.

Despite their differences in heft and bulk, I’d wager a guess that the two mods employ the same internal chip. The display screens are identical, as are the button-press sequences to adjust the various functions of wattage, temperature limit, and three customizable TCR values (Temperature Coefficient Resistance, called M1, M2, and M3 on both chips). Even reversing the display screen from left to right is accomplished the same way, by turning off the mod, then holding down the + and – buttons simultaneously. The chip has upgradeable firmware via the micro USB port, and a USB cable is included.

The idea of using one chip for many devices (with the only difference being the firmware’s programmed wattage output) makes sense, since Eleaf, Beyond Vape, and Wismec are all sub-companies within the JoyeTech conglomerate family. I guess that makes the Centurion and Pico relatives, like Big Cousin and Little Cousin.

To fit everything into a tiny package, Jay Bo had to use a top-mounted battery cap that functions as an extender, allowing the case to be shorter than the 18650. Also, the + and – buttons are located on the bottom of the mod, since there’s no room for them next to the display and firing button. Are these compromises? Sure, but they’re necessary to achieve the goal of a full-featured 75-watt TC mod in a tiny case that’s effectively a stealth unit.

Melo 3 Mini Sub-Ohm Tank

Eleaf Melo III Mini
Eleaf Melo III Mini

The Melo 3 is a standard 22mm diameter tank, but the 2ml eliquid capacity allows it to be shorter in length, only 38mm tall from the base to the cap, and a mere 50mm including the metal drip tip. Like its bigger brothers in the Melo line, however, it uses a full-sized factory coil head. Two heads are included in the Kit, both vertical Kanthal coils, in 0.3 ohm and 0.5 ohm resistances. Melo heads are cross-compatible with the Aspire Atlantis-style heads used by numerous popular sub-ohm tanks.

Temp Control — One Chip, Many Mods

Eleaf iStick Pico Screen
Eleaf iStick Pico Screen

Temp control is state of the art for a mid-priced chip (as I speculated above, this is apparently the same proprietary chip Joyetech uses in the Centurion, Stout, and RX200), with adjustable temperature and wattage, fixed settings for nickel, titanium, or stainless steel wire, plus three user-programmable custom TCR settings. No, temperature limiting on the Pico chip isn’t as complex or sophisticated as on the high-end Evolv or Yihi chips, but it’s user-friendly and accurate enough for all but the most demanding temp control vapers.

Performance

Eleaf Melo 3 Mini
Eleaf Melo 3 Mini

Here’s where the story gets interesting. Although the pairing of the teensy-weensie Pico with the Melo 3 Mini makes for an amazingly tiny vaping setup, there’s nothing small at all about the vaping experience. This tiny setup provides as full a vape as one could want from the mid-power regulated mod with a sub-ohm clearo tank. It might be a tad shy of the experience provided by a high-end RDA on a 26650 mech mod, but it’s darn close.

Using the 0.3 ohm head, the Melo 3 Mini yielded a completely satisfying vape, with full flavor and good vapor production, at 65 watts. The Pico cranked out that amount of power easily, without so much as breaking a sweat. Chain-vaping at 65 watts, the Melo tanks gets warm to the touch, but not hot, and the Pico mod remains cool as a cucumber.

As with the Centurion, the display on the Pico is only average size, and the smaller numbers are tiny, but the white-on-black LCD screen is bright and clear.

All the expected protections are built into the chip: 10-second cut-off, low resistance, atomizer short, reverse battery, and overheating shutdown. The lower limit of one watt output implies that the chip can buck as well as boost.

Battery life with the a single 18650 (not included) is about what one would expect. Depending on the wattage used, vape time between tank refills and battery swaps could be fairly short, especially so if you vape near the higher end of the Pico’s 75-watt power output. That’s not really a con, however, since the whole point of the Pico Starter Kit is to squeeze as much performance as possible from a tiny package.

Likes

  • amazingly small stealth vaping setup
  • great performance in a tiny package from both mod and tank
  • easy to use
  • ample power (75W)
  • accurate temp control with numerous options

Dislikes

  • some compromises in design were necessary
    • (extended battery cap, + and – buttons on the bottom)
  • 2ml eliquid capacity in the Melo 3 Mini means frequent refills

Verdict

The Eleaf Pico/Melo 3 Mini Starter Kit combines the best of two worlds: a full, satisfying, and powerful vaping experience from a Lilliputian-sized package. Like the character Tyrion Lannister in Game of Thrones, the Pico/Melo pairing may be small in size, but it’s a force with which to be reckoned.

Enthusiastically Recommended for all vapers, from beginners to experts.

Discounts

Check out this product via the button below

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*Some discounts are dependent on your geographical location.
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Bill Herbst
My name is Bill. I’ve been a dedicated vaper for five and a half years, having ended a 35-year addiction to tobacco cold-turkey on my first day of vaping. I live on the Oregon coast, in the tiny town of Florence, one huge sand dune away from the Pacific Ocean.
  • phonejockey

    I really like mine. I bought some LG HG2 3000 mAh batteries and use it as a stealth unit mostly for mouth to lung tanks and it lasts for ages. With the Melo 3, it still does alright on a single 3000 mAh, but obviously won’t last like two 18650s. The whole thing feels nice and solid, though, including the buttons. The buttons on the bottom are tucked in a bit so it’s no big deal.

    It would have been nice to pick it up as a standalone tank, but I needed a stealth unit asap. Very happy with this purchase.

    • Simon Wood

      Goblin mini on top. Super stealth and looks amazing.

  • Bill Herbst

    phonejockey,

    That’s wonderful! Back when I began vaping in 2010, products seemed very much hit or miss. And even those that were hits were often so poorly made that they didn’t last. The vaping marketplace has come a long way over the past six years, however. Now the hits are much more frequent than the misses. The major players in hardware have stepped up their games, and new companies appear every month with interesting products.

    I’m divided about the LG HG2s. I own and use a bunch of them in my regular rotation of batteries, and I want to like them, but often I feel that they underperform. My workhorse for for quite awhile has been Samsung 25Rs, but I just picked up a bunch of Sony VTC5s on sale, so now I’ll finally get to see if their top-of-the-line status and 30 amp continuous rating make a real difference.

    I saw someone on YouTube complaining that the Pico was too small. I thought that was the point, but I guess pleasing everyone is too much to expect.

  • Antti

    Bought pico without the melo3 mini, still on its way. Do u have any other good ideas about small subohm tanks or rta,s to match the pico ?

    • mohammedfarizal

      kangertech protank 4

    • Bill Herbst

      Consider one of the small Council of Vapor tanks.

  • Sean Heihn

    I actually think the battery cap/extender and its placement is igneous. It allows the body to be shorter than a 18650 and because it’s on the top, it doesn’t increase the total height of the mod and tank. Literally thinking outside the box. Although it limits the tank choice to one with a diameter of 22~23mm or less. I would have preferred the usb port on the bottom and the +/- buttons on the side.

    • Bill Herbst

      I agree about both the battery extender and the button placement.

  • Pri Mago

    Hi, i am new to vaping and just bought the ileaf pico. can you please advise what 18650 battery should i purchase for battery backups to use with it?
    Thanks

  • Wayne Graham (SoopaFly)

    Will a Griffin 25 be too big (25mm) to put on this? As opposed to the Melo3 (22mm)?

  • Alex B

    Great kit! Just bought a defective one but the store kindly replaced it for me. My only bother is the kanthal coils. It’s my first temp control kit and I should have bought some extra coil heads to experiment with it.

  • josh

    just bought the pico, its my first variable wattage unit and im trying to figure out what the best wattage is for the pieces that come standard with it as i dont have any custom parts yet im having trouble figuring out how high im able to go without actually doing any damage and needing to replace coils or other parts, any input you have would be appreciated, overall though i do like the unit as a first upgrade from the cig a likes

  • Denis

    Hey Bill! I started vaping last week and got the cuboid mini. It was fine, but I really do have that annoying spitback issue, and sometimes it gets wayyy too hot, especially in TCss316 on the notch coil. You were one of the only reviewers to truly mention its issues, thats why I really value your opinon.

    So im thinking about replacing it and would like your thoughts on which of these are the best options:
    Istick pico 75w
    Ipower 80w
    Target 75w
    Kanger TopBox Mini

    which of these mods do you think is the best? Thanks so much

  • sydnney

    hi how would you know if you got the kegit pico mod?

  • GT

    Hey Bill! i started vaping around 1.5 months back & invested in a starter kit – Istick pico 75w and changed the atomizer to a UWELL crown with a 0.5 ohm coil.

    But 3 weeks back my mod started spitting a lot with every drag, i have already changed the coil, tied using various wattage from 35 to 50, opened the airflow in various degrees. But the spitting has not stopped. Also i am using a 70/30 juice, hence it is not vry thin either.

    any suggestions.

    Cheers
    GT