Following on the heels of the iCare, Eleaf released the iCare Mini. With a similar form factor to many of these pod vapes out now (Juul, Cync, Von Erl, etc.), the iCare Mini has one huge advantage over them: it is not a closed system!
The iCare Mini has a lot going for it, and not just with it being an open system. What really matters, though, is the consistency of performance and how it fares under normal usage.
Let’s get into the review and see what’s up with the iCare Mini.
On board the iCare Mini is a 1.3 mL tank to be used with the iCare Mini’s 1.1-ohm coil heads, where the user decides what e-juice is being vaped (though not all liquids will be as suitable as others. More on that later.)
The iCare Mini is based on a platform similar to the Kanger Cupti: a power source (mod) with an integrated tank that utilizes a long chimney attached to a Cubis-like coil, just miniaturized and draw-activated (no button-pressing here!).
Lastly, while the form factor is conducive to being a faithful back-up, or just more of an on-the-go vape, the iCare Mini comes with a PCC (portable charging case) that enables the iCare Mini to charge, and be vaped, while out and about. And even in it’s PCC, it’s still small.
Note: On the deck of the mod where you fill the tank, you will see a rubber cover over the actuator (it looks like a small little button) with a note that says “Don't touch”. At some point, the mouthpiece will touch it (especially if you accidentally put the mouthpiece on backwards, which will happen at some point), so my guess is that it’s most important to not fiddle with the button versus not touching it.
The performance of the iCare Mini is good–just keep your expectations in check. This is not meant to be a cloud device, though it puts out a nice amount of vapor and is pretty quick on the ramp. It is tiny, so the e-juice capacity is pretty low (you may want to get some unicorn bottles and keep on hand). And, luckily, the low capacity of the battery should not be an issue, as long as you keep the PCC handy (plus, you can always just use the iCare Mini itself as a pass-thru.)
For me, the iCare is working well. I have found that I like various airflow settings, it just depends on the day or the nic strength I am using (high nic isn’t too pleasant as a direct-lung hit, so I use that setting to achieve a hefty throat-hit with high nic). The vapor is pretty good with the iCare Mini, better than the Juul, and about the same as the Cync.
I’d be remiss to not point out that the flavor is pretty lackluster, though (but I am used to more intense setups). No matter how open or closed off, on a scale of 1-10 (where 1 is no flavor and 10 is full flavor) the iCare Mini doesn’t get much better than a 5 (IME). I am cool with it though. I know what to grab for flavor chasing, and I know what to grab for cloudage. I grab this when I want simplicity (which seems to be the main thing I want these days).
As a unit, I love the way the device looks and feels (plus, it has a nice little heft for such a tiny unit). It’s simple, clean, interesting, and sturdy. But… my appreciation for those kind of attributes of the mod do not quite extend to what is under the hood, erm, mouthpiece.
Why the actuator is left basically exposed with a note that says “don’t touch” is just odd. My only guess is that Eleaf was–like everyone else–scrambling to get new products to the market before 8/8. And while I hate the whole idea of 8/8 and what it did to innovation and product design, I have to mention oddities. Like, the airflow controller.
I love that there is an airflow controller, especially with a nice range of settings, but to adjust it you have to take off the mouthpiece and unscrew the chimney–a simple task, but a couple too many fiddly steps to be something that you will want to do often.
In a similar vein, the iCare is super simple to fill, until you are trying to spot the fill-limit line. There are any number of ways that this could’ve been handled differently to give the user a better indication of the “stop” point.
The coil heads have been doing fine. Nothing super positive or negative. They work fine. No “bad coils” so far, though it may be a good idea to keep your e-juice ratios under 70 percent VG. The coil-heads wick well, especially since they have alternating (up and down) wick holes–the issue is that the wick holes are tiny. That is good for keeping the top and bottom portions of the wick saturated, but the viscosity of the liquid needs to have some free flow to it, which is why I am sticking with a 50/50 blend as a recommendation.
I no longer recommend this product. Here's why: