The SMOK X Cube Ultra is the successor to SMOK’s earlier X Cube I and X Cube II mods, both of which were loaded with features that SMOK hoped techie vapers would love. Well, some did and some didn’t. Those who liked the X Cube II, however, usually liked it a whole lot, and those vapers are SMOK’s target market for the X Cube Ultra — “If you loved the X Cube II, you’ll go wild over the X Cube Ultra.”
Online prices for the X Cube Ultra box mod cover a wide range of $50–90. As always, ordering from a Chinese site is usually cheaper.
Like SMOK’s X Cube II and H-Priv mods, the X Cube Ultra is designed with top-mounted adjustment buttons and screen display. The overall size is minimal for a mod that takes two 18650 high-drain batteries. Like the H-Priv, the 220-watt power output claim may be technically correct (with an ultra-low-ohm atomizer), but in most real-world applications, 220W is major exaggeration. In fairness, who vapes at 220 watts? (Almost no one…)
Still, SMOK’s claim of 220 watts is probably true only in the lab. The bottom line, however, is that the X Cube Ultra mod has more than enough power for most people. The exception will be extreme enthusiasts who vape RDAs with exotic Clapton builds at power in excess of 100 watts. They will probably be disappointed, since, in that situation, the X Cube Ultra will struggle to provide even 100 watts, much less 220.
SMOK is touting its implementation of “OTA” (Over-the-Air) wireless technology for firmware upgrades through Bluetooth 4.0 pairing with the SMOK smart phone app. Some early reviewers are ecstatic about the capability. Whether it’s truly groundbreaking and the greatest thing since sliced bread or just another dubious, high-tech complication remains to be seen.
The mod even vibrates like a smart phone to alert the user to various conditions that require attention. Like most options on the X Cube Ultra, vibration can turned on or off.
The X3 chip on the regulating board adds smart charging abilities to balance both charge and discharge, extending battery life.
The menu system is the same as the SMOK H-Priv. It’s not a simple menu, but it can’t be, given all the various options. Placement of the display screen on top of the mod next to the 510 connector means that if the atomizers air slots happen to align with the screen, the outer plastic cover can fog up some, dimming the screen. A quick wipe with a finger restores full clarity, but that might aggravate some vapers.
Like the X Cube II, the Ultra uses a firing bar with multi-colored LEDs along the length of the bar. Press the bar, and the LEDs light up. As an example of just how customizable most features are, the LEDs aside the firing bar can user adjusted — turned on or off, and set to display any of a huge range of monochrome colors or even a cascading full rainbow effect.
Vaping performance is what one would expect from any current-generation, high-power, dual-18650 mod. That is to say, very capable.
Temp control works well, with all the adjustability most vapers will want. No, it’s not an Evolv DNA200 or high-end Yihi chipset, but it does the job well enough. Except for the highly exaggerated power output rating — which is more about SMOK’s marketing than the chip itself — performance of the chip is admirable.
The SMOK X Cube Ultra is the marriage of a current-generation TC box mod with many of the capabilities of the high-tech devices that are dominating the consumer electronics marketplace. Basically, the Ultra is a good vaping mod that’s also a fun tech toy.
As stated in the Intro, vapers who liked SMOK’s X Cube II will almost certainly love the X Cube Ultra even more, since it’s smaller and has numerous new or improved features. Those not familiar with the X Cube II can make up their own minds whether tech-to-the-max is what they want. Given what a great toy the Ultra is, its price tag is quite reasonable, and it’s a downright steal at the low end of the price range.