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Vandy Vape Swell Kit Review: Test Results Are In

Anthony Victor
July 31, 2019

Product intro and specs

The Vandy Vape Swell kit is the latest kit from popular manufacturer Vandy Vape. They probably don’t need much of an introduction these days as they have made many popular products. The Swell Kit contains the Swell Mod which is a dual-18650 battery mod with a color screen rated for 188 watts and is designed to be lightweight and water-resistant. Color options are plentiful as well. They are all black-framed but feature 12 replaceable panel options, each with a matching drip tip for the tank.

The included sub ohm tank isn’t labeled but is pretty much the same tank they include in the Jackaroo and Trident kits, and uses the same coils as well. It comes with a standard 3.5 mL glass and a 5 mL bubble glass.

The kit was sent to me free of charge by MyVpro, where you can pre-order it at a reduced price.

Price: $90.99 (at MyVpro)
Colors: US flag, UK flag, obsidian black, red arowana, green anaconda, blue iguana, and more.

Kit Content

  • 1 x Swell Kit
  • 1 x Accessory bag
  • 1 x User manual
  • 1 x Bubble glass (4.5 mL)
  • 1 x Single mesh coil (0.15-ohm)

Specifications

  • Waterproof PCBA - easy to clean and wash
  • Find your device with retrieval function (APP)
  • Multi-functional app control: firmware upgrade / UI theme optimization / parameter adjustment control
  • Portable and incredibly lightweight
  • Replaceable G10 & resin panels with multi-color options
  • Dual-battery 18650

First impressions

Vandy Vape Swell Kit Review

When I first got this mod, I liked the design a lot. It’s small, lightweight, and water-resistant. It’s not IP rated like the Jackaroo or the Aegis line, but it is water-resistant enough that you can wash it off if need be, and it should survive juice spills—I’ll go over the test results later in the review. It also features Bluetooth connectivity and an app as well. It’s got a plastic-ish body like the Pulse mods, nice replaceable panels on the side, and a color screen. Overall, I really liked the design from the start. It’s pocketable, lightweight and not too flashy, which many vapers will appreciate.

Build quality and design

The Vandy Vape Swell is a solid and nicely built and designed mod. It’s a mostly rectangle-shaped, but still very comfy in the hands. It features a front-facing color screen and off-center 510 pin. It is very lightweight as well, weighing in at only 106 grams. From a size perspective, it’s not as compact as the Famovape Magma, but it still has a very small footprint for a dual-18650 mod.

The mod comes in 12 color options, but all the options are black framed. The color differences come from the panels, with seven options made of G10 (which is a high-pressure fiberglass laminate, a kind of composite material) and the other five being resin. The two designs that stand out are an American flag and a UK flag. The panels are removable and replaceable via magnets and, as far as I know, Vandy Vape plans to offer them separately—so you get a good amount of customization options there. Branding is also simple and discreet, with just a “Vandy Vape” logo engraved on the backside opposite to the screen.

It’s very easy to remove and install batteries and the doors all fit very nice with no play. To remove batteries, you’ll want to take off both panels so you can push them from the backside. The screen is a large 0.96-inch bright color rectangle-shaped screen and you can choose the color scheme out of five options.

There is no button rattle on this mod at all either. The 510 pin is great and gave me no issues with any atomizer. It is flat and fits flush and can handle a 26 mm atomizer without overhang.

They list 1.8-amp charging on this mod and while I don’t recommend charging mods internally, I did test that just for informational purposes. I found the max charge rate to be 1.83 amps, but still, it’s always best practice to use an external charger.

Features and functions

The Vandy Vape Swell has pretty much every mode we see on mods these days. You have Power mode (watts), Voltage mode, Bypass mode, and Temp Control mode for Ni200, Ti, and SS. No TCR mode but the TCR is adjustable in each of the preset modes. You can also make your own watt curves, but they’ll need to be programmed using the app. I would have liked an on-chip option to program watt curves, but at least it’s there and it’s pretty easy to set up.

They did add in preheat options for Power mode, with a normal, soft, hard, as well as “DTL” and “MTL” for whatever reason. Finally, the device uses the same TCR system as the Voopoo mods instead of the standard one. I am not a fan of this system and I really believe that companies need to stick with the standard method.

Using the Vandy Vape Swell

As far as the menu goes, it follows the basics of their past mods with some improvements to make it a little easier to navigate.

  • 5 clicks of the fire button to turn on and off
  • 3 clicks to enter mode swap (use up and down to scroll and fire to accept)
  • Use up and down to enter the menu
  • 4 clicks to adjust settings inside of a mode
  • + and fire to lock the mod (locks adjustment buttons only, can still fire)

In the menu, there’s also a settings icon which allows you to remove modes form visibility, change the color of the font on the screen, and do a factory reset

Overall, it’s a solid menu system. Not great but not bad by any means.

Power mode performance

Vandy Vape Swell Kit Review

Testing on this mod was done with Sony VTC5A Batteries. They list the specs at 188 watts, 7.5 volts on their site (8 volts in the manual), but no amp limit listed anywhere. I wish they listed all three on their site. During my testing, the max achieved wattage was 187, so excellent rating at 188 watts. The amp limit I got was 46 which is above average for a dual battery mod these days. The average is around 40 give or take a couple of amps. The volt limit I got with a 0.62-ohm coil was 7.784 volts, which is right in the middle of their two listings—which shows that, as with most dual-battery mods, there is no boost circuit.

The mod adjusts in 1-watt increments so well done there—I like that a lot better than 0.1-watt increments. It scrolls pretty fast too, making it very easy to adjust. During my testing, the mod did a great job of not getting hot. It’s also a pretty accurate mod that hits slightly on the high side, just like their other mods. I’d recommend starting 5-10 watts lower than you normally vape to be on the safe side. Overall, a really good performer in power mode, and great ratings on their specs. You can see the full test results in the chart above. 

Temperature control performance

Using SS316L Wire in SS mode, I tested four builds.

  • One simple round single coil
  • One simple round dual coil
  • One fancy wire single-coil builds
  • One fancy wire dual-coil build

There is no TCR mode, but you can adjust the TCR in each of the modes. With the mod using the Voopoo TC system, the default for SS was 1300, which didn’t work at all. After testing for a while, I found it worked at its best at 1100, where I was able to get a warm vape around the 430 F range. It throttles smooth and has good dry hit protection.

Here is my main issue with this mod though: even though you can set the mod to the full 188 watts in TC mode, it failed to properly power anything that needed more than 40 watts. That’s sadly a common issue I have seen in the past, mainly with Voopoo but also with Rincoe. Companies really need to stop capping power limits for temperature control, or at least have reasonable limits—or just not let you set the power to 180 watts when it can’t do over 40. I’ll never give TC a thumbs up to a mod with that issue, so for me it’s a fail. Hopefully they’ll listen and fix the watt limitation in TC mode in the future.

Water testing

The Swell mod is listed as a waterproof mod but not with any IP rating. This practically means that it can survive juice spills and running water, but you wouldn’t want to leave it underwater at a depth for long. To test this, I started by running the mod under the tap. I then dried it off, and it still worked great. To take it up a notch for my second test, I tried to simulate a leaking tank. I poured e-liquid on the mod and left it sitting overnight. Then, the following morning, I washed it off in the sink to clean the juice off the mod. I dried it off and it still worked with no issues. So, while it may not be fully waterproof, it does do a great job of being juice/leak-resistant and it’s easy to clean off in a sink. That’s exactly what they advertise it as, so well done there.

App usage

I was originally told that the app was for iPhone only and, after getting it installed on my iPhone, all I could do was get it to recognize the mod and connect. It didn’t do anything else, and none of the features worked. I was talking to a fellow reviewer about the mod and he said that the best part was the app and it worked great. Turns out he had an Android version, which I would have preferred.

After a bit of back and forth with Vandy Vape, I was sent the Android app and an updated version of the iOS app. The iOS one still wouldn’t connect for me, however I was able to get logged into the Android one and connect to the mod. Once connected, the app has three main areas:

Area 1 is the “Find my device” area where you can click a button to make the mod beep. It’s a faint beep—not really sure how much it’ll help, but likely good enough to figure out which room in your house you left it in. You can also change your name or set up an anti-loss feature which sets off an alarm on your phone if you walk away from the mod. You can choose how long you are away from the mod before the alarm goes off. I set mine for 15 seconds, walked away from it, and 15 seconds later my phone went off like an alarm clock and the app sent me a “don’t forget your mod” notification.

Area 2 is the update area. This allows you to update firmware via your phone which is great and much more convenient than plugging into a PC and having to hold buttons. I was able to upgrade to V2.0.1 with the click of a button. It also allows for UI updates—not sure if at any point we can do custom ones or if Vandy Vape will make more of them. Currently the only one available is called “Independence Day” which is a USA theme that matches nicely with my flag panels. To reconnect after an update, you need to go into the mod, turn on app access again, close out of the app on your phone, and re-open it.

Area 3 is the control area which allows you to program your device. It’s very simple and easy to do. First tab is “Power”, which has a slider for your watts as well as a plus and minus button to tap and adjust—it updates instantly on the device. It also shows your puffs, resistance and battery levels. Below that is the preheat options which they call “Set the flavor”. You can also program and save your own custom watt curves as well. The second tab is the “Temp” section which allows you to select SS, NI, or TI, adjust the temp and adjust the power. Sadly, no way to set the TCR here which seems like a big omission. Lastly, there’s the “Voltage” tab which is simple and just has the option to adjust volts instead of watts.

Swell tank rundown

Vandy Vape Swell Kit Review

This Swell tank is pretty much the same as the tanks that come with the Jackaroo and Trident mods, with the only difference being a modified top cap which is easier to grip to unscrew and refill. Nice little change there, but outside of that, it’s the same tank and uses the same coils. Most tanks included in the kits aren’t very good these days. And it’s not the tanks themselves, it’s the coils. Most of the time, it’s best to buy a mod and tank separate—although typically that’s more expensive and less convenient.

The tank comes with a 3.5 mL regular glass and a 5 mL bubble glass and uses a standard wide bore 510 friction fit resin drip tip which matches the panels. All the threading is nice and smooth and the fill method is a 90-degree turn to pop the top cap off. The AFC ring is smooth and easy to adjust and on a stopper. Overall, a nicely built and well-designed tank but nothing to stand out from others. Just your average kit tank.

There are two coils included in the kit. One is

  • The “Mesh 80” 0.15-ohm mesh coil rated for 50-90 watts
  • The “Triple M” 0.15-ohm triple-mesh coil rated for 50-100 watts

The Triple M is a new coil while the Mesh 80 coil is the same coil that’s included with the Jackaroo and Trident tanks. You can also use the other option, which is the 0.3-ohm Mesh 50 coil, rated for 40-60 watts, but that wasn’t included in the kit.

I have lots of experience with the Mesh 50 and Mesh 80 coils and the quick summary is that they aren’t very good coils at all. I’ll focus more on the new Triple M coil. I found it best at around 80 watts, but it’s usable in the 60-90 range. With that said, and just like their other coils. The flavor is still pretty meh—plus it started off with a funky taste that took a full tank to go away. They really need to work on the performance of their coils if they want to compete with the market leaders there.

Overall, it’s a nice tank that doesn’t perform well due to the coils, but at least has a suitable wattage range for the included mod.

Pros / Cons

  • Great build quality
  • Nice swappable panels (resin or G10)
  • Water-resistant and easy to clean
  • Accurately rated for volts and watts
  • Good power mode performance
  • High amp limit
  • Voltage mode
  • Nice 510 pin
  • Handles 26 mm atomizers without overhang
  • Battery door is easy to open and swap out batteries
  • Bright and large color screen
  • Relatively compact and very lightweight
  • Tons of color options
  • App to update firmware is great and easy
  • App control is a nice feature
  • TC mode lacks power
  • Non-standard TCR system
  • Watt curve mode needs app to set up
  • Included tank doesn’t produce good flavor

Verdict

Overall, Vandy Vape did a great job with this mod. If you don’t use temp control and want a small and lightweight mod that won’t die if your tank leaks, this is a great option indeed. Outside of the TC performance, I don’t have major complaints on the mod itself. The tank, however, is pretty mediocre and not worth it. I’d opt for the mod only instead of the full kit and pair it with a better atomizer.

Vandy Vape at this point does a lot of good things, but two areas they need to work on is their coil performance and their TC performance on mods. Outside of that, they make great rebuildables and great mods for power mode. Hopefully, they work on fixing these issues for their next kits. Let me know what you think in the comments and thanks for reading!

I started doing reviews at the end of 2016 bringing a unique amount of data and fair points that has made them grow in popularity. I’m an avid temp control vaper but will vape pretty much any style of vaping. My goal is to bring as much good, fair, and unbiased information to the forefront as I can to aid vapers in making informed decisions to get the best vape for their style. I enjoy helping people really get the most out of their vape and finding their “aha” moment when it all clicks into place.

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Erlangga
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Erlangga

Will this mod be in Indonesia?

Jay Lee
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Jay Lee

I vape temp control also and am considering this device (swell) but I’m a little concerned and confused about your comment that it can be used up to 180 or whatever watts but can’t go over 40 watts?
Everyone seems to love this device it seems, not sure if they vape in power mode but this is the first I’ve heard about this issue.

Serafino Brutto
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Serafino Brutto

Hey Anthony the swell mod is the only mod that is truly water PROOF, the whole pcba is encased in a polymer resin silicon, they through the thing in boiling water, through it in a 12 foot deep pool for a half hour, all’s you have to remember is to blow out the usb port since there is no cover, but batteries under federal law have to be water proof so it is totally water proof no way for water to get to the pcba, I just got mine today, very happy camper, oh and with the new firmware update,… Read more »

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