The Kanger Subox Mini (US/UK) is an interesting duck. In it, we have a relatively small, regulated mod with a top-shelf tank as standard. This is pretty much the only device I have ever bought that came with every part of the e-cigarette in one package, so my opinions are biased as someone who already owns multiple mods and tanks separately. Bare that in mind!
I think in a lot of ways Kanger tried to offer a solution to the question, “What do I like?” with this product. Newcomers to vaping are drowned out with recommendations with regards to how they should be vaping, and the Subox Mini is interesting, as it bundles together a solution adequate for most vapers. In one package, you have a subohm (0.5) prebuilt coil, an RBA, and a mouth-to-lung 1.5 ohm coil. If you don’t know what you like, but want a relatively inexpensive introduction to vaping and all its options, I think this is a solid choice, and I applaud Kanger for catering to all markets instead of gunning for either the cheap entry level or the high end subohm vaper markets. As a 1.6 ohm mouth-to-lung vaper (yes, we do still exist, contrary to the YouTube narrative), I like that we haven’t been forgotten (yet).
The title says kit for a reason. I am always impressed to see higher speced kits on the market. I think a lot of people are introduced to vaping through Blu or Freedom atomizers, and the experience is sub par to say the least. For vaping to be effective, it has to offer a superior experience to smoking cigarettes, otherwise it will be treated as a stopgap instead of a true replacement.
The Kanger Subox Mini offers an easy entry point into the mod/vaping community without making it painful (looking at you mech mod drippers) for newcomers. The goal should always be staying off the stinkies – not merely treating vaping as a transition to quitting entirely. For me personally, smoking was a habit more than an addiction. I can quit nicotine pretty easily (done so many times in the past), but quitting the habit of having something to do with my hands after a meal or when I am stressed is infinitely harder.
Realistically, I own all that is included in the kit in terms of accessories, but for the sake of completeness, you get a mod with a built-in charger for your 18650 battery (not included, more on this later), organic cotton for the RBA, mini screwdriver, and spare post screws, as well as the previously mentioned 3 different setups.
If it had a battery, it would be a totally complete kit, and would be rated higher, but I think the transport issues with selling/distributing Li-ion batteries are the reason Kanger didn’t add one, so I can’t be too critical. I know different countries have different regulations with regards to shipping batteries by air, and I think it was wise (from a business point of view) to avoid that mess altogether.
Magnet latch for the battery compartment. This is my favourite kind of closure, as friction-fit tabs either break if they are made of plastic or rattle if they are aluminium. I think this was a good choice, and it proved itself solid enough for my tastes. I was slightly apprehensive, but it seems to latch on strong enough. I did drop the Kanger Subox Mini once, and the latch flew off, but no harm, no foul. I will say that this was purely user error and in regular (non-clumsy) use, I wouldn’t expect the latch to so much as wiggle.
Some people have mentioned that on their Kanger Subox Minis the magnets don’t line up quite perfectly and leave a small gap near the top, but my experiences don’t match that, so I shan’t comment on it beyond simply mentioning it.
I will also mention that I have never tried the built in charger. I own my own Nitecore i2 (US/UK), which suits my needs just fine – I prefer using a dedicated (higher end) charger simply from a safety perspective, but I assume the Kanger’s built in charger functions just fine. It does offer pass through support, so last ditch scenario, you can vape plugged into your desktop (for those of you lucky enough to be able to vape at work).
A single 18650 can get me through most of the day, but the ease of replacing the battery means I don’t really care. Carry a spare battery and vape on! Reverse battery protection is included. It’s useful as it’s a negative up placement, which is a bit jarring as most devices have the negative post on the bottom.
The battery cover does have a cut out of the Kanger logo. Kanger provides you with some red stickers to place on the battery if you want a perfect aesthetic match, but I wasn’t fussed. Purple from my efest batteries (US/UK) suited me just fine. A nice touch nonetheless. It’s easy to pretend that aesthetics don’t matter and only performance should be relevant, but you and I both know that isn’t true.
The subtank mini offers the choice of using the Kanger OCC coil drop ins. These newer ones have vertical coils instead of horizontal ones. I will always prefer the RBA, but I reckon these do a solid enough job. Longevity is decent and flavour/vapour production solid. Not a cloud chaser’s peak, but firmly in the upper range of pre-built coils.
Interestingly, the difference with the prebuild coils extend further than simply resistance. Construction is a smidgen different with the 1.5 ohm coil having a much more restrictive airflow design, as you can see below. Personally, I am a mouth-to-lung vaper, as I stated before, so this suits me just fine.
1.5 ohm on the left and 0.5 ohm on the right below. Very interesting difference. I tried both before writing this review (obviously) and found performance to be acceptable on both coils. Naturally, I wouldn’t mouth-to-lung on the 0.5 ohm coil, but that’s common sense, not a design fault.
My one issue with these is the 1.5 ohm coil did leak pretty badly. The culprit was the o-ring you can see below being a bit too pinched on one side. I fixed it pretty easy, but losing 3 ml of e-juice on my shirt was a touch annoying. Especially since the mod was sitting stationary for most of the day.
If your subtank mini leaks, check the o-rings on your coils. I have a feeling they will be the primary culprit.
Thankfully, Kanger saw fit to include an RBA. It’s got a single coil design and comes with a 0.5 ohm coil included. Installation is relatively simple, but I will scribble an article later on how I do it. For vapers like myself that treat e-cigarettes as a tasty nicotine delivery system and do not use them for chasing massive clouds, it’s nice to have the ability to make your own coils. 2 mm / 1.6 ohm is my sweet spot at 12.5 watts. Your mileage may vary, and as always, taste is subjective.
Construction is extremely good. Threads are cut nicely and fit is decent. I don’t understand why the body has a screw (it’s not needed, I leave mine loose), but what do I know.
Now on to the tank. Aesthetically, it’s very pleasing, and I see myself using it on my Joyetech eVic-VTC (US/UK) quite happily. I think the kit is good value, as you get a solid beater VW mod with a premium tank for a low entry price. You can buy the tank separately, but I found it a touch too expensive to be competitive against other options.
The tank is filled from the bottom. Simply unscrew and.. well you get the idea. Construction is Pyrex, and generally speaking quite tough. With that said, I have been using a Fishbone (US/UK) recently so my definition of tough is pretty biased.
Needless to say, it’s solid and perfectly viable for everyday carry.
I tested the Kanger Subox Mini using LiQuids quite excellent Ry4 with 18 mg/ml of nicotine. It’s hardly a super exciting craft e-juice, but it’s predictable and I like using e-juice that everyone can “relate to.”
Almost amusingly easy to fill. Maybe this is Kanger’s way of saying I need to vape more?
Very nice 4.5 ml capacity with a diameter of 22 mm. Pretty much my ideal! Those red accents are spot on aesthetically, and only bring home the whole package.
The mod does possess a spring-loaded 510 center pin. The older version did not, so check with your dealer that you have the newer revision. Performance is solid and the air grooves provide good airflow. I do prefer the general design (and construction) of my eVic-VTC, but that’s a story (review) for another day.
Generally speaking, this is a nice package and I see no issues with either construction or design.
The board is as simple as you can get. Maximum of 0.3 ohm compatibility with a wattage range of 7.0 to 50.0 in 0.1 increments. So this is a legit variable wattage device and not those silly (my opinion only) 3-5 step/preset mods we have seen in the past. The point of a variable device is to offer fine, granular control and this provides it. I know some people who vape higher than 50.0 watts, but personally, I rarely go above 30, so this is more than enough for me.
The buttons function nicely with a useful indent for the fire button. The screen is a bit dated, being a basic OLED display with zero options beyond displaying the battery life, voltage out, resistance of the coil, and your selected wattage. You can press the up/down buttons simultaneously and flip the display, but beyond that, what you see is what you get. My only issue with the display is the lack of a lock-in for the wattage. No more than 2 minutes ago I cooked my juice because I forgot the wattage was set at 50 from when I tested for this review. Annoying, but for most people it won’t be an issue as it’s not a VV device and realistically I reckon most people have the common sense to check before vaping!
As usual, 5 clicks on and 5 clicks off. Nothing new.
Air flow is decent. The drop-in coils do impact the airflow somewhat with the 0.5 ohm coil having the loosest airflow as a virtue of its unrestricted opening for the wick, and the 1.5 ohm coil having the tightest draw. The RBA sits somewhere in between. The subtank does have air valve control from fully open, to medium hole, and finally to small hole. It works, and whilst it did initially stick (I think due to the coating), I found that it loosened over time; it no longer has any issues.
I like setting it to be fully open for lung hits with sub ohm coils and on the most restrictive setting for mouth to lung (as you would expect). I was dubious that this device could offer the potential for both types of vapers, but whilst this is geared towards subohm vaping, it does function nicely for mouth-to-lung users as well. Don’t feel like you can’t buy it simply because most people use it a certain way. It is reasonably flexible.
Delrin 510 mouthpiece. Pretty nice, although obvious bias for lung hits. I think I will get a thinner 510 drip tip simply to cater to my own vaping preferences, but functionally it’s a solid choice, and as you would expect it does match the aesthetic perfectly. I would have liked a red drip tip option as I saw on a few YouTube reviews that the white kit does have both the white drip tip and the standard black drip in it. Why the discrepancy Kanger?
Flavours and vape “quality” was decent, with both pre-made coils. I will always be biased towards RBAs, but for those who don’t want to DIY, this is decent option. I did find that the 1.5 ohm coil gunked up after a week. Maybe avoid dark(er) e-juice? But quality was overall high. Flavours came through unmolested with good punch and the cotton wicks kept up with my vaping habits. I do tend to revert back to my smoking day habits of repetitive “bursts” of vaping, which can be problematic when running higher wattage should the wick not keep up with the coil, but I never had a dry hit, nor did I notice any flavour discrepancies with this particular setup.
I preferred the 1.5 ohm coil, but I am not sure if it’s due to design or if my natural bias as a mouth-to-lung vaper is simply coming through. At the price point, I think its an easy gamble to make, and if you don’t like them, simply make your own coils the way you prefer by using the included RBA like I do.
This was a tough cookie to review. On one hand, the Kanger Subox Mini (US/UK) is not exactly the pinnacle of aficionado-level of regulated mods, but then again, it’s not trying to be. It’s a relatively (everything is relative) high quality device to get people into vaping as a hobby rather than as a basic nicotine delivery system. This is not the boring evod mod that you see in all the B&M stores, but on the other hand it doesn’t drown you in functions or information. The Kanger Subox Mini is an interesting in-between with a solid (but basic) variable wattage device, high quality tank, built-in charger, 2 different drop-in coil types, an RBA, all and all of this is wrapped in a sexy red and black garb. Pretty crazy.
Affordable price point means extra features like temp control are a no-go, and honestly, I kinda like that.
If someone was trying to quit the stinkies, I think this would be one of the first devices I would recommend. It’s just incredibly easy to get into, and if you are feeling adventurous, you can dabble your feet in the DIY/rebuildable world, which is pretty awesome. I know you can buy a mechanical mod for under 10 dollars nowadays, but this is a safer and easier entry point that would be palatable to non-technical people. It just works and for this price point, I can’t expect much more.
Succinctly, I own better devices (the eVic-VTC (US/UK) being an obvious competitor), but I am happy owning this. It’s the perfect beater mod for aficionados and a good entry mod for beginners. Good job Kanger.
Where to get the Kanger Subox Mini E-Cigarette Starter Kit
Some online stores in the United States where you can grab the Kanger Subox Mini E-Cigarette Starter Kit:
Some online stores in the United Kingdom where you can grab the Kanger Subox Mini E-Cigarette Starter Kit: