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Is the SMOK T-Priv 220W better than the SMOK Alien 220W mod? Drew takes the SMOK T-Priv 220W for a spin in order to find out!
When I first saw the T-Priv from SMOK, I knew I had to have it. It’s one BADASS looking mod, especially with the LED light behind the “slashes”.
Being a longtime SMOK fan, I usually keep up with all their new product drops. I ordered the SMOK TFV 12 as soon as it was available, for instance. Ditto the Alien 220W.
I’ve had my ups and downs with SMOK; some of the products I have used haven’t been up to scratch. But by and large, the quality of its output outweighs any real shortcomings, in my opinion.
I know they have some issues with the Alien 220W, though mine functions perfectly, and continues to do so, though I’d be remiss not to mention this in a review, as there is strong evidence for the problems.
The only issue I have ever personally encountered is fried box-mod, which happened because of a defective chip. This was an older mod, however, and SMOK is now using a new chipset in a bid to avoid anything like this happening again.
For my money, SMOK still offers some of the best value hardware you can buy right now. Nobody’s perfect, but SMOK is constantly trying to up its game and that is always commendable.
So how is the SMOK T-Priv in reality? Is this your next mod? Read on to find out!
SMOK T-Priv Review: Design
I like the SMOK Alien 220W but I have never been a massive fan of its styling. It kind of looks a bit naff, a bit squiffy. This is my opinion, of course, you might feel different but this is one of the reasons I was massively excited about the T-Priv.
It looks every bit the premium, high-performance mod it sets out to be. The styling is unique, engaging, and very eye-catching. The color range adds in even more spice in this regard, opening up plenty of possibilities for those that like their mods LOUD and in your face.
The implementation of OLED displays and a completely unnecessary, but very cool lighting system on the front of the mod are both high points for the SMOK T-Priv, which is easily one of the best looking mods you can buy right now.
The dimensions of the SMOK T-Priv – 86.6mm by 48.1mm by 32mm – are pretty bang on the money too. The mod is well sized for portability and, thanks to its 32mm width, it will also look good with any size tank on it.
As I said, the light effect on the front of the mod is complete overkill. It adds nothing to the performance of the mod, and will almost certainly sip some of your precious battery life away. HOWEVER – it does look very cool.
You can leave the lights running 24/7, if you like, or just when you fire. You also have the option to run the lights in a pattern of alternating colors.
These are the color options you can run:
This is basically nothing more than a clever gimmick, however, like EDGE displays on Samsung phones, but I do like it and, from a commercial aspect, it offers up some excellent assets for marketing materials, which is what SMOK is all about.
The OLED display, which is located on top of the mod, next to the tank, is well placed and is super-detailed (even in direct sunlight). All the usual information is display on here, so you can keep on top of power settings, modes, battery life, and vape time.
The fire key, located on the side of the mod, is large and clicky and is a vastly superior method of firing a mod than the more traditional button design used on most mods.
The SMOK T-Priv, thanks to SMOK’s new chipset, is now also better at recognizing when a new atomizer is attached. It is now more accurate than the chipset found inside the Alien 220W, though when the change in resistance is less than 0.1ohms it sometimes doesn’t register.
The battery door is real nice on this mod; it stays in place very well and takes just enough pressure to slide it open that I’m sure the door won’t pop open unwarranted.
The size of the mod, as noted earlier, is pretty close to the Alien, only here the radii on the edges are much smaller. In addition, it is a good bit wider than the Alien, but this is something I actually prefer – it sits better in the palm.
That extra width is noticeable in the pocket, though, so if you like your jeans skinny, you are going to notice the T-Priv’s extra girth. From a physical perspective, this is essentially my only real criticism of the mod’s design language.
Personally, I think the SMOK T-Priv looks stunning from every angle. The build materials are premium and robust, ensuring it can survive the odd drop and/or bang. And if that wasn’t enough, it even has an LED light system for impressing stoned people at parties.
SMOK T-Priv Review: Specs & Performance
- Height: 86.6mm
- Width: 48.1mm
- Depth: 32mm
- Net Weight: 210g
- Power Range: 6W – 220W
- Voltage Range: 0.5V – 9.0V
- Resistance Range: 0.1-3 ohm (VW) / 0.06 – 3-ohm (TC)
- Temperature Range: 200℉ – 600℉ / 100℃ – 315℃
The SMOK T-Priv is basically all about picking up where the Alien 220W left off, adding in better power management, more accuracy and overall better design and power delivery.
I’ve now used both and I can say, pretty empirically, that the SMOK T-Priv is superior to the Alien 220W. It handles higher wattage vaping better, it looks better doing it, and all of this is done without any overheating or misfiring.
There is virtually zero ramp-up time. Like none – you hit it and you’re vaping. I tried multiple builds and tanks on the SMOK T-Priv and nothing affected the ramp-up time. Even super-low-resistance builds fired instantly.
It also seems to manage power more effectively, with noticeably fewer power spikes than the Alien 220W. In TC mode, a place I seldom visit, performance is decent too, though I have heard reports of the SMOK T-Priv randomly jumping back into wattage mode, which is obviously NOT GOOD.
I’ve been trying to get more information on the chipset inside the SMOK T-Priv via SMOK and its affiliates, but have so far have drawn a blank. It feels and performs differently than the Alien – both for the positive – so I am assuming it runs an updated version of the chipset used inside the Alien.
Either way, overall performance is excellent.
SMOK T-Priv Review: Battery Life
The SMOK T-Priv runs two 18650 cells, like a lot of mods these days, unless you’re running something like the Reuleaux RX3000, and, pound for pound, it delivers very impressive battery life.
Even with the light-show running, I still managed to get a good, full day’s worth of heavy vaping in before the mod died. With moderate to light use, you’re easily looking at a couple of days – maybe even more.
This type of battery performance is achieved through optimizing the performance of the mod’s power output, keeping things in check, and not leaving anything to chance when firing or the mod is idling.
Again, excellent stuff all round.
SMOK T-Priv Review: What About The SMOK TFV 8 Big Baby Beast?
SMOK BIG Baby Beast Review
We all know about the SMOK TFV 8 and SMOK TFV 8 Baby Beast, but the SMOK T-Priv ships with a newish tank that goes by the name of the SMOK TFV 8 Big Baby Beast, which is essentially a bigger version of the SMOK TFV 8 Baby Beast.
This is what you get included in the SMOK T-Priv Kit:
- TFV8 Big Baby Beast
- V8 Baby-X4 Core (0.15ohm quadruple coils) (Pre-installed)
- V8 Baby-T6 Core (0.2ohm sextuple coils)
- V8 Baby RBA
- Replacement Glass Tube
- Replacement Glass Tube for RBA
- 510 Drip Tip Adapter
Essentially, this is a bigger version of the Baby Beast. And the reason it’s bigger? Simple: performance and also the fact that it can rock an RBA, just like the SMOK TFV 12 and SMOK TFV 8.
I was honestly surprised by this tank. Never, NEVER, has 65 watts done this much for me! The airflow could be increased a little bit, but the tank has fantastic flavor most likely due to the restricted airflow.
Even with it being a little choked up in my opinion, I still got way more vapor production than I expected to get running at under 100 watts. The only thing is, the coils (especially the T8’s) burn out real quick. I’m not a fan of that at all.
However, the flavor IS pretty amazing… so the tradeoff is totally worth it if you can get your coils cheap enough.
SMOK T-Priv Review: Verdict?
As noted earlier, I am quite a big fan of SMOK and while the company does have its issues it is still one of the most innovative brands in the vaping space right now.
Whether you’re talking about mods or tanks, it is hard not to mention SMOK, as the company’s recent slew of hardware is fast becoming the benchmark for mass market vape products.
The Alien 220W started something, but the T-Priv takes things a step further with improved performance, excellent power management, and exceptional design. I just love the way this mod looks and the lighting effects, while a tad outlandish, definitely help the SMOK T-Priv stand out from the crowd unless you’re in the same room as someone with a Sigelei KAOS, that is.
But perhaps the best aspect of this mod – and most SMOK kits, in general – is the price, as you’re not only getting an exceptionally good mod, but also a very, very good sub-ohm tank – with RBA compatibility – in the form of the SMOK TFV 8 Big Baby Beast.