After reviewing such mighty and thunderous devices that have a maximum output of 200W – some can even go higher with downloadable firmware – it was refreshing to see the Aspire Zelos 50W Kit land on my desk that has a maximum output of 50W.
It may be counterintuitive in this day and age of pushing the limits on everything that a box mod can do, but I’ll take ease-of-use, consistent performance, and quality vapor over a cloud-chucking device any day.
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Aspire Zelos at a Glance
So I was glad to see the latest starter kit (yes, this is a starter kit for all you veteran vapers rolling your eyes right now) from Aspire, the Zelos 50W kit, take it down a notch and emphasize restraint over bombast.
Despite its restrained output, the Zelos is powered by a sizable 2500mAh, built-in, battery. Obviously, that kind of capacity also powers the other features on the mod, such as the OLED screen, the adjustable settings and the various vaping modes like TC, bypass, and variable voltage.
And keeping in line with pulling back from gargantuan cloud making, the Aspire Zelos 50W kit comes with a 2ml Nautilus tank that has a pre-installed sub-ohm coil. But the kit also comes with an above ohm coil for smooth, mouth-to-lung vaping.
The Starter Kit Contents
Here’s what you’ll receive when you purchase the Aspire Zelos 50W Kit:
- One Zelos 50W mod
- One Nautilus 2 tank
- One pre-installed 0.7ohm coil
- One 1.8ohm BVC coil
- One extra drip tip
- One extra glass tube
- One Micro USB charging cable
- Eight O-rings
What Makes It a Quality Build
Can I still say something is “queer-looking” without offending anyone? Those readers with a knowledge of old-school English will understand when I say something is queer-looking, won’t you? Well, the Aspire Zelos 50W kit is queer-looking.
The mod and the Nautilus 2 tank put together make for an out of the ordinary shape for the device, which might be off-putting to some, but for me, a lover of all things non-conforming, I was intrigued by the odd shape and form.
But, putting the shape of the mod aside, the device has an anodized aluminum finish that feels great to hold, and at only a thickness of 38mm, it was not awkward or heavy to carry. The mod even features a slight depression on the side where you can rest your fingers.
There is an OLED screen that runs along the opposite side of the mod, which also contains the firing button, the two selector buttons, and the USB charging port. I liked that all the things you need to use the mod were located in the same place.
The 510 connector has a spring-loaded pin, and there are various air intake holes on the bottom of the device. I think the queerest thing about the entire kit is the Nautilus 2 tank. I reviewed the Aspire Triton 2 a while back and just looking at the Nautilus 2, I can tell I have a new favorite tank from Aspire.
The Nautilus 2, to my eyes, looks great. It has a dome-shaped top cap that slips off (well, you have to screw it off, it doesn’t just come off) that allows for a top-fill experience more effortless than any other tank I’ve seen. There is also a collection of about five pinpoint airflow holes at the bottom of the tank that you can close or cover with the swivel cap.
Is Aspire Zelos Comfortable to Use?
Being a pared-down, simplified box mod, and after reviewing so many devices with complicated button combinations and a seemingly endless amount of features, using the Aspire Zelos 50W kit was relatively easy.
And this ease-of-use was also due to the six basic vaping features that come with the mod. These features are whittled down to three temp control modes (nickel, titanium, and stainless steel), bypass mode, variable wattage mode and variable voltage mode.
So, there’s not a lot of customizability available on the Zelos, but then again, it wasn’t designed to be a confounding and hi-tech device. You click the firing button five times to power on the device, and to switch between the different modes, you just hold down the +/- buttons together to scroll through the various modes.
One great thing about the Aspire Zelos OLED screen is that it auto-adjusts. Meaning, however you hold your device, the screen will flip to make it easier to read, just like with a smartphone. And that forward-thinking was something I appreciated since I have had problems with screens that were awkward to read and use when vaping.
Vapor Quality: In The Flavor City
From a beginner’s standpoint, I could see how things could get complicated with the Zelos kit. But the ease of switching between the various modes, not to mention the mouth-to-lung coil you can also use with the mod, meant that you could find a style you were comfortable with and stick to it.
I attached my Nautilus 2 tank, set the device to the default variable wattage mode, and started at the beginning of the recommended range for the pre-installed coil, which is 18-23W, so 18W. There wasn’t much going on in either the flavor or cloud department; I kept increasing the wattage.
At right around 20W I started to notice a distinct increase in flavor, while the clouds were not humongous, I still left a noticeable vapor trail. The other coil option on the Zelos Kit is the 1.8ohm coil, so I switched out the sub-ohm coil for this mouth-to-lung hitter.
The recommended range on this coil is even lower at only 10-14W and so that means not as much cloud is going to come out, but the flavor is undoubtedly going to dance around your taste buds, and it did! I toyed around with the pinpoint airflow holes, and I found that even fully opened, I could still get a restricted, satisfying draw.
The resistance range on the Zelos is between 0.7-3.5ohms, so even at higher resistances, you could still achieve remarkable flavor. I was impressed with the all-around flavor profile, which was much more pronounced on the above-ohm coil.
Zelos 50W Kit Competes: Others Can, too?
I decided to take a look at another 50W box mod, obviously, to compare with the Aspire Zelos 50W kit. I settled on the Sigelei 50W that is also a contender in the looks department with the Zelos since it has a simple, but the eye-catching design and an even more straightforward interface.
The Sigelei V2 50W box mod has a plethora of safety features from low voltage and low wattage protection to a reserve battery protection. The Aspire Zelos has none of these safety features, but it also doesn’t need them since it is a more streamlined device with a built-in battery, as opposed to the Sigelei removable 18650 battery.
The mods both have well-lit and easy to read OLED screens, but the Zelos has that nifty auto-adjust feature that, while not revolutionary, did add to my OVE (overall vaping experience, I just invented that). Regarding the various vaping modes, the Sigelei does have VW and TC modes, but that’s it. The Zelos, while being a starter kit, still offers a challenge to those interested in bypass (mech mod) vaping.
So, I think for both its simple design and functions, while still offering the possibility of more advanced features, along with the inclusion of the excellent Nautilus 2 tank (the Sigelei does not come with a tank), I give this one to the Aspire Zelos 50W kit.
- Great, smooth, but durable finish
- Many vaping modes and adjustable features
- Easy to remember button combinations
- Nautilus tank with a top-fill cap
- Easy clean-up and maintenance
- Pinpoint airflow holes limit airflow
- Limited power output
I was relieved, to be frank, to review a simple, easy-to-use device after so many trips to Vaping University where I had to cram to figure out the myriad menu and vaping features on some of the more advanced models coming out right now, e.g., the Vaporesso Swag Kit.
The Aspire Zelos 50W kit doesn’t aim to cover you in a cloud; it seeks to deliver a well-performing, flavorful vaping experience with a mod that is compact, portable, and looks great.
The Nautilus 2 tank went exceptionally well with the mod; it only has a 2 ml capacity, but given the 50W output of the Zelos, you have enough e-liquid capacity to ensure a satisfying taste experience.