The Pioneer4U IPV Mini II
The variable-wattage mod market exploded back in 2013 with offerings from companies like Innokin and Sigelei. While there is something of an arms race now to see whose mod can offer the highest wattage — 100, 150, and I’m sure 200 watts isn’t far away now — what many of these companies have lost sight of is why. Why do consumers need 100 or 150 watt mods when those mods are (comparatively speaking) huge, heavy boxes that feel like an anchor in a consumer’s pocket?
Well, let’s leave that question aside entirely — because what I’m going to tell you about today does the same thing — it leaves that aside entirely. Today I’m going to tell you about the Pioneer4U IPV Mini II, a 70 watt box that’s more compact that the ZNA 50 I told you about a couple months ago. Smaller footprint — more power. Lighter on the wallet, too. Let me break it down for the TL;DR crowd: this one is a stone cold winner.
This mod was tested with high-drain Efest (purple) 18650 batteries, and wore the Infinite CLT V2 rebuildable dripping atomizer as well as the Kanger Subtank Mini fitted with a 0.5 ohm coil head. The liquids tested in both ADs were Alloy Blends “Vented” (6mg) and Cotto’s Revenge “Vendetta” (3mg, review forthcoming!).
SPECS AND FEATURES
As just mentioned, the IPV Mini II is a 70 watt box. But there’s more, so much more, going on here that needs mentioned. With a wattage range of 5-70 watts, the Mini II can fire atomizers of resistances as low as 0.2 ohm or as high as 3.0 ohm. That is an impressively wide range, and makes the Mini II suitable for traditional clearomizers and cartomizers as well as sub-ohm tanks (such as the Kanger Subtank series, Sense Herakles, Aspire Atlantis, Joyetech Delta II) and RDAs/RTAs.
The Mini II uses a single 18650 battery, and my recommendation for that battery is a high-drain model such as Sony VTC4 or VTC5, Vamped, SubOhmCell or Efest (the purple one.) The Mini II also includes a micro-USB charging port, though for myself, I find that my handy ol’ Nitecore IntelliCharger D4 provides quicker recharge, so if you have multiple 18650 batteries and a charger for them already, that’d be the way to go rather than the inbuilt charging port on the Mini II.
The other notable feature of the Mini II is that its firmware incorporates something unique in the world of YiHi chipset-based mods, to my knowledge: Memory presets. When you press the “Power Up” key, rather than simply raising the power level, the Mini II cycles through pre-set power levels. In order to rise through the power settings incrementally as would be done on a DNA-based device, you would actually press the “Power Down” key, then press either of the power adjustment keys as normal. Pressing the firing button after you’ve reached your preferred power output level will then “set” that new power level for the memory preset you were in.
For example, if you press the Power Up key once, you’ll go from Preset 1 (7 watts) to Preset 2 (15 watts). Then press the Power Down key to release from Preset 2. Then press Power Up again until you reach 20 watts. Then press the firing button. Preset 2 is now set at 20 watts and will stay there until you change it again using the same technique. Trust me, it sounds a lot more complicated than it actually is.
A note on the screen: it goes from bright to dim quick. It takes longer to go completely to “Off”, but it doesn’t stay at full brightness anywhere near as long as other DNA-inspired displays I’ve seen. So if you fire it and then decide a minute later you want to look at it to see where your battery level is, you’re going to need to tap that firing button again.
BUILD QUALITY AND ERGONOMICS
The IPV Mini II just blows me away with how compact and comfortable it is. For a device packing 70 watts of power, it packs it into a tiny space. The “back” of the mod (the part that rests between your palm and your thumb when firing it) is rounded rather than squared, so it’s incredibly comfortable in the hand. Each of the keys has a very solid tactile response, though I wouldn’t exactly call them “clicky” — you can feel the click, but you can’t exactly hear it.
The build quality on this thing, by the way, is superb. No battery rattle whatsoever. It is solid. The finish on mine (I got it in black) is a matte finish, but satin smooth. Not a scratch on it, so I know the Quality Control is all over it. Branding is tastefully minimal. There is one con, in my opinion, to this device, and here it is:
The battery cap could stand to have a bit more texture to it. I’ve seen reviews of the original IPV Mini, and the battery cap on that had a knurled texture — Pioneer4U should have stuck with that, in my opinion. The battery cap on the Mini II has a texture, as well, but it’s only a series of vertical grooves in the battery cap. For big dumb fingers like mine, that’s not quite cutting it. The first time I went to extract a depleted battery and replace it with a fresh one, I actually had to resort to using a pair of pliers to get the battery cap moving, because my fingers alone didn’t have enough traction on it to get the job done.
REAL WORLD EXPERIENCE
My real world experience with this mod has been absolutely fantastic. First thing I want to mention here is that I got this device from http://www.myvaporstore.com — and their shipping is just stupid fast. I paid for Express USPS shipping, let that be said, and I got this device the next day. That’s quick-fast shipping. $61.95 is what they’re asking for it right now, and that’s a sale price, down from the regular asking price of $89.95. So if you want to get you one, and you really should, now’s the time to get up on it and grab it.
Sitting here at home, at my desk, I’m rocking the Mini II with the Infinite CLT V2 rebuildable dripping atomizer, and rebuildables are my go-to for testing and reviewing new liquids just because I can go from one juice to another quicker. When it comes to the RDA, the Mini II is a champion, an absolute champion. It delivers all the power I want or need and it delivers it with rock solid consistency.
Out and about, though, I like a tank. I used to go with a dripper, but that also meant carrying a bottle of juice in my pocket along with the mod. Not anymore. Now I’m mobile with the Mini II topped with the Kanger Subtank Mini, and the Mini II handles that like a pro, too. Either at my desk or out and about, the Mini II has got me feeling like one happy camper and showing it.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
Guess I already covered that, huh?
Absolutely recommended. If you’re looking for something compact, powerful, versatile, and easy on your vape gear budget, this is it. Whether you’re a dripper or a clearomizer user, this is it. This is It. You know where to get it, you know why you should get it, so go on and get it!