Telescoping e-cigarettes have come into their own lately with manufacturers of all sorts making the adjustable advanced personal vaporizers. I’ve reviewed quite a few myself. Two that stick out in my mind as being particularly good are the Sigelei ZMAX V3 and Innokin’s iTaste SVD. I have a heck of a time picking out the one I like, so I figured why not run them through a head to head comparison of the ZMAX vs. the SVD.
Both the Innokin and the Sigelei are not small devices. To carry on the boxing metaphor, that makes this a heavyweight bought. Still, the SVD is known for being a huge personal vaporizer even in its smallest setting. When both devices are configured at their smallest, the Innokin is about a half inch taller than the ZMAX. Interestingly, the difference is even more pronounced in taller modes, with the SVD gaining an inch over its competitor in the middle size.
Since the arbitrary criteria I’m using for this round is which one is smaller, the win easily goes to the Sigelei, which does a better job at staying compact when the batteries get larger.
The build quality might be a little too close to call between these two devices. Both are made of stainless steel and are quite rugged. Innokin is known for its excellent build quality, so that’s no surprise here. I also have to admit both devices’ end caps aren’t the smoothest threading in the world.
Oddly, it’s endcaps that are going to decide this one in favor of the iTaste. The Z has a fairly flimsy spring in its cap, while the Innokin boasts a specially constructed spring system that has a post and a plastic isolation plate covering the spring. Overall, it’s a much more finished feeling part.
Both devices feature 510 threading along with eGo cone threading and ample drip wells. This means most clearomizers on the market will play well with either device.
Once again the Innokin iTaste SVD squeaks by with a few subtle advantages. First, the top cap has a ring that can be removed, allowing even the most rubenesque of eGo clearomizers to fit. There are also a couple of air holes in that ring which allow better airflow for tight fitting tanks even when placed tightly on the SVD.
Performance and Features
You likely won’t be surprised that these two devices are evenly matched when it comes to performance and features as well. The two devices do implement some things in different ways. For example, resistance reading, on the SVD you hold down both adjustment buttons to display while on the ZMAX you have to set the menu to display resistance when the fire button is pressed. The same deal holds true with battery level display on the Z while the SVD uses colored lights in the button to let you know charge status at a glance.
Actual performance is an even closer match. I’d dare say they are identical. Both can operate in single battery or dual 18350 battery mode. In dual mode, these devices pack plenty of power for dual coil or other high amperage applications. Both do a good job of maintaing steady voltage. I have no complaints about the performance of either.
I give this round over to Sigelei’s device for one reason. The ZMAX boasts an OLED screen compared to Innokin’s more dated backlit LCD application.
Ease of Use
I’ll be honest here. I’m not a huge fan of either device’s methods for adjusting settings. The ZMAX is a single button device and uses the same system that’s been used in countless other devices. It can be tedious to run through all the menu items to get to the thing you want, then wait until you can adjust it. Innokin decided to take this on with the SVD’s system which relies on certain combinations of buttons be pressed and held to adjust the settings. The settings are etched directly into the tube, but I still find them to be confusing.
I grudgingly give the nod to the Sigelei because it is a familiar system and the OLED screen spells out exactly what you’re setting.
It’s difficult to quantitatively examine a device’s style. You can see common roots in each device (both of which pay homage to the first generation ProVari) with things like fluting on the body and dimples in the end caps.
The iTaste SVD takes on more of a stylized approach to the design from the slightly raised button surround and dome shaped button to the metal frame around the LCD screen. There’s sort of a steampunk vibe going on here. The settings instructions, logo, and even industry certifications are etched into the body which distracts from the design in some ways.
In comparison, the ZMAX takes a much more simple approach to the design. The screen is flush mounted with the body and the button is fairly simple. There’s no embellishments or logos. There are, however, cross vent holes drilled into each indentation on the body which does something to break up the lines. Otherwise, this is a very simple design.
This may be more a matter of personal taste, but I lean toward the more minimalistic design of the Telescopic ZMAX.
I’ve done a few of these comparisons in my day, and I don’t think I’ve seen such an even matchup before. Usually there was some major difference, be it price or something else. This time around, the prices are very similar as are the features and pros and cons. Still, this is a shootout so a winner must be declared.
With a narrow margin of 4:3 the ZMAX is the winner of the shootout. Of course the tiebreaker was a completely arbitrary thing. I guess in the end it doesn’t matter which one you pick, both of these devices are pretty good. For added convenience, VaporAlley carries both of them so you can visit them to do some more comparison shopping.