The Super eGo: Variable Voltage (and a display!)

Variable voltage seems to be where it’s at in the e-cigarette world these days.  Manufacturers are coming out with more vari-volt designs than anyone can hope to keep track of.  The latest frontier is the eGo-style electronic cigarettes.  The latest entry ups the game by providing features like a display seldom seen in the mid-range devices.  Read the rest of this review to see if the variable volt eGo is the next big thing.

IMG 1249 480x319 image

Note: This article has been updated.  This model has been replaced with the eGo Super Variable Voltage 2 which improves a couple of shortcomings with the device. The original review noted that this model lacked the ability to use the device while it was recharging.  The puff counter could not be reset.  I have been provided with an updated version of this device which resolves both those issues.  References to those issues in the article have been removed.

The Specs and Features

Before launching into the design of this new VV eGo battery let’s take a look at the specs and features to get a better idea of what’s going on with the device.

  • 650 mAh battery
  • Variable voltage from 3.0 – 6.0v (.1v increments)
  • 5-click on/off
  • + and – adjustment buttons
  • LCD display with blue backlight
  • Micro USB charging port
  • Puff counter
  • Battery life meter
  • Standard eGo threading

Variable Voltage eGo Design

As I mentioned above, this variable voltage eGo is only a 650mAh battery. Normally, this size battery is fairly small.  Not so with this device; it’s very long.

IMG 1246 300x199 imageMost of that length is dedicated to the display unit and controls situated at the bottom of the battery.  This portion takes up the lower third of the device.  For some reason, there’s a band between this section and the main battery.

I keep wanting to unscrew that section, but it’s solidly fixed.  The bottom part features an end cap that unscrews to reveal a recess where the micro USB port is hidden.

There is one unfortunate things about this port.  The first is that it’s a micro USB port, rather than the more typical mini USB found in typical eGo pass-throughs. It’s also not the same micro USB used in Android devices, but the one that you can use on an Apple TV. If you happen to have a mini cable (or several) they won’t work with this model.  Fortunately, it comes with the appropriate charging cable.

This device isn’t a true pass-through device.  The Super doesn’t draw power from the USB connection when vaping while the cord is plugged in. Instead, it momentarily shuts off charging to allow use of the device.  This is likely a stop gap measure put in place to resolve the issue with the 1.0 version’s inability to let the user use the device while it was charging.

Moving up the length of the battery, you’ll find the LCD readout.  The readout features a nice blue backlight.  The readout displays the number of puffs (really the number of times you’ve pressed the button) and the current battery level when you press the activation button at the top of the unit.

VV eGo Display 300x198 imageThe battery level is represented with a little graphic of a battery with up to 4 bars inside it.  When the battery level is low, the battery outline on the display flashes to alert you.

Press one of the two voltage adjustment buttons and the current voltage setting is displayed.  Press the corresponding button again to cycle the voltage up or down. The voltage setting can be locked or unlocked by pressing both buttons at the same time for 5 seconds.

The voltage adjustment buttons themselves are made of hard, chromed plastic and rounded at the end.  The buttons are raised and spaced in such a way that makes it easy to press only one to make the necessary adjustments.  They feel very sturdy hand have a good tactile response when pressed.

Above the adjustment buttons is the metal band that makes it look like the battery should unscrew.  Beyond that, it’s pretty much straight-forward eGo.  The button is clear plastic and illuminates blue.  Click the button rapidly five times to toggle the unit on or off.  The button will flash to indicate the device has been turned off.

The top of the battery features the standard eGo cone threads and 510 connector.  All your 510 and eGo skirted or threaded gear should work without much issue.

Performance

Because this product is essentially a standalone battery, and not a starter kit, there’s no cartomizer portion to evaluate for vapor.  Instead, we have to look at how well the battery itself performs. There’s essentially three things I look at when evaluating the performance in a variable voltage electronic cigarette:

  1. On-load voltage
  2. Consistency over battery life
  3. Amperage capacity (and over amperage handling)

On-load voltage simply means how well the device maintains the voltage when a cartomizer is attached.  Many devices tend to drop voltage when you actually use them.  Some only a little, others drop a significant amount of voltage when you expect them to perform.  Some devices are also amazingly inconsistent where the amount of voltage dropped varies depending on the voltage settings.

IMG 1253 300x199 imageThis variable voltage eGo did a fair job.  It dropped about .2v which is considerable, but that voltage drop was the same level at pretty much every voltage level I tested.

Consistency is also a tricky thing with variable voltage ecigs.  Many devices tend to peter out as the battery drains, delivering lower voltages the closer the battery gets to being drained.  This model, however, was able to carry the load at the same voltage level throughout the battery’s charge cycle.

Finally, there is the amperage, or how much power the switch can handle.  Without getting overly technical, this aspect is particularly important if you want to run dual coil cartomizers at higher voltages.  To be honest, there aren’t many e-cigarettes outside of the ProVari V2 that can handle the power requirements.

Most other variable volt devices just drop the output down to a level they can safely produce.  Sadly, this vari-volt eGo is one such device.  There is a silver lining.  Unlike most devices that have lower power safe modes, this one actually tells you when it’s active.

The battery icon will blink when the battery is low, but it also blinks when it is over limit and has to lower the voltage.  This seems trivial, but it’s a feature I wish all devices that changed the voltage on you would do.  It makes it easier to feel out the limits of the device when there’s an actual indication something is amiss.

Too Long; Didn’t Read

variable voltage ego size comparison 480x247 image

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The Super Variable Volt eGo brings features normally reserved for more advanced personal vaporizers to the popular midsize eGo class of electronic cigarettes.  While this device is fairly large for only having a 650mAh battery, the performance puts it on par with some of the bigger units, while still feeling much smaller. To simplify it even more, think Lavatube in an eGo-sized and shaped package. Jump on over to Happy eSmoker to grab one for yourself.

Pros:

  • Full LCD readout in an eGo
  • Voltage adjustment up to 6v in .1 increment
  • Up and Down voltage adjustments
  • Consistant performance
  • Excellent compatibility with eGo and 510 cartomizers
  • Inexpensive
  • Light weight
  • Built-in USB port

Cons:

  • 650 mAh battery life
  • .2v voltage drop under load
  • Fairly low amp limit
  • Pass-through operation uses the battery instead of USB power
  • Oddball USB port

Details:

Product Name: Super Variable Voltage eGo
Available from: Happy eSmoker
Price: $31.95
Battery capacity: 650 mAh
Voltage: 3.0 – 6.0 adjustable in .1v increments
Threading: eGo (510)

Disclosure: I feature affiliate links for Happy eSmoker

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20 thoughts on “The Super eGo: Variable Voltage (and a display!)

  1. Great review but one thing: micro usb is a plus in my opinion, not a minus.

  2. Love the review Steve. I am for sure getting one. what does the micro usb do exactly? I mean you can still pkug the bat into a wall charger right?

    • Yes either an AC – USB adapter or directly into the USB port on your PC. Micro USB is a standard which means it can use any cable with that connector instead of a specific charging adapter like standard eGos and stick style ecigs

  3. Great Thanks. I never used a PT before. That clears it up. Great review. I am def getting one. ;)

  4. Thanks for the review Steve. I couldn't find any info on this battery yesterday, but I went ahead and ordered it and picked it up today – the vendor is local for me so I couldn't pass it up. Can't tell much difference between the performance of this and my Vtube yet but it's close. Steve, I'm curious what the amperage limit was when you tested it and found it to be "low". The Vtube is 2.5 of course but it doesn't tell you. This battery still fires set at 6.0v on a 2.8 ohm atty for me, but I suppose that isn't quite 2.5A yet so it hasn't "blinked" at me. No need for low resistance dual coil IMO. Not really sure why people want to run 1.5ohm DC at 5V or 6V anyway. Juice can't taste good at 24W!

    • I did a little bit more testing to try and tease out the amp limit. Interestingly, the last round I did, it didn't blink. But, it did output voltage lower than what was set. In my case I had a 1.8 ohm carto set to 5v. The actual output was 4.3v which gives us roughly 2.4A. So probably not unreasonable to say it's a 2.5A switch. I'm just not sure why it didn't flash at me on my last round of tests.

  5. That's quite a drop but i think the twist dropped even more. Something like set at 4.8v on 1.5 ohm carto dropped down to 3.4. None of these variable voltage devices do well with low resistance cartos though. You should do a comparison. Any idea how the lavatube does at 5v with a 1.8 carto?

  6. I just ordered mine and it wa shipped the same day. Very fast service. I am excited to get it and compare this to the Twist. I like the led features as well. I like simple so as log as it works and vapes great that's my main concern. I spoke to them at Happy Vapors and they will be coming out with a 900 series so I guess Steve K will be busy with an updated review ROF. Your friends at http://www.papa-ricks.com

  7. Sir i'm here in Riyadh were can i get this unit????? i really want to have one..

    • I'm sorry to say I'm not sure where you can find one outside of the US. The only vendor I've seen that carries it is happy esmoker, which is the site I linked to in the review above.

  8. I recently discovered this battery will also work with an ego-type charger. Starting to think the company making these (Trueman) must have originally intended on it being a passthrough as well, but couldn't get it to work or for whatever reason decided to sell it anyway because there is absolutely no purpose for a USB port to function solely as the charger when a standard ego charger does the same thing. But nice of them to fail to mention that and give me another cord to keep up with all the time.

    • That's funny, I was just sitting here staring at an eGo charger wondering if it would work for this one. Some do, some don't, but now you've answered that for me, thanks :)

  9. I just puicked up one of these and pass through works using them now, so you should update your review.

    • I have one of the updated ones on the way. A real pass-through will certainly help this device. It's also supposed to have a puff counter that can reset (minor feature there). Once I get a hold of it and can confirm/see what else has changed, I'll either update this post, or if enough is different, write a new one.

  10. Thanks for the review, Steve.

    What do you mean by " It’s also not the same micro USB used in Android devices, but the one that you can use on an Apple TV"

    Isn't a micro USB a micro USB? Are you saying the 15,000 micro USB cables I have for my Android phone won't work for this? This is probably the most important point for me since I always have a micro USB cable around, and I hate carrying around a mini USB for my ego. If my current micro USB cables won't work, I'm back to square one.

    Please clarify?

    • It's not the same one Androids use, it's also referred to as Micro USB, but it's not as wide, it's some sort of less popular standard between mini USB and true Micro USB. At the time I wrote the review I hadn't realized it (I didn't have an Android device at the time) so I originally said Micro USB. I will be reviewing a different model that has a real micro USB in the upcoming weeks. That model is at VaporAlley among other places.Sorry about the confusion.

  11. Just to help you out. The difference between microUSB and miniUSB, Android phones use microUSB (Small thin band 5 pin connection) While miniUSB is the most commonly used standard used for most portable devices like pass through of the ecig, miniUSB woofers and laptop cooling stands, etc… I am glad I found your article cause I have one of the new 1200mahh SLB ego vv which in its description had a 2.5 amp limit. What I did know was that in reference to the amp charging limit or power out put. Since I don't use duel coils, or those other monster clearos or cartos. I am happy with my purchase. I get good taste and nice volume of vape.