How much do you think that a box mod should cost? $200? $100? What if we told you that you could actually buy a box mod for under $15? Well, the ELeaf iCare Mini is exactly that — it’s an honest-to-goodness box mod that costs just $13.20, and although it does have a few shortcomings, what it can do for the price is truly remarkable.
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What Is the ELeaf iCare Mini?
How do you review a device like the ELeaf iCare Mini? Do you compare it to other box mods? The comparison hardly seems fair. Somehow, though, it doesn’t feel right to compare the iCare Mini to a cigalike, either. After all, this is a box mod with a built-in tank and replaceable atomizer coil. It’s just very, very small.
How small, you ask?
Pretty darn small, actually.
Who Is the ELeaf iCare Mini For?
If you already vape and you’re looking to upgrade from your first starter kit, the ELeaf iCare Mini probably isn’t for you. Rather, the iCare Mini is a completely different type of option for someone buying his or her very first e-cigarette — something that not only costs significantly less than your average cigalike, but also holds more e-liquid, lasts longer per battery charge and delivers significantly more vapor per puff. If you already vape and simply enjoy buying unique products, though, the iCare Mini may interest you because of its incredibly tiny size. It’s the perfect e-cigarette for discreet vaping.
iCare Mini Specifications
The iCare Mini has an internal 320 mAh battery and 1.3 ml tank. The battery is good for about 160 puffs between charges. However, the iCare Mini also has a 2300 mAh charging cradle available. You can leave the cradle connected to your computer and simply dock the iCare Mini for charging, or you can carry the cradle with you. It’ll charge the iCare Mini battery up to seven times.
If you’re an experienced e-cigarette user, you’ll notice that the iCare Mini has no threading for attachments. Rather, it has a self-contained tank. When you open the tank for filling, you’ll need to remove the air tube from the tank. At the end of the tube is a tiny atomizer coil. That’s the only attachment the iCare Mini supports. It operates within a range of 5-15 watts. Replacement coils cost just $4.25 per five-pack.
Using the ELeaf iCare Mini
The iCare Mini is incredibly easy to use. To fill it, you’ll twist off the white mouthpiece, exposing the metal air tube. You can twist the tube out with your fingers or use the rectangular indentation on the underside of the mouthpiece for leverage.
When you remove the air tube, you’ll see the tiny atomizer coil at the end of the tube. Simply twist it off and twist on a new one if you need to replace it. When you hold the air tube, you’ll notice a rotating collar near the top. This is the iCare Mini’s airflow control. For freer airflow, rotate the collar to expose more of the air holes.
Add e-liquid to the hole until the level reaches the line on the side of the device, replace the air tube and mouthpiece, and wait several minutes for the wick in the coil to saturate. You can use the iCare Mini simply by puffing. The iCare Mini has no adjustments to make and no controls to fiddle with.
The iCare Mini has a color-changing LED that lets you know how much battery life remains. When you puff, the LED lights green until the battery reaches 15 percent remaining capacity. During the remaining life of the battery, the color changes to yellow and finally red.
ELeaf iCare Mini Review
If the iCare Mini were a cigalike, we probably wouldn’t ever think about the fact that it has no controls. After all, you can’t lock a cigalike, either. The fact that it’s a box mod with a tank, though, does give us some cause for concern. If you have a child, you’ll want to make sure that you keep the iCare Mini out of reach at all times. There’s no way to lock it and no way to turn it off.
The iCare Mini produces quite a lot of vapor for a small device. If you puff slowly and patiently, you can coax some surprisingly big clouds out of it — much bigger than you’d get with any micro e-cigarette. We did notice a bit of gurgling occasionally, though. The air tube leading from the atomizer coil to the mouthpiece is very narrow, and sometimes vapor condenses inside it. The condensation eventually creates droplets that fall back down to the atomizer, causing the gurgling. You can either use the iCare Mini until the gurgling goes away, or you can remove the air tube and blow firmly through it to clear the condensed e-liquid out. If you continue using the iCare Mini when condensation collects in the air tube, though, you may occasionally get e-liquid in your mouth.
The puff sensor in the iCare Mini could be a little more sensitive. When you inhale from your mouth to your lungs, there’s a little bit of a delay before the iCare Mini begins producing vapor. You can alleviate this a bit by reducing the airflow to increase the reverse air pressure when you inhale. The iCare Mini actually works best, though, when you inhale directly to the lungs. The airflow is a little restrictive for direct-to-lung inhaling, however — so you have to inhale slowly to build up some really good clouds.
ELeaf iCare Mini Review: Conclusion
So, the ELeaf iCare Mini could be a little more sensitive to puffs. Sometimes it gurgles or leaks a bit. When you look at what it does right, though — for under $15 — it’s hard not to recommend it anyway. It’s still a really good e-cigarette for beginners. It’s also ideal for discreet vaping, since you can close your entire hand around it. It holds quite a lot of e-liquid. The coils last a long time, and replacements are incredibly inexpensive. If you opt for the package including the portable charging cradle, you’ll probably be able to vape for days without ever connecting the iCare Mini to a computer or power outlet. The iCare Mini isn’t perfect, but it works well enough to more than justify the price. If you’re looking for a really compact vaping system, the ELeaf iCare Mini gets the job done at an extremely low cost.
ELeaf iCare Mini: The Last Word
- Extremely small box mod — perhaps the smallest on the market
- Portable charging cradle adds days of battery life
- Excellent performance for a surprisingly low price
- Replacement atomizer coils are very affordable
The Not So Good
- No controls, so no way to lock the device or turn it off
- Gurgles and leaks occasionally
- Puff sensor could be a little more sensitive