Hi Vaping Community, In this review i take a look at the RDS Dual System 80W TC Pod Mod Kit from Hotcig. The RDS Dual System Pod Mod Kit was supplied free of charge for the purpose of this review By Hotcig.
Hotcig was founded back in 2013 and have been consistently releasing good vaping products ever since. Here we have their latest device the RDS dual system Pod Mod which is a Pod Mod which then turns into a regular Mod when fitting the supplied 510 adaptor.
Yes i know whether it’s from the manufacturer themselves or a third party most pod mods have an available 510 adaptor but the difference here is you not only receive it in the Kit but the device detects when it’s installed changing the settings from a more simple Pod Mod friendly system to a full system with full TC suite, Power, Variable Voltage and Bypass modes.
The device has a one button operation which can be turned to alter wattage or scroll through settings etc and accommodates an 18650 battery allowing a top wattage of 80w. Coming in a choice of transparent colours and with it’s sharp, bright, colourful customisable display let’s give the Real Dual System (RDS) a closer look!!!
In The Box
1 x Hotcig RDS Device
1 x Hotcig RM Pod
1 x RM1 Mesh Coil 0.3ohm
1 x RM3 Mesh Coil 1.2ohm
1 x DL Drip Tip
1 x MTL Drip Tip
1 x 510-thread Adapter
1 x Manual
1 x Type-C Cable
1 x Warranty Card
1 x Battery Safety Card
1 X Polishing Cloth
Aesthetics and Ergonomics:
The device comes in cardboard packaging and it’s really well presented with everything having their own compartments which are also labelled. When seeing the photos of the device pre-release it seemed that it would be available in a transparent Amber and solid Black and White colours but since it’s release it’s listed everywhere i look including Hotcig’s website as being available in four different transparent colours so whether the Solid options reappear at a later date is anyone’s guess! The options are Clear, Amber, Purple and Black, i received the Amber which is a really nice dark Amber but it does need pointing out that it’s not Ultem!
On first handling it was so light and gave a rattle which sounded cheap, i first thought it was the fire button/dial but then it became clear it was the battery plate and once a battery is installed we have no rattles whatsoever and the added weight of the battery makes this feel a really nice device in the hand. The device is tall and an odd form factor so chalk and cheese, also some will love the lightweight and transparent look while some just don’t like plastic mods, this is a well thought out and well made device so it’s all subjective to the individual! On the face at the top on a slant we have a bottle top style button which also turns as a dial, then towards the bottom we have the display.
On both sides towards the top we have an airflow slot and low down towards the face on one side we have a Type C USB port. The spine has an exposed Stainless Steel battery tube with “Dual System” printed one side. That curved spine and slanted fire button is always a good recipe for the device being very ergonomic, feeling great in both hands using either the thumb or finger to fire and that’s certainly the case here.
Up top we will either have the Pod protruding which will match in colour to the rest of the device or the 510 adaptor installed. Moving to the base we have more Stainless Steel with safety marks and branding etched on to the metal and the battery plate with central bar!
RDS Specs and Features:
Size (mm): 130mm x 41.5mm x 25mm
Material: Stainless: PCTG+Steel
Battery: 1 x 18650 battery (NOT Included)
Output power: 1-80W
Vape Modes: Power/Volt/Bypass/Temp/Pod/MOD
Display: TFT 0.96-inch Colour Screen
Capacity: 4.2ml/4.5ml (with MTL Coil head)
Resistance: DL (RMX 0.15Ω/RM1 0.3Ω/RM2 0.6Ω)
MTL (RM3 1.2Ω)
Charging: Type-C 5V/1A
Lightweight PCTG construction
Dual system of Pod and 510-MOD
Simple side filling design
Type-C mainstream charging system
510-thread adapter for 510 atomizers
Colours: Clear, Amber, Purple, Black
The pod is cylindrical as so many are since the Drag X and is the same transparent colour to match the device. Most of the pod protrudes outside the device and certainly with the Amber pod included in my kit seeing the e-liquid inside is no problem.
The pod has a standard 510 drip tip fitting so you can use your own but included is both a drip-tip more suited for RDL and a MTL alternative. The weird thing is if you look at the picture below both drip-tips come in the four different transparent colours and although the RDL in my kit is Amber to match the pod for some reason the MTL drip tip is the clear version!
On the side of the pod we have a Red silicone piece with an indentation on the pod next to where it needs lifting which helps. When lifted the generous fill port gets unplugged for a mess free fill but you do need to keep the pod on it’s side while filling, the pod holds 4.2ml of e-liquid but because the main body of the MTL coil head is more slender it increases capacity to 4.5ml.
Moving to the base and we have the cylindrical opening for the coil head to get press fitted into place and each side of the base protrudes to the base of the coil head, we have 3 small round magnets on each protruding side!
Included are 2 different coil heads which are the 0.3ohm RM1 Mesh coil head which is rated between 30 and 40w and the 1.2ohm RM3 MTL Mesh coil head which is rated between 10 and 15w.
Also available is the 0.6ohm RM2 Mesh coil head rated between 20 and 25w and the 0.15ohm RMX Mesh coil head rated between 65 and 80w, also there is an RBA coil head giving a rebuildable option
The coil head just gets press fitted into the pod via the round opening on the pods base. To install correctly so the adjustable airflow will work correctly line up the airflow inlets at the base of the coil head with the cut-out sections at the base of the pod.
Fitting The Pod
Looking into the cylindrical pod bay we can see the Gold plated, spring loaded central positive and outer negative contacts. The inside perimeter has a magnetic ring which will attract the six magnets on the base of the pod, finally we can see the airflow slots letting light into the bay. The magnets on the base of the pod are not the strongest allowing the pod to be turned easily but are strong enough so the pod doesn’t come out without a tug.
Both sides towards the top of the device we have airflow slots to allow air to the coil head inlets. The pod has protruding side sections at its base with sections between the same size has the coil head airflow inlets cut-out which are also the same size as the airflow slots on the sides of the device. When installing the coil head you line up the inlets with the cut-out sections and when these are lined up with the outside slots we have fully open airflow. Then simply rotate the pod to open or close the airflow, it works pretty much the same as on a standard tank with bottom airflow rather than it’s the inside slots (which is the cut-outs on the base of the pod) that turn by turning the pod and the outside slots fixed!
The 510 Adaptor
Included is a 510 adaptor which allows standard atomizers to be used with the device, the device also detects when it’s installed and switches the device to Mod mode which is more suited for using with standard atomizers rather than a pod!
The adaptor just needs putting in the pod bay and turning and you will feel it drop into place. The magnets on the adaptor are extremely strong so will not move unless you give it one hell of a tug, cracking job!
Fitting The Battery
The RDS Pod Mod accommodates a single 18650 battery which is installed into the battery tube from the base. We have a battery plate with circular perimeter and cut out halves with a central bar that acts as a lever for tuning to unscrew or screw back into place. On the central bar we do have an elongated cut-out groove which i believe is to represent a minus symbol for battery orientation but would also like to see orientation clearly marked in Black on the underside of the plate. It can take a few attempts for the threading to catch when screwing the plate back in position but it isn’t too bad and the threading is reasonably smooth. I like this way of installing your battery as you can’t damage your wraps and you just screw until tight so is very secure and you get no battery movement whatsoever!
I do like the colourful display which is both bright, sharp and gives a wealth of information. We have a more rectangular central design and vape duration progress bar when in Pod Mode rather than a circular central design with the circle outline acting as a vape duration progress dial when in Mod Mode. Certain Information will differ when in other modes such as TC but i will describe the display in Pod Mode which only allows adjustable wattage, in Mod Mode we have the same layout as in where the information is displayed just a different aesthetic design!
Top central we have “POD”, of course this will be “MOD” when in Mod Mode and then just below to the left we have the resistance and to the right the voltage, between resistance and voltage we have the battery status bar. Underneath in a rectangular design we have the wattage and to the right a padlock in a closed position when the dial is locked and open position when unlocked.
Below the wattage to the left we have the puff count and to the right your vape duration as a figure, between the puff count and vape duration we have a vape duration progress bar. Finally central bottom we have the working mode which when in “Pod Mode” will be Power as other working modes are disabled!
Navigating The Device
The device is the usual 5 clicks of the fire button to turn on and 5 clicks to turn off and once on 2 clicks of the fire button locks the dial so wattage, voltage or temperature depending which mode you are in can’t be altered but the device will still fire, 2 clicks when locked unlocks the dial.
The dial alters the wattage in 1W increments from 1w to 80w and doesn’t round robin which is a bit of a pain as wattage adjustment is slower with a dial compared with a button where it can be held down to speed up. If you are in Pod mode then the device will have a max wattage it will allow which is dependant on the resistance of the coil. To enter the settings is 3 clicks of the fire button which when you are in Pod mode only gives you Color, Mod or Exit, so apart from changing the display colour you need to select Mod to open the device up to the other settings as the device is kept simple in Pod mode allowing just wattage adjustment and also has max wattage limitations.
When in Mod mode then we have the full settings which again is 3 clicks of the fire button to enter and now we have the following options, Power, Volt, Bypass, Temp, Colors, Pod, Exit, obviously Exit takes you back to the working screen and Pod takes you into the Pod mode with limitations as already described. Selecting Color allows you to choose different colours you want the accents to be on the display, the colour options are Blue, Red, Yellow, Green or White.
When choosing Voltage that can be adjusted up to 8V, and when selecting Temp it gives the option of Ti, Ni, SS or TCR. When selecting TCR we have 5 available memory slots which are M1, M2, M3, M4 and M5, i can’t find anyway of setting wattage for temp control! Finally the puff counter goes up to 9999 before going back to 0000 but unless you charge your battery in the device you will never reach 9999 because it resets when the battery is removed, it can’t be manually reset!
Pod Mode, Mod Mode
The RDS Dual System Device is very clever and detects if it’s the pod or 510 adaptor attached and automatically sets to the appropriate mode. So when you attach the Pod it goes to Pod mode which only allows wattage adjustment and display customisation but nothing else. It also only allows the wattage to be set to a maximum limit which will differ depending which coil you have installed to prevent setting the wattage too high and frying your coil head!
When you attach the 510 adaptor again it detects it and changes to Mod mode, you don’t even need an atomizer attached as it recognises the adaptor itself. When in Mod mode the full settings are unlocked allowing you to use different working modes such as TC or Variable Voltage, it also no longer has any limitations on your max wattage output.
What i like about the RDS is if you just want simple power mode and quite like the safety of a wattage limitation but want to use the device with standard atomizers then you can enter the settings and choose to use the device in Pod mode with the adaptor attached. Also if for example you are using the available RBA coil head you might not want a wattage limitation and you might even use a TC wire and wish to vape in temp control so again you can enter the settings and set the device to use Mod mode with the pod attached!
As usual i personally don’t recommend charging in the device but if you do we have Type C USB and a 1A charge rate. The device gives charging feedback, supports pass-through and via the Type C Connection is firmware upgradeable!
I have been enjoying this but have mainly been using it with the 510 adaptor, it performs very well as a standard device and also boosts voltage which many pod mods don’t! The 510 adaptor fits perfectly with extremely strong magnets and it will accommodate up to 25mm atomizers without overhang! The device fires without delay and hits set wattage instantly, impressed with it’s performance throughout testing.
The device is tall and a weird shape which the unique look will appeal to many but will be a subjective con to others, also it’s lightweight with the main material being PCTG which will again be subjective to the individual whether they like the look or not but personally i love the transparent look and although plastic it is both well thought out and well made.
Both supplied coils gave really good flavour and i like that there are more coils available and a rebuildable option. The draw was smooth but the airflow does have air leakage so although it works ok with the 0.3ohm coil going from a medium restricted direct lung fully open and gives more restriction as you close it down it still allows far too much air to get to the coil head even when fully closed to give anything other than a loose MTL with the 1.2ohm MTL coil head! Apart from no battery orientation clearly marked that’s it as far as cons are concerned. That is unless you are a puff counter fan as it needs pointing out that it can’t be reset manually but it resets whenever you remove your battery.
I like that the device detects whether it’s a pod or the adaptor and that it makes the device just variable wattage when in pod mode, the max wattage limit is also a good feature but i also like that the device allows you to override the detected mode so you can use the pod in mod mode and even use normal atomizers in pod mode if you prefer the wattage limitations and just like to keep things as simple as possible.
I have used a few devices that use a button that can also be turned rather than having navigational buttons but the one on the RDS is the best i have used. The concaved bottle cap design has a nice stiff click to it when pressed and it also turns giving a click as it registers each movement, the only downside as with all dials verses having buttons is scrolling can’t be sped up so adjusting wattage etc takes longer!
The display is another pro as it’s sharp, bright and well laid out and having a different design between pod and mod modes adds a bit of variation as does that you can change the colour of accents etc on the display. Although i don’t recommend charging in the device unless it’s your only option we have Type C USB and a 1A charge rate, it also supports both firmware upgrades and pass-through!
Well thought out and well made device
4 colour options
Dual system pod mod/standard mod
Included 510 adaptor (fits perfectly, extremely strong magnets)
Can accommodate up to 25mm atomizers without overhang
Accommodates 18650 battery
Separate Pod and Mod modes
Auto detect pod or adaptor
Max wattage limitations in pod mode
Detected mode can be overridden
Concave bottle cap fire button/dial combo (best i have used)
Fires without delay with instant ramp up
Performed excellently throughout testing
2 different coils included
Both coils gave good flavour and smooth draw
More coils available including a rebuildable option
RDL and MTL drip tips included
Standard 510 fitting (use your own 510)
4.2ml Capacity (4.5ml with MTL coil)
Fills quickly and mess free
Can see your e-liquid level without removing the pod
Power, Voltage, Bypass, and TC modes
Type C USB
Supports firmware upgrades and Pass-through
Tall for 18650 device
Main material plastic (well made but some don’t like plastic devices so subjective to the individual)
No marked battery orientation
Adjustable airflow does have air leakage so can’t give a tight draw
As above only a loose MTL possible with MTL coil
Included MTL drip tip clear so doesn’t match the pod
Pod needs removing to fill
Puff counter resets every time the battery is removed and can’t be reset manually
I would once again like to thank Hotcig for supplying the RDS Dual System Pod Mod Kit for the purpose of this review, thanks for reading and stay safe!