[Review] The VooPoo Drag 2. Thoughts by Sprkslfly


#1

Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends… We’re so glad you could attend! Step inside, step inside!

Sprkslfly here with another glimpse into the ever changing (or not…?) landscape of vaping devices!!

Today’s escapade is brought to you by the folks at VooPoo who’ve sent me a Drag 2 to review and offer opinions on. I guarantee you that the fact that this was sent this device ‘free of charge’ won’t color my opinions. (Free? heh. Like 5-6 hours of taking pics, editing them, writing up these little “insights” [coughOPINIONScough] is “free”. pffbt. Nevermind the actual time spent using the thing, and forming hypothesis of what’s going on…anyways, I digress!

I’ll try to limit the opinions until the last portion (for the most part), and do mainly meat and potatoes in the interim.


The Basics:


I received a red swirl Drag 2, that the box refers to as “B Scarlet”.

The battery door (aside from the DISGUSTINGLY HUGE branding) has a fair bit of play, and gets rather annoying. It certainly is a DRAG that they didn’t provide another resin panel in place of the one they used for the battery door.

The face appears scratched slightly, but there’s probably a protective plastic strip covering it. Can’t say, as I didn’t bother.

A shot of the screen was an after thought, and really, given there is going to be a TON of these slapped all over YouTube, etc as usual… But, here’s the basic SS mode screenie (in an almost zero light room):

It’s worth noting, that like others have mentioned, the screen is almost useless in daylight.

You’ll notice above though, that it reads 0.17ohms, and that’s dead on for what my Cylons read. So props #1 for getting that right!

You might also notice that it reads 37w.
I’m of the opinion (at the moment -again, none of us were given adequate time to truly, and fully evaluate the extent of things IMO) that this is only a firmware issue.

It tracks the impedance during operation well (at least AFA SS goes, and I use 316), but unlike my forum friends’ reviews praises above who received the Drag Mini, the Drag 2 I received is slow to fire. Like a full second delay from the press of the fire button, to a second and a half slow.

It acts VERY MUCH like another mod that I’ve recently received, and that’s the GeekVape Nova (which incidentally, uses a very familiar chip that I’ve reported on before). -Review on that coming soon.

At any rate, back to the pics…
The back has a bit of a textured finish to it

And I must say, they used what seems to be a nice 510 pin! Props #2 (Not just judging by the top…but more on that soon!)

They say “Designed in California” on the bottom… :thinking:

BTW, it’s my opinion that those vent holes aren’t for battery venting, but rather for providing air to get to the ambient temp monitoring portion of the device. They’re not located in such a way that they’d be any use at all in the case of batteries venting. If (God forbid) venting were ever to occur, it’d be better to just drop the damn thing, and more than likely the door would go flying providing more than adequate venting. lol

Polarity is fairly easy to read, and the tension from the terminals that’s applied to the batteries is quite nice. (Props #3)
It’s snug enough that it’s going to maintain good electrical transfer, while not being SO damned tight that it’s going to try and shred your battery wraps like others I’ve seen/used in the past.


About the internals


A first glance reveals that they’ve gone with a bit of extra protection against e-liquid for the buttons, A nice touch…

However, I can’t quite give it “Props”, because, it’s only a “skin deep” protection.
(Granted, something beats nothing…) But, with the way this is designed/implemented once you start looking closer…

You’ll see that immediately below the fire button is an unprotected gap that would let the e-liquid roll right under the fire button, but not contact the switch (WOOHOO!) and right onto the LCD ribbon and circuit board (well shit :flushed: ).

This is the bottom of the 510 that seems to be a very thoughtfully selected piece. It’s definitely a couple cuts above the pressed in trash that we frequently see from other manufacturers. And it’s very nice secured in place, with quality soldering work to boot.

You can see in the following picture a bit more of what I was referring to about the gap in the “e-liquid safety net” below the nicely-covered firing switch. As well as a close up of the underside of the 510.

The “safety net” is rather an interesting strip.
Part of it seems rubberized, yet the other portions are definitely a plastic.

Below, you might be able to better understand what I meant about there being no pathway for battery venting, as the central part of the battery chassis is a one piece molded unit. (The piece with the white wire leading to the battery connector bar, gets screwed into the main portion of the battery sled AKA the main plastic chassis)

The rubberized plastic insert (what I’ve called the “safety net”) is in reality more of a multi-purpose device (in these initial assessments anyways).

The “safety net” was actually glued down, so IMO, it’s there more to facilitate a limited defense against liquid. While also making it easier for the assembly folks to get the chassis installed into the outer casing with minimized risk of ripping the switches off. It also serves as a mounting platform for the LCD.

Incidentally, you’ll notice that the LCD has no socket, and the ribbon is hard-wired. So, IF you ever have to go into one of these, you may not be as fortunate as I was (because the glue will likely have had a LOT longer to cement itself to the components on the PCB). And then you’ll still need to exercise a strong amount of caution in just how much force you apply while trying to separate the “safety net” from the PCB. Either way, you risk ripping components (resistors, capacitors, etc) right off the board.

All the “whitish-grey” material you see is whatever glue they used to try and insure that getting in isn’t easy!

The CPU that handles it all:
(branding has been kindly lasered off…but more on that later!)

Again, I feel fortunate to have gotten as deep into things as I did, because you can see by the amount (and location) of adhesive that they used… they really didn’t plan for things to be “inspected” or serviced.

The circled blue area is the back of the LCD (as it remains housed securely in the “safety net”).

Again, should you consider going into one of these…mind the “wiggle room” -because there ISN’T MUCH! (due to the short ribbon cable to the LCD)

And bonus “footage”… the full 510, complete with an insulating o-ring!


Final Thoughts


It’s nice that they took time and thought to try and protect the top from e-liquid. But as has been clearly shown above, the front panel assembly DOES have susceptibility to e-liquid.

They seem to be shooting for a number of things here, from “keeping appearances” similar to a DNA (with the ability to relabel your interactive points via PC software), and then as well with the aspects of being “e-liquid proof” (similar to the GeekVape Aegis)…but when you get right down to it, it’s not measuring up to either in my opinion.

Some of what they’ve done is respectable. But some of their claims fall short, and there’s more than an air of “creative marketing” associated with this device sadly.

Pros:

  • Reads impedance well
  • Tracks impedance of SS 316 well
  • Appears to be a nice 510

Cons:

  • The slow firing is REALLY noticeable. Especially in this day and age where most are firing in the tenths (to hundredths) of a second.
  • Wattage reading reads a bit high for what’s actually delivered (but only a minor discrepancy, and could possibly be resolved in the future by a firmware update I imagine.)
  • The battery door has far too much play for my liking, and does not sit securely in place.

Subjective:

  • The GIANT EGO of VooPoo blazing their branding as BIG AS FUCKING POSSIBLE is just as huge a turnoff for me. The logo on the Resin panel side is more than adequate, and “tastefully done”. The DRAG on the battery panel though is downright ridiculous, and reflects the ego’s of those who market this thing.

Tidbits and asides


While I cannot 100% say what chip they’re using, I can definitely make an educated guess! This performs almost identical to the GeekVape Nova that I have been testing.
That device uses a NUC220 chip (Yes, the same as in the Alien). And while I hate letting the cat out of the bag early on that… It has to be mentioned, because I honestly cannot see this being an independantly designed (read as: proprietary) chipset.

If it’s not a NUC220, it’s possibly a Holtek, or some other 3rd party chip.
It’s definitely NOT a ST Microelectronics though, because that thing fires faster than shit!

I have had to revise my opinion recently (admitted in private circles) on the NUC220, because the silicon has finally reached a respectable revision, with firmware to match (at least on the Nova). It’s not “earth-shattering” by any means… but it’s come A LONG WAY from the crap-tastic implementations I’ve seen previously. But more on that in another review.


Bottom Line


This is an average performing device, that does decent TC in SS.
Basically, it meets what I’d consider to be minimum standards.
Granted, there’s still a LOT that don’t.

While it does have it’s quirks (wattage a bit off, battery door play), they have a mod that delivers steady output, and has what seems to be good efficiency. I can’t say for sure, since I haven’t had it long enough to go through enough cycles.

It’s too slow to fire to command a premium IMO. But if I had to set a “reasonable value” on it, I’s say somewhere about $60 as a standalone mod. That’s primarily due to the “resin” markup IMO, as that seems to add a bit to most mods. If there were no fancy resin froo-froo finish…I’d say, you can still buy a Smoant Cylon for less, and it’s going to be a FAR BETTER performer in every technical respect. But it won’t have the customizable message/font fluff that’s apparently part of the software package… :roll_eyes:

Personally, before ANYONE has the right to get an ego the size of Voop’s, they’d better deliver on performance first. You don’t see DNA or YiHi getting this cocky.

Safe to say I’ll never review another VooPoo again (I’d wager they’ll quite likely “blackball” me). LMAO
But there you have it.

Thanks for your time,
Sprks


#2

Thanks for the honest review. I’m like you and hate the branding on the things. Needless to say I’ve never owned one and never will and that’s just because of the branding, when I read the rest… :roll_eyes:


#3

Good review @Sprkslfly

I will refrain from commenting too much here because ‘reasons’ :slight_smile:


#4

Another in depth review, i enjoy these breakdowns, cheers


#5

Great review. I like when people tear shit apart! I have had the Drag, Alpha and Too. Not impressed with any of them. Used for awhile and put away or given away.


#6

A very interesting review, thank you.
I have been using an original Drag for a long time, and have found it to be a steady workhorse.
Having said that I have had a couple of Voopoo products fail on me, which has turned me off them completely.
Their ego, as you mentioned, is perhaps the main reason that I don’t use their products now.


#7

Certainly!

Honestly, it’s “not bad”. It’s just another average mod IMO. What gets me is how everyone has the impression, and reports on it like the Gene chip (in this case possibly a different chip) is something unique, and doing things earth-shatteringly different than everyone else.

I just don’t see it (in the current “Gene Fit” chip), if there is indeed any actual difference between it and the original.

I mentioned elsewhere that looking at the pcb trace pathing, and other aspects, that it appears to be no different from the 32F family of 48pin chips (the Nuvoton, the Holtek, the ST Microelectronics).

Geekvape AS = Nuvoton
Smoant ANT218 = ST Microelectronics
Smoant ANT225 = Holtek
Smok Alien = Nuvoton

Compare how an Alien performs to the Geekvape Nova. Or how the Smoant Charon Mini performs compared to the Cylon. Quite different.

All are the “same” chip, and should have the same potential to perform similarly. But they are frequently implemented very differently. Primarily due to the circuit implementation (Not all functions of the chip are used in some, and others are uniquely implemented. But also due to firmware, and silicon revisions.

Given how prevalent it is to “rename” (rebrand) the SAME chip, manufacturers like to appear they’re doing something different.

But usually it comes down to the circuit implementation, the quality and accuracy of supporting components, firmware (and once in awhile, the actual brand of chip actually matters, because of the difference in quality of the Silicon, and the fab it comes out of) IMO.

I just hate companies that try and live off of bullshit marketing, and gimmicks. And it’s my opinion that this company is leading the way currently.

FWIW, I have little, to no qualm with chip “rebranding”. That’s been place for decades. I do take issue with other aspects (obviously). :laughing:

/sorry for the edits. Struggling to get thoughts out with precision at the moment. :confused:


#8

Outstanding review, pics, and I love the deep diving that only you can do @Sprkslfly.


#9

Yes the constant hype of products with false and/or exaggerated claims wears thin after a while, and this is where you are of invaluable help in sorting the wheat from the chaff.
Regrettably it is only about money at the end of the day for businesses.
The days of producing a quality product that brought repeat business, good customer service and good honest advertising, are a thing of the past and buried in the annals of history.


#10

Damn @G-Fog you NAILED this point !!!