Yihi SXmini M Class
Dongguan Yihi Electronic Co.Limited, also known as YihiEcigar or just plain Yihi, is a company based in China that makes the chipsets used in the most popular advanced personal vaporizers that we use.
They recently started making their own device: the Yihi SXmini. The first device, the SXmini S Class, was well received. Reviewers and users suggested several improvements in the design. Yihi listened. The Yihi SXmini M Class, shown at the right, incorporates all of the suggestions. Vapers benefit from this, it's an exceptional device with an efficienty rating that most mechnical mods barely attain.
The picture at the right shows my SXmini that I have already modified with a carbon fiber wrap. I have a picture below that I took before the shrink wrap – and I wish I would have taken a few more. Sorry about that – but you must agree that carbon fiber look is really great! I like it quite a bit.
The packaging at the right is nicely done. It's a white box with the device inserted in a form form fitting cut out. At the front is a smaller box (black box closest to the bottom in the picture) with a micro USB cable. And at the top is a small envelop containing the warranty card and user instructions. And, while we are on the subject of the user instructions, there is one instruction that is not that well emphasized or explained. When you are in "Joule" mode (temperature control), the coil has to be synchronized with the device for optimal functionality. That's clear, but what isn't clear is how to do that. It's shown on the last page, but not that easy to figure out. To synchronize the coils with the device, press and hold the + and - buttons for about three seconds. You'll know you have successfully synchronized the coil resistance with the device when it displays "Set Resistance" & the ohms reading from the coil.
That's about the only little glitch with this device. It's as complete and thoroughly satisfying as you can get. It's a bit weighty at 266.1 g (9.39 ounces), but not overly. It is actually lighter than the popular Vaporshark rDNA 40. As a matter of fact, the width and depth are almost identical to the Vaporshark, it weighs a bit less, and is a bit higher. Unlike the Vaporshark, the Yihi SXmini has a more "Art Deco" styling with some design elements that are somewhat similar to the ZNA mod.
You can see that look in the picture at the left. That's how it came, by the way (without the tank, of course). At the right is the same Yihi SXmini M Class with my own modifications: a black carbon fiber wrap. It's an automotive wrap with a strong adhesive. To form fit it around the curves and indentations, a little bit of heat helps. And to get it perfectly fitting as you see it with no marks on the metal takes a bit of previous experience (I used to own a body shop). It's not that difficult, by the way, just a sharp blade and patience.
The goal wasn't to hide the logo. I wanted to keep this device looking fresh for a long time. Most of the devices that I test and review get one to two weeks of use as part of the tests. This one will get nearly one month, and it's part of my "quit vaping" period. This, and the unreleased Pioneer4You IPV 4 are about the last two mods I really wanted to give a work out to.
I must admit, the Yihi SXmini is making it awful difficult to quit vaping. When you press the Fire button on this device, the coil receives the current immediately. There is no lag. It's also DC-DC, so you get a perfect vape with no modification of the current stream (no pulse width modulation, of PWM). With no PWM, the batteries also get used up a bit faster, but I'll take that trade off any day.
The picture at the left shows a bit of the 510 connector. The air flow channels are nice and deep for those tanks that have air flow through the 510 connector. The 510 connector is also brass and floating. It's spring loaded – it worked with every tank I tried on it. You can also see the "Art Deco" styling I mentioned ... that 510 connector ring, by the way, is 23 mm. Any tank from 16 mm in diameter, up to 25 mm, looks good on this device. And, while we are at it, there is one screw at the top and two at the bottom. Those are not hex head, they are T6 security (six point star shape).
While we are on screws and threading, one of the pictures at the top shows the bottom of the unit. That round section with the slot and four holes in it is the bottom battery cover. The slot is sized for a quarter or nickel – don't use a flat screw driver on this, any flat screw driver is too small and will mar the edges of the slot. A nickel or quarter will work better. The four holes are vent holes.
The battery cap feels like an aluminum piece and the inner tube that the battery slips into is made of brass. It's a fairly soft metal for the battery compartment, but fortunately the battery doesn't have to be removed or replaced often. The Yihi SXmini has a built in micro USB port on the front of the unit for firmware upgrades and for charging the unit. It's a 500 milli-amp charger. And, I've used in in pass-through mode.
I first fidgeted with trying to understand the terminology "Joule" that Yihi has plastered all over their instructions. What a waste of my time. Here's what a Joule is: a unit of electrical energy equal to the work done when a current of one (1) ampere passes through a resistance of one (1) ohm for one second. Power in watts is intensity at any given point.
Howerver, my point is so what? I'm interested in the temperature control functionality of this device. That's why I have a Gimlet Tank (Smok GCT) sitting on it with a 0.25 ohm Ni200 coil. I'm tired of dry hits. I'm tired of coils wearing out and having to lower the watts to get a decent taste from the vapor liquid. Temperature control solves this. With the Yihi SXmini, there are two modes.
There is power mode where you control the wattage with a range of 5.0 watts to 60.0 watts (there is an optional additional battery tube available that lets you double up on the battery and double up on the wattage up to 120 watts).
The other mode is "Joule" mode which is how the temperature control functionality works. You set either the joules (5.0 to 50.0 joules in 0.1 increments) or you set the temperature (Centigrade or Fahrenheit) from 100C to 300C or 212F to 572F. I set mine for 232C (450F).
The screen is about 0.7 inches, and a really nice high contrast. It's easy to see. Below the screen are two buttons for + and - adjustments. These adjustment buttons are styled similar to the Hana buttons. Adjustment of the Yihi SXmini settings can be either with these buttons or by gravity. A tilt to the right decreases, a tilt to the left increases. Below the adjustment buttons is the micro USB port. The placement is quite convenient. You can set the Yihi SXmini on a table top plugged in. If you are sitting around watching TV and using this in pass-through mode, you don't have to juggle the unit on the sofa arm or laying on the seat beside you. Plop it on the flat surface beside you and reach when you need a vape. Far more convenient. There are also five memory settings that you can easily change and set up. Once set up, they remain in memory even if you swap out the battery.
The fit and finish of the Yihi SXmini is exceptional. All the threads are buttery smooth, the finish is clean and well done. I wish they used a slightly different manufacturing process. You can see some of the machining marks from the case forming process. The average person wouldn't notice it ... like I said, I used to own a body shop, so I usually look for finish imperfections.
This is clearly the high end of vaping. I'm thrilled to have had an opportunity to test and review it. It's been a distinct pleasure working with this device. As most already know, I am planning on quitting vaping, I ended up looking for this device to be the last one I would vape. Good decision on my part.
So, what’s the verdict? Is it worth it?
Words to describe the high quality of materials, fit and finish, as well as the excellent vape generated by this device are hard to come by. Go through all the superlatives: excellent, outstanding, unmatched, amazing ... they aren't really adequate. Prior to testing this, there were two devices that I would have put at the top of the APV line up. One of those is the Pioneer4You IPV 2. The IPV 2 is a direct current device with near instant transfer of power to the coil. It's an outstanding vape at an excellent price. When the IPV 2 was first released, it sold for $150. (CAD) and was the first 50 watt regulated device available. The second device offers wattage up to 150 watts and is dead accurate and a straight-forward excellent vape. The only reason I don't mention it is that I feel it is somewhat unsafe with dual batteries connected in series. The Yihi SXmini exceeds all of these in quality, in materials, and in the overall vape experience. In my way of thinking, it's worth every penny.
November 26 2015 - The SXmini M Class has several upgrades now, including color variations. Yihi has made available firmware upgrades that increase the wattage to 75W and are currently beta testing firmware that supports Titanium coils. I had ended up parting with my SXmini M Class (the one shown in this test and review). And I missed it. It's a quality design, extremely well built and works well. When I noticed a used one on the market with minimal use and nearly new, I knew I had to have it – and it's mine now. It has a medium gray color to offset the brushed stainless frame – a nice combination that I actually like better than the black.