Heatvape Invader Mini
I suspect these two colors will be the most popular in the new Heatvape Invader Mini. At the right, I am showing the gray and black colors. You can also get this in green and blue.
This is the perfect device for anyone looking for a device that can take some abuse. It's water resistance to IPX 4 standards. That means you can splash water at this from any direction and it will keep on vaping. Note that I am not calling this water proof. While I am sure it will take a quick dip and keep on working, that's not what the IPX 4 standard calls for. For our rains, snow, water shots from a water gun, splash from a car driving by, or sitting in your tool case / fishing gear, you're covered.
The frame is a zinc allow and that's covered in a silicone skin. The bottom and top caps are a chromed brass metal with silicone seals. The bottom battery cap has a delrin insert and a contact point that is spring loaded. It will accept either a flat top or button top battery (18650 only). The top is slightly angled from 26.3 mm at the base to 21.8 mm at the top. A 22/23 mm tank sits on there quite nicely. You can see from the photo at the right there are also nice air flow channels to accommodate tanks with air flow through the 510 connector. And a note, the 510 connector is fixed and also sealed. The unit I was sent for testing and review is black like the one laying on its side. In addition to an unusual set of features, the silicone is also textured with a rugged look and feel. You can't see it in the picture, but the only contrast on the silicone is a silk screened "Invader Mini" silver line at the bottom below the OLED screen.
Since this is water resistant, there are no openings. Everything is sealed including the buttons and OLED display screen. One of the points I really like is a nice and quiet mod ... not one single noise, nothing, when you shake this. No button rattle, no loose interior parts. When I mentioned this is entirely sealed, you should ask the question: How are the batteries charged? Well, there is NO USB port. Having a USB port would compromise the water resistant sealing. So, you have to remove the bottom cap and remove the battery to charge it in an external charger. That's not difficult, by the way. The battery cap is large and is notched. It's easy to turn, the threading is very smooth. When removing it, it may be a bit tight: keep in mind this has silicone seals to keep it water resistant. Once you get it started though, it's buttery smooth. It's the same with tightening, it will thread on nicely, smoothly ... and when you get to the final few turns, it gets progressively tighter with the seal compressing.
As I mentioned above, this is a clone of the DNA 40 chipset. It has temperature control in the same range: 200F to 600F. And, one click + above that turns off temperature control. All of the functions work the same, and it does support wattage as low as 1.0 watts all the way to 50 watts in 0.1 increments. 10 watts more than the DNA 40. There are also two ranges of coil resistance that it supports. In temperature control mode (TC), it supports from 0.1 ohm to 1.0 ohm. In normal wattage mode, it supports from 0.16 ohm to 2.0 ohm. It does detect and remember your coil resistance. Everything you change atomizers, you will be asked whether this is a new coil setting or use the same coil setting.
Holding the Heatvape Invader Mini in the hand reminds you this is a beefy mod. It's not round, but rather it is cylindrical with a sort of "oval" end that has a flatted part to accommodate the buttons and OLED screen. Strangely enough, it is fairly easy to find the fire button with the finger or thumb. You'll get comfortable firing this and it won't take long. The adjustment buttons (+ and -) are a bit more difficult to find without looking.
I used this with several tanks ranging from 1.25 ohms down to 0.2 ohms. I had absolutely no problems connecting to any of the tanks. The only issue I ran into was detecting a Ni-200 0.25 ohm coil. On several occasions, the Heatvape Invader Mini reported the coils was "too low res" when it did in fact fire initially. After exhaling the vapor, I got the "too low res" OLED display. Took the tank off, replaced it with something else, vaped once or twice and swapped out again for the Ni-200 and no problems. Fortunately, though, most users won't be swapping out coils and trying to challenge the recognition aspect that much. I certainly didn't find it to be a problem or an issue.
I already have a Vaporshark rDNA 40 ... the button and user interface is near-identical. Using the Heatvape Invader Mini is pretty much the same with only a few feature differences: enhancements in favor of the Heatvape Invader Mini.
I always wondered about the relationship between Heatvape and Dovpo. Many of the products are nearly identical with different names. For example, Heatvape has a product called the Invader, Dovpo has a twin called the E-Mech. And now Heatvape has the Invader Mini and Dovpo has the Mini E-LVT. This time around, though, Heatvape has clearly marked their device with "Designed by Heatvape". And the Dovpo version has severe limitations: it only goes up to 30 watts (and I'm glad I have the Heatvape to review".
Ya, I want this with me right next to the linesman pliers in my tool belt. I want this in my toolbox right with the hammer and socket wrenches. I want it in my tackle box. Most of all, I want it in my hand.
Q&A: I have seen a few questions asked repeatedly on several forums and facebook pages. I have had several opportunities to talk directly with Heatvape. Here's the answers to the most frequently asked questions:
- Does the invader mini have a USB charging port? No, since it is water resistant, you must remove the battery to charge it.
- Is there any kind of pressure relief in the event the battery vents? There are three venting holes, covered by 3 buttons, Minus/Plus Button and Fire button. In the event that the battery vents, the silicone skin would easily "break out" and permit the battery to vent properly.
- Is the Heatvape Invader Mini really water proof? The Heatvape Invader Mini is water resistant to IPX4 level. It is water resistant in the rain and snow. It will still work well if the device is dropped in water, but you have to remove it from the water quickly. The device cannot remain submerged in water too long.
- Who makes the chipset? Many people asked about the chip, and here's Heatvape's response: "it is made by a professional chip manufacturer based on the DNA 40 chip, but our chip has many great improvements". I can confirm that it works quite similar with nearly identical user interface and functionality.
- Price? Most vendors will be selling the Heatvape Invader Mini for about $60 to $70 USD.
So, what’s the verdict? Is it worth it?
The value of this is absolutely and undeniably real and a terrific buy. About the only possible issue is the weight. At 217.0 grams, this is one of the heaviest advanced personal vaporizers around. Yet, it's also one of the safest and most rugged. This test mod was supplied directly by the manufacturer (Heatvape) and the retail price is not known. I do expect to see it around $60 to $70 USD, though. Here's what is interesting about this: the Heatvape Invader Mini provides all the same features and functionality as the Vaporshark rDNA ... even enhances some of those features beyond what is available on the rDNA – yet, it is less than 50% of the price of the Vaporshark rDNA. When you consider this is a temperature control device, the incredible value is obvious. There are no temperature control devices available in this price range. I seriously doubt anyone would buy this to put into a purse or to vape this in a "business casual" setting. This is a robust device aimed at vapers exposed to the elements: rain, snow, sleet and high moisture content areas (like camping, fishing, etc.). And worth every cent. As you consider this tank for yourself, choose the tank that you will use with it carefully. A tank with the 510 connector pin recessed may not fire properly. As I pointed out, the 510 connector on the Heatvape Invader Mini is fixed – it's fixed to maintain water resistance. The top of the pin is large and may not align with some tank 510 connectors.