Published on July 23rd, 2013 | by Trick9
Review: The Smok Magneto
Summary: Smok's take on the Madz Modz NZonic looks good, performs well, and beats the pants off the Sigelei #19.
Not long ago, we reviewed Sigelei’s Telescope #19, a rather disappointing piece of engineering and manufacturing with one of the worst switches in recent memory. Now Smok has taken their own shot at a very similar mod with the Magneto. We were sent one recently by Sun Vapers of San Diego, California, and have been putting the new telescoping mechanical mod through the wringer for the last few days.
We have to admit that our expectations weren’t very high after Sigelei’s attempt, which seemed to be going through the motions of cloning the Madz Modz NZonic while completely missing the mark. Their version of a “magnetic switch,” for example, was a conventional spring switch with a magnet stuck on the end of it, serving no purpose, while simultaneously contributing to a high amount of voltage drop. Buyers of the Smok Magneto, on the other hand, will be pleased to find that it contains a genuine magnetic switch that does not rely on a spring. Not only is it truly magnetic, but it is a superior switch in all respects to the aggravatingly bad switch on the Sigelei offering, with none of the Sigelei’s problems with poor conductivity and frequent misfires. Perhaps also due in part to the much better switch, voltage drop under load was far better with the Magneto then the #19, with the Smok Magneto retaining over 96% of battery voltage under load in our tests, or a drop of about .15 volts on a fully-charged battery, a very impressive showing particularly for an inexpensive Chinese-made mod.
The Smok Magneto is also, arguably, a much better-looking mod than the Sigelei, with the Magneto’s brushed body featuring quite a bit more detail work, such as the engraving on the top cap and a stylized spider etched into the bottom-mounted button. In many respects it bears a strong visual resemblance to the EMI Avenger we recently reviewed. While some may not be particularly fond of the large “SMOK” logo etched into the bottom tube, the other engravings and details like the creatively-etched air channels in the top cap, and a small polished section just above the large reverse-threaded locking ring, give the Magneto a thought-out, finished look that is mostly missing from the Sigelei #19.
While the Smok Magneto far surpasses the Sigelei #19 in just about every way possible, it does fall a bit short of the NZonic and Avenger mods upon which it is presumably based, but not by a large margin. Overall build quality is not quite as high as the Pinoy mods, with the Magneto’s threads being noticeable rougher, though they still work just fine. It should probably also be noted that although the Magneto telescopes similarly to the NZonic, it doesn’t telescope quite as far. The Magneto will accommodate batteries from an 18350 to an 18650, but will not accept a Kick or similar device with an 18650; it’s just not long enough. With such a device, you’ll be limited to an 18500 or shorter.
If the Sigelei #19 has an advantage over the Smok Magneto, it is that the Fusions SG-1 hybrid kit works with the Sigelei mod. The Magneto’s top cap is designed in a significantly different way that will not allow it to be used with the Fusions kit.
Given the overall better build and superior performance of the Smok Magneto, we were quite pleased to find it selling for not much more than the Sigelei Mod. Sun Vapers currently has it in stock for $49.99, a very reasonable price for a mod with the build quality and performance of the Magneto.
Overall, this is a mod we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to someone looking for a good-looking telescoping mechanical mod at a reasonable price. Not only does it beat the Sigelei #19 hands down in addition to giving the NZonic and Avenger a run for their money on a performance level, but it’s a very good mod in its own right.