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UD Balrog Review
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Michael Offline
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Post: #1
UD Balrog Review
Preliminary feelings: the mod is awesome. Very compact, feels nice, and fires up to 70W which is amazing for a mod this small. The tank is a bit iffy, top fill is quite difficult and the coils have small wick holes. But so far the flavor is great with 65VG/35PG juice. 


Edit - Here's my full review:

Let me say up front: I got this mod for free in a giveaway from Heaven Gifts, one of our verified vendors here on TVF. 

The Balrog is a VW/TC single 18650 box mod from the same folks who made the Zephyrus tank. I was expecting it to be really nice, since they're a brand with a good reputation for making high quality vaping gear. 

Here's what the kit looks like:

(will insert pics here) 

The kit came with the Balrog mod, Balrog tank, three coils for the tank, a USB charging plug, and some assorted spare parts (screws, glass, etc). It also came with a nice instruction manual, which I felt did a very good job of explaining its features and how to use it. 

The mod itself is quite nice. With a range from 5W to 70W, it can easily use nearly any tank you put on it, and I even use it with an RDA sometimes. It can also be used in temp control mode, which is nice if that's your thing. This is my first mod with temp control, so I'm quite new to that aspect and I don't know how well it compares to other mods, but it seemed to work well when I tried it. 

In power mode, the Balrog performs very well. I've had mods that fire too hot and others that fire too low, but this one seems to be about right, though I didn't measure the output so I'm just judging it based on feel. At higher wattages, there's very little ramp up time, and it starts blowing clouds as soon as you push the fire button. 

I was not a fan of temp control mode, but like I mentioned before, I'm new to temp control so I can't say how it compares to other TC mods, I just know it wasn't really my thing. The flavor was mediocre, and clouds were not very good. Maybe I set it too low, I don't know, and honestly I don't care that much to find out as I just prefer power mode. 

I have two gripes with the mod itself: First, battery life is abysmal when you're using higher wattages. But that is to be expected from a single 18650 mod, and I think its small size makes up for the poor battery life. If I wanted something with long battery life, I could use my Sigelei or any other 2x18650 mod. To me, the Balrog is nice as a small mod to carry in my pocket when I don't feel like carrying a bigger box, so the battery life is a secondary concern. Fortunately, I have several spare 18650s lying around to swap out, so it wasn't a problem. My second gripe is a bit more serious. The top of the mod around the 510 contains some kind of white absorbent material that feels like cotton or felt. There are indentations all around the 510 that are filled with this strange porous fabric material, and it collects any overflowing juice. That means that after just a few days of use, the "mod wick" started getting gunked up, and now it looks like an oversaturared wick even after I tried my best to clean it off. I can see this causing problems later on, since it absorbs juice it could easily get really gross and it's nearly impossible to clean out. Still, it's a nice mod overall, and my complaints are pretty minor. 

Another thing worth noting is that the mod has a micro-USB plug to charge, but takes 18650s instead of using a built-in cell. This means that you can do like me and have several 18650s charged to swap out, or you can use the USB plug to charge it. It does allow you to vape while it's charging, which is hard on your cells. 

The Balrog tank is nice and compact, but I was a bit underwhelmed with it. The kit came with three coils: 0.5 ohm, 1.2 ohm, and nickel for TC. I mainly used the 0.5 ohm kanthal coil since I like sub-ohm lung inhaling, and I found it to be comparable to a SubTank. The flavor was very good, actually better than a SubTank, but the airflow and wicking aren't as good as I'm used to with higher power tanks. For comparison, the Balrog 0.5 ohm coil worked well with fully open airflow at about 30-40W, whereas my Arctic and Herakles both work well with 0.5 ohm coils at 60-70W. I tried turning it up to 50W and ended up getting a bad dry hit after about a 3-second hit. I believe the culprit is the wicking: there are only very small juice holes in the coil, and I don't think my juice could wick fast enough to keep up. I was using 60VG/40PG juice, which isn't "high VG" either. The 1.2 ohm coil is good for smaller clouds or even mouth-to-lung vaping. I didn't have the same wicking issue with the higher resistance coil, because it has the exact same juice holes as the 0.5 ohm coil but I used thinner juice with higher nicotine content. To compare, I'd say the juice holes are about the same size as those on Nautilus coils. 

I tried TC mode with both the included coil and a nickel coiled Herakles, both of which weren't very good at all. The flavor seemed muted, and I just couldn't figure out how to make it work any better. When in TC mode, it showed my tank as jumping around from 200° to 350° then back down to 100° then up to 300°, and honestly it just confused me. Like I said, maybe I just wasn't using it right, though I made sure to lock the resistance and set the temperature to the recommended range. 

The tank is decent, for what it is. It's a pretty good small tank that works well with a lower VG juice (60VG max) and at lower wattages. The airflow adjustment is nice, with a simple ring around the bottom of the tank with lots of small holes you can block off or open up by twisting it around. The included drip tip was very small, but it came with an extension that made it usable. But I'd recommend using your own drip tip, as the included one is quite restrictive with a small bore and it's short even with the extension. 

Overall, I'd say the Balrog kit is a good value for the price, though it's not a powerful combo for advanced vapers. It's a nice small mod for those days when I don't feel like carrying a big box, and it can easily run an RDA or one of my better tanks. For beginners, I'd definitely recommend it as a starter kit, since I like the flavor from the tank better than similar starter kits like the Subox. The mod is the real value here, while the tank is merely "pretty good." And for what it's worth, the Balrog does support both nickel and titanium TC coils if that's your thing. 

Ratings:

Mod features: 8/10
Tank features: 6/10
Size: 10/10
Value: 8/10


Recap: the important points (aka Tl;dr) 
 - Great compact mod
 - 5-70W
 - Great flavor in tank
 - Poor wicking in tank
 - Weird wick-like material in 510
 - Mediocre battery life
 - Overall good value, with a few minor complaints
 - Great as starter kit, or small pocket mod
29-01-2016 02:12 AM
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Michael Offline
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Post: #2
RE: UD Balrog Review
I've finally finished the review, except for adding pictures. Thanks again to Heaven Gifts for the giveaway Smile 
09-02-2016 07:59 AM
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peter-k Offline
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Post: #3
RE: UD Balrog Review
I love TC, I love vaping at lower wattages and M2L, I love air restricting drip tips and better even those which are slim, and I love 1 battery small sized devices.

It appears you aren't really the right audience for this setup, but - praise for you - I am able to easily extract the for me important information. Unfortunatelly I just bought the IPV D3.

Thank for your work, Michael!
09-02-2016 08:23 AM
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Michael (02-09-2016)
Michael Offline
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Posts: 6,756
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Post: #4
RE: UD Balrog Review
(09-02-2016 08:23 AM)peter-k Wrote:  I love TC, I love vaping at lower wattages and M2L, I love air restricting drip tips and better even those which are slim, and I love 1 battery small sized devices.

It appears you aren't really the right audience for this setup, but - praise for you - I am able to easily extract the for me important information. Unfortunatelly I just bought the IPV D3.

Thank for your work, Michael!

Thanks for the kind words, mate! I try to make my reviews as objective as possible so that vapers who aren't like me can still get good info, I'm glad to hear I got the points across in this one Smile 
I do enjoy this setup, but you're right, I'm not the ideal audience for it. But it's definitely a nice mod for a change from my usual. 
09-02-2016 08:59 AM
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