The Voopoo Drag 157w Dual 18650 Mod.
I would like to start with a little story.
Back in the early 1990’s I had just learned to drive and cars were a new passion for me, one that persists to this day. I was an avid reader of Autocar magazine, each week I would read it cover to cover, gobbling up information on the new, shiny cars that hit the market. Considering I had a crappy MK.I Fiesta at the time that lacked any kind of refinement, had an oil leak that the Captain of the Exxon Valdez would find troubling and about 35BHP did not matter, I loved cars.
In one of the editions Vauxhall/Opel had just released the replacement for the much loved Nova (Much loved in my native Essex of course. You could not visit Southend on a Saturday night without seeing a Nova tearing up and down the seafront) The new car, to the dismay of people who don’t know which way round to wear a baseball cap, was to be called the Corsa. Why the Corsa? The man from Autocar asked this to the representative from Vauxhall. It turned out that the parent company, Opel, knew that in Spain, a huge market for the car, the word Nova translated into No Go. Not the sort of name that you want on a car to sell to people as a way of going somewhere.
So the name of your new product is important. It is the shop window that will draw people in, to make them want to spend money with your company, the label that you can display with pride when you are asked “What’s that you got there?”
Let’s get on with the review for the VooPoo Drag……
The Drag comes in a nice black box which has the usual social media and authenticity checks on the outside. When you lift off the box lid you find the mod sitting proud with the word ‘DRAG’ facing you. Under the layer containing the Drag you have the instructions and a micro USB charging/update cable. The instructions are clear and concise, allowing you to use the various features without shouting ‘What the fuck?” every ten minutes.
There is nothing out of the ordinary about the packaging, it does have a feel of quality going on. Opening up this VooPoo product is a standard affair that will be familiar to anyone who has bought a mod from any company in the last year.
The VooPoo Drag is a 157 Watt, dual 18650 box mod that has Temperature Control for Stainless Steel, Nickel and Titanium. It is constructed from steel and has balanced charging and upgradable firmware via the micro USB.
That’s the facts out of the way, and very interesting they are, but what’s it like? Well, in some ways, it feels a bit last year. It has a very squared off feel to it, all edges and points. The styling is…….unsubtle. On one side of the mod there is a carbon fibre affair going on, I think. It looks like a type of carbon fibre, but a sort of jazzed up version. There is a lot more silver going on than just a subtle carbon weave. Some of the Drags I have seen have a red tinge to them on this panel, VooPoo have also just released a resin version recently, which is….interesting. On the same side you have the word VooPoo laser etched on the mod, it’s very small though and easily missed.
What is not easily missed is the word ‘DRAG’ when you turn the mod over. The word is also laser etched onto the mod but is not small, oh no. It covers the whole side of the mod, capital letters, shouting it’s name to the rooftops. The type of laser etching that has been used though is interesting. I found it easy to mark this side of the Drag, the pictures that accompany this article bear testament to this. I have come to the conclusion that the type of laser etching that VooPoo have used is the ‘Licked on by kittens’ type. It has not disappeared while I have been using it, but it looks well worn.
When you remove the battery door from the Drag it has a nice robustness to it. There are two large magnets that secure it firmly without movement. Inside, the battery sled is neat and well presented. The way to insert your batteries is clear and there is also a nice warning about not using batteries with damaged wraps.
The mod itself is a rectangle with a difference. The difference is that it has two corners angled at 45 degrees. All around the edge of the Drag is a lip that reduces the width by approximately 2mm. I feel this has been done, along with the angled corners, to soften the overall effect of the mod, to make it more ergonomic. This is only a partial success that comes with a downside of creating an overhang effect on any atomiser over 22mm. They do not overhang the sides, just over the lip. Anyone with ‘Overhang OCD’ (a recognised medical condition in vaping, ask a Doctor) will not like the Drag.
The 510 connector is spring loaded and I have not had any problems with gaps or bad connections. I find my Recoil RDA sits flush on the Drag, this is usually a good test of a 510 as this RDA has a particularly long thread. The Drag’s 510 appears to be well built and is secured by two torque screws, no ‘push fit’ 510 here.
Onto the front of the mod and you start to see some evidence of VooPoo’s desires and ambitions. The Gene Chip that powers the Drag is being marketed as a ‘DNA Killer’ which shows some of the confidence they have in the board. The fire button, screen and up and down buttons of the Drag have the same dimensions of the front my Lost Vape Efusion, which is powered by a DNA 200. The only real difference is that the up and down buttons on the Drag are arranged vertically, they are horizontal on the DNA.
Everyday use of the Voopoo Drag
I have decided to divide this into two subsections that cover the design and the how it vapes.
How it vapes
The Gene Chip that powers the Drag has received a lot of pleasant reviews and I am not about to disagree with them. VooPoo boasts that the Drag will fire in .025 seconds. I did a bit of research into this and found that F1 timekeepers describe .025 seconds as “Fucking fast.” It does feel immediate, I have a Envii Loch Ness mod and its wonderful except for the delay in firing, the Drag has fired and is ready for more by the time the Loch Ness has even woke up.
Scrolling between the various functions on the Drag is simple. Three clicks of the fire button moves you from wattage to TC in Stainless Steel, another three clicks and you are in Nickel and so on. The rest of the functions maintain the simple approach, its possible to set your wattage in TC mode, invert the screen, set your OHMs and more. Nothing feels difficult and it is a case of simply playing around with your mod. (You could also read the instructions…..I know, radical thinking.)
The screen continues the DNA theme, it’s simple and shows your wattage, battery life, ohms and voltage. Actually, it shows your voltage until you get to 129 Watts. If you wish to use your Drag above this wattage, the Gene Chip activates something called ‘Super’ mode. What is ‘Super’ mode? It’s a good question, in the description it states that it softens and cools the vape above 130 watts to the board maximum of 157. I thought I would try this out, it was not something I really wanted to do if I’m truthful, but I thought it was my duty as a reviewer.
I compared the Drag at 133 Watts, with the same RDA, to my Lost Vape Efusion DNA 133 at the same power. Was it softened and cooled by the ‘Super’ mode? Possibly, a bit. If truth be known, I couldn’t tell the difference. In a weird way though, that’s a compliment. Everyone knows how good a DNA is, the VooPoo felt comfortable at that power, didn’t feel like it was struggling to do it and the signal felt consistent. It did until the ‘nicotine high’ kicked in anyway, after that I felt a bit fuzzy, but my friend the turquoise elephant said it was fine and he never lies to me.
After a long lie down I did a very basic test on the temperature control function of the Drag. I put a Stainless Steel build in a RDA, set the desired temperature and wattage and attempted to get a dry hit. The Drag performed well, you could feel the board limiting the power, the vape reduced to virtually nothing and I was dry hit free. I was not going to push it to a fireball though, my lungs were still recovering from the ‘Super’ test. I will urge anyone who is interested in the Voopoo Drag to check out Phil Busardo’s YouTube channel and his review of it. He has machines to test these things, I have some Stainless Steel wire and a bucket of water for in case of emergency.
Another thing the Gene Chip will do is give you a ballpark wattage for any atomiser you put on it. As you screw down your tank or RDA it will ask if it’s a new coil, if you say yes it will then set the mod to the wattage it thinks you will vape at. I had this on a Vaporesso Mod last year and I’ll say the same about VooPoo’s system as I did about the Vaporesso, it kind of works. I found that with a .4 Ohm coil it suggested 40 watts. Not bad, not a million miles away. I then put my Nautilus 2 on it with the .7 coil, it gave a figure of 35 Watts. That is where the system falls down, the same as the Vaporesso. That level of wattage on that coil is a quick way of producing burnt cotton. It’s a nice little system that works up to a certain extent. It is not an alternative to ‘adjust to taste’ in my opinion.
Overall the Gene Chip is the strongest part of the VooPoo Drag. It delivers the power to your atomiser consistently and is simple to use. I just wish they would not call it a ‘Chip.’ Ric Grove from modmaker.co.uk hates it when people call the board in a mod a chip, every time I write it I am frightened he will karate chop me in the windpipe the next time I see him.
For me, design is as important as any other part of a mod. I have said in previous reviews that I am not a high wattage vaper. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good cloud, but the vape I get off of a .4 coil at 40-50 watts does me just fine, it’s the way I vape. When it comes to buying a mod, I find that most dual 18650 mods will satisfy my needs from a software and power perspective. When I choose a new mod it is the size, how it looks, build and overall quality and ‘feel’ that are the driving factors.
When I first removed the Drag from its box the first thing that stood out to me was the weight of it. This was reinforced when I put two batteries in it and screwed on a RDA…..It’s bloody heavy. A Drag, with batteries and a Goon V1.5 weighs 348.5g in total. For comparison that’s the same as an Asmodus Minikin V2 with the same RDA……..and a 30ml bottle of e-liquid. The Drag feels weighty and, I believe, this is accentuated by the overall design. Because the Drag is rectangle, hard edged and bare metal, it just feels cumbersome. The mod I mentioned above, the Minikin V2, is smaller compared to the Drag in every way, except width. It is also coated in a rubber-like material to give a softer, more pleasant feel in your hand. In your hand the VooPoo Drag feels like you are carrying the bastard love-child of a pineapple and house-brick. Its usually cold, due to the metal, the corners are there, sticking in your palm, and the lip that runs around the edge, the same one that makes every atomiser over-hang, gives you the same experience as picking up a cheese grater.
And then we return to the weight. There is a saying, from years gone by, that if a butterfly beats its wings in Europe, there is a hurricane in China. I cannot vouch for the physics involved as I failed my GCE in that subject. If you dropped the Drag in Milton Keynes though, I believe it would set off the Super Volcano under Yellowstone Park in the USA. Have you ever dropped something and as it’s plummeted to the ground, tried to break its fall with your foot? I urge you to never do that with the Drag. Our A&E Departments are busy enough, they don’t need VooPoo owners arriving looking like they’ve stepped on a landmine.
All the weight and edges do have a plus side though, the VooPoo Drag feels well built. The magnets that hold the battery door on are free from rattles and movement. They are also strong enough for me to stick my mod to the side of my car (It is not a good idea to leave it there when you go for a drive though). I unfavourably compared the Drag to a house-brick earlier, but a house-brick is solid, they very rarely bend or break. I cannot vouch for the long term durability of the Drag, and I am not about to start torture testing it, but it does feel like its been put together by someone who knows what they are doing.
Pro’s & Con’s
I will start with what I liked about the VooPoo Drag.
The build quality – It feels like it will last a while and can take the day to day knocks of life. I have used it a lot in the car, and it has stood up well to being thrown around in a cup holder. It’s a solid mod that does not appear to be easily damaged.
The Gene Chip – Is it a DNA killer? Probably not, but it is not a million miles away. The TC is better than the board in my Minikin, and overall it performs as well as anything I have vaped from Envii, Aspire, Smok or Asmodus. The battery life is ok as well, its not ‘Minikin V2’ brilliant, but ok, better than average I would say.
Price – I have found the Drag on several sites retailing between £45 to £50. With the build quality and Gene Chip, that is good value. At the time of writing this review, VooPoo have released a newer version of the Drag that comes in black with resin instead of the carbon fibre effect. I could not find a price on this, my gut feeling says that it may be a bit more expensive, I could easily be wrong though.
Onto the Con’s:
The design – It is not the kind of mod that I like. I feel it is out of date, but not a cool retro. In his review for the Drag, the wonderful Richard V1ck said it was “ A good board, terrible enclosure.” I agree with that totally. I hate the overhang from 24mm atomisers, I dislike the stepped lip that runs around the Drag. It feels cumbersome in your hand and the weight just adds to my discomfort when using it. Put it in your pocket and you have to ensure your belt is tight enough to avoid being put on a register. Hold it in your hand and it’s like your carrying around a car part, not something I want in a mod.
I was going to say that, hopefully, when VooPoo release their next mod, they would learn from the Drag. Perhaps look into ergonomics and concentrate on the design to produce something that the Gene Chip deserves. Then I saw a review for VooPoo’s next mod, The Alpha-1. I am going to be blunt, its fucking awful. All vents, edges and another rectangle box, the fire button looks like something off a 1980’s video recorder. I will stop there, just in case Dean sends me it to review. (Editor note: Mr Todd loves the look of the Alpha-1… but then there’s no accounting for taste, have you seen his shirts?)
The Name – Drag I can live with, it’s not great, but it isn’t terrible. I do not sit comfortably with the smoking association with the word drag, as I say though, I can live with it.
Let’s not beat around the bush though, VooPoo………..It’s bloody ridiculous. Every review I have seen and read on the Drag, the reviewer has made some kind of joke about it, or said it whilst laughing. I have actually held myself back from making jokes about it. The title I originally had for this review was ‘Can you polish a turd?’ I understand that different words have different meanings around the world, but poo feels international to me. In the very least it is negative in the English speaking part, it does not give your product credibility in my opinion. The story I started with, at the top of this review, struck me the very first time I ever saw the Drag. I have used it to demonstrate how some companies can be very switched on to different meanings, others are obviously not. Perhaps it’s a bit of clever marketing. It is memorable, you will not forget a VooPoo in a hurry. Is that a marketing strategy that has a long term future? I really do not know the answer to that.
Would I buy the VooPoo Drag? No, its not my cup of tea for two reasons. The first is the name. I would feel daft telling someone that I have a VooPoo, am I shallow? Possibly, but its my money at the end of the day. The second reason is the design of the enclosure. I really like the Gene Chip, it would easily meet my vaping needs, but I do not like the mod itself. I know there are many vapers out there who love a big, clunky mod. I have seen plenty of Drag’s being hand checked on Facebook, vapers are enjoying the vape they get from it and if that stops them smoking, all is good. Go for it, more for them. I am happier with something that I like to pick up and use, that does feel so huge, and then has an overhang on all the atomisers that I put on it. It’s just not for me. I am confident that anyone who likes the look of a Drag and buys one, will be happy with their purchase. From my perspective I think it’s a shame, VooPoo have produced a good board and really nailed it with build quality. I will keep an eye on what they produce in future to see if it is something I would enjoy using, regardless of whatever it is called.
And that is my review of the VooPoo Drag. Thanks to Dean for the mod, it is always a pleasure to contribute to his website.
Peace & Love
Thanks again to Ian for another great review, I have to say I agree with him (not to say I don’t usually!), but I too did not like the look and feel of this mod, it did seem like the enclosure was designed after the original Sigelei 100w circa 2014 and someone kept it hidden away in a vault to just remember it in 2017.
For more information from the manufacturer’s website, here’s a link – http://en.voopootech.com/drag-overview
This product was sent on to review without prior agreement, but I felt it interesting enough to feature thanks to Mr Schwar.