SMOK Mag 225W Kit
Smoant impressed us with the release of the Cylon 218. It came with a new and improved chip and a premium looking ergonomic design.
The one thing that did disappoint a little was the fact it was only a dual 18650 and not 20700 device. So we were pretty excited to take a look at the larger framed Ranker and expected a dual 2X700 device.
Alas, that was not the case……But let’s see how the ‘Ranker’ ranks against other dual 18650 devices.
Solid device, with a good color display and impressive performing new board from Smoant.
It’s big….really big, especially for a dual 18650 device. Slightly wobbly firebar and the angle of the display can get annoying.
The Bottom Line
I’m not sure who would choose the Ranker over the Cylon. It’s a bulkier device, with a smaller 510 plate and a lopsided screen. However, it does have the impressive ANT218 V2 board which performs well.
The Smoant Ranker is a beast, it measures in at 60mm x 31.5mm x 92mm and is made primarily out of zinc alloy. It comes in three different color options – black, tarnish and camo.
It’s hard to do this review without comparing the Ranker to it’s more premium looking and slender sibling – the Cylon. My opinion on the Cylon was that it’s quite large for a dual 18650 device, but the Ranker is considerably bulkier. So much more so that I find it quite cumbersome to hold and use.
The inclusion of a firebar instead of a classic fire button (like on the Cylon) goes some way to making it easier to operate. It can be fired in either hand, but it seems it was designed for left-handed vapers in mind. However, I had no issue firing it in my right hand, as the firebar gets activated as I squeeze it against my palm. But it is something to consider if you like your fire button on the other side.
The firebar itself is nice and clicky, but there’s quite an irritating wobble to the one on our device. It seems to creak and shift every time I grip the mod.
For the rest of the build quality, the Ranker almost matches up with the Cylon. Everything from the battery door to the leather inserts is well implemented. However, there are a couple of bizarre and frustrating design choices.
Firstly, due to angled firebar and other slanted design cues, Smoant decided to place the display at an angle. For anybody with OCD like me, who like their mods to look symmetrical – this will drive you crazy.
However, that’s not the only difference I noticed with the screen. It also seems a lot dimmer than the one on the Cylon, even when the brightness is set to 100%. It’s possibly due to the perspex covering of the screen, but it’s definitely not as punchy and impressive.
My other mine gripe with the Ranker is the 510 plate. It is a solid 510 plate well-constructed plate, but unlike the large centered one on the Cylon, Smoant has gone with a smaller plate on a larger device. This is due to the angled top section of the mod (much like the Smok Mag 225W), they have had to put it on a raised platform. Which means you can only fit up to 25mm atomizers, anything larger and the overhang will look awkward. I’m all for designs being different, but not at the cost of practicality.
Looks aside everything under the shell of the Ranker is the same as the Cylon. They are powered by the same Ant218 v2 chip, with a maximum power output of 218W, with exactly the same menu system and features. They are also both powered by the same type of battery – 18650.
This is where it gets extremely frustrating…
Although I was a little harsh on Smoant for not making the Cylon 20700 compatible, the Ranker leaves me even more peeved. If you take a look at the huge wedge of dead space next to the battery compartment, and also take into equation the gigantic size of the device, it makes no sense whatsoever why Smoant didn’t just make it 20700 or 21700 compatible.
It seems like a massive missed opportunity, especially when you compare this device to the Cylon (with all the same features), it makes the Ranker kind of redundant.
In essence, the only reason you should buy the Ranker over the Cylon is if you like bulkier devices or have oversized hands.
The Ranker comes with the same ANT218 V2 chip as the Cylon, so for more detail on the board and performance check out that review here.
However, in summary, it is an extremely good board, which is feature-rich and comes with a full temperature control suite and Curve modes – It also hits pretty instantly.
Smoant Ranker Mod Features and Specs:
- Size: 60mmx31.5mmx92mm
- Takes 2X 18650 battery
- Display: 1.35 inch TFT color screen
- Big & Responsive fire button
- Output range: 1 – 218 W
- Output modes: VW / VW Curves / Temp (Ni, Ti, SS) / TCR / TC Curves
- Resistance range: 0.05 – 2.0 Ohm for Temp / TCR mode / TC Curves
- 0.1-5.0 Ohm for VW / VW Curves
- Temperature control: 100 – 315°C / 200 – 600°F
- Two different UI available to choose
- Firmware upgradeable (pls download the software at smoant.com/cylon-update.rar)
- Reverse protection/ Over-heating protection/ Low voltage protection/ Overload/Short-circuit protection/ Over-time protection
- Color: Black, Tarnish and Camo
Smoant Ranker Mod Package includes:
- 1X Smoant Ranker Mod
- 1X USB charge & Update cable
- 1X User manual
- 1X Warning card
The only thing from keeping me really going to town with my frustration about the design choices with this device is the performance of the board.
As with the Cylon, it performs admirably in both power and TC mode.
- Good build quality
- Large color screen
- High-quality leather
- Fires instantly
- Great TC
- Curve modes
- Easy menu system
- 2 amp Charging
- Firmware upgradeable
- Solid battery door
- Very large device
- No 20700 battery compatibility
- Dim screen
- Wobbly firebar
- Can only fit 25mm atomizers with no overhang
- Angled screen can be annoying (subjective)
I just don’t personally see the point of this device. There are far better ergonomic dual 18650 mods, especially one with the same excellent chipset – the Cylon.
The only thing that would’ve made the Ranker worthwhile in my opinion is if it accommodated 2X700 batteries.
Now that’s not me knocking manufacturers for using the same boards in different designed housing. We all have our own tastes, and it’s good that companies tailor to that with their designs.
But when a manufacturer comes out with two large devices in quick succession and misses the current trend in the market, and what vapers are calling for in larger battery capacity – it’s a bad move.
The Ranker is not a bad device. But my advice is to go buy the Cylon 218 instead.