Vandy Vape Pulse 80W Squonk Mod | Review

Was all the hype worth it?

15 min read

Vandy Vape Pulse 80W Squonk Mod

Vandy Vape and the Tony B have had significant success with collaborations, the largest of which being the Pulse, a budget squonker that brought squonking to the masses.

It seemed an obvious progression to merely update the Pulse to a regulated squonker by adding a board – simple. However, as we know it wasn’t quite that simple with all the controversy around using VooPoo’s Gene chip.

We now finally have our hands on the Pulse 80W with Vandy Chip.

So let’s see whether all that anticipation was worth the wait and whether Vandy Vape’s chip really can compete with VooPoo’s.

This review is based on firmware version 0.0.6. We advise you update to at least this version for better TC performance and easier operation. You can download the required software from Vandy Vape Support

The Good

Looks amazing, incredibly lightweight, excellent squonk bottle and performs great in both Power & TC (after update).

The Bad

Can’t utilize 21700 batteries, and only 1 amp internal charging.

The Bottom Line

It certainly was worth all the hype! Vandy Vape and Tony B have created an absolutely excellent regulated version of the Pulse BF. The Vandy Chip is full of features and performs excellently (after the update). The mod is well constructed, incredibly lightweight and looks fantastic with the resin panels. The best budget regulated squonker on the market right now.

9.3

Specs

  • Height: 82mm x Length: 56mm x Width: 27mm
  • Weight: 130g
  • Output Power: 5w – 80w
  • Input Voltage: 0.5V – 8.5V
  • Resistance Range: 0.05 – 3.0 Ohms (VW) / 0.05-1.5 Ohms (TC)
  • Temperature range: 200 – 600 F / 100 – 315 C
  • 6 colors available: Lava Red, Fantastic Blue, Seaweed Green, Aurora Rainbow, Carbon fiber (Full Black), Carbon fiber (Silver/Black)

Features

  • Newly created Vandy Chip for a very simple and well designed regulated mod at an affordable cost
  • Multiple power options including Variable Wattage, Temperature control, Voltage adjustment, and Bypass mode
  • Leak-proof, gold-plated 510 connector with a new Multiple seal design
  • Compatible with 18650 or 20700 style batteries
  • Replaceable panels sporting magnetic doors for ease of access
  • 8ml Easy grip squonk bottle
  • User-Defined Variable Wattage and Temperature Control Curve Setting

In the Box

  • 1x Pulse BF 80w Box Mod
  • 1x 8ml Squonk Bottle
  • 1x 30ml Refill Bottle (High-End Edition ONLY)
  • 1x Quick-Charge USB Cable
  • 1x User Manual
  • 1x 18650 Battery Adapter
Design9.5
Vandy Vape Pulse 80w Squonk Mod

The Pulse 80W is not a huge departure from it’s younger unregulated brother.

Its body is made from the same ABS Nylon, and it would be easy to say it just looks like a slightly larger version of the original Pulse.

However, that’s not quite the truth and doesn’t really do it justice.

Yes, it is slightly wider and taller in order to incorporate the regulated board, but Vandy Vape has made a few other design choices which shouldn’t go unnoticed.

First, there’s the obvious change to the door panels, which now come in either simple carbon fiber styling, or vibrant colored resin.

The standard version features the carbon fiber panels. I’m not sure if it’s real carbon fiber or just a sticker, but it does have a kind of rubber textured coating and sits flush to the panel.

The resin options which come with what Vandy Vape class as the high-end version, in my opinion not only look better but feel so much nicer. The resin inserts protrude ever so slightly from the panels but have delicately curved edges. The resin feels smooth and soft to touch and just makes the device look a lot more premium. It’s definitely worth paying the extra and going for the resin panels.

The second design changes are in conjunction with the integrated board. The front of the device now features a 0.91” OLED screen with a three-button control interface. The screen is recessed, along with the +/- keys beneath it.

The fire button is a significant improvement over the original’s oversized mushy mechanical one, and all of the buttons on the device have a subtle texture to them to add grip.

The final significant change is with the included squonk bottle. Vandy Vape went back to the drawing board to create one of the best proprietary bottles I’ve seen come with a squonker – more on this later.

The one slightly odd design choice is that the Pulse 80W cannot fit 21700 batteries, much like the original. This seems a bit of a glaring omission as surely they only needed to make the device 1mm wider for it to cater to all 3 battery types (18650, 20700 & 21700). With the popularity of 21700 batteries growing, I think that was a missed opportunity.

Vandy Vape Pulse 80w Squonk Mod

Style

One of the reasons for the huge success of the original Pulse was it’s unique styling and ability to customize its looks with a quick change of door panels.

I’m so glad that Vandy Vape decided to keep those traits, and actually offer more with regards to resin panels.

It may not be made from the same quality materials as extremely high-end devices, but I still think the Pulse is a stylish device…and probably one of the most recognizable designs on the market.

Vandy Vape Pulse 80w Squonk Mod

Build Quality

I’d previously heard some people complain about the original Pulse feeling too cheap and plasticky with it’s ABS nylon construction.

Which is a little understandable, as a mechanical squonker it is basically just an empty box. However, the Pulse 80W feels like a more robust device, due to it’s more substantial innards.

There’s also no denying that the ABS nylon material is extremely rugged whilst remaining light.

The Pulse 80W can fit atomizers up to 25mm, and it’s 510 connector is gold plated and spring loaded. The internals of the 510 are also encased in a solid box which features an anti-leak design Multiple Seal System.

The door panels fit on the device perfectly, and the magnets are strong and sturdy.

The fire button and +/- buttons are nice and tactile and have the perfect amount of clickiness to them.

All in all, I think the Pulse 80W has excellent build quality for its price.

Vandy Vape Pulse 80w Squonk Mod

Portability

The Pulse 80W measures in at 82mm x 56mm x 27mm.

While that means it is not a small device, it is still remarkably compact for a single 20700 regulated squonk mod. After a few days of use, you barely notice the slight size increase over the original.

What makes it even more portable and pocket-friendly is the fact that it only weighs 154g with a 20700 battery inside.

Innovation

While there isn’t particularly much innovation going on here, Vandy Vape does seem to have filled a void in the market.

I can’t think of any other regulated 20700 squonk mod, especially commercially available in this budget price range.

Along with the original Pulse, this is also one of the few available devices
predominantly made from ABS Nylon and is the first to feature the Vandy Chip.

Features9.5
Vandy Vape Pulse 80w Squonk Mod

The Pulse 80W squonk mod can obviously output a maximum of 80 Watts, utilizing either 20700 or 18650 batteries with the included adapter.

The Pulse is powered by the Vandy Chip which is capable of variable wattage, temperature control, voltage adjustment, and Bypass modes.

It also features advanced settings like user-defined Variable Wattage and Temperature Control Curves, along with the always welcome smart auto-watt feature (which sets the suggested wattage based on the atomizer connected).

Then there are all the usual safety features like overtime protection, low power, short atomizer, high/low resistance warning and overheat protection.

So it looks like they’ve ticked every box when it comes to features for a regulated squonker.

Vandy Vape Pulse 80w Squonk Mod

Menu System & Operating

As the Vandy Chip comes with such a stack of features, fitting everything into an easy to navigate menu system is a little tricky.

However, I think they’ve done a relatively good job of displaying everything clearly on the screen, and once you know the button combinations it’s a nice menu system to use.

Below is a guide on how to navigate the menu on the v0.0.6 firmware:

  • 5 clicks of fire button on/off
  • Minus and fire button flips the screen
  • Plus and fire button locks the mod
  • 3 clicks of fire button highlights mode, +/- to scroll through modes, fire button to select
  • 4 clicks of fire button when in TC mode to set wattage, +/- to adjust accordingly.
  • To access extra menu functions, hold +/- buttons at the same time

Extra menu functions are: DIY (Curves for TC & W, 5 memory slots), Power boost wattage, Ohm Set, TCR Value, Remove modes from display, Screen timeout.

Vandy Vape Pulse 80w Squonk Mod

DIY Curves

1-second increments for a total of 10 seconds

  • Press fire button when on ‘DIY’ icon in the menu
  • You are then taken back to the main screen
  • 4 clicks of fire button (on main screen) to enter curves graph
  • Use the fire button to select bar in the graph
  • Use +/- to increase or decrease Temp or Wattage level
  • Long press fire button to save & exit.
  • When on main screen ‘D’ icon will be displayed with a number for corresponding DIY memory slot, use +/- to scroll through memory slots

(You initially need to be in Power mode to set Wattage Curves, or in TC mode to set TC curves).

Vandy Vape Pulse 80w Squonk Mod

Power Boost

  • Set either ‘N’ for normal, or ‘H’ for hard by pressing the fire button when on Power Boost icon (only for wattage mode)

Ohm Set

  • Fire button on icon to select, +/- to adjust the resistance

TCR Mode

  • Fire button on icon to select, +/- to adjust the TCR value

(You initially need to be in TC mode for that material to adjust it’s TCR value).

Remove modes from displaying

  • Select ‘Spanner’ icon from menu, fire button scrolls through modes, – button to not display, + button to display.

(There’s a small box under each mode to show current status).

Although the above may seem like quite a few settings and button clicks to go through, the Vandy Chip menu system is fairly intuitive after a few uses, and dare I say especially if you’ve used a Gene Chip before.

I like that Vandy Vape listened to feedback immediately and updated the firmware to v0.0.6 which not only makes the menu easier to navigate but having new features like removing modes from the display add a nice touch of customization.

Updating Firmware

As I mentioned previously this review is based on the latest firmware Vandy Vape released for the Pulse 80W – version 0.0.6.

Updating the firmware couldn’t be easier, just go the support page listed below, select the operating system you are using. Then when you open the application it will guide you through the simple process.

http://www.vandyvape.com/support/software/

I think it’s excellent that Vandy Vape, have not only been swift to release an update with improvements, and have created a detailed page highlighting new features, but they have made the update software available for both PC & Mac.

I know some manufacturers that have been making boards for years that still don’t support Mac. I’m pretty sure Tony B played a big part in making sure that had everything covered right out of the gate – thanks Tony.

Squonking9.2
Vandy Vape Pulse 80w Squonk Mod

Vandy Vape has redesigned the Pulse squonk bottle to make it easier to squonk and refill.

The 8ml capacity squonk bottle features a large tapered collar to make it easier to grip without accidentally squeezing out juice.

The top cap of the bottle has just the right amount of knurling and perfect threading so it’s super easy to loosen and tighten.

I also like the fact they’ve made the bottle dark grey, with a black collar and top cap. It so much more satisfying to look at as it blends together perfectly with the mod, and the remaining juice level is still easy to see.

It’s probably the best proprietary squonk bottle to come with a squonk mod, and I’m sure Vandy Vape will also be selling spares at a decent price.

Vandy Vape Pulse 80w Squonk Mod

Refilling

If the improvements to the squonk bottle were not enough to make the Pulse 80W easier to refill, then Vandy Vape also includes a 30ml refill bottle.

Currently, I believe this may only come with the high-end resin version, but it might depend on where you purchase it from.

I’m a fan of the Vandy Vape silicon refill bottle, it’s made from decent materials with good threading and a nice grippy texture to it. It’s a really nice touch to include one with the mod.

Performance9.2
Vandy Vape Pulse 80w Squonk Mod

Let’s get straight to it, and address the VooPoo shaped elephant in the room.

Do I think the Pulse 80W with the Vandy Chip performs as good as the Gene Chip?

Initially no…However, since the firmware update – yes. Perhaps even better.

I guess it all comes down to what you value most in performance, but one thing is for sure it’s an excellent performing chip and device.

I don’t think many vapers would notice the difference between either chip and are going to be extremely happy with its performance, especially if Vandy Vape keep paying attention to consumers with firmware updates.

Wattage Mode

The Pulse 80W fires insanely fast!

Vandy Vape list all the technical stats for it on their website if you want to check that out. But all I can tell you is that I put it up against the VooPoo Drag with the same SS316 build and wattage level, and the Pulse 80W felt quicker.

However, most mods are fast firing nowadays, and really the difference between a few milliseconds seconds doesn’t really impact my vape experience.

The Pulse 80W does hit good in wattage mode though and it feels like it’s reaching the desired setting. All the adjustments I tested in Curve mode were apparent and the power boost setting is definitely noticeable.

A good performing device in wattage mode.

Vandy Vape Pulse 80w Squonk Mod

Temperature Control Mode

Temperature control mode started off with a slightly different story.

Initially, I was left a little underwhelmed by its less than smooth performance. It seemed to perform dry fire protection ok, but the vape experience was a little spikey.

Since the firmware update, it’s a far better experience.

I’ve only really tested it with SS316, although I have used a number of varying resistances and exotic builds, the vape is so much smoother now.

It’s not quite as smooth an experience as a DNA chip. Still, as somebody who likes to vape in TC with SS316, I couldn’t say it’s any better or worse than the Gene chip. And as we know there’s no squonker available on the market with the Gene Chip, and probably won’t be for the foreseeable future.

Compared to the Hotcig RSQ that I’ve been using as my single battery regulated squonker, I actually prefer the TC on the Pulse 80W.

But trust me you will be disappointed in TC, unless you update the firmware.

Vandy Vape Pulse 80w Squonk Mod

Battery Life

This was little tricky for me to gauge, mainly because for the first time in a regulated squonk mod I was able to use my Sanyo 20700B batteries which are 4000mAh.

As the Pulse 80W is a regulated squonker I didn’t have to play it safe with a higher amp battery as the board takes care of that for me.

The battery life was stellar, on a 0.30-Ohm build it was easily lasting me a full day.

Obviously, your mileage is going to vary depending on what batteries you’re using and your resistance level. But I’d say it’s an efficient device, and the fact that you can use 20700 with higher mAh is excellent.

Likes

  • Looks great
  • Brilliant build quality
  • Feature-rich chipset
  • Interchangeable panels
  • Light pocket & pocket-friendly
  • Easy to operate
  • Instant firing
  • Anti-leak design
  • Subtle branding
  • Great squonk bottle
  • Wattage & TC curve feature
  • Accurate power mode
  • Good TC (firmware v0.0.6)
  • Fits 25mm atomizers with no overhang
  • Firmware upgradeable

Dislikes

  • Doesn’t fit 21700 batteries
  • Only 1 amp charging

Verdict

I think a lot of people were hesitant at just how good the Vandy Chip would be after all the controversy with VooPoo.

However, they have done a fantastic job. Irrelevant of whether they took a little too much inspiration from the Gene Chip, and who was wrong or right in that whole saga.

The main thing is they have created an absolutely outstanding single battery regulated squonker.

It looks amazing, is incredibly light, easily customizable, and above all else now performs flawlessly.

Yes, you might have to update the firmware to get that improved TC performance and better menu system – but it’s worth it.

The Pulse 80W pairs perfectly with my Wotofo Recurve RDA for a flavorful single coil vape which easily keeps me satisfied all day long, and is now my go-to squonk mod, I love it.

Right now I can’t see any other single battery regulated squonkers coming onto the market that will beat it, especially in its price range.

The Pulse 80W is going to be another massive success for Vandy Vape & Tony B….but you didn’t need me to tell you that, right.

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Design
9.5
Features
9.5
Squonking
9.2
Performance
9.2
Cost
9.0

SUMMARY

It certainly was worth all the hype! Vandy Vape and Tony B have created an absolutely excellent regulated version of the Pulse BF. The Vandy Chip is full of features and performs excellently (after the update). The mod is well constructed, incredibly lightweight and looks fantastic with the resin panels. The best budget regulated squonker on the market right now.
Marc P
Marc has been an avid vaper since 2010. His obsession with new vape gear has led to developing his own overflowing vape room, and starting Vaping Vibe with Danny & Jules to help educate other vapers.

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