Back in 2014 Eleaf really broke the mold with a fantastic little mod; the iStick 20w. But, in today’s review we’re taking a look at its older brother (one of them anyway!) – In 2015 the Eleaf iStick 50w came charging onto the market to great approval from the vaping community. The iStick 50w presented vapers with a well-crafted device offering high battery capacity and an elegant design.
Skip forward and you could argue that the iStick 50w hasn’t exactly lived up to its promise. With several issues reported by many users, you might well question whether it’s worth parting with your hard earned cash on this one. Fret not, we’re here to hash out the good and the bad and give the iStick 50w a thorough reviewing!
Features and Specification
- Wattage output – 5w – 50w
- Voltage output – 2.0v – 10.0v
- Stainless steel 510 threading (eGo adapter included)
- Brass spring-loaded connector
- 4400 mAh battery capacity
- OLED Display
- Passthrough charging (vape while you charge)
- Micro USB charging
- Rated resistance range: 0.2 – 5 ohms
- Short circuit protection
- Overheating temperature safety alarm with automatic shut-off
- 10 Second puff cut-off
- Button lock functionality
- Display can be flipped for preference
- Size: H83mm x D23mm x W45mm
- Available colours – Black, blue, fuchsia & silver
What’s in the box?
- 50w iStick box mod
- eGo adapter
- User manual
- USB charging cable
- Wall charging adaptor
Design and Appearance
The iStick 50w is easily one of the most gorgeous looking devices released within the last few years! If you’ve had any experience with the iStick 20w or the iStick 100w temperature control mod, you’ll immediately notice the similarities straight out of the box.
With its curved edges and stylish design, the iStick 50w feels incredibly natural to hold. The placement of the firing button on the side also makes for an extremely comfortable vape. Couple this with an almost perfect weight and you really won’t want to put this mod down.
The device is just heavy enough to make you feel like you’re holding a quality bit of hardware but not so heavy that you feel like you’re gripping a mobile phone from the 80’s. Ergonomically speaking, this mod ticks all the boxes.
Eleaf obviously listened to the feedback from the community on the iStick 20w and have made a marked improvement on the quality of the buttons. The rattle that plague the firing and menu buttons on the iStick 20w has been rectified and now feels like one of the most solid I’ve experienced.
The micro USB port has also been shifted to the side of the mod making for a far easier vape while charging the device. The side charging port allows you to stand the mod up straight when charging, eliminating any unnecessary leak from the clearomizer being laid on its side. The only drawback to the placement of the USB port is the cable can make the mod top heavy. This means the device will fall over when charging if not carefully placed.
Anything else I need to know?…
Up and down facing menu buttons have been placed on the front of the device just above the OLED display. In wattage mode the up and down menu buttons allow you to scroll from 5 watts to 50 watts in 0.1 increments. In voltage mode you can scroll from 2.0 volts to 10.0 volts in 0.1 increments.
Once you’ve chosen your desired power, the menu buttons on the iStick 50w can be held simultaneously for two seconds to activate the lock function on the device. If you’ve ever taken your mod out of your pocket and taken a surprise burnt hit at full power, you’ll realise the advantage of this function!
Clocking in at an impressive 4400 mAh, the in-built battery in the iStick 50w is probably its most remarkable feature. More often than not I sit my Subtank Mini on top of the iStick 50w and when firing at around 25 watts you’re looking at 2-3 days of solid vaping!
Even powered at 50 watts this mod is going to last you the best part of a day. The large battery capacity has made this device one of my go to mods, especially when I’m heading out for a full day and I don’t want a pocket full of 18650 batteries weighting me down.
That being said, the in-built battery is in itself a drawback for those who enjoy the convenience of simply replacing the battery in the mod once its drained. Plus, if you ever encounter any problems with the battery further down the line, your chances of successfully replacing it are slim.
As well as this, the large battery capacity means the iStick 50w will be on charge for a considerable amount of time. Eleaf report that for a full charge you’re looking at around 5 hours. While the mod does have pass-through vaping, if this device is the only mod you have in your collection you’re going to be tethered to the power socket for some time!
The screen itself is basic but displays all the necessary information. Battery capacity, the resistance of the tank (to one decimal place) and the voltage and wattage are displayed in a clear format.The screen features a 10 second puff counter when you start vaping. When you hit the ten second limit the power will cut off and the display informs you that you’ve vaped for “over 10s”. Eleaf have also designed the screen so it features the ability to flip the information displayed; pretty trivial but still a nice touch.
A great excuse when you’re spouse asks why you’ve bought yet another mod…
In terms of how the iStick 50w performs with a variety of tanks sitting on top we really have no complaints. The body is 23mm wide with a very slight curved lip meaning that all standard 22mm wide clearomizers sit flush. The excellent spring loaded stainless steel 510 connector ensures that no matter what tank you use there are no gaps left between the mod and the tank.
As well as this, Eleaf have improved the threading on the 510 connector. While the iStick 20w struggled in this area, the iStick 50w threading really stands the test of time, even if you enjoy constantly switching tanks!
The iStick 50w will fire resistances as low as 0.2 ohms, meaning you won’t have any trouble regardless of what coil head you’re using. I’ve used my Mutation X V4 with a 0.25 ohm dual coil setup and the results are really satisfying around the 30-40 watts range. Equally, the iStick 50w also looks and works great with something simple like the iClear 30s tank at the lower end of the wattage range.
Faults, faults and more faults…
Probably the biggest drawback to consider when thinking about purchasing the iStick 50w is the number of testimonies out there from vapers who have experienced technical faults.
The most common (and worrying!) fault reported with the iStick 50w is its tendency to auto-fire. This means if your mod is sitting in your pocket or up on the shelf it can start to power the tank sitting on top of it without you knowing. That is until you burn a hole in your pocket! Other faults reported include the mod repeatedly turning itself off during use and the power mode switching between wattage and voltage modes of its own accord.
All of the Vaping Hardware team own the iStick 50w and over half of us have experienced a technical fault. Something we came across recently really demonstrates the scope of the problems users have been reporting with the device. The guys over at UKVapers.org ran a poll to find out what kinds of issues the vaping community had been having with their iStick 50w’s. At the the time of writing this review, 120 vapers had responded and of those 19.17% reported their mod auto-firing! Along with this 10% had reported further issues as well. Unfortunately for Eleaf only 48.33% of vapers who owned this mod reported never having had a problem. That means if you buy this device chances are (albeit marginally), you’re going to encounter a problem somewhere along the way.
Something we also picked up on was a slight firing delay when using the device. This wasn’t something that bothered me personally but if you’re picky over the finer details then the iStick 50w 60ms firing delay might just bother you.
As the iStick 50w is an older device it can be found for a very reasonable price. In the UK markets you can pick yourself one up for as little as £20 if you shop around. Across the pond you’re going to be looking at around $30 to add this one to your basket. At these prices we’d certainly say you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck. With the 4400 mAh battery and 50 watt maximum power £20/$30 is a pretty good bargain!
Personally, I love this mod. As I mentioned earlier in the review the design and appearance of the mod is fantastic. When you add the outstanding battery capacity to the mix you have yourself a real contender. That being said, I’m one of the lucky ones who haven’t experienced a technical fault with the device. If another writer on the team were doing this review you might have a very different opinion on how good the iStick 50w truly is.
Having carried out the research, even loving the iStick 50w that I personally own, I wouldn’t buy another. The high number of reported faults with this mod should probably be enough to put any new prospective buyer off. This is a real shame because, up to a point, Eleaf designed a fantastic little box mod here. If the iStick 50w was without the faults, then it really would be scoring a lot higher below:
- Price – 8.4
- Battery life – 9.3
- Appearance and design – 8.8
- Build quality/reliability – 6.2
- Performance/functionality – 8
Overall Vaping Hardware score – 8.1
- Extremely comfortable to hold
- Simple and easy to use
- Outstanding battery life
- In-built battery
- Slight firing delay
- Common auto-firing faults and more
Feel free to share this review below and drop us a comment with your thoughts on the iStick 50w.