Did I need another mod? No, I didn’t, but has that ever stopped me? Has it ever stopped you?
Being that I’ve become a stale, boring RDA/box mod guy with no interest in mechanical mods, I thought it would be a nice change of pace to acquire a something that wasn’t in a rectangular form of some sort. You know, jazz up my scene a bit! Enter the Cloupor T5, with its slight curves, monotone darkness, and mostly ergonomic design. It clocked in at 50 watts (enough for me) and had a host of other fine features, including adjustable 510 connector, USB charging, removable battery, and a big, clear, comprehensive readout behind sexy, smoky plastic. I was sold.
I was aware that some folks have had bad experiences with Cloupor, but my Hana clone (shhh, don’t tell anyone) is a Cloupor, and it has performed well for a long time. How bad could the T5 be? With transaction done, the wait was on.
Upon arrival, I was fairly impressed with the packaging and extra goodies (a screwdriver, charging cable, and a generous helping of spare screws). Considering Chinese manufacturers are known for cutting corners in any way possible, especially packaging, I thought they did a decent job.
And that’s where the fun ended.
I dropped in a fully charged 18650, and that’s when it struck me. Yes, the battery was changeable, and yes it was USB-chargeable, but because of the design, neither of these features meant much. Changing the battery requires removing three screws and securing a baseplate that is oddly finicky. So quick swaps “in the field” are not really doable. But even more frustrating is the USB charging.
The charging port is on the bottom of the mod. Yes, the bottom. You know, the part that rests on whatever furniture or structure happens to be holding up your mod so that it doesn’t fall into the molten core of the Earth. That means charging requires setting it on its side. You see where I’m going with this? Cylindrical things roll. And because its on its side, any attached tank or RDA is prone to leaking. So charging the damned thing means removing the atomizer and plugging it in somewhere it won’t roll away. To make matters worse, the base plate I mentioned earlier is so thick that an extra long micro USB plug is required. Nice of them to include one, but I soon discovered the plug at my workplace was not long enough, and neither were the majority of the others I owned. So much for desk charging or pass-through (oh – did I mention they specifically discourage pass-through use?).
But back to the story!
With brand new T5 in hand, I jetted away for an exciting day of errands and strip malls. I was vaping relatively happily as I drove along, until I suddenly realized there was no vapor. Now that’s a problem. I looked down to the screen, and there was no readout. I did the 5-clicky thing to turn it back on. Nothing. Five more clicks. Zilch. I pulled off the road and pulled up a manual, which told me there was a “stealth mode.” Had I inadvertently triggered it? Nope. To get to the point, it just turns out that in any kind of sunlight whatsoever, the display disappears. Like totally. Especially if you’re wearing sunglasses.
But wait, it gets better. This is when I also discovered one of the many frustrating tendencies of the T5. That is, a propensity to simply shut down for no reason. I mean, to give credit where due, it always turns back on, but how annoying is that?
The answer is, very annoying, but not so annoying as returning home from two hours of vaping at a measly 11 watts to discover my fresh 18650 at 20%. What!? Sigh… I would only discover later that the T5 has a glitch that causes both piss-poor power management, and an inability to correctly display remaining battery power. The thing chews through batteries, and then to spit in your face, it also tells you there’s less left than there really is. The good news is, when it tells you you’re at 20%, you’re really somewhere between 40-50% (entirely unscientific guesstimate). The bad news is, you really do have to charge the thing a lot. It does not get through a typical day the way an authentic DNA30 will – or even a decent DNA30 clone chip, for that matter.
But wait, there’s more. You may be aware that the Cloupor T5 has an upgradeable ROM. You may also have heard that this upgrade was an unmitigated disaster. I was prescient enough to stop at the last minute, but many others weren’t, and they ended up with bricked devices. Cloupor promised a fix for the upgrade, then simply told their customers they would not be issuing a fix, and instead using these lessons to improve the T7 and T8, which I can only assume are some sort of hopelessly faulty terminator cyborgs.
Normally in these writeups I conclude with a “buy or don’t buy?” section, but I feel that’s not necessary here. If you haven’t gotten the picture, well…
If you can’t say something nice…
I will say one nice thing. Hell, I’ll say a couple nice things. Despite the T5 being a little thicker than I expected, I do like using it. It’s got a nice hand feel and it accommodates any atomizer. I’ve never had a single problem with the connector, and that’s one of my big pet peeves these days (just say no to non-adjustable 510s!).
But my favorite thing about my $100 mistake – and the main reason I bought the damned thing – is using it with a 28mm RDA. I was very jealous of the 26650 monstrosities that could use these giant RDAs. The T5 was supposed to be my solution. And it really does work well with the 28mm Magma. I mean, it looks cool, and vapes well, and you’ve got juice for days with them wells the size of a man-made lake.
But would I do it again? Hell no.