Hardware Review: Eleaf iCare

I purchased the Eleaf iCare for myself late last year. I’ve been using it regularly for several months and I’ve found myself really enjoying it.

Specs:

  • Size: 30mm x 14mm x 75mm
  • Output wattage: 15W max
  • Resistance range: 1.0-3.5ohm
  • E-liquid capacity: 1.8mL
  • Battery capacity: 650mAh
  • Color: black, gold, white, cyan, red

What Comes in the Box: You get the iCare, two 1.1 ohm coils, a USB charging cable, and a user manual.

Size

Video and pictures don’t do the iCare justice. This is probably the smallest device I’ve ever held in hand. It’s extremely tiny. It’s stands three inches tall and is a little over an inch wide.

It’s tiny, but it feels very comfortable in the hand. The mouthpiece is positioned so that you need to turn the device sideways to vape it. This is a very comfortable position because you can place another finger beneath it to hold it.

The Rubber Plug

DON’t remove the plastic plug. That is NOT the fill hole. That plug creates pressure that activates the device. I’ve seen a lot of people ruin their iCare by removing the plug and putting e-juice into the body of the device.

Another thing to note about this plug is that it should have a tiny hole in the middle. Eleaf had some manufacturing issues where some iCare models went out without a hole in this plug. Without the hole, pressure isn’t allowed to be fully released and can eventually lead to auto-firing.

If you don’t have a hole in your plug, poke one through with a needle.

Materials

Before owning one of these, I always assumed that they were made of plastic. The first thing I noticed when I held it in my hand is that it’s made of what feels like a very durable metal. It’s got a bit of surprising weight for its size. It’s not uncomfortably heavy by any means. I’m just pointing this out because it seems very durable.

Filling

Filling the tank is very easy. You unscrew the coil pipe and squeeze e-juice into the fill hole on the tank. The hole has a nice diameter width so that you don’t have to worry about making a big mess while trying to fill it up.

There is a fill line on the glass that tells you how far to fill the tank. If you fill past this line, the tank will overflow when you put the coil pipe back in. One problem that I’ve found with the little window is that it’s kind of hard to see the fill line.

The one drawback with this filling system is the potential mess during the re-filling process, meaning when the device already has some e-juice in it. When refilling the device, you need to remove the coil pipe to add more e-juice. The coil pipe will be covered in e-juice and the liquid will be dripping from it while you’re trying to fill the tank. It can get a little messy.

Coils

The Eleaf uses 1.1 ohm replaceable coil heads.

Before attaching the coil to the coil pipe, Eleaf recommends that you prime the coil by placing 2-3 drops onto the coil.

As far as the coil performance goes, they seem to wick very well. I’ve taken about 15 drags consecutively very quickly and never got a dry hit.

One con with the coils is that they seem to flood easily. After letting the iCare sit for longer than a few minutes, the first couple of drags always seem to have a little bit of spitback. You can vape right through it, but if you hate spitback, this might bother you.

Function

The device pushes 15 watts max. It will continue to push 15 watts until the battery drops to 3.7 volt charge. After this point, the wattage changes based on the battery level. I used an ohms law calculator to get a better idea of how the wattage changes:

  • 4.2 to 3.7 volts = 15 watts
  • 3.6 volts = 11.78 watts
  • 3.5 volts = 11.14 watts
  • 3.4 volts = 10.5 watts
  • 3.3 volts = 9.9 watts
  • The iCare will stop working when the battery reaches 3.3 volts and you’ll need to recharge it to make it work again. If you’re a newer vaper, you don’t need to worry about any of this. Just remember that if the vape seems weak, it might need to be recharged.

    It’s draw activated, which means that their is no button that you need to push to activate it. You simply take a drag and it fires. This makes it really easy to use for people who are new to vaping, and also probably helps with maintaining a little similarity to smoking, which is very important for smokers transitioning to vaping.

    There are three color LEDs that show you how much charge is left in the battery. Green shows a charge between 16% to 100%, Yellow means the battery level is between 6% to 15%, and red means that there is less than 5% charge left. When it gets to red, you’ll probably only get a few more drags out of it.

    According to the manual, it takes about an hour to fully charge a drained battery.

    From a completely dead battery, it took me take about 1 hour 20 min. to fully charge, but you can start vaping it again before it’s fully charge if you want.

    It’s hard to see lights when vaping. You have to go cross-eyed to see it. Or vape in the dark.

    Airflow

    There is airflow control ring that has five tiny holes. The more holes that are open, the less restricted the airflow gets. If you want a really restricted airflow, you can leave one airflow hole open. I’ve found that the more restricted you make it, the more juice you suck into the coil while you’re vaping, which leads to a bit of gurgling, due to the coil flooding. The flooding goes away after a couple of drags, but still something worth mentioning.

    If you want to do a direct lung hit, you can open all of the airflow holes. It’s still restricted, but it’s a nice option to have. You can also remove the airflow control ring entirely if you want to maximize airflow.

    A major problem with the airflow control is that it sits in the tank, which means you need to unscrew the coil pipe to access it. That means you will get e-juice on your fingers when adjusting it. I guess it’s not that big of a deal, but it can be pretty messy.

    High Nic-E-juice

    Devices like this are designed for high-nicotine e-juice. For example I purchased 24mg nicotine e-juice. I would never use 24mg in any of my tanks or RDA’s. Not only would it probably make me really dizzy, but it would have an extremely harsh throat hit.

    I normally vape 6mg nicotine in my sub-ohm atomizers, but in the iCare, 24mg seems perfect. It doesn’t have a harsh throat hit at all. Just something to keep in mind if you’re trying to figure out what nicotine levels to start with.

    Final Thoughts

    This is a great device, both for beginners and even for experienced people looking for something small and portable.

    I’ve been using this regularly for about 3 months. I keep it in my backpack at all times, and while it’s not my go-to device, I use it pretty regularly.

    I’m a big fan of it’s size, the flavor, and function.

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