Hardware Review: The Heatvape Invader Mini

invader-mini

The Invader Mini is an older device that was really popular somewhere around mid-2015. I never ended up getting one when it was popular, but it was something that I always wanted. Well, a few months ago I saw vendor having a clearance sale on these for only $10 so I finally picked one up.

When the Invader Mini first came out, I watched a lot of reviews and they all showed how awesome and durable the device is. People have recorded videos showing the Invader Mini being run over by cars, taken outside thrown as hard and far as possible, and even submerging it underwater. YouTube reviewer “Fresh03” did a water test during one of his entire live shows, and if you’re familiar with his shows then you know they usually last around 2-3 hours.

In all of the tests I’ve seen, the Invader Mini came through working perfectly so I’m not going to do any of those tests. I’m just going to talk a little bit about the device and give you some of my thoughts on it.

Specs

  • Colors: Black, Blue, Grey, Yellow, Green, and Purple
  • Waterproof Level: IPX4 (safe from splashed water from any direction)
  • Materials: Zinc Alloy + Silicone + Brass
  • Output Power: 1W-50W
  • Output Voltage: 1V-9.9V
  • Ohm Limit: 0.1-1.0 Ohm in TC Mode, 0.16-2.0 Ohm in wattage mode
  • Requires 18650 battery (not included)
  • Price: Originally around $60, can be found for around $10-$20 today
  • Product weight : 0.215 kg
  • Product size (L x W x H) 4.21 (tall) x 1.49 (front to back) x 1.18 inches (left to right)
  • Temperature control: Nickel wire only
  • Shockproof

What Comes in the Box?

  • The Invader Mini
  • User Manual

Look and Feel

It feels very comfortable in the hands for the most part, but I it feels a little uncomfortable when firing it with my thumb, with the firing button facing towards me. I much prefer firing it with my index finger, with the device facing outward. That’s just personal preference, though.

Another annoyance is the rubber piece at the top of the device that looks like a button. I keep accidentally pressing it thinking it’s the firing button.

Battery Chamber

The battery tube is a thick, solid metal tube. There doesn’t appear to be anything that could break or wear down in there. It looks extremely durable and high-quality. The biggest con with the battery compartment is that there is no indicator showing which direction the battery goes into the device. Using typical battery configuration, I assumed (correctly), that the positive end of the battery faces the 510 connection.

510 Connection

The 510 is not spring loaded, which means that if your atomizer doesn’t have a long enough 510 pin, it might not make a good connection. This would have to be an extremely short 510 pin to cause an issue and is not at all likely, but it could happen.

Because the pin is not spring-loaded, this also means that many atomizers will not sit flush on the device. Heatvape considered this and smartly included an adjustable ring at the top of the device that allows you to adjust to remove gaps.

The reason Heatvape did not use a spring-loaded 510 was so that the device would be water-resistant. If the 510 was spring-loaded, water would be able to get through to the chip. It’s a minor inconvenience to have a great feature like water-resistance.

Function

It works great! I’ve used the device for several months now with no issues at all. It also seems to fire at the 50 watts they say it does and I’ve used it with many different atomizers and haven’t had any problems with it not firing.

The biggest con with functionality is that the menu system is extremely confusing. Having to lock the device before changing some of the settings makes it very difficult to use and not at all intuitive. Without a user manual, some of the devices features would probably never be figured out by someone who hasn’t used the device before. Heatvape really should have come up with a better menu system.

Another drawback is that the Invader Mini does allow the user to fully shut off the device. It will turn off automatically after a few seconds and will fully shut down after an hour without use, but there’s no way to manually force the device to fully turn off without removing the battery.

Temperature Control

The Invader Mini does temperature control only with nickel wire. I’ve tested it various situations:

  • Coils only
  • Coils with dry cotton
  • Coils with soaked cotton

With coils only and no cotton, the temperature control worked well enough not to heat up the coils hot enough to turn red, which is exactly what we want.

With dry cotton installed, the cotton did not burn at all. Again, temperature control worked perfectly.

And finally, with soaked cotton. The temperature control allowed the device to fire until the cotton dried out, then would not push enough wattage to burn the cotton.

In all three tests, the temperature control worked great.

Pros and Cons

These are all opinions and may or may not be pros and cons to you, depending on what you’re looking for in a device.

Cons

  • Can’t completely turn it off without removing the battery
  • The user manual is not accurate
  • Temp control only supports nickel wire
  • It’s heavy
  • It only goes to 50 watts
  • Battery screw cap is a little hard to unscrew
  • You cannot charge the device with a charging cable (would negate water-resistance, so makes sense)
  • Non spring-loaded 510
  • The menu system is confusing
  • Single battery devices run through battery quickly at high wattages
  • Pros

    • It’s extremely durable
    • It’s practically water-proof (though not technically rated as waterproof)
    • The top cap is adjustable to remove gaps between atomizers
    • Temp-mode works great
    • Buttons are nice and clicky
    • Battery screw cap is airtight
    • Removable battery

    Overall, this is a great device. It’s durable and rugged. It’s shockproof, practically waterproof, and can fire up to 50 watts. It’s a device that would work great on an outdoor trip, such as when kayaking, or regularly on a physically demanding job such as with construction work.

3 thoughts on “Hardware Review: The Heatvape Invader Mini”

  1. I had the same issues using it. I kept wanting to press that top part and it was confusing to adjust. Also, I didn’t like how you had to take the ring off to change the tank. It’s nice for my husband, though.

    Reply

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