FIRST IMPRESSION OUT OF THE BOX:
I have to admit, this mod took me totally by surprise. I had no idea it was even in the works and when I got it, I was happy to find out that Smoant was using its Cylon chipset in a different form factor. When I received the mod and saw it in the box, I couldn’t believe the size of the mod. This is a pretty big mod as far as dual 18650 devices go. In fact, it’s so large, they probably could have made it just a little bigger and went with a triple battery mod. It’s much bigger than the Cylon mod.
WHAT’S IN THE BOX:
1x Smoant Ranker MOD
1x USB Cable
1x User Manual
1x Warning Card
FROM TOP TO BOTTOM:
The top plate on the Cylon is held in place by four-star screws. The whole top part of the mod slants downward away from the firing bar. I get what Smoant was going for here. They were looking to take advantage of the success that Smok is having with their Mag kit. It’s totally understandable and I know a lot of people actually appreciate this pistol grip sort of shape. The top plate slants downward to a platform where your 510 connection is located. The platform will hold a 25mm atomizer with no overhang on the platform even though the mod can accommodate a 30 mm atomizer without any overhang on the mod itself. 28 mm atomizers do not look too bad and they definitely look better than 30 mm atomizers on the Ranker.
I have to be honest here, I don’t understand why a company would make a mod with a platform around the 510. Most of the times, they don’t look good and they really mess with the size of the atomizer that you can fit on the mod and still look good. The Ranker is no exception. I really wish they wouldn’t have used the platform or at the very least, they should have leveled the platform off towards the end of the mod in order to give it a better look and feel while using bigger atomizers. The way they slanted it off towards the edge of the mod, is just a bad look. Not only that but the cut out part towards the end of the mod, tends to be a juice catcher and I find myself constantly cleaning it with a paper towel. At the very least, they should have built up that end of the mod, so it is level with the platform.
The 510 has a stainless steel plate around it that is held in place by three-star screws. There is a nice little design on it, that looks like a T with an extra long top to it. The 510 itself is typical Smoant. It’s a high quality 510 with a really nice spring to it and an excellent throw. The 510 is gold plated and spring loaded with stainless steel threading around it. The stainless steel threading is very smooth and all of the atomizers that I have used sit flush on this platform that Smoant decided to use.
With the mod facing you, on the right side of the mod is where you will find the firing bar. The firing bar is really nicely done and you can pretty much click it almost anywhere in order to get the mod to fire. The fire bar is very responsive and this mod does fire fast. There are four little indents on the face of the firing bar that give it some nice texture.
Of course, like most mods from China, this one was designed for left-handed users. This means that if you are a right hander and you fired the mod with three fingers, the screen is going to face your palm. I just don’t understand when China is going to wake up and realize that 90% of the world is actually right handed. Truth of the matter is, the firing bar should have really been on the other side of the mod. To be fair to Smoant, they are not the only manufacturer that does this. Almost every manufacturer out there makes mods that are designed for left-handers. It just gets very frustrating when myself and other reviewers point this out all the time and nothing gets done about it.
Starting on the left side of the screen, you will see a beautiful leather piece that wraps around the whole mod all the way to the back side and almost up against the firing bar. The leather is really nicely done and it has some nice texture it to it. It looks like the same exact leather that Smoant used on their Cylon mod.
Batteries for the Ranker are loaded from the bottom of the mod. This is a push-in, push-out, sort of battery door with a latch system. With the battery door open, you will see battery indicator markings on the inside of the door. There are also two gold-plated, button style contacts. On the exterior of the door, there are three little grooves that let you get a grip of the door in order to open it.
On the inside of the battery compartment, there are no battery indicator markings. That’s unusual because normally, most my manufacturers put a plus or minus sign at the end of the battery tubes. Those markings are not present in the Ranker mod. The battery contacts at the end of the tube are gold-plated and spring-loaded. The tube is made out of plastic, so if one of your batteries wraps have a tear, it should be okay. So far, the battery compartment has worked out beautifully and I have had no battery rattle or battery door rattle.
On the front side of the mod, there is some Smoant branding towards the top and some Ranker branding on the bottom. The 1.3-inch TFT screen is mounted into the mod on a slant. It gives it that Smok Alien sort of look on the front of the mod. The screen itself is the same exact screen that you will find on the Cylon mod. Mine is very bright, colorful, and vivid.
On the screen, you will be able to see your wattage, mode, puff counter in seconds, resistance, voltage, and a battery meter. The screen is laid out in that popular speedometer type of look that most of the newer mods are using now. When the screen does go into sleep mode, it has a clock feature. There are two different UI’s that you can use on the screen. The wallpaper is also customizable with 9 different choices out of the box.
Below the screen is where you will find the up and down buttons. The up button is on the right and the down button is on the left. The buttons are very clicky and tactile feeling. They are rectangular in shape with a triangle in the middle. Underneath the up and down buttons is where the USB port is located. The USB port is also mounted on a slant, so make sure you take note of this before you plug the mod in. The Ranker charges at 2 amps internally and it is firmware upgradable.
THE LOOK, FEEL, AND GENERAL AESTHETICS OF THE MOD:
I can’t help but compare this mod to the Cylon mod because the Ranker uses the same exact chipset. Basically, this is a Cylon in a much larger form factor. In fact, when you open the battery door and you look at the space that is used to take up the firing bar, it makes you wonder why Smoant didn’t go ahead and just turn this mod into a dual battery regulated squonker or a triple battery mod. If they would have made the mod just a little bigger to accommodate a squonking bottle or another battery, they could easily justify the size of the mod. Especially if they put the fire bar on the other side of the mod where it belongs.
I do like the mod, and I do like the way it looks. But I’m not too crazy about is the actual size especially when most dual battery mods being released are getting smaller. In fact, for me, it’s a tough sell to actually buy this mod over the Cylon mod. I think the Cylon mod actually looks better and it’s in a much more compact form factor that is pocketable. The Ranker really isn’t pocketable. Plus, the Cylon mod actually holds a 30mm atomizer with no overhang. The Ranker is going to be for the people that love this chipset but want a larger form factor. Those types of vapers are going to absolutely love the Ranker.
Looks-wise, there’s really not a lot to complain about on the Ranker mod. It’s a good-looking mod. It uses that really nice leather and it’s got that Mag type of look that a lot of vapers want. Of course, on top of all that, you also get that stellar Smoant build quality. This mod has a nice hefty feel to it and you can tell that it is really well-made. I have the black on black one but it also comes in a camo and tarnish finish.
The Ranker uses Smoant’s V2 Ant 218 board. Smoant claims that the board can fire a coil within .015 seconds of hitting the fire button. I would have to say that fast firing claim is pretty accurate, because this thing does hit hard and fast for a regulated mod. It does have a full temperature control suite as well as a TCR function and Curve Mode for both Power and TC mode. You will be able to fire Ni, Ti, and SS in TC mode. If that isn’t enough, you can run your custom wires through the TCR section of the menu. This board is very impressive and I consider one of the best vaping values on the market today.
The Ant 218 V2 chipset is capable of a maximum output of 218 watts. It does scroll in .1 watt increments. It has a temperature control range of 200 to 600 degrees Fahrenheit. It can fire down as low as .1 ohms and as high as 5 ohms. The chip will automatically read the resistance of the atomizer you attach to the mod. It also has three preheat settings that include minimum, normal, and maximum. I do like using the preheat settings and I have enjoyed the ones on the Ranker mod.
THE MENU SYSTEM:
5 clicks of the fire button turn the mod on and off.
3 clicks of the fire button get you into the main menu system.
Once in the main menu system, use the up and down button to scroll through your choices and use the fire button to select your choice.
In TC mode, press the down button and the fire button simultaneously in order to change your wattage. Once the wattage flashes red, you’re able to change it with the up and down buttons.
These are the basic functions of the Ranker mod. It is a very basic menu system that is simple and easy to use. My only complaint about the menu system is when you enter the main menu system, it can be kinda hard to see which choice you are actually on. I do wish that Smoant would have added some type of highlight around the boxes of your choice. That would make it much easier to see and select.
HOW DOES IT VAPE?
There are no surprises here. We’ve reviewed this chipset before and this thing vapes really well. It is very accurate in power or TC mode. Like most Smoant mods, you will get a very high quality vape at an affordable price. Power mode is very accurate and the mod seems to be doing the full 218 watts that it claims. If it’s not doing the full 218 watts, then it is very very close. In TC mode, this thing is just a beast. It is what I would consider a very good TC mod. It’s not quite up there with the DNA’s or Yihi’s of the world yet but give Smoant some more time, because every time they release a new mod, they are making strides with their TC.
WHAT WOULD MAKE IT BETTER:
*Get Rid Of That Platform
*Put The Fire Bar On The Other Side
*Why So Big
It’s just a shame that Smoant decided to go with that raised platform. I think it really limits the type of atomizer that you can use on this mod and still look good. This should have never come to market like this. I don’t know any vaper out there that likes having a platform around their 510.
The fire bar definitely belongs on the other side of the mod. We’ve gone over this already. Most of the world is right handed and I would love to see Smoant and other mod manufacturers start to recognize that.
I know Smoant was going for that pistol grip, mag sort of look but I just don’t understand why this mod has to be so big? I would like Smoant to come up with a very similar design but in a much tighter package. I just don’t think the mod needs to be this big. Like I said before, if you were going to make a mod this big, why not go with a triple battery mod or a dual battery squonker. If you did that, the mod really wouldn’t increase that much in size.
If you’re a fan of the Cylon mod but you want something in a bigger form factor, this is definitely the mod for you. It does have a substantial, hefty feel to it and it is built extremely well. I like what Smoant did with the look of the mod and I absolutely love the firing bar. The screen is fantastic and the performance is just wonderful. Even though the mod is on the big side, it’s definitely a performer. So, if you want that Smok Mag look but with a much better chipset, I say go for it. The Ranker will not disappoint you with its performance. In fact, I’m sure performance-wise, it will do nothing but wow you. This big boy is DeucesJack approved.
Smoant Ranker 218W Box Mod Price: $63.99
ABOUT THE WRITER
Deuces Jack is a well-known member of the VapingUnderground forums where he quickly became respected for his honest opinions and willingness to help other members. He is now a regular content contributor for Vaping Insider. When he’s not vaping or unboxing the latest products for review, he can be found riding motorcycles close to his home in New York.