April 2016

Head to Head DNA200 vs RX200

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By Chris Mellides

Do you remember the Tobh rebuildable dripping atomizer?

It was highly sought after for a time, with pre-order waiting lists tearing at the seams as anxious buyers waited their turn to own the version 2.5 following its announcement in 2014. Myself included.

Manufactured in the U.S. with its simple three-post design, nicely milled kidney shaped juice well cutouts with just enough airflow for a restricted lung hit, the Tobh was pretty great at the time of its release.

Even if you haven’t heard of this atty, you’ve probably heard of its creator, Jay Bo. An American modder, Jay Bo has since partnered with Chinese company Wismec in releasing hardware he designed, but that is manufactured in China to keep the cost of his products competitively low for consumers.

I won’t be discussing the Indestructible or Bambino RDAs, nor will I focus my attention on the Noisy Cricket, which are all Jay Bo-designed products that are fine in their own right. Instead, I’ll be discussing one of the most well-received mods to date: The Reuleaux.

The Reuleaux takes its name from the Reuleaux triangle, a term in geometry defining the centermost triangle created when three circles intersect. This is also what gives the mod its unique shape.

Originally fitted with Evolv’s DNA200 board, the Reuleaux was an amazing entry in the high-wattage/temperature control market and came with the asking price of $169.99.

While that may seem pricey at first glance, given their scarcity and average cost of about $80 per unit, early adopters of the DNA200 board priced their mods at $200 and above to offset the cost of Evolv’s expensive chipset in order to turn a more favorable profit.

Additionally, these early DNA200-powered mods were also limited to utilizing internal battery packs, which offered little to no user serviceability and often gave way to less than stellar battery life, particularly for users who prefer high-wattage vaping.

This is precisely why the Reuleaux DNA200 was so special. It was the first DNA200-powered device to ditch the internal battery packs and grant users the ability to use three removable 18650 batteries of their choosing wired in series, and outputting a true 200 watts of power with the three cells providing a total of 11.1 volts.

At under $200, this device quickly grew in popularity and increasingly became the obvious choice for those vapers who wanted a longer lasting DNA200 vaping experience, with the benefit of user serviceability and a price point that beat out much of the competition. Enter the Reuleaux RX200.

Utilizing a 200-watt temp control chip created by long-time e-cigarette manufacturer Joyetech Enterprises, this iteration of the Reuleaux has just about the same functionality as the DNA200 version, but comes at a much cheaper price point. Where its predecessor is priced at about $170, the Reuleaux RX200 can be purchased for about $65, and in some cases, I’ve seen it sell for a little over $40.

The physical specs are virtually identical between the sister devices. As is the build quality. Both variations make use of an OLED display, both have spring loaded 510 connections, a magnetic battery cover and USB charging capability. The devices are 84mm tall, 50mm wide and 38mm across.

The main difference here are the guts of both devices. While the DNA200 and RX200 chipsets are firmware upgradeable, and can do temp control when using nickel, stainless steel and titanium wire builds, you do get more for your money with the DNA200, but that depends largely on whether you need the extra features.

The most notable difference is Evolv’s Escribe PC software. With it you can customize just about anything you like. From adjusting display brightness, to inserting custom graphics when the device boots up, or simply substituting images or text for system prompts or custom presets.

What is particularly useful is the board’s ability to allow users the option of creating system profiles. In other words, the DNA200 allows you to save and select between eight groups of output settings.

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“Each profile contains an output power setting and a maximum temperature setting. These can be adjusted on the device, and will be saved when a different profile is selected. Additionally, the resistance lock setting and value for each atomizer is saved in the profile, which can alleviate temperature inaccuracies stemming from attaching atomizers before they have completely cooled,” according to Evolv.

While better in terms of customization, the DNA200 model isn’t without faults. The mod makes use of indentation rings inside the battery housing to ensure reverse polarity protection by allowing only the correct battery terminal to come in contact with the mod. That’s all fine and good, however, the outermost battery tends to loosen when the mod is rattled or set down with force, which prevents the device from functioning properly, unless the magnetic battery cover is removed and that battery is repositioned.

For whatever reason one of the innermost batteries is hard to remove from inside the device and each time I attempt to break it free, the battery terminal likes to tear the wrapping of the battery. This could just be an issue affecting my review product, but I’ve heard others complain about torn wraps due to the design of the indentation rings.

The RX200 model, on the other hand, has different battery terminals that provide reverse polarity protection without the need for indentation rings and thus battery wraps do not get ripped, the batteries are easier to remove and they fit securely inside the mod.

The only gripe I have with the RX200 is that from time to time when not in use and powered on, my selected wattage drops down to 20 watts, no matter what it had been set to previously. The same happened to a friend’s device, and while this occurs infrequently enough, it should be mentioned.

Additionally, there’s a delay when firing the RX200 after sitting idle that might bother some people, but at least the RX200 model can be powered on and off with five clicks of the fire button, unlike the DNA200 version.

Having used both devices, the clear winner in my book is the Reuleaux RX200. The model’s chip might not be as accurate as the Evolv DNA200, particularly with lower resistance builds operating at higher wattages, but the functionality of the Joyetech board compared to Evolv’s is strikingly similar.

In the end you’d be getting the same feel and fit as the DNA200 model, but at a significantly cheaper price point if you went with the RX200. If you’re not concerned with customization and profile settings, I think the choice is pretty clear.

*A special thanks goes to Jake Riccardi of the Long Island Vaporium in Ronkonkoma, NY for loaning me his Reuleaux DNA200 mod for the purpose of writing this article.