Our Eleaf Istick Pico 75 watt TC review takes an in-depth look at this compact, feature-rich mod. This upgraded version follows the success of the original istick which brought power, ease-of-use, compact size, and durability to the market at an affordable price.
This mod continues to build upon that foundation and expand affordable functionality for all levels of users. With a list of comprehensive modes and wattage range, this is one of the best vape mods in it’s price range. Let us show you why we think so.
Right out of the box, this little box mod made a positive impression on me. I’ve had the chance to review a lot of devices over the years and the unique design of the Pico made it stand out immediately.
The most noticeable difference unique to this device is the innovative design of creating a raised top battery cap which rises alongside the tank. This allows the overall height to be reduced significantly and is a very efficient use of space. This design also makes it very easy to change the battery, as the large knurled battery cap is super easy to remove in order to pop in a charged battery.
To be clear, it will effectively power almost every tank. However, there are a handful of tanks with coils that are best suited to vaping over 75W. Also, a device powered by a single 18650 battery won’t satisfy everyone’s vaping preferences. At, for example, 50W of power many will not get through a full day of vaping on a single battery. Heavy vapers looking for a new mod who will be using a tank that requires high wattage to function at its best, will likely want to invest in a dual battery mod.
The rest of the design is equally well thought out. The body has a pleasing curve on the sides which makes it very comfortable in the hand. To me this is an element of devices which is often under appreciated. For many vapers, their device is in their hand an awful lot, and having a mod that sits well and feels right in your hand is an important quality to look for. Regardless of whether you have giant mitts or tiny hands, the Pico will feel comfortable.
Getting to Know the Pico
Let’s look at what goes into the mod, and the ins-and-outs of using the device. As stated previously, it’s fairly compact. It measures only 70.5mm (2.77″) high, 45mm (1.77″) long and 23mm (0.9″) wide. The front is occupied with a micro-USB port for charging and firmware upgrades (see below for why you may want to update the firmware), an oval screen with easy-to-read white lettering against a black background, and a stylish curved fire button.
It’s powered by a single 18650 battery, which is not included. Important safety features are included, such as a 10 second cutoff (in case of accidental firing, this reduces stress on the battery), battery vent holes, as well as short circuit, low voltage, and high temperature protection.
Note: When purchasing a battery (not included), be aware that there IS a quality difference among different batteries and manufacturers. Ensure you purchase a battery from a trusted manufacturer such as Sony, Samsung, or LG for surety and safety.
Functionality By Design
On top of the the mod there is a spring-loaded center pin. This means that the pin which makes connection with your tank will “float” on a spring. This design allows the Pico to make connection with a variety of tanks seamlessly. Even if the tank’s center pin is a hair longer or shorter than another tank’s, the spring function will fill in the gap.
However, the battery cap sitting directly beside the 510 connector limits your tank options. Any tank fitted to the Pico has to measure 22mm or less in diameter. While this covers the majorty of tanks on the market, and gives you lots of great options, there are some “hot” tanks on the market that won’t pair with the Eleaf iStick Pico 75w TC.
Another area where this mod strays from the ordinary is in the wattage adjustment button placement. By placing these full-size buttons on the base of the unit, Eleaf is able to maximize space and keep the main body of the mod uncluttered. The micro-USB port, screen and fire button occupy the “front” of the device. These bottom buttons are recessed and will not get pressed accidentally when you set the mod down. It’s a smart design and clearly the product of researched innovation. Functions infrequently used are placed away from the primary interface, yet are still easily accessible.
Once in the menu the wattage +/- buttons are used to scroll through the options. When on the option you want, pressing the fire button will select. For the left handed vapers, the screen can be flipped for opposite orientation. You simply lock the device with five continuous clicks and hold down both the +/- button for two seconds.
The wattage adjustment buttons have a built in locking system. This is a very useful feature considering the buttons are on the bottom of the mod. By simply holding both the +/- buttons at the same time for two seconds, the wattage is set and locked.
Reading Between The Functions
The screen is relatively easy to read and provides plenty of information. You can see your battery life represented by an icon and the resistance of your coil in ohms. In wattage mode, you see the voltage and wattage that the mod is set to displayed. Similarly, using temperature control mode, you will see the active wattage and temperature being cranked out.
While most of the device has fairly standard functions, there are some unique details that we felt were important to discuss. Sometimes it’s the little things about a mod that really excite us, even if it’s on the simpler side. However, improvements like the Temperature Control adjustment moved to the base that remind us, vaping tech continues to evolve.
Also included is a stealth mode option which prevents the screen from lighting up when you are vaping. By pressing the fire and the (-) button at the same time for two seconds you enter stealth mode. Quickly pressing the fire button once will show you your settings, but the screen will remain dark during normal operation. To turn off steal mode, hold fire and (-) again.
The Chipset: Looking Under the Hood
Eleaf is a subsidiary of Joyetech, marketing a line of products that benefit from Joyetech’s vast experience and industry-changing innovations. At a more affordable price point, the Pico still uses Joyetech’s own proprietary chip-set. Joyetech’s chip-set is widely regarded as being one of the best on the market by vapers.
It falls minimally below much more expensive offerings from companies such as Evolv and YiHi. To compete with devices that tend to cost at least three times as much, is no small feat. Different chip-sets will have varying accuracy in how the read the installed coil and varying accuracy in how the requested power is delivered. This can result in a difference of perceived smoothness from each drag.
Comparing various mods with Joyetech chips to Evolv and YiHi chips, in this reviewer’s opinion the difference in vape quality is minimal, if noticeable at all. So what are some of the features on this chip-set? For vapers interested in using temperature control mode, the Pico allows for nickel, titanium, and stainless-steel coils to be used.
Additionally, it offers TCR (Temperature Coefficient of Resistance) mode. TCR mode allows you to use any temperature controlled material for your coil on top of the ones which are preset for the device. The average user likely won’t be delving into things such as TCR mode, but it’s nice to have the option included.
This temperature control mod has a range of vaping modes and presets. While fairly common for mods to be offered with this range of settings, it’s still impressive to find them in a mod this affordable. In addition to it’s custom presets that can be saved for “sweet spots”, the Pico 75w TC has a few important details we think are significant.
Also included is a preheat function for those with firmware V1.03 or later. The preheat feature allows you to set a specific power setting for a frame of time to preheat your coil. For example, if you are vaping at 40W but like to feel an instant hit when you press the button, you can set the preheat to fire at 50W for 0.3 seconds. In this way, rather than getting a drag that is lighter at the beginning as the coil heats up, you get an instant hit and a more consistent draw.
As it’s name suggests, the 75w TC offers a comprehensive temperature control feature. Temperature ranges of this mod are from 200-600 degrees Fahrenheit. Additionally, coil resistance for optimum coefficients in TCR mode range between 0.5 and 1.5 ohm, offering a spectrum of preferences for both lovers of big vapor and intense flavor hits.
The variable wattage or VW setting allows vapers to select their power level. Coil resistance range for VW mode starts as low as 0.1 ohm and goes up as high as 3.5 ohm. Something else you don’t see often is a VW mode that starts as low as a single watt. This mod will vape anywhere from 1w to the max 75 watts.
For RDA users there is also a bypass mode available. This mode essentially allows you to bypass the chip-set and draw power directly from the battery. Again, the average user likely won’t be using bypass mode. However, these options make this box mod a satisfying backup device for vape enthusiasts as well. It allows new users to be somewhat future-proof when making their purchase.
Is The Eleaf iStick Pico For Me?
There are a lot of different vape products on the market and with good reason, there are a lot of different types of vapers. So, how do you decide if this mod is right for you?
For many people, the biggest factor when choosing a mod is the tradeoff between size and power. Torn between the comfortable portability of a small single battery mod and the longer battery life and power output of a larger dual battery mod. With the Pico, any drawbacks or flaws are related to the fact that it is a smaller, single battery mod. Although the 75 watts of power supplied by the Pico may not be enough for some advanced vapers, it’s still enough to satisfy most needs of beginning and intermediate users.
So why choose a smaller 75 watt box mod like this one? The biggest advantages are in the size and functions of this unit. The majority of vapers, particularly those who recently quit smoking, prefer using tanks that require low-to-moderate power (say, 20-45W) for the sake of simplicity finding the sweet spot.
As such, mods like the iStick Pico 75w TC are ideally suited for people switching to vaping . Compared to the bigger hitters on the market this unit still ranks near the top for an affordable box mod with a great deal of functionality as well. Additionally, more experienced vapers looking to make an upgrade, or just a change, would still benefit from a smaller box mod like this one. As a secondary device, it can complement a larger wattage mod perfectly. The small size and full feature set, including bypass, TCR, and preheat, make it a perfect choice for your out-and-about compact box mod.
Looking at the comparative benefits and costs of the Eleaf iStick Pico 75w TC mod:
- Solid performance from a small, 75-watt mod
- Comprehensive mode selection including Temperature control, variable wattage, coil presets and custom settings
- includes preheat for fractional firing time
- Easily concealable, not an overbuilt device that attracts attention
- Plug and vape ease of use
- The elevated battery cap limits compatible tanks
- While 75 watts is fine for most vapers, some will miss their power.
Do You Recommend The Pico?
We do. Our Eleaf iStick Pico 75w TC review reveals it as a winner, plain and simple. Easily one of the best starter mods or first upgrades, it also packs all the features vape enthusiasts want in a compact mod. The Pico is stylishly presented and comfortable in the hand. There isn’t a feature that’s missing on this device, and it comes in at a very budget friendly price point.
The quality of the materials used are excellent. The device has a satisfying heft, without being heavy (think of a roll of half-dollars). With long-term experience using other Eleaf products I find the surfaces to hold up well to scratches and scuffs. making it look great even after regular use.
Overall the Pico is an attractive little device which comes in a variety of colors including black, gunmetal gray, white, pink and brushed stainless steel. The price, size and style of this device positions it well as an entry level mod. A stylish appearance makes it appealing to a wide variety of users.
Do you have this mod? Thinking of getting one? Still have questions, comments or critiques? Post a comment and let us know what you think.