I feel like Steve Martin’s character in the movie The Jerk, except I’m yelling, “The new SUBOXES are here, the new SUBOXES are here.” Or at leas that’s how I felt when I walked into my local vape shop earlier this week and shop the brand new Kangertech SUBOX Nano Starter Kit on display.
The SUBOX Nano is the second entry in Kanger’s new SUBOX line which came out back in June 2015 with the SUBOX Mini Starter Kit. Kanger is packaging new versions of its variable wattage box mod, the KBOX, with updated and color coordinated versions of the Subtank family and calling the combination the SUBOX Starter Kit.
The SUBOX Mini has been an amazing sales success for Kangertech, they’ve had trouble keeping retailers supplied, demand has been so great. Pre-orders of the Nano version have been strong too, so strong that Kangertech could only ship the pink and purple editions of the SUBOX Nano Starter Kit for a Seven Report review. The kit is also available in black.
When I reviewed the SUBOX Mini I reviewed the kit as one, and that’s how I’ll handle the Nano version. First I’ll mention a couple of the differences between the Nano and Mini SUBOX Starter Kits. Then I’ll look at the KBOX and the Subtank individually and finally come back and rate the kit as a unit. In the near future I’ll also publish a more detailed look at the differences between the two SUBOX kits to help you decide which will suit you better.
There are three major differences between the two SUBOX editions; size, colors and what comes in the box. The Nano is smaller, both the KBOX Nano and the Subtank Nano, than the Minis. The KBOX Nano is about the same height as the KBOX Mini, but it’s noticeably thinner. The Subtank Nano is 18.5 mm in diameter with a capacity of 3.0 ml. The Subtank Mini has a diameter of 22 mm and holds 4.5 ml of ejuice.
While the Mini came in black or white, the Nano is available in black, purple or pink. And the method of coloring the Subtanks differs. The Subtank Mini (and the Subtank Plus Black Edition) are colored using aqueous ceramic coating, since the stainless steel inside the tank is also colored to match the KBOX. The Subtank Nano has no color on the inside of the tank.
The size difference between the Subtanks is also the reason that the Nano does not come with Kangertech’s Mini RBA Plus deck. The Nano is just too small to accommodate it. And, again due to size considerations, the Subtank Nano employs a different adjustable airflow system.
The KBOX Nano
Kanger managed to put all of the basic features of the KBOX Mini into the slimmer housing of the KBOX Nano. It’s powered by an external 18650 battery (not included). It’s a variable wattage (VW) box mod with a range of 7 – 50 watts and it’s capable of firing coils with resistances as low as 0.3 ohm. You will not be able to get the full 50 watts of power out of the KBOX when firing coils with a resistance higher than 1.6 ohm.
The KBOX Nano has a fixed 510 connection. There are three buttons on the front of the device, the fire button and wattage increase and decrease buttons. A bright, sharp, easy to read OLED display is situated between the fire button and the increase and decrease buttons.
That display shows your battery level, volts (but it will only register the voltage when you’re firing the KBOX, otherwise it will read, “0.0V”), resistance of the attached coil and selected wattage. To flip the orientation of the display 180° you hold in both the increase and decrease buttons simultaneously. Pressing either the increase or decrease button will change the wattage in 0.1 watt increments. Hold either button in and the change will occur in full watt increments.
Kangertech includes a micro USB cable (also color coordinated) so you can charge the battery while it’s still in the mod. The USB port is near the bottom of the front of the unit, below the buttons. You can continue vaping while the KBOX is charging thanks its pass through capability.
The KBOX Nano has all of the standard safety features, such as short and open circuit protection, reverse battery and low battery power protection, temperature protection and it will stop firing if you hold the fire button in for longer than 10 seconds.
The Subtank Nano
I posted a full review of the Subtank Nano in January 2015, before it went on the market. You can read that review here. Kangertech has made a few changes to the Subtank Nano included in the SUBOX Nano Starter Kit.
The Subtank Nano has an 18.5 mm diameter and an ejuice capacity of 3.0 ml. It’s 510 threaded and has a removable Delrin drip. The tank itself is Pyrex and stainless steel.
Kangertech has given these color coordinated Subtank Nanos a new adjustable airflow system. The larger members of the Subtank family have airflow ports on two sides of the tank, but due to the Nano’s smaller size it has a single airflow port with four adjustments. There’s a stopper in the adjustment collar at each level to keep your selection in place.
The Subtank Nano comes with two organic cotton coils (OCC), one rated at 0.5 ohm and the other at 1.5 ohm. These are Kanger’s latest vertical coils which have improved ejuice ports. Kanger has etched the resistance and suggested wattage range into each coil.
What’s In The Box
- 1 X KBOX Nano unit
- 1 X Subtank Nano unit
- 1 X 0.5 ohm OCC
- 1 X 1.5 ohm OCC
- 1 X Spare Pyrex tank
- 1 X Micro USB cable
- 1 X User’s manual
Performance: Like its bigger brother the Mini, the SUBOX Nano performs well, especially as a unit. The Subtank Nano, packing those OCC coils, puts out loads of vapor with pure flavor. The cotton in those coils doesn’t interfere at all with the taste of any of the ejuices I’ve used in it. Maybe I’ve gotten spoiled, but I prefer the higher wattage allowances of the 0.5 ohm coil, though the 1.5 ohm OCC is no slouch.
The KBOX Nano is a dependable mod. It fires when you push the button. The variable wattage system is easy to operate, the buttons are solid and have an audible click when you push them in. With the KBOX able to fire coils down to 0.3 ohm you’re able to get the full range of its power with either of the included OCC coils.
Features: The KBOX Nano holds its own when it comes to features. Variable wattage from 7 to 50 watts. You can increase or decrease the wattage in 0.1 watt increments or, simply by holding in one of the adjustment buttons, in full watt increments. The OLED gives you all the information you need in a sharp, clear display. And you can flip that display 180° so it’s easy to read no matter how you hold the KBOX.
With the micro USB charging port on the front of the unit, and the included micro USB cable, you can charge the battery while it’s still in the KBOX and set it upright for overnight charging. Or you can continue vaping on it while it charges. About the only thing missing from the KBOX is the ability to lock those adjustment buttons.
The new adjustable airflow system on the Subtank Nano is one of its strongest features, with four possible selections you can dial in an extremely tight and slightly warmer vape or a wide open airy vape. Those OCC coils also provide plenty of tasty vapor, no matter what airflow setting you choose. The 3.0 ml capacity may be a little less than some vapers would like, especially if you vape at the higher end of the suggested wattage range. You can go through ejuice pretty quickly at 40 watts or so.
The only thing missing from the SUBOX Nano Starter Kit is that Mini RBA Plus deck. And you probably wouldn’t even notice it’s not there if it wasn’t included in the SUBOX Mini and the stand alone versions of the larger Subtanks.
Quality: Both the KBOX and Subtank Nano are quality pieces of equipment. The Subtank’s improved airflow system is easy to adjust, with nearly audible clicks at each setting. And the OCC coils provide some of the purest tasting vapor I’ve ever had. Kanger’s tanks seem to be prone to a little ejuice seepage, and though I’ve not had any running down the side of the KBOX Nano, I have noticed from time to time a little moisture in those airflow ports.
The KBOX Nano is, likewise, a solid, quality device. It’s smaller than the KBOX Mini, but still feels substantial in my hand. The buttons function well and are easy to reach and operate. That OLED display is sharp, clear, bright and easy to read. And it provides the pertinent information you need at a glance.
Looks: The SUBOX Nano is a stunning looking kit. The new colors, pink and purple, are bright and rich, and the black is elegantly understated. The curved lines of the back of the KBOX are sleek and make the unit fit comfortably in the palm of your hand.
Kangertech is really playing up the color coordinated thing with all of the SUBOX Starter Kits, and the pink and purple editions are going to be just what a lot of vapers have been waiting for. Kanger even includes adhesive color strips to put around your battery so the color shows through the battery vent.
The buttons on the KBOX Nano are the same color as the rest of the unit, while on the KBOX Mini the buttons were contrasting colors. I kind of prefer that contrast, but still, the Nano in total is a beautiful vaping kit.
Price/Value: Kanger’s website lists the MSRP of the SUBOX Nano Starter Kit at $73.90, which is $9 less than what they list the SUBOX Mini Starter Kit for. One of Seven Report’s suppliers, DirectVapor, has the SUBOX Nano Starter Kit available for $69.99.
If you were going to purchase these items separately, and you can’t, at least not yet as Kangertech hasn’t announced plans to do so, my guess is you’d need to spend somewhere between $75 and $100, so the MSRP isn’t bad, and the DirectVapor price is a bargain.
Keep in mind that you will need to purchase an 18650 battery as well. And those OCC coils are a little pricier than standard coils, so if this will be your first sub ohm vaping kit, prepare yourself for that. But the good news is that those OCC coils do tend to last a good deal longer.
If you’ve not used OCC coils before, be sure to fully prime them before using them, especially when they’re brand new. Place a couple of drops of ejuice directly into the center of the coil and a drop on the cotton that’s visible through the ejuice ports on the sides of the coil, then fill the tank and allow the coil to soak for a minute or two. And never run the tank with the ejuice level below those ports. If you dry fire these coils the cotton will burn up and ruin the coil.
With all of the features of the SUBOX Nano Starter Kit, the quality of the build, variable wattage, those superior OCC coils and the color selection, I fully recommend it. Now, if you have your heart set on getting into rebuilding coils the SUBOX Mini Starter Kit, with its Mini RBA Plus deck may be a better fit. But if rebuilding doesn’t interest you, go for the Nano.
I tested the Kangertech SUBOX Nano Starter Kit with a variety of ejuices. Kangertech provided the Purple Edition and Pink Edition SUBOX Nano Starter Kits for the purpose of this review.
Order the Kangertech SUBOX Nano from DirectVapor for $63.95.