High end Mods are a little on the crazy side in the vaping community. In most cases they are no different than many of the mods you can buy at your local shop, they just have nicer materials, finishes and shapes. But on the inside, they are the exact same microchips as mods that cost much much less and function exactly the same. It’s weird and rather unique, if you buy a high end car for example it not only has better design, materials, it outperforms the everyday shitbox, it’s a completely different world (Hyundai vs. Ferrari). So why do we all die to get our hands on these overpriced mods, I guess it’s all about the street cred and looks.
If you had to judge the DNA 200 mod market as a whole, the Hobo Customs Hobo-X is the top dog hands down. It’s one sexy mod, super clean, beautiful material finishes, and an awesome compact size. We don’t need to discuss the functions as it’s the rock solid Evolve DNA 200 Chipset. We should mention that this mod is the best on the market for proper configuration and presets. It’s very clear the time was taken to set up everything right and even include a ton of wire presets to get you rockin in temp mode.
It’s a great mod- it feels great in the hand, it functions as it should, the problem is that it’s ridiculously hard to get. We had to scour Facebook for a solid 2 months on a daily (if not hourly) basis to get on a list to get one (it started to feel like an addiction.) We then had to wait to pay, and then wait to get it shipped, and be happy with whatever colour and wood they decided to send us (meanwhile Hobo posts incredible shots of rare and colourful wood blocks that get your imagination flowing). It’s all ridiculous and for those of us not in the US it can quickly become very costly with shipping and currency exchange.
So, you are left with a mod that cost you a lot, and you didn’t get to pick- sound good?
If yes, than you are going to love the high end marketplace. Again, let’s think about how this would play out if you were buying a high end car: beautiful building, beautiful people, colour swatches, leather swatches, test drives, yeah… there is none of that. Instead when you finally get your mod you have to hope your imagined mod and your actual mod are the same or similar to what you had hoped for.
There are many things these mod makers could do to improve their process to increase customer service, production performance, and quality control that would increase not only profits but customer satisfaction as well. But alas there seems to be this crazy culture of scarcity or rarity that makes vapers line up in droves to overpay for these mods. Let’s be fair here though, the Hobo is reasonably priced compared to some, and especially if you reside in the USA (basically $150 more than a standard/mass produced DNA 200 mod.)
The Hobo-X we received is rather plain in comparison to all of the beautiful unique pictures Hobo posts. The wood is decent on one side, having interesting grain and the other side not so much. There are some pock marks (as to be expected with a wood box), but they seem to have been filled with a resin rather hastily. The metal cover or battery door on the back had some scrapes and scratches from manufacturing and assembly that are just bad enough to piss you off. Laser etching or engraved logos of the companies that ran the list (think of it like a lottery) where you won the spot to buy it are messy. This is mostly likely the fault of the logo design file and size of etching but a call should have been made (refine or don’t do it).
The 510, while unique in shape and design is not spring loaded and requires that you pull out a flat head screwdriver every time you change to a different atty (we find this annoying). It also isn’t flush on ours (slight vertical movement in it actually) and so all our attys tilt slightly towards the back of the mod. Here’s the thing- if you really love the look of this mod and want to pay a lot of money for it, and take a chance on the colour and type of wood you get, go for it. For us we love the design, and wood mods feel very nice in the hand and there is no more worrying about fingerprints (if anything, the hand grease adds colour and beauty to the wood). But to have the choice of the colour and wood, and it be absolutely perfect (no scratches or noticeable blemishes) would have been nice.
In the end, spend your money on a couple of the latest mid ranged mods, enjoy them, don’t worry when they show wear, and be able to drop cash on the next big advancement without even thinking about it. There are aluminium Hobo-Xs (in a bunch of colours) for $200, buy one of those if and when they get them up on their site. Hopefully there isn’t a new version of the chipset before they do (it’s been months!). Hobo is a great company run by a awesome fella, it’s too bad they can’t capitalize more on all the love for their awesome products.
Update: After living with the HoboX for almost 3 months, we have to say, we love our hobo! It’s hard to get, crazy expensive, not perfect, but there is just something about this mod. The design, materials and hand feel make this a mod you will keep for ever. So maybe it’s worth it in the end. Also we have change our review criteria and system to give a more accurate picture with all our reviews moving forward (it bumped up our original score from a 7 to an 8.1).
- Aesthetics - 9.5/109.5/10
- Hand Feel - 9.5/109.5/10
- Fit & Finish - 8/108/10
- Materials - 9/109/10
- Chipset - 9.5/109.5/10
- Features - 9.5/109.5/10
- Battery Life - 6/106/10
- Size/Weight - 9.5/109.5/10
- 510 Connection - 6.5/106.5/10
- Button Feel - 9.5/109.5/10
- Screen - 9/109/10
- Durability - 6/106/10
- Value - 5/105/10
- Design, the Cleanest DNA200 Mod there is!
- Stabilized Wood and Hybrid Wood optional finishes (as well as Aluminum & Ultem)
- Comfortable, Solid Hand Feel
- Compact Size (3.75"H x 1.8"W x 1"D)
- Beautiful Titanium Buttons
- Software(Escribe) Presets all setup right (Battery Curve, Watt Hours, Mod Resistance)
- Tons of Preset Wire Profiles (Nickel & SweetSpot Titanium)
- Decent Battery life
- 1 AMP Charging, Full Charge 1.5-2hrs
- DNA200 Chipset
- Adjustable 510 (not Spring Loaded)
- Attys sit on a slight angle
- Sharp Edges on Battery Door
- No Colour Selection (Random)
- Hard to get, premium price without a premium buying experience
- 900 mAh Battery (1300 mAh is the market average, an upgrade program may launch)
- Lazer Etching a little messy (if you get one from a branded list)
- Manufacturing Wear & Tear (Minor scratches on Battery Door is common, touchups to wood a little sloppy)
- Wood came a little untreated.. darkened and looks better with 2-3 weeks of use