I just don’t see how anybody can go wrong by picking themselves up a Gaia mod. It is built extremely well and the chipset is phenomenal. It does excellent TC even if it is a little on the hot side and in wattage mode, it can ramp up even the biggest coils very quickly. Smoant claims that the chip is 95% efficient and I have to say that I believe them because I get very good battery life on this mod.
The Gaia has a really nice form factor and it is easy to use with a very simple menu system. Most of your 25 mm atomizers will look great on it. It has one of the best battery doors I have ever seen with super strong magnets. For a dual 18650 mod, it is also very pocketable because it is on the slim side. This one is definitely DeucesJack approved. If you are a TC vaper or if you like to vape big flat wire builds, you definitely want to check out the Gaia by Smoant. It does awesome TC and it can ramp up those big builds up in no time. There really is nothing groundbreaking or fancy about this mod and that is part of its allure. It’s just a workhorse of a mod, that performs extremely well. If that’s the type of mod you’re looking for, then this is definitely your ticket.
First Impression Out Of The Box
Ok, this one is a little different as far as packaging goes. It’s not your typical Smoant packaging. The Gaia comes in a silver, jewelry-type box. As soon as you take the top cover off the box, you will see your mod in a foam insert and right below it, there is another silver box with a really nice quality USB cable. I like the fact that it’s not one of those short USB cables. This one actually has some length to it.
As soon as you put the Gaia in your hand, you can feel the quality heft that it has. It just has an extremely solid feel and it has that short stout look to it. That kind of form factor is always very comfortable when you are carrying a mod. Even without the batteries installed, it’s got some nice weight to it. The funny thing is, this may be one of the strongest battery doors I ever used. When I did go to open up the battery door to put the batteries in, you actually have to put some real pressure on it to get it open. That’s surprising, since this is a magnetic battery door. Time to load it up with two 18650’s and see how it performs.
What’s In The Box
From Top To Bottom
The 510 on the Gaia is really nice and probably one of the nicest 510’s I have ever seen on a Smoant mod, and I have most of them. It has a platform with a kind of ring around it that protrudes a little bit from the sides of the mod itself. The platform has a star or sun type of symbol on it that is etched into the plate that covers the 510 connection. The threading on the 510 is extremely smooth and I have had no issues with any atomizers sitting flush on the mod. The 510 pin is spring-loaded and gold-plated. It has a medium sort of spring to it with a long throw. The Gaia will hold a 25 mm atomizer with no overhang.
With the screen facing you, on the right side of the mod, there is some Gaia branding as well as some beautiful etching. The etching has what looks like a goddess and all kinds of swirly things around her. It looks to be framed with etchings of some sort of plant or vine material. It has a very paisley look to it. I’m probably not doing a very good job of describing it. When you look at the pictures, you’ll understand what I’m talking about. It’s actually a beautiful etching and it does give the mod some texture when you are gripping it.
The left side of the mod is where the battery door is located. There is also some Gaia branding with a very similar etching frame. There are words right underneath the Gaia branding and while I really can’t make it out too well, I’m sure it goes into explaining exactly what the word Gaia means. It does have an ancient look to it, it kind of looks like something that you would see chiseled onto a tablet. If that’s the kind of look they were going for, then Smoant actually nailed it.
For the purposes of being thorough, I did look up the word Gaia and I found this definition in the Oxford Dictionary:
“The Earth personified as a goddess, daughter of Chaos. She was the mother and wife of Uranus (Heaven); their offspring included the Titans and the Cyclops. The earth viewed as a vast self-regulating organism.”
I’m really not too sure what all of that has to do with vaping but it is kind of cool. Definitely better than some of the silly names that we’ve seen on other mods. At least this name has some sort of meaning to it.
Located on the bottom of the battery door, you will find a little cut out that allows you to get a fingernail in there, in order to open the battery door. This battery door has extremely strong magnets, so make sure that you actually get a good grip when you are pulling it off. It has some of the strongest magnet I have ever seen on a battery door. Once you get the battery door off, on the inside of the battery door, you will see a full color picture of the goddess that is located on the right side of the exterior of the mod. You will also see two very strong magnets that coincide with two magnets on the battery tray. There is also a third magnet in the upper right hand corner that coincides with a magnet on the battery tray as well.
The battery tray looks like it is held in place by four Phillips head screws. The tray is very clean and it does have a battery strap. The battery orientation marking is clear and all of the battery contacts are gold plated. The bottom contacts are spring loaded and the top contacts are button style. Overall, it’s an extremely clean and well done battery compartment. I have experienced no battery rattle at all with this mod. When you do reinstall the battery door, it leaves you with an extremely satisfying and confidence inspiring click.
On the front side of a mod is where your fire button, screen, plus/minus buttons, and USB port are located. I really like the feel and function of the fire button. It is circular in shape and it has a very tactile feel to it. It is just about the right size for the mod and it works extremely well. The Gaia fires as soon as you hit that button. This thing fires hard and it fires fast.
Below the fire button is where you will find the .96 inch OLED screen. On the screen, it will display your battery life, mode, wattage, resistance, and voltage. It’s a nice screen and it is very bright. Nothing groundbreaking, it’s like many of the screens that we have all seen before. I have had no issues viewing in outdoor conditions when in direct sunlight. It is definitely one of the brighter screens that you will see when compared to other dual battery mods. One really nice feature on this mod is that you can reverse the colors of the screen by holding the plus and fire button while in power mode. So, even if you do have trouble reading it in direct sunlight, once you reverse the colors, it is much easier to read in those conditions.
Underneath the screen is where the plus and minus buttons are located. This is a rocker-style button with the plus button on top and the minus button on the bottom. The button has a good feel to it and it is as tactile as the fire button. The plus/minus button is shaped like a stretched out oval. There are circles on each end of the oval that almost make it feel like there are two separate buttons. Below the plus and minus buttons, we have the USB port. This mod is firmware upgradeable and it charges internally at the rate of 2 amps.
On the bottom of the mod, there is some Smoant and Gaia branding as well as plenty of ventilation for the board and batteries. The mod is actually done in the same exact finish all over the mod, so there is no contrasting at all but the engraving and etching do a great job of breaking it up. Because of the engraving and the etching the mod does not look like one big chunk of silver metal.
The Look, Feel, And General Aesthetics Of The Mod
From the moment I opened the box, I really did like the look of the Gaia mod. It has a simple kind of understated look, yet when you look closely enough, you can see the detail of the etchings and the engravings. That’s really kind of cool and you really do not see a lot of mods on the market today that you can actually say that about. The etchings are very subtle but at the same time extremely detailed. It is indeed a unique looking mod and it may not appeal to everyone.
This mod feels very solid in your hand. It has that quality heft to it that makes a positive statement that you are not holding some cheap piece of plastic in your hand. The edges are smooth and rounded off to give it a nice contour and a great fit when you are holding it. All the buttons are very well placed and so far, I have had no button rattle at all. It just feels like a solid piece when you are holding it. It may be a little too heavy for some but I would rather it be heavy so I have that quality feel as opposed to being very light and feeling cheap. I absolutely love the color version of the Goddess inside the battery door. It’s something different and it’s nice to see companies making use of that space for something beautiful, instead of just having a blank battery door on the inside.
The Gaia uses Smoant’s proprietary Ant 200 board. The mod takes two 18650 batteries and it will fire down as low as .05 ohms. It is capable of 1 to 200 watts and it has a temperature control range of 200 to 600 degrees Fahrenheit. It supports Ni, Ti, and SS in temperature control mode. It also has a TCR function with three memory slots and many protections built into the chip. Some of the protections include low resistance, overheat, reverse polarity, and overtime protection.
The Menu System
The menu system on the Gaia is pretty straightforward and simple. I’ll go over it in bullet form here.
- Click the fire button 5 times to turn the mod on and off.
- Click the fire button 3 times to enter the main menu screen.
- Once in the main menu screen, use the plus and minus button to scroll through your choices.
- Once you land on the selected choice, click the fire button to enter that Sub Menu.
- In TC mode, press the fire button and the plus button together in order to adjust your wattage.
- Hold all 3 buttons to lock the mod.
- In Power mode, hold the fire button and the plus button in order to reverse the colors of the screen.
How Does It Vape?
One of the most impressive things about the Gaia mod is the fact that it fires immediately. There is basically no delay and it will ramp up even the biggest coils pretty quickly. Another thing about this mod is that I do think it runs a little bit on the hot side. That’s okay, it probably has to do that in order to get the ramp up times that it gets, on some of the bigger coils that you will run on a mod like this. I believe in wattage mode it’s probably about 5 to 10 watts hotter than it should be. I also believe in TC mode that it’s running about 10 to 15 degrees hotter than a typical DNA mod. In TC mode, I normally vape at around 500 degrees on my DNA mods. When I vape in TC mode on the Gaia, I feel much more comfortable around 485 Fahrenheit.
As I do with most new boards that I get in my rotation, I did run the Gaia next to my DNA mods. I do this because the DNA chipset is the most accurate mod on the market today as far as wattage and temperature control go. What I like to do is, I like to run a new board next to the DNA mods and compare the vape experience that I get. I also use the DNA mods as a template to see if I am getting the maximum wattage and good TC out of the mod I am testing.
The first thing I wanted to see is if the Gaia actually does 200 watts. I used my Smok TFV12 Cloud Beast King tank with a coil that is capable of more than 200 watts. I put that tank on my triple battery DNA mod and I got a very hot vape. I put the same exact tank on the Gaia mod and I have to say that the heat of the vape was really close. It was not quite as hot as the vape I got off of the triple battery DNA mod but it was right up there. I’m really impressed that a 2-battery mod was able to vape this coil and get that coil that hot. I would have to conclude that if the Gaia is not doing the full 200 watts, it’s coming extremely close at around 190 or 195 watts. That’s close enough for me considering I never vape at those wattages anyway. Let’s just call it accurate.
Next, I vaped the Gaia side by side with the DNA mod in temperature control mode. My normal TC range is around 85 watts and 500 Degrees. That’s what I build most of my tanks and RDA’s for and that’s just the way that I like to vape. I used my Aromamizer Supreme V2. I had two stainless steel framed aliens in their ohming out at .17 ohms. These coils are kind of beefy with a lot of wire in them, so I wanted to see how the Gaia would handle ramping them up. Again, nothing but impressed with the ramp up time of the Gaia when I threw these coils at it. It actually seemed to ramp up faster than my DNA mod. The vape wasn’t quite as smooth but it was right there with the DNA. Most vapers would not be able to tell the difference. I didn’t experience any dry hits when I chain vaped it on an RDA and I have to say that this may be some of the best TC that Smoant has ever produced. Very impressive!
What Would Make It Better
- Fine Tune Accuracy
This is a very picky con. I’ll tell you right now that it’s nowhere near a deal breaker. This is an extremely competent chip that does very good TC and it hits hard in power mode. Just for the sake of accuracy, I would like to see a more accurate chip. It’s something that can easily be remedied with a firmware update. So, I’m not going to hit Smoant too hard on this one but there is something to be said for chips that are highly accurate and if you want to be a major player in the TC market, you have to have accuracy.
- Dual 18650 High-Amp Battery – Not Included
- Wattage Output Range: 1-200W
- Minimum Atomizer Resistance: 0.05ohm
- Temperature Range: 200-600F
- Versatile Temperature Control Module
- Supports Ni200 Nickel, Titanium, and Stainless Steel Heating Elements
- Temperature Coefficient of Relativity (TCR) Adjustments
- Three Memory Mode
- Intuitive Large 0.96 Inch OLED Display
- Oversized Firing Mechanism
- Ergonomic Adjustment Buttons
- Low Resistance Protection
- Over-time Protection
- Reverse Polarity Protection
- Overheating Protection
- Micro USB Port
- GAIA Paisley & Scripts Engravings
- 510 Connection
- Quality 510
- 25 mm Atomizers With No Overhang
- Beautifully Etched And Engraved
- Great Battery Door
- Good Battery Life
- Excellent TC
- Strong Power Mode
- Nice Buttons
- Fires Fast And Hard
- Subtle Branding
- Nice Texture And Weight
- Bright Screen
- Accurately Rated
- Efficient Chipset
- Workhorse Of A Mod
- Look May Not Appeal To Everyone
- Runs A Little Hot In TC And Power Mode