This is now the third Helio/Helios clone from Fasttech that I’ve reviewed. The first one was a total bust, as the adjustable airflow actually didn’t work at all. The second one had a working airflow band, but all 3 holes were exactly the same size, making it kind of pointless. This one finally has the correct airflow control and works much better – plus they have come out with alternative colored airflow bands, so you can pick whichever color you prefer. I went with the gold/brass look.
It’s important to note that this review is for this exact Helio Clone that I picked up for about $7 on Fasttech.
The Helio/Helios is your basic RDA with a couple of twists. First off it has 2 airholes on the front with an adjustable airflow ring. This is good and bad as while you can adjust the airflow, it’s only available on one side of the atty, meaning that if you run dual coils in a traditional sense, you will have one side not getting any airflow. Additionally, it has a large center post setup with 2 separate center post holes making it very easy to run dual coils.
What I DIDN’T like about the Helios Clone
First and foremost, I think the adjustable airflow is still not the greatest. I mean it pretty much works as expected on this device, however as I mentioned above, since you only have airflow on one side, it doesn’t work if you have parallel dual coils as one of them won’t be directly exposed to the air hole. To remedy this, I made a really nice double barrel build featuring both coils on the same side, which actually works brilliantly well. You can see how I did it here.
Additionally, the top cap is very loose. Now you can still easily fix this by replacing the o-ring or reinforcing the existing one with a couple wraps of floss, however it’s still an extra pain in the ass.
Probably the biggest problem of all is that this is a 23mm diameter atomizer and most mechanical mods are 22mm or less, meaning there aren’t going to be probably any mech mods that this will sit flush on. For me, that’s a big problem.
It also uses the shitty hex screws rather than normal screws which is a pain, although I am pretty much over it at this point.
What I DID like about the Helios Clone
The airflow works exactly as it’s supposed to and as long as you don’t run coils on opposing sides, it is flawless.
The overall look and feel is pretty nice for the price, plus you can have the option of choosing an accent color for the band.
The post setup is very nice. The dual center post makes it incredibly easy to set up a dual coil build and there are nice fat holes in the posts that are wide enough to easily fit 28 gauge twisted kanthal through, so they should accommodate most build types without any extra modification needed.
For as versatile as this piece is, the price is very affordable at around $7.
Who is it good for?
This is a pretty nice starter-atty. It’s super easy to build on and everything is basically a no-brainer so there’s not going to be a lot of guesswork needed to get this up and running quickly. It’s also super easy for setting up dual coils thanks to the double center post.
I personally think it makes the most sense to use it on box mods. I particularly enjoy it on my Duke. If you only run tube mods, you may have a difficult time finding anything this will sit flush on and I personally don’t think it looks good on a 22mm mod, which is likely the most common side.
Where to buy?
Do I use it?
I’ve actually been using this piece a ton since I finally set up a good build on it. It works flawlessly and hits like a champ on my Duke. I probably won’t have it in the rotation forever, but that is mostly only because I have around 20 RDAs still in my queue to be reviewed and tested, so eventually this one will probably have to take a back seat, but as far as performance and ease of use goes, this is exactly the type of atty I like.
My ideal setup
I’m running dual 28 gauge twisted kanthal coils that clock in at about .4 ohms on my Duke. I absolutely love this setup. It’s great for short, hard hits that produce a lot of hot vapor.
The Bottom Line
Quality. I don’t think there’s any question that this isn’t the greatest quality piece ever. The orings are not great, and it uses crappy hex screws on the posts. Otherwise, the overall durability seems pretty good and I haven’t had any problems with the threading at all. So it’s not the greatest ever, but I have seen a lot worse.
Performance. Like most RDAs, your performance is going to be linked directly to the quality of your wick and coil. For me, I have this rigged up exactly the way I like it, and it is probably the hardest hitting, most potent setup I have ever had so far. Now I could probably replicate this on many other atomizers so it’s not like it’s specific to the Helio, but it’s nice to know the Helios can support this kind of power and be so easy to work with.
Ease of Use. This is hands-down one of the easiest atomizers to rig up. The double center post and nice wide post holes make it a cinch to get your coil attached quickly. The airflow only takes a second to set up, and it gets fastened down by the top cap so it isn’t sliding around on you all the time. Overall this is a super easy device to work with, even in spite of the crappy hex screws.
Appearance. The appearance is probably the biggest downfall of this piece. It doesn’t look bad, and the adjustable airflow bands that are customizable do accent the piece quite nicely, but it still feels kind of clunky to me. What’s a bigger problem is that it doesn’t sit flush on pretty much any mechanical mod, which I think is actually a big problem – particularly if you primarily use 22mm mechs or thinner.
Price. At around $7, I think you get a pretty solid quality piece that is very versatile. There are many other options out there in a similar price range so it is largely subjective, but this particular piece is quite easy to work with.
Overall. I started out hating the Helios for almost a year until I finally got this model which I think actually suits me really well. I like the fact that I can build a super powerful rig quick and easy. To make it easier to decide – I think if you primarily use mech mods, you are better off with something like an IGO series atomizer that are generally going to sit flush. If you primarily run dual coils and use a box mod or 26650 mod or Panzer, then the Helios is better than the IGO-L, IGO-W, Nimbus, Patriot, etc. It’s a little more customizable and has a little bit more flair to it.
- Ease of Use