Gaur-21 by Vandy Vape & SMM
Review by Jen_Turista
Vandy Vape Guar-21 Mod: Beefy and Powerful!
Yup, you got it, another hardware review from yours truly!
We have today the Gaur-21 Mod made by Vandy Vape in collaboration with Matt from Suck My Mod (SMM). As with my most recent hardware review, this mod has been in circulation for several months already and has gathered praise within the vaping community for its simplicity and performance. With the mod being not-so-brand-new, presumably, your favourite retailer may have this in stock, or you might have eyed this mod with curiosity at your local vape shop. My hope is that this review will inform you more about the device that caught your eye, tell you how it vapes, and help you answer the question we vapers ask ourselves each payday: is it worth investing our hard-earned cash in this mod?
This mod was sent to me for review purposes from Fasttech.com. Fasttech stock a massive amount of vaping gear and supplies, even random spares you might need to make your kit whole again! So, do check them out for your vaping needs! Most ship for free or at low cost too.
Vandy Vape is one of the bigger vape manufacturers in the world. Personally, I encounter them more for re-buildables like RTAs, and are arguably one of my favourite mainstream makers of RTAs. Not only that, but I also highly rated the Vandy Vape Plus V2 which I reviewed here on thevapereviews.com a few months ago! Safe to say, I had high expectations as I set about reviewing this mod.
Packaging and Contents
I was sent the retail version of the Vandy Vape Gaur-21 Mod packaging that contained:
- The mod, which operates using dual batteries and can run on 18650, 20700 or 21700 cells.
- 2 x 18650 adaptors.
- An instruction manual.
- A USB-C charging cable.
- A few other bits of paperwork for the warranty.
- Interestingly, the version I received did not come with a manual for the Vandy Vape App, but a little bit more on that later.
Salient Features include:
- Goes from 5W to 200W in power.
- Measures about 97 mm x 30 mm x 59 mm. But roughly, I think a 28 mm atty would be the most I’d use on this mod because I’m a little OCD with overhangs!
- It is quite light for a dual 21700 mod, and indeed for a dual battery mod in general.
- Has the Vandy Vape chipset, which is housed in a waterproof PCBA.
- Different output modes include power, voltage, bypass, TC for Ni200, Ti, and SS.
- Bright, coloured, crisp screen again from Vandy Vape. For me, their UI along with Lost Vape’s newer devices are the best in class from the market right now.
- Has a USB-C port for charging and firmware upgrade (highly recommend you use an external charger though!)
Impressions and Experience
The box that I received was simple and straightforward. An illustration of the device is on top, with information about the device, features, box contents, etc. adorn the other panels of the box. Branding, although very obvious, is not very in your face. Even SMM’s small logo appears just on 2 sides of the box. Those who have read my past reviews will know how much I like subtlety in branding. Hence, so far, so good!
The kit contents, hardware-wise, are about what I expected this mod to come with.
The Gaur-21 mod is made of reinforced fibreglass, which makes it very lightweight. It weighs almost nothing without the batteries in, a feature that is surely a plus in my book. Additionally, for a dual 21700 mod, although it is quite large in size, it fits just right for my tiny hands! I have dual 18650 mods that are bigger and heavier than the Gaur-21. So, for its size and weight, I am already quite impressed!
The rest of the C-frame mod is made of mainly a couple of plastic panels that tastefully resemble resin, plus a leather-like material that is really quite comfortable to handle. In fact, when I saw pictures of the mod online, I was expecting to have more like a plasticky mod experience (if that makes sense). So, I was pleasantly surprised that the actual product is so much better than the photos!
One of the things I love about the mod exterior is the minimal branding around it. You’ll only see the words “Vandy Vape” and “Suck My Mod” at the bottom along with the battery vent holes. Despite this though, there is no mistaking that this is a Vandy Vape product. Now, some people actually like loud and bright branding but I am not one of those people. Hence, I say well done again to the mod manufacturer and designer!
The 510 plate is screwed onto the mod securely. It has a gold-plated centre pin that is also spring-loaded, which I’ve found to be able to accommodate all the atomisers I tried on it.
The mod door slides off and on into place via grooves that match between the mod chassis and door and are supported by strong magnets. Testing the mod with 2 x 18650s with the provided adaptors and 2 x 21700s, I could not hear or feel any play or looseness. Battery orientation is very clearly marked with big symbols in the mod. Although there is no built-in battery ribbon, getting the batteries out was perfectly easy without endangering my wraps. Installing the batteries was also a hassle-free experience. These might be small things but to me, these tell me that the mod’s creators brought some care and thought into the design. Call it baggage, but I have some mods wherein it’s always a gamble with wraps every time I remove my batteries. Suffice to say, I am very happy with these attributes of the mod!
I should mention here that the battery door only goes into the mod one way. So, if at any point you are having a little difficulty placing the door back securely, check the orientation of your battery door as that may be the issue!
As mentioned earlier, the screen and software UI is something that I love about Vandy Vape mods of late. The display is clear, crisp, with adjustable screen brightness I don’t even use this mod at full brightness even when it’s a sunny day outside. That’s how good it is!
The screen shows the usual vaping information like battery life remaining, mode, wattage/temperature (depending on the mode chosen), ohm load, voltage, and a puff timer and counter. There are a few things you will be able to customise with this chipset like the UI colour, time to hibernate, or even reset your device. Atop the screen is the fire button which is very clicky and is a little concave (another nod for ergonomics right there!). The adjustment buttons and USB-C port are below the screen, with these buttons having a little less travel than the fire button. For the latter point, I think this is actually good because I wouldn’t want my mod to fire at the slightest push or touch for lots of different reasons (safety, to name one), which means its travel shouldn’t be too shallow.
Accessing the menu involves pushing down both adjustment buttons at the same time. Changing the mod’s mode can be done by clicking the fire button three times, with the + and – buttons used to navigate through the different options. Here’s where you’ll need to remember that Vandy Vape doesn’t “turn on” all of the mod’s modes by default. You’ll need to do it manually by accessing the mod’s settings in the menu.
Now, let’s talk about the all-important performance. My word, it performs extremely well! It fires quick and hard, with the fire button being very responsive to what you’d want it to do. In power mode, which is my preference, the wattage is adjusted in 1-watt increments and I can feel each wattage adjustment I make.
The battery usage/drain of the mod seems to be balanced as well with both batteries draining at almost the same rate. Using 2 x 21700 batteries with the way I vape; I didn’t need to charge my cells for almost 2 days. Talk about being economical with power!
B. The Vandy Vape App (or lack thereof)
This is where I was a little letdown. I did a little research online as I wrote my review, and it does seem that the Gaur-21 Mod should come with the APP option in the menu that would have allowed me to pair the mod with my phone and use the Vandy Vape App. Unfortunately, the version I received did not have this (and that explains why the box didn’t contain user instructions for the app). Certainly, it’s something a firmware upgrade can fix, and I will probably get around to doing that at some point. But as it stands, not having the app is not a deal-breaker for me. Truth be told, if I were an iOS user (which I am not) then I wouldn’t even think of using the app anyway.
However, if you are looking for a short run-down of what the app is all about and what you can do with it- have a look at my Vandy Vape Pulse V2 review where I gave a description of these.
Overall: Yay or Nay?
For what it is, it is probably one of the best mainstream dual 21700 mods you can get out there. Hence, another Yay from me! The performance is great and about what I expected from a Vandy Vape mod. The mod aesthetics and ergonomics are very well thought-out and implemented. Even though a little weighty with 2 x 21700 cells inside, it is still relatively lightweight versus its main competitors in the market.
I really thought well and hard to come up with major cons/downsides to this mod, but there is nothing really that stands out for me. However, some vapers may find the size a little too big and would just prefer to stick to dual 18650 mods. This is why I would think this mod is aimed at high wattage vapers or those who just prefer the battery life that two 21700 cells can provide.
This mod is amazingly comfortable to use, I will definitely continue vaping with it, especially with higher wattage atomisers (I think MTL with this mod is a bit of an overkill!). All in all, another quality product from Vandy Vape!