The sequel is always better than the original right?
Sequels are funny things aren’t they? No matter what you buy in life, you always expect to upgrade, get better and to get the most bang for your buck as they say. You buy a brand new 60 inch 4K TV because you expect it to be better than your 20 year old tv that feels like it is a relic from the past. You buy the next phone for the better specs inside and loads of bonus features on the camera. Even a can of Coke that is new and improved you expect to be even nicer than the first, it is human instinct to think like that. Especially with time between products, all that time researching and developing a new product, you expect it to blow the next one out the water right? It is funny as it applies to products but when it comes to media, we feel the opposite. Jaws 2 was not a patch on the original, Back to the Future 2 lost its magic from the first. Even the most underappreciated gem Ghostbusters 2 (ok, well at least I enjoyed it) was a flawed sequel that took what made the first one great and kinda lost it in development. So it is funny to see how our expectations of sequels vary depending on the context of where they are. For all the time and money that does go into products, everything has to be better than the first.
It applies to the vaping industry as well more so than most other things. Companies often bring out sequels to their products and you expect them to be such an improvement that it makes you go out and spend your money. The Drag 2 was a notable improvement on the original as it was refined to create an even better device. The Aspire Triton 2 way back in 2015 was a massive improvement on the first, fixing all its issues to create a decent tank to use. Even in the Smok family of products, each new Mag mod is better than the first, the Mag P3 brings shockproof and waterproof to the table which was a huge improvement on the great but ultimately shoddy quality of the original. So have you ever thought about when vaping sequels don’t go to plan? In a market that demands better and better on every release to stand out from the crowd, have you ever encountered something that has gone backwards? We at Drip Hacks wanted to take a look at these products and see when Vaping Sequels are worse than the originals.
Uwell Crown 2
Back in 2015, the sub ohm market was new, exciting and most importantly different to anything else that had come before it. Starting with the Atlantis back in 2014, we started seeing sub ohm tanks come out that aimed to be better than the next. We had the birth of the legendary Kangatech sub box / sub tank that was a staple at the time for many vapers. Smok entered the sub ohm market unsurprisingly with the T4 with 4 coils instead of 1, just trying to massively up the ante from 0-100 within a few months to mixed success. It was what released that summer however which was the most impressive, the Uwell Crown. It was a new company that brought a sub ohm tank that just felt…better. The manufacturing quality was the best on the market, the flavour from the coils was great and they even delved into temperature control which was fairly new at the time. It had top fill which was again, a rarity at the time, fantastic airflow and it remained popular for years. When you look at where Uwell are now with the Nunchaku, Crown 4 and even Valyrian, they are one of the best companies in the market for sub ohm vaping.
However the Crown 2, almost cost them everything. When it released the following year, the Crown 2 was off the back of a Rafael tank which was a complete disaster for them after they used a bullet shaped coil design. However the Crown 2 took this to a new level despite its promise. It brought better airflow, removed spit-back from the coils, easier top fill design and slightly larger capacity with coils that offered various ways to vape. It looked like Uwell had a sure winner on their hands but they had overlooked one minor thing, the coils just didn’t perform. After its release, vapers took to their droves to complain about coil performance and lifespan, they just didn’t match up to the originals quality. People even resorted to poking holes into their cotton just to get them to wick evenly to prevent dry hits. The tank was a complete disaster for the company and many vapers lost faith with Uwell following this.
They did come back and the Crown 3 tank finally matched and improved the originals quality, an example for a good trilogy product but as a sequel, the Crown 2 was just so disappointing for vapers everywhere.
Aspire Cleito Pro
For many vapers, the Cleito was a staple of their vaping set ups for its sheer quality at the time. We were still evolving through the sub ohm market at this point with Smok leading the way with the bigger and bigger coils. The TFV8 was a great tank for them but it needed 150 watts to get the best out of it which even now is a ridiculous way to regularly vape. Throughout this time, Aspire had quietly gone about their business and were still one of the best tank manufacturers out there. The Atlantis v2 was still very popular tank and the Triton 2 was still there, albeit in the shadow of the former. 2016 was an important year for Aspire in all honesty, the release of the Nautilus 2 earlier in the year was finally the follow up to the dominant original, certainly a contender for one of the best sequels of all time! It was what released summer 2016 however that really blew the market away, the Aspire Cleito. The tank threw what we knew sub ohm vaping to be onto its side and overnight it became one of the best tanks on the market for the next 2 years. Bringing vertical coils that doubled up as the chimney of the device it was like nothing anyone had seen before. Flavour was out of this world for its time and the low power compared to others made it a very good mod for conserving battery life whilst enjoying tons of vapour. Soon after the Cleito 120 was released, turning the wattage up to 120w and the Cleito became almost unbeatable in the market.
So how does one of the most popular tanks get onto this list? It came 2 years later in the form of the sequel, the Aspire Cleito Pro. Aspire completely changed the Cleito design and added features such as a removable top part of the tank for refilling, better airflow and a whole new look. It had to be a winner right? The better version of one of the best, what could go wrong? Aspire had 2 major issues when it came to the Cleito Pro that ultimately killed off the Cleito for good, one minor and the other major. In terms of the minor issue, the coils it came with were brand new meshed coils which were better for flavour at the time. However the design came compatible with the old style of coils which made the pro almost a pointless release of sorts. The original was much better in design with larger capacity so anyone using the old style coils were wasting the potential of the new tank. On top of that, the major issue the tank had was the juice consumption was incredibly high with the mesh coils. Given the economic value the original Cleito gave you, the pro drank your liquid at such a fast rate you were constantly having to fill the thing up. At only 3 mil capacity as standard, it was such a poorly thought out idea that from that point on, the Cleito franchise died. They released a 120 pro as well but it had similar issues and ultimately didn’t sell very well.
Aspire are now known for their pods rather than their sub ohm tanks, but you have to ask where they could have been if they had really focused on a better follow up to the original?
Sigelei Mfeng UX
Ahh Sigelei, how the mighty fall. If you go back to the very beginnings of vaping, Sigelei were one of the leading mod brands on the market. Their mods were absolutely fantastic quality and arguably over the last 10 years, they were the most sought after brands. Each and every release they had was absolutely fantastic, simple yet worked really well and so many vapers entered the market at the time sub ohming on either an Eleaf or a Sigelei mod. Along side it you had a different brand with a whole detailed history of its own, Snow wolf. Snow wolf were at the time, one of the premium brands in vaping when it came to mods. I remember always wanting one when I was still quite a novice and their products were costing well over 100 pounds brand new, with many vapers coveting them like people do now with a DNA type mod such as Lost Vape’s range. So after Sigelei bought full control over Snow Wolf (different companies used the brand prior to that), two of the best mod makers in the business had joined forces and it looked like they would be unstoppable. Fast forward to 2018 and their release of the Sigelei Snow Wolf Mfeng looked to be the start of them climbing back up the mountain again. The device had a protruding gold wolf design on the back and its jet black colour matched with this made the Mfeng a beautiful looking device. In terms of performance, it was standard quality inside, limited options and nothing too spectacular but the mod was fine. It worked well and the build quality was good so many people were satisfied with the device. The Wolf tank they packaged with it was nowhere near as good but it was at a time when the Mesh Pro and the Falcon dominated so nobody really needed to use the Wolf tank anyway.
So what was wrong with the UX? The follow up to the original Mfeng removed the protruding wolf design into a simple design on the cover which was an issue for some vapers previously and a whole year without a mod meant Sigelei had plenty of time to really improve the Mfeng and make it one desirable as they once were in yesteryears. However the UX biggest issue? It was the same device released but still at full price. The screen was worse than before with next to no information, they removed the battery ribbon from the original and even the striking colour schemes morphed into something much blander. The chip inside was average, no improvements there and the tank was almost a rehashed version of the previous poor coil designs that were an issue before. Even the little nooks and crannies, the side fire bar and little notches were the same, it was an identical kit that somehow was worse than before. It lost its magic of the wolf and what the end result ended up being was a forgettable device at a time when Sigelei really needed to be competing with the likes of Voopoo and Smok.
One of the worst for simply reselling you the same device a year apart, the Mfeng UX has all the eggs in one basket for Sigelei and unfortunately for them it was a massive failure with vapers.
We have only looked at a few of the potential candidates that could make the worst sequel list but I am sure there are plenty out there. The problem with these products however was not the fact they were terrible products because that would be wide of the mark. However they simply did not live up to the billing that their predecessors set, they never built on the level before and try to better it. Ultimately as customers, all we ever want is for the next one to be better than before so these products were extremely wide of that mark. I am sure there were plenty of vapers who did buy these products and enjoy them as much as people loved the ones before but the fact is, they just were poor follow ups.
Why not tell us what you thought of this list. Were you a fan of these products? Or do you have any suggestions on what should be on this list. Why not let us know in the comments below.