Honest review time: The iStick Amnis with GS Drive from Eleaf

Here’s a look at a new kit sent over from Eleaf. Following on the recent trend of low power, high resistance mouth to lung vaping thanks to salt based nicotine Eleaf has released yet another new kit to tackle this growing trend in the industry. However unlike most of the others that I’ve seen this kit could actually be considered a subohm kit thanks to the two coils it includes but is still meant for high nicotine mouth to lung vaping. Another popular trend of late has been the mesh coil but as of yet the two have never crossed over as mesh coils have primarily been aimed at low resistance direct lung vaping. Well Eleaf has addressed this lack of coverage with a new kit aimed at mouth to lung vapers but with the added performance of a mesh coil. Here are my honest thoughts on the iStick Amnis with GS Drive from Eleaf.

Package contents:

ItemQuantity
iStick Amnis1
GS Drive Atomizer1
GS Air M 0.35ohm Head1
GS Air 0.75ohm Head1
QC USB Cable1
User Manual1
Spare Parts1

Listed features and specs:

  • Size: 24 x 18 x 122mm
  • Battery Capacity: Built-in 900mAh
  • Weight: 63g
  • Max Wattage: 30W
  • E-juice Capacity: 2ml
  • Coil: GS Air M 0.35ohm Head, GS Air 0.75ohm Head
  • Output Mode: Direct Output Mode
  • Resistance range: 0.15-3.0ohm
  • Charging Port: Micro USB
  • Compact design for portable carrying
  • Top slide filling system
  • New GS Air coil head
  • Adjustable bottom airflow
  • Available colours: Black, Green, Purple, Red, Silver and Blue

Packaging and Contents:

The iStick Amnis kit comes packed in a nice white cardboard box. It sports an image of the device on the front and a list of the contents and some basic info on the back. It’s pretty typical of Eleafs packaging and looks nice and clean in my opinion. Inside the mod and tank are held secure by some thick white sponge and underneath it comes with a manual for the tank, a manual for the mod, a micro USB cable and a bag of spares. In the bag of spares you get a spare 0.75ohm GS Air coil and some extra orings and top fill seals. It comes with everything you need to get started as well as some handy extras. The kit doesn’t include a spare glass but it’s not user replaceable anyway so it’s a mute point. Everything arrived safe and sound and was nicely presented so nothing much to complain about here.

The Mod:

The Amnis mod is a super compact stick style mod that’s curved on one side to ergonomically fit the shape of the hand. It stands a 122mm tall, is 24mm long and 18mm wide. It’s got an internal 900mAh battery with a micro USB port on the bottom for charging but there’s no mention of quick charge being included so charging will be quick but not super quick. It also support pass-through vaping if you just can’t wait for it to charge up. The thing is mostly made of plastic with a really nice smooth almost silky finish to it so not only is it light weight at only 63g but it’s also really comfortable to grip and hold. At the top it’s got a solid looking stainless steel 510 connection with really smooth threads and what looks like a gold plated spring loaded 510 center pin. I’ve only tried the included GS Drive and an older GS Baby on it and both sat flush. Considering how small this thing is it’s really only going to pair up with the smallest of gear.

Near the top on the face of the device is the fire button. It uses five clicks to turn the device on and off or with a single press fires the device. It’s made of plastic but is nice and clicky with absolutely zero button rattle. It’s also curved and super low-profile so it barely protrudes from the device but it’s really easy to find with your thumb or index so can be held in either orientation. The only other thing on the face of the device is a little LED indicator which is used to indicate when it’s firing, when there’s an error, remaining battery life and when it’s charging. A red LED indicates battery is <9%, purple indicates 10-29%, orange indicates 30-59% while green indicate 60-100% remaining. The Amnis also includes all the usual safety protections like over-charge, over-discharge, over-current, short circuit protection and a 15 second cutoff so it should stay safe should anything go wrong. There’s no screen or anything else, it’s just a super simple device that’s made to pair with the GS Drive tank the kit includes.

It’s a direct output device meaning it puts out whatever the battery is at and will slowly decline as the battery level drops. However I barely noticed any kind of drop off in performance before the battery would cutoff at it’s low end. It’s possible the cutoff is set such you wouldn’t notice any significant drop off before it eventually dies. Either way I’ve been getting great battery life out of it with usually two days of vaping before I need to recharge. Obviously results will vary based on personal vaping habits but for such a diminutive device I’ve been quite content with it’s performance.

The tank:

The GS Drive tank that the kit ships with seems really familiar, especially if you’ve ever used one of Eleafs GS series tanks. It’s a TPD compliant tank being only 2ml capacity which isn’t a lot but considering the coils this thing is paired with that 2ml is actually going to last quite a while. It’s mostly made of stainless steel with a 2ml glass tank. As I mentioned above the tank isn’t user replaceable so if you break it you’ll need to replace the whole thing. At the top it’s got a proprietary drip tip which isn’t actually a drip tip, it’s more like a sleeve that can be removed but is not replaceable with a regular 510 drip tip. I’ve never seen replacement sleeve tips for tanks this small so chances are you’ll be stuck with it. It’s comfortable enough if not a bit long so I can’t complain about it too much. Just under the drip tip is the side locking top fill mechanism. It works just like the many slide open tanks we see on the market these days but with one added feature, it locks shut. So you won’t accidentally open the tank in your pocket or wherever if you’re fiddling with it and it should help to keep the kiddies out. To open it you need to press a little button on the side of the tank which unlocks the slide to open top fill and then just slide it open like all of the others. The top fill port is lined with silicone but is a bit small. It fits glass droppers and needle tips just fine but blunt tipped bottles may struggle a bit. I also found if I angled the tip or squeezed too quickly the fill hole would back up and spew juice all over the top. Once you’re aware of it it’s a non-issue but it happened at least a couple times to me before I figured it out.

The base of the GS Drive unscrews to replace the coil but it also houses the bottom adjustable airflow. It’s got dual cyclops style slots with stops at either end. It’s a bit loose but hasn’t really moved around on me by accident. Considering this kit is primarily meant for mouth to lung vaping it would have been nice if they included some small holes or even a single hole as airflow options since the cyclops style slots often feel a bit too loose for a good tight mouth to lung. Even fully closed air still gets through so it’s nearly impossible to get that really tight mouth to lung hit that so many look for. Those dual slots don’t really help either since you can’t close it down to just a single hole, it might have been better to just have a single slot as enough air still manages to get through. I got used to it pretty quick though as the mesh coil produces quite a bit of vapour for what it is. On the very bottom of the tank is some CE markings and a floating 510 pin. It’s somewhat sunken so I definitely would not recommend using this thing on a hybrid.

The Coils:

The coils that come with this thing are what really set it apart. I’ve actually tried the spare GS Air 0.75ohm coil that comes with the kit in a review of the iStick Pico Baby kit. They’re really good performing coils that work great with high nicotine liquids and in particular salt based liquids however it’s not what’s special about this kit. In the kit and pre-installed is a new style of coil just released from Eleaf called the GS Air M coils. They’re rated at 0.35ohms and pairs wonderfully with the Amnis mod with it’s 30w max output. The ‘M’ in the name stands for mesh if you haven’t guessed it already and if you look down the barrel of one of these coils you’ll see the little tiny mesh coil lining the inside of the coil head. The performance I get from this diminutive coil is fantastic. Both flavour and vapour are incredible for such a small mouth to lung based setup. Now I’ll admit the draw on this thing is pretty loose so for me even when nearly fully closed I get a loose mouth to lung hit or a fairly tight direct lung hit if full open. Still I’m quite impressed with what it’s able to produce. It tends to put out just a bit more then your average pod setup and when I first tried it I loaded it with some 45mg salt based juice which ended up being a bit too much. I emptied it out and loaded up some 25mg and I’ve been in heaven ever since. Coil life will ultimately depend on juices used, personal vaping habits and QC on the coils but I’m about six refills in with the M coil with no signs of it slowing down.

Likes:

  • Compact
  • Feels great in hand
  • Battery lasts a long time
  • Ease of use
  • Amazing flavour and vapour production with mesh coil
  • Unique locking top-fill
  • Pass-through charging

Dislikes:

  • Proprietary drip tip
  • Non-replaceable glass
  • No fast-charge
  • Airflow and AFC a bit loose

Overall:

I’ve really been enjoying this little kit. It’s super compact but performs like a champ thanks to the mesh coil it includes. Since it’s arrived most of my other pod systems have been staying home and this little guy has been going with me everywhere. It’s mostly about the performance of the mesh coil with this one as it puts out some really decent flavour and vapour especially when compared to many others in it’s class. I think this would be ideal for both new and seasoned users looking for a convenient and portable mainly mouth to lung kit that performs above and beyond most other compact clearomizers and pod systems on the market today. I can’t wait to start seeing these M coils available in other kits. Great job on this one Eleaf, the M coils in particular are incredible!!