It's here. The long awaited Pioneer4You IPV 4. Only issue is that the supply is VERY limited. Canvape is offering these at $84.95 and it's available now online.
I need to tell you, I have been waiting for this. And waiting ... just like you. The IPV4 has been widely anticipated (widely, or wildly?). First thing I did was unbox it, put two new and freshly charged batteries in it, set it for 22.0 Joules and vaped away. My initial reaction: incredible.
The most noticeable aspects of any device when unboxing is the negatives. So, let me get those out of the way first. The manual. This is likely the second iteration of the user manual, a small fold out set of instructions. In here, Pioneer4You talk about the touch sensor ... there isn't one on the IPV4. This is a remnant of their other devices recycled into the IPV4 instructions in error. The "Standard Package" list is wonky – one item is blacked out by hand (under the marker black out, it says: 1X Charge Cable – that is not included). "Specifications" is incorrect, the input voltage is 6.4 to 9.0 volts (they show it as 3.2 to 4.5 volts – that would be correct for a single battery, this is a dual battery system). "Charging" talks about a diagram that is not included. "IPV4 Upgrade" talks about needing to upgrade the device before temp control will work – the temp control already works and there is no upgrade available on the website. Inserting the batteries was a bit counter-intuitive. I'm used to seeing the spring loaded portion of the battery holder at the negative side of the battery. On the IPV4 the spring loaded portion of the battery holder is on the negative terminal for the battery on the right bottom, and positive terminal for the battery on the left bottom. Pioneer4You should either fix that or at the very least have more obvious + and – stickers in the battery holder – as it is anyone can make a mistake, the + and – symbols in the battery holder are almost lost in the blackness of the interior.
Fit and finish is very well done. The IPV4 I received is well assembled, everything fits together nicely, and absolutely no rattles or other noises when the device moves. The only dislike here is the mirror finish on the front facia shows scratches even before I removed it from the see-through wrap inside the box. My first reaction is the 0.96" OLED display is very hard to read. It is a brightness issue, that mirror finish on the face plate is far too dark and opaque to let the screen be seen properly.
The user interface is quite simple and quite a bit like the Yihi SX Mini. This operates much like the Yihi SX Mini as expected. The chipset in the Pioneer4You IPV4 is from Yihi. It's the Yihi SX 330 V4S (the specifications are below, in this review) which features the option to vape using wattage or in temperature control mode. In temperature control, Yihi uses Joules (wattage over a fixed period of time, usually one second) and measures the temperature of the coil. Temperature is in your choice of Centigrade or Fahrenheit. I've gotten used to setting my temp control devices in Fahrenheit, so I will continue. It's easier for comparison purposes to have them all in the same measurement system. One of the first things I did was slap some batteries in the IPV4, set it with the same settings I had in the SX Mini, and vape. Works perfectly. While I was looking through the entire user interface, two of the most glaring issues with the interface is the rounding out issue when switching between C and F. I have the IPV4 set to 420 F. That converts to 215 C. When I switch back to F, the unit converts that to 419 F. It's a rounding out issue in the firmware, I'm sure of that. And one degree isn't going to make much of a difference, but it should switch seamlessly. The second is a more serious issue. I had set the Joules to 22.0 J. When I cycled through to adjust this, there was no problem. Joules adjust from 10.0 to 50.0 J in 0.1 increments. However, when I pressed the fire button to lock my preference into M1, the memory storage function didn't work. It went back to 10.0 J. I found that across all 5 of the memory storage locations, they only retain the defaults set at the factory. Any changes to Joules will be wiped out if you press the + button while you are vaping in temperature control mode. And to increase the frustration, Pioneer4You does not include a charger with this unit, you'll have to source one yourself. If you remove the batteries to recharge, any temperature control settings are lost when you pull out the batteries. I also note the user instructions mentions nothing about temperature control, Joules, or memory locations. This may be working as designed – I hope that Pioneer4You fixes that in a firmware upgrade. Note that all of the pre-release pictures of the IPV4 are incorrect. They show the OLED display in a recessed cut out on a black front facia. The face plate is a mirror finish with the OLED display barely visible in any lighting source brighter than a light bulb. You can see the unit I have at the left. I made sure that I took the picture with a dim light bulb and slightly shaded so that the display would be bright enough to show.
It's available in two colors. The photos of the color availability range quite a bit, the most consistent are the photos as shown at the right. The "color" portion is the magnetic sliding cover in the center. The other components are silver with a darkened face plate. We have also seen photos of an IPV 4 entirely black. At the right are the pre-release photos – these are not quite what the release version looks like, particularly the front facia.
In terms of specifications:
Output power is from 7.0 watts to 100 watts, in 0.1 watt increments through the entire range
Output voltage is from 1.0 volts to 7.0 volts.
Temperature control, with range from 212 F to 572 F (100 C to 300 C).
Resistance support from 0.1 ohms to 3.0 ohms
Input voltage ranging from 3.2 to 4.5 volts according to the manual. That is incorrect it should be: 6.4 volts to 8.5 (or 9.0) volts.
Input current (power) from 1.3 amps to 40.0 amps. (There is no way anyone should use anything less than 25 amp batteries with this ... looks like the Samsung INR 25R are ideally suited).
The micro USB port is strictly for firmware upgrades ... charging is with a 9 Volt (2 amp) balanced adapter (3.5 mm barrel Type H). The port is at the top of the device on the rounded portion of the cover. The micro USB port at the bottom is strictly for firmware upgrades.
Reverse Polarity protection
Output Short protection
Low Resistance protection
Battery Low Voltage protection
and Temperature Overheat protection.
That's the specifications and initial look. Let's see how it does in use.
The IPV4 is the same height as the IPV3 and about the same depth. The width is about 1.5 mm smaller – but the rounded edge feels smaller in the hand and far more comfortable to hold. The battery cover is plastic with a nice feel to it. It's held in place with four ball-bearings that are spring loaded. It's quite effective and holds the cover firmly in place. The battery cover comes off easily, just place your thumb and index finger on the top and bottom of the unit and pull off the cover with the other hand. Reverse to put it back on – and note that the cover only goes in one way. One side slides along a guide that protrudes from the zing allow case into a slot on the plastic battery cover. You can put it in the other way, but you will know immediately that you need to reverse it. The corners don't line up when the cover is inserted incorrectly. You can also use the 9V plug hole as a directional aide ... that goes to the top of the unit.
I can see why some of the early "watchers" made a mistake on the charging of this unit. The hole to accommodate the 9V charger is hard to see in pictures, and almost as hard to see when holding it in hand. By the way, it does not appear that Pioneer4You is making a charger available for this. You'll have to source it yourself. So, here's some specs: 9 Volt charger, 2 Amp output, 3.5 mm barrel Type H plug with a positive center pin. You don't have to worry about "balanced" terms that you hear so much about, that is built into the Yihi circuit board within the unit. Just make sure the 9V charger you source is designed for lithium-ion. I've found quite a few online that are for nickel-cadmium.
The silver color on the zinc alloy frame is matte and does not show finger prints or hand oils easily. At the bottom of the unit is the Pioneer4You logo and at the top each side has three angled dimple-slots for aesthetic effect. On the opposing side of the bottom that shows the logo, there is a hex head screw. Another hex head screw on the same side is found under the battery cover. That's to separate the two halves of the IPV4 for repairs only. When you have the cover off, the opposing side shows a Pioneer4You serial number. Both the serial number and Pioneer4You logo are lightly laser etched.
The bottom of the unit has the same finish as the rest of the frame, and that's where you will find the ten vent holes and the micro USB port. They are in a slightly depressed channel – even if the bottom is flat on a table, the venting still can work with one end of the depressed channel open as it flows to the same depressed channel as the front facia and buttons.
This is Part 1 of the review. I wanted to get this out quickly to help you make your buying decisions. Part 2 will follow in about one week after I have had enough time to put it through its paces, do more rigorous testing, and determine how long the batteries last and the unit's efficiency. I can tell you I plan on several modifications to make this "mine" (and I do plan on keeping this and actively using it). The first change will be to modify the face plate. That mirror finish has to go and I will replace it with an acetate plate that is clear. I will also multi-wrap this with various colors of carbon fiber. The battery cover will be a black carbon fiber, the silver frame will be a silver carbon fiber, and the center recessed area (including the new face plate) will be a black carbon fiber with a cut out for the display and cut outs for the USB port and vent holes.
So, what’s the verdict? Is it worth it?
I can't answer that yet. As I write this, I am vaping using the Pioneer4You IPV4 with the Smoktech GCT tank and some really fine Pomegranate/Dragonfruit juice. I've been using it for about half a day now and very much enjoying it. After half a day, I have approximately 75% of battery capacity left. The IPV4 feels good in the hand - but it is in the "large" side for many people. I'm ok with that, I would rather trade a slightly larger mod for longer times between recharges. And one quick mention: kudos to Pioneer4You for lowering the wattage on this device and adding in protection that makes this a worthy consideration for the vast majority of vapers.
Update: Day 1. I've tried out a variety of clearomizers on the IPV4, some of which are hard to connect with other devices because of the atomizer's short 510 positive pin. On the IPV4, I had absolutely no problems with any tanks, connections, or even needing to adjust. The Pioneer4You has a spring loaded 510 connector pin. If the spring loaded pin doesn't connect, you can also adjust it with a flat screw driver (I didn't have to use a screw driver at any point). I vaped about 10.5 ML of juice on the IPV 4 today, and as I hit the end of the 10.5 ML, the batteries gave out. For the average vaper, that means about 2.5 days between recharges. NOTE: I made an error, above I wrote 10.5 ML ... that should say 14.5 ML.
Update: Day 2. Above the charge port (this is for a 9V 2A center positive 3.5mm barrel charger), everyone has assumed the small hole is an LED that displays while charging. It is both for an LED display and air flow. I've had the unit apart and that is an air channel – likely to help with circulation when charging – to help cool the charge circuitry. My standard carbon fiber wrap is not adequate for the bends, curves and channels on this device, so I spent some time today getting some more appropriate vinyl. I've now wrapped this thing three times and finally have the battery cover wrapped to my satisfaction. I've also wrapped the metal portion of the body (excluding the channel where the buttons and display are). You can see the pictures here – including one picture showing the inner workings of the IPV4.
Update: 15 May 2015. I ordered a universal AC/DC adapter (charger) to test the charging circuitry of the IPV 4. The reason I chose to go this way is that the charger specifications for the IPV 4 are "soft" ... they are not directly from Yihi or from Pioneer4You. I wanted a bit of flexibility. The device shown at the left is a piece of junk. I plan on returning it. There is a switch at the back to select between 100-120 volts and 200-240 volts as the source of power. I set it to 100-120. Of the six plugs, I did verify that the correct plug is the 3.5mm 1.35mm and that it is center pin positive for the IPV4. The charger at the left is rated for 1000mah with a selector at the front for the output voltage: 1.5, 3, 4.5, 6, 7.5, 9, and 12 volts. The device is risky: it is outputting 2.5 amps (2500 ma) not 1000 ma as it is labeled and promoted. There is also a problem with the front selector switch and the electronics. If you set it for 1.5 DC volts, you get 3.8 DC volts. And it's a similar issue with all the other settings: setting of 3 outputs 6.33 volts, setting of 4.5 outputs 9.1 volts, setting of 6 outputs 11.55 volts, setting of 7.5 outputs 13.94 volts, and a setting of 9 outputs 16.3 volts. The 12 setting is outputting a bad signal and could damage the device you are trying to charge. Unless you have a modern DC device that has power regulation circuitry, you can easily damage it. I had decided to test the charger before risking the Pioneer4You IPV4 and I'm glad I did. So, I set the charger to 4.5 (outputs DC 9.1 volts) at 2.5 amps and crossed my fingers. It worked fine and charged up the IPV4.To be fair, the Yihi 9V balanced charge circuitry is doing all the protection and regulating both the amperage and voltage coming in from the charger. Be careful, though, I was lucky. Again, Caveat Emptor.