SMY SDNA200, an Evolv geekfest

SirRisc reviews

What’s up vapefam!
SirRisc here with another gear review!

Ok, I caved. I got my first DNA200 mod despite saying I was never going to get one.
Why didn’t I want one? I was one of the people who got hit with the scrambled display on the DNA40… twice.
I was annoyed with Evolv beyond reason and didn’t want anything to do with them anymore.
But as a reviewer I need to stay neutral and set aside my personal opinions sometimes and after a while I got curious about the DNA200 board.
So when I saw the simple design the SMY SDNA200 sported in combination with a fairly big battery, I wanted one.

The SMY SDNA200 was sent to me for the purpose of this review by Gearbest.com!

Premise.

There’s a slew of DNA200 mods out there and they’re all just about the same in performance, with slight differences in regards to battery.
But the board is essentially the same in each and every one of them, and it’s been reviewed several times… most notably by the great PBusardo who did a Star Wars trilogy styled review of the board and several mods.
As such I won’t go into too much detail about the board, but if you want to know more technical data I’d highly advise you to watch his reviews!
I will however go into the user experience side of this mod, how the looks and feels and whether or not it’s a good contender in the DNA200 family.

Let’s dig into it, shall we?


 

SMY SDNA200

Specifications.

* Aluminium alloy body
* Springloaded 510 connection
* 4800mAh battery (35A 3S LiPo, 3 x 1600mAh, NON-serviceable)
* USB charging, USB data connection with eScribe
* Compatible with just about any wire you can throw at it (Custom TCoR in eScribe)
* Temperature range: 200°F to 600°F or 100°C to 300°C
* Resistance range: 0.1ohm to 2.0ohm in VW Mode, 0.08ohm to 1.0ohm in TC Mode
* Power output 5V to 9V
* Big OLED display
* Available in black, white and red, with carbon accent


 

Packaging.

The SMY SDNA200 comes in black box with a carbon fibre accent, just like the mod will look.
On the bottom you’ll find a scratch and check to check authenticity, and the slogan “Designed by SMY, chip by Evolv”

Opening the box reveals two things, first the QC card that proves it passed SMYs quality check, and second the mod itself wrapped in a plastic silk bag to prevent scratching.

Popping out the foam insert reveals a USB cable and a usermanual. The USB cable is one of the flat types which are made specifically for data transfer and higher capacity charging.
It’s a bit short though, but it’s a high quality cable.

The usermanual is again black with the carbon fibre accent and has the basic specifications of the mod and some more information on the Evolv DNA200 chip.


 

Performance.

As I mentioned above, the DNA200 board has been discussed several times by other reviewers and I don’t see the need to repeat what they’ve said.
If you want to know more about the board itself and other mods using the board, I suggest you head over to Youtube and watching PBusardos trilogy on the DNA200.
Video 1, video 2, video 3 and the final video.
He goes into technical detail as none other, and explains in length how to customize the board with eScribe.
That said I will look into the basic operation of this mod, and focus more on the overall user experience.
What I will say is that the DNA200 is one of the most fun boards I’ve tried so far because of its customisations.

The SMY SDNA200 is a slightly smaller mod than most dual 18650 mods and feels a bit lighter.
That doesn’t mean there’s no weight to the mod, in fact it feels substantial in the hand without being too bulky or plump.
The edges are flattened which adds to the comfort when holding the mod, and the matte black finish makes it rather grippy.

The buttons are in the layout (almost) every DNA200 device has them; the powerbutton on the top half of the mod, the display underneath and the plus and minus button under that creating the face with the USB port.
The powerbutton is very clicky and has excellent tactile feedback. There’s a very slight concave to it again making it very comfortable to hold.
I have found that pushing on the side of the button can make it feel a little bit crunchy, something I didn’t like.
Plus and minus are smaller buttons without the concave but with a similar tactile feedback, these sit very snug in the case.

In between the buttons sits the display which is the same as you’ll see on every other DNA200 mod, a 0.91″ OLED screen with a blue-ish hue.
In direct daylight it’s easy to read but it looks a lot better in dimmed light, mostly because it resides under a darkened protective screen.
You can adjust the dimming of the screen in eScribe anywhere from direct dimming to a 55 second fade out, which I quite like.
One of the great things about the DNA200 and eScribe is the fact that you can customize the screens to your hearths content.
For example if you’re not interested in seeing the voltage the board is applying during use, you could switch it out for current like I did. Or pretty much anything else the mod is doing.
In that regard, the eScribe software is a delicious geekfest because almost anything can be customised with just a few clicks.

One of the very few disadvantages of the SDNA200 is the battery.
SMY chose to build their mod with a 3S LiPo pack consisting of 3 x 35C cells of 1600mAh each.
Of course the amount of mAh doesn’t say much in the case of a LiPo battery, we need the wH (Watt Hours).
This can be done by calculating it like this: mAh x V / 1000 == wH, which should result in 4800 x 11.1 / 1000 == 53.28wH
However since the cells are wired in series we need to divide this number by 3, which then results in 4800 x 11.1 / 1000 == 53.28 / 3 == 17.76wH
It’s a great battery in itself but SMY decided to make it non-serviceable which means once the battery dies from old age, you’ll have to say goodbye to the mod.
Of course you could be a tinkerer like me and plan to open up the mod with a dremel, take out the board and put it in a different mod once the battery dies.
Frankly I would have loved the mod to be serviceable, but it doesn’t bother me much for now.
The battery performs very well, takes about 3 hours to charge and seems to last me about two days. (Granted I haven’t been using the full 200W)

In terms of heat I haven’t really seen any signs of the mod getting hot, even when using it at 200W with a 0.14ohm dual fused clapton in the Velocity.
The atomizer sits slightly raised from the body so there’s a slight gap that is meant to dissipate heat.
Of course being a slightly raised 510 brings along another problem, it may be a weak point if the connection is stressed.
Pushing the atty to the side hasn’t revealed much play, I tested with several tanks and drippers and it seems to hold up very well.
Using the mod at lower power is even less of a problem because there’s no heat worth mentioning, the case doesn’t heat up and the board copes very well.

Navigating the menus is done like any other DNA200 mod.
5 clicks locks the mod, and holding the powerbutton with up and down while the mod is locked will change the temperature.
Holding the powerbutton and up button will lock or unlock the resistance, and holding the powerbutton and down button will give you the option of normal mode or stealth mode for the display.
When the mod is unlocked you can hold the up and down buttons to lock the power, or press the up or down button to adjust your wattage.
If the power is locked you can scroll through the presets by pressing the up or down button twice. The presets, including preheat time, material and wattage, can be fully adjusted in eScribe.


 

Aesthetics.

The mod looks and feels great, though taste is subjective of course.
It has a fairly strong matte black finish with 3 bevelled ridges on one of the corners just above the carbon fibre accent.
The carbon fibre accent is made in plastic and though it looks like real carbon fibre, it isn’t.
It’s fairly easy to scratch and a fingerprint magnet, but it looks alright if you keep it clean.
On the accent you’ll see “SDNA200” in big silver lettering, and underneath “Evolv DNA200 chip” in smaller silver lettering.
Frankly I would have settled for just SMY SDNA200 in the smaller lettering, but the branding is alright as it is.

The buttons have an engraved feel to increase grip, the firebutton has a concave to make it even more comfortable to push.
They’re not flush with the mod but protrude very slightly, making them very easy to find in the dark.

Overall the SDNA200 is a rather simple looking boxmod, and that works just fine for me.
The over-the-top aesthetics of the VTBox200 for example is something a select few will love, I prefer simpler designs like this.
To each their own of course…

A month later, the finish has started to scuff slightly on the edges.


 

Pros and Cons.

Pro.

* Authentic Evolv DNA200
* eScribe is brilliant!
* Fully customiseable with eScribe
* Case thermals already set in eScribe
* Simple design, comfortable to hold
* Very smooth 510 connection
* Big battery, lasts for days bro
* Matte black finish

Con.

* Non-serviceable battery
* Carbon fibre accent is prone to scratching
* Matte black finish tends to wear on edges
* Small gap between atomizer and 510


 

In conclusion.

The SMY SDNA200 is nothing if not a spectacular mod for people who like tinkering with settings, the Evolv board is simply brilliant and allows for the tiniest of settings to be customised to your hearths content.
The mod in itself has very few flaws, but the obvious one is the battery. If SMY had chosen a serviceable battery, this mod would definitely score higher in my opinion.
Overall there’s very little to complain about though, the SDNA200 performs like a beast and it looks pretty.
I couldn’t wish for a better option as my first DNA200 mod. Would I buy another one if this one breaks? I would probably look at a few other DNA200 mods, but yes.
TL;DR it’s awesome.

In closing I would like to thank Gearbest.com for sending me the SMY SDNA200 for review!
Thanks for reading, folks! Join me next time for a juice review! That’s been a while!


 

Due to a group of people engaging in criminal acts I have temporarily shut down my social channels pending legal investigation.
If you need to reach me, head over to my website.

#staycloudy !

*SirRisc disappears in a cloud of banana strawberry scented vapor*

                                                               

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SirRisc

Vaping in Belgium since 2014.
Moderator on /r/ecr_eu, DIY afficionado, likes good flavors and sturdy devices.
Current favorite setup: P4U IPV D2, Wotofo Troll.