Product intro and specs
With the Coolfire Z80 & Zenith II kit, Innokin introduces the latest iteration of the Coolfire box mod along with the third tank of the Zenith series. Designed by Phil Busardo and the VapinGreek (Dimitris Agrafiotis), this kit is also the latest addition in the Platform line, a series dedicated to beginner vapers and smokers looking to make the switch.
Previous Coolfire mods and Zenith tanks have introduced millions of smokers to vaping, so this kit has big shoes to fill. At face value, both parts of the kit tick all the boxes; a classy and well-built 80-watt 18650-powered mod with a couple of new and innovative modes, and a large 5.5 mL 26 mm vape tank that takes the Z-coils and features a series of updates over previous Platform tanks.
Do the Zenith II and Coolfire Z80 have what it takes to continue the tradition of their predecessors?
Price: $52.99 (at Element Vape)
Colors: Leather Black, Leather White, Ash Grey, Cloudy Grey.
·Battery: External 18650 battery
·Wattage range: 6-80 watts
·Voltage range: 1-7.5 volts
·Cut-off time: 3-18 sec adjustable
·Tank: Zenith II
·Max. output current: 28.5 amps
·Resistance range: 0.1-3.5 ohm
·Body material: Zinc-alloy
·Thread type: 510 thread
·• 1 x Coolfire Z80 mod
·1 x Zenith II tank (0.8-ohm coil)
·1 x Spare Z coil (0.3 ohm)
·1 x Spare glass tube
·1 x Spare drip tip
·1 x Spa re O-ring set
·1 x Type-C USB charging cable
·1 x Quick start guide
·1 x Warning booklet
Build quality and design
The kit comes in fully recyclable cardboard packaging, which is great and something that Innokin has been doing for a while now. I received two units, a Leather Black and a Leather White. I’ve heard a lot about the other two available options (Ash Grey and Cloudy Grey) and their Alcantara-style texture, so I was a little bit disappointed I didn’t get at least one of those. But make no mistake, the leather options look and feel awesome.
Innokin make some of the most stylish mods out there; the Kroma-R was one of my favorites of 2020 and they somehow managed to make the Z80 even sexier. The main body of the mod is made out of metal, while the backing is dressed in soft and thick leather. This must be the best version of leather I’ve ever seen on a mod, and it honestly makes the Z80 a pleasure to hold.
The first thing I noticed when I held the mod is that it is surprisingly lightweight. At 88.5 grams (133 g with a battery in), the Z80 accomplishes the perfect balance between being lightweight and not feeling cheap. Compared to the Kroma-R (138 grams without a battery) it’s an impressively light mod. You’ll know it’s in your pocket, but it won’t feel like you’re carrying it.
Other than that, the buttons have a satisfying click, with the fire button featuring a bronze accent. Innokin has been doing this lately, and while I do like it on the black unit, it feels a bit out of place on the white one, which should have had a silver accent in my opinion. The screen is large, colored, and clean. It’s the same interface as on their Sensis mod, but it’s easier to read on the Z80 because the screen is flat and not curved. And finally, it charges through USB Type-C at 1.7A, and the battery door is a screw cap. Not a huge fan of having to remove the door to change batteries, but it will surely last longer than these push switch latches.
My only complaint: I have dropped the black unit a couple of times and noticed some minor color chipping. It’s barely visible, but if you want to avoid that you’ll need to get one of the other versions.
As for the tank, the Zenith II looks and feels like a sequel to the original Zenith and not much like the Zenith Pro that came out in between. It’s a 26 mm tank that fits a whopping 5.5 mL of juice and comes with a series of well-thought-out updates. Better looks, no weird-looking riser for the drip tip this time, three small airflow holes for MTL, a slot for RDL, and the option to remove the glass to clean the tank thoroughly. The airflow ring is also easier to grip this time around, and they’ve added a silicone gasket to the filling hole. Not a huge fan of that, and I’ve had some issues when filling with the mouthpiece on, especially with larger bottles. I would have preferred the sliding mechanism of the Zlide, but it is what it is.
All in all, I am very happy that the Platform team listened to its customers and made some choice updates to the Zenith. Just note that it is one of the largest MTL tanks out there with its 26 mm diameter, so if you opt-in buying the tank on its own, you should make sure that your mod can fit it.
The Coolfire Z80 mod
Using the mod is very straightforward, which is one of the defining characteristics of the Platform line. Case in point, the Z80 doesn’t even feature a temperature control mode—which is fine by me since I haven’t been vaping in TC for years now.
Basic operations are as follows:
·Three clicks of the power button to turn the mod on/off
·Pressing power + up shows battery charge, coil resistance, puffs (you can clear the puff counter in this menu)
·Pressing power + down locks the mod (you can still fire it)
·Pressing up + down enters the main menu
The main menu screen is pretty barebones, with five options, each with its own submenu:
·FØ enters Fourier mode submenu (you can change Hz)
·Power enters the power mode submenu (you can select wattage or voltage)
·Refresh enters the refresh submenu (you can run refresh mode automatically or manually)
·Settings enters the settings submenu (you can change the UI, set timeout, set cutoff, check device ID, reset settings)
The standouts here are the FØ and Refresh modes, both of which were first introduced with the Sensis pod mod.
FØ, or Fourier tech, is Innokin’s latest innovation, and one they’ve been promoting vigorously in the last months. You can read more about it in this article, but simply put, it is using alternating current, allowing the user to select the frequency in Hz. Innokin suggests using 20-50 Hz for DL and 51-100 Hz for MTL. Note that this mode doesn’t replace wattage, as the mod will still fire your coil at your selected wattage regardless of frequency. According to Innokin, the vibration that takes place through alternating current is supposed to improve flavor, extend coil life, and “much more”.
As for my experience with FØ mode, I would be lying if I told you that I noticed a difference in flavor. Regarding coil life, there are simply too many parameters to consider, so I can’t say if it actually extended it—especially since I have been using this device for a limited time. What I did notice was the vibration itself (sometimes in sound too) and a slightly different vape experience when changing Hz. I’m not saying that FØ mode doesn’t work, and I have heard of people noticing a difference, but I can’t personally vouch for it.
Refresh mode is easier to grasp. When activating it, your mod fires at 40% of the set wattage, which allows the coil to “bring in extra e-liquid, improve wicking and taste”. From what I understand, this mode is very helpful when your coil starts to feel and taste slightly funny—it won’t bring back a dead coil but will allow you to keep using an aging coil until you are able to replace it.
Unlike FØ mode, I did notice the effect of Refresh mode when using the 0.3-ohm RDL coils. I will discuss it further in the following section, but I am confident that I saved these coils from burning a couple of times. But regardless of coil life, using refresh mode seemed to kick the flavor up a notch. I noticed it when using the device after it had been left unused for a couple of days. The first hit would taste a bit off, but after using refresh mode manually for 2-3 seconds, the next hit would be back to normal. I can’t promise that you will feel the difference, but I am confident that it works. All in all, both these new features seem promising, and props to Innokin for trying to bring innovation back to vaping.
The Zenith II tank
The Zenith II tank is, in my opinion, the star of the show. The Z80 is an excellent mod, but with the first Zenith selling over a million units (or is it two million?), I do feel that a large portion of the readers of this review will be buying the tank on its own.
I’ll start by saying that the Zlide is still, two years after I reviewed it, my daily driver. I have two of them on top of two Gen Nanos, and a couple more in my drawer just in case. It’s been more than two years since I used the OG Zenith and I gave away my Zenith Pro when I realized that I ordered the 2 mL version, so the Zlide is the tank I’ll be putting the Zenith II up against from a performance standpoint.
Let’s start with a brief tutorial before discussing performance.
The Zenith II is 26 mm in diameter and holds 5.5 mL of juice. It comes with two drip tips, an Ultem one for MTL and a black Delrin one for RDL. It has a lot in common with the original Zenith when it comes to filling and coil replacement. The top cap turns to reveal the filling hole, and the lock/unlock symbols show the direction. As I mentioned earlier in the review, you may need to remove the drip tip to fill it easier. To swap coils, unscrew the bottom of the tank and pull the coil out. When inserting a new coil, make sure you line up the flat parts with the notches. As with all the tanks that use the Z-coils, the 510 connection of the tank is on the coil itself. This means that you get a fresh 510 with every coil, which is a killer feature in my opinion.
To set the airflow, just turn the airflow ring. There are three small holes for MTL and a slot for RDL vaping. The first hole is a tiny bit larger—I am guessing it is 0.8 mm and the other two are 0.6 mm. Note that the original Zenith and the Zenith Pro came with larger holes, so the Zenith II can get super tight if needed. And unlike the Zenith Pro, the slot on the II can be opened on its own, without using any of the smaller holes.
Both the top and the bottom of the tank are designed to be easy to grip. Unlike the original, there’s no liquid flow control on the Zenith II, but it’s the two designers’ claim that the silicon gasket will prevent any flooding. I never had any flooding when filling the tank, so I guess they are right.
The Zenith II is much easier to clean than the original Zenith, and that’s due to the fact that the tank can be taken fully apart, and the glass can be replaced. To do that, just unscrew the top and pull the glass out. When putting everything back together, make sure that the O-rings are in place.
The tank comes with two coils inside the box, and it is compatible with the full line of Z-coils. The two coils you get are the 0.8-ohm (MTL), and the 0.3-ohm (RDL).
The 0.8 coil is, in my opinion, the best MTL coil on the market. I’ve talked about this coil countless times in previous Platform reviews, and my opinion hasn’t changed a bit. Killer flavor and one of (if not the) longest-lasting MTL coil you can get—with the 1.6-ohm coil of the line being a close second. I use it daily on the Zlide, and while I usually replace coils proactively once a week, there have been times when I got to two weeks and the coil was still vaping well. I vape it at 15.5 watts with two holes open on the Zlide, while on the Zenith I found that I had to open the third hole to get a similar type of puff.
As for the 0.3-ohm coil, I’ve never had much luck with RDL using the Z-coil line, and this didn’t change this time around. Flavor is good and the draw is a smooth RDL, but I tried two coils and never managed to vape a full three tanks before getting a funky taste. And that’s even after using Refresh mode, which probably gave me an extra full tank on each coil. Note that this was not in any way user error: I primed my coils, gave them over five minutes to saturate, started at the lowest recommended wattage (30 watts), and my juice was clean and clear. I may just be unlucky, and people seem to like these coils from what I read online. But as far as I am concerned, the Zenith II is predominantly an MTL tank—and it’s great at that.
Will it replace my Zlide? It probably would if it was less messy to fill and a couple of millimeters thinner, which would allow it to fit on my Gen Nano without overhang. But it does offer some of the best MTL you can get, holds a lot more juice than the Zlide, and looks great on top of the Z80 mod! So, if the 5.5 mL capacity is important to you, it’s an easy recommendation.
Pros / Cons
·Great build quality
·Leather provides excellent hand feel
·Relatively lightweight and compact (for an 18650 mod)
·Large and clean screen (colored)
·Menu is easy to navigate
·Two innovative modes (FØ and Refresh)
·Refresh mode works as advertised
·Zenith II is great for MTL
·Airflow can be fine-tuned (from super tight MTL to RDL)
·Choice updates on tank design
·The 0.8 and 1.6-ohm Z-coils are excellent
·Impressive capacity (5.5 mL)
·Minor chipping on black unit after a couple of falls
·May need to remove drip tip to fill (esp. with large bottles)
·My 0.3-ohm coils lasted for less than two full tanks
·Threaded battery cap is a bit of a chore to remove
·Tank too large for certain mods (26 mm)
·No TC mode
The Coolfire Z80 is a great mod, and the Zenith II is a great MTL tank. Which makes this one a great kit. It’s innovative, classy, sexy looking, with a great hand feel and easily some of the best MTL you can get. And the two new modes show a lot of potential, even if I didn’t find a lot of use for FØ mode personally.
The cons are minor, and some of them are subjective—for example the threaded battery cap. The only real cons are the potential color chipping of the black unit, the fact that filling can sometimes get messy if you don’t remove the drip tip, and the low coil lifespan on the 0.3-ohm coils (at least in my experience).
The 26 mm diameter of the tank may be an issue for some, but it’s only a problem if you buy the tank on its own and plan on using it with a smaller mod. But don’t let that distract you from the fact that the Zenith II is one of the best MTL tanks you can get right now, and the Z80 is an excellent mod for it. I can’t recommend this kit for RDL vaping, but for MTL, it gets two thumbs up.