After a few weeks of using the much anticipated Semovar from Svoemestro, I wanted to point out a few things may be worth putting out there and hope this helps some of you. I’ve aimed to be frank and balanced in this overview, and everything I say in here is based on my opinion and interpretation of what I’ve come across on forums, and of my personal user experience. Before my criticisms put you off the Semovar, my overall opinion is that this is a brilliant device, albeit with some teething problems. I have not used any other mod since getting my hands on this and have no desire to do so anytime soon!
The Nevil chip – Sergei from Svoemestro recently confirmed that they are having some issues with these. They’ve had a batch of buggy chips and Svoemestro is not satisfied with the poor quality of electronics on these. Returns are around 5%, which he pointed out are above chance. I initially had one of the duds, but had no difficulty in getting it exchanged it for a new unit and have not had any problems since.
The Semovar electronics unit is not adequately sealed. If juice manages to somehow seep through or over the collector cap, there is a risk that it can find its way around the plastic cap of the electronic unit and you’ll end up with a burnt out chip. Svoemestro is currently working on improving the integrity of the seal in the chip unit, and will apparently not be releasing new stock until they’ve improved on this. In fairness, I don’t think you are very likely to have issues: The top caps have collector tanks to capture any spilt juice, and the stainless threading is pretty tight. You’ll have to have juice gushing out of your atty and then neglect to dry it up before unscrewing the device for this to happen IMO.
It may be good to bear in mind that some users report that the Semovar eats through 18350 battery life. I have not experienced this issue on mine, and find that my 18350s last as long in the Semovar than it did in my Vamo. Note that when you get your battery life reading (7 clicks of the button in “on” mode), it does not give the remaining battery life under load. Once the reading comes up, hit the button one more time and it will give you the remaining juice under load. For example, my 18350 is currently reading 3.6v, but under load only 3.5v. It’s still going strong though. (By the time I was done writing this review, battery at 3.5/3.3v and still going).
The Semovar is, in my opinion, the best looking vv/vw mod by a long way. The built quality, finish, and threading is outstanding. The feel and sound when screwing on a new tube or top cap is very satisfactory. You get the looks and feel of a high end mechanical mod but in a fully vv/vw option.
Versatility – with three sizes of battery tubes already available, plus three different top caps, the Semovar can be customised to look sleek using most atties. I also love the fact that you can fit the brass battery connector in the bottom cap in two different ways: Solid or with the spring facing outward. I personally prefer the latter for ease of use when I change battery sizes as you don’t have to adjust it.
Operation – I was a bit sceptical about the one-button operating system, but find it super easy to navigate. I also like the fact that you can adjust the LED brightness or even turn it off while in “on mode” to conserve battery.
Price – if you’re not as impatient as I was to get your hands on this, get it from C9V. The price is very reasonable, especially for such a well-made mod.
Consistency – it’s early days, I know, but since getting my dud replaced I find the performance on the Semovar reliable and consistent.
Support – On their support forum in Russia, Svoemestro said that they will replace the electronic unit of the Semovar if you do get unlucky and have a faulty one, or if the chip burns out due to leaking. I’m not sure if this will extend the normal guarantee period though.
Commitment to quality: The guys at Svoemestro is determined to get this mod perfect, and will not be releasing any new stock until they have improved the seal and looked at ways to improve consistent quality of the Nivel chips supplied to them. While I think this is the best way to go about things when you release a new product, it may mean a bit of a wait for those of you who did not get your hands on this the first time around.
Hope this was informative. Let me know if you agree/disagree with my take on the Semovar. And for fun, vote on the poll: Do you want one regardless, or is it not for you?