I recently had some hands on time with two cloned mods on the Malaysian market – the Nemesis and the Atomo – and I am quite surprised by the difference in quality although both sit at roughly the same price point.
Retailing at between RM100 – 120 (depending on where you get them from), the Nemesis and Atomo clones cost roughly 1/5 the price of the original variants. The Nemesis clone originally entered the market at RM140, but can now be found for as low as RM90 if you really trawl through the many vaping related Facebook pages.
I had the two clones with me for the evening before handing them to their new owners, and here are my thoughts on them.
EDIT: Added some facts on the Nemesis and Atomo clones at the end of the article contributed by Lim Eu Bian.
I was pretty excited when I first opened the packaging for the Nemesis clone, since the orignal Nemesis was the first mechanical mod that I had ever played with when I just started vaping. I always thought it was a sexy mod – especially in 18350 mode – and the angel of death engraving was one of the coolest emblems that I’ve seen to date.
Like the original, the Nemesis clone comes in six different parts: the top cap, the bottom switch, the locking ring, the 18350 tube and two more battery extensions.
The first thing that struck me was how flimsy the tubes felt. The tubes were extremely light and thin, and the locking ring felt like it was made out of a Coke can. Even when it was assembled in 18650 mode, the Nemesis clone lacked any sense of rigidity.
Strike two came in the form of a very badly threaded top adjusting pin. Adjusting the pin to fit an atomizer (the AGA-T in this case) was a nightmare because the threading on the black insulator was so badly cut. I couldn’t even turn the pin one complete revolution before it got stuck and had to really exert a lot of force to get it at the right level.
The final nail in the coffin was the dodgy firing switch. I’ll gladly admit that I have no experience assembling or dismantling the original Nemesis, but if the firing switch screwed in the same way on the original as it did on the clone, I would be livid.
Unlike firing switches on other mods which limit how far it can be screwed into the bottom of the tube, the firing switch on the Nemesis could be screwed in all the way till the firing button couldn’t be pushed. It would be a pretty smart design if the mod didn’t come with a locking ring, but since it did, I assume that this is a design flaw of sorts.
Giving it the benefit of the doubt, I then assumed that it was designed as such to give you battery rattle control, since the top pin wasn’t a dual layered one like on the Chi Yu clone. Boy was I wrong.
When I tried to unscrew the firing pin, only the switch came off and the pin and black delrin section stayed lodged in the tube. I had to unscrew the top cap and stuff my finger into the tube to get the stuck parts out.
That aside, the Nemesis clone fired pretty well. I’m no expert when it comes to voltage drops and all that good stuff, so I’ll leave that out of this amateur review. In conclusion, I would strongly recommend that you stay away from this clone because you can do better for the money you’re paying.
The Atomo on the other hand, was a world of difference in all senses of the word. Like the original, the clone came in a two-tone finish – brass top and bottom caps and a brushed stainless steel tube in the middle – complete with the dinky little atom engraved on it too.
Opening the package, I found two tubes, a top cap and a bottom firing switch. Upon further inspection, I realized that the longer of the two tubes actually comprised of a long tube and a battery extender. It took me a while to notice it because the two tubes fit together so flush that it looked like one long tube!
This was possible because the threading on all tubes were second to none, and with the top cap and firing switch screwed on, the Atomo clone was absolutely gorgeous regardless of what battery configuration it was in.
I must say though, that the thickness of the tubes did concern me a little. Again, I haven’t touched the original Atomo, but the tubes are much thinner when compared to the tubes on say a Chi Yu clone.
Like the Chi Yu and King clone, the top connector of the Atomo clone comprised of an adjustable brass 510 pin and a second part that could be adjusted to stop battery rattle. The threading on both pins were silky smooth, and presented no difficulty when I tried to adjust either.
As for the bottom firing button, the cloners stuck close to the original Atomo’s design and used magnets of opposing polarities instead of a spring. The magnets gave a good amount of resistance, and by adjusting the bottom pin, you could also adjust how deep the firing button sat in the bottom connector. However, since the Atomo isn’t designed with a locking mechanism, I wouldn’t suggest that you extend the firing button too far out.
Again, I’m no expert when it comes to gauging things like voltage drops but when put side by side with the Nemesis clone, it was very apparent that the Atomo clone had superior firing.
What has stuck with me since I played with the Atomo clone till today is how beautifully the pieces threaded together – especially the part where the 18350 tube joins with the battery extender.
All in all, I definitely would say that the Atomo clone is worth while buying. Although the tubes are relatively thin, they feel much sturdier than the tubes on the Nemesis clone. The threading on the Atomo clone is excellent, and the magnetic switch is a joy to use.
EDIT: Reader Lim Eu Bian shares with us some interesting facts regarding the switch and tube thickness on the Nemesis clone, and also points out that the top cap / 510 connector on the Atomo clone DOES NOT have air venting. Thanks Lim!
To end this post, I would like to apologize for not taking more detailed pictures of the actual units as I handled the units before I started this blog. I will take more pictures of things that I review in the future!