As most-advanced vapers know, there are many clones available from China. Many of the authentic brands such as Kanger and Aspire have all been cloned and often have been sold as authentic items. Mech mods, regulated mods, and atomisers have all been cloned to the point where we can’t tell the difference between the real thing and the fake. However, never would I have thought something as basic as a battery will be cloned as well. Yes, it seems like there’s been a lot of controversy as to whether many of the Sony VTC5 18650 IMR batteries being sold are real or legitimate. I was thought that by purchasing from a legitimate website or vendor, the chances of purchasing a fake battery would be slim to none. However, this assumption is no longer valid.
Apparently a large supply of fake VTC5’s were sold to a battery vendor that caters not only to vapers but flashlight enthusiasts (yes apparently this is a thing) as well. www.illumn.com, formerly known as illumination supply, issued an email warning that they received a large batch of fake batteries from the manufacturer. The batteries passed their initial battery quality control testing, but upon further investigation it turned out these batteries were not up to par with previous shipments. Upon further testing, it seems the batteries behave very similarly to that of the Samsung 25Rs with only a rating of 20 amp limit. Although these batteries may be safe, it is unwise to use them past 30 amps of current which are what the Sony VCT5’s are rated at. The general consensus is that the Samsung 25Rs were rewrapped to look like Sony VTC5’s. Battery rewrapping is a very common theme among the clones coming in from China as the Sony VTC5’s are selling at a much higher price point than most of the other IMR 18650 batteries. Furthermore, Sony’s plain green and thin film wrappers are not hard to replicate either unlike the AW or Efest batteries which seem to use a higher quality wrapper. A few tips to protect yourself from getting cheated out of a real Sony VTC5 includes the following:
- Buy from a reputable vendor
- Look at the bottom (negative contact point of the battery) it should be completely flat and not rounded off at the seams
- The seams should be flush and not crudely put together
- The positive end of the battery should be entirely flush and the contacts should not be raised
- The batteries should come clean out of the box and not have any type of residue on it
The vendor are issuing refunds for anyone that wants to return the batteries or replace the batteries when they get a new order in and confirm that it is indeed the authentic Sony VTC5’s. The vendor has pulled the item off of their website until that time. A copy of the email can be found below: