Vaporesso PodStick Review
The Vaporesso PodStick is a pod vape with some tricks up its sleeve. It comes in the shape of a stick (hence the name), it has three power options courtesy of the Omni Board Mini, and its pods come in two options; one for restricted DL and the other for MTL vaping. Because of that, Vaporesso brands it as “the best of both worlds”.
It’s not the first time a pod vape aims to satisfy both ends of the market, but most have fallen short till now. Keep reading to find out if the PodStick accomplishes that goal.
What’s in the kit?
- 1 × PodStick mod
- 2 × Pods: CCELL 1.3-ohm (pre-installed) / MESHED 0.6-ohm (in box)
- 1 × E-juice bottle
- 1 × USB cable
- 1 × Warranty card
- Charging current: 1 amp
- Pod capacity: 2 mL
- Pods: 1.3-ohm CCELL (9w-12.5w) / 0.6Ω MESHED (17w-22w)
- Material: PCTG/Aluminum
- Battery: 900 mAh
- Battery indicator: 100%-80%-60%-40%-20%
Build quality and design
At around 43 grams with a full pod, the PodStick is a lightweight vape. That’s mainly due to its aluminum construction and the plastic that the pods are made out of. And while not super-compact, the PodStick’s narrow shape is great for throwing it inside your pocket.
I had no complaints in the build quality department. It feels sturdy, there’s no button rattle whatsoever, and while lightweight, it doesn’t feel (or look) cheap. The paintjob is solid and while time will tell, I am pretty confident that it’s not going to chip anytime soon. In a way, the PodStick gives a Vaporesso vibe right out of the box, if that makes sense.
The only thing I am not a big fan of is the bronze accent of the branding and button. That’s Vaporesso’s new “thing” (they introduced it with the GEN mod) and it’s certainly up to taste, but I’d prefer it if both of those were black. Other than that, there’s nothing to fault the PodStick for from a build quality and design perspective.
The PodStick comes with two pods in the box, one pre-installed containing an MTL 1.3-ohm ceramic CCELL coil and a spare one with a 0.6-ohm mesh coil (called “MESHED” by Vaporesso). Digging deeper, you’ll find a micro USB cable as well as the manual and all the usual paperwork.
To get started, push the top of the pod from the flat side, which will reveal the push-to-fill mechanism—if you’ve been using Vaporesso pods or the Aspire AVP you’re probably familiar with that design. Then use a thin nozzle bottle to fill the pod up, by pushing the tip of the bottle at the filling hole. If your bottle’s tip doesn’t fit, you can transfer your juice to the 12 mL plastic bottle that’s included in the box. Leave the pod aside for a good 10’, then press the button five times to turn the device on.
Note that the power level will be set depending on the pod you’re using, but you can change between the three settings (which are different for each pod) by pressing the fire button three times. The LED will light up green, blue or red depending on the power level.
There’s no way to adjust the airflow on this device but, as you will read in the performance section, the amount of airflow between the two pods is noticeably different.
Vaporesso PodStick pods
The pods are made out of plastic and come with a non-removable drip tip. At first, I thought that the bore diameter was the same for both pods, but it turns out the MTL one comes with an extra layer of plastic, making its bore slightly thinner. The resistance of the pods is etched on their side and it is a bit hard to see, but that’s unimportant to be honest.
The push-to-fill mechanism is probably there for child protection, but with air not escaping easily filling may get messy at times. Chubby Gorilla style bottles worked fine, but it gave me a hard time with thicker nozzle bottles and transferring my juice to the included bottle was too much of a fuss for me. I am not sure why, but I found the recessed mechanism of the AVP to work better.
The 0.6-ohm coil wicked 70VG easily, but I wouldn’t chain vape anything over 50/50 on the 1.3-ohm ceramic coil; if you like vaping on high VG juices you’ll probably need to stick to the airier draw of the 0.6 ohm pod. Good thing is that both coils seem to last for long—outside of a bum coil which I am going to discuss in the performance section. I’ve refilled the mesh coil around 6-7 times, and the CCELL one a good 5 times till now, and I haven’t noticed any drop in performance whatsoever.
The device houses Vaporesso’s mini edition of the Omni board but outside of its rapid firing and the variety of protections, there’s not much that’s evident from a performance perspective.
The 0.6-ohm pod is a flavorful pod that’s great for airy MTL or a very restricted DL vaping, especially if you are not a fan of really hot vapes. With the power at the highest level it is not as warm as some other button activated devices like the SMOK Nord, but it’s warmer than your average draw-activated pod system. And while vapor production is not going to win you any competitions, it’s more than sufficient for a device this size.
I experienced a bit of leaking through the mouthpiece at times but that was mostly when I left it at its side overnight. Even then, it wasn’t enough to deter me from using, but more of a minor inconvenience. As a note, you should make sure you check e-liquid levels often and refill it before it completely empties; the wick holes are not at the base of the pod and you may risk a dry hit. With no way to remove e-liquid from the pod, this design may also be a problem if you want to change juice without mixing flavors.
Now for the CCELL pod. I am generally not a fan of ceramic coils for various reasons, but this one is a good vape for what it is. The draw is a satisfying MTL with a fair amount of restriction. It’s tighter than the AVP and the SMOK Novo, making it a great option for stealth vaping and MTL in general. That was a big surprise, as most pod vapes that claim to be versatile fall short in the MTL side of things. Vapor is even cooler on this pod (which slightly impacts flavor) but I found it ideal for mid to high nic strength salts.
As with the other pod, the difference between the power levels is subtle, but it performed great with 30 mg salts in mid and high. I’d use the lowest level with anything over that. I’ll also note that the first ceramic pod I tried gave me dry hit after dry hit, but after checking a second pod I was convinced I just got a bum. That was unfortunate and it may put some people of, but I trust that Vaporesso’s QC will take care of that in the future. The second pod performed great without any dry hits with 50/50 juices.
To sum it up, the PodStick performs fine all across the board, but it’s not for vapers who enjoy a very warm vape. With that in mind, the 0.6 coil is the more flavorful of the two, but the ceramic coil is great for MTLing salts and high nic juices in general.
Battery life and charging
The PodStick houses a 900 mAh battery, which is not bad at all for a device that lightweight. On both pods, I managed to go through almost two full fills on their default settings (green for the CCELL, blue for the mesh). For the DL pod that’s not much, but it will probably last you for at least a day when used with the MTL pod.
The micro USB port is placed at the bottom of the device so you can only charge it laying at its side. It needs just under an hour (55’) to fully charge and supports pass-thru charging.
The only problem I faced with the battery was that the LED lights were acting a bit weird. The five lights are supposed to show battery level (at 100%-80%-60%-40%-20%) but the device kept going from three lights to out of charge pretty fast. This may be an issue of the preproduction/sample units, but if it turns out it is not, be prepared to charge not long after your PodStick goes to three lights.
- Lightweight and conveniently shaped
- Paintjob feels solid
- Very easy to use
- Powered by the Omni mini board
- Includes thin nozzle bottle
- Pods wick great (CCELL is better with 50/50 juice)
- Good flavor on the mesh pod
- Ceramic pod is great for nic salts
- Caters to MTL and restricted DL vaping
- Good battery life and supports pass-thru
- Push-to-fill (PTF) may get messy with thicker nozzle bottles
- Can’t remove e-liquid from pods
- Wick holes of the 0.6-ohm pod are high (may cause dry hits)
- Vapor not that warm (especially on the ceramic coil)
- One of two ceramic coils I received was bad
- Some issues with battery indication
A pod system that can satisfy both the MTL and DL crowds is kind of a rare breed. And the Vaporesso PodStick does exactly that. It didn’t blow me away with its performance and it sure has some shortcomings, but it is a great device for beginners—and even experienced vapers who like to occasionally switch between MTL and restricted DL. It is a practical, easy to use and well-built pod vape that ticks all the pod vape boxes.
What do you think of the Vaporesso PodStick? Let me know in the comments.