Panda Evolve – A Review
I don’t like Electronic Cigarettes comparison reviews, or rather, I don’t like ‘writing’ comparison reviews. The reason is quite simple; someone or some product or some company winds up on the losing side. I enjoy writing about great products, but when a product is either poor or underwhelming, it’s just not a lot of fun to have to be the one to put it in writing. That’s where I find myself with the Panda Evolve.
Success vs. Failure
Writing a review is a huge responsibility. It can mean the difference between a product taking off and becoming a huge hit, or winding up in the trash bin of eCigarette failures. I’ve seen it happen many times, and most of the time the success or failure of a product is ultimately the responsibility of the company that makes the product or has the product made for them, but often times a good, or bad, review will give the potential customer some much needed knowledge, a powerful tool when deciding where to spend your hard earned money. A proper review can sometimes help determine the success or failure of a product.
Panda eCigs Evolve Kit – Part One
After having spent some time with a similar product I thought writing about the Panda Evolve Kit Electronic Cigarettes would be an easy assignment. The Evolve Electronic Cigarettes is a variation on the mini-battery plus 1ML clearomizer that we are beginning to see pop up on websites by new and established eCig brands. What I soon discovered after spending time with the Evolve kit is that just because they look alike it doesn’t mean they ‘are’ alike.
The idea behind this type of Electronic Cigarettes is a sound one. Deliver a stronger battery, one that last longer anyway, and toss aside the cartomizer in favor of the clearomizer and you have a whole new product to offer your customers. A product that is supposed to produce more vapor, a cleaner flavor, and a longer lasting vaping experience. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t.
The mini-clearomizer, or minimizer, is a good idea on paper, but not every company can, or wants, to make the changeover. For instance, I sincerely doubt that we will ever see Blu Cigs offer the mini-clearomizer since that would require Blu Cigs to sell their eLiquids by the bottle, something they will resist for as long as they can.
In any case, Panda eCigs is all about the clearomizer and doesn’t even offer a prefilled cartomizer option, so why in the world am I even discussing it?
Panda Evolve Kit – Part Two
The Electronic Cigarettes Evolve Starter Kit, which contains 2 Li-ion batteries, 2 ‘micromizers’, a USB charger, wall adapter, and a bottle of Panda eLiquid. * (I’ll get into the specifics in a bit), will cost the buyer $59.95. In basic terms this starter kit is roughly the same price as most 2x battery starter kits for cig-a-likes. It is not outrageously expensive, nor is it bargain priced. That said I won’t go as far as to call the price ‘fair’. Which brings me back to the opening paragraph of this review.
In today’s fast changing marketplace there is no reasonable way I can not talk about other “battery + mini-clearomizer” and be fair to the readers of Spinfuel Magazine. This is an important, even vital, difference between Spinfuel and most other Vaping publications. Let me explain why.
I could ignore every other Electronic Cigarettes brand and stick to talking about Panda and get away with it. Some will do just that, and Panda will love the review. But to ignore vital information, information that would be invaluable to the any reader who is interested in this type of eCigarette (and why not, the battery + mini-clearomizer idea is sound) would be a disservice. It boils down to this: “Who’s Your Master?”
The Spinfuel Philosophy says that the reader, not the brand, is the one we cater to, the one who is the “master”. The reader, the individual that takes the time to type in our URL, that take the time to read the words we write, the individuals who depend on us to tell them the honest truth, and to provide honest feedback about the products we review.
By sticking to the Spinfuel Philosophy I must write a comparison review, something I dread doing. But to do otherwise would be to ignore what I know. Not only would I lose my job in heartbeat if I didn’t disclose what I know, it would also be wrong.
Panda Evolve Kit – Part Three – The Comparison Review
Note* The following is a very general comparison between two different brands of Electronic Cigarettes. If you are just starting as an Electronic Cigarettes user the information is important however, but there is a lot more to “vaping” than what I will provide below. To fully understand eCigarettes and how they work I suggest stopping in at the Spinfuel Forum and look around, ask questions, make some friends. At this stage of the game there is no need to throw a lot of math and mathematical equations at you.
The price of the Panda Evolve Starter Kit will set you back $59.95, as I already indicated. For that $59.95 you get the following major components:
Panda eCigs – Brand A
Two “230mAh” slim-batteries that output 3.7v, fully charged. Panda acknowledges, rightly so, that a fully charged battery will last about 3 hours. I applaud Panda for being honest about this. A 230mAh battery does indeed last about 3 hours with normal vaping.
Two micromizers, or in ecigarette parlance, ‘tiny clearomizers’ that hold less than 1ML of eLiquid each. The Panda micromizers holds 0.9ML of eLiquid.
As far as any Starter Kit goes the batteries and the cartomizer/clearomizers are the two defining factors. All decent Starter Kit includes a USB charger, wall adapter, and owner’s manual.
777 eCigs Bullet – Brand B
777 eCigs, commonly called “Triple Seven”, offers a similar “battery + clearomizer” starter kit. The price of the Triple Seven starter kit is $49.95, a full $10 less than the Panda Evolve. But it doesn’t stop there. The specs for the Triple Seven “Bullet” starter kit are:
Two “320mAh” batteries that output at a (edit) currently unknown voltage. This battery lasts nearly twice as long and outputs at a more powerful voltage (fully charged), which in layman’s terms means that the atomizer burns hotter which in turn equals more vapor and more flavor from an eLiquid.
Note* Most batteries at this level of vaping are unregulated batteries. What this means is that a battery, when fully charged, starts out at the 3.7v (or 4.2v) and goes down as the charge goes down. When the batteries reach about 3.2v they let you know they need to be recharged, usually through a blinking light at the activator button or the end of the battery, depending on the battery type.
Two Triple Seven clearomizers, which hold a full 1.3ML of eLiquid, which is .4ML more than the Panda micromizers.
Note* Both Panda and Triple Seven do not list the “resistance” or “ohms” of the clearomizer atomizer heads. In addition, both Panda and Triple Seven clearomizers are refillable, but you cannot replace the atomizer so both brands will burn out at some point and you will need to replace the entire clearomizer. Panda micromizers, holding .9ML sell for $3.75 each, Triple Seven’s 1.3ML minimizers sell for $4.95.
The 777 eCigs Bullet review in Spinfuel can be read in full here.
Conclusion: If a small footprint is paramount to you, if “the smaller the better” is what you’re looking in Electronic Cigarettes then the Panda Evolve wins. The battery is the usual slim-mini-battery you’ll find on most 510-threaded eCigarette brands. The 777 eCigs is definitely thicker, it has a much higher mAh rating, and the clearomizers are also larger, holding 1.3ML of eLiquid instead of 0.9ml. The 777 eCigs is a much better value, and performs better than the smaller Panda Evolve. The 777 eCigs battery is an 808-threaded battery.
Panda Evolve – Performance
Okay, the comparison review part is over. Let’s talk about the performance of Evolve Electronic Cigarettes.
The 230mAh slim battery comes in manual and automatic. I like the idea of an automatic battery with a clearomizer, though you will notice a slight decrease in performance over the manual version of the Panda Evolve. Manual batteries, by their nature, provide a bit more ‘hit’ when you press down on the activator button then when using an automatic battery that is activated each time you take a drag on the clearomizer.
Because the battery is a normal slim-style battery the 0.9ml micromizers makes sense. Although the actual resistance of the atomizer inside the clearomizer is unknown, based on the performance during my testing I would guess that its somewhere in the 1.5-1.6ohm area. All the means is that the resistance is “low” enough to allow most of the 3.7v into the clearomizer thereby giving you a decent amount of vapor and flavor.
Based on the amount of vapor, flavor, and throat hit you can obtain with a normal “battery+cartomizer” Electronic Cigarettesthe Panda is about equal. Where the 0.9ml clearomizer outperforms the 0.7-1.0ml cartomizer is unclear.
My real world experience with the Panda Evolve was about the same as with virtually every battery/cartomizer cig-a-like I’ve used. Where clearomizers become a better option for the eCigarette user is when a larger battery is involved and the clearomizer provides a larger capacity for the eLiquid. At this size battery and clearomizer it is almost impossible to see how the clearomizer is a real benefit.
Clearomizer vs. Cartomizer
In any other circumstance I would not bother to write about the differences between a clearomizer and a cartomizer. But, at this size of both the battery and clearomizer in the Panda Evolve it does make sense.
A normal, run of the mill cartomizer hold roughly 0.9ml of eLiquid. (some hold less, .7ml, and some hold more, 1+ml.) And the standard resistance of the atomizer inside is realistically between 2.5-3.0 ohms. A cartomizer can be refilled about 3 or 4 times before you need to toss it and start anew.
The Panda Evolve micromizers holds about the same amount of eLiquid, but the resistance is unknown and it can be refilled about 5 or 6 times, in my own experience anyway.
A 5-pack of Boge Cartomizers can be had for about $6.95. Factoring 4 refills per cartomizer, a 5-pack will give you about 20 refills.
The price of a micromizers is $3.75 apiece. Figuring 6 refills per clearomizer you would need to purchase roughly 3 clearomizers to equal the number of refills and the amount of eLiquid in the 5-pack of cartomizers, or $11.25 in cost.
So, in the end, is the 0.9ml clearomizer a better deal fiscally? No. Does it provide a superior vaping experience? Not at the 0.9ml size where the resistance is unknown and the amount of vapor production is about the same, and maybe even a little less than a Boge cartomizer.
Bottom Line & Buying Advice
I did enjoy using the Panda Evolve Starter Kit. But, I didn’t pay for it, and I had other, more powerful vaping options at the ready, should I need them…and I did. The vaping experience is equal to that of a normal, run of the mill cig-a-like. So, no, I would not buy a Panda Evolve Kit.
In my comparison I chose to use the 777 eCigs Bullet because it is the closest in size to the Evolve, though substantially larger than the Evolve. If size is important than by all means consider either starter kit. But if performance is key, if future-cost is important (the cost to vape after investing in the starter kit), then there is a newer product that will be available this week from Halo Cigs that puts the Panda Evolve to shame in every imaginable way except size. That eCigarette is called the Halo Triton, and the price of the Triton Starter Kit is $5 more than the Panda Evolve, $64.95. That $64.95 buys you the following:
- 2x 650mAh ego-style batteries (4.2v)
- 2x 2.4ML replaceable atomizer Clearomizers
- USB Charger
- Wall Adapter
- Owners Manual
- Deluxe Padded Case
To compare the Halo Triton to the Panda Evolve would be akin to comparing the experience of riding a bike to driving a car, it isn’t much of a comparison, which is why I didn’t compare them in the beginning.
The Panda Evolve might be cute, but the vaping experience just isn’t powerful enough for most Vapers. The 3 flavors of eLiquid that were sent with the starter kit were okay, but nothing worth an in-depth review, and they are expensive. (see below)
The eCigarette landscape is littered with hundreds of brands, all fighting for the explosive growth in the number of Vapers. While Panda eCigs is definitely better than all the bottom-feeder brands out there they simply cannot match the brands at the top of the list. There is nothing inherently wrong with the Panda Evolve, but the fact of the matter is that there are so many other brands that offer better hardware and better eLiquids. I would even venture to say that Panda’s larger battery kits are definitely worth a look.
Note* Panda eCigs states on one of their “Slides” on the homepage that the Panda Evolve was voted the “Best eCigarette for New Users”. This type of hyperbole is very disheartening to Spinfuel and myself. Panda makes no effort to define ‘who’ voted, how they voted, or what other brands were offered in this alleged, “vote”. How in the world can anyone assume Panda eCigs is on the ‘up and up’ when they make claims like this. Pop over to 777 eCigs and see if you can see a single hyperbolic claim. You can’t. That tells you a lot, doesn’t it?
*Panda eLiquids – Panda eLiquids are Chinese-made eLiquids and although not objectionable in taste of vapor production, they possessed the Chinese-flavor characteristics. With so many wonderful American-Made eLiquids that taste so much better, and cost much less, there is no way I could recommend Panda eLiquids.
A 10ML bottle of Panda eLiquids will set you back a whopping $6.95; a 30ML bottle will cost you $14.95.
Panda eLiquids Specs:
- Available in 10ml or 30ml
- Weight: .67oz (10ml) or 1.47oz (30ml)
- Contains 80% Propylene Glycol and 20% Vegetable Glycerin
- USP grade Propylene Glycol and Vegetable Glycerin
- 99% Pure, Laboratory Grade Nicotine
- All flavors are 100% Food Grade and Kosher
No artificial color, alcohol or water