When is a Pod Mod a True Pod Mod?
Pod Mod systems, sometimes known as Ultra-Portable vape devices, (though Ultra-Portable mods and Pod Mods are really two different types of mods) are tough cookies to review. On one hand, they’re tremendously popular, which is sort of weird if you ask me, and seem to be a great way to introduce new vapers to our little corner of the world. On the other, their simplistic design and (purposely) limited functionality that makes them difficult to discuss at length. And let’s face it, for their manufacturers they are extremely profitable. Consumers can buy them on the cheap, but the manufacturers produce them on the ‘very cheap’.
But, for whatever reason, that hasn’t changed their ever-growing status in the vape marketplace – we’re about halfway done with 2018, and it seems like new pod mods are coming to market every day. Additionally, the nicotine salt e-liquid market is expanding at the same, or nearly the same, rate as pod mods. We here at Spinfuel VAPE have no idea where this segment of the market will end up; will pod mods and nic-salt e-juice prove to be even more successful getting smokers off cigarettes, or will this all turn out to be a fad, soon to give way to an even more bizarre vaping system making promises to the severely addicted smoker?
In any case, as the most valued vape review e-magazine, we would be remiss not to review as many pod mods and ultra-portable devices as we can so that potential buyers can at least have some kind of idea what to look for, and what to expect, should they decide to go down the pod mod or ultra-portable path. Having said that, there exists not a single pod mod or ultra-portable mod that ‘does it all’, nor can any brand or model claim to be the one to release tobacco’s death grip on every smoker. As sad as it is, some people will never stop smoking cigarettes until their last breath.
3 Truths About Pod Mods
1 – All Pod Mods are low power vaping devices.
2 – All Pod Mods have internal batteries with small milliamp capacities.
3 – All Pod Mods promise more they can deliver.
3 Lies About Pod Mods
1 – Pod Mods need nicotine-salt e-liquids in order to work.
2 – Pod Mods always use prefilled ‘pods’.
3 – Pod Mods will satisfy nicotine cravings of the most addicted smokers.
A True Pod Mod Is…
The more mature the vape industry becomes the more complex it becomes. Today is market more confusing than ever, and in order to present the following mini-reviews, we need to come to an understanding of what we, Spinfuel VAPE, defines as a Pod Mod.
A true Pod Mod does indeed use some type of ‘pod’. An All-In-One Mod, or AIO Mod is not what we consider a Pod Mod, though some AIO Mods have Pod Mod traits. An Ultra-Portable Mod is not a Pod Mod, though again, they can share traits with a Pod Mod. A real, honest to goodness pod mod consists of a pod and low power, low milliamp battery, and is the device that all these high nicotine salt e-liquids were designed for. Nicotine-Salt e-Liquids contain anywhere from 20mg to 59mg of nicotine-salts. While these nicotine salts may provide a nice and smooth vape, they are very high in nicotine. You don’t use nicotine salt e-juice in a sub-ohm tank.
A Word about Ultra-Portable Mods
Because this segment of vape industry is growing so incredibly fast many people are lumping pod mods into a sometimes older, higher quality vaping device category called Ultra-Portable Mods. Mods like the SMOK PRIV One, or even the $100+ Shanlaan Laan Mod, really shouldn’t be called Pod Mods, though many vendors include them into either a ‘pod mod’ category or an ‘ultra-portable’ category. Then again, take the Vaporesso Nexus AIO Kit; this $16.95 ultra-portable (not Pod Mod), uses the sophisticated OMNI Board and sub-ohm (0.6-ohm) NX CCELL Coils yet it too is often called a Pod Mod. This very attractive Mod can be used by vapers like myself, with 3mg freebase-nicotine 70% VG blends with delightful results. Not mind-blowing clouds, but excellent flavors. (Available at Element Vape as well.)
As for the SMOK PRIV One, it is a 60W AIO mod using a Direct Voltage Output system. The Shanlaan Laan is an 40W mod, and with the aid of the downloadable iOS and Android smartphone app, it does variable wattage and temperature control. As much as people may way to call these mods Pod Mods, especially the Shanlaan Laan, they are not.
Not all AIO Mods are Pod Mods
Not all AIO Mods are Ultra-Portable
Not all AIO Mods are Vape Pens
Pod Mod Systems and Nicotine-Salt E-Juice
When these real Pod Mod systems started showing up at Spinfuel VAPE we filled the refillable pods with our favorite e-liquids; all 70% VG at least, all 3mg nicotine, and the pod mods worked fine. However, as nicotine-salt e-liquids became more diverse and available (and still expensive), we began using them in our Pod Mods. Vaping a nic-salt e-juice in a pod mod was an epiphany. Now we were beginning to understand why so many e-liquid brands began branching out into the nic-salt marketplace.
However, we think it’s important to point out that a real pod mod filled with high levels of nicotine-salt e-juice still won’t stop some people from smoking cigarettes alone. We now this first hand in half a dozen experiments with friends and colleagues that continue to smoke their Marlboro, Winston, and Pall Malls. No matter what, a strong desire to stop using tobacco must accompany even the highest level of nicotine salt e-liquid and the finest Pod Mod.
As for the rest of us, the high wattage, low-resistance cloud chasers? The Pod Mod concept is useless to us. That said, a true AIO-like the SMOK PRIV One, or a true Ultra-Portable like Joyetech Batpack & ECO D16, can and are used by our writers because these inexpensive, small mod kits can vape the high VG 3mg freebase-nicotine ejuice just fine.
The Pod Mod Reviews
Because there are so many of these Pod Mods coming at us for review, we believed that rather than breaking these devices down to individual reviews, that a sort of ’roundup’ type of mini-reviews, to see which of the most recent pod mods might best fit your needs; IF they fit your needs, makes the most sense.
In order to do that, and to do it in a way that doesn’t force our readers to drudge through thousands of words, we chose these Pod Mods based on the following criteria;
1 – Cost
2 – Aesthetics
3 – Adherence to the Pod Mod concept
4 – Our personal likes and dislikes of the Pod Mods in our hands
Each of the above are true Pod Mods. Each are capable of using nicotine-salt e-juice without blowing away the person using it. And they are all inexpensive devices with simple functions. For those of you looking to try your hand at this Pod Mod business, the above are excellent candidates. However, if you are looking for a small device that gives you more options, than you don’t want a Pod Mod, you want an Ultra-Portable Mod, or an All-in-One AIO Mod. Confusing? Indeed.
Let me reiterate – this was NOT a “best of” article, nor does this represent an exhaustive list of what pod mods are out there. But with the flood of new pod mod vapes appearing nearly every week, we wanted to consolidate the latest options into a nice little comparison piece to help you make the best decision should you decide that a Pod Mod is in your future…
Though these devices are functionally similar, as you see here, there are plenty of advantages and disadvantages to each. Hell, sometimes a battery rating isn’t even an accurate judge of long-term performance and enjoyment.
Thanks to their low cost, it’s much easier to jump into the pod mod fray than other more advanced areas of vaping. And, should you be tempted, we encourage you to try some of these devices and form your own opinions. We also encourage you to share them in the comments, and on our social media pages. Let us know what works for you, or what you think would work for you.