Ecigs, whether you love them or hate them, are like muscle cars.
No matter how good yours is, how much you like it and the times you spend with it, there is always a little voice in the back of your head that says “I wonder if I can make it bigger/better/faster. What I’m trying to get across basically, is this.
A few weeks ago I did a review of the V2 Series 3 ecig. It wasn’t a bad piece of kit, but “sobi” in the comments pointed out “Crappy battery.” “TheDude” also commented that replaceable batteries aren’t really an option for the S3, so once it’s flat you either have to charge from a wall socket or buy more kits. Both of these are fair points.
If you aren’t a heavy vaper and you’re a casual, “I-like-to-have-a-puff-after-2-beers-or-a-glass-of-wine” vaper then the S3 is good enough. I’ve had similar products through my vaping career and they work. The tank and battery capacity aren’t huge, but if you aren’t hitting it that much then it’s not a major issue.
But what if you need more power? What if you aren’t a casual vaper? Is the S3’s “good enough” actually good enough? The answer from people who have been vaping for years like “TheDude” and myself is……of course not!
Well, V2 is back with something for that itch.
The Series 7 (S7.) V2 handily sent one along to The Daily Caller to be put through its paces — and it’s bigger and better than the S3 in all respects. Nobody is going to be mistaking this one for a pen.
The eliquid tank has been bumped from 1.6ml to 2.4ml, and “sobi” will be pleased to hear that the battery is up from 650mah to 1800mah. To put that in perspective, the iPhone 6 has an 1810mah battery. This thing is going to give you a lot closer to “all day battery life” than a certain fruit themed company’s new watch.
V2’s fancy magnet tech makes a reappearance for both charging and tank retention. I know I said it previously but I’ll just reiterate, magnet based charging should be mandatory for all pass throughs. USB plugins are the spawn of the devil and should be banned like the abomination they are. The swappable tanks are back too.
No sign of a wax burning tank yet (it’s listed as “coming soon” on V2’s website) but the loose leaf tank for “plant matter” is, and it has been bumped as well, so you can crank up the amount of loose leaf “tobacco” (nudge nudge wink wink) that you can cram in the thing.
The S7 also introduces variable voltage vaping into the V2 range. With a sequence of button presses you can change the output from 3.7 to 4.2 to 4.7 volts. It’s a very simple concept. The more volts, the more vapor. The more vapor the faster the tank and battery drains. You make the choice.
So whats it like?
Well, the fit and finish are top-notch, the LED light show around the activation button and the base when it’s charging and voltage swapping is nice. Commenters last time pointed out that the V2 mouthpiece design is less “drip tip” style and more something you hold against your lips when you draw on it. It’s different, yes. Preferable? To me, I kinda like it. To you, I don’t know. I think it’s really one of those “on the lips of the beholder” things.
One thing I will say though, is that I wasn’t completely sold on the black plastic of the tip at first. It’s not poor quality by any means, but it wasn’t as noticeable of a feature on the S3. On the bulk of the S7 it’s just a lot bigger and hence more noticeable.
Which brings me to the size. As with any increase in power there’s always a trade-off somewhere, and on the S7 it’s in its size. The thing is more than an inch and a quarter in diameter and nearly an inch deep with a lazy oval shape that stops it from rolling around. I don’t have huge mitts and the S7 fits fine but it’s certainly not something you are going to vape like a cigarette. But then again, I can’t vape my box mods like cigarettes either.
The draw on it is smooth, really smooth, no pops, no hisses, no drama. I loaded it up with my own blend of eliquid and that was it. No leaks, no gurgling, just smooth, uncomplicated vaping. The throat hit is good, especially on the 4.7 volt setting and the cloud you can puff out is substantial.
Which leads us to the verdict. What do we think of the S7?
It’s sitting on my desk here and I’m looking at it as I type and I’m torn. I’ve used a lot of ecigs from a lot of different companies and I have to say I like the S7. There’s no denying that it’s well made, there are some smart design touches, it’s styled differently than a lot of whats out there, it feels good in the hand and the draw is bang on.
It ain’t cheap. $150 for the kit, $14 for another eliquid tank ($30 for a loose leaf). This is not pocket change and that puts it into the same market as some VERY credible opposition. The tanks are big things, carrying a spare is not a small/cheap undertaking and while the battery is a significant improvement over the S3 and will last a lot of people all day, there is still that non replaceable battery issue. Heavy vapers would need to be strategic with their charging during the day if they wanted to vape all day and then go out and vape all night.
With the S7 it’s not so much that I would feel that I wasn’t getting a good product for my money. The S7 is a slick, well-built machine. I just know that for what I paid, I could have got more power, more options, just more everything for the same cash. To go back to the muscle car analogy I started with, it’s like having the cash to buy a brand new Mustang with a 100,000 mile factory warranty. For the same cash I could buy a lot of fun crazy custom sports cars that, even though I know might be less of a polished package, I’d have more fun with.
There are going to be dedicated vapers who read this review who make their own coils, build their own sub-ohm mod boxes with 8ml tanks and blend their own liquid. They wouldn’t dream of picking up an S7. Very honestly, the S7 isn’t for you lot. It isn’t even trying to catch your eye, but then neither are Blu disposables at 7-11. The S7 has a very dedicated segment of the market that it’s going for and that’s the person who wants more than the crappy ecigs you buy in the mall, more than the S3 provides, but really don’t want to get into the vaping world as a hobby. They aren’t cloud chasers or ecig techies who want to build things.
When I was first getting in to vaping the technology was new, it was the dark ages. There were reliability issues with a lot of very experimental tech. Things broke, things went wrong. I bought things that didn’t provide anywhere near what they claimed and it was frustrating, but that’s normal for early adopters. If you wanted something like the S7 back then you had to get your hands dirty.
The S7 now provides technology that is light years ahead of those dark ages, all in a consumer friendly package, and there are going to be people out there who are going to want exactly that. They want a more powerful product without all the tinkering and they are prepared to pay extra for it to be easy. It’s been true with cars, computers, and cellphones, and now it’s happening with ecigs.
What the S7 represents is the first step into the commercialization of variable voltage mods. It is never going to compete with the “race tuned” mods out there. It isn’t supposed to. However, those people who want a “beefier” hassle free, casual, vaping experience (and are prepared to pay for it) finally have one and that’s a good thing for ecig culture. It shouldn’t be that if you can’t or don’t want to go deep into vaping you have to be relegated to use junk from the mall that breaks.
The entry-level bar of the ecig game just got elevated, and Blu cigs would do well to watch over their shoulder!