A new pod that fails to impress

The ePod is a new pod made by Vype, the e-cigarette subsidiary of British American Tobacco (BAT).

It is compact and uses a classic design offering the advantage of being tried-and-tested, albeit lacking in originality. This is not Vype’s first creation — we were talking about this brand as early as 2013. For this reason, we were expecting a noticeable upgrade with this new model of the range.

Technical characteristics

Pod dimensions 104.2 mm (length) x 10.5 mm (depth) x 19.1 mm
Pod weight 23 g
Charging proprietary
battery 350 mAh
Range of use 6-8 W
Tank capacity 1.4 ml

What’s in the box?

  • Pod
  • USB cable
  • User guide

A standard battery

Vype ePod battery

The battery finishes are decent, with a surface that is pleasant to touch and a quality surface treatment. In the centre, an LED indicates battery operation and charge status. There is no need for a button as vapour is produced automatically when you inhale.

Vype ePod - battery base

At the battery base, you will not see any USB port, but three contacts. A specific cable is needed for charging, with a specific connector designed to receive the battery. It is held in place by magnets which do the job very well. This ensures a secure connection and nice, easy handling.

Vype ePod - USB

Compared to a conventional USB port, this is a user-friendly and undoubtedly more reliable system, avoiding the potential accumulation of dust in the USB port. On the other hand, it is considerably less flexible, as you cannot use a standard charging cable. If you forget to charge one evening, expecting to be able to charge when you get to the office on a phone charger, for example, is pointless.

Vype ePod - 350 mAh accu

The battery is powered by a 350 mAh storage battery offering a battery life in line with the market average in this category. Enough to hold for one day with moderate use. It is always a good idea to have two pods on you, so you can be sure that the battery won’t run out, which might cause you to go straight back to your nearest tobacconist. However, if it’s to buy a pack of Lucky Strikes, Vype certainly won’t hold it against you 😉  As it happens, this allows you to have two charging cables, and greater flexibility from that point of view.

Therefore, there is no learning curve in terms of use, you simply insert a cartridge and vape.

The cartridge (capsule) that makes a great play of things

Vype ePod - capsules

Vype cartridges, or “capsules”, have a classic design. They are obviously sealed and pre-filled. Therefore, they are not suitable for filling and are disposed of once the liquid contents run out. The environmental impact is devastating as with all other sealed cartridges on the market…

Vype ePod - base capsules

They have two contacts at their base, allowing operation via the battery. No particular condensation or leakage of e-liquid is observed during use. This is testament to the well-executed resistance coil design even before you take a closer look.

Vype ePod - plugged in cartridge

When the cartridge is plugged in, some play can be observed. By this we mean that it moves in its housing. Not some barely noticeable play as is often encountered. No, some serious play that can be felt clearly whenever you take a puff. It leaves the unpleasant impression that the refill will stay on your lips when you move the pod away from your mouth.

The two models from our test displayed the same defect, noticeable on one, and very considerable on the other. We may have been unlucky, but, in any case, this is the illustration of a botched design in this respect or a serious production continuity issue. This truly unpleasant aspect immediately makes you forget the good initial impression from the battery finish.

Well-executed resistance coil

Vype ePod - airflow

The airflow from the ePod is relatively restrictive and very pleasant for indirect vaping (mouth-to-lung, similar to a tobacco cigarette). Inhaling is similar to a combustible cigarette, which is useful for beginners.

The vapour production is also well-balanced and satisfactory. Compared to other Big Tobacco products, it is considerably superior to that of a Juul or a Blu, which is not saying much. The vapour is not as dense and smooth as on a clearomizer, but is above-average for pods.

Vype ePod - resistance

A surprisingly good performance when you take a closer look at the resistance coil. The design is well-executed, a far cry from the shoddy workmanship of the two competitor models mentioned.

Vype ePod - porous ceramic

Cotton is replaced by a porous ceramic, neatly sealed to the base. This system provides outstanding capillarity while preventing leakages, which is confirmed when using the ePod.

Vype ePod - coil under ceramic block

Vapour is produced by a small resistance coil positioned under the ceramic block. This design can be found on a large number of recent pods. It usually gives excellent results.

Vaping that disappoints

Vype ePod - e liquid

This is precisely where the ePod surprisingly falls short. Similar ceramic resistance coils can be found on a large number of current pods and offer very good performances in terms of flavour rendering and hit.

On the ePod, however, the flavours are duller, less refined, while the hit is weaker. Once again, the performances are markedly superior to a MyBlu or a Juul. So, they are not completely useless, but far behind the best devices at the moment.

In terms of the hit, the ePod’s 18 mg/ml nicotine cartridges offer a similar sensation in the throat as that obtained with a clearomizer using a liquid containing between 3 and 6 mg/ml of nicotine. Not bad, but far from the quality that could have been expected.

To try to understand the average rendering of flavours, we tested the liquid from the cartridges on a dripper. The liquids themselves are pretty good, say in line with average on the dripper. However, they lose their intensity and their flavour on the ePod. A surprisingly disappointing result, given the apparent quality of the resistance coils.

A somewhat high price per use

Based on the average prices recorded in Europe

In terms of the positioning of the ePod, we are sceptical of one important point. Vype states that the cartridges have a capacity of 1.9 ml, but it is only 1.4 ml when measured. The cartridges are sold at €7.99 per pack of two, which is equivalent to €2.85 per millilitre. This is equivalent to €28.50 per 10 ml, approximately 5 times more than a standard 10 ml bottle…

Summary

What we like

  • Compact design
  • Ease of use
  • High-performance battery
  • Battery life

What we don’t like

  • Makeshift assembly between the cartridge and the battery
  • 18 mg/ml liquids only available
  • No indication of cartridge capacity
  • Mediocre flavours and hits
  • Cost of capsules

To find out more

To guide you in your choice, we have answered the most frequently asked questions concerning its use:

  • The ePod is not prone to leakage, but leakages can nonetheless happen. We suggest a few solutions if this happens to you.
  • The battery may also stop charging, rendering it unfit for use. A few troubleshooting points to help you find a solution quickly.
  • The ePod requires very little maintenance. However, some occasional cleaning of the most exposed parts can prolong its service life and prevent malfunctions.
  • During use, the ePod liquid budget may become sizable. We have prepared a report to help you reduce your expenditure and make savings with your e-cigarette.
  • To ensure a seamless transition to e-cigarettes, the vapour produced must be satisfactory for the user. Here is some advice if this model is not working for you.
  • The Vype tanks are sealed, but it can be tempting to try to fill them with a bottled e-liquid. We tried, successfully but unconvincingly.
  • Vype products are widely distributed and relatively easy to find. We explain how you do so quickly and easily online or in-store.
  • Travelling with an e-cigarette involves some preparations and precautions. A comprehensive guide to travelling with your ePod with peace of mind.
  • Finally, we present a comprehensive comparison with other sealed-tank e-cigarette models. This will allow you to make a fully informed choice.

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