Artery Pal II AIO Review
Bought with my own money for review purposes.
RRP = Current Sale Price: around £25 or less if you catch a bargain.
Artery Official Pal 2 web page with full info & specs:
One Line Review
One of the best MTL & DTL Pod/AIO kits available, compact, superb full flavour vape and decent battery life. If you're looking for an introduction into PODS / AIO’s, this is it.
Score = 8.5 out of 10
In the Box
- 1 x PAL II Kit
- 1 x Extra Coil
- 1 x Extra Plug
- 1 x USB Cable
- 1 x User Manual
- 2 x O-rings
- 1 x Warranty Card
- 1 x Certification
Opening the box, you are greeted with the Pal 2 with the pod and 1.0ohm coil preinstalled and wrapped up, underneath are a few spares, bits of paper nobody reads (unless you really get stuck), a spare 0.6 ohm coil and Micro USB cable.
I briefly admired the Pal 2 before rushing off to charge it, prime the coil and fill the pod. Impatiently waited for it to charge………
PAL 2 AIO / Pod Review
Looks and ergonomics
The Pal 2 looks superb in my opinion, quite contemporary in design with simple lines and curves. I had wondered how I would get on with the position of the fire button, but I found it easy to trigger it however I held it in my hand, thumb or finger. It is spring loaded and responsive. It also has an outer ring to protect it from ‘pocket firing’.
The construction is great quality and feels solid, and the branding is a nice balance, minimal and stylish. The side panel is held on by magnets and reveals access to the cartridge and airflow. The airflow path is taken from 2 slots on the side with a recess in case it’s obstructed, it does look a little phallic though! The cartridges mouthpiece is one of my favourite features which is whistle shaped and is surprisingly comfortable and effective.
Cartridge / Tank / Pod
The lines have become very blurred between PODS and AIO (All In Ones) as in the PAL 2 features, what is essentially, a plastic tank with interchangeable coils, which technically puts it into the AIO category. Even Artery officially describe it as a “Pod system based on AIO kit”, very blurry!
That said it’s ‘Pod’ is easy to remove by taking off the side panel with slight pressure downwards, then pull the pod out. It can be filled while still in the pod but it’s easier to do it while it’s removed. There is a silicone bung which is retained, flip this open to access the fill port. Filling it fully takes a little practice of ‘chasing the air bubble’ but is pretty easy. Even the drip tip holds juice and its strangely satisfying to fill it without any air left in it, perhaps it’s my slight OCD? Changing the coil is simple but the pod ideally needs to be empty or half full and held on it’s side. Simply unscrew the coil counter clockwise via the knurled airflow ring and pull it out, the coil then unscrews from it’s 510 base so you can prime the new coil then reverse the above to assemble it.
- 5 Clicks on
- 5 Clicks off
Click the fire button to display the battery life LED:
- Red light = 5-15%
- Purple light = 15-50%
- Blue light = 50-100%
The reverse light sequence is also the battery charging status.
Right then, let’s move onto the good part PERFORMANCE!
This Pod or AIO or whatever you want to call it is FRIKKIN AWESOME!!!
Ah okay I will elaborate….
Before I delve in, most of my opinions are based upon the 1.0 Ohm coil and MTL style vape, I found DTL 0.6 Ohm coil is also good for a slightly restrictive but flavourful DTL vape.
From the moment you take your first draw it was a “whoa this is the mutts nuts!” sensation, the airflow is sublime, flavour is the best I have had from ANY pod/AIO/MTL Atty, the mouthpiece is a stroke of genius that not only is comfortable but makes the draw very smooth with just the right restriction even on the DTL coil but excels with the MTL coil, especially with Nic Salts.
The power it delivers is spot on. I have some variable voltage pods but this really doesn’t need it as the power delivery is the perfect balance to the coil, not too cool and just warm enough. Obviously the downside is that this will drop off as the battery runs down, but it is still very enjoyable until it’s down to around a third capacity.
I have been using this system for a couple of months now (my first one was the Red version) and there is no novelty factor. It still impresses me every time I use it. I have had other pods since and none have beaten it on flavour (See COMPARED TO).
Whether you have the 2ml TPD or the 3ml version, it’s not a deal breaker. The 2ml lasts ages with the MTL 1.0 Ohm coil (for 50/50 PG/VG) and it is pretty good with the DTL 0.6 Ohm coil (which you can use 70/30 VG/PG juice).
For me it’s my go to choice for Nic Salts, coil lifespan is pretty good. I’ve yet to have a dry hit as it gets to the end of its life, it's flavour starts to drop off but still useable for a day or 2 so you are not going to be left stranded with a dead coil.
Battery life with its 1,000 mAh cell almost last me a day of moderate use but it charges quite fast and I top it up with a portable power bank.
So is it a perfect device?
There’s an element of luck of the draw down to a design change. My red version had exposed magnets in the body and the panel which stuck like s**t to a blanket and it has a very impressive rattle free door as a result. This was perfect
I then then bought a 2nd one only the find the magnets were now embedded underneath the plastic. From the moment I held it, the panel rattle was awful! It’s so loose and rattles as you shake it and, worse still, it slides around in your hand.
I emailed Artery regarding the issue but received no reply. I was gutted that my new favourite AIO was now annoying me. I found my own solution by modifying it using a 3mm Milling Bit to hand drill through the plastic and I added 2 x 3mm diameter 1mm thick magnets
This is a photo of my fix, you can see the difference and my modification didn’t totally resolve the issue but reduced the rattle enough for me to use it without the annoyance.
This seemed to be the 2nd revision of the PAL 2. There now is a 3rd revision which has a juice window. I cannot comment if the magnet issue has been resolved on this version as I don’t own one but Artery claim:
“IMPROVED VERSION: THE 2 MAGNETS ARE BEHIND THE COVER WHICH WILL AVOID THE MAGNETS FALLING ISSUE”
Source: Artery official webpage for the Pal2:
This wasn’t a deal breaker for me as I still adore this device, then the best got better!
0.6 Ohm Mesh HP (15-23 Watts)
Though I prefer MTL coils, I tried this coil with nic salts and was pleasantly surprised with its performance. I tried it DTL and MTL and loved the flavour this coil gave. I only ever expected to use the 1.2 Ohm coil but I have ordered more of these. They give off a lot more vapour so not as stealthy, but worth it.
1.2 Ohm HP (7-12 Watts)
This is my favourite of the 2 coils for nic salts and stealth, full flavour MTL giving off very little vapour. I love this coil.
*The original 0.6 & 1.0 Ohm coils are still available so be sure to go for the ‘HP’ version if you can.
Artery, to their credit, have not only been revising the mod but have also worked on improving the already great coils to the HP version. These coils ramp up the flavour even more and so far the coil life is also improved, a HUGE PRO for that. Artery R&D seems to be constantly looking for ways to improve and, with the release of the PAL 2 Pro, they have built upon the success to produce what promises to be one of the greatest AIO kits available.
There are now so many colour variants to choose from. I don’t have permission to use the official photos but you can see them on the Artery site which is worth a look as you can see all the colours and the revised edition:
Smok Trinity Alpha – Smok Nord – Aspire AIO – Smoant Pasito
Smoky Trinity Alpha
On paper the Trinity Alpha beats the Artery Pal 2 but this is far from the case. The Trinity Alpha is a superb device but a fatal flaw ruins it completely, the airflow is far too airy and not adjustable, the vape from it is awful, it’s certainly NOT a satisfying MTL draw and borderline 'meh' DTL draw.
IF Smok would wake up and add adjustable airflow they would have had a winner.
Though far different in shape, this pod follows the same principle of the PAL 2 and the flavour from the Nord is excellent, but again it is let down by its non-adjustable airflow and loose MTL draw.
Top marks for calling it an AIO but they took the successes and failures of the Breeze 2 and manage to make it worse! It feels cheap and tacky with average flavour but at least it has adjustable airflow.
Now this is where the fight becomes heavyweight! The Pasito has far more going for it, almost everything is better with adjustable power, an easy to remove pod and visible juice view design, but the Pal 2 beats it on flavour using stock coils. However with the RBA deck the Smoant clearly is the winner.
Now to mix it up a bit…….
For those that are experienced with MTL devices and Pods / AIO, there is a certain style of draw that’s difficult to describe. I have struggled to replicate it when using MTL tanks or RDA’s. Then along came the Vandy Vape Simple EX which was designed to be a POD beater and it certainly achieved this to some degree. At the time of it's release, it beat every pod I had tried and still holds it's own for a pod like draw and superb flavour with the advantage of being cheap to run due to building your own coils.
So here is my personal POD-IUM of top pod style ultimate MTL flavour devices. Many will argue that a squonker doesn’t belong in this comparison but if you tried it you would understand why it’s in my pod collection rather than squonk.
The Smoant Pasito only comes out on top *IF* you are using the rebuildable RBA, but if you are not into building your own coils and prefer the convenience of stock coils then the PAL 2 takes the top step and is No1 for flavour and performance. The Pasito coils are good but not quite as good as the Artery HP coils.
So the winner is...down to your preference! For me, the Pasito edges it with its innovative RBA, which delivers even better flavour than the Artery Pal coils and is a lot cheaper to run.
So with all things considered the Artery Pal 2 is an exceptional device with sublime flavour, stealthy, compact, pocket friendly and one of those devices you love. The evolution of pods is staggering and, in an overcrowded market, it takes something special to stand out. The Artery Pal 2 certainly does just that and with the constant improvements by Artery, it’s only going to get better. It’s not perfect but damn close to it, magnet issue aside.
On the face of it, the Pal 2 appears to have little innovation. Most of the features on this device have been seen before yet Artery have managed to create a device that out performs it's rivals and, as mentioned above, their research and development is admirable. With the PAL 2 PRO on the horizon, Artery have a firm foothold in the pod market.
Would I replace it if it died?
100% yes. I highly recommend this Pod /AIO as one of the best ever ‘Pods’ to date. Even if something better comes out next week, you are still not going to be disappointed with this superb piece of kit.
Pros & Cons
- Compact & pocket friendly.
- Superb Flavour.
- Whistle drip tip is excellent.
- Protected fire button.
- Easy to use.
- Fast charging.
- Long coil life.
- Superb airflow control ring.
- 1,000 mAh Battery last long.
- HP Coils for better performance.
- Different doors can be loose.
- Dark tank can be difficult to see your juice level. (There is now a clear version available)
- You have to remove the panel to see your juice level (On this version).
As you can see I genuinely struggled to find cons for the Pal 2 and quite possibly all 3 of these issues have been revised in the latest revision, it’s a fairly basic piece of kit but it performs beautifully with great flavour, what more do you need from a Pod/AIO, this is on my highly recommended list.
- Looks: 7/10
- Ergonomics: 8/10
- Performance: 9/10
- Overall Score 8.5/10
- Value: 9/10 (at current RRP)
- Flavour: 9/10
- Close to a 9 but with my panel issue it’s still a solid 8.5.