Brez Deluxe Pod Kit
Apollo ecigs have very kindly sent me some new toys to play with so I will kick things off with my thoughts on the Brez Deluxe Pod Kit.
- ultra slim (104.6 x 16.2 x 8.2mm)
- 1ml sealed pods with magnetic gold plated pins
- Easy to use charger with magnetic gold plated pins for the battery and micro USB for the cord
- 320mAh battery
- TruCeramic Coil
- LED indicator
- 5 Salt Nic flavours that come in 20mg nicotine (included with the kit)
At first glance, this looks pretty much like any other closed system pod device. It is very discreet and non threatening for new vapers, and for those of us who sometimes need a more subtle vape and don’t want to lug a mod the size of a suitcase out with them, this certainly fits the bill. Now I have to admit that I have tried a few similar kits before and, without exception, all of them have had issues ranging from poor battery life and performance, to a terrible draw which left me with mouth fulls of juice, so I will admit to being a little apprehensive when this arrived. If I was a new vaper who was just trying to quit the ciggies, I would have been reaching for the reassurance of my baccy tin double quick! But times change, and tech moves fast these days so I had to keep an open mind. As luck would have it, the kit got me out of a sticky bind as last weekend I found myself making a rookie mistake (after nine years, you would have thought I would have learned to cover all bases but even us old hands can cock up sometimes! It got to 10.30pm and I realised some idiot had unplugged my charger and I had no batteries ready which, as you can imagine, put me in to an instant panic. I checked all of my built in battery mods and every single one was flat….I was now breaking in to a cold sweat! Suddenly my eye caught sight of my little pile from apollo and a ray of hope appeared, I ripped off the cellophane, whacked in a pod and, thank the lord, it had some charge! I was saved, at least for long enough to get my regular set up going again. I have never been so relieved to see a little led shining in my life. So this was a very good start and certainly helped me see my new little saviour in a positive light!
In the looks department, it works for my taste. The main battery section is a smooth but not slippery, black plastic with a white led which shows charging status and puff activation, and a very discreet Brez logo right at the bottom. I hate overly showy branding so this is really nice, subtle yet classy. The pod sits nicely in an oval slot, there is a little looseness if you wiggle it manually, but it won’t come free, and believe me, I shook the heck out of it to test the magnets as thoroughly as I could!
Unboxing, set up and charging
Let’s take things back a step and start at the very beginning, after all, it is a very good place to start! The whole package is very attractive and designed to be simple and clear. The main device, charging system and a pod come in one flip box, and the remaining flavours come sealed in foil in another box, both of which are housed in a slip case. There is no instruction booklet, but everything you need to know is printed on the device pack and, to be fair, it really isn’t complicated so it would have been a waste of paper. Having said that, I did get slightly confused by the charging system, but I’m putting that down to being tired and stressed after the battery debacle. The charging cable is super thin with an open style usb at one end and a micro usb at the other. I’m not that keen on the cable, it is only a few inches long and feels rather flimsy, but it does the job intended so no real complaints. My confusion came when I tried to plug it in. There are no ports on the device, and the box says it is a magnetic charging system, so I spent good few minutes trying to get the thing to stick directly as I assumed it meant that it used induction charging. After making a cup of tea and taking a quick break, I took a closer look at the box and realised that the thing I thought was an end cap was actually part of the charger, the cable plugs in one end and then the mod magnetically sits in the other end. I am slightly embarrassed to admit my confusion, but I’d rather give you, dear reader, the full experience so you don’t have to make a bit of a twonk of yourself like I did! Charging takes around 45 minutes. Whilst this isn’t a long time, if you are using it to quit the stinkies, I would suggest picking up a spare kit so you always have one charged.
Next comes the pod. I broke the seal on the RY4 pod, removed the rubber base protector and It pushes in to the other end. I took a puff and, here’s the next slightly embarrassing mistake, nothing happened! I didn’t even get any air through! Something definitely wasn’t right! Thankfully, this idiot moment didn’t last long, on closer inspection, there was also a rubber bung over the mouthpiece area….Doh! It was such a nice fit that it just looked like part of the pod. Once removed, we were finally ready to rock.
Let me assure you, this is an almost idiot proof system, I was just having a very blond night. It really is a very simple, intuitive system and there was no excuse for my own stupidity. After all that though, it was plain sailing.
If you want a very basic, reliable pod system with no complications, this will be for you. It is draw activated only, so just stick it between your lips and suck! Thats it! As you inhale, the led lights up with a reassuring glow, it has a strange psychological effect as I felt much happier inhaling with the light side up and I’m not really sure why that is as you know when it is working because vapour comes out! The human mind is a strange thing though. If you are having a sneaky stealth vape, you only need to stick your thumb over the led and nobody would be any the wiser.
The draw itself is tight but not so much that it is hard work. It very much mimics a cigarette filter in resistance and gives the same sort of satisfaction. I normally use quite an airy tank but sometimes it feels really nice to try that old school tight pull. I found it needed a mini primer draw, quickly followed by a proper one to get the best results, but you will find what works best for you. I haven’t had any issues with gurgling, spit back or leaking and I’m pleased to report that I haven't had any strange fluids in my mouth, at least whilst using the Brez.
Vapour production was surprisingly good for this sort of sealed pod. You aren’t going to win any cloud chasing competitions, and you wouldn’t expect to, but it still managed to produce more than I expected and it scratches that psychological itch that you really need to see when trying to quit. It is definitely more than you’d get after a good drag on a marlborough so I was pleasantly surprised.
Battery life is fine for this sized device. On a full charge, I got three to four hours of pretty solid vaping. You don’t get a huge amount of warning that it is running low though, there is a bit of a drop off for a few puffs, the led flashes a couple of times and then it is gone. This is where having a second kit will become invaluable as nothing has you reaching for the nearest smoke faster than having a flat battery!
The flavours and hit
Each pod contains 1ml of 20mg, flavoured nic salts which I found to be very smooth and satisfying. This is a really good starting point when first going smoke free and will definitely help with those early baccy urges. Refill packs can be picked up from the Apollo website and are priced at £11.95 for a four pack. I was a little concerned that I would vape them dry in next to no time, but I got a surprisingly long vape time from the 1ml capacity. Obviously flavour is not going to be on par with a mesh coiled, cloud chucker, but there was still mostly enough to be worthwhile. As this is a closed system, the pods are not refillable.
Now I am old school and I remember the days when RY4 was king, so I was quite excited to try this version. For those who don’t know, RY4 is a caramel tobacco. I am not really a fan of tobacco flavours but I’ve always made an exception when it comes to this particular juice. But not all RY4s are cut from the same cloth, and I’ve had some god awful ones over the years. Thankfully this is not one of them. In fact, I would say this is just about the perfect mix, just enough tobacco if you like that sort of thing and a deep, rich, warming caramel. It is absolutely delicious and I am hoping Apollo sell it as a shortfill as I hadn’t realised just how much I’d missed having RY4 in my life. If this was the only flavour included, I would have been more than happy.
This is a mild flavour which may not be enough for a lot of people. It is a very subtle honeydew style melon and it has a bit of trouble making it’s presence felt which is a shame as I usually love a nice melon juice. I think this is more a drawback of the pods, they need something quite strong to fully come through and this just doesn’t quite do it.
As I said earlier, I am not someone who reaches for tobacco flavours, so I really wasn’t looking forward to this pod. But a girls got to do what a girls got to do, so I plugged the pod in, braced myself and took my first reluctant puff and….it actually isn’t bad at all! I would say it is more of a fresh tobacco rather than a dirty rollie, slightly aromatic and with enough throat feel to really appeal to a new vaper. It really worked well with the draw style too and I found myself enjoying it much more than I was anticipating. It just goes to show that vaping is full of surprises and one should never dismiss a flavour without giving it a go. It’s a winner!
Whoah mama! This is definitely menthol, first hit caught me off guard completely. As an ex consulat smoker, menthol was the first eliquid I ever bought so I have a slightly sentimental attachment to this profile. This one is not a sweet flavour, but if you used to like menthol cigarettes, this will definitely work for you. Cool, fresh, smooth and full of flavour, a bit of a blast from the past. Another one in the winner pile!
This is sweet, without being sickly. I would say it is a mixed berry but no one particular fruit flavour jumps out. I get a bit of strawberry, raspberry and blackberry, but none jump out as being the boss. It is almost a candy flavour. As with the melon, this is not one of the stronger flavours and I personally feel the system is more suited to more traditional tobacco flavours. It is still pleasant but it could do with being a bit stronger to really hit the spot.
Final round up
Well I hope that covers everything. If you are taking your first steps to going smoke free, you could do a lot worse than this kit, it does everything you need without fuss or complication, and will not be overwhelming when all you really want is to get off the death sticks. It all works perfectly with none of the drawbacks I have experienced in the past, and some of the flavours are really good. If you are already a seasoned vaper, it is a handy kit for those times when your usual set up isn’t acceptable, but it probably wouldn’t become a daily driver. Realistically, this sort of kit really isn’t designed for hardcore vapers but it still has its place.