IQ One Pod System review
Hangsen has been in the vaping industry since 2009 and are probably better known as an eliquid manufacturer, however they do also dip their toes into the hardware side of the market under their IQ brand and today they have sent over their new IQ One hybrid pod kit for review. This is available in a number of different finishes (plastic, resin and leather) depending on your region and here in the U.K. we have the “silver charcoal” and “gold charcoal” (synthetic?) leather finishes at a RRP of £29.99.
I'm not sure if the sample sent for review is in full U.K. retail packaging as it simply has a picture of the device on the front, the “IQ” and “One” logos and “engineered for smokers” on the back/sides of the box with no TPD compliant tobacco product warnings. Once you open the box you're presented with the IQ One in your chosen colour, underneath this you will find the pod itself with a pre installed coil, a spare coil, a USB charge cable, caution card and instructions.
The manual is a fairly simple instruction sheet in English and French and covers all the basics.
Battery capacity: 1100mah
LED light indicator: 3 colors to indicate battery level
IQ Chipset inside: High and reliable performance
Pod capacity: 2ml
Replaceable Coils: 0.6 and 0.8 ohm available
The IQ One is fairly large for a hybrid pod system of this style, it's also a little chunky weighing in at 112g as well. Even so it still feels comfortable in a shirt pocket although you will definitely be aware of its presence.
The leather finish on the U.K. Units give them a slightly premium look with the IQ logo embossed on one side along with the fire button, and the One logo embossed on the other. The main chassis is constructed from zinc alloy which gives it some of it's heft alongside the generous 1100mah battery capacity. The chassis has been polished to a mirror finish which looks great until you touch it, it's an absolute fingerprint magnet so if you're a little OCD then be sure to carry a microfiber cloth with you because you'll be spending a lot of time cleaning them off!
On the left side you will find a micro USB charge port, underneath this is a small LED which shows you the battery life (green > 70%, blue 30 to 70%, red <30%) and various flashing combos for errors. If you're wondering what the other hole is above the USB port is, well that's the airflow hole which looks to be approximately 2mm.
Printed on the right side are all the usual safety warnings/certifications and “Hybrid Vapor system” in large letters. I feel that this detracts slightly from the otherwise sleek looks and it would have perhaps been better to situate this on the bottom where you find 4 battery ventilation holes.
Under the large duck bill drip tip which is secured by 2 fairly strong magnets you'll find the recess for the pod itself. This presumably isn't fitted in the factory to prevent any auto fire incidents whilst in shipping.
The pod itself has a 2ml capacity and is secured in the mod by another two magnets and comes with one coil preinstalled. This is described as a hybrid pod system because you reuse the pod itself and simply replace the coils which simply screw into the bottom of the pod. The pod is filled from the top through a fairly good sized fill port and is sealed with a rubber bung which is secured around the chimney so you shouldn't have any issues with it going astray. Filling is best done slowly as the eliquid takes a little time to make it around the coil to the other side of the pod and if you fill too quickly you get the inevitable airlock. It's pretty easy to see your eliquid levels in the pod itself but once you install it in the mod there’s no viewing window which can lead to a little bit of “pod anxiety” as you have no idea how much juice you have left. The manual states that one of the inbuilt protections is “anti dry burn protection” which suggests some sort of temperature protection but in practice this doesn't work and I can find no mention of the coil material used.
Two coil options are available, 0.8 and 0.6 ohms, both appear to be simple round wire builds, they have four rather large wicking ports for such a small coil and I've had no difficulty using 70VG eliquid with them during testing. Each coil comes with an integrated airflow control ring so you can adjust the airflow to your liking right from a fairly tight draw, roughly equivalent to the 3rd smallest hole on a berserker rta, right up to a tight restricted lung hit. I found the sweet spot for myself was to have the afc’s at around half open on either coil. Flavour wise I would say that the 0.8 ohm coil actually has the edge and this will probably be my favored coil choice going forwards.
One issue I did find in use is there does appear to be some condensation build up under the drip tip and around the tank so I'd suggest giving everything a quick wipe down with a paper towel when you go to refill the pod.
Battery life has also been good, especially using the 0.8 ohm coil. The unit charges at around 0.95 amps taking around 1 hour 30 minutes for a full charge and I recorded a 1087 mah capacity which is close to the quoted 1100 mah. Vape whilst charging is not supported.
I've really been enjoying using the IQ One, especially in the evenings whilst watching the tv. The leather panels give it premium look and make it comfortable to use, although the polished finish to the frame and the large lettering down the right side are a little OTT.
One issue with any stock coil system is running costs, primarily coils. Additional packs of coils are available at a very reasonable £3.99 for a pack of three. Should you lose or break the pod replacements are also available for £4.99 and include a 0.8 ohm coil in the price. One spare that doesn't seem to be offered is the drip tip which could get damaged or even lost over time so hopefully these will be offered in future
I found the vape experience similar to the smok Nord which is another of my favorite pod systems right now, and the coils are a fraction of the price as well so this will continue to be in my rotation for some time I suspect.
Premium looks and feel.
Great battery life.
Good flavour, especially the 0.8 ohm coil.
Inexpensive coils and replacement pods.
May not be for you if you like a super tight mtl draw.
Can't see eliquid levels in use.
Some condensation build up.
A little larger and heavier than some similar pod kits.
Polished chassis is a fingerprint magnet
At the time of writing this review IQ also have a special offer running for 30% off running from the 29th april until 8th of may 2019 so now might be a good time to go take a look if you're interested, you can find it here.