Vaporesso XTRA – Draw Activated Pod REVIEW
Supplied by Vaporesso for review purposes.
I very nearly didn’t review this pod system, I had come to the conclusion that self draw pods were generally poor in flavour or prone to failure, but the XTRA arrived and I thought sod it, let’s give it the benefit of the doubt! Despite its limited functionality, it turns out I had received one of the best pod systems out there. Seriously, I have not been able to put this pod down for weeks – read on to find out why.
In A Nutshell
The Vaporesso XTRA is a surprisingly great little pod system in a flooded pod market. This is not JAFP (Just Another F**king Pod), in fact it is one of the very best pods currently available. The flavour is superb and it’s replaced many of my other pods. Yes, it is very basic, but it delivers and that is what counts.
Score: 8/10 – Superb Flavour and Styling in a basic compact bundle
“XTRA! XTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT…….”
(a newspaper sellers shout for those that didn’t get the reference)
So before I get into the nitty gritty, here’s the usual specs & bumf….
Vaporesso’s own description: (followed by my commentary)
"A huge leap-forward in vaping has been achieved by giving you XTRA. With the upgraded cotton material adopted in the coils, the XTRA releases true flavors from your juice. The ergonomic design fused with exquisite texture feel perfect right at your finger-tips. XTRA may be small, but it still packs a 900mAh battery for your daily vaping. Get extra with this compact yet powerful device."
Okay, that’s quite a boast and, as much as I love this pod, you can hardly describe it as a ‘huge leap forward in vaping’ as there’s nothing new or innovated about the XTRA. Perhaps they are referring to the actual coil wicking tech? I will give them that much, the pods are what make this really stand out. The hardware is very nice indeed but very basic in functionality.
- Dimensions: 73.9mm x 38.2mm x 16.7mm
- Battery Capacity: 900mAh
- Pod Capacity: 2ml
- Resistance: UNIPOD 1.2Ω, MESHED UNIPOD 0.8Ω
- Output Power: 11W UNIPOD, 16W MESHED UNIPOD
- Display: Single 3-color LED Indicator
- Charging Current: DC 5V/1A
- Colors: Grey / Rainbow / Silver / Silver Resin / Rainbow Resin / Grey Resin
Nothing remarkable to comment on in the specs. Obviously the size is nice and compact and the battery capacity is ideal for its size. UNIPOD – erm……… no idea what that means, perhaps the pods go to University? If I was to hazard a guess, I would go for ‘Universal Pod’ which would be superb if Vaporesso were to adopt this pod in future battery releases.
The packaging is really nice quality. The box itself is larger than you would expect, but there’s a nice bundle inside including a very welcome second pod. The USB cable is really nice though not USB-C. There’s a manual which is nicely detailed but rather pointless. It’s a draw activated pod so I would be amazed if anybody read it?
- 1 x Vaporesso XTRA Battery
- 1 x MESHED UNIPOD (2ml, 0.8Ω, Pre-installed)
- 1 x UNIPOD (2ml, 1.2Ω, In Box)
- 1 x USB Cable
- 1 x User Manual
- 1 x Warranty Card
- 1 x Reminder Card
I did like the inclusion of the reminder card for the pod differences, unfortunately I can’t remember where I put mine though.
Looks and construction
As I had no clue what the XTRA was until it arrived, I was pleasantly surprised how nice it looked and felt. It has a nice weigh to it with its all metal chassis, and is styled with a textured leather feel wrap around. For such a compact device, there’s a lot of styling gone into it. I love the oval shape with a bulge at one end and small details like the tiny grid effect and the branding tabs. I also like the way they have incorporated a lanyard hoop into the chassis. Though no lanyard was included, at least the option is there for those who like them.
The charging port (micro USB) and the battery status LED are nicely placed near the base and look discreet. On the base there is some tiny battery vent holes and a very small button which is purely for battery status. I first thought it was adjustable power, but I was soon to learn that isn’t the case.
The UNI(brow)PODs are top quality, really well designed for a firm magnetic fit into the battery. The duckbill mouthpiece is so comfortable and the filling bung is also durable and easy to open and close.
The pods are colour coded with the filler bung, red is for the 0.8Ω (16 watts) meshed and the black is for the 1.2Ω (11 watts) regular, I’m quite impressed by this method as it takes the guesswork out if you have multiple pods.
Filling the pod isn’t as easy as I would like. It is easy to get the juice nozzle in, but the coil leaves little clearance for the juice to fill up without causing an airlock. This became less of an issue as I got used to it and rarely makes any mess when filling a pod up.
Erm, well there’s pretty much nothing to do as it is a fixed power self activated draw pod, the only button to press is the battery status button. Here’s an in depth guide to operating it:
Press the button once to see the battery status
- Red is dead (okay not quite dead but time to charge).
- Blue is fair to middling.
- Green is Go Go Go!
Pressing the button five times quickly turns the power on/off.
Phew, that was EPIC!
So with all the boring stuff out of the way, how does it vape?
This is the best part. I have deliberately tested this device for a lot longer than usual waiting for the catch, as in will it leak, will it fail, how’s the coil life? etc. And I am pleased to say the XTRA performed damn near perfectly. The draw activation works a treat with just the right amount of power to give you an amazing flavourful warm(ish) vape. Usually I prefer one coil over the other but they both have tons of flavour and offer a clearly different vape:
1.2Ω MTL Pod (11 Watts)
This was the first pod I tried. Initially I felt the draw was looser than I would have preferred but a lot tighter than the majority of so called MTL pods I have tried. The flavour is what hits you most, difficult to put into words but for nic salts and high nicotine freebase 50/50 juices, this is right up there with any tank or pod I have tried. I’m often disappointed when going back to my other favourites and soon find myself reaching for the XTRA, it just is that good.
0.8Ω DTL/MTL Pod (16 watts)
I did leave this pod for around a week before I reluctantly tried it for the review. I first tried 70VG/30PG 3mg juice in it. It was pretty good but I found it didn’t wick so fast and the draw for DTL was far too restrictive for my liking. I switched to 50/50 6mg juice (Manabush Egg Nog)…. Just WOW! DTL was still too restrictive for me, but a larger draw MTL vape was ideal for this pod. I don’t think DTL fans will enjoy it, but as an alternative MTL draw I love the thing. 6mg gives you a really nice smooth throat hit with enough of a kick to feel that hit, any higher I think would be overkill.
Coil life has really impressed me. I have seriously hammered these coils for over three weeks each, none gave me a dry hit. You only start to notice the flavour dropping off and your juice darkening, but it still keeps going. For such a tiny coil, it is excellent.
I did start to notice more condensation towards the end of the 1.2Ω coil life. This is pretty typical for MTL pods, especially draw activated, it is something you should be aware of. If you are a tight arse like me and want to wring the neck out of the coil life, then you need to be prepared to give it an occasional wipe. Ignoring this could result in juice clogging the air activation sensor (or worse still seeping onto the chipset), this was noticeably less on the 0.8Ω Meshed coil.
Wicky Wicky Wahhhhh…
The main reason I think these pods perform so well and deliver such good flavour has to be down to the wicking Vaporesso have developed for these pods. Considering there is such a tiny amount of wick in the coils, it must be something pretty special in there, perhaps they use Fairy’s toilet paper? Who knows? But whatever it is, I love it!
One of the benefits in Vaporesso’s decision to make this as simple as possible (no wattage/power adjustment etc.) is the 900mAh battery life, difficult to quantify as we all vape in different frequencies but I tend to vape a lot and I’m rarely needing to recharge it during the daytime. The 0.8Ω mesh coil obviously uses up more power, but that still lasts me most of the day. Charging time is fairly quick despite it only being micro USB, well under an hour if you charge just as it goes into the RED. I was lucky enough to have two of them which is even better as I could simply swap the pod if I wanted to continue that flavour. I hardly noticed the charging time that way.
Power / Battery drop off
I can’t find any official info on this so I am left to guess that the power drops off as the battery charge lowers. This was nothing dramatic. The only time it really felt cooler was when it went into the red status. Even then it was still a satisfying vape, though you did notice the pickup in flavour after a recharge, the 0.8Ω mesh UNIPOD (I forgot to call them by their names) gave you less vape time in the red than the 1.2Ω regular UNIPOD but that’s stating the obvious. Overall it keeps up with performance really well.
Only one more thing to mention, the juice level indicator or lack of it. There is no juice window but the pods are transparent enough to clearly see your liquid in the mouthpiece. Since the wicking ports are pretty much right at the base of the coil, you can almost run the pod dry, but long before that you will notice the lack of juice in the mouthpiece. I’m fairly sure this was intentional as a juice window would have spoiled the aesthetics somewhat, not a con for me but worth mentioning.
So why do I love this pod so much? I’m torn between which is better, up until now the Sense Orbit Baby Mesh pods were the very best for flavour but overall I think I prefer the tighter draw of the XTRA. Also the battery life is better, so I think I have found my new favourite pod system for MTL.
Unusually I enjoy both UNIPODs for different reasons. The 1.2Ω suits 20mg+ nic salts, whereas the 0.8Ω mesh gives a wonderful vape using 6mg freebase 50/50 juice.
Now if you are purely after a DTL pod, then I really feel that this one won’t be for you. The draw is far too restrictive in both pods, but if you are prepared to give MTL (mouth to lung) a shot, you will be rewarded with a very satisfying, full flavoured vape. In fact, I will go out on a limb and say this gives more flavour than pretty much all of my vapes including DTL devices and attys.
So going back to Vaporesso’s earlier claim:
"A huge leap-forward in vaping has been achieved by giving you XTRA. With the upgraded cotton material adopted in the coils, the XTRA releases true flavors from your juice"
Perhaps I was a little cynical before I actually tried the XTRA, I still wouldn’t go as far as to say it’s a ‘huge leap-forward’ but I will say that this is now my new benchmark for flavour and one of the best pods to date.
- Flavour is top draw
- Good 900mAh battery life
- Very stylish with nice detailing
- Ergonomic and pocket friendly
- Long life UNIPODs
- Both pods give a superb vape
- Solid quality construction
- No adjustability at all
- Fixed airflow
- DTL draw is too tight – I would class this as purely MTL. (not a con for me personally)
- 1.2Ω UNIPOD tends to leak towards the end of its life. (Don’t we all?)
- Made a lot of my other pods look crap!
One of the most surprisingly great pods I have ever tried, it is no exaggeration that it has put most of my older pods to shame. My PALs and Pasitos, to name a couple, will now go into the sell/giveaway box and I will very likely buy another as they are perfect for 50/50 juice reviews. I can live without the functionality of adjustable power etc. when they get the vape so perfect. Vaporesso have raised the bar with the XTRA, if it gets better than this then bring it on!