Battle of the Cigalikes Part 2, Pod Mods: Juno vs Phix vs Cync
Pod Mods or Cigalikes as they are known have been all of the rage over the past year due to the increase in adaptation of the Juul which is made by Pax. The Juul offered a discrete way to vape without the burdensome necessity of lugging around a larger sized box mod around. It was initially designed for people transitioning from analog cigarettes to vaping but then was also adopted by experienced vapers for many of the same reasons other fell in love with the device. Juul being the biggest name in the Pod Mod category has given way to other products that have emerged, some to horrible failures and others to rivaling its success. In part of one of Battle of the Cigalikes we examined the options but since then new products have been released and even new salt based e-liquids have emerged. Today we take a look at some of the new products and give you an idea on where the best investment of each would be.
Twelve Juno Ultra Portable Starter Kit - Twelve Vapor: The Twelve Juno was designed to look similar to the My. Von Erl but with a beefier size and a variation of pod options that promised a closer experience to that of the Juul. Much like the My. Von Erl the Twelve Juno features a mini usb charging port that is compatible with most box mod chargers and most cellular phone chargers. Each of its pods includes 1.6ml of salt based nicotine liquid with variation of 36 or 48mg of dosage. In my review of this product I tried the 48mg variety to get a better perspective whether this product was an actual Juul competitor. My flavor selection for this was menthol, as a former menthol smoker the Juul mint pods were perfect replacements for my smoking habits. The Juno menthol pods at 48mg were nice but lacked the kick of the Juul while providing a cooler vape and even better cloud production it lacked that oomph of a throat hit that the Juul provides, personally I think this is the only short coming with this product. While beefier than the My. Von Erl the Twelve Juno does last significantly longer, of my trial of both I found the Twelve Juno to last nearly two hours more using the same puff schedule I used for the My. Von Erl. It's manufacturing is also considerably better than that of the My. Von Erl product and it's usability on the go is better than the Juul due to its compatibility with many chargers. Finding a charging mechanism for the Juul on the go is nearly impossible unless you drag along your own personal usb port charger.
Overall the Twelve Juno has pods that are better sealed than that of the My. Von Erl and Juul, its on par with the Phix Pod Mod in terms of how well the pods hold up and don't tend to leak. The one thing that would put this product into contention with the Juul by pax is if they reworked their liquids to possibly provide a better throat hit. For those who dislike the throat hit from a Juul this would make a very good alternative, but for those who love the Juul experience this is bigger and has more of an airy feel than you are used to.
Phix Starter Kit - Major League Vapers: The Phix was released as a collaboration between MLV and Brewell. Featuring a diamond shaped body it was initially set out to be a Juul competitor but took on a life of its own by offering pods from one of the biggest names in vaping. Much like the Juul the Phix uses its own unique charging port that requires an attachment for any recharging you must do. Featuring 1.5ml capacity pods that span the typical pods flavors. Out of all of the cigalike pod mods I have tested this is honestly my lease favorite, its diamond shaped design feels very unnatural in my grip and it's charger design creates a bulkier transporting experience than any of the other pod mod systems. In terms of battery duration, the Phix last considerably longer on a full charge than the Juul but that closer to the My. Von Erl, which is good because the charger is not fun to carry around.
The pods for the Phix don't quite provide a sturdy throat hit but its throat hit is considerably better than that of the Twelve Juno but not quite on pace with the Juul. The flavor can be muted at times but seem to hold up better than expected as the pods are used, perhaps its the wicking technique or perhaps it just requires the internal coil gets hot enough to actually give life to the vapor produced. While the pods are considerably better built than those of the Juul pods and those of the My. Von Erl pods they do tend to leak a bit out of all of the pod systems reviewed they are the most difficult to refill on your own. Overall the Phix is for the vaper who loves Brewell and are looking for something new to try.
CYNC Starter Kit - Vape Forward: The CYNC by Vape Forward looks like a My. Von Erl but with better build and a more durable design. It's beefy nature and etched edges makes it a very detail focused product. Not quite the diamond design of the Phix but more of an octagon shaped that doesn't quite pierce into your skin as the Phix might. Unlike the other pod mod cigalikes the CYNC requires you insert the pods in a specific fashion that pits the positive contact to a magnetic contact in the battery chamber. In terms of size the Cync is considerably bigger than all of the pod mods reviewed in terms of length and the pods are much more pronounced than the rest. Although the CYNC offers different configurations the basic kit is a bit meatier than the rest with the exception of the Twelve Juno. Much like the My. Von Erl and the Twelve Juno, the CYNC has micro usb charging so charging it on the go is very simple.
The pods are provided by some big names like Five Pawns thus providing you with a premium brand of vaping. The throat hit is notable even as low as 18mg of nicotine, the cloud production is pretty on par with vape pens of old. It's draw isn't as tight as the Juul but less airy than the Twelve Juno. In terms of pod design, this is my least favorite pod in terms of appearance but in terms of leaking, I have not had a single leak at all. It's 380mah battery means I can vape through most of a pod before the battery runs out. Depending on the condition of the pod you may experience a bit of spitback which is the only pod that has given me this issue. The CYNC is ideal for vapers who are fans of specific brands and want options in terms of a closed looped system that offers them a hassle free experience.