Sense Orbit TF Pod System Review
Last year, the folks over at Lost Vape blew our collective minds with the release of the Orion DNA GO Pod Mod, the world's first pod system with adjustable power settings and refillable tank setup that made it work almost like a scaled-down version of an advanced mod. Of course, ours is an industry of copycats if nothing else, and now other manufacturers are scrambling to release similar devices of their own.
The latest brand to challenge the Orion is Sense. Their Orbit TF Pod System is a companion to the base Orbit, which behaves more like a traditional pod and shares some key components. For this review, we’ll focus on the Orbit TF, because it adds extra features that we think make it a standout new offering. Let’s dive in!
Again, being an Orion clone of sorts, the design is similarly rectangular, with a single (firmly attached, non-rattling) button handling firing, on/off, and power adjustment settings. At 79.3mm by 45.5mm by 18.6mm, it’s smaller inside profile but a little thicker than the Orion, and fits in the palm of your hand for easier stealth vapes.
While most of the body is plastic, the Orbit TF feels solid and well-made, with a variety of jagged marble finishes available that seemed durable enough through initial testing.
The pod snaps firmly into the top of the battery, not relying on magnets or a latch system like the sometimes-finicky Orion. Airflow comes from the bottom of the pod at an opening before the battery body and is not adjustable, and a metal cap slides aside for easy top-refill capabilities. Sense cites a 3 ml capacity, we think that might be slightly overstated but still found plenty of liquid storage to limit top-ups to about once a day.
The big news is the replaceable coil system that allows for long-term reuse of Orbit TF pods - while you could still throw away your pod after a handful of refills, simply replacing the coil is going to be a lot more economical (and environmentally friendly) in the long run. Two coils are currently available, traditional stainless steel wire with 1.1-ohm resistance and a mesh netting design with a resistance of 0.6 ohms. These coils are press-fit into the bottom of the pod and held in place by rubber gaskets, rather than threaded in as is the case with traditional mod/clearomizer systems.
Rounding out the features, the mod body has an integrated micro-USB port for charging the 1100 mAh internal battery with an indicator light above that will both display power settings and battery charge level.
Like an advanced mod, the Orbit TF features five-click on/off functionality and a three-click adjustment to cycle between power levels. There are three available settings indicated by the light above the USB port: Soft (Blue), Normal (Green), and Strong (White), although Sense doesn't specify a corresponding wattage or voltage for any. We found ourselves preferring the normal and strong settings for the 0.6-ohm mesh coil, while users of the 1.1-ohm traditional coil will probably trend toward soft or normal.
For mouth-to-lung vapers who prefer tight, restrictive draws, the 1.1-ohm coil is going to be your best bet. The 0.6-ohm version is considerably airier, and one of the better restricted-lung hits (smoother than MTL, not quite a DL) we've experienced from a pod device.
Vapor production is well above average and certainly exceeded our expectations, for a device this compact. It's actually so strong that we'd suggest sticking with your traditional nicotine in the 0-6 mg/ml range and keeping the nic salt vape juice for weaker devices - even on the low power setting the Sense TF delivers a strong hit.
The flavor is clean and crisp if a bit muted. There's no funky taste suggesting a lack of quality control in the pod or coil build, but given the impressive vapor production, we were just expecting a bit more in the flavor department and found ourselves simply satisfied rather than blown away.
Despite its many strengths, the Orbit TF also has a few shortcomings, particularly with regard to missing features. The most obvious of these is a lack of airflow control. Most other similar devices will at least have an airflow ring on the drip tip if not placed in a position in front of the vapor chamber, we wonder if this impacted flavor production a bit.
Also, while it's not uncommon to find pod mod devices being shipped with fixed drip tips, we feel that with the advancement of this corner of the industry it's time to start converting to the standard 510-style replaceable tip. While a bit of this is about style, fixed tips also affect functionality: we've broken off our fair share of tips while a mod is clanking around in a purse or pocket, and a tip with an adjustable airflow would partially solve the problem of this feature being available on the pod itself.
Overall, the Orbit TF is a really solid device for an affordable price. It has a good battery, decent performance, and taste, and an excellent top fill feature. Although we can find some room for improvement in future generations, Sense's first offering manages to offer plenty of power and cloud production, some excellent coils (the replaceable factor is huge!), and a compact and pretty design that make it worth the price of admission.
Who is this device for? This is a great fit for a vaper that’s working on a budget and wants to move up from a regular pod system to something with a little bit more oomph but is hesitantly pulling the trigger on a larger advanced device.