A new generation of refillable vape pod systems with upgraded features and technology are hitting the market every month. Originally, refillable vape pods were fairly simple devices. But as the competition has heated up, so has the innovation.
Aspire AVP Kit
As there is already a veritable armada of Aspire vape pod kits available, you may wonder what the Aspire AVP brings to the table. The endlessly practical Aspire Nautilus AIO, reviewed here, the slender Aspire Spryte, two generations of Aspire Breezes, and Aspire Cobble would seem to have the mouth to lung and nic salt vaping market well covered.
The Best Aspire Vape Pod System?
It terms of technology, appearance and features, the Aspire AVP is a notable upgrade on its Aspire stablemates. This is not meant to be a knock on the earlier, and quite effective, Aspire vape pods. But you would be hard pressed to find a person who would not conclude the AVP is the premium device after holding the AVP, Spryte, Nautilus AIO, Cobble and either generation of Breeze.
This is because Aspire invested quite a bit of time and effort into refining the surfaces, ergonomics and general feel of the Aspire AVP. The metallic surfaces feel sturdy, and the carbon fiber themed facia on the front and back looks higher quality than the single color surfaces and trim found on the Spryte, Nautilus AIO, Et al. The metal frame gives added weight and just looks high quality.
The Aspire AVP does not feel like an vape starter kit or entry level pod system, even if it is sold at the same price point. The heft and tight tolerances between pod and device are more reminiscent of the Lost Vape Orion DNA Go.
I have no complaints about the fit and finish of the Spryte or Nautilus AIO, but Aspire deserves a thumbs up for the extra effort they put into the AVP. The Spartan and stylish appearance of the AVP is broken up only by the single, multi-purpose, indicator light and small eyelet for lanyard.
The Aspire AVP has a more muted color palate than some of its rivals, but it available in black, grey, red and chrome. A carbon fiber inlay dominates the central surface, and gives it a more discrete vibe than some its flashier rivals.
Aspire AVP Performance
The Aspire AVP is an autodraw refillable vape pod system with a 700mAh battery. The pod, with its unique spring activated fill port, has a capacity of 2ml. The Nichrome coil has a resistance of 1.2ohms.
Using an autodraw device with multiple power settings is a treat. The flavor is great on all three levels, and the throat kick is not overwhelming when maxed at the 12 watts highest level. Vapor production is surprisingly good for such a small, mouth to lung device. Low power definitely provides a cooler, more restrictive hit. A thumbs up for performance. We need more pods like this.
If you are a fan of vape pods, the nichrome coil is rock solid on the flavor front, and the ability to ramp up or dial back the power is a great feature. The pod has been durable for every day usage, and the coil has shown impressive longevity.
Filling the Aspire AVP
Aspire spent considerable effort innovating the detachable pod on the Aspire AVP. This level is engineering is impressive when you consider it is basically a disposable coil, with no detachable coils.
One of the most interesting features is the spring activated juice port. No longer will you have to fumble with silicone stoppers. To fill the AVP pod, you simply need to press the nose of your vape juice bottle into the port and squeeze.
Once the pod is filled, release the pressure on the bottle and then remove the nose of the bottle from the port. Make sure you apply consistent downward pressure throughout or the spring will push the bottle nose out of the port.
It turns out, this is a bit easier said than done, at least the first couple of times. Once mastered, and it is mastered fairly easily, it is an upgrade. But chances are high that your first fill will be a bit messy.
This style of fill port could very well become the trend. But a trend I would like to see abandoned is the smoked semi-transparent plastic tint on vape pods. It is very hard to monitor juice levels unless you are in bright sunlight. The Aspire AVP is hardly unique in using tinted plastic, and it is easier to monitor juice levels in the AVP than the even less transparent Smok Trinity Alpha.
Aspire gets another big thumbs up for the pod attachment system. Relying on strong magnets, the pod snaps firmly into place. There is no locking mechanism, but unintentional detachment is unlikely because the streamlined device does not have any surfaces that will catch and dislodge the pod.
Aspire AVP Features
So now that the structural elements of the Aspire AVP have been discussed, it is time to see how the device performs.
The AVP is smaller than it appears in pictures, especially with the pod detached. It has autodraw activation, and three power settings.
The autodraw works great. It has a quick and authentic trigger. You don't need to inhale with excessive force to get the ball rolling. The quick ramp up is most noticeable on the top two power settings.
The addition of variable wattage to vape pods was perhaps inevitable. It does not add much to the size or weight of a pod, and gives the user much more flexibility. Variable power settings have been available for close to a decade on all sorts of vaping devices. Including this option on vape pods is overdue.
In the case of the Aspire AVP, you can toggle between the three power output levels by using the lone button on the device. This same button also serves as a device lock, when clicked five times.
As if this single button did not have enough responsibility, it is also the battery and power level indicator. It glows green when the device is fully charged, eventually fading to red as the battery gives up the ghost. With a moderate capacity of 700mAh, you will want to monitor the battery life on your AVP.
Changing the Power Level of Aspire AVP
The Aspire AVP has three power levels: 8 watts, 10 watts and 12 watts. To change the power level of the Aspire AVP, click the button twice. If the button flashes green, you have switched the AVP to its highest power setting: 12 watts. Two clicks and blue equals 10 watts and red is 8 watts. Note that this color scheme convention is almost the opposite of the category heavyweight Lost Vape Orion DNA Go, reviewed here, where “red” is the highest power setting.
To check what power level you are on, simply press the button once and it display the appropriate power level color.
The power level selection only works when the coil has a resistance of over 1 ohm. If for some reason the resistance of the coil dips below this number, the AVP will go into bypass mode and cannot be adjusted. Any effort to adjust the power level will set off a sequence of red, blue and green light flashes in succession. This is a fine safety feature, but an issue that most users would never encounter.
Comparing the Aspire Vape Pods
In terms of sheer practicality, the Aspire Nautilus AIO is still tough to beat. With a 4ml pod and 1000mAh battery, it is the mini-van of refillable vape pods. It may not be the prettiest device on the block, but it is probably the most practical. Using classic Nautilus BVC coils, it may be an ideal vape starter kit and back up device for a seasoned vaper. It is a button fire device, and the coils are 1.8ohms resistance.
I prefer the lower resistance hits delivered by the AVP over the Nautilus AIO, but there are plenty of vapers who prefer cooler, restricted, higher resistance vaping.
The narrower, tighter mouthpiece of the Aspire Spryte leans in further in that direction. Lean is the operative word with the Spryte, with its unique leaning, asymetrical form factor and narrow profile. The Aspire Spryte has a special nicotine salt coil with 1.2ohms resistance. This coil has slightly elongated juice ports to handle the typically higher VG found in nic salts versus a high-nicotine, high PG, regular mouth to lung ejuice.
The Spryte is also a button fire pod, and lacks the multiple power settings of the AVP. The Aspire Breeze 2 quite closely resembles the Aspire Nautilus AIO. It uses a special Breeze coil, which at 0.6ohms delivers a bigger throat hit than the Nautilus.
Overall, the AVP probably is an upgrade over its siblings. The Nichrome coil delivers outstanding flavor and vapor production. The fill port takes some getting used to, but is incredibly effective once mastered. And the combination of autodraw and multiple power levels is hard to beat.
Rival Smok has two new devices that compete head-to-head with the Aspire AVP, although neither is a direct match. The Smok Trinity Alpha looks basically identical to the Orion DNA Go. We compared the Smok Trinity Alpha versus the Lost Vape Orion DNA Go, and the less expensive Smok device fared quite well. It uses the same coils as the excellent Smok Nord, which is a long-overdue example of coil compatibility.
Like the Aspire AVP, the Trinity Alpha has 3 power settings. Unlike the AVP, you swap coils rather than replacing the whole pod, and the Trinity Alpha is button fired. The Trinity Alpha comes with 0.6 Nord Mesh and 0.8 mouth to lung coil. This is quite a bit lower resistance than the AVP, making the Trinity Alpha superior for high VG juices, but perhaps not as ideal for nic salts.
But swappable coils are a big feature, and Smok Nord Coils are also available with a 1.4 ohm resistance. So you can mimic the performance of the AVP with the Trinity Alpha. And it must be mentioned that the Smok Nord itself is a worthy vape pod system. Although it lacks some of the AVP’s features, the Smok Nord was well-received when we reviewed it.
Smok Mico Preview
The tiny Smok Mico is probably the more directly comparable device. It is significantly shorter, in part because it lacks the multipurpose indicator light button and ability to change power levels. It has a classic “on-off” switch. You can customize the performance of your Smok Mico through the pod you use. There is a “regular” pod which has a resistance of 1 ohm and the 0.8 ohm mesh coil.
The Mico pod has a capacity of 1.7ml, and they managed to cram a 700mAh battery into this tiny, palm sized device. Much like the AVP, it relies on magnets to hold the pod firmly in place. The mouthpiece of the Mico looks a lot like a Smok Novo or Smok Nord (we compare the Novo versus the Nord here).
A lot will boil down to personal preferences, but the Aspire AVP is a match for almost any vape pod on the market today.