Most vape devices go through a cycle. They launch with a bang and, if they’re good, they develop a reputation and become popular. Then, after a year or so, they are replaced by another model, and sales slowly decline.
Just a handful of devices and tanks break through this cycle. When they do, though, they can last for years. Examples include the Innokin Coolfire IV and the Aspire Nautilus Mini, which have remained popular for years amongst MTL vapers. The Innokin MVP5 and the Horizon Falcon II tank also look like they are heading for a far longer life than other devices.
Probably the best example of these longer-lasting devices is the Aspire PockeX. In fact, it’s four years since I first wrote about the device on this blog. There’s people at work who still use one, despite the endless cycle of samples working their way through the company.
Its appeal is largely down to two things. First, it has a unique throat hit that makes it appealing to people who miss smoking. Secondly, it’s super simple to use.
That doesn’t mean it’s perfect. Indeed, I highlighted some of its shortcomings on our anatomy of the perfect vape device post. So I was intrigued to see Aspire launching a new version of the device 4 years after the original - the Aspire PockeX Box.
What’s different (and what’s not)?
The key to the success of the Aspire PockeX Box will be how well it replicates the experience of the PockeX while addressing some of the original device’s flaws. Let’s take a look.
Filling the PockeX Box
One of the most annoying things with the original PockeX is the filling. Technology has moved on since the device was introduced, and having to unscrew and remove the top of the tank is old hat.
This has been fixed. To fill the PockeX Box, you simply find the little dot on the top of the tank. Push that, and the top slides out, revealing a filling hole. Gently squeeze your e-liquid bottle to control the flow. It’s not perfect (see below), but it’s a definite improvement on the original.
Variable airflow control
Another new feature with the PockeX Box is the variable airflow control. This is controlled by an airflow ring at the bottom of the tank. A simple twist to this can make a significant difference to the vape and the throat hit.
While the appeal of the PockeX has always been partly down to its simplicity, the airflow is not difficult to use, and does mean that you can easily tweak the vape to suit your needs and preferences.
Body and tank
That’s not all that’s different - the design has radically changed. Instead of a long, pen-style metal design, you have a small boxy shape with a fixed tank nestled into the body.
This also seems like a much more robust device. I can’t count how many PockeX glasses I have seen broken, and in fact we advise people to put a vape band around the glass for increased protection. But the PockeX Box comes with a stronger glass material, while the body is encased with a tough cover.
To test this, I dropped it from about two feet onto a pretty hard floor (concrete with a very thin carpet). The glass on the original Pockex would have broken, but the PockeX Box continued to function as normal. (I wouldn’t advise repeating the experiment, though.)
I also like the fact that the charging plug is sensibly located on the side of the device. The square shape means the device is stable, and unlikely to fall over while charging. That contrasts to the original PockeX, which falls over easily.
How does the PockeX Box perform?
Crucially, the PockeX Box uses the same PockeX coil as the original. That means you’ll get the same throat hit and flavour from it. That gets a thumbs up from me. While some areas of the PockeX could do with improving, the fact that its throat hit has won so many vapers over means it is best left alone!
Like the original, the PockeX Box uses bypass power. That means it delivers the full power from the battery. As the battery life declines, the power delivered will be lower.
The advantage here is that the battery will last longer. On the other hand, you will get less power as the battery declines. That can be a pain with some devices, with the throat hit and vapour weakening as the power reduces, but I’ve never found it much of a problem with the PockeX.
And while we’re on battery life - there’s a nice battery upgrade here. The original PockeX came with 1500mAh, but the new PockeX Box comes with an extra 500mAh, meaning it should last around a third longer than the original.
What we don’t like
While this is a simple device, that won’t bother PockeX fans who enjoy a device that has no adjustable wattage. In fact, its very simplicity is part of its appeal.
What I do find annoying is the filling. The original PockeX has never been an easy device to fill, and it’s true that the sliding top fill makes it easier to add e-liquid. However, you do have to be careful not to squeeze too fast, or the e-liquid will overflow. It’s not the only device to have this problem, but it is an annoyance, and I twice spilled e-liquid before I got the hang of it. To resolve, ensure that you squeeze the e-liquid bottle gently to control the speed of the flow.
One other thing - there is quite light resistance on the fire button. I like a bit of resistance as it makes it less likely to pocket push the button if you’ve forgotten to put it on stand-by. The light resistance on this device meant I set it off several times in my pocket. In fact, it even started up once when I put it button-side down on the table.
That makes it even more important than usual to turn the device off before putting it in your pocket by pressing the fire button five times.
Who is the PockeX Box for?
The PockeX Box is obviously ideal for existing PockeX fans. The top fill may not be perfect, but for those that don’t mind the boxier form factor, it’s a definite improvement on the original PockeX. The robust construction and increased battery life are also a massive bonus.
It’s also great for new vapers who are looking for a simple to use device that delivers a good throat hit and consistent performance.
The Aspire PockeX Box may not be perfect, but it delivers several improvements over the original. Crucially, it retains that great throat hit.
I’d recommend it for fans of simple devices who like a strong throat hit. And if you’re a fan of the PockeX but would appreciate a tougher device with a longer battery life and variable airflow control, it’s definitely worth giving it a go!
The Aspire PockeX Box is available at E-Cigarette Direct with free shipping and free e-liquid.