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Pugsley gives his First and Second Degree the Third Degree with the Vaporesso Degree Pod Kit

Vaporesso Degree Pod Kit

People who are new to vaping… of which I applaud massively by the way, you are after all the people that are bolstering the revolution, will not be aware of certain ‘fashions’ within the industry that have come and gone over the years. I mean I’m not exactly old skool myself, what…8…9 years maybe, but even in that time I have seen huge shifts in popularity with certain devices, some are slow burners like squonking for example, which was actually around for years before it eventually became the monolithic trend that it is today. Some are relatively ‘flash in the pan’ like the RDTA…I mean sure…they still have their fans, but generally speaking RDTA’s have died a death over the last few years. And some trends…like pod kits, despite your most resilient efforts to ignore…just won’t…fuck the fuck off…

Is it personal?..Yeah…absolutely. Should it be?..No…because even as a reviewer, whose job it is to quite literally test all kinds of devices for all walks of life…you have to set yourself limits and boundaries around what you feel is not only worthy of your efforts, but also falls in your ‘comfort zone’…you do after all vape yourself, so…you really only feel comfortable giving your opinion on things that you…as a vaper…would actually use, because…well…those are the areas that you know more about. It’s really no more complicated than that…but the way I feel about what I am reviewing today…I know for a fact I’m not alone in feeling it.

Here’s the issue…if you’re a vape reviewer, of which…believe me, there are way more than you think, then…you tend to be an advanced vaper as a rule. As well as doing this, and the forum, and other bits and bobs, I also work with a group of very talented writers for a different forum. The way it tends to work there is something comes up for a review, the Admin posts it to his team, and the team put there name forward if they fancy reviewing it, it’s a simple system and it works very well…but…when a pod system comes up for review…which it does…a LOT…man…that room goes real quiet let me tell ya…

And I’m just as bad as anyone else for it, I even set rules when dealing with requests from new suppliers and manufacturers. Oh yeah…I get right in there, straight for the jugular before we’ve even started, I don’t review for some manufacturers because of the way they behaved in the industry, or because their devices have threatened to burn my house down…twice…I won’t review little ‘pen’ kits because…well…I can’t be arsed…and…almost always…I won’t touch pod kits.

But here I am…and why?..Because one of my favourite manufacturers found a chink in my almost impenetrable armor, a soft spot in my larger than average underbelly, not only did I agree to review a pod kit…but they even had me thanking them for it…the bastards…

Shall we…

Welcome back my miniature misty mouth-to-lung men and meness’s (that’s not even a word??) …I trust I find you all fit, well, and several pounds heavier after the seasons festivities? Back again with more of the same, only completely different and like nothing else I have done before…(?)…except maybe once…or twice…I can’t even be arsed checking, I’m so fucking lazy. Regardless, today is a day for breaking the rules, my rules to be exact - NO POD KITS!..is what I demand like the egotistical drama queen diva …that I indeed…am, BUT… Vaporesso with all their manipulating and malicious meanderings, have tickled that ego like an over sensitive nut-sack, until I giggled like a little school boy, turning me into a floppy lump of pre-pubescent putty in their evil little paws…they got me…they got me real good.

SO…let us dispense with the pomp and circumstance, it’s been a weird few weeks and I’m still not 100% sure how I fell for it so unbelievably easily…well…I do…I’m weak, and I’ll show you why…courtesy of my manipulative mates Vaporesso , I present to you - the Vaporesso Degree Pod Kit…

Now…why have I always been so opposed to pod kits?..and more’s the point, why the fuck am I reviewing this one? Well, truth is, they sent me the black one a couple of months ago and they reeeally wanted me to review it, but I had other stuff to review that…well…I liked, so it got put on the back burner, you know…the one that looks suspiciously like a ‘shit drawer’ …where things go to die. I agreed to do it ‘when I got around to it’ but…I was far from looking forward to it, and that vape snob of a silent voice in my head had already threatened me with unspeakable acts should I break my own rules and even consider testing it…oh yeah…I disliked pod kits quite heavily, but man…they are persistent little motherfuckers. Now…I truly enjoy reviewing hardware, good…hardware, the kind that you’re excited to get your hands on, powerful, chunky, beautifully crafted devices that you look at adoringly just like you used to look at the poster of that tennis woman showing her bum when you were a kid…only with less ‘touching’, or being shouted at for being in your neighbors house naked…again…a story for another time perhaps. My point is, pod kits had become a bit of a pain in my ass, I turn them down for review a lot more these days than I actually get offered something I’d prefer to write about. I don’t use them, I know nothing about them, and to me…they just seemed so…wasteful…and weak? I don’t want to up my nic just to get a hit, it took me a long time to get it down to it’s almost placebo level of 1 mg …in short…it was as far away from my personal style of vaping that it could actually get…and they just repeatedly got in the way of me reviewing things I actually wanted to write about, but …their popularity has grown and grown, and now every company worth it’s salt is producing them and wanting them reviewed…and up until now, I have been able to master the ‘swerve’…but then this happened…

Those sneaky little Vaporessoians…went and sent me an early Christmas present, a woolly hat and another Degree…and this one was personalised…and all presented in a cheeky little Christmas package…

Evil sons of bitches…

So…I was forced…FORCED I tell you…to throw away my prejudices…and have a little toot, the results of which…were something of a surprise.

The Lowdown

The Vaporesso Degree is a variable wattage pod system. Admittedly this makes it slightly unique…I think…well…there aren’t many about anyway… I don’t think…(you can see how this review is gonna go…sigh). It has a power range of 5w to 30w, a built in 950mAh battery, it comes with two different types of pod, each with a capacity of 2ml, and it’s all kept in check by a trimmed down version of Vaporesso’s Axon Chip which…I have to say…is a clever little bastard. No…you obviously don’t get all the bells and whistles that the Axon provides for say…the Gen, but, it knows exactly which pod you are using, pulses your power and limits the wattage for each pod, depending on which one it is. It also has a dry hit protection…it actually tells you when you’re running out of juice…big fan of that, and all this is displayed on a front facing 0.96" OLED screen…

Also on the front we have the fire button and matching function buttons, nothing too difficult to remember when it comes to navigation, 5 clicks on/off, 3 clicks lock/unlock, up & fire to flip the screen, down and fire to adjust brightness - easy peasy lemon squeezy. And of course, down at the bottom we have the USB for charging purposes and/or firmware updates.

The body of the Degree is a beautifully finished alloy and comes in at just over 90mm tall to the top of the tip, and only 41.5mm wide, making the Degree a wee little fella…

That’s not say it’s a lightweight though, it actually feels reassuringly heavy considering it’s tiny stature, I could weigh it for you…but my scales are all the way over there (points)…and this chair is very comfortable so…(shrugs) wow…it’s like my body is still in Christmas mode…moving on…

Down the sides we have two different stories, on one said is the jazzy coloured panel which is available in a variety of different designs…

You have a choice of 3 with a brushed stainless body, and 3 with a dark satin gunmetal body…

But only two of them have matching tips, which I have to admit, slightly irks me. I can only surmise that this is because only two of the designs are actually resin and therefore it’s easy to manufacture matching tips. The red one I have is more of a vinyl finish with alloy stripes, and I’ve seen other people with this particular colour and the design is identical, where as the resin variations appear to be unique, and I have to say…I’m not really a fan of the plain black tip for a couple of reasons…

Firstly, it’s propitiatory. It’s a sleeve that fits onto a fixed tip, so if you lose it, you’re fucked, and also…it would have been quite nice to have had the option of fitting your own 510 tip…people dig that. I really don’t like the almost…‘ribbed’ finish on the tip itself as it feels weird in my mouth…there’s a joke there somewhere. Thankfully for you, I am the consummate mature professional, and because of that fact, I refuse to stoop to such lowly levels of willy humor…

Also on the top we have the fill port valve, this is both a blessing and a curse of the Degree. On the one hand it’s conveniently located and is also a press valve, meaning you have to push the nib into the port to open the valve and allow the liquid into the pod - no little pain in the ass rubber grommets to remove, and no leakage either…but 0n the flip side of that, because the Degree is so small, the port is kinda close to the drip tip; you won’t be able to use anything bigger than a 50ml bottle to fill up. Thankfully…Vaporesso are well aware of this issue and within the package they have supplied this…

Sure…it’s a bit of a pain to have to decant your liquid into something else in order to fill up, but this bottle is the perfect size for doing so…

Down on one side we have the pod access door, which is held in place by some chunky magnets…

There is even a guide printed on the back of the door with information on how best to enjoy either of the 2 coils…nice attention to detail. The door also has a little peep hole in the shape of the Vaporesso logo so you can see your juice level…

Behind this door is obviously where you will find the pod, which is removed by simply pulling on the attached ribbon…

On a side note…because you will undoubtedly refrain from reading the manual (like me), that little red sticker you can see on the underneath of the pod needs to be removed before it will work…a bit like a printer cartridge. Don’t do what I did and fill it up, turn it on, and then swear at it for several minutes because it’s clearly broken and it couldn’t possibly be anything you did and it’s all someone else’s fault…don’t be like Pugs…Pugs is an idiot.

The Degree comes with 2 different types of coil, the C-Cell Pod (1.3Ω, 7-12.5w) and the Meshed Pod (0.6Ω, 16-22w). The C-Cell pod is a ceramic MTL affair, and the Meshed is a restricted DTL. Given that the adjustable airflow…located on the side of the drip tip…

is really quite minuscule, you ain’t gonna get a lot of air through the Degree. Also, given that the most you can put through the DTL Mesh coil is 22w thanks to the chip restriction…you’re not going to want to either.

The Specs

Parameters

Size: 90.5 x 41.5 x 16.45mm
Display: 0.69inch OLED Screen
Battery: Built-in 950mAh
Power Range: 5-30W
Charge Current: DC 5V/2A
Refillable Method: PTF
Refillable Pod Capacity: 2ml
POD: Meshed Pod with 0.6ohm coil, CCELL Pod with 1.3ohm coil

950mAh battery with small size
High intelligence AXON Chip
Meshed/CCELL Pod for Your Selection
Low E-liquid screen reminder
PTF on top system for easy filling

It comes with

  • 1 x Vaporesso Degree with Meshed Pod (2ml, 0.6ohm)
  • 1 x CCELL Pod (2ml, 1.3ohm)
  • 1 x E-Juice Filling Bottle (10ml)
  • 1 x USB cable
  • 1 x User Guide
  • 1 x Warranty Card
  • 1 x Reminder Card
  • 1 x Lanyard

I do have to say though, a special mention has to go the lanyard…yes I know…no one EVER uses them…but the one that came with the Degree is basically fucking jewelry, I still won’t use it…but still…nice effort…

Final Thoughts

OK…here goes. My final thoughts on the Vaporesso Degree Pod kit would be thus; I LOVE the way this thing is made, the attention to detail, the machining and the build quality is absolutely top notch. To all intents and purposes it looks and feels like it just came from the set of 'Honey I shrunk my Mod" …showing my age there, it’s solidly weighty too, which makes it feel high quality.

I also love the way it looks. The brushed stainless finish and the gunmetal version both look the part, and the different colour themes available are not too garish, although I would have liked to have seen matching tips on all of them to be fair. Special mention simply HAS to go to the comprehensive package that Vaporesso have put together for the Degree, what with the hat, bottle and lanyard…love that shit.

Vaping wise…well…this is where it got real interesting for me, personally. Now, keep in mind my attitude of “this is a pod system…why the fuck am I doing this?” prior to starting this review…to say I am not a fan…is sugar coating the shit out of it. But…I was genuinely surprised by both the flavour AND the vapor production from the Degree, and yes…I’m probably showing my ignorance towards pod kits - literally all modern pod kits could perform like this for all I know - but regardless, the truth is I was totally okay with what I was getting out of this tiny little upstart. Yes…it’s restricted…OBVIOUSLY, but it’s manageable, even for someone like me who only ever vapes full fat rigs…and I wasn’t expecting that at all.

Both the pods that come with the Degree are, in my opinion, excellent. If you MTL then you’ll very much enjoy the clean flavour and restricted draw from the ceramic CCELL coil, and if you DTL then you will be ‘okay’ with the 0.6ohm mesh coil. I say okay…don’t expect miracles if you’re primarily a high wattage vaper. But it will do the job, and the flavour of the mesh variant really is very, very good.

Battery wise, well…you know…obviously it’s not huge, but it’s pretty damn good. The chip won’t let you go over the 22w max for the mesh coil so you ain’t exactly gonna be ‘putting it through it’s paces’ if you get me? I took this thing Christmas shopping with me to see if I could get away with not lugging around a full size rig all day - and it lasted, with only a couple of fill ups too. Frugal…this little one is.

I think the bottom line with the Degree is this, it surprised me. At no point when testing it did I think…‘urgh…can’t believe I’m doing this’. I genuinely enjoyed what this little thing was giving me, which led me to think two things; one…this is how my other half must feel every time she get’s her 2 minutes of Pug lovin, and two…starter kits, pod kits and all that jazz…aren’t what they used to be.

SO…has my mind been changed?..Will this change the way I vape?..Simple answer…no…will it fuck, BUT …my perception towards these things has most definitely been altered. I still think pods are wasteful, unless they have changeable coils, which some…actually most these days…do. Unfortunately this one doesn’t, which to me is a missed opportunity…but, new pods are around £2.50 each, and I’m still on the same two after a month so…it’s not exactly gonna break the bank…speaking of bank…

The Price

Vaporesso themselves are touting the MSRP set at $47.90/£36.60. If you shop around you may well get a better deal, but even at that price…for the comprehensive kit you actually get, coupled with the build quality and performance…I think it’s a really good deal. You can find out more about that here…

Vaporesso Degree pod kit

Now…although I’m probably not going to get a hard on for pod kits any time soon, the way the Degree altered my perception has made me realise one major thing; starter kits are important, they are after all the main gateway into getting off the stinkies and onto a better, more healthier way of life, and you can’t not respect that, I for one should respect that. So…my snobbery is being put to one side, I will - in the immediate future - be running a series of reviews on a plethora of starter kits from Vaporesso, they offer some incredibly well made products, and well…they’ve…sent me a shit ton of them, so…I’m going to give it my all and see what’s what, and you know what…I’m not even sorry about that.

Lastly…I have to end by saying a mahoosive THANK YOU to everyone that voted for Steampugs in this years ecigclick Vape awards, 2nd place!..Unbelievable, coming runner up to Mooch in a category so full of talent is utterly humbling, it really can’t…and shouldn’t…get any better than that…

And to top it off, our little Forum Vaping Community that is still very much in it’s infancy, actually came 5th in the ‘Best Vape Forum’ category, which is HUGE for us…pats on the back all around, we could not be happier, you are all utterly legendary, and I promise…hand on heart, that I absolutely WON’T be mentioning it every single day, all the time for all eternity…

Until next time.

Happy New Year everybody.

Pugs.

16 Likes

Great review, and I always love back stories. I can totally appreciate the whole, “Ok, gotta podder here, who’s going to do it” ?? …

Fear not @Steampugs the little red tape thing doesn’t just happen to you mate. Outstanding job on taking a firm prejudice, and turning it into a solid, honest review.

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Nice review. Too bad it doesn’t have the rebuildable option ( yet?)

Congratulations on that reviewer award. Now go ahead and brag, you humble pug, you!

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gotta take one for the team occasionally eh Dman lol :wink: thanks brother, much appreciated :grin: :+1:

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lmao thanks man…I haven’t heard whether or not that option is gonna be available yet, I doubt it but you never know, cheers for reading and commenting brother :wink:

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Basically sums it all up
It doesn’t matter what it looks like, what level of detail or even how it vapes.

6 Likes