• July 10, 2020

Bang for the Buck

The Orion DNA Go is one of the most feature-rich pod systems available but remains simple to use.

By Mike Huml

Lost Vape’s new Orion DNA Go pod system is more than just another pod-system device. It’s somewhat of a crossbreed between a small mod and a pod system, taking the best aspects of both types of devices and combining them into a spectacularly unique product. What’s more, the flagship Orion DNA Go features the first DNA chip to be used in a pod system, which makes top-of-the-line temperature-controlled vaping more affordable and accessible than ever.

The Orion consists of two parts: the device and the pod, which includes the coil as well. The device is quite a bit smaller than pictures would lead one to believe. It’s larger than the average Juul-type pod system but almost half the size of the common mod/tank setup.

The device is made of solid metal and is very well constructed and durable. The pod is a smoky plastic with metal elements that use 316L coils with organic cotton wicking material. The two parts assemble seamlessly to create a sleek but not tacky aesthetic with different color options to maximize appeal.

The package includes the Orion DNA Go device itself, a USB charging cable, a lanyard and a comprehensive user manual. Pods are sold separately in packs of two, but they are refillable and advertised as being able to last for approximately two weeks of average use. Upon testing, this claim is accurate but heavily depends upon the type of liquid being used, the power/temperature setting and whether replay mode is active.

Even with frequent pod replacement, upkeep cost for the Orion is potentially much less expensive than that of proprietary prefilled pods. As mentioned previously, multiple colors are available, ranging from flamboyant and flashy colors to subtle and subdued colors. Although a wide selection of color choices is available, that’s only where the options begin. For such a simple device, a surprising amount of customization is possible through a few simple onboard operations as well as Evolv’s Escribe software.

The Orion DNA Go is one of the most feature-rich pod systems available but remains genuinely simple to use. In lieu of an automatic draw-activated switch, the Orion gives users total control with a manual button. Holding the button naturally fires the device, while five sequential clicks toggle the device on or off. A secondary button at the bottom cycles between three temperature settings, indicated by a small LED above said button.

This LED also cycles through three different colors to indicate remaining battery life, with flashing red signifying an imminent dead battery. Set above the fire button is a slide latch that’s used to release or install the pod section.

The pod itself has a few convenient features as well. The mouthpiece utilizes a rotating ring to adjust airflow. Mouth-to- lung and direct-lung vaping are both possible and comfortable. The adjustable temperature control combined with adjustable airflow ensures that direct-lung vaping produces a good amount of vapor while eliminating the harshness of mouth-to-lung vaping that usually plagues devices more suited to direct-lung vaping.

In addition, the pod is refillable and allows any type of e-liquid to be used. This opens up the vast array of e-liquid options available on the market to users of the Orion, freeing them from the proprietary ecosystems of other pod devices.

The fill port on top of the pod is accessed by unscrewing a small metal piece to reveal a generously large fill hole. Liquid backup shouldn’t be a concern whatsoever, and bottle tips and droppers of any size are accommodated with ease. The pod holds 2 mL of e-liquid, making it TPD compliant. This complements the 950 mAh internal lithium polymer battery perfectly, as the liquid capacity is estimated to last for 400 puffs and the battery for 450 puffs.

The Orion comes with a USB charging cable that plugs into a hidden port on the bottom corner of the device. A small plug conceals the USB port and protects it from errant liquid, dust or lint.

As far as basic use, the Orion couldn’t be simpler. Fill the pod, tilt it into position, click the fire button five times and start vaping. However, the Orion has a few tricks up its sleeve that can appeal to more advanced vapers as well. For example, while the maximum output power is 30 watts, the Orion “boosts” up to 40 watts during the initial button press in order to instantly start producing vapor. In short, there is no ramp-up time. The Orion produces instant vapor when the fire button is pressed.

Another subtle advanced feature is replay mode. Although Evolv’s DNA technology is remarkably consistent, it becomes even more so when replay mode is activated. Due to the rate of liquid flow, age of the coil, temperature setting, etc., each drag can fluctuate slightly. However, with the Orion’s replay mode, once the user attains that perfect drag, he or she can hold the lower button on the device and guarantee that every subsequent drag is exactly the same.

Replay mode increases consistency in an already consistent device. It’s also an innovative way to organically dial in a perfect vape experience without the use of potentially confusing menus and button combinations.

One of the most desirable advantages for vapers of all levels is Evolv’s Escribe software. Escribe offers myriad features that aren’t available on any other device in the vapor market. Escribe can be installed on virtually any PC or Mac and is the most powerful and user-friendly piece of vapor software. In addition to firmware updates, Escribe connects to the device in real time and can truly unlock the potential of any DNA-powered device.

It can be used to adjust the power output and temperature assigned to each of the three DNA Go settings, adjust the boost power and tune the consistency of replay mode in order to optimize battery life or prioritize vapor production.

The Orion isn’t all about fancy cutting-edge vapor technology; all of that can be completely ignored if the user so chooses. The Orion can be used right out of the box with default settings and still offer one of the best temperature-controlled vape experiences possible with any device, not only when compared to other pod systems. Vapor production is effortless and satisfying, and the flavor reproduction is pristine. Vapor devices as intuitive as the Orion that also offer so many features and this level of customization are few and far between.

Vaping has always been about options. Everybody has his or her own preferences, and the more options available, the larger the potential market. Generally, more options lead to more complications, but the Orion can be as simple or as involved as each vaper desires without becoming convoluted or contrived.

The Orion is also convenient due to its size and relatively large battery size. Even those who vape with moderate consistency can squeeze a day’s worth of vaping out of a single charge. As far as pod systems go, 2 mL of e-liquid capacity is significant, particularly when using nicotine salt or higher strength e-liquid. Granted, the Orion isn’t a cloud-chasing monster nor is it intended to be.

But even the enthusiast vaper would find value in something convenient and feature-rich that’s unobtrusive when running errands or commuting to work. As far as pod systems are concerned, the Orion is the only contender for a daily driver for a large swathe of the vaping community.

When it comes to filling out a product line for a retail location or online store, the Orion is in a class of its own. It separates itself enough from other pod systems as well as standard devices. Other manufacturers have acknowledged this by releasing their own variations that are obvious copycats of the Orion, but it’s difficult to compete with the DNA Go chip.

Evolv has paved the way for the rest of the vapor industry since the inception of the Darwin back in the golden age of vaping. By the time competing technology finally catches up with Evolv, Evolv has already evolved.

Lost Vape has also long been a reputable manufacturer, partnering with Evolv in the past to create some of the most affordable DNA devices without sacrificing quality or accessibility. With the Orion DNA Go, Lost Vape and Evolv have reunited to create a perfect response to market demand. The proven quality of Lost Vape and the technological innovation of Evolv is a dangerous combination for every other manufacturer, as has been proven in the past. With the advent of pod systems, the creation of the Orion seems only too natural.

Although the Orion is available without the DNA Go chip, the combination of Lost Vape hardware and Evolv firmware and software at a retail price of around $50 really can’t be beat. The Orion DNA Go isn’t just the best bang for the buck—it’s also hands down one of the best devices in its class.

Mike Huml

Mike Huml

Mike Huml has been vaping since 2009 and has been working in the vapor industry for more than five years. He has extensive experience in various industry segments, including purchasing, quality assurance and content creation.