• July 10, 2020

Reliability Factor

The new Vfolk pod system uses a ceramic coil to provide a smooth, consistent vape.

By Mike Huml

The Vfolk Pro pod system represents the latest in pod system technology. While it may not appear much different from comparable pod systems, what lies inside each pod is what pushes the Vfolk past the competition. Vfolk has teamed up with Smoore to create an entirely new vaporization system that doesn’t rely on wick and wire, and the result is one of the smoothest and consistent vapes on the market.

Smoore is one of the largest manufacturers in the vapor industry. For years, they manufactured vaping components for several major third-party brands. More recently, they’ve started manufacturing for their own brand: Vaporesso. For the Vfolk, Smoore has contributed an entirely new atomization system called Feelm. Each Vfolk pod is fitted with this ceramic vaporization chamber that yields voluminous vapor and incredible flavor. Feelm technology is the cornerstone that sets the Vfolk apart from other pod systems, and it works extremely well.

The Vfolk itself operates much like other pod systems, which is desirable. For pod system users, it retains familiarity and simplicity of use. The device is slightly larger than the Juul but is more rounded and ergonomic. It features an automatic switch to more closely replicate smoking analog cigarettes, and an LED on one side illuminates when the user takes a drag.

The LED will also turn red when the battery is low in order to clearly indicate that charging is needed. Charging is accomplished via a standard micro-USB connection, and a cable is included with each kit. The 350 mAh battery can be charged from empty to full in approximately 45 minutes and is designed to last for the duration of an entire pod. Each Vfolk pod contains 1.2 mL of e-liquid at a strength of 5 percent, or 50 mg/mL. Some flavors are also available at 2 percent, or 20 mg/mL.

At 1.2 mL, each pod is equivalent to two packs of standard cigarettes in terms of nicotine. As far as the number of drags, the advertised 500 puffs are slightly exaggerated, but that heavily depends on how each user uses the Vfolk. Longer drags will obviously yield fewer drags per pod. Overall, a pack-a-day smoker can expect between one and two days of use per pod.

For comparison, each Juul pod contains 0.6 mL of e-liquid, so those familiar with the Juul can expect twice as much longevity from each pod. Pods are simply inserted into the battery, and a magnet keeps them secure. The pods couldn’t be easier to insert and remove, and the magnet is more than strong enough to maintain a stable connection.

Vfolk offers seven flavors: cucumber, coffee, mint, mango, mung bean, lychee and tobacco. Currently, their sample pack of pods does not include cucumber or lychee, their newest flavors. However, each of the other four flavors is striking and unique. Coffee is reminiscent of a creamy latte, with none of the bitterness that can often plague coffee flavors. Mint is a light and refreshing burst of peppermint and spearmint that isn’t overpowering. Mango has a dash of mint as well that adds a much-needed crispness to the fruitiness of the mango. The tobacco is more of a nutty flavor, which is common with tobacco e-liquids. It’s impossible to recreate the flavor of burning tobacco without burning plant matter, as any vaper who has tried tobacco flavors can attest. However, Vfolk’s tobacco has a very clean taste whereas cheaper tobacco flavors can taste “dirty,” for lack of a better term.

The vape experience offered by the Vfolk is second to none. Each drag is smooth, and due to the Feelm atomizer, there is no gurgling, crackling or popping. The only sound is the slight sound of air passing through the device. The airflow is just about perfect, riding that fine line between the stiff draw of an analog cigarette and the open draw that other pod systems incorporate in order to “fake” more vapor production. Here, the vapor is dense, flavorful and satisfying while the drag and nicotine level are sure to appeal to those used to cigarettes.

As far as pod systems are concerned, the Vfolk doesn’t stray too far from the established mold, and that’s not a bad thing. Everything about this device is familiar to avoid alienating a potential market of current pod system vapers. The Feelm technology is where things get interesting as it is solely responsible for keeping the Vfolk from becoming “just another” pod system.

The ceramic heating system is enough to spark interest in those with even an ounce of vape enthusiast within them. Even vapers who don’t consider themselves pod system users may raise an eyebrow based on a new kind of heating element alone. While mesh coils are starting to find popularity, they don’t seem to be the revolutionary new technology that will overtake standard coils, which are generally cheaper, more readily available and even preferable in some situations. However, this Feelm technology offers an upgrade to every other pod system in that it provides a consistent experience, as well as an arguably better vape, with every drag.

Even the Juul’s vapor production and drag can vary wildly from anemic to completely over-saturated due to a multitude of factors. It’s an issue so widespread that squeezing the top of the Juul’s pod regularly in order to stimulate juice flow is almost a necessary workaround. The Vfolk with its Feelm heating element provides a better experience with every drag than what the Juul can possibly provide under ideal circumstances.

The Vfolk advertises an autoship option on the box, much like the Juul, but that service is currently unavailable via the Vfolk website. When this feature does come online, it will add a massive convenience factor that’s almost expected at this point when it comes to pod systems. A starting price of $29.59, with a 20 percent discount code, will buy the Vfolk device, a charging cable and two e-liquid pods.

The starter kit only offers a choice of tobacco, coffee, mint and mango, but the additional three flavors are available separately for $11.99 for a two-pack. End users can also enjoy free shipping on orders over $35, but this is where things get a bit dicey. Regular standard shipping runs about $17.50 depending on location. That’s significantly more than the price of a pod pack. As such, online buyers are strongly advised to buy in bulk, ensuring each order is above that $35 mark. This is the weakest aspect of the Vfolk brand but could prove advantageous for a retailer.

Given that shipping is so expensive, and many people still prefer to buy smaller quantities of e-liquids or pods on a more frequent basis, vape shops can offer more convenience and better pricing than online retailers. Generally, the opposite is true in the vapor industry. Due to overhead, smaller order quantities and limited storage space, brick-and-mortar shops often charge more than online retailers. For possibly the first time, retail locations can provide more convenience and value. As the Vfolk brand matures, this is likely to change, so it might be wise to hit the ground running while the opportunity is still presenting itself.

Other than the double-edged sword of a shipping price, the Vfolk is an exceptional product all around. It’s offered innovation in the form of the Feelm heating element, which offers value to the enthusiast vaper who can’t ignore a new type of heating element as well as the average vaper who only knows that the Vfolk vapes better than other systems and doesn’t care why.

It retains all the features that make pod systems valuable, including simplicity, ease of use and convenience, while still one-upping the competition when it comes to raw vape quality. Vapor production, flavor and throat hit are all top-notch. The Vfolk won’t chuck clouds, and it’s not supposed to, but it does pump out more vapor than the average pod system, and it does so drag after drag. If there was one word to sum up the Vfolk, it would be “consistent.”

Not only is this the first vapor device to omit some type of wick and wire system, but it works, and it arrived in the form of a pod system. Innovation usually happens from the top down—it will be interesting to see if ceramic Feelm technology will make its way upward toward more advanced devices, but if it doesn’t, it’s a small miracle that it works as well as it does in a pod system environment.

Consistency is one of the most important features of any vapor product, and it’s often overlooked or taken for granted. Even for a product with flaws, if those flaws are consistent, it’s far preferable to a product that’s unpredictable or erratic. Thankfully, the Vfolk is virtually flawless, and its consistency only acts to improve everything else that makes it a fantastic product. Consistent is always preferable, and consistently good is the best one can ask for, particularly when it comes to vaping.

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.