Innokin’s new ArcFire pod system strikes the perfect balance of performance, quality and convenience.
By Mike Huml
The Innokin ArcFire is the latest device from the long-standing vapor device manufacturer. As with all things Innokin, the ArcFire elevates the pod system archetype to new heights in terms of performance, consistency and quality. While it doesn’t bring anything new to the table, ArcFire presents a streamlined offering that keeps things simple while still delivering maximum performance.
ArcFire is a basic pod system device with refillable, swappable pods and a lightweight yet durable construction. The body has aluminum wrapped around it with about a 7 mm gap on one edge.
This gap provides a slightly recessed platform for airflow, a single button, LED indicators and a better view of the remaining e-liquid. The ArcFire features a USB-C charging port and a ring light on its tip, which illuminates when the device is firing or charging.
The pod can contain up to 3 mL of e-liquid (with an EU Tobacco Product Directive-compliant 2 mL pod also available) and is refillable via a hole in the side that’s visible when removed from the rest of the device. A silicone plug is easily opened to reveal the filling port.
Each pod consists of a 1.2 ohm mesh coil that cannot be replaced independently of the pod. The pod is held in place very securely with strong magnets, and given the semi-oval shape of the aluminum housing, it can only be inserted into the device in one direction due to the slight asymmetry.
An internal 650 mAh battery offers long battery life without adding unnecessary bulk to the overall package. The ArcFire should last a full day of normal use for most vapers and will far outlast a single fill of the pod. However, the ArcFire does feature passthrough functionality and can be used while charging if necessary. The side panel of the Arcfire contains three small LED indicators that display remaining battery life.
Three lights indicate a charge level of 65 percent or higher, two lights for a charge level of 15 percent to 65 percent and a single light for a charge level below 15 percent. The LEDs illuminate when a draw is taken or when the button on the side is pressed once. Three clicks of the same button will toggle the ArcFire’s power on or off. The button is not used to fire the device as the ArcFire is equipped with a draw-activated switch only.
It’s a relatively standard feature set that keeps things simple, which is ideal when it comes to pod systems. The coil features a mesh heating element that produces vapor consisting of finer particles for easier nicotine absorption. Additionally, mesh heating elements are more effective with lower power, meaning more vapor is produced with less energy and heat.
That means longer battery life, no dry hits and no spitback. It’s remarkably consistent regardless of the amount of remaining liquid, the viscosity of the liquid or the remaining battery voltage. The ArcFire outputs a consistent 3.4 volts at all times, but small variations in power have virtually no impact on the vaping experience.
The airflow is a bit on the open side but is still perfectly comfortable for mouth-to-lung vaping. Lung hits are restrictive and uncomfortable but still technically possible. However, there are better devices on the market for vapers looking for a lung-hit experience. The ArcFire was clearly intended to be used as a mouth-to-lung device with nicotine salt e-liquid, and in that arena, it succeeds without question.
The 650 mAh battery offers significantly more battery life than most other pod systems, as well as disposable devices, on the market today. What’s more impressive is that the battery can reach a 75 percent charge after being plugged in for only 30 minutes due to the incorporation of USB-C. Between a large battery that charges quickly and the option to either refill or swap pods, the ArcFire has very little downtime. It’s the perfect device for vapers on the go who want a no-hassle experience.
It’s also great to see a refillable pod that doesn’t require coils to be swapped. Many devices offer disposable pods in which the coil can also be changed out, but all too often, this is a redundant feature that leads to messes and too much complexity for the pod-style platform. If the entire pod can be replaced, then the coil doesn’t need to be swappable as well.
The ArcFire being refillable allows between 10 mL and 60 mL to pass through its pod before it needs to be replaced, depending on the liquid used. That means for a normal user, on average, the pod should probably be replaced once per week, which is more than reasonable given how easy it is to replace the pod. Simply slide it out and throw it away, then replace it with a new, filled pod. The coil will need a few minutes to prime after it is filled for the first time, but regardless, the entire process is simple and painless.
ArcFire produces a nice, voluminous cloud of vapor with very little effort. Flavors come through clean and pure with absolutely no added flavor or strange aftertastes. Another advantage of being refillable is that each vaper has a much wider variety of flavors to choose from.
While pre-filled pods or disposables have come a long way in terms of flavor choice, they still lock the user into an ecosystem. The ArcFire allows for the freedom to use any e-liquid from any manufacturer.
That’s an attractive option, especially for vapers who use a lower nicotine strength or are looking to taper down in their nicotine consumption. Many pod systems and disposables only offer 50 mg, and some offer an additional lower strength in the neighborhood of 25 mg to 30 mg.
With refillable pods such as the ArcFire, users can taper down to 12 mg, 6 mg or even 0 mg if they are looking to kick the habit. There are many other reasons vapers prefer lower nicotine levels, and the ArcFire offers much more choice in this regard compared to disposable devices or pre-filled pods.
Innokin, as expected, continues to live up to its reputation in the ArcFire. The features are streamlined and simple, the build quality is rugged yet sleek, and the vape quality is unquestionably top notch. On top of that, the ArcFire offers many benefits for those looking to move up from disposables as purchasing e-liquid is often cheaper than buying an entirely new device when the e-liquid runs dry.
This also opens up an entire world of new flavors to experience and new nicotine strengths to enjoy. Aside from the refillable nature of the device, the larger battery and fast charging speed add another layer of convenience over increasingly popular disposable devices.
There is definitely a huge market for this type of device from both ends of the spectrum. Current users of disposables may be looking for something slightly more robust with more options and less expensive upkeep costs. More advanced vapers may be looking for something more portable without sacrificing quality.
Either way, the ArcFire strikes a perfect balance of performance, quality and convenience that’s immediately appealing to all types of vapers. Not to mention, it has the Innokin name behind it, which should offer some peace of mind that the ArcFire will remain reliable and well supported for years to come.