Smokeless Image Review: The Volt E Cigarette Provides the Perfect Balance of Simplicity and Cutting Edge Performance
It is early days yet for the Smokeless Image E-Cigarette (a model with the catchy moniker of the 'VOLT'), and yet if the graceful yet very brisk growth the company has been experiencing in recent months – along with a generally very positive reception from users and critics alike (this one included!) – is any indication, the already crowded vaping marketplace has a new contender for the all around top spot.
Personally knowing that the founder of the relatively new ecig brand has been in the industry pretty much since day one, and having the privilege to hear first hand a little bit about his overall intentions and concept for Smokeless Image and their flagship VOLT E Cig model had left me eager (and a tad anxious) while waiting for first shipments to arrive.
I had heard that the Smokeless Image E Cigarettes were designed around the latest evolutions of the fantastically popular KR808D-1 model, with advancements in both the battery and cartomizers that would represent a huge leap forward, far surpassing the original in just about every way. I knew the path of commitment to quality; simplicity and an absolute devotion to the most cutting edge in easy to use, high-performance electronic cigarettes that Smokeless Image seemed to be following had the potential to fill a void in the bloated marketplace. Though there are seemingly endless brands out there, I having followed the growth and progression of the vaping phenomenon since it hit North America several years ago still hadn't seen one brand that quite hit the exact balance making it the right fit for the 90% of smokers out there looking to buy an e-cigarette from a supplier where for most intents and purposes they couldn't go wrong.
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There Had Been A Hole In The E-Cigarette Market For A Really GOOD Easy To Use and Simple To Buy Product - Specifically for A High Performance eCig with Consistent and Satisfying Vapor Production and Priced Reasonably (That's Not Too Tall An Order Is It!?)
A Brand that no matter which kit or options chosen you'd end up with a device whose batteries last a significant length of time despite being very close to an actual cigarette in size. An e cigarette brand frankly that just works, whose strength is in the things people don't mention or notice – where in the past and with other options you'd more than likely hear them complain about issues. They sometimes say that good design is invisible; in some awkward parallel it makes me think that a good e-cigarette is one that you just use (and in doing so enjoy without trouble).
Whether short battery life, poor vapor volume, dull flavor, burnt taste, poor ease of draw, or any of the other issues that it seems every big name e-cigarette brand still struggles with at least one of – it feels to me like the Smokeless Image VOLT Electronic Cigarette lineup marks that first supplier to emerge that has really, truly, no BS managed to bring together an offering that doesn't suffer from any of the common issues. The Volt E Cig is a joy to vape.
There Was Something About Smokeless Image From The Very Start That Made Me Sure It Would Soon Be Counted Amongst The Very Best Electronic Cigarette Brands
Watching patiently the thoughtful, unhurried rollout of the Smokeless Image electric cigarette lineup, the new VOLT e cig starter kit packaging and the gradual introduction of e liquids, new accessories and other vaping goodness might have felt nerve-wracking – had I not sensed a certain sense of mastery at work (I'm sure knowing a little about the products planned and who was running the show added to the sense of confidence too). And just like that annoying smart kid in school who walks in late for a test, doesn't seem at all stressed and breezes through it perfectly with an unnerving calm; the emergence and inevitable climb of Smokeless Image as a major player in the ranks of the e-cigarette industry has seemed just as certain and just as calmly confident as it got off to a gradual start and has consistently taken off growing month over month in popularity and brand awareness. It's a trend I am quite positive will continue.
The truth is, these guys know their stuff and exactly what they are doing – Smokeless Image is on the top of their game and the success it has begun to realize is the result of many correctly thought through decisions
With so many competing brands in an ever more saturated e-cigarette market what makes a supplier like Smokeless Image and their new VOLT Electronic Cigarette remarkable?
The magic is to be found in a careful, balanced and well thought out approach to their product line.
Make no mistake Smokeless Image isn't just another new supplier spontaneously jumping on the vapor cig bandwagon to get a piece of the action. This company, their superior levels of service and carefully selected and perfected product range reflect a finely tuned and lovingly crafted approach to expertly building an electronic cigarette offering that more than any other thus far provides exactly what the average smoker considering going smokeless is looking for.
Smokeless Image could have easily decided to be much more diverse in their product offerings – yet all too often trying to offer endless choices becomes confusing and a turn-off for average smokers looking to replace a habit that for them involves nothing more than dropping by the convenience store or gas station, grabbing a pack of smokes, pulling out a cigarette and lighting up.
Being a very strong proponent of the electronic smoking movement, a keen observer and active participant in its rapid evolution, it honestly breaks my heart and pisses me off when I hear from various people that I know (such as older relatives who have smoked for ages) when I bring up my love of e-cigarettes and how they have positively affected my life for over 3 years now, and I hear back that they tried one, weren't all that impressed with it, that it was too hard to inhale and didn't give them that satisfaction, the throat hit that they get from tobacco. That they thought it wasn't for them.
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Why would I say that it pisses me off?
Well I guess I would start to answer that by saying that not all e cigarettes are created equal. This may seem obvious but for many people new to the whole vaping thing quite simply it isn't (and it often times appears to me that new companies I notice who have clearly just jumped into the market without doing their homework first, are more than a little daft on this topic as well). There is an increasingly vast range of quality, performance, sophistication and evolution in the technology behind the many different electronic smoking options one can buy – with many early models, underpowered 'super-minis' and less developed battery and atomizer technology (not to mention the e liquid side of things) many of which I would better classify as a novelty item but are still being sold well past what should be their 'past due date' – and of course this leads to users having a less than satisfying experience.
In my opinion there are too many e-cig 'brand names' that have been built up at this stage who have followed the route typical in many industries other than the electronic cigarette one; that being to channel their earnings primarily into marketing and brand-building while doing little to improve their product offerings. Sadly from a business perspective often brands are worth more than the quality of their products – and as a result the exceptional advancements in e-cigarette technology and sophistication, as epitomized by the Smokeless Image VOLT E Cig, are often not experienced or known about by those other than the more hard-core 'vaping enthusiasts' who make a point of staying on top of every new development.
Thankfully Quality Products, Excellent Support, Great User Satisfaction And Superior Value Have A Way Of Getting Noticed And Spreading
While Big Brands Like Luci, Blu Cigs and NJOY Continue To Sell Outdated Technology There Certainly Exists A New Breed Of E-Cigarette In This Class That Finally Delivers In An Uncompromisingly Satisfying 'Smokeless Cigarette' Alternative. The 'VOLT' E Cig is exactly that. This electric cig is the absolute state of the art in cartomizer 2-piece mini e cigarette technology.
After very careful inspection of connection points, airflow passages, heating coil placement and even the luxury feel of the battery's matte coating it is clear Smokeless Image components are manufactured to a higher quality standard and with superior craftsmanship.
To speak as plainly as possible the VOLT as a member of its class of e-cigarette – which is to say the class of e-cigarette that the vast majority of smokers will find most desirable and suited to their needs – leaves just about all of its competition in the dust.
It Is Clear To See That Manufacturing Standards Have Been Given a High Priority
The VOLT is particularly well built; there are numerous subtle details when you know to look for them that are much better constructed than both prior KR808D components or those of the other popular cartomizer standards such as the m601 and the E9/V9 Cartomizer models used by other brands such as NJOY, Green Smoke, South Beach Smoke and eSmoke. Examples that I noticed include:
- Increased precision and symmetry in the connectors between the cartomizer and battery.
- In-Laid rubber o-rings separating the outer and inner surfaces (positive & negative charge) on both of the battery and cartomizer connectors (significantly reducing chances of the battery shorting and dying prematurely – as well as ensuring consistently a good snug fit between the 2).
- The cartomizer's heating coil is laid horizontally at the base and does not have a wire looping around the air-flow tube as in previous KR808D-1 models, which seems to contribute dramatically to the VOLT's much smoother, consistent quality of vapor and ease of draw.
- The filler material in the cartomizer that holds the e liquid (and the inner tube's material) appear to be much more resistant to heat and heavy use than previous cartomizers. Even when I subjected them to high voltage use with my Pro-Vari Mod and using the new Ego Booster for Joye Ego Batteries repeatedly I never experienced any of the slightly burnt taste that could result with previous cartomizers.
- I refilled several smokeless image cartomizers (which is made super easy with the nice new easy refill caps) quite a few times, and never experienced a flavor degradation or that cardboard-like taste that would result from multiple refills of early KR808D-1 Cartomizers.
- The automatic battery switch (sensor inside the battery that responds to inhalations) is excellent, it instantly powers up and produces great vapor without having to work for it – and yet is designed to not respond inadvertently to things like triggering from loud music or the wind.
The Smokeless Image VOLT Battery – A Miniature Marvel
As anyone with experience using electronic cigarettes for any length of time will tell you, battery capacity (thus up time between the need for charging) has been one of the biggest issues (problems) since the very first e cigs. It has been a consistent challenge to pack enough battery capacity into such a small size (hence the popularity of some larger models like the Joye EGO) but for models approaching the size of a traditional cigarette typically charge capacity has been very limited – with values ranging from 120-180maH. That's the reason why you'll often hear users of e cigs complain about having to constantly charge their batteries, as depending on use patterns it would be typical to only get an hour maybe out of many such e cig batteries.
It still isn't a perfect situation as moderate to heavy smokers will still most likely use up a battery during the day (though there's a solution to that in the form of a slick new PCC – or Portable Charging Case) and it is recommended to have 2 batteries for regular use so that one can always be charging. The battery capacity improvements are significant and very noticeable however to those used to previous generation KR808D-1 models (which include brands such as Vapor4Life, s, SmokeTip and White Cloud among others) or indeed the other popular standards. If you are used to any name brand e-cigarette you can be sure that (unless it is the Bloog MaxxFusion) the VOLT E Cig Batteries will last longer on each charge than you are accustomed to.
This is a HUGE benefit of the VOLT over competing ecig brands
There are 2 different battery sizes to choose from (which come in a whopping assortment of 12 rather bold yet tasteful color choices – of course black, white and silver are on option but so are red, yellow, pink and blue amongst others!). All of the battery colors come in 'auto' mode, while at the time of writing this smokeless image review at least you could only get certain colors and sizes in 'manual' – for those unfamiliar with the term it refers to a small button on the side of the battery that you need to press and hold while inhaling. This may sound awkward, but it is usually the preferred choice of those who have 'vaped' for a little while. The manual button activates the e cig battery and the heating of the cartomizer momentarily before inhaling which produces a noticeably thicker vapor.
There's something to e-cigarette manual batteries (versus automatic ones) that almost reminds me of the different between an automatic and stick shirt car! I know it sounds a little over the top and indeed it probably is as a comparison, but manual batteries give you a sense of much greater control over the e-cigarette. I am pleased to see that Smokeless Image offers VOLT batteries with the manual option. If you are buying an ecig for the first time automatic might be best for the ease of your transition but if you are getting a kit with 2 batteries I suggest you consider getting one of each. The other nice perk of manual batteries is it is possibly to use a 'drip tip' with your e cig and not worry about juice getting inside the battery chamber. Definitely don't drip into your cart, despite the easy refill tip, while the cartomizer is attached to an automatic battery.
The VOLT uses essentially the same technology at its core as the highly popular (and IMHO only worthy adversary at the moment) MaxX Fusion from Bloog.
But in the Smokeless Image vs. Bloog (or VOLT vs MaxXFusion) Debate, there are a few crucial benefits weighing positively on the side of Smokeless Image:
1) For one thing their service seems to be hands down superior. With a toll-free number happy to help and online live chat that I've seen 'ON' at even middle of the night hours occasionally you are sure to get exceptional customer support.
2) Better Value: Lower Pricing – Let's See How Bloog and Smokeless Image Stack Up Against Each Other.
Shipping – Right Out Of The Gate Smokeless Image Has The Upper Hand Here With Free Shipping On Orders $55+ While Bloog's Free Shipping Kicks In At $100+ (and is $11.90 for usps below that)
Both Bloog and Smokeless Image offer 4 distinct e cig starter kits to choose from – and there are similarities in difference between
The 'Entry Level' VOLT starter kit from Smokeless Image sells for a mere $29.99!
At a price like that it compares with popular disposable e-cigs good for only 1 time use, of poor quality generally, needless to say offering the crème of the crop e-cig model in such an affordable entry level price point is a super attractive offering from Smokeless Image for those wanting to just get their feet wet with vapor cigarettes, but want to do so with the best their is. Included:
• 1 battery – 65mm standard (upgrade to the bigger 78mm option for a mere $1 extra)
• 5 refillable cartomizers – your choice of flavor and nicotine strength
• 1 USB charger
To Compare Bloog's “Basic Starter Kit” sells for $44.95 and is actually quite similar in that it offers:
• 1 battery (78mm standard)
• 5 cartomizers (of your choice as well)
• 1 velvet battery pouch – nothing fancy or that you're very likely to use (I had a few that are now lost)
• 1 USB charger
• PLUS the one REAL addition (I don't count the pouch!) is a wall charger that lets you plug the USB charger into.
So even with the $1 battery upgrade from Smokeless Image the VOLT 'Entry Level' Kit is a significant $13 less than Bloog's “Basic Starter Kit” for very comparable kits
A Similar Proportional Gap In Price Seems To Extend Across The Full Range Of Kits, Individual Batteries ($12.99 instead of $15.99) And Even Cartomizer Refills Too! (Currently $8.95 for a standard 5-pack at Smokeless Image while they sell for $10.99 at BloogPlanet) – as this represents much of your long term and ongoing 'running costs' that 2 dollar difference will add up over time to be worth more than the savings on the kits or parts; definitely worth noting. And while The Smokeless Image VOLT clearly comes out on top in the value department when compared with its closest cousin the Bloog Maxx Fusion – it also compared extremely favorably against inferior brands ranging from Green Smoke to Blu Cigs, Luci to NJOY – even brands I generally do like including V2 Cigs and Vapor4Life (which are fairly decently priced as well – but still cost more than the superior VOLT E Cigarette) really cannot compare with the improved technology and the better vaping experience that goes along with it from Smokeless Image.
Smokeless Image Review of the VOLT Electronic Cigarette: Concluding Thoughts
The Smokeless Image VOLT Electronic Cigarette Reviews Are In – This E-Cig Flat Out Rocks!
The following mini mission-statement appears on the company website: “Smokeless Image's goal is to deliver high quality electronic cigarettes and accessories, while providing the best customer service and prices that make these great new products accessible to every smoker.“
Reflecting on what they have already in such a short time accomplished the goal comes across as wonderfully well intentioned, and yet a surprisingly humble statement when considering the exceptional and I would even say vaping milestone balance of:
- VERY High Quality
- VERY Well Priced
- And I would add…. You CAN'T go wrong and SURE To satisfy!
For anyone who is looking for a smooth transition to electronic cigarettes and wants to know which model and brand to go with in order to best mimic and satisfy what they are used to, or for anyone who has tried other brands but have been frustrated by poor performance, high costs, unsatisfying vapor or any of the other common complaints surrounding the most recent and earlier crops of e-cigarettes on the market do yourself a favor. Head over to Smokeless Image and pick up one of their VOLT Electronic Cigarette Starter Kits – throw in some RY4 Cartomizers for good measure and give this sensational new ecig a try. In my humble option, you CAN'T go wrong and Smokeless Image is SURE to satisfy!
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