“…one of the best around, especially for those who take portability into heavy consideration.”
SPEED REVIEW (SUMMARY)
The new XS AirVape might be small, but it certainly has a lot to offer. Designed in Venice, California, this roughly smartphone-sized vape produces some really potent, surprisingly thick and tasty vapor that's impressive by portable standards and especially so given its small stature. Between all of this and its haptic feedback (vibrating alerts), relatively large oven capable of holding up to 0.3 grams of dry blend, roughly 20 second heat up time, wide temperature range, water filter attachment, and ability to vaporize concentrates in addition to dry blends, it's easy to look passed the shortcomings of its roughly 1-hour battery life and its necessity to be regularly cleaned. And when you consider just how little it costs, it starts to become one seriously attractive vaporizer. We recommend it to those who are more concerned with portability, vapor quality, and price than they are with much else because those are three areas where the XS excels. If you're interested in buying this incredibly compact portable, we suggest you buy it through an authorized dealer such as this store here.
*This is a quick summary, in-depth review below.
From what we can tell, the XS seems to run a bit warmer than it says. So while it has a range of 200 degrees Fahrenheit to 428 degrees Fahrenheit, it seems to be more like 215°F to 445°F. That said, we prefer to use it around 365°F, which feels more like 375°F or so. The upside to this is that it actually seems to have a higher top-end temperature range than it would otherwise have you believe. In addition, running it at lower temps will help conserve battery life, so there’s that benefit as well.
Note: Apollo claims the XS uses a hybrid heating system that employs both conduction as well as convection, however, from what we can tell, it seems to be much more of a conduction based heating system than anything.
Heat Up Time
The heat up time on this vape is one of its best attributes, as it takes just about 20 seconds for its medical grade ceramic oven to reach vaping temps. To reach the temperature setting we like to use with this vape, roughly 360 degrees Fahrenheit, takes about 30 seconds. This cuts into the session timer a bit, but still leaves a good 4-1/2 minutes to vape given that the session timer can be set a max duration of 5 minutes.
To begin the heating process, click the power button three times. When it kicks on, it’ll immediately jump to the last heat setting used. You can use the buttons (arrows) located next to the display to adjust the temperature as you see fit. Talking for a moment about this last heat setting feature, we can’t help but wonder why more vapes don’t include this feature. It really simplifies the whole startup process, making it easy to pick up where you left off. And once it’s ready to be used, it’ll vibrate to let you know. Could it get any easier?
As far as the heating time is concerned, we’re pleased with what the AirVape is capable of. There are faster heating portables, but at roughly 20-30 seconds, it’s definitely faster than the average vape. And even though it’s not the fastest, it does an excellent job of evenly heating its oven and efficiently vaporizing its contents.
The Air Vape XS is powered by a pretty lame battery, yet it works surprisingly well. The battery it uses is a mere 1300 mAh, whereas some of the other portables on the market are using batteries in excess of 3000 mAh. In other words, the battery it uses is pretty weak in comparison to what some of the other portables are harnessing, however, with that extra power comes increased size and in the world of portability, size is critical. In this case, the 1300 mAh battery it uses is relatively small, which is in part what allows the XS itself to be so small. Apollo actually had this battery custom manufactured for the vape. And for reference, the XS is quite likely the thinnest portable vaporizer currently in existence, which should help but its size in perspective.
While the battery is not designed to be replaced by the user, a bummer in our opinion, the vape does offer pass-through charging which allows for it to be used while it’s charging. It also charges in a little over an hour, which really isn’t too bad, especially given that you can still use it while it’s charging.
As for how much vape time it offers, we tend to see about 30-35 minutes of vapor production before it cuts out. On the max end, it’s capable of offering as much as 40 minutes or so with a single charge. Longer than expected, but not quite as good as we were hoping. This translates into about 4-5 fully packed ovens per fully charged battery. Not bad for a vape that’s about the size of your phone. And for reference, Apollo does make a portable charging station (external battery pack) that you can plug the vape into to charge it on the go, which extends the battery life that much further.
You can recharge the vape by plugging it in via USB or by plugging it into an electrical outlet. While it’s charging, the battery’s status will appear on the vape’s display to give you an idea of how much time you have left to go.
Weight & Size
Here’s where things get really good. The Air XS weighs just 0.65 pounds, making it one of the lightest portables on the market. And it measures just four inches wide, six inches tall, and two inches deep, making it one of the most compact ever made. In terms of pocketability, this is one vape that you won’t have to worry about as it’ll slip into just about any pocket you can imagine. It’s that small.
Now while it is small enough to quickly slip in and out of a pocket or conceal in one hand, it’s not actually the most discreet of the portables as its display is somewhat of a dead giveaway as to what it is and what you’re doing, at least to some onlookers. But that’s not to say that it’s not pretty incognito, as it’s actually one of the more discreet portables that we’ve tested. But where it lacks in discretion, it more than makes up in portability.
There are two areas of concern worth noting with this vape. The first is the display’s brightness, which isn’t as bright as we would otherwise prefer. It’s readable, only, it could be brighter, that much is for sure. Our other concern is with the battery, which just doesn’t offer all that much in way of vape time. Although it’ll probably last for a good day or two for most users before it requires a recharge, we would have preferred to get more than an hour or so of continuous usage out of it before it ran dry. Although adequate, it wouldhave been nice to see a more powerful battery incorporated into the unit. Outside of these two concerns, which are less “problems” than they are complaints, there just isn’t anything wrong this vape, which is obviously a good thing. So if you can get passed these two areas of concern, then this might very well prove to be an awesome little vape for you.
Cleaning & Maintenance
The XS vape is a fairly easy portable to keep up with. You only have to clean it thoroughly after every 15 or so sessions and the process itself is pretty straight forward. Here’s how you clean it:
- Disassemble the vape.
- Soak the silicone components in a solution consisting of warm water and soft soap.
- Soak the mouthpiece and screens in isopropyl alcohol.
- Rinse the components from steps 2 and 3 in water, allow time to dry completely, and then reassemble.
- Gently dip a q-tip in ISO and use it to clean out the oven.
- Reassemble the vape and heat it up to its highest temperature setting without any blend packed in the oven to burn off any residues that might be leftover from the cleaning process.
This whole process should take you about 10 minutes, however, if your components are extra dirty, the process may require more time as you may need to soak your components for longer before rinsing, drying, and reusing them.
Tip: Quickly sweep out the oven after every session using the cleaning brush. This will help reduce the frequency at which you need to be cleaning the vape thoroughly using the steps outlined above.
Here are some tips on how to use the AirVape XS vape:
- For the best cloud production, use a finely ground blend and a fully packed oven. You may want to use a grinder like the Finishing Grinder by Magic-Flight to accomplish this as it grinds blend up into very fine particles – a consistency that actually works quite well with this vape and others like it. The downside here is that you’ll actually end up having to clean the screen more often as it really gunks it up quick. When using this method, try packing it loosely for the best results. This will allow more heat to penetrate the blend as you’re vaping.
- Try using a lower temperature than you’d normally use with another vaporizer because this one runs a little hot.
- We suggest using it at around 365 degrees Fahrenheit, or what it claims to be 365°F, and then slowly cranking it up to about 385°F to finish it off. This seems to be the most efficient way to achieve a full and thorough vaporization off the oven’s contents. Of course, given that this is really our own preference, you’ll want to play around with these numbers to find the spectrum that works best for you.
- Don’t bother stirring your blend as this vape does a good job of completely vaporizing whatever you put in it. If you do find the need to stir, try packing the oven a bit looser to see if that doesn’t do the trick.
- To extend battery life, consider buying the AirVape XS Power Bank. It’s a portable 2500 mAh battery that, like the vape itself, is extremely compact (about the size of a credit card).
For as small as this vape it is, it actually has quite a few accessories and some of them more than a bit useful. Here’s a list of what’s available:
- Magnetic Charger – This micro-USB charging cord connects magnetically to the vape in a fashion reminiscent of an Apple product. With it, you can quickly recharge the XS.
- Power Bank – This 2500 mAh portable battery pack allows you to charge the XS on the go. It’s roughly the size of a credit card and it extends the battery life beyond the norm. Inexpensive and worth every penny. A nice accessory indeed.
- Wax Cup Insert – This accessory, which is NOT designed for liquids, transforms the AirVape XS into a concentrate vaporizer that works with certain types of non-liquid extracts like waxes and high viscosity oils (the ones thick like molasses). Awesome accessory that every XS owner should buy because it really extends use, adding another dimension to the vaporizer’s capabilities.
- Charging Dock – For those who like their vape to look cool while it’s recharging, there is this: the recharging dock. Worth buying? Not really, but some of you might want it anyways. You plug the micro USB cord into the dock and then drop your vape into the dock and it’ll recharge in an upright position, which is kind of cool, we guess. But there is a kicker on this, a reason to buy it if you will, and that’s the fact that it’ll actually recharge some of the slimmer Android phones as well as the XS vape.
- XS Shell – Want a protective shell? Look no further than this splash-resistant case designed to slip-on like a glove and protect the XS from ordinary wear and the occasional splash of water. Mind you, you can’t actually submerge the vape in water while it’s wearing this protective shell, but it should protect against a few drops of water that splash up against it here and there. While it’s on, you’ll still feel the vape vibrate when it’s ready to use.
- Leather Cover – Just a simple leather cover for the XS that snaps shut with a magnet. Nice way to keep the vape covered while it’s not in use, but we prefer the Shell as it offers superior protection.
- Full Mouthpiece – This is the full mouthpiece kit for those who require a replacement. It includes the airflow box, glass mouthpiece, mouthpiece screen, and food-grade rubber base and cover.
- Replacement Screens – These AirVape XS replacement screens come in a pack of five and they’re everything you need to replace all your screens. This breaks down into 3 mouthpiece screens and 2 chamber screens.
- Water Tool Attachment – Want to vape through a water filter? You can use this one designed specifically for the XS. Helps make the vapor that much smoother and cooler before it reaches you. Definitely one of the XS vaporizer’s must-have accessories.
The XS is covered by a lifetime limited manufacturer’s warranty that must be registered within days of purchase in order to be validated. The registration process requires proof of purchase so make sure to keep a copy of the original receipt because you’re going to need it in order to validate your registration.
The quality that the Air Vape XS vaporizer’s ceramic heating chamber produces via a combination of convection and conduction is really good given the vape’s size. It’s pure, smooth, and if you want it to be, pretty thick and cloudy. The only real downside is how quick the flavor seems to diminish as the session progresses, but if you lower the heat, it’ll help prolong the flavor. So while you do get some pretty impressive clouds at the higher temperature settings, you end up sacrificing quite a bit of flavor. Which is why we prefer to use it on the lower temperature settings and only crank it up high near the end of our session or when using concentrates instead of dry blends.
As for draw resistance, it could be better but it’s actually less resistance than we see in most other portables, which is surprising given how small it is. In this regard, it does well but it could stand to see some improvement – only it’s hard to imagine how given how small the vape is. With that in mind, AirVape has done well to minimize draw resistance while working in such a compact space.
Overall, we’re quite impressed with the overall quality of this vaporizer’s vapor. And this is without the water filter attachment, which improves that quality of the vapor that much more for those who choose to use it. The only real downside to the attachment is that it takes up more space in your pocket. Otherwise, it’s well worth using in conjunction with the vape because it does improve the quality of the vapor, making it that much smoother and cooler.
We’re pretty impressed with the overall build quality of this vaporizer, its vapor production, portability, and ease of use, but its battery life could definitely see some improvement. But given that it does have a credit card sized portable battery pack capable of extending its battery life without taking up much extra space in your pocket, we’re really not all that concerned about the lack of battery life, especially considering that it tends to be enough juice to make it through one to two days before requiring a recharge, assuming it’s used conservatively and not shared among friends. For a personal vaporizer, it’s one of the best around, especially for those who take portability into heavy consideration. For those looking for something extremely compact, the AirVape XS is one of the best options around. If you’re interested in buying it, we suggest you buy it through an authorized retailer such as this store here.