E-Cigarette Reviews and Rankings

4stars

VandyVape Pulse 2 Review

It’s fair to say that the original VandyVape Pulse BF Squonk mod changed the game when it came out three years ago. Up to that point squonking mods were expensive and hard to come by, but Tony B’s projects made it so much more accessible. Today, the Pulse brand is one of the most popular in the vaping industry, and one of VandyVape’s best selling lines. Pulse squonkers have only gotten better over time, and today we’re taking a look at the “best Pulse yet”, the VandyVape Pulse 2:

VandyVape Pulse V2 Packaging and Presentation

Blue was VandyVape’s traditional packaging color, but for the new Pulse 22, they’ve changed it for red. Otherwise, the packaging is fairly common, a cardboard box featuring a picture of the squonk mod on the front, and a list of kit contents, manufacturer information, and a presentation of the main features of the device, on the back.

Inside the box we have the Pulse 22 in a Styrofoam container, next to a frosted plastic battery adapter. This is meant to be used with 18650 batteries, as VandyVape’s latest squonker is also compatible with 20700 and 21700 batteries. Deeper into the box, we find the other included accessories – a spare squonk bottle, a metal tool for opening the bottom fill port, a USB Type-C charging cable, a user manual and some more reading material I did not bother with.

VandyVape Pulse V2 Design and Build Quality

At first glance, the Pulse V2 is very similar to the original Pulse squonker and the newer Pulse 80W mod. That’s not surprising, considering how popular both devices were; it makes sense for VandyVape to retain the same iconic design. The ABS plastic body also makes a comeback, and it’s just as light-but-durable as ever. Yes, it can seem a cheap compared to other more high-end devices, but it works and it actually holds up very well over time.

The Pulse 2 measures 82mm x 28mm 55mm, and currently comes in 6 different designs, including three types of resin panels, two types of carbon fiber, and an obsidian pattern. But, if this is anything like previous Pulse mods, we’re going to have plenty of decorative panel designs to choose from in the near future. One of the coolest features of the Pulse line is the interchangeable panels, which makes it easy personalize your mod. Sadly, though, you won’t be able to use your old Pulse panels on the V2, as they are not compatible.

Starting at the top, we have a classic fixed pin 510 connection, with a protective stainless steel plate. The width of the mod allows to use it with atomizers up to 26mm in diameter without any overhang. You could have probably gotten away with a 28mm as well, but the slight bevel on the decorative panels does create a bit of an overhang.

The control panel is very similar to that of the Pulse BF 80W, with the only differences being the larger display on the V2, and a USB-C charging port as opposed to the micro-USB interface. Other than that, the buttons are pretty much identical, as is their positioning. I had heard about people experiencing problems with the fire button, like it sticking when depressed, but I’ve had no such issues. In fact, this mod has some of the nicest buttons I’ve seen on any vape mod in a long time. They have just the right amount of travel and resistance and make a satisfying clicking sound.

On the bottom of the Pulse 2 we find one of its most innovative features – a bottom fill port. VandyVape and Tony B have made it so that you no longer have to take out the squonk bottle to fill it. The new Pulse has a bottom door very similar to the battery door on the Aegis Max or Aegis 100W, which you can unscrew to reach the fill bottle. You can then fill it up with juice and just screw the cap back on.

It’s a cool idea, there’s no arguing that, but it isn’t perfect. First of all, you have to keep the mod upside down to fill it, so if you have an RDA attached, there is a chance that the leftover juice or the condensation inside it will leak while you are filling, plus there is the chance that the fill port will leak. After a week and a half of use, mine is as dry as a bone, but I can see it starting to leak over time, as the threading starts to wear, and I have seen online reports of the fill port leaking.

Just to be clear, I think the bottom fill is an interesting idea, I haven’t had any issues with it, I’m just saying that it is not a full-proof design. Oh, and while we’re on the subject, if you’re wondering what that metallic tool in the box is for, you can use it to grab the tab on the fill port door and turn it, if you feel it’s too small for your fingers.

As I mentioned, the panels look a lot like the ones on older Pulse squonk mods, but they have a slightly different design, so they are not compatible with previous devices in this line. The cutout for squonking has a slightly curvier shape, and the groove to remove the panels is only on the bottom this time around. The panels align much better than on the older Pulse mods, and they don’t wobble one bit.

The Pulse 2 is just as clean on the inside. The PCB is completely insulated in plastic, and actually has an IP67 rating, meaning it is waterproof. That only goes for the board, though, so don’t go dropping your mod in water, as the charging port, battery, and display are still very susceptible to water damage.

The battery compartment is completely insulated as well, with the only bits of metal being the connectors at the top and bottom. Inserting the battery, whether it be a 21700, 20700 or an 18650mwith the adapter, is very easy, as is removing it, by simply pushing it out through the other side of the mod. Yes, both panels are removable, as they were on previous Pulse mods.

The squonk bottle that comes pre-installed is made of soft silicon, as is the spare one, and holds up to 8.5ml o e-liquid. Even though you can fill it up without removing it from the mod, you do have to take it out to wash it every once in a while, and that’s very easy to do. Just unscrew the bottom fill door, and push the bottle outwards from the inside. Once you’re ready to put it back in, slide it through the fill port hole, making sure that the notches on the bottle line up with the groove on the mod, otherwise it won’t click into place.

All in all, the Pulse 2 is a much better mod than the previous entries in the Pulse family, and even though I am not entirely sold on the bottom fill system, it is an interesting idea that I’m sure will appeal to a lot of vapers.

VandyVape Pulse V2 Menu System and Navigation

You probably remember the whole drama with VooPoo back when the Pulse 80W came out. Basically, Tony B. wanted to use the GENE Chip in his squonker, but that deal fell through, and they ended up with a proprietary chip called the Vandy Chip. It turned out to be a great alternative to the GENE Chip, so I’m not surprised to see it make a comeback on the Pulse V2.

Only this is an improved version of the Vandy Chip, one that offers a lot more features, better user interface, and even compatibility with a smartphone app. I haven’t had a chance to try the latter, but it promises to offer user over-the-air updates, a find-my-mod option, and even additional vaping modes, like custom curves. Sadly, the app has been a pain to deal with , from what I’ve heard, mainly because the developer hasn’t made it compatible with all major smartphone operating systems. Hopefully the kinks will be ironed out soon.

Luckily, there is plenty to discover on the mod itself, as the Pulse 2 offers several vaping modes, loads of features, and even some customization options. As I said, the new Vandy Chip is the best one yet.

To turn the mod on or off, all you have to do is click the fire button five times in rapid succession. To change the wattage, you have the + and – buttons, so technically you don’t even have to get into the menu. But if you’re the kind of vaper who likes to experience with different vaping modes, or if you just like to fiddle with settings, there is plenty to do on the Pulse 2.

Clicking the fire button three times rapidly allows you to cycle through the various vaping modes by using the + and- buttons. Once you find the one you want, press the fire button to confirm your choice. Pressing the fire button and the + button simultaneously will lock the + and – buttons, but keep the fire button active, while pressing the fire button and the – button will flip the orientation of the screen.

To access the menu system, you have to hold down the + and – buttons for a couple of seconds. The first submenu is Settings, where you can activate or deactivate the different vaping modes. If you deactivate all but wattage mode, for example, when you press the fire button three times rapidly, you won’t have to cycle through all the different modes built-in to the mod, just the ones that are set to active.

Then there is the Hibernate option, where you can set the number of minutes after which the mod goes to sleep, Brightness, where you can adjust the brightness of the display, Clear Puff Counter, Interface, where you can change the color of the UI on the display, and Check Firmware Version. There is a setting for the companion app that I didn’t mess with, and an option to Reset to Factory Settings.

That’s pretty much all there is to the VandyVape Pulse 2 menu, but there is more to discover through the app, when that becomes available.

VandyVape Pulse V2 Battery Life

For a single-battery device, the Pulse 2 can offer better battery life than most mods, thanks to its compatibility with large capacity batteries, like 21700 and 20700. How long it can keep you vaping depends on a variety of factors, such as the set power output, the capacity of the battery you’re using, and how much you vape.

The Pulse 2 features fast charging, thanks to the USB-C connection, but I recommend charging the battery externally, for your own safety and to extend the life of the battery.

Vandy Vape Pulse 2 Performance

I have been using the Pulse 2 for almost 2 weeks now, and I am very impressed with it. The new Vandy Chip activates the battery instantly, I like that you can scroll through the wattage in one watt increments (5W – 95W), and the squonking part itself works very well. The bottle creates a vacuum that sucks the excess juice back in, so you don’t have to worry about flooding your dripper unless you really overdo it with the squeezing.

I don’t really have the hardware of the know-how to test its power output, but it feels pretty accurate to me, at least in wattage mode. I didn’t really mess with temperature control, bypass or voltage mode, but they are all available if you are one of the few that actually use them.

Honestly, as far as performance goes, this is a really solid device, probably the best Pulse to date, just as the manufacturer claims.

Conclusion

VandyVape and Tony B. have once again come up with a winner, as the new Pulse 2 squonk mod is a worthy successor to the previous entries in this line. Not only is it more refined esthetically, but it offers introduces an innovative bottom filling method, and a new Vandy Chip with a bright and vibrant color display. It’s not perfect, by any means, but for a budget squonk mod, you just can’t go wrong with the Pulse V2.

The VandyVape Pulse 2 mod was sent to me by Sourcemore, for the purpose of this review. They currently have it in stock for the modest price of $35. You can get if for an even better price by using the VVP code at checkout.

Pros
  • affordable
  • lightweight
  • ergonomic
  • easy to use
  • intuitive menu system
  • lots of vape modes and settings
  • 21700/20700/18650 battery compatibility
Cons
  • plastic body
  • bottom fill (subjective)

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