E-Cigarette Reviews and Rankings

3_5stars

Vaporesso Polar 220W Review

The Vaporesso Polar is a slick dual-battery mod with a maximum power output of 220W and a plethora of built-in features. Vaporesso has been on a roll pretty much since they came on the vaping scene, pushing out an impressive number of commercially successful mods, like the Revenger or the Tarot. The new Polar vape mod has all the makings of a hit as well, but let’s see if this device is as impressive in real-life conditions as it is on paper.

A Look at the Contents

The Polar 220W vape mod comes in a white cardboard box with a large picture of the device on the front, and a list of package contents, some technical specifications as well as company information, on the back.

Inside the box, we have the Vaporesso Polar and the included micro-USB fast charging cable sitting in a plastic holder, and underneath that we have a thick and very nice-looking user manual, with hard covers and color pictures, as well as a small envelope containing a warning card an a warranty card.

You can also find the Vaporesso Polar as a kit, bundled with the company’s Cascade Baby SE tank, but I only received the mod as a standalone for this review.

Design and Build Quality

If you’ve ever owned a Vaporesso Revennger you will probably find the look of the new Polar 220W mod very familiar. The two devices share the same general design, as well as the same style of elongated fire button and even the same adjustment and selection buttons. They’re not identical, but it’s pretty obvious that Vaporesso went for the same design line.

The Polar 220W measures 90mm x 45mm x 28mm, which puts it in the compact dual-battery category of vape mods. I can actually wrap my hand around this device completely, which cannot be said about the GeekVape Nova or the VooPoo Drag box mods. It’s also very comfortable in the hand, thanks to the rounded edges and corners, so if ergonomics are an important criteria when selecting your next mod, the Polar is right up there with the best on the market.

Like most other vape mods these days, the Vaporesso Polar is made primarily of zinc alloy and comes in a variety of colors. For this review, I received the metallic grey one, which is probably the least exciting of all variants, but works great if you’re trying to keep a low profile. The main frame of the mod features a matte black finish, while the front and back panels are glossy, which makes them prone to fingerprint stains.

At the top of the Vaporeso Polar, we have a centered 510 connection with a spring-loaded, gold-plated pin. It doesn’t come with a protective plate and it’s raised from the mod ever so slightly, so you are likely to scratch the paint around the connection if you screw on your atomizer too tightly.

Also, while the Polar is officially 28mm thick, both the top and the base of the mod are considerably narrower, so any atomizer over 25mm in diameter will have a bit of overhang. We’ve seen this same situation on the Vaporesso Revenger, and while it’s not a deal-breaker, it would be nice to use this device with larger tanks without overhang.

The fire button is located on one of the narrow sides of the mod. The button is shaped like a large, vertical rectangle and features a nice texture, but only the upper half of it is actually pressable. I’ve tried pressing the lower half as hard as I could, but I couldn’t get it to fire. That’s not necessarily a con, but more of an observation, as once you get used to it, the button is easy to find and press both with the thumb and with the index finger.

On the front, the Vaporesso Polar has a bright, gorgeous 2-inch color display, the ‘+’ and ‘-‘ buttons, as well as a selection button right between them. Underneath those buttons is the micro-USB port  for on-board charging and firmware upgrades. On the back, we have a magnetic battery door with geometric pattern and the ‘Vaporesso’ logo in the middle.

The battery door has a very discrete notch in one of the lower corners, and you’ll have to put your fingernail in there and pull to remove the door. It is held in place by three pairs of magnets, two smaller ones near the top, and a large one at the bottom. The battery compartment is nice and clean, features spring-loaded contacts at the top, as well as clear polarity indicators. Even though it’s magnetic, the battery door is very sturdy, doesn’t rattle at all, and has minimal wobbling in the hand.

At the base, we have some battery venting slots, just in case something goes wrong and the battery has to vent. The fact that the base is a bit narrower than the rest of the mod doesn’t sound like a great idea to me. I’ve seen a similar situation on the Smoant Charon Mini, and even though I didn’t mention this in my review at the time, after using it for a few months, I noticed that it was easier to knock down than other mods, die to its narrow base. The Polar isn’t as narrow, but it’s still easier to knock down than other mods.

Despite some subjective design flaws, there’s no denying that the Vaporesso Polar has a slick and attractive design reminiscent of those cool flip phones of old. I love the way it feels in the hand, that large color displays is one of the nicest I’ve ever seen on a vape mod, and the build quality in general is above average.

Menu System and Navigation

I have to admit that the first time I went into the menu of the Vaporesso Polar 220W i felt a bit intimidated. There’s a lot going on on screen and there are so many features, some of which I had never seen before. For the first time in a long time, I actually checked the user manual to see what some of these settings did. So if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, I feel you.

To turn the Vaporesso Polar vape mod on/off, you have to press the fire button five times in rapid succession. To access the menu, there are a couple of things you can do: you can either keep the selection button – the one between the ‘+’ and ‘-‘ buttons – pressed for one second, or just press it three times rapidly. I don’t know why there are two ways to access the menu, but there are.

The first icon in the menu is ‘Home’ which will take you out of it, then we have VW-H, VW-N and VH-S, all of which stand for ‘variable wattage’ with the last letter representing a different preheat: ‘High’, ‘Normal’ and ‘Soft’. So instead of having a submenu where you can choose the preheat, the Vaporesso Polar presents you with all the options on the main menu screen.

Moving on, we have CCW, which is a custom curve mode for wattage, where you can adjust the power output for five seconds, in 0.5-second increments. Just adjust the power with the ‘-‘ and ‘+’ buttons, and press the fire button to move to the next 5-second increment. When you’re done, just press the selection button two times. Interestingly, you can access this particular feature directly from the home screen by pressing the ‘-‘ and ‘+’ buttons at the same time.

Next we have one of those modes I hand’t seen before, SP. That stands for Super Player, and is supposed to allow you to fire down to a resistance of 0.03Ω, which is a bit too low for my taste, and, depending on kind of 18650 batteries you are using, potentially dangerous. So it’s safe to say I will not be using the Polar in SP mode.

The next icon is VV, which stands for variable voltage and allows you to use the mod in voltage mode. Then there is CCV, a custom curves mode for variable voltage, which works just as CCW.

Then we have SS, NI and TI, which represent temperature control modes for all three supported materials (stainless steel, nickel and titanium). Each of these icons will take you to a submenu, where you can set the TCR for your material, adjust the power output, create your own custom temperature curve – by adjusting the temperature in degrees, instead of the power – and lock the resistance of your coil.

Then we have two memory modes that you can customize, a Bypass mode, which should essentially fire the available power of the batteries, but apparently only outputs 4V, regardless of how much power is left in the batteries. That’s not really how bypass mode works generally, but I guess Vaporesso decided to try something new?

Finally, we have a settings menu, where you can set the time and date, adjust the screen brightness, reset the puff counter, change the main color of the display with one of 5 available ones, select how long the stand-by screen should stay on before the mod goes to sleep, check the software and hardware versions of your device, and revert back to factory settings.

There are a couple of features that I omitted, because I wanted to present them in greater detail. The first is ‘Smart Mode’, which essentially allows the mod to set the power output based on the resistance of the atomizer. This is great for beginners who don’t really know what they should set power at – even though they really should – but if you’re not happy with the selection, you can still tweak it manually with the ‘-‘ and ‘+’ buttons.

The second feature is ‘Auto Mode’, which, as far as I understood, should automatically apply a boost in power, based on your resistance and set power, so you don’t have to manually select from the available pre-heat settings. I don’t really see the point of something like this, so I haven’t used it.

As you can see, there is a lot going on the menu of the Vaporesso Polar, but, once you figure out what all the icons symbolize, it doesn’t feel so overwhelming anymore.

Battery Life and Performance

There’s no point in going over battery life on a mod like this, as there are countless factors that can affect your experience, from battery capacity to set power output. What I can tell you is that the Vaporesso Polar features fast charging technology and can charge the batteries at a rate of 2.5A, which is pretty insane. You also have vape while charging, so you can use the device while the batteries are charging.

Another cool feature of the Polar 220W mod is that when charging the batteries, it actually displays both the battery life of each battery in percentages, as well as the time left before they are full. It’s pretty neat!

Now, in terms of performance, there are some things I love about the Vaporesso Polar, and some that I’m frustrated about. All in all, I’ve had a positive experience with it, but there are a few things that could be improved.

As with most other mods I’ve tested, I mainly used this device in wattage mode and custom curves mode for wattage. I have nothing against temperature control vaping, but I prefer using Kanthal and even on the rare occasions I use stainless steel, I still prefer raw power over over temp. control. And it’s been performing great, in certain situations.

When I first started using the Polar, I paired it up with the excellent FreeMax Mesh Pro tank and one of its massive triple mesh coil-heads. I set the power to 95W in wattage mode with no pre-heat and it left me impressed. The Polar might just be the fastest firing mod I’ve ever used, beating even the likes of the VooPoo Drag, which is pretty impressive. Everything was going great, but then I paired it up with a less power-hungry atomizer and I noticed something strange.

When I first pressed the fire button, the coils inside my RTA sizzled abnormally for a few milliseconds before going back to normal. They did this every time I pushed the fire button once the Polar had went into sleep mode. After this happened a few times, I started getting a burned taste from the RTA and that let me know that something was wrong. I didn’t have the tools to check the power output of the mod but I knew it wasn’t the 48W I had it set at.

After doing some checking online, I found out that the board inside the Polar actually fires at close to its maximum wattage for a few moments when coming out of sleep mode, to heat up the coils rapidly. That’s great with low resistance coils that can take that sort of power (around 200W), but it will eventually burn your wick and simply obliterate, higher resistance MTL type setups. I’ve noticed that it only does this in VW-H, VW-N modes, so I’ve been using it in VW-S (soft preheat) even though the power ramp up is a bit slow.

Otherwise, I’ve had no issues with the Polar, no misfires or weird errors, none of that, but I wish it didn’t give me more power than I need unless I specifically set it to do that.

Conclusion

The Vaporesso Polar is a compact and ergonomic vape mod that offers a lot of customization options and interesting features. It also benefits from an exceptionally fast firing, which leaves me wondering why Vaporesso felt the need to implement this weird feature that ramps up power to absurd levels regarding of atomizer resistance. Hopefully they’ll come up with a firmware upgrade that fixes this or at least makes it optional, because right now it’s too much of a risk.

I really love the look and feel of the Polar vape mod, especially its large, color display, and I wish I could give it an even higher rating, but it does have some faults that I just can’t overlook.

The Vaporesso Polar vape mod was sent to me by Health Cabin, for the purpose of this review. They currently have in stock for $66.90.

Pros
  • compact
  • slick design
  • ergonomic
  • large color display
  • plenty of features
  • fast firing
Cons
  • narrow base
  • extreme power ramp-up
ConclusionRating
Build Quality
4 stars

Performance
3 stars

Ease of Use
4 stars

Price
3 stars

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