Ever since Juul came onto the market and changed the way people vaped, established vaping manufacturers have been cranking out pod mods with relative frequency. It’s not just that pod mods are smaller, more portable, and convenient, but they’re also compatible with nicotine salts, which have higher quantities of nicotine and therefore hit much harder.
- Video Review
- Battle of the Replacement Coils/Pods
- Battle for Throat Hit, Cloud production, & Flavor
- Battle of Functionality
Smokers looking to leave cigarettes in the rearview mirror are attracted to nic salts because the nicotine is comparable, and, in some cases, even higher — depending on the milligrams of nicotine per milliliter. The truth is, pod mods are here to stay, which is why manufacturers are making them better, faster, and more powerful month after month.
The flood of hardware in the market may seem like unnavigable waters, but there are three similar mods that stand out from the sea of many mods. Those pod mods: Lost Vape’s Orion Q, GeekVape’s Frenzy, and SMOK’s Trinity Alpha. These three devices might look very similar to the naked eye, but there are major and subtle differences that make them unique. While I won’t be crowning a winner by the end of this blog, I will highlight each devices’ features and flaws. Each mod has its own special quality that sets it apart, but they’re not flawless by far.
This is going to be a good, clean fight with no punching below the belt. Touch drip tips. Now, Fight!
Battle of the Replacement Coils/Pods
If the mod is the engine, then the pods are the wheels that deliver the vapor to your lungs.
Lost Vape Orion Q Pods
Both the Frenzy and Trinity Alpha use replaceable coils, but the Orion Q takes convenience a step further with their disposable coil and pod combination.
- The coils are easy to use. You can throw them away once they’re done.
- Refilling this pod is easy and fast. Once the top-cap is unscrewed, there is a huge fill port that can accommodate any type of e-juice bottle no matter how big. You don’t even have to remove the pod to do any of this, and if you lose the top-cap, you can just take it from a previous pod or use a new one.
- The pod holds 2mLs of e-juice, which is not the biggest out of the group but still a respectable capacity.
- Adjustable airflow. Right below the drip tip on the pod, there is an adjustable airflow ring, which can turn the device from an MTL to DTL device. A cigarette-like tight draw will deliver an MTL experience with a satisfying throat hit, while an open airflow will provide a DTL vape with bigger clouds.
- Dual compatibility. These pods are compatible with freebase e-juice and nic salts due to the 1.0Ω coil, which makes it a versatile device that can quickly change roles.
Although the Lost Vape Orion Q Pods may not have as many features as the other two, it’s still a solid device because of the pods. But, there is a but. A couple, actually.
- Wicking takes a long time. The first time I used the device, I let the e-juice soak the cotton for a good ten minutes, but it wasn’t long enough. Because there is so much cotton, like an excessive amount of cotton, it takes a long time for the liquid to completely saturate the cotton. If you’re impatient like me, just wick the cotton way before you want to use it and it’ll be fine.
- Changing flavors is difficult. The other problem also stems from the amount of cotton. Once the e-juice saturates the cotton thoroughly, it’s hard to change flavors. I tried switching flavors, and it was a long time before I could taste the new flavor. The best choice is to use one flavor per pod, but vapers who like to experiment with new flavors might not be able to have the same freedom. While it’s not a dealbreaker, it’s definitely something to look out for. The good thing is that you can just replace the whole pod if you need to, but it’s not exactly cost-effective either. A two-pack of replacement pods costs $6.99, which comes out to $3.49 per pod, making it the most expensive out of the bunch — the other two use replaceable coils, which are much cheaper.
GeekVape Frenzy Pods/Coils
The Frenzy has a unique pod design since the Frenzy coils and airflow ring sit below the pod, which doubles as the connection to the mod.
- Coils are replaceable and easy to install and remove.
- Quick wicking. I wicked this pod and it was ready to vape in only a few minutes.
- My favorite thing about these pods is the adjustable airflow ring, which makes a considerable difference. By adjusting the airflow, this device can switch between MTL or DTL. The Orion Q also has this, but the frenzy has the advantage of having variable voltage and temperature control modes, which elevates the experience — we’ll dive deeper into that later.
- Many options. Another thing about these pods is that there are different coil options. Whereas the Orion Q only has one option, the Frenzy has two options: a 0.7Ω coil for a freebase nicotine DTL vape, and a 1.2Ω coil for an MTL vape that pairs well with nic salts. With more coil option, the Frenzy is more customizable, and it’s affordable too.
- The least expensive coils. When it comes to cost, a pack of five coils costs $7.99, which comes out to $1.60 per coil. This makes it the most affordable coil/pod in the group. The pod isn’t disposable, but if you happen to lose it or break it, it is available to purchase for $7.99. The cool thing about buying the pod is that it comes with one of each coil.
- Difficult refills. Filling the 2mL e-juice chamber was a bit of a hassle since the two fill-ports are narrow. The combination of narrow fill-ports and an opaque e-juice window, which makes it hard to gauge e-juice levels, can lead to overfilling. An easy solution is to refill slowly and use a bottle with a needle tip.
- Pod can pop off. The pod connects to the mod via two small magnets and nothing else. If the device falls, the pod can easily come off, and pulling it out of a pocket or tight space can cause the pod to disconnect. The other two devices lock the pod in, and it can only be released by disengaging the lock. It’s not really an issue, but it’s worth mentioning. The finicky refill process is the only real issue I had with these pods though.
Overall, Geekvape Frenzy Pods are solid, albeit one that is hard to fill, but that’s beside the point. The pods are easy to use and maintain, and they perform exceptionally well.
SMOK Trinity Alpha Pods/Coils
The pods for the Trinity Alpha are good, but they’re nothing special. The fact that it doesn’t have adjustable airflow doesn’t do it any favors either.
- Largest e-juice capacity. At 2.8mLs, these pods have the largest e-juice capacity, and refilling it is very similar to the Orion Q — these pods have a sliding cap whereas the Orion Q’s cap unscrews.
- Easy coil insertion. The SMOK Trinity Alpha coils are designed to slide in and out effortlessly, and they can be installed or removed with ease.
- Quick wicking. Wicking these pods took no time at all, and I was vaping it within minutes.
- Trinity Alpha has the most coil options. There are MTL, DTL, mesh, and even ceramic options. And they’re not too bad on price either.
- Not bad on coil price. A pack of five coils costs $10.99, which comes out to $2.20 per coil. They’re not the cheapest, but they’re also not the most expensive.
- Pod snaps into place. I liked that the pods snap into the mod, and are locked in until the locking mechanism is slid back. There should be no need to remove the pod, except to replace the coil or dry the connector pins below the mod.
- Removable drip tip. I also liked that the drip tip is removable, and the pod is compatible with other 510 drip tips — it’s just one more way to customize your device.
- Juice level view port. This is a very small detail but one that vapers will appreciate: there is a tiny square portion of the pod that is more see-through than the rest. After having issues filling the Frenzy pod, this little detail stood out to me, and it’s just a small thing that I enjoyed. It looks a little weird at first, but it’s obvious that they decided to opt for function instead of form.
- No adjustable airflow, which limits a vaper’s options.
Apart from the missing adjustable airflow, I didn’t encounter any other issues. That’s not to say that the SMOK Trinity Alpha pods, let alone this device, is perfect. Mostly, I felt that these pods weren’t unique enough like the other two, but that’s just my personal opinion. Objectively speaking though, these pods perform well and have no major issues.
Battle for Flavor, Throat Hit, and Cloud Production
This is what you’re here for. You want to know which device makes the biggest clouds, has the best throat hit, and tastes the best. So, let’s get to it.
Lost Vape Orion Q Puff Analysis
Starting with the Orion Q, this device does well in all three categories. However, it doesn’t excel in any of them. This device is, like the old saying goes, “a jack of all trades and a master of none.”
- Great throat hit. On the throat hit front, this device is pretty good. The adjustable airflow really helps with the throat hit, and it only gets better the tighter the draw becomes. The great thing is that this device doesn’t sacrifice flavor or clouds for throat hit when narrowing the airflow. Other devices with a tight draw feel like you’re sucking on a too-thick milkshake, which is never a good thing.
- Decent cloud production. On cloud production, the Orion Q is no slouch, especially when you pair a freebase e-juice with a wide-open DTL airflow. Obviously, you’re not going to get the kind of clouds you get on a sub-ohm device, but they’re still thick enough. When using a tighter draw and a nicotine salt, the clouds are minimal but thick.
- Flavor is just "Okay". The wicking material, which is organic cotton, is excellent at delivering flavor, but as we now know, there are some issues with it (look at the above section). A different coil option could enhance the flavor, but that’s wishful thinking. Don’t get me wrong, the flavor is good, but this is The Battle of the Pod Mods, and good isn’t good enough.
Overall, the Orion Q is a formidable opponent in this category and one to watch out for.
GeekVape Frenzy Puff Analysis
- Smooth throat hit. As soon as I tried the Frenzy, I knew it would have the best throat hit. It was that good. It felt smooth, satisfying, and it was everything I was looking for. The satisfying throat hit I experienced, came about for two reasons. One, I was able to adjust the airflow to make it slightly narrower, and, two, this device has a variable voltage mode that kicks it up a notch, which makes for a stronger and more well-rounded vape.
- Decent clouds. Even though I was vaping nicotine salts, the clouds were decent. I didn’t get to vape with freebase e-juice, but I’m sure that would have generated thicker, bigger clouds.
- What I like about these kinds of pod mods though is that I can take them with me when I go out. I like that they’re small and portable, but I value the smaller clouds — sometimes, a sub-ohm mod feels like too much in public. With the variable voltage mode and adjustable airflow, customizing cloud production is easy and versatile.
- Great flavor production. Finally, as far as flavor is concerned, I think the Frenzy had the best flavor. I used VapeWild’s Peach for the Stars nic salt to test this mod, and it tasted so much better on this one. I’ve used Peach for the Stars on other pod mods before, but vaping it on the Frenzy was different — that’s to say, it was better. I could really taste the peaches in the nic salt, and it was sweet, juicy, and delicious.
- No major concerns or flaws.
During my testing, this was the mod that I instinctively reached out for every time I wanted a quick puff.
SMOK Trinity Alpha Puff Analysis
The Trinity Alpha, like the other mods, did surprisingly well in all three categories.
- Large clouds. Clouds were great, and because the mod is compatible with lower resistance coils, it has the potential to produce the biggest clouds out of the bunch.
- Custom performance. Clouds and flavor are also customizable through the mod’s variable wattage mode, which has a max range of 30W.
- Good Flavor. Flavor is excellent on this mod. In my opinion, I thought that the Frenzy had the better flavor, but just slightly. Then again, I wasn’t able to try Trinity Alpha with all of the available coils, which I am sure would have changed the outcome. It’s possible that, with the right coil, the Trinity Alpha could take the flavor category, but it’ll take some experimentation to find that out.
- No adjustable airflow. One setback, though, about this mod is its lack of adjustable airflow; without it, the clouds and throat hit are being held back. Sure, the variable wattage can pick up some of the slack, but it’s not as good as it could be. The squandered potential is the issue here. But, really, I’m just nitpicking here, and there are plenty of things that this device does well.
Objectively, this device performs just as well as the others. Personally, I think the Frenzy is a slightly better device, but the Trinity Alpha is right behind it. Choosing this device wouldn’t be a bad idea, and, if paired with the right coil, it could end up being a tiny beast of a mod.
Battle of Functionality
For the functionality category, we’re breaking down how the devices work, how easy and convenient they are to maintain, and all the other small stuff that can make a big difference. We’re also looking at major features and specifications.
Lost Vape Orion Q Functionality
The Orion Q is the simplest mod, and that’s not a bad thing.
- As I mentioned earlier, the pods are extremely easy to fill and remove.
- The single button on the device is for firing and turning it on or off. There are no complicated modes, buttons, or switches to worry about.
- It comes with a lanyard so that it’s always accessible and easy to vape from.
- For beginners, or people who don’t want to learn much about vaping and it’s many intricacies, this device is perfect. There is no need to know about resistances, wattage, voltage, or how to change a coil.
- Maintenance on this, while pricier than the rest, is the most straightforward: throw out the pod and replace it with a new one whenever you want.
- Obviously, the thick cotton inside the pod is an issue, but it’s not a big deal once it wicks.
When it comes to functionality, this device is the easiest to use and maintain.
GeekVape Frenzy Functionality
The Frenzy comes packed with features, and its different modes and settings are easy to navigate through. There’s a lot to like in this mod and not many negative things to say.
- When it comes to modes, the Frenzy takes the cake. Depending on which coil is being used, this mod can switch between a variable voltage mode to a temperature control mode. Variable voltage mode activates with the 0.7Ω coil and it can cycle between 2.5V, 2.7V, and 2.9V. With the 1.2Ω coil, the device enters temperature control mode, which has a range of 420-460℉.
- The Frenzy also has the Advanced AS Micro Chipset, and it provides safety protections that should give vapers peace of mind.
- With a single button, the Frenzy can fire the device, turn on or off, check battery levels, and change modes. Remembering all the different button prompts sounds like a bit of a hassle, but it isn’t. I’d rather have fewer buttons anyways — it looks cleaner and minimal.
- This mod is responsive and quiet, which means you can start vaping whenever you want and no one will hear you. The Orion Q makes a gurgling/hissing sound when it fires up, which is a bummer if you’re trying to stealth vape.
- Apart from the finicky refilling process, I didn’t have many problems with pod maintenance, except for the pod’s iffy magnetic connection.
- I would have really liked it if Geekvape had included a lanyard like the other two devices, but that’s just a minor thing. The convenience of hanging a pod mod around the neck is unbeatable.
The Frenzy is a great option for vapers who are looking for a more robust device with a larger suite of features and customization options.
SMOK Trinity Alpha Functionality
When it comes to device specifications, the Trinity Alpha isn’t afraid to flex.
- It’s 1000mAh battery is the biggest in the group, though not by much — the other two devices are rated for 950mAh of battery life.
- The pods hold an impressive 2.8mLs of e-juice, which means you won’t have to refill often. Not bad. The coils are a breeze to replace, cheap, and there are different options that can change the way you vape.
- With It being a modern vaping device, it has plenty of safety precautions to keep vapers safe, and it has variable wattage mode.
- When it comes to design, it’s not a bad looking mod, and I did appreciate the interchangeable drip tips.
- Unlike on box mods, there is no button to numerically change the wattage, but it does have three settings (soft, normal, hard). Thanks to the smaller rectangular button below the firing button, the mod can easily switch modes.
- The sliding top-cap was flimsy on the test unit I used, but that’s not to say it will be like that on all devices.
- SMOK did include a lanyard for this device, but the tiny rubber ring is challenging to place on the mod since it feels like it’ll snap at any second.
The Trinity Alpha may lack adjustable airflow, but it still has a bevy of features and modes that vapers will love. The variable wattage mode on this device is the standout, and vapers who like to customize their vape on the fly will appreciate this feature.
Three Pod Mods Enter — Three Pod Mods Exit
It’s hard to crown one as the winner, so I won’t. All three devices excelled in certain categories but faltered in others. Obviously, they’re not perfect, but I did enjoy using all of them.
The Orion Q has the best looks and is the simplest to use. The Frenzy has the best throat hit, and it has some cool modes to mess around with. The Trinity Alpha has a huge e-juice reservoir and tons of coil options.
If you’re looking to get a pod mod, one of these wouldn’t be a bad idea. Read the whole article to get a better picture — happy hunting!
Posted by Alejandro Medellin on Aug 29th 2019