The RELX pod mod was born from ex Uber Head of Operations in China, Kate Wang and looking at the other people involved it looks like she took a few other Uber execs with her.
The projected was funded via the Chinese crowdfunding platform on JD.com as well as venture capital firms and it shows, the company website is slick as is the product presentation.
So, not a brand that is known in the UK or indeed Europe but one that has done well in the Asian market reportedly being the number one selling closed system device in China.
The RELX Pod System
The RELX pod is their only device at the time or writing, which I guess is a good thing, they are 100% focusing on getting new vapers on board and creating a product to do just that.
This pod system comes with pre filled pods that contain 3% and 5% nic salt e-liquid and has a 350mAh capacity battery under the hood. This is what they mean by a ‘closed system’, you cannot refill with your own e-liquid.
OK.. So let’s crack on with taking a look if RELX can deliver a great pod vape system.
This device was sent to us for the purposes of review. As always, my views are my own.
In The Box
The packaging is very tidy, straight from the Apple packaging design book. Everything is neatly packaged within the main outer box and includes:
- RELX Mod (Battery)
- 1 x Pre-Filled RELX Pod (Foil sealed)
- 1 x USB Charging Cable
- 1 X User Manual
- 350mAh Battery
- 2ml Tank Capacity
- Ceramic coil tech
- Automatic (Draw activated)
- Magnetic pod/battery connection
- Nicotine Salt e-liquid
Design and Build Quality
I’ve recently reviewed the Aspire Cobble pod mod and I have to say the RELX device is night and day when it comes to quality. The RELX pod is a stick design but super sleek and super lightweight. This is just 25g with the pod (full of e-liquid) attached, you can barely tell it’s there.
The finish is some form of aluminium that feels smooth in the hand and a pleasure to hold. This also makes it slip in and out of pockets with ease. I usually prefer my devices to have a bit of weight behind them but due to the aluminium finish this still has that air of quality.
It’s as simple as it comes, a pod, a battery, put the two together and you’re ready to go.
Add to this the automatic function (no buttons, just inhale)and any smoker could pick this up and be vaping in minutes.
The only feature that breaks the sleek lines of the body are the battery indicator light in the form of a small drip on the front, below this we have subtle RELX branding at the base.
On the bottom of the device there is micro USB port. Some prefer the port to be on the side so you can stand the device upright when charging but with this being so dainty with clean lines I think the port on the base was a good choice.
I really like the form factor and quality of this device, the one issue I have is that the pod does have slight play when connected to the battery. It’s not loose in that it will fall out but does wobble a touch.
The RELX pod system is available in 5 colours.
The pods are pre-filled, not ideal for a lot of vapers but for those new and making the switch from smoking I think this can sometimes be a plus, as long as the flavours are decent of course, as there is no barrier to start the vaping journey.
The pod itself features a ceramic coil and nicotine salts, with the latter helping deliver nicotine into your system more effectively than standard, freebase e-liquid. Nic salts also provide a smoother vape for their nicotine contents compared to PG/VG based vape juice.
The base of the pods are colour coded so you can tell your flavours apart which is a nice little touch.
The pod that came with the kit is the Mint flavour with a 5% nic strength. So I’m presuming all kits will ship with this flavour.
One thing that does always get me is the reluctance from brands to include an extra pod in starter kits which I think is a bit of a mistake.
It would have been nice to have had maybe one tobacco and one mint included so they can show off a couple of their flavours. Even if the kit costs that little bit more.
Also, with this being aimed at new vapers, I would have thought that the tobacco flavour pods would have been best suited to the starter kit to keep that familiarity and not throw too many obstacles at new vapers. They can, after-all, experiment when they are settled into the vaping experience.
How Does The RELX Pod System Perform?
As mentioned, it’s simple to get started, just take the pod out of the packaging pop it on the battery and you are good to go. It may be worth charging up your battery first but mine came charged.
The sensor that reacts to you taking a drag and activate the device is very good. No delay in firing.
The flavours come with a 3% (30mg) and 5% (50mg) nic strength pod, it is pretty strong to say the least. I mean, I’m normally chugging on a 3mg 70VG juice that is as smooth as you like. At a push I may opt for 20mg nic salts in my pod mods but mainly I would use normal e-liquid between 6-12mg.
But 50mg (yeah naughty me, not legal nic strength in the UK) can blow your socks off if your first drag is a looong one. So it has to be said, not my go to strength as I’ve been reducing my nic intake over the years.
For smokers though this will deliver a superb nicotine hit, enough to keep you satisfied and off the ciggies. I actually found 4 or 5 drags on the trot and I was buzzing!
So.. If vaping this strength for the first time I’d suggest taking your time with small drags to start with and then build up to find your sweet draw spot.
As mentioned the kit comes with a Mint pod to get you going. Strange choice for a starter kit maybe but I’m not complaining too much as I’m not a big tobacco vaper.
RELX Mint Pods – 5% nic Strength
Described as Naked In Iceland – Cool and Refreshing
I can confirm, if I was out skinny dipping in an Icelandic Fjord I can imagine the shock that hits you would be similar to this.
This is a seriously icy vape. Imagine that feeling you get when you’ve downed a full pack of original Fishermans Friend mints and then take a sharp intake of cold air into your lungs.
It’s kind of like that!
It’s a very vapeable flavour. Not outstanding but it does what it says on the tin. Just go easy on that first draw or it’s likely to have you choking.
RELX Blueberry Mint Pods – 3% Nic Strength
Described as Drunk In Mexico – Sweet and Refreshing
I’ve been drunk in a lot of countries but Mexico isn’t one of them. I’d more imagine the whiff of Lime and Tequila would be more fitting but each to their own.
This, thank the vaping gods, is ‘just’ a 3% (30mg) nic strength so a little easier on the back of my poor little throat.
This is a very simple flavour, the blueberry and mint seem to be fighting a little bit for the limelight with the mint inevitably taking center stage. Not a bad flavour by any means and one that’s easy going, although I’d personally prefer a bit more of a blueberry flavour pop over the mint.
RELX Mango Pods – 3% Nic Strength
Described as Adventure in Vietnam – Tart and Rich
I’ve been to Vietnam on a number of occasions, never had a mango there, although I’m sure they do sell them. My mango mania reached its peak in sunny Thailand, mainly paired with sticky rice and coconut cream.. Ahh to be back on that beach..
Another 3% nic strength and starting to feel a little woozy. This is actually very good. As soon as you pop the pod out of its foil packaging you get a strong mango whiff. The vape is straight up mango as well, simple as that, RELX have done a good job with this one.
The only thing I don’t like about this e-liquid is that due to the nic strength I can’t take a huge full on flavour drag through fear of passing out.
RELX Lemon Tea Pods – 3% Nic Strength
Described as – Chilling in Hong Kong – Sweet and Fragrant
OK.. Without country dropping here I’ve also paid a visit to Hong Kong on a few occasions, crazy place, hot, busy and sweaty. Nothing like an ice lemon tea to cool you down, I can see where they are coming from with that.
Lemon tea isn’t my first beverage of choice, it wouldn’t be in my top 50. In fact, I’m not much of a tea drinker full stop.
As a vape though this is pretty damn good. It’s a very grown up flavour if that makes sense and is my top pick from the RELX flavours I’ve tried. The lemon isn’t too overpowering and doesn’t have that after dinner ‘wet wipe’ chemical lemon taste that I’ve been unfortunate enough to vape in the past.
The lemon sits gently in the mouth with a fragrant tea finishing off things nicely. It actually makes your mouth feel fresh if you catch my drift. Excellent stuff, the more I vaped this the more I liked it.
RELX Classic Tobacco Pods – 5% nic Strength
Described as – Crushing on Cuba – Authentic and Smoky
Please, don’t make me do it! Yes I was a smoker for many years back in the day but once I discovered vaping the tobacco flavours soon hit the back burner only to be used once in a blue moon.
Safe to say this one has been left until last for a reason, I almost pretended I hadn’t seen it in the box.
OK, enough messing about, let’s get this out of the way. The whiff of tobacco coming from the pod takes me back to the days of sitting in a ‘smoking room’ on my lunch break with ‘Old Terry’ sat next to me rolling his Amber Leaf.
It’s definitely authentic and as a tobacco vape it’s actually pretty good, I’m surprised myself. It’s got that smoky aftertaste with a medium strength tobacco flavour flowing right through the vape.
It may not match the tobacco that all smokers are used to, I was a Marlboro Light man, but as an alternative for those just coming off the cigs I can see this hitting the spot 9 times out of 10. As a pre-filled tobacco pod it’s very good.
There are other flavours available in the range, I didn’t receive the Fruit or the Ludou Ice.
The replacement pods come in packs of three and are reasonably priced ($14.99) as the strength of the nicotine e-liquid should see the pods last for a good while.
I got through 3 days of vaping the Lemon Tea and there still looks to be half the juice left in the tank. This was me picking it up every hour or so for a few toots and by no means chain vaping though.
It may not look like a huge battery capacity (350mAh) but again, with the high nic strengths it’s the kind of device that satisfies quickly rather than having to chain vape 24/7. It also only outputs 6W.
RELX state that average use should see 3 days of use. I actually touched on 2.5 days before recharging which is still pretty good.
That’s just me though, these nicotine strengths are HIGH for my personal vaping style so I don’t spend as much time with it hanging out of my mouth as I would a pod mod with 6mg nic strength.
The life will be different for you based on your vaping habits. If you are a 40 per day smoker moving to the RELX pod mod you may find yourself to be a little chain vaper. If that’s the case then you could expect half a day to a day before needing to recharge.
- Very light and highly portable
- Quality finish
- Simple to pick up and use out of the box
- Very good flavours (on the whole)
- High nic strengths that are good for smokers making the switch
- Good battery life
- Slight movement of the pod when attached to battery
- The starter kits come with Mint flavour. Maybe tobacco would have been better? Subjective.
- Only one pod included in the kit
Final Review Verdict
I was initially a little indifferent about reviewing the RELX pod mod after my uninspiring Aspire Cobble pod experience a few days before but I’ve been pleasantly surprised.
Despite it being super light weight the device still has a quality feel to it due to the body being constructed from aluminium.
The flavours were, on a whole, very good. Even the tobacco flavour has been well put together.
Now I know that some may look at this kit and the fact it’s only available with pre-filled pods and immediately dismiss it. That’s fine, it’s certainly not made for you. If refilling your pods is a priority then there are plenty of other options such as the Innokin EQ.
For new vapers though there is zero to think about. Insert a pod and vape. There are no barriers or further questions – ‘can I use this juice?’ or ‘can I use that PG/VG ratio e-liquid with this?’ – None of that.
Sometimes as experienced vapers we can forget what a confusing and complex decision picking up your first vape kit can be. This takes the thinking out of the kit buying process.
Smokers looking to make the switch can’t really go wrong here, the only thing that is a little strange is the inclusion of the Mint flavour as standard in the kit. Maybe the tobacco would have been best suited. But hey, you can buy and try the other flavours easily enough.
Would I buy the RELX Pod mod again if lost or damaged? If they had lower nicotine strengths then yes I would.