I have in for review the new Uwell Caliburn A3, which is the newest member of the Caliburn A family.
What To Expect From The Uwell Caliburn A3?
I have been a huge Caliburn fan – I reviewed the original version and the AK2 / A2 versions too!
The A3 is an update to the A2 with updated pods, faster charging and button lock features added.
As with the A2 this has a 520mAh battery and USB Type C 2A charging. Uwell say this can be fully charged in only 15 minutes!
You are provided with a fire button which you can lock or you can use the auto draw firing.
At the base of the device is a breathing LED which indicates the battery charge remaining and device status.
There is at present only 1 pod option available – the A3 1ohm meshed pod. I am not sure if this is compatible with previous Caliburn pods?
The pod is ultimately disposable but is refillable via the top fill port with up to 2ml of your own e-liquid.
There are 6 colours to choose from: Red, Silver, Grey, Green, Blue and Black.
- Uwell Caliburn A3 device
- 2x Meshed 1ohm Caliburn A3 Pods
- User manual
Uwell Caliburn A3 Specs
- Size: 109.8×21.3×11.7mm
- Output: 13W Max
- Battery: 520mAh (internal)
- Materials : PCTG and Aluminium Alloy
- Display: LED indicator
- Resistance range: Not specified
- USB Type C port – apparently charges in 15 mins – charge rate 2A
- Pods: Refillable, fixed coils – 1ohm Meshed
- Capacity: 2ml
- Top fill port
- Fire button locking
- Auto or manual firing
Uwell Caliburn A3 Design and Build Quality
I received the Uwell Caliburn A3 in the Blue and Silver variants.
It is well packaged and the clear window in the box is a nice touch to view the colour of the device.
The inclusion of 2 pods made me very happy, but there is no USB cable – so be warned you will need one of your own.
Instruction wise they are quite brief but didn’t leave me with any queries – so that is all you can ask for!
Uwell Caliburn A3 Mod
This is very like the A2 version but it is the tallest Caliburn so far. Sadly this increase in height does not result in a larger battery capacity – it is still 520mAh (boo).
The body is made from Aluminium Alloy with a satin metallic finish.
Both devices look stunning and no flaws in the finish at all.
Starting at the front of the device the first thing you will see is the E-liquid viewing window. Sadly this does not do what it says on the tin.
The window is only cut out from one side of the body. Therefore it is dark and you look like you need glasses when squinting and tilting it to try and see the level. A simple fix would be for Uwell to have the same cut out on the rear of the device so that light can shine through and make the level more obvious.
Further down is the circular fire button which is approx 1cm in diameter with “record groove” texturing. This works perfectly, doesn’t rattle and hardly protrudes from the main body so less risk of accidental pressing.
Towards the bottom of the device is the “Caliburn” branding written in Black.
At the base is the Black plastic “Wave” textured area which is actually the LED indicator. It is not noticeable until the LED illuminates. It has a gentle pulse to it when charging yet is solid when vaping. This is really hard to see when vaping so you end up just briefly pressing the fire button to check the battery level.
The USB Type C port is found on the bottom of the device, so you will need to lie it down to charge. The port had no issues at all.
The rear of the device is plain apart from the “Uwell” text in Black.
Inside the pod compartment are 2 securing magnets and 2 spring loaded contacts. It is a really deep pod bay, the pod itself is super tall yet only 2ml capacity – very odd!
I did find the A2 and original Caliburn pods would not fit into this device at all.
A tiny pin hole airflow inlet is located on each side of the mod.
Uwell Caliburn A3 Pod
This looks extremely similar to the A2 pod but is slightly thinner, meaning the A2 pod is too large to use in this kit.
I start with the most horrible bit of this whole kit – which is the refilling system.
This has the pop off mouthpiece which you remove to get access to the fill port. Yeh “pop off” – sounds so simple and quick yeah?
Nope – I am at a slight disadvantage having gammy joints in my hands but it was a real struggle to remove. The mouthpiece is all smooth so there is nothing to grip.
Officially you push the mouthpiece backwards to get it to “pop off”. In reality I found biting the mouthpiece whilst tilting the whole device worked. Not a great idea as my mouthpiece looks like it has been through a document shredder now.
Under the mouthpiece are the fill and vent ports. Also there is a centre port which is where the vapour comes out. You need to make sure to only fill the Red port, adding e-liquid to the others could cause issues such as spitting.
The air vent port makes filling super easy with no airlocks but the fill port will only just accept a 3mm diameter bottle nozzle. Anything larger will simply not fit and won’t allow the fill port valve to be opened. This could be a concern with some e-liquid bottles and the only way around that would be to decant your liquid into a smaller nozzled bottle.
The sides of the pod are totally clear with a “minimum” level disguised really well! It is there but it takes a lot of tilting and aligning with the right light to actually see it.
On the base of the pod are the 2 contact areas and two disks which mate with the magnets in the mod. Also the coil resistance and recommended wattage are stamped in.
Uwell Caliburn A3 Kit Quick Start Guide
There is very little to set up to get this kit on the go thankfully!
An isolator sticker is attached to the base of the pod to prevent firing before filling so make sure to remove this before use.
So charge, fill up and away you go – I tell you how to do all this below!
- Power On/Off = Press the fire button 5 times quickly to turn on and off.
- Lock fire button = Press the fire button twice quickly to lock / unlock. When locked the LED will flash red if you try to press the button.
- Vaping = inhale on the mouthpiece to trigger the auto fire or press the fire button manually.
- Battery indicator = illuminates when vaping – Green LED = over 60%, Blue LED = 30-60% and Red LED = less than 30% charge remaining.
- Battery indicator when charging = the battery level is shown by the colour of the pulsing LED. When fully charged the LED turns green and stays on (not pulsing).
- Low battery – when the battery charge is too low for the kit to fire the Red LED will flash 10 times and the device will cut out.
- Short circuit / too low resistance – the Red LED will flash 3 times. Check connections, clean pod base and try again. Try a new pod. If this fails the device may be damaged or faulty.
- No Atomiser / open circuit – Blue LED will flash 3 times. This occurs when no pod is installed or if the device does not recognise / connect to the pod. Clean connections, replace pod. If this still does not cure the fault the device may be damaged or faulty.
- Over Time Protection – if you vape for longer than 8 seconds the Green LED will flash 5 times and the fire will turn off.
How To Charge The Battery
The charging rate is specified as 2A.
- Using the included USB type C cable connect the small end into the USB port on the mod.
- Connect the large end of the cable into a suitable USB outlet.
- The LED will pulse and cycle through the colours and turn solid Green when fully charged.
The charging time for me using a 2A mains plug was around 30 minutes each time. This is double the time that Uwell are bragging about?
How To Fill the Uwell Caliburn Pod
- You can either remove the pod from the device or keep it installed. I did find it easier to remove the mouthpiece with the pod still in the body.
- Bite the end of the mouthpiece and tilt the device until it pops off! (this is unofficially my method – not recommended but I have joint issues in my fingers!)
- The proper method for removing the mouthpiece is to sort of snap the mouthpiece back and it will unclick from the pod.
- Insert the e-liquid bottle nozzle right into the red coloured port. Do not use the other two ports! The fill port has a valve which you must open with the bottle nozzle so it does need to be inserted in about 5mm.
- Fill the pod.
- Replace the mouthpiece until it “clicks” and replace the pod back in the device if removed.
- If first time use or a new pod leave this to stand for 10 minutes for the e-liquid to soak into the wicking. Failure to do this will result in the vape from hell (Dry Hit).
- Also make sure to refill when the pod level is at the “Minimum” marking to prevent pod damage.
How Does the Uwell Caliburn A3 Pod Kit Perform?
I mainly used my own e-liquid mix which is 50/50 PG/VG made from IVG Bubblegum Concentrate at 20% ratio. This is quite high a flavour ratio as I prefer plenty of flavour, but sadly this means it can be a coil killer sometimes.
I add nic salt to approx 6mg strength.
If any of these terms are over your head – have a read of our handy guides below!
- MTL V DTL – A Guide To Vape Styles
- VG and PG in E-liquid – all you need to know
- Beginners guide to E-liquid
- Nic Salt E-liquid
Caliburn A3 1ohm pod
This has such a lovely flavour – am extremely impressed.
I give the OXVA Xlim 0.8ohm V2 pods 10/10 – every time. The Caliburn A3 pod is easily 9.5/10! That is the closest I have found for flavour to my beloved Xlims!
The vape gives a wonderful throat hit, is bursting with flavour but the 0.5 mark that is dropped is just for the vape being slightly dry. On chain / repeated vaping this does dry your mouth out quite quickly. Otherwise this would have been a 10/10! This is super super rare!
Considering the high resistance (1ohm) the flavour is exceptional!
So far I have refilled the pod 7 times (approx 10.5ml) and the flavour is still exactly the same!
This isn’t the tightest MTL airflow I have used. I would compare this to the Xlim with the airflow on the most open setting.
This equates to slightly tighter than an RDL (Restricted Direct Lung) but not a super tight MTL.
On the chart where 0=fully closed and 10=breathing fresh air, I would rate this 2.5-3 in terms of airflow resistance. Of course this is not adjustable either.
The auto draw and manual fire operation were pretty much identical – no delay at all.
I did find the last 15 vapes when the Red LED was showing were very weak and I needed a lot longer inhales.
As mentioned above the battery charging is double the time promoted by Uwell – but not excessive at 30 mins.
Otherwise zero issues at all and the mod is super simple to use.
I did set this kit up ready to use, filled up the pod, then came down with bloody Covid. So it was lying on my desk for 2 weeks prior to use. I have had a slight leak from the pod – not easy to specify where the leak is from as the pod contact area is pretty dry, so it appears to be more from the mouthpiece area?
During use I had no leaks at all, the pod compartment was bone dry with only a slight mist of condensation on the pod base.
These things vary according to your own vaping habits. I am a very heavy vaper and I found the average time for me was 3.5 to 4.5 hours of vaping.
Basically I got through around 2.5 pod fulls to each charge. Remember that includes refilling when only about 0.5ml remains (minimum level) so this works out to be almost 4ml to each charge.
- Amazing flavour!
- Apart from refilling this is simplicity in a kit.
- Super responsive auto draw.
- Quick charging (30 mins) although not as quick as expected.
- Able to lock fire button.
- Takes twice as long as advertised to charge.
- Battery capacity is too low – I would be charging this several times a day.
- E-liquid window is still very dark – it needs a window on both sides of the body.
- It is hard to see the LED when vaping.
- Horrible “snap off” mouthpiece filling method – still not easy enough.
- Not compatible with previous Caliburn pods sadly.
- Very small diameter fill port, only suitable for thin bottle nozzles.
Final Review Verdict
Unfortunately some of the flaws in this kit impacted on the final review scores heavily.
For instance – the “design” score dropped marks for the dark e-liquid viewing window and the awful refilling top cap design. I was still having to remove the pod to check the liquid level.
In general I would give this 10/10 for “ease of use”, but this is spoilt by the awkward refilling aspect.
The flavour however is easily 9.5 out of 10, this is the most amazing feature of this kit for me.
In “replace if lost or damaged” the low battery capacity renders this kit pretty useless for a heavy vaper like me. I would be charging this several times a day – it would be on charge as much as it was in use. Considering this version is larger than the others, it is a shame this still has the same small battery capacity.
I so wish I could give this higher scores as the device itself is so easy to use and the flavour is incredible.
Please Uwell sort out the little niggles and this could easily be a 10/10 kit all day long!