Following the release of the Caliburn A3, here comes the “Koko” (or square) version – the Uwell Caliburn AK3.
By the way “KOKO” stands for “Keep On Keeping On”!
There are 3 ranges of Caliburn and this fits into the “A” range of lower power, higher resistance kits.
I have reviewed quite a lot of the Caliburn kits including the original Caliburn, A2, AK2 and recently the A3. Therefore I have personally witnessed and experienced some of the evolution of this range!
More Details On The Uwell Caliburn AK3…
As you can see this is a pod kit, with 2 main components – the Pod (tank) and Mod (device).
The mod contains a 520mAh battery and this is charged via the USB Type C port. Uwell state this has 15 min fast charging too.
A cute addition is the side LED display which is in the shape of the Caliburn logo. This changes colour according to the battery charge remaining. It has a cycling colour effect or you can turn this off.
Operating is simple – you just inhale on the mouthpiece to fire, no buttons or adjustments to contend with!
Plus you get a Lanyard to keep the kit at reach at all times!
This has the e-liquid check window to help you keep track of e-liquid level.
The pods are compatible with the A3. These are not compatible with other previous Caliburn pods unfortunately.
There is only 1 pod option – 1ohm meshed – and thankfully you get 2 of these in the kit.
Filling is taken care of by removing the mouthpiece to access the fill port.
Here is an introduction video from the Uwell YouTube channel.
There are 6 colours to choose from: Grey, Black, Cyan, Gold, Silver and Red.
- Uwell Caliburn AK3 device
- 2x Caliburn A3 pod 1ohm
- Silicone Lanyard
- User manual
Uwell Caliburn AK3 Specs
- Size: 67.5x44x12mm
- Output: 13W Max
- Battery: 520mAh (internal)
- Display: LED indicator
- Resistance range: Not specified
- USB Type C port – 2A charge rate – 15 minutes fast charging
- Pods: Refillable, fixed coils
- Capacity: 2ml
- Top fill port
- Auto draw activation
Uwell Caliburn AK3 Design and Build Quality
I received this in the Grey and Cyan versions.
The packaging as usual from Uwell was perfect, even down to little details like a tear off strip on the shrink wrap packaging (like to open a pack of cigarettes!)
Instructions are a 4 page affair, all in the same language but still quite small text. Thankfully for those who struggle with small writing you can download the digital version here on the Uwell Website.
Uwell Caliburn AK3 Mod
This is quite similar to the AK2 (sadly I no longer own any of these – gave them all away) but does have a more ergonomic appearance.
A major difference is the curved side which also houses the LED display. This is very cute and the LED lights up a cut out in the shape of the “Caliburn” text. It is completely hidden when not lit up!
This can be animated (cycles through different colours after vaping) or you can switch that off and just have the light as a solid single colour. It changes colour to indicate faults and battery charge remaining. It looks amazing but not very easy to see when vaping! I do love the colour changing feature though as demonstrated in the video below.
The front has a metallic matt finish which looks beautiful with the Caliburn logo and some dotty shading in a mirror like finish.
You get the e-liquid viewing window which for once is quite good as the inside of the mod is a lighter colour so the window is not as dark as earlier models.
The top, bottom and LED side feel like a Black hard plastic and the rest of the mod has the metallic finish.
The base has the “Uwell” logo engraved in along with the CE legal logos. This is perfectly happy to stand up on the base without the Lanyard.
On the opposite side to the LED this is simply a curvy rounded metallic edge which feels great in the hand. Also this side features the pin hole airflow inlet.
The rear has the “KO KO” logo in a mirror finish.
On the top is the lanyard hook where you attach the lovely rubbery feel lanyard.
The pod compartment has 2 springy contacts and 2 magnets. The magnets are strong enough to pull the pod in if you insert it half way, but it is very easy to remove. Even so there is no wobbly pod stuff when you shake it.
Uwell Caliburn A3 Pod
This is the same pod as used on the Caliburn A3 – so I will be honest I have just copied and pasted this section across!
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 AK3 Quick Start Guide
This comes with an isolator sticker on the base of the pod to prevent operation before the pod has been filled. Therefore I would only recommend removing this sticker when the pod has been filled with e-liquid.
I will walk you through the steps to get up and running!
- Power On/Off = This does not have an on/off switch.
- Vaping = Just inhale on the mouthpiece to trigger the auto fire system.
- Battery indicator = this changes colour according to the battery charge remaining whilst vaping – Green LED = over 60% charge, Blue LED = 30-60% and Red LED = less than 30%. Note that if on the “animated LED” setting after vaping it will show battery charge colour and then cycle through other colours.
- Battery indicator when charging = same as above and the light will stay on solid Green when fully charged.
- Turn LED animation (colour changing effect) on/off – remove the pod 3 times within 1.5 seconds. The light will flash 3 times in Purple to show the animation has been turned off. Repeat this and the light will flash 3 times in light Blue to show this has been turned on.
- Low battery – Red light flashes 10 times – recharge the battery to continue use.
- Short circuit – Red LED flashes 3 times – clean contacts, replace pod – if this does not rectify the fault the device could be faulty.
- Over Time Protection – Green LED flashes 5 times – if you vape for longer than 8 seconds the fire operation will cut out to prevent overheating.
- No atomiser (Pod) / open circuit – Blue LED flashes 3 times. Insert a pod. If this does not rectify follow the advice for short circuit.
How To Charge The Battery
The charging rate is specified as 2A.
- Using a 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 cycle through the colours and will stay on Green (not pulsing) when fully charged.
The charging time for me using a 2A charging plus was 30 minutes, not the promised 15 minutes.
How To Fill the 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).
- Plus you can take a few dummy vapes on the pod before you insert it into the mod to help the e-liquid flow through.
- Also make sure to refill when the pod level is at the “Minimum” marking to prevent pod damage.
How Does the Uwell Caliburn AK3 Perform?
I 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 Meshed Coil
I have reviewed this pod before in the A3 and it is the same – excellent!
The throat hit is intense, even on my meagre 6mg Nic salt, it feels really satisfying!
I give the OXVA Xlim 0.8ohm V2 pods 10/10 and this A3 pod is pretty close at 9.5/10! The only slight criticism is it is a dry vapour. Not as “juicy” as the OXVA. Of course this really helps mimic the dryness you get from cigarette smoke so it gives a very similar sensation to smoking.
Even from the first vape the flavour is absolutely banging.
The power feels spot on – if the power was any higher I think you would be getting dry hits so Uwell have tailored the output perfectly for this coil
After 15 refills the flavour is still perfect!
(Note – Updated 23/1/23 – I am still using the original pod, 14 days since this was published – I use it on average for 1 charge daily so approximately 2 refills a day – so works out roughly 43 refills so far!)
Caliburns have always had a great reputation for flavour and this pod continues that trend!
This is a tighter MTL airflow than a lot of pod kits but it doesn’t make you suck your pants up your bum either.
On the chart where 0=fully closed and 10=breathing fresh air, I would rate this 2-2.5 in terms of airflow resistance. Of course this is not adjustable either.
So MTL vapers will be happy, there is none of them RDL shenanigans going on here!
The Auto Draw is super quick and didn’t fail at all. I do miss having a fire button though as a backup if the auto draw should fail.
The output is consistent until the last few vapes when the LED indicator is Red. After it did change to Red I found there were not many vapes before it cut out.
I did find the claim of 15 minute fast charging to be incorrect. Every charge I timed was around 30 minutes. This was only 60% charged after around 20 minutes. Not exactly a deal breaker but a bit misleading Uwell!
No leaks at all but there was a slight mist of condensation on the base of the pod and the pod compartment in the mod. This is usual with pod kits anyway so is of no concern.
Of course this is a huge generalisation, it varies according to your own vaping habits.
I vape all day (i.e. not just at break times) and am a heavy vaper.
I found I got 4 hours of vaping every time I timed this.
- Pretty shape and finish!
- Nice and small in the hand.
- Cute LED indicator – especially when in the “animated” mode – pretty colours yeah!
- Comes with lanyard
- E-liquid window seems brighter on this than previous versions
- 2 pods included in the kit
- Flavour and throat hit is epic!
- Roughly 43 refills on the same pod so far and taste is still excellent
- This still has the horrible snap off mouthpiece to access the filling port. It is really hard for me to get this off.
- No USB cable included so make sure you have one of your own.
- Can’t see LED when vaping
- Small diameter fill port – could cause issues with thicker nozzles.
- Charging took 30 minutes not the 15 minutes stated
Final Review Verdict
Overall I really love this. It is super cute and kicks out the flavour!
(Update 23/1/23 – So far 43 pod fills and the flavour is still epic! The pod life is a huge benefit)
Sadly the horrible top fill system has not changed and this is the big criticism I have of this kit. It does get easier to open after a few refills, but I found myself dreading having to fill or change to a new pod. Some people may not have an issue with this, but I have double jointed fingers so I really struggled.
Apart from the filling being pants I would otherwise have given this 10/10 for ease of use – such a shame.
The low battery capacity and faffing with filling drop the “replace if lost or damaged” score unfortunately. I would love to stick this on the lanyard and take it out and about with me, but it would be so unpractical if I was out for more than an hour or so.
Please Uwell increase the battery capacity and add an easier fill port and this could have easily been scoring in the 9’s and 10’s!
I hope I haven’t totally put you off as it is such a wonderful kit it I am gutted with the “deal breakers” that could be so easily fixed.