In for review is the brand new Uwell Caliburn GK2 Pod Kit.
‘I wish you well’. That’s where this well known vaping manufacturer took their name. It’s part of their ethos to fight for human health.
Founded in 2015 in Shenzhen, China, Uwell have an ongoing mission to become the most valuable e-cig brand in the world. They’re achieving that primarily through trust and a good reputation.
It’s hard to believe the original Uwell Caliburn is 3 years old. Personally, it’s just as effective a vaping kit today as when it was first launched. It’s also the device that put Uwell firmly on the Pod kit vape map.
Later, the Uwell Caliburn G2 was released with a pod that could be flipped to allow for two different styles of vaping. The Caliburn A2 was their first release to feature a juice viewing window while the G2 utilised progressive airflow adjustment and vibrating feedback.
Uwell have merged the Caliburn G2 Pod with the form factor of the Koko series to bring us the Caliburn GK2 Pod kit.
Let’s take a look.
What Can We Expect From The Uwell Caliburn GK2 Pod Kit?
It’s starting to become a trend for devices to have additional flashing lights and the Caliburn GK2 capitalises on this. The front panel features various coloured lights that illuminate to reflect current battery life or potential safety issues.
Vibration feedback is also included and most noticeable when slipping the pod into the battery section.
Unlike the Caliburn G2, there’s no finger firing – just auto draw. That’s something I’ve become very used to of late but I’ve always been a lazy bugger!
It’s a cost effective proposition too because it’s not a sealed pod system. Refill with your own liquid at any time. The replaceable coils are cross compatible with three in the Caliburn G series so that’s also good to know.
Those coils use the Uwell proprietary pro-FOCS flavour testing technology – a reason why the vape quality is usually so impressive.
The progressive airflow adjustment of the Caliburn G2 has also made it across so flavour intensity and vapour production can be altered to suit.
..OK! We get the same pod as the G2.
Expect to pick the device up in four different colour schemes. Ribbon red, Matte Black, Aurora Green and the one I’ve been sent, Ocean Flame.
Inside the Box
The pod kit is instantly visible through a plastic window on the slip case and sits inside a moulded plastic tray. The Koko logo is embossed into the lower half of the tray and lifting the tray reveals additional items inside a cardboard box.
- Caliburn GK2 pod kit
- UN2 1.2ohm G2 mesh coil (installed)
- UN2 0.8ohm G mesh coil
- User manual
- Warning card
- Filling instruction card
- Warranty card
- Type C USB charging cable
Uwell Caliburn GK2 Pod Kit – Specifications
- Material: PA, PC+ABS, Silicate glass
- Dimensions: 72.2 x 46.6 x 16.3mm
- Net weight: 45.2g
- E-liquid capacity: 2ml
- Max power output: 18W
- Battery capacity: 690mAh
- UN2 meshed 1.2ohm Caliburn G2 coil
- UN2 meshed 0.8ohm Caliburn G coil
- Display: LED & Vibrate
- USB Type C
- Pods: Refillable replaceable coils
- Coils: Caliburn G / G2 coils
- Adjustable airflow
- Top fill
Uwell Caliburn GK2 Pod Kit – Design and Build Quality
Well the first thing to note is how incredibly light it is. Despite being a box design the slim nature means it’s very comfortable in the hand. It’s also quite easy to conceal for those moments where stealth is utmost.
The main panels have a silicate glass coating which gives it a very polished feel. Only time can tell whether it’s resistant to knocks and scratches. The colour gradient around the edges of the kit is quite effective and gives it plenty of character.
The lanyard clip is contoured around the top corner and never gets in the way when vaping.
The underside of the battery section is home to the type C USB charging port which is sensibly recessed. This does mean horizontal charging so I recommend removing the pod and leaving it in a vertical position to prevent any cotton from drying out.
There’s also three venting holes for the 690mAh battery. That’s a nice touch! We can never be too careful.
I believe the Caliburn A2 was the first pod kit to feature a juice viewing window and it’s been included here. This time its side mounted.
I’ll be checking the efficiency of this during testing.
Underneath that there’s a single airflow ingress pinhole which lines up with the airflow wheel on the pod.
Flashing Lights – What Do They Mean?
As hip and cool as these coloured lights may appear they do serve an important purpose.
During the vape a glimmering green light indicates battery strength is more than 60%. When it turns blue it means the battery has between 30% – 60% charge. Anything less is denoted by a red glimmer.
There’s an 8 second vape cut off incorporated so when the lights glimmer green 5 times and send out 2 waves of vibration you’re over doing it!
When the red light flickers constantly and the battery vibrates three times it time to recharge the kit.
The lights also serve to warn of any potential safety issues:
- Short circuit protection. Yellow flicker x 4, vibration x 4
- Low voltage protection. Red flicker x 10, vibration x 3
- Overtime protection. Green glimmer x 5, vibration x 2
- Open circuit indication. Blue flicker x 3, vibration x 2
The lights will also flicker when the pod is attached or removed from the battery section. The colour depends on the current state of charge.
The Pod Section
As previously mentioned this is basically the same top filling pod as included with the Caliburn G2 complete with progressive airflow adjustment wheel.
I’ve already covered how to fit a coil and fill the pod with my Uwell Caliburn G2 review, so give that one a look if you’re still uncertain.
The pod is transparent with maybe a touch of frosting so viewing remaining juice levels is easy whether inside or outside of the battery section.
There is a stiffness to the mouthpiece when removing for the purposes of filling. It’s fixed into place via two clips on the pod which I found quite difficult to snap off. Those with dexterity issues may find themselves becoming frustrated.
I’m also concerned that over time the PCTG plastic will crack or split.
However, the top filling system is super easy and an air release valve has been included which helps prevent overfilling.
Uwell Caliburn GK2 Pod Kit – How Does It Perform?
1.2ohm Caliburn G2 mesh coil
I started by using the installed 1.2ohm G2 mesh coil with a Mango, Passionfruit and Blueberry e-liquid with 3mg freebase Nicotine and a 50VG/50PG juice ratio.
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
To be honest it was quite a bland affair across the airflow restrictions available. There clearly was flavour but it was only the Mango that pulled through. It was quite flat, lifeless and lacking any clarity of sorts.
There was also a distinct lack of any sweetness. I expected more from the trio of fruits this profile was promoting.
Towards the end of every exhale I noticed more of a tasteless vape and more in the way of warm vapour alone. As mentioned, various airflow settings were tested and even a tight restrictive MTL didn’t improve the flavour output.
However, vapour production was on point producing thick dense clouds with the progressive airflow adjuster wide open. There were no issues there at all.
I went on to try some of the Bar Juice 5000 refillable e-liquid range which is known for its flavour intensity. Although things did improve it still fell short of what I expected in terms of sweetness, clarity and sparkle.
0.8ohm Caliburn G mesh coil
I used a couple of different flavours when testing the G2 coil.
One was a simplistic, generic Peach e-liquid and the other was a slightly more complex flavour in the form of Arctic Roll – a dessert inspired juice.
The Peach one had a juice ratio of 50VG/50PG and I have to say it absolutely trounced the 1.2ohm G2 coil for flavour. The fruit was both sweet and juicy and came through lively and intense.
Even the Coolada was highly effective, leaving a searing, icy effect on the back of the tongue. In fact, I really couldn’t have asked more from the coil.
It was the same with the 70VG/30PG Arctic Roll e-liquid. The spongy texture and cream like qualities were all evident along with the subtle hint of Strawberry that I’ve come to know and love from this profile.
Vaping this juice ratio isn’t an issue for 0.8ohm resistance coil. I got zero signs of any dry hitting and both flavours remained consistent throughout the duration of the exhale.
- Excellent flavour from the 0.8ohm mesh G coil
- Good vapour production from both coils
- Lightweight and pocket friendly
- Super fast type C USB charging
- Scratch resistant silicate glass panels
- No leaking
- 0.8ohm coil copes with e-liquid from 50/50 to 70/30 VG/PG
- A relative juice guzzler for such a low powered device
- Pod fits very loose inside the battery section
- 1.2ohm mesh G2 coil underperforms
- Some may have difficulty removing the mouthpiece to fill (subjective)
Uwell Caliburn GK2 Pod Kit – Final Review Verdict
I need to start by mentioning how quick the type C charging really is. I was pretty gobsmacked to discover it took only 30 minutes to rejuvenate a spent battery.
During the charge the light show on the panel passes through red, blue then green. Once fully charged it vibrates once and the green light remains on.
I managed a good seven hours from a single charge and this was under normal vaping patterns. Chain vaping will and does significantly reduce up time. During usage time I topped the pod up twice.
I have to say I was disappointed by the performance of the 1.2ohm G2 mesh coil. There’s always the possibility the cotton had lost wicking properties since it was pre-installed in the pod – it’s hard to know.
Either way the flavour was dull, flat and uninspiring with the liquids I threw at it. It didn’t take long before I was reaching for an alternative vape.
By stark contrast the 0.8ohm mesh G coil behaved impeccably, more than making up for the inadequacies of the G2.
In both cases vapour production was on point and delivered as expected for a lower powered device. Plenty of cloud, swift dispersion.
Neither coil leaked from the base either which was good.
You’ll be better off using a 50VG/50PG juice ratio when using the 1.2ohm G2 coil but I had no issues using a 70VG/30PG e-liquid when testing the 0.8ohm G coil.
Progressive Airflow Control
Is it a gimmick? Not really although you shouldn’t expect too much from it. When fully open, I was able to take a restrictive direct lung hit.
There was only a marginal difference when closing the wheel half way. At three quarters closed thing became a little blurred because I was expecting a MTL vape to kick in. It didn’t.
The airflow restriction was simply too tight to work. You can MTL but it’s a very uncomfortable experience. The wheel needs to be around 1/3rd open before a decent vape can be achieved.
In some ways it proves the fiddly nature of such a small wheel. You’ll also need good eyesight when fine tuning it – which these days, I haven’t! lol
A touch of airflow turbulence occurs when the restrictions are too tight and it can feel like you’re trying to blow up a party balloon!
I got the best airflow performance when the wheel maximised airflow. It was a quiet, turbulent free vape and with restrictive properties that are right up my street.
This one was a major frustration. The pod is far too loose fitting inside the battery section. That could be because the lug cut outs inside the battery appear too wide or too big. The corresponding notches on the pod aren’t that prominent either.
Put simply, they don’t make a very firm connection.
On quite a few occasions the pod sprang up which caused auto draw to fail, hence the frustration. Another time the pod just fell out completely, landing on the floor with the coil separating from the pod.
It’s definitely an area that Uwell need to address in my humblest of opinions – of course.
..Oh, before I go. As promised earlier. The side viewing window works just fine. It’s so much more convenient than having to pull the pod out every time to check.