Introduction: The ePen 3 Kit from Vype
The Vype ePen 3 kit is apparently the 3rd generation of ePen!
We reviewed the original ePen back in 2014 – so this range from Vype have been going for a while and are often found “over the counter” in shops, garages and supermarkets.
Also the refills for Vype devices are easy to buy with them being stocked locally to most people – not having to wait around for vape mail.
A pod mod is basically a small device – which uses low power – so can afford to have a smaller battery. You will usually use high nicotine strength or nic salt e-liquid in one of these devices to give you a good nicotine hit and throat hit despite the low power.
Often pod mods are ideal for those just starting vaping, giving up smoking and even some sub-ohm and more advanced vapers like a pod mod to hand for when out and about.
This is a closed pod system – which means the pod (tank) which contains the e-liquid and heating element (coil) is sealed and you cannot refill with your own liquid or replace the coil when it has deteriorated. You remove the pod, discard it and buy another! Simple.
There are not many specs on the Vype website – I suppose not wanting to get too technical and frighten off starters – however I would like to know things like the coil resistance, power output, coil material etc. It does say that the ePen 3 is more powerful at 6W rather than the 4.4W on the ePen 2.
The pods come in a pack of 2 in a range of flavours. You can also choose the nicotine strength. The vPro versions of the pods contain nic salts – very helpful for those trying to avoid cigarettes.
There are 5 colours to choose from – Black, Red, Gold, Blue and Silver.
There is also a special limited edition range designed in collaboration with the British Designer Henry Holland called “Vype x House of Holland”.
Thank you to Vype for sending this over for review – I will however report back honestly on my findings of the device in my possession.
What’s In The Box
- Vype ePen 3 mod
- 2x pre-filled pods – Blended Tobacco (18mg nicotine) and Crisp Mint (18mg nicotine)
- USB cable
- User manual
I also received several boxes of refills in the following flavours and strengths:
- Master Blend (18mg Nicotine Salts)
- Wild Berries (12 and 18mg Nicotine Salts)
- Infused Vanilla (6mg Nicotine – Standard E-liquid)
- Crushed Mint (18mg Nicotine Salts)
- Fresh Apple (6mg Nicotine – Standard E-liquid)
- Size: 123x18x27mm
- Battery: 650mAh
- Output: 6W
- Pod capacity: 2ml
- Pods – uses ePen 3 pods only
- LED battery indicator
- Approx charging time: 2 hours
- Button operated fire and on/off
Build Quality & Design
This is a really basic kit and I received the Red colour version.
The colour is more of a Maroon with a matt finish so not the most exciting device to look at.
It is very plain with the front sporting a recessed “Vype” logo in the same colour as the device body.
There is a fire button with a LED light on it and this displays the battery level remaining.
The rear of the device had the required legal logos and the “Vype ePen 3” text in grey.
At the bottom of the device is the micro USB port.
The pods click into position and are extremely secure. They do not have a single wobble or any chance of falling out. In fact this has almost become a “Con” as they are quite hard to grip to remove. But for stability this is obviously a “Pro”.
There isn’t much weight to the device even with a pod installed. It is just on the right side of not feeling cheap but it is a bit bland in my opinion. However nothing is badly made or tacky.
I found the mouthpiece on the pod to be a great size and it felt very comfortable on the lips and didn’t get hot at all.
My kit arrived pristine with excellent packaging and surprisingly good instructions.
All round a nice but slightly dull kit.
The Vype ePen 3 is supplied without a pod installed.
To start you will need to charge the battery fully and install a pod.
To help you the pod bases have colour codes for the different flavours and they also state the nicotine strength. It would be helpful to have the flavour written on the pods too.
- To switch on/off – 3 clicks of the fire button
- To vape – press and hold the fire button
- Battery charge remaining – the colour of the LED light indicates the battery charge remaining – Green = 40-100% charged, Amber (more Pink on mine!) = 10-40% charged and Red = less than 10% charge left. When the battery has fully depleted the LED will flash white 5 times and the device will turn off.
- Auto switch off – if the device is not used for 10 minutes it will automatically switch off. Simply turn on again with 3 clicks of the fire button.
- Charging fault = the LED will flash red rapidly whilst charging. Disconnect the device from the charger and contact Vype for assistance.
- Charging disconnect = after 3 hours of being left on charge the device will cut off the charging. This is to prevent overcharging.
- Other protections = there are over voltage, over current and short circuit protections. In the case of a short circuit the LED will flash red 3 times and the device will turn off.
- 8 Second fire cut off = if the fire button is held down it will automatically cut off the firing after 8 seconds and the device will turn off.
How To Charge The Battery
- Using the supplied Micro USB cable plug the small end into the bottom of the ePen in the USB port.
- Install the large end of the connector into a suitable USB outlet.
- The LED will change colour as the device charges. It is fully charged when the LED stays green.
I found from empty to full charge was around 1 hour 15 mins on my PC! Excellent!
How To Change The Pod
- Simply hold the pod and the battery and pull the pod out. There will be some resistance to removal.
- Prepare a new pod by removing the protective cover on the base and mouthpiece of the pod.
- Install the pod into the battery. There is no wrong way round to install this as it will work either way around. Push it in firmly until you feel a “Click”.
How Does the Vype ePen 3 Kit Perform?
Flavour & Cloud Production
The Vype ePen 3 is designed to be a simple kit for those who are not very technical or who just require something easy.
Therefore this won’t be chucking out huge clouds and enough power to jump start your car.
I will be judging this mainly on flavour and throat hit – the two main requirements of this type of kit.
With all the pods I found there wasn’t much vapour – but this was to be expected. The throat hit I found to be immense and the flavours are discussed below.
There is no bedding in time – the pods are chucking out flavour right from the first vape and of course it is super easy to change between flavours.
Blended Tobacco Pod – 18mg Nicotine (Included in Kit)
I have recently got back into tobacco flavour e-liquid after tasting some from the excellent Apollo nic salt range.
Sadly this is not a great example. In fact this tastes more chemically than any tobacco liquid I have ever tasted.
There is a slight hint of chocolate and coffee with an accompaniment of nail varnish remover.
Not for me really sorry Vype.
Crisp Mint Flavour Pod – 18mg Nicotine (Included in Kit)
This pod was included in the kit and is the one with the Green bottom!
The Crisp Mint flavour is basically a menthol version ideal for people who smoke menthol cigarettes.
The taste is very very close to menthol cigarettes with an added minty sweetness and it is really lovely.
With this being a 18mg nicotine strength you can really feel the throat hit. Imagine taking too long a drag on a menthol ciggie and you can get that hit with a long inhale.
Believe me this pod is not weak or wussy. Even the most hardened long term hardcore smoker will find a hit from this.
There isn’t a massive amount of vapour but that isn’t an issue as the taste and throat hit from this pod has already done the job of feeling like inhaling on a cigarette.
Very satisfying and those partial to a menthol smoke will find this does the trick!
Fresh Apple Flavour Pod – 6mg Nicotine
Like with the Wild Berries flavour simply opening the pod packaging greets you with a really apple-y smell.
This is not a true apple – like apple pie – but more of an apple flavoured sweet taste.
There is none of the sourness you would get in a fresh apple. But the taste is still very fruity and yummy. Especially if you have a sweet tooth like me.
After a few vapes of this I found the flavour vanished quite rapidly. I think after the first wallop of apple your taste buds acclimatise to it and it then feels a bit dilute. Quite strange that.
So not quite full marks here but not a bad one either.
Infused Vanilla Flavour Pod – 6mg Nicotine
Anyone who reads my reviews know one of my most feared flavours is Vanilla.
For a standard flavour there are so many variations. When it is good it is lovely, when it is bad it either tastes like mouldy newspapers or a vanilla air freshener.
This thankfully (phew) is one of the better Vanilla flavours.
This is sweet and creamy – rather than musty and revolting.
I feel like I am drinking an Ice Cream soda when I vape on this – the creamy ice cream is really lovely.
Wow Vype this is a winner!
Crushed Mint Flavour Pod – 18mg Nicotine Salts
This is far colder than the Crisp mint pod and a lot more menthol.
There isn’t as much mint or sweet flavour either.
Again like the Crisp Mint this will satisfy the menthol smokers – but the taste is slightly more “watery” but with more of a cold sensation.
This is more like “Extra Strong Mints” whereas the Crisp Mint is more like a tasty sweet Spearmint.
And I will mention again this freezes your tonsils in a split second!
Wild Berries Flavour Pod – 12 and 18mg Nicotine Salts
Even just trying to wrestle these pods out from the hardcore packaging I get a lovely fruity smell!
These have a berry yoghurt-y type taste. They are very smooth and being nic salts are not at all harsh despite being high nicotine.
This was a bit more sour and creamy than I was expecting but still a very nice flavour but there is a perfume aftertaste left behind in your mouth.
So these are not high scorers simply because of that weird aftertaste which is quite off putting.
Master Blend Flavour Pod – 18mg Nicotine Salts
Whoa this really has a throat hit but sadly is very much like the Blended tobacco pod. Very chemically although this time there isn’t even chocolate or coffee.
Just a really musty old ashtray type of taste.
There is plenty of “OOmph” with this pod but I really dislike the tobacco flavourings that Vype are using.
Obviously it isn’t recommended to refill closed pods.
However I thought I would have a bash. The Master Blend pod was so hideous I thought I would sacrifice it to my experimenting.
Below is a layout of all of the pod components. I also recommend dismantling this over a sink as nobody needs anything on their person or furniture that smells this bad.
- The base is held in with 4 securing type tabs. I did try prising the tabs out each one at a time but that didn’t really work.
- I found a really thin blade screwdriver worked all the way around the pod base – slowly and patiently just prising the base from the pod body worked.
- Then you are greeted with the rubber assembly which holds the coil. There is a small cut out where you can put your screwdriver to prise this out gently.
- Once dismantled give everything a really good rinse under the tap – I doubt that smell and taste will ever disappear but it can’t get any worse!
- Install the coil assembly – it will only push in fully one way around so if you are having issues remove it and turn it 180°.
- There is a tiny little fill hole in the rubber assembly and if you are lucky your 10ml bottle spout will fit in there and you can refill. It is a bit of a guess how much liquid you are putting in!
- Replace the base with the base “prong” fitting into the filling hole. Make sure everything is fully secured.
- I would leave the pod to stand upright on a tissue for a few hours to check it is not leaking before installing into the device.
If there is still some moisture in the pod your first few vapes will be just burning this off so you might not get much vapour, flavour and some popping.
My first 6 vapes were just the moisture clearing. Then I started getting my flavour and vapour coming through. I used the Apollo Nic Salt Tobacco flavour.
The taste was still sadly tainted by the vile original liquid but it is way way better than it was!
At 650mAh this is a pretty decent battery capacity when you see the size of the device.
To give you a rough idea using the 6mg Vanilla pod I got over 5 hours of very heavy vaping. If using the stronger nicotine or nic salts pods you will be vaping a lot less as you will get a nic hit far quicker.
- Replacement pods available in lots of outlets – corner shops, petrol stations, supermarkets etc.
- Good quality feel
- No rattles and pod is held securely
- LED indicator to inform of battery life
- Great throat hit and airflow
- No malfunctions or leaks
- Super easy to operate and use
- Can refill the pods if you want to have a tinker!
- Couple of great flavours
- Surprisingly good battery life!
- Quick charging
- Quite difficult to pull pods out of device – hard to grip
- Slightly dull looks – but that is just my opinion
- Tobacco flavours are very chemically and unpleasant.
- More expensive in the long term than a pod kit you fill yourself. Plus you are restricted to the flavours and strengths Vype supply only.
- Have to remove pod to see liquid level remaining and that isn’t easy as the pods are heavily frosted.
Final Review Verdict
This is as simple as vaping gets. A fire button and a slide in pod. No refilling, no adjustments and no messy business of installing coils.
The Vype ePen 3, whilst looking a bit bland and yawny in my opinion, was solid and well built and that did inspire confidence in the performance.
I found the throat hit and flavour levels to be great – this should really satisfy a hardcore smoker who mistakenly believes e-cigs are a bit wussy. This really does give your throat a bashing but not in a bad way.
I do recommend that a new vaper avoids the tobacco flavours as they are not going to be very satisfying and could actually put someone off vaping.
This kit would be ideal for someone who wants a simple vape and the ability to just pop into a supermarket to buy supplies.
Anyone else who has used other devices and likes other brands of e-liquid would find this a bit disappointing. The flavours are the main let down with this kit but there are a couple of good ones!
The device performed perfectly and I had no leaks or malfunctions – so in theory the device is great.
Please don’t be put off by the standard tobacco flavours – they do not represent all the tobacco e-liquids on the market now – some are lovely and rich. These taste and smell of old ashtrays and even the battered taste buds of a smoker will not find these very impressive.