Thursday, May 30, 2024

Everyone’s Invited – Vapor Voice


Smok’s NexMESH pod system offers a convenient small size and great battery life without sacrificing quality.

By Mike Huml

Smok and OFRF have teamed up to create the NexMESH pod system. It’s a compact mod-style pod system, and as its name suggests, it utilizes a stainless steel mesh coil for improved performance. The NexMESH incorporates a few options to allow for some fine-tuning and customization, but the device remains simple and accessible to a multitude of vapers with varying vaping styles.

The NexMESH is a relatively simple looking device with no unnecessary flare. One side has a nice looking mesh cage attached while the other side houses the fire button right in the center of the “O” in OFRF. An OLED screen is located on one of the narrow sides and displays all relevant information at a glance, including power output, output voltage, coil resistance and remaining battery life.

Two buttons underneath the screen allow for wattage adjustment, and when both are pressed simultaneously, the NexMESH will enter a locked state in which it cannot be fired inadvertently. Pressing this same button combination again will unlock the device. Pressing the fire button and the top button at the same time will flip the LCD screen’s orientation, and hitting the fire button five times in quick succession will turn the NexMESH on or off. This simple and user-friendly system will be familiar to most vapers, and if not, the most useful functions, such as power adjustment, are intuitive.

The NexMESH is small and convenient, making it great for taking on the go. It’s refillable and holds 2 mL of e-liquid but also makes use of replacement coil heads. This means that instead of needing to purchase and replace the entire pod, the pod can be reused indefinitely. Two coils are available for the NexMESH. Both are 0.40 ohms, but one is made with standard round wire with a smaller diameter for mouth-to-lung vaping. The primary coil is made with the stainless steel mesh and makes for comfortable direct-lung vaping. Mesh “coils” have multiple advantages that contribute to a superior vape experience.

Mesh is generally superior to round wire for several reasons. Being flat and thin, the mesh covers more area than round wire. This means the heating area is less concentrated, which reduces the occurrence of dry hits. Additionally, it provides better flavor and more consistent vapor due to a larger surface area. Since the mesh is thinner than round wire, it also heats up more quickly. As such, ramp-up time is virtually nonexistent, even at lower wattages.

Cumulatively, this results in a wide range of viable operating wattages and better flavor and vapor production with no ramp-up time. The improvements are admittedly nuanced but noticeable and perfect for pod systems. Being able to reduce the power output of the device without a significant impact to the overall vape quality means that the battery is less taxed and will last longer.

The NexMESH has an internal 1200 mAh battery, which is significant for a pod system. Depending on the power setting, this can last from half a day to two days of constant use. The NexMESH can be adjusted from 5 watts to 30 watts, but both the round wire and mesh coil types work best between 12 watts and 25 watts, which leaves some headroom on either end. The device is charged with the included micro-USB cable and can achieve a full charge in approximately two hours, perhaps fewer if the battery is not completely depleted.

Each NexMESH coil head screws into a base unit where the user can adjust airflow by rotating a small ring. Once the coil is attached and the airflow is set, the assembly slides into the bottom of the pod. The pod is filled by removing the silicone plug on the side of the pod.

The plug is easily removed, but the fill port is relatively small and is best suited for e-liquid bottles with needle or narrow tips. As is the standard, it is recommended to let the full pod rest for at least five minutes before use to ensure that the wicking material is completely saturated. Once ready, the entire pod assembly slides into the opening at the top of the device and is held in place securely with magnets.

The airflow path starts at the top of the pod next to the mouthpiece, but it’s never impeded by the user’s mouth while in use. The airflow is consistently smooth with minimal turbulence, and there is no spitback. Coupled with the fact that there is no ramp-up time when using the mesh coils, the overall vape experience is fantastic. Vapor is produced easily with varying heat levels depending on the wattage setting, and the airflow is smooth.

All different e-liquid types are viable with the NexMESH, but some considerations need to be considered. When lung hitting with the mesh coils, users should avoid e-liquids with high nicotine concentrations. Also, thick liquids may not wick fast enough at high wattages when using the round wire coils. Apart from these extremes, most liquids will work perfectly, which sets up the NexMESH to be a great device for many types of vape styles.

There are many pod systems on the market these days, and it can be difficult to stand out. However, a quality vape experience is more important than making a splash, and the NexMESH is among the best in terms of both flavor and vapor production.

While the amount of vapor is more than reasonable, it’s the ease at which the vapor is produced that really makes the NexMESH impressive. The mesh coils allow for a range of temperatures without sacrificing flavor or vapor volume, and it can’t be understated how much of a difference mesh can make.

Most new vapers nowadays tend to start the vaping journey with a pod system that closely represents the smoking experience, and the NexMESH can provide that with the round wire coils. Generally, moving to upgrade involves an entirely new device, but the NexMESH includes the “upgrade” right out of the box with the mesh coil.

It allows new users to experience high-quality mouth-to-lung vaping as well as direct-lung vaping without having to make the choice between two different devices on the spot. This level of versatility is a huge selling point, especially for beginners who are unsure of what vaping style they prefer.

The only things standing in the way of the NexMESH being a sure thing for new customers are the fact that it doesn’t resemble an analog cigarette in any way and that it doesn’t have a draw-activated switch. While this may dissuade the most stubborn of clientele, it is far outweighed by the versatility and quality of the device.

Often, this fact can turn a sale when communicated effectively. Most vapers find that a better vape experience is preferable to a replication of the look and feel of smoking an analog cigarette. Too many features are compromised in the pursuit of the perfect cigalike, but sometimes this must be experienced rather than told. However, most reasonable people are more than willing to heed the advice of experienced vapers.

Overall, the NexMESH offers quite a bit for vapers of all levels and types. Even more enthusiast vapers are being won over by the convenience of pod systems, making features such as mesh coil heads even more appealing. Being a small device with great battery life, advanced users will find that they need not sacrifice quality in order to have a vape that’s more convenient and portable.

Smok and OFRF have undoubtedly succeeded in creating a pod system that has the potential to appeal to a wide market. It’s easy to use, caters to multiple vape styles, is small and portable and has great battery life. Vapers of all levels can find something to love about the NexMESH, and even as a first device, new vapers that can forego the look of a traditional cigarette will find that vaping doesn’t need to be a precise reproduction of smoking in order to be satisfying. In a time when prefilled pods are on the way out, many are looking for newer and better options, and the NexMESH provides everything that other pod systems can and more.

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