DaVinci have been a leader of battery operated portable vaporizers for some time. Their latest offering – the DaVinci IQ – ramps up the design aesthetics to help it compete in this competitive section of the market. They also make the device “smart” thanks to its bluetooth connectivity. Priced at €259 it is the same price as a PAX 3. So how does it stack up?
DaVinci IQ Performance
The IQ holds a lot of ground material in the oven located at the base. Combine its quick heating time with your slow draws and you get a lot of dense vapour. If you like (or need) to get very high very fast then the IQ delivers the clouds that you are seeking.
The IQ comes in a variety of metallic finishes. The bright lights on the front and the loud buzz it generates both scream for attention. Thankfully, there is a stealth mode that dims the lights and kills the buzzing so you can vape in places where you don’t want to draw attention (like the cinema for example).
In a private or noisy setting these buzzes are very useful and the bright lights mean they can be easily seen when vaping outdoors.
– Beards beware!
You can sip the vapour with the flat mouthpiece which comes in place directly out of the box or swap the mouth piece for a zirconium tube which makes the experience more comfortable – especially if you have facial hair, I tried sipping with the flat mouthpiece and ended up plucking out several of my moustache hairs which got caught in the folding cover – hipsters beware!
The IQ is a conduction vaporizer which means that the material is heated in an “oven”. I found the first draw to be great tasting but needed a stir before taking more to keep the heating of the herb even. A poker is stored under the fold out top which is handy – I wish more companies did this. I seemed to get through my stash a bit quicker than with other portable vaporizers I’ve tried, especially my Firefly 2 (which is convection). But as it holds more it needs less reloads.
DaVinci IQ Value For Money
Smart portable vaporizers seem to be a new market segment and the IQs price sits comfortably alongside its competitors. It’s the same price as the PAX 3 and less than the Firefly 2. It feels solid and looks neat. Only thing it falls short on is you can’t use it to vaporize concentrates straight out of the box. If you are only going to vape flowers then I think it’s an excellent choice.
DaVinci IQ Build Quality
The finish is good but on close inspection not perfect. Not in a way that will hamper your experience though so nothing to worry about.
There are hinged openings at the top and bottom. These are held closed with magnets. I found the top didn’t always engage due to the multiple things underneath – fiddly battery cover, stash container/“flavour enhancer” and poker to open stash jar – that if not properly aligned blocked the lid from closing. This is more down to the design than the build quality. Once you get used to lining everything up I haven’t found these things I highlighted to cause any problems.
With a 10 year guarantee DaVinci seem confident enough the IQ will last.
DaVinci IQ User Friendliness
I love the fact that you can get information that actually makes sense from the 51 LED grid. You can see temperature, which “Smart Path” you have chosen and also the state of the battery. In that respect, it outshines many of its competitors.
The charge is indicated as you power up the device so you are always aware of the battery level. It comes with one battery but heavy users may wish to purchase a backup and a charger. The battery can easily be swapped out when you need to.
It is charged by directly plugging a USB cable into the device itself which is really neat as it means there is no dock – unlike many of the other devices out there. It means it is very suitable for those who want to charge when travelling. You only need to worry about having a USB cable, which if you forget you will most likely be able to get hold of one easily.
To load, you open the hinged cover at the bottom and pour your ground material onto the loading tray before guiding it into the oven and packing it down with the included tool or your finger. I appreciated this built in funnel to aid loading. Some other devices out there are not so forgiving should you miss the oven opening with your ground herb.
To get the most from this device you should connect to your phone with their “free” app. I had privacy concerns due to the fact you cannot use the app without creating an account – which requires an email. So the cost is providing your email address. In hindsight, there was no need to provide a real email address as you are not required to validate it.
Once you have setup the app, connecting to your device is easy and you are now able to edit your “Smart Paths”. A “Smart Path” is a temperature range that changes over time. There are four predefined paths and you can edit their profiles using the app. If you prefer you can deactivate the Smart Paths and just adjust the temperature directly on the IQ. I did this by accident but actually liked it more as I felt I had more control (it was like using a mini Mighty).
Being based in Europe I wanted to switch the temperature to degrees °C instead of °F. I was able to do this on the device itself (hold all three buttons for 10 seconds) or via the app settings (note, I’m colour blind so toggling this setting had no visual clue for me as the indicator changed colour. I could not see this change and I thought it was not working). Aside that, the app is great. Purely functional and no added fluff. I liked how I could start the device from the app without having to turn it on from the device itself.
To use the IQ you power up by pressing the on button five times rapidly. Having small kids in the house I like this feature but I wondered if a patient with reduced dexterity could actually pull this off. You can then change the temperature up or down or select a preset temperature via a smart path. You press the on button five more times to power down after taking a draw or two.
The IQ also comes with a stash canister that slots into the top. When you draw you pull the vapour through this canister. They say it enhances the flavour. I’m sure it does, but I imagine that when it comes time to vape the herb from this canister most of the taste and maybe some of the cannabinoids will be reduced through convection heating as the hot vapour passes through. It seems a bit of an afterthought to me and the “enhanced flavour” thing a bit gimicky.
DaVinci IQ Maintenance and Cleaning
The IQ has two opening hatches and multiple removable parts. Replacements to all these removable parts can be ordered online. The battery is also replaceable. Should the unit stop working you’re covered for a generous ten years with the guarantee.
More components meant that cleaning the IQ is a more involved process than both the PAX and Firefly. One aspect was especially fiddly, getting the zirconium ball (that is said to improve the vapour quality) back onto its rubber screw thread. On their site they walk you through the five processes necessary for a full clean. None of them are especially hard but that’s about three more processes than I would have preferred.
- Excellent vapour quality
- Built in stash storage chamber
- Poker stored on device
- Full control of temperature
- Excellent visual feedback as to temperature and battery level
- Built in USB port so no charging dock
- Solid build quality
- Clean and easy to load
- Cannot vaporize concentrates
- More involved cleaning process than other portable vapes on the market