The first time I saw a vape with an app, I was very excited. The original make of the first brand I encountered with an app, the Firefly, underwhelmed me. But with iPhone-based controls and some other new features, it seemed like the second edition would be a game-changer.
Well, I didn't really like the Firefly 2, which I found buggy. That feeling is not universal—the Portland Mercury's cannabis columnist called it "the best portable vaporizer on the market," after getting the exact same review model I had—but for me it that opinion is rather deeply held. I've been a loyal Pax man since.
Well, the DaVinci IQ ($275) might finally flip me. This handheld loose-leaf vaporizer is one of the sleekest I've yet seen.
And that starts with the app. While the forthcoming Pax 3 also has an app, it's not yet ready to link to the latest Pax, which has the same body as the Pax 2.
The DaVinci IQ's app is up and running, and boy is it slick. It's totally intuitive, makes a connection as easily as Bluetooth headphones and allows you to set up custom preset paths to bake the most out of any particular flower over a set time period. It heats up fast—about 2 degrees per second—and displays the temperature on a retro-futuristic array of dots.
There's not many details to talk about with the app, which is the highest compliment you can give it. As far as I can tell, it's accurate, gently toasting at 300 and charring a little once you move above 400. If you keep it up near 420 for any length of time, it also runs too hot to hold comfortably in your hand.
The body is about the size of a slide-open cellphone with nice rounded edges and a reassuring heft. It's a bottom-loader with a battery that recharges inside the device by micro USB.
Like the Firefly (but unlike the Pax), it has a ceramic bowl and air path, which I find very easy to clean. At least when it's new, a few taps leaves it looking like it did when it left the factory. I also found it makes for tastier vapor, a little smoother and milder than you get from flower baked in metal.
Like Pax, the DaVinci line makes a wide range of accessories, from a keychain pick to a little cloth carrying case. At least for now, little goodies like that $15 carry case, an adapter for glass, and a little aluminum bud box come with it, which definitely left me feeling like a baller.
Once the Pax 3 and app are fully operational, it'll be interesting to compare and contrast the two. But if you're shopping around, you should definitely check out the DaVinci.