The Apollo Variable Voltage (VV) eGo battery is the latest incarnation of the ever popular eGo electronic cigarette. At first glance, you maybe mistaken for thinking its just a pimped up eGo Twist, but I’m happy to say, you’d be wrong! Visually, yes, they have a lot in common, both are eGo’s after all, and both feature variable voltage, however when you delve deeper into the spec, the eGo VV is an entirely different beast. Its been refined, improved upon and honed to a level that is much more user friendly than the eGo Twist ever was.
The Apollo eGo VV simply caters to the needs of users in a way no other eGo has done previously. Its a revelation.
I’ve been using an Apollo Stainless Steel VV Vtube and Apollo eGo Superior kit for the past ten months and been more than happy with their performance, but as a gadget freak, I was intrigued by the eGo VV – its a best of both worlds device – variable voltage and eGo sleekness rolled into one. I had to get one!
Credit to Apollo, the unit arrived the next day. The box itself is a nice piece of packaging, stylish and sturdy and makes a good first impression, especially if this is purchased as a gift for a soon to be ex-smoker!
The Apollo eGo VV battery is available in a choice of three finishes: Rubber Ash, Rubber Black and for a small premium, brushed stainless steel. I decided upon Rubber Ash which is a titanium grey shade – the rubber coating adding substantial grip.
I lifted the lid and there it was. I couldn’t resist pressing the power button before I had even read the manual and the unit sprang to life (Note: as with all Apollo eGo’s the power button needs to be pressed 5 times rapidly, within 3 seconds, to fire it up). The base situated LCD display illuminated electric blue – the LED backlight is very bright and I can see this coming in handy as a flashlight! I randomly pressed the + and – buttons, but decided I should probably take a look at the instructions before proceeding any further.
Beneath the eGo VV foam storage tray (the thing the eGo VV battery sits in), is a cardboard separator. Remove this and you’ll find a Certificate of Inspection card, User Instruction Manual, a 40 inch/102 cm USB charging/Passthrough cable and two spare silicone power buttons (more on these later). No atomizers or clearomizers are included.
The 650 mAh Li-Polymer battery comes part charged, however, its always a good idea to fully charge the device before use. I plugged in the USB cable and the LCD display illuminated brightly. The eGo VV battery has a standard micro USB port built into the base and unlike some eGo USB passthroughs there is no cap to be unscrewed. During charging the four segment battery indicator cycles, then stops and when the LED goes out the unit is ready for use. Normal charging time is between 2.5 and 3 hours.
A larger capacity 1200 mAh battery is also available, but only to US based customers at time of review – hopefully this option will be added to the UK/Euro Apollo store in due course. In theory, this would provide around 10 hours of battery life (barring obvious factors, such as usage and voltage), but would add to the overall length. The standard 650 mAh battery provides up to 5 hours for a light user, 2-3 hours for a heavy user and anywhere in between for an average vaper.
When I removed the cable the LCD displayed “000”. I hadn’t noticed that when I initially plugged it in, it reset – but that aside, I was curious. I didn’t recall reading about this feature in the manual. I quickly figured out that this must be a puff counter (or a “puff-o-meter” as I like to call it), as every time I pressed the power button it increased by one unit (they don’t call me Einstein for nothing). Quite a neat idea and you’ll soon be able to figure out how many puffs per charge you can achieve. The manual says it should be 500 puffs per charge, but I’m certain this will vary – battery consumption is heavily influenced by voltage settings, atomizer resistance and usage of course. As mentioned, the puff-o-meter resets to “000” when the USB cable is inserted, but the previous count remains in memory when the unit is turned off and on again (by the power button, 5 presses).
With that figured out, I tested the voltage settings. This is very straightforward. Press the “+” button to increase voltage and the “-” button to decrease, if you press and hold, the voltage increments scroll quickly without the need for multiple presses like on the Vtube. The voltage starts at 3.0v and increases in 0.1 increments through to 6.0v and then returns to 3.0v. This is an area where the Apollo eGo VV battery has the edge over the eGo Twist, which only goes up to 4.8v max. The dedicated voltage buttons are a big improvement over the “twist” action too.
The eGo VV current limit is 3 amps which should please a lot of vapers.
To avoid accidental voltage changes press both (+ and -) buttons simultaneously for 3 seconds – to unlock hold down both buttons for 3 seconds. Again this feature is not available on the eGo Twist model.
One of the main selling points of the eGo VV battery is the ability to charge and vape at the same time. In comparison, the eGo Twist can only be used once fully charged, as it charges through the 510 threaded connector like a regular eGo. The eGo VV battery is not a true “passthrough” design, in as much as the battery needs to have some charge for it to work via the USB port, but in most instances this is irrelevant. My advice would be to charge the unit as normal and if you work at a PC all day long, keep it plugged in to continually top it up. The cable is long enough at 40 inches/102cm to use comfortably at a computer.
I filled up a CE4 clearomizer with Apollo’s Tobacco e-liquid. I prefer lower voltages and it is not recommended to use low resistance atomizers at high voltage settings for obvious reasons (burn out) so I flicked the voltage to 3.7v. Pretty much perfect vape. I tinkered with the voltage and found the 3.6-3.9v range gave consistent results without a burning taste developing. If it gets too hot and no vapour, drop the voltage, too weak increase. It all depends on how much liquid reaches the coil, how much liquid is in the tank, as well as voltage, so a degree of experimentation is required, but finding the “sweet spot” doesn’t take too long.
The LCD illuminates each time you press the power button (which also lights up via a blue LED) and remains on for about 5 seconds – so its not the stealthiest of options in a dark environment, such as a cinema. The button LED fades 2 seconds after releasing.
The unit has a 10 second activation cut off – when reached the button flashes rapidly and then shuts off power completely, thus requiring 5 presses to reactivate.
One thing that took some getting used to, was the small tactile silicone power button. It is an unusual design and completely different to the standard raised eGo button. I found myself having to actually look for it prior to pressing, until I got familiar with its location without visually reassuring myself I was actually pressing it. A small tip is to remember the button is just above the Apollo logo – honestly that helped a lot! As mentioned earlier, Apollo includes two spare power buttons (see photograph below). The bands are made of silicone (as far as I can tell) and are easily stretched to fit and can be replaced when necessary. Right now, I’m not sure they’ll ever be needed. I can’t see them deteriorating anytime soon, but their inclusion is welcome all the same. In addition, I would imagine this design offers a degree of liquid resistance, adding significant protection to the power switch and electronics should e-liquid accidentally come into contact.
I’ve been getting around 3-4 hours use out of a single charge, but be advised, higher voltage settings will reduce battery consumption as does puffs per hour – check your puff-o-meter if you don’t believe me! The battery level indicator, for me anyway, seems to lose a bar every hour, which is consistent with my usage. Talking of which, the battery level indicator is very useful (for obvious reasons) and for fear of bashing the eGo Twist (again!), its another feature that makes the Apollo eGo VV a much better personal vaporizer (PV). I suppose the only thing missing is a built in atomizer Ohms reader – now that’d be eGo perfection.
The VV electronics/display adds a bit of length compared to a regular eGo, but not in a way that makes it unwieldy to use in public. Total length minus atomizer is 4.25 inches/11.5cm and the diameter is the same as a regular eGo (14mm).
As its an eGo, its fully compatible with all eGo accessories and 510 style atomizers/tanks.
This is no doubt the best value variable voltage e-cigarette currently available. And as Apollo Ecigs offers a 30 day money back guarantee, plus a 1 year warranty on defects, its an ideal risk free introduction to the world of variable voltage e-cigs!