The Apollo disposable electronic cigarette is not something I use on a regular basis as I have a fair amount of vaping kit that fulfils my personal needs (see other reviews). However, I’ve been meaning to review one for a while but never got around to it. So today, I’ll explain what these are all about.
If you are new to the world of electronic cigarettes and the vaping scene in general lets get down to basics. Most ecig users start out on something fairly basic. I know I did. 5 years ago, ecigs were extremely primitive and most, if not all, replicated a real cigarette in looks if not performance. Over the years, and thanks to the personal innovation of a number of ecig users, various “mods” started to appear. Chinese manufacturers quickly picked up on these and started mass producing more durable and longer lasting products.
You see the problem with the earliest ecigs was size. After all, these things were nigh on identical to a cigarette dimensionally, thus battery capacity and ultimately life was limited to say the least – a typical battery lasting anywhere between 30 mins to 2 hours (the latter, if lucky). In addition, they didn’t hold a decent charge after a few months, so a hefty battery arsenal was always needed.
Going out all day was challenging – I’d take 4 batteries, a couple of atomizers and a bottle of e-liquid! Again, as technology advanced new products appeared. Personal Charging Cases (PCC) for example – whereby you stored and charged a couple of batteries in what looked like a cigarette packet/carton. These are still readily available and a good choice for beginners.
When it came to disposables, the earliest I recall were cigars and I suppose the e-cigar market is still dominated by disposables rather than modded cigars so to speak (I still have a Ruyan e-cigar from 2009).
Disposable e-cigarettes were available, but as kits such as the RN4081 and 910 (and later the 510) provided better performance, I never really paid much attention to them.
Fast forward to 2013 and take a look at the latest developments in e-cigs. We now have variable voltage, tank systems, repairable atomizers and a gamut of other products that make vaping so much more pleasurable. With this in mind, you’d think disposable ecigs would have died a death, but no, they have clung on and still have their place.
The Apollo Disposable ecig is one such example. It looks like a cigarette albeit a bit longer (total length 113mm/just over 5 inches) and a little fatter in girth. Because of the numerous smoking bans in place and so as not to get confused with “proper” smokers, gone is the traditional white and cork cigarette look and in comes a sleek all black finish (though you can get white if you prefer).
I ordered a Medium (12mg nicotine strength) Tobacco flavour disposable. As can be seen from the photos it comes packaged in a clear plastic rectangular box with these details on the outside.
Its a full auto suction switch design, in as much as you simply take a puff with no need to press a button to activate it (just like the old days before manual switches came about). The fake ash end piece illuminates orange and fades just like a real cigarette. That is one thing I think should be changed. Returning to smoking bans, and anti smoking zealots, surely to differentiate between real and fake (for want of a better word), the ecig world needs to get away from anything that looks like its on fire! Personally, I’d have preferred a blue or green LED, that way no confusion or hysteria is created. That is my opinion. In the plan of things its trivial, but who wants to draw attention to themselves especially when new to vaping? Questions will be asked you can count on it!
The Tobacco flavour is something special – I really enjoy this one. It reminded me of a mild Virginia or Flue Cured e-liquid – I rate this one – not harsh at all and just the right amount of sweetness. Not a hard hitting throat experience, but pleasant all the same. I have also tried a menthol version (16mg) in the past and that was okay, but I’m not a lover of menthol – this is more my thing.
This particular disposable is an interesting design, I’m not sure you could call this a cartomizer as it doesn’t incorporate the nylon wadding found in conventional cartos. Disassembling the unit it was obvious that Apollo uses a small tank pre-filled with e-liquid. The mini tank is 35mm long, half moon shaped to allow air to be drawn along its length (air enters via two holes in the LED cover), and I estimated its capacity at anywhere between 0.5-1ml. At the atomizer end of the tank is a small gauze type material which transfers liquid directly to the heating coil, which is just above the half way line of the ecig itself. All the components are contained within a clear plastic tube, which is not particularly rigid after the external wrapper is removed (the wrapper being some sort of low adhesive tape, with Apollo branding printed on it). The battery is rated at 280mAh (information gleaned form the battery itself).
Based on my experience, the battery and tank capacity will pretty much expire at the same time. The packaging blurb states “up to 500 puffs”, but I think this is a little optimistic. While I’m not slating the fact too strongly, if you expect a disposable to last any longer than what I would call “normal” use, (e.g. a night out down the pub or club), you will be disappointed (note: normal use is not 2 hours of solid chain vaping!). After all, this type of device was never meant to last for days on end – simply put, it requires no maintenance and no liquid top ups – once used, bin it. Remember, this isn’t refillable or rechargeable. Under no circumstances should you try to charge the battery.
Disclaimer: Yes, for the review I have taken a used example to pieces to explain the inner workings, but neither myself or Apollo accept any liability for damages caused by experimentation with any ecig or battery – batteries can explode and/or catch fire!
The tank is pre-filled with e-liquid and Apollo offers the following flavours: Tobacco, Coffee, Cherry, Menthol and Vanilla. All are available in the following nicotine strengths: Zero 0mg, Low 8mg, Medium 12mg or High 16mg.
So where exactly do disposables sit in the food chain? In all fairness, right at the bottom. They are still limited in battery size and liquid capacity and thus usability is restricted. Until some bright spark invents a 2000mAh battery the size of a cigarette, a reliable liquid delivery system and all at no additional cost, this is what we are stuck with.
But they are an ideal product to test the water.
If you are trying to quit smoking, but overwhelmed by choices, I’d definitely recommend trying an Apollo Disposable before investing a shed load of cash on the very latest high tech system (and believe me once hooked, you will). Likewise, some people still aren’t even aware that electronic cigarettes are a useful tool to quit or cut down. I suppose there isn’t much political or medical will to educate the masses, what with major pharmaceutical companies dominating the nicotine patches and gum market. An outrageous notion, I know… but I digress!
So disposables are primarily an entry level tester. If you like them, move onto an eGo and then maybe a more advanced model such as a Vtube or eGo VV battery. Similarly they make perfect gifts for a smoker wanting to quit and I like to use them now and again for a trouble free vape when taking a big battery mod is out of the question.
Apollo Offer – if you buy a Standard Kit use coupon code “apollo1199” at checkout to receive a FREE Apollo Disposable Electronic Cigarette (while stocks last).