South Beach Smoke Review
South Beach Smoke is a well-established name in the world of electronic cigarettes. Founded in Florida in 2010, the company gained an initial following and started amassing a loyal customer base. They’ve recently updated their product, aiming to offer an improved battery and higher-quality cartridges than when they were a hungry young start-up. The old three-piece Premium model (with a reusable atomizer) has been replaced with the industry-standard two piece design. If you’re considering making the switch to e-cigs or switching manufacturer these improvements (including the now US-made cartridge ingredients) are a big draw for South Beach, but is it really worth the investment?
South Beach Smoke and EverSmoke are both manufactured by the same company, so in terms of performance there is undoubtedly some similarity between the two e-cigs. Frankly, the biggest difference is a cosmetic one, with the South Beach Smoke battery colored paper-white and sporting the faux rings many companies opt for, in comparison with the more technological appearance of the EverSmoke.
The Deluxe Starter Kit comes with a Standard and High-Capacity battery (either manual or automatic), a USB charger and five cartridges. It’s currently priced at $59.99 on special offer (at time of writing, March 2013), putting it right in line with brands like Green Smoke in terms of price.
- Great vapor production
- Ten flavor options
- Super max battery technology
- Responsive battery, with the High-Capacity lasting for a day of vaping
- High-quality manufacturing and US-made e-liquid
- Good charging time
- Automatic and manual switch options
- Smooth draw
- Compatible with EverSmoke
- Some of the flavors are a little too subtle
- The battery design is bland and unimpressive
- Slow recharge rate
Packaging and Design
The South Beach Smoke Deluxe Starter Kit doesn’t rock the boat in terms of design, opting for the cardboard case with magnetic closing clasp like the majority of companies. It’s sleek and black in color, overlaid in a bright, electric orange. Behind the logo, there’s a multi-colored, spiraling smoke design which looks like a DNA double-helix as designed by somebody twisted on LSD. The two batteries sit in felt-lined foam on the top layer, and the remainder of the starter kit is sat in some molded plastic in the bottom of the box.
The e-cig itself is two-piece in design, with the cartridge end screwing securely onto the battery, leaving only two thin gaps for air-flow. It’s pen-sized and generally cigarette-like in appearance, although on the whole it’s quite heavy. The tip has the diamond style often favored over the more bland grey plastic, lighting up in pale amber as you inhale. In practice, it isn’t really bright enough to see light up, aside from two tiny holes in either side of the tip. The biggest set-back in terms of design is the large logo on the battery itself, which is the entire company name (which stretches around half the length of the Standard battery). It’s overkill, since the “O” logo with smoke emanating from the center would have been more than adequate.
You get a choice of five nicotine levels with the South Beach Smoke e-cig, ranging from No Nicotine, to Ultra Light (6mg), Light (12mg), Full Flavored (16mg) and Bold (24mg). The 24mg option is great for heavier smokers or vapers looking to make the switch, but the absence of an 18mg option is unusual. It’s not really much of an issue (as there’s one with only 2mg less nicotine), but keeping them evenly spaced apart would make it easier for anybody who wants to manage down their consumption.
Flavors and Vapor
You get plenty of vapor with the South Beach Smoke e-cig, easily comparable to V2, Green Smoke and the other market-leaders in this department. It’s smooth on the draw, with a satisfying throat-hit and a comforting cloud of thick white vapor. The standard advice – to prime automatic batteries with a few short puffs before using – isn’t even necessary with the South Beach Smoke e-cig, as even a single drag gives you more than enough vapor to fulfill the sensory desire. It’s a dense fog, easily comparable to what you’d expect from a puff on a tobacco cigarette – no complaints in this department at all.
Flavor-wise, the South Beach Smoke cartridges vary wildly. The three tobacco options, Blue, Classic and Gold, are well-executed on the whole, although the Turkish tobacco inspired Gold has the musty edge you’d expect, which slightly ruins the taste, for me at least. The Menthol cartridge is a powerhouse, so much so that vaping it at length is a bit of a challenge, like someone firing a volley of ice fragments directly into the back of your throat. The Peppermint is the savior for their minty cartridges, offering a much more manageable and refreshing hit of icy mint. The sweeter cartridges (Vanilla, Cherry, Chocolate, Piña Colada and Peach) are on the whole well done, but pretty much all of them don’t quite taste as strongly of their intended flavor as you’d like. Cherry is probably the best of the bunch for the sweet flavors, but there are better versions elsewhere. The EverSmoke cartridges work with South Beach Smoke e-cigs, though, so there are more options than these available.
The battery on the South Beach Smoke e-cig was the primary focus of the improvements, so now they run at 4.2 volts, in comparison to the standard of around 3.7, which contributes to the impressive vapor production. If you use the extended battery heavily, it will run out after around four hours. In practice, this means that in normal conditions, it’s plenty for a full day of vaping. It’s also very responsive, with no lag issues when you inhale and driving the atomizer (the small heater which converts the liquid to vapor) quickly and effectively.
The Standard length battery (which should realistically be referred to as “short”) doesn’t last as long, but can get you through an evening if you drain the main one while you’re at work. Bear in mind that manual batteries generally run out 25 percent quicker than automatics. They charge pretty quickly, with the smaller battery taking around two to three hours and the larger one taking up to four. The charger is the USB pen-drive style, with a multicolored LED light to tell you when it’s done.
Manufacturing and Warranty
The fact that the ingredients for South Beach’s smoke juice are made in the US serves as a stamp of approval for their quality. Although the batteries are manufactured in China, the quality of them isn’t in question. If there is any doubt, the warranty is impressively robust for anybody enrolled in their Home Delivery Program (which gives you a regular supply of your favored cartridges), offering a lifetime of replacements for any non-functioning components. If you’re not enrolled in the Home Delivery Program, you get this same offer but only for a year. Overall, they’re fantastic in this department.
The South Beach Smoke e-cig is one of the best e-cigs you’ll find on the market, but there are a couple of issues which hold it back. The design is a little inelegant, with the grey logo on the battery making the entire thing look a little bland (even compared to its sister e-cig, EverSmoke), and the flavors are hit and miss. However, with the level of vapor you can expect, plenty of nicotine levels and a responsive battery, it’s still hard to fault overall as an e-cig. It’s definitely worth checking out other options, but you won’t be disappointed if you decide to go with South Beach Smoke.
South Beach Smoke User Reviews
South Beach Smoke Review,