V2 Cigs has a lot to live up to. Their reputation is basically flawless, with droves and droves of reviewers reaching for the hyperbole and issuing full star-ratings at every conceivable opportunity. It’s widely regarded as the best e-cigarette you’ll find on the market, but you shouldn’t be sold on the hype alone. With so many options for e-cigarettes, V2 Cigs has to produce something genuinely spectacular to stand head and shoulders above the rest.
V2 Cigs should have included a higher nicotine level, and their warranty isn't quite what it seems. Now that’s over with, there is nothing to complain about. The vapor production, battery life, flavor selection and manufacturing quality are superb.
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Cartridge quality assurance technology
Longest battery life in the industry
Excellent vapor production
Automatic & manual switch options
Cool battery color options like metallic blue
Refills & e-liquid available
Warranty covering up to five replacements
Other brands have a more cigarette-like appearance
Is it worth picking up?
It’s actually very difficult to criticize the V2 Cigs offerings. The full, thick vapor, realistic throat hit, quality of construction, depth of flavor, battery life and range of accessories they offer are pretty difficult to fault at all.
The newer EX-Series devices and the refillable clearomizer-style cartridges improve things yet further. The only real downsides to their cigalike offerings are the downsides to any cigalikes, mainly that the battery life and vapor production are better in devices like the V2 Pro Series 3 and 7, but for what they are, V2’s devices are still right at the top of the pack.
Perhaps there is some element of personal taste involved – with Green Smoke’s more cigarette-like offering being a notable alternative – but V2 Cigs definitely lives up to the hype.
V2 was founded in Florida in 2009, making them one of the early players when the industry was first swelling in the United States. They’re proud of their reputation as America’s number one e-cig brand, and this is enough to make many newcomers consider the brand. While they’ve expanded into larger, higher-end devices with the Pro Series, the cigalikes they made their name for are still the backbone of what they have to offer. For those looking for the cigarette-like form factor, they remain one of the most widely-recommended options on the market.
The V2 Standard Kit ($39.95) comes with an automatic and a manual battery, USB Smart Charger, wall adapter and ten flavor cartridges. The Ultimate Starter Kit ($99.95) ramps this up to 25 cartridges, and also throws in a car charger, a USB-powered battery, another battery, a metal carry case, a portable charging case and a lanyard. Either way, you get everything you need to start vaping, and you’re free to choose the lengths of your battery.
V2 Cigs Packaging and Design
The V2 Cigs Ultimate Starter Kit comes in a formidable box, clad in their sleek blue, grey and white branding. It’s well-constructed and sturdy, with a magnetic clasp to keep the lid tightly closed in transit. It feels a little like you’ve received a package from the future, with the sci-fi worthy “Your Life. Version 2.0” tagline sitting proudly alongside their logo on top of the box. Inside, a cardboard cover frames the three batteries, which are held firmly in place by a felt-covered plastic mold. Lifting it up reveals the assortment of accessories separated into compartments. On first glance, it’s hard not to be impressed.
Their e-cigs feature the industry-standard cartomizer style cartridges, so the e-cigs are all two-piece. The KR-808D1 threading means that V2 Cigs is compatible with many brands such as Vapor4Life and Premium Vapes; pretty much the majority of cigarette-like e-cigs use the same threading. Aesthetically, they've gone against the convention of including faux-cigarette paper rings around their battery attachments, with options in sleek chrome, metallic blue and plain black or white. While this decision might not sit comfortably with smokers looking for a flawless emulation of the experience, it doesn't take long to get accustomed to a more sci-fi like appearance. The pieces screw together nicely, leaving four thin gaps in the thin silver band for air-flow.
You get a choice of battery size when you’re choosing the options for your starter kit, and you can also select manual or automatic batteries. Automatic options work just like a cigarette – you inhale from the tip to activate the battery – whereas on manual devices you have to press a button to activate it. The buttons fit in well with the overall design, and don’t detract from the look, and they’re probably the better choice (even though it might not seem like it for a just-switching smoker) because they’re generally more efficient in operation. Overall, it’s also better to go for long batteries (for improved battery life), although these take the appearance even further away from that of a traditional cigarette.
With the EX Series, they’ve released the EX Blanks cartridges, which are basically clearomizers that work on V2’s batteries. Instead of the obscured cartridge, you get a clear-bodied tank, with a tip which unscrews to allow you to fill it with e-juice. This is a great option for anybody who wants to save money in comparison to pre-filled cartridges, because you can re-use them whenever they run out. The cartridges have the coil at the top of a central stem, and there’s a gauge on the outside so you can easily see how much juice you have left. This is a great addition to their product line-up, bridging the gap between entry-level and more hands-on devices.
They’ve also released some standard-style cartridges for the EX Series which are compatible with ordinary V2 batteries. These are much like the original cartridges, but they’ve been improved in terms of design – now offering 400 + puffs-per cartridge in comparison to 250 for the standard cartomizers, and having a little oval-shaped window in the side so you can see how much e-juice you have left at-a-glance. You can’t pick these up as part of your starter kit, though, unless you opt for the (slightly more expensive) EX Series starter kit.
Overall, the construction is solid, and the distinctive branding is emblazoned on both the cartridges and the battery. The LED tip lights up and dissipates with your inhalation as you’d expect it to. To prevent you consuming too much nicotine the e-cig shuts off temporarily (shown with three LED blinks) if you take a drag of over 10 seconds in length. This may seem like something of an irritating limitation, but realistically you’ll very rarely (if ever) run into this in practice. Try inhaling for more than 10 seconds and see how well it goes; it’s obviously possible but far from comfortable.
There are five options for the amount of nicotine in your V2 Cigs cartridge, Zero, Light (6mg), Medium (12mg), Full (18mg) and Strong (24mg). If you’re interested in gradually reducing your nicotine intake, this provides you with ample steps on your journey to freedom from nicotine addiction. The Full cartridges will provide plenty of nicotine for all but the heaviest smokers, for whom the additional 24mg option is beneficial. This is a fantastic extra from V2 – since the strongest option previously wasn’t available but was added to meet the needs of the heaviest smokers. On the other side of the nicotine spectrum, the Zero option is great for retaining the sensory experience when you’re free from nicotine.
V2 Cartridge Flavors and Vapor
In terms of vapor production, V2Cigs is genuinely comparable to a tobacco cigarette, and it holds its weight with (and potentially even exceeds) the big hitters for vapor like Green Smoke. You create thick clouds of vapor, particularly if you use a manual battery or prime the automatic one with a couple of introductory puffs. The throat-hit is robust and satisfying, but it remains a smooth vape that won’t irritate you over time. As with most e-cigs, the vapor production tends to be a little better with the manual battery, but the trade-off is that it will generally need charging a little sooner.
Even if you’re a tobacco-smoker thinking about making the switch to vaping for the first time, you won’t be disappointed with the amount of vapor you get with V2 eCigs. As always, the cooler vapor means that the throat-hit won’t be quite the same, but the thick fog of vapor you produce will definitively satisfy your sensory cravings. For anybody that’s used other e-cigarettes before, the dense vapor is extremely impressive. Vapor production really is one area in which V2 Cigs stands head and shoulders above anything else in the category.
For the newer cartridges in the EX Series, this is improved even further. The cartomizer-style EX batteries are basically comparable to the older models, but there is a definite uptick in vapor production. If you really want maximum performance from your e-cig, though, the EX Blanks are really a step above what you’d get otherwise, with the airflow feeling a little looser and the vapor production increasing alongside it. The result is easily comparable to what you’d get from a larger, eGo-style e-cig – like V2’s Pro Series 3 – but still offering enough simplicity in operation to be suitable for new vapers. Again, you’d have to pick these up in addition to your kit, but if you’re looking for top-notch performance, it’s definitely the best way to go.
V2’s flavor profile is extensive, with three tobacco blends (Red, Sahara and Congress), three minty varieties (Menthol, Peppermint and Green Tea Menthol), several for your sweet tooth (Vanilla, Chocolate, Cherry, Cola and Grape) and Coffee.
The Camel-esque Sahara wins out over the Red blend for imitation of popular cigarette brands. It emphasizes the iconic elements of the Camel flavor, like a caricature you instantly recognize despite the exaggerated features. It might lose out a little in terms of the authenticity of the taste of the tobacco, but the characteristic flavor is there alongside a touch of sweetness that really helps the flavor go down smoothly.
The Marlboro is a good representation too, but lacks the sheer weight of flavor for my tastes. It does have something of the Marlboro Red taste to it, but doesn’t evoke your memories quite as well as the Sahara does with Camels. The other tobacco blend, Congress (modeled after Parliament), is a potential favorite – reducing the decision between it and Sahara into the realms of personal preference. It’s more of a generic-tasting tobacco blend, but the result is definitely enjoyable. Admittedly, though, I never smoked Parliaments so I can’t make much of a comparison to the real deal.
Menthol is the strongest minty variety, but the cool Peppermint is more pleasant to vape thanks to the touches of sweetness topping off the flavor. The green tea menthol is an interesting flavor, but green tea is a fairly challenging taste on its own and the addition of menthol just piles on more complexity. The result could be just the thing you’re looking for, but for me, while the menthol alone would have a satisfying, cooling edge, the green tea totally spoils it.
When we get to the fruitier and sweeter flavors, things get a lot more interesting. The Vanilla and Coffee cartridges are pretty standard e-cig flavors, and both are definitely enjoyable to vape – although the coffee could use a little more of a punch for my tastes. Vaping Cola is a bizarre experience, and although you’ll recognize the overall taste it’s more like the gummy cola bottles you find in candy stores than the drink.
The grape is well-replicated, and definitely has a mouthwatering fruitiness, but the flavor itself is fairly mild, and the cartridge has this issue too. The chocolate is pretty well captured, and although the taste is slightly generic, it has a richness and overriding sweetness that makes it hard not to enjoy. Out of the sweet and fruity flavors, though, the Cherry takes the prize for accuracy to the intended taste and the sheer depth and complexity of the flavor. Overall, it’s an excellent selection.
In addition, V2 Cigs now offers all flavors in e-liquid form too – which is great for anybody wanting the V2 flavor to go with their mod or eGo. You need to buy big (50 ml) bottles if you want 24mg juice, but 18mg is more than suitable for most smokers looking to make the switch. You can also use these e-liquids with your V2 battery with the addition of some blank cartridges or the clearomizers they've started to offer. Both of these require filling, but the clearomizers give the entire thing a more eGo-like appearance and allow you to quickly gauge how much liquid you have left. Regardless of the way you’d prefer to do things, these options from V2 really give you more choice in the way you vape.
Comparing Cartridges: Classic, EX, and EX Blanks
Here's a chart comparing the three different types of V2 cartridges based on puff count, internal structure, usage type, and aesthetics. The V2 EX Cartridge turned out to be the best option based on our testing – not only does it deliver more puffs but every puff is smoother and richer in flavor than the V2 Classic and V2 EX Blank.
The battery life on both the manual and automatic varieties is more than adequate, with the standard length offering around 200 puffs and the extra long withstanding around 300. In capacities, the standard length offers 250 mAh and the long offers 380 mAh. The EX-Series batteries offer 300 puffs from just a 280 mAh capacity, which is really only a benefit because you get better vapor production.
Regardless of the battery you choose, it will be enough to keep you going through much of the day, with the longer one in particular having a lot to offer more intensive vapers. As mentioned earlier, however, you can generally expect the manuals to drain around 25 percent more quickly than the automatics. The LED tip flashes fifteen times when it’s empty and you simply screw it in to the USB charger.
As is customary, the number of puffs per battery is under ideal conditions, but most vapers will get the majority of a day’s worth of use out of each charge – even if not 200 to 300 puffs. It’s better to take your spare battery out with you if you’re a heavy user, although if you have the long battery this is less likely to be necessary. Plus, if you get the USB-powered e-cigarette and the portable charging case you’ll never be without something to vape. You’ll always have to take a little hit in the battery life department with a cigalike e-cig, but V2 keeps you well-covered through spares and accessories.
If battery life is a particular concern for you – and it’s definitely something to think about if you’re happy to deviate from the cigarette-like appearance – the V2 Pro Series 3 boosts the capacity of the battery to 650 mAh, and the V2 Pro Series 7 goes even further than that. This is a bit more of an investment, but they’re definitely worth considering if you want a top-end device.
V2 EX Series Battery Review
The new V2 Cigs EX Series battery promises improved performance, with a larger capacity so you can vape for longer between charges and a unique battery level indicator, but is it really worth picking up?
The e-cigs V2 produces are targeted at the just-switching smoker, but the new V2 EX Series battery sees them trying to bridge the gap between first-generation and eGo-style devices a little; offering something a little more substantial but still retaining the simple, screw-in-and-vape style operation. This could mean the EX batteries are among the best cigarette-like options available, but only if they’ve managed to improve on their standard line of products. We put it to the test to find out if it’s a bold step forwards or just more of the same.
The all-new battery has a capacity of 280 mAh, and runs at 4.2 volts. It’s responsive, well-built and very long-lasting given its size. However, it must be said that the long battery from V2 does have a larger capacity of 350 mAh, and the EX doesn’t really offer much of an improvement over the standard length battery which provides 250 mAh. It’s slightly shorter than the long battery, but other than that the five tiny battery level indicators are the only definitive improvement. It’s a nice feature, but the EX Series battery is also more expensive than the long option, so it might not be the best option if lifespan is what matters to you.
V2 Cigs claims it offers up to around 300 puffs, which is an exaggeration (it always is, but it’s particularly obvious in this case because the claimed puff-count for the long battery – with a 40 percent larger capacity – is “300+”). Realistically, you’ll get 200 to possibly around 250 puffs out of it on a full charge. In practice, it’s the sort of thing that can last you the whole day at work as long as you don’t chain vape. You get a constant visual reminder of how much battery is left through the five LEDs, so you’ll always know when it’s wise to take a spare with you anyway. In addition, charging is relatively quick too, taking around three hours over USB.
The V2 EX Series battery performs extremely well, looks pretty cool and has a neat new feature in the battery level indicator, but it must be said that it doesn’t offer a great deal extra. The long battery is cheaper, also performs well and has a larger capacity, leaving the decision between the two quite difficult. If you want something slightly smaller in size that still performs extremely well, or if the battery level indicator is an absolute game-changer for you, then the V2 EX batteries are definitely worth trying, but if you want maximum life-span at minimum cost, it’s probably better to go with the older, longer battery. However, the V2 EX Series battery – consider on its own merits – is a great option for anyone wanting something cigarette-like but with a better battery life; it’s easily one of the best first-generation options available.
Manufacturing and Warranty
The quality of the manufacturing with V2 Cigs is something that can’t really be called into question. They engineer their own products in California and Florida, and every component goes through rigorous testing protocols before going on sale. Every assembly plant they use has to meet their stringent standards, and this level of care is evident when you screw together one of the e-cigs and have a puff. Everything fits together snugly and works perfectly; the batteries firing fiercely with every puff and charging comfortably. Little extras like the short wire on the charger (which makes it much less precarious than the pen-drive style options often provided) gives the impression that V2 really takes the customer into account.
An additional feature is the batch testing report which is available for free on cartridges, disposables and e-liquids. They chemically test all their e-liquids as part of their quality checks, and you can simply enter the batch number and email address to access your free PDF. This provides all the nitty gritty details, but the very fact that this service is offered reveals that they’re proud of the quality they offer and you’re liable to be impressed with the results.
V2 Cigs offers a lifetime warranty, but there are some limitations in place to prevent abuse of the system. It only covers five replacements, which isn’t ideal (in the very unlikely event that you actually receive a consecutive string of six defective units), but won’t really pose an issue given the manufacturing quality of the products. The usual guidelines apply for replacements – you aren’t covered for consumable components, like cartridges, disposables or e-liquids – and you can’t claim if you’ve modified or otherwise misused your e-cig.
Some believe that the five-cartridge limitation renders this not a lifetime warranty, but the offer of five replacements for defective products doesn’t have an expiration date provided that you’ve made a purchase of cartridges or e-liquid within the last 90 days. This is pretty much guaranteed if you’re using V2, so will last for life.
Disclaimer: You must be of Legal Smoking Age to buy and/or use V2 Cigs products.