Austria: land of the Blue Danube, Schnitzel, and… pod mods?
My. Von Erl is a draw-activated closed system pod mod produced by the Austrian firm Von Erl. Its specs are similar to many other pod mod systems out there (Juul, Phix, Juno, MyJet, etc). It boasts a 350 mAh battery which is recharged via the micro USB port on the base of the device. The Von Erl features a black matte ceramic finish which is smooth to the touch and ergonomic in the hand. The device forgoes the hard angles and USB stick inspiration of much of the competition. Von Erl pods are 1.6 mL in capacity and offer (at the time of writing) a total of 47 flavors to choose from. The starter kit includes one pre-filled pod, USB charging cable, and the Von Erl itself. It sells online for $29.99. A pack of two replacement pods sells for $8.99.
How versatile is the Von Erl system? Let’s vape on it and find out…
Disclaimer: We received the My. Von Erl starter kit along with seven Liquidpod Packs from Von Erl for the purpose of this review.
My. Von Erl Gallery
My. Von Erl Specs and Features
- My. Von Erl pod mod
- 1 x Von Erl Tabak pod 18 mg/mL
- Micro USB cable
- User manual
- Size: 106 x 18 x 10 mm
- Battery capacity: 350 mAh
- 1 amp charging
- Pod capacity: 1.6 mL
- Coil resistance: 1.5 ohm
- Wicking material: cotton
- Nicotine levels: from 0 up to 36 mg/mL
- 47 different flavor pods available (12 from Von Erl / 35 from other manufacturers)
There are no bells and whistles when unboxing the Von Erl starter kit. The sample device we got came with the “Classic” tobacco flavored pod, at 18 mg/mL nicotine. I have no complaints about the looks of the Von Erl. Its ergonomic rounded profile and lack of sharp corners feels more natural in the hand and mouth than other pod mods. The device feels stable and can stand upright on a flat surface without falling over.
The Von Erl is a simple device, easy to get started and use. Insert a pod and you’re good to go. There’s no signature “click” when inserted, no LED indicator lighting up. The tolerances on the pods we received seem fine, although the moutpieces don’t always sit flush on the device itself. The gold-plated coil posts extend to the base of the pod and make direct contact with the battery pins when connected.
Replacement pods come in pack of 2, and PG/VG ratios as well as nic levels vary depending on which of the 47 available flavors you choose from. At present a 2-pack will set you back $8.99. That’s 9 bucks for 3.2 mL of e-liquid, working out to a price per mL of $2.81. As MTL pod mods go, this is almost as cheap as it gets. Unless, of course, you get to refilling them yourself.
Along with the standard “Tabak” flavor that comes in the starter kit, we received seven different flavor pods from Von Erl. Here’s our take on them:
They say: Inhale the icy freshness of menthol with a delicious blueberry note.
We say: Does exactly what it says on the tin. Instant coolness on the throat from the menthol, with an unmistakable blueberry note on the tail end.
They say: Delicate Bourbon flavor combined with a sweet caramel note.
We say: sweet but not too sweet, this creamy caramel flavored vape is complemented nicely by the nicotine kick. Ideal with a strong, short coffee.
They say: A refreshing harmony blending sweet and sour lemon with cool mint tones of eucalyptus.
We say: Sweet and sour it may be, but harmonious? The lemon has a sharp, tangy taste that irritates my throat, but there is a menthol note in there. Reminds me of eucalyptus cough drops.
They say: A delicious tropical blend of ripe mango and tender apricot.
We say: Waiting forever for mango-flavored pods to resurface? This might be something for you. A equally balanced mix of apricot and mango, with a hint of menthol on the throat. My only complaint is that the fruit could be a touch punchier.
They say: A tropical mix of pineapple and coconut with a subtle note of chili spice.
We say: Tastes a lot like a piña colada. The coconut flavor is more like coconut cream, and the pineapple, although minimal, comes through subtly. Can’t say I taste a chili note though.
They say: Traditional vaping pleasure with the strong taste of pure tobacco.
We say: a dark tobacco flavor with a slightly sweet note. Probably my least favorite flavor of the bunch. At 18 mg/mL it’ll get the job done though.
They say: A classic blend of warm aromatic tobacco and cool refreshing menthol.
We say: The tobacco note is significantly cooled down here by the strong menthol flavor. Ever so slightly earthy, it’s not my pick of the bunch, but it’s not bad either.
In conclusion, I think Von Erl has done a decent job with their in-house pods. All the flavors have their own personalities, and most importantly, the pods are built well enough to faithfully transmit those flavors when you vape them. My picks of the bunch: Bourbon Caramel and Tabak Vanilla.
How it performs
First up, the Von Erl is intended to mimic the sensation of smoking a cigarette. As such it is an MTL device, unlike some of its larger cousins like the Mistic 2.0, Xolo, Kimsun Air 10, or the Hilo. The inbuilt coils have a resistance of 1.5 ohm and as such I am reminded of Innokin’s Prism coils for the T18 vape pen.
The Von Erl offers a warmer vape than some other pod mods, most notably the Juul. In my opinion flavor is richer and fuller on the Von Erl, but I find that has a lot to do with temperature, even in a tiny pod mod.
The Von Erl is draw-activated. And the draw is fairly tight at that. It’s not as restrictive as the Phix, the Juno, or the Bo One. I take a few consecutive drags and the draw does get airier as you go.
Vapor… does the Von Erl chuck clouds? Of course not. It’s a pod mod! But of similar MTL pod mods I would say the Von Erl is up there. It’s definitely more vapor than the Juno, Phix or Juul. It’s about the same as the Bo One.
An LED indicator flush with the bottom edge of the device lights up when you inhale. The indicator changes color, from green (60-100%) to yellow (20-59%) to red (0-19%), to indicate battery life. Many pod mods have a similar LED indicator and they all suffer from the same design flaw – how can you see the light while you inhale without going cross eyed? At least here the LED is at the bottom of the device, as far away from the mouthpiece as possible.
Finally, thank you Von Erl for going the user-friendly route and opting for a micro USB connection. Any cable will work, and that’s gotta be better an improvement on some magnetic proprietary charger which costs 10 bucks to replace. Even with 1-amp charging, the sample device went from empty to the full charge in just over 30 minutes.
Refilling and hacking
I am not usually a fan of tobacco flavored e-liquids, nor do I enjoy vaping at 18 mg/mL. I wanted to assess the Von Erl in terms of performance alone. But that’s hard if you can’t stand what you’re vaping on. As I didn’t like the standard “tabak” flavor pod in the starter kit, I decided to try refilling.
To my surprise, the pod was unbelievably easy to open and refill. The pods seem to be robust, and it’s a shame to throw a perfectly good coil and wick away that can handle another 10 mL or more of e-liquid.
- No issues with leaking
- spitback / e-liquid in mouth
- Wide range of flavors in different PG/VG ratios and nic strengths from different producers available
- Device feels well made
- Ergonomically sound
- Among the cheapest price per mL for pods out of the bunch
- User-friendly micro USB port
- no proprietary charging nonsense
- Pods are refillable
- Battery life indicator difficult to see while in use
- Price hike on pods (used to be $9.95 for 4 not 2)
Initially I didn’t like the Von Erl very much. But the more I use it the more I feel it’s up there as one of my favorite pod vapes. Build quality and form factor are positive. Pods, while raised in price, won’t cost you an arm and a leg as they do with other similar systems. The ergonomics feel natural and suited to a human mouth unlike some other pod mods, where the designer seems to have thought their destination was a USB socket. Another massive plus is the range, for a closed system, of e-liquid flavors available. If you don’t like one, there’s almost 50 more to choose from. And if throwing away a perfectly good pod with a decent 1.5-ohm coil and cotton wick seems like a waste to you, they are an absolute cinch to refill and rewick.
My. Von Erl offers a moderately tight MTL draw similar to a cigarette, and I think it’s a solid option for anyone looking for a closed system vape – which is open enough to hack.