XOLO Preview: Changing the World of Vaping

XOLO aims to change the vaping world through its self-titled device that emphasizes simplicity, style, and ease-of-use, while offering a strong experience.

15
XOLO in pink

It's Time For a Change

XOLO wants to change the vaping world in a major way. The company’s upcoming, self-titled device is a bold attempt at combining the satisfying experience of advanced vaping devices with the simplicity of a cig-alike. While other companies have attempted this in the past, XOLO is doing so with an emphasis on style and user experience. Here’s a look at the device and the novel way the company is approaching vaping.

Straight Outta Cuppertino

XOLO enjoys Japanese food
XOLO enjoys Japanese food

Like many of us, XOLO founder & CEO Dr. Taman Powell started off vaping on cig-alike products. Like many of us, he wasn’t fully satisfied with cig-alikes and moved onto more complex devices — RDAs, RTAs, variable-wattage box mods, etc. Although he hasn’t had a tobacco cigarette since he started vaping, he wanted to find a way to bring the experience of advanced devices to anyone that wants to quit smoking.

In many ways, XOLO’s approach to vaping reminds me of Apple’s approach to consumer electronics and computers. The latter has made billions of dollars by offering highly capable consumer electronics that are easy to use and most people find attractive. XOLO’s mission is similar; it wants to offer a beautiful and easy-to-use vaping device to the mass-market consumer.

At XOLO we love vaping, it’s really amazing and a much nicer experience than smoking. But we feel that people outside those using advanced — and probably complicated — devices don’t get to experience this. So to coin a phrase from Apple, we really wanted to make a vape device that “just works.” A device that doesn’t require you to carry around a bottle of liquid. A device that doesn’t require changing coils or cleaning tanks in an ultrasonic cleaner before you change flavors. Basically in building XOLO we just wanted to make vaping as easy as possible without sacrificing the quality of the vape experience.

- Dr. Taman Powell, XOLO founder & CEO

Whether it’s a smoker in his seventies or a tech-nerd in his twenties, anyone can figure out how to use a XOLO vape. You simply slide the mouthpiece up and puff away. The flavor pods used with the device can be removed and changed in a matter of seconds. When it’s time to charge, you slide the mouthpiece up to reveal a USB Type-C connection. The user experience of the XOLO is simple as can be, which should help give it an exponentially broader reach than the rebuildable atomizers and temperature-control box-mods that so many of us love.

While enthusiast devices can be great and fun to experiment with, they’re daunting to those just starting out with vaping. A simple device like the XOLO is potentially more effective at converting people from smoking to vaping than a complex device, simply because it’s easier to use.

Vaping With Style

XOLO blends in
XOLO blends in

Let’s face it. The vast majority of advanced vaping devices look distinctly like vaping devices. While that’s completely fine with many enthusiast vapers, using an unusual and foreign-looking device is unappealing to the mainstream.

Remember what most MP3 players looked like before the iPod? They ranged from gangly to goofy to flat-out ugly. They didn’t resemble other types of electronics people used. It can be argued that digital music didn’t truly take off until the iPod and iTunes made it more appealing to the masses.

This is another aspect of XOLO that reminds me of Apple. The company has designed something that looks great and blends in with the other devices people use.

We’ve worked hard to make the style of the device more “fashion” as we believe that one of the other factors holding back vaping adoption in the wider smoking market is that the devices are not aesthetically appealing to this market. The design is quite ambiguous and we’re producing in a range of colors and also teaming up with great graphic designers to provide even more options.

- Dr. Taman Powell, XOLO founder & CEO

Don’t get me wrong. There are some beautiful vaping devices out there. Stabilized wood box mods are gorgeous, but a tiny sliver of the overall market. Looking at my Vapor Flask Stout and Billet Box v4 makes me happy. That said, most of the vaping devices on my desk (and living room and kitchen, etc.) look like ugly Chinese electronics. As much as I love my custom Hammond box mods, they look like pieces that were made by a talented high-school student in shop class.

The XOLO vape is made primarily from polycarbonate and will launch in three finishes — black, grey, and white. The device is smaller than a full pack of cigarettes. In some ways, the XOLO reminds me of a much, much better looking version of the Kimree Kimsun Vaportridge JS328.

Whether you think it’s a legitimate consideration or you think it’s nonsense, aesthetics matter. Many people choose their consumer electronics based off of looks, rather than specs. To get more people to stop smoking and start vaping, a beautiful device is needed. That’s what XOLO is trying to be.

Flavors and Vaping Experience

XOLO at a wine date
XOLO at a wine date

In terms of flavors, XOLO will have more than 40 available. The company’s press release notes that it will have “mints, desserts, fruits, spices and blends — from independent small batch specialist producers in the UK and US.” I was told that some of the “best and biggest” brands in vaping will have e-liquid pods for XOLO.

While I’m digging that XOLO is emphasizing aesthetics and ease-of-use in order to reach a broad audience, I have no idea how it vapes. The company claims that it will offer a “high-performance” experience, but I can’t say for sure until I’ve tried the device. Thankfully, that should be happening in the near future.

I’ve just come back from China where full scale production is well underway and we will be launching throughout the US in just over a week. The device is really pretty amazing. It weights about 85 grams, has a 10-ml pod with around 40 flavors for the US, with more in other geographies. And of course it provides a great vape.

- Dr. Taman Powell, XOLO founder & CEO

XOLO will be launching next week in the US and the company will be making a special presentation at The Vape Summit. I’m anxious to see if the vaping experience matches the device’s slick style and effortless ease-of-use. To see more of the XOLO, check out the image gallery and video below. I’d love hear your thoughts on it. Do you think that the company has a chance to change the vaping world with this device?

XOLO Image Gallery and Video

SHARE
Raymond Padilla
Raymond Padilla is a level 26 Pokemon Go trainer, a longtime journalist, and an accomplished verbal entertainer. Kindly visit him at his personal website "RPadTV" (linked above) or his various social media accounts (linked below).
  • Jim McDonald

    Based on the people involved with this product, I have a lot of confidence in it. The trick is going to be finding distribution in places that sell cigarettes. Because the goal is to go after smokers in a serious way — something that hasn’t been taken seriously by advanced vapor product manufacturers for a long time. Let’s all cross our fingers. If something could come along that really breaks through and gets smokers excited about vaping, it could help us win this fight.

  • robert rawmbo

    Seems to have potential to vape those deeming clouds away!

  • Alen Đuderija

    Shove it up your ass OK 😉

  • 10mls? Thats not going to get past the TPD, at lease DEA’s version is 2ml and leak proof…

    • I would be surprised if the company didn’t have a TPD-compliant version in the near future.

  • As a carry-around it seems like a great idea. Loving the design, and the ease of slipping the mouthpiece down to shut it off/having it protected in a full bag of things… Only trouble I see is: Part of what I enjoy about the current products is being able to randomly mix liquids when I feel like it. I.e. I’m vaping a liquid, and half way through I feel like it want more vanilla, so I just open the cap and pop a few drops in. Pre-built, sealed, pods don’t allow you that flexibility. I’m also concerned about the additional trash we would generate, as we do now with pod style coffee machines… Lots of used pods finding their way to landfills and oceans.

  • Jack Thomas

    This is a fantastic idea. It’s not aimed ad the hobbyist, like many of us, but at the folks who want to use vaping as a means to an end. Someone who just wants to get off analogs. We all know cigalikes don’t work after maybe the first 3 puffs off a fresh battery. If this guy is a serious vaper (and from that drawer it looked like he is) then he’ll have a device that delivers throat hit, flavor and vapor production. They put the coil in the tank (pod) and with 40 flavors, most folks will find something they like. I’ll bet it’s right at an ohm or so and runs around 20-25 watts, There’s no messy juice fill (but it wouldn’t surprise me if a rebuildable option becomes available), you pop it in and go. I didn’t see mention of an MSRP, though. It should probably hit the market at $50 or so to really be attractive to it’s target market.

    • Thanks for the comment, Jack! You’re absolutely right about the target market. The idea is to appeal to a broad audience that wants to quit smoking. The MSRP for the launch product is $65.

      • Jack Thomas

        Well, with not being able to say things about it being safer than cigs, or a way to get off cigarettes, you’re going to need to get a bunch in people’s hands quickly to be successful. You’ll only really be able to rely on word-of mouth or vape shops for selling. And owners will probably want to price it at $100 in B&M shops. I’m not saying $65 is too high for the device, because it’s probably not for a quality device. But IIRC, a Jule (jewell?) is some $20+ cheaper and it works too, based on reports I’ve seen.

        I’m hoping something can be figured out as a way around the fedgov regs so equipment like this can be marketed effectively as a smoking-cessation product. I always SMH and go back to the same thing: there are people in and around our government that are willing to kill people for money.

        • The Juul works quite well for getting nicotine quickly. I don’t think that vape shops are the key in this particular case. This product is intended for a broader audience than the one vape shops serve. Getting broader distribution would be huge.

          • Jack Thomas

            That’s what I mean by getting it into a lot of hands quickly. Once you can create a buzz, folks will go to vape shops looking for it, but I think you need to get a bunch into the hands of your target market first. Lets say the 40 year old person who is completely turned off by cloud bros, building coils and the like, but wants to quit.

            I’m an accountant, not a marketing guy, but I’d assume there are tools you can use to figure out who those people are. If you can get offers into some of their hands to get it for cheap enough (say $35 to start – same price as a carton) then a buzz builds off of your early-adopters and people start saying “This helped me quit!” That’s when your real storm builds and you sell the units at your MSRP to the largest number of people. I just don’t know how you do that. It’s an interesting problem to think on – for me anyway.

  • Dave Rycroft

    Yes it looks interesting but is it just mouth to lung or can you do straight lung hits as well

    • It’s difficult to tell without using it, but it appears you can do lung hits. Are they satisfying? I have no idea yet.

  • Vapelife

    with this type of closed system, you are pretty much restricted to buying products only from the maker which can be 1. expensive, 2. distribution issue; other than the site where can they get the coils? can they source additional parts locally?

    current vaporizers are built on a universal system that allow the customers to source their own parts for much cheaper (coils). this is a cute product but i don’t see it going very far. i can see someone using this at first but then going back to a higher-output device bc it just performs way better.

    • What “coils” are you talking about? The only “parts” you need are the e-liquid pods.