The Gusto Mini is the latest product from Aspire and Halo. It’s an easy-to-use AIO style pod system with pre-filled pods. The pods are 4.2 mL pre-filled cartridges featuring some of Halo’s best-selling flavors and utilize 1.5-ohm coils. Is this the best starter kit for beginners?
Colors: matte black
Note: There is a full-sized version of the Gusto which is nearly identical to the Mini, except that it utilizes 6 mL pods (in the same flavors and nicotine concentrations) and has a larger 1100 mAh battery. The Gusto Mini pods are not cross-compatible with the larger Gusto, or vice versa.
Aspire and Halo are well-established names in the vape industry. Today we are looking at a recent collaboration between them called the Gusto Mini. It was designed to take vaping to a new level of simplicity without cutting corners on performance. Will it become the go-to device for beginners and transitioning smokers?
The Gusto Mini bears resemblance to the Aspire Plato, only it’s much smaller and simplistic. The mod is made of a plastic with a metal c-frame sleeve that covers much of the plastic body, and it weighs out to only 78 grams. When it’s in my pocket, I barely notice it’s there.
Compared to the Mi-Pod, the Gusto Mini is 9 mm thicker, 9 mm taller and only 3 mm shorter in length. It also weighs about 30 grams more, but I would still put them in a similar weight class.
The drip tip slightly protrudes on the top and is 510-compatible, so you can swap it out with your favorites. The sliding battery cover comes off completely and snaps back in without any issues. I’ve taken the Gusto Mini with me everywhere and never had any issues with the battery cover coming off. It locks together quite nicely. The pods also pop in with ease which makes it great for beginners.
The Gusto Mini is not draw-activated, it has a tiny square fire button located on its side above the micro USB charge port. The body has a window that allows you to monitor your e-juice level without removing the door. Located at the very bottom of the mod is four battery venting holes.
The pre-filled pods feature the Halo flame logo with the name of the flavor and nicotine strength. Each pod holds 4.2 mL, which is a lot of juice for a pod mod! There are 5 Halo flavors available in either 6 mg or 12 mg nic strength. Unlike most pod vapes, this one uses good old freebase nicotine, not nic salt. The PG/VG ratio is not specified, but it appears to be the original Halo juice and not the VG blend (judging by the thin consistency). The coil inside resembles a Nautilus BVC coil, so I’m expecting the performance to be quite similar.
Before using the pods, you must first remove the two silicon strings hanging off the bottom of them. This releases the juice into the section where the coil is housed. Then just give it a shake and allow the coil to soak up the liquid for about five minutes. I feel like this is a clever design, because it keeps your coil fresh and prevents the cotton wicking from oversaturating while in transit. In theory, you won’t have to worry about leaking or gurgling, but we’re about to find out how true this is…
I have been using the Halo Gusto Mini for some time now. It has been performing great so far. I have never run into any dry hits, gurgling or leaking. The flavor is on par with the Nautilus series of tanks and the vapor production is nice too. The device puts out 17 watts of power and paired with its 900 mAh battery, you get a lot of vaping time before having to charge it. I’m talking days!
There is a tiny LED light just above the charge port that lights up green, yellow or red to indicate battery strength. It seems like no matter how long I vape on this thing, it’s usually on green. The draw is a bit airy like the Mi-Pod, which is great for a restrictive lung hit, not so much for MTL.
Overall, I must say the performance is nothing short of solid. I haven’t found any major issues, but I wouldn’t recommend this to people looking for a defined throat hit. Other than that, the device works like a pod-style device, but performs like a good tank, mostly due to those coils.
It would have been nice if they included a smaller-bore drip tip, instead of two identical ones.
Note: If you’re outside of the US, you can also purchase Element NS20 pods that work with the Gusto Mini system. Note: there are higher nicotine strengths available in the Element line.
Objectively speaking, there really isn’t much to complain about with this device. The only cons I could find with it is that you’re limited to just 2 nicotine strengths and 5 flavors, for now. Apart from that, the airflow is not adjustable and it’s oddly placed (on the battery sleeve). It’s on the opposite side of the fire button, so gripping the device normally will cut off some of the airflow – you kinda have to hold it with your fingers more than totally in your palm.
If you’re wondering if the pods are hackable, they are. And it’s so easy to do, it’s almost as if they’re just refillable and not “hackable.” To refill, just take a needle and prick the rubber plug located at the top. Then pull it out. (But be careful not to misplace it!) Refill with a needle tip dropper or a syringe. The fill hole is too small for a unicorn bottle though.
I’ve refilled the pods with up to 70% VG with no issues. But ideally you would use Halo juice since it’s already a given that they work with it.
All in all, the Gusto Mini is a winner. It performs like a real mod but is small enough to throw in your pocket and forget it’s there. I’d love to see Halo produce more flavors and nicotine levels in the future. I think it would be a smart move for them to come out with a nicotine salt version of their best flavors. What do you think? Have you tried the Gusto Mini yet? What’s your experience been like so far?