Simplicity and style. That is what I thought when I first received the Bo Vape. For a simple pod vape, it has a lot of character in a short and slender package. Weighing in at 22 grams and standing barely four inches tall, the Bo One makes me think of the JUUL. What sets it apart are the available accessories and a wider range of flavors.
For the purposes of this review, we received the Bo One (standard version without temperature control), Bo Power, and Bo Cable sets, along with four different flavors out of the twelve that are currently available from Bo Vaping.
Bo One pod vape (refers only to Bo One, not Bo TC):
The Bo One comes pre-charged with the magnetic USB charger and 2 pods included. Inserting the pod is a simple process, but if in doubt, a user manual is included. Bo Vaping promises a no leaks system. While that may be true once the pod is inserted correctly into the device, we did notice that the pods come with an e-liquid residue which will get on your hands. In one case the tolerances on one of the pods was too large for the device itself.
The Bo One lacks the satisfying “click” when you insert a pod; in its place the inbuilt LED lights up, to show that the device is ready. And you can see your battery charge while you inhale. The fact that the LED lights up blue when the battery is full, white when you’re running at 50%, and red when it’s drained (which also happens to be the French tricolor) is just one of subtle touches that I like about the Bo One.
Although the Bo One’s battery capacity of 380 mAh (or 380 “puffs”) certainly didn’t get me through a full day of use, the One ships with a magnetic USB charger. For more flexibility, you can upgrade and purchase the Bo Cable or Bo Power separately. The latter is a sleek metal box with a charging slot for the Bo One, storage slot for one extra pod, and a magnetic leather cover which is available in four different colors.
Battery capacity for the Bo Power is rated at 1500 mAh and the company claims it is good for four complete charges. While the pick-your-own leather casing feels a bit gimmicky, I like how the box feels in the hand. Whether you’re charging direct from a USB socket, via the cable, or plugged into the box itself, all three options allow pass-through vaping.
The so-called Bo Caps are color-coded pods with a capacity of 1.5 mL. At present Bo Vaping offers twelve different flavors, all of which are produced by their parent company, J Well. The pods come in three different nicotine strengths: zero, 8 mg/mL, and 16 mg/mL in a standard 50/50 PG/VG mix. Their color coding and blister packaging makes them look a lot like cough lozenges. Still, since the pods have no branding on them the colors are practical to know which type of flavoring you’re vaping, in case you take them out or get them mixed up.
The pods have detachable rubber housing on the bottom and mouthpiece. As mentioned earlier, the pods tend to have some residue on them and you’ll want to have some paper towel handy when you insert them into the Bo One.
According to Bo Vaping, their coils are made from stainless steel and use wicking material produced by Fiber Freaks. This French company has enjoyed popularity in Europe recently for using natural wood-derived cellulose as their wicking fiber. They also produce a cellulose-cotton blend. It’s a big improvement on the Vype Pebble’s choice of silica as their wicking material, and I appreciate Fiber Freaks’ effort to make their product traceable.
One of the great advantages to using a pod vape over a vape pen for example, is the ease with which you can change flavors. It’s a simple, hassle-free, plug-and-play system. We received tobacco (MI5, Gold RX), menthol (Arctical), and fruit (Red Light) flavors. Here’s my take on them:
MI5 (16 mg/mL)
Apart from Black Note, I don’t usually touch tobacco-flavored e-liquids. MI5 is a toasted and spiced tobacco with hints of chocolate. I enjoyed it but rigorous testing led to nicotine fatigue at this strength. In comparison to vaping a similar PG/VG ratio and nicotine strength in a mouth-to-lung vape pen, I’d say the Bo One was generally milder. Throat hit was there, but not overpowering.
Gold RX (8 mg/mL)
Hands down, my favorite of the bunch. A classic tobacco aroma with notes of gingerbread. Throat hit is little more than a tickle in the back of the throat. I’m not feeling the same dryness that I did with the Vype Pebble. All in all, I’m genuinely surprised that I’m vaping a tobacco flavor and enjoying it!
Arctical (8 mg/mL)
Menthol? Normally not my thing at all. The first thing that hits me is the intensity of flavor. I get a long-lasting cool feeling through my nose, throat, and up into the sinuses. The sensation lingers for a while. Basically, I’d say this is what I always hoped Kools would taste like – but never did. Menthol wouldn’t be my go-to vape by any stretch, but this flavor has convinced me to at least think twice about menthol flavors.
Red Light (8 mg/mL)
This flavor is supposed to be a “red fruits, anise and mint cocktail”. I didn’t like it at all! The blackcurrant lacks punch and intensity, and the mild menthol tail notes are, to my taste, just disturbing. This was the only pod I had with tolerance problems with and the violet e-liquid residue was more noticeable. One thing I did notice was that Red Light seemed to produce more vapor than any other flavor.
I enjoyed vaping on the Bo One. The airflow is a lot looser than you might be used to from an MTL vape pen but vapor production is comparable to a cigarette. It certainly isn’t going to chuck clouds, but what it does offer – rich flavors which are easy to swap out – it does very well.
But, you can’t see how much e-liquid is remaining the pod while you’re vaping, so I was dreading a dry hit at some point. I did vape one whole pod right to the end to see what would happen. Vapor production was reduced, flavor changed and started to taste slightly burnt. I realized it was time to change the pod out. No dry hit. One unexpected plus for the Bo One – the caps can be easily hacked and refilled. I’m vaping one pod for the 2nd time right now and the coil is still performing well.
The Bo One pod vape is a solid competitor to the Juul device, offering an intense flavor experience. I think it’s perfect for the smoker transitioning to vaping, but as a stealth device it will attract many vapers too. But its limited battery life will make chain-vaping difficult for extended periods.
If you want the whole Bo Vaping experience however, you’ll need to purchase four different packages – the pod vape itself, charging station, USB cable, and finally a set of flavor pods, which in total will cost you around 85€. For my money, that’s too high an investment for a starter kit, and it would’ve been nice to see a comprehensive all-in-one solution offered to the consumer.
Still, I prefer the the Bo One over both the Juul and the Vype Pebble – though I am not sure how I would feel if I had to pay out of pocket. So there’s that to consider. For more information and to contact J Well and Bo Vaping, get in touch with Flora:
Flora (at) jwell-pro (dot) com