The Mate 1 by Vapeccino is a refillable pod vape shaped similarly to a beefed-up JUUL. With two available 1.5 mL pods for the device, the Mate 1 tries catering to different vaping styles. One for a cigarette-type draw and one for producing more vapor with a loose and airy draw. Making things more intriguing, Vapeccino uses a “nano tech” plating process that makes the pods’ coils appear golden, which is supposed to be resistant to coil build-up. According to Vapeccino, this GCT (Golden Core Technology) will last several times longer than Kanthal and provide a “purer taste.”
Pprice: $25.99 for the kit, and $6.99 for two empty pods
Colors: Legend Black, Eagle Grey
Promises, promises. We are constantly told that some new device or technology is going to blow us away with an earth-shattering vaping experience. How often does it pan out that way? Particularly with pod vapes, not very often.
There’s a lot the Vapeccino Mate 1 promises which got me hopeful that it might just be the one. Features like two draw-specific pods, golden coils (supposedly resistant to coil build up), pure flavor, vibration technology, fast charging, etc.
After using it for a couple months, I can say that it does outperform many refillable pod systems I’ve tried, but it also misses the mark in a few of its advertised features.
Really good but it has some issues. Not a swing and a miss, but not a homerun either. Luckily, Vapeccino seems hellbent on making this product all that it can be. They’ve been receptive to what needs to change — which is refreshing from a manufacturer.
With an industrial-chic design, the Mate 1 looks great on the screen and even better in the hand. It has a somewhat similar appearance as the JUUL e cig, but it’s thicker and about 17 mm taller by 4 mm wider. It’s also about 2 ½ times the weight of the JUUL. The Mate 1 is still a basically a stealth-size device but it feels much more rugged and substantial.
The finish on the battery housing has matte top coat (like a faux media blasting) that seems durable and resistant to wear and tear. But after using the device now for a couple months (and one a I got more recently), I’ve noticed a few tiny nicks in the finish along the edge of the battery revealing the bronze metal underneath. It’s not excessive chipping, but it’s relatively easy to scratch through the paint job if rubbing up next to anything else metal.
Included with my review sample, I got both types of pods for the device. MTL pods and a DL pods. Apparently they’re of different resistances, but it’s undisclosed. Whatever your pod of choice, the Mate 1 battery automatically adjusts the power depending on the resistance of the one inserted.
The 1.5 mL pods fit into the battery housing with perfect tolerances and a satisfying snap. No lose or wiggly pods here! And the liquid window is easy to see through due to the angular window slots. In general, these pods are designed quite well.
To use the pods, just pull out the fill plug (blue for MTL and white for DL), and fill with any dropper you have — though I’ve found it’s best filled with a unicorn bottle or needle tip if using a thicker juice. And unlike devices like the Suorin Drop or the Smoking Vapor Mi-Pod, the plugs can be easily lost since they’re not anchored to the pod. Luckily, the stoppers are much easier to handle than the ones in the Kandypens Rubi. Each fill plug little has a little protruding tab that makes them easy to and hold.
As noted in the intro, Vapeccino uses what they call “Golden Core Techology.” It’s a plating used on the coils that is supposed to resist carbide, a.k.a coil gunk. By resisting build-up, the promise is a longer lasting coil with improved performance. Up to this point, I have gotten as many as six refills on a couple pods before flavor dropped off. That’s not a lot. And at 1.5 mL per pod that’s still only 9 mL before needing a new one.
So does GCT work? I have taken a pod apart to check out the coil. There was little to no build-up, but the coil had lost its performance nonetheless. Who knows? Maybe “GCT” really does resist build-up, but that doesn’t appear to be the only thing that diminishes a coils performance. So the Mate 1 can deliver good flavor, but not for very long.
Setting aside the Golden Core Technology, the MTL pods have been – mostly – a pleasure to use. The draw is close to the JUUL (just a tad looser), but you get a much more substantial hit: both vapor production and throat hit. The hit with nic salts is off the charts, and the flavor has been noteworthy. I can’t say the taste is “purer,” but it’s definitely good! I just wished the pods lasted longer. And although I have gotten zero leaking, misfires, or gurgling, I have gotten a few bad dry hits that happened for no apparent reason.
An even bigger problem for me than the low coil-life is the airflow to the DL coils. The airflow comes in from the top/sides of the pod which is above the coil. What that means is there will be more airflow, but it thins out the hit after the vapor is produced. It vapes similar to those drip tips that came out a while ago with adjustable airflow. That’s not the right place to increase airflow unless erasing flavor is okay with you.
Like most other vape devices, the Mate 1 uses LEDs to indicate battery life. Green is for 100%-60%, blue is for 60%-35%, and red is for 35% to fully drained.
I wish there was an easy way to quantify how long the battery lasts, but I can say that for similar devices with similar battery capacities, the Mate 1 seems to last longer (irrespective of the coil resistance used).
While I can’t measure the battery life how I want, it’s easy to test how long the battery takes to charge. This thing charges super-fast! I clocked a full charge at 23 minutes.
The vibrate function is activated each time you put in a pod. It’s a quick pulse of vibration. It’s cool, I guess. The first run of the device vibrated when it wanted, and luckily that’s been changed now. The remaining problem is that the vibration feature is kinda pointless.
The Mate 1 can produce a really good vape, and it has an ambitious design. But the coil life is not as advertised, and the DL pods are ill-conceived. I still hold out hope though considering the company has been really receptive to the issues I’ve had.
When this thing is good, it’s really good! I do like using refillable pod vapes, and my initial impressions was that it’s deserving to be listed above the Suorin Drop, the Rubi, and the Peas, but that is still undetermined. For this device to be as good as it can be, it will come down better coil life, and a redesign of the DL pods (or maybe just getting rid of them altogether?). Either way, all other minor issues are par for the course. It’s possible that with a few tweaks, the Mate 1 could be a beast of an MTL pod vape.