DaVinci has a strong reputation for designing some of the best portable vaporizers. The IQ2 is a conduction-based portable vaporizer—and their flagship model. Released in late 2019, and following up on the original IQ, the IQ2 introduced features like adjustable airflow, better battery insulation, a dosing control feature, and a fancy brushed aluminum body.
In July of 2021, DaVinci rolled out the new IQC. There was some initial confusion as to whether it was the long-awaited update to the IQ2. Instead, it’s actually meant to replace the original IQ. The latest edition shares a lot of features with the IQ2 but goes for around $66 less.
In this review, I will be testing out both side by side. I’m hoping that they both deliver the type of vapor quality I get with the DaVinci MIQRO, that I tested back in 2018. I will compare the IQ2 with the IQC, to help you decide which one is the right choice for you.
The DaVinci IQ2 and IQC were sent courtesy of Vapor.com for the purpose of this review.
The IQ2 comes in an orange box packed with accessories. I don’t normally say much about the packaging itself, but DaVinci’s packaging is on point. The kit comes with the device which includes the 18650 battery, a USB cable, alcohol wipes, and a water pipe adapter. It also includes the ceramic dosing pod, ceramic extract disc, and organic cotton rounds.
In comparison, the IQC kit is a bit more streamlined. You still get the device, an 18650, a charging cable, an all-silicone water pipe adapter, a couple of alcohol wipes, and a built-in pick tool. But it doesn’t include the dosing pod or extract kit, which are both available separately. They also offer some really neat accessories like a dosage capsule modeled after the IQ design.
The IQ2 has a few minor advantages over the IQC. The first one being airflow adjustability, which isn’t really a common feature on portable vaporizers to begin with. Only the IQ2 has a dosing feature that lets you calculate your dosage using an app. The IQ2 comes with two ceramic mouthpiece options and the extract kit for concentrates. Lastly, the IQ2 is about five grams heavier and comes with a 10-year warranty versus the 5-year warranty with the IQC.
The biggest difference on the IQC is that it does USB-C charging, hence the C. It doesn’t monitor dosages or have adjustable airflow, but it charges up a lot faster! The vapor chambers are identical on both, but the cap on the IQC’s chamber is made of silicon versus ceramic on the IQ2. The included mouthpieces are silicon, but the ceramic options are available separately. The magnets on the door of the IQC are a little stronger and feel more secure when you close it.
Both devices feature a shiny white ceramic herb chamber. It’s not removable, but just about everything else is. That includes the vapor chamber, the battery, and the mouthpiece. Every DaVinci vape that I’ve tested comes with a pack tool that tucks in discreetly under the hood.
Other common features include the adjustable dosing pearl, which helps conduct heat for micro dosing, four pre-set Smart Paths, and the option to dial in specific temperatures. Last but not least, both the IQC and IQ2 include water pipe adapters for vaping on bongs.
Smart Path temperatures
Smart Path 1 (HIGH-NOON): 350-370 F
Smart Path 2 (SUNSET): 370-390 F
Smart Path 3: (MOONLIGHT) 390-410 F
Smart Path 4: (SANDMAN) 410-430 F
Both IQs share the same triple-button interface. So, if you know how to use an IQ, you can use the IQC. In fact, the interface hasn’t changed since the first IQ and MIQRO. There is a power button, the up and down adjustment buttons, and that’s about it—it’s pretty intuitive.
Here is a rundown on how to use the IQ2 and IQC using the Smart Paths or in Precision Mode.
After browsing DaVinci’s YouTube channel, I learned about the sandwich method. What a game changer! It combines the best of both worlds—concentrates and flower. I find that the clouds are extremely dense and flavorful, even at the max temp of 430 F! If you’re not a heavy dabber, adding that small chunk of concentrate (or kief) can make for some dense and flavorful clouds.
DaVinci vapes perform best with a nice firm pack. It’s a lot like the PAX in that respect. After all, they both rely on conduction. You really need to pack this thing to get some serious clouds. However, I couldn’t help but notice the difference in vapor output between both devices. And I tried everything. The same bud, the same dosage, the same temperature. I swapped parts, did a factory reset on both. But for some reason, my IQ2 performs slightly better than my IQC.
It’s possible that I just got a defective IQC, because I noticed that two of the LEDs are permanently lit, which makes it harder to read the numbers on it. Sadly, I also had a technical issue with the IQ2. It shut down on me randomly a few times while it was heating up! I did a factory reset but it persisted. It vibrates, the lights flash once, then it just turns off.
Apart from those technical issues, the actual vapor performance itself was great. The zirconia ceramic makes for some excellent flavor, and you can get some really dense clouds if you crank it out to the higher temp settings. The IQC heats up quicker and charges quicker than the IQ2, and it’s more affordable. But from my experience, the IQ2 has a slight edge in terms of performance. When I use them on a bong, the difference in vapor density is most obvious.
The silicon mouthpiece on the IQC is a slight downgrade in flavor from the ceramic one on the IQ2. Not by much, but ceramic zirconia is just better for flavor. I still give them props for going with a microbial material, and the one-piece design makes it easier to install. If you settle with the IQC, I would suggest upgrading the mouthpiece and WPA for a few extra bucks. And I strongly recommend the dosing capsules. They are available in ceramic and stainless steel.
Both the IQC and IQ2 come with the same purple 18650. They remind me of Efests. Expect about an hour of run time, although that may vary depending on your temperature settings. For example, if you only use the first Smart Path versus running it at 430 F for the full duration, you should get more running time. I’m still able to get five or six sessions running it maxed out for the entire time.
When it comes to charging times, it’s another story. The IQC charges up in two hours while the IQ2 takes close to five hours via micro-USB. But they both do pass thru charging. Of course, you can also use an external 18650 charger to always have a fully charged battery on deck. The battery door is a little annoying to deal with, but it stays shut so I can’t really complain.
Cleaning the IQC and IQ2 is a very similar process. After a few sessions, the IQs will begin to accumulate resin. That’s very common with most vaporizers, and usually occurs the most around the mouthpiece area. I like to use a clean Q-tip after my session to unclog the mouthpiece and wipe off some of the resin that inevitably forms inside the device. I suggest doing that while it’s warm. If you wait too long, you can always use the included alcohol pads.
To do a full clean, you’ll want to take everything apart. Start by removing the mouthpiece. For the IQ2 mouthpiece, be sure to detach it from its silicon base. The IQC mouthpiece has a simple one-piece design. You can also remove the vapor chamber and pack tool to soak them as well.
While the small parts are soaking, you can clean out the inside of the device carefully with a Q-tip or pipe cleaner. Don’t use your device until all parts have been thoroughly rinsed and dried. I’m starting to see some permanent discoloration in the herb chamber, but that’s inevitable with heavy usage. The dosing capsules can help slow down the process, but won’t prevent it.
Before this review, I was expecting the performance on the IQ2 and IQC to be identical. But there is a clear winner and it’s the IQ2. It didn’t just produce higher quality vapor. It has adjustable airflow and better flavor out of the box versus the IQC. It’s unfortunate that my IQ2 randomly shuts down on me, but I will be contacting DaVinci in regard to that and the IQC issues I had.
I thought this was going to be another “Which one is right for you?” comparison reviews. If you asked me today whether you should get the IQC or IQ2, I will tell you the IQ2. Straight up, it’s currently the best DaVinci vape on the market—no wonder it’s still their flagship model. As much as I love the upgrades on the IQC, I look forward to seeing them on the inevitable IQ3.
I’d love to hear about your experience with DaVinci vaporizers. Do you think the IQ2 outperforms the IQC? Leave a comment below.