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Freemax GEMM 25W Pod Kit Review: Too Lightweight?

Spyros Papamichail
February 10, 2020

Product intro and specs

The Freemax GEMM 25W is a relatively compact and super lightweight vape that stands somewhere between a starter kit and a pod system. The mod houses a 1300 mAh battery and a chipset that allows you to pick between three levels of power output. The package includes two disposable vape tanks and according to Freemax, one of them is for DL and the other for MTL vaping—but more on that later on.

That’s the third kit Freemax has made, after the Twister and the original GEMM. I’ve reviewed both of their previous kits, and they were a mixed bag when it comes to build quality and performance. Let’s see if the GEMM 25W is a step in the right direction.

This kit was sent to me free of charge from Freemax for the purpose of this review.

Price: TBA
Colors: Black, white, red, blue

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 121 mm x 25 mm x 24 mm  
  • Weight: 66 grams
  • Max wattage: 25 watts
  • Pod capacity: 2 mL
  • Battery capacity: 1300 mAh
  • Material: SS904L / PCTG
  • Thread: 510

Kit contents

  • FreeMax GEMM 25W Pod Mod
  • FreeMax GEMM Pod (MTL 1.0 ohm)
  • FreeMax GEMM Pod (DTL 0.5 ohm)
  • Replacement silicon plug
  • USB charger
  • User manual
  • Warning card

Build quality and design

Freemax Gemm front and back

The Freemax GEMM pod kit is a super lightweight kit, possibly the lightest there is in its size. The mod weighs around 50 grams, and the full kit weighs 66 grams. The mod has a rounded rectangular shape and with the tank on, is only a bit larger than the Voopoo Vinci Air. Being lightweight is usually a good thing for a vape, but with this weight and in this form factor, the GEMM feels really cheap. My first impression out of the box was that it feels like a plastic toy, and the colors aren’t helping either.

I received the blue and the white editions. All colors are glossy, and each comes with a sticker with different types of geometric shapes on the back. The shapes are silver on a black background, and the stickers make the device feel even cheaper in my opinion. In fact, the only positives I can find about the build quality of the mod, is that the texture of the sides make it easy to grip and that the button is firm and clicky. All in all, I’d rather carry a smaller but heavier device with me instead.

The disposable tank that comes in the kit is also plastic and lightweight, but it seems well-built as far as disposables go. The airflow control ring is smooth and grippy, the silicon plug is easy to work with, and the non-replaceable drip tip is comfortable—although it may stand in the way when filling up the tank. The GEMM tanks are not a marvel of engineering, but they’re easily the star of the show when put next to the mod. But that says more about the mod than it does about the tank.

The GEMM 25W mod

Freemax Gemm in red, blue and white

Outside of the fact that it is plastic and lightweight, there’s not much more to say about the mod. As far as operation goes, five clicks turn the device on and off, and three clicks change the power level. There are three power levels soft (red), medium (blue) and hard (green), and the wattage they will put out depends on the tank used.

As with the original GEMM, the chipset seems to be fine-tuned to the two tank options, and Freemax doesn’t specify exactly how the device operates regarding output. The one thing I can say is that it seems to be a direct output device and will be noticeably weaker when the battery reaches the 25% level.

I tried the mod with the Innokin Zlide tank, using the 0.5-ohm and the 0.8-ohm coils. I was able to use the 0.5 coil at the lower setting, and the 0.8 coil at the two higher settings. It seems that the mod is picking between two power settings depending on the resistance, and the cut-off for the two settings is anywhere between 0.5 and 0.8 ohms. My experiment didn’t provide many answers, but at least know that if you want a lightweight but top-heavy setup, you can certainly use the mod with the Zlide—although I am not sure why you would want that to begin with.

The GEMM pods

Freemax Gemm pods

The kit comes with two disposable tanks in the box. Freemax is calling them pods, and I am pretty sure that they do that to avoid the negative connotations of disposables. But in any case, outside of the 510 connection, there’s not much setting these tiny disposable sub ohm tanks apart from your average pod. They have a silicon fill port, they house a coil, and you need to dispose of them as soon as the coil stops working as it should. In fact, they are closer to pods than the tiny RDAs of the IPV V3-mini. So let them be pods—and let’s agree that the waste these tiny tanks produce is comparable to the waste produced by an average pod.

There are two pods/tanks included in the package:

  • The Freemax GEMM MTL pod (1.0 ohm)
  • The Freemax GEMM DTL pod (0.5 ohm)

According to Freemax, the coils are made out of military grade SS904L and the wicks are tea fiber, which seem to be the two main characteristics of Freemax’s 3.1 coil tech.

Let’s start with the 1.0-ohm tank. Freemax calls this tank MTL, but I can assure you it is not. It is a very cool, underwhelming restricted DL vape, even at the high power setting. The only reason to use one of these is if you absolutely have to direct lung higher nic—in fact, it is so weak that you should be able direct lung almost anything. It just doesn’t produce enough vapor. I managed to go through one tank on this coil and quickly swapped it for the 0.5-ohm tank.

Freemax Gemm battery and pod

The 0.5-ohm tank on the other hand, is not bad at all. Flavor is clean, crisp and reminds me a lot of the original GEMM tanks. These tea fiber wicks seem to be the real deal. And the coil certainly lasts for long. Freemax lists the lifespan at 10-20 fills, and I easily went over ten fills with a relatively clean juice.

The coil feels a tiny bit underpowered even at the high level, but I tried it at 30 watts on another mod and got a dry hit after a couple of puffs. I suggest starting with lower nic at the high power setting and adjusting to taste. I had no problem using up to 20 mg nic salts at the mid and low power settings, but I mostly used it with 3 mg regular nic at high.

But I came across an annoying issue when using the 0.5-ohm tank. With the battery freshly charged at the mid and high power levels, the device often produces a high-pitched sound. I don’t know about you, but I don’t enjoy vaping on a device that produces any type of noise, so I did most of my tank testing on another mod. For what it’s worth, once the battery or the GEMM mod falls under 50% the sound goes away—along with the performance of the battery.

Battery life and charging

Freemax Gemm charge port

The Freemax GEMM 25W houses a 1300 mAh battery, which is more than I expected from a device that weighs like a feather. You can see the battery level on the front of the device every time you press the firing button. Instead of the commonly used LED colors, the GEMM shows battery in percentages—100%, 75%, 50% and 25%. When the battery is depleted, 25% will flash 20 times.

As for battery life, I tested the GEMM with the 0.5-ohm tank on. I managed to squeeze three refills in a charge, but the vape was pretty weak for the last mL or so. Three tanks in a single charge sounds impressive, but remember that the tanks hold 2 mL of juice. Still, 6 mL is not bad at all, and the GEMM seems to be very efficient with the use of its battery.

The device took a little bit over an hour to fully charge. It could have been faster, but that’s actually a step in the right direction for Freemax—the Twister and the original GEMM charges surprisingly slow. It also supports pass-thru, so you can vape while it is plugged in.

Pros / Cons

  • Super lightweight
  • Very compact for a kit
  • Easy to operate
  • Great flavor on the 0.5-ohm tank/pod
  • Good coil life
  • Efficient battery use
  • Firm clicky button
  • Tanks are built well (for disposables)
  • Has pass-thru charging
  • Kinda large for a pod system
  • Looks and feels very cheap
  • Tanks hold just 2 mL of juice
  • 1.0-ohm tank is not MTL
  • 1.0-ohm tank is an underwhelming vape
  • Lack of info on power settings
  • Weird sound from mod when using the 0.5-ohm tank at the mid and high power settings

Verdict

I wish this was a more detailed review, but there really isn’t much to discuss here. There are some things that the GEMM 25W kit does right. It is lightweight, the 0.5-ohm tank produces great flavor, coil life is above average, and it has solid battery life for its size. But you can have all these in a number of pod systems or small starter kits, and choose one that doesn’t feel like a plastic toy.

I really feel that Freemax has taken the wrong route here. I kinda liked the Twister (although I keep getting comments about faulty units on my review), but the original GEMM came with a subpar mod, and this one is a straight up no from me. They either have to step up their kit game, or stick to the one thing that they really know how to do—making great sub ohm tanks. Out of all the parts of the GEMM 25W kit, the 0.5-ohm tank is the only worthwhile purchase in my opinion.

My first attempt at vaping came back in 2009 on some of the first cigalikes to ever reach Europe. A couple of attempts -- and vaping tech generations later -- I managed to quit smoking in 2016, and have since then developed somewhat of an obsession with all things vaping. When I am not consuming vape reviews I am either tinkering my NBA fantasy teams or playing board games with friends.
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