The Maxpod is Freemax’s first compact pod system. Well, it takes replaceable coils, so from a technical standpoint it is an AIO. But everything about this vape screams “pod vape”. It is a draw-activated device that comes with two MTL mesh coils that have “nicotine salts” written all over them, and small pods that hold 2 mL of juice.
I wasn’t a huge fan of Freemax’s latest low output vape (the GEMM 25W), but the Maxpod seems like a comeback opportunity. Keep reading to find out if Freemax’s knowhow in the coil department translates well in a vape that fits inside your palm.
Price: $29.99 (at Element Vape)
Colors: Black, white, blue, green, yellow, red
I received the green, yellow, and red editions, and the first thing I noticed when I took one out of the box is how heavy it is. It’s not heavy in the real sense of the word, but it is certainly heavier than I thought it would be. Maybe it is just that I expected a plastic construction, while the Maxpod is made out of steel and zinc alloy. From a size and weight perspective, it lies somewhere in between the SMOK Novo and the SMOK Nord. It is very portable without sacrificing build quality.
The Maxpod employs IML technology in its construction, which is some type of a labeling/molding process that’s supposed to offer “brighter colors and more comfortable grip”. Not sure what’s up with that, but the Maxpod sure is bright and comfortable to hold, so I am guessing that IML works. I’m not loving the generic diamond-ish logo, but that’s obviously subjective.
The mouthpiece is very comfortable, and the pods are held in place with a pair of powerful and snappy magnets. The only two minor issues I faced with the pods of the Maxpod is the dark tint and limited capacity. Monitoring juice levels is not the easiest thing in the world, and 2 mL on both the TPD and the non-TPD edition is a little on the low side.
Last, and probably least, Freemax is including a lanyard in the box. I never use lanyards, but those who do will sure find it useful. I’ll add it in my lanyard box for now.
The Maxpod is a very simple and beginner-friendly device. To replace the coil, just take the pod out of the battery and pull the coil out from the bottom. Make sure you drip 4-5 drops of e-liquid inside the new coil before inserting it in the pod. Then pull the small rubber plug and fill the pod with juice.
Filling can be a bit messy at times, because the pods are too thin, and the coils take up a lot of space. You’ll need to tilt the pod to make sure that juice reaches the other side of the coil. Make sure you fill the pod slowly and you won’t have any issues with it.
Once your pod is full, just leave the Maxpod aside for five minutes to let the coil saturate. After that, you just need to inhale on the mouthpiece and you’re good to go.
What I noticed when I first started using the Maxpod is that the sensor has a kind of a break-in period. Out of the box, it felt a bit too weak, and required a bit of lung power to get it going. But after a couple of charges it feels much more responsive. That’s for two of the units I received, as the yellow one started even weaker and still hasn’t taken off. Freemax is not exactly and industry leader when it comes to QC, so I hope that weak units do not become a common occurrence.
The Maxpod comes with two mesh MTL coils in the box. They are both fitted with FM SaltCoilTech 2.0 which features a “honeycomb mesh & flax cotton & organic cotton formula”.
The draw on both coils is MTL, but certainly not of the very tight variety—although you can tighten it even further by closing one of the airflow holes with your finger. It’s very similar to the draw of the original Novo, although the 1.0-ohm coil of the Maxpod produces warmer vapor making more satisfying overall. Another advantage of the Maxpod over the Novo is the constant output it features. It only starts to cool down when the red light appears, offering a very consistent vape throughout.
The included 1.0-ohm coil burnt right after I refilled it for the first time which, sadly, happens with a lot of pod vapes lately. I tried two more coils out of the 5-pack and they gave me no issues whatsoever. The first one lasted for six refills, and the second one is still going strong after five refills. The only complaint I have is that I had some juice in my mouth when using it in a non-upright position, but it didn’t happen that often so it’s not a major issue whatsoever.
The coil handles 70 VG without a struggle, and I think that the nic strength rating by Freemax is legit (up to 12 mg freebase and up to 30 mg salts). My 9 mg 60/40 juice works great with it, and 30 mg is more than satisfying on that coil—although a couple of my smoother 50 mg juices were vapeable on it.
Now let’s talk flavor. For most simple auto-draw AIOs a general statement about good flavor would suffice, but for this one I need to elaborate a bit. The flavor I get from the 1.0-ohm coil of the Maxpod is downright impressive! As far as stock coil MTL vapes go, this is top notch flavor—it’s not far from the flavor I get from tanks like the Zlide or the Nautilus 2S. I get all the flavor notes out of my juice, and even though Freemax suggest using the 1.5-ohm coil for tobacco juices, I’ve been vaping tobaccos non-stop on the 1.0 coil. Freemax knows coils, and it shows on the Maxpod.
As for the the 1.5-ohm coil… I honestly don’t see much of a use for it. It is a weaker and less flavorful vape, and even 50 mg salts feel a bit underwhelming on it. If that’s all you are vaping on, it’s not a bad coil. It handles 70VG, seems to last as long as the 1.0-ohm coil, and the battery will last you a bit longer with it. But it’s nothing to write home about and it’s easily overshadowed by the other coil.
So, to sum it up: the 1.0-ohm coil is great for flavor and mid-strength nic, while the 1.5-ohm coil is alright for flavor, but I’d only use if I absolutely had to vape 50 mg. The flavor and hit I get from the 1.0-ohm coil make it a clear winner for me.
The Maxpod charges through a mini-USB port that’s placed at its side. The light shines red while it charges and turns off when the charge is complete. I timed a full charge at 45-50 minutes, which is not bad at all—especially considering that many previous Freemax products took a long time to charge (see Twister). Then again, it is just a 550 mAh battery. Running the numbers, the Maxpod seems to charge at a rate that’s close to 1 amp.
The LED light functions as a battery indicator and shows charge levels when you’re vaping:
These percentages seem a little misleading to me. The white light doesn’t stay on for long, and the red light certainly doesn’t come up at 30%—I’m guessing it appears at around 10%. The main takeaway from this is, as soon as you see the red light, it’s about time you plug the Maxpod in.
I really wish Freemax had given this device a larger battery—if SMOK managed to fit 800 mAh on the Novo 2, I’m sure the Maxpod could have had a similar capacity. On both coils, I went through around one pod (2 mL) on a single charge. Note that it took a lot longer to finish the pod when using the 1.5-ohm coil, so it can be an option for longer days out. When using the 1.0-ohm coil, I felt safer leaving my place with two of them in my pocket.
Overall, I really enjoy using this device. It feels like a heavier, better-built Novo—and that’s a good thing. It has a similar feature set, the same type of draw, and it’s not much larger either. But the thing that really sets it apart is the 1.0-ohm coil. This coil produces flavor that’s miles ahead.
Outside of a battery that’s not made for chain vaping, the only real con I found has to do with Freemax’s quality control. I really hope that the weak sensor on one of my devices was not a sign of things to come. I will keep an eye on the comments section and will update the review if reports of faulty units start appearing.
With that in mind, I can recommend the Maxpod to anyone after an easy to use, pocketable pod vape for MTL. It has quickly become one of my daily drivers and I keep getting surprised by the flavor I get out of these tiny 1.0-ohm coils.
What do you think of the Freemax Maxpod? Let me know in the comment section.