No, this is not a heat-not-burn device. The Innokin EQ FLTR is a pod-based AIO that can be used with a biodegradable soft filter, allowing it to closely mimic the experience of smoking. And while it is not the first of its kind—vapes with soft filters have become increasingly popular in Europe in the last couple of years—it is the first one to come from a company with the reach of Innokin. This means that filters, coils, and pods will be readily available for a long time, and buyers will also receive better customer support down the line.
Innokin products have always been great for transitioning smokers, due to their ease of use and inconspicuous design. Keep reading to find out if the EQ FLTR continues this tradition, and if it is the pod vape to help you quit smoking in 2021.
Price: $17.99 (at Element Vape)
Colors: Ruby red, storm grey, stealth black, azure blue, rose gold
The EQ FLTR comes in eco-friendly recyclable packaging, and I was very happy to see that Innokin has adopted this packaging all across their product range. The carton box is made out of paperboard, and all accessories come in paper bags. They have even retroactively applied this packaging to older products, which is great and worthy of two thumbs up.
As far as build quality goes, the EQ FLTR sure is a well-made device. While it is compact and lightweight, it’s not one of these vapes that feels cheap. I’m happy they went with an aluminum alloy for the construction, and the paint job feels very solid. I also loved that the branding is practically non-existent. There are only two logos at the lower part of the device, one “Innokin” and one “EQ FLTR”, both almost transparent.
The pod is also very well-made, and it’s transparent enough to allow for monitoring e-juice levels without using a light source. You can tilt the device to see how much juice you have left or check through the small window that’s near the top of the battery.
It’s worth noting that the soft filters work as advertised. They are a bit smaller than the filters of standard cigarettes—they are almost identical to the filter of a slim cigarette—but that shouldn’t be an issue. As far as vapes go, that’s the closest you can get to the oral sensation of smoking. Finally, there’s the lid that protects the filter tips, which is a great idea. It does give the device a lipstick vibe when used, but it is a very useful accessory. It also has a hole for a lanyard and clicks satisfyingly in place and won’t come off the device on its own.
Overall, the EQ FLTR is an inconspicuous device that’s very well put together. There’s nothing to complain about from a build quality perspective, and the simple design is a great fit for beginner vapers.
As far as AIO vapes go, the EQ FLTR is one of the easiest to operate. You can start by filling the pod, but I’d advise priming the coils first. Just push the pod in and twist it 45 degrees to the left. Take it out of the battery and twist the bottom part counterclockwise to remove the base. You can now drip 3-4 drops of juice inside the coil and set it aside for five minutes to saturate. The coil is screwed on the base, so you’ll need to unscrew it to replace it.
To fill the pod, just unplug the silicon plug from the side of the pod. You will need to slightly tilt it to fill it up to the top, and it may get messy if you are not careful. When putting everything back together, slowly twist the pod until it lines up with the gaps on the battery. Then just push and twist clockwise to secure it.
Operating the EQ FLTR is very straightforward. There are no buttons at all, just inhale on the filter tip or mouthpiece to vape. The filter will get soggy after going through a couple of pods, and you’ll need to replace it. Make sure you don’t throw the airflow reducer away along with the old filter—I did this when I replaced the filter for the plastic mouthpiece, but thankfully, filter packs come with one inside.
The EQ FLTR fits the coils of the Sceptre, but the only one compatible at the moment is the 1.2-ohm coil. I tested this coil in the Sceptre review and it felt a bit too weak, producing cool vapor with lackluster performance in the flavor department. The game-changer here is the airflow reducer, which finetunes the draw. With the reducer on, the 1.2-ohm coil has a smooth MTL draw, not super tight but definitely not as loose as it felt in the Sceptre. Removing the reducer, or using it with the included drip tip, makes it a very similar vape to the Sceptre, which is a bit too loose for most smokers in my opinion.
But regardless of the tip you go with, the vapor is still cool, and it gets cooler as the battery gets depleted. It is ok for the first half of the pod, but flavor diminishes after that. This shouldn’t be a huge deal for transitioning smokers though, as flavor is usually not their top priority. But I would advise heavy smokers to start with at least 12 mg regular nicotine, or 30 mg salts (if not something even stronger). Anything lower than that and the EQ FLTR won’t be satisfying enough on the throat.
The coils are fine with up to 70VG juice, but I’d suggest going with 50/50 instead; it will be easier on the coils and will also help with the throat hit. As for coil life, my coil-killing 30 mg salts took a toll on the first coil I tried, and I had to replace it after two refills. I’m using the second coil with 12 mg regular nicotine and it’s still going strong after five refills. I’ve heard good things about the lifespan of the Sceptre coils, and I am pretty sure you won’t have major issues with coil life.
I did face some minor connection issues when using the airflow reducer. It felt like my draw was sometimes interrupted midway. I attributed it to a weak sensor at first, but this went away after a full charge and some wiping of the contacts and it hasn’t happened since. If you are having similar issues, make sure you push the filter tip all the way in and try to keep the contacts as dry as possible.
The EQ FLTR houses a 400 mAh internal battery. Expect to go through around ¾ of a pod before having to recharge it. I wish the battery lasted for at least a full pod, but I understand that they needed the device to have a small footprint to satisfy smokers.
A full charge takes around 50 minutes. It could have been a bit faster, but anything under an hour gets a pass from me. Note that there is no battery indication outside of a white LED light that will flash when the battery is empty. The light will stay on while the device is charging and turn off then it is full. The EQ FLTR supports pass-thru, so you can use it while it’s plugged in.
Finally, the EQ FLTR charges through a micro-USB port. Innokin has started using Type-C ports in a number of devices so I’m not sure why they didn’t use one of those on the EQ FLTR. But that’s not a big deal; in fact, it may be a good thing since most smokers will already have at least a couple of micro-USB cables at home.
The EQ FLTR is not for everyone, but that’s not a bad thing. I see it as a transitional vape, and that goes both for smokers and HnB users. The soft filters will make them feel right at home, and at some point, they can be substituted by the standard drip tip. Eventually, users will have the option to graduate to a device with a little more oomph—and lower the nicotine strength of their juice too, if that’s what they are after.
With that in mind, outside of battery life I don’t have any major complaints. It is a well-built and reliable vape that’s very easy to operate, and a great option for smokers looking to quit. If you are a seasoned vaper this is probably not for you, but consider handing one of these to a smoker friend. It may be exactly what they’ve been looking for to make the switch.