The Phix by MLV is a sleek and slender prefilled pod vape, once known as the JUUL killer. It’s been around since 2017 and, according to the MLV website, is here to stay.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Phix, here’s the rundown: The Phix is built on a 280 mAh passthru battery that powers prefilled pods with a ceramic wicking system. There are 9 flavors to choose from in either regular nic salt or TFN, all at 5% in 1.5 mL pods.
The nic salt pods come in packs of 4 and cost $19.99. The TFN (INFZN) flavors come in packs of 2 and cost $9.99. There are no kits though. You have to buy a battery and flavors a la carte. The battery costs $22.99.
The Phix is a diamond shaped slim battery with magnetic pods. The little clip you see in some of the images is a removable belt clip that’s more subtle to “wear” than a lanyard of any sort.
The battery has a matte aluminum-like finish and comes in five colors: electric blue, pearl white, basic black, red red, and stainless steel. I purchased the black. I said “aluminum-like” because the body is made of some sort of ceramic material that feels like aluminum but is more lightweight.
The Phix is a good-looking device that is more mature than a lot of the stuff we see on display in shops these days. It’s understated yet sophisticated in its simplicity.
Take out of the packaging and remove all the caps and plugs. Those are just there for keeping things contained in transit. The clip on the battery is handy and a lot more subtle than a lanyard of any sort.
Take a pod and drop in the battery housing. Take a drag when you wish.
The Phix takes magnetic pods, like the Vuse Alto. Also similar to the Vuse Alto, the magnetic connection is not very strong. However, the pods remain in the battery compartment even after minor drops. With that in mind, I’d say the pods have a more secure connection than the Vuse Alto because those pods tend to pop out if dropped.
If you notice the little “v” cutout between the pod and the battery housing, along with the two little windows on the pods, those are your juice windows to monitor your levels. Unfortunately, none of them work well to show your juice levels due to no light really being able to pass.
Something interesting I just learned on the Phix site: it says that you can cover up one of the rectangular pod windows to act as an airflow controller. But, it doesn’t do much either since the airflow . The draw is fine as is, but to see your juice levels, it’s easiest to just pull out the pod.
The Phix has a tight and warm MTL draw that satisfies. The automatic draw hits with a slight pull despite being tight, so you don’t have to collapse your cheeks. But you can get that similar-to-a-cigarette draw. The draw is closer to the Alto than the Juul.
The throat hit on the Phix is rather substantial and full without being sharp and aggressive. One of the main reasons I decided to give the Phix another shot was the throat hit. I remember it as being satisfying—it still is!
The draw is quiet, with only a slight bit of crackle from the ceramic wick. You have to strain to hear it. You mostly only hear the slight sound of airflow passing through.
The ceramic coil/wick system appears to be CCELL, though it doesn’t appear in the marketing or branding. Either way, it has a consistent performance with no leaking, although you may experience a slight issue of initial gurgle in the pods. If you’re not careful, you may get juice your mouth on your first hit.
The easiest way to mitigate that issue is to first check before sucking in. Instead, do a slight blow into the pods mouthpiece. If you hear any gurgle, put a napkin on the bottom of the pod and do a blow it out lightly until the air way sounds devoid of liquid. It only takes a couple seconds to clear, and it’s worth it to avoid getting juice in the mouth.
The eliquid in the Phix is crafted by Brewell MFG, an eliquid company known for quality flavors. There are two lines: the standard line with two flavors in 4packs: original tobacco, and ice. And the INFZN line that has a variety of sweet flavors in 2packs.
For this update, I just have the original tobacco flavor. I’d like to get the INFZN line…but inflation has my purchasing power a little weak right now. That said, the flavors from Brewell I’ve used in the past were top notch.
Nutty, slightly woody, a tiny bit smoky, and partly sweet. This flavor is reminiscent of the classic tobacco vape flavors called 555. It’s maybe not the most appealing description, but it vapes and tastes somehow like a tobacco vape should. I’d say it’s like a cross between Juul’s classic and Virginia tobacco.
The Phix has a 240 mAh battery which can get you through about 3/4 of a full pod. There’s an indicator light on the front of the device that shines blue (charged), orange (medium capacity), and red (time to recharge). When it’s time to recharge, the Phix must be charged with a proprietary charger that comes with the kit.
The charger is magnetized, similar to the battery housing—again, like the Vuse Alto. When charging, which takes about 45 minutes to complete fully, you can use the device as a passthru vape so you don’t have to wait.
Is the Phix still the JUUL killer? Frankly, I think it’s more of a Vuse Alto killer. Years ago, the Phix went through it’s own rough patch of consistency issues, but in the 8 pods I’ve used in the past week or so, I’ve had no performance complaints…aside from the minor issue of initial gurgles. But as stated, that can be remedied with a simple blowout into a napkin.
In my opinion, the Phix should be on your radar if you’re looking for a prefilled pod vape to replace the highly inconsistent performance of the Vuse Alto. The Phix is not without its flaws, which are shared by its competition, but they’re minor with the Phix when you factor in consistent performance.