The ePen 3 by Vype is a beginner-friendly button-operated vape that comes with prefilled pods. It is lightweight, easy to use, and comes at a very affordable price.
We recently reviewed the first installment in the ePen line, which was disappointing, both from a build quality and a performance standpoint. The ePen 2 remains a mystery as there is no information about it online—unless the name was given to the second, updated run of the original ePen. Regardless, the ePen 3 seems to be a better designed product than the original ePen. Keep reading to find out if that can be the vape to get you off the smokes.
Colors: Black, red, gold, blue, silver
Price: £9.99 for the starter kit (device & 2 pods), £5.99 for a pack of 2 pods
The Vype ePen 3 is a very lightweight vape, weighing in at 39 grams with a full pod on. It is not that small though, especially considering it is a pod style vape. At 121 mm x 26 mm x 12 mm it is taller and thicker than your average pod vape, and thicker than most vape pens out there.
If you are wondering how a device that lightweight can be as large as the ePen 3, the answer is: build quality. The ePen 3 is made out of thin plastic, and feels flimsy and fragile. While it is much more modern in its looks, the build quality resembles that of the disappointing original Vype ePen.
The pods are dark tinted, which makes it hard to check for the levels of e-liquid. Holding them in front of a light source helps, but we wished they were a bit more transparent.
Build quality is important, but for a device that costs £9.99 with two pods included we didn’t expect much more on that front.
The box includes the battery, two pods, a USB charging cable and a user manual. Depending on the starter kit you choose, the ePen 3 will be bundled with either regular nicotine pods, or the VPro pods that use nicotine salts. Nicotine salts generally provide a smoother hit and faster nicotine absorbance.
To start using the device, remove a pod from the plastic packaging, take the silicon covers off, and place it in the opening of the battery. The pods click in place and feel very secure—there’s no way they are coming out of the device on their own. Turn the device on by clicking the button three times. If the LED that pulses is green, it means that the device is fully charged, and you can start vaping by pressing the button while inhaling on the mouthpiece.
To turn the device off click on the fire button three times. If you forget to turn it off, the device will automatically power off after 10 minutes of inactivity. The device will also shut down if the button is pressed for over eight seconds, which is a welcome safety feature.
The pods of the ePen 3 have a tight draw that resembles that of a cigarette. In vape terms, that’s called a mouth to lung (MTL) draw. We found the throat hit very satisfying on the regular 18 mg pods, but the 12 mg ones received mixed opinions from the team. And as expected, the nicotine salts of the VPro line felt weaker than the regular nic pods; the throat hit of the 18 mg VPro pods was just a little bit less pronounced than the 12 mg regular nicotine pods.
Vapor production is good, and temperature is warm enough to give a satisfying hit. Both of these will slightly deteriorate throughout use though, as the device is providing direct voltage output.
We didn’t notice any leaking out of the pods, and no spitting or popping outside of the first couple of hits of the day—which is perfectly normal for prefilled pods. Also, no dry or burnt hits even when taking many long drags in succession. All in all, we were satisfied by the hit of the Vype ePen 3, but for the best results we suggest using 18 mg pods.
The cartridges of the original ePen produced a very prominent plastic taste that interfered with our testing—we just couldn’t empty the pods! We are happy to report that the ePen 3 pods give no off-taste at all.
There are currently 13 flavors available in the standard line, and four flavors in the VPro line. We tested three flavors from the original line and two of the VPro pods.
Note that nicotine strength options vary between flavors. All the flavors of the regular nicotine line are available in 6 and 12 mg, with some of them also being available in 0 and 18 mg strengths. The VPro line is available in 12 and 18 mg, with the exception of the Tropical Mango which is only available in 12 mg strength.
Blended Tobacco (regular nicotine, 18 mg/mL, included): It’s probably a similar recipe to the tobaccos used in the rest of Vype’s products, but it feels more intense in the ePen 3. That’s not exactly positive, as the warmer vapor this device produces doesn’t work to the flavor’s advantage. This flavor was nobody’s favorite, which is unfortunate as tobaccos are usually the ones that beginners are looking for when switching to vaping.
Crisp Mint (regular nicotine, 18 mg/mL, included): Not all of us like minty vapes, but those who do, really enjoyed this flavor. Unlike the Blended Tobacco flavor, this one seems to work better with the warmer vape that the ePen 3 produces. It is a refreshing mint that’s not overly cool, and great for transitioning menthol smokers.
Strawberry Smash (regular nicotine, 12 mg/mL): The Strawberry Smash flavor lays somewhere in between a natural, juicy strawberry and a strawberry jam. It received positive reactions from the team, although some of us would have liked it to be a bit more complex.
Wild Berries (VPro, nicotine salt, 18 mg/mL): That flavor received the worst score from the team, which was a disappointment as it was probably the best one in the original ePen. It felt somewhat underflavored and too artificial. Out of the three fruity flavors that was the only one that none of us would order again.
Tropical Mango (VPro, nicotine salt, 12 mg/mL): This one got the best scores, and those of us who enjoy fruity vapes put at on the top of our lists. It is a very good representation of a realistic and juicy mango, with possibly some other fruits thrown in the recipe. We suggest ordering at least a pack of this flavor. The only drawback: it is currently only available in 12 mg.
The FDA announced Jan. 2 that it will begin enforcing all Deeming Rule requirements immediately for prefilled pod- and cartridge-based vaping products in flavors other than tobacco and menthol. Products sold after Feb. 2 are subject to enforcement if the FDA has not granted them marketing approval through a premarket tobacco application (PMTA). No PMTAs have been approved for vaping products yet. The FDA guidance only applies to products sold in the United States.
The device features a 650 mAh battery, which is larger than most pod systems out there. But we did feel that they could have squeezed and extra couple of hundred mAh in there, given the size of the device.
The LED functions as a battery indicator and lights up if you click on it. The color will be different depending on the remaining battery:
While charging, the LED will inform you of battery levels:
Expect to vape a bit over one pod before having to charge the device. Depending on how often you hit it, it may be good for a full day’s vape or more.
The device charges through its mini USB port at up to a 0.5-amp rate, and needs approximately 75 minutes to fully charge. That’s relatively slow by today’s standards, but good news is that you can use it while it is charging.
So, is the Vype ePen 3 the vape to help you quit? That’s a hard one to answer. Out of the Vype products we have tried up to now, it is easily the best performing one—especially when combined with the 18 mg regular nicotine pods. It is also super cheap and comes with a whopping 17 flavors to pick from. On the other hand, build quality leaves a lot to be desired, and flavors are hit or miss for the most part.
To put it simply: there are better beginner vapes out there, but for £9.99 with two pods included, we wouldn’t blame you if you decided to give it a try. We just wished their Blended Tobacco was a bit better, as most beginners would appreciate a solid tobacco flavor. If we liked this flavor a little bit more, we would have given the ePen 3 a stronger recommendation.