Now, the DaVinci IQ and Pax 3 share many of the same features and characteristics on paper. Both are conduction devices that deliver fast, powerful heating and each comes paired with an app for in-depth customization of your vaping experience. Add to it the fact that the two devices are in the same price range and receive consistently positive reviews so you can understand my aforementioned conundrum.
Except, it was a lie.
I bought the Pax 3 first and it turned out to be pretty damn ordinary, and the disappointing experience turned me off the DaVinci before I even tried it. Fortunately, I managed to overcome my initial apprehension because the DaVinci IQ has been a pleasant surprise and hands-down, the better device.
I used the DaVinci IQ every day for over a month (the legendary boredstoners.com comprehensive testing ideals drive every aspect of my existence, yo). Not once did I feel the need to retreat to any of my more “premium” devices.
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Full review continues below.
DaVinci IQ – First Impressions
The very first thing that hit me about the DaVinci IQ as I lifted it out of the box was its impressive weight and feel. The smooth, ergonomically-shaped body made of anodized aluminum features a 51-dot LED display that sits above an embossed minimalist DaVinci logo. The whole build just screams quality.
The herb chamber and vapor path are made from ceramic zirconia. Ceramic zirconia was chosen specifically for its high resistance to heat and fracture. The material’s superior insulation properties combined with a rounded oven design for smooth, even heat transfer that produces thick, tasty clouds.
There are 4 temperature presets (Smart Paths):
However, you can customize your IQ to any range between 250°F to 430°F. It comes with 2 mouthpieces – one flat and one that fits a 10mm water pipe attachment, which is what I use so I can slip it onto my bong near the end of a sesh.
Using the DaVinci IQ
- Load your herb into the chamber at the bottom of the device, then click the power button 5 times to turn it on.
- The device will start on the last selected Smart Path setting. You can identify them by the illuminated LED squares – 1 square indicates Smart Path 1 and so on up until Smart path 4.
- Click the power button once to see the temperature setting. Quickly pressing the up or down button will take you into Precision Mode where you can adjust the temperature by increments of 1 degree.
- Instantly boost the temperature by holding down the power button. The temperature will rise until you release it where it will then go into standby mode. This is good to finish a sesh.
- To enter Stealth Mode (dimmed LED display), hold the power button and click the ‘Down’ button. To return to normal mode, simply hold the power button and press the ‘Up’ button.
The DaVinci IQ App
You can download the IQ app from the Play store. Use it to customize features like Smart Paths and to change units from Fahrenheit to Celsius.
Personally, I don’t use the app. I gave the one on the Pax 3 a go, but I’m too old-school for that and figured why would I need to if it works just fine out of the box?!
How I Use It
I purchased the glass spacers for the IQ so I could use less herb and it actually turned out to be a great investment. Not only does it let me conserve my stash, but it seems to also help with the vaporization process.
I put the herb in first, then pack it down a little. I then place the glass spacer on top (I know, the wrong way) just enough so the pearl will just touch the glass (If you shake it and hear the glass rattle, there is not enough weed).
This is a picture of the Davinci IQ loaded with weed and the small glass spacer on top. Leaving just enough room for the lid to close with the pearl.
I then turn the vaporizer on and set it to Smart Path 3. After it heats, I start to take small sips. It does tend to get quite hot near the end of the session so I take the last few rips through my matrix waterpipe.
The heat isn’t unbearable but worth mentioning. When I’m out and about I happily use it without a waterpipe but when in Rome (my home) and all that, the bong is coming out to play.
DaVinci IQ Review
What’s in the box?
- Davinci IQ Device
- 10 mm water tool adapter/mouthpiece
- Extended mouthpiece
- USB Cable
- Davinci Storage Container
- Keychain Tool
- Cleaning Brush
- Cleaning Swabs
The build quality of the DaVinci IQ is outstanding. It’s obvious that the company invested considerable time and effort to refine both the engineering design for a great vaping experience and the physical design for appealing aesthetics. Kudos all around.
The IQ’s anodized aluminum body will weather a lot of rough and tumble and still retain its shape and sheen. With its ceramic zirconia innards, you can be sure that this is a device that will take a lickin’ and keep on vapin’ for years to come.
In fact, DaVinci is so confident in its product that it offers a ten (!) year warranty that includes “all attached parts, craftsmanship, electronics, heating chamber, and structural integrity.” Damn.
The larger oven size is my only minor grievance. Even with the pearls, it pushes me to vape more than usual so I think glass spacers are the way to go.
It’s a very subjective issue which is easily resolved, and most importantly, not even an issue for some people with an endless supply of weed. Heck, I’d probably just cram it full every time if I could afford to.
Portability & Discretion
There is pretty much unanimous consensus that the DaVinci IQ has got portability down to a tee. It is just 3.54 inches tall, 1.65 inches wide and 0.94 inches deep, and fits easily in a pocket or your palm. A fully-charged battery delivers up to 90 minutes (60 in my experience) of vaping ecstasy but you can easily swap it with a spare one and keep going.
In terms of discretion, the DaVinci IQ stands out for two reasons. Firstly, there is an inbuilt Stealth Mode which dims the brightness of its LED lights so you don’t attract unnecessary attention. Secondly, the IQ mobile app gives you complete control over the device’s operation and settings while it sits in your pocket. Power it on or off, change the temperature and switch to Stealth Mode. Then only take your IQ out for that brief moment when you are ready to take a puff.
It’s worth mentioning that it does tend to stink a bit if you plan on walking about with it loaded. This knocks discretion down a bit but they have that covered as well if you don’t mind using the provided keyring/storage container and loading the device on the go.
With the IQ being a conduction device, I was not very optimistic about the thickness, taste, and longevity of the vapor. I’ve never been happier to be wrong. My device works perfectly the way I use it and the clouds were consistently thick and tasty, way past the first draw.
It was a deliberate decision by DaVinci to manufacture the IQ’s air path from 100% ceramic zirconia. The material’s high resistance to temperature means that it does not react with the vapor which passes through.
You get pure, thick clouds, straight from the hemp, free from flavor contamination. Better still, you can add herbs to the dedicated flavor chamber for even bigger hits of the flavors you love.
The vapor can get hot by the end but the IQ is still miles ahead of the competition in that respect (I’m looking at you, Pax 3).
The DaVinci IQ features a fairly large oven and that’s not the best if you are a light to medium user.
A combination of the pearl and the glass spacer worked out really well for me, delivering a good 10-minute sesh with a small amount of herb.
I definitely got more draws than I did for the same load in the Pax 3 and maybe even my Turbo Evic.
As you will see by the results of the AVB, the herb is fully and evenly extracted.
Battery & Charging
Many vape manufacturers have gone the way of smartphones with non-user replaceable batteries, an option that I personally dislike.
The DaVinci IQ bucks the trend and is better for it. Why should we have to replace an entire vaporizer that works perfectly if just the battery won’t charge?
Each IQ comes with a 18650 battery that charges from zero to a hundred in about 3 hours. The company says that this will give you “up to 90 minutes” of juice from a full charge but the exact figure will obviously depend on how hot your sessions run. I found that 70 minutes was closer to the mark for me.
Best of all, spare batts cost about $10 and changing them is as simple as swapping the batteries in your TV remote. 10 out of 10 for including a removable battery in such a small device.
I recommend you get a Nitecore battery charger and to avoid charging them in the device where possible. I use this Nitecore I4 but the I2 would do someone fine if you only have one device requiring 18650 batteries.
Ease of Use
One of the features with which the DaVinci IQ has made waves in the vaping world is its Smart Path technology. Smart Path gives you the option of 4 different temperature settings so you simply pick the one that gives you the best hit and let the IQ work its magic.
Besides Smart Path, you also get Precision mode and Boost mode. They can be customized to your preferences with the app.
The only issue I have with all this customization is that you only have 3 buttons with which to control all the settings. It leads to a lot of ‘hold this down and press that, then press this once more’ type of grabass-ery. On the upside, if you are a new kid on the block and love technology, the app’s intuitive interface solves that problem instantly.
Anyway, if you are like me and enjoy the one path, it is simply a case of 5 clicks to switch on, then vape your goods. The IQ will then either turn itself off, or you can shut it down by hitting the power button 5 times again.
Cleaning and Maintenance
This is probably the only aspect of the DaVinci IQ with which I have any real issues. The IQ can be disassembled into 6 components quite easily, no worries. The problem is that the design of the herb chamber, the mouthpiece, and the oven are not the most maintenance-friendly.
This is not my first vape (believe you me) but it was definitely a chore trying to get to all the recesses and corners with the standard swabs. You might consider adding a toothpick or similar sharp (but soft!) tool to give some parts a scape for regular maintenance.
Ultimately, a thorough cleaning is not impossible but the IQ is certainly up there as one of the more harder vapes to clean.
The DaVinci IQ comes with a decent set of accessories.
My favorite being the 2 keyrings – 1 is a container for holding extra herb and the other is a little tool for tamping down or cleaning out your herb from the chamber.
You can also buy a carry case, battery chargers, and a few other bits and bobs directly from Davinci.
At first glance, the DaVinci IQ can seem a little on the expensive side given it is a dry herb vaporizer. It costs about 10% more than the Pax 3, which is one of the reasons I chose to buy that device instead. However, the reality is that the IQ gives you a lot of bang for your buck.
The appealing design, high build quality, the scope of customization and, probably most conveniently, the user-replaceable battery make the IQ a solid investment that will deliver years of vaping pleasure that is well worth the initial investment.
The Final Puff
I don’t know if you can tell yet but I really like the DaVinci IQ. After using it consistently every single day for over a month, I have found that it always delivers smooth, thick clouds full of flavor. My highs were high and the whole experience was a consummate pleasure.
A lot of the credit must go to the design team. It is shocking that in this day and age, we still see other major vaporizer manufacturers release products that should never have gotten past the quality control phase. This phenomenon is probably best illustrated by the Puffco debacle.
Amidst all this, DaVinci has engineered a vape that does everything it claims it can, and then some. The purity and the flavor of the clouds I get with my IQ are on par with devices that are much more expensive from manufacturers that have way more industry experience. The versatility of the app is just the cherry on top.
DaVinci’s decision to include a removable battery tips the balance in the IQ’s favor if all else fails to persuade you. It is a svelte device that somehow manages this coup without compromising on any major features. If you’ve experienced that crushing feeling when your vaping plans fall apart because of a dead battery, you’ll love having a spare slim 18650 battery in your kit.
For anyone looking for a mid-range dry herb vaporizer, it is hard to go past the DaVinci IQ.
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It’s worth noting that Davinci themselves will ship from the USA & the EU.
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