But still, I made a comparison between the Phix and the Juul, and I found the Phix to have the advantage not only regarding its larger e-juice capacity but its diamond-shape that made it easier to grip.
Now, one of the best home-grown vape companies out there, KandyPens, have come out with their own take on the pod mod system, the Rubi, which already stands head and shoulders above the rest for one simple, yet important distinction: the refillable pods that come with the Rubi.
Most of the criticisms leveled (rightly so, I would say) at closed-system pod mods come from the fact that you can’t fill the pods with your preferred e-juice. And in an industry built on customization and personalization taking away options from vapers is a sure way to alienate them.
The KandyPens Rubi not only gives you the option to fill its pods with your e-juice but also with your oils. The pod capacity is a little less than the Phix, at 1 ml, but the pods are leak-proof and are (supposedly) protected from experiencing spit-back issues.
Here’s what you’ll get inside you Rubi package from KandyPens:
- One KandyPens Rubi
- One empty 1 ml cartridge
- One Micro USB charging cable
Just like with the Phix from MLV, there’s so much to love about the KandyPens Rubi, as there is with pod mods, in general. My tastes veer toward svelte, easily concealable, portable devices that are easy to use and don’t require so much upkeep; the pod mod systems (open and closed) check every item on that list.
The Rubi itself, which contains a 280mAh battery that can output just a little over 8W, is a sight to behold. It, of course, does bear a striking resemblance to the Juul, with its flat body, and stands a little over 4 inches tall (or just over 100mm). Only the Rubi does not have a visible window on either the pod or the battery to adequately gauge your e-juice levels as the Juul does.
The USB charging port is right at the end of the device, and there is a central LED indicator light under the KandyPens logo. Where the Rubi distinguishes itself from all other pod mods, however, is in the pods it uses. The pods can hold up to 1 ml of e-liquid or THC oils, so don’t expect such a long vape session, maybe 80-90 draws, and that’s depending on how long of a draw you take.
The 1.6ohm coil inside the pod is made of stainless steel, and its wicks are top-of-the-line Japanese cotton, which ensures a great-tasting vape. To fill the pod, you just take out the rubber stopper on its side, which reveals a sizable fill hole.
You fill up the pod with whatever e-juice you prefer, you insert the rubber stopper, and you pop the pod into the battery, and you’re done. The Rubi, like most other pod mods, is draw-activated so there’s no power/firing button anywhere, which just adds to overall simplicity and elegance of the entire system.
Vaping with the KandyPens Rubi
I found the charging time with the KandyPens Rubi took just over an hour. Again, just like with some other pod mods, like the Phix, you can’t vape and charge at the same time, but it’s worth the wait to get the excellent flavor and smooth, low-resistance draws.
Now, filling and refilling the pods is something that you might enjoy or not. One of the things I liked about the Phix, as well as the Cora from VapeDynamics, was the ease with which you just replaced a depleted cartridge with a new one and that was it.
The trade-off, of course, is that you are limited in your choice of e-juice flavors, and nicotine content, as well as your inability to use oils, if that’s your thing (wink, wink). Having an open system pod mod is ideal for me since I’m one of those people who also like vaping oils as well as e-juices, so the Rubi was tailor-made for me.
I didn’t have any oils on hand, so I went with some Island Breeze from 180 Smoke, and the restricted, mouth-to-lung hit was more than satisfying. Since there’s very little regulation that you can apply to a pod mod, all you can really determine is the length of your draw.
I moved between taking long and short puffs, but no matter the duration of my draw, I still got decent-sized clouds that were also extremely tasty.
Comparing the KandyPens Rubi
I’m not going to take the easy route and compare the KandyPens Rubi to either the Juul or the Phix since those latter pod mods were the closed-system. I’m going to see how the KandyPens Rubi stacks up against the aforementioned Cora from VapeDynamics that also features refillable pods.
One thing that puts the Cora above the Rubi is the former’s battery size, at a substantial 500mAh, compared to the smaller 250mAh of the Rubi. So, with the Cora, you’re getting a longer-lasting vaping session, even though Cora’s pods also only hold 1 ml of e-juice or oil.
Again, this is a matter of personal taste and entirely subjective, but I am a fan of draw-activated vapes that don’t require any distracting, or clicky power/firing buttons to turn the device on or off, which, unfortunately, the Cora does have. The Cora can only be charged using the charger that comes with it, so whenever you are out and forget to bring the charger, then there’s no other recourse.
The KandyPens Rubi can be charged using any type of USB cable. And since the KandyPens Rubi comes with a lifetime warranty, should the battery ever fail on you, KandyPens will send you a new one. So, because of its simple, button-free design, and versatile charging as well as the lifetime warranty on the battery, I think the KandyPens Rubi is the winner of this contest.
What I Liked
To me, all pod mods are beautiful. Their particular design and build – slim, sleek, minimalist – just appeal to my innate tastes. The Rubi is an excellent manifestation of a beautiful-looking pod mod.
Although VapeDynamics was one of the first companies to offer an open system pod mod with a refillable cartridge, KandyPens Rubi was right to take that path as well and provide a quality made coil and wicking system inside their easy-to-fill cartridge.
At just under $50 for a device from KandyPens (who are known to be one of the higher-end companies, regarding prices) the Rubi is a bargain. The Rubi is a handcrafted product, built-to-last, and comes with a lifetime warranty; you can’t ask for more at that price point.
What I Didn’t Like
A more substantial capacity mod might have thrown off the aesthetic look of the Rubi, but I wouldn’t have minded if it meant I didn’t have to keep refilling the pod every hour or so.
At only 280mAh, your battery wasn’t going to last very long. The Cora was just a few inches taller and packed a 500mAh battery that didn’t compromise the device’s weight or shape. While KandyPens didn’t have to take it all the way to 500mAh, a 350mAh or 400mAh battery would have sufficed.
It’s no secret – pod mods are my preferred vaping device. But branching out, anything small, sleek, stylish, and portable is a winner for me. The KandyPens Rubi, I found, fulfilled all my vaping needs.
The draw was excellent, almost effortless; the pods were quality made, and guaranteed superb flavor, with noticeable, although not blinding, clouds of vapor. The battery life could have been longer, and the liquid capacity of the pods greater, but overall, for a device from KandyPens, the Rubi is definitely worth getting if you are a fan of the pod mod.
I give the KandyPens Rubi a glistening 9/10.
Vape Rating: 91/100 by Vaping Daily