Flowermate Vapormax V5.0S Review - Portable Dry Herb Vaporizer
UPDATE: The NEW V5.0 Pro is here, featuring significant improvements over the original and V5.0s, including
- Digital temperature settings (up to 446 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Digital temperature controls ("+" and "-" buttons)
- Pyrex glass mouthpiece for improved flavor
- Super fast heat up time (max temp in 30 seconds)
Reinventing the Wheel (in a good way!)
The Vapormax V5.0S is the latest iteration of portable dry herb vaporizers by Flowermate. It is also the best one yet.
We reviewed the original Vapormax V a few months back, and while we really enjoyed the design, functionality, and high-quality feel to the device, there was one nagging omission: the lack of multiple temperature settings. What we especially missed was having the option of a higher heat setting, which would produce more vapor. The Vapormax V 5.0S keeps the same great feel and battery life while introducing multiple temperature settings (like most other vaporizers have now) along with a better pathway, creating a truly enjoyable experience.
Turning up the heat
Since the temperature settings are the biggest addition, let's dive straight in. The original Vapormax V reached a temperature of about 385 degrees Fahrenheit. It was a good starting point. You definitely got vapor with minimal odor and no traces of combustion. However, 385 degrees is playing it a little too safe, and it's a few degrees shy of what recent vaporizers are putting out. It may not seem like a huge deal, but there's a lot more vapor to extract between 385 and 415 degrees. To solve that problem, the Vapormax V5.0S let's you choose between 385, 400, and 415 degrees -- 3 very distinct settings that range in the amount of vapor, odor, and overall effect you'll get from your device. Every setting may not be for everyone, but one of the 3 is bound to please most people. See the end of our video review for a demo of each temperature setting.
(Near) Instant gratification
When it comes to reaching the temperatures, the Vapormax V 5.0S is one of the fastest vapes we've reviewed. Yes, things like the Magic Flight Launch Box can heat up in an impressive 5 seconds, but the Flowermate gives you a solid, steady, and predictable temperature. It only takes 20 seconds to reach 385 degrees from a completely off state. Some vapes take 45 seconds to a minute to do the same, so let that sink in. What's more impressive? It only takes 5 seconds to reach each higher setting. So that's a total of 25 seconds for 400 degrees, and only 30 seconds to reach 415 degrees.
Long life, short charge
Another much-appreciated technical feat of the Flowermate are the batteries. It comes with two batteries built in, and they are built to last. Even on the highest temperature setting, you're looking at just over 2 hours of use on a full charge. And perhaps even more appreciated is that it only takes about 3 hours to fully charge the device. In other words, if you want to use this thing a lot, go for it. You're more likely to need a break before it does.
The original Vapormax produced a pretty decent flavor. This was mostly thanks to its ceramic heating chamber. And now, the V5.0S features a glass mouthpiece (vs rubber) to really bring out the best in your herbs. I didn't think it would make that much of a difference, but it's apparent from the very first draw to the last, the combination of higher temperatures, ceramic chamber, and glass mouthpiece produces significantly more pronounced flavor than the original. It's a pure, flavorful vaping experience.
Like its predecessors, the V 5.0S is still just as easy to clean as its predecessors. A simple scraping with the including packing tool will usually do the trick, and the cleaning brush can do the rest. Occasionally you may need to either replace or clean the filter in the mouthpiece. You can unscrew the base and remove the metal screen. I say, just clean it off--it only takes some hot water and maybe some soap or isopropyl. Pop in back in, and you're good to go. The one thing that is different is that, with the higher temperature settings, if you pack the chamber very tightly, the herbs can get stuck together a bit. So, it may take a bit more force with the packing tool, but the chamber is pretty durable--it can handle an aggressive cleaning approach.
With just a few small tweaks, the Vapormax V5.0S manages to be one of the best portable dry herb vaporizers we've reviewed at this price point. If you like the look and feel, and the price isn't out of your budget, I think this is among the best ones you can buy right now. The vapor is pure (thanks to the new glass mouthpiece) and the clouds are thick (thanks to the higher temperature settings). And with its impressive battery life and solid build quality, this is one that's sure to last.
One last note: Version control
Not sure where else to put this in the review, so here it goes. Smiss, the makers of these lovely devices, loves improving and renaming, but they're not so great at neatly organizing and clarifying all the names. Their naming schemes, unfortunately, can lead to a bit of confusion. So I'll just break down everything that's happening here...
First, the company is Smiss, but they never really brand themselves as such on their products. I think "Flowermate" is more like the brand name for a line of products, and not specifically the name of the device (though right now, the two seem synonymous). The "Vapormax" products have actually been around for a while. The first couple were more like AGO G5 pens and Atmos pens.
The Vapormax V is the fifth in this series (but the first in the Flowermate series). So the "V" is definitely meant to be a roman numeral, pronounced "five" but many people seemed to call it "vee" (myself included). Then... they made the Vapormax V 5.0 (vapormax five, five-point-oh?). At this point, I say it's safe to start pronouncing the "V" as "vee" to avoid saying "five" twice--I'm sure it's just something that got sorta misconstrued in translation.
The tricky part is, their V5.0 is different from the V and the V5.0S. Based on my discussions with our Smiss representative, the only difference between the V and V5.0 is that they started using a glass mouthpiece instead of a rubber one. The V 5.0S, the latest, is the only model with both the glass mouthpiece and variable temperature settings.
Whew. All that may seem a bit unnecessary, now, but Smiss has said they are working on more designs and new products, so I feel like this will lead to more confusion later--best to get a head start sorting out what's what with their naming history.