Davinci IQ Review [4K Video] ~16:46
The Davinci IQ is the third and newest portable dry herb vaporizer manufactured by Davinci. They launched their first unit the ‘Davinci Vaporizer’ in the first half of 2012. They followed it up with the ‘Ascent’ at the end of 2013.
At the end of 2016, we got the Davinci IQ. The IQ introduces a completely new design featuring a replaceable 18650, smart path technology, a zirconia ceramic bowl, vapor path, and mouthpieces.
The Davinci IQ vaporizer retails for $274.99 and is available in Blue, Gunmetal and Stealth. I recommend buying the IQ directly from Davinci because they throw in the Glass Spacers and a Canvas Carrying Case for free. Now lets jump into my Davinci IQ Review.
Davinci IQ Size, Portability, and Build Quality
Size & Portability – The first thing I was blown away by was the size. I saw some photos of the IQ before I actually got my hands on it so I knew it was small, but I was still surprised by how small it actually was when it finally arrived. It does weigh bit more than I expected for its size so it feels very solid and durable in the hands.
The IQ weighs roughly 145 grams compared to two of the lightest portables the Pax 3 comes in at around 95 grams, and the TI Grasshopper weighs about 55 grams. So the IQ carries a bit of extra weight when compared to some of the smallest portables currently available.
The overall size and shape of the unit make it easy to pocket and you can completely palm it during use for maximum discretion.
Build Quality – The weight is a testament to the build quality and once you get one in your hands you’ll understand what I’m talking about. I think if were any lighter it might seem cheap and you’d worry about dropping it. The buttons all work as they should and just feel very nice, I like the outside finish of the unit, I like the feel of the zirconia ceramic.
Overall it’s a great looking and great feeling unit to hold and use. When you get it in your hands and look at how it was designed, every bit of space is used, and all the materials are solid and high quality.
Accessories, Mouthpieces, and Flavor Chamber
The standard package for the Davinci IQ includes the vaporizer itself, one rechargeable/replaceable 3500mAh 18650 battery, a USB charging cable, a zirconia flavor chamber and 2 mouthpieces (one recessed and one extended 10mm adapter).
Ceramic Zirconia Mouthpieces:
Both mouthpieces are made from ceramic zirconia and provide excellent flavor while being very durable and easy to clean. I personally prefer the recessed mouthpiece when I am carrying it in my pocket on the go. The recessed mouthpiece also allows you to completely palm the vaporizer for concealment.
I also enjoy using the raised mouthpiece, but I find myself using it more at home, it’s pretty cool that the raised mouthpiece makes a good seal against 10mm female or 14mm male glass.
Davinci IQ Flavor Chamber:
The IQ comes with a newly designed insert called the “flavor chamber”. The flavor chamber sits in the vapor path right before the vapor gets to your lips. You can load your herbs (in chunks, not ground up) and the flavor chamber will only partially heat up, enough to express flavor without cooking. The herbs will also be coated with vapor that condenses as it passes through the flavor chamber.
I gave this a try and wasn’t really blown away. After about 6-8 sessions with some herbs loaded, the draw resistance started to ramp up, so I emptied them out. They were still green, but less vibrant green than originally.
It kind of just made the un-used nugs smell/taste a bit worse but they did come out a bit more potent, definitely interesting but not something I’ll be doing often. You can also load other herbs, like mint into the flavor chamber, but I have been leaving it empty most of the time.
The flavor chamber does help to cool and smooth the vapor before it gets to your lips by increasing the amount of space the vapor has to travel. It also seems to help cut down on the cleaning by absorbing the majority of condensed vapor that would otherwise end up in the mouthpiece, and it just pops in and out for quick and easy for cleaning. If you wait for a little while in-between cleaning the flavor chamber, you can also reclaim some concentrate.
Vapor Quality, Heating, Temp Options
Overall the vapor quality of the IQ is very good, and in my opinion, produces the best vapor of any conduction portable out yet. The entire vapor path on the IQ is ceramic zirconia and provides very cool dense and pure flavored vapor.
The heater is also quite powerful so it can produce dense vapor and does not get overpowered as easy as other conduction units when back to back big draws are taken. I have also found this unit to be very efficient with my herbs, and it produces very even AVB without stirring as long as you don’t cut the session too short. If you do need to vape in a hurry, I recommend using the included stirring tool halfway through the session.
The IQ offers a complete temp spectrum ranging from 250F to 430F and will hit your desired temp in about 45 seconds on average. The vaporizer comes with three main heating options. First, you can choose from one of the four fully customizable smart paths or you can use precision mode to pick an exact temp. While you are in either heat setting, you can also turn on Boost mode to ramp the oven temp.
IQ Smart Paths:
The Smart Paths are pre-programmed to start at a selected temp and gradually increase 20 degrees over 10 minutes. You can completely customize each of these sessions for your personal preferences via the Davinci APP. My preferred default smart paths have been 1 and 2. Both of those are providing plenty of clouds while delivering the best taste.
The default temps for setting 3 and especially 4 produce huge clouds but I prefer the taste more at the lower and medium temps. Overall I have enjoyed the smart paths, often times I use multiple temps during a session, and this allows me to set it up on auto-pilot. Some strains also perform differently so you could set up custom smart paths for your favorite strains.
Default Smart Path Temps:
The Smart Paths run from 350F to 430 with the first path ranging from 350-370, second path 370-390, etc… Each path is programmed to gradually hit the max temp about halfway through the session and maintain that temp for the remainder. Again, with the app, you can completely customize the temps on all 4 smart paths.
This mode allows you to pick a precise temp and the IQ will maintain it for the entire 10-minute session. You can change it at any time. To turn on precision mode tap the top button one time, and then press the up and down button to set your desired temp.
When you hold down the top button boost mode will be activated, and the heater will be engaged full tilt. You will see up arrows appear on the front of the IQ letting you know its heating up. The heater will now slowly work its way up to a max of 430 as long as you continue holding the button, and as soon as you let off the temp will drop back down to the previous setting. This can help you get a little extra juice of a draw.
*The IQ has an auto-shutoff timer of 10 minutes. Just press the control button five times to turn the unit back on.
Davinci IQ APP
It’s important to note that you don’t need the app to access the entire range of Davinci IQ features, the app just adds extra customization.
While I am always a bit hesitant about apps, I do want to say this is my favorite vaporizer app yet, it has just worked smoothly and has been enjoyable to play around with. Often times apps can feel clunky or obnoxious, I have had only positive experiences with the Davinci App so far.
Once you get into the app you can choose between the four different default Smart Paths and modify the temps or pick a precise temp for the entire session.
You can activate “Stealth Mode” which will dim the LED’s within the app, This is definitely recommended because the default LED brightness are pretty bright, bordering on too bright. You can also activate Stealth mode without the app by clicking the top button and the down button together at the same time.
Without the app, you won’t be able to customize the smart path sessions, turn off vibration alerts, or get device information like total usage time, average session length, average temp and favorite path. You also won’t be able to see the number of times you’ve used each of the smart path choices. So overall it’s not a big deal if you don’t want to use the app, but at the same time, it adds some cool stuff so overall I really like that they made the IQ app relevant but not necessary.
Chamber Info and Packing Recommendations
The chamber is pretty easy to pack, and I get the best results with a tight and fully packed oven. If you grind your herb coarsely you won’t get as much vapor production but there will be less draw resistance, and if you grind really finely you will get denser vapor but more draw resistance.
I have been enjoying a medium grind, but unlike a lot of conduction vapes, this thing actually performs pretty darn well even with coarse grinds. A fully packed chamber is generally around .30 grams.
I also recommend the glass spacers (free if you get it from Davinci). The Davinci IQ Glass Spacers will allow you to shrink the chamber, using less herb and still get the same great results. Perfect for micro-dosing or even for two people.
Davinci IQ Cleaning and Maintenance
Overall the IQ is pretty quick and easy to clean, you will want to empty out the bowl after each use, and brush or blow out the chamber. This will help keep cleaning to a minimum. The flavor chamber needs to be cleaned the most often, and you can just slide it out, and drop it right into isopropyl alcohol and soak/rub it off.
The mouthpieces will need to be cleaned the most next, and like the flavor chamber, they can be just popped out and dropped into some iso. Generally, I have been cleaning the ceramic parts about every 10 or so sessions.
Battery Specs, Battery Life, Charging Time and Charging Options
The replaceable battery system is awesome but after some testing, I’ve found that it is taking me about four hours to charge a dead battery inside the Davinci IQ.
To mitigate this, you can pick up an external charger (nitecore i2 ~$10) and an extra battery ($13) so that way you have some flexibility for charging options. The batteries will charge in the external chargers in about a little over 2 hours so basically twice as fast.
Portable Vaporizer Comparisons (Crafty, Pax 3, Grasshopper)
In my opinion, the IQ vaporizer is definitely worthy of the $274.99 price tag but it puts it directly in competition with my other favorite portable vaporizers.
Pax 3 ($249) – The Pax 3 vape is my go-to for outdoor activities like Mt Biking, Skiing, and Hiking. It’s easily pocketable, extremely durable and heats up in 15 seconds on average. The Pax 3 retails for $249, uses conduction heating, offers a phone app to control temps and also comes with a 10-year warranty so both of these vaporizers are extremely alike.
Personally, I like the vapor quality on the IQ a bit more than the Pax 3, especially regarding vapor density. I also like the removable battery option on the IQ and I’m very excited to test it out this winter ski season but the smaller/lighter design of the Pax 3 is tough to beat if you need absolute portability.
I’ve found the Pax 3 gets about 100 minutes of use per charge and takes about 100 minutes to fully charge from dead. Whereas the Davinci IQ gets about 50-80 minutes of average use and takes about 240 minutes to fully charge from dead. (or 120 minutes with the external charger)
If you are really not sure you are ready to pony up $249, the Pax 3 is also offered in a “Device Only” kit which runs $199 and then the Pax 2 which retails for $149 is another option. It doesn’t come with the smartphone app, offers a little smaller battery capacity and takes about 45 seconds to heat up instead of about 15 seconds on the new Pax 3, but it’s still simple, rugged, reliable, and comes with the 10-year warranty.
Grasshopper ($225) – The Grasshopper is another option if you are looking for a portable vaporizer that is easy to conceal/pocket. The GH actually pulls off the look of a pen while packing a lot of power. The Grasshopper uses on-demand convection heating and heats up in 5-7 seconds. The GH uses smaller replaceable/rechargeable batteries (750 mAh instead of the IQ’s 3500 mAH), offers a full temp spectrum via a rotary dial and comes with a lifetime warranty. This unit is also not the most reliable and I wouldn’t recommend buying it as your only vaporizer. The Pax 3 or the IQ will be much more reliable.
Crafty ($279) – The Crafty vaporizer is pretty underwhelming when you consider battery life (~45 minutes) and heat up time (90+seconds) but none of the vaporizers mentioned above can keep up with the smooth, tasty vapor quality offered by the Crafty. The Crafty is also one of the easiest and most consistent vaporizers.
IQ Glass Options
I have been using the IQ through glass quite a bit at home lately and it works very well. The IQ has no problem milking any of my bubblers or hydratubes, but the Honeybird has become my favorite. It is basically a smaller and hugely improved version of the hydratube.
It does a great job of not spilling even at odd angles, and it stays in place so you can easily pass the vape around 1 handed with bubbler attached, something that never worked well with hydratubes. If you are a fan of moisturizing your vapor, or you want to take the biggest rips possible you will want to consider the honeybird. You can get it directly from Davinci for $70. Get Honeybird
Davinci IQ Review Summary
Overall, I’m very happy with the Davinci IQ. I was getting really antsy for Davinci to put out a new portable, but now I am glad they took a while and did it right. I feel like the quality, features, size, and design are all on point. Plus it comes with a 10-year warranty from a solid company with a long track record.
The biggest downside for me is the charge time which can be drastically improved with an external charger. I can also see some people wishing the IQ had an option for concentrates but I’m mostly a dry herb only kind of dude so that’s not a big deal for me. Plus you can always sandwich them in the middle of a bowl if you really want.
The device also can also get hot after long sessions, but not near as hot as some other units like the Grasshopper or Vapir Prima.
The Davinci IQ retails for $274.99 and you can click here to pick it up directly from the manufacturer.
Thanks for reading my Davinci IQ vaporizer review and let me know if you have any questions about the IQ or any other vaporizer by leaving a comment below, or hitting me up on my contact page.