Dry Herb Portable Vape Review - Second Look
It’s been a while since Davinci introduced the IQ in late 2016. So, we decided to take a second look and determine if it remains a contender in this very competitive space. In this Davinci IQ vaporizer review, we revisit its rather intelligent design and operating characteristics and share our updated opinion. Leonardo Davinci was a true renaissance man, a genius of art and invention. But does the company that dares to take his name deserve a seat in the pantheon of high IQ creators? Continue reading our full review of the Davinci IQ dry herb portable vaporizer to find out.
Executive Summary – IQ Review
The Davinci IQ is strictly a dry herb conduction vaporizer. It employs a 100% ceramic zirconia (also known as zirconium oxide) vapor path which provides the same flavor purity as glass but is twenty times stronger. It comes with an easy-to-use and highly functional Bluetooth App, a rechargeable replaceable battery, an assortment of cleaning and maintenance goodies, and a whopping 10-year warranty.
The IQ’s compact size, recessed mouthpiece, and haptic feedback (it vibrates) make it a solid choice for on-the-go use. And the pure taste from the ceramic vapor path allows it to compete with some pretty expensive desktops. It’s not going to produce vapor on par with the Volcano (reviewed here). But considering its relative size and price, the IQ more than measures up, fully capable of being your home session daily driver.
Davinci IQ Accessories We Like
Davinci sells an array of accessories for the IQ and here are the ones we think are worth considering. First would be an extra battery and the external charging dock which charges two batteries super fast.
Alternatively, you could go with the external power bank, a wafer-slim device that provides up to two full hours of use.
Next would be the 10-14mm water pipe adapter. This is not necessary but works perfectly with any standard glass rig.
If you don’t already have a glass option, the one we recommend is the Nectar Collector HoneyBird Core. This baby fits directly over the included 10mm extended mouthpiece and the VapeGuide team is quite impressed with the results.
And last in our list of handy accessories would be the glass spacers that effectively reduce the oven chamber size to accommodate smaller loads while keeping the pack tight. These are now included as standard with all new IQs.
So there you have it, our executive summary of the Davinci IQ vaporizer review, including our take on the most useful accessories. The IQ ranks where it matters – in categories like vapor quality, build quality, portability, and overall session control.
In addition, it’s well suited for outdoor activities due to its compact size, is easy to use in group settings, and its replaceable battery makes it an excellent choice for long trips.
Bottom line: the Davinci IQ remains one of our highest rated conduction vaporizers for overall enjoyment and vapor quality. If you already know this could be your vape, you can pick up the real deal with a ten-year warranty, all the trimmings, and the best price when you use our link by CLICKING HERE for the official Davinci shop.
They compensate us with a small commission if you click our links but it doesn’t influence your price or the independence of our reviews. If you appreciate any of our work we would greatly appreciate your support by clicking through our links to the vape dealers we recommend. It’s what keeps the lights on around here.
Full Review – Davinci IQ Vaporizer
So if you still need convincing, let’s dive into the details with a total tear-down. In this Davinci IQ review, we’ll go over all its features and how to use it with or without the App. We’ll go over the build quality, vapor quality, battery system, App operation, charging options, mouthpiece options, cleaning process, and finish up with the pros and cons. So let’s jump into this second look at the still very relevant Davinci IQ dry herb conduction vaporizer.
Build Quality and Components
The Davinci IQ is small and compact with a good weight and a solid feel. It’s easy to pocket, easy to conceal, and completely palm-able for discreet use.
The outer shell has a smooth brushed aluminum finish currently offered in stealth black, gunmetal gray, metallic blue, and a cool shade of forest green available only in the EU and Canada.
The buttons are smooth and solid, easy to push, and responsive. The LEDs are precise and plenty bright with a handy dimming option.
The top lid incorporates two interchangeable ceramic zirconia mouthpieces – one recessed and one raised which doubles as a 10mm water pipe adapter. Underneath are the removable ceramic zirconia flavor chamber and replaceable battery.
The lower lid, which incorporates the ingenious pearl tamping and heating feature, opens to expose the super smooth loading zone that funnels into the ceramic zirconia heating chamber.
Both lids are made of metal with well-engineered hinges that swing smoothly and form a solid seal. The buttons are located along one edge, the LEDs are on the front, and the micro USB plug is on the back.
The IQ comes with one 18650 3500mAh battery, a braided micro USB charging cable, a keychain herb canister, a keychain stirring tool or pick, some cleaning items, and the Davinci smartphone app available for iOS and Android.Check Price
The Davinci IQ is 3.54 inches tall, 1.65 inches wide and 0.94 inches deep. It weighs roughly 145 grams which may sound heavy for its size but overall it feels good. By comparison, the Pax 3 is 90 grams and the Crafty is 135 Grams.
The Pax 3, the IQ and, for most people, the Crafty, can be pocketed for use on the go. The unique thing about the IQ is that it can be completely covered in your palm for total discretion. The Pax comes close but its length causes it to stick out beyond the top of your hand.
Ceramic Zirconia Vapor Path
The Davinci IQ comes with two ceramic zirconia mouthpieces. One is a recessed flat mouthpiece that makes the unit easy to palm and conceal. The other is a raised mouthpiece using an extended tube that doubles as a 10mm water pipe adapter. The 10mm raised tube provides slightly less draw resistance, but you give up a small amount of concealment factor.
The mouthpieces are easy to swap. We prefer the raised mouthpiece at home and the flat one for when we head out. To perform the swap just flip open the top and pull out the silicone gasket. Remove the mouthpiece from the mold and change it for the other. Both mouthpieces have grooves that slide and snap perfectly into the silicone gasket. After you line up the grooves, place the mouthpiece into the top lid and make sure the vapor path is in line with the favor chamber before snapping it shut.
Ceramic Zirconia Flavor Chamber
The IQ comes with a removable ceramic zirconia pod called the flavor chamber that fits between the oven and the mouthpiece. The flavor chamber increases the surface area of the vapor path providing a cooling and smoothing effect. You may also insert any variety of herb into the chamber to provide additional flavor as the vapor passes through. The flavor chamber herb can then be vaped or smoked in a later session providing potentially increased potency.
To access the flavor chamber just flip open the top lid and the chamber will pop out. When the unit is clean and new the chamber almost jumps out so be careful when you pop the lid or it might launch into an inconvenient location.
Testing the Flavor Chamber
We tried a few sessions with three nuggets in the flavor chamber but did not notice a significant increase in potency when we vaped the nuggets later. In our opinion, having the extra nuggets inside the flavor chamber decreased overall session quality due to slightly additional draw resistance.
We then tried using lavender and mint inside the chamber purely for flavor enhancement. This a personal choice you may or may not enjoy. We tend to prefer vaping herbal blends whose flavors we already like, so we gained no significant benefit from using the flavor chamber in this manner.
However, the flavor chamber does increase the surface area of the vapor path, thereby providing an effective cooling benefit. Furthermore, it collects some stray material that could otherwise build up in the mouthpiece. This helps in reducing the overall cleaning effort.
You can also vape without the flavor chamber but this will slightly elevate the vapor temp and it may seem a bit harsher. It also makes cleaning a bit more difficult. We, therefore, recommend that you just keep it in place.
Ceramic Zirconia Heating Chamber
The Davinci IQ heating chamber and pearl tamping feature use the same ceramic zirconia as the mouthpiece and flavor chamber. The pearl works by slightly tamping down the material, decreasing the chamber space and conducting more heat onto the herb. This increases vapor production and helps keep conduction consistent within the chamber. The pearl can be twisted to extend deeper into the chamber but we recommend leaving it screwed in tightly because it’s easy to lose and you can possibly break the post if you make too many adjustments.
You can load about 0.3 grams using a medium grind and about 0.5 grams with a very fine grind. A fine grind and tight pack will increase draw resistance and cleaning requirements, but produce bigger clouds.
Rechargeable Replaceable Battery
The Davinci IQ uses a rechargeable-replaceable 3500mAh 18650 size battery and charges via a micro USB cable. It charges only within the device and it does not come with an external charging dock. You can pick up extra batteries for $10.95/piece. Average battery life runs about 60-80 minutes per full charge and the device will operate while charging.
The battery is located under the mouthpiece and is accessed by opening the top lid and pulling a latch. The IQ sports longer battery life than the Crafty but not quite as good as the Pax 3. Both the Pax 3 and Crafty will charge faster than the IQ, but only the IQ offers a replaceable battery. The Pax 3 averages 100 minutes of use on a full charge and takes about 100 minutes to fully recharge. The Crafty averages 30-45 minutes of use on a full charge and takes roughly 120 minutes to fully recharge.
The only downside to the battery setup is that it takes roughly 3 hours to charge a fully drained battery. You can mitigate this with an external charging dock that charges two batteries simultaneously in about 150 to 180 minutes. Or by using an external power bank.
Operating the Davinci IQ
To turn on the IQ you press the control button 5 times. The control button is the single circular button at the top. The LEDs will automatically illuminate showing your current battery life and the unit will begin heating up to replicate your last programmed function. At this point, you can choose from three options – Smart Path, Precision mode, or Boost mode.
To switch the LEDs between Fahrenheit and Celcius press the control button simultaneously with the up arrow and the down arrow (all three at once). Pressing the up/down buttons together will check current battery life and display it via the LEDs.
Vaping Down the Smart Path
The Davinci IQ comes preconfigured with four default Smart Paths that can be customized using the App. Each Smart Path has a starting temp, middle temp, ending temp, and session duration. The four default Smart Paths operate between 350 and 430 degrees Fahrenheit. Default Smart Path (DSP) setting number 1 starts at 350, gradually increases to 370 at the 5-minute mark and maintains 370 degrees for the remainder of the session. DSP2 runs the same program between 370 and 390, DSP3 is 390 to 410, and DSP4 is 410 to 430.Check Price
Vaping in Precision Mode
Another heating option is Precision mode. Precision Mode allows you to select any temp between 250 and 430 degrees Fahrenheit. To transition from Smart Path to Precision mode quickly push the control button once and select a target temperature. After selecting your target, the display will show the current temp and the IQ will intelligently seek the target. Press the up or down arrow to change your target and press the control button once to return to Smart Path.
The last heating option is Boost mode, activated by pressing and holding down the control button as long as you want the Boost to remain engaged. Boost mode rapidly increases the oven temperature to 430 degrees Fahrenheit and maintains that temp until you release the button.
Releasing the button while in Boost mode puts the device into a rapid cool down followed by Standby mode. This is so both you and the vape can cool down and take a breather after a high-performance boost. Once in Standby mode, pressing the control button or the up-down arrows returns the IQ to your previous setting.
Another mode, unrelated to heating, is Stealth mode, which dims the LEDs. Enter Stealth Mode by pressing the control button and the down arrow button simultaneously. Pressing the control button and up arrow button will return the LEDs to full brightness. The LEDs can be a bit bright in a dark setting so it’s nice to be able to dim them without having to use the App.
The Davinci IQ App
No review of the Davinci IQ would be complete without exploring its quite intelligent and useful App. When you open the IQ App it will show the current device status in the top right corner, with the current temp and target temp near the bottom. To select one of the four programmed Smart Paths, click the “select smart paths” option at the bottom of the screen. The device will turn on, display your selected Smart Path and the number of times you’ve used it in the upper right, and automatically begin heating. Once the IQ reaches your target temp it will vibrate once.
To customize a Smart Path click the menu option in the top left, select Smart Paths, and then select which path to edit. You may choose a name for each custom Smart Path and select “edit path.”
If you just want to target a specific temperature, you can press the plus or minus button and the IQ will automatically seek that temp. You can turn the device off by pressing the standby button below the target temp.
Other settings within the IQ App include turning the vibration alerts on or off – something you cannot do without the App. The IQ App gives you access to information like total usage, average session duration, average temp, and favorite path. Also available through the IQ App are a plant guide, walkthroughs, user manual in pdf form, troubleshooting tips and FAQs.
All in all, the IQ App is on par or better than that of the Crafty, which we have reviewed and rated in our Crafty vaporizer review.
Vaping with the Davinci IQ
For our standard application test, we used approximately 0.3 grams of medium grind dry herb. Finer grinds will produce bigger clouds but increase draw resistance. Be sure to load the entire chamber and pack it fairly tight for best results. Experiment with the default or custom Smart Paths until you find one that suits you. We prefer starting low, gradually raising the temp and finishing near the high end, sometimes with a Boost. We averaged between 10 to 30 draws per session, and each session will typically last from 5 to15 minutes depending on your choice of herb, starting temp, lung capacity, and attachments.
For a conduction vaporizer, the Davinci IQ has about average draw resistance. We find that using the 10mm extended mouthpiece provides the best flow. Compared to other palm-size vapes, the IQ is heavier but this provides a solid and well-built feel, making it easy to grip and pass in group sessions.
Water Accessories for the Davinci IQ
After testing the IQ quite a few times we can say without hesitation that our preferred configurations utilize the optional Honeybird Nector Collector combo and the Water Pipe Adaptor married with our favorite glass rig. So, although the IQ vapes like a champ on its own, if you can swing the glass accessories we highly recommend them.
Cleaning and Maintaining the Davinci IQ
Cleaning and maintenance are pretty easy with the Davinci IQ. All components can be easily removed and we just dropped them into some isopropyl alcohol to soak. Routine maintenance consists of emptying the heating chamber and brushing the bowl with the provided “chimney brush” following each session. You’ll know when it’s time for a full cleaning because draw resistance will increase and resin will buildup around the mouthpiece and flavor chamber holes.
The mouthpiece will gum up the fastest but it’s also the easiest to remove and clean. Just snap it out of the silicone gasket and drop it into some Iso along with the flavor chamber.
Next, assuming you’ve already emptied and brushed out the oven, hold the IQ front and center at eye level to make sure no alcohol flows into the oven, and swab it from below with an iso-dipped Q-tip. We don’t recommend removing the pearl but rather just wiping it off with the Q-tip.
Lastly, you should perform a burn-off cycle to remove any remaining alcohol that could queer your session with bad vapors. Oh, and you should also perform a burn-off cycle right after unboxing to remove any oils used in the manufacturing process.
Here’s a useful video from Davinci showing exactly how a pro does it:
Davinci IQ Vaporizer Review Summary
- Compact size
- Solid and well-built
- Easy to grip and pass
- Super pure and excellent flavor
- Best App we’ve tested
- Replaceable battery
- Multiple mouthpieces
- Water pipe ready
- Ten-year warranty
- Long charge time
- Draw resistance not as good as the Mighty or Crafty
The Breakdown | Davinci IQ Vaporizer Review
The Davinci IQ has been around since late 2016 and although they have made some very minor adjustments such as the addition of chamber spacers it remains substantially the same. We thought this little vape deserved a second look since it’s withstood the test of time so well, and we were not disappointed. It remains one of the best hand-held portable dry herb vaporizers on the market today.Check Price