Phix by MLV
MLV may not be the most recognizable name in vaping, but they are one of the few seriously looking to take on the challenge of competing with JUUL in the closed pod mod market.
The Phix has actually been on the market for a while now, but we have received the latest updated version to run through a full review.
There’s only a couple of minor changes; it still has a 280mAh internal battery and uses ceramic coils to optimize flavor.
Let’s check out what else it has to offer.
An excellent looking device, with brilliantly perform pods both on airflow and lifespan.
Needs a proprietary cable to charge, not the most extensive range of flavors.
The Bottom Line
The Phix really is an exceptional pod mod. It may not have the greatest range of flavors, and those on offer may be a little light. But it packs in the performance with a perfectly tight draw, super smooth airflow and long lasting pods. An excellent choice.
- Dimensions: 110mm x 19mm x 10.75mm
- Pod capacity – 1.5 mL or “400 – 440 puffs.”
- Output wattage – 3.7v
- Battery capacity – 280 mAh or “220 puffs.”
- LED Firing and Battery Level Indicator
- Nicotine level – 5% nicotine by volume
- Coil type – ceramic
In the Box
- Phix pod mod
- Magnetic USB charger
- 1 x flavor pod (Original Blend Tobacco)
You might be forgiven for having pod mod fatigue by now; I know I have.
I mean, after all, they are just similar looking devices that resemble elongated USB sticks, right?
Well, that’s where the Phix stands out in my eyes. Yes, it’s not as different as some of the new shield/badge style pods like the Smok Rolo of the Smoant S8, but those are extremely unconventional.
When it comes to pen style pod mods, the Phix is certainly among the best looking. It’s smooth, but angular design not only gives it a premium look but make it a joy to use.
The one downside to the styling of the Phix is it only comes in one color – the dark ceramic.
While I’m perfectly happy with this and think it’s one of the attributes that help it to maintain that sleek look. Others might prefer some more daring color options to show off.
With the new version of the Phix, MLV have added to the sleekness of the design by removing the white printed branding and instead gone with a far more subtle engraving of the name.
It is a sexy looking pod mod and far more attractive than the JUUL in my opinion.
For such a lightweight device, the Phix does not feel flimsy and actually seems incredibly solid.
The most impressive part of the build quality for me is the seamless integration of the pods and the battery. They snap perfectly into place with strong magnets with no play or rattle.
Even though the pods possess the same diamond shape as the battery, there is a slight taper towards the mouthpiece, which is perfectly executed to create a better in the mouth experience.
The connection between the device and proprietary charger (more on this later) is also good, and the braided-like casing around the charger’s wire not only prevents unwanted tangles but screams quality.
The Phix actually stands taller than most other pod mods at 110mm.
Yet this doesn’t affect its pocketability at all. In fact, I find this to be one of the lightest devices on the market and barely even notice when it’s in my pocket. So overall I would say it scores above average on portability.
There’s nothing particularly innovative going on here, as we’ve seen closed system pod mods and ceramic coils before.
However, from what I can tell MLV were the first to merge the two to try and create a more flavorful MTL experience – and that’s certainly worth something.
It’s also a testament to MLV’s design of the Phix that recently we have seen a few more pod mods copy its angular form, the SMOK Infinix being the most recent and obvious.
The Phix is a simple to use and plug and play pod mod. There are no fire buttons, it’s draw activated and is excellently responsive to fire when you draw on it.
However, it does feature LED lights to indicate battery life and has its own snazzy charging system.
Although I do love the included proprietary cable for charging, with its strong magnetic connection and good build quality, it does annoy me somewhat.
On the whole, it’s one of the main things which lets this device down – much like the JUUL. In this day and age do we really need another proprietary charger? Surely a micro USB port would suffice and actually make it a damn sight easier to charge on the go.
The use of a proprietary charger also restricts the device, as there is no possibility of passthrough vaping.
This is where MLV have made a huge improvement over the first Phix model.
Previously it was almost impossible to tell when your battery was running low, even though the device had an LED light, it didn’t seem to utilize it to show battery level.
Now you have a Blue LED when the device is full down to 50%; it goes Amber when below 50%, and then flashes Red when it’s time to charge.
The LED is perfectly placed in the middle center of the battery and is bright enough to see without being too in your face.
As with all pod mods, the performance and usability fundamentally come down to the pods themselves. We’ve already discussed the decent build quality and impressive magnetic connection of the pods….but what else do they offer?
Well, each pod has a 1.5ml capacity, which is nearly double that of the JUUL pods. They feature cCELL ceramic coils, which is supposed to lead to a cleaner tasting vape, and they utilize salt-based nicotine, which is 5% per volume.
The Phix is one of the first closed system pod mods that I’ve used which I feel can really handle chain vaping.
It seems to wick consistently, and not once did I detected a hint of a dry burn. Although, I’d have to advise against chain vaping the Phix because 5% nicotine (per volume) is pretty strong, even with nic salt.
The Phix pods just do not leak, period.
I’ve taken half-used pods in luggage on a plane, I’ve shaken them about furiously in my kit bag, and I’ve even chain vaped the hell out of them – and not once did I notice any sign of leaking.
This is where the Phix pods really come into there own. I’m not sure if it’s due to the efficiently of the ceramic coils or the liquid used, but these pods seem to last forever!
As previously mentioned the Phix pods have double the capacity of JUUL ones at 1.5ml. However, in my experience, I was getting almost 3 times the life out of one Phix pod compared to a JUUL pod.
It’s like they just gently sip the eliquid……which is extremely impressive! It also goes some way to ease the pain and justify the not so impressive cost for a pack of pods.
However, I’d say bang for buck they do workout to be far more cost-effective than most.
Another place I feel the Phix is slightly lacking is in the available flavor range. Brewell MFG creates the pods and flavors, and there are currently 6 simplistic flavors available:
Original Tobacco, Ice Tobacco, Butterscotch Tobacco, Hard Strawberry, Spearmint and Cool Melon.
For some reason, we didn’t have an original tobacco flavor to test, but my quick impressions on all the other flavors are below:
A pretty solid strawberry flavor. More like a hard candy strawberry than a juicy natural strawberry, but pretty good.
A really nice spearmint – light and refreshing. Perhaps a little too light, could maybe do with a bit more flavor.
More of a mint tobacco than a menthol, and it’s actually quite light on the tobacco.
A definite rich mix of butterscotch and tobacco, probably the least light of all the flavors.
A really nice gentle melon, with a kick of coolness. The melon comes through well, and there’s no menthol mixing the flavor, still on the light side though.
The two standout flavors for me were probably the Cool Melon and Spearmint.
However, there is an underlying theme with all the flavors, which is they are all a little bit on the light side. That’s great if you don’t like your pods to be too overpowering. But I just wished for a little more intense Spearmint and Melon flavor to be present….which would’ve made them great.
So I’ve already established that the Phix doesn’t have the most extensive range of flavors, and those that it does may be a little on the light side if you are an intense flavor junkie.
But if you like your flavors a little lighter, you are going to love the performance of the Phix pods.
The Phix has excellent airflow. It’s a tighter but far smoother draw than that of the JUUL. I’m not quite sure how they’ve managed to make it so smooth, but somehow they have.
The throat hit yet you get from the pods is also perfectly poised. There’s no dry scratchiness when vaping the Phix that will trigger a coughing fit; it’s a smooth yet defined hit. Probably the smoothest draw of an MTL pod mod that I’ve tried.
As stated above, the flavor produced from the pods is genuinely very nice and clean, just a little light. This is potentially down to the ceramic coils being used.
Maybe they will release a more extensive range in the future, not only to give users more choice but also more intense flavors.
It also has to be mentioned again just how long these pods last.
The Phix comes with a 280mAh internal battery, which MLV reckon equates to 220 puffs for one full charge.
Now, I didn’t actually count the exact quantity of puffs I got from one full charge, but I’d say if anything that was a little conservative. The battery really did seem to last well, even considering my sporadic periods of chain vaping.
For a 280mAh battery, the Phix is truly impressive on battery life.
- Sleek design
- Great build quality
- Excellent lifespan of pods (especially for 1.5ml)
- Pods wick perfectly & hit consistently
- Smooth MTL draw
- No leaking
- Magnetic connections are decent
- Long-lasting battery
- Proprietary Charger
- No passthrough vaping
- A little pricey
There’s a lot to love about MLV’s Phix pod mod, and I really enjoyed using it.
It looks exceptional; the pods perform brilliantly, have an incredible lifespan, and the battery life is respectably solid. The new battery life indicator is also a welcome addition.
These are all great things that you want from a pod mod and potentially make it (as others refer to) a JUUL killer.
However, I’d rather see it as a JUUL alternative. If you like the flavor range that Phix has to offer, and you prefer a tighter draw, then it’s probably the better choice.
Unfortunately, I was not entirely won over by the flavor range. So it looks like I’ll have to wait patiently to see if Brewell decides to brew some more exotic flavors.