Build quality and design
The machining and finish are incredible on the body of the zinc alloy chassis. The build quality is really good, in spite of a little wobble on the top. Its dimensions are 78.8 mm x 43.7 mm x 15.5 mm making it about the size of the Orion Go. It weighs around 95 grams, which is much heavier than most pocketable pod vapes. But it feels good in the hand, and it looks and sounds just like the world’s most popular lighter when you play with it… which you will do! It’s impossible not to. It even has a cam lever (just like the lighter) that’s responsible for that satisfying click or for silent and easy opening.
The Aurora Play has an automatic draw, but it also has an on/off button (simple 5-click) right above the micro USB port, located on the narrow front side. Vaporesso says the retail version will have three pre-sets for wattages accessed by the on/off button: green/12.5 watts, Blue/10.5 watts, and red/9 watts.
The original Aurora had plastic cylindrical tanks where the coil head was replaced. Now the Aurora Play uses magnetic disposable pods. The capacity has gone up from 1.2 mL to 2.0 mL, and you’ll be able to monitor your juice levels with two 6.5 mm x 8 m juice windows.
There is one available pod for this device, a 1.3-ohm MTL pod designed for nic salts (two come with the kit).
Refilling the pods is easy thanks to the Vaporesso press-to-fill system. There’s a spring-loaded valve on top of the pod that fills the reservoir when pushed down with your dropper. Plastic or needle tips work best and cleanest for the refill, but glass droppers may make a little mess on top of the pod. Either way, you may want to keep a napkin handy when refilling. The main issue for me with this design is once you fill your pod, you don’t have access to any port that will allow you to drain the pod. Make sure you actually like the liquid before filling the Aurora Play!
The first Aurora had a tip that looked like the head of a character in the cartoon Snorks (anyone remember that?). It had an odd shape, it felt cheap, it was proprietary, and it could easily fall off and get lost. The pre-production tip has similar faults with coming off too easily and feeling a bit cheap. But Vaporesso informed us that the tip will be better for the retail product. It will not be removable, and it will keep the nice 510-style tip form factor.
The Aurora Play has an automatic and easy draw that hits quick, and it’s got a nice throat hit with warm vapor. The vapor output is decent for a pod vape, and the flavor is good from the CCELL coils. But what I find to be interesting is that thicker juices work better for me with this coil. While chain vaping the Aurora Play, I have no problem taking 20 hits in succession with 70 VG and low nic. With 50/50, I can barely get to 10 rapid hits before the flavor tastes off to me. It takes just a minute or so for the coil to get back to performing back to normal, but it seems to me that CCELL may be better with thicker juices. I guess that explains why I see CCELL coils in oil carts.
I’ve had no leaking from the pods, no spitting, and no surprise burnt hits. The only time I even get a dry hit is when I’m pushing the coils to their limits, which is not actually how I vape. All in all, I think these coils are solid performers… but I wish they worked as good with 50 VG as I find they do with 70 VG. I haven’t had the device long enough to exhaust even one coil, but I have vaped on several and they all worked fine. No random duds in my package (and I tried six coils). Let’s hope the quality control keeps up as production ramps up.
The Aurora Play has a 650 mAh battery. The battery life feels normal to me. Nothing too great and nothing too bad. It should easily get you through the day of moderate vaping, but if you vape a lot you will need to recharge at least once a day. Luckily, the Play has pass-thru charging. To charge it, it takes close to an hour (more than 50 minutes, but less than 60 minutes).
Pros / Cons
- Quality manufacturing and machining
- Easy draw perfect for MTL
- No leaking
- Good flavor
- Nice throat hit
- Good flavor
- Easy to use
- Responsive automatic draw
- Juice window gives an accurate picture of juice level
- Low-quality mouthpiece comes off too easily (pre-production run)
- Press-to-fill prevents easy removal of liquid
- Top is a little wobbly
The Aurora may look like a novelty item, but it’s a legitimately good vape. It feels just like the flip top lighter (which shall not be mentioned), but the vape quality stands on its own. The machining and the finish are really well done, and it’s even gotten me compliments from non-vapers. With the changes that Vaporesso says will be in the retail version, it feels safe to assume it will be a good buy.
• 1 x AURORA PLAY Kit with POD (2ml, 1.3Ω)
• 1 x Additional POD (2ml, 1.3Ω)
• 1 x E-juice Filling Bottle (10ml)
• 1 x USB Cable
• 1 x User Manual
• 1 x Quick Guide
• 1 x Warranty Card