Having previously published an article from Innokin regarding their press release on the new Surge Ultrasonic Vape, a brand new concept in the vaping world, we asked Innokin/Surge if we could be given the opportunity to review this new technology first hand.
Developing a vape device that has no coil but relies on high speed ultrasonic vibrations to vaporize e-liquid sounded like a game changer that could turn the vape market upside down. While this Surge Ultrasonic Vape device uses pre-filled pods commonly known as a closed pod system, the big question on most of our lips has to be does it work and will it be developed later down the line to facilitate fillable pods?
Innokin kindly enough responded saying they would send us one to review once they became available. Not long after, we received two Surge devices and a selection of their flavored pre-filled pods to put to the test.
Eager to see how and if it performed as well as its conventional counterparts, we were very excited to try them out.
Read on and see if we had unearthed more questions than answers.
The Surge Ultrasonic Vape device is a non-adjustable draw activated Mouth to Lung (MTL) pod device with pre-filled flavored pods and incorporates an internal rechargeable 700mAh battery.
We believe it’s made out of Zinc Alloy and PCTG and resembles the size and shape of a standard vape pen device. The Surge Ultrasonic Vape body is pretty lightweight and has no controls or on/off button. The only interface being the Type-C charging port and a small color changing LED that illuminates through the Surge logo when you draw on the pod or the device is being charged.
Obviously the massive difference with the Surge device is the new ultrasonic technology used in the non-refillable pod that negates the need for any conventional coil. Vaporizing the e-liquid in the pod is carried out by very high speed ultrasonic vibration.
The Surge Ultrasonic Vape pens are available in 5 different colors with 6 different pre-filled flavored pods. At present there is not an option for re-fillable pods but hopefully in the near future they will be introduced.
Included with the Surge Ultrasonic Vape kit is a pre-filled Polar Mint flavored pod with 18mg (1.8%) strength nicotine salts. The capacity of this pod is 1.8ml of e-liquid and once this e-liquid is all used up, you replace the pod. Also included in the kit is a Type-C charging cable and an instruction leaflet.
There is no adjustable airflow; instead it relies on one small pin hole on the side of the Surge Ultrasonic Vape body to provide the necessary airflow for a smooth airy to semi-restricted Mouth to Lung (MTL) draw.
Because of its simplicity, the Surge Ultrasonic Vape is aimed more at the beginner vaper, someone wishing to transition from smoking to vaping. Also, don’t forget, these pods DO NOT have a coil!.
I would like to thank Anna at Innokin for sending me the Surge Ultrasonic Vape Kit for the purpose of this review. As always this review is completely unbiased and is my honest opinion based on my findings while using the supplied Surge Ultrasonic Vape Kit and flavored pods.
Suorin Air Pro Review
- Features and Specifications
- What’s in the Box?
- Surge Ultrasonic Vape Design and Appearance
- – Surge Ultrasonic Vape Body
- – Surge Ultrasonic Vape Pod
- Surge Ultrasonic Vape Functionality
- Surge Ultrasonic Vape Performance
- Surge Ultrasonic Vape Pod Flavors
- Surge Ultrasonic Vape Battery Performance
- When and How do I Change the Surge Ultrasonic Vape Pod?
- How do I Charge the Surge Ultrasonic Vape?
- Surge Ultrasonic Vape Kit Price
- Surge Ultrasonic Vape Kit Verdict
- Surge Ultrasonic Vape Kit Summary
Features and Specifications
- Dimensions: 112mm x 21mm x 12.5mm
- Weight: 35 grams
- Construction: Zinc Alloy
- Pod Material: PCTG
- Mouthpiece: Fixed
- Charging: Type-C USB 5V/1.5A
- E-liquid Capacity: 1.8ml Pod
- Pods: Pre-filled, Polar Mint 18mg
- Firing Method: Draw Activated
- Battery Specification: Internal 700mAh
- Display: Color Changing LED illuminating Surge Logo
- Airflow: Fixed
- Ultrasonic High Speed Vibration (No Coil)
What’s in the box?
- Surge Ultrasonic Vape Device
- Surge Ultrasonic Vape Pod – Polar Mint 18mg/50mg
- Type-C USB Cable
- User Manual
Surge Ultrasonic Vape Design and Appearance
The Surge Ultrasonic Vape Body
The Surge Ultrasonic Vape is a relatively new concept in the vaping industry and is manufactured by Innokin but marketed as Surge. Unlike conventional vape devices, the Surge Ultrasonic Vape doesn’t use a coil to vaporize the e-liquid. Instead it relies on an Ultrasonic chip inside the pod that vibrates at 3MHz (3 million times a second) to vaporize the e-liquid.
This method of vaporizing is claimed to operate at a lower temperature than conventional coils and also produces less toxins by not heating a metal coil such as Kanthal, Stainless Steel or Nickel, therefore producing a purer taste. Because it doesn’t use a coil, it also eliminates dry hits.
Because of this technology, we can’t talk about power output in terms of wattage as it doesn’t exist. The Ultrasonic chip vaporizes the e-liquid in the pod producing the vapor. There are no controls to reduce or increase the intensity of the vape, it is what it is.
Constructed out of, I presume Zinc Alloy, it’s a one piece casing with the exception of the removable pod and a push fit PCTG base that incorporates 5 battery venting holes. Measuring 112mm tall (including the pod) by 21mm wide and 12.5mm thick and weighing in at 35 grams, it’s a pretty lightweight and compact device.
Powered by an internal 700mAh battery and chargeable via the Type-C side located USB charging port specified as 5V/1.5A, charging time will take approximately 30 minutes. It’s draw activated only with a single fixed airflow hole which provides the airy to semi-restricted MTL draw. There is no fire or on/off button.
The only visible display on the Surge Ultrasonic Vape is a colour changing LED that sits inside the Surge casing and illuminates through the “Double U” Surge logo when you draw on the pod in the color that corresponds to the level of charge left in the internal battery. This LED will also illuminate when the Surge is being charged or it’s displaying any notifications of the different levels of protection.
This LED is dual color showing either white or red, depending on the battery current status:
- White = Higher than 20%
- Red = Lower than 20%
Safety features of the Surge Ultrasonic Vape include:
- Overtime Protection (5 seconds)
- Low Battery Voltage Protection
There are 5 different colors available in the Surge Ultrasonic Vape range:
- Space Grey
- Spartan Green
- Sunset Pink
- Aurora Purple
The two colors I received to test for this review were the Space Grey and Aurora Purple versions which do look subtle with a two tone color fading blend. The overall finish is semi-matte so won’t show any fingerprint marks etc.
On the front facing side of the Surge is the double “U” logo with the LED beneath and “Surge” stamped into the lower bottom of the casing. The reverse side is completely smooth with just the “CE” markings and “700mAh” and “2.59Wh” stamped into the lower bottom of the casing.
One side of the Surge Ultrasonic Vape has the Type-C charging port (5V/1.5A) located pretty centrally with a single air intake pinhole towards the top of the casing. The other side is clear.
While the Surge Ultrasonic Vape body is essentially oval, the front and back surfaces have a tapered flat section so your thumb and finger rest more securely giving a comfortable grip area.
The base of the Surge is flat with what looks like a black PCTG insert that has 5 battery venting holes. Good to see they are there as some devices don’t seem to include these.
At the top of the Surge is a deep recessed opening where the pod locates. Two circular magnets sit either end inside this recess with two gold plated spring loaded contact pins that sit slightly off center. There is a small pin hole by one of the magnets that I assume allows for the auto draw to operate.
This pod recess is symmetrical so the pod will fit either way round. Strangely enough, when the pod is inserted there is no indication on the LED but when it’s removed the LED will flash.
The Surge Ultrasonic Vape Pod
The Surge Ultrasonic pod supplied with the kit comes pre-filled with Polar Mint flavored e-liquid at 18mg strength nicotine. There are 5 additional e-liquid flavors available that can be purchased separately.
Each Pod comes in a sealed plastic carton with a white silicone rubber mouthpiece bung and a white silicone bottom section that protects the pods contact pins and magnets.
Having an e-liquid capacity of 1.8ml and an integrated non removable duckbill mouthpiece, once the e-liquid has been vaped, the pod is simply discarded and a new pod fitted.
You will notice there are no coil resistance markings on the pod, simple because the pod has NO COIL and contains the ultrasonic vape device that vibrates the e-liquid at very high frequency (3MHz) to produce the vapor.
The pod is manufactured out of semi opaque black PCTG material which is pretty dark so you will have to hold this up to the light to see the level of e-liquid remaining in the pod. An oval mouthpiece measuring approximately 6mm provides the MTL vaping style.
On the underside of the pod are three gold plated coil contacts, the central one being the positive contact and the two outer ones the negative contacts. Because the contact pins in the Surge body are slightly off center, the pod can be fitted either way round so either one of the negative contacts will always make contact with the spring loaded pin in the Surge body.
Two small outer magnets secure the pod to the surge body and two airflow ports adjacent to the magnets locate with the single draw activator sensor in the Surge body. Again because these two airflow ports are opposed to each other, the pod when fitted either way round will always line up to the draw sensor in the Surge body.
When the pod is fitted to the Surge body, strangely enough the U logo LED doesn’t illuminate to indicate it has been fitted but will flash red and white twice when it’s removed. It’s a nice snug fit within the Surge casing and is held securely in place.
On the concealed part of the pod are the words “Surge” on one side and “USONIC” “Polar Mint”, which is the flavor and “18mg/ml” on the other side.
During the time I’ve been using the Surge Ultrasonic Vape, each time I’ve removed the pod to replace with a new pod, there were no signs of leaks or any condensation on the base of the pod or around the Surge contact pins.
Surge Ultrasonic Vape Functionality
It doesn’t get any simpler than this, there are no controls, no adjustments, not even a fire or on/off button. Simply fit the pre-filled pod and away you go. Draw on the pod and vape.
The only indication on the Surge Ultrasonic Vape is the illuminated U logo LED which lights up when you draw on the device and cycles when the device is on charge.
This dual-color changing LED will highlight the status of the battery during use and while it’s charging with two colors as shown below:
- White – >20% of charge
- Red – <20% of charge
The chip set that controls the Surge Ultrasonic Vape provides a visual indication of the safety and operating functions via the Illuminated U logo LED as follows:
- Charging – LED cycles on and off (red or white)
- Full charge – LED remains constant (white)
- Low battery – LED flashes red 5 times
- No Pod fitted/removed – LED flashes red and white twice
- Overtime protection (5s) – LED flashes 5 times
Surge Ultrasonic Vape Performance
Straight out the packet, each of the flavoured pods can be used straight away with no fear of dry hits or any burnt tastes. However, the ramp up time did appear very slow. When the pod has been left for a while, the first couple of draws provide very little flavor or vapor. After the initial draws, the flavor and vapor did start to come through.
Flavor was quite muted on all the flavored pods we tried and vapor was average, certainly less than you would get from a conventional coil but about the same you’d expect from a cigarette. A long draw or quick multiple draws on the pod did increase the vapor production.
I’m not sure if it’s the strength of the pre-filled pods not being overly flavored or if the ultrasonic technology is not performing as good as a conventional coil does. Only way to verify this would be to have fillable pods to try with known e-liquid against to do a comparison between.
At the moment the only pods available are pre-filled but hopefully Innokin/Surge may release an open pod system to enable any e-liquid to be used.
With two of the flavored pods I tried, gurgling when drawing on them was quite prominent and surprisingly didn’t really go away. Some of the other pods I found did gurgle now and again although despite trying to absorb the e-liquid with a paper towel against the mouthpiece it didn’t clear the gurgling.
The draw on the pod with the single airflow hole was fine, providing a nice airy to semi-restricted MTL vaping experience. I did find at times i preferred a longer Direct To Lung (DTL) draw.
I did find after half a dozen or so draws both the pod and the Surge body get warm to the touch which I’m guessing can only be the ultrasonic device that’s causing this.
Auto draw worked every time, in fact it was really good. Even the slightest draw activated the Surge Ultrasonic Vape but as already mentioned, a longer or more forceful draw is required to get the full benefit in terms of flavor and vapor.
E-liquid in the pod seemed to last for ages, in most cases the 1.8ml pod would last a couple of days at least which was very impressive. When the E-liquid in the pod was nearly empty I was getting the odd spit back through the mouthpiece.
Surge Ultrasonic Vape Pod Flavors
Innokin were very kind enough to send us all 6 of their available flavors to try. All the flavors we received were 18mg (1.8%) strength but we couldn’t find out if they were nicotine salts or freebase nicotine. Because they are 18mg strength, I’m assuming they would be nicotine salts.
The 6 flavors available in the Surge Ultrasonic Vape pod range are: Polar Mint, Watermelon Ice, Rich Tobacco, Smooth Tobacco, Blueberry Ice and Green Mint.
We’ve given a brief description of each flavor and what we thought.
Quite a strange one this, it’s not mint, it’s not spearmint or peppermint but reminds me of a Foxes Glassier Mint. It really isn’t very flavored BUT it IS icy (cold). The ice feeling hits the throat on the draw intake and remains cold in the back of your throat. I didn’t have any lingering flavor taste other than my tonsils feeling cold.
Watermelon Ice –
I’m a lover of watermelon but this is not a traditional watermelon taste. While I could detect the watermelon it seemed to be surrounded with a perfume taste that distracted from the initial flavor. The ice feeling on both the draw intake and after feeling again was very cold on the throat and for me overpowered the flavor.
Rich Tobacco –
This is a little unfair because in the 7 years of vaping I’ve only ever vaped tobacco flavors if I’m forced to when doing reviews as I don’t like tobacco flavors as they remind me of smoking. While I didn’t notice any coolness on the intake and after-feeling, it did remind me of the smoking taste even though the flavor was not that strong.
Smooth Tobacco –
Oh no, I’m sorry guys. This flavor is a bit stronger but definitely a tobacco taste and I really don’t like it. To be partial and obtain an unbiased view, I will ask the other members of Vapinghardware to try and give their honest opinion.
Blueberry Ice –
Definitely a nice blueberry flavor but not overly strong. The ice again was a little too overpowering for me and found that the ice does distract from the blueberry aftertaste. I’m not sure how to explain this but the blueberry wasn’t sweet but reminded me of a dry taste.
Green Mint –
I honestly had trouble distinguishing the green mint flavor from the polar mint. There was a very slight minty taste but I found the ice was very powerful which masked the chance of tasting any flavor. After a few draws on this pod my throat was beginning to hurt. Even after a few minutes of not vaping, if I did a sharp intake of breath the coldness at the back of my throat still hurt.
Oh dear, of all the 6 different flavors we tried I’m struggling to find one that I really liked. While they weren’t horrible I found the flavors of each quite muted and a little nondescript. All of the different flavors appeared to be quite dry with very little aftertaste.
Apart from the two tobacco flavors, the remaining ones were for me very overpowering with the additive of coolness (ice). While I enjoy a few sweet flavors with an ice additive, I don’t like it to distract from the prominent flavor. The polar mint and green mint while being very similar, the strength of the ice was just too strong and at times meant I couldn’t continue vaping them and switched to one of my other devices with my own flavors.
I did let the other guys here at Vapinghardware try the 6 different flavors and unfortunately their feelings on them were very similar to mine..
Surge Ultrasonic Vape Battery Performance
The Surge Ultrasonic Vape is powered by an internal 700mAh battery. Charging time is very good, taking approximately 30 minutes to fully charge via the on board 1.5 amp Type-C USB charger/cable.
On average I was achieving around 8 hours vaping from a fully charged battery. This time will vary depending on your vaping style i.e. duration and frequency of your draw.
The battery level indications on the LED are pretty accurate so you will know that once the LED is showing red when you vape, the battery level remaining is below 20% of its charge. I found that I was getting around an hour of usage left before the battery cut out and started flashing 5 times.
Once the LED flashes red 5 times, you will no longer be able to vape and will have to re-charge the battery. The Surge Ultrasonic Vape does have pass through meaning you can vape while it’s being charged.
When and How Do I Change The Surge Ultrasonic Vape Pod?
Because the Surge Ultrasonic Vape is NOT re-fillable, once the e-liquid inside the pod is finished you will have to replace with a new pre-filled pod. A visual indication is simply carried out by turning the device upside down and check for any remaining e-liquid in the pod mouthpiece.
I did notice when the pod is virtually empty, drawing on the device does cause spit-back but as specified no burnt taste. Continuing drawing will just end up with no vapor of flavor. Either way, discard the pod and fit a new one.
Pull the pod away from the Surge body and the U logo will flash red and white twice. Discard of the pod sensibly and replace with a new pod ensuring it snaps into place and located against the magnets.
How Do I Charge The Surge Ultrasonic Vape?
As you draw on the Surge Ultrasonic Vape, if the Surge logo LED flashes red 5 times, it’s time to re-charge the battery. Using the supplied charging cable, plug the cable into the Type-C USB port on the side of the Surge body. Connect the other end into a suitable power source (typically 5V/1.5A).
When the Surge Ultrasonic Vape is first placed on charge, the Surge logo LED will flash red in color. Once the charge increases beyond 20% of its full capacity (approx. 1 minute), the Surge logo LED will change to a flashing white color.
Once fully charged, the Surge logo LED will remain constantly illuminated in white indicating the charge cycle has been completed. When using a 1.5A or higher power source, from fully discharged to full charge will take approximately 30 minutes. Using a 1A power source the charging time will increase to 45 minutes.
Do note the Surge Ultrasonic Vape does have a ‘pass-through” function therefore you can vape while it’s being charged.
When the Surge Ultrasonic Vape is on charge, the casing does remain very cool to the touch which is always a good sign. Do ensure when charging this, and any other device for that matter, charge on a non-flammable surface.
As always, NEVER leave your vape device unattended while on charge.
Surge Ultrasonic Vape Kit Price
The current price for the Surge Ultrasonic Vape kit is around £10-£13, while the re-fillable pods come in packs of two and are priced around £8.
Alternatively go direct to Surgevapor.com and following the links to buy both the Surge Ultrasonic Vape kit and flavored pods.
Surge Ultrasonic Vape Kit Verdict
- Good build quality
- Slim and stylish
- Draw activation very responsive
- Good battery life
- Quick charge cycle
- E-liquid in pod lasts ages
- Flavors quite muted and dry
- Long ramp-up time
- Ice in flavors excessive
- Pre-filled pods only
Surge Ultrasonic Vape Kit Summary
Considering I’ve not used an ultrasonic vape device before I wasn’t sure how it would perform. It’s slim, sleek, well built and does give a reasonable vape. While the flavor came through, I wasn’t too keen on the limited strength of all the flavors and didn’t like the overpowering ice blast. Ramp up time was an issue for me too. Having to draw several times before it started working was not to my liking.
Its 700mAh internal battery is pretty decent for the size of the pod kit and battery life is very good. Charging time is also very quick in around 30 minutes. Draw activation was very good and even worked faultlessly with the lightest of draws.
Considering the capacity of e-liquid in the pod is 1.8ml, it lasted for a good couple of days which really was unusual and was very impressive.
I’m still not convinced that the ultrasonic technology is comparable against conventional coils yet. Smokers wishing to switch to vaping would find this a good device but users of conventional coils may find the Surge Ultrasonic Vape a little underrated.
Hope you enjoyed this review and found it useful and helpful, explaining what it does and doesn’t do. If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to leave us a comment below.
If you do have one or are planning to buy one, please let us know your thoughts on the Surge Ultrasonic Vape.