Arizer Solo 2 MAX Review
Hey guys, it's Sneaky Pete here and Arizer just came out with the new Solo 2 MAX, so let's take a look at what they’ve done this time around. Arizer came out with the Solo 2 back in 2017 and though it is an awesome device, clearly the Solo 2 MAX is meant to be the replacement. They look virtually identical and the Solo 2 MAX only comes in a carbon black colour; it doesn't have the blue colour option even though the device looks the same. Maybe a later drop?
More Accessories, Less Problems
There's been a number of changes and improvements to the Solo 2 MAX and one of the first ones you're going to notice is that they are now including a 14mm waterpipe adapter. Also with the Air MAX, they gave you a waterpipe adapter and I think that's awesome to see. Arizer includes one long stem as well as the waterpipe adapter and we think that's much more useful than giving you both the short stem and the long stem because we found that the short stem is too harsh. Along with the glass stem and the waterpipe adapter, you also get PVC travel tubes so that you can take your stems on the go. You also get a stirring tool and screen pack included. Personally, we wouldn't recommend using the screens. If you really hate getting a little tiny bit of flower in your mouth, you can use them, but you really don't need to as after you do two or three sessions, the stem has enough resin on it to catch any little bits of flower.
We like that they included the small end caps because you can load your waterpipe adapter and your stem, put the end caps on them and you can basically preload your session and take it on the go. The last thing that’s included is a USB-C charging cord with a wall power adapter. The Solo 2 MAX has a USB-C charging port rather than a DC or proprietary charger that the Solo 2 has. It might not seem like much but having USB-C charging on the Solo 2 MAX is so much more convenient than the proprietary charger on the Solo 2 because of how common USB-C is now; you can charge this device anywhere including battery packs and things like that. When you have a larger, proprietary charger, you would need to have that specific charger with you to restore your battery, so this is much more convenient.
Incredible Portable Battery Length
Like with the Solo 2, the Solo 2 MAX does not have a replaceable battery, but it is packed with dual 18650 batteries, so there is a tonne of battery life that will translate to about 3 hours of real-world use and that is absolutely crazy for a single charge. If you're in a real hurry, it also has a “use while charging” feature that some people really like. You really don't find too many portables that are going to boast a 3-hour battery life, so if you're looking for something with a tonne of battery so you won’t need to charge it all the time, the Solo 2 MAX might be right up your alley.
Arizer products are known to be super easy to use and the Solo 2 MAX definitely is. Arizer refers to this as a glass pod system and it's very easy to load these stems. You just scoop the stem into your grinder and use your finger to press the flower in there a little bit. We find that we don't press it down with the tip; the best practice is to press it down so that it's flat against the top just to compact the flower in there so it will stay in place.
Heat Before Using
One thing that you need to be aware of is that when this device is brand new, you’ll want to heat it up before you put your glass stems in for the first two to three times. If you try to put your glass stem in before you heat it up, it is going to be too tight and you're going to feel like you're breaking it. The internal gasket needs to be worked in a little bit, so just heat it up before you slide the stem inside the first couple of sessions. Once you have your stem in place, and it's loaded up and ready to go, you're going to press the central button to turn it on and then the top button at the same time. So, hold those buttons together and it will beep to let you know that it is turned on. As you’ll see in the video, the device is showing that it is currently 80° and it also shows 380° F, our target temperature.
To have the device heat up to your last used temperature, just press either up or down and that will engage the heater and get it going to whatever temperature you had it last. You can also press up or down to change the temperature by single degree control or hold the button up and down to change it by 10° increments.
Heats Up in Only 30 Seconds
The Solo 2 MAX has a ceramic hybrid heater, and it will reach the desired temperature in about 30 seconds, so it's not super-fast but it's not going to take forever. The inside of the bowl is made from stainless steel, but your flower stays isolated in a glass pod, and it should not come into contact with the stainless steel whatsoever. There is a tiny little bit of a convection increase with the Solo 2 MAX compared to the Solo 2; they say the Solo 2 MAX gives you 75% convection where the Solo 2 gives you 70% convection and the rest of the heat comes from conduction heating.
The Solo 2 MAX offers custom session settings. To modify your settings, press the central button that will open up the menu and you can now go through and change a whole bunch of different settings from the audio beep volume or if you want it to alert you when it gets to temperature, the auto shut off timer length, you can choose between Celsius or Fahrenheit, change the display brightness and you can also adjust the power on delay - we changed ours to 2 seconds and that's plenty.
Automatic Display/Control Inversion
The Solo 2 MAX has significantly more custom session settings than were available on the Solo 2, but it also has a couple other tricks up its sleeve. One of them that we really like which is the automatic display inversion. This is a built-in function and as soon as you turn the device upside down, the screen turns upside down as well. It's such a logical thing and we think Arizer was the first to do it. We believe the Air MAX was the first vape we with that function. They did one better with the Solo 2 MAX: they inverted the controls as well. Now when you press down what was the original down arrow will now move the temp or settings up and vice versa with the up arrow. The automatic screen and control inversion on the Solo 2 MAX is a clutch upgrade.
Dark Mode Keeps it Stealthy
Another feature that we love that was also available on the Air MAX is dark mode. If you hold the center and down button, it goes into dark mode and that gives you a much more straightforward interface. It doesn't offer you a full array of controls, the idea is that if you're looking for a stealthy way to vape, switch it into dark mode, if you're not looking for a stealthy way to vape or if you really don't care, you probably won't ever use dark mode, but it is a nice option. Although it is a more subdued screen experience, the display still provides substantial information but rather than having the big bright screen display, it has little icons to communicate instead. To return to normal mode, hold the down button with the central button and it's going to switch back into normal mode. Then when you're done your session, the device will turn off automatically, depending on what you have your session timer set to. Alternatively, you can just hold the central button and turn it off otherwise.
Great Session Vape with Tremendous Flavour
The Solo 2 MAX is a session style vape and is best used when you just load your stem up, put it in the chamber, turn the device on, sit back and have a good number of hits per session. It's not a one and done vaporizer and it's not designed to be, it's a sit back, enjoy your strain, enjoy the session style of a device. The flavour that you're getting from your session is absolutely incredible because your herb stays suspended in the glass pod system. The vapour will have a true and pure flavour as the MAX has an isolated air path as well, and that's going to contribute to the purity, but if you do two sessions per load, your first session is going to have all the flavour and the second one less so because there is only one long glass stem included.
We found the vapour pretty smooth, overall. We usually did our first session at about 380° and then go up to maybe 400° for the second session. If we’re using the waterpipe adapter, we even go up to 410-420° Fahrenheit to get those nice thick hits. If you're going to go 420° with this stem, you'll find it a little bit harsh, but that's just way too hot to be vaping dry. If you're used to doing one face melting hit on a ball vape, you might find the Solo 2 MAX a little bit on the weak side, but again, it's a session device and it’s meant to do multiple hits per one session to provide comparable level of effects.
Overall, the vapour is very pleasant. It had a nice and flavourful profile and wasn’t too harsh or anything like that. If you use this device at about 380° Fahrenheit, we think you're going to have a very nice, lengthy session without it feeling too rough on your throat.
Best Features Of Arizer Solo 2 MAX
Out of our favourite things about the Solo 2 MAX, the first is the upgrade to USB-C. While this might seem like a small thing, it just makes the device so much more usable, and we know it can be charged up pretty much anywhere you’re at because somebody's always going to have a USB-C cable.
We also really like that the battery life is 3 hours. This is an exceptionally long lifetime for a portable device between charges and that's 3 hours of use including heat ups, cool downs and what not. You're not going to find that kind of longevity too often in portable devices and it's one of those features that's actually going to come in handy pretty much every time you charge it.
Finally, we like the build quality and the pedigree. Arizer is known for making high quality, reliable products that last for years and years and years of trouble-free operation. They're kind of the Honda or the Toyota of the vape industry, so buying a device from a company with that kind of reputation fills us with a lot more confidence than if it's a company we’ve never heard of.
We absolutely love the automatic screen inversion. As soon as we saw that feature on the Air MAX, we were like, “why didn't somebody do this before?” It just makes way more sense and additionally, when you turn it upside down the controls change as well.
Worst Features Of Arizer Solo 2 MAX
Our least favourite things include the design and general aesthetic. They put zero effort into making it look different than its predecessor, they didn't give us a different colour, screen, or button from the original. When you place the two devices next to each other, they’re completely identical and we just don’t see the logic of making so many strides just to fumble at the goal line.
The only other real complaint that we have and it's similar to our previous complaint: it's been seven years since the Solo 2 came out, so it just doesn't seem like a massive change. There are some nice improvements internally and some solid enhancements as well and we think anyone who uses this is going to prefer it to the Solo 2, but if you already own a Solo 2 and you're really happy with it I don't know if this has enough features to make you want to have to upgrade to it. That being said, if we were buying a new vape at this point and had to choose between the Solo 2 and the Solo 2 MAX, we would definitely get the Solo 2 MAX as it's a way more modern device and all the improvements on it just make it way more futureproof.
Arizer Solo 2 Max Review Summary
The Solo 2 MAX might not be the sexiest update we've ever seen, but we just really don't know if it needs to be. Similar to the Solo 2, it is such a good vaporizer that there's so many people that are still using theirs seven years later and the MAX just gives you a better version of that. The USB-C charging is going to be useful for every person, every time you charge the device. You're getting 3 hours of battery life which is absolutely crazy. The glass pod system gives you great flavour and the end caps let you load it up in advance and take it on the go. You get the waterpipe adapter with it as well, and that’s awesome.
Overall, you're buying into a quality, reliable session-style vaporizer and if that's what you're in the market for, we think that the Solo 2 MAX is going to be something you're going to be really happy with. One last thing that we really like about it is that it uses the same stems that you have in the Solo 2 and in the Air MAX, all of those devices, so if you have any third-party stems, like the variety of ones we've sold over the years, they're all going to work with your brand-new Solo 2 MAX.
Keep it green, keep it sneaky; we'll see you next time.
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