PAX 3 vs. DaVinci IQ
PAX 3 vs. DaVinci IQ
If a quality vape that looks as good as it rips is what you’re hunting for, there are two new options that have just hit the market and they happen to have a lot in common (aside from making clouds, that is).
These two start to stand apart when looking at the ability to use concentrates, interchangeable batteries, ease of loading, and of course, form factor.
So which one should you get? Let's take a look.
Table of Contents
WHAT’S THE SAME?
In addition to price, warranty, and heating, the PAX 3 and IQ both feature ovens at the opposite end of the vape from the mouthpiece — resulting in cooler, smoother vapor. They both have haptic vibration feedback and about 90 minutes of straight vaping time.
Both are capable of good results with a less than full oven when using the included spacers and both have slick magnetic closures in their lids.
As with most conduction vaporizers, both the PAX 3 and IQ will give you best results with a fine grind and tight pack.
One major differences is the PAX 3 allows you to use both herbs and concentrates (with the included ‘concentrates insert’) whereas the IQ is strictly for flowers. The PAX 3 does a surprisingly great job for a “2 in 1” but for us this wasn’t a game changer since we like to select the best tool for the job at hand.
One thing we really love about the IQ is how easy it is to load—DaVinci really got this feature right. The mirrored, slightly concave surface around the oven works as almost a “loading dock”, catching your herbs and letting you easily slide them to where they need to be. Simple, but extremely well thought out, improving our experience which is something we love to see manufacturers taking the time on.
The IQ also introduces a ‘Flavor Chamber’ which sits between the oven and mouthpiece allowing herbs loaded in there to infuse vapor with their flavor, while catching reclaim. Not a big feature for us but a noteworthy vaporizer innovation for those who are interested.
The PAX 3, is no slouch. The smart tech packed in this ultra discreet, high design vape is the real magic. With built in motion and lip sensors, the PAX 3 is automatically heating when you want to vape and staying cool (more importantly keeping your herbs cool) when you’re not. This takes that 90 minutes of straight vaping time and really stretches your real world battery life.
The IQ has one last feature to dazzle power users, a replaceable 18650 battery — usually only seen on niche vapes. This combined with a couple spare batteries and a wall charger (none of which is included) will keep you vaping as long as you like.
WHAT'S BETTER ABOUT THE DAVINCI IQ?
There's a lot to love about the IQ. As we’ve mentioned, loading is a breeze, and we find the IQ’s vapor has a cleaner, longer lasting flavor profile than the PAX 3. This may be because the vapor actually feels cooler than the PAX 3 (though the exterior tends to get warmer).
The IQ gives you full customization over four “Smarth Paths”, allowing you to change the temperature and the time the vape stays at those temperatures with the smartphone application. It's an innovative feature and we wouldn't be surprised if it caught on.
The fact that it’s not necessary to use the app in order to set the IQ to a degree specific temperature or activate one of the Smart Paths also gives it an edge over the PAX 3 for those users who really like that control on board.
The Flavor Chamber is a great addition and the ability to replace batteries means that you'll never have to run out of juice.
WHAT'S BETTER ABOUT THE PAX 3?
If you’re someone who loves vaping concentrates (in addition to herbs) and does not want two devices, the PAX 3 is the vape for you since the IQ is for flowers only.
The PAX 3 has an intelligent and in our opinion superior heating system that only shuts off when you’re done using it (as opposed to the IQ’s 10 min. auto-shutoff). By tracking your movement, such as when you set it down for 30s or if you don’t take a draw for 20s, the PAX 3 starts to cool automatically when you’re not vaping. As soon as you pick it up again or move towards taking another draw it heats back up to it’s set temperature in a flash. If the vape senses it is sitting still for 3 minutes it will automatically shut off.
Though it sounds complicated all of this happens behind the scenes. This is just another demonstration of user experience that has been well thought out and it works flawlessly during a leisurely couch based TV-viewing sesh!
The other big difference between the PAX 3 and the IQ is the shape. The PAX 3 takes much less space and is easy to sneak into a pocket or hide in a fist. This may seem minor, but for us, a portable being discreet is key and the PAX 3 does so absolutely effortlessly.
HEAD TO HEAD
The PAX 3's dock is quick to charge. You can trade 90 minutes of charge time for about 90-100 minutes of use (5-10 bowls depending on usage style). Unlike the IQ, it’s impossible to charge the PAX 3 without the dock. Probably because it takes up to four hours to charge the IQ via the USB port. But, of course, the IQ also gives you the option to buy extra batteries and a wall charger and swap out if you so desire.
With what comes in the box, we’d give this to PAX. If you don’t have a problem spending some cash on an extra battery or two and a wall charger then the IQ takes takes the win.
Though both vapes have about the same herb capacity, loading is where the DaVinci IQ easily outperforms the PAX 3. The IQ, in our opinion, is the easiest portable vaporizer to load on the market thanks to its large, beveled “loading dock”. The IQ is also a bit more forgiving than the PAX when it comes to packing.
Where the IQ does good with a loose pack and even better with a tighter tamp the PAX 3 HAS TO be packed tightly (as tight as you can cram it in) to really rip.
The PAX 3 has an intuitive and discreet interface that works with one button. You can even shake it to exit temperature change mode. The IQ's interface allows you to control pretty much everything on-board including degree level temperature control, choose a smartpath, initiate boost mode and dim the lights.
For the “set it and forget it” types the PAX 3 take the win. For you control freaks the IQ will satisfy your need to tweak and customize on-board.
Both vapes taste great and cool vapor effectively, but the IQ has an ever so slight edge on flavor, keeping your herbs tasting better for longer through the session.
It's fairly easy to clean both vaporizers. For the PAX 3 you'll want to do an isopropyl alcohol (ISO) bath for the mouthpiece and oven lids, ISO swab the oven and internal vapour tube.
The IQ has a few more parts, and you'll want to soak everything removable in ISO except for the battery. Again ISO swab the oven and anything sticky that is not removable. Scrape the inside of the Flavor Chamber before soaking if you want to harvest reclaim.
No winner for us here, but if you’re a honey hunter the IQ will allow you to collect some nice reclaim.
WHICH ONE SHOULD I GET?
Buy the PAX 3 if…
...you want to be able to vape concentrates and flowers, are looking to be as discreet as possible, don’t care about what specific temperature you’re vaping at only that it's working great, and don’t mind charging your vape at the end the day on a dock.
Buy the IQ if...
...you only vape flowers, need to pop in freshly charged batteries at will, want as much control as you can get on-board and will take any edge, even if ever so slight, on vapor quality despite needing to give up a bit of stealthiness to do so.
Both the IQ and PAX 3 are great vaporizers with a lot more in common than not—making them fairly interchangeable when it really comes down to it. Your personal vaping preference and style will be what makes one of these a better fit for you. It's hard to go wrong with either, they'll keep you satisfied. As always, feel free to ask any questions in the comments.