4stars

South Beach Smoke Review (Updated)

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Price: $39.99 - $159.99

Flavors: 10
Nicotine Levels: 4  
Cartomizer Price (15 Pack): $39.99
Warranty: Lifetime  
Free Shipping: No
Money Back Guarantee: 30 Days

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We first reviewed South Beach Smoke in December 2011, but a lot has happened during the last year so we decided to do an updated review of this popular e-cigarette.

During the last few years, South Beach Smoke has really established itself as one of the big players in the e-cig industry, not the easiest thing to do in such a rapidly-growing cutthroat business. With dozens of new e-cig brands popping up virtually every day, the company’s constant growth is nothing short of impressive. They’re celebrity-focused marketing strategy has really been paying off, giving them plenty of exposure both on the Internet and offline, but has their product really improved since the last time we tested it? Let’s find out:

Package Presentation

In our original review we got to play with the South Beach Smoke Deluxe Plus starter kit, but this time around we went for the more affordable Deluxe package, priced at $59,99. It comes in a nice small magnetic top box and includes pretty much everything you need to start your vaping experience:

    • 1 Standard SuperMAX Battery
    • 1 Extra-Capacity SuperMAX Battery
    • 1 Portable Wall Charger
    • 1 Deluxe USB Charger
    • 5 Large Cartomizers

One of the biggest improvements I’ve noticed is the recent inclusion of a USB charger to the Deluxe starter kit. I understand this is their entry-level package, but honestly, in this day and age, the lack of a USB charger didn’t make any sense. Now you can truly say they offer a complete package at an affordable price.

The SBS Deluxe kit comes in a smaller box than all the other e-cigs I’ve reviewed in the past, which is nice, because it doesn’t take up a lot of space and you can even fit in a small bag if need be, but otherwise it’s a pretty standard package. Although they are common KR808 units, the SuperMax batteries stand out from the competition  thanks to their flashy “crystal tip”, a nice change from the cheap-looking plastic covers most other brands use. One thing I didn’t particularly like is the wall charger; it’s just too big and has a useless short cord that leaves the battery dangling when you plug it into an outlet.

Battery Life

I’ve always been a fan of the South Beach Smoke SuperMAX batteries, especially the extra-capacity unit. Yes, it’s longer than most mini-style batteries sold by other brands, but it performs great thanks to a very sensitive switch and delivers up to 500 puffs on a full charge. As I mentioned, the crystal tip, which glows a bright orange-red when activated, is also a nice touch that adds to the “wow” factor of the electronic cigarette. South Beach Smoke says the standard 2.5-inch battery delivers between 300 and 400 puffs on a single charge, but during our tests we always got around 250. That’s not bad considering its size, but I personally had a lot more fun with the extra-capacity battery.

Like most other e-cig companies out there, SBS uses pompous phrases like “the most advanced electronic smoking battery manufactured today” to describe their SuperMAX batteries, without any data to back up that claim, but they are using Kr808 model batteries, so it’s not too far from the truth. Sure, they’re not the only ones using them, but while the vast majority of e-cigarette brands offer batteries regulated at 3.7 volts, South Beach Smoke ups the voltage of their devices to 4.2 volts. That’s pretty unique for a mini-style e-cigarette. Combined with low resistance cartomizers, this extra power delivers a hotter vapor and requires less draw to produce a satisfying amount of vapor.

Vapor Production

The first time I reviewed South Beach Smoke’s electronic cigarettes, I was impressed with their vapor production, and I’m happy to report there are no changes in this department. As mentioned above, the combination of high-power batteries, a sensitive switch and low-resistance cartomizers ensures the user is rewarded with plenty of vapor at the slightest draw.

One very weird thing I noticed during testing was that vapor production was influenced by the cartomizers I used. For example, I found the cherry flavor much more rewarding in terms of vapor than the chocolate. They’re obviously the same model cartomizer but they performed noticeably different. I’m thinking this was probably just a random occurrence caused by a cartomizer defect, because most times the vapor production of the SBS e-cigarette was very good.

Flavors

The change of flavors was the main thing that convinced me to do another review of the South Beach Smoke e-cigarette, because the first time around I wasn’t too impressed with them. I had also noticed a series of new flavors in the company’s line-up, and since flavor diversity was also a problem in the original SBS review, I decided to do a follow-up.

Now, while South Beach Smoke has improved its range of flavors, adding two more tobacco varieties, I can’t really say I’ve noticed a big change as far as taste goes. I have no idea what they put in their e-liquid, but it’s certainly not something I enjoy vaping. With a couple of exceptions – cherry and chocolate, which were pretty good – SBS flavors all had  the same weird medicinal taste that I noticed the last time I used them. And it’s a real shame, because this is the only thing holding back their e-cigarette from being one of the best on the market.

As always, I’d like to point out that flavors are really subjective, just because they’re not to my taste doesn’t mean you won’t like them either. So if this is the only thing keeping you from choosing South Beach Smoke, go ahead and give them a try, you might be surprised. And if you don’t like them, you can always refill the cartomizers with different juice, even though South Beach Smoke doesn’t encourage this practice (obviously).

Price vs Value

After trying a variety of mini-style electronic cigarettes since the last time I tested it, it’s fair to say I’ve been a bit hard on South Beach Smoke, giving it a rating of just 2.5 stars out of 5. The truth is their 4.2-volt battery alone is worth your money, and at $59.99, the Deluxe starter kit is one of the most affordable you can find on the market today. Vapor production is also above average for this class e-cigarette, and the crystal tip is bound to turn some heads every time you “light up” in public. For me, the only thing messing up the package are the flavors, but again, this a matter of personal preference. Overall, South Beach Smoke is a good electronic cigarette.

Pros:

    • powerful 4.2-volt SuperMAX batteries
    • above average vapor production
    • sensitive switch
    • automatic and manual batteries
    • great value for the money

Cons:

    • the flavors
    • outdated wall charger
Conclusion Rating
Presentation
3 stars
Battery Life
5 stars
Vapor Volume
4 stars
Flavors
2 stars
Price
4 stars

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