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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

**REVIEW** iStick Pico Squeeze 2 TC Squonk Kit


STOP: this post is ONLY for those of legal age for nicotine use.
See the guide for state-by-state regulations

state-by-state regulations


This is the next-to-last vape device I will be reviewing for a while, but it's a unique one - at least for me. It's the iStick Pico Squeeze 2 TC Squonk. This one in "dazzling" (aka Rainbow) came from over at Breazy but it's currently available at a couple of other places. It's a beauty, yes?



Like I said, this one is unique for me. First off, I really had zero clues as to what half the name meant. In my opinion, "TC" and "Squonk" sound like descriptions for space shuttle equipment.What I have learned (from the 20-something younguns in my family) is that "TC" stands for temperature control and "squonk" is too complicated to explain in a few words so this link is highly useful for details. Very basically, to squonk is to squeeze soak the cotton and coil with a juice bottle attached to the vaping device. I did say "basically". This is another laymen explanation.

The entire kit (minus a battery)

Until now, I had only ever used the simpler methods of vaping. I didn't want to deal with anything as complicated as building and setting up a mod device, but I did want to experience something designed for better flavor and vapor production. Apparently, squonking is a nice compromise. Still, I had to have my nephew come over and attach the coil and cotton so I could try the Pico Squeeze 2.

Since I am in 'For Dummies" mode with this device, you will do better to view this extremely helpful video from Wendy Vapes for details on setting things up.

Her nails are always awesome, by the way

Speaking of Wendy,  you should subscribe to her channel anyway. She's very knowledgeable and has a way of clarifying things for newbies. And she's great fun to watch.

Once my nephew got everything all set up for me, I was ready to test the device. I'm not sure what I expected. I've now tried so many devices - pods, mods, pens... - that I can't really anticipate the experience. With this one, I was careful not to hit it too hard.

Wow. This is a whole different level of vaping for me. The closest I've come to such flavor is with the Smok Veneno or the Voopoo Caliber. The Pico though is super, super smooth. That's the best way I can describe it. The juice I used was one from Vapewild called 21 Jump Treat (Funnel cake, raspberries, powdered sugar) and it doesn't rate high with other buyers but I love it. It's smooth enough in my other devices but with the Pico Squeeze, it was so rich and creamy tasting.

The second time around, I took a deep hit and got the same smoothness. I really like the experience. And I cannot say enough how pretty the dang thing is.


What I want to do is try one of my stronger flavors - like the RoseChamp from ECBlends that I customized. Let's just stop here and list the Pros and Cons of the Squeeze.

PROS:

  • Not too difficult to use once it's been set up with a coil. What I'm saying is that I can at least change the cotton with no problem,
  • The size and weight are Goldilocks nice - not too heavy, not too light - and fits nicely in even my smaller feminine hands.
  • I love that the firing pin is situated so that both right-handed and left-handed users can see the OLED screen. (There's no screen on the Pico Baby but the firing pin is positioned awkwardly in relation to the flash indicator light.)
  • The juice bottle is soft and pliable. I like that I don't have to apply a lot of pressure to "squonk" the liquid. WendyVapes made a similar observation.
  • I can adjust the display to view the set wattage and battery usage at a glance. These are the 2 things I'm most concerned with when vaping.
  • As far as looks: I just lurve the color and the LED lights.
CONS: ( most of these are due to user inexperience)
  • While accessing and using the main menu is fairly simple, the submenu is a different story. (This helps a bit.)
  • The "coral" drip tip that came with it was a) hard as hell to get off, and b) too short, in my opinion. I changed it out for one from the Veneno.
  • The user manuals were just okay. For instance, it didn't really explain using the menu in enough detail. And it was in the tiniest print ever. Don't these people know us 50-plussers are vaping now?
  • The coil might have been easier to insert if it had been pre-cut for this particular device. I don't know why it wasn't. Experienced vapers seemed to prefer their own coils and knew how to size and cut them to fit. The coils that came with the device should have, again in my opinion, should have been ready to go.
  • As good as the device looks (and it looks fabulous), don't leave it behind at any crime scenes because your prints will damn near be in 3D. (Just kidding about crime scenes, but not about the fingerprints.)
As I said, my gripes are mostly those of a newbie. The whole thing with the coils not being pre-cut really irritated me since this was the biggest obstacle to using right out of the box. Access to the menu (or rather the poor instructions for) was the other major annoyance. Since the screens on these devices are small, there really should have been more detailed instructions for the menu - even for experienced vapers.
I prefer the taller drip tip from the Veneno

One thing I can mention that would be a sort-of-kind-of negative to squonking, in general, is that, because you are using a juice bottle, it's not as easy to switch out flavors. With my other devices, I can just swap out the pod or coil for each flavor type. With the squonk, I would (for the best flavor experience) need to change out the cotton and/or finish the bottle I've filled. Or, I guess I could just use smaller amounts of juice in the bottle. Still, it will be more of a hassle until I get used to changing cotton and, possibly, coils. And this brings up something I forgot to mention about the Pico Squeeze: you get one complete squonk bottle (cap and all), but the spare bottle is only the bottle; you have to fit the cap from the first one onto the spare. So that leaves out easily swapping bottles for flavor changing.

Here's the thing though: for all my fussing about the few negatives, this thing is too marvelous for words. That might be the newbie in me talking, but I really can't imagine myself giving up this device.
Changed the drip tip!

When I do get around to changing the juice in the bottle, I plan to try each of my juice flavors. With this device, I feel like I am getting so much more taste from the 21 Jump Treat. Can't wait to try the PB&J that I've been using in the Caliber and Veneno.

I am doing this particular device kit for this review but as far as price, I think that the current cost of around $30 (without the battery) is pretty decent. As recent as a few months ago, the price seemed to be around $50 for the device with the battery. Even good batteries are cheaper than $20.

If you are getting the Pico Squeeze as a gift for someone, the overall packaging is lovely. That's not a hint, but if someone in my family would like to get me one in another color, I'll take the red!

Bottom line, this device is NOT for newbies (unless you have friends to help you get started) and safety is so much more of a priority. Where you always need to be careful of batteries and charging and everything else with other devices, you really want to be on your toes when using this kind of device.



Free
--Free

P.S.: I just now screwed up the setting while messing around with that damn menu!