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Arizer, a renowned name among enthusiasts of dry herb vaporizers, has earned its reputation by delivering devices that strike a harmonious balance between performance and affordability. Thus, I was eagerly anticipating the opportunity to review the Arizer Solo II, one of their trio of portable offerings, which also includes the Arizer ArGo and Arizer Air MAX. As of my writing, the Arizer Solo II is available at a retail price of $135, positioning it in a more budget-friendly range compared to other portable models I've evaluated, such as the Airvape Legacy Pro ($269) and Crafty+ ($279).
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Originally introduced in 2017, the Arizer Solo II has maintained its popularity without undergoing significant revisions. Its enduring appeal lies in its economical price, user-friendly operation, and impressive vapor production quality. On paper, it seems like an ideal device, boasting numerous strengths, but it does come with a few notable trade-offs. Read on to determine whether it aligns with your preferences.
The packaging of the Solo II is executed thoughtfully, reflecting Arizer's attention to detail. The box includes an array of items, with the device itself taking center stage. Notably, the package comprises two glass mouthpieces, measuring 90mm and 110mm, respectively. Each mouthpiece is housed within its own plastic tube, complete with a silicone cap that seals in odors. This thoughtful design choice highlights Arizer's commitment to enhancing the user experience.
Further contents of the package include an 'aroma dish,' ostensibly intended for warming potpourri. Additionally, a dab spoon/tamping tool is included in the top layer of the box. Beneath a partition, a DC charger and a serviceable carrying case are found. While the carrying case may not exude a premium feel, it fulfills its purpose effectively. Notably, stainless steel screens for the glass tube and a user manual are also part of the package.
The Solo II presents a compact form factor, albeit with a substantial weight due to its aluminum construction. Much of the device features a sleek black brushed finish, accented by glossy black areas around the screen and buttons. The dimensions are modest enough, with a height of approximately 4.5 inches and a width of 1.6 inches, excluding the mouthpiece. Weighing 210 grams, the device is pocket-friendly. In terms of design, it embodies an industrial, minimalist aesthetic, ensuring discretion.
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The device's build quality is evident in its robust feel, devoid of any rattling or instability. The curved sides contribute to a comfortable grip. The heating chamber, enveloped by a ceramic heating element, is encased in stainless steel and fitted with a silicone cover to guard against dust and contain odors. Silicone buttons are utilized, responsive to touch without necessitating excessive force.
The heating chamber interfaces with the aforementioned glass mouthpieces, which excel in cooling vapor and retaining flavor but are susceptible to fragility. Fortunately, the accompanying carrying tubes ensure portability without compromising the device's integrity.
The Solo II is backed by a 2-year limited warranty for the device itself and a 1-year limited warranty for the battery.
Central to the Solo II's design is an expansive LED screen, surpassing the dimensions of screens in other devices I've reviewed and sufficiently bright for visibility even in direct sunlight. Arizer's strategic choice is evident, as the screen prominently displays vital information: battery level, current temperature, and set temperature, making it particularly suitable for individuals with impaired vision.
Complementing the screen is a sizable "M" button at its center (referred to as "Menu" in the manual), accompanied by up and down buttons for precise temperature adjustment. Notably, the Solo II is outfitted with a speaker that emits a beep upon reaching the designated temperature. The combination of a large screen, generously sized buttons, and an auditory cue suggests a design catering to elderly and medical users.
Upon acquiring a new device, I habitually avoid consulting the manual to gauge its intuitiveness. However, the Solo II proved somewhat perplexing in this regard, standing as one of the more confusing devices I've encountered. The process of turning on the device involves pressing the "M" and "Up" buttons simultaneously, initiating a countdown timer that requires sustained button-pressing until the timer's conclusion. Subsequently, pressing the "Up" button commences the heating process. This departure from the prevalent practice of pressing a power button multiple times was initially disorienting, though it ultimately becomes familiar.
The sequence of settings accessible via repeated presses of the "M" button also posed a challenge for intuitive understanding. Consultation of the manual unveiled an array of adjustable settings:
After assimilating the manual's guidance, familiarizing myself with the controls, and customizing the settings, using the Solo II became a gratifying daily ritual, a testament to its simplicity.
Unquestionably, the Solo II stands out with the most enduring battery life among the devices I've reviewed. Equipped with a 3400mAh 7.4V battery pack, its performance is nothing short of remarkable. Initial testing pushed the battery through 13 sessions (each roughly lasting 5 minutes) after a full charge, leaving 13% charge remaining. Consistently, the device afforded over 10 sessions per charge cycle, positioning it as a leader in battery longevity, outperforming even models like the Airvape Legacy Pro and S&B Mighty+.
It's worth acknowledging that the Solo II's battery is not user-replaceable, meaning an exhausted battery cannot be swiftly swapped out for a charged one. Nevertheless, this limitation is somewhat mitigated by its rapid charging capabilities. In my experience, it recharges up to 95% within a mere 75 minutes, a pace that surpasses that of many competitors.
The expedited charging is attributed to the device's 12V/2A DC charger. However, this reveals a facet where the Solo II exhibits its age, as it necessitates carrying the charging brick when on the move. This is in contrast to more modern counterparts employing USB-C charging.
The Solo II operates on a hybrid heating mechanism, combining conduction and convection. It achieves heating readiness within 30 seconds, though I've found an additional 30-second interval preferable before taking the initial draw for a more substantial vapor hit. The Solo II's performance, given its price point, positions it as a noteworthy contender, rivaling other models in terms of quality.
The process involves loading the herb into the glass mouthpiece, which then connects to the main device body. While the mouthpiece fits snugly, a slight wobble is present; however, it remains securely in place, even if the device is inverted.
Arizer boasts an 'all-glass vapor path' for the Solo II, where vapor ostensibly avoids contact with surfaces other than glass. However, there is a stainless steel mesh present at the top, and occasionally, some herb may dislodge
Customers' opinions and feedback about the Arizer Solo II vary, reflecting a range of experiences and perspectives. Some users compare its heating speed to other devices like the Tinymight, noting that the Solo II takes a bit longer to warm up and complete a bowl, which can lead to differing preferences in terms of session duration and efficiency. There are differing opinions about the device's overall quality and value, with some acknowledging its fine performance but suggesting that improvements could be made.
Others express their satisfaction, labeling it an amazing device with great value. There are discussions about the performance and pricing of the Tinymight compared to the Solo II, with debates over whether the higher cost of the Tinymight is justified by its on-demand mode and whether the Solo II offers better overall value.
While some users highlight the ease of maintenance and battery life, others point out the limitations of temperature control and the heating chamber's capacity for concentrates. Despite varying viewpoints, the Solo II garners praise for its durability, flavor preservation, and daily use.
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