Improvements for the next Firefly
The FF2 is a good device that is close to reaching it's potential, but has a few fatal flaws. Curious to see what everyone else thinks could be improved for the FF3. I don't want to get into petty complaining without a suggestion, there are enough discussions on that. But if you have an idea, I'd be interested if you have an issue that you think you know how it could be resolved or improved.
Here are my thoughts:
Battery. I think it's pretty obvious a replaceable 18650 is the way to go and becoming the de facto standard in the industry, so I'd like to see that in the next version rather than a proprietary cell. I'm personally good with the docking station/cradle VS direct micro USB. It keeps the unit looking slick and so long as it's a replaceable 18650, I can charge the spare elsewhere without the need for fiddling around sticking the cord in an ugly hole.
Lid. We all know the lid's issue is creating a good seal to the main unit. The gasket is stuck on the glass which makes it problematic for cleaning since you can't get iso on the rubber without risk of it deteriorating and ultimately failing, resulting in a poor seal and thus not working...(and then dealing with FF pretending that the lid is an "accessory" when in reality it's a necessary component for the device's airpath path to work). My thought on this is if the lid physically wrapped down the sides of the unit further, rather than the 1/4 of an inch it does now, they make it go down further (half way) on the sides where it meets the body. This way, they can have the gasket/O-ring separate from the lid, wrapping around the unit sandwiched between the body and the lid to create the seal rather than be part of the lid. This would make cleaning the lid SO MUCH easier (a quick iso swab wipe without fear of ruining the rubber, or even have the option to soak it in iso). This would also reduce exposure to vapour touching anything but glass and steel as the rubber seal would be at the side of the unit making the seal and NOT directly in the airflow path. This would make the lid a true accessory if they want to continue offering colour changes. You could replace just the o-ring/gasket separately if it's at the side and not physically attached to the lid. This could be a $5 replacement or come with a spare o-ring rather than needing a new lid if there is an issue, much easier to resolve seal problems.
Mouthpiece. This should be glass, end of story. I'll take an aftermarket for my FF2 if anybody knows of one.
App. I'm OK with the app. even though it doesn't do much but name my device...which I can only see when I'm looking in the app, I don't find myself messing around with the temperature now that I have experimented and found one I like. Let's not focus too many R&D dollars there.
The bowl. I find this thing gets pretty sticky and gross after 4 bowls. If I don't clean it, then material sticks to the sides and it becomes very hard to "tap-to-stir". (I have mastered the tap-to-stir method and never open the lid to stir). Conduction is good in this regard because you need to pack material, so once it's done it kind of pops out in a compacted brick. This isn't as easy with the FF since you can't compact in convection, it's a problem by nature of the heating technology in general, not exclusive to FF. I think a possible resolution here, is dosing capsules. I have used the S&B ones on a mighty and I like them. I would like to see something similar offered in the FF, maybe ceramic, glass...I don't know. The S&B ones are tricky to open and easy to damage, so since I'm dreaming out loud, I'd like to see one made out of ceramic or glass that has a quarter-turn lock, like the CaliCrusher homegrown locking system. I know this may add some conduction to my convection, but it would make cleaning the bowl less of a frequent necessity and would improve on the go usage. As of now, you can't easily fill a bowl on the go like some other devices since you have to remove the whole lid and try to get material on a flat, exposed surface... pray there is no wind. Popping in a dosing capsule would make it pretty easy to finally use this thing out of my home for more than one, preloaded bowl.
Airpath. Why is this a mirror finish? So I can see how gross it gets faster? Make this black, like a cell phone turned off. I will see less gunk. I'll know it's there, just will look less gross and prolong the good looks of this thing.
LED light. OK, this is getting really fussy, but the blue of the standby LED is... how do I say this, it's the wrong blue. It's too dark. Just modernize your hue to be in line with all other current electronics. Pax 2 had it right.
Overall finish: Anodized aluminum. This thing looks pretty good right now, but their paint finish is cheap...the battery cover feels like plastic because of the paint they use. If they could make this anodized aluminum or magnesium, this would be the luxurious device of my dreams.
That's my thoughts on what I'd like to see changed for the FF3. The flavour on the FF2 is great, the single hit dosing allowing you to come back to a delicious and flavourful second bowl at my leisure is glorious (sweet, sweet convection), the 5-second heat up time really doesn't get enough credit and it's a pretty sexy looking rig with a fun glow. If they can just refine the issues the FF2 has, it could stand up on the podium with the Mighty. While we are at improvement suggestions, let's just home S&B make their next one look more like a sleek modern device, and not like the equivalent of a 1980's Lamborghini Countach the rest of their gear looks like. Such god products, such ugly aesthetics IMHO.
What do you think could be improved?
My unit is just a couple days old, so I am not able to comment on all aspects that may arise during long-term use. Here are a few for a first impression assessment:
Lid - my lid sits securely with no play, does this change over time? I was careful to not get any iso onto the seal when I cleaned the unit prior to first use. I would not be fussed buying a brand new lid, provided it fits as the one out of the box, after say a year's time. I've also had to replace stems for the Solo and it's just routine maintenance to me. Manufacturing tolerances are key.
Mouthpiece - Yes, glass, end of story. Probably hard to do aftermarket due to the clip mechanism, so it would need to be glass and then plastic for the clips.
App - Whatever, I'd prefer having a heat setting on the device and not ever bother with the App. I'm oddly not keen to play around with the temperature settings too much, the preset modes with the power tuning are way too much choice to agonise over. I will stick to Medium high +105% for a while until I feel I need to play around.
Bowl - no complaints. Capsules take away from the simplicity, the fewer moving parts the better I like a vape, and currently the FF2 has only the lid to worry about, which I do appreciate.
Airpath - I don't mind the mirror finish, black would hide, and I am pretty good looking so it's a welcome sight.
LED - I had 2 sleepless nights because of the colour chosen here!!!
Overall finish - I'd say it's pretty positive, and isn't it a magnesium alloy already?
By the way, having newly acquired the unit, I don't want to see a FF3 anytime soon
but it's nice that we're doing some R&D for them, you never know! It's great when companies listen to customers and produce products that evolve along their requests.
Agreed on the mouthpiece. Glass all the way.
I second the notion that we should be able to adjust temperatures right from the unit. In fact they should do this with a firmware upgraded before even considering the FF3. Right now, I can tap the right touch sensor three times and get a battery read out... They should be able to do something similar for temperature adjustment.
I don't mind the mirrored finish but hear what you're saying. Good suggestions!
Awesome comments! I have settled on the exact same temperature setting as you, so clearly it's the best.
I got one of the first batches of preorders and I have found (and you will see many others on the web complain) that the rubber seal does start to come off the lid over time. I have no idea what the adhesive is, but the issue is that the Iso you so carefully use to clean the lid does over time, break down the rubber AND cause the adhesive to fail. Mine has a bend in the rubber that I can press down and make work, but it's certainly on a timeline and is not covered by their warranty. They may have lowered the price to $20 recently (unless it was just a sale), but the lids were $40, so a substantial ding for "maintenance". That's what made me think about my suggestion for the next one. Trust me, once you have it for a while and realize how often you need to clean this thing, not worrying about getting iso on the seal would be the greatest thing ever.
When the bowl is new it is glorious and it cleans VERY well. Once you have it for a while, you find little pieces of material start to find their way into the crack between the bottom of the oven and the wall which start to become like magnets for stickiness over time. So eventually, after your third bowl of a cleaned unit, the material no longer just falls out, and you are picking away AVB. I'd prefer to have the raw material without caps too, but as for an on-the-go unit out of the house, it's not anywhere near the top of my go to units because it's such a delicate thing to load material in, but I think dosing caps would help a lot for that purpose, even if it's the only time you use them.
Two nights of sleep lost over the colour of the LED, and you have only had it for a short time! That will add up once you have had it for a while lol. I know I'm being petty and it's personal preference, but I haven't seen that shade of blue on an electronic device of any sort in like 10 years since an old Dell laptop... even they are on the modern lighter blue shade, along with my espresso machine, stereo equipment, computer gear... really any electronics made in the past 5+ years. If you can still rock an Ed Hardy T-shirt with Diesel jeans and not hear any comments, then good on ya, but I'm hoping they get with the times on LED hues for the next device. Fashion Forward my friend. For someone with such good looks I would have thought you would be on board
So it is apparently magnesium, but I am pretty sure (correct me if I'm wrong metal experts out there) it's painted/powder coated, not anodized. It just doesn't look or feel like anodized metal. I have a surface (anodized magnesium) and a whole bunch of Apple gear (anodized aluminum) + a Pax 2 & Santa Cruz Shredder (anodized aluminum) and they feel cold, you can see the machining marks and texture on them. On the FF2, it feels like paint, the activation buttons are the EXACT same colour and texture and it just doesn't have that anodized metal look. I could absolutely be wrong, but it doesn't have that high end look and feel like other anodized metal things I have. It still looks good, but it's me being boojie.
You will enjoy the unit for a good while, but always looking towards the next big thing. With only a 2-year warranty, these are on a short lifecycle anyways so better start to help them with suggestions for the next one now
To add to this list, I would suggest an in-built pick like they come on the S&Bs and DaVincis etc.
I do like to use the supplied plastic pick to stir up the bowl, but it would be fantastic if I could stow that tiny thing inside the vape so I don't have to keep track of the tiny thing. Even more so for people who take this thing out. I am not a fan of stirring it with the finger or getting the contents all out on the glass surface.
I love my Firefly 2. I believe that convection vaping is not only more efficient with your herb, but to me it tastes 'cleaner' (can't verify if it is or not).
But I use the FF2 mainly at home, where I can swap out and recharge batteries easily. I don't take it out much because of the detachable mouth piece, which seems easily knocked off and lost while being carried around. I can't imagine a more sleek, portable unit than my Pax2 for that purpose, though it does emit a strong odor when vaping. But the unit itself is much smaller and has no external attachments, which makes it much more pocketable than the FF2.
It's like the Firefly 2 is *almost* a pure portable vape, but it's just a tad too big and... that removable mouthpiece...
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