Uwell Caliburn A3 Pod Kit Review

Uwell Caliburn A3 Pod Kit Review

Disposable vape users love simple, convenient devices with intense flavours. Is the Caliburn A3 Pod Kit the perfect replacement?

Products used in this review:

About Uwell

When Uwell Technology Co Ltd burst onto the vape scene back in 2015, they swiftly developed a reputation for single-mindedness and originality in their pursuit of design and quality.

Driven by solid manufacturing techniques and strict quality control, this pioneering vape technology brand from Shenzhen, China, was soon awarded the title of National High Tech Enterprise in 2018—unsurprising given their efforts.

I was first alerted to the quality of their vaping products through products like the Valyrian, Nunchaku and especially the CROWN sub-ohm tanks (I have fond memories of the CROWN IV tank!).

Some of you may remember the sudden shift from powerful sub-ohm tanks and dual battery mods to devices that were simply more user-friendly and convenient. By 2018, vaping had become extremely popular and, without doubt, the most successful way to quit the cigs, and Pod kits were about to blow the lid on what had been a specialist, niche industry, opening the door of accessibility to the new or casual vaper like never before.

The first Caliburn kit

As with many leading manufacturers, Uwell weren't about to rest on their laurels, and the first Caliburn pod kit was unleashed onto an unsuspecting vape audience that same year.

Of course, it was an instant hit, characterised by Uwell's reputation for reliability and innovation. Here was a pod kit that anyone could pick up: an integrated, fast-charging battery, refillable pod, and an auto inhale feature to perfectly mimic the draw from a cigarette.

Ongoing evolution of Caliburn kits

Since then, pod kits have had only one rival - the disposable vape. As we now know, the writing's on the wall for disposables, but throughout the height of their popularity, Uwell fought back against the tidal wave of questionable disposable devices, building a solid reputation for manufacturing quality pod kits.

To distract from the appeal of disposable vapes, Uwell have released over a dozen versions of the Caliburn since the first in 2018. That's a hell of a lot of pod kits! One constant remained throughout every stage of design evolution, though — simplicity of use. The Caliburn KOKO released in 2019 might have shaken up appearances, but ease of use remained the underlying theme. And the general public loved it!

The success of the KOKO ushered a series of new 'box-style' pod kits into the Caliburn range (denoted by a 'K' in their model name) with various aesthetic differences and updates released as regularly as the original models. At the time of writing, the GK3 is the latest iteration, complete with a useful LCD screen indicating vaping power, resistance, battery capacity, and puffs used.

There will always be a contingent of vapers who prefer something more substantial to hold in their hand, and the KOKO range of Caliburn devices certainly helps to appease this audience. But the original design will always be more appealing to someone used to humble vape pens and disposables. I fall into that category, and so do a lot of vape shop staff, apparently!

About the Caliburn A3 device

As you would expect, the Caliburn A3 is the natural successor to the A2 pod kit. The design and build quality are practically identical, and the dimensions/weight barely differ. However, it's a different story under the bonnet, so to speak.

We now get an improved, larger E-liquid viewing window, a button lock to prevent accidental use, upgraded PRO FOCS tech, significantly improved charging time, and a battery strength indicator LED on the base of the device. It certainly sounds like Uwell have been listening to public feedback on this hugely popular pod kit.

Uwell Caliburn A3 pod kit e-liquid viewing window

So, let's talk about that classic design and build quality and why I prefer it to the Caliburn K range of devices.

In the box

'Stay Simple Stay Reliable' is the slogan for the Caliburn A3 pod kit, printed on the front of the box. The device itself is viewable through a plastic window, so we know what we're getting from the word go. It sits inside a plastic tray, revealed by removing the outer sleeve. A spare pod is included - always a plus.

A user manual, warning, warranty, and E-liquid filling card are all neatly tucked inside a plastic wallet under the tray compartment. Little details like this separate good from great manufacturers because it's clear that more time and effort have been applied to the overall presentation.

The instruction manual is in 8 different languages, including a quick start guide and more detailed info on the product itself. It contains all the information required to use and maintain the device. However, I'm surprised a charging cable isn't included.

The Uwell Caliburn A3 is available in 6 basic colours: red, silver, grey, green, blue, and black.

Inside the box, we get:

  • Caliburn A3 device
  • Meshed 1.0ohm Caliburn A3 refillable pod (pre-installed)
  • Meshed 1.0ohm Caliburn A3 refillable pod (spare)
  • User manual
  • Warranty card
  • Safety card
  • Quick start card
The Caliburn A3 pod kit box outer sleeve and inset tray
Uwell Caliburn A3 pod kit device held in a hand
The upgraded Caliburn A3 pod held in a hand
The A3 Caliburn Vape Kit exploded viewThe Uwell Caliburn A3 colour range

Look and feel

Made from aluminium alloy, it has very little weight, yet it still manages to feel solid and robust.

Battery Power

Uwell have yet to deviate from the standard 520mAh battery capacity of the Caliburn A series; what they have done is reduce the time it takes to recharge the device. The A3 will fully charge in 15 minutes using a type C charging cable, making it 50% faster than its predecessor. Of course, I'll be thoroughly testing this claim!

The battery strength LED indicator has also had an overhaul. Gone is the small front-mounted vertical slit of the A2 in favour of a wider, curved one incorporated into the base of the battery.

It certainly takes all the guesswork out of current battery strength.

  • Green: 100% - 60%
  • Blue: 59% - 30%
  • Red: 29% or under

I am curious why the LED indicator is only on one side of the battery section. There were times when I could not attain my current battery status, and the indicator was nigh on impossible to view in direct sunlight.

Button activation

The Caliburn A3 relies on button activation as well as traditional auto inhale. Button-activated devices have often been scrutinised for inadvertently firing while not in use. Uwell have thought of this by including a button lock feature.

The button sits in a very convenient position for thumb firing and is raised just enough to be able to feel without having to look. It's clicky and responsive to the slightest touch. So, rapidly pressing the button twice will lock or unlock the device. Note that you still have the option of auto-inhaling when doing this.

The battery LED will flash and pulse red when locked. The same pattern is represented by a green LED when unlocking — a nice touch. Of course, you can always switch off the Caliburn A3 entirely by applying the industry standard of 5 clicks on, 5 clicks off. The red LED will flash and pulse twice when switched off. The same pattern is represented by a green LED when switched on - another nice touch.

Charging Port

A heavily recessed type C USB charging port is built into the underside of the device. Being so deep-seated, there's little chance of accidentally damaging the connection.


I've already mentioned some differences you can expect to find between the Caliburn A2 and A3. The most significant difference is the pod itself.

The mouthpiece now has a curved lower edge (where it connects to the battery section). Unfortunately, this means this upgraded 1.0ohm mesh pod is not backwards compatible with any previous devices in the Caliburn A range. However, the AK3, A3S and AZ3 pods will all work perfectly, giving you a resistance range of between 0.8ohm and 1.2ohm to play around with.

The pod relies on magnets to connect to the battery section, so it doesn't matter which way you fit them. They snap reassuringly into place and aren't likely to separate from the battery section if dropped from height because they're so deeply seated. My only gripe is that there's no LED to indicate the insertion or removal of the pod.

I totally dig the transparency of the pod chamber (all pods should be designed this way). The increased viewing window cut into the upper battery section boosts the convenience.

The 1.0ohm mesh coil is sealed inside the pod, and Uwell's PRO FOCS flavour delivery tech deals with any potential condensate. This tech is designed to restore taste on a consistent level, allowing authentic and multi-layered flavours to peak constantly with every vape. You're not likely to encounter leaking from a sealed pod, either.

Fun fact: PRO FOCS is an abbreviation for Professional Flavour Optimization Core System technology. It's a bit of a mouthful - I guess that's why they shortened it!


The pods are top-filling, so it's just a case of unclipping the PCTG mouthpiece; this exposes the fill port (marked by a red silicone plug), centre chamber (never fill down this!) and an air release valve (to prevent overfilling or spillage).

The Vaporesso Luxe Q2 Pod Kit uses the same filling method, and I'm here to tell you it's the quickest, most convenient way to top up your pod in a hurry... It's also the best way of filling a pod.

Uwell Caliburn A3 pod top refilling port

Once the pod has been filled for the first time, Uwell recommends letting the E-liquid soak into the coil and cotton for around 10 minutes before vaping. This is a bit extreme; anything up to 5 minutes should be fine.

As far as E-liquid types are concerned, I would always opt for a 50VG/50PG ratio. This MTL mesh coil will not be suited to 70VG/30PG or denser ratios. Stick to the same flavour per pod for the best taste experience. Expect each pod to last between 2 - 4 weeks under moderate use.


To test the 1.0ohm mesh pod, I used ELFLIQ Rhubarb Snoow. It's a 50VG/50PG E-liquid ratio in a 20 mg salt nicotine strength.

I began by using the auto inhale feature. It's quite good but not as sensitive as I was hoping for. It will cut out intermittently if you don't apply the right lung strength. That can be an annoyance, but surprisingly, it doesn't affect the vape experience too much. Let's put it this way: the 20mg of salt nicotine was instantly felt!

If you use button activation, any concerns about lung capacity are immediately squashed. On top of that, power to the device is instant! Some of you will know this as ramp-up time - the time needed to heat the coil. Well, it's pretty much non-existent with the Caliburn A3!

You'll always get a maximum of 13W output from the battery, so with a fresh charge, the performance difference between auto inhale and button activation is minimal

Vapour Test

Vapour production is more than adequate, while MTL vaping. A 2-3 second inhale trounces the smoke equivalent of a traditional cigarette.

There are two tiny airflow holes punched into either side of the battery. By blocking one, I experienced a much tighter inhale - certainly more akin to the pull from a cigarette.

Fixed airflow does make the MTL vape slightly airier than I would have liked. The fact I was able to comfortably RDL vape proves that particular point... That is probably another reason for overloading on 20mg of salt nicotine!

The flavour quality was flawless, with the taste of Rhubarb coming through loud and clear. Sugar lips are the order of the day, and the creaminess of the Vanilla Custard just adds another layer to the overall taste experience.

I could pick out the cooling agent while inhaling, but thankfully, it wasn't overbearing or distracting from the enjoyment of the vape.

For these reasons, I agree that the PRO FOCS tech works extremely effectively. It's quite a simple flavour profile to test, but the mix of tangy, sweet fruit and dessert really blends together well.

Battery Life and Recharging

It's possible to vape while charging, either in button or auto inhale mode. Let's get that practical concern out of the way lest we forget not everyone has an alternative device to fall back on.

I really cannot fault the battery life of the Caliburn A3 pod kit, as a single charge will last in the region of 9.5 hours. With my particular vaping habits, that weighs in at around 700 puffs, which is more than most disposable vapes on the market. And there's not much flavour or vapour production degradation as the battery depletes. I found that quite impressive, too.

As with most pod kits, you spend the majority of the time under Green or Blue LED battery strength, with the device switching to Red within the last hour of use. That's more than enough time to think about reaching for a charging cable. When the battery does decide it's had enough, the Red LED will flash 10 times to prevent over-discharging.

It's with the charge cycle itself that I have a slight issue: Uwell states it takes 15 minutes to rejuvenate a tired battery. In reality, that's far from the truth. I made a point of timing the recharging cycle (as I always do when testing), and it actually took 30 minutes.

Another issue is with the process itself. Instead of simply switching off once fully charged, the Green LED remains lit. It's an odd decision, although it's far from the only pod kit to do this.

Safety Features

Four safety features have been included in the build of the Caliburn A3 pod kit:

  • If the device short circuits, the LED indicator will flash Red 3 times and cease working.
  • When the device reaches a very low power level, the LED indicator will flash Red 10 times and cease working.
  • You can vape for an extended duration of eight seconds before the LED indicator flashes Green five times. At this point, the device will cease working.
  • In the event of an open circuit or if the pod is unattached, the LED indicator will flash Blue three times. There will be no output while vaping.

Who is the Caliburn A3 Pod Kit suited to?

I see the Caliburn A3 as the perfect replacement for a disposable vape. It carries all the same aesthetical qualities as a disposable. It's lightweight, portable and pocket-friendly.

As the ELFLIQ E-liquid test above demonstrates, it's easily possible to replicate the flavour experience of a disposable vape, and the Caliburn A3 really does shine in this category.

It's more reliable, too. The 520mAh battery holds up exceptionally well, and there's very little difference in flavour properties as it runs out.

With very little maintenance required by the user, the Caliburn A3 is an ideal jumping-on-point for any new vaper. Top filling is easy and can be achieved on the fly or when in a hurry.

The option of button activation will also suit the casual vaper—someone who's already used to mainstream pod kits and looking for a convenient vape for when out and about.




  • System Type: Open
  • Vape Styles: Mouth To Lung (MTL)
  • Coil Type: Mesh coil
  • Coil Resistance: 1.0 ohm
  • Refillable: Yes
  • Battery: 520mAh integrated
  • Airflow: Not adjustable
  • Charge Time: 15 mins rapid-charging
  • Recharge Frequency: ~48 hours
  • Cable / Charger: 1 x USB-C cable included
  • Pod Capacity: 2ml
  • Puffs per pod: 3000
  • Pod E-liquid: Recommended 50/50 PG/VG Nic-salt
  • Pod Compatibility: Caliburn A3
  • Dimensions: 110mm x 21mm x 12mm
  • Weight: 31g
  • Manufactured in: China
  • Who is this product best for?

    With very little maintenance required by the user this kit is ideal for new vapers.

    Do I recommend this product?

    Without doubt. I can see the Caliburn A3 as the perfect replacement for a disposable vape.

    Reasons for buying this product:

    • Device quality
    • Ease of use
    • Great flavour and vapour production
    • Battery efficiency
    • Portability

    Comparable products:

    Uwell Caliburn A3S, Vaporesso XROS 3, Smok NOVO 5.


    Battery Life:
    Design & Build:

    Overall Score:

    4.6 out of 5


    Yes, I had a few minor issues relating to the updated LED indicator and battery life claims. However, there were many plus points that far outweighed them.

    The Caliburn A3 successfully replicated the experience of a disposable vape - the taste is strong, and I mean strong, from this 1.0ohm mesh pod - something many users will be looking for.

    I was much better at layering individual flavours, regulating the sweeter aspects, and dampening the impact of cooling agents commonly associated with those throwaway alternatives.

    The smoothness of the inhale has also been improved, as well as flavour consistency from the start of the inhale to the end of the exhale; I can't say that about many disposables.

    To summarise - the measure of a good pod kit comes down to ease of use, portability, battery efficiency, and flavoursome vapour delivery - and Uwell have delivered that in full with the excellent Caliburn A3 kit.

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