The first thing I did after unboxing my Phantom Premium was to give the unit a brief visual inspection to check for build quality. The unit feels solid in my hand and is slightly longer than the Arizer Air which comes in a similar form factor. Despite its sturdy build, I did find that it was quite heavy to hold (especially in pockets), and it seemed to weigh similar to the Firefly. According to Cloud V, the Phantom’s heat chamber is 6.7″ tall and 0.83″ in diameter, which allows it to hold up to 0.3 grams of loose leaf per session (which is about average for portable vapes). Aesthetically, the unit looks similar to the Imag, although it has a larger bowl size and some other improvements.
You power on the unit by pressing the power button three times, and there’s three temperature settings to choose from which are the following:
- Green: 374F (190C)
- Blue: 410F (210C)
- Red: 436F (224C).
I feel that the temperature range is good enough for most use cases, unless you’re using other types of herbs (besides cannabis) or want to achieve different effects by temperature. After loading my chamber with some high quality cannabis, I set the setting to Blue to start off, as that’s around the temperature I normally like to vape at. Warm-up took a few minutes, and once it was ready I began to take long steady puffs and was greeted with milky thick clouds of vapor! I was quite impressed with the vapor output at the higher temperatures, and it definitely produces more vapor than quite a few portables on the market. However, despite the thick vapor I do find that there are some tradeoffs involved. Firstly, although the first few hits are very large, I find that the vapor production starts to decline sharply after about 7-9 inhalations due to the size of the bowl as well as how much vapor is being produced. Secondly, I find the flavor begins to drop off after the third hit, and the bowl begins to taste cooked around the fourth inhale. Finally, the unit appears to use only conduction to heat your herbs, which can lead to the bowl being cooked in between inhalations (this is more apparent at higher temperatures). In order to combat the sometimes harsh taste of large hits, Cloud V also produces an Aqua bubbler which is designed to replace the Phantom’s mouthpiece. The bubbler (pictured on the right) is made of glass and it definitely helps to make your hits smoother. However, it is quite large and bulky which can limit portability to an extent (to combat this, I recommend purchasing a small case to store your Phantom and accessories).
The Phantom Premium uses 18650 batteries rated for 1300mAH, which I find to be a little on the low side. However, a standard microUSB charge port is used, and I much prefer this to vapes which have a nonstandard charger as I don’t need to worry about packing my charger when I go somewhere and find myself low on battery.
To clean your Phantom Premium, I recommend using the included cleaning kit and wiping down the bowl after each use. You can also use a pipe cleaner to clean the mouthpiece, and I recommend removing the screen and soaking it in alcohol from time to time to remove any resinous buildup. As a rule of thumb, the more often you vape, the more frequently you should clean your unit to ensure that the vapor path remains fully open.
Overall, the Phantom Premium is a solid low cost portable vaporizer which I recommend to those who are looking to produce big clouds of vapor on a small budget, and the user replaceable battery is definitely nice. However, do keep in mind that it doesn’t always produce the best tasting vapor (but it can produce a lot of it!) after the first few hits, so if flavor is what you’re seeking I suggest trying something else out from the reviews section! Lastly, the Phantom Premium comes with a one year limited warranty which covers any manufacturing defects should something go wrong with your unit.