Simple is the name of the game
Last year, we reviewed the Uwoo Y1. This year, Uwootech sent us their latest device, the Uwoo Ym. Unlike most other devices I have managed to get my hands on (thanks boss!), the Uwoo Ym uses a spike instead of a blade. Using a spike allows manufacturers the option of compacting their device around smaller heating circuitry. Smaller does not necessarily mean better, however.
From previous reviews that use a spike instead of a blade, I have found that it does not quite heat the tobacco evenly which leads to the rich flavour degrading far faster than with a blade system. After all, a spike concentrates heat into a single place whereas a blade has a greater surface area – it is akin to having your foot stepped on by a stiletto heel or a flat soled shoe. That said, spikes are being found in more devices so, maybe there is something to them.
It is now expected that devices arrive at your door in neat and tidy packaging with little to no wasted space and the Uwoo Ym is no exception in this regard. There is not any need to open the box to admire the device as the box doubles as a display case.
The Uwoo Ym is currently available in four different colours – silver, gold, black and red. Though in truth, the red is not an in-your-face Ferrari red it is more a deep pastel red with a nice anodised finish (yay! No more fingerprint magnet!) so it should stand up to some rigorous use.
The device itself is nice and light, weighing in at a mere 40 grams. The downside to that is, of course, having to make sacrifices elsewhere. In this case, the battery. A capacity of only 900mAh means that, for heavy users, it will be attached to its USB-C charging cable fairly often. This is also somewhat problematic as from flat to full, it takes around 80-90 minutes.
Checking the remaining battery is simple enough, just tap the single button and the LEDs will light up to indicate how much life is left with 4 LEDs indicating full, or near full charge, 3 indicates 75-100%, 2 indicates 50-75% and one indicates 25-50%. If the device is below 25% the last LED will blink.
Using the device
There is a definite trend for manufacturers to include variable temperature
control in their devices and Uwootech are no exception. Unlike my co-
reviewer Fergus, I like the idea as it allows me to tailor the taste of my chosen HEETS depending on my mood. If I want a fuller flavour, I crank the heat up. If not, I lower it.
The Uwoo Ym has four different heat settings ranging from 330C to 360C which can only be changed when the device is not being used. Four clicks (within 2 seconds) of the single button enters the temperature control menu and a single click changes the temperature mode.
The LEDs on the front of the device signal the chosen temperature with the highest being the top LED and the lowest being the bottom. Once the temperature has been selected, simply wait for the LED to go out – approximately 3 seconds – and the temperature is set.
Another feature that is becoming prevalent among heat-not-burn devices is self-cleaning where the device ramps up the temperature to burn off any residue on the heating spike or blade. Seven clicks of the button will start the self-clean process on the Uwoo Ym and all four LEDs will light up and pulse. The cycle lasts approximately 30 seconds before the device vibrates to let you know it is finished.
Sadly, the device is not compatible with the heat-not-burn cleaner I recently reviewed, which means manual cleaning and all the faff that comes with that. Even though the top cap can be removed (with a little effort), the heating chamber is too compact to really get the provided brush in to give the chamber a good clean.
As with most devices now, heating is fairly rapid clocking in at around 15 seconds – a single long press on the button kicks off the process and the LEDs on the front illuminate in order to show how far along the process is. The device will vibrate, and flash the LEDs, when there is approximately 30 seconds left before it will turn itself off.
With so many heat-not-burn devices now available – most of which we have reviewed on these pages – it is tough to stand out. Due to the popularity of HEETS, manufacturers are designing their products to be compatible with those, which leaves little room in overall design. So instead, features and details are where manufacturers can make the difference.
Self-cleaning, previously unheard of is now common. Adjustable temperature settings are also becoming more common (I fully expect PMI to add that at some point) so what is left?
Basic design and simplicity of use. Here Uwootech have a nice, simple and – dare I say it – somewhat elegant design. The finish of the device is nice. It does not seem to attract fingerprints the way some devices do. It is nice and light, so it will sit quite comfortably in any pocket.
The Uwoo Ym is a solid, competent, and at least average device. It provides
a reasonable flavour experience from my Sienna and Blue HEETS and it does look pretty stylish. If you are a heavy user, this probably is not for you. If you are a light user, or just looking for a solid backup device, then this ticks all the relevant boxes.
If you are interested in buying this UWOO YM heat not burn device it can be purchased directly through their own website.