Spike or Blade, it is now Your Choice.
This time three years ago we got the chance to review the Lambda CC from Shenzhen Original Technology and, in this reviewer’s humble opinion, it is a solid device that added temperature control to a heat-not-burn product. It became a regular go-to device for a number of months before the next shiny took my fancy.
Some key features:
- OLED Screen (seems to be standard for independent manufacturers)
- 200-300°C Variable Temperature (392-572°F)
- 3200mAh Battery
- Replaceable blade/spike (Titanium Steel Alloy)
- Variable heating time (3-6 Minutes)
- USB-C charging slot
Given that the Lambda CC’s variable temperature didn’t quite meet my expectations (it wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t great), the boffins at Shenzhen Original Technology have obviously decided to use an actual temperature setting, rather than a “mode” (High or standard as in the CC).
Unusually for me, I’m not going to go over the unboxing. Practically all heat-not-burn products now come with the standard fare of accessories – charge cable, cleaning brush, swabs, and a manual. There are only so many ways anyone can make that sound interesting. Not being the patient type, I unwrapped my preferred HEETS, popped it into the chamber and kicked off the heating cycle.
As with most devices, the heating cycle takes ~20 seconds and it gives a small vibration when it is ready. Do bear in mind that the heat cycle is taken from the “smoking time” so, for example, the default time is 5 minutes minus 20 seconds gives you a little over 4 and a half minutes of heated tobacco goodness.
Whilst you can adjust the time, I’ve found that – in most cases, and especially at higher temperatures – it isn’t necessary or worthwhile. If, like me, your chosen stick of choice is a HEET, they’re only good for around 5 minutes of being heated. After that then the flavour just isn’t there. That isn’t to say that other sticks can’t go for longer, it is just something to bear in mind.
The device itself is, as with the CC and T3 before that, sturdy and well made. Clocking in at a weighty 95g it isn’t the lightest (or the heaviest) device I’ve had in my grubby paws, but it does feel about right to me. Due to its size, it’ll actually stand on its base, and it will – for the most part – stay there (unless you’re an absolutely klutz like me) but even the few knocks the Dual has had haven’t marked the casing. Unfortunately, the OLED screen is (as you would expect) a fingerprint and smudge
magnet. It does, however, present you with the most pertinent information:
- Current Temperature
- Current Operation (heating/in-use)
- Battery level
- Stick count
There doesn’t appear to be a way to rotate the display via a series of button presses, but that’s a personal observation.
Speaking of button presses:
- Press & hold for 2 seconds to start heating
- Use the + / – to adjust the temperature (they recommend 260, but I prefer 270, particularly
with Sienna HEETS)
- 5 clicks of the fire button will switch to “time adjust” mode (use the + / – to adjust in 5
second increments, fire button to confirm)
- 5 clicks, followed by another 5 clicks (not 10 consecutively) followed by either + or – to reset
the stick count
- 8 clicks to start the auto-clean cycle (this lasts for 25 seconds, and the outer cap must be
Like the CC, the top entire top cap is removable – it’s also magnetic so it doesn’t just drop off when it feels like it – to grant you plenty of access to the heating chamber for the onerous cleaning duty. Speaking of cleaning, Shenzhen Original Technology claim that the Dual, with its 3200mAh battery and some fun algorithmic shenanigans under the hood, can consume 35-40 sticks on a full charge. I suspect this figure is based solely on their recommended temperature of 260°C as I found that the number varies from as low as 27 up to 38 at my preferred temperature. Although, that will – of course – depend on the “smoking” time (I did play around with that during the review).
As with all other heat-not-burn devices I’ve reviewed, the one Achilles heel is the charging time. The Lambda CC clocked in at a lengthy 2.5 hours, the Dual clocks in just under 3 from flat to full. Admittedly, with the honking 3200mAh battery, it shouldn’t pose much of an issue for the light-to-medium user. It is something that I will continue to gripe about, the first manufacturer that can combine good long battery life and fast charge will undoubtedly make a lot of friends quickly.
There is, however, one feature I haven’t covered so far. When PMI launched the DUO, it enabled users to consume two sticks on one charge. I wondered if that’s the avenue that Shenzhen Original Technology went down when I saw the product name. It wasn’t. The avenue they chose to go down will spark a few comments.
I say that as the debate about which is better still rages on in the office. Spike, or Blade? Well, with the Lambda Dual, you can try both out for yourself and see which you prefer. You see, the entire heating chamber is swappable. The redesigned Lambda CC (not featured in our previous review) has a similar concept, although the CCv2 (for want of a better name) is blade only whereas the Dual will have the option of either spike or blade.
It’s a unique concept as I have discovered whilst reviewing the various products sent to us, some devices work well with a blade, some with a spike. To have the option of swapping between the two in one device is definitely thinking differently.
In many ways, the Lambda Dual is a revised Lambda CCv2. The original Lambda CC was a solid product and one that found its way into my regular rotation for many months. By taking a solid, well-rounded product in the Lambda CC, adding some refinements made to the CCv2 and making a whole new device from what they’ve learned is a recipe for success.
I do, however, doubt that the interchangeable heating units will make much difference to many users (though, of course, your mileage may vary) but it does broaden the audience that this device could appeal to (both the spike AND blade crowds).
Some may find the Dual a bit weighty (I don’t, given my recent propensity of dropping things) but you’ll find that it can take some light battering without too much complaint.
Overall, the Lambda Dual features a solid set of refinements from the CC and CCv2. Reasonable heat-up time, long battery life, interchangeable heating chamber, variable temperature, and cycle times. It all adds up to a solid workhorse of a device that will last a very long time.
Or at least, until the next shiny comes along.