As far as showdowns go, you can’t get much better than pitting the Firefly 2 against the DaVinci IQ. Both units occupy the premium end of the vaporizer spectrum and come from established manufacturers. Both offer significant innovations that haven’t been seen in any other vaporizers before them. And more important, they’re the exact opposite in the most important way possible. The Firefly 2 offers pure convection heating, while the DaVinci IQ is pure conduction.
Let’s see which of these heavyweights is the better vaporizer…
The vapor quality of the Firefly 2 is nothing short of fantastic, once you get the hang of using it. This really is on-demand, convection heating, which means your herb is only heated while you’re drawing hot air through it.
The flavor is about as good as we’ve ever experienced, and you’ll definitely be able to appreciate all the differences that different types of material offer. There is a learning curve that you’ll have to progress through before you’re able to get the most out of this vaporizer, but it shouldn’t take that long to get used to.
The DaVinci IQ also produces excellent vapor. The entire vapor pathway is made out of ceramic zirconia, which helps to preserve the flavor. Using the IQ will probably make you question all the trash talking people do against conduction-style heating.
It may not be quite as pure as convection-style heating, but the IQ shows that it’s still capable of delivering big on flavor. While we’re giving this category to the Firefly 2, it was won on the thinnest of margins.
The Firefly 2 is extremely well built. If you’re familiar with the original, you’ll be happy to know that there are a lot of upgrades between the two versions. This one is smaller, sleeker, and offers a removable battery.
The vapor pathway is glass and stainless steel, with a plastic mouthpiece. The chamber size is about .15 grams, and the battery will power about 4-6 sessions per charge. Two things that are really nice are the less than 10 second heat up and the fact that you get two batteries in the box. The Firefly 2 comes with a 2 year warranty.
The DaVinci IQ also features impressive manufacturing. The all ceramic vapor pathway is a nice touch, and there are a ton of advanced heating styles that you can use to customize a session.
One of the many great features is the fact that it is powered by a removable 18650 battery, which puts you in full control of your battery life. You should be able to get 5-7 sessions from every charge, and the chamber is about .3 grams. The IQ comes with a 10 year warranty.
Another close category, but the IQ has better features and manufacturing overall.
The Firefly 2 has a learning curve, there’s no getting around that. The first few sessions with it can be frustrating as far as performance goes.
As you get used to both using an on-demand device in general and the specific quirks of the Firefly 2, it becomes much easier to get great results.
A lot of the functionality can’t be accessed without the Firefly 2 app though, so be prepared to use it frequently.
The IQ has a learning curve of it’s own, but that’s only for figuring out all the unique heating styles that it offers. While the IQ also has an app that is important to the overall functionality, you won’t have to use it as often to get great results.
You can do more with just the device with the IQ than you can with the Firefly 2, including adjusting the temperature in one degree increments.
The Firefly 2 is a huge improvement over the original Firefly as far as portability goes. They managed to cut the size down considerably, but I guess that’s not saying all that much considering the huge size of the original.
The individual batteries for the Firefly 2 are a little small, but that is offset by the fact that they include 2 of them in the box. As far as we know, they’re the first and only to offer this. A slight drawback is the small chamber size, meaning you’ll have to repack this more frequently than others.
The IQ is smaller than the Firefly 2, giving it an immediate advantage. Combined with the fact that it has a longer individual battery life and a larger chamber, and we’ve got a clear winner in this department.
While the IQ doesn’t include 2 batteries, you can get an extra 18650 for cheap to easily double the time you can go without charging.
This is a pretty easy category to judge. The Firefly 2 has the smaller battery. On average, you’ll get about 5 sessions with 5 draws each out of this vaporizer.
Like we mentioned above, they do include a second battery which is something more manufacturers should do.
You’re going to get more out of every battery charge with the IQ. Expect a few more sessions for each charge compared to the Firefly 2, even when you factor in the bigger chamber and more draws (over 10) per session.
While the Firefly 2 comes with an extra battery, this is something you can easily add to your IQ.
The Firefly 2 has a major advantage when it comes to discreetness. It offers on-demand heating. In other words, you can take just one draw at a time and not worry about wasting your herb.
You also don’t have to wait for it to heat up, meaning you can pick the most opportune moment to take a draw, then wait any amount of time before taking another.
The IQ is discreet in its own right. The size is smaller, and you can hold it more discreetly when taking a draw. It’s in the upper range of portable vaporizers in general when it comes to discretion, but it just can’t compete with the convenience of the on-demand draws offered by the Firefly 2.
The Firefly 2 offers limited temperature control through its app. There are 5 settings for herbs and one for concentrates. The range for herbs is 171C to 215C, while the concentrate setting is 260C.
There is also the option to tune your temperatures once you update the firmware. This allows you to increase temperatures by up to 11% for every setting, which can be nice when combined with the highest herbal temperature if you want to get more vapor per draw.
The IQ offers more temperature flexibility than just about any herbal vaporizer that we’ve ever reviewed. There are all kinds of modes that you can choose that offer preset temperature options, as well as a new feature they pioneered called Smart Paths.
Smart Paths make the device automatically increase in temperature over the duration of your session so that you get both optimal flavor and optimal extraction without having to change the settings in the middle of your session.
On top of this, you can adjust the temperature up and down in one degree increments from the device itself. The IQ dominates the Firefly 2 in this category.
While the convection heating of the Firefly 2 does narrowly deliver the better flavor, the IQ offers the better overall experience by a significant margin in our opinion. If the difference in vapor quality had been more significant, this would have been a different story. As it stands, the difference is negligible. They both deliver fantastic vapor, and are among the best units available anywhere in that regard.
When you factor in the ease of use, the temperature flexibility, the heating styles and smart paths, and the more convenient battery choice, the IQ pulls away quickly. It doesn’t leave you wishing for anything more.
The Firefly 2 is still a great device, and the on-demand heating is enough of a reason to buy it in it’s own right. If you are obsessed with flavor and can pick up on the subtlest of changes, that would be another good reason to try the Firefly 2.
If you are convinced the DaVinci IQ is the right unit for you, be sure to pick one up from our store.
Still think you like the Firely 2 is better? Everyone has their own personal preference and if you are looking to grab one grab one directly from our store.
If you’d like to see another comparison, check out our recent showdown between the IQ and the Pax 3 and to see how these 2 units stack up against the field, be sure to check out our Portable Vaporizer Ranking Chart.