Updated: Nov 6, 2017
In 2013 the first Firefly was released to a mixed reception from critics. While the firefly was a simple device to use, provided decent vapor quality and featured an innovative design that featured a magnetic face plate, it ultimately fell short in terms of temperature control, a short battery life, and a cumbersome profile. The Firefly 2 is the 2nd and latest dry herb vaporizer from Firefly Vapor, it is 33% smaller and 55% lighter than the original unit and features on-demand convection heating and a glass vapor path, perfect for those looking for instant flavorful vapor. This unit is one of the first to offer on-demand convection heating to cook your herbs at the touch of a button. It also features a Bluetooth app which allows you to customize your heat profile and even switch into concentrate mode. So why don’t you join us as we dive further into this excellent portable vaporizer.
Editors Note: The Firefly has made some big updates to its app which is now available again through the Apple store. If you already own a Firefly 2 be sure to connect yours to your app to receive this update. The update provides more temperature control and much better calibration of the vapor.
Also if you do decide to purchase the Firefly 2 be sure to check out our handy Tips & Tricks guide to get the most from this top-tier unit.
Review: Firefly 2
As we touched upon briefly, this unit features on-demand convection heating, a first for the vaporizer industry. Most vaporizers have a 1 – 2 minute heat up time and once they reach the set temperature they maintain that temperature during the entire session, while this is an effective way to vaporize herbs it can be a bit wasteful because the herbs are cooking even if you are not drawing from the unit.
With the Firefly 2 your herbs are only cooked when you press the heating buttons and begin drawing from the unit. Once you let go of the buttons and stop drawing your herbs no longer cook, which helps preserve their integrity for the next draw. Unlike most units the Firefly 2 does not have an on/off function, the unit is constantly on and in standby mode. There are 2 touch sensors, which we will refer to as buttons, on either side of the unit, when both are pressed the green light at the top of the unit will flash slowly for about 5 seconds until it turns solid.
When it turns solid you are ready to start drawing from the mouthpiece, for best results we recommend extremely slow, long draws. The device goes back into standby mode after holding the buttons down for 30 seconds, we found for the best draws you will want to inhale for that entire duration.This device does have a fairly steep learning curve, so if you find yourself underwhelmed after the first session do not be discouraged, you essentially have to unlearn everything you knew about vaporizers and start fresh with this device. When we first used the unit we had the same sense of disappointment, but after a couple more sessions we finally figured out how to take proper draws and produce some very nice vapor.
The Firefly 2 also includes an app which is used to change your temperature profile, switch to concentrate mode and even change which buttons need to be pressed to heat the device. In our experience the app was a little finicky when connecting to the device.We found the easiest way to get the device to connect if the app won’t recognize the vaporizer is to close the app, switch your phone into airplane mode and then disable airplane mode, tap both buttons on the firefly to ensure its awake, and then open the app again.
You can also try to do this by disabling the Bluetooth and re-enabling it, but most current Bluetooth enabled devices also require your location to register the device. This step is not necessary all the time, but we are sure people will come across this issue with Bluetooth connectivity and will want a solution.
One of the biggest issues with the original Firefly was its lack of temperature flexibility. The unit was almost like a glorified Magic Flight Launch Box in that regard and because of this it did not lend itself to a satisfying session.
The Firefly 2 on the other hand does feature temperature control which can be accessed through the Firefly app. With the app you have access to a range of temperatures for herbs and concentrates.
When using the Firefly between 170 Celsius and 225 Celsius the unit will be set to herb mode giving you full control over the type of vapor you want to achieve with your botanicals. When you push the temperature past 225 celsius the unit switches to concentrate mode. All temperatures above 225 are for concentrates and should not used with dry herbs as it can cause combustion of the plant material.
There is also the “Power Tuning” settings that are available to you, which allows you to fine tune the set temperatures by up to 11% giving you further calibration on how soft or aggressive you want your Firefly 2 vaporizer to heat your herbs within the set temperature range.
We found the best practice is to take a very slow draw like you are sipping hot tea through a straw and draw for almost the entire duration of the heating cycle which is 30 seconds. Because this unit provides on demand convection heat you really need to relearn how to use a vaporizer because the Firefly 2 functions differently than most.
If you are concerned with producing decent sized clouds we recommend the highest herb setting (high) and we also recommend the power tuning setting to be cranked up to 111%. In our tests this setup provides satisfying cloud production while still maintaining a pure flavor.
With the higher heat settings flavor will diminish through the session. On the lower heat settings vapor is thinner but the flavor you receive from your herbs is incredible and producing some of the best tasting vapor available. The only issue with the Firefly 2 is that in order to get an even cook and fully extract your herbs you do need to stir the bowl after every 3 or 4 draws. The Firefly 2 lacks a built in stirring tool, so you will have to remember to carry the included stirring stick to ensure an efficient session.
We also mentioned that this unit can handle waxes and concentrates with the use of mesh liquid pads and by changing the heat profile to “Concentrate Mode”. Most units that offer concentrate compatibility do so but not very well. This is not so with the Firefly 2 which defies conventions and expertly handles concentrates producing the best tasting concentrate experience we have had the chance to enjoy. We tasted flavors in our concentrates we never had before and the vapor output was impressive even when using small amounts of concentrates. Overall we are beyond impressed with the vapor quality of the Firefly 2.
This is one aspect where the Firefly 2 really shines. The minute you open the box you feel like you are getting a quality product, especially with the apple-esque packaging. The Firefly 2 itself is smooth, sleek and sexy.
The weight of the unit is much improved over the previous model due to its smaller size, but still has enough weight to keep the quality feel of the device.We absolutely love the magnetic face plate which is made out of a magnesium alloy on the top to help protect from wear and tear and borosilicate glass on the bottom for amazing flavor and is finished off with a quartz window so you can watch your herbs cook.
This unit features a removable 770 mAH lithium ion battery and in the box you are supplied with a spare battery to ensure you are never without a charge. This is a welcome addition to the Firefly 2, as the original Firefly really suffered from poor battery life.
The heating chamber is smaller than you will find on most units, however because of the efficiency of the vaporizer this does not seem to be an issue and for some may be a welcome addition and help your save your herbs.
The only downside to the manufacturing quality of the device is the buttons can get hot during extended use. But this problem is shared with many other units and is not solely a Firefly issue. Overall this is an absolutely gorgeous device that feels really nice in your hands and oozes quality.
Included in the box with the Firefly 2 is a spare battery, with another already installed in the Firefly 2. As battery life was a huge issue with the first Firefly, the inclusion of a second battery is a welcome addition.
From our tests a single battery gets roughly 3 – 4 complete cooks, depending on your temperature settings. While this still is not the greatest battery life for a unit, having a second battery means you will be able to get about 6 – 8 sessions out of the Firefly without needing to charge it, which is much better than the original Firefly.
The 2 battery system would have been a perfect set up if it was not for one tiny snag, the battery must be in the unit in order to charge it. In my opinion this was a huge oversight because if a battery is dead and you swap it for a fresh one to continue your session, you cannot charge the dead battery until you are finished your session. At which point you will have to remove your fresh battery, put the old battery back in and slap the device on the charger.
This is a bit inconvenient and almost negates the benefit of having an extra battery. We would have liked to see a charging system similar to the Prima, where the spare battery is docked in an external charger while you use your unit with the fresh battery. Hopefully in the future Firefly will create a standalone battery charger that will allow you to charge the batter without the device. This would greatly increase the functionality of the Firefly 2 with its swap-able batteries. While it’s not a deal breaker, it left us scratching our head why they made this decision.
The original Firefly was considered large for a portable unit and its weight made it even more of a nuisance to travel with. The Firefly 2 is 33% smaller than its predecessor and 55% lighter, which makes it far more portable. It still is a bit on the large side and really does not rival smaller units like the Zeus Arc but its small enough to be easily put in a pocket or bag to be taken out for the day.
What hurts the portability of the Firefly 2 is its accessories; if you want to make sure you have a full days charge you are going to need to take the 2nd battery with you or possibly also take the charging dock and USB cable. Oh and don’t forget about the stirring sticks, without those you’re going to have to stir it with something else or violently shake the unit.
The point is, while the unit itself is portable, the amount of accessories that are needed to keep the device charged and functional make it a little annoying to travel with. We would have liked to see a built in stirring tool similar to the Crafty and maybe a USB port on the device as oppose to a dock. While these are minor complaints they are worth noting if you are looking to constantly be travelling with the Firefly.
The Firefly 2 is a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to ease of use. The functionality of the device is very easy from the outside looking in, just set your temperature profile with the app and press on hold the heat buttons while inhaling. However there is a bit of a technique that goes along with the inhale to achieve proper vapor quality which we highlighted earlier in this article.
This learning curve may discourage long time vaporizer users who are used to the traditional style of vaporizers and may leave them disappointed after the first session. However with the Firefly 2 practice really does make perfect and once you figure out your own technique the device becomes a breeze to use and you will wonder why you were so impatient in the first place.
Another aspect that does hinder the devices ease of use is the Firefly app. The app is the only way you can access the temperature profiles with the Firefly 2, you cannot change the settings by pressing the buttons on the device itself. This can get a bit annoying especially if you enjoy slowly increasing your temperature while you vaporize, you will need to constantly be interacting with your phone to change the temperature.
This gets even more frustrating when making the switch to concentrates which requires you to select a specific heating profile. If you are in the backyard with your device and have left your phone inside and want to start vaporizing concentrates you will have to go inside get your phone, connect it to your firefly and switch it to concentrates, and if you want to switch back to herbs it’s the same process.
This can get very tedious and will have most of you just sticking with one temperature setting so you don’t have to interact with your phone unless switching to concentrates. We really wish they offered some sort of settings functionality through the device without the app. If anything it will discourage users who may not be as tech savvy and do not wish to use an app to interact with their device. So while the device is easy to use once you learn the devices subtleties, the fact that they force you to use the app to access important settings can get stale quickly.
In our opinion the Firefly 2 is not the most discreet unit available. Because of the way you hold the vaporizer (almost like a pipe), you are sure to draw looks while you use the device. It does not look like any other type of vaporizer available, dry herb or liquid, so you may have nosy people asking what you are doing.
When it comes to the vapor, if you are using the lower heat settings visible vapor and odor is fairly minimal and because it is an on-demand unit the herbs only cook and produce a smell when you are drawing from the unit. So while it is not the most stealthy looking unit, the way this unit provides on-demand vapor can help with keeping odors to a minimal.
The Firefly 2 is a huge improvement over the previous incarnation and provides some of the best vapor quality we have experienced. After you get over the learning curve the device is a pleasure to use providing flavorful on-demand convection vapor at the touch of a button.
The Firefly 2 is a truly unique device that needs first-hand use to really understand how different of an experience this unit is. It is great for those who want to get in quick sessions without the annoying heat up time experienced with other vaporizers and is extremely efficient with a smaller amount of herbs.
Because the heat is on-demand you can easily put the unit down and save the rest of your herbs for a later session. It also does a tremendous job vaporizing waxes and concentrates and provided one of the most flavorful wax experiences to date.
Battery life is adequate and an improvement over the original Firefly and the inclusion of a spare battery is a welcome addition. While we do wish you could charge the batteries externally we still applaud them for addressing the battery life and including a 2nd battery.
Overall if you have the cash to spare do not hesitate to pick up this unique and innovative vaporizer and experience the difference for yourself. You can pick one up by heading over to our store, we offer free shipping over $100 and you can select a free gift at checkout with the purchase of a unit.