Introduction to Ghost MV1 Review
Back from the dead. The Ghost MV1 has been re-launched after it originally fell short of hyped expectations. Issues fixed, it’s an extraordinary device that will still polarize vape users. But the incredible vapor quality changed the mind of our initially skeptical reviewer and left him reaching for the superlatives.
The Ghost MV1 hit the market in 2017 to feverish pre-launch excitement throughout the vape world.
Word was this – the first vape from new entrants Ghost Herbal Concepts Ltd – was going to re-set the benchmark for on-demand, true convection vapor, with its all-new proprietary tech and radical design.
In the event, the Ghost flopped. Not because its tech and design were not extraordinary – they were. But for what can be in retrospect described as teething troubles: a leaky air path, heat sink with a tendency to scratch the retractable mouthpiece, unacceptable battery life and some tolerance gaps in manufacturing.
The good news is GHC spent the next 10 months ironing out these firmware and software issues, and re-launched the MV1 in 2018. The Vaperizerblog team were super excited when the device finally arrived; not having reviewed it on its original launch we had never had our expectations squashed. Here’s what our reviewer thought…
Out the Box: Stunned (not in a good way)
The Ghost MV1 arrives in a high quality consumer packaging, as it should do for the price! On un-boxing my initial reaction was: no. The size, the weight, the indescribable shape. I just can’t see myself getting in to this at all. It’s like some glossy power tool…zero stealth…too heavy to be portable…what the hell even is this?
The MV1 does go against a number of industry trends and aesthetic standards. For the last 6-7 years now, portable vapes have been getting smaller, faster, sleeker as they edged their way into mainstream use. As they reached ‘Oscar goodie bag’ levels of consumer acceptance, they became design objects first and foremost, while simplicity of use was stressed at the expense of vapor quality, volume and effect.
According to their website, GHC essentially worked backwards to arrive at the MV1’s design:
“We started out by reverse engineering the top selling products in the market,interviewing countless retailers & consumers and developing a completeinsight into pre-existing technologies and the aspirations of our users. We focused on what people were unhappy about and then eliminated these designfaults from our product. “
Holy Grail of Vapes 1.0?
Having then developed their own engineering techniques and a new, ground-breaking technology, they’ve built the first generation ‘holy grail’ (my phrase not theirs), because what could any vape fan add to:
“On demand True Convection vaporization for dry herbs and concentrates, built to medical device standards, using only the highest quality materials, massive power with industry leading performance, ready in seconds with no temperature drop during use, no stirring, no charring, unique app functionality and a host of additional new features.”
Packing in the Power
Okay, so an ambitious goal and one I trust requires a lot of power, hence the bulbous shape and heavy weight. It is actually a beautiful object; shiny, solid, mysterious and clearly well built and finished. After the recommended all night initial battery charge, I was ready to try it out.
A chrome latch on the side opens a slide-out metal bracket holding a ceramic, lidded crucible for the herbs. With holes in the crucible bottom and holes in the steel lid, herb grind should be coarse to medium. Fine particles could escape the crucible.
Filling the Cradle
Around 0.15 grams of dryherb is ideal (moist herb will need grinding and drying before use). Don’t tamp down but fill the crucible to its brim. Make sure the rim is clean (no crumbs or oil) and place the lid on. Replace in the cradle and close with a click. Interior silicone rings hold the crucible in place and close the air path.
In theory I love the purity of a ceramic crucible and the ease of cleaning afforded by its complete removal. In practice, it’s a fiddly operation. The lid is obviously not magnetic and it takes a few tries to get the hang of placing it in the cradle without the lid flipping off. Persevere – it will be worth it.
Triple pressing the large metal mode button near the base of the MV1 turns it on to standby and displays the battery strength. Pressing again allows you to cycle through the pre-set temperatures.
The Ghost arrives with 3 pre-determined settings for dry herb, and two customizable ones that you can set with its app, and a mode for concentrates. Beyond switching between these five settings, there’s no way to set a specific temperature from the device itself. But you can go through the app and change one of the ‘favourites’ you’ve set.
Choosing your Temp
The presets of Low (340°F), Med (365°F) and High (390°F), or 171/185/199°C may be a bit on the low side for those who enjoy a thicker cloud. But with the app you can customize your settings anywhere between 300-470°F. But be warned that above 428°F/220°C dry herb becomes prone to combustion. Above 446°F/230°C I would only use for concentrates. Settings are indicated by the orange-green-red LED lights.
Let there be Heat
Carefully pull the retractable plastic straw out of its housing inside the metal heat sump. Not all the way out (except for cleaning), but around 1⁄2 – 3/4 of an inch (1 cm). To activate the chosen heat, press the black vape button on the other side of the device. The MV1 gives a brief trill and 5-10 seconds later a longer buzz to indicate temperature reached. Now here’s the interesting part – for on demand, true convection, you need to start inhaling and for 8-10 seconds you will get barely any vapor. Keep drawing and the production curve goes through the roof. Over the next 5 seconds most if not all the cannabinoids in your 0.1-0.15 are released.
Devastatingly Good Vapor
And Holy Mother, what a hit! There is virtually zero draw resistance, the vapor is as cool as from a water bubbler; you can taste every nuanced terpenoid in your herb. In a word: ka-blam! If you started low you can up the temp for a second hit, still full but not as tasty as the first. Maybe even a thin third if you whack it up to full heat.
But that’s it! Basically, one spectacularly amazing 15-second lungful. Top class flavor, top class effect. This is not the vape you want for economical sipping; but it will be a delight for connoisseurs – and vape evangelists who want to show a skeptic just what a vape can deliver. You know the type: “meh, I never get that high from vapes man…” The Ghost will S them TFU, guaranteed.
I’m still on my first full charge as I write this but I hear 40, 50 as many as 90 hits are achievable from a full charge. Bear in mind that performance will fall with charge so at some stage you will need to up your temp a notch higher than you usually have it. I also hear there are inaccuracies with the LED charge display, so you will be able to vape even when the battery is supposedly very low.
Re-charging from empty takes several hours so if you’re a heavy daily user you may want a spare battery (pops in and out really easily) or better, the optional fast charger (pricey, at $60).
Portable & Packable
The Ghost is obviously portable but you’ll need a bag to hump it around in, and it is sturdy enough to do so without worry. It’s in no way a pocket device, but it does deliver tabletop power from that bulbous form. The all medical and food grade components and proprietary tech are also apparent from the vapor quality.
E-Z 2 Clean
It’s easy to get spotlessly clean, the concentrate pad in the spare crucible works well. My only real gripe would be the LED mode display, but once you memorize the press sequences and play with the app, it’s not so worrisome. I personally would prefer a nice OLED display.
The Right Compromises
Yes, the Ghost is heavy and gawky, but its operation is simple (if fiddly) and it actually feels really good in the hand. As with every other vape ever built, you make your choices and suffer the compromises. It’s about what you want from the experience.
Don’t Wait for the Future
Expect firmware updates and tweaked operation and performance via the app. I can envision that like the Firefly-to-Firefly 2 (which along with S&B’s Mighty occupies the price-performance space into which the Ghost has launched), the next Ghost will be smaller and lighter. If you can’t wait until then for ultimate vapor, there’s no need to. The Ghost MV1 is already delivering that reliably.
- Thick, flavoursome vapor Well built
- Ceramic crucible
- Clean, cool air path
- Good battery life
- On demand, true convection
- Heavy, bulky
- Less than economical Not cheap
- Long charge by USB
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