Explain APVs or Mods to me please?
***This is a legacy document and as such may contain out-of-date or incorrect information. The vaping world has moved on a huge amount in a very short space of time, and these articles were written to the best of our knowledge at the time, but we can no longer stand by their accuracy!***
An APV or 'mod' is a high-performance model, of the second and third-generation class. The basic definition of an APV is that it uses replaceable, generic batteries and/or does something regular ecigs don't. Almost all ecigs of all types use 3.7 volt batteries, although a few use two 3 volt cells in series. Basically, any device that can have the batteries taken out and replaced is an APV. There are a couple of exceptions to this rule - APVs that have integral battery packs that are not user-replaceable, such as the Darwin. Although an APV was originally just a device with bigger batteries, nowadays they often have extra features. The advantage is they use large, generic batteries; and instead of using the small cells found in cigarette clone models (known as minis or first-generation models), the larger batteries allow better performance and can be bought at lower cost from many sources online.
The standard features of any APV therefore include bigger batteries that last longer and are cheaper per unit of power. An APV that is built to be small and compact, and about the same size as a mini e-cigarette, will lose out on battery life and power - because where batteries are concerned, size is everything. Extra features an APV might also have are liquid feed, the ability to use a wide range of end fittings, higher power capability, very long battery life, variable voltage (this allows you to tune the power to the end fitting in use and to your personal taste), digital readout, and so on.
All APVs use a manual switch, and the vast majority are much larger than a regular e-cigarette. As they come in the form of a thick tube or a box (called a boxmod), they look nothing like a cigarette. This tends to put off new users, but experienced users don't care as they appreciate the benefits. There is also the advantage that people don't think you are smoking, which you will find is very useful. Many owners have several different models for different purposes - for example a standard e-cig such as an eGo type for out & about, and a large APV for home use. The term used for many years for these XL and full-feature models was 'mod', as originally they were modified flashlights, laser pointers and similar, used because they had bigger batteries.
Describing the new high-performance, luxury, multi-function, expensive, long production run, 3rd-generation devices as 'mods' does not do them justice at all, so we are moving toward using the far more accurate term 'APV' or advanced personal vaporizer. These are the McClaren cars of the e-cig world.