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Uwell Caliburn GK3 Review: When Tron & Vapes Collide

UWELL Caliburn GK3

Uwell Caliburn GK3 - 4

4.0

Excellent

PROS

CONS

The bottom line

Uwell and the Caliburn series show no signs of slowing down in producing quality and cost-effective vapes. While there are a few questionable design choices, for the most part, the GK3 doesn’t do anything wrong. In fact, it delivers everything most MTL/just-moved-from-cigarettes vapers want: long battery life, a simple design, easy-to-fill pods, and fast charging. No nonsense, no mess.

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Uwell is back with another addition to the Caliburn series – the GK3. Now, you might be thinking, “Not another one!” but considering they’ve nailed the previous ones, why not keep the streak going?

Renowned for simplicity, affordability, and user-friendliness, the G series has left a lasting impact on the vaping market, particularly for newcomers and the MTL vaping community. The series aims to steer clear of complex mechanics, opting for a ‘vape-and-go’ approach.

The Caliburn GK3 brings a retro LCD screen to the table, along with a 900mAh battery, two airflow modes, and compatibility with Uwell’s G3 pods.

So, does the GK3 live up to the reputation of its predecessors? In today’s review, I dive deep into the GK3 to answer that burning question. Let’s see if it continues the impressive legacy set by its siblings and predecessors.

  • Caliburn GK3 Device
  • 0.6 Ohm Caliburn G3 Pod
  • 0.9 Ohm Caliburn G3 Pod
  • USB-C Charging Cable
  • User Manual
  • Lanyard
  • Dimensions: 74.8 mm × 49.2 mm × 17.1 mm
  • Net Weight: Approx. 52 g
  • E-liquid Capacity: 2.5 ml
  • Output Power: Maximum 25 W
  • Cartridge Specifications:
  • FeCrAl Meshed 0.6 Ω CALIBURN G3 Integrated Coil Cartridge
  • FeCrAl Meshed 0.9 Ω CALIBURN G3 Integrated Coil Cartridge
  • Battery Capacity: 900 mAh

Design & Build Quality

  • Uwell Caliburn GK3 - 4

Fresh out the box, the first thing I noticed was the design of the GK3. My initial reaction varied between, “Has Uwell teamed up with Casio watches?” and “It’s trying a little too hard to look futuristic.” Have you ever seen those old movies from the ’80s and ’90s that predict how tech would look in the future that we live in now? You know, slight upgrades to tech that they had at the time. Yeah, that’s what the GK3’s design feels like. 

Judging by the promotional images, Uwell’s aim was certainly for it to be more ‘futuristic,’ and in my opinion, they didn’t do great in that department. In fact, one close friend dubbed it the ‘Tron’ vape (based on the 1983 movie) and I can totally see why that comparison was drawn.

The GK3 is a thin, box-shaped device, with three of the corners shaved for a more defined shape. On the top of the device, sits the pod, which, when inserted into the holder, covers the vast majority of the pod for a more compact look and feel. Opposite the pod, there is a raised metal bar that serves for lanyard purposes.

On the front of the device, we have the Caliburn and GK3 logo in the shape of what appears to be a motherboard chip with wires surrounding it. ‘Tron’ vibes are certainly here!

Below this design is the screen, showing wattage, puff counter, coil resistance, and battery life. It’s worth noting the ‘Casio Watch’ element here, as the digits and design represent this quite well.

On the back, starting from the top of the device, we can see that the pod holder also features a viewing window, perfect for seeing how much juice you have left. 

There’s the slogan ‘Keep on Keeping on,’ which sits above a set of coordinates. When inputted into Google Maps, these coordinates lead us to Uwell’s headquarters in China, a nice gimmick!

Below that, there’s a design-bit that’s a head-scratcher. It’s the Caliburn KOKO logo, but the O’s look like they’re trying to mimic cassette tape wheels? Who knows? Perhaps a more creative eye than my own would come up with something better.

Uwell Caliburn GK3 - 5

The device features inhale auto-draw or a button activation, meaning that you have the convenient option of switching between the two forms of activation. This button is located on the bottom right of the GK3 when viewing the device from the front.

The GK3 weighs in at a light 52g, without juice, and a tiny 74mm in length, making this an almost unnoticeable addition to your pocket when you’re out on the go. 

The Type C point is at the bottom of the device (grrrr), so you have to lay it down to charge. But no harm will be done as long as you unplug the pod during charge time to dodge any potential leaking.

Now, let’s look at airflow. Upon first inspection, it wouldn’t even seem like the GK3 has airflow control, but you’d be wrong! Most people are used to the tightening or loosening of an airflow ring or an airflow slider, but the GK3 takes a different route that includes the pod itself and a tiny hole at the side of the device itself. To adjust the airflow, simply insert the cartridge in a different orientation.

At the bottom of the pods, you’ve got two holes—one big, one small. The trick is to match these holes with the airflow hole inside the device, according to how you like to pull on your vape.

If you want an easier, breezier draw, insert the pod with the big airflow hole lined up with the airflow hole inside the device. For a snugger pull, insert the pod with the small airflow hole lined up with the airflow hole inside the device.

The airflow hole inside the device is connected to the visible circular entry on the side of the GK3.


Pods

Uwell Caliburn GK3 - 8

The GK3 comes with 2 disposable pod options: a 0.6Ω pod and a 0.9Ω pod, both with a 2.5ml capacity. The 0.6Ω pod is recommended to be vaped at a max of 25W (the devices max output) and the 0.9Ω is recommended at a 15W level. 

Uwell opted to continue using the G3 pods for this device which is fantastic news for anyone who has already invested in the series. The G3 pods feature a ‘Ultra Sonic Welding’ feature for an enhanced anti-leak experience. The design also throws in a U-shaped channel to internally catch condensation droplets while you’re vaping, with the promise of significantly reducing the chances of leaks. So, did it deliver? Yes, for the most part.

Uwell Caliburn GK3 - 9

I encountered just one instance of juice pooling in the mouthpiece. However, a quick wipe sorted the problem, and it didn’t mess with the performance. To be honest, this little hiccup happened just once, and I didn’t face any other leakage issues; I’d say that’s a win! Bonus points for the anti-leak consideration, but I’m pretty sure a lot of companies adopt this measure nowadays.

To fill the pods, simply pull out the rubber stopper on the side of the pod, fill at an angle, close it up and you’re good to go. No difficulties with this whatsoever. 


Features

Uwell Caliburn GK3 - 7

With the GK3’s screen, Uwell decided to sport the digital LCD screen look.  This, according to the company website, conserves battery power, allowing you to channel all that energy into actually vaping. Pretty thoughtful!

Remember the fire button? Well, that also serves as the screen controller. A single press shuts off the green backlight. Hit the side button three times and you can adjust the output power to suit your preferences, adding a personalized touch to your vaping experience.

A quick press four times wipes the puff counter clean, and five presses turns the device on or off. Simple and efficient.

The device gives a little buzz when you slide the pod into the holder or pop it out. It’s a subtle but noticeable touch, adding a bit of flair to the whole process. Plus, it vibrates when you power it down, giving you that extra confirmation.

That’s it really. The features pretty much end here. Uwell obviously put more attention on the battery life as the main feature and kept the rest of the design simple and efficient.


Battery Life and Charging

Uwell Caliburn GK3 - 6

In order to get the best insight into the battery life of the GK3, we’ve got to take into consideration the type of vaper.

If you’re the type of vaper who enjoys the occasional puff throughout the day, this bad boy is going to last you a few weeks without needing to hook it up to the charger.

If you’re in the ‘medium’ usage range (designated times to vape, a few minutes at a time – we’re looking at you, office workers), then I’d comfortably predict this would last 1.5-2 days without a charge.

But if you’d consider yourself a heavy vaper, meaning you vape whenever you want, for as long as you want, you could get about 3/4 to a full day of charge out of the GK3 before it’s time to charge it.

Although, this would depend heavily on the two coil options (0.6Ω and 0.9Ω). Now, I would consider myself to be in between a ‘medium’ to ‘heavy’ vaper, and I noticed some big differences between the two when it came to battery life. The 0.9Ω pod, vaped medium-heavy throughout the day (8 am-10 pm), would leave me with around 40-50% battery life before I went to bed. The 0.6Ω pod, predictably, was a lot less battery friendly, leaving me with around 20-30% battery life before bed.

Talking of charging, this nifty little unit was great in that department. When the respectable 900mAh battery is charged with the boxed 2A ‘Fast Charge’ Type-C cable, I was able to get from 0-100% battery in around 30 minutes.

I was keen to see what other charging cables would be like and what sort of power they retained, but the bottom line is, don’t! I know we all do it; Samsung phone charge cables charging your Bluetooth Sony headphones, or (in my case) the PS5 controller charge cable into the GK3 after temporarily misplacing the box-given cable. While it did the job, after days 2 and 3, I noticed a significant difference in battery life at the end of the day. Not advised as a long term option!


Performance

Uwell Caliburn GK3 - 10

Now, onto the performance of the device.

The GK3’s baby brother, the GK2, had a max of 18W and a 690 MAH battery, meaning it was most likely marketed towards MTL vapers, whereas the GK3 boasts 25W with a 900 MAH battery, leading me to assume that this one is geared more towards DTL fans.

Well that theory would be both right and wrong, and it’s to do with the pods. You see, if you opt for the 0.6Ω pod at the max of 25W, you can smoothly enjoy a DTL hit, while a MTL hit would feel a little strong on the lungs.

The 0.9Ω pod, on the other hand, offers the opposite. When MTL vaped at 15W, you’re able to get a nice smooth hit that doesn’t trouble the airways. DTL is possible, but it’s clear it wasn’t intended for this pod coil resistance. You’ve got to love the option of choice, especially at this price point (~$27 USD)!

So, let’s talk about clouds. I vaped the GK3 with 2 different ejuices for each coil resistance. 

For the 0.9Ω pod, I vaped Gorilla Custard (VG:PG. 50:50) 6mg and for the 0.6Ω pod, I chose Sweet-21’s Lychee and Peach Ice (VG:PG. 70:30) 6mg. 

(Note: Most of the time, I stuck with the recommended guidelines for wattage (25W for the 0.6Ω pod and 15W for the 0.9Ω pod)

For the 0.9Ω pod with Gorilla Custard, it was a nice balance. The 50:50 VG:PG ratio brings out both good vapor and flavor. At 6mg nicotine, the throat hit is just right. Following the recommended 15W wattage, I got a semi decent cloud production, making my vaping experience quite enjoyable.

Now, onto the 0.6Ω coil with Sweet-21’s Lychee and Peach Ice. The higher VG content at 70:30 definitely kicked up the vapor production a notch when DTL vaping. Clouds were thicker, and the fruity, icy flavor at 6mg nicotine hit the spot. Keeping to the suggested 25W wattage maintained a sweet spot between flavor and vapor, making this combo a refreshing and satisfying vape.

If you’re like me and aren’t a fan of drawing attention to yourself in public with big, thick clouds, then this device probably isn’t for you. But, before you dismiss it completely, when the power is turned down to around 9W with the 0.9Ω pod and you opt for a MTL hit, it is possible to stealth vape. Couple this with the GK3’s lightness and small size and you’re ready to be the stealthiest of all vaping ninjas.


Verdict

Uwell and the Caliburn series show no signs of slowing down in producing quality and cost-effective vapes. While there are a few questionable design choices, for the most part, the GK3 doesn’t do anything wrong. In fact, it delivers everything most MTL/just-moved-from-cigarettes vapers want: long battery life, a simple design, easy-to-fill pods, and fast charging. No nonsense, no mess.

My personal favorite aspect of this device is its ability to not need constant charging, unlike many others on the market. For those using vaping to replace cigarettes, having a device available when cravings hit is crucial. Uwell understands this well, reflected in the GK3’s impressive battery life. 

Of course, I loved the fact that I could use G3 pods from other series entries, as well as the great flavor it produced with any ejuice I threw at it. 

When it came to vapor production, it felt as though I had full control over how much was produced at any given moment. As a person who likes to swap between large clouds and smaller, discreet clouds regularly, this was great. Many devices can do this, but there aren’t many at this price point that offer this level of choice. 

As for dislikes, you can probably guess it’s the design, but that’s not a major factor in my opinion. I found myself focusing on the design/theme of the GK3 due to the fact that the device itself has no significant drawbacks. The different coil resistance demanding more power wasn’t too much of an issue with the 10 days I used it for, but I could comfortably predict that this would become an issue in the future as the battery performance diminishes. 

Recommended to new vapers and MTL lovers? Absolutely! Throw your money at this one!

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UWELL is running a contest from December 8th to January 8th, 2023 where you can win some great prizes, including a PS5, iPhone 15, Caliburn GK3, and more. Enter here!

Daniel Author Picture

Daniel Hoadley

Daniel is a Staff Writer for Versed Vaper. He started vaping in 2014 with his first device, the Innokin iTaste MVP V2.0. With a maximum wattage output of 11W and the device itself being roughly the same size as the first-ever cell phone, it’s safe to say he’s seen some immense changes in the vaping world. He used to smoke up to 20 cigarettes a day but hasn’t looked back since discovering the fascinating world of ohms and o-rings. On the weekends, you’ll find him cheering on his terrible soccer team, Birmingham City, or trying his best to convince his wife that vape clouds will not cause the wallpaper to peel.

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