The DaVinci IQ is one of our favorite pocket portable vapes thanks in part to top tier materials and build quality. Sadly there are low quality fakes of the IQ and nearly every other popular vaporizer model being produced. We got our hands on a DV IQ clone directly from DHGate to help you spot all the differences from the original.
The differences between the original and knockoff IQ's box were subtle but immediately apparent. The first thing we noticed is the orange on the fake's sleeve is a couple shades lighter than it should be. The sleeve textures are also different with the copy being much smoother. The text and graphics on the front and back of the sleeve look spot-on but there's a serial number sticker on the back of the authentic.
The text on the side of the sleeve is nearly the same between the two, though the logo is slightly more bold on the real version. The IQ graphic on the other side of the sleeve is a very obvious discrepancy; the fake's graphic is an entirely different picture and notably blurry compared to the original.
With the outer sleeve removed we have access to the inner IQ box. The text is the same other than the shade of orange being somewhat lighter on the fake, just like on the sleeve. The texture of the boxes themselves are very different; the original is matte while the copy is smooth, glossy and reflects light.
We couldn't spot any differences at all on the accessory boxes. The text, cardboard and colors all seem to be a one-to-one match. The fakes also fit into the unit packaging exactly like the originals.
When examining the authentic and reproduction IQ face-on the only obvious difference between them is color. The size, form, weight and even engraving are basically identical on both. The texture between the two units is slightly different but not something anyone would notice.
In our DaVinci IQ Teardown blog post we fully disassembled an official DV IQ to get a better look at the internals. We were impressed both with the quality of materials used and the assembly of the unit. The biggest problem with using a knockoff vaporizer is not knowing whether or not the materials being heated and drawn from are actually safe. Clone vapes are made as inexpensively as possible and since looking like the original is given focus over performing like the original the internal parts are usually the lowest quality available. We doubt these counterfeit DaVincis are even safe to use and we would never recommend anyone take the risk.
One of the only visible differences on the outside of the unit are the buttons; they protrude a little on the fake but they're nearly flush on the authentic IQ. The hinges of the clone are also significantly looser and don't feel nearly as well fitted to the unit when accessing the top and bottom doors.
As far as we can tell there is no "Stealth Mode" programmed into the reproduction IQ meaning LED brightness cannot be adjusted like the original. The haptic vibration notification of the copy also feels duller and weaker than the real deal.
The instructional sticker on the back of both units seems to be a perfect match though the enclosure magnets are very clearly lower quality and weaker on the reproduction. Another very clear difference between the two is the battery: the original includes a Panasonic 3500mAh 18650 battery while the fake doesn't include any battery at all.
The original DaVinci IQ mouthpieces are made of ultra durable zirconia ceramic which has the strength of metal and ultra high heat resistance to maintain vapor purity. The fake mouthpieces appear to be made of plain ceramic stained or painted black. The color and texture are noticeably different from the authentic and there are also small flaws in the machining of the edges.
The silicone mouthpiece gasket is an accessory that we can't perceive any differences between the reproduction and official piece. This gasket is likely a shelf part that was sourced from the same manufacturer by both DaVinci and the knockoff factory.
The authentic DaVinci IQ flavor chamber is crafted from zircon ceramic just like the official mouthpieces. The clone IQ's flavor chamber has a different texture, sharper edges and appears to be made from plain ceramic painted or stained black just like the knockoff mouthpieces. The DV IQ's flavor chamber is directly in the vapor path and subject to high temperatures, it's definitely not a place you want paint or industrial stain.
The herb storage container is another blatant discrepancy. The authentic herb container packaged with the Da Vinci IQ is finished in reflective gunmetal grey with smooth, well machined threading. The herb container included with the clone is finished in flat black and the threading feels gritty and difficult to turn.
The included keychain tools are completely different colors, a major giveaway of authenticity. The edges of the metal section are also imperfectly cut on the fake version though that isn't as noticeable.
Here we have another subtle difference; the finish of the poker tool. The authentic DaVinci IQ's poking tool has a brushed finish whereas the copy is polished. You can tell the difference in how reflective the fake is versus the non-reflective matte finish on the original. The edges of the reproduction tool also feel a bit less perfectly machined.
The smaller accessories are nearly identical between the authentic and the clone. The duplicate's brush is a tiny bit longer and the pattern on the micro-USB charging cable is a little different. The shade of orange on the alcohol wipes is a little bit lighter on the fake just like it was on the outer sleeve and box text.
The authentic IQ's manual is a much brighter orange than the copy which is the opposite of what we've seen in the rest of the color differences. The text on the cover, back, and throughout the booklet is all a 1:1 match, most likely photo copied from the original. The sticker design is the same between the two though the colors are inverted. The fake's sticker is affixed to a square of paper, the original sticker's backing is cut to form.
In summation, the vaporizer industry has become widespread enough that nearly every vape model released has been copied. Many of the clones look and feel nearly identical or exactly the same on the surface but are crafted with low grade internal materials that aren't made to withstand vaporization temperatures. The counterfeiters that made this IQ knockoff did a remarkable job cloning the look and feel; most people wouldn't be able to tell the difference without directly comparing them beside each other. It's unfortunate this manufacturer didn't spend their time and resources building a new vape design instead of stealing an existing model but it goes to show you the importance of purchasing vapes through an authorized retailer for peace of mind that you're using a safe, officially licensed product.