Gracing our pages today is another pod-style device from the prolific vape company, Smok. The Smok Nord, designed as a spiritual successor to the Smok Novo, another pod-style device. This time around though, the Smok Nord forgoes the draw activated firing mechanism and instead opts for a more hands-on approach to vaping for those who might prefer a little more direct control over the activation of the device. The spec sheet also promises some big improvements over the previous Novo, such as enhanced battery capacity and compatibility with multiple coil types that enable sub-ohm vaping despite the small form factor of the kit.
Editors Note: For those interested in the convenience of a pod-based system but want the versatility of using your own e-liquid we suggest checking out the Jücee Slice, a simple yet elegant open pod-based unit that offers 2ml of juice capacity and both direct to lung and mouth to lung draws. The Jücee Slice is the best solution for those looking for a flexible pod-based system.
Review: Smok Nord
Comparing the two devices side by side, the Smok Nord and the Smok Novo definitely share a lot in common which should be no surprise as Smok themselves have stated that the Nord is directly inspired from the Novo.
There are small differences, however, between the two that eventually makes the Smok Nord feel like a much more polished and superior device to the Novo, the first of which is in regards honeycomb pattern covering the front and back portion of the two devices.
The pattern on the older Nord looks uneven and unpolished, giving it an almost hand-drawn look. The finish on the Smok Nord, however, is a lot more consistent making it a lot more aesthetically appealing than its predecessor.
The Smok Nord also features a much-improved window designed for viewing remaining e-liquid levels. Compared to the Smok Novo which pretty much had a non-existent window making it difficult to see if the pod was in need of a refill.
Regardless, you won’t be doing many refills with the Smok Nord thanks to its 3ml e-liquid capacity which by pod-style standards is practically monstrous and should easily last 1-2 days depending on your vaping frequency.
Similar to the popular Aspire Breeze 2, the Smok Nord forgoes the traditional draw-based firing mechanism and instead opts for a more classic approach in the form of a singular firing button.
The button feels responsive enough with a firm tactile response whenever pressed not to mention it doesn’t feature any wiggle or rattle when touched which gives us a good feeling about its reliability and durability in the long run.
A rare feature seen amongst pod-style devices is the Smok Nord’s compatibility with 3 coil types. While the actual Smok Nord kit only comes with two coils, a 0.6 sub-ohm coil and a 1.4 ohm traditional MTL coil, ceramic coils are available for purchase and are rated at a flat 1 ohm which should provide a nice in-between in terms of flavor, vapor production, and airflow.
As for the coils included in the kit, we were more impressed by the 1.4 ohm MTL coil as this definitely delivered the tried and true pod-style experience we’ve come to expect from devices of this form factor. While the 0.6 sub-ohm tried its best to deliver a true Direct Lung experience, in practice the battery just can’t seem to deliver the required amps in order to produce a satisfying vaping experience.
Despite the ability of the Smok Nord to use multiple coil types, sadly the option for variable wattage still isn’t there. Instead, the device relies on the resistance of the coil to determine the final vaping output or wattage which caps out at 15 watts.
With this said, the Smok Nord is best vaped with nicotine salt e-liquids as most freebase liquids lack the nicotine hit required to produce an adequate vape. Still, the Smok Nord does use refillable pods which give you a lot more freedom when it comes to choosing flavors and your preferred nicotine strength.
While the Smok Nord lacks the ability to vape with variable wattage, it still manages to deliver enough oomph, especially when used in tandem with nicotine salts. Throat hit is bountiful giving you that satisfying feeling similar to that of traditional tobacco cigarettes which is even more pronounced when using the included MTL coil.
Ease of Use
The Smok Nord functions just like any other button activated pod-style device, which is another way of saying it’s incredibly easy to use, even for first-time vapers. 5 clicks on the power button turn the device off, 5 clicks to turn it off. Hold the power button and inhale from the drip tip to vape. Simple as that.
The device features an RGB LED indicator which serves as a good guide to gauge the status of the battery. The LED flashes green when the batter is above 70% charge, yellow when above 30%, and red when below 30%.
Setting up the device is no daunting task either, simply charge it up via the integrated micro USB port and the included charging cable until the LED stops flashing.
Unlike other pod-style devices which make use of a disposable all-in-one pod/coil system, the Smok Nord lets you replace just the coil keeping the pod which should be a big plus for those concerned about the waste generated by continuously using and throwing away pods (an issue currently experienced by long-time favorite Juul).
When it comes to overall dimensions and weight, the Smok Nord is pretty top-notch, weighing in at a mere 80 grams and measuring out to 94mm * 30mm * 18.8mm.
While not as tiny smaller devices such as the Juul, the Smok Nord does trump smaller devices in terms of battery life with its impressive 1100mAh battery which is integrated into the chassis.
Not only does the refillable pods of the Smok Nord save you money in the long run, but they’re also a great way to reduce plastic waste produced by the popularity of non-refillable (hence, disposable) pods.
Just like most products produced by Smok, the Nord definitely has that touch of flair that many devices lack. It’s definitely a solid performer on paper and in practice. While other devices such as the Aspire Breeze or its successor the Breeze 2 perform similarly, some might argue they lack the sense of style and refinement that the Smok Nord brings to the playing field.
Just like with any other Smok device though, quality control is an issue. And while our test unit performed admirably, there’s a possibility that a good number of units out there might not have the same quality or reliability as the one we reviewed today.