E-Cigarette Reviews and Rankings

3_5stars

SMOK Nord 2 Review

Considering how massively successful the original SMOK Nord pod system was when it came out, it made sense for the Chinese manufacturer to come out with a version 2. And so it did; the SMOK Nord 2 was launched around six months ago, I’m a little late to the party, but I managed to get my hands on it eventually, so I’m going to review it. Without further ado, here is the SMOK Nord 2:

SMOK Nord 2 Packaging and Presentation

The second iteration of the Nord vape pod comes in a rectangular cardboard box with a photo of the vaping device on the front next to some pictograms, and a list of contents and the usual age restrictions and nicotine warnings on the back.

Inside the packaging you’ll find the Nord 2 pod system with two included refillable pods (each with a pre-installed coil-head), as well as a micro-USB charging cable and a user manual. It’s pretty much your standard pod system starter kit, but I will mention the inclusion of a spare pod and two included coil-heads as a pro.

SMOK Nord 2 Design and Build Quality

I never had the chance to try the original SMOK Nord, but from what I’ve seen, the Nord 2 looks very similar. They both have the same general design, same style button and mouthpiece, but there are some notable discrepancies if you take the time to compare the two.

The SMOK Nord 2 measures 95mm x 30.5mm x 19mm, roughly the same as its predecessor, and is made primarily of zinc alloy and plastic. Like SMOK’s other recent offerings, like the Trinity Alpha or the RPM80 Pro pod mod, this device features plastic decorative panels designed to look like something else entirely. My review sample is meant to imitate stabilized wood, only it doesn’t. Instead, it looks like glossy plastic painted in abstract colors.

I have no ides why SMOK is pushing these glossy shiny panels designed to look like stabbed wood or resin, when they can just go for something simpler, or use the actual materials they are trying to imitate. Yes, it would bump up prices, but I personally would pay for a more premium look and feel. Or just keep things simple, just stop using these cheap plastic option.

Like the original Nord, the new SMOK Nord 2 is a manually-activated device. It has a plastic fire button that can also be used to adjust the power output. The button also has an LED built in, which doesn’t really have much of a purpose, in my opinion, as your finger is covering it when you vape.

On the bottom of the Nord 2 we have a micro-USB charging cable and the “IQ-N Chip” branding, which must be the chip SMOK is using for this device. On the thinner sides of this device, near the top of the battery unit, we have two large slots, which is where the air comes through. Sadly, just like its predecessor, the SMOK Nord 2 does not have adjustable airflow, which is a shame.

One of, if not the main difference between the Nord and Nord 2 pod systems is that the latter features a cool LCD display. It is located on one of the thinner sides and luckily comes with a screen protector that I suggest you keep on there for as long as you can. The screen looks a lot bigger than it actually is, but to be perfectly honest, it’s not bad at all for a device this size.

Finally, the pods come in two variants, and you can tell which is which by the marking on their respective fill port plug. One has “Nord” on it, while the other reads “RPM”. As you’ve probably already guessed, one pod takes classic Nord coil-heads, while the other works with beefier RPM coil-heads that we’ve seen on the SMOK RPM40 and RPM 80 Pro. Both pods have the same e-liquid capacity, 4.5ml.

Unlike most other pod systems we’ve tested, the SMOK Nord 2 doesn’t rely on magnets to keep the pods attached to the battery unit. Instead, the pods have to be pressed into the port until they click into place. That’s the easier part, but removing them actually requires a fair bit of force, which may prove uncomfortable for some people.

The mouthpiece of the pods is really comfortable in the mouth, the coil-heads are very easy to remove and replace, but the one thing I don’t like about these pods is that you can’t check the e-liquid level without removing them from the device. The RPM40 suffered from the same design flaw, but SMOK apparently didn’t think it was worth fixing…

All in all, the Nord 2 is a solid pod system which brings some improvements over the original Nord, including the adjustable power output and the cool display. It’s not a perfect device though, and the lack of airflow adjustment and e-liquid visibility are disappointing.

SMOK Nord 2 Menu and Features

Adjustable power output is a great improvement over the original Nord. After turning the device on with five rapid clicks of the fire button, you can adjust the power by pressing the button again, three times, until the wattage on the display starts blinking. You can then adjust the power by either long pressing the fire button or just short pressing it until you reach the desired output. It works between 1W and 40W, which is pretty nice for such a small device.

That is pretty much everything there is to the menu, if you can even call it that, but you do have other important information presented on screen, such as the resistance of the coil-head, the real-time voltage, puff counter, as well as the wattage. Not bad for a rudimentary pod system!

SMOK Nord 2 Battery Life

When the original SMOK Nord came out, its built-in 1,100mAh battery was class-leading, but a lot has changed since then, and the Nord 2 features an improved 1,500mAh, in virtually the same real-estate as the older model. How they managed to cram the larger battery in the same space is beyond me, but I’m glad they found a way, because an extra 400mAh is no joke.

Depending on how much power output you plan on running this thing at and how much you’re vaping, the Nord 2 battery can last you anywhere from a couple of hours to over a day. I never really got through a whole day without a recharge, but 8 hours is definitely doable.

The Nord 2 vape pod also has fast charging at 1.2A, which means you can charge it back to full in just over an hour, as well as vape-while-charging technology.

How Does the SMOK Nord 2 Vape?

That’s the million dollar question isn’t it? The answer has a lot to do with personal preference and the coils you plan on using it with. If you prefer a restricted direct lung draw, the RPM pod is perfect, as you can choose from a variety of RPM coil-heads designed for the company’s pod mods. Most of them are mesh coil-heads, so you’re both great flavor and good vapor production.

Fans of mouth-to-lung (MTL) vaping may find the Nord 2 pod system somewhat disappointing, primarily because of the lack of airflow adjustment. The draw feels too loose for liking, you can do an MTL draw, but not like you can on say a Vaporesso Xros, for example. It’s doable, but not particularly enjoyable.

Still, the original Nord had the same shortcomings and that didn’t stop it from becoming one of the best-selling pod systems in the history of vaping. Despite being the logical step after quitting smoking, mouth-to-lung vaping is actually not that popular, and most people only care about power and vapor production. In those respects the SMOK Nord 2 is definitely a great choice. This thing has a maximum of 40W under the proverbial hood, so you can definitely chug some clouds with it.

Flavor was surprisingly good, both with the RPM and the Nord coil-heads. I had my reservations, because if this thing was the same as the SMOK Novo pod system I reviewed a while back, I would have hated the taste. Luckily, SMOK seem to have improved the quality of their pods and these days nothing smells or taste funny anymore.

Conclusion

The new SMOK Nord 2 is a worthy successor to the original Nord, improving on it in several respects, from battery life to power output, but sadly not in all of them. It still lacks adjustable airflow control and USB Type-C charging, and the quality of those decorative panels could be a lot better. Still, you can’t knock something that has proven so popular too hard. The Nord 2 rides the popularity wave of one of the best-selling vape devices ever, and I’m sure it’s going to be just as successful.

The SMOK Nord 2 pod system was sent to me by Vapesourcing for the purpose of this review.

Pros
  • good battery life
  • RPM coil-head compatibility
  • PnP coil-heads
  • adjustable power output
  • color display
Cons
  • cheap decorative panels
  • no adjustable airflow
  • bulky frame
  • no USB Type-C charging

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