E-Cigarette Reviews and Rankings

3stars

SMOK Novo 2 Review

With the original SMOK Novo being as popular as it was when it launched, last, year, it’s no surprise that the Chinese manufacturer decided to put out a second version. What did surprise me was that the new Novo 2 loos pretty much identical to its predecessor, which doesn’t happen very often in this industry. Still, there are some interesting changes for those curious enough to look for them, and we’ll go over all of those in this review:

A Look at the Contents

The new SMOK Novo pod system comes in a small cardboard box with a life-size picture of the device on the front, along with pictograms of its main features, and a list of contents, age and nicotine warnings, contact information, and a scratch-and-check authenticity sticker on the back.

Inside the box we have the Novo 2 pod mod, two refillable pods, a micro-USB cable for charging, and a user manual. I’m happy to see SMOK challenging the industry standard by including not one but two pods, just like they did with the first Novo, now if only the other manufacturers would do the same… Otherwise, this is a fairly standard pod system kit.

Design and Build Quality

Not a lot to go over in this section of the review, since SMOK didn’t make any major changes to the design or the materials used to make the Novo 2 pod system. It measures 88.3mm x 24.3mm x 14.3mm, and is made out of metal and plastic, just like the original Novo. The small LED battery indicator, the branding at the bottom of the mod, and the positioning of the micro-USB port are pretty much identical as well.

At first glance, the pods look about the same as the ones of the SMOK Novo, but a closer inspection reveals some subtle changes, like the orientation of the coils inside – horizontal on the original, vertical on the Novo 2. They still hold 2ml of e-liquid though, and still feature the fill port on the side, which is not exactly the ideal location.

The Novo 2 suffers from the same e-liquid visibility issue of the original Novo. When the pod is inserted into the mod, there’s only a sliver of the pod exposed, which means you have to take the pod out every once in a while to check the juice level. And, with the new Novo 2 being a much tighter fit than the original pod system, removing the pod every few minutes, or even hours, can seem a bit of a chore after a while. I know I’ve been struggling to yang those pods out, so I’m guessing some girls may have a hard time getting them to come off.

The Novo comes in a variety of artistic designs, from resin patterns to paint splashes and graffiti. They all look good, but plastic just isn’t the same as real resin, no matter how cool it looks.

All in all, the SMOK Novo 2 looks identical to the original Novo pod system, with only a few tiny details setting them apart.

Battery Life and Performance

The first SMOK Novo featured a built-in 450mAh battery, which was the industry standard last year. A lot has happened since then, and manufacturers have bee coming up with ways of cramming as much battery in the tiny housings of their pod systems. SMOK has been busy doing the same thing, and they actually have something to show for it. Even though the Novo 2 is as large as its predecessor, it has double the battery capacity – 800mAh. How they were able to boost the battery by so much is a mystery to me, but one thing’s for sure, the Novo 2 puts the original to shame in terms of battery life.

The Novo 2 features an LED indicator that shows how much battery you have left by lighting up in different colors. SMOK claims the indicator has been enhanced in some way, but I haven’t been able to figure out how.

You can use the new Novo 2 as a passthrough, while it’s charging, and you’re probably going to have to, as this device has 0.5A charging, so it will take a bit over an hour to fully recharge after the battery has been depleted.

While it may look the same as the original SMOK Novo, the new Novo 2 offers a slightly different vaping experience. That’ primarily thanks to the two different pods it comes with  – one featuring a 1Ω  mesh coil, and another with a 1.4Ω round coil. One is designed to maximize flavor and vapor production, while the other is designed for mouth-to-lung (MTL).

The MTL coil essentially gives you a cooler vape, but in terms of restrictiveness it’s the same as the other coil. Like with the original Novo, SMOK went for a middle-of-the-road situation, where the draw is a bit too airy for mouth-to-lung and too tight for a real direct-lung hit. It’s kind of a compromise between two styles of vaping, and I’m not a huge fan. Having tried some really good MTL pods lately, like the Renova Zero, I really feel like there are better devices out there if you’re into a particular style of vaping.

The jack-of-all-trades has also been done better, and the best example I can think of is the Rincoe Tix, which offers airflow control on its refillable pods, variable power output and interchangeable coil-heads. That’s a totally different style of device, though, and if you like these ultra-compact pod systems, you’re probably going to stick with them.

Anyway, the draw is too loose for my liking, just like it was on the original Novo, but I will give it some points for flavor, which is much better this time around. I no longer get that plasticky tastes when I draw on the mouthpiece, and the smell mesh coil does a good job of bringing out the flavor of an e-liquid, so make sure you’re vaping a good one.

Conclusion

The SMOK Novo 2 features some welcome improvements, like extended battery life – double that of the original Novo , the introduction of mesh coil pods, and much better flavor, but it still has some of the shortcomings of the original. It’s still virtually impossible to check the e-liquid level inside the pods without removing them from the mod and the draw is still to airy for a proper mouth-to-lung vape (even with the dedicated MTL pod). Do the pros outweigh the cons? Well, this is one of those cases where it all depends on personal taste. I for one am not a huge fan, but judging by the comments on my review of the SMOK Novo, there are people who swear by this device.

The SMOK Novo 2 was sent to me by Vapesourcing, for the purpose of this review. They currently have the Novo 2 kit in stock, for a price of $18.69.

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