I picked one of these up on my way home from the rig yesterday, looking for something more lowkey to tote around at work. I’d been carrying around my Snowwolf MFeng for the previous 3 weeks, and I hated the weight of it banging around my pockets while trying to climb around working. So after a long 3 weeks working 12 hour shifts, I’d come to the conclusion that something smaller was needed. I stopped at my local vape shop, and all they had was the Smok Novo and Suorin Air. I’d read reviews on the Air, so that was pretty much a bust for me. The Novo, I was still skeptical about, having plenty of bad experiences with Smok in the past. Most being normal, mass production issues where entire coil boxes were bad. Anyway, with only those two options, and Juul products had been pulled from the shelves, I went the Novo.
The battery is only 450 mAH, but considering it peaks at 13 watts per hit, it lasts a while if you aren’t chain vaping. The Novo’s small size immediately drew me in, as the form factor for the Air was a water drop shape. Didn’t like that idea. Here’s a summary of my first few days running it.
Bought it and had it set up in 3 minutes. Before I even left the store, I was taking drags. It had the factory charge on it. Bought some house nic salt at 50mg/ml and let sit for 2 minutes. Slapped the cartridge in, and bam, I was out the door. The cartridge holds 2ml, which doesn’t seem like much.
Vaped it pretty hard for the 20 minute drive home, trying to adjust from a cloud chucker to a small puff of vapor. Worked fine, and the draw-activated fire worked well. Still wasn’t impressed but it was satisfying me without the large, obnoxious clouds. Continued using it through the afternoon into the night, where it finally died on me around 10 P.M. Roughly 8 hours on factory charge, I’d probably taken 80-120 puffs. Not bad, and had used approximately 2mls. Put it on the charger, and charged for a little over an hour. The store salesmen had told me it would charge to 100% in 20 minutes, which I knew was bullshit at the time, but product knowledge goes a long way.
I woke up at 7 A.M. and unplugged. Refilled the cartridge, and, determined to put it through its paces, commenced chain vaping. I brought the kids to school and vaped my heart out on the way home. Got home, ate breakfast, had a cup of coffee. Vaped some more. These are each 20 minute sessions. Decided I needed to pressure wash my house, so went and borrowed my in-laws’ pressure washer from across town. Vaped there and back, still going strong. Get back home, get everything set up and start pressure washing. At 1 P.M. I finally get that flashing light that indicates the device battery is too low to vape. Not bad. Charged it, and began using it again around 2:30 P.M. Busier since then, so not much time for chain vaping. Still using more than my Snowwolf which I had to replace a coil earlier that day. It needed it.
Still going strong around 10:30 P.M. May not be able to drain it completely. Switched to my Snowwolf around 9 P.M. to enjoy some clouds, hitting the Novo every once in a while. Haven’t noticed any major drawbacks yet, but have decided I’ll likely need a second device when I go back out as I’m uncertain if one will make a 12 hour shift. More testing is needed as it’s only been a day and a half. Also, usage is far more than would be typical in my average shift. I’ll probably grab a backup device to have just in case, regardless of any battery life issues.
Nothing really remarkable, great for on-the-go use or walking around town. The cartridge seemed small at first, but I’ve adjusted to using it instead of my Snowwolf. It lasted all day, only died after I got home and started chaining. I did charge it before I went out, and the charge lasted a good 12 hours with sporadic use. Definitely going to need a backup device for work, but definitely enjoying.
Again, I’ve pretty much covered the extent of what I expected out of this device. The flavor is constant on each hit, and battery life is actually better than I had expected it to be overall. Without swapping coils prematurely, which I’ll probably have to swap within the next week, I can’t really go into much on that front just yet. I can mention that the initial fill of the cartridge was relatively easy, but refills are a pain in the ass. You have a tiny port to fill with, and as my juice tip just barely fits, it’s a pain to fill. With existing juice in the cartridge, new juice being added tends to stay near the fill port and kind of just… oozes out the fill port. It definitely takes some patience to refill the cartridge when empty, and refilling when there is a decent amount still present just isn’t going to happen.
I did finally notice that covering the charge port reduced the airflow when taking a drag. I hadn’t noticed before simply because I gripped the device just right so as to block the port, therefore cutting the air supply. With a low battery, it seemed to make it easier to activate the device as opposed to unblocked but the difference is so subtle, it took a few minutes of testing to actually determine there was a difference.
Alright, so I’m 15 days in and I’ve got some additional feedback. It’ll cover a variety of topics with the Novo.
Flavor was a primary concern, alongside battery life which I’ll cover next. First thing I noticed, the Novo flavor wasn’t as good as a standard RDA or even a tank. I expected this, and was not disappointed. In fact, I’m completely surprised that I get a consistent flavor even while chain vaping. The flavor didn’t change either, for better or worse, when swapping to a new pod. Its honestly extremely consistent, and much to my surprise, I find myself defaulting to the Novo over my Snowwolf MFeng or Coolfire Ultra with an RDA.
So, I’m actually really pleased with battery life. I typically can get a full 24 hours if I’m busy. If I’m just chaining, it varies from 8-14 hours, but that’s still not bad. If I run it down to dead by lunch, usually because I forgot to charge it over night, then I can put it on the charger for 15 minutes and get another 3-4 hours. I typically just leave it for an hour, which is usually a full charge. Doing it that way, I may charge it every other day. For the most part, when gaming, it was really easy to handle. If it died mid session, I just plug it in for 20 minutes, then I can go back to using it while playing. This was the biggest surprise, yet, I’m 100% pleased with the results.
By far my only problem with this setup, and it’s so rare to need to refill that I often forget. I’ve only had one true dry hit, but it wasn’t that bad compared to a dry hit on my Snowwolf. I cannot use more than 2mls of juice in a day. I’ve tried. I usually fill in the morning, about 2-3 hours after I wake up, and that lasts me until the next morning. This has been with the old pod, and the new pod, so juice consumption is absolutely minimal. It also means, I’m only getting 100 mg of nicotine a day at most. It’s still higher than my regular usage on my tanks, but I find it more effective overall.
As I also wrote earlier, refilling was the only challenge with this AIO system. It still is, but that’s because of the design. So, after some looking at the device, I noticed what I’ve been doing wrong. First, topping off the pod is not gonna work. If you have a habit of topping off tanks when the juice gets down to 30-40% capacity, you can’t do that with this system. The refill port is so small, even a tiny amount of leftover juice will block room for the air inside to escape while filling. Second, the little rubber gasket that closes the port works great. Its flimsy, and I almost ripped it off a week ago, but as long as I make sure its properly pushed into place, the design helps keep it from leaking. The walls of the Novo help to keep it in place too, so that’s added security, however make sure that gasket gets back in place. And lastly, not carrying juice. I went for a day trip to Houston, TX and didn’t think twice about not bringing some extra juice. I simply didn’t need it. I love it
Like I opened with originally, the biggest thing for me here was portability. I work offshore and carrying around a huge device all day, potentially getting it wet/sweaty/dirty just isn’t a good idea. First off, the Novo is completely unnoticeable in my pocket. Whether it’s in my ball shorts, sweat pants, or jeans, I dont even register it in my pocket. It’s honestly perfect for toting around town, plus you can stealth vape if need be.
With portability, of course, comes having to find it. I’ve actually lost it twice already. I found it again, obviously, however, it’s small size has a disadvantage of being easily misplaced. Additionally, it could fall out of a jacket pocket anywhere and you not notice.
Overall, I’m pleasantly surprised with the Novo. It’s both exactly what I expected, yet opposite of what I expected. It’s obviously limited in many capacities but it has just as many pluses that make this device even out. If you’ve got some extra cash and want something smaller, I definitely recommend this one. I know it’s a Smok product, and the associated feelings of terrible QC but I’ve had nothing but a good experience this far. Plus, its nic salt so it (should) last longer and be cheaper in the long run.
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