The Smok Nord X pod kit review and to quote Smok “Innovation keep changing the vaping experience.”
Maybe that’s one of the reasons why they keeps churning out pod based systems and dare I write, predictable upgrades.
Maybe it’s an attempt to establish market leadership in the field of innovation, even if they appear to be tweaking innovation as opposed to bringing something new to the table.
Anyway, I’m going to try and keep confusion to a minimum with this review. My rather small brain hurts trying to keep up with all the pod systems being released lol!
Let’s face it. It always leads to the inevitable head scratching over pods, coils and backwards compatibility. So what we can do is focus on this latest update to the popular Nord series of pod devices.
There are other words to describe innovation, restructuring being one such example. It certainly applies outwardly to the Smok Nord X pod kit.
What about the board and more importantly, the flavour and vapour production and just what is it with the the letter X?
Smok tells us it stands for infinity, perfection and increased possibilities.
We’re about to find out if the Smok Nord X Pod Kit lives up to those words.
What Can We Expect From the Smok Nord X Pod Kit?
The device began life as the Smok Nord with its 1100mah powered battery, a device marketed specifically for the MTL user. Hot on its heels came the rather predictably named Smok Nord 2.
The Smok Nord 2 included a 0.96in display and two menu buttons making navigation much easier. More significantly there was a boost in power from 15W to 40W making direct lung vaping a viable option.
It recieves another boost in power to 60W and the pod capacity has been increased from 4.5ml to 6ml (non TPD).
Curiously, Smok has decided to run with the same battery capacity as its predecessor. Will this have an impact on performance? It’s up to me to let you know with this review.
Before we actually delve into the review, the letter X carries significance to Smok because it represents ten years manufacturing within the vaping industry.
It goes without saying they celebrated in their own style by releasing another pod, the Smok Pozz X.
Inside the Box
- Nord X device (1500mah)
- RPM Pod (compatible with the included RPM 0.4ohm mesh coil)
- RPM2 Pod (compatible with the included RPM2 0.16ohm mesh coil)
- Type C USB charging cable
- User manual
- Warranty card
The third rendition in the Nord series has gained a slight increase in height with the merest hint of belly fat thrown in.
Hardly the middle aged spread I’ve acquired lol!
- Size 31 x 23 x 100mm
- Weight 96g
- Output wattage 5-60W
- Input voltage 3.3V – 4.2V
- Output voltage 0.5V – 4.0V
- Resistance range 0.2 – 3.0ohm
- Charging current 1.2A (maximum)
The Smok Nord X Pod kit comes in eight different colour schemes all of which are very striking and eye catching.
Choose from Black Cobra, White Cobra, 7 Colour Cobra, 7 Colour Spray (a personal favourite), Fluid 7 Colour, Fluid Red, Fluid Gold and the colour scheme under review, Fluid Blue.
Both US and standard editions are packaged with two 6ml capacity pods, whilst he EU and TPD versions include two 2ml pods.
The IP67 rating means the device can be immersed in water to a depth of one metre for anything up to 30 minutes. It’s also dustproof and shockproof making it tough, durable and resistant to knocks, bumps, even the wheels of an oncoming HGV. (Citation needed)
Type C charging means less time spent waiting to vape. While plugged into the USB, the screen displays the current charge status as a percentage.
Finally, two RPM pods allow a quick change of vaping styles letting the user switch between flavours in the blink of an eye.. or click of a pod.
No Smok Without Fire
The usual safety features have been incorporated into the board.
- Atomizer recognition
- Over heating protection
- Eight second cut off
- Short circuit protection
- Low battery warning
Design and Build Quality
Without the pod installed the battery measures 78mm x 31mm x 23.5mm.
The shock absorbency of the device is instantly recognizable. A thick “U” shaped rubberized band runs around the perimeter of the battery.
It feels tough and durable, providing a reassuring grip when held.
Another example of the IP67 standard can be found on the underside of the battery with the type 2 USB port protected by a removable rubber cap.
One side of the battery houses the 0.96 inch OLED screen. Although monochrome, the display is crisp, clear and bright making the smaller text and numbers easy to read.
The Smok Nord X pod kit relies on a dual fixed airflow arrangement with 9.5mm cyclops shaped openings designed to hit the coil side on.
How To Operate the Smok Nord X Pod Kit
Even the two vertically mounted menu buttons that sit beneath the main screen are waterproof – nice touch Smok!
- Press the fire button five times rapidly to power the device on/off
- Press the fire button three times rapidly to lock/unlock the device
Although quite small the menu buttons are still easy enough to work with.
The matching colour side panels are made of hard wearing resin and feature some rather sharp and intricate detailing.
A colour coordinated zinc alloy frame helps to balance and harmonize the overall scheme.
How to Recognize the Status Of the Smok Nord X Pod Kit
The raised and tactile fire button plays host to a single white LED indicating the status of the device.
It blinks in various sequences to denote:
- Twice – Device locked
- Three – Low voltage (below 3.1V), power on/off
- Four – Coil resistance too low, too high or no atomizer detected
- Five – Short circuit detected, vaping time exceeds eight seconds
- Fifteen – Low battery
Connecting the pod/coil is achieved via two gold plated spring loaded contacts inside the battery.
A waterproof rubber disc protects against juice leakage into the circuit board. That’s another nice touch!
Smok Nord X the Pods
Two classic RPM shaped pods and the famous duck bill mouthpiece make a welcome (or unwelcome) return. Comprised of a tough PCTG plastic the exposed viewing area is crystal clear.
Keep in mind there will still be ample liquid left in the pod when the exposed area runs dry.
It’s probably a good idea to top the pod up though to prevent the cotton becoming dry, no one cherishes a dry hit lol!
A tough looking silicone stopper wraps across the width of the pod and the fill port opening measures approximately 5mm.
These stoppers carry the identity of the pod with their names etched into the silicone but there are other ways of identifying them.
Four magnetic contacts are incorporated into the lower corners of the pods, lining up with those inside the battery section.
The pods still need to be snapped into place but the magnets do ensure there’s no movement during use. It’s unlikely they’ll dislodge if the device is accidentally dropped.
Spot the Difference
With a casual glance (or if your eyesight is anything like mine!) it’s difficult to see anything different about the two RPM pods.
The first difference can be found with the size of the opening on the mouthpiece.
The coil housing on the RPM2 pod is significantly larger than the RPM pod, too.
How Does The Smok Nord X Pod Kit Perform?
I began tests by using the 0.40ohm mesh RPM coil with the RPM pod which has a recommended output rating of 25W.
Using Cuttwood Boss Reserve (70VG/30PG) the coil provided plenty of satisfactory vapour production. The inhale was very smooth, quiet and turbulent free.
Rather impressively at 25W, the coil was effective enough at replicating the flavour profile. All sub notes were present albeit lacking a little clarity in the fruit department.
A cool, mellow experience the vape delivered consistently, every time.
Things did go a little jangly flavour wise with an increase in wattage although I suffered no dry hits even when chain vaping.
It’s worth bearing in mind the coil began leaking quite heavily when pushed beyond its comfort zone of 25W.
All in all, the 0.4ohm mesh RPM coil is capable of delivering an effective semi restrictive direct lung vape. Yes, it does lack some clarity and vibrancy compared to other pod coils but it still gets the job done.
Smok Nord X 0.16ohm mesh RPM2 coil (Rated 25-50W best 40W)
I tested the new mesh coil with Tub Thumping Brews Pineapple Smash, another 70VG/30PG ratio.
There was an instant difference between the two pods, this being a much more open direct lung experience with very little restriction.
The vapour production at 40W was very satisfying and turbulent free.
I noticed an impressive fusion of fruit with the pineapple and grapefruit being abundant in equal measure. The flavour remained consistent throughout exhale and left the pleasant aftertaste I’ve come to associate with this e-liquid profile.
Another effective coil for sure, but there’s little to separate it from the 0.4ohm mesh for flavour or cloud production.
As with the 0.4ohm mesh coil, this addition for the new RPM2 pod was also prone to leaking when pushed beyond recommended wattage parameters.
- An ergonomic and pocket friendly pod kit
- Both coils produce good, consistent flavour and vapour production
- Bright, crisp screen in all lighting conditions
- Easy to use silicone stopper
- Refilling kept to a minimum with the 6ml capacity pods
- Coils will leak when vaped at higher wattage
- Unable to lock wattage or reset puff counter
- The screen is easily scratched
- The menu select buttons are very small (subjective)
- Fixed airflow structure may be a con for some
Final Review Verdict
Smok Nord X Battery section
I managed to get a full eight hours from the 1500mah battery using the 0.4ohm mesh coil. Not too shabby!
The 0.16ohm mesh coil fared less favourably allowing six hours of vaping at 40W. We do need to take into account the extra power being drawn at lower resistance.
It took 70 minutes to recharge a fully depleted battery using the type C USB. For those without a secondary device it is possible to vape while charging.
Smok Nord X Pod Section
The silicone stopper worked a treat giving me no hassle whatsoever. It’s substantial and robust so more than capable of handling any impatience on my part lol!
In fact I had no difficulty filling the pod even when pushed for time.
The clear viewing window of the pods works a treat and there’s an ample reservoir left “out of view” in case of emergencies between refill.
Smok Nord X Functionality
I am a bit disappointed by the lack of screen options.
There’s no option of locking the wattage which can be a royal pain in the proverbial.
Many newer vapers like to monitor their daily intake and progress, there’s no option of resetting the puff counter.
I’d like to have seen both options included as part of the upgrade.
Despite being water, dust and shock proof the Smok Nord X pod kit proves not to be scratch proof as I discovered after a single day of use. The screen was taking the full brunt of these scratches, instantly aging the device.
Smok Nord X Coils
As far as the new 0.16ohm mesh coil is concerned I don’t quite feel it does the RPM2 pod justice…why?
Because other than being a classic direct lung vape it performed no better than the already established 0.4ohm mesh RPM coil.
Don’t get me wrong. The flavour and cloud production from both was more than satisfactory but they did have a habit of misbehaving (leaking) under higher wattage demands.
The 0.16ohm mesh RPM2 coil just edged it for flavour but the difference really was negligible. I was hard pressed to notice that much difference between them for cloud production.
There’s also something else to keep in mind when using the new coil. If you plan on vaping the 0.16ohm mesh RPM coil at 50W the 1500mah internal battery will drain quite fast.
Moreover, the battery will register a low battery warning even with 35% charge remaining.
This seems to indicate that a larger battery capacity is required to handle the additional power requirements of the new coil. It really should have been taken into account when boosting up the wattage capabilities of the device.
The Smok Nord X pod kit leaves me with a few head scratching questions.
Do pod systems need to be using such low resistance coils? In the case of the Smok Nord X pod kit is 60W of power being used effectively? Is the battery capacity up to the task?
Where do we draw the line between a pod system designed for a new user? Is there really such a category as intermediate pod vaper?
The Smok Nord X pod kit certainly has an intermediate pod user vibe about it. It’s maybe for those already comfortable with pod systems, wanting to see what direct lung vaping is all about. Without the hassle of adjustable airflow or convoluted menu screens.
In closing, despite a generally good all round performance there’s not really enough innovation here to make the device stand out from a burgeoning crowd of pod devices.
For those looking to hang on to great flavour with increased airflow, the Smok Nord X Pod Kit may very well strike the right chord.