The Smok Novo 4 is the latest Mouth To Lung pod kit from Smok.
Unless you are new to vaping, you will probably know who Smok are, however I’m sure there will be a few of you reading this that has no idea, so let’s do a quick catch up.
Smok was founded in 2010, which puts them right at the very beginning of the vape industry.
Since then Smok has had huge success with every kind of device, from the original Pen style vapes, to pods, mods, tanks and even pod mods.
Smok is no stranger to devices like the Smok Novo 4, it’s similar predecessors include:
- Smok Novo: (Novo, Novo 2, Novo x and Novo 4)
- Smok Nords (Nord, Nord 2, Nord x and Nord 4
- Pozz X
Truth be told the list goes on, I think there is about 28 in the Smok catalogue some of which are a bit more advanced than the Novo 4 (like the RPM2) and some are even more basic (like the SLM).
With all that experience the Nord 4 should be pretty good, right?
Let’s check it out!
What Can We Expect From The Smok Novo 4?
The Smok Novo 4 steps away from the core principles of the Novo range.
The Novo range has always been a starter range aiming to be as simple as possible. However Smok how now got rid of the fixed coils and the no adjustments policy.
Yes, the Smok Novo 4 has adjustable airflow, adjustable wattage and the pods have interchangeable coils.
The Novo 4 uses the LP1 range which currently consists of 3 coils, which all have the “3 silicone ring, leak proof system“.
The pods are 2ml and interestingly they come in a ‘transparent‘ black but you can buy completely transparent ones separately.
It has a 800mAh battery with a 0.74A USB-C charger, and uses a small 0.49″ screen and a single button for operations
Inside the Box
I received the Standard / U.S Edition, which includes:
- 1x Novo 4 Device
- 1x Novo 4 pod
- 1x LP1 Meshed 0.8ohm coil (preinstalled)
- 1x LP1 DC 0.8ohm coil
- 1x USB-C Cable
- 1x Manual
Strangely, all the kits have the same E-liquid capacity (2ml), but Smok still decided to make the kits different.
The EU kits come with 2 x LP1 Meshed coils (none pre-installed) and no LP1 DC coil.
Specs & Features
- Size: 93.5×17.7×26.5mm
- Power Output: 5-25W (0.5-4V)
- Battery: 800mAh (internal)
- Display: 0.49in OLED screen
- Resistance range: 0.4-3ohm
- E-liquid capacity: 2ml
- USB Type C Charging – 0.74A max charge rate – 90min charge time
- Pods: Refillable, replaceable coil – transparent pod available separately
- Coils: LP1 coil range – 0.8ohm Meshed, 0.8ohm Dual coil MTL, 1ohm Dual Coil MTL
- Adjustable airflow Ring
- Side fill port
Design & Build Quality
At the time of writing the Novo 4 comes in a variety of 10 colours. Going by Smok’s reputation, I’m sure there will be more colours to come.
I received the Black Stabilized Wood, it’s probably my least favourite colour, but I promise I won’t let that effect my judgement of all of the designs.
Smok Novo 4 Battery Section
The battery section of the Smok Novo 4 still adopts the rounded base shape of the original Novo 4.
However the screen, button and airflow adjustment are definitely not from the original Novo, in fact even the charging port is in a different location.
All of the device feels very plastic, although I’m sure the frame (black part) is some sort of metal.
All in all there isn’t much more to mention, other than it is very smooth and shiny.
Smok Novo 4 Screen
The screen on the Novo 4 is quite small, as you would expect from such a small device and it is located on the bottom third on the front of the device.
It’s a 0.49″ OLED screen, and it measures at 13 x 8.5mm which takes up the entire width of the flat part of the device.
The information on the screen is nice and basic. In the top half there is the power setting in watts, with the battery level beside it, which displays as a bar and a percentage.
On the lower half there is the coil resistance and the puff counter. While you vape the screen displays a puff timer.
The screen is fairly easy to see, I have never really had a problem with it even on sunny days.
In direct sun light, you need a little bit of cover, but it’s not that bad, especially compared to some other devices.
Smok Novo 4 Button
The button is just below the screen and it is ultra small measuring at 5x1mm and the it only protrudes from the surface by about 0.25mm, although the mod does dip slightly around the button.
I don’t mind single button devices, if they are there to turn the device on and off, however that’s not all this button does.
The single button on the Smok Novo 4 is also used to change the power.
Now this does annoy me, it’s rather frustrating to change the wattage like this, because you have to press it x amount of times and then keep pressing the button to adjust the wattage by 0.5w.
Then if you go past your preference, you have to keep going and loop it around.
Okay, it’s not the end of the world, but why on earth would you design a device so simple, then put a not so simple power adjustment on it?
Would one more button just above the current one really have had that much of a negative effect?
Smok Novo 4 Adjustable Airflow
The Smok Nord uses a airflow ‘dial‘ to adjust its airflow.
I’ve heard a few people saying they don’t like this style of airflow but I don’t really mind it.
The idea behind this airflow is quite simple. There are 3 small holes in the front of the mod, going into the pod port.
Then on the front of those 3 holes is the dial. The dial has a large hole in one side, so you can rotate it to have the airflow fully open, fully closed or anywhere in between.
It’s essentially the sliding or twisting controls just revised.
You may have seen a similar Air Flow Control style on the GeekVape Boost devices.
Want to know what else I don’t like? Yes, the pod connection, but what can be so bad about a pod connection?
At first glance it is just a simple oval pod port, with the positive and negative terminals inside, with the hole for the draw activation sensor.
The thing I don’t like about it, is how the pod holds in. The most common, and the most popular way is with magnets.
However Smok went with the other method, which uses 2 lips to grip onto the port.
On either side of the pod there is a little bump that cling onto the the corresponding holes inside the pod port.
Don’t get me wrong, the pod holds nice and securely. However due to the nature of how this work over time it will hold less securely.
I should add that it has been perfectly fine for the time I have been using it. My concern if for the long term, 6-12 months down the line.
Smok Novo 4 Pod
The pod is pretty standard.
From the bottom we have the coil in the centre, the coil is completely encased, so at either side of it there is 2 holes for the airflow.
The sides of the pod are clear to allow you to easily see the e-liquid level when the pod is removed. One on of the sides there is a small fill hole, covered by a rubber/silicon bung.
The mouth piece sections is a translucent black. Which is cool because it allows you to see when the liquid level is starting to run low.
However, the minimum e-liquid line is covered by the mod, so the only way you can see if the pod needs filling is by removing the pod.
Quite typical of Smok, the mouth piece is formed by the top of the pod becoming narrower. At the narrowest point it measure at 13 x 5mm
I quite like it, but then again, there isn’t many pod mouth pieces, I have said I don’t like. It is a bit thicker than I would have expected though.
Smok Novo 4 – Quick Start Guide
Installing Replacing the Coil
It’s best to do this when the pod is empty, to reduce e-liquid waste.
- Remove the pod from the battery section
- Holding it upside down, pull and remove the old coil
- Insert a new coil and press it firmly so it is flush with the bottom of the pod.
- Fill with e-liquid and wait for 5 minutes for the liquid to soak in.
Filling The Pod
- Remove the pod from the battery section
- Locate and life the black plug from the side of the pod
- Fill the pod with e-liquid through the newly exposed hole
- Reapply the plug
- If it’s a new coil, leave for 5 minutes before using
Operating The Smok Novo 4
- Turn On/Off = Press the button 5 times within 2 seconds
- Set Wattage = press the button either 2 or 3 times, press once to adjust by 0.5w or long press to move faster
- Start Vaping= Simply start sucking on the mouth piece while the device is turned on.
How Does It Perform?
As always I am testing the Novo 4 coils out with the Got Salts Peachy Promise, – 50VG/50PG.
After note: I’m really annoyed.
The box says the LP1 Meshed 0.8ohm Coil is pre-installed, so after a week of using it, I am ready to change the coil.
The coils do not indicate which coil it is (DC or Mesh), both are 0.8ohm and both are recommended for 12w. For some reason I decided to have a look into the coil, through the impossibly small hole.
To my confusion, I noticed the cotton inside the ‘DC coil’ was a U shape, which suggests it’s mesh. I got a light and had a closer look, and it is! My spare ‘DC Coil’ is mesh!
So I took my old ‘Mesh Coil’ out and took a look and it is not the Mesh Coil it’s the the DC coil, that was pre-installed.
I should add, often when we are sent devices to review, we get special pre-released versions, so it is possible that I am a one off.
However, it is disappointing, and I would suggest you get a light and look inside the pre-installed coil before using it to check which coil it is (if you care).
LP1 DC 0.8ohm Coil
This coil is recommended at 12w… just 12w.
In good tradition we will start off down low at 9w. Here isn’t all that bad, the flavour isn’t super prominent but it does give a nice sweet peach taste at the back of the throat.
It’s not bad at all! The vapour production is ample too, providing a thin cigarette like amount of vapour.
12w is the recommended power setting and although we have only gone up 3w, you can tell the difference as you vape, it has more push.
There isn’t a great deal of difference to the flavour though, sure it intensifies it a little bit and it’s nice, but don’t expect a huge difference. The vapour production is also upped slightly.
Up another 3w to 15w. Here the vapour seems to be a bit more, dry.
Don’t get me wrong it’s not super dry and un-vapable but it does tickle my throat a bit on the way out.
Furthermore, there isn’t really any gain from going this far above the recommended… in fact, everything seems a little less.
LP1 Meshed 0.8ohm Coil
Again this coil is recommended at 12w, so let’s drop it to 9w and see what it can do.
That’s much better.
The mesh coil at 9w provides an almost ‘whole mouth‘ flavour while still giving that sweet taste at the back of the throat.
The vapour production is discrete but plentiful. Although it’s decent, it is leaving me wanting a little bit more.
Up to the recommended wattage of 12w, we get an almost perfect performance.
The vapour production is lovely, thick and smooth. While maintaining a similar quantity as you would get smoke from a cigarette.
Meanwhile the flavour is on point! It floods the mouth with flavour as good as a 12w MTL coil can.
It does drop in flavour slightly between puffs, but even during the drop, the flavour is still plenty ample.
Above and beyond the recommended, at 15w the vapour does become a little harsher again, but not like it did with the DC coil.
However I do feel like the flavour and vapour production reached it’s max potential about 12w.
Smok Novo 4 Airflow and Draw Activation
Quite often with draw activation devices, you find me complaining about the sensitivity of the activation sensor.
However Smok has done a pretty good job here, it’s still sensitive enough with the airflow fully open.
While the airflow is fully open, it is… well, it’s pretty open, providing little to no resistance for MTL, you can pull a Restricted DTL draw through it.
However, with the airflow fully turned off it provides a really tight draw, and it does still operate okay. If you are going to use it with the airflow fully off, I highly suggest you don’t turn the wattage above 9w.
Thanks to the style of adjustable airflow you can set the airflow to anywhere between the two.
Smok Novo 4 Battery And Charging
The Smok Novo 4 has a 800mAh battery, which is quite small at this stage but it is only a small device, so lets be fair.
Strangely the device only take a 0.74A charge through its USB-C port… why not 0.75? However in my experience this took about 1 hour and 15 minutes to charge.
When it’s fully charged, how long the battery will last depends on what power you are using it.
Both coils are rightfully suggested at 12w, in which case you will get about 14 hours of use, if you take a 2 second puff every other minute, constantly.
Obviously if you turn the wattage down, it will last longer and visa-versa.
Does The Smok Novo 4 Leak?
This is always a downside for pods because even if they don’t leak, the vast majority still get the condensation build up.
Although I haven’t had a major issue with leakage, every time I’ve remove the Pod from the device it has been wet.
- Good Flavour
- Up to 14 hour battery
- Small in size
- Good Adjustable airflow
- None Magnetic pod connection
- 1 button wattage adjustment
- not leak free
Final Review Verdict
As a reviewer I’m not quite sure how I feel about the device and I’m not fully sure who the target audience is.
If I’m honest I think the screen and adjustable wattage is absolutely pointless, a bit like a bog standard calculator having a huge memory storage.
Because [at this time] there are only 2 coils available and they both have a recommended wattage of 12w.
EDIT: nope sorry, there is a 3rd coil you can by separately that runs at 15w.
But I suppose if you strip those you are left with … well you’re left with the original Novo…. which is a very friendly starter device because it’s super simple.
So now we have to ask who it is good for.
It is good as a bog standard MTL device so it’s good for new vapers (those looking to get off the cigs), but the operation of changing the wattage isn’t the simplest, although it’s not hard and it’s irrelevant.
I would say it could do with a bigger battery, but then the device would be bigger and then it would be the same as the Smok Nord 4…
This is the problem I am having, I don’t see a place for the Smok Novo 4 in the market.
If you can over look the negatives above, and the potential wear to the pod connection, then I suppose it is a decent pod kit.
Would it be in my top 5 start kit recommendations? No. What about top 10 MTL devices? No.
Okay, let’s draw it in a little bit, I’ve played it down far too much.
It does produce a good flavour and a good MTL amount of vapour….
Are you using the Smok Novo 4 pod kit?
Let me know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below…
Incidentally, in Latin ‘Novo‘ can mean ‘New‘…sadly there’s nothing new about this pod kit…