Yet another pod kit hits the market and this time it’s the Smok Thallo S I’ll be reviewing.
Pod mods are all the rage right now, and Smok is no stranger to them!
Although Smok has had issues with quality control in the past, judging by the review scores recently, they’ve been producing some very capable little devices.
So I’m keen to see what the Smok Thallo S has in store for us, and apparently Thallo is the Greek goddess of flowering plants, buds, and green shoots in spring.
What Can We Expect From The Thallo S by Smok?
At this point Smok really need no introduction, it has produced a vast amount of kits over the years it’s been active.
The Thallo S (and it’s little brother the Thallo) seem to be trying to build in all the best things that people like about pod mods.
There’s an external airflow control (big positive for me) as well as a choice of either an internal 3000mAh battery in the Thallo, or a removable 18650/21700 in the Thallo S.
You also have a wide choice of coils, as it comes with two RPM 2 coils, 0.16Ω for direct lung vaping, and 0.6Ω for mouth to lung. You can read more about the different styles of vaping here.
Gaz recently reviewed the RPM2 kit which launched these coils here.
However you can purchase an RPM pod to allow you to use any of the RPM range of coils. We’ve reviewed a few devices that used these coils, most recently the RPM Lite which Michelle reviewed back in May here.
The pod market seems to be shrinking, but the pod mod market is exploding! (not literally…)
This was sent over free of charge directly from Smok for the purpose of this review (thank you). As usual, this in no way impacts my score, and I shall report back honestly with what I find.
Inside The Box
- Thallo S Device
- Thallo RPM 2 Pod
- RPM 2 Mesh 0.16Ω Coil
- RPM 2 DC 0.6Ω MTL Coil
- Spare Resin Drip Tip (colour matched to body in Fluid Colourways)
- Type C Cable
- User Manual
- Dimensions – 129×37.5×31.4mm
- Weight – 107g
- Power Output – 1-80W (18650) / 1-100W (21700)
- Modes – VW
- Screen – 0.96″ Full Colour
- Battery – Single 21700 or 18650 (with adapter)
- Charging – USB C 1.4A
- Capacity – 5ml (2ml TPD)
Design and Build Quality
This is a pretty lightweight device at only 107g without a battery.
There are 6 current colours called Fluid, Black Red, Gold, Green (which I received) Blue, 7-Colour, and Black Grey.
And now 5 new colours that look to have a more traditional leather style look with stitching, Black, Grey, Red, Blue, and Brown.
Smok Thallo S – Body
The body is tube shaped, with a section jutting out at one side for the chip, where your controls and screen live. T
he main tube of the body is covered in PU leather, giving it quite a nice soft and grippy feel in the hand.
Looking at the bottom you have your hinged battery door, it isn’t sprung, but it feels relatively solid.
You have your regulatory marks on the bottom, as well as an arrow moulded into the plastic to show you how to slide it open.
Inside the battery section it will come fitted with an 18650 adapter. Until I read the literature I didn’t realise that it would take a 21700, as the battery adapter is a very snug fit and looks to be part of the tube. To remove it I recommend just putting a finger inside to get a bit of a grip and it should slide out easily.
The section where your pod fits in has a large plastic airflow control ring, it’s got deep grooves on it, so it’s really easy to adjust your airflow. There are two very large airflow holes on each side.
One thing to note is that the AFC ring doesn’t have any stops, it will just spin round and round. I’m fine with this, but I know it may irritate some people who would prefer a stop at fully open, and fully closed.
The pod is held in place by two magnets inside this top section.
Smok Thallo S – Pod
The pod is almost totally exposed at the top.
It’s made of a smoked plastic and due to the way it sits dome-like on top of the body, it’s always easy to see your e-liquid level.
On my version it has a generous 5ml capacity, but the for those living in TPD areas this will be restricted to 2ml.
One irritation I had with the pod, is that putting it back in the body, it will magnetize in, but it won’t necessarily be lined up correctly. There are two tabs that need to fit into the corresponding slots on the device.
When you put it back in, you will often need to rotate the pod a little to get it to sit properly, and it will quite happily sit a little wonky until you do so – obviously it won’t fire like this.
Not a deal breaker, but it doesn’t feel nearly as positive a magnetic connection as I’ve experienced on some pods.
On one side at the base is your fill port covered by a silicon stopper, this works fine and is a decent size. However due a combination of there being no other hole for air to escape out of, and the design of the pod forcing e-liquid to run over the base of the coil when you fill it, it’s very easy to end up with an airlock.
So fill up slowly, otherwise you will end up with the e-liquid backing up and running over your hands.
How To Fill The Smok Thallo S Pod
- Remove your pod from the device
- Open the silicone seal on the side
- Fill with your preferred e-liquid
- Close the seal and replace in your device
Remember to leave it to sit for 5 minutes if the coil is dry, to make sure the wick is fully saturated – known as priming your coil.
How To Change The Smok Thallo S Coil
It’s very easy to change your coil on the Smok Thallo S!
- Take the pod out of the device
- Turn it upside and pull out the coil
- Press the new one in, making sure the flat edges on the sides match up with the flat edges of the pod
One thing to note is that you can’t remove the coil when the pod is full of e-liquid, if you do, some e-liquid will escape out the drip tip. In use I found I could replace the coil once the levels were down to about half.
Smok Thallo S – Screen and Controls
The 0.96″ screen displays all the information you require. Running from top to bottom you have:
- Battery Indicator and Battery Percentage
- Current Wattage
- Coil Resistance and Current Firing Wattage
- Puff Counter
- Last Puff Duration
Above the screen is a square fire button, two small rectangular adjustment buttons below it, and the USB C port below that – good to see USB C!
The buttons are fine, but the fire button feels a little squidgy, and not as clicky as I would like.
There’s not much in the way of controls, you have.
- Power On/Off 5 Clicks – When you first switch it on you will need to select 18650 or 21700 with a long press of the fire button
- 3 Clicks – Lock Fire Button
- “+” and “-” – Lock Wattage Buttons
- “-” and Fire – Reset Puff Counter
- “+” and Fire – Change Screen Colour (Green, Red, Yellow, Purple, White, Blue)
Smok Thallo S Wattage
The Smok Thallo S is a wattage only device.
With a 21700 it will fire up to 100W, with an 18650 it will go to 80W.
Wattage is adjusted by the +/- buttons below your screen in full 1W increments. It scrolls super quickly, before stopping at either the maximum or minimum, pressing again will round robin.
The device itself is run by the new IQ-XS chip, it promises a 0.001s firing speed, and whilst I can’t speak to the accuracy of that, it certainly feels pretty instantaneous!
How Does the Smok Thallo S Perform?
I’m testing out the Smok Thallo S with the two coils it comes supplied with, the 0.16Ω mesh coil, and the 0.6Ω round wire coil.
Remember, if you don’t get on with either of these, you have the option of getting an RPM pod and using 1 of 6 other possible coils!
Smok Thallo S – 0.16Ω Coil – Airflow and Cloud Production
This coil is rated at 25-50W, with it’s best being (according to Smok) at 40W.
There’s plenty of airflow on this coil, fully open and it has just the tiniest hint of restriction. On a 1-10 scale, with 10 being fully open, it’s about an 8.5.
Cloud production is pretty good throughout the range. Even at 25W there’s a decent amount of clouds, however, it’s not until you hit 35W and up that it’s putting out the most.
Sadly they have the impression of being quite “thin” clouds, there’s none of the creaminess you get in a really thick and luscious cloud.
Smok Thallo S – 0.16Ω Coil – Flavour
I was surprised at how good the flavour was at 25W, usually when a coil has such a wide range power that it’s rated for, it can feel a little flat and flavourless at the low end.
Instead 25W gives a decent amount of flavour, so I was hopeful this would increase as I pushed more wattage through it.
Unfortunately it didn’t.
Going up by 5W each time, 30W and 35W were pretty indistinguishable from 25W, it’s fine, but nothing I’d write home about.
40W was a little better, but the flavour still wasn’t popping, it stayed similar in the last 10W up to 50W.
Hoping I could coax some more out of it I pushed it up through 55, 60, 65 and 70W. No more flavour came through, but especially as I went higher, I could tell I was pushing far closer to the dreaded dry hit!
Speaking of dry hits, I somehow ended up getting a few when realistically I shouldn’t have. Even if the device had been sitting for while, and should be fully saturated, I’d get an inexplicable dry hit every now and again.
Something to watch out for anyway, though it may just be the coil I was testing.
Smok Thallo S – 0.6Ω Coil – Airflow and Cloud Production
This is a much tighter coil, even fully open you will struggle to get a direct lung draw from it.
At most it’s restricted direct lung. Because the bore of the coil is so narrow, you won’t get any change from the airflow until you close it all the way down.
Closing it off almost totally you can tighten it up a bit, but the airflow control ring is definitely set up more for direct lung than mouth to lung, as there’s a very small window where you get any adjustability on this coil.
With the airflow closed totally, you can still happily vape it as mouth to lung, though it’s still not as tight as I would like for a true mouth to lung vape.
Clouds are decent for a mouth to lung coil, but I won’t score them, as they are always going to be much smaller for MTL.
Smok Thallo S – 0.6Ω Coil – Flavour
After a slightly lacklustre performance from the other coil, I went into this not expecting much, however, I was pleasantly surprised.
The coil is rated at between 12 and 25W, and like the 0.16Ω coil, it started delivering right from the starting point.
Where it changes though is when you push it up to around 18W. Flavour was really starting to pop here, and it was a very enjoyable, loose mouth to lung vape.
Going up to it’s maximum 25W, and the flavour is still really good. One thing to note though, is that you will need to have at least some airflow open at this wattage, as otherwise it’s not supplying enough air to the coil.
Even with it open, if you chain vape at 25W you’re likely to get a dry hit. Personally I’d say that 12-20W is a more sensible range to stick within.
Smok Thallo S Battery
This is always the hardest bit to quantify, as it will depend on the battery you use, the wattage, how long you fire it for, etc.
But using a 4200mAh 21700 I was able to get 338 puffs at 40-50W with the 0.16Ω coil. A 2500mAh 18650 gave me 189 puffs.
Easily keeping up with other single battery devices.
Any other thoughts?
It seems to take a bizarrely long time to power on. Pressing the fire button 5 times gives you a lovely fade in/out of the name “Thallo S”, but it won’t fire during that time. So you have a delay of a little over a second before you can start using it.
Not a massive thing, but worth noting!
Also, doing some of the button combinations (Fire and “+”, “+” and “-“, etc) can be a bit fiddly.
Maybe I’m just being clumsy with my thumbs, but I often end up pressing them both, or triggering one I don’t mean to.
- USB C Charging
- 21700 as well as 18650
- Good flavour (0.6Ω coil)
- Easy to see e-liquid level
- External AFC
- Takes a little long to power on
- Doesn’t snap into place very well
- Refilling can lead to spilling if you’re overenthusiastic
- Sub par performance/dry hits (0.16Ω)
Final Review Verdict
It’s a reasonably solid little device, and I’m glad to see manufacturers looking at what works well and implementing it in their devices (hello external AFC!).
Sadly I just wasn’t very excited by it, although having an external 21700 battery is a really nice touch.
The 0.16Ω coil just wasn’t very good, dry hits where there shouldn’t have been, and flavour that was just “OK” throughout it’s range.
The 0.6Ω coil performed better in terms of flavour, but I feel Smok are being a little generous saying it can go up to 25W. Whilst this would probably be OK with thinner e-liquids, the 70/30 VG/PG juice I was using resulted in dry hits if I chain vaped on it.
Also I feel that if you’re going to try and do a kit that can take a mouth to lung coil, and a direct lung, you should really be able to close the airflow down to give you a properly tight draw.
Along with a slightly dodgy connection between the pod and device, it just didn’t “wow” me as a kit.
Of course, Smok make enough different kits that you’re bound to get one that’s not quite up to par sometimes.
So is the Smok Thallo S on you to buy list?
Are you already using it?
Let me know your thoughts or ask any questions in the comments below!