Oooh I have been looking forward to this one – I have in my hand the new Smok Trinity Alpha Kit which is one of a new style of devices I call “Box Pods”.
Box Pods are basically pod mod systems – which are low power devices that are easy to use and small to carry around.
The box shape as you probably can already see seems to follow a pattern from other recent devices – such as the Lost Vape Orion DNA Go, Orion Quest and the Zeltu X. We also have the Geekvape Frenzy which is again similar!
I have done a Box Pod Vape Comparison shootout with these box pod devices so be sure to check that out.. Not before you have checked out my SMOK Trinity Alpha review though 🙂
The SMOK Trinity Alpha Pod System
Back to the Smok Trinity Alpha – this has an internal 1000mAh battery and will output between 10-25W depending on the coil resistance and which of the 3 power modes you select.
I am using 2 Smok Nord devices now and as of today they have kept me cigarette free for a whole month combined with the excellent Apollo Nic Salt e-liquid. My sub ohm gear is just sat on a shelf!
You can change the coil without discarding the pod – which should make this device more economical to maintain and obviously less waste!
There are 6 colours available – Bright Black, Prism Chrome, Prism Rainbow, Prism Blue, Red and Prism Gold.
This device was sent to me for the purposes of review, I will report back honestly on my findings.
What’s In The Box
- Smok Trinity Alpha device
- Nord Mesh coil 0.6ohm
- Nord Mesh coil 0.8ohm
- USB cable
- Size: 91x38x16mm
- E-liquid Capacity: 2.8ml (standard) / 2ml (EU TPD)
- Battery: 1000mAh (internal)
- Material : Zinc alloy
- Output: 3 modes – Soft / Norm / Hard (10-25W)
- Resistance range: 0.4-1.4ohm
- Uses Smok Nord coils
- Push out pod with lock mechanism
- Battery and power indicators
- Slide / screw top filling cap
Build Quality & Design
I received the Smok Trinity Alpha Kit in the Bright Black colour. It is also worth noting as I received an early version I got the non TPD 2.8ml pod – this has a slightly different fill configuration to the TPD version available in the EU and obviously larger e-liquid capacity.
Opening up the box everything is laid out beautifully, the device arrived immaculate and there were protective covers on the resin type side panels to protect them.
I also did get a lanyard in my kit I am not sure if all kits will get this? Oh and it’s not exactly a breeze to install this – the band is tiny!
The coil and pod are not installed so follow our set up guide to get you started!
This is very beautiful and I know it is made by Smok but it does feel great quality.
There are two buttons on the device – one for fire and the other to select the power level – and both are very clicky and responsive.
There is an LED light which informs you of the battery charge remaining (YAY!!) and also other LED’s located next to each power mode to inform you of which mode is selected.
The side panels have a resin finish – which does to me appear to be printed as it doesn’t catch the light in the same way as real resin does.
Even so the panels look beautiful – but I am not sure I like them quite as much in the other colours. For instance I have the Rainbow Nord Resin and I hate the colours of that!
The pod is secured in the device via a locking mechanism and you need to slide the lock button to release the pod. Installing the pod results in a convincing click too but there is some pod wobble.
On the side of the device is the airflow inlet which I do keep blocking with my hand when firing and it does make me keep pushing the pod in as it looks like there is a gap when really it should be there!
The base of the device has 2 vent holes and the required legal logos. The USB port is below the mode change button.
The pod is the removable “tank” section where the heating element and the e-liquid lives.
The pod in my device is the standard version – this has a 2.8ml capacity and a slide top fill. However in the UK and other EU regions which use the TPD regulations this pod will only be 2ml capacity with a screw on refill cap.
Pods come in different colours to match the device and with mine being a black device I have the silver colour pod. You can choose from Silver, Blue, Gold and Rainbow – the colours refer to the trim on the drip tip and the refill cap – to match the metal work of the device.
There is no airflow adjustment on these pods sadly which is a shame.
The tiny drip tip has a metal trim surrounding it and the fill cap on mine is easy to slide without being too loose.
You simply push the coils into the base of the pod to install them so it is super simple.
Quick Set-up Guide
This is a pretty easy device to use however you will need to assemble, fill up, charge and adjust the settings in order to get started!
- Turn on / off = 5 quick presses of the fire button – the LED will flash to confirm.
- To vape = press and hold down the fire button.
- Adjust Power Mode = press the mode button and the LED next to each mode will light up to show which is selected. Cycle through the lights until you light up the mode required – S=Soft, N=Normal and H=Hard.
- Battery capacity remaining = when vaping the LED will light up to inform of capacity remaining. Red= less than 30% battery left, Orange=30-70% remaining, Green=over 70%.
- Fire cut off = the device will stop firing after 8 seconds to prevent damage or overheating.
- Short circuit = if a short circuit is detected the LED light will flash 5 times and the device will shut down.
- Low voltage = if the voltage is below 3.3V the LED will flash 15 times and the device will shut down – time to recharge!
- No atomiser = LED will flash 4 times.
- Resistance incorrect = if the resistance of the atomiser is below 0.5ohm or above 3ohm the LED will flash 4 times.
How To Fill the SMOK Trinity Alpha With E-liquid
As stated above my device has the Slide top fill cap – other variants may have a cap which requires unscrewing so check before damaging it!
- Hold the device upright.
- Slide the top fill cap across (or remove if your pod has the screw type top cap).
- Add e-liquid and try to see the liquid level through the dark coloured pod.
- Slide the cap closed.
- If a new coil or pod is installed leave the device to stand for 10 minutes before vaping to allow the coil to fully absorb e-liquid.
I found I was getting “air locks” when filling. Basically air trapped in the pod meant the liquid kept bubbling out of the fill port when filling. My pod had the slide across fill port so this might not be as bad on pods with the screw fill cap?
How To Change The Pod
- Hold the device upright.
- Slide the pod release button and pull the pod from the device.
- Make sure new pod has a coil installed.
- Install the pod at the drip tip side first and then push in further until you hear the lock click and check the pod is secure.
How To Change The Coil Head
This is best performed with an empty pod as it will spew all the contents out when you remove the coil. Alternatively position the pod as shown in the photo below and have plenty of tissue to hand!
- The coils pull out and push in – there is a small area on the base of the coil to put nail or object into to prise them out of the pod.
- A new coil simply pushes into the pod – making sure the flat sides of the coil base align with the pod shape – it will not push in fully if not aligned correctly.
How To Charge The Battery
- Install the included USB cable into the USB port on the device and into a suitable USB outlet.
- When the power is supplied to the device the LED will flash white. It will then change colour according to the battery capacity.
- Leave to charge and when the LED light goes out the device is fully charged.
Charging from empty with my PC USB connection took 1 hour and 50 minutes until the LED went out. Bear in mind my PC USB is only 0.5A output so it may be quicker with other USB connections with up to 0.7A (stated as maximum charging input).
How Does the Smok Trinity Alpha Kit Perform?
Smok recommend to use 70% VG / 30% PG e-liquid in this device. I tried this with both 70/30 and Nicotine Salt (50/50) e-liquid. If the terms “VG and PG” are right over your head – read our Guide to PG and VG in E-liquid!
Also this device is tailored towards different vaping styles by changing the coil head and e-liquid mixture you use. The two main vaping styles are:
- DTL (Direct to lung) – a more open airflow – mainly used for low nicotine strength, more vapour and higher VG e-liquid.
- MTL (Mouth to lung) – a style favoured mainly by ex-smokers as it is very similar to inhaling on a cigarette with more airflow resistance and higher Nicotine and throat hit.
We tell you more in our Guide to MTL and DTL vaping styles.
Basically according to Smok the coils are for use as follows:
- 1.4ohm coils (ceramic and normal) and the 0.8ohm coil are designed for MTL vaping.
- 0.6ohm Mesh coil is more for DTL vaping.
70%VG / 30%PG E-liquid Performance
I used a 70% VG Black Jack flavour E-liquid for this with zero nicotine just to test performance.
Also just to add I have used 80% VG e-liquid with the same 0.6ohm Mesh Coil in my Nord Pod kit and it worked perfectly and no dry hits or wicking issues at all.
0.6ohm Nord Mesh Coil
I put the device in the Soft power mode to start with and already the clouds and flavour are excellent – most unexpected!
Putting the device into the Normal mode and this just gets better – the vapour is immense!
Once you move up to the Hard power mode the flavour really is beautiful. This is an excellent coil it really is.
I will say however this is a much better performer for DTL vaping than it is for MTL vaping. The airflow is very wide open – which is a bonus for extra vapour but not great for MTL vaping – as you will see below where I use Nic Salt liquid.
0.8ohm Nord MTL Coil
With a new 0.8ohm coil and 70/30 e-liquid I put the device into Soft mode and the performance was already pretty good!
Moving up to Normal mode and again excellent performance, lovely flavour and tons of vapour.
Using this in Hard mode just felt a little bit too high for this coil so for me Normal seems the best setting.
Plenty of vapour and great flavour – not quite as pure as the 0.6ohm coil but this has slightly more airflow restriction which suits me better.
I prefer this coil with higher VG e-liquid than with nic salt 50/50 as it didn’t perform as well.
Nicotine Salt E-liquid Performance
I used 50/50 VG/PG e-liquid which was from the Apollo Nic Salt range and had 20mg nicotine strength.
0.6ohm Nord Mesh Coil
I started on the Soft power mode and this was a very cool and airy vape to be honest – which does not suit high nicotine/nic salt and MTL vaping.
With the power mode on the Normal setting this is slightly better and improved more when moving up to the Hard power level.
A lot of people use the Nord 0.6ohm mesh coil with nic salts but for me on the Trinity Alpha and the Nord Pod it is a bit too airy and I think much better for higher VG and lower Nicotine. I tend to go for a mid restriction DTL vape using sub ohm tanks so this is more wide open airflow wise than I like.
However it is perfectly functional with nic salt and the flavour and throat hit are definitely there.
0.8ohm Nord MTL Coil
I started with this on the Soft power mode and didn’t really get much action.
Moving up to the Normal power mode and this started performing OK.
At the Hard power mode this is a lot better and seemed to keep up with wicking well and no dry hits or issues. However I just got a sense this setting was a bit too powerful for the coil and liquid I am using.
This does have a more restricted airflow and OK flavour from the Nic Salts I am using.
I found the Normal setting was my preference with this coil.
1.4ohm Standard Coil
As I also own the Nord device I thought I would try one of the 1.4ohm standard coils which I love in here too!
Starting at the Soft power mode I wasn’t sure if I was actually pressing the fire button until a plume of vapour was exhaled. There isn’t much flavour or throat hit at all.
Using the Normal power mode was an improvement but still not much flavour and throat hit.
When you use the Hard power mode however the performance to me is pretty good. Sadly though needing to run this on the hard mode I found the performance seemed to drop as the battery ran down.
This will obviously depend on which coil is installed, which power level you use and your own vaping habits.
But to give you a guide using the 0.8ohm MTL mesh coil on the Normal power mode I got 9.5 hours of vaping. This was with nic salt e-liquid so was quite short vapes with a lower frequency than you would with possibly lower nicotine liquid.
When you get down to the point where the battery indicator turns red you haven’t many vapes left before the battery conks. The output is pretty poor when you get to this stage too.
- Beautiful looking device (in some colours – my opinion!)
- Nice feel in the hand and brilliant quality
- Surprisingly excellent battery capacity!
- Great size and easy to use
- Easy top fill and pull out / push in coil change
- Can change just the coil without discarding the pod
- Choice of coils and power options to suit most liquids and preferences
- As a DTL device for higher VG e-liquid is where this shines for me
- No leaks or faults
- No airflow adjustment
- Dark colour to pods make it difficult to see liquid level
- Slight pod wobble
- 0.8ohm coil only lasted 3 days
- With the slide top fill cap I sometimes get air locks when filling
- Doesn’t perform as well as a MTL device for nic salt 50/50 liquid in my opinion – better for DTL.
Final Review Verdict
Seeing as this has been quite a controversial design how did the Smok Trinity Alpha Kit perform?
For me the main advantages of this kit are the adjustable power settings and the choice of excellent Nord coil heads. For instance the Orion Q and Zeltu which are at similar price points do not have adjustable power levels.
I do feel that airflow adjustment would be a great addition to this kit. It seems a shame this isn’t available. It could be easily incorporated into new pods by Smok by adding an adjustment to the drip tip like on the Orion.
As for the price of this kit it is excellent and is extremely competitive with its rivals. The running costs should be cheap buying a pack of coils and simply replacing them instead of the whole pod.
But – I do prefer my Nord kit for MTL – the SMOK Trinity Alpha is nicer for DTL in my opinion. I am mainly MTL vaping with nic salts and I just keep picking up the Nord instead?