The Connected E Cig From Smokio
What do you mean by ‘connected’ I hear you ask? Well…. What we have here from the brand Smokio is a vape pen that is specifically designed and made to work with a smartphone app.
The Smokio e cig has a built in bluetooth 4 chip along with a chip that captures data on your vaping habits, it then hooks up with the Smokio app to present all the information in an understandable format.
So something a little different from the standard vape pen type kit but the question is, ‘is it a feature that adds to the vaping experience?’ This is where we take a closer look.
The Smokio e cig kit was sent to us free of charge for the purposes of this vape review, as always our views will be our own.
In the box / Presentation
The Smokio Kit 900 we received comes in a very tidy, well set out, professional looking box and contains the following:
- 1 x 900 mAh manual battery
- 1 x Evod Clearomiser (In the review kit I received 2 CE5 + Clearos)
- 1 x 1.5 oHm replacement coil (In the review kit I received no coils but I did have a 5ml bottle of e-liquid)
- USB Charger
The Smokio connected kit is available with two different battery capacities and colours, 900 mAh/650 mAh in black and silver. For this review I was sent the 900 mAh silver battery kit.
First thing to hit me when I opened the box was that while the silver battery looked and felt good in the hand the battery seemed really long compared to other batteries with the same capacity.
When I sat it next to the Multivape e cig I had recently reviewed it was almost a couple of inches longer.
There is of course a reason for this which brings me swiftly to the selling point of the Smokio e cig, that is the bluetooth 4 connectivity and chip set.
Without stating too much the obvious, the housing of the chip set (I would guess) is the reason for the added battery length. After using the e cig for a while the size didn’t really matter to me personally with the battery concealed in the palm of my hand.
Moving onto the battery itself, this is an EVOD type battery with the 510/EGO threading and flush power button.
As with most e cig batteries these days there is the 5 click on/off function as well as lights around the power button which give not only a warning as too low battery but in Smokio’s case a whole host of other options.
I counted 10 different flashing light combinations on their online instruction page, I won’t put us all through the pain of describing the various flashing lights, Smokio do a good job of explaining all of this on their web site.
Moving onto the performance of the battery and all stands up well as would be expected, I was getting around 1-1.5 days moderate vaping from the battery before a recharge was needed, which is good. The Bluetooth 4 does drain the battery a little quicker but according to Smokio only by 5%.
The only real issue I see with the battery is that the kit comes with just one and a spare is very expensive at €64.90, more expensive than some of the best vape mods on the market.
If the battery had a pass through capability, which basically allows you to use the battery while it is charging, then it may just be OK but that option isn’t available and the battery will take around 3 hours to charge. That is 3 hours without an e cig.
Of course there are ways around this like simply taking the battery off the charge and vape it when you need to, charge overnight every night (which is never something I like to recommend due to safety reasons) or have a standard EGO/EVOD battery as back up but none are ideal, the latter completely takes away from the whole point of the Smokio in the first place as it cannot keep track of your vaping.
Anyway just something to note, it doesn’t affect the performance in anyway but could affect when you are able to vape if this is your only e cigarette.
The kit I received and the photos included are that of the CE5 + clearomiser, they have since changed the clearo in the kit for an EVOD which I have used on a number of occasions and performs very well.
IOS and Android App & Smokio Chip
Down to the meat of the Smokio e cig, the App, this is why we are all here isn’t it? This is what sets this e cig apart from all the others, that and of course the chip that is built into the e cig.
Yes… Joyetech have a similar built in ‘computer’ on the Evic and Emode that records the way we vape but that requires plugging into your Mac or PC to record/show results. An App is a far better way to connect to this sort of information, as long as you have a smartphone of course.
That brings us onto compatibility. Those considering Smokio it has to be mentioned that the App only works with Android 4.3 and above and smartphones/tablets that have Bluetooth 4 (Low Energy) available.
I have no idea what the latter is but a full list of compatible devices can be found here. Luckily I have a Sony Expreia so I’m good to go.
How does it work
When vaping the chip in your battery will record your vaping habits with the following:
- How many puffs you take
- When you took your first/last drag that particular day
- Cig counter to let you know the equivalent amount of cigarettes you would have smoked. This isn’t just calculated from the number of puffs but also the intensity of each drag you take
- Health monitor with different features such as oxygenation levels in the blood, life expectancy, progress of restoring heart since stopping smoking, risk of stroke, lung capacity and taste and smell.
- Nicotine setting – Here you input the strength of the nicotine in your e-liquid
- Voltage setting – There are 3 settings here (low, Medium, High) which allow you to set the battery voltage. It doesn’t however advise what the actual voltage is.
- GPS – Where you have been vaping
- How much money you are saving by not smoking cigarettes
Ease of use
The initial connection from e cig bluetooth to app worked a charm and I could see the stats updating with every drag, so all started off how you would expect.
The e cig does disconnect (or at least in my case) when the app isn’t in use on my phone, this isn’t a big deal as the chip in the e cig collects the data then once the e cig/app are connected the app updates.
This is where I was seemed to start having issues, re-connecting. It took me a while to realise the best way to reconnect was to turn the e cig off -> turn the app on -> 5 click button to turn e cig on. This seemed to do the trick for me.
How important are these stats?
There are no doubt many out there thinking that the Smokio App and e cig is just a gimmick, do I think that? Well it depends how I look at it. Does it give in depth information?
For sure it does, the ‘Vitals’ info is interesting and is worked out from info found via the American Cancer Society. All of course needs to be taken as is, it is just information, not a physical examination of your internals.
The amount I’m vaping is interesting to me at first, the way it records your puffs isn’t just down to the number but also how you draw. I found myself staring at the app at first while taking a drag and being impressed by the numbers updating, as if by magic, on the screen in front of me. Some say I’m easy pleased, I’m thinking they could have a point.
The voltage setting gives a slight difference in vapour production from medium to high setting, nothing that will have you wafting away the clouds of vapour mind you, it’s very subtle.
It has to be noted though that the App interface is really well designed, it took a matter of minutes of screen tapping before I knew my way around. All the data is super easy to view and understand as well. The only thing that I wasn’t too sure on personally was my locations being recorded where I vaped, this of course can be turned off though.
Overall – I found connectivity an issue on a few occasions but when I was logged in to the app the data updated quickly and the App itself is very well designed so all data is easy to understand.
Smokio do offer a 7 day return policy on unused/unopened items.
Multicig can be contacted by email via their support desk. They are also active on Facebook and Twitter.
We have no discount codes available as of yet, when/if a discount code becomes available we will make it available here.
Overall – Final Verdict
This is a bit of a tough one, I am all for innovation and presenting the e cig market with something new, it can only be a good thing to see progress in an industry such as this.
With Smokio, it goes without saying this isn’t a product that will appeal to all vapers but at the same time Smokio aren’t targeting all vapers.
Their target market is primarily smokers making the switch to vaping with the goal of leaving tobacco behind. They offer a tool that helps monitor progress and encourages smokers to see the benefits of switching to vaping and it does do a very good job of doing this, no doubt about it.
So with that in mind this wouldn’t be a product that I would buy personally or recommend to existing vapers. I have been vaping over 4 years and don’t see the features such as the vitals, monetary savings being of any use for me personally.
Sticking with the premise that this is an e cigarette for new vapers would I still recommend it?
I will say if you are new to vaping there are a couple of things you need to keep in mind before making a purchase and considering it isn’t a cheap device they are important points.
So first is the price. There is always going to be a certain investment for new e cig kit and it is expensive but this does come with the tech built in and app.
Is it overpriced? Like for like I can’t say as there is no other EVOD batteries with tech built in to compare with. The biggest price issue/downfall for me comes with the replacement/spare batteries.
For me this is the first of two areas I think Smokio have missed the mark on. The only option for a spare is to buy a new e cig battery with the tech built in, this will cost €64.90 for what essentially is a 900 mAh replacement battery. I’m not sure the Smokio team thought through the cost of replacement batteries very well.
For me personally I can just about get the initial cost. It’s just having to fork out that much for replacement units when the battery begins to fail. A better solution would have been to produce a unit that separates the chip from the battery which would of course bring the replacement parts down to an affordable price which in turn for me would make the longevity of the product much improved for current users.
The next area, which is kind of related to the above, would be to have the ability to use the battery as a pass through device, this will allow the user to vape while it is charging. 2.5-3 hours (when on charge) without an e cig is never a good thing. At €64.90 it’s doubtful that a spare battery to rotate is an option for most.
That is just me though, maybe I’m wide of the mark.
So things that would make this setup a viable option for me would be for them to have one, ideally both of the following:
- A pass through option on the battery so it can be vaped while it charges
- A battery that can be removed and replaced independently of the chip rather than having to buy a whole new (expensive) unit.
And to summarise:
- The App is well designed and easy to navigate.
- The product as a whole looks great and aesthetically the whole package is great.
- The information is presented well in an easy to understand manner.
- Setup is easy.
- The Smokio e cig itself looks good, although a little longer than a standard 900 mAh battery.
- The Smokio websites Help & support pages are in depth and useful.
- For smokers making the switch to e cigs that want to gauge their process and possible improvement in health.
The Not So Good
- Replacement batteries cannot be bought separately to the chip, a new unit needs to be purchased at €64.90.
- The battery has no pass through option so cannot be used when on charge.
- App is not necessarily of use to longer term vapers as it is focused on tracking smokers usage who are making the switch to e cigs.
If the app is something that will benefit you and help you as a smoker making the switch to e cigs then the product is actually very good overall, just take into consideration the first two points in the ‘not so good’ list above before making a decision as they could be more important than having the app itself.