The new SMPO KI pod kit review and the second of the new releases sent to me for review from the company.
What makes the KI stand apart from the Yoofun, that I previously reviewed, is that it is designed and marketed as a dedicated Direct To Lung device.
As you may have read previously, SMPO are based out of London, although (as you’d expect) the manufacturing comes out of China.
The KI pod system follows a similar form factor as most of SMPOs former product line, albeit with a glossy new colour scheme.
The SMPO KI is available in a range of glossy, almost mirror finishes, including: Creamy, Obsidian, Bice and Lunar Blue.
However, during this review I’ll be using the Rosy version, which certainly stands out.
This product was sent for the purposes of this review, and as always my views are my own.
Inside the Box
1 x SMPO KI 650mAh Battery
2 x SMPO KI Pods (1.1 Ohm and 0.8 Ohm)
1 x USB Cable
1 x Empty 10ml refill bottle
1 x Instruction Manual and warranty card
Size: 83 x 34 x 15.3mm
Capacity: 1.8ml (TPD Compliant)
Battery: Internal 650mAh
Output wattage: 11W/13W/15W
SMPO KI Quick Start Guide
After quickly extracting the KI from the packaging, starting the KI up was a no brainer.
I simply took an included pod, filled it with some 70:30 VG/PG e-liquid, slotted it into the battery and took my first draw.
I was a little disappointed here as the draw was intermittent. I thought I might have been doing it wrong seeing as DTL pod systems are a little alien to me.
What I came to realize is that the pod was actually too loose to make a suitable connection in the battery housing. With this pod I had to apply downward pressure with my mouth to make a workable connection.
The second pod was still a little loose, but it made a positive connection and the resulting vape experience from this was far superior to the first pod.
Design and Build Quality
The sleek design is stunning to look at. The chassis is a zinc alloy that is very light.
The plastic panels to the front and rear of the mod seem to be firmly set in place. I tried to pick them off they simply wouldn’t budge.
They are somewhat of a fingerprint magnet, however, but wiping them over is simple.
SMPO KI – How does it handle?
The overall feel and handling of the SMPO KI is pretty much the same as any other. The overall body has a stadium shape to it that makes it even and well balanced.
From the side you may notice that the body raises towards the middle. From the diagrams I have seen this is where the CTAP chip is housed.
The mod will stand on it’s base. Although, with the tough plastic panels I just found it easier to lay it down between draws.
SMPO KI – Taking It From the Top
As previously touched on, the pods sit fairly loosely in the mod with a fair bit of lateral play.
However, the pod is held in place magnetically so this provides reassurance that it won’t fall out of the mod.
The mouthpiece has a wave shape to it.
This allowed my lips to form a nice seal around the mouthpiece whilst still leaving a good amount of open space for the vapour to be drawn in from the outlet hole.
SMPO KI – How To Fill
To access the fill ports you need to remove the mouthpiece cover from the pod itself, this gives access to 2 good sized inlets.
Having 2 inlets allows pressure to escape as you fill, meaning I got little to no push back and overflow when refilling the pod.
Accessing the inlets required me to tease out the retaining “dimples” one at a time.
A little fiddly, but at least I knew it wouldn’t be dropping off the pod when it was in my pocket.
SMPO KI – the Workhorse
The shape of the battery/mod itself is nothing to write home about, it’s all pretty standard fare with regard to the shape and ergonomics.
It feels nice and glossy to the touch, although with the plastic top and bottom panels it never feels cold in the hand.
There appears to be 2 air flow holes on each side of the KI. I tried to block them off individually to restrict the airflow and perhaps make the draw more of a mouth to lung.
When doing this and blocking the USB port I couldn’t get any discernible difference in the airflow.
This has most definitely been set up for restricted DTL and it’s doing the job quite well indeed.
The power button is very “clicky” and gives a positive response when powering the KI on/off or changing between output wattage settings.
To cycle between 11W-13W-15W simply click the button 3 times.
I kept switching between the wattage range but couldn’t really get a noticeable change. This is something I expected when DTL vaping at such a low wattage.
SMPO KI- Battery Indicators
There is a single LED set towards the base of the top panel. It’s very clearly in view when taking a draw and works well in both low light and bright sunshine.
The LED will change colour from white, to orange, to red to indicate the battery levels:
White is above 70% power
Orange is 30-70% power
Red is below 30% power
The powerhouse of the SMPO KI is their new CTAP chip.
Short circuit protection
Low voltage protection
Super low quiescent current (This allows the battery to consume very little power when inactive to prolong battery life)
Over charge protection
Over discharge protection
Overuse protection (I tested this and the KI cut out after a 7 second draw)
I’ve got to be honest the battery life on this little pod kit is something else.
Just before publishing this review I went back to the KI and the battery indicator was still on the orange power level that is was on when I last used it.
How Does the SMPO KI – Perform?
How To Fill/Re-Fill
Remove the pod from the battery
Unclip the mouth piece
Fill carefully into each fill port
Replace the bung
Leave for 5-10 minutes to allow the coil to soak up the e-liquid.
The draw is reasonably tight, but it gives a decent lung full of vapour from very little work from the 0.8Ohm coil
The non-adjustable airflow gave a very consistent and thoroughly enjoyable vape. This made it the perfect little in car and pub mod.
SMPO KI the Pod Test
The KI came with 2 pods which were identical in terms of their coil resistance.
I’ve already mentioned that I had issues with the first pod not making a positive connection with the battery but after I swapped it for the second I was completely won over.
The mouthfeel is very clean and this was retained even after 2 weeks of intermittent use, that impressed me.
As the KI is designed for a middle ground draw but with a DTL promise, I tested it solely with a 70:30 VG/PG citrus e-liquid.
In all honestly the KI handled this flavour profile effortlessly and wicking on the coil was even more impressive.
Not once did I feel like it was struggling with the ratio and in danger of giving me a dry hit!
SMPO KI Battery Life
The battery stands up well too.
I started using this straight of the box with no initial charging and even though I’m quite a heavy vaper, especially chain vaping during breaks, the battery lasted me easily into my 3rd day without a charge.
The stated 45 minute quick charge time is possibly true, but my kids distracted me during the charge time.
However, when I came back to it after an hour the SMPO KI was fully charged and ready to go.
Easy to use – Good for beginners or those wanting to try DTL.
Low e-liquid consumption
Long battery life
Dodgy connection on one pod might be an issue when buying replacements
Final Review Verdict
What can I say…it’s great.
If you’re looking at getting a discreet setup with the sensation of DTL vaping or you are a new vapour who wants to experiment with DTL before you invest in other kit, then I can definitely recommend the SMPO KI.
It has everything I could see a pod system needing. Although it might have been nice to have the option to finger fire the KI, a feature I really enjoyed on the SMPO KI that I have previously reviewed.
If you’ve tried the SMPO KI and agree or disagree with anything I’ve mentioned in this review, please get in touch in the comments.