Mod Reviews

Smok Mag-18 Kit

The Smok Mag series has quite a cult following, but will the new Smok MAG 18 Kit add to the legacy?

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Supplied by those friendly folks at TECC for review

Now and then something rather special comes along and now and then something rather shitty comes along, I don’t think you will be left guessing too long which one I think the Smok Mag 18 is!

Smok MAG 18 Kit First look

  • Tank capacity - 2ml
  • Coil resistance - 0.15ohm mesh / 0.33ohm mesh
  • Output wattage - 5-230W
  • Battery compatibility - 2 x 18650 (sold separately)
  • Mod Dimensions - 90.2mm x 63.5mm x 32.5mm
  • Mod weight - 165g

Not much to comment on here, the weight is quite light for a Smok dual 18650 kit, possibly the lightest one I have tried from Smok, but other than that there’s nothing else that stands out in the specs or features.

MAGpies (Unboxing)

The MAG 18 kit comes in Smok’s always stylish and sturdy packaging. I’ve always liked Smok’s presentation, and this kit is on par with the rest.

Smok MAG 18 Kit unboxing

I’m not sure if it’s a worldwide thing, but I’m finding incoming parcels have been treated a bit worse by postal workers these days, this could be down to the whole pay thing and their way of getting some job satisfaction is lobbing parcels about, fair enough I guess and I picture the fun they are having lobbing parcels at record lengths while betting who can throw furthest? Anyway back on topic, Smok’s packaging is well protected and no items were harmed inside.

Smok MAG 18 Kit presentation

The top layer holds the MAG 18 mod, underneath that is the tank, two coils (one pre-installed), a USB-C charging cable, a bag of spare tank seals and at last; a spare glass piece.

Smok MAG 18 Kit contents

I won’t say too much but the spare glass is a bit of a treat in itself and it is worth swopping the pre-installed plastic one to this.

Smok MAG 18 Kit manual

But Smok are back to supplying phone book sized manuals, it’s sooooo bloody thick and, as it turned out it turned out to be, a total waste of paper as this is the most basic kit I have seen from Smok in a long, long time.

Smok MAG 18 Kit first impressions

MAGnify (First Impressions & Overview)

From here on in you are likely to hear me bitch and moan about how much worse this MAG is compared to earlier versions, had I not experienced previous MAGs, I might have been a bit more enthusiastic so I’m going to try something new; I will do a new user opinion (where I will pretend the MAG is all new), and a Smok fanboy’s disappointed opinion. I will do my best to be fair along the way.

Let’s use the Devil or Angel on my shoulder theme.

The MAG 18 mod feels nice and light before you pop your 18650 batteries in and is quite impressive for its size. The all metal body uses a lighter pressing style which is thinner but still has plenty of strength, it also allows for some softer edges for comfort. Talking of comfort, the MAG mod has a power-tool-like grip to it.

What the flying f**k is this cheap piece of crap? I LOVED the earlier MAGs and this immediately disappointed me as it felt cheap and nasty, it might be lighter, but it’s lost a lot of its charm along the way. It just feels cheap and you can’t help but feel you’re getting less for your money, smaller screen, plastic buttons, nasty rubber grip, and the worst part for me is the lack of ‘MAG’ battery loading which is where the MAG got its name from, I will go into this more later on.

Smok MAG 18 Kit grip

The rubber grip is cool, it reminds me of a drill grip and feels sturdy in your hand grip, the lovely rubber is also easy to keep clean. It has a novel exoskeleton metal piece to clamp it down which is really unique.

Whaaaa… OMG what have they done! I know I’m bored of ‘leather’ style wraps but Smok have lost the plot by using cheap rubber instead. I can’t think of a cheaper looking rubber wrap on any previous mod, it looks cheap and feels just as bad. The blatant ‘Aegis’ copy of the exoskeleton helps a little to distract but holding it just feels wrong.

Smok MAG 18 Kit montage

I love the ergonomic style and how it feels in your hand, the large fire button’s position feels just right for your ‘trigger’ finger and is easy to find blindly, but it feels a little awkward to view your screen and change settings as you have to twist your grip to see it and access the adjustment buttons.

Previous MAGs were renowned for their ergonomic grip but this has lost that overall feeling. Due to the front mounted screen, it now feels deeper and requires a more open grip, as in your hand doesn’t wrap around it as much. Trying not to be too harsh, I must admit it still feels comfortable but it is worlds apart from the ergonomics of the original. The fire button was my next disappointment as it’s plastic and feels awful and just adds to the cheap feeling.

Smok MAG 18 Kit top and tails

The battery door is located on the base and has a sliding lock to keep it closed. The 510 connection is nice and large which should take up to 26mm tanks without overhang, it also has three screws holding it in pace which should help in its durability.

I actually don’t have too much to moan about here, forgetting the lack of a battery magazine then this style of slide lock is quite common and is a proven method. The 510 connection is good and suits the size of the included tank perfectly. (I’m calming down a bit now….)

Smok MAG 18 Kit battery flap

I found opening the battery door to be a bit stiff and fiddly, perhaps that will ease in time. The orientation marking was perfect and clearly marked on the door and inside the sleeves, closing the door was equally fiddly as it didn’t want to naturally spring back into position so I had to force it closed, again; this might slacken off with more use.

There’s no way I can be positive about this part, I’m actually pretty pissed off that Smok dropped the magazine loading method as it was one of the best battery loading mods I owned, I absolutely loved the whole experience and as mentioned earlier it was also where the MAG got its name from, but back to the current method. I found it pretty fiddly and the spring loaded catch didn’t work properly so you have to force it to close all the way, if you don’t then there’s a high chance of you spilling your batteries.


So you’ve already heard about the battery loading magazine method being dropped for this version, if you’ve not tried it then you won’t miss it, but for original MAG owners like me then it’s very disappointing to call this a MAG without a magazine. Here’s a photo of the old version alongside the new:

Smok MAG 18 Kit not a mag

I wish I could describe how oddly satisfying it was to unload and load your batteries, there was a little release button on the mod which you pressed and the magazine would drop out (in your hand ideally!) and there is an equally satisfying click as you slid it back in.

Not to say it was perfect, there were reported problems with the catch failing (needed to be screwed tighter), and some started to fail with the connection pin at the base, you also needed to be careful as to not accidentally release it and spill your batteries. I’m not saying these problems didn’t happen, but I had zero issues and mine is still working fine. There’s a chance Smok dropped this method due to previous problems but I resent that, they should have just improved it or, if that was beyond them, they should have ended the ‘MAG’ line in my opinion.

Mag TFV Mini V2 Tank

UniMAGinative (TFV Mini V2 Tank)

This tank is pretty old now but still very relevant with the latest mesh coils. The basic and old-school construction isn’t the most convenient, but it’s simple enough to strip down and lean.

Smok TFV Mini V2 stripped down

Essentially it strips down into five pieces and only the coil holds it all together as it screws in top and bottom, it all unscrews counter-clockwise.

Smok TFV Mini 2 tank screw together

There’s no fancy-pancy plug and play coil fitting, the easiest way is to screw the coil into the base, then place the glass section onto the top-cap and screw it all together, a little fiddly at first but you get used to it. I took this opportunity to fit a bubble glass piece onto it which makes a fair difference and is worth doing.

Smok MAG 18 Kit bubble glass

I’m a bit torn about the choice of tank for this kit, don’t get me wrong as I love this tank and I still use it on some of my older Smok kits, but it’s a mystery why Smok haven’t updated this tank to a press fit coil. The other twatty thing is the proprietary drip-tip and the only one you can use is the included bland black one, but overall I like the style of the tank and it suits a lot of different mods.

MAGnify (Screen and Controls)

Back to Angel and Devil for this one…

Smok MAG 18 Kit screen

Smok have really catered to new users with this screen and controls as it is simple and easy to operate, the screen is nice and bright with some nice colour-schemes. It is also easy to read with all the info you could possibly want.

I was already struggling to like this kit but the piss poor controls sealed the deal, I’ve seen more features on a basic pod/mod than on this piece of crap, I usually just suss out the controls on my own but I couldn’t find the menus so I resorted to reading the manual – I couldn’t find the menus as there weren’t ANY! At this point my disappointment start to make me MAGgy and I felt Smok were taking the piss.

  • 5 x Fire = Turns device On/Off
  • 3 x Fire = Locks fire button
  • Press & hold Up & Down = Locks adjustment buttons
  • Press Fire & Up = Resets puff counter
  • Press Fire & Down = Cycles through colour-schemes

That’s it! I haven’t seen such a basic mod in years, there’s no pre-heats, TCR etc. which you could argue that Smok are just trying to make it newbie friendly BUT there’s also no ‘Smart’ option which is something new users would benefit more from, especially as this mod goes up to 230 watts.

My other bugbear is the size and position of the screen compared to the original, you get a much smaller screen and positioning in on the fire button edge makes the mod deeper and less comfortable.

Smok MAG love hate

I’ve often overused my Infinity Inside-Out figures, but they sum up my feelings comparing the two MAGs.

I know I’m sounding like a broken record comparing the new to old but you kind of expect models to improve with new versions, but the MAG felt like a major downgrade and you get a lot less for your money. Is it shrinkflation or Smok drifting backwards? Either way they have started to lose one of their biggest fanboys and I feel insulted by their latest offering.

Smok Mag devolution

I even prefer the MAG 270 over the MAG 18 and that was a basic mech style single cell mod, but it oozed quality and the ergonomics were perhaps the best in a mod ever (and it had a battery magazine).


There’s no need for an Angel or Devil here as the performance is possibly the saving grace of the MAG 18 kit. Whether you are a new or experienced user, the vape quality is next level and suits a dual battery mod perfectly.

  • V18 Mini Meshed 0.33ohm Coil (Preinstalled) 80W to 140W Best at 100W – 110W
  • V18 Mini Dual Meshed 0.15ohm Coil 80W to 110W Best at 90W

Both coils are for high wattage DL vaping, basically the 0.33ohm gives you the best performance in flavour and vapour production and boy does it lob the clouds! At this point I’m forgetting the piece of shit underneath the tank and loving the vape, to be fair; the mod is doing its basic job by delivering the power to the tank and the lack of features didn’t matter one bit.

The 0.15ohm coil was pretty good too, a little cooler than the 0.33ohm but the flavour and vapour production were similar, it also lasted longer than the 0.33ohm due to it being a single bore coil.

Smok’s coils are just so much better these days and far out perform the original MAGs' coil and Prince tank, it might be basic in construction but for how often you change the coil, it’s a minor inconvenience.

The airflow range is excellent and is one of the airiest tanks I own. Even at high wattage, I still found myself closing it off some, the three sided intakes produced ‘normal’ noise without whistling.

I also love the filling method of this tank with its button to release and swivel open top, there’s plenty of room (once you ditch the plastic ‘glass’ section) and it's generally mess free.

Ironically I will be playing Devil’s advocate with the battery method, for newer users they won’t be taking the batteries out too often and most will opt to charge them in the mod, and it offers 2 Amp charging. I prefer to charge outside of the mod in a dedicated charger, but I can see the appeal of charging them in the mod as long as you keep an eye on it for safety.

Smok MAG 18 alone

MAG-nanimous (Conclusion)

Sooooo I’ve mostly calmed down about the disappointments of the MAG 18 kit by now, and the performance made all the difference. Prior to the original MAG coming out I would have likely loved this kit, but as it is supposed to be an upgrade to the original then I’m left very disappointed. Still, the pros and cons are going to be so unbalanced that I’m going to struggle to recommend this kit to anyone other than a starter with lower expectations.

So, for a new user without expectations or comparisons then the MAG 18 looks a more attractive option, there are still a few cons to consider but none I would call actual faults, more personal tastes or lack of quality that should be considered before buying.

For me? I think that the MAG 18 has been the worst release from Smok in a long time and I worry about the direction they are taking, cheaper, less functions, and worst still there’s no innovation or imagination which is unlike Smok.

Oh and did I mention, it doesn’t have a ‘MAG’?

Smok MAG 18 Kit polarity


  • Superb vape quality
  • Surprise ‘spare’ glass
  • Ideal for beginner DL and cloud chasing vapers
  • You won’t feel as precious with it
    (Oooops I dropped it – never mind)
  • Nice top-fill cap
  • Very airy airflow
  • TFV Mini tank


  • Cheap and nasty construction
  • MAG-azine loading is gone which doesn't make it a 'MAG'
  • Primitive design tank (no pnp style)
  • Proprietary drip-tip
  • Phone book manual
  • Nasty industrial rubber grip
  • Smaller front mounted screen
  • BASIC menu with limited functions (more basic pod-like)
  • Poor battery door
  • Absolutely zero innovation
  • Un-matching tank
  • Nasty fire button (plastic)

Oh dear! – the most cons I can remember in any review I have done, I skimmed over them to remove any I felt were harsh or personal but I think the list is fair and worth the buyer knowing or considering.

I think releasing this as a MAG was a mistake, had it been called the Smok Minger then I would have been kinder.

Final Thoughts

I think you can guess if I liked it or not by now, I’ve tried my best to keep it unbiased but there were just too many things wrong with it for me to rate it beyond average (other than the vape quality), I possibly had higher expectations than most, but Smok used to bring me joy, now they bring me anger.

As a final, final thought, here’s an actual quote from SMOK’s website which always amused me but seems oddly appropriate for the MAG 18:

Score: 5/10 

Smok MAG 18 Kit helmet
(My worst Metal Earth kit next to my worst Smok)

Si Davies avatar

Si Davies

Reviewer at POTV
View Articles

My background is Engineering and Professional Photography. Mostly from POTV users knowledge I learned so much about pretty much all styles of vaping and equipment, Cloud Chasing, Squonking, Mouth To Lung, Direct To Lung, Pods, Mechs, Rebuild-able tanks and atomisers etc, and have experience with many many devices and atomisers, it's become a hobby and enjoy trying out the latest gear. I like to think my reviews are plain speaking and informative without getting too technical, if I have to resort to reading the manual then I don't consider it user friendly!

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