Smok G-Priv Pod Kit
Something a bit different for me today. Whilst I normally stick to e-liquid reviews, I do like to mix things up with the occasional hardware review too, so when TECC contacted us to test out the new Smok G-Priv pod kits, I decided to put my name in to the hat. Antony has already reviewed the Pro version which features a removable battery, and I am taking the rechargeable version. They should in theory be pretty similar, so it will be interesting to see if our thoughts align. I will warn you now though, I am not so much into the technical ins and outs so you may not get the in-depth analysis of my fellow reviewers, but you will get a real world feel for the mod in daily use.
- Pod capacity - 2ml
- Coil resistance - 0.23ohm LP2 mesh / 0.4ohm LP2 mesh
- Output wattage - 5-80W
- Resistance range - 0.15-2.5ohm
- Battery capacity - 2500mAh
- Dimensions - 111.5mm x 34.1mm x 27.1mm
- Weight - 138g
The G-Priv pod kit comes in a compact box with a slide on sleeve showing a surprisingly comprehensive amount of detail. It also shows the colour you have ordered although the picture doesn’t really do things justice. There is also a shiny authentication sticker, along with batch numbers and manufacturers information. Impressively it doesn’t look too cluttered considering just how much they have crammed on to the outer sleeve. Sliding off the outer sleeve, you are presented with the mod with the LP2 pod and a coil preinstalled, a USB-C charging cable, and the extra coil. There is a little ribbon tab to aid getting into the final layer where you will find the paperwork.
Initially the manual looked pretty scary, it is thick enough to make War and Peace look like a little light reading, but a quick flick through shows that they have covered just about every language you could possibly need. The English bit is actually only 16 pages long, so it isn’t too intimidating. It also covers both the standard and the pro version too. Four pages cover any adverse effects of the misuse of e-liquid which is good to know but is not really necessary as the kit does not contain any nicotine, despite what the big white banner on the front of the box says! Pages four to eight really tell you everything you actually need to know, although it is such a simple kit that you probably won’t need to read it unless you are bored.
I will admit that on first impression, I was not blow away. You see I like my mods to be curvy and seductive, I have tiny girlie hands and find that cube shapes are usually quite uncomfortable. So I was quite surprised by how good it actually felt when I first picked it up. Each corner has a flattened straight panel with curved edges so it melds to your hands way better than it looks like it should. It is deceptively comfortable. The leather panel is slightly spongy which adds to the comfort levels. I also like the stitching. I am quite touchy feely and like to fiddle with things, and I really liked the tactile texture of the slightly raised stitches. I was a little concerned that the thread would easily discolour, but it is already a shade of grey which makes it very forgiving.
The colour and finish are beautiful on the Smok G-Priv Pod kit. I received the Matte Blue variant, an odd choice of name as it is actually rather shiny. Regardless of the name, the colour really does look awesome, the metallic finish really looks smart highlighting the shape and detail. On one side is the logo which is big and brash but somehow really suits the mod. I think the clean lines of the font really work here.
I wish I had kept the plastic screen protector and back panel guard on as it instantly became a fingerprint magnet. I should point out that I have notoriously sweaty hands, attractive I know, so other people may not have so much of an issue here, but it did rather spoil the overall look.
On the base you will find the USB-C port and three clear vent holes. Tucking them away keeps things tidy but it does mean you will have to put it on its side to charge. The finish is definitely going to be tough, after a couple of weeks the base still looks like new.
On the opposite side to the leather panel is the fire bar. This is made of a matte black plastic which adds contrast but doesn’t look as good as the rest of the device. It is fast and responsive though and works as it should.
Finally, we have the screen. This is a simple kit so doesn’t need lots of functions, but the information shown is clear and inclusive. It shows battery (both as a bar and a percentage), power, ohms, volts, puffs taken and time per puff. The battery readings seem to be accurate, and I like the inclusion of both styles. The screen is bright and easy to read. Best of all, you can change the colour and there is a purple option. Call me easy to please, but in my opinion, everything looks better in purple!
The LP2 Pod
To remove the LP2 pod, you simply pull it out. There are no magnets, instead it relies on a couple of discreet tabs which click into place. This works so well that initially I thought the pod was stuck, it takes quiet a hefty pull to free it. Coils are also push fit and are easy to swap out, but you will need an empty tank as there is nothing to stop the juice coming out.
The lid for filling is a sliding door affair and seems to be pretty solid. The pod sits offset which is a clever but simple design making it pretty hard to accidentally slide, there is nothing worse than accidental tank dumping! Once open, the kidney shaped filling port is exposed. It is covered in a thin rubber gasket so further minimises the risk of leaks. It is a little tight using a 100ml bottle, you have to angle things very carefully, but with care, it is a mess free experience.
It also has a built-in mouthpiece /drip tip which is a medium wide bore and is comfortable but not outstanding. It is perfectly functional and adequately comfortable but isn’t going to set your world on fire.
The one thing I really don’t like this the visibility. The tank is a dark see-through plastic but combined with the TPD restrictive bung, it makes seeing your juice levels very hard. Even shining my phone torch through didn’t do much too help. Things improved massively once my over excited cleaning of the pod caused the bung to accidentally (on purpose) fall out. This made a huge difference. Being a sub ohm kit, it is also quite thirsty, so I certainly didn’t mind the extra capacity too!
It is all well and good to have a nice-looking kit in your pocket but looks are nothing if the performance doesn’t back things up. Thankfully there were no concerns here. As I have already said, this is a simple kit so all you need to do is dial in your power settings and vape. There is no smart mode, so you are left on your own to find your personal settings. This suits me as I don’t like a hot vape so was able to find a good balance between heat, flavour and clouds. Once dialled in, you can lock the power too so you won’t have to worry if, like me, you carry you kit loose in your pocket. Whilst on the subject, you can also lock the fire bar too for extra safety, very reassuring as nothing makes me move faster than an unexpected hiss coming from my trousers!
Two coils are included, a 0.23ohm and a 0.4ohm. Both are mesh coils. The 0.23ohm has a slightly wider bore but in use, I found very little difference in performance or flavour. Speaking of flavour, this to me is what it all comes down to. As an e-liquid reviewer, flavour is everything to me and I have very exacting standards. What I got was big flavour, but it was not the most nuanced. I could easily pick out the basics, but more layered juices are a bit wasted here as there just isn’t the detail that I prefer. But if you like a bold taste and big clouds, you should be very satisfied. Both kept up well in the chain vaping test, no nasty dry hits at all. Coil life was also good, taking several days of hard vaping and sweet juices before the flavour started to suffer.
Airflow is adjusted with a slider which opens two doors on each side of the pod. Fully open provides a whole centimetre’s worth of air and will give you clouds for days. Fully closed makes it a very tight direct lung vape. I liked a mid-way between the two which still gave me huge clouds but kept the flavour intensity high.
The inbuilt 2500mAh battery kept me vaping all day comfortably, and I vape a lot, so I was more than happy with this side of things. It also has type C fast charging and I found it took roughly 90 minutes to fully charge from empty which is very good for the size of the battery.
The flip side
So far everything has been hunky dory, but I had an issue that Antony didn’t have so this could be down to poor luck or inconsistent quality control. I found there was a certain amount of gurgling and a bit of spit back, especially with the 0.2ohm coil. It wasn’t huge but it was still enough to be noticeable and was a little off putting. I also had a couple of days where I couldn’t use any of my larger kits, so I put the G-priv, along with a few other kits, on the side whilst I was out of action, and when I came back to it, there was quite a large pool of juice under the pod. The coils have a triple O-ring design, so I was surprised by this, especially as none of the other kits had any more than a light dampness. If you are only using this kit, it shouldn’t be an issue, but if you like to have a few set ups on the go, it is something to be mindful about.
The Smok G-Priv pod kit is a fine-looking set up which is very comfortable to use and performs well. It is a shiny workhorse kit which is easy for a new vaper looking for a hard-hitting device but without the complication of modes and settings. More seasoned vapers will be very comfortable with the performance too, it does everything it needs to do well. Apart from the leaking and slight gurgling issue on the 0.2ohm coil, there is little to find fault with here. For the price of £27.99, which includes two free bottles of e-liquid, you can’t really go too far wrong here. Oh, and did I mention the purple screen? That alone for me is worth the admission price. Many thanks to TECC for sending this over for review.