SMOK Novo 4 Kit
Supplied by UKVB for review
Offer price £22.09 (RRP £25.99)
After Smok winning me back to MTL with their ACRO pod, I was keen to see if they still got it right with the Novo 4. I’m pleased to report they did, and better still there’s a few things that make the NOVO 4 a better pod in my opinion.
SMOK Novo 4 Specifications
- Pod capacity - 2ml
- Coil resistance - 0.8ohm mesh
- Battery capacity - 800mAh
- Output wattage - 5-25W
- Dimensions – 93.5mm x 26.5mm x 17.7mm
The Novo 4 kit comes in a simple two piece box; an outer sleeve and the main box. Sliding open the sleeve reveals everything in one layer.
The contents are the bare essentials you need to get going other than juice obviously; the Novo 4 device with pod, two of the same 0.8Ω mesh coils (1 already installed), a USB-C cable and a rather thick multi-language user manual.
I chose the Blue Grey Cobra colour option and I loved how much better this looked in real life, the chrome chassis really appealed to my shinyitis and is something I have always liked with Smok devices, the patterned panels are plastic and feel a little cheap yet they don’t look it. That said, it does keep the weight down as it feels just the right weight for me.
The pod is a friction fit with no magnets but it fits really well with no wobble and is very secure. On the front is a small screen, a single control button and an airflow adjustment dial which has just the right amount of resistance that I could adjust it easily with my thumb or fingernail and stayed in place during use. The USB-C port is located on the base.
The only niggle I had so far was that the base is curved so the Novo 4 doesn’t stand upright, this made the photography a bit of a challenge and meant that you had to place it down on the panel which will likely scratch in time.
On the back is just the name, battery mAh and the CE marking as well as the do not recycle logo. Normally I wouldn’t like all that plastered on the face of a device but it is colour matched and subtle.
Oooh look! I managed to stand it upright!
One of the first reasons I prefer the Novo 4 over the ACRO is the pod which is reusable so you just replace the coils which is far less wasteful. The pod has a clear base and a smoked black mouthpiece which makes it easy to see when filling it up and still clear enough to judge your juice level during use.
Fitting and replacing the coils is pleasingly easy, they are press fit and not too tight so you can pull them out easily, the airflow is quite clever and promises to be leak resistant as it channels through a notched pod base instead of from the coil base directly. The filling port is a bit small with a little rubber bung, it is more suited for small nozzle juice bottles, surprisingly it was actually very easy and mess free to fill without any airlocks, much better than the skinny ACRO pod as there’s room around the coil for the juice to flow.
The Novo 4 has adjustable wattage from 5 to 25 watts, there is only one button and, since it is draw activated, there’s no fire button.
- 5 x Button = Turns device On/Off
- 2 x Button = Unlock/Lock adjustment button.
Once unlocked, pressing the button increases the wattage in 0.5 watts increments and round-robins. Once you select your chosen wattage, you simply vape and it locks itself again. That’s all there is to it.
The screen is superb for its size, very bright and clear, and it displays just the right amount of information required for a pod:
- Battery bar with percentage
- Coil resistance
- Puff counter
During vaping it displays the puff time briefly. The screen goes into sleep mode fairly quick which helps the battery life. I found it pretty easy to read all the info. For such a compact pod, I was really impressed with this tiny screen.
After priming up the coil for 10 minutes, I set the wattage to 10 Watts and took my first toot. Right off the bat, the flavour was incredible. I did need to find my sweet spot with the airflow as it had quite a broad range; I found this easier to do by turning the device off and drawing while rotating the dial until I got it to my preference. For me, I had it almost closed off to get a proper tight cheek-pulling MTL draw, with that done I turned it back on and carried on vaping. Though the flavour was good right off the bat, it only improved as the coil bedded in.
Using Rachael Rabbit 20mg Blueberry Citrus & Pineapple Nic Salts, I was happier than a pig in shit with the vape I was getting from the Novo 4. As good as the ACRO was, this was just much better, the draw was similar but the flavour was so much stronger. I always try to hammer the first coil when reviewing so I used this exclusively and due to the flavour, I naturally hammered it. It kept up with chain vaping and continued to wick without a hint of a dry hit. I did creep the wattage up to 12 watts but soon went back down to 10.5 which was just right for the tighter airflow.
The mouthpiece is spot on. It is similar to the old Nord but is a lot smaller and feels MTL, smoothly contoured and comfortable with a reasonably narrow bore to make the draw feel very smooth. You could tell this is a mesh coil as the draw is always instant and intense, I think Smok made the right choice with 0.8Ω coils as I think it’s a perfect beginner pod as well as for experienced pod users.
Using our fellow reviewer DeeDee’s DD-Drawometer scale of 1 to 10 (1 being tight – 10 being loose):
- 2/10 up to 5/10 adjustable
With the airflow fully open, you can get a borderline RDL draw but it’s still a little tight to class it as an RDL device. I’m more than happy with that as this excels as a proper MTL pod whether you prefer a tight or looser MTL airflow.
I was a little surprised that the Novo 4 only had an 800mAh battery considering it has a screen, so I was expecting the battery life to be a bit pants. Not the case so far, I’m getting around 400+ puffs between charges. I do notice the power drop off as the charge gets low but it is still useable. Charging time was pretty standard and rarely took over 45 minutes.
The Novo 4 is simply the best MTL Smok device I have tried and easily rivals my other branded MTL pods. It’s similar to the Wotofo Manik but for me the device is much better and the pods aren’t disposable, it’s better than the Vaporesso Luxe Q for several reasons (mostly the tighter draw). Once the novelty factor has faded, I think this could well be my favourite MTL pod and is easily in my top 3.
Smok have won me back big time for MTL vaping with this device and have eliminated my old ‘Smok don’t do MTL’ preconceptions, Smok most definitely do MTL and I’m now watching closely with what else they come up with, MTL mod and Tank? Bring it on Smok!
- Superb flavour
- A proper MTL draw
- Screen is bob on
- Stylish and ergonomic
- Decent screen
- Ideal starter kit
Well I never! I got to the cons before I realised I actually don’t have any. I’m sat here trying to nitpick, and all I can come up with is it not standing up but that’s common for most pods of this size, and I’m using it on a lanyard so it’s certainly not a con for me.
Smok have gone from piss poor MTL to being amongst the very best MTL this year which is quite a feat considering the already competitive pods and tanks that have stormed the market in late 2020 to current 2021.
I have been waiting for this moment ever since I bought the first NORD pod. As much as I loved it at the time, I always hated the loose draw and big-gob mouthpiece. The Novo 4 has made up for all that the Nord failed on and with much better flavour.
- Flavour: 9.5/10
- Airflow: 9/10
- Ergonomics: 8.5/10
- Value: 9/10
Overall Score: 9/10 – F**k the clouds, SMOK definitely do MTL.