Pod System Reviews

SMOK RPM 5 Pod Mod Kit

Does the vaping world need yet another Smok RPM kit? We take a look at the RPM 5 kit to find out...

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Supplied by TECC for review
https://www.theelectroniccigarette.co.uk/smok-rpm-5
£29.99 (Includes 2 free e-liquids)

What? Another RPM from Smok?! To be fair, Smok do know how to produce up to date kits, and the original RPM led the way for pod/mods and the RPM 5 has had a complete overhaul in looks and a new chipset.

There are two versions; the RPM 5 has an inbuilt 2000mAh battery and the RPM 5 PRO is a little taller and uses an 18650 battery, we are taking a look at the inbuilt battery version this time around.

SMOK RPM 5 Kit packaging

  • TPD tank size - 2ml
  • Coil resistance - 0.23ohm / 0.15ohm
  • Battery capacity - 2000mAh (built in)
  • Output wattage - 5-80W
  • Resistance range - 0.15ohm-2.5ohm
  • Dimensions - 122.5mm x 31.2mm x 29.5mm
  • Weight - 122.7g
  • Slide Top-Fill
  • Coil-Lock mechanism
  • Dual side adjustable airflow

Unboxing

Though Smok have updated their packaging across the years, there’s something very Smok-like that makes it stand out. I’ve been a Smok fan for years and it always feels special by the packaging. The RPM 5 comes in a stylish box with an information overloaded outer sleeve.

SMOK RPM 5 Kit unboxing

Once opened, everything is held in one white foam layer. The contents are pretty standard, you get the RPM 5 device, the pod/tank with a preinstalled coil, a second coil, a USB-C charging cable, and a tree destroyer thick multilanguage manual. Unlike previous RPM’s there’s no second/alternate pod.

SMOK RPM 5 Kit contents

First Impressions and Overview

Compared to the RPM 4, the 5 has a more rugged and masculine look and feel to it with a satin finished metal body and textured rubber wrap, and it has been rounded off around the corners which definitely makes it feel more comfortable to use, as much as I loved the 4, it wasn’t the most comfortable so the ergonomics are the first improvements to the 5.

SMOK RPM 5 Kit screen side

Another ergonomic improvement is the fire button which is concaved, it’s a small detail but it really is noticeable during use as it’s more tactile and easy to find, the adjustment buttons less so but they are out of the way in your grip. Both buttons are quite firm and clicky with no wobble or rattle, the adjustment buttons are on a rocker and feel very responsive.

SMOK RPM 5 Kit back side

Back to the styling; I really liked the branding style, almost car badge styling with the chrome raised logos which add to the overall looks rather than being obtrusive, Smok are getting better at this over the past couple of years.

SMOK RPM 5 Kit pod fitting

The pod is a bit of a pig though, especially on the 2ml TPD version, as it’s big, ugly and stuffed full of silicone to restrict it to 2ml. Smok pretty much ignore us TPD afflicted users and this pods design reflects that.

It’s not all bad though, the magnetic fit is near perfection with no wobble and it stays in place in your pocket/bag. It also has a well implemented slide top-fill that opens far enough to allow access for most 50ml bottles.

SMOK RPM 5 Kit weight

The weight isn’t too shabby either, at 138g it does feel lighter than it looks, and part of that is down to the internal LiPo battery which is lighter than an 18650 cell.

SMOK RPM 5 Kit all round

I will leave the photos to do the talking regarding the design details, but I do like the rubber styling which is a large part of the RPM 5’s looks and feel.

SMOK RPM 5 Kit rubber

Another improvement is the rubber base liner which means you won’t scuff the surface of the area you place it down on or indeed scuff the mod itself, it’s always a big pro for me and I wish more manufacturers would pay attention to this. I’m a bit anal when it comes to caring for my vape kit, and as careful as I am, I still get scuffs on the base of mods.

SMOK RPM 5 Kit charging

Top marks to Smok with the charge screen as it displays the percentage, estimated time remaining and an unusually detailed battery animation, it is also USB-C 5 Volt 2 Amp charging which is ideal for the 2000mAh battery, I’ve yet to try charging it from empty but from a third charge to full took just over an hour.

Screen and Controls

Something entered my mind when looking at the screen that I can’t get past now, my one track mind sees a bra. Is it just me? Anyway the screen's information is well displayed and easy to read apart from the battery percentage as my older eyes struggle to see it clearly. That aside, Smok just get their screens right these days, no pointless embedded logos or nonsense.

SMOK RPM 5 Kit screen

As for the controls, this thing is basic, there is no menu at all or additional settings. The only things you can change are the wattage and resetting the puff counter which makes it ideal for inexperienced vapers or technophobes, but I had hoped for at least smart/auto wattage.

So the only controls are for turning it on/off, locking and wattage adjustments:

  • 5 x Fire = Turns device On/Off
  • 3 x Fire = Locks device (including Fire and Adjustments)
  • Press & hold +/- buttons = Locks adjustments
  • Press Up & Fire together quickly = Changes theme colour (cycles through)
  • Press Down & Fire together quickly = Reset Puff Counter Y/N (Long press Fire to confirm)

That’s everything, but then this device is aimed mainly at new vapers or for those that want to keep it simple, but I think a smart wattage would have made it better for all users. Once your coil is inserted, you can’t tell the wattage range, and in extremes you could end up firing the 0.23 ohm coil at 80 watts which will give you a dry hit from hell and ruin the coil.

My advice would be to make sure you know the wattage of the coil before you fit it, dial in the wattage for mid-range and lock it (+/- keys).

Pod-ge

Onto the fugly pod next and it was quite interesting and, looks aside, is another improvement over the RPM 4. The sliding top-fill is the highlight for me as it is well implemented.

SMOK RPM 5 Kit pod

As with previous RPM pods, the coils are a simple press fit BUT there is a locking lever on the RPM 5 pod which avoids accidental removal of the coil and a sloshy mess of e-liquid.

SMOK RPM 5 Kit coil lock

It’s very simple to operate as it just levers open, pop your coil in (noting the flats align with the magnets) then close the lever, if the lever doesn’t close, it means you haven’t fitted your coil correctly. Once closed, you physically cannot pull out the coil.

SMOK RPM 5 Kit fill port

Onto the slide top-fill; as the name suggests you simply slide it open to reveal the fill port. The mechanism is silky smooth and has enough resistance for it not to easily open by accident. Top-fill is nothing new, but many don’t leave enough room for a shortfill bottle without hitting the mouthpiece but I had no issues and filling was easy, it was slightly messy though due to the friggin' silicone bung inside restricting the juice visibility so I over-filled it the first time, after that I was more cautious.

SMOK RPM 5 Kit juiced

Performance

You get two different RPM-3 coils included in the kit; the 0.15ohm coil works best at 40-80W and the 0.23ohm resistance performs at 20-45W. From what I can gather, the RPM-3 coils are new for this kit and I don’t know if you can use the older RPM coils, not that you would want to as the RPM-3 coils are clearly better with larger wicking ports and a longer coil lifespan.

SMOK RPM 5 Kit full size

I began with the 0.23ohm coil starting at 30 watts working my way up and found 40 watts was ample, more than ample in fact. The flavour was superb and, as always with Smok coils, the vapour production was high relative to the power. This particular coil will suit those that require a longer battery life.

The 0.15ohm coil was a bit more fun if I’m honest, mainly due to its broader wattage range. The sensible end of 40 watts gave a reasonable vape, a bit tame and cooler but the flavour was still decent, pushing it up towards the higher end of 70 watts was more like a proper Smok DL vape, tons of flavour, high vapour production, and warm. I don’t remember the RPM 4 being this good so there’s another improvement, this coil suits those that prefer a more extreme vape and sod the battery life.

SMOK RPM 5 Kit airflow

The airflow control was quite effective but only for DL vaping. Even fully closed, it was a bit too loose for RDL, fully open gave a really airy draw which was better than quite a few tanks I own, and the noise was about normal with no annoying sounds.

As for the battery life, I found at 40 watts I was getting most of a working day and needed charging early evening of ‘normal’ use. We all vape differently and battery life will be different for everyone, but I would class the battery life as ‘good’, and top-up charging during the day was convenient.

SMOK RPM 5 Kit tech

Conclusion

Overall there were enough improvements to warrant a version 5 of the RPM, the styling and ergonomics are clearly different and the ‘bra’ screen is better. The top-fill is one of the best I’ve used on a pod/mod, but it’s the vape quality where the RPM 5 excels, for a compact pod/mod it vapes like a proper mod/tank kit and I felt it punched above its weight considering the physical coil size.

In a nutshell; the RPM 5 is the best pod/mod I’ve tried from Smok and I really love the vape I get from it.

There’s a couple of areas where I felt Smok fell short on though; the pod design doesn’t appear to deal with an old problem of leaking which the RPM 4 certainly suffered from, I’ve yet to experience a leak so far but it usually happens towards the end of the coil life. Perhaps these new coils will be better, but the pod has no overspill chamber to capture any excess e-liquid. The other thing is perhaps a personal opinion; with Smok’s technical expertise I felt the chipset was a bit too basic, not a bad thing for inexperienced users but at least a ‘smart’ mode would have benefitted those users too.

Pros

  • Excellent vape quality from both coils
  • Lightweight and ergonomic
  • Decent 2000mAh battery
  • Detailed charging screen
  • Rubber base
  • Well implemented top-fill
  • Coil Lock
  • Clear screen
  • Ease of use is perfect for beginners

Cons

  • Silicone filled TPD 2ml pod
  • No leak resistance?

Final Thoughts and Score

For all the improvements on the RPM 5, it was the coils' performance and lifespan that won me over, long gone are the days of the lottery of coil lifespan with Smok, and their flavour just gets better. I wonder what the RPM 11 will be like in a few years time?

Score: 8/10 – RPM5+RPM-3=Mc2

SMOK RPM 5 Kit crystal balling

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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