The Nord is a pod-based device with a sizable battery, a cool design and replaceable, low-resistance coils, but how does it perform? Our Smok Nord review takes a look to find out.
Is it worth picking up?
If you’re looking for a device with the convenience of a pod mod but with more flexibility and better battery life, the Nord is the device for you. The cute, compact device performs like a champ without making itself too complex for new vapers, and the battery life is excellent considering its size.
If you’re a full time vaper or are just switching from a heavy smoking habit, it’s worth thinking about getting a spare battery or an alternate device, but for most vapers and anybody just wanting to vape occasionally, it does more than enough. It’s well worth the $40.95 price tag, and if you get it on sale it’s an absolute bargain.
Pod-style vaping devices are becoming increasingly popular in recent years, with devices using pre-filled pods (like the Juul) increasingly being replaced by refillable options that give users more control over the flavors and nicotine strengths they’re vaping. The Smok Nord falls broadly into the latter group, but it blurs the lines between pods and traditional tanks by including replaceable coils and a chunkier, button-operated battery. Whatever you’d classify the device as, though, it’s a promising offering for newer vapers in particular, thanks to the user-friendly design and compact design. But with a regular price of $40.95 (although at time of writing it’s $25.95 as a deal of the week), is it better than the other devices you can pick up for around the same price? Our Smok Nord review aims to find out.
What You Get
The Smok Nord comes in a small box, with a slide-out, foam-bodied interior with slots cut into it for your device (including the pod-like tank), the two included coils (one 0.6 ohms and the other 1.4) and the USB charging cable. It also comes with a warranty card and a pretty brief manual. Overall it isn’t a huge offering, but it definitely gives you everything you need to get started.
Smok Nord Review – The Design
The Nord has a straightforward but effective look. It’s 94 mm long, with a rectangular fire button about half way up and a hollow top section that the pod slots into, leaving just the mouthpiece visible. There are 13 colors available for the Nord in total, with the basic options including black, gold, green, red, rainbow and white, and seven new options that have a marbled, resin-like effect on their bodies. All of these look really cool, with the simpler colors having a kind of scaled appearance but the resin ones just letting the complex, swirling color patterns carry the look. Finally, the device’s appearance is topped off with the “Smok” logo on the front and “Nord” on the back.
Overall, it looks great and offers plenty of choice in terms of color and design.
The Pod-Style Tank
The tank section is the real heart of the device, and the Nord’s manages to do everything it needs to without unnecessary complications. The tank has two main parts: the clear plastic tank section and the thinner, black mouthpiece section. There’s a hole in the middle of the bottom of the tank for you to insert a coil – which just pushes into place – and a rubber flap on the side that opens up to reveal the fill hole for your e-juice. The bottom of the coil touches the contact points on the inside of the battery section, but all you have to do as a user is push the coil in and pop the tank section into the opening at the top.
Everything about the design is really user-friendly. The flap for the fill-hole sits in a little indent, which leaves just enough space for you to get your fingernail in at the bottom and open it up. The hole itself is comfortably big enough for you to fill up with any type of e-juice bottle, and you can easily see through the tank so there’s pretty much no danger of overfilling. The mouthpiece’s design is quite simple – a thicker section towards the tank side, then a thinner top section, called a “duck bill” design – but the U-shaped transition between the two is perfectly shaped so your lips fit comfortably around the mouthpiece.
The Fire Button
The Nord only has one button for operation, which is roughly rectangular in shape and has a small LED light in the center. The button just protrudes beyond the body of the device, and pushes in easily, letting out an audible click when you push it down.
The LED basically serves as your display, lighting up white when you insert the tank section to confirm it’s connected up and when you press the fire button. Two pushes of the button gives you an indication of your battery life – either green for above 70 percent, amber for between 30 and 70 percent and red for lower – and five pushes switches the device off and prompts three white flashes to let you know it’s been successfully turned off.
USB Charging Port
The micro USB port on the bottom isn’t particularly different from the ones you’ll find on any device. However, the positioning means it doesn’t interfere with the look of the Nord, and laying it down while charging isn’t an issue because the tank on the device is completely isolated with no potential for leaking while you charge.
Smok has done a fantastic job on the design of the Nord. It looks great, does everything you need it to and manages to stay user-friendly in every aspect.
Smok Nord Review – Safety Features
The Nord is a fairly straightforward device, so there aren’t features in the same way you’d get on a mod, but there are a couple of nice touches from Smok when it comes to safety. The device has an 8 second cutoff, which offers protection against accidentally activating the device while it’s in your pocket. You can also switch it off with five quick presses of the fire button too.
The battery also has a couple of protective features. Firstly, it has in-built protection against short circuits, which are pretty unlikely with the system anyway, but this means you can rest assured you won’t run into issues. It also has low voltage protection and over-voltage protection, which ensure you don’t stress the battery by letting it run down or charge too much.
Smok Nord Review – In Use
The Nord has a 1,100 mAh internal battery, which might not seem huge in comparison to many devices on the market, but for a pod-style device or even a vape pen it’s a pretty solid offering. Even with the lower-resistance coil (which operates at a higher power) you’ll comfortably get a full day’s worth of vaping out of the device. In my testing, a full charge lasted for around one and a half tanks or about 4.5 ml of e-juice, and if you’re vaping higher-strength liquid – which is recommended with lower-power devices – this should be more than enough for a day of use.
Charging is quick too, taking less than two hours to go from fully drained to fully charged. The LED light cycles back through the colors – red, amber and green – during charging and switches off when it’s fully charged.
Performance – 0.6 Ohm Coil
The 0.6 ohm atomizer head included with the Nord kit is a mesh coil, designed for higher powers and direct-to-lung vaping. The performance from the coil is hard to fault. The vapor production is exceptional, much more than you’d expect for such a compact device, and pretty much in line with what a basic mod would put out. The flavor is also hard to fault, with all of the different notes from your e-juice coming through clearly and strongly. The draw is also really open, a touch tighter than with a sub ohm tank or rebuildable atomizer, but definitely suitable for direct-to-lung vaping. Overall, the performance from this coil is great, even for long-term vapers like me.
Performance – 1.4 Ohm Coil
The 1.4 ohm coil is designed for mouth-to-lung vaping, but it still doesn’t disappoint when it comes to flavor and vapor. The vapor production isn’t quite up to the level of the 0.6 ohm coil, but it still put out plenty of vapor, easily in line with some of the better vape pens on the market. The draw is definitely tight enough for mouth-to-lung, and while it’s probably still a touch looser than smokers will be used to, the transition should be an easy one because the difference is small. The flavor is as good as the lower-resistance coil, so there are no complaints in that department either. This is better for newer vapers, but it’s unlikely to disappoint even veteran users.
Ease of Use – Changing Coils and Refilling
The Nord is very much designed as a beginner’s device so being able to perform the most basic tasks with the device conveniently and easily is important. The good news is that Smok has made both refilling and changing your coil easy to do. For refilling, you pull the tank out of the spot in the top of the device and turn it on its side, so the rubber flap covering the fill hole is on the upwards-facing edge, then open the flap and drop juice into the hole. If you have a glass bottle with the pipette-like dripper top, you’ll need somewhere to set your juice bottle down to fill comfortably, but overall the process is pretty straightforward.
Changing your coil is even easier. The coils simply push in and pull out, and the spot for them is easily accessible on the bottom of the tank section. The coils have an opening just above the bottom plate that you can grip onto to remove them, and they push in with pretty much no effort at all. It’s absolutely foolproof and even a new user is unlikely to need the manual to work out what to do.
Comfort and Portability
The Nord is compact and the shape lends itself really well to vaping, with the rounded edges making it comfortable to hold and the duck bill mouthpiece being a perfect fit for your lips. The size of the device means you can easily slip it into a pocket or bag without issues. While there are smaller and more portable devices on the market, it’s hard to beat when you consider the battery life alongside the size.
Does the Nord Leak?
The enclosed tank on the Nord means that leaking isn’t an issue you’ll have to deal with in the same way as with many devices. You do get a small amount of liquid build-up around the contact point on the inside of the device, but this is easy to wipe up and is the only source of leaking I’ve encountered throughout testing.
Smok has made a name for itself in the industry over the years, so it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that the Nord is really well put together. The tank section fits snugly into the top of the battery, the button works just as expected and the whole device manages to feel sturdy without being overly heavy and bulky.