Our Smok T-Storm review gives you a deep dive look at the dual battery mod. It’s tempting for the very low price, but how does it perform? Should you spend a little more or is it genuinely a great deal?
Is it worth picking up?
The truth is that this is a cheap mod. That’s not to say its low quality or lacking features or anything like that, but that if you’re looking for something cheap, then this is the kind of device for you.
It won’t really compete with the very best mods on the market in terms of pure performance and functionality, but it does offer a good range of features and excellent performance beyond the slight delay when you hit the fire button.
I wouldn’t pay $60 for it, for example, but at $30 it’s pretty hard to complain about. At this price point the main dual-battery competitors are devices like the A-Priv and D-Barrel, also made by Smok, and basically offering the same features in a different package.
In short, it’s definitely a good option for the price, but it’s difficult to distinguish from the competition unless you really want a color display screen or a slightly more user-friendly menu.
Smok has really cornered the cheap vape mod market in recent years. Criticize the quality or reliability of some of the devices all you want, but the fact is it’s a winning strategy. Why would you pay $70 for a mod when you can get something that can do basically the same things for $30? If you’re a veteran vaper and you want something you know you can depend on, you might play favorites when it comes to manufacturer, but someone on a budget or new to vaping is always going to choose the cheaper option. And that’s why devices like the Smok T-Storm exist. At an impressive $30 price-point, it aims to scoop up a lot of the business from these more casual vapers. But is it really good enough? Our Smok T-Storm review takes a look at what it can do.
What You Get
Unsurprisingly, you don’t get loads of stuff for your $30, but you do get what you need. The mod comes in a standard Smok box, encased in a foam upper layer and with the manual, USB charging cable, a warranty and some battery warnings. This is fine: nothing great, but it’s not bad either.
Smok T-Storm Review – The Design
The T-Storm works well from an aesthetic perspective, with curved corners, a large TFT display screen on the front face and a ribbed design on the back. It comes in six different colors, including the blue I got, rainbow, chrome, black, gold and white, with most having black for the detail but the chrome option having blue and the black having red. These all work pretty well and accentuate the main design features well – for example, working well as little arcs to create the rib-like effect on the back. They’ve minimized branding too, so you just have “Smok” on the front and “T-Storm” on the back, both in small, unassuming letters. Overall it does a great job in terms of appearance.
The T-Storm has a TFT color display screen on the front face, which has a simple layout that gives you all of the information you need at a glance. Your main setting (for the current mode) is displayed in the center, the corners contain battery level indicators, a resistance reading, the firing voltage and a puff counter. Underneath your main setting you’ll see a disc-like design, with the puff time for your most recent puff and a little planet icon that “orbits” the circle as you hold the firing bar down. You can also change the background color through the menu system, which gives you a bit more control over how the device looks.
Firing Bar and Adjustment Buttons
The T-Storm takes after many recent Smok mods and uses a firing bar instead of the more traditional button operation. This makes vaping much more comfortable because all you have to do is give the device a little squeeze when you want to vape. The bar itself is on the left hand side of the mod when viewed from the screen, and it lets out an audible click when you push it down. It’s incorporated into the style of the device really well, to the point where you wouldn’t really notice it if you didn’t know what you were looking for.
The adjustment buttons are just below the display screen, connected together in an arch shape so you press the left side to reduce your setting and the right to increase it. These are also really well integrated into the overall design, and work just as you’d hope.
The battery compartment on the T-Storm is accessed from the bottom of the mod, with a simple swing-open battery door that you pull out a little before opening. The underside has clear + and – marks so you know the polarity for the batteries, and the contacts are gold-plated to maximize conductivity. There isn’t much to add here, it works just as you want it to and closes snugly without being overly tight or difficult to use.
The T-Storm looks pretty cool, especially for such an affordable device, and it definitely doesn’t seem like Smok has cut corners when it comes to design. Overall it’s very well put together and everything works as it should.
Smok T-Storm Review – The Features
Variable Wattage Up to 230 W
The T-Storm offers variable wattage up to an impressive 230 W, getting the most out of the dual 18650 design. The maximum power is very high, more than most vapers will need even in the most extreme situations, even if you’re into competitive cloud-chasing. You adjust the power in 0.1 W increments up to 100 W, unless you hold down the adjustment button to advance it in 1 W increments sooner. This is a little annoying because there’s basically no reason to adjust by tenths of a watt, but this isn’t too unusual and you can avoid it easily enough.
The T-Storm also features Smok’s “hit strength” adjustment, where you can set it to a soft, normal or hard hit which essentially adjusts the wattage at the beginning of your draw so you can have an especially hard hit or gentle-build up while still keeping your preferred wattage for most of it. You get to choose this if you go into the “Mode” part of the menu but holding the firing bar and the up adjustment button (to the right) takes you to the option as well.
Temperature Control Vaping (SS, Ni, Ti)
Smok’s T-Storm also offers temperature control vaping with all standard TC coil materials. You can set the temperature anywhere between 200 and 600 °F (100 to 315 °C), and you get free control over your ramp-up wattage too. It also allows adjustment of the TCR (which basically tells the mod how to interpret the change in resistance as the wire heats up), which allows you to fine-tune the responsiveness of the mod. Both of these are pretty easy to access as well, you go to the “Mode” section of the menu and choose the TC mode for your material, then when you advance it moves to the ramp up wattage option, then you advance again to adjust the TCR. Most of the time you don’t need to change the TCR, but it’s good the option is there in case you do.
This is really all you need from any mod’s TC mode, and it’s laid out pretty well so it’s easy to access all of the settings. In a sense this is expected from most mods, but it’s good that all of the most important features are included none-the-less.
The T-Storm also has a memory mode that allows you to quickly cycle between your most common settings. This has a massive (and probably unnecessary) 23 slots, factory-set from 10 to 230 W with a spacing of 10 W between each, but you can easily adjust them all to suit your preferences. This is useful if – for example – you have a tank with two coils that you like to run at different wattages or sometimes you vape with a sub ohm tank and sometimes an RDA. Personally I find it easy enough to just change the setting in VW mode but it’s a handy addition if you prefer.
The menu system on the device is pretty straightforward: pressing the firing bar three times in quick succession brings up the menu, which has four options, “Mode,” “Screen,” “Puff” and “Off.” The “Mode” option lets you choose between VW, TC and memory modes, “Screen” gives you control over the color of the display and how long it stays on when you don’t press anything, “Puff” lets you control when to reset the puff counter (if ever) and “Off” is obvious. You advance to the next option by holding down the fire button and highlight different options with the adjustment buttons, which is really easy to get to grips with.
As you’d expect, there are plenty of in-built safety features with the T-Storm, including short circuit protection, over-heat protection, low resistance protection (minimum of 0.1 ohms in VW and 0.05 ohms in TC mode), low battery voltage protection and a 10 second cutoff if you press fire accidentally. You can also lock the keys by pressing the up and down adjustment buttons together (or clicking the firing bar five times). Overall this isn’t too exciting but these features are important, just in case. There aren’t any physical vent-holes on the device though.
Smok T-Storm Review – In Use
Performance – VW Mode
The T-Storm works pretty well in VW mode, but not perfectly. The power output seems consistent across the wattage range I tried (I had no cause to go all the way up to 230 W – I don’t have an atomizer that could take it), but there is a notable delay between hitting the firing bar and the device starting to fire. This isn’t huge – just a fraction of a second – but it is noticeable and doesn’t compare well with other devices like the Voopoo Drag 2, for example. However, despite the slight issue with the chipset’s responsiveness, the T-Storm does work well in variable wattage mode overall, and you have plenty of options for controlling the type of hit and overall experience you get.
Performance – TC Mode
The temperature control function on the T-Storm works well overall, with the same caveat as the VW mode. There’s a little delay between pressing the firing bar and getting vapor, but the TC functionality itself seems pretty good. Once it reaches the set temperature the device adjusts without a notable drip in vapor output, and sticks to your temperature reasonably well. The ability to set the ramp-up wattage makes it easy to adjust the performance to suit your preferences, and if you’re really not happy with it you can always dig into the TCR settings, although I didn’t find it necessary.
Ease of Use
The T-Storm does a solid job of presenting a wealth of features without overcomplicating the device. Really the menu system is the saving grace, because after the three quick presses of the firing bar to enter it, everything is pretty much foolproof in its simplicity, and all of the options you need are presented to you automatically. You can press the firing bar and the left adjustment button together if you want to go right to a simplified mode selection screen, but overall it’s easy enough to use the menu anyway.
And the good news is that this is pretty much all you need to do to operate the mod. Adjusting your settings is super-easy and even if you want to make more complicated changes in the menu system it’s all self-explanatory. If you reconnect your tank or change the coil, the mod asks if it’s a new coil, so it can either re-read the resistance or stick to its previous reading. Again, this is a nice feature if you’re new to vaping in particular.
Of course it’s not as easy as using a pod system or a vape pen, but for a mod it does really well in this department.
Portability and Comfort
The T-Storm is a dual battery box mod, so it’s not too surprising that it’s not exactly great when it comes to portability. But within the class of often bulky and awkwardly-shaped devices it is genuinely good: the curved corners and relative compactness of the design reminds me of Smok’s Alien 220 W. This helps when it comes to comfort in-use as well, because the device fits comfortably in your hand and the firing bar makes it really comfortable to vape with too. Overall it isn’t exactly compact or lightweight, but for a dual-battery powerhouse it’s fairly trim and comfortable.
The T-Storm seems pretty well put together overall. Smok doesn’t always have the best reputation for this, but here all of the parts seem well-made and everything functions as it should. The firing bar in particular is very nicely made and responds well across the top and middle of the bar (the bottom doesn’t respond but this seems intentional because you wouldn’t naturally press there anyway). Overall it feels solid and they’ve clearly put some care into the manufacturing.