Our Smok Trinity Alpha review takes a look at the pod-style device, featuring a 1,000 mAh battery and three power settings. How does it stack up to other pod systems?
Is it worth picking up?
Overall, the Trinity Alpha from Smok is a solid device, and it does a good job of adding a little more functionality to the standard pod system blueprint.
While the highest setting struck me as a little too high, most pod systems don’t offer any power options, and the ability to just switch your coil rather than having to change the whole pod is really handy.
Combined with the impressive battery life, it’s a good offering for the price. It isn’t the best pod system on the market, but it’s a great option for beginners looking for something a little more capable, or longer-term vapers looking for something to use occasionally.
There is a bit of a divide in the vaping market at the minute. Either you vape with a pod-style device, or you stick steadfastly to the dual-battery beasts that dominated the landscape in previous years. Of course, this isn’t a strict separation – there are many vapers who use both at different times and even the people who stick to one type aren’t exactly going begrudge anyone for using the other – but it is true that most new devices fall clearly into one camp or the other. However, Smok has tried to offer some of the benefits of both with the Trinity Alpha, essentially a pod device but with a design and functionality that makes it feel like a mini mod. But with a $34.99 price-tag, it’s worth finding out more before making your purchase. Our Smok Trinity Alpha review gives you a run-down of how the device performs and what it can do.
What You Get
The Trinity Alpha comes in a basic box with a picture of the device on the outer sleeve and the contents listed on the back alongside some warnings. Inside, the upper foam layer contains your device and two coils, and underneath you’ll find the manual, a USB charging cable and a lanyard. The two coils are the same as on the Nord, with one 0.6 ohm option and one 0.8 ohm one included. Overall this is a nice selection: you get everything you need to start vaping apart from e-juice.
Smok Trinity Alpha Review – The Design
The Trinity Alpha basically looks like a little box mod, with a rectangular shape, two large faces with cool, marble-like resin design, and the mouthpiece sticking out from the top. The front edge of the device has the fire button, an adjustment button, three LEDs to show your current power level and one LED that lights up as you fire. The top of the device has the pod, which is a translucent black color, with the mouthpiece towards the back, a filling port in the middle and a little release catch on the front edge.
The branding is very subtle, printed on the silver framing around the resin section, so the pod mod looks really excellent from a visual perspective. You can also pick it up in black, rainbow, blue, red and gold, each of which has a different coloring on the resin section and all of which look great.
The pod on the Trinity Alpha has an impressive 2.8 ml capacity, with a wider section at the top so it sits flush with the rest of the device and a clear, thinner section at the bottom. The top of the pod contains the mouthpiece, which can’t be removed or changed, and a circular metal section which you move off to the side to reveal the hole for filling the pod. You insert the atomizer head in a hole in the bottom of the pod, which is designed to just push into place with no screwing or unscrewing needed. Overall you’ll be right at home with the pods even if you’re not familiar with vaping devices.
The Front Face
The front edge of the mod contains the controls to operate it, and you’ll be happy to learn there are only two buttons you need: one to fire the device and switch it on or off, and another to change the power setting you’re currently operating at. Three LED lights in the middle labeled S, N and H (Soft, Norm and Hard) tell you the current setting when you press the smaller, lower button to cycle through the available settings. When you use the fire button (either to turn off or vape), the fourth LED lights up, either flashing white when you’re switching the Alpha on or off, or green, amber or red (depending on your battery level) when you vape. Finally, the USB charging port is found below the power setting button.
A clever little piece of design on the Trinity Alpha is the airflow system. The pod connects to the main device at one point on the side of the mod, where there is a small slot cut into the body for airflow, but there’s another one right beside the juice fill hole on the top of the pod. This dual airflow approach is really good, because it offers excellent airflow in comparison to most pod devices on the market and does a great job of supporting the vapor production from the device.
The design of the Smok Trinity Alpha is pretty straightforward, but it boasts a cool look and the simplicity will undoubtedly be a big bonus for new vapers picking up their first device.
Smok Trinity Alpha Review – The Features
Unlike on most pod-style devices, the Trinity Alpha gives you a choice of three power settings to work with. There are only three options, ranging from 6 to 30 W (soft to hard), but this is still great because the vast majority of comparable devices don’t offer you any options at all. There isn’t any documentation I can find for what the medium setting is, but you’ll be able to find something suitable regardless of your preferences and the type of juice you’re using.
Like pretty much any regulated device, there are plenty of safety features on the Trinity Alpha. It features automatic pod detection, short circuit protection, an 8-second cutoff for accidental activation, and low voltage protection for the battery. You won’t really notice these in everyday operation (apart from the low voltage warning when you need to charge), but they’re there if you ever need them.
Smok Trinity Alpha Review – In Use
The Battery and Charging
The Trinity Alpha comes with a 1,000 mAh in-built battery. If you put this in comparison to mods or next-generation vape pens, this might seem a little lacking, but in comparison to other pod devices it’s absolutely excellent. Most pod mods have less than 400 mAh batteries, and although the Nord’s 1,100 mAh battery offers a little bit more life, you won’t have any complaints with what the Trinity Alpha can do. I used a high-nicotine salt e-juice for my testing, and the battery comfortably lasted a day before I needed to recharge. If you’re using lower-nicotine liquids, then you might have to charge at the end of a workday, but overall it’s great in comparison to other devices in its class.
The LED light near the power setting button is also a multi-color one, which indicates your remaining charge level with a traffic light color system. So if it’s lighting up green, you have over 70% battery, if it’s amber it’s between 30 and 70%, and red means less than 30%.
The Trinity Alpha also features fast charging, which is great if this is your only device in particular. In testing it took around an hour to go from completely dead to fully-charged. The traffic light system works during charging too, so you know how far along the device is in the charge cycle at all times. You can also vape during charging, so if it’s your only device, you don’t have to spend too long without having something to vape.
Overall, for a pod-style device, the Trinity Alpha strikes a great balance between being portable and compact and having enough battery life to be a realistic choice as your main device.
Performance – Vapor Production
The Trinity Alpha can put out more than enough vapor to satisfy just-switching smokers or pretty much anybody not interested in huge clouds. I’ve mainly been vaping on the “Norm” setting, where the vapor production is great but not too intense for high-strength salt e-liquids, but if you really want to push it, the “Hard” setting puts out as much vapor as you can expect from an entry-level device. The “Soft” setting definitely isn’t bad either, although it’s a little less than you get on the higher settings, I’d still be pretty happy if that was all that was on offer.
Of course, the 0.6 ohm coil does a little better than the 0.8 ohm option at the higher settings, but the performance from both is pretty similar. Both are good, and the difference between them isn’t too noticeable.
Performance – Flavor
The flavor from the Trinity Alpha pod is also hard to fault. You pick up all of the elements of the flavor of your juice, and it doesn’t seem like much of a step down at all even in comparison to higher-end devices. The reality is that the flavor isn’t going to pop quite as much as it does with a sub ohm tank or a rebuildable atomizer (through the reduced volume of vapor alone) but given the intent of the device there’s nothing to complain about at all. The coils are the same ones as you use on the Nord, so it’s not much of a surprise that the flavor is right in line with that. I did notice a decline in flavor after a few days of using the coils, but overall it stays pretty good throughout the coil’s lifespan.
Both coils are pretty similar when it comes to flavor too – the 0.8 ohm might be slightly better but again the difference is minor at best.
Refilling and Changing Coils
The Trinity Alpha, like most pod-style devices, makes ease of a use a priority. If you’re new to vaping, the simpler a device is the better. The two major tasks you’ll need to complete with the device is refilling the pod and changing the coil, and both of these are about as easy as can be.
Refilling the pod can actually be done without even removing it, thanks to the filling hole located on the top of the pod. You simply slide the metal cap in the middle of the pod section off to the right (when looking at the front face) to reveal the filling hole, which is easily big enough to get the spout of an e-juice bottle in. It’s a bit easier if you do remove the pod, though – just move the little ridged switch at the side of the pod – just so you can see how full it is without having to hold it up to the light.
Changing coils is about as easy as it could possibly be. First, remove the pod by moving the switch on the front of the top side of the Trinity Alpha, and pull out the pod. The pods slot into a big hole on the underside of the pod, and simply push into place with no screwing required. You remove a pod you already have in by gripping around the bottom of the coil (fingernails are useful for this) and pulling it out, and then install the new one by simply pushing it into the same spot.
Both of these are more than simple enough for a new vaper to handle with little direction, so it’s a great system in terms of ease of use.
Changing Settings and Switching On and Off
The only other tasks you’ll really have to perform with the device are turning it on and off and switching between the different settings. Both of these are very simple: five quick presses of the fire button turns the device on or off, and pressing the smaller button towards the bottom cycles through the three available settings. When you’re switching between settings, the LED lights on the front of the body illuminate to show you which is currently selected. Again, this is pretty much foolproof and you’re unlikely to have an issue with it even if you’re brand new to vaping.
Comfort and Portability
The Trinity Alpha is a very portable device, as is pretty much expected of any pod-style offering. It’s small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, which helps with comfort in use despite the blocky shape. The fire button is nice and big so it’s easy enough to press even if you just roughly squeeze the side of your thumb onto the button. When you’re done, it’s really easy to slip the Trinity Alpha into a pocket, and it would fit easily even in a small bag.
Does the Trinity Alpha Leak?
Pod systems are generally a lot better for reducing leaking than most other types of vaping device, but leaking is still possible with some devices, so how does Smok’s Trinity Alpha stand up? Overall it does a good job, and it won’t leak on you, although you do sometimes notice condensation around the base of the pod. There isn’t enough to cause an issue, though and it’s easy to wipe up with a cloth or paper towel.
The push-to-connect system for the coil opens up the potential for leaking, though. Make sure you push it into the base of the pod securely and you won’t have any problems – I can be careless sometimes but this hasn’t come up as an issue in testing.
The Trinity Alpha is well put together, overall. The housing feels solid and the buttons work reliably, and the pod clicks satisfyingly into place when you push it in. The pod does have a notable wobble when it’s sat in place, which isn’t really a problem but makes the device feel a little cheap. The bigger problem is on the sliding mechanism for the fill hole. The majority of the time it works absolutely fine, but it starts to stick more and more as you use it. This was a bit of an intermittent issue, but it hasn’t gotten to the point where the device was unusable.