Smok Nord versus Smok Novo
The new Smok Nord is a fresh take on the classic pod system, it offers vapers the option of direct to lung and mouth to lung vaping. But its appearance invites comparisons to its predecessor the Smok Novo, and both of these Smok vape pod kits are optimized for nicotine salt e-juices. If you have any questions about nic salt, make sure you check out our definitive guide What is Salt Nic? After a detailed analysis of the Smok Nord last week, available here, a major question remained unanswered: how does it stack up to its older sibling? The time has come to pit them head to head and to find out which one is right for you.

Family Resemblance

The incumbent Smok Novo is all about simplicity. Its attractive appearance largely carries over to the newer Nord. The Novo and Nord both sport a wide black mouthpiece and Smok’s trademark Cobra skin patterned livery. Described as a vapemate by Smok, the Novo’s rounded shape and small size make it perfect for lugging about in your pocket or purse. The Smok Nord looks like a larger scale Novo, but with the addition of a fire button. It actually adds several new layers of functionality but does so without any major modifications to the appearance. The Nord is about a quarter inch longer and wider than the Novo, but it weighs almost twice as much. Although this has much to do with the fact that the Novo weighs in at a feathery 40g, not much more than an ounce. This weight difference is probably not enough of a difference to influence its portability for most vapers.

Nic Salts

The Novo is great for mouth to lung vaping of conventional ejuice, but this pod system was designed with nic salts in mind. Both the Novo and Nord world beaters in terms of hit quality, but they provide a decidedly different experience. The draw activated Novo is the tighter device. There are no “coil” options per se for the Novo. You need to replace the entire pod. It was released with a 1.2Ω pod but Smok also manufactures a 1.5Ω resistance pod as well. The 1.5Ω coil has a slightly cooler hit, but the cloud production and flavor are quite similar for both Novo pods. With a 1.2Ω coil, the older Novo actually has a bit lower resistance than the larger Nord when its 1.4Ω nic salt coil is installed. Neither is expected to produce much in the way of clouds, but both the Novo and Nord provide outstanding flavor and strong throat hit when boiling up nicotine salt e-juices. The difference in draw between the Novo and Nord is discernable. Both are effective instruments, but if you have a strong preference for one over the other, then the choice is easy. If you like a tighter hit and prefer a design with no fire button, the Novo has the edge. Conversely, the Nord has an easier draw and a larger mouth piece. If you are ambivalent about the marginal differences in draw, or give greater weight to other factors, the Nord is the better value.

Direct to Lung Vaping

The Nord has a freer pull and wider mouth piece. This is necessary because it sold with a 0.6Ω coil and expected to perform subohm, cloud chucking duties. This low resistance coil also necessitated a larger battery and juice capacity. The beefed up hardware and low resistance coil open up a galaxy of delicious high VG, low nicotine juices for the Nord user. High VG juices will not work as well in the higher resistance Novo. It has a much more limited range of capabilities, although it excels in its area of expertise.

Hardware

Here is where the advantage shifts firmly to the Nord. It has a battery that is over twice as large: 1100 mAh versus 450 mAh. The nic salt coil in the Nord is also slightly higher resistance. Used for mouth to lung and nic salt vaping, the Nord will give you a huge edge in battery life over the Novo. Since both devices were designed with potent nic salts in mind, it will last far longer on a single charge. The Nord has a 50 percent larger juice capacity as well, 3ml versus 2ml. The Nord also provides greater savings because of the greater expense of replacing the Novo’s entire pod. Swappable coils are something that the Novo simply cannot match.

Conclusion

The Nord’s biggest advantage is that it is available with a subohm coil. This allows it to operate with high VG juices and provide a great direct to lung vaping experience. Even if a lower resistance pod was an option, Novo would be out of its element with its much smaller battery and juice capacity. As capable and undeniably popular as the Novo is, it cannot match the flexibility and performance of the Nord. But if you have no interest in subohm vaping and prefer the Novo’s tighter draw, Smok’s elder statesman remains a strong contender. If you prefer its tighter draw and are willing to work its smaller battery, it will serve you well as a daily vape pod. There is a reason why Smok has sold scads of Novos. They are compact, provide a delightful vaping experience and are incredibly easy to use.

Tale of the Tape

Other Contenders

The vape pod field is a crowded one. Both the Novo and Nord are outstanding devices, but we have also reviewed some of the competitors. Here is our guide to the top ten vape pod systems. Both of these familiar faces are in there, as are 8 other outstanding Juul alternatives. You have more flexibility with flavors and can control your vaping experience more effectively.