The beauty of the refillable vape pod kit can be found in its simplicity. Most are autodraw devices and with a focus on flavor and convenience. While many vape pods can handle max-VG eliquids, the majority are optimized for vaping potent nic salts. While the specifics of form factor can vary, they are all small enough to fit in the palm of your hand and deliver a satisfying experience.
Today we are comparing a couple of refillable vape pods that bear a superficial resemblance but have plenty of unique traits: the Vaporesso Renova Zero and the Smok Novo 3. Both have a rounded design that is easily pocketed or stored in a purse. Both use autodraw technology rather than a fire button. And both rely on pods that can be easily swapped out once their service is complete. But beneath the skin there are significant differences.
The Smok Novo 3 is a staple of vape pod comparisons for a very simple reason. It is a design that simply works and embodies the best traits of the basic refillable vape pod kit. There are no buttons of complications. The design is simple and user friendly. The battery has more than enough longevity and the pods are extremely long lasting. There have been several versions of the Smok Novo, compared here in our deep-dive: Smok Novo 2 versus Smok Novo 3 versus Smok Novo X.
The Novo X is the aberration of the group and has adjustable wattage. The Smok Novo 3 is basically a Smok Novo 2 with improved airflow and autodraw. Like the Smok Novo 2 and Smok Novo X, the Smok Novo 3 is powered by an 800mAh and has a peak output of 25w. But it is a direct output vape, meaning that the power will fade a bit down the stretch when the battery is low.
The Smok Novo 3 is pretty easy to fill. Any nic salt sold in a chubby gorilla bottle will fit. Sometimes, you have to maneuver the pod around a bit to clear out any air pockets if you want to make sure the pod is 100% filled. You need to remove the pod to check eliquid levels but the pod is totally transparent. No need to hold it up to the light to check the ejuice level.
But the Novo 3 device itself is mostly a well-engineered and fast charging battery. The quality of the vape pods and design of the coils contained within determine the user’s vaping experience.
Each Smok Novo 3 comes with two 0.8ohm Mesh pods. This is a great design that is equally adept at handling nic salts and max-VG ejuices. As my device of choice, I have had plenty of experience using both. Thicker high-VG liquids have not caused any wicking issues and vapor output is actually pretty decent for a pod system.
But these pods really shine when vaping nic salts. The mesh heats quickly and the flavors are spot-on. The vapor is not particularly warm, for those concerned about such things, but this is probably a net plus for fans of menthol-fruit nic salts. Each pod holds 2ml of eliquid. Smok has improved the airflow design on both the mod and the pod. And the pods are compatible with all the previous Smok Novo designs except for the larger Smok Novo X. The airflow improvement should reduce a tendancy to autofire found in some autodraws after heavy use has created a layer of condensation around the autodraw sensor and pod contacts.
The Vaporesso Renova Zero was created in response to the Aspire AVP and early marks of the Smok Novo. But despite its 2019 launch, remains quite competitive in 2021. Powered by a 650mAh battery, the Renova Zero actually has three power settings and an Omni Board Chip Set. This makes it more advanced than the direct wattage of the Smok Novo 3.
The power settings for the Vaporesso Renova Zero are 9, 11 and 13w for the 1.0ohm mesh pod and 9, 10.5 and 12.5w for the 1.3ohm CCell pod. The device itself is a small oval and eliquid levels can be monitored without removing the pod. Although it has an on-off button, it is still an autodraw vape pod kit.
The Vaporesso Renova Zero has a 1.3ohm ceramic pod, officially known by the cryptic PCTG Cell moniker. This pod is ideal for potent nic salt eliquids. The PCTG Mesh Pod is a lower resistance design. It heats up more quickly due to the mesh design and larger coil surface area, is better for max-VG eliquids and lower nic strength nic salts. That said, it may be the coil of choice for even adult vapers who use 50mg/ml nic salts.