Smok Rigel Review Score: Best Advanced Alien Mod Just got Better
Smok’s new hi-tech flagship to replace the Alien is out, but is it an Alien beater?
The new SMOK Rigel 230W Alien replacement vape from Smoktech is here. But how does the Rigel get better than the Alien?
So you want to take the next step in your vaping quest and try something new? While many ex-smokers start off with disposable vapes, simple prefilled/refillable pod devices, or e-cigarette like devices which are perfect substitutes for long term users, for some the urge kicks in to explore further. To seek different types of vape kits that perhaps stands out and provide different options and flexible ways of vaping. The compact Smok Rigel vape mod certainly ticks the right boxes. We find out why with an in-depth review, understanding how it differs from other popular mods on the market.
If you don’t want hi-tech vaping and simply want to vape in order to transition away from smoking then the simpler more practical vape solutions here may well suit you better.
Introducing Smok’s new Best Hi-Tech Rigel Mod
The Rigel replaces the extremely popular Smok Alien which has been around for some 5+ years and upgrades many of its features with a more modern approach. From the first impression, it looks like a fine piece of hardware. With Smok devices, there is a pod or mod to suit every taste and requirements. It’s all about trial and error to find the right model that works best for you. It’s important to weigh up everything that’s going to make you happy vaping; such as how it looks and performs, the weight of the device, what kind of vaper you want to be and so much more. Mods can just be to big for many – check out our best smaller form factor vape reviews
For 2021, Smok has shown once again they mean business with the creation of a practical mod with an edge, the updated Smok Alien is out. The Rigel follows on neatly from some innovative mod designs of like-minded products. If you want a device that piques your interest as a beginner vaper, it’s a different animal from smaller vapes which might be a better option!
Smok Rigel Practical Features
For all the sub-ohm vapers out there, the SMOK Rigel is right up your street. The Alien was extremely popular because of its performance and functionality, Smok have taken the best from the Alien to create the new Rigel. Even though it’s a relatively smaller device, as they say, looks can be deceiving. Nevertheless, it still packs a punch because the Smok Rigel vape mod boasts several key features and upgrades. A requirement these days for modern vaping devices is clouds … and then even more clouds … and that, like it’s predecessor is what the new Rigel does best. The Rigel does not disappoint.
Plus, you get the new TFV9 Tank with the device, featuring a 2ml capacity. In terms of filling the device, the central airflow tube and larger than normal slide to fill slot is a welcome addition to the overall design. It adds an extra layer of security when topping up the mod so that there’s no drama. On this open-fill mod system, you also have a child-lock feature which you never know when it will come in handy! That’s without highlighting these key areas which improve the practicality:
- 230W Output
- Works With Different Mesh Coils (V9 0.15 Installed and Extra Spare)
- Puff Counter System Featured on Past Smok Devices Including Pods
- Short-Circuit Prevention
- Overheating Protection
- 0.001 Fire Up Speed
- Turns Off if No Contact in Eight Seconds
- Low Battery Alert
- Only Weighs 103.5g, Not Bad For a 2×18650 Dual Battery Mod!
Because of the ergonomic smaller design, it’s sleek, fits in the pocket and makes minimal noise, even with two batteries inside. On the screen, it tells you the battery usage as a percentage individually, so you never run out. As far as vape mods go, it impresses more with each use. Factor in the variable wattage and sub-ohmers will be on cloud nine – literally!
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Smok Rigel Design
Sometimes less is more and that’s what they’ve decided with the Smok Rigel, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Available in black, blue and grey around the edges of the screen and on the tank, the Rigel’s colour scheme doesn’t look as bold as the Innokin Cool Fire IV. However, the beautifully designed 0.96 inch TFT colour display more than makes up for lack of creative design. You can even change the colour of the text on the screen, which is a nice extra. If compact vaping that fits in your pocket is what you’re after, the Rigel is awesome.
The device material is nice and smooth too, with a honeycomb pattern to grip on to, as well as a stylish rubber finish. Made from stainless steel and carbon fibre, the simplistic design marries up perfectly with its key features to improve usability for all levels of vapers. Here are some of the key dimensions:
- Mod Size: 44 x 28.8 x 88 mm
- Tank Size: 25.5 x 50 mm
Using the Rigel
So you’ve ordered the product and want to fire up this bad boy? The navigation and practicality of the device covered above make your life easy when using the Smok Rigel. First of all, before even thinking of playing around with the wattage, you need some batteries in (sold separately). Click the groove on the side of the device to pop open the back and add your two 18650 batteries. Then follow these steps next to try the different settings:
- To turn on your Rigel, hit the fire up button five times in a row, which is positioned above the TFT screen.If you want to lock everything, click the fire button three times, or another five to turn off.
- Press and hold down the right button underneath the screen to go up and down in wattage (max of 230w and goes back to 1w after).
- Change the colours on the screen by pressing the fire button and right button together.
- Alternatively, hold the left and fire button simultaneously to clear the puff counter.
- Click left and right together to lock your wattage.
The Rigel user interface is extremely intuitive and will help you through the process. The large OLED screen shows everything from the selected vaping effect to the current wattage.
Smok Rigel Technical Features
- Gold plated 510 thread connector
- TV9 0.15 Ohm meshed coil – kanthal, 40-90W
- Top Refill system
- Vape puff monitoring system
- Input voltage: 6.4-8.4V
- Output voltage: 1.0-8.2V
- Charging voltage:5V+/-0.2V
- Resistance range: 0.1-2.5 Ohms
- Max Current: 2.0A
- Dimensions: 44 X 28.8 X 88mm
- Mod weight: 103.5g
The Smok Rigel TFV9 Tank
- TFV9 material: stainless steel
- TFV9 Tank weight: 65g
- TFV9 size: 25.5X50mm
Smok Rigel Safety Features
- Low battery warning
- Over-heating protection
- Short circuit protection
- Intelligent Atomizer recognition
Smok Rigel Performance: Is it the Best Vape Mod?
What’s great about the vaping industry is the innovation that continues to flood the market. That means quality devices, tons of upgrades and plenty of choices. All of this varies based on the type of vaper you are or plan to be. You could be a beginner just trying it out after seeing the latest health advice. Or a casual vaper who doesn’t mind about the small details but loves the look of those large clouds as you walk down the street. Other tech-focused vapers with more years under their belt potentially want to take the Smok Rigel apart, re-build and fine-tune the key features.
As a brand Smok really stands out for their creativity, often pushing the boundaries of vaping to make each experience unique. What we like about the Smok Rigel is the compact size that still offers so much. For sub-ohm vapers, you can switch the coils around, trying different Ohm strengths and materials such as mesh to find that ideal taste.
In comparison to other mods on the market, the Rigel with its FV9 tank offers maximum vapour production even when compared to bigger tank mods such as the GeekVape Aegis X, but at around half the size.
How it Differs From Previous Smok Devices
The design and usability of the Smok Rigel are in keeping with previous popular products like the Alien released by this expert vaping brand. Comparing the Rigel and the highly sought-after Smok Alien with the TFV8 Baby Beast Tank, the major difference from the latter is the numerous temperature controls available. Plus because of the dimensions, the Alien mod is much bigger than the Rigel, and yet has a maximum power of 220w compared to 230w from the Rigel. Smok phased out the Alien and has replaced it with the more up-to-date Rigel. It does appear odd that Smok did not continue with the Alien name.
Factor in similar mods like the Smok Morph 219 kit and the Smok Mag 225w to get an understanding of why their devices gain so much attention.
Smok has produced some fantastic pods in the past too. The likes of the Smok Nord Pod Vape Kit (versions One – Four – The Nord 3 is missing from the range but uses Nord X instead) equally impress with their compact nature, style and useful features for beginners and veteran vapers, such as the refillable pods and adjustable wattage on the Nord mark two.
- Solid construction
- Feels like a premium product
- No leaking or misfires
- Simple to set up and use
- Refilling is easy
- Navigating the menus to switch modes is easy
- 230 watts of power
- Aesthetically pleasing, classy colours
- Smaller than its predecessor Alien
- Screen shows plenty of information
- A lot of screen info could overwhelm when starting out
- Not suitable for the majority of vapers who just want a simple vape to quit smoking
- Heavier and bigger than the best vape pens
Smok Rigel -The Verdict
For a good price, this sub-ohm mod already looks like a contender for one of the best mods available. It is like the Alien but simply put, a more modern one, it does everything the Alien could do but it is a bit sleeker and has a more modern feel. The Smok Rigel is compact enough that you can take it anywhere with ease. Also, the power range (230W max) with adjustable wattage is a definite bonus considering the dimensions. Another upgrade to the older Alien which had 220W. The battery life goes a long way and easy to navigate too.
One consideration to remember that’s worth noting is there is no temperature control with this device. Smok explains that most of it users simply prefer wattage/power mode. Effectively they do the same thing – adjust power which adjusts temperature and vice versa. For some cloud chasers or mod builders, that can be a factor.
In the Alien V Rigel showdown Rigel wins only because it really is an Alien with practical updates and newer tech.
Rigel Kit Content – UK TPD compliant version reviewed here