When the first pre-filled pod systems appeared on the market in the mid-2010s, SMOK was one of the first major vape manufacturers to offer refillable pod-based devices. Refillable pod vapes such as the SMOK Novo and SMOK Nord were immediate hits, and the company has continued to refresh both product ranges periodically ever since.
SMOK offers the widest variety of refillable pod systems on the market, with options for both beginners and experts. While the Nord series provides an option for advanced vapers who need features such as replaceable coils and adjustable wattage, the Novo series was designed to provide a simple and user-friendly option for people who are new to vaping but want to have the freedom to choose their own e-liquid flavours.
The SMOK Novo 5 is the latest device in the Novo series, and it’s an upgrade from the previous Novo 4 in some respects while also taking small steps back in other areas in the name of simplicity and user friendliness. Is it a success? We’ll discuss the pros and cons in this Novo 5 review.
What Are the Specifications and Features of the SMOK Novo 5?
Let’s start by getting to know the SMOK Novo 5. How does it work, and what makes it unique?
Novo 5 Specifications
- Battery capacity: 900 mAh
- Power range: 5-30 watts
- Charging port: USB-C
- Charging time: About 1.5 hours
- Pod capacity: 2 ml
- Pod style: Built-in coil
- Coil type: 0.7-ohm mesh
- Activation type: Manual button or puff based
Novo 5 Features
- Digital OLED display shows the device’s current status
- Mesh coil provides instant vapour production with no ramp-up
- Adjustable wattage provides maximum vapour production from a small device
- Airflow control dial allows a tight mouth-to-lung hit or a restricted direct-to-lung hit
- Dual firing modes allow you to vape by inhaling or by holding the fire button
- Top-filling pod allows refilling without removing the pod from the device
- Updated visual styling with 14 colours available
SMOK Novo 5 vs. Novo 4: How Do They Compare?
As we mentioned at the beginning of the article, the SMOK Novo 5 represents a technological upgrade over the Novo 4 while also being a step back in other respects. Between the two devices, the Novo 4 was more complex in that the pod had a replaceable coil. That blurred the line between the Novo series and the Nord series, which has always had pods with replaceable coils.
With the Novo 5, SMOK has gone back to a pod with a built-in coil. The benefit of a built-in coil is simplicity; when you’re no longer happy with your pod’s flavour, you’ll simply replace the pod. Pods with replaceable coils are a bit more complex, but they’re also cheaper in the long run because replacement coils cost less than pods individually. If you prefer to use a pod system with replaceable coils, you should consider the Novo 4 or a device from the SMOK Nord series.
Aside from the built-in coils, these are the other differences between the Novo 5 and Novo 4.
- The Novo 5 has a higher maximum power of 30 watts. The maximum power of the Novo 4 is 25 watts.
- The Novo 5 has a higher battery capacity of 900 mAh compared to the 800-mAh battery of the Novo 4.
- The Novo 5 has a larger screen for improved readability.
- The Novo 5 has a top-filling pod that can be refilled without removing the pod from the device. The Novo 4 pod has a side filling hole.
The SMOK Novo 5 Is an Ideal Pod Kit for New Vapers
Although the fact that the SMOK Novo 5 pod has a built-in coil does make the device slightly more expensive to use than devices with replaceable coils, that design choice also makes the Novo 5 an excellent choice if you’re new to vaping and want to have the ability to choose your own e-liquids. Using the Novo 5 is as simple as charging the device, filling the pod and vaping. Once you’ve found a wattage level that provides your desired level of intensity, you never have to adjust the device’s power again.
How to Use the SMOK Novo 5
Now that we’ve described the features and specifications of the Novo 5, it’s time to learn how to use the device. Although the Novo 5 does include a printed instruction manual, you might find it useful to learn what it’s like to use this device before you buy it.
How to Charge the Novo 5
To charge the Novo 5, connect it to your computer using the USB-C cable supplied with the device. You’ll find the USB-C port on the bottom of the Novo 5. When the device charges, the screen shows a blinking battery meter. When the meter is full, disconnect the Novo 5 from your computer.
How to Fill the Novo 5 Pod
To fill the Novo 5 pod, wiggle the pod’s mouthpiece gently while pulling it away from the pod. When you remove the mouthpiece, you’ll see two openings. The filling hole is positioned to the side of the central airflow chimney and is red. Place the tip of an e-liquid bottle in the filling hole and squeeze the bottle until the pod is full. Replace the mouthpiece. If you’re filling a new Novo 5 pod for the first time, let the pod stand for a minimum of five minutes before using it.
The Novo 5 works well with both nicotine salt and freebase vape juice. Because the Novo 5 is a sub-ohm device with greater vapour production than some other pod systems, though, it’s wise to use a nicotine strength of 10 mg/ml or lower unless you’re sure that you need a higher strength.
How to Vape with the Novo 5
Once you’ve charged the battery and filled the device, using the Novo 5 is simple. If the device isn’t already on, press the fire button under the airflow control dial five times to turn the Novo 5 on. The Novo 5 features dual activation modes, so you can vape by holding the fire button or by simply puffing on the device’s mouthpiece. To alter the device’s airflow characteristics, simply turn the airflow adjustment dial.
To adjust the wattage of the Novo 5, press the adjustment button on the bottom of the device three times. While the device is in the wattage adjustment mode, press the button to advance the power in five-watt increments.
How Long Do Novo 5 Pods Last?
You can expect a Novo 5 pod to last at least a few days and perhaps as long as multiple weeks. How long pods last will depend on how heavily you use the device, the type of e-liquid you use and the device’s wattage setting. Higher wattages, frequent heavy vaping and sweetened e-liquid all contribute to shorter pod life.
How to Fix Problems with the SMOK Novo 5
As you use the Novo 5, it’s possible that you might occasionally encounter a problem with it – and if that happens, you’ll probably find that the printed manual doesn’t offer a lot of advice because it’s written with the assumption that your device will always work properly. Is your Novo 5 not working? You’ll find the fix here.
Novo 5 Not Hitting
If your Novo 5 doesn’t turn on or produce vapour when you inhale or press the fire button, your device isn’t hitting. Follow these steps to get to the root of the problem.
- Make sure that the Novo 5 is turned on by pressing the fire button five times.
- Make sure that the battery is fully charged. If the battery indicator doesn’t appear on the screen when you connect the charging cable, your Novo 5 isn’t charging. Scroll down to troubleshoot that issue.
- Remove the pod and check for a leak. If a pod has leaked inside the Novo 5’s chamber, dry the chamber with a paper towel. If the device still doesn’t work, hold a paper towel over the chamber and blow firmly through the airflow control ring to expel the e-liquid from the interior of the device.
- Replace the pod.
- Check the Novo 5’s screen to see if it displays an error message when you try to vape. If you see an error message, consult the instruction manual for more information.
Novo 5 Not Charging
If the battery indicator doesn’t appear on the screen when you connect the device to a power source, your Novo 5 isn’t charging. Follow these steps to fix it.
- Always charge the Novo 5 by connecting it to your computer. Don’t use an external USB mains adapter because a mains adapter may not provide power at the correct amperage.
- Replace the charging cable. It’s common for USB cables to develop internal weaknesses with constant use.
- Clean the charging port with a toothpick. It’s possible that your Novo 5 has collected dust and lint from being carried in your pocket.
Novo 5 Tastes Burnt
You should always get a smooth and enjoyable flavour when using the SMOK Novo 5. If the device produces a burnt flavour, here’s what you should do.
- Replace the pod if you’ve been using it for a while. E-liquid residue collects on a vape coil over time, and the residue causes the coil to produce a burnt flavour.
- Turn your device’s wattage down. Although the Novo 5 has the ability to operate at up to 30 watts, the pod may not perform well at that power level unless your puffs are very short.
- Wait longer between puffs. If you don’t give the coil sufficient time to refresh itself between puffs, the wick can dry out and burn.
- Wait a while before vaping after filling a new pod for the first time. If you use the pod before the wick is completely wet, the cotton may burn.
SMOK Novo 5 Review: Final Thoughts
The SMOK Novo 5 is a highly capable pod system that provides all-day battery life and has the capacity to produce very impressive clouds for a device of its size. Although the Novo 5 offers ample power for experienced vapers and those with high nicotine needs, it’s also simple enough for beginners. You’re likely to be completely happy with it even if you’ve never vaped before.
SMOK Novo 5: Pros
- Adjustable wattage and sub-ohm mesh coil allow impressive vapour production from a small device
- Airflow control dial allows you to adjust the puff characteristics to your taste
- Top filling hole allows you to refill the pod without removing it from the device
SMOK Novo 5: Cons
- Pods with built-in coils are good for simplicity but can increase operating costs in the long run