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We remember when we first reviewed Smoko Electronic Cigarettes. This was back in 2015, when the focus in the e-cigarette industry was primarily on starter kits. Back then, visitors to the Smoko website were greeted by deeply discounted pricing options. Here at ECR, we were hesitant because in a rapidly growing market that places emphasis on quality, can e-cigarette brands really deliver top quality to their customers when costs are cut? It turns out that at the time, their starter kits proved to be above average all around. However, since 2015, Smoko has completely revamped their offerings, while also establishing their brand in over 25 countries and being part of the Independent British Vape Trade Association. We’re going to take a look at the brand new Smoko brand, and see what changes and upgrades have taken place.
Design & Packaging:
When we received our package from Smoko, we were shocked. The overall appearance can be summed up in one word: classy. Similar to premium tobacco cigarette kits, Smoko kits come in a lightweight and sturdy square aluminum box with their brand name sitting beautifully atop. When we opened the Original Starter Kit box, we were met by one battery with a cartridge already attached, a second cartridge and a USB charger. These contents were held in place by a firm yet cushy foam material. Similarly, Smoko e-liquids and vape refill cartridges come nicely packaged with the standard Smoko box. Moreover, the cartridges themselves came in small square boxes that looked like mini-tobacco packs. It was instantly clear that Smoko, at least from a design standpoint, is incredible for customers who are just switching to e-cigs from tobacco.
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Battery Performance/Vapour/Throat Hit:
We would like to point out that in addition to the Original Starter Kit, we received the Smoko Vape Starter Kit (which came with the same design and packaging as the Original Starter Kit). While one is a cig-a-like and the other is a vapourizer, surprisingly there were several similarities (albeit some notable differences).
When we put the cig-a-like (Original) up against the Smoko vapourizer, the battery performances were very similar. This was quite surprising to us given the fact that the cig-a-like kit comes with a 180mAh battery while the vapourizer comes with almost double the battery power – a 320mAh battery. From full power to dead, the 180mAh battery lasted roughly 250 puffs while the vapourizer 320mAh battery operated for about 300 puffs. The performance on the cig-a-like exceeded our expectations while the vapourizer’s battery performance was in line with what we were expecting.
It is also important to note that upon the first hit from the vapourizer, we didn’t receive a cloud of vapour as we exhaled. This was initially worrisome to us because generally speaking, products that don’t respond on the first hit tend to be of lower quality (for the record, no primer puffs are needed on the cig-a-like kit; you will see a great deal of vapour from the very first puff). However, our fears were completely put to rest upon the very next hit from the vapourizer, which is when we saw the full results…which bring us to our next section.
Smoko makes a bold claim that they are the UK’s premium e-cig. One of their talking points is their vapour volume. After a one-time primer puff, we saw huge vapour clouds from both the cig-a-like and the vapourizer; clouds that rivaled the now defunct Green Smoke (the leader in cig-a-like vapour volume). The fact that the vapour volume from Smoko was in line with what Green Smoke offered was nothing short of incredible. A company that started as a husband and wife, and then keeping up with Big Tobacco e-cig brands by offering this level of quality? Impressive.
As for the throat hit: we noticed that the throat hit from Smoko e-cigs are a bit more ‘potent’ than your standard vapour kits. It is clear that they are going after new or beginner users to e-cigs. Smokers are looking for a familiar nicotine hit from a tobacco cigarette and that’s what you get with Smoko – on both their cig-a-like and vapourizer kits.
Remember, the above is just on their cig-a-likes. Their e-liquids are even better. For starters, their e-juice is made in the UK, not China. As such, we were expecting high quality, especially considering all the recent competition in the market. That’s exactly what we got.
Their e-liquids are 50/50 PG/VG. While it’s not exactly suitable for DTL vaping, it’s one of the better experiences for MTL vaping. The vapour volume depends on how many mAh your battery is. And while the throat hit is also somewhat dependent on the size of the battery, the quality of the e-liquid also plays a big role. Judging purely off of that, the throat hit on Smoko e-liquids is way above average. It met our expectations.
- 180mAh Batteries
- 320mAh Batteries
- Silver or Gold Batteries
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The flavours that Smoko offers was unexpectedly the standout ‘feature’ of their company; yes, even better than their vapour volume. No, really – we’re not joking. Yes, their liquids are manufactured in the UK. Yes, they only use pharmaceutical grade ingredients. Yes, they perform quality assurance tests. These are all telltale signs that a company is looking out for its customers first, not its profits.
In regard to the cartridges: each pack comes with 5 individual cartridges inside. For the vapourizer refill (1.1mL e-liquid tanks), 2 tanks come in a refill pack. The cig-a-like cartridge lasted approximately 200 puffs – a bit over the 175 puff industry average. So, there could be some improvement there but perhaps we are being overly critical in this regard. The tank refill, on the other hand, lasted a whopping 2 days. We lost count at the 300 puff mark.
As for the flavours themselves: Smoko offers 11 flavours: Original Tobacco, Virginia Rolling, Menthol, Havana, Mint Breeze, Energy, Coffee, Absinthe, Apple, Gold Tobacco, and Raspberry. We tested all of these, and while taste is subjective, our personal preferences were their tobacco flavours (specifically Original Tobacco) and coffee. We did not enjoy the Absinthe flavour. All of these flavours are also offered for their vapourizer refills and even come in 10mL e-liquid bottles should you want to test out their e-liquids with other devices (such as a box mod). The PG/VG ratio is 50/50. As a side note, they also offer Strawberry Mint & Strawberry Breeze as vapourizer refills or standalone e-liquid bottles. So if you are looking for insane clouds, look elsewhere as you will need something like a 10/90 PG/VG split. But if you are looking for solid vapour and a tier-one throat hit, in addition to high quality flavouring? As mentioned above, it is clear Smoko is an excellent choice for beginner e-cig users.
As for the flavours themselves: Smoko now offers 13 flavours within their starter packs instead of 11: Original Tobacco, Virginia Rolling, Mint Breeze, Absinthe, Apple, Cherry, Coffee, Energy, Black Currant, Havana, Menthol, Gold Tobacco, and Vanilla. We tested all of these, and while taste is subjective, our personal preferences were their tobacco flavours (specifically Original Tobacco) and coffee. We did not enjoy the Absinthe flavour. All of these flavours are also offered for their vapourizer refills and even come in 10mL e-liquid bottles should you want to test out their e-liquids with other devices (such as a box mod). The PG/VG ratio is 50/50.
As a side note, they also offer Strawberry Mint, Strawberry, Fruit Burst, Toffee, and Raspberry that you can buy in bottles (in addition to the other 13 flavours mentioned above). So if you are looking for insane clouds, look elsewhere as you will need something like a 10/90 PG/VG split. But if you are looking for solid vapour and a tier-one throat hit, in addition to high quality flavouring, specifically regarding their e-liquid bottles? As mentioned above, it is clear Smoko is an excellent choice for both beginner and intermediate e-cig users.
- Original Tobacco
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So the Smoko nicotine levels were at first a bit confusing. On the surface, it seems as though they offer more nicotine levels than just about any other company (including e-liquid industry giant VaporFi). While this is technically true, unfortunately Smoko only offers certain nicotine levels on different flavours. For example, while the Original Tobacco vapourizer refill comes with 1.5%, 1.8% and 2.0% nicotine options, the Absinthe vapourizer refill only comes with a 1.8% nicotine option. The same goes for Smoko’s cig-a-like refills. The Original Tobacco nicotine options are 2.4%, 2.0%, 1.6%, 1.5%, 1.1% and 0%. However, Coffee flavour only comes with 2.0% and 1.8% nicotine options. You will need to check which nicotine levels are offered per product.Customer Service:
Though Apollo does not operate support 7 days a week, the actual level of support is very good when they are open. Officially, Apollo staff are there to answer your questions or inquiries five days a week, Monday to Friday, from 9AM to 5PM. You can get in touch over email and phone. Though they are technically closed on the weekends, if you have a question during that time, we have found that they answer emails sporadically during this time. That was a nice added benefit here.back to menu ↑
|Smoko Original Starter Kit||£19.99-£44.99||1 180mAh battery, 1 or 4 refill packs (depending on your choice), 1 USB charger, 1 designer metal case|
|Smoko Vape Starter Kit||£14.99-£44.99||1 kit with designer metal case, 1 180mAh battery, 1 USB charger, 2 Original (1.8 % nicotine) cartridges, 1-3 box of refills (5 cartomisers) depending on your choice|
|Menthol Starter Kit||£9.99||1 180mAh battery, 1 pack of Mint Breeze or Virginia Rolling flavour, 1 USB charger, 1 designer metal case|
|E Cigarette Refills||£30-£160||3 to 20 packs of refills depending on your choice|
Before we get to the breakdown, for informational purposes for our readers, one cartomiser (also known as a “cartridge”) equals roughly 1.25 – 1.5 tobacco cigarette packs (25-30 individual cigarettes).
|1 cig-a-like refill pack (5 cartomisers inside)||£9.99 (average of £2 per cartomiser)|
|1 vape refill tank (1.1mL)||£7.99|
|10mL bottle of Smoko e-liquid||£5|
There is also an option to purchase a 10 pack of cig-a-like refills, however you cannot purchase these alone. This 10 pack comes with a starter kit and an extra battery, and retails for £100.
Money Back Guarantee & Warranty:
After testing the Smoko products and understanding the nature and makeup of the company, we expected a good money back policy. As it turns out, they do offer a guarantee that is better than most of the market. Smoko’s policy is that all unopened or faulty packages can be returned within 14 days for a full refund. Opened or unopened e-liquids cannot be returned for obvious consumable item/hygiene reasons. The only downside to Smoko in this regard is that there is no warranty policy.back to menu ↑
Again as we were expecting, Smoko’s shipping options are excellent. There is free delivery on UK orders over £40 and over £100 on international orders. If you order less than £40 worth of Smoko products, you can expect to pay just a few quid extra. Smoko ships via Royal Mail and packages are generally delivered within 2-4 working days within the UK and 7-14 days for international parcels.back to menu ↑
Since early 2016, the UK market has been looking for a high quality replacement to Green Smoke’s fantastic cig-a-like e-cigs. While V2 Cigs is a great alternative, if you are looking to enter the world of e-cigarettes, then look no further. The vapour volume and high quality e-liquids within their cartomisers, in addition to excellent battery performance and a very familiar throat hit, makes Smoko our new favourite cig-a-like in the UK.