SMRT Pod Kit by Wotofo
Review by BFG Hodson
“This is where Wotofo shines. Their coils, as with the Nexmesh pro tank, there’s something to suit everyone. I have heard rumours that a rebuildable option may also be being planned. If it’s as good as the Nexmesh Pro Tanks rebuildable deck, then this little device may be the gamechanger that we’ve been waiting for in the pod market.”
Back in January, I reviewed the Manik pod system, and in amongst the breakdown I casually threw in the above comment. Guess what big mouth, now’s your chance to see if you’re as clever as you think you are… #oops.
I will make it clear though this isn’t going to be an in-depth review of the new Manik S mod, the baby brother of the heftier original.
After some deliberation, there are some differences to the original Manik model, but l do believe in most cases these are refinements or cost savers rather than anything new.
So, if you want a flavour of the device go check out the original review (after you’ve read this…. what did you expect me to say?)
Well as with previous releases you get plenty for your money from Wotofo..
• 1 x Manik S Battery
• 1 x SMRT Pod
• 1 x D15 Clapton Mesh Coil
• 1 x SMRT Rebuildable Coil Head
• 6 x Cotton Strips
• 6 x Mesh Strips
• 1 x Charging Cable
• 1 x User Manual
The Manik S is slightly smaller than the original Manik and it’s noticeably lighter. The size and weight make it portable and pocket friendly, but I would be lying if I said that it didn’t feel slightly cheap. WOTOFO’s products usually feel very solid but I’m scared of dropping this one and breaking it. Otherwise, it’s relatively comfortable to hold.
Gone is the very tactile faux leather and in comes some very bold painted logo work. Also gone is the retention system for the pod head, replaced with some very capable magnets. The body of the Manik S is made entirely out of aluminium alloy. There are no fancy design lines or exciting curves.
At the top of the battery, just outside of the pod connection, are the airflow holes. There are 14 holes per side arranged in 2 rows of seven holes. As with the original Manik, there is no airflow control on the Manik S and all the coil options provide a similar, slightly restricted direct lung draw.
The buttons are plastic, as is the screen cover and I noticed it can get a bit messy with grease and fingerprints.
While the button on the Manik was angled, the fire button on the Manik S is completely flat. The adjustment buttons are also flat. The buttons all feel solid and responsive and aren’t easy to accidentally change, although I did find my big fingers sometimes had some miss-hits. Yes, it’s a slightly less refined feel but trust me overall it’s still a very capable and functional device.
The screen is identical to the screen on the Manik. It displays your wattage, battery level (with percentage), coil resistance, volts, a puff counter, and a puff timer. I am old and my eyes are dim, but I can still read the information easily although I did struggle slightly in direct sunshine (all 30 seconds of it. Whoosh… gone).
Battery life is a weak point of the SMRT Pod Kit. Because all the included coils require 40W+ to really get going, you’re not going to get amazing battery life out of the 2000mAh battery. Of course, if you use GTX or PnP coils with a higher resistance you can expect to get better battery life. The type C charging is great though, although not being able to charge it upright did irritate me.
Aluminium Alloy Construction.
Size: 117.3mm x 29.2mm x 23mm (with pod installed).
4.5ml Pod Capacity.
Built-in 2000mAh Battery.
80W Maximum Output.
Wotofo SMRT Button Combinations:
Turn On/Off: 5 clicks of the fire button.
Lock Buttons: 3 clicks of the fire button
Reset Puff Counter: Fire button and down.
Lock Wattage (Will Still Fire): press both up and down buttons.
Change the Displays Colour Scheme: press the Fire button and Up button.
SMRT Pod and coils.
Enough of the teasing, here’s the bit you’re here for. I think we can all agree this is a versatile kit with 5-80W output and the choice of D stock coils, Voopoo PnP coils and Vaporesso GTX coils. Plus, you can also rebuild the coils yourself and everything is included in the kit. So, if you own a PNP device like me things just got remarkably interesting, the days of stock coils being for the specific device appear to be numbered, and the recent spate of fiddly rebuildable decks may have been too little too late.
What we are talking about here is a homebuilt stock coil. Yes, there’s a little snipping, but nothing too off-putting and way, way simpler than when I started building 4 years ago. Plug and play simplicity with a little bit of time and attention to detail, all aided with simple instructions from the Wotofo on their well-thought-out support page.
As I said above, the pods for the Manik and the Manik S are not interchangeable, despite being functionally identical. The pod that comes with the Manik S holds 2ml of e-juice (TPD). One thing I did find in my usage of this mod is that it guzzles juice, but to be fair the way I vape everything does….
The decision to make your juice level visible therefore makes a lot of sense, and I think is such a small but refreshing change compared to most pods. Manufacturers, please take note, function over aesthetics every time.
The fill port is on the side of the pod on the SMRT and fixes one of my niggles about wider bottles catching on the drip tip on the Manik, and like I said you’re going to get acquainted with it quickly…
Getting started with the SMRT Pod Kit and a prebuilt coil is easy. You can use the included D15 Clapton mesh coil or you can use any Vaporesso GTX or Voopoo PnP coils.
The prebuilt D15 Clapton coil is a cracker. The flavour is just unreal from this coil; some of the best I’ve experienced from a sub-ohm device. This coil handles the upper end of the wattage range well, so I mainly vaped at 55W.
Now the fun starts, mesh building what could go wrong?
Building the coils was a bit daunting at first, mainly because of the mesh (previous dry hits on mesh RDTA’s have marked me)
All I did was follow the advice from WOTOFO and before I could overthink it…BOOM I had a very professional looking coil. All in all, if you’ve everything to hand, I’d say 10 minutes should be a good estimate of the time it takes. I got quicker, but I can say that I found the cotton could be tricky to slot into the case when you’re putting it on.
I discovered either make sure you’re nipping it good and tight on the build tool helps, or you can remove the inner skin (the layer you’re putting the mesh on) of the cotton strip (like Muji cotton) before you start to build without causing any issues (possibly) and that helps the fit too. I must warn you though I’m wondering if doing that caused some mild leaking experiences, I had… just saying.
Make sure you give the gold contact pin a good push too if you’re not getting a good contact you can end up with a low resistance error.
The nexMesh Chill is rated from 37-43W. This mesh is widely spaced and as a result, I found that it produced only average flavour. It’s best at 45W but can be pushed as high as 55W but that going to cost you battery life. The vapour is warm at 45W and the draw is nicely restricted and smooth with decent clouds. It is enjoyable but it’s not any better or worse than an average stock coil.
The nexMesh Turbo performs nearly identically to the NexMesh chill. It’s also rated for 37-43W but it can’t be pushed as high above the wattage ratings as the NexMesh Chill. Flavour is slightly better with this coil owing to the mesh being closer together but it’s average although still smooth and pleasant. I ran this at 45W and I got the best possible performance at that.
I was getting a little disheartened but then I tried the nexMesh Extreme. This one is rated for 45-55W and its minute mesh makes a massive improvement when it comes to flavour. Anywhere from 50-55W is fantastic with eye-popping results. The complexity in my e-juice was much more pronounced with individual flavours popping clearly rather than a muted mush. I got a rich warm vapour and lots of clouds. Out of the 3 mesh coils, this one is the clear winner and dare I say game changer!
The experience overall was better than anything I’ve had from rebuildable heads on other pod kits and combined with the comparative price of stock coils makes me think Wotofo has done it again.
I had a lot of fun with this kit. I’ve built the coil 3 times, once for each type of mesh coil. The best part of the whole process is that once you’re done, you’re left with a coil that looks and performs just like a stock prebuilt coil (a little “I made this” moment). In this case, that’s a good thing because Wotofo’s pre-built mesh coils are excellent.
The SMRT Pod Kit has been a fun and interesting kit to use. The D15 Clapton coil and nexMesh Extreme coil both perform very well. I really liked this new take on building a coil. It seems complicated at first but when you’ve done it once the entire process is easy. And don’t forget that you can use GTX and PnP coils with this pod which gives you a massive choice for your vape style.
The other thing to remember is you can buy the kit separately to make the coils so you can mix and match the original Manik with the new rebuildable coils for a fraction of the cost. I’ve tried it and for the best of both worlds experience, it’s hard to beat.
I have had some leaking issues and it appears I’m not alone although I do think I might have caused the issue, and to be fair I’ve had far worse than some of my favourite RDTA’s.
The Manik S performs well but the cheap feel and average battery life spoil the overall experience of using it. Other than that, this kit is easy to use and extremely versatile. Overall, it’s a solid kit, perfect as a cost-effective option for someone relatively new to vaping that I really enjoyed using.
Yup big mouth may just have been right…
• Easy to use.
• Decent flavour from all the coil options (superb from the Extreme Mesh)
• Amazing easy to use coil building system.
• Compatible with GTX & PnP Coils
• Compact and lightweight
• Type-C Quick Charging
• Leaking (might be my fault)
• Average battery performance
• No airflow control.
You can purchase the Manik Mini kit direct from Wotofo via the Wotofo Online Store. Current colours available for the actual Manik S device are Black, Gold, Black/Blue and Black/Red.
Today’s review was by BFG Hodson, you can catch him over on The Soul Ohm Blog.
He also co-hosts a live show and podcast over on the Soul Ohm reviews channel, one of which is on a Thursday evening at 7:30 pm and is well worth a watch!