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SMOK Novo 3 Review: Is It Worth Upgrading For?

Smok Novo 3



Smok Novo 3 3
Design — 9.0
Build Quality — 9.0
Pods — 9.0
Performance — 9.0
Flavor — 9.0
Battery Life — 9.0



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When SMOK released the Novo 2 in 2019, I thought it was the perfect pod vape. It was small and light, the draw activation worked flawlessly, and the flavor was just so good! It also housed an 800mAh battery which was nearly double the size of the original Novo. From the specifications alone, I knew before I even tried it that it was an upgrade worth getting.

But the Novo 3 isn’t quite the same. On paper it doesn’t seem like it’s too different, if at all, from the Novo 2. It’s the exact same size, has the same maximum wattage output of 25W, and houses the same 800mAh battery. Purely based on specifications, there’s nothing new.

The only real change is that the Novo 3 comes with new 0.8ohm pods, however these are compatible with the Novo 2. The question is: is the Novo 3 worth upgrading for if you already have the Novo 2?

Box ContentsSmok Novo 3 Box Contents

  • 1 x Novo 3 Device
  • 2 x 0.8ohm Mesh Pods
  • 1 x USB Charging Cable
  • 1 x User Manual


  • 88.3mm x 24.5mm x 14.5mm
  • Weighs 43g
  • 2ml Eliquid Capacity
  • 6W-25W Output
  • 800mAh Battery
  • Draw Activated
  • Compatible with Novo & Novo 2 Pods

Design & Build QualitySmok Novo 3 3

Smok hasn’t done anything radical with the design on the Novo 3. In fact, they haven’t done anything at all! The Novo 3 is physically identical to the Novo 2. If you put the two devices side by side you would never be able to tell the difference. The only identifying feature is the “Novo 3” printed on the back.

The Novo 3 is just 88.3mm tall, 24.5mm wide and 14.5mm thick. It’s a very small device and it’s super light at just 43g. It’s one of the smallest pod vapes out there which makes it great if you’re not carrying a bag or purse. It will slip right into a pocket, no problem. The curved panels and rounded edges also feel good in my hand and makes the device comfortable to hold.

Unlike the Novo 2, the Novo 3 does not come in any resin options. Instead, there are 7 carbon fiber and 7 cobra color options. I’m not big on the cobra IML panels but the carbon fiber panels look pretty good. Sadly, it doesn’t appear as if there are any ‘fun’ designs like the ones available for the Novo 2.

Just like the Novo 2, the Novo 3 has an ejuice viewing window. When the pod is inserted there’s a strip of the pod that remains visible above the body of the device. It doesn’t allow you to see when your ejuice is low (bummer), but it is helpful to check if your ejuice is still near full before you leave the house.

There are no buttons at all; the Novo 3 is a purely draw activated device. There’s no turning it off either and it just stays in an always-on state. Draw to vape and charge it when it needs to be charged. It doesn’t get much more simple than this.

PodsSmok Novo 3 Pod

The Novo 3 may not be different from its predecessor but the pods that come with it are. These are new Novo 3 0.8ohm mesh pods and they’re meant for MTL vaping. Okay, I lied. The pods are actually the exact same as the Novo 2 but the coil inside is different. The pods will hold 2ml of ejuice.

These pods have a nice mouthpiece that fits nicely between my lips. The mouthpiece is black but the rest of the pod is clear which allows you to easily see your ejuice level. The pod is side filled through a small port that is plugged by a rubber stopper. Pointy tip bottles are easy to fill with but dropper bottles are not compatible.

These 0.8ohm mesh pods are good for either regular nicotine ejuices or nicotine salts. I’ve been mostly using a 35mg nicotine salt but I did vape a pod of 50mg and it vapes just as well. 

The pods for the Novo 3 will work in the Novo 2 and original Novo. The pods for the original Novo and Novo 2 will also work in the Novo 3.

AirflowSmok Novo 3 2

The Novo 3 and its 0.8ohm mesh pods deliver a tight MTL draw that is very satisfying with nicotine salts. The draw that you get from the Novo 3 will depend on the pods that you get there are quite a few pod options available. Because you can use Novo 2 or Novo pods, those who like a looser MTL draw can pick up the 1.0ohm pods to vape with. There aren’t any pods available for direct lung vaping.

The airflow goes in through airflow holes on each side of the pod, down to the bottom of the pod, through the coil, and out the mouthpiece. It’s a smooth draw with no whistling or turbulence and it’s very quiet. 

BatterySmok Novo 3 4

The Novo 3 retains the same 800mAh battery size as the Novo 2. However, because the pods that come with this device are slightly lower resistance than the ones that came with the Novo 2 they operate at a slightly higher wattage. This means that you won’t get the same battery life with the Novo 3 out of the box as you would with the Novo 2 and its pods out of the box.

Still, battery life is pretty good. A full charge lasted me just over two days of solid vaping. Considering the small size of this device, two days is great. And you can get even more battery life if you opt to use a higher resistance pod.

I’m disappointed to see that the Novo 3 still uses micro USB charging. If the Novo 3 used Type-C charging then it would be worthy of upgrading just based on this alone. But no, we’re still stuck with micro usb!

There’s a small LED on the front of the Novo 3 which acts as a battery life indicator. It lights up when you take a draw and the color represents your battery charge level. There are three colors:

  • Green: 70% and above
  • Orange/Yellow: 70 to 30%
  • Red: Under 30%

When the battery dies completely the LED will blink 10 times and the device will refuse to fire. I’ve noticed that the draw gets significantly weaker as the battery dies and it becomes less satisfying to vape with. As a result, I tended to charge the Novo 3 before it got under 30% and I would suggest that you do too.

PerformanceSmok Novo 3 1

I’ve been vaping with the Novo 3 for over two weeks now and it’s honestly been great. I used both regular nicotine ejuices and nicotine salts from 50/50 to 70VG. Regular nicotine ejuices vape well but they’re underwhelming in such a low powered device. Where the Novo 3 really does well is with nicotine salts.

These 0.8ohm pods are great. The tight draw is perfect for nicotine salts and the throat hit is really nice. Flavor is up there and really good for a low powered pod vape. 50/50 nic salts vape like a champ and I’ve refilled a single pod over 10 times without a loss in performance. Even after 10 refills, I’ve had no leaking and nothing close to a dry hit either. These pods are really super.


Overall, it’s a great device but there’s nothing new with the Novo 3. It looks identical to the Novo 2 and the performance is similar; maybe Smok should have called this the Novo 2.5! 

The new 0.8ohm mesh pods are really great, but they’re backwards compatible with the Novo 2. If you already have the Novo 2, you can just pick up a pack of pods and you’ve got the same experience. However, if you don’t have a Novo device or if you have the original Novo, the Novo 3 is definitely worth picking up to experience for yourself.


Danielle Alhiraki Author Picture

Danielle Alhiraki

Danielle is Versed Vaper’s Senior Editor for Buyer’s Guides. In addition to looking after buyer’s guides, she writes hardware reviews as well as manages our review team. Danielle used to be a pack a day smoker but vaping changed her life for the better. Smoke-free since 2015, Danielle is a huge advocate for tobacco harm reduction and has made it her mission to help other smokers make the switch to vaping. Danielle has reviewed hundreds of vaping products since joining Versed Vaper in 2018. Generally, you'll find her watching Disney movies, binging television series, or showing people pictures of her cats.


    • Yes, I’m in the process of testing the Novo X right now. But newer doesn’t always mean better, so it’s worth testing all of the devices in a series. I was a little late with this one, but better late than never!

  • I am trying to switch from smoking to vaping and i started with a puff bar. O have used about 6 brands and really enjoy them. I bought this novo 3 yesterday and its completly different. No matter how soft i draw my hit it bubbles into my mouth and gets hot. Is this normal for these? It also tastes like burnt paper. I changed pods and still having the same issue.

    • Hey Kyle! Sorry for the late reply! What type of ejuice are you using? It could be that the VG level is too low and that particular ejuice is spitting back because of it. If you’re not already, try using an ejuice that is higher in VG like 70VG-80VG.

      Make sure that you’re leaving the pod to sit for at least 5-10 minutes after filling it up to ensure that the coil saturates properly.

      • My Novo 3 has a burnt taste most of the time. I prime it but after 2 hits the burnt taste is back. I have to constantly prime it which is annoying

  • Dont waste your time or money on this device! ABSOLUTE GARBAGE! I’ve bought two of them because the first one didnt even last long enough to be refilled! I thought I had just bought a defective one so I gave it another chance and another waste of 50 bucks! My friend had the same problems with his! You spend more time trying to get the thing to work then it’s worth! 3 for 3 ..all garbage! I have devices from a year ago that cost 99 cents and they still work! These overpriced piece’s of junk couldnt even make it two days! Then if you want a refund forget it! Their fix is to have you send it to them so they can look at it! Just another hassle! I dont know where some of these people are finding them for 20 bucks or less but everywhere I’ve seen them in California it’s 52.85 plus tax! There is a reason why people are making videos on how to fix the damn things….because I’m not the only one who wasted their time and money on novos garbage! I cant stress it enough!! Dont buy Novo! Find something else!

    • I’ve owned 5 and never had any problems. I’ve never paid over $30 for mine either. The last 3 I purchased I paid $15 each. I’ve purchased other brands and they were garbage but I love these. Sorry you’ve had such a bad experience.

  • i after 10 years quit smoking cigarettes. i have the novo 3 its great. i also have disposable vapes i carry with me. i charge the novo 3 at night it charges fast. and its great.

  • The Novo 1, 2 , and 3 are all excellent devices. ANY negative reviews are from people that don’t know how to use them or understand how they work.

  • When do you recommend changing the pods? I read around and saw mesh pods should be changed every 3-5 days. I was really hoping they’d have more life than that.

    • My pods lasted well over 10 refills so you can expect the same. There’s no need to change the pod until it starts tasting weird, burnt, or there’s a lack of flavor. You can get more than 3-5 days out of these for sure it just depends how often you vape and refill!

      • Hey today is Black Friday and I’m debating witch one to get between the novo series . I know u said novo 3 is button free pull actions smoke. Is this the best one that does that and possibly have usb C

        • The Novo 4 is the best of the Novo series so far and it has Type-C charging. That’s the one I would suggest getting!

  • Hello I got the novo 3 and bought a 50mg salt nic and had no idea that it said NOT FOR SUB-OHM till I got home. It doesn’t taste like mango and just is horrible. What salt nic juice do you recommend for the .8ohm coils?

    • Hi Dom. The “Not for sub ohm” on nic salts is more meant as “not to be used with subohm tanks” as tanks are generally run at higher wattages and will therefore deliver too much nicotine. You can definitely use a subohm coil with a pod vape, as long as it isn’t too low ohm. The 0.8ohm coils that come with the Novo 3 are perfectly fine to use with all nic salts.

      However, since you don’t like the ejuice you bought anyway (I hate it when that happens!), I recommend checking out our list of recommended nic salt ejuices here:

      Happy vaping!

  • Why does my vape taste like coil ? some hits are an Exploding Berry Orgasm in my mouth and then others are ,9 volt battery drags to the throat

  • I love my Novo 3’s (i have 2) but over the past week, the charge isnt lasting lasting more than 4-5 hours before dying again. Whats going on? Both are only about 6 months old.

  • Ive jad two Novo’s in the past week. (2 & 3 ). Both have failed. Stopped working a day or two after using. Cant return to store but have to contact maker for service. Thos sucks and I dont consider 60 bucks spent…. Zero out of 5 stars

  • I bought one as a back up when I’m at work. My go to is the Nord 2 which is a trooper! Anyway, I barely used it and I had one pod that failed after only a few drags and the battery started blinking. I let the coil saturate for DAYS. The next pod worked ok but even with light draws, it feels hella hot! Is mine defective?

  • I have had 3 Novo 3’s in 2 months! They do not last at all! Try to do research and find something that will last longer than 1 month

  • Hey Danielle, I just got a Novo 2 kit. I take long frequent pulls and can go through two full pods per day. But the annoying thing is i have to recharge the battery at each refill. Does that sound right to you that a full battery charge only lasts one fullbpod?

  • Thank you for the review. I also am switching from tobacco to vape and purchased my vape based on your review. Everything you said is absolutely correct. I however do not like the fruity kids flavors of vapes but prefer a more adult taste. I previously tried a Elf Tank disposable to see if liked vaping. The flavor I got was ‘Virginia Tobacco’ and it was excellent. I purchased ‘Jewel Tobacco’ for my Nava3 but it is a bit dull. Can you or one of the readers suggest a better juice for the Nava3? I really enjoyed the ‘Virginia Tobacco’ flavor.
    Thank you