Have people heard of SMOKO? By the end of the Smoko review you should certainly be aware of this up and coming brand which is from the UK.
Founded only 2 years ago during what many will say was the period when electronic cigarettes really started to take off. Smoko now sell all round the world and are particularly popular in English speaking countries such as the U.K, U.S, Australia and New Zealand. They also have several shops in London catering for the growing individual who is looking for a trust worthy e cigarette brand. SMOKO are also a member of ECITA (Electronic Cigarette Industry Trade Association).
*** Also Mike Cameron one of the founders of SMOKO has kindly done an interview for us which is rare thing for founders/CEO’S of Electronic Cigarette companies to do. So if you would like to know more about the e cigarette industry and how Smoko started, then please click on this link for the article. ***
The electronic cigarette market is very competitive now and there are quite a few brands out there trying to compete with one another. For a brand like SMOKO they decided that if they were going to grow and create a strong following they were going to have to do things differently to their competitors. Based on strong beliefs and a vision to be transparent with what actually was used in E Liquid they set about sourcing the best ingredients needed to make a e liquid which users would be happy with.
Now were you aware that 95% of electronic cigarettes sold in the U.K use e liquids made in China. When the founders of Smoko started to contact the many different e cigarette manufacturers in China they asked each one (around 30) to show them where they made there e liquid. Each one wasnt prepared to do so and this got the Smoko founders concerned.
They decided they would source all there ingredients from within the E.U accompanied with the correct documentation to prove it is sourced within the E.U. Once this is done every ingredient is mixed, manufactured and tested in the U.K which surpass all of the current standards. They then ship all their e liquids to China to be packaged and then sent back to the U.K. This process means that the end user can smoke in confidence knowing the e liquid is of high quality.
The SMOKO Name
The name SMOKO is actually a very popular term used in Australia and started life over a century ago, it means “to take a quick break or to take a cigarette break”.
SMOKO Product Review
As you can imagine when we set out to produce a factual e cigarette website we contacted many different e cigarette brands. SMOKO were only to happy to help by not only allowing us to do a one to one interview with one of the founders of Smoko but to also provide us with some products to review. So here goes:
Limited edition SMOKO Starter Pack
The limited edition Starter Pack includes a designer metal case, 1 x USB, 2 x cartridges and their signature blue tip glow battery. Priced at £25 ($42.46) the pack has everything you need to get started with.
Like a lot of the other e cigarette brands we have reviewed, SMOKO was very quick in delivering their products to us. The products arrived next day by courier which was very pleasing to see.
SMOKO were the first electronic cigarette brand to send us a limited edition product. They were also the first to send us a product that actually incorporated a metal case to protect the e cigarette. As you can see from the photos above the metal case came with a cardboard sleeve which covered the metal case.
The first thing we were drawn to was the font style which was chosen to represent the Smoko name. The font was stylish and simple which looked hugely effective and the layout of the lettering was clear. We did happen to notice that the letter E in the word cigarettes just under the word Smoko was not inlign with the rest of the letters which made up the word and we were not sure if this was a design fault or it was meant to be like that.
The back of the sleeve had relevant information including, what was contained in the metal case, contact information and ingredients. SMOKO also confidently display the Union Jack flag on the front and back and explain that their flavors are made in the U.K.
The choice of colors used gave the impression that the brand was a luxurious e cigarette brand and the use of the Union Jack flag made it look like a brand you can trust.
The Metal Case
From the photos below you can see how the metal case opens, what the e cigarette looked like and how the different parts were positioned in the case. Opening the metal case was easy to do and the case felt secure and well built.
The above photo shows the battery, USB and the 2 cartridges nicely laid out. There was also a instruction booklet that came with the metal case. Our first impressions of the e cigarette was that it it looked very well built.
The instruction booklet was found within the metal case. On further inspection we were impressed to see that the contents of the booklet talked about what items the metal case included, how to use the electronic cigarette, when to charge, when to change cartridge, how to re order and what flavors SMOKO did.
The electronic cigarette comes in 2 parts, the first part which is the largest part houses the battery and the second part is the cartridge. The cartridge screws onto the battery forming a electronic cigarette.
From first impressions the SMOKO electronic cigarette looks like a traditional cigarette which makes it look authentic. Picking it up is very easy to do and it comes easily out of its casing. The shape of the electronic cigarette feels a little bigger (wider) than a traditional cigarette which actually is a very good thing as it feels very comfortable to hold and is secure in ones hand. The weight distribution is excellent and its very nice to look at.
The electronic cigarette feels and looks well built. The design is spot on and the SMOKO brand name looks nice and well positioned. The picture below shows the 3 items that were in the metal case.
Now as you can imagine as an when we review electronic cigarette brands we also find new and different things that each brand does differently. What stood out for us with SMOKO and which gets top marks is how they protect their cartridges. The photos below show you how they protect and seal their cartridges.
As you can see from the photo above the cartridge on the right is sealed at the end where you inhale from by not only a really cool rubber cap but also a nice looking seal.
To remove the seal you pull it off from the side of the cartridge. This then exposes the plastic cap.
Now the great thing about the plastic cap is that the cap is actually very sturdy and reliable and has been made so that the middle part of the cap has a point which you push into the hole in the cartridge. The cap then fits nicely over the end of the cartridge and it does require a little bit of force to remove the cap meaning that the cap wont fall off lightly. This cap protects your electronic cigarette if your out and about, the end will be protected from anything getting stuck in the cartridge hole. We have not seen this done by any other e cigarette brand we have reviewed and so this is a massive thumbs up from us.
Charging the Electronic Cigarette
To charge the electronic cigarette is rather simple, all you need to do is unscrew the cartridge from the battery and then screw the battery to the USB. See pictures below.
Then you plug the USB into a port on your computer or laptop. The the red light on the USB should come on to tell you that the battery is charging. An indication as to when you need to charge the battery will come from the tip of the battery which will flash blue when the battery is low. SMOKO suggest that the battery needs to be charged for around 2 hours.
A common theme with us is that we like to see how long it takes to charge the electronic cigarette once it arrives. So we plugged the USB into the computer, after around 1 hr and 30 minutes we decided to remove the USB from the port as we hadn’t seen the red light on the USB change color. Reading the manual it doesn’t explain that the USB is meant to change color so we assumed the battery was charged at that point.
On this basis we suggest just using the e cigarette straight away and when the tip of the battery starts flashing blue then its best to charge for around 2 hrs at that point.
SMOKO sent us a selection of individual packaged flavored cartridges in a fold out, protective cardboard casing, (See picture below). These are not what they sell on their website but look like samples they give out to people to try. Their packs of cartridges on their website start at £13.99 ($23.84) and get cheaper (£9 the lowest) if you buy more than one pack at a time. Each pack is equivalent to 200 cigarettes.
We certainly suggest reading the customer reviews on their website which proclaim from their customers that their UK made e liquid is fantastic.
The flavors they are currently selling are as follows: Original, Virginia, Menthol, Absinthe, Apple Fruity, Green Apple, Bananarama, Energy, Havana and Roast Chicken.
The cartridges comes in Strong (2.4%), Medium (1.6%), Lite (1.1%) and Zero (0%) Strengths.
Using the Electronic Cigarette
Holding the electronic cigarette was very enjoyable and the best weighted e cigarette we have tried so far. The build quality is very good and product is very easy to use.
Inhaling the e liquid was very easy to do with no leakage found. The experience was fantastic, the taste of the original flavor that came with the metal case reminded us of a little bit like smoking a Marlborough. We also managed to try the Apple and Virginia Rolling and these were very tasty in deed. The vape was very authentic and had a nice thickness to it. We haven’t been able to try all the other flavors which were kindly provided to us yet but we will do so in the coming weeks.
Having reviewed Intellicig another brand who pride themselves on making their own e liquid in the UK, we have decided to rate SMOKO the best e cigarette we have tried so far.
SMOKO are still finding their feet and have some exciting things they are doing over the next 12 months to expand their operations and just because they don’t have a £20 million advertising budget like some other brands doesn’t mean that there not worth trying, we suggest you give them a go, you wont be disappointed.
This opinion is based on our own review of the brand but its also worth taking into account the many collective reviews they have on their own website from many happy customers.
In essence they have a fantastically built e cigarette, they source all their ingredients from the EU and make the liquid in the UK. There also a UK brand which thankfully have not been bought by a big tobacco company yet and are still staying true to their values.
No problems, great service and we were also very grateful to be able to interview the founder and CEO of Smoko.
They have a 14 day return policy allowing a refund on unopened or faulty products.