Honest review time: The Nowos kit from Eleaf

Here’s a look at a very interesting new kit sent over from Eleaf for review. It’s the newest addition to their long standing iStick line and I’ve got to say it’s changed quite a lot since the original iStick was released way back in 2014. This new iStick takes ease of use and simplicity to the next level stripping down the iStick and leaving only it’s most fundamental functions intact. Because it’s such a simple device this one should be relatively short and sweet. Here are my honest thoughts on the iStick Nowos from Eleaf.

Package contents:

ItemQuantity
iStick NOWOS1
ELLO Duro Atomizer1
W-N Dual 0.25ohm Head1
C 3.0 USB Cable1
User Manuals2
HW-M Dual 0.2ohm Head (Pre-installed)1
Spare Parts1

Listed features and specs:

  • Size: 43mm*28mm*135mm (6.5ml version)
  • 43mm*28mm*133mm (2ml version)
  • Weight: 205g (6.5ml version)
  • 200g (2ml version)
  • E-liquid capacity: 6.5ml / 2ml
  • Battery capacity: 4400mAh
  • Output wattage: 80W max
  • Output voltage: 9V max
  • Resistance range: 0.1-3.0Ω
  • Colors: black, red, blue, silver, dazzling
  • Support QC 2.0/3.0
  • USB Type C
  • LED digital display
  • Atomizers up to 26mm
  • Child safety lock
  • Protections: Over-charge, over-discharge, over-current, over 10s, short circuit, temp protection for charging

Packaging and Contents:

The kit comes packed in a black cardboard box with a big image of the kit on the front and a list of the contents and some basic information on the back. An authenticity check sticker can be found on one of the sides and a sticker with some basic information on specs was slapped on to the front. Inside the kit the mod and tank are safely packed in a thick sponge insert to protect it during travel. Included in the kit you get the Nowos mod, the Ello Duro, a USB 3.0 type C cable with an attached Micro USB adapter, a spare coil, a spare tank, a user manual for the tank, a user manual for the mod and a little bag of extra orings and tank seals. While the kit might feel a bit sparse it does include everything you’d need to get started short of juice.

The Mod:

The Nowos mod has to be one of the most unique looking devices I’ve ever held. It’s rectangular or candy bar in shape and looks a bit like a bar of soap with it’s metal frame sandwiched between two smooth rounded plastic panels. The metal frame is indented/grooved all around the device except under the 510 which kind of adds to the look and feel of it when holding it in your hand. The plastic body is pretty much bare with only ‘Eleaf’ written on the bottom of one side and ‘iStickNowos’ on the other side. It’s available in a variety of colours but only the frame is coloured with the panels coming in either black or white. Something about the design reminds me of an old Apple device or a mid 90s MP3 player or something like that. It’s got an internal 4400mAh battery that’s supports both Quick Charge 2.0 and 3.0 which basically means it can charge up really quick using the latest quick charge standards. Roughly an hour and twenty minutes for a full charge according to Eleaf. On the bottom there are some vent holes should anything go wrong with the battery but with all of the usual built in safety protections like over-charge, over-discharge, over-current, over 10s, short circuit and temp protection for charging it should be safe in nearly any circumstance. As mentioned above the kit comes packed with a USB 3.0 type C cable for charging and it’s the first vaping device I’ve used that has a Type C port on it for charging. The cable they include has a handy little micro USB adapter attached to it so you’ll be able to use it with a variety of your devices not just the Nowos. There’s also a little reset button should anything freeze up on it.

At the top of the device is the stainless steel 510 connection. The plastic around the top is tapered but sort of juts out to support atomizers up to 26mm without overhang. The threads on the 510 are buttery smooth and it looks to have a gold plated spring loaded 510 connection. Down the one side of the device is the plastic fire button. I found the button to have quite a bit of play in it and the way it sticks out it feels sort of cheap. The quality and feel of the button really takes away from the rest of the devices aesthetic which is unfortunate but at least it works fine without any rattle. At first I thought it was almost like a directional pad as you can move the button quite a bit in nearly every direction. If it weren’t for the button I might have been fooled in to thinking the Nowos was a much more premium device.

Now it’s the screen on this thing that really sets it apart or rather the lack of a regular screen. Instead of a standard OLED or TFT screen Eleaf has opted to use a series of 7-segment LEDs under one of the plastic panels to illuminate it from the other side and show a rudimentary display. Basically like the numbers on your digital alarm clock. I realize it’s not the first mod on the market to do this as there was the Praxis Banshee which took the interface to a completely different level but with the Nowos it’s simple, clean and elegant. Even the output on the screen has been simplified with it just showing your remaining battery life in percent, the resistance of the attached atomizer and the wattage in 1 watt increments. When you fire the device it will also briefly show the puff time. Because the LEDs have to shine through the white plastic it can be a bit dim in certain lighting, I got the white version but it looks like the black version might be a bit brighter and easier to read if it’s a concern. Not only is the screen hidden under the plastic panels but so are the adjustment buttons. To use them you first need to click the fire button three times and two little light up dots will appear under the panel. To make adjustments just press the corresponding button with the left button being up and the right button being down. When you’ve made your selection just press the fire button for two seconds and it sets the power.

As mentioned the Nowos takes simplicity to the next level and basically gets rid of all of the feature bloat we tend to see on nearly all of the devices out there so using it is incredibly simple. The Nowos does not include temp control or power curves. It doesn’t have profiles or custom logos. Instead the iStick Nowos is a tribute to simpler times, it’s a power mode device with a big capacity battery and that’s it. I myself am primarily a power user and only tend to use TC when testing out a new device so I was quite thrilled by it’s stripped down functions and features list. I’m a simple guy so it’s pretty much exactly what I need out of a device. Using it is equally simple just turn it on with the usual five clicks, attach your atomizer, adjust your wattage and you’re pretty much all set. Now every users requirements are different so it might not suit everybody but anyone looking for a dead simple, easy to use device would do well to check out the new Nowos. Based on my basic tests it fires quickly and it seems to hit the 80w mark without any issues so no complaints with performance.

The tank:

The tank that comes with the Nowos is the Ello Duro which I actually reviewed with the Lexicon and also with the iJust 3 so I won’t go over it in detail again as it’s already been covered a couple of times. It’s a beefy 26.5mm diameter tank made of stainless steel with top fill and bottom airflow. It holds a very comfortable 6.5ml of liquid or 2ml if using the straight glass. The bubble tank which provides the extra capacity increases the diameter to 28mm but the base remains at 26.5mm. I didn’t have any real complaints with the tank and found it worked quite well in my time with it.

The one thing that did change with the Ello Duro are the coils that accompany it. In my review of the iJust 3 the Duro came with an HW-M and an HW-N coil but with the Nowos they’ve basically doubled up the included coils with the HW-M Dual and HW-N Dual now both rocking dual mesh coils. The difference between the M and N coils is minimal with the only real change being the type of mesh they use. One is more of a traditional woven mesh where the other is more like a sheet of metal with a bunch of holes drilled through. The HW-M Dual is rated at 0.2ohms with a suggested range of 25-60w where the HW-N Dual is rated at 0.25ohms with a range of 25-65w so power consumption wise there’s very little to separate them. I found they both ran really well right around the 50-55w mark but I was struggling to feel any significant difference between the two. Break in time was minimal and they both produced good flavour and some very respectable clouds which is somewhat expected from a mesh coil. Coil life will always depend on juices used, personal vaping habits and QC on the coils but I was easily able to get a week and a half out of the first coil before swapping for the other so they should last a good amount of time. With the original HW coils I noticed they tended to leak if left sitting but with these dual coils so far I haven’t noticed any significant leaking so maybe they’ve fixed the issue or I just got lucky with the set I got.

Likes:

  • Looks/Aesthetics
  • Simplistic design and deatures
  • Build quality
  • Ease of use
  • 4400mAh battery capacity
  • USB 3.0/Type-C
  • Quick charge 2.0/3.0
  • Hidden LED screen and buttons
  • Good flavour and vapour with included HW coils

Dislikes:

  • Fire button feels cheap
  • LED screen a bit dim

Overall:

The Nowos kit is a real eye-catcher and I’ve been getting compliments on it everywhere I go. With it’s smooth clean exterior it definitely commands attention. I also like the fact that it’s such a simple device making it ideal for new vapers who won’t understand all of the regular features and functions a more standard regulated device tends to incorporate. However it would also be well suited to power users who appreciate big capacity batteries and who don’t need all the extra bells and whistles beyond regulated wattage vaping. So overall I got to say I really dig what Eleaf has done with the iStick, it’s simple, stylish and most of all it’ll be easy to use for pretty much anyone who picks one up!!