Honest review time: The Smoant Karat

With the boom in popularity of pod devices it looks like Smoant wanted to bolster their line of pod devices and released their second ever open pod system called the Karat. I never got to try their other pod system the S8 but from the looks of it the Karat expands on the previous release with a few new features and uses some different materials in it’s construction. Here’s my honest thoughts on the Karat from Smoant.

Packaging contents:

1X Smoant Karat Pod kit
1X USB charge cable
1X Instructional Manual

Listed features and specs:

Main features of Karat Pod kit
1) Innovative Quartz coil Pod
2) Diamond cut & One-piece battery design 
3) Constant 3.4v output power
4) 370mAh built-in battery
5) 2ML pod capacity
6) Two easy-refilling slots
7) Water & Oil resistant chipset
8) Black,Gun-metal,Bronze blue, Gradient blue, Rainbow color available

The advantages of Quartz coil pod
1) shorter priming time, no break in time, great flavor from first puff
2) Save battery life, support vaping about 220puffs after fully charged
3) Pod lifespan lasts longer
4) Stable heating, better flavor
5) Leaking-proof feature


Packaging and contents:

The kit comes packed in a small white cardboard box with an image of the device on the front and the contents and specs listed on the back. It also includes some basic company info as well as an authenticity check sticker. In the kit you get the the Karat device with an empty refillable pod, a micro UBS cable, a warranty card, a QC card and a user manual. It’s a very neat and tidy little package and includes everything you’d need to get started but I wouldn’t have minded seeing at least two pods in the kit. Luckily Smoant sent along a couple extras which was appreciated.

The Device:

The Karat is one of the slimmest and slickest devices I’ve come across so far. It’s mostly made of aluminum alloy so it feels solid in hand albeit a bit heavy for such a diminutive device. It’s got an unusual diamond like shape and measures 88mm long, 48mm wide and about 12mm thick. All of the edges are rounded and smoothed out with angled cuts to emphasize the diamond-like shape it sports. It’s got a gorgeous piano gloss finish but on the black version I received I got to say it’s a real finger print magnet of a finish. On one side it’s got a little diamond shaped emblem with the name Karat written on it that sort of hides the LED indicator. The little LED indicates, when it’s firing, when it’s charging as well as how much battery is remaining by changing colour. When fully charged the battery will shine blue, above 70% it will flash blue and when it drops below 70% it flashes red. On the bottom end it’s got two little holes so you can string it on a lanyard.

It’s draw activated meaning there is no button you just hold it to your lips and take a drag and it fires. The device has a built-in 370mAh battery that charges via micro USB, the charge port on the device is located on one of the bottom edges of the devices. It doesn’t appear to have any sort of quick charge but does support pass-through vaping meaning you can still vape on it while it’s charging. It might not seem like a high capacity battery but it’s got a constant output between 3.3 and 3.4v and with the pods coming in at 1.3ohm it’s only drawing about 8-9w so it tends to last a long time with Smoant estimating 220 puffs after fully charged. The big benefit of having a constant output is the consistency of the hit it provides. With the integrated battery it also includes all of the usual protections we’re used to seeing like short circuit, low battery, charge protection, over heat and a ten second cutoff. While I haven’t experienced any leaking with it yet it also claims to have a water and oil resistant chipset which should help prevent damage should any condensation or juice build up in the device.

The pods:

The pods it comes with as I mentioned are rated at 1.3ohms and hold a pretty standard 2ml of liquid but also incorporate an interesting new quartz coil system which is supposed to lead to shorter priming, no break in time and great flavour from the first puff. There’s some sort of ‘intensive heating microporous’ material being used in the coils construction and I’ll admit the flavour and performance I’ve been getting from it has been smooth and consistent. It does give a slightly warmer vape then I’m used to from a pod device but overall it’s been really pleasant to use. According to Smoant the new design should lead to longer life for the pods with stable heating and better flavour.

The pods are affixed to the device using a pair of magnets and stays attached pretty firmly despite not having any sort of friction fit or click when popping a pod in. To refill one just pull it out of the device and on the bottom there is a silicone strip that covers two little holes, you can unplug and rotate the silicone strip to expose the holes for filling, the secondary hole acting as a vent to assist with refills.

Performance:

In regards to performance it’s one of the more consistent pods I’ve used yet. The constant 3.4v output means the hit you get from it should be the same nearly every time. It might not be DNA Replay consistent but it’s about as close as you can get from a pod device without a more powerful regulatory chip. I do find most likely because of the quartz coil that the hit I get is a bit on the warm side. Especially if taking a really long pull but the flavour and hit I get from it is smooth, flavourful and most of all consistent every time which sets this thing apart from so many others. Yes there are other regulated pod devices on the market but they tend to be on the pricier side and seem few and far between. As for longevity of the pods, since they are refillable it will always depend on the juices used, personal vaping habits and QC on the pods themselves but I don’t see why anyone shouldn’t be able to get at least several refills or a couple weeks out of a pod before needing to be replaced. I should also mention this was tested with some 50/50 and 60/40 salt based liquids which it handled perfectly but it’s a somewhat conservative hit so I ‘d definitely recommend it be used with a higher strength liquid.

Likes:

  • Compact size/shape
  • Build quality
  • Slick appearance
  • Fit and finish
  • Regulated/consistent output
  • Good flavour
  • Passthrough
  • Leak resistant

Dislikes:

  • Fingerprint magnet
  • A bit heavy

Overall:

Being a big fan of pod devices with a preference for the ones that have a regulated output the Karat was pretty quick to win me over. While it’s shape is a bit unusual I think it’s a slick looking little device that’s sure to catch an eye or two. With it’s easy to use features, consistent output and solid performance I’d say the Karat would be an excellent option for someone just making the switch but also for seasoned vapers who enjoy salt nicotine and appreciate the features this little gem brings.