SMOK are one of the leading pioneers in the vaping industry these days, showing time after time they can innovate and meet customer demands. Since 2010 they have led the way in the vaping industry, creating a range of vape pods and vape mods that stand out because of their impressive features and design. If you didn’t know already and new to vaping, vape pods are traditionally compact devices that can fit in your pocket and are easy to use. In contrast, vape mods provide extensive features for advanced vapers. Two key examples of this are the SMOK Alien and the SMOK Rigel.
Like many technology giants such as Apple or Samsung, creators of vape products such as SMOK demonstrate their creative skills by producing long line devices tailored to the user. It seems like they’re bringing out a new device every year, with very close similarities. Prime examples include the SMOK Morph Kit or the SMOK X-Priv. However, in recent times, one has stood out above all others in the vape mod category - the SMOK Alien. Sadly this has now been discontinued, paving the way for the SMOK Rigel. Let’s pay a tribute to the Alien as it departs this planet. With the Rigel now landed, is it better or worse? How does it pale in comparison?
SMOK Alien - the Legacy of a Fallen Giant
Out with the old and in with the new as they say. Although the SMOK Alien is no more, there was much to appreciate about this once-popular device. It was a repeated bestseller on Pure E-Liquids for a reason, with vapers seeking more technical capabilities impressed with countless features on the famous box mod.
For more than four years, we have seen the impact of the Alien on the vaping community. Capable of producing large clouds, it features modes such as temperature control (TC) and adjustable wattage to create a user-friendly experience.
What Users Loved About the SMOK Alien
In terms of design, practicality and performance, the Alien rarely failed to impress anybody receiving it in the post. With 220W of power, that was more than enough to excite the cloud chasers among you. From its landing on the Pure E-Liquids website from 2017 to 2020, we saw plenty of customers raving about the different options and benefits of having an Alien in your hand.
From helping smokers quit to its compact design (dimensions of 44mm length and 30mm width), the Alien certainly left a mark many felt couldn’t be topped. The SMOK Alien’s other key features include:
- Variable wattage resistance of 0.1 - 3.0 Ohms
- OLED display
- 510 threading (similar to many vape mods)
- Dual battery indicators
- Side fire button
How Other Vape Mods Rate in Comparison
Compared to the different vape mods on the market, for years the SMOK Alien set the industry standard, hence its popularity at Pure E-Liquids. With a higher wattage than most, vapers seek more flexibility and versatility with their device, so they have more choice how to customise their vape. Wattage is the best way to do that, but temperature control can be a nice feature to facilitate that preference, but it comes at a cost.
Although it helps to adjust based on the coil you use, it can over-complicate matters. Just scrolling through the Alien highlights how many features you have. For instance, you have different strengths of vape for starters, ranging from ‘soft’ and ‘normal’ through to ‘hard’. You can also update the device via firmware, adjust the Ohms manually and enter ‘stealth mode’. For beginners, this would be an overload of information.
Of course many simply prefer smaller and more simple vape pens and e cigarettes that require no adjustment - just vape straight out of the box like smoking a conventional cigarette. Using the right e liquid strength and the right simple vape device can be just as effective to help stop smoking. The feel of having something smaller and more cigarette like is an important feature for many who have kicked the smoking habit and who may have no desire for massive clouds.
For more avid vapers, it’s also a challenge trying to adjust to find the right performance. Examples like the GeekVape Aegis X offer similar power but simpler features. Plenty raved about the Alien, but we believe SMOK has added another string to the bow with the SMOK Rigel.
Introducing the SMOK Rigel
Better design, increased wattage capabilities, no temperature control to mess around with - the list goes on. The Rigel certainly looks eye-catching with a new rubber texture, a honeycomb pattern on the side and back of the device in a faded colour scheme and the fire button switched to the front above the 0.96 inch TFT colour display.
No fire button on the side which makes a loud clicking sound each time you scroll through the menu. SMOK goes back to simplicity with the Rigel, providing a user-friendly menu that’s easy to navigate and optimise how you like to inhale when you vape. Learn more about how to use vape mods and manage a Sub-Ohm device here. With the Rigel, it could even be used as an intermediate device for those transitioning from vape pods looking to refill their e-liquids in a more tech-savvy device.
- 230W adjustable wattage
- Magnetic battery casing for dual 18650 batteries
- 510 threading
- Puff counter
- Selective multi-coloured screen display
- Type-C charger
- Adjustable airflow
- Open fill system
Equipped with two 0.15Ω mesh coils in the SMOK Rigel kit and a type-C charger compared to the mini USB from the SMOK Alien, the kit is an early indicator of the upgrades demonstrating how SMOK listened to the fans and then produced! The Rigel is much quieter, thanks to the separating bit of plastic between the airflow control. Also, the magnetic casing on the battery creates no rattle for the user, which is a big plus. There is an extra 10 watts of power compared to the SMOK Alien too and with a smaller sized device too (same length but less width).
For us, the biggest factor which sets the SMOK Rigel apart and an upgrade on the SMOK Alien is the removal of the temperature control. It wasn’t even needed with the Alien, which came with the TFV8 Baby Beast (but not compatible in TC mode with the V8 or T8 coils). Overall, it just means less to think about when vaping. Simply adjusting the wattage is the most straightforward way to optimise your device and produce bigger clouds while maximising flavour without going into too much detail.
FAQs About the SMOK Rigel
Is the Rigel Mouth to Lung (MTL) or Direct to Lung (DTL)?
The Rigel is a versatile device based on adjustable wattage but is more suited to DTL vaping based on cloud production and power from the device.
How Easy is the Device to Navigate?
Unlike the Alien with so many different features and settings, the Rigel is more straightforward. Five clicks of the fire button to turn on and off. The display highlights the wattage, volts, puff counter (resets automatically after every 1000 puffs, or can be reset manually - click the down button and fire button together), individual battery level indicators and chosen coil resistance (Ohms). Another cool feature - the up button and fire button pressed together change the screen menu colour to match your device theme.
Does the Screen Lock?
Yes, simply click the fire button three times to lock and another three to unlock.
How Long Do the Coils Last?
With the SMOK Rigel kit, you get 0.15Ω mesh coils which last longer depending on how frequently you vape and whether you set at a higher or lower wattage. The higher you go, the quicker you will burn through your e-liquid, so optimise to personal preference. The TFV9 tank works best with high VG e-liquids with a ratio of at least 60% Vegetable Glycerin - but preferably closer to 70% VG.
For the majority of advanced vapers, adjustable wattage is enough. Because most vape in direct to lung (DTL) mode, it’s mainly about the practicality and power of the device. Temperature control is not a necessity and for this reason, the Rigel is a logical switch for DTL vapers. Couple the more powerful device with mesh coils that create better flavour and bigger clouds and we have a winner - the SMOK Rigel looks stylish, easier to use and performs equally well.