SMOK Guardian 3 Review
The Bluetooth functionality and app makes this E-pipe worth the money and delivers something new and different.
The SMOK Guardian 3 is a new e-pipe by SMOK, featuring Bluetooth compatibility and a free app that you can use to manage the settings of the device.
We were pretty stoked to get a look at it, so without further delay, let’s get into the nitty-gritty!
Just to add, this is not the first E-pipe that we have reviewed, so if you think that this is not exactly the type of device you want, browse our website to check other E-pipe reviews, or simply use the site SEARCH function.
Pros and Cons
- There are a ton of settings on this device
- This pipe is a massive improvement over previous SMOK e-pipes
- It kicks out truly impressive volumes of vapour
- This pipe makes getting into temperature control vaping an extremely user-friendly experience
- There were no extra O-rings included in the starter kit
- It didn’t come with any sort of stand
- The menu was tedious to navigate without the Bluetooth/app functionality
Information! This E-pipe is no longer available on UKEcigStore.com, check on Amazon instead!
What’s in the starter kit?
The starter kit comes with the Guardian 3 E-pipe itself, as well as the Micro TFV4 Plus Tank. But these were just the beginning of what we found inside the box. The SMOK Guardian 3 actually comes with quite a few little tidbits on the inside that add a lot of value for the cost.
In addition to the pipe and the tank, we also found an instruction manual, an official verification card, a battery safety card, a micro-USB to USB lead (not for charging… for firmware updates), an old-school ego connector charging lead (for those who wish to charge the battery while it is still in the device), a spare Pyrex tank glass tube (the XL version), a tank band (to help keep the top-loader opening closed), a couple little spare parts, and a spare coil.
This kit actually comes with two different coils, but one of them comes pre-installed in the tank. The coil that comes pre-fitted in the tank is a .3 Ohm coil for standard wattage-controlled sub ohm vaping, while the spare coil that comes with it is a .25 Ohm stainless steel coil built for the temperature control mode.
The battery we used in this device (it didn’t come with one, so you’ll need to get one of your own if you don’t already have one) was a 2500mAh, 3.7V 18650 from Vaping Outlaws (a very good battery, in our opinion!).
The firing button had a nice click to it. The overall feel was lightweight and maybe a little bit fragile… but the finish was lovely, and we had no reason to complain about it cosmetically. Once again, this was another e-pipe starter kit that shipped without a stand (we know… we complain about this a lot) – and as always, it would have been nice to see a stand included with it… but that’s not a deal breaker by any stretch of the imagination.
The battery compartment was interesting on this device. It’s located on the bottom of the pipe, and pops off using small magnets. It was nice that it was held in place by magnets – we liked that about it. The micro USB port was located inside of the pipe beneath the battery slot. This isn’t to charge the device – but rather, acts as the medium through which you would connect the device to a computer or device for firmware updates and such.
Switching the device on takes the standard 5 clicks. The screen, which is located on top of the bowl, was pretty nice. It’s a smart OLED screen, but honestly it was a bit difficult to see in a brightly lit room. This wasn’t too surprising though, as most screens aren’t fantastic in such bright lighting.
The tank is well-made. It’s small-looking, but actually holds a lot of E-liquid… especially when you install the extra-large glass tank, which is really nice. The drip tip on the end of the tank uses two nice O-rings to maintain a seal, which is a good thing to see. There is also a very small, yet very useful airflow controller on the drip tip, which was quite interesting. It was tiny really, but certainly workable – and made the tank much easier to use.
The top-fill design on this tank was very well done. You simply slide the top over and fill it through the small hole (the one on the side – not the one in the center). It doesn’t get much easier than this where filling up a tank is concerned.
The tank is pretty easy to break down, and the coils are easy to change. They’re rather big and chunky coils. We liked how they looked and worked. All in all, this part was very satisfactory.
Honestly, the settings were quite in-depth – and a bit frustrating to try to navigate with the single-button interface. Some of the settings even seemed a bit gimmicky to us. With that being said, connecting to the Bluetooth, downloading the app, and using it to set the settings was the way to go! This made setting things up much easier – and we would definitely… DEFINITELY… recommend that you do it this way.
Kudos to SMOK for giving you a hardware interfacing option – but it’s really just frustrating and works better through the app.
- Output power range: 1-75 Watts
- Output voltage range: 0.7V-9V
- Resistance range for temp mode: 0.6Ohms-2.0Ohms
- Resistance range for wattage mode: 0.1Ohms-3.0Ohms
- Temperature control range: 200 degrees F-600 degrees F
- Requires an 18650 battery (not included in the kit)
- Spring-loaded 510 connection threads
- Puff monitoring system
- Blue-tooth 4.0 compatible
- Product dimensions: 101.8mm x 59.1mm x 46.3mm
- OLED display
- Finished with a glossy black-piano lacquer finish
- Features an ergonomic grip for comfort
- 5ml tank capacity
- Can be fitted with an XL replacement tank for a capacity of 5ml
- Top filling
- Adjustable airflow
What did we think of the SMOK Guardian 3?
For the vape test, we set it to 40 watts on normal mode, and we just used the standard sub ohm vaping mode… not the temperature control mode. This kicked out a pretty massive amount of vapour! For the second test run, we cranked it down a bit – to 30 watts. This still kicked out a lot of vapour, but it wasn’t quite a ‘punchy’ on the fire button.
For the third run, we turned it up to 45 watts. This made the response time instantaneous, and gave us a TON of vapour.
All in all, it has its downsides – but to be really fair and honest, as an entire package, this was an awesome e-pipe. It was a bit frustrating without the app… but the Bluetooth functionality was excellent and really, really made it easy to use in the end.
It’s powerful, it has a ton of options, and it’s technologically advanced. If you’re looking for an amazing vaping machine that will remind you of a traditional pipe in every way that matters, then the SMOK Guardian 3 should most certainly be a top contender on your list!
Improvements from the previous version
In our opinion, this was a massive improvement over the previous Guardian pipes… and honestly, when you factor in the power and the usefulness of the app, it was really an improvement over most e-pipes that we’ve reviewed in the past… so well done, SMOK!
Appearance and Feel
The starter kit came in an attractive cardboard box with a spec rundown on the back. It was very well-designed. There are also scan codes on the side of the box that you can use to download the official product app on your Apple or Android smart phone… which is really cool.
Basically, you can use your phone to just scan the applicable code and download the app.
Once you remove the cardboard case, you are left with an elegant black box with the pipe and tank situated inside of it. The pipe, the tank, and the entire layout of the contents of the box were phenomenal.
The pipe itself was quite light, really. It’s made of plastic, but is also very sleek and shiny. It also fits well in-hand, which is awesome. One word that we would use to describe how it feels would be ‘brittle’, or fragile. It just seems like it could be easy to break when you’re holding it, though we were pretty convinced after giving it some use that it’s really quite a sturdy e-pipe – that’s just what came to mind as we first looked at it.
This device is made mostly from plastic, though the tank is made from Pyrex glass and metal. It honestly felt a bit fragile to us, but it performed well and we didn’t see a problem with it.
There were airflow holes all over this device. There were battery-cooling holes in the bottom battery lid, grooves in the base where the tank connects to the pipe, and variable airflow settings on the tank as well as on the drip tip.
- Ease of Use
This device has some controls that give it an intermediate user level. Honestly, though we loved the interface and the on-screen menu, it just wasn’t very easy to use. The way you need to operate everything with only one button works – but it’s a bit confusing and takes some time to get used to.
Hint: download and use the app for the device instead of trying to adjust the settings manually with the hardware menu. This will save you a lot of time and makes it much easier!
The Bluetooth functionality and app absolutely made this pipe amazing. Without this, it was a bit tedious to try to navigate the menu.
The overall design of the pipe felt a bit fragile at first. We also wished it would have shipped with a pipe stand.
Company Address and Contact Details
This e-pipe is made by SMOK, which is a leading brand of ShenZhen IVPS Technology Co Limited. You can buy the Guardian 3 from many different E-cig retailers, including UK Ecig Store… but it is produced by SMOK.
The company address for SMOK is as follows…
3rd Floor of Jiejing Yangguang Park’s Affiliated Building, No.15 Kejibei 2nd Road, Nanshan District, Shenzhen, China
As for contact details, you can reach SMOK by emailing them at this email address… firstname.lastname@example.org.