The Vaporesso Luxe PM40 Starter Kit in this review was provided by our friends over at Vaporesso (thank you!). Feel free to refer to their site if you would like additional info on this device or any of their other products.
I’ll admit that when I first saw pictures of the Vaporesso Luxe PM40, I immediately thought it looked like the Smok Nord 2. I’m confident I’m not the only one either. What’s really interesting is that this isn’t a simple case of imitating a popular product just to make a quick buck (although I’m sure some will disagree). In my opinion, Vaporesso is attempting to claim the top spot in the small AIO market. It’s as if they said, “Smok made this. Let’s make something even better.” It’s similar to the release of the original Uwell Caliburn. It looked and functioned like every other boring pod system on the market…but, as most of us know, the Caliburn was considerably better!
To further my point, Vaporesso actually encouraged me to put these 2 devices head-to-head in a little AIO showdown. They seem to have a lot of confidence in the Luxe PM40, we’ll just have to see if it’s justified. In this article, I will be evaluating every possible category and noting which product is superior. In the conclusion, I’ll give you my final thoughts and declare an overall winner. Essentially, I’ll be deciding which one deserves a place in my collection since I don’t need both of them. I’ve never written an article like this, so I’m hoping it’s a nice change of pace for you guys. If you’ve had your eye on one of these kits, maybe this will help you make an informed decision on which one to buy.
Packaging & Presentation
Presentation | Winner: Draw
No complaints here. Both devices have professional packaging and branding.
Inclusions | Winner: Draw
The contents are exactly the same: the device, 2 empty pods, 2 spare coils, a charging cable, and a user manual.
Build Quality | Winner: Vaporesso
This might be one of the biggest selling points of the Luxe PM40. The build quality is outstanding and the IML panels are absolutely gorgeous. The Nord 2 looks and feels totally fine, but it just feels like a cheaper product. Trust me, when you compare these devices side by side, it’s obvious that the PM40 is on another level.
Power Output | Winner: Draw
These are both 40W devices that adjust in 1W increments.
Size & Ergonomics | Winner: Draw
The PM40 is slightly bigger, but it also has a more contoured design. They both feel great in the hand, so I don’t feel like either kit has the edge here.
Ease of Use | Winner: Draw
They’re both very easy to use: 5 clicks on/off, 3 clicks to unlock and adjust the wattage.
Screen | Winner: Vaporesso
Both screens and fonts are the same size, however, the PM40 display is much brighter. It’s also MUCH easier to see the battery level (the % reading on the Nord 2 is ridiculously small). Another problem with the Nord 2 is that both sides of the device look identical, so it’s hard to remember where the display is located.
Chipset | Winner: Draw
Both devices have their quirks. The PM40 frequently changes the power to the recommended wattage (usually after you install the pod). As for the Nord 2, the display turns off while charging, so you have to click the button just to see the charge status (very annoying). It also resets the puff count every time you install the pod. This renders the puff counter completely useless since you need to remove the pod just to see how much e-liquid you have left.
Button | Winner: Smok
The metal button on the PM40 may look nicer, but it has a fair amount of play. The Nord’s button is only plastic, but it feels much more stable/solid (no play), and it even has an LED light to notify you of any issues.
Battery Capacity | Winner: Vaporesso
The PM40 has a slightly bigger internal battery (1800mAh vs. 1500mAh). To be fair, I didn’t notice much of a difference when I was using them, so don’t allow this to affect your decision on which one to buy.
USB Port | Winner: Vaporesso
The PM40 has a Type-C Port (side) and the Nord 2 has a Micro USB port (bottom).
Charging Speed | Winner: Vaporesso
I charged both devices from 15% – 100%. The Nord 2 took 65 minutes, while the PM40 (which has a bigger battery) only took 55 minutes.
Pods / Cartridges
E-liquid Capacity | Winner: Smok
The Nord 2 has slightly more e-liquid capacity (4.5mL vs. 4mL).
Pod Design | Winner: Vaporesso
This is one of my favorite features of the Luxe PM40. The airflow on the coils is enclosed inside the pod. So, if it does happen to leak (and it hasn’t yet), it will leak inside the pod itself. In contrast, if the Nord 2 leaks, the liquid will get all over the inside of the device (unfortunately, this seems to happen quite often!).
Filling Design| Winner: Vaporesso
The PM40 has a fantastic top-fill design. It’s similar to the Vaporesso XROS (the mouthpiece snaps off), so you don’t even need to remove the pod to refill. The Nord 2 has a silicone plug on the side which isn’t very easy to open…and you need to remove the pod to access it.
Pod Fitment | Winner: Draw
Both pods fit inside the devices securely and there’s absolutely no play.
Mouthpiece | Winner: Vaporesso
The PM40 is more rounded which makes it feel much more natural and comfortable (subjective opinion).
E-liquid Window | Winner: Vaporesso
Both of these devices have clear pods, which is great for viewing your e-liquid level. However, this is wasted on the Nord 2 since you can’t see anything when the pod is installed. The PM40 allows you to see your e-liquid level until it gets down to about 30%, and even then, you can tilt the pod to see how much is remaining.
Variety | Winner: Smok
Between the RPM and Nord coils, Smok has a better variety available. The GTX coil family is substantial too though.
Flavor | Winner: Vaporesso
Judging from the coils I tried, none of them significantly outshined the other in the flavor department, but the GTX coils do have a noticeable edge here. I used the same e-liquids in both devices during testing and the Nord coils seemed somewhat muted in comparison. Don’t let that affect your decision too much though, I think most people would be happy with either of them.
Design | Winner: Vaporesso
Props to both companies here, as they positioned the airflow intake on the side of the device, which means you’re not likely to cover it while vaping. But the obvious winner here is Vaporesso, as they implemented an adjustable airflow system (there are no adjustments on the Nord 2). It’s an incredibly clever design too; you adjust the airflow with a lever on the back of the device which closes off the ports on the side of the device. Very impressive.
Airflow Experience | Winner: Smok
The airflow on the Nord 2 is noticeably smoother and quieter than the PM40. This is probably due to the airflow path. With the Nord, the air is going through the side and directly into the coil. With the PM40, the air has to travel through the side AND the pod before reaching the coil.
When I started writing this article, I was full of excitement and anticipation. I know people who adore the Smok Nord 2, so I predicted a close matchup with a narrow margin of victory. This was not the case. Now I understand why Vaporesso was so anxious to throw the Luxe PM40 in the ring with the Nord 2: they’re just showing off! 😊 Sorry, but the PM40 is a vastly superior product, hands down.
Vaporesso Luxe PM40 (11) • Smok Nord 2 (4) • Draw (7)
That isn’t to say that the Nord 2 is a bad device, in fact, I’m quite fond of it. But I’m also fond of imitation crab meat, which is undeniably inferior to the real stuff. I feel like both devices are a safe investment, but if you have the choice, I’d highly recommend going for the Luxe PM40. Here’s why…
[Vaporesso Luxe PM40 Advantages]
- Significantly better build quality (the IML panels are gorgeous too!)
- Innovative adjustable airflow system
- The GTX coils are more reliable than the Smok coils (in my experience)
- Easy top-fill design
- Brighter display (and easier to read)
- USB Type-C charging
- Easier to remove the pod (it has grips along the side of the pod for this purpose)
- More comfortable mouthpiece
- The puff counter doesn’t reset every time you remove the pod
- You can see the e-liquid level without removing the pod
- Leak-resistant pod design
[Smok Nord 2 Advantages]
- More e-liquid capacity (4.5mL vs 4mL)
- The wattage doesn’t auto-adjust every time you install the pod
- It has a better firing button which also features an LED indicator
- Bigger family of coils available (compatible with RPM and Nord coils)
- Smoother airflow
- It has a voltage reading on the display
As much as I like the PM40, it’s certainly not perfect. Here are a few things that need improvement. (1) The firing button has too much play, which makes it feel a bit cheap. (2) The wattage often auto-adjusts when you install the pod. (3) The airflow could be smoother. (4) Lastly, just a few subtle design changes would differentiate it from the Nord 2. As it stands, it looks too similar, and that will likely cause some controversy.
Aside from that, the Luxe PM40 is a phenomenal AIO, specifically when it comes to restricted direct-lung vaping. Vaporesso really impressed me with this kit. Some of the features, like the AFC system and pod design, were executed flawlessly. And again, the build quality is superb. I wouldn’t call it a game-changer or anything, but it’s unarguably at the top of its class and a big improvement over the Nord 2. I realize that the market is oversaturated and a lot of vapers are starting to lose interest in these types of kits (myself included), but don’t sleep on this one. It’s a keeper!
My name is Jeremy and I’ve been writing for VAPE.DEALS since early 2016. Digging for deals is what I do! I’m a former 15-year smoker and will always be grateful that I found vaping when I did. This site played a key role in my journey. It kept me interested and excited about vaping during those first crucial months away from cigarettes. Now, my ambition is to pass along that excitement to others; to help people make the switch and never return to combustible cigarettes. This industry is important and I feel truly blessed to be a part of it. Please feel free to reach out to me if you ever have any questions: [email protected]