When you first see the SMOK Rolo Badge, you may think it’s an upside down Suorin Drop. It basically is! But is there anything notably different here from the Suorin Drop? That was the question I just had to have answered.
The Rolo Badge is well made with solid feeling zinc-alloy body and a heft like the Drop or the Kado Stealth, though it’s heavier than both (weighing in around 70 grams). As much as SMOK copied from the Drop, I feel the Drop has a more refined feel because the Badge has harder and flattened edges.
The Rolo Badge has an anodized finish like the some of the Drop’s finishes, but I’ve found that the Badge scratches more easily. It’s also a fingerprint magnet, but that is normal for this type of finish. In general though, the Badge is made well and feels like a quality product.
Although the design is basically an upside down Suorin Drop, the Badge manages to eke out its own look in the shape of a policeman’s badge. But when I first saw it, I had to laugh. SMOK even went so far as to copy the non-functioning rubberized button that’s on the Drop, though SMOK made theirs in the shape of a badge. But copying — especially in China — is nothing to be surprised about.
Unlike the SMOK Infinix or the SMOK Fit (both patterned after closed system vapes) the Drop is already refillable… so it was hard to see what SMOK could bring to the table to differentiate it from the Drop. After using it now for over a month, I can say they vape differently although they look similar.
Since the design of the Drop has been inverted, the Badge pods are wider and shorter though they hold the same amount of juice. And the pods are dark tinted like the Drop, though not as dark. Still, it’s not always easy to see your juice level unless you’re in a well-lit space.
Refilling the Rolo Badge is the same as the Drop too. There are two refill plugs, both anchored on one side. Filling the Badge is easiest with the included needle-tip bottle or a unicorn bottle, and it’s not necessary to use both sides since the juice flows pretty easily past the center chimney.
Lastly, the pods are magnetic but they don’t click into place. It’s pretty much mush when you insert the pods. I know it’s not that big of a deal, but vapers love a good click!
The Rolo Badge has a legit MTL draw with good flavor and a solid throat hit, but it vapes a tad hot. But I like it. It’s a bit too open of a draw for my preference, but it’s still squarely MTL. Since the Rolo Badge’s pods and chimney are shorter than the Drop, the distance from the user’s mouth and the coil are much closer. Also, the chimney’s opening is wider than the Drop and I think that makes the draw less tight. But my Badge hits quickly without having to draw on it hard.
I’ve had no issues with what juice I’ve used. I’ve gone from 50/50 to max VG with no problems in 11 refills so far. But I’ve found the Badge provides a more flavorful hit with higher PG juices (I am using Halo’s Madagascar Sunrise from their PG line). That surprised me a bit because the coil and wick have a larger ID than the Drop’s. There has been some leaking from the fill ports, but not excessive. And I haven’t had any dry/burnt hits or gurgling — similar to my experience with the SMOK Infinix. There’s been a little juice in the mouth, but not too bad.
When I first got the Rolo Badge, it vaped really well and it performed consistently. After a little while, I began having some issues. Misfires, auto-firing (after taking a drag), and the charging has been wonky (mentioned in the battery section). Those issues (besides the charging issues) happened during the two-week mark, but haven’t happened again. All I can think of is that SMOK copied the Drop so well that the issues that plagued it were carried over to the Rolo Badge.
If you have the Badge and experience misfires or auto-firing, take out the pod and put it back in. If it doesn’t stop, dry the bottom of the pod and the battery’s pod housing of any juice that may’ve seeped out of the fill plugs. If that doesn’t fix it, I’d retire it.
The battery life of the Rolo Badge is par for the course for a 250 mAh, which is not that good. You will need to recharge often if chain vaping. Now to my other issue: I wish I could say how long it takes to charge, but I don’t know since my charge light won’t go off. I watched that light like a hawk (to get the charge time), but it never went off. After 60 minutes, I knew it was just defective. I just leave it charging for 30 minutes or so now and consider it charged.
I’d be remiss to not mention that the charge light is different from the Drop’s. Instead of the pods lighting up from the base of the pod and illuminating it, there’s just a tiny little light toward the bottom of the pod that is either white when charged or red when it’s dead. I’d prefer a middle-ground color to know when it’s almost depleted, but since it’s a charge-thru battery I can live with it.
While the SMOK Rolo Badge is made well, and the one I have vapes well, the battery issues I’ve had prevent me from recommending it. Misfiring, auto-firing, and wonky charging killed it for me. If I am going to have to deal with those kinds of problems, I’ll stick with the Drop. If SMOK had taken the Drop’s design and actually fixed some of the issues, I would’ve easily recommended it.