IQOS vs Aspire: Features, Price + More (2024)

The epic showdown: IQOS vs Aspire. We're here to dissect every puff, flavor, and cloud.

 

But how do they compare against each other in terms of product range, performance, flavors, value, and more?

 

Whether you're on team IQOS or rooting for Aspire, this detailed comparison guide is packed with juicy details!

 

And stick around, because we've got a twist for you – nicotine-free vapes from Cyclone Pods. Safer, smoother, and even more satisfying.

 

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A Quick Intro to IQOS and Aspire

IQOS (pronounced "EYE-kohs"), an acronym for "I Quit Ordinary Smoking," refers to a product line of tobacco and e-cigarette devices made by Philip Morris International (PMI). 

Therefore, technically speaking, IQOS products are not vapes but rather fall into the broader category of electronic cigarettes.

It focuses on ‘heat-not-burn’ tobacco products, offering smoke-free alternatives to traditional cigarettes. PMI positions IQOS as less harmful, but it's crucial to remember that it still delivers nicotine and isn't risk-free. 

Headquartered in Stamford, USA, PMI offers smoke-free products in 84 markets globally. The company has two smoke-free product research facilities in Singapore and Switzerland.
 

One of the global leaders in vape brands, Aspire boasts more than a decade of R&D and manufacturing in electronic atomization products.

Aspire offers a wide range of vaping devices, including pods, tanks, and mods, in over 30 countries, including the USA, through a network of over 150 distributors.

Brand History and Background of IQOS and Aspire

Let’s look at how the two brands evolved.

PMI was established in 1847 in New York and has long been a major player in the cigarette industry. 

However, facing declining smoking rates and growing health concerns, the company began exploring alternatives in the early 2000s. This led to the creation of a dedicated research and development division focused on smoke-free products, paving the way for IQOS.

Philip Morris International first launched IQOS in Japan and Italy in 2014.
 

 

Established in 2010, Aspire traces its origins back to Shenzen, China. It is a brand owned by Shenzhen Eigate Technology Co., Ltd.

The company is famous for developing several of the industry’s first technologies, such as the ‘Capillary System E-liquid Conduction.’

In 2021, Aspire was among the four e-cigarette brands that the US FDA requested social media marketing details from, due to concerns about vape marketing practices targeting youth.

IQOS vs Aspire Comparison Summary

Take a quick look at the features of IQOS and Aspire vapes before we get into the details:

 

 

IQOS

Aspire

Product Range

ILUMA, ORIGINALS (ONE, DUO), BONDS, lil

Pod systems: Raga AIO (All-In-One), Flexus, Cyber, Gotek, and Fluffi Series

Sub-ohm tanks and mods: Huracan, Veynom, and Proteus Series

 

Nicotine-free options available?

No

No (most Aspire vapes are recommended to be used with nic salt e-liquids)

Device Quality & Build

Stylish and premium devices with a focus on ergonomics

Classic design theme, tactile PU and modern metal aesthetics, ergonomic design, vibrant colors, TFT Color/OLED screen (in select devices)

Battery Capacity

IQOS ILUMA Prime: 2380 mAh (provides 2 consecutive uses per charge) IQOS lil Solid Ez: 2950mAh (3 consecutive uses per charge)

Minican 3 Pro Vape Kit: 900mAh

Cyber X Pod Kit: 1000mAh

Flexus Blok: 1200mAh

BP Stik: 2500mAh

R1 Disposable: 650mAh

Pod Capacity, Nicotine Strength

Not applicable - uses tobacco sticks that contain real tobacco (like HEETS & TEREA SMARTCORE)

Raga AIO: 4.5ml

BP Stik: 5ml PCTG reservoir

Cyber S: 2ml/3ml (depending on the limit set by local regulations like TPD and CRC)

Aspire typically recommends using their vapes with nicotine salt e-liquids ranging from 5-20mg nicotine strength

Number of Puffs per Pod

~14 puffs from each compatible tobacco stick

Raga AIO, BP Stik, Cyber S: 500 puffs

Aspire R1 Refillable Disposable Vape: 3500 puffs

Charging Time

90-120 minutes (can vary for different product ranges)

Raga AIO: Around 1-1.5 hours

Safety Features

Heat-not-burn technology, LED indicator, auto-shutoff, and age verification at purchase

Precision airflow, Aspire ASP chipset, overheat protection, low voltage protection

Device and Pod Cost

IQOS kit: $100 - $200 (depending on the product)

Tobacco sticks: $5 - $10 (pack of 20 sticks)

P Stik: $24.57

Flexus AIO Kit: $32.40

Gotek Pro: $20.25

Cyber G Pod Kit: $18.99

Onemore X1: $13.98

(prices from online Aspire store)

Customer Support and Warranty

1 year

90 days

 

Now let’s compare these brands in detail:

1. Design and Aesthetics

IQOS devices have a sleek, modern look, available in matte, glossy or metallic finishes and various colors. They embody the brand's signature monolithic look — a unified minimalist form. Simple button layouts and clear LED lights prioritize user-friendliness. The mix of plastic and metal aims for a sturdy yet stylish build, though some models scratch easily or feel bulky.

Aspire vapes are sleek with a modern design, with a focus on sustainability and performance.

For instance, the Raga AIO is built from sustainable nylon ceramic material which is strong, durable, and sports a high-end look and feel. Some Aspire vapes, such as the Hurricane series, feature ergonomic, metal aesthetics with TFT color screens for added visual appeal.

A few drawbacks include the stiffness of the airflow control ring in the Aspire Nautilus 2, which could affect the vaping experience. Also, having to remove the Breeze 2’s mouthpiece for airflow adjustment makes the design less intuitive than it could be​.

2. Performance and Battery Life

IQOS devices offer varying battery life depending on the model. Some devices are all-in-ones, while others come as starter kits, comprising the main device (aka the holder) and a charging case. Most IQOS devices provide enough power for around 20 uses per charge and 2-3 consecutive uses (2-3 tobacco sticks in a row).

Aspire vapes offer reliable performance and battery life.

For instance, the Aspire AVP features a 700mAh battery that lasts a full day on medium to high strength nic salts.

The device provides consistent output and charges in about 50 minutes, offering pass-thru vaping while charging. However, some users may find the lack of adjustable airflow a drawback.

Similarly, the Cyber G vape pen comes with an 850mAh battery, offering nearly two full pods of vaping on a single charge, showcasing impressive battery life for its size.

3. Longevity

Since IQOS devices are more of an alternative to cigarettes, it might not be fair to compare them with vapes. 

IQOS offers potential cost savings vs. cigarettes, with each stick lasting 10-14 puffs at a lower cost per puff. Some users report 1-2 years of use before encountering issues like battery degradation, button malfunctions, or heating problems. Others claim their devices have lasted longer, depending on usage frequency and care.

Most of the Aspire vapes, like Raga AIO, BP Stik, and Cyber S, offer close to 500 puffs per pod. Similarly, the R1 Refillable Disposable Vape offers up to 3500 puffs per pod.

Aspire coils are designed to last longer than traditional ones, with users reporting extended periods of use before needing a replacement, depending on their vaping habits and type of e-liquid used. With proper care and maintenance, Aspire devices can last between 6 and 24 months.

4. Flavor Selection and Nicotine Options

IQOS offers a diverse flavor palette through its HEETS, Fiit, and TEREA tobacco sticks. Flavors are categorized into Classic, Menthol, Aromatic (mint and fruit flavors), and other ranges.

Aspire offers a diverse range of flavor selections to cater to different preferences and tastes. Some popular flavor categories include fruit, beverages (tea and coffee), tobacco, and menthol.

5. Vaping Experience

IQOS offers a vaping experience distinct from traditional cigarettes and e-cigarettes. Users report a smoother, less harsh experience with various flavor options. However, some find it less satisfying than cigarettes, and the lack of strong nicotine options might be a drawback.

Aspire vapes have innovative coil technologies like the BVC (Bottom Vertical Coil) and mesh coils, which lead to efficient e-liquid absorption and heating. So, you get a consistent and satisfying vaping experience.

In terms of throat hit, Aspire vapes cater to diverse preferences, offering options for mouth-to-lung (MTL), direct-to-lung (DTL), and restricted direct-to-lung (RDTL) vaping.

But, there are a couple of issues too. The limited 2ml capacity of the Nautilus 2 might frustrate heavy users due to frequent refills. The Aspire AVP is often criticized for lacking adjustable airflow and difficulty in filling with thicker nozzles, and so on.

6. Health and Safety Concerns

IQOS products, while marketed as a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes, still carry health risks, including potential lung damage and impacts on immune function. 

And while IQOS sticks contain less total nicotine, the amount absorbed may be similar to traditional cigarettes. So concerns also revolve around nicotine addiction and exposure to harmful substances.
 

Aspire claims to conduct rigorous safety checks to ensure a safe vaping experience. However, most of their products are recommended to be used with nicotine e-liquids. And nicotine is known to be a highly addictive stimulant that can harm respiratory and cardiovascular health.

7. Regulatory Compliance and Legal Issues

IQOS got a US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) nod for their "reduced exposure" claim (vs. cigarettes) in 2020, but a patent infringement lawsuit in 2021 halted US sales, with no clear timeline for resumption. 

As of February 2024, PMI emphasizes its ongoing "constructive dialogue" with the FDA, as it plans IQOS’s US launch in 2024.

Aspire has faced some regulatory compliance and legal issues in the US market. For instance, the FDA raised concerns about Aspire importing new tobacco products, such as Aspire Breeze, without premarket authorization.

In the UK market, Aspire vape pods were found non-compliant with certain vape regulations that mandate tanks with a maximum of 2ml capacity, nicotine strength under 20mg/ml, and display of manufacturer details and health warnings.

Note: Consumers must also verify adherence to the latest local laws prior to any purchase of devices from these brands.

8. Nicotine Content Potential

IQOS heats real tobacco, providing a controlled nicotine delivery similar to traditional smoking. As a result, the nicotine strength options are limited, typically available in regular and light versions.

IQOS tobacco sticks contain about 70-80% of the nicotine in regular cigarettes. Each stick has over 4mg of nicotine, which is high but slightly less than the 10-14mg per cigarette in regular brands.

Most Aspire vapes are recommended to be used with nicotine salt e-liquids ranging from 5-20mg in strength. Some of Aspire’s sub-ohm devices, such as Revvo Mini Tank, are more compatible with low nicotine e-liquid.

But, vape pods, such as Cobble and Breeze 2, with high ohm ratings and low wattage, can also be used for low-nicotine e-liquids.

9. Compatibility with Other Products

IQOS devices are not cross-compatible with cigarettes or tobacco sticks from other brands, or any other vaping products. They are specifically designed to be used with their own branded tobacco sticks, such as HEETS for earlier models and TEREA SMARTCORE STICK for the IQOS ILUMA series, ensuring device functionality and safety.

Many Aspire are compatible with third-party pods and accessories, allowing you to customize your vaping setup according to your preferences.

10. Availability and Accessibility

While IQOS devices were authorized by the FDA for marketing in the US, sales currently remain halted due to a legal dispute. Their availability depends on resolving this issue and navigating import restrictions. That said, PMI plans to launch its products in the US in phases (subject to approval from authorities), starting in two unnamed states staring May 2024, followed by a national launch.

Note: The US FDA has not authorized IQOS as a smoking cessation aid.

Aspire vapes are easily available online and in local vape stores in the US, UK, and other regions.

While location-based restrictions may apply in other areas, Aspire products are generally accessible to vapers worldwide through authorized retailers and online platforms.

11. Cost vs. Quality

IQOS devices, priced around $100 and up, aim for quality with Heat-not-burn technology, offering a consistent smoking alternative with reduced harmful chemicals. Despite a higher initial cost compared to some competitors, the investment reflects its technological and safety features.

Aspire balances cost and quality, providing durable and reliable products at competitive prices. For example, devices like the Aspire Minican and the AVP series, are well-known in the vaping community for their reasonable prices and reliable performance.

However, users must note that Aspire warranty coverage may not include coils or accessories, which may lead to additional replacement costs.

Pros and Cons of IQOS and Aspire

To summarize, here are the benefits and drawbacks of both these brands:

 

Pros of IQOS

Cons of IQOS

  • Potentially reduced risk compared to cigarettes
  • Smokeless and odorless, reducing second-hand smoke concerns
  • Portable and user-friendly design
  • FDA authorized for ‘reduced exposure’ claim, indicating a level of regulatory acceptance

  • Nicotine dependence remains a concern
  • Higher initial cost compared to some e-cigarettes
  • Limited nicotine strength options
  • Regulatory controversies and legal challenges affect product availability

 

 

Pros of Aspire

Cons of Aspire

  • High quality, variety of choices for beginners to advanced vapers
  • Durable, superior build, long-lasting performance
  • Advanced technology, intelligent temperature control system, innovative features
  • User-friendly, customizable products that are compatible with a wide range of e-liquids

  • Sub-ohm tanks may not be as competitive for Direct-to-Lung vaping as other brands
  • Warranty coverage may not include coils (atomizers) or accessories due to their consumable nature, leading to additional costs for replacements
  • Some models may not deliver as tight a draw as desired for MTL vapers
  • Limited battery life in models like the PockeX, requiring frequent recharges

 

In short, both IQOS and Aspire stand out in the vaping market with their unique strengths and offerings.

 

However, both IQOS and Aspire are not without their regulatory challenges.

 

Now, if you’re on the lookout for a nicotine-free alternative without compromising on the vaping experience, we’ll tell you what’s best.

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