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

The epic showdown: IQOS vs Innokin. 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 Innokin, 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 Innokin

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.
 

Innokin is a vape brand based in Shenzhen, China with a global reach in over 80 countries.

Its manufacturing base in China is supported by an after-sales service center in California, USA. Its product range includes pod systems, vape kits, tanks, and more.

Brand History and Background of IQOS and Innokin

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.
 

 

Innokin, established in 2011, has emerged as a significant player in the vaping industry. The company holds over 170 patents across design, utility, and processing.

The launch of their iTaste VV pen-style vape in 2013, the Cool Fire box mod series in 2014, the Platform starter kits in 2019, and others cemented their reputation.

In May 2023, Innokin received a warning letter from the FDA, highlighting regulatory concerns over certain products that were not authorized for sale in the US.

IQOS vs Innokin Comparison Summary

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

 

 

IQOS

Innokin

Product Range

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

Pod Systems: Klypse, Kroma, Sceptre, EZ.WATT, EQ, EQ S, Go S Pod

Vape Kits: Adept Series, Coolfire Z Series, Endura T Series, Go S Series

Vape Tanks: Zenith Series, Z Force Series, GoMax Series, GO Z Tank

Disposable Vapes: Innobar Series

 

Nicotine-free options available?

No

Yes (can be paired with 3rd party nicotine-free e-liquids)

Device Quality & Build

Stylish and premium devices with a focus on ergonomics

Solid build quality and sleek design, often using durable metal, carbon fiber, glass, and stainless steel

Battery Capacity

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

700mAh - 6000mAh (depending on the device)

MVP5 Ajax: 5200mAh
Innokin Adept: 3000mAh, EQ-S: 800mAh
Klypse Pod Kit: 700mAh

Pod Capacity, Nicotine Strength

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

0.8ml - 18ml (varies with device type), and typically 10-50 mg/ml nicotine for disposable vapes. (Other devices are compatible with e-liquids with varying nic strengths.)

Endura S1: 2ml, available in 10-20 mg/ml nicotine

Innobar S3: 12ml, available in 50 mg/ml nicotine

Innobar 8000: 17.5ml, 50mg/ml nicotine

Number of Puffs per Pod

~14 puffs from each compatible tobacco stick

600-8000 puffs per pod or refill, depending on the type of device

Innobar C1: 600 puffs

Innobar S3: 5000 puffs

Innobar 8000: 8000 puffs

Charging Time

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

Endura T18 Kit: 2-3 hours

Innobar C1: 1 hour

Safety Features

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

Temperature control, auto-cut-off, leakproof design, overcharge protection

Device and Pod Cost

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

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

Klypse Zip Pod System Kit: $9.99

Arcfire Pod System Kit: $14.99
Coolfire Z60 Box Mod: $39.99

Kroma-R Starter Kit: $69.99

Proton 235W Kit ((w/ Scion 2): $89.99

Customer Support and Warranty

1 year

90 days (plus an additional 90 days with Innokin’s extended warranty program)

 

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.

Innokin products are generally known for their sleek and compact designs, with user-friendly features like easy filling and buttonless operation on some models.

They typically use stainless steel for durability and PCTG plastic for specific components.

While their designs are visually appealing, the glossy finishes can be prone to fingerprints and smudges, which may detract from the overall look over time.

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).

Innokin devices are generally known for their consistent performance and long battery life, with some models lasting a full day on a single charge.

Popular models like the Sceptre Tube feature a 1300mAh battery, supporting all-day vaping with efficiency across different coil resistances.

Similarly, devices like the Adept offer variable wattage, letting you tailor your vaping experience, while some, like the Proton Mini boast fast charging capabilities.

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.

Innokin vapes, crafted from quality materials like stainless steel and zinc alloy, stand out for their durability and reliability across device types.

They deliver impressive puff counts, with certain ranges capable of achieving over 7,000 to 8,000 puffs.

Users often report these devices surpassing one year of lifespan under regular use.

On the downside, some reviewers mention occasional coil inconsistencies (especially in Sceptre devices) that can lead to needing replacements sooner.

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.

Innokin offers a wide variety of flavors, from refreshing spearmint to fruity and dessert-inspired choices.

Moreover, their devices are designed to be compatible with third-party e-liquids, enabling you to choose your preferred flavors.

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.

Innokin devices are engineered to deliver satisfying clouds and a smooth throat hit, adjustable to suit both mouth-to-lung (MTL) and direct-to-lung (DTL) vapers.

For instance, the Innokin Sceptre allows you to switch between MTL and RDL styles easily, providing a customizable experience.

Some of their products, like Innobar C1, come with exclusive water-based e-liquids that satisfy cravings more quickly.

Some devices lack a clear battery or e-liquid level indication, which could be frustrating for some users.

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.
 

Innokin has run into issues with the FDA due to the use of unauthorized flavors in its Esco Bars disposable vape line.

Unchecked and unauthorized flavors can contain harmful chemicals, like diacetyl, which has been linked to lung disease. Additionally, they may contain high quantities of sweeteners to lure in teens, potentially starting them on a habit with negative health consequences.

Besides, nicotine in e-liquids in Innokin devices is addictive and can mess with your lungs and heart health, and impair brain development in teens.

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.

As we saw above, Innokin got a warning from the FDA in May 2023 for some flavorings in their Esco Bars that weren't approved.

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.

Innokin’s pre-filled vapes come with e-liquid up to 50mg/ml nicotine (up to 20mg/ml in the UK after the latest regulations.)

The brand recommends using their refillable vapes with 5-20 mg nic salt juice or 3-12mg freebase 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.

Most Innokin devices are compatible with a wide range of third-party accessories, including tanks, coils, and e-liquids, enhancing their appeal among users who value versatility.

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.

Innokin vape devices are available in online and offline stores across the US.

However, the Innokin Store Locator is unavailable for users in the USA. Moreover, Innokin does not have any explicit marketing authorization from the US FDA — a must for vape brands in the country.

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.

Innokin delivers durable and dependable devices that offer good value for money. On the positive side, devices like the Endura T20 and the Coolfire series are lauded for their build quality and reliability, offering solid performance at a competitive price point.

However, the battery life on smaller models may seem inadequate, especially if you’re a heavy vaper. They could also add more innovative features in the entry-level market segment.

Pros and Cons of IQOS and Innokin

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 Innokin

Cons of Innokin

  • Robust construction and longevity
  • Wide range catering to various preferences and vaping styles
  • Straightforward functionality, appealing to beginners and experienced users alike
  • Unique features, like the "Find My Vape" on some devices

  • Some compact models struggle to support heavy usage
  • Occasional mismatches with third-party accessories, affecting customization
  • Regulatory controversies and legal challenges affect product availability
  • Lack of nicotine-free options

 

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

 

However, both IQOS and Innokin 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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