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

The epic showdown: IQOS vs RELX. 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 RELX, 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.

 

Further Reading:

Discover more through: Learn more with these references:

A Quick Intro to IQOS and RELX

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.
 

Hailing from Beijing, China, RELX has a product lineup that includes sleek pod vapes, disposable e-cigarettes, and a wide array of flavorful pods, catering to both novice and seasoned vapers.

Brand History and Background of IQOS and RELX

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.
 

 

RELX was founded in January 2018 by Kate Wang and later that year the founder was awarded with the title of “Innovation China 2018 New Entrepreneur”. 

In 2021, an investor filed a lawsuit against the vaping company claiming that they misrepresented its financial performance and hid potential regulatory risks. This caused the company’s shares to drop by 70% in the NYSE. 

Despite this legal setback, RELX continues to be a popular brand among seasoned vapers. Its products bagged awards in three different categories at the Vapouround Global Awards 2023, UK.
 

Despite this legal setback, RELX continues to be a popular brand among seasoned vapers. Its products bagged awards in three different categories at the Vapouround Global Awards 2023, UK.

IQOS vs RELX Comparison Summary

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

 

 

IQOS

RELX

Product Range

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

RELX MagicGo GA600, GA2500, GA3500

RELX MagicGo Plus SA600, DM6000

Disposable Vape RELX Bar,
and WAKA (Disposable)

RELX Infinity, Infinity 2, Infinity Plus, Artisan, and Essential (Rechargeable)

RELX Pod and RELX Pod Pro (Flavored Pods)

 

Nicotine-free options available?

No

Yes

Device Quality & Build

Stylish and premium devices with a focus on ergonomics

Portable, lightweight vapes with a leak-resistant maze-like structure and an ergonomic shape.

Battery Capacity

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

RELX Classic: 350 mAh

RELX Infinity: 380 mAh

RELX Infinity 2: 440 mAh

RELX Infinity Plus: 380 mAh

RELX MagicGo GA600: 400 mAh

RELX MagicGo GA2500 and GA3500: 1000 mAh

RELX MagicGo Plus DM6000: 850 mAh

Pod Capacity, Nicotine Strength

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

RELX Infinity, Infinity 2, and Infinity Plus: 1.9 ml

RELX Pod and Pod Pro: 18 mg/ml 

RELX MagicGo GA600: 2 ml (1.55%/3%/5%) 

RELX MagicGo GA2500 and GA3500: 6 ml (1.55%/3%/5%)

RELX MagicGo Plus DM6000: 12 ml (1.55%/3%/5%)

Disposable Vape RELX Bar: 2 ml, 19mg/ml

Number of Puffs per Pod

~14 puffs from each compatible tobacco stick

RELX MagicGo GA600 and  MagicGo Plus SA600: Up to 600

RELX MagicGo GA2500: Up to 2500 

RELX MagicGo GA3500: Up to 3500

RELX MagicGo Plus DM6000: Up to 6000

Disposable Vape RELX Bar: Up to 600 

Charging Time

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

RELX Essential: 40 mins approx. 

RELX Infinity and Infinity Plus: 45 mins
 
RELX Infinity 2: 27 mins

Safety Features

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

Designed with a child-resistant mechanism, RELX Infinity 2 has SmartPace vibration alert system, auto-shutdown feature, short circuit protection, low voltage protection, and overcharge protection.

Device and Pod Cost

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

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

RELX Essential: $14.90

RELX Infinity and Infinity 2: $29.90

RELX Infinity Plus: $29.99

RELX Artisan: $46.90

RELX Pod Pro: $11.40

RELX Pod: $10.29

RELX MagicGo GA600: $6.89

Disposable Vape RELX Bar: $6.99

Customer Support and Warranty

1 year

Pod: 18 months from the date of manufacture.

Device: 12 months from the date of original retail purchase.

 

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.

RELX devices flaunt a sleek, minimalist design, and are available in chic color options, such as robin blue, indigo denim, bright mandarin, and more. They’re lightweight and compact with an intuitive, user-friendly interface.

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).

RELX devices cater to different user needs — from RELX Classic's 350 mAh battery, offering a good balance of size to performance to RELX MagicGo GA3500 with a 1000 mAh battery, designed for extended use. RELX Infinity 2 stands out with a 440 mAh battery and an ultra-fast charging feature – reaching 80% battery in 15 minutes​​.

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.

RELX is a fine choice for someone looking for a high puff count per pod. RELX Infinity series offers a robust battery life tailored to heavy use and the RELX MagicGo line provides puff counts up to 6000. So there's a good-quality, economically viable option for every user. 

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.

RELX offers a wide range of over 30 flavors, including passion fruit, lychee ice, lemon zest, orchard rounds, and more.

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.

All RELX devices are designed with the brand’s independently-developed Super Smooth™ Performance technology. They are equipped with either ceramic or cotton atomizers, which vaporize the e-liquid at the right temperature to unlock the full-bodied flavor. 

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.
 

Like most vaping products, RELX isn’t free from risks of nicotine and other harmful chemicals like glycerol, propylene glycol, flavorings, and nicotine salt. However, the brand does offer nicotine-free vapes for a safer experience.

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.

RELX hasn’t faced any serious legal trouble in the US in the past.

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.

RELX pods are packed with varying nicotine strengths at 5% (50mg/ml), 3% (30mg/ml), 1.8% (30mg/ml), and 0% giving you the flexibility to tailor your vaping experience based on your nicotine preference. Vapers may also opt for nicotine-free options to enjoy the sensation of vaping without the harmful effects of nicotine.

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.

RELX doesn’t offer any pairing options with third-party pods and accessories. 

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.

RELX products can be bought in retail stores (in the US), online stores (in countries like the UK, Canada, Germany, France, Spain, and more), and on their website. However, there may be limitations on getting products delivered in certain areas, depending upon their local regulations related to tobacco and nicotine products.

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.

RELX Pods are available at $10.29 for a 2-pack, while the Pro version is priced at $11.40 for the same quantity. Both options offer a wide flavor variety, but RELX Pods Pro gives a better vaping experience with its Super Smooth™ Performance technology. In general, the brand offers a satisfying vaping experience at an affordable price.

Pros and Cons of IQOS and RELX

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 RELX

Cons of RELX

  • Compact, lightweight, and easy-to-handle
  • A variety of flavors and nicotine strengths to choose from
  • Long-lasting battery life 
  • Built-in SmartPace Vibrate Alert function in all Infinity devices to ensure moderate vaping
  • Leak-resistant pod design

  • Non-refillable pods – so you have to buy new pods every time you run out of e-juice
  • Limited compatibility with third-party accessories and e-liquids
  • Lower battery capacity models, like the RELX Classic (350 mAh), require frequent charging and limit uninterrupted use
  • Pod capacity of the Infinity series is quite low (1.9 ml) compared to other brands
  • Weak magnetic connection between the pod and the device

 

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

 

IQOS finds itself navigating through some regulatory hurdles, unlike RELX.

 

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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