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

The epic showdown: IQOS vs UWELL. 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 UWELL, 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 UWELL

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.
 

UWELL, a Shenzhen, China-based company, offers a large line of innovative vape products, from sleek and discreet pod systems to robust and stylish pod-mod vapes – all packed with new tech.

With products marketed in over 80 countries, UWELL has quickly established itself as a leading global vape brand focused on innovation and optimizing user experience.

Some of its popular products include the Caliburn series, the Crown series, and the Nunchaku series.

Brand History and Background of IQOS and UWELL

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.
 

 

UWELL, established in 2015, became well-known in the vaping world after launching its Caliburn vape kits in 2019. These kits are designed to provide varied vaping experiences and feature advanced technologies like Pro-FOCS to improve the taste.

The company has been recognized for its technological innovations and awarded with designations like "NATIONAL HIGH-TECH ENTERPRISE" and "SHENZHEN HI-TECH ENTERPRISE" in China.

It received a warning from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2010 against selling products with stealth pockets that can conceal e-cigarettes.

IQOS vs UWELL Comparison Summary

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

 

 

IQOS

UWELL

Product Range

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

Crown, Caliburn, Kalmia, Sculptor, Cravat, Whirl, Popreel, Valyrian SE, Tripod (Pod Vapes)

Crown (M & D), Nunchaku, Havok V1 (Pod Mods)

Crown IV, Valyrian 2 & 3 (Mod Kits)

(Note: Availability differs by country)

 

Nicotine-free options available?

No

No

Device Quality & Build

Stylish and premium devices with a focus on ergonomics

High-quality, rugged, stainless steel, aluminum alloy, and plastic construction

Battery Capacity

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

Varies between 500mAh to 1500mAh, depending on the device

Caliburn Explorer: 1000mAh

Valyrian Pod: 1250mAh

Pod Capacity, Nicotine Strength

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

Disposable range: 4-20ml, come with 20-50mg nic salt vape juice

Reusable pod vapes: typically 2-4ml, recommended to be used with 5mg - 20mg nic salt vape juice

Number of Puffs per Pod

~14 puffs from each compatible tobacco stick

Caliburn Bar: 12,000 puffs
Mirage: 15,000 puffs
Gabriel: 8,000 puffs

Charging Time

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

Caliburn GK3, A3, AZ3 Grace, GZ2: 15 mins (2A fast charging)
Whirl F: 45 - 60 mins

Safety Features

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

Childproof, leak prevention, temperature regulation, auto-shutoff

Device and Pod Cost

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

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

Caliburn range: $17 - $44.99

Crown X Pod Kit: $44.99

Whirl: $17.99

Gabriel BF8000: $17.99

(Prices from online retailers)

Customer Support and Warranty

1 year

6 months

 

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.

UWELL vapes are designed to have a minimalistic aesthetic. Most of UWELL’s products contain translucent shells that display LED lights when in use and side-mounted fillings for easy refills.

To add a playful twist to their collection, their Valyrian range was created as a tribute to the hit TV series Game Of Thrones, with the design resembling the sigil of House Stark.

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).

The battery life of UWELL products varies depending on the specific model and usage patterns.

For instance, the UWELL Caliburn GK3 features a 900mAh internal battery, with reviews indicating it can last through a day of moderate vaping.

Conversely, the UWELL Crown X Pod Kit offers a 1500mAh battery capacity designed for long-lasting use that can potentially extend over a day for heavy vapers.

Moreover, some UWELL devices, like Caliburn Tenet, feature a built-in rechargeable battery, while others, like Crown 5 Tank, require external batteries that can be replaced as needed.

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.

UWELL implements multiple quality control systems to ensure consistent product reliability. This is done per their commitment to providing long-lasting, high-performance vaporizers.

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.

UWELL offers a diverse range of e-liquid flavors and products designed to enhance the vaping experience. Some of the flavors available for UWELL products include:

  • Iced Apple
  • Mango
  • Coffee
  • Quad Berry
  • Watermelon
  • Lemon Mint
  • Peach
  • Pink Lemonade
  • Pound Cake
  • Red Apple
  • Tropical Fruit Mix

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.

UWELL vapes are highly regarded for their excellent flavor experience and vapor production.

Several UWELL products boast the patented “Pro-FOCS Flavor Technology” - a feature that promises a pure and consistent vaping experience.

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.
 

The UWELL brand's official website and product pages are upfront about the addictive qualities of nicotine, making it clear that their offerings are strictly for adult users.

It's important to note that nicotine use is widely associated with addiction, nausea, breathing difficulties, and cardiovascular issues.

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.

In 2020, The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning to UWELL regarding a few products, including the Caliburn, stating that they did not have proper marketing authorizations and were thus considered adulterated and misbranded.

As a result, UWELL has faced regulatory actions and has had to address these violations to remain compliant with US laws. Since then, legal scrutiny has eased up, and UWELL continues to sell its products in line with legal regulations.

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.

UWELL’s disposable vapes pack a punch with 20-50mg nic salt vape juice in 4-20ml capacities, catering to those who prefer a stronger nicotine hit with the convenience of disposability. Their reusable pod vapes, holding 2-4ml, are best paired with 5mg to 20mg nic salt vape juice, offering a customizable nicotine delivery to suit your vaping style.

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.

UWELL’s proprietary design limits its cross-compatibility with other pods. However, UWELL devices are compatible with third-party e-liquids.

UWELL makes replacement pods that may be compatible with more than one UWELL product range.

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.

UWELL's products are widely available in most vape store chains across the US and available online.

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.

UWELL vapes offer a variety of high-quality options across different price points. For example, the UWELL Caliburn A3 and AK3 are priced at approximately $30 and $32, respectively.

Other UWELL products, such as the Caliburn X, are more expensive due to additional features like an OLED screen and adjustable wattage.

Across the board, UWELL maintains a reputation for producing reliable and well-designed e-cigarettes, making them a popular choice among vapers.

Pros and Cons of IQOS and UWELL

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 UWELL

Cons of UWELL

  • High-quality construction using aluminum alloy and stainless steel
  • Large variety of products
  • Easily available online
  • Innovative technology (e.g., PRO-FOCS Flavor Technology)

  • Availability varies based on region
  • Some models require more maintenance
  • Short battery life compared to other vape brands

 

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

 

However, both IQOS and UWELL 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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Our innovative products include the Surge and Thunder rechargeable vapes, and the Gust Super disposable range. Pick from our stunning range of:

 

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