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

The epic showdown: IQOS vs VAPORESSO. 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 VAPORESSO, 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 VAPORESSO

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.
 

Headquartered in Shenzhen, China, VAPORESSO offers a wide array of flavored pods, vape pens, tank mods, and accessories. Their sleek, portable gadgets are ideal for both amateur and seasoned vapers.

Brand History and Background of IQOS and VAPORESSO

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 2015 by parent company SMOORE, VAPORESSO launched its first product from the TARGET Series in 2016.

In 2020, VAPORESSO’s first round of PMTA (Premarket Tobacco Product Application) applications were accepted by the FDA, within three days of submission.

However, in 2021, the FDA inquired into the brand's marketing strategies, scrutinizing its social media presence, reach, and the implementation of age restrictions online.

In 2023, VAPORESSO won the prestigious Golden Leaf Award for Innovation for its product VAPORESSO COSS.

IQOS vs VAPORESSO Comparison Summary

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

 

 

IQOS

VAPORESSO

Product Range

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

XROS CUBE, XROS 3, XROS 3 NANO, XROS 3 MINI, XROS 2, XROS NANO, XROS, XROS MINI, LUXE X/XR, LUXE Q2, LUXE Q2 SE, LUXE QS, LUXE Q, ZERO 2, ZERO, ECO NANO, VAPORESSO COSS, OSMALL 2, X MINI, BARR, OSMALL (Rechargeable pods)

LUXE X PRO, LUXE XR MAX, GEN PT60 | 80S, GEN AIR 40, LUXE PM40, TARGET PM80 (Rechargeable pod mods)

ARMOUR MAX | S, GEN 200 I 80S iTank 2, GEN 200 | 80S, GEN 200/80S MOD, GEN FIT 40, TARGET 200, TARGET 100/80 (iTank), TARGET 80, TARGET 200 MOD, TARGET 100/80 MOD, LUXE 2 MOD, GEN X MOD, GEN NANO MOD, GTX ONE MOD (Tank mods)

VECO GO, GTX GO, Sky Solo | Plus, Orca Solo Plus, Veco Solo | Plus, Veco One | Plus (Rechargeable pen styles)

 

Nicotine-free options available?

No

Yes (VAPORESSO XROS)

Device Quality & Build

Stylish and premium devices with a focus on ergonomics

Sleek devices with an ergonomic body, a glossy exterior, and polished aluminum finish

Battery Capacity

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

XROS CUBE: 900 mAh
XROS 3: 1000 mAh
XROS 3 NANO: 1000 mAh
XROS MINI: 1000 mAh

LUXE Q2: 1000 mAh
LUXE QS: 1000 mAh

ZERO 2: 800 mAh

ECO NANO: 1000 mAh

OSMALL 2: 450 mAh

LUXE X PRO: 1500 mAh

TARGET PM80: 2000 mAh
TARGET 80: 3000 mAh

ARMOUR MAX | S: 21700 mAh

GEN FIT 40: 2000 mAh
GEN AIR 40: 1800 mAh
GEN NANO MOD: 2000 mAh

VECO GO: 1500 mAh

Sky Solo | Plus: 1400/3000 mAh

Orca Solo Plus: 1200 mAh

Pod Capacity, Nicotine Strength

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

XROS CUBE: 2 ml
XROS 3: 2ml
XROS 3 NANO: 2 ml
XROS MINI: 2 ml

LUXE Q2: 2 ml/3 ml
LUXE QS: 2 ml

ZERO 2: 2ml/3 ml

ECO NANO: 6 ml/2 ml

OSMALL 2: 2 ml

LUXE X PRO: 5 ml/2 ml

GEN AIR 40: 4.5 ml/2 ml
GEN FIT 40: 3.5 ml/2 ml

TARGET 80: 5 ml/2 ml
TARGET PM80: 4 ml/2ml

VECO GO: 5 ml

Sky Solo | Plus: 8 ml/2 ml

Orca Solo Plus: 2ml

Number of Puffs per Pod

~14 puffs from each compatible tobacco stick

TARGET 200: 200-240

Charging Time

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

ZERO 2: 45 minutes

LUXE Q2: 30 minutes

Safety Features

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

LED light indicator, auto-shutoff, short circuit protection, low voltage protection, over charge protection, and age verification at purchase

Device and Pod Cost

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

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

XROS CUBE: $27.90
XROS 3: $36.90
XROS 3 NANO: $36.90
XROS MINI: $19.90

LUXE Q2: $33.90
LUXE QS: $32.90

ZERO 2: $29.90

ECO NANO: $14.90 - $16.90

OSMALL 2: $15.90

LUXE X PRO: $47.90

GEN AIR 40: $36.90
GEN FIT 40: $50.90
GEN NANO MOD: $46.90

TARGET 80: $69.90
TARGET PM80: $39.99

VECO GO: $24.90

Sky Solo | Plus: $28.90

Orca Solo Plus: $20.90

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.

VAPORESSO devices are slim yet sturdy and available in translucent colors (ice blue, rose pink, neon sunset, etc.) and monotones (black and gray). Most devices are slender with rounded edges but a few devices (ECO NANO, XROX CUBE, and others) have a cube-like shape.

On the other hand, XROS 3 and LUXE X PRO may have practical issues like tinted pods that make it hard to see juice levels. The GEN mod's extensive feature set and modes can be overwhelming for beginners.

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).

VAPORESSO devices like TARGET 80 and ARMOUR MAX have a battery capacity of 3000 mAh and 21700 mAh, promising extended vape sessions. However, OSMALL 2's 450 mAh will need frequent charging and can be a letdown for heavy users. But, most models like the XROS series and LUXE line hit the sweet spot with around 1000 mAh, balancing portability with decent battery life.

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.

VAPORESSO TARGET 200's reliance on dual 18650 batteries offers a solid foundation for longevity, allowing users to easily replace batteries and extend the device's life. However, its puff count range of 200-240, may not impress heavy users seeking all-day vaping without interruptions.

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.

VAPORESSO doesn’t produce its own line of flavored e-liquids. You have to choose e-liquids from other brands, going for fruity or tobacco flavors, whatever floats your boat.

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.

VAPORESSO devices are equipped with COREX heating technology, helping you capture the true taste of different e-liquids. These devices also offer adjustable airflow to deliver a customizable MTL (mouth-to-lung) vaping experience.

They also deploy the SSS leak-resistant technology where the e-liquid is locked inside the pod securely. Further, the AXON chipset in VAPORESSO devices act like the discreet assistant that makes sure every puff is just right.

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.
 

VAPORESSO products may pose health risks, including nicotine addiction and exposure to harmful ingredients, such as diacetyl and vitamin E acetate.

However, the brand also offers nicotine-free options for those seeking a safer vaping alternative.

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 2021, the FDA looked closely at VAPORESSO's marketing methods — how it used social media and promoted their products, especially amongst the younger demographic.

The agency asked for documents related to the brand's social media ads and marketing strategies, such as what they post, how much they spend, and how they plan to keep underage kids from seeing their advertisements, among other things.

As of 2024, VAPORESSO has completed the FDA Remote Regulatory Assessments.

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.

VAPORESSO products offer a range of pod capacities from 2 ml in XROS CUBE to 8 ml in Sky Solo | Plus, accommodating varying nicotine levels based on your preference and choice of e-liquid.

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.

VAPORESSO offers refillable pod systems that are compatible with e-liquids from other brands.

However, these devices shouldn’t be paired with third-party pods and chargers as the design and dimension of products may vary from brand to brand, making them incompatible and rendering the device non-functional.

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.

VAPORESSO products are available from retailers worldwide, including countries in Asia Pacific, North America, South America, and Europe. You can also purchase these products online in the UK, US, various European countries, and other parts of the world.

The availability and shipping of vaping products can be impacted by location-specific regulations and restrictions.

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.

Some may find VAPORESSO's pricing to be on the premium side, compared to other brands that offer rechargeables under $10.

While ECO NANO and OSMALL 2 are priced under $20, TARGET 80 and GEN FIT 40 command prices up to $69.90 — thanks to their powerful battery life, superior build quality, and different pod capacity options.

It may not be the best choice for those on a tight budget, but it is of value to those in search of a great vaping experience, thanks to its cutting-edge technology.

Pros and Cons of IQOS and VAPORESSO

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 VAPORESSO

Cons of VAPORESSO

  • Ergonomic design that fits comfortably in your hand
  • Integrates the advanced COREX heating technology for a superior vaping experience
  • Offers a diverse lineup of devices, from simple pod systems (XROS MINI) to advanced mod setups (TARGET 80)
  • Can be paired with your favorite e-liquid from other brands
  • Equipped with the SSS leak-resistant technology

  • Very low warranty period compared to other brands
  • Doesn’t produce its own line of flavored e-liquids
  • Some of their higher-end models can be pricey
  • Advanced, feature-rich mods can be complicated for new users
  • The XROS series has a lower pod capacity (2 ml) compared to other brands

 

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

 

However, both IQOS and VAPORESSO 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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