The IQOS Mesh Kit Is An Easy To Use Pod/Pen Style Vape Kit So How Does It Rate In Today’s Vaping Market?
They’ve spent 4 years developing the IQOS Mesh vape kit investing a sh!t ton of money into the project so the simple question is – have the Switzerland based scientists pulled it off?
I say ‘they‘ I am of course talking about my old sparring partners Phillip Morris Inc – the guys formerly known as the Marlboro Men and the creators of the IQOS Heat Not Burn kit – a device that literally split the vaping world. I’ve covered the issues around the original IQOS kit on numerous occasions so won’t be going into that here…Ok maybe a little…
For the record the IQOS Mesh is to all intents and purposes a pen styled pod kit that comes with a choice of flavoured 2ml pods – as to how it vapes we shall see.
As an aside I was one of the handful of ‘vape insiders‘ invited to the pre-launch of the IQOS Mesh on a 3 day First Class ‘junket’ to The Cube – PMI’s hi-tech research facility in Neuchâtel Switzerland earlier this summer.
Unfortunately I had to cancel literally last minute as my father became gravely ill…I’m afraid I also had to cancel attending the swanky dinner in London for the official UK launch of the device too…guess that’s me off their Christmas card list lol.
Giving the IQOS Mesh Kit A Chance…
OK given my many articles lambasting PMI you might wonder why I’m even bothering to review the IQOS Mesh. For one here at EcigClick fairness is our mantra – we did review the original IQOS HNB kit – and for two this is a bona fide vape device using e-liquid not toasting tobacco.
And for three, over the summer I’ve had a kind of harm reduction Road to Damascus moment -meaning I’ve maybe grudgingly accepted that anything safer than smoking that gets folks off fags [and who can’t get on with ecigs] deserves a closer look.
However, I’m still wary of all HNB devices – until significant research is done at least – and do not like much of PMI’s marketing techniques or indeed the fact they have muscled their way onto the vape scene offering mouthwatering inducements to vape shop owners in particular…but hey that’s big business and in an open market that’s how things work.
Right enough politics let’s take a look at the device.
The IQOS Mesh kit was sent me free of charge for the purpose of review direct from PMI – thank you – and as always my thoughts and opinions are my own.
Inside the Box
OK I received a large swanky presentation box containing the IQOS Mesh device and 3 packets of flavoured VEEV pods. The box the kit comes in is the exact same as the retail version and remember you’ll need to buy the pods separately:
- IQOS MESH Device
- IQOS USB Cable
- IQOS AC Adaptor
Note: the spare pods [bought separately] come in little boxes of two.
IQOS Mesh Quick Start Guide
- Charge via USB port and cable
- Remove seal from pod
- Snap into the top of the device – either way works
- Hold down fire button until white light is solid
- Inhale to vape
IQOS say the key here is the simplicity of the device being puff controlled – as in no need to press the fire button to inhale.
There’s also a kind of built in temperature function come safety control that kicks in if the little chip senses the pod is empty – so no dry burns. As to if that’s effective we shall look at. Other built in safety features includes overheating – short circuiting and pressure build-up preventions and each device comes with a 1 year warranty.
The pods – or to give them the correct name VEEV flavour caps – come in a variety of flavours and nicotine strengths including the Tobacco Harmony – Cool Peppermint and Red Berry Fusion that I received and as the name suggests these are mesh pods – hey call me Mr Obvious lol.
The device itself is made from aluminum and comes in three brushed effect colours the Metallic Grey I received and Soft Bronze and Deep Teal.
And that really is about it as far as features go – simple hey!
Design and Build Quality
Design wise the IQOS Mesh is a pen style so nothing major can be done about the overall look. It is rather longer than most of the vape pens and starter kits out there – quite a bit longer if I’m honest – but it is light as the proverbial feather.
It might be light but the body is a good quality aluminum and it feels like it can take some knocks. It’s been out and about with me for a while now and there’s no scratches I can see despite a number of drops.
One very clever yet simple design feature I like is the narrow groove cut into and down the length on the back of the device. What this does is allow it to sit on your desk or table without a chance of rolling off!
Like I said simple but effective and how many of us have frantically tried to grab our vape pen kit as it rolls of a table towards a Lemming like oblivion!
One OCD triggering issue I do have is how the pods fit onto the device – there’s quite a perceivable gap – it might just be a mm or so – but boy does it do my head in! Thinking about it that may be down to getting some airflow in there but maybe a couple of slits would have doe the job.
The tiny IQOS logo towards the top is nicely done and certainly doesn’t intrude and the on/off button is pleasantly clicky.
So not a bad design – maybe a little elongated – but the billion dollar question is how does it vape?
How Does the IQOS Mesh Perform?
IQOS Mesh is an innovative new vaping device, designed specifically to overcome key pain-points experienced by UK vapers.
IQOS Mesh has been designed to recreate the sensation of smoking as closely as possible as it’s intended to be used by smokers that are looking for a less harmful alternative to traditional cigarettes.
Because of this, the device isn’t designed to create huge plumes of vapour but instead focuses on recreating the back of throat hit experienced by smokers.
OK let’s take a look.
The vape experience off the pods is actually very good but maybe just maybe a little too airy for those coming straight off the fags – I’d liken it to a Nautilus 2 tank with wide open airflow, let’s put it that way and certainly not the tight draw I was expecting. And nope there’s no airflow control.
Battery life is indeed very good and so is the fast charge time – you can take this out all day and not need a charge if vaping steadily.
BTW I was actually pretty impressed by the vapour production – certainly up there with many other pod kits I’ve reviewed.
The inbuilt protection works – certainly the temperature control style feature. I tried to vape a pretty much empty pod and whilst I was able to get an extremely weak vape no more than that and certainly no burning.
The throat hit is good but again not as sharp as some might like however I have only been using the 6mg and 11mg nicotine strength – there is the option of 18mg which may suit newcomers looking to quit.
OK onto the flavour and those pods that whilst not overly leaky DO leave residue when removed…
Tobacco Harmony 11mg
Regular readers know I’m still a regular tobacco flavoured e-liquid vaper and am currently around 12mg though I’m now using some gorgeous 6mg bottles I picked up at Vaper Expo.
The Tobacco Harmony I was sent to try is 11mg so bang on my profile so this was the first I put to the taste test.
For a Big Tobacco based company you’d think the one thing those Swiss based scientists would nail is the flavour of tobacco…nope not harmonious for me to any degree.
Indeed chatting with Jonny I likened the taste off this pod to ‘burning rubber with a hint of old mattress‘. I have to say it’s one of the worst tobacco flavours I’ve ever tried and that’s saying something.
Hey, some of you guys might like it so don’t let me put you off…but for me they need to rethink this flavour and maybe sample a few Black Note e-liquids to see how good tobacco flavoured e juice is made…
Cool Peppermint 6mg
I really don’t do menthol vapes so my heart sank at this one.
However ever the professional I snapped the pod in and took a blast. Given the taste of the not so harmonious tobacco pod I was expecting a a flavour akin to a cheap mouthwash from Aldi…however I was actually pleasantly surprised.
Think Polo mint – or Life Savers if you’re from America – and not a super strong blast your taste buds into the Antarctica menthol chill. It’s actually quite a sweet minty vape with even at just 6mg a decent throat tickle.
Red Berry Fusion 11mg
The smell off this pod was actually quite nice – think strawberry fruity chews rather than fresh fruit.
The inhale was a little too sweet bordering on cloying however that sensation seems to settle down halfway through the pod.
Not a bad vape at all and once again a decent throat hit but just missing that whack of flavour and punch.
- Battery lasts very well indeed
- Dead simple to use
- Clever anti roll feature
- Good vapour production
- Decent throat hit
- Pass thru vaping [vape whilst charging]
- Cheap as chips – both pods and device
- Harmony Tobacco pod is not very nice at all
- Pods don’t sit flush onto the device
- A little long
- Device doesn’t include pods
- Overall pod flavour not as good as others
- Little bit of residue on pods when removed
Final Review Verdict
Despite, shall we say, my written fencing with PMI, I of course pushed aside any predispositions I might have had about the company and went into this review open minded as I always do even with Smok 😉
OK…I’m torn on this one if I’m honest.
I expected not to enjoy it at all and to some extent that’s true – that tobacco pod is bloody awful – however the other two I tried weren’t that bad delivering decent throat hits and good vapour.
It IS a little too airy for those coming off the fags of that I have no doubt – however I reckon if you stick with it and find the flavour and nic strength that suits it is a starter kit that will help get you off the stinkies.
Sure there’s far better pod kits out there and whilst this is sub twenty quid that’s device only. The pods – sorry flavour caps – come in packs of two 2mls and at just £2.99 are pretty good value and last well.
The actual vape experience is very good indeed – smooth – quiet and just enough of the throat tickle and vapor to satisfy.
It is without doubt a little on the long side but light and comfortable in the hand and a cinch to use.
Big Tobacco Needs To Adapt Or Die
I’m kind of scratching my head as to how all those scientists – over all those years – with all that money invested into the project has produced a vape kit that would have been cutting edge this time last year? Not sure what I was expecting but whilst basic and ease of use is good – this is as I said a little shall we say ‘dated’.
I think Big Tobacco backed vape companies still aren’t moving fast enough in today’s ever changing vape market. They are still used to making lit tobacco products that barely if ever change unlike the vape scene. As we all know – and certainly our wallets know lol – today’s new shiny device is quickly replaced by the new must have.
IF these companies are to last then they certainly need to adapt with the times and quicken up their releases or get left behind. The market will decide that for sure 😉
IMHO any follow up to this version needs a rethink design wise – smaller chunkier maybe – and IQOS really and I mean REALLY need to get some decent e-liquid mixologists on board.