This e-cigarette review is going to be a little bit different from the impressions e-cigarette reviews you might be used to. A fair number of you visit this site from around the world. Amongst my international visitors, UK visitors are the largest percentage.
The folks at E Cigarette Direct, a UK company wanted to know if I would be interested in doing a comparison piece between their product and one of their top competitors. I agreed since I do get a lot of visitors from the UK who might be interested (the product is also available throughout western Europe and parts of Asia and Australia). For my American friends, you can hang out too, or if not, why not go through the archives and find some past gems!
This matchup consists of a couple of entry-level e-cigarette options. The examples submitted byE Cigarette Direct include their Halo Mini kit and a disposable model from a company called 10 Motives. I was confused, this seemed like a very one-sided matchup, pitting a disposable model against a regular rechargeable kit.
I sent an e-mail to the company asking about the disparity. Turns out that yes, there is a technical outmatching here, but from a sales standpoint, the 10 Motives model is a fierce competitor. 10 Motives disposable e-cigarettes are sold in the UK at Tesco stores. For my American friends who are following along, Tesco is a huge superstore chain so it would be a lot like Wal Mart carrying a specific e-cigarette brand.
Essentially the 10 Motives e-cigarette has the advantage of being on the radar of consumers unfamiliar with e-cigarettes. The Halo kit I received is a very basic kit. Essentially, this is exactly the type of choice someone new to e-cigarettes would be making. From that standpoint, I think it is a fairly valid comparison.
10 Motives Disposable e-Cigarette
The 10 Motives e-cigarette is a single-piece disposable e-cigarette. There's no cartridges or other replaceable parts as its meant to simply use and throw away. The device is slightly longer than its competition. This is most likely due to the disposable nature. The battery needs to be larger to make the e-cigarette last as long as possible.
|Yes, that's the website address on there|
The e-cigarette features an automatic switch, it activates when the user puffs on it. When activated, the tip has a faint blue glow from an LED at the end of the cigarette. This is a personal choice of mine, but I have to applaud this unit for having a blue rather than red or orange LED.
I cut the 10 Motives unit open after I finished with it, because that's just the way I am. From a technical standpoint, the 10 Motives unit has a horizontal bottom coil configuration. The heating coil is wired (with solder) directly to the automatic switch. For some reason there is two layers of batting (both of which were scorched).
Halo Mini e-Cigarette Kit
The Halo kit is a mini kit packaged in a hard case. It is billed as a small kit for people who want to try out e-cigarettes without making a big commitment. The kit consists of one automatic battery, one USB charger and two cartomizers.
|Carrying cases are so James Bond|
The e-cigarette uses the slightly less popular RN4091 thread pattern. The battery is of the automatic variety and features an orange LED. The most interesting thing with this kit is that it uses XL cartomizers that hold around 1.4ml of liquid rather than the standard size typically found in basic kits which typically hold around 0.8-1ml.
The XL cartridge does make this a fairly long e-cigarette compared to other brands in the same category. The Halo otherwise tries to look like a cigarette with a white battery with thin ridged stripes and a tan cartridge. The device also seems to have a heft to it that helps it feel substantial.
Is There a Comparison in Here Somewhere?
Now that we've met each of the contenders it's time to put them up against each other. We'll take a look how each does with a few different key aspects that I feel are important to an e-cigarette's performance.
|The sticker covers the air hole|
e-cigarettes in this category tend to go for flavors that appeal to smokers. Generally, e-cigarettes don't really taste like cigarettes at all, but they do tend to have their own unique flavors. As expected both of these models feature traditional tobacco flavor.
Halo: While I probably wouldn't go out of my way to find this flavor, but it wasn't what I would consider unpleasant It is a fairly unoffensive and mild tobacco flavor.
10 Motives: I usually don't spend a lot of time on flavors, and I rarely outright say I hate something. So, let's just say that I am not at all a fan of the flavor that came out of this thing. It tastes kind of like a blend of cocoa, tobacco, and sadness. To make matters worse, about half way through, I started to get a distinct burnt taste.
|That's where the flavor lives|
This is a measure of how much vapor is output by the e-cigarette when exhaled. When I use automatic batteries I take two puffs, one to prime and heat the coils and a second to actually take the drag (which is about 3 secons).
Halo: The Halo output a decent amount of vapor. The vapor's temperature was slightly warm
10 Motives: The 10 motives output slightly less vapor than the Halo. Still a fairly decent cloud of vapor that was also slightly warmer than the Halo's
This is the sensation the user gets when inhaling e-cigarette vapor. It's a mild irritation of the upper chest and throat that is similar to the sensation one gets when inhaling a cigarette.
Halo: Throat hit was very good with this device.
10 Motives: The 10 Motives produced a fairly weak throat hit sensation
|Halo cartridge and battery|
Obviously this is where things get a little bit lopsided in the review. Obviously the Halo can be recharged where the 10 Motives unit cannot. However, making a buying decision, it's very helpful to know what to expect from each. It's also worth noting this number swings wildly depending on how heavily the device is used. I am a very heavy user, so most people will get better times than I.
Halo: The Halo ran for about 2 1/2 hours before needing a recharge.
10 Motives: This device lasted about 3 hours.
Again this will be a little off since we're considering a reusable device and a disposable. However, one thing to consider is that based on the cartridge size and the fact that two are included, you can expect 3 uses from the Halo kit with the included cartridges compared to 1 use of the disposable.
10 Motives: £5.99
Too Long; Didn't Read
While it might be tempting to pick up a cheap disposable at the local store, spending an extra few pounds on a kit might be a better long-term choice. You'll be able to re-use the battery and replace just the cartridges.
|Halo's hard case|
If you are interested in the Halo Mini I would actually suggest you consider getting one of the larger Halo kits rather than the Halo Mini. This is because with only one battery, you will have to figure out something else to do while the battery charges. Two cartridges will only last a few days at most, so you'll want to make sure you stock up on extras as well.
One final note. After writing this review, I still do think that the disposable is too disadvantaged for this to be a truly fair fight. I prefer to compare more similar things. However, I think it raises a valid point. For many people a disposable e-cigarette is their first experience. How many of those people dislike the experience and decide all e-cigarettes must be bad and keep on smoking?
In closing, I'll just leave this handy table and product information here. Also, if you like the photos in my e-cigarette reviews and articles, like SKVW on FaceBook where I upload all the pictures from each review, even the ones I don't use.