The Myblu is a well-made pod vape that may be familar, since it’s Blu’s version of the popular My. Von Erl. The 1.5 mL pods are now filled with Blu flavors, but otherwise the Myblu device isn’t much different from the My. Von Erl — just a logo change. The Myblu is a sturdy, lightweight device, slightly larger than a JUUL, with a 350 mAh battery that charges quickly.
Blu is known for its entry-level devices, and the company aims to bring all the benefits of pod-style vaping to a wider audience. That may be easier in the U.K. than the U.S., where Myblu has to compete for convenience store vape sales with JUUL, which now owns more than half of that market. Does the Myblu have what it takes to go toe to toe with the big boys?
Note: This review focuses on the UK version of the device. The US version has different flavors and slightly higher nicotine levels (0, 1.2 and 2.4%), but only two pods included with the kit rather than seven.
Blu was an early independent e-cig brand, but was bought by Lorillard in 2012 — which made it the first Big Tobacco vaping product. When Lorillard was acquired by RJ Reynolds in 2015, Blu was sold to Imperial Tobacco subsidiary Fontem Ventures. The makers of the Von Erl signed a distribution deal last year with Fontem, and then later were bought outright by the tobacco company.
Big Tobacco is an unwelcome presence in the industry for many vapers. There is something undeniably unpleasant for many about giving money to the same companies they felt tethered to through their cigarette habits. But the truth is they have plenty of money to spend on research and development, well-established supply chains, and an understanding of what smokers are looking for in a nicotine device. Realistically, there could be more reason to be excited to try a tobacco company’s e-cig than wary.
The build quality of the Myblu is well made. The design and shape of the device is sleek and sturdy, yet portable, and you don’t feel like they’ve cut corners in putting it together. The pods snap into place comfortably, with two U-shaped sections cut out of the body of the device so they’re easy to line up and insert. There is a satisfying click when you get them in place and they pull back out easily too. Overall there is nothing to complain about when it comes to how the Myblu is put together.
The Myblu is a very beginner-friendly device thanks to the pod style. The basic structure is really simple and you’ll figure it out within seconds. The device is a thin, flat, pen-sized offering, with an open cavity at the top for the pods to slip in to. The pods incorporate the mouthpiece, and you simply dispose of them when they’re out of juice.
To vape, you inhale through the mouthpiece and the atomizer activates automatically. This is similar to a cigalike device, even though the appearance isn’t modeled after a cigarette. The Myblu has a small LED light at the bottom which lights up when you draw, and switches from blue to orange as the battery depletes. You charge via the USB cable on the bottom, and the LED light switches off when charging is complete.
For such a small device, the Myblu performs really well. So far, no dry or burnt hits. And the vapor production is impressive when you consider its size and simplicity — it puts out more than what you’d expect from a traditional cigarette or basic vape pen. There is a bit of a characteristic crackle when you’re vaping but no popping or anything like that.
The draw is tight and a lot like a cigarette, which is perfect for anybody just switching over, or for vapers looking for a portable mouth-to-lung (MTL) device. I’m used to vaping direct-to-lung but find it enjoyable nonetheless. There is a little bit of leaking from around the mouthpiece, but not too much (it’s more of an issue in the first few minutes of use).
In the UK there are 11 flavor options for the pods, including tobaccos, fruits, beverages, and one menthol option. I tried out tobacco, tobacco crème, cherry crush and bourbon caramel. They’re a little hit and miss, overall. The standard tobacco is unimpressive, but the tobacco crème has a nice dessert element and goes down much easier.
The cherry flavor is well-captured and was the best of the bunch I tried. On the other hand, the bourbon caramel was a huge disappointment, with the alcohol being overpowering, and the room note being nothing short of awful.
For many vapers, the battery will be the big sticking-point for the Myblu. Like most pod systems, it’s very portable and quite low in capacity, with a 350 mAh battery. This means that it probably won’t last you through the day unless you can get high-strength liquid (which isn’t easy in the UK because of the TPD). With 0.8% (8 mg/mL) nicotine pods, it lasts me around 4 to 5 hours on a full charge. The good news is that it recharges really quickly, going from out of charge to fully-charged in under 25 minutes.
The Myblu is a great device for new vapers or anybody looking for a simple MTL device. It isn’t perfect – the limited battery life being the biggest issue – but it performs really well and is incredibly user-friendly. If you pick your flavors carefully (avoid the bourbon caramel) and opt for higher-strength pods, it’s a solid device that many vapers will be satisfied with. It’s definitely a competitor to the JUUL, although I don’t think it reaches quite the same level of quality.