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IQOS Mesh Review

Spyros Papamichail
April 16, 2019

Introduction

The IQOS Mesh is a beginner vape made by PMI (Philip Morris International), who also produced the original IQOS — a Heat-Not-Burn (HnB) product that has become very popular in Asia and Europe. This time, their IQOS Mesh product is designed for use with e-liquid and it’s currently only available in the UK.

Its pods utilize mesh, which is an alternative to the round wire that is commonly used in vapes. Imagine many strands of metal that create a kind of a net – a good example would be a tea strainer or a very dense wire fence. Mesh is also used in more advanced vapes and is known to maximize flavor and vapor output.

The IQOS Mesh takes prefilled pods, each containing 2 mL of e-liquid. The pods are available in three nicotine strengths: 6 mg, 11 mg and 18 mg.

Price: £19.99 (battery), £3.99 (two pods) (at IQOS)
Colors: Metallic Gray, Deep Teal, Soft Bronze

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 158 mm x 18.5 mm
  • Weight: 61 grams

Kit Contents

  • IQOS Mesh device
  • IQOS USB cable
  • IQOS AC adapter (UK)

Size, weight, and feel

IQOS Mesh Review

The IQOS Mesh comes in a long and relatively thin shape, although it’s not at all thin when compared to other beginner vapes. It measures 158 mm by 18.5 mm with a pod in place and weighs 61 grams, which is more than the average weight of similar products out there.

In my opinion, its shape is not exactly practical. And due to that, although it is not very large, it is not that pocketable. It is similar in size and shape to a mid-sized Cuban cigar – or even a larger one.

Its build quality, on the other hand, is excellent. The IQOS Mesh feels like a solid and well-machined product, and the metal finish and weight lend it a premium feel. From a build quality perspective, you get more than what you pay for.

Getting started

IQOS Mesh Review

Opening the (large) package, you will find one IQOS Mesh battery, one USB cable and one UK AC power adapter. Pods are not included in the box, so make sure you order some of them – more on the flavors later.

The IQOS Mesh is very simple to use:

  • Take a pod out of its bag and remove the transparent plastic seal.
  • Insert the pod in the battery.
  • Keep the button pressed for one second until it blinks.
  • Release.
  • Draw on the mouthpiece.

The device will stay activated for three minutes and you will be able to vape on it without having to press the button. After that, it will go back into standby mode.

How does it hit?

IQOS Mesh Review

The draw of the IQOS Mesh is not super tight, but not loose. It is a bit looser than the draw on a cigarette, but still satisfying. The device will not produce lots of vapor, but the vapor is warm, mainly due to the mesh element used in the pods.

The 18 mg pods provide a satisfying throat hit, but I was a bit underwhelmed with the lower nicotine ones. That was a bit of a letdown, as a mesh-powered device should be able to give a better throat hit all across the board.

I had no spitting or popping, although I did experience leaking out of some of the pods at the part where they connect to the battery.

But an important issue, and easily my biggest gripe with this device, was misfiring. The device would misfire in regular intervals, and while in most of the cases it would stop when drawing on it (or if the battery was moved around a bit) there have been cases where the pod had to be completely removed from the battery. I am not sure if this was a fault on the specific unit or a design issue, but it is a major letdown, as misfiring can easily scare away a beginner vaper.

On the bright side, the coil will not burn when the liquid is gone. The device implements a “Low Liquid Detection” system that prevents it from firing when the pod is empty. And it works. When a pod is empty, a red blinking light appears and drawing on it will not produce any vapor – or burnt hits.

Are the flavors any good?

IQOS Mesh Review

I tested seven out of the eleven available flavors. The flavors I got ranged from above average to really good. There were no disappointments in the pack and everyone should be able to find a flavor that suits their taste.

Mellow tobacco
This is straight up tobacco with a nutty exhale and it’s a good one. If that’s your first vape kit, I suggest starting with the mellow tobacco pods. They will make the transition easier and can be vaped all day without tiring your taste buds.

Tobacco harmony
A more complex tobacco, with a touch of aromatic tea. I liked this flavor, but not as much as mellow tobacco. For me, it’s more of a late evening vape than an all-day vape.

Cool peppermint
I am not a fan of mint vapes, but this one is a very clean and refreshing peppermint flavor. If you enjoy a cool sensation on your throat (or if you’ve been smoking menthols) you will like this one.

Chai zing
A surprisingly realistic flavor, with black tea and cinnamon notes up front and some woody herbal undertones. Not for all day, but I enjoyed this one after a meal.

Passionfruit zest
A fruit mix with passionfruit up front, this was my favorite of the bunch and one of the best fruity vapes I’ve had from a device like this. Two thumbs up.

Red berry fusion
A really good candy berry flavor with some sweetness to it. At points, it felt like a bubblegum flavor, especially on the exhale. I recommend giving it a go.

Pitanga fruit twist
Another berry flavor, which is less sweet and more realistic than the red berry one. It’s not bad, but not as good as the rest of the fruit flavors of the IQOS Mesh.

Battery life and charging

IQOS Mesh Review

The device comes with a 900 mAh battery capacity, which is a solid rating when put against most of the products in this category. It also comes with a battery LED that will indicate charge levels.

The battery LED blinks white at 25%. When it turns red, it means that you only have a handful of vapes before it turns off. You can also check the battery level by keeping the button pressed for one second: if it is above 6% it will flash slowly, otherwise it will flash quickly.

The battery light will blink while charging, and will stop when it reaches a full charge. The device allows you to vape while charging, which is always a welcome feature.

They claim that the battery will last for around one pod per charge, but I got much more out of it – approximately one-and-a-half pods. That was a pleasant surprise and I managed to get more than a full day’s vape out of it when using the 18 mg pods.

Another pleasant surprise was the time it took it to get fully charged. They list it at 90 minutes, but mine was full in less than one hour and 10 minutes.

Pros / Cons

  • Really good flavor selection
  • Three nicotine options (6/11/18 mg)
  • 1-year warranty
  • Low Liquid Detection system (no burnt hits)
  • Easy to operate
  • Satisfying draw
  • Excellent build quality
  • Competitive pricing for battery and pods
  • Pods hold 2 mL of e-liquid
  • Shape is not practical
  • No pods included in the box
  • Was expecting more throat hit
  • A lot of misfiring

Verdict

The IQOS Mesh comes in an awkward shape, and is rather large for what it is. But both of these are subjective cons, and there’s stuff to like about this device.

The flavors are surprisingly good, its tech eliminates burnt hits, and it is a very easy vape to operate, something that’s going to be appreciated by beginners. It’s also very reasonably priced, especially when considering its build quality and the 12-month warranty it comes with.

But do I recommend this device? I would, if it wasn’t for the misfiring. It just kept happening, and misfires are not something that beginners should be burdened with. If they come up with a more compact product that won’t misfire, it could be an excellent beginner vape; the flavors are that good. But as it is right now, I cannot recommend it.

My first attempt at vaping came back in 2009 on some of the first cigalikes to ever reach Europe. A couple of attempts -- and vaping tech generations later -- I managed to quit smoking in 2016, and have since then developed somewhat of an obsession with all things vaping. When I am not consuming vape reviews I am either tinkering my NBA fantasy teams or playing board games with friends.

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Tony Glock
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Tony Glock

The FDA approved the IOQS for sale here in the US today!

Jim McDonald
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Jim McDonald

Yes, article coming tomorrow.

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