Blu Cigs Review

By Lindsay Fox Posted August 21, 2012

Blu’s name is now illustrious, but the e-cigarette itself wouldn’t strike you as having big tobacco funding. There are many positive points about the e cig, but the battery life and nicotine levels aren’t the best for heavier smokers or vapers.

Blu Cigs Electronic Cigarette
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Pros

  • Great vapor performance
  • Smart Pack with "Social" feature
  • Excellent portable charging pack
  • Seven well-executed flavors
  • Smoke juice made in the USA
  • Propylene glycol-free cartridges
  • 24 Hour customer service

Cons

  • Cartridge flavor gets weaker after around 150 puffs
  • Battery life is too short
  • Nicotine content not enough for heavy smokers
  • No noticeable throat-hit
  • Larger batteries and manual options would have been useful

Bottom Line

Lorillard backing hasn't soured the product quality of Blu’s e-cigs, but ironically the product doesn't offer enough to more hardcore ex-smokers. The battery life, nicotine levels and throat hit fall a little short, but the flavors, vapor production and portable charging case provide enough to satisfy more casual vapers.
Price:$69.95

Blu Cigs: Our Expert Review

Blu Cigs Review

blu Cigs is no longer the North Carolina start-up it once was. After being purchased by Lorillard (manufacturer of cigarette brands like Newport and Kent), the brand is now synonymous with the increasing role of “big tobacco” in the e-cig industry. blu electronic cigarette was chosen by the company because they have a pretty solid reputation, so it’s still a consideration for smokers looking to make the switch and vapers alike.

 

After being bought out by Lorillard in April 2012, blu’s president Jason Healy wrote a blog post addressing their new “life with big tobacco,” promising the same commitment to the vaping community and a continued dedication to quality in their products. He admits that there are some challenges to working with such a huge company, but talks down the negative aspects as merely the result of increased regulations and protocols. Regardless of the level of truth in that statement, how blu eCigs progresses is of great interest to the industry, since few e-cig companies boast the financial might of big tobacco. The only worry is that it’s now all about profit and no longer about the vapers.

 

The Premium 100 Starter Kit ($89.95) comes with a portable charging case (with the infamous Social Feature), two Premium 100 batteries, a five-pack of cartridges, USB charger and wall adapter, or alternatively you can pick up the Premium Starter Kit ($79.95), which is the same except with Original (Premium) batteries.

 

 

Packaging and Design

 

The Premium 100 kit comes in a minimalistic black box, adorned with blue and white text and an image of the charging case. The design is purposefully sleek, and whilst it achieves its goal, the lack of an opening and closing clasp makes it a little harder than you’d like to actually get into the kit. When you’ve removed the top you’re greeted to the sight of the charging case, a cigarette-packet like case with the company name and the blue triangular logo on the front. It sparks into life as you open the pack, the logo lighting up and a three LED display on the side tells you how much power you have left. Underneath, you’ll find the manual, cartridges, chargers and a USB cable for topping up the charging case.

 

Blu Cigs Premium 100 Starter Kit

 

The portable charging case has a USB slot on the bottom, meters to show the case’s level of charge and the cigarettes level of charge and the “Social” button on the side. Inside, you’ll find a charging slot for a battery, a slot to store another battery and spaces for five cartridges. You don’t need to screw anything in to set the battery to charge; a pretty useful feature which avoids unnecessary fiddling.

 

Blu Cigs Starter Kit Review - Blu Smart Pack

 

The “Social” feature, however, which vibrates when the case detects the signal of another user’s case or a nearby blu eCigs vendor, seems like it will be of little use in most situations. Locating a vendor might be useful (if you run out of cartridges unexpectedly and happen to be near a seller, that is), but the notion of approaching somebody just because they use the same brand of e-cigs seems unusual. The box would vibrate, which means a fellow vaper is nearby – then what? Do you look around for the stream of vapor and approach them without a second’s thought? Of course you wouldn’t – you’d be too afraid of making a mistake and looking like some kind of brand-obsessed maniac – “Hi, my blu Cigs charging case just vibrated – do you use blu too? No… Oh… My bad.” On a more positive note, the case does slip comfortably inside your pocket.

 

The original blu Cig was a three-piece model, with a separate atomizer and flavor cartridge, but since 2011 they’ve switched the industry standard two-piece design. The new e-cig is a lightweight, cigarette-sized device with a thin golden band separating the cartridge from the battery. The Premium 100 cartridge is actually longer than most you’ll find, meaning that they can offer the equivalent of around a pack and a half of cigarettes. The black models are more high-tech and futuristic in appearance, but the white option looks much more like a traditional cigarette. Both types of battery have matching cartridges, with realistic speckling on the ones for the white battery. There are little images to tell you which cartridge you’re vaping – as an example, there is a little pipe graphic on the tobacco cartridges and an ice-cream cone on the vanilla.

 

Nicotine Levels

 

You have the choice of four nicotine levels with blu Cigs, no nicotine, Low (6-8mg), Medium (9-12mg) and High (13-16mg). There is potential there for managing down your nicotine intake, but the strongest cartridges aren’t likely to be enough for heavier smokers. With the uncertainty in the quoted values, the biggest nicotine consumers could end up with a 13mg cartridge, which is far from ideal. Most manufacturers offer a maximum of 18mg per cartridge, with some offering up to 24 or even 36mg. If you’re a heavy smoker, there are definitely better options elsewhere for nicotine levels. The uncertainty in the quoted levels is irritating, but since a frequent complaint from those who want the technology banned is that there are minor variations in nicotine content, this is actually a fairly up-front and commendable admission.

 

Flavors and Vapor

 

The vapor production is pretty good with the blu eCig, but as the battery wears down you will notice a dip in performance. On a fresh charge, you’ll produce a satisfyingly thick cloud of vapor; enough to satisfy the sensory craving but not a big competitor with the best brands for vapor production. When the battery starts to wear down, you need to give several priming puffs to get a decent amount of vapor. Sadly for the more hardened smokers, the throat-hit isn’t very noticeable at all with the blu eCig – it’s more like a smooth hookah than a hard-hitting cigarette.

 

Blu Cigs Flavor Cartridges

 

This is because blu has teamed up with Johnson Creek Smoke Juice for their flavors. This is an excellent agreement to come to, since Johnson Creek are respected e-liquid producers operating out of the US, but comes with an important caveat. The e-liquid Johnson Creek produces for blu is 100 percent vegetable glycerin (VG, for short), because some people are allergic to propylene glycol (PG), which ordinarily forms the bulk of the liquid. The reason it’s used is that PG creates the smoke-like throat-hit many smokers are looking for, and some VG is usually mixed in because it tastes better. This pretty much sums up the issues and advantages of the flavor and vapor with blu – the flavor is excellent but many smokers (and vapers) won’t be satisfied with the sensation.

 

They may only offer seven different flavor options, but they’re all well-crafted and the majority manage to replicate the intended tastes pretty perfectly. It’s worth noting that Johnson Creek produces the flavors exclusively for blu, so if you’re already a fan of theirs you won’t be getting the same liquids you’re used to. On the whole though, they are robust in flavor, with the Cherry Crush and the Vivid Vanilla being amongst the best options. The cherry has a delicious warmth to the flavor that produces an amazingly accurate representation, making it one you can happily vape all day.

 

The Classic Tobacco flavor is a very enjoyable take on the taste, but if you’re looking for a good replication this is the only one that’s a bit of a let-down – it’s just a little too sweet to really capture the flavor. Again, this is likely because of the VG base, but it’s a bit of a shame given that there’s only one tobacco option available from blu. For menthol smokers, the Magnificent Menthol is great, striking the balance between strength in flavor without being overpowering. Another important point to consider is that the flavors dampen somewhat when you’ve had around 150 puffs, sometimes leaving you yearning for a new cartridge to get the flavor back before you’ve even worked through it.

 

Battery

 

Blu eCigs Battery Review

 

This is the main area that holds back the e-cig, and it is another flaw which hits chain-vapers and heavy smokers hardest. You’ll find that you need to charge the battery after around two hours of heavy use. The manual claims that the Premium 100 batteries last for 150 puffs on a full charge, and the Premium batteries only offer 100 puffs. Even under these ideal conditions, that would only be equivalent to around a 10 pack of cigarettes for the Premium 100 battery. Also, you’re unlikely to get that many satisfying puffs out of a single charge. It’s hard to over-state how much of a downside this really is, since most smokers will get through something around a pack a day, which means almost everyone using blu will need to take their spare (and charging case) along with them at all times.

 

On the plus side, charging is quick, and with the charging case it’s pretty easy to take a spare with you. The USB charger and charging case work as expected, with clear LED lights to tell you when it’s charging and when the battery is ready to use. Longer batteries would have been a really useful option, even if they detracted from the cigarette-like size.

 

Manufacturing and Warranty

 

The build quality of the blu eCig seems excellent, with the “CE” and “RoHS Compliant” marks proudly displayed on the exterior of the starter kit. They impose their own rigorous tests, with an independent quality control team patrolling their facilities every day to ensure only the very best in manufacturing. There were no problems throughout our testing (aside from the capacity of the batteries, mentioned above), and the financial might of Lorillard backing them is likely to mean this will only get better. We didn’t even notice a problem with e-liquid leaking from the mouthpiece tip, which is a pretty common issue with e-cigs. The performance may not be up to scratch in some respects, but the manufacturing quality is without question.

 

You’re covered for defects in the electronics for up to one year (not covering cartridges and disposables, of course), as long as you fill in a form and provide proof of purchase. This is a little more limited than what’s offered by other companies such as Green Smoke e-cigarette or V2 eCigs, but still a decent offering (since a manufacturing defect would likely show itself pretty quickly). When you’ve filled the form in it may take a couple of weeks to process your replacement, however, which is far from ideal.

 

Blu Cigs Review, 2.7 out of 5 based on 13 ratings

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Overall

The blu Cigs Premium 100 package is a very good effort overall, but there are some key issues that hold it back. The batteries can’t hold enough of a charge to last you for a day of vaping, and there aren't any options for things like manually operated or longer ones. For heavier smokers or vapers, this combined with the low nicotine levels makes the e-cig pretty unsuitable. Strangely, one of the only companies with big tobacco backing doesn't actually offer an e-cig that meets the needs of hardcore tobacco smokers. However, if you’re a more casual smoker you’ll find that the delicious flavor profile and smooth draw make the blu Cig very appealing indeed.

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User Reviews


  1. no image
    patricia

    flavors not lasting long

    I recently bought the new blu plus but everytime I smoked one of the tanks and I always would get liquid in my mouth when I inhaled. I still buy them because I do like their flavors. But the carts do not last long I smoke the cherry carts and after about 50 puffs the flavor tasted burnt I was constantly changing the carts so in reality I really was not saving that much money. I do like the tanks but they are costly 15.00 -16.00$ per pack and there is only 3 tanks which do not last long and I was not a heavy smoker but I sometimes go through 2 tanks per day along with 1-2 tanks so it is very expensive it almost costs me as much as a pack of butts. a pack of butts would last me 2-3 days

  2. no image
    WillD

    worked great at first, now all the tanks leak

    So I bought the recharge battery kit and everything worked great for a few weeks now all the tanks are leaking fluid. I was only using 2 of the 3 tanks that come in the pack so I opened a brand new tank, screwed it on and took a drag and heard a pop/crack sound and that one started leaking on the first try. I sent in a complaint form to Blu so hopefully that will get something resolved because I do like these e-smokes when they work well.

  3. no image
    V-Man

    Not loving the Blu experience

    I got the $75 kit with light menthol cartridges about 6 months ago. The first time I tried it I didn’t care for it, but kept with it. What I don’t like about it is the that it tastes like burnt plastic smells, the short battery life, and the ‘pack-sized’ container to carry around. I can’t find the light cartridges, but the regular ones are easily available and relatively inexpensive. Regardless, that’s a lot of money for something I ended up not liking.

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    Chris

    HATE THE NEW TANKS

    Until a few months ago, I thought Blu was great. The new Plus batteries fail after a couple of charges and the new Tank cartridges taste horrible compared to the discontinued Premium cartridges. With the launch of their new products (failing batteries with gross tasting cartridges), Blu also raised their prices. Goodbye Blu. It was great while it lasted.

  5. no image
    Mac

    If I could go negative I would.

    By far, WORST experience with ecigs EVER. Not only is the product crap, but the customer service blows as well! They will NOT give you money back, only replace. They are the most anti user-friendly ecig Ive ever has the displeasure of having in my life. You even have to charge the CHARGER before you can even begin charging the e cig, let alone using it. I have had it charging for about 5/6 hours now and I still cant even charge the ecig (even though it says 2-3 hours). I’m beyond livid. Please, PLEASE! DO NOT GIVE THESE THIEVES YOUR MONEY!! Its not worth it and there is NO refund.

  6. no image
    amy

    lousy...save your money

    No throat hit feel at all…not much vapor “smoke” and you have to draw so hard to get any feel at all your likely to inhale the whole thing. They suck…pun intended. The taste is what I imagine pipe tobacco must taste like. I just ordered a halo g6 after reading reviews and cant wait to try it out. Blu ecigs are a waste of money, time and effort.

  7. no image
    mike

    Me and six of my friends who bought blu ecig had the same experience, weak and bad batteries, charger doesn’t last more than few weeks and the flavors are near ok that’s why I gave it one star, this product is cheap and is bad investment it’s a ripoff. We tried other brands like green smart living, V2, njoy, logic and vues …they were 5 times better in quality and cost than blu.

  8. no image
    Mariah

    Bye Bye BLU, Hello V2

    I’ve been a BLU customer for a few years and was relatively satisfied with their product. Sometimes I’d received bad batteries or dried up cartridges but they always promptly replaced them. About a year ago I started getting rancid, metallic tasting Cherry Crush cartridges – they were horrible. They would send me replacements. As time went on, I was getting more and more of the rancid metallic cartridges. I offered to send them back so they could maybe figure out the issue, but they never responded so I assume they really don’t care. When I started getting the contaminated cartridges as replacements I decided to find a new supplier. And I found one. V2 e-cigs are great. Good taste, long lasting batteries & decent prices. First order was a little rough (they had a computer glitch) but all orders that followed have been good. They have a points program to get free product (not marketing junk like BLU), offer free shipping for orders over $50 (same as BLU) and on occasion they send discount coupons or free product with your order as a thank you (never got that from BLU). I never new what I was missing, I should have dumped BLU a loooong time ago.

  9. no image
    Jes

    Ok, but not worth the price

    Good taste for a few drags then goes off. I liked the cherry for half a smoke then it got gross. The price is outrageous and they don’t last long.

  10. no image
    Hope Rash

    Battery problems!!!

    Bought rechargeable kit, got it home and charged it. Within 30 minutes the pack stopped charging. So I took it back and exchanged it and the new one is having the same problem. Wont be getting another one! Complete waste.

  11. no image
    Tai Rollins

    I love using my blu ecigs. I just got a batch of their e-liquid and it’s really great.

  12. no image
    Debbie

    very happy

    I used the blu and loved the flavor. Of the classic. Tobacco. Then i heard. Alot of good. Reviews. Of the v2 red since like. Marlboro. So i bought one horrible. Flaver and vapes very bad tried other brands to the best one is blu no harsh flavor. Like. V2 is the blu. Is the best

  13. no image
    Henry Shaw

    Not on your life

    I was an early adopter of their first version, bought four complete kits, two for me and two for the wife. Right off the bat I ran into trouble with the charging boxes failing if you left them plugged in overnight. Three of four failed. As for the sticks, they didn’t hold enough charge and soon began to stop charging all together. As for the tanks, one in five didn’t work. I used their liberal return policy and returned the dead boxes and had the same issue with the next set.

    Their coffee flavor and tobacco flavors weren’t bad.

    After fighting the system I went back to smoking again and gave up until I bought a Kanger system.

    I feel like Blu used me as a beta tester for their first version and I won’t waste my time or money to let them back in again. If you’re going to switch to vape, I recommend you buy a real system you can rely on.

  14. no image
    Robert

    The the best flavor cartridges out of all e-cigs.

    Love the blu.

  15. no image
    Brenda

    The menthol is like smoking perfume

    Made me nauseous.

  16. no image
    David G

    This is new to me, It seems to me, It might be to good to be true.

    To tell you the truth this thing is so real, I grabe my lighter when I take a hit
    off it. If it was pussy flavor, I’m afraid I might have set her bush on fire!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. no image
    David G

    This is new to me, It seems to me, It might be to good to be true. So, I think the worst about the

    To tell you the truth this thing is so real, I grabe my lighter when I when take a hit
    off it.

  18. no image
    David G

    After a while I notest they tast like overheated electronics and burnt wires.

    The liquid might be safer than cigarette smoke. However, fumes from the components themselves may not be.

  19. no image
    JERRY HAMPTON JR

    its great....

    im a newport smoker,and the switch to the BLU CIG is awesome.I LOVE IT!!!

  20. no image
    Lori Stastny

    1 out of 5 cartridges work

    The one out of the five tastes and lasts well. But they are far too expensive to get 10 minutes out of the other four. They honored their warranty before and returned 30 packs to me. This time I sent them 36 packs back, and after taking forever and poor customer service, they only sent me 4 packs without ANY explanation or email. They have stolen my money for the last time!

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