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
10 %
Coupon code:

ECR10OFF

Editor Rating

User Rating

40 User Reviews »

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, 2.9 out of 5 based on 9 ratings

Editor Rating

Packaging & Design

Flavor

Vapor

Battery

Overall


Visit Site

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.

All User Reviews

5 star

4 star

3 star

2 star

1 star

Average Rating

(40)
out of 5 stars
Write a Review
Vapor
Flavor
Packaging & Design
Battery

User Reviews


  1. no image
    Brian

    Crap

    After a month, the pack stopped charging batteries. Couldn’t tell if the problem was the pack or the batteries so ordered both. A few months go by with no problems. Then it starts dying again. I see a starter kit in a store so I buy it, charge it up, and it won’t charge the batteries. Long story short I have gone through three or four packs and I have a drawer full of defective batteries. Most of the favors are crap and they die quickly too. Cherry crush is the only good one and it’s amazing. The disposable blu’s last like a few hours. Johnston creek or whatever they’re called need to divorce themselves from this crappy technology.

  2. no image
    Steve Hollis

    Have gone through two already with the exact same problem. Plus the battery pack is iffy at best. Waiting until the Marlboro “Mark Ten” comes out and this setup will be toast!

  3. no image
    MaryKate Dempsey

    With Blu I can breathe thru my nose and not smell an ash tray. The skin on my face is actually clearer and cleaner. There are some inconveniences but all in all I think it is worth it. I also found out that I had to adjust to the fact that I was not as nicotine dependent as I believed. Have to use low nicotine. My clothes definitely smell better, too. Reading other reviews it seems that I am the only one that realized smoking stinks and the aesthetics do matter to some. Yes, the batteries are somewhat unreliable but Blu won’t make my ceiling yellow and hopefully will keep my lungs at least a shade lighter, too. However, big tobacco will find a way to sabotage this idea if they can’t make megabucks out of it.

  4. no image
    M Burke

    Purchased both through store & website. Total of 3 units. 2 needed total charger replacements, now 4 batteries & another charger shot. I am not a heavy user.
    Replacement requests have to be completed via on line form, which is fine. However requested replacement piece requires a seperate report.
    Maybe because I’ve had to do it so often.
    Have purchase cartridges on line approximately every 2 weeks, so I have an established account.
    Have 2 new cartridges left, 2 shot chargers, 4 spent batteries. Yeah, I’m done.

  5. no image
    Chris

    Bought a starter kit from Walgreens for 35 dollars. It came with two batteries. Only one worked so I exchanged it for a new one. Then the box wouldn’t charge properly. I smashed it to pieces and I’m out 35 dollars. Thank you blu!

  6. no image
    Richard M

    I tried the Blu system for about six months before giving up on it. The cartridges taste okay, and the charging pack is a good, cool idea; but the batteries are unreliable and inconsistent. Out of five batteries I tried, only three worked, and very unreliably and unpredictably. At best, the life between charges is short. At worst, some charges don’t seem to take at all. You get a few puffs, and the battery starts blinking and needs to be charged again.

    A short battery life could be worked around with extra batteries if the batteries weren’t so unpredictable and unreliable. Sometimes they hold a charge, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they stop working altogether, and then start working again for no apparent reason. Sometimes the light lights up, but no vapor is produced; and sometimes the light stays on or flashes when no cart is attached, until the battery discharges itself.

    The company replaced one of the defective batteries for me, but the replacement they sent didn’t work. I also purchased an additional starter set and two additional batteries; so I went through a total of five batteries, of which only three worked, all of them unreliably and unpredictably.

    Even with three batteries and two chargers in the rotation, there were times when I couldn’t take a drag because none of the three batteries were ready to use. Most often two would be in the chargers, and the third would be having one of its acting-up times when it lit up, but nothing happened vapor-wise.

    When the light on, but no vapor problem happened, the only thing that seemed to “fix” the battery for a while would be recharging that battery using a computer’s USB port. That took a very long time, but seemed to reset the battery somehow so it would work again for a time.

    Eventually I just got tired of farting around with batteries all day. I switched to a refillable tank-type e-cig that I can use for a day or two between charges, and is also a lot cheaper to use.

    The battery problem is a shame because the carts have a better-than-average flavor and the charging case is a cool, useful idea. With better batteries, I would have stayed with the Blu system because of the taste and the coolness factor. But the unreliable batteries made it more trouble than it was worth.

  7. no image
    Zach

    So if anyone’s tried the disposable blu’s, those offer a pretty good throat hit, last around 350 puffs, for $9.99 in my home state. That’s more expensive than remaining a regular cigarette smoker. The rechargeable products are easier on the wallet after the initial investment, but sometimes you just get flat out weak cartridges when you buy new packs. I used the basic rechargeable pack for roughly 3 months, and it cut my normal cigarette habit in half. For me, that was worth it, but I am now upgrading to the premium 100′s in an effort to switch over to Blu entirely. The flavors are great, pretty spot on. Blu’s cartridges have already come a pretty long way from when they started. Since this is still fairly new technology I’m giving the company a fair chance to show some more improvement on the throat hit and other things that truly mimic what makes me crave a real cigarette still. Will send an update when I receive the Premium 100′s. In the meantime, try the normal rechargeable pack, see if you like it. Maybe it’s for you, maybe it’s not, but it’s not very expensive for the normal pack. $35 gets you the basic rechargeable pack with 2 batteries and a pack of flavor cartridges included. It’s helped me a lot, it just might do the same for you.

  8. no image
    Brian

    At first it worked ok. My1st complaint. The cartridges lost their flavor after about 30 puffs. 2. I fully charged the batteries and they last 5- 10 minutes. Left on charge 8 hours lasted 2 min. 3rd and my BIGGEST complaint the case id flimsy at best. I got out of my truck and hit the ground (about 2ft) the lid broke and now it costs more to get a new case than to get a different E CIG.

  9. no image
    Kaylee

    The battery life was OK for me as I am not a big Vapor user. It did provide a decent amount of vapor but the flavor however, lasted for around 5 to 10 puffs and then nothing but a hint. Biggest drawback of all is the amount of cartridges that simply don’t work at all. You are lucky if you get 2 out of the 5 in a pack that work if you get 3 you have won the Jackpot. Wishing I wouldn’t have wasted my money.

  10. no image
    Felix

    Bought the blu starter kit and I was off the real stuff for about 8 months, but then after a while I started right back up. The reason I believe is due the poor reliability of the blu ecig. battery life and the overall function of the blu made me crave a real cigarette even more. so more I am on my second attempt at quitting and already have 3 days. hitting the blu right now just for craves. but we will see how it goes, then I will update if I am successful. .

  11. no image
    cONN wESTON

    LIKE THE FLAVOR, BUT DOES NOT LAST. WILL NOT BUY AGAIN.

  12. no image
    Phoebe

    The only reason why I bought Blu was because the juice is made in the USA. The garbage battery and cartridges are made in China. I bought the starter kit and 2 extra batteries and 5 packs of cartridges. The cartridges come 5 to a box. Out of the 5 cartridges in every box only 1 worked and that was only for about 50 puffs. The flavor quits after a few puffs. One of the batteries died after a month of use. The other ones need to be charged constantly after only a few puffs.

  13. no image
    john byrne

    Tastes Great!! Works like crap~~!!!

    Like many other reviewers here, I liked the disposable but don’t want to pay $11 per.
    Got starter kit and BOOM end of satisfaction. You can stop it from drawing in just a few minutes, between battery lack-of-life or cartridge just staring at you. Company is AWFUL at customer service. If you complain, they create a “case”(woo) then some droid sends you their phony disclaimer; only replace manufacturing defects, (oh yeah) tap it oh hard surface, etc…I returned it to a local retailer. I’d guess the 100 sized kit might work, but once burned , twice shy…

  14. no image
    Ann

    Ok just bought battery is too short but giving it a try my complaint it's heavy

    Cartridges expensive too high nicotine or not enough bummer when new to product might as well kept cigs buy then learn read reviews first .

  15. no image
    dick kondash

    charger case doesn't last 4 months

    recharger case died after 4 months

  16. no image
    Dennis

    Battery life is terrible

    Would not buy this again

  17. no image
    Hosanna

    I loved the disposable, got the original starter kit at costco for like $23, was terribly disappointed! The vape action is terrible, there is no throat hit at all, and half the cartridges don’t work (yes, tried the youtube tips). BUT, I have heard a lot of good things about the Joye 510, and have heard that people take the Blu 100 cartos and use them with the Joye and get great flavor and vape and throat hit, so I am thinking of getting a Joye, but I’d love to know if anyone else has done this first before I buy one! Any thoughts???

  18. no image
    Eva

    Blu is the first ecig that I tried and I think it’s great. I’ve been vaping since 2012 and I enjoy exploring other brands but I keep coming back to Blu! I’ve read a lot of people complain about the poor battery life. Most of the comments are true, but that’s not a deal-breaker for me. I run through my battery twice a day at most, which isn’t too bad. A longer battery life would have been really awesome though. The best thing about Blu is the flavor. I really love menthol, vanilla and the classic ones. Pina Colada flavor is pretty great, but I’ve noticed that it runs out quicker than other flavors (anyone else experienced this?). Overall, if you’re new to e-cigs and want to try something above average, blu is something i’d recommend.

  19. no image
    Denise

    Pretty kit but that's about it

    The flavors are decent; the vapor is decent but what good is that when the battery only lasts a few hours. The cig itself is so small and skinny, they’re really easy to lose. I bought this kit and it’s in a drawer somewhere. I wouldn’t recommend it.

  20. no image
    Rebecca

    Good product overall, needs alittle inprovement in some areas.

    This is the first e-cigarette Ive bought. Tried my sisters green smoke, a little to harse for my taste. I like the flavors at first but after sometime is can taste kind of burnt and not as fresh, so need to change cartiges more often, last about a day. I bought the basic starter pack for $35, which is pretty cheap. UBS charger, car charger and a one year warrantee, which is nice too. No social features and no outlet charger, which I might have to order later. I find myself puffing on it quite all lot cause Im a pack a day smoker, and having to charge them quite a bit. I like the design, very modern and the blue light is more easily distinguished as a non-tobacco product. I would like more flavors to choose from, can’t decide which is my best flavor yet, I guess I like them all. I do like that its made in the U.S.A. and has no extra chemicals added like some of the others. Its the only one advertised on T.V, so I thought this brand might be here to stay for the long run. Ive been paying $60 for a carton of cigerettes for every 11/2 weeks, so I figure I’ll be saving quite a bit of money overtime. Pay about $16 for a pack of 5 carts.

Add Your Review