In August 2021, Philip Morris and JT each launched a new type of heat-not-burn tobacco device.
PMI released IQOS Iluma Prime and IQOS Iluma which have evolved by abolishing compatibility with the conventional model IQOS 3 Duo. JT has released Ploom X, which overcomes the weak taste of the conventional model by using its own technology focusing on airflow and high temperature.
Here, IQOS Iluma Prime and Ploom X, which are regarded as the flagship models of each company, are referred to as sucking response, maintenance, ease of use, hygiene, and running cost. Five points for comparison.
IQOS Iluma Prime that maintains a strong taste and Ploom X that greatly improves the taste
Both the evolution of IQOS Iluma Prime (hereinafter Iluma Prime) and Ploom X were found in the heating system, which can be said to be the heart of heat-not-burn tobacco devices.
Originally, IQOS had a good reputation for its maximum heating temperature and maximum taste, but in the new model Iluma Prime, in order to maintain the strength of its taste and realize maintenance-free, “heating blade” Abolished. Instead, we adopted the “Smart Core Induction System,” a technology that embeds a metal piece (heat attractant) in the center of the special tobacco stick Terea Stick and uses magnetic force to heat the center.
The metal pieces inside the Terea Stick are, so to speak, disposable heating blades
First of all, Ploom X raises the heating temperature from about 200°C in the conventional model Ploom X to about 295°C at once. Furthermore, in addition to the conventional peripheral heating type, we have adopted a new heating technology “Heat Flow” that combines a convection type that blows hot air into the stick. This is a heating method called Hybrid method in the vaporizer world, and it can realize a strong and deep taste.
Hybrid method that blows hot air into the stick
The heating temperature of Iluma Prime is not disclosed, but it is unlikely that it will be lower than the conventional temperature of about 300 to 350 ° C. On the other hand, Ploom X realized heating at about 295 ° C, so the temperature difference between them became thin. In addition, IQOS was originally a model that automatically controls its own temperature, but Ploom X can also control the strength of taste by temperature.
Looking only at the heating system, it can be said that the taste of the two flagship models has reached almost the same level for the first time. In the following, I actually tried using it and compared the sucking response.
I tried to smoke Terea Rich Regular in Iluma Prime, but I was surprised to feel the smooth lack of habit from the first dress, which is different from the conventional “IQOS taste”. You can hardly feel the sweet and sour taste peculiar to heat-not-burn tobacco. There is no unpleasant taste, but it feels like a solid kick, and when it spits out steam, it has a chewy feeling and is delicious.
Ploom X is the first heated cigarette to use a hybrid method of “peripheral heating x airflow heating”. When I smoked the rich regular type tobacco stick “Mevius Rich”, I felt a strong response that could be said to be the first time in the Mevius series of heated cigarettes.
The steam seems to be rather abundant, heavy and deep on the throat, with a broad and slightly sweet Mobius flavor. And the kick feeling that comes suddenly.
2.Maintainability Completely maintenance-free Iluma Prime and almost free Ploom X
Iluma Prime not only eliminates the “heating blade”, which is troublesome to clean and easily breaks, but also has the possibility of tobacco leaves leaking out by putting a lid (seal) on the tip of the Terea Stick. Achieves complete maintenance-free without tobacco leaf residue. This is a dream system for all IQOS users.
On the other hand, Ploom X has tobacco leaves exposed at the tip of the stick, and it is necessary to wipe the back of the hole with the attached cleaning stick about once every two to three weeks. However, when the cigarette stick is inserted into the main body, the tip of the stick is designed to be squeezed tightly, and the leaves are less likely to spill, so it does not seem to be so troublesome.
For nervous people, the body is mirror-finished, so the fingerprints on it may be more of a concern.
Iluma Prime holder (left) and Ploom X (right) stick insertion slot. Both are bladeless
3.Easy of use
In talking about ease of use, first of all, I would like to know that the format of the main unit is different. Iluma Prime adopts a separate type consisting of a pocket charger and a holder, which inherits the pedigree of the conventional model IQOS 3 Duo. The Ploom X is a battery-integrated type that follows the trend of the conventional model Ploom X.
Let’s compare the operability when actually using it.
Intuitive operability of Iluma Prime
Iluma Prime has been changed to a format in which a magnetic wrap cover like stage curtain is opened and the holder is taken out. I felt the first impression was a little heavy. The actual weight is 141g.
The weight of the holder itself is a little heavier from 22g of the holder of IQOS 3 Duo to 30.5g, but it can be said that the aluminum makes it look more luxurious. It feels like a high-class cigar when you hold it in your hand, and you will want to play with it in various ways.
Comfortable weight that fits comfortably in your hand than the holder of the conventional model
In addition, the holder is equipped with a “smart gesture” function that displays the number of pieces that can be sucked by LED when shaken toward you. In addition, it is also equipped with a Bluetooth function, and by linking with a dedicated application, it is possible to change the “light illumination” and turn on / off the “alert function”. There are a lot of new features like this, but I think the good thing about Iluma Prime is that you can operate it simply without using those features. It looks like an Apple product.
To smoke, simply remove the holder from the “pocket charger” and insert the Terea Stick into the hole. Heating starts automatically, and when you feel the vibration, you start smoking. When you finish smoking, pull out the stick and it will stop automatically. Even if you want to quit smoking on the way, just pull out the stick and the heating will stop automatically. You can smoke 14 puffs for 6 minutes per stick. Now, if you don’t need cleaning, you won’t have to say it anymore.
Charging is via a USB Type-C cable. It takes about 135 minutes to fully charge a box of cigarette sticks (20 cigarettes/sticks).
Ploom X with no puff limit within 5 minutes
Ploom X is characterized by its ergonomic ease of holding, which follows the trend of the conventional model Ploom X. Adopting a seamless “Nastro design”, it weighs about 95g, which is one of the lightest batteries.
A fit that sticks to the palm of your hand
There is no unevenness on the body, but the button is hidden in the center of the mirror-finished front panel, and you can feel a click when you press it. Some people may be a little worried that they cannot push if the pushing point is misaligned and that the pushing comfort is heavy. By the way, when the front panel is removed, the button itself appears, but it is not possible to press it with the panel removed. It can be used as a child lock.
In addition, Ploom X can also be linked with smartphones via Bluetooth. In addition to being able to check the remaining battery level with detailed numerical values on a compatible browser, you can also use the device lock function. In addition, you can see where your smartphone and Ploom X last connected, which could be useful if you lose your device.
When smoking, open the lid, insert the stick, and press and hold the center of the front panel to start. If you feel the vibration, it’s a sign that you can smoke. When you finish smoking, pull out the stick and close the lid to turn off the power.
The body design that fits in the palm of your hand is great, but the size of the hole in the insertion slot is set to be slightly looser, and it was not good for the stick to sometimes stick to your lips and come off. However, I am glad that you can enjoy a deep taste with this compactness.
If you have a short smoking interval, it would be attractive to have no puff limit if you can smoke one cigarette for about 5 minutes.
Use a USB Type-C cable for charging. It takes about 110 minutes for one box of cigarette sticks (20 cigarettes), and if you fully charge it for 140 minutes, you can smoke about 23 cigarette sticks.
4.Hygiene Iluma Prime with reduced odor and Ploom X with a nice scent of corn
Until now, the lack of odor was the identity of the “Ploom” series, but this time Iluma Prime succeeded in reducing odor at the highest level in the high temperature heating type by sealing the tobacco leaves inside the stick. I have. The sweet and sour popcorn-like offensive odor peculiar to heat-not-burn tobacco has almost disappeared from Iluma Prime. There is some metallic odor, but it is not the smell of cigarettes. Also, as I say many times, the sticks are sealed, so there is no residue on tobacco leaves. Moreover, I am surprised that even the butts are almost odorless.
As soon as Ploom X starts heating, the “popcorn odor” begins to smell. However, it can be described as “a scent of corn with an increased fragrance” compared to the conventional model. Also, I don’t feel the acidity in it, so I don’t think it bothers me.
Regarding odor, when the stick is inserted into the main body, the tip of the stick is designed to be squeezed, so the tobacco leaf itself is less likely to spill and the butts are less odorous than before.
5.Running cost Luxury Iluma Prime and popular Ploom X
The manufacturer’s suggested retail price of Iluma Prime is 12,980 yen (tax included / same below), which is a high initial investment considering the recent trends in the heat-not-burn tobacco industry. Ploom X is 3,980 yen, so there is a big difference at the start line.
The running cost of the special cigarette stick is as follows.
The Terea Stick for Iluma Prime is 550 yen for 20 bottles per box, so it costs 16,500 yen for 30 days when one box is used a day. After the price increase in October 2020, the price per box will be 580 yen, and the 30-day conversion cost will be 17,400 yen.
For Ploom X, the Mevius series is 540 yen for 20 bottles per box, so the 30-day conversion cost is 16,200 yen. After the price increase in October, the price will be 570 yen per box, and the 30-day conversion cost will be 17,100 yen.
Amazing is the Camel series for Ploom X. Since it is 500 yen for 20 bottles per box, it is 15,000 yen in 30-day conversion, but even after the tobacco tax increase in October, the price of only Camel is unchanged at 500 yen per box.
If you are conscious of running costs, it is currently overwhelmingly cheap to use the Camel series with Ploom X.
The Iluma Prime does not yet have a low-priced stick like the “Heats” compared to the conventional model “Marlboro Heat Stick”, so it can be said that it is the most luxurious device in the heat-not-burn tobacco industry at this time.
Iluma Prime is a luxury device with a profound atmosphere and full of high-end feeling. The holder has a hold feeling close to that of a cigar, a luxurious body design that incorporates Japanese-style essence, and even a space with little odor and dirt. It is a futuristic smoking tool with the least “cigarette feeling” of all high-temperature heating type cigarettes so far. From an emotional point of view, it shows a marked difference.
On the other hand, Ploom X is a lighter and more realistic smoking tool than Iluma Prime. If you want to feel a little like tobacco, if you want to taste the representative Japanese tobacco brand Mevius, and if you like the Camel brand or just want to operate it cheaply, this is the place to go. ..