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Review: GLO with Neo Stick, IQOS with HEETS, which one is better?

The first experience with GLO, the competing e-cigarette by British American Tobacco, now summarized in a comparative review. How did non-burning cigarette of the same price do? Find out in this article.

The experience of IQOS users who have tasted GLO from British American Tobacco appears in our Facebook group quite usually. In the spring we published the first comparison of GLO with IQOS, now we are the first to bring our experience gathered from a one-week long comparative review, and we will soon add to the experience of other members. At the end of the article, you will also find additional information obtained through longer-term testing.


Neo Stick for GLO

The cartridges are called Neo stick designed for GLO and the price is the same as HEETS. They are usually long and they look like super slim cigarettes filled with real cut tobacco that could otherwise even be lighted and smoked as a regular cigarette, but in this case they are wrapped in aluminum foil that prevents ignition.


4 flavors of Neo Stick designed for GLO:

  • Navy Blue -pure tobacco
  • Electric Yellow - intensive citrus
  • Electric Green - menthol-peppermint
  • Electric Purple - forest fruit

The Electric Purple flavor appeared on the market a week later and opened hot Internet discussions about the unavailability of the same flavor for IQOS, offered in Russia and Ukraine, with which Philip Morris did not want to provoke the EU. Although HEETS is not directly covered by the Directive on the prohibition of the sale of flavored cigarettes, BAT is clearly not afraid of conflict and has used it as a competitive advantage. An even more intense tobacco variation is expected to arrive in the autumn, apparently in response to the launch of HEETS Sienna Label.

Our Facebook fan Bronislav Kuban says about GLO: I've tasted the tobacco - good, menthol is better in IQOS. Cleaning great, no heating blade, the cigarette is heated from the outside, so there is no contamination. I think everyone should try it.

How does GLO work

The term smoking is not correct at all, it is also about heating, but the difference is in the way and temperature. Neo sticks are pushed straight into the GLO base, which is held all the time in the hand, slightly smaller than the IQOS charger and comes in four metallic colors, Gold, Silver, Black, and Pink.


GLO does not have a heating blade, inside the base there is a heating chamber with two parts which are turned on in two waves at a temperature of about 482 °F. This makes the chamber less dirty and it does not need to be cleaned as often as IQOS who heats the HEETS from the inside at 662 °F. However, it is not true that it does not get dirty at all; the package includes a brush that the manufacturer recommends to be used for cleaning of the heating chamber. Unlike IQOS, the content is heated externally, which is why unknown pollutants are released from the paper, which the producer refutes, but the study is not available. The fact is that the flavor of the steam is made worse by the strange aftertaste of the burned paper filling.


How to use GLO

The cartridge in GLO is not fixed as it is only very loosely inserted inside. It is very easy to pull it out, you feel that when you turn GLO upside down, the cartridge can often fall out and sometimes even get stuck to your lips and pulled out. The other uncomfortable thing is that it is not entirely clear how deep the cartridge should be inserted, it can be pushed all the way in when you add a little pressure.


After pressing the stylish looking button and feeling the following vibration, it takes about 35 seconds for the cartridge to heat up. The IQOS user will feel like it's taking a whole eternity, we were very impatient during our first try. The cartridge can be used for 3.5 minutes, which is relatively low compared to IQOS with its 6 minutes or 14 puffs, we felt kind of uncomfortable as it didn't provide that much cigarette-like satisfaction to us.


The use of GLO doesn't feel very pleasant to me personally, although I like its dimensions better. Also, there is no holder, it's all in one piece. The fact is that GLO doesn't require any manipulation, returning the holder to the charger, it's nice how simple it is. I don't like the cartridges as they feel too thin. Overall, GLO feels like using a large electronic cigarette.

Battery life GLO vs. IQOS

The IQOS is designed to last for about 20 cartridges, in practice, we have measured a lot more, maybe 30. The holder itself recharges every 4 minutes, every tenth with automatic cleaning of the blade for 6 minutes. Sometimes it can get annoying.


Compared to IQOS, you only charge one device with GLO, you don't wait for anything, you can smoke one after another. It needs to be charged after one and a half packs, which is still not enough for me, so I would have to have two devices for the day just like with IQOS.


The taste of Neo cartridges

Smoke density is probably the most fundamental difference between Neo and HEETS. Inhaled steam is about as warm, maybe a little cooler, but it didn't give us the same pleasure during the test. Approximately the first three puffs taste great, although they feel less intense. But they taste good. What comes next feels like if the tobacco was losing its potency. After about a minute, the second heating part is turned on at the top, the taste changes and here comes the feeling that the steam contains the taste of a burned paper.


It is not just a feeling, though, it was many times confirmed by the users themselves, but most importantly, you can see for yourself, the cover paper is brownish, sometimes even charred.


Normally I like menthol flavor, Neo Electric Green comes with a touch of peppermint, they are not the same as HEETS Turquoise, and together with the strange taste of burnt paper, they didn't impress me. Electric Yellow is clearly citrus flavored, also not good enough for me, but it can be very different from HEETS and someone might find that appealing. I liked the most Navy Blue, by far, it smells like good tobacco, but soon the described disgusting aftertaste comes.


Conclusion: Which one is better, GLO or IQOS?

I am excited about IQOS, so I was expecting to reject GLO right away. Yet I tried to approach testing without prejudice and gave it a week to convince me. We were testing three kinds in our editorial office, the first one did not live to see the next day and ended up in the trash can, the other two were fighting bravely. My colleague still does not condemn the transition to GLO, but there are several reasons for me not stay loyal to IQOS, it just seems to be much better.


Pros GLO vs. IQOS

  1. Looks stylish and comes in attractive colors
  2. Only one device instead of two
  3. Crafted precisely
  4. Doesn't require much cleaning, cleaning is easier

Cons GLO vs. IQOS

  1. The vapor's weak and doesn't give as much pleasure
  2. Bad aftertaste comes after a while of smoking
  3. It's heavier
  4. Cartridges are bigger yet thinner

It is clear from the summary that the current IQOS user will have quite a problem switching to GLO. This is also confirmed by numbers, with Japan having the biggest electronic cigarettes market, GLO having a very small share on the market, around 5% after two years, about 10% in South Korea compared to IQOS with 45%.


Update after one more week with GLO

By comparing with IQOS, I came to the conclusion that an unpleasant aftertaste, especially at the end of heating, may not be from burnt paper, but also from poorly heated tobacco, because I have a similar impression from HEETS if I take a puff from it too early before it's fully heated.


This would mean that 482 °F for GLO is not entirely adequate and would explain why IQOS gets heated more even at the cost of having to cool down.

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