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Closed Pod Systems

Since closed pod systems seem to be all the rage, why don’t we talk about the differences between what seem to be the two more popular ones? On one side, you’ve got the JUUL; the guys that started this craze, the OGs if you will. On the other, you’ve got the STLTH; absolute value city.

Before we get too into this, I am not hating on the JUUL. It’s a fine product. The issue here is with the value of the product. Now, when I say value, I am referring to the worth of something when compared to the price asked for it. The JUUL Starter Kit, which includes four 0.7ml pods has a suggested retail price of $64.99, while the device on its own with no pods, is $44.99. JUUL’s pods go for $20.99 for a pack of four 0.7ml pods (a cumulative total of 2.8ml, remember this for later), and are available in a total of six different flavours. With nothing to compare these numbers to, this may seem just fine. However, crunch the numbers and suddenly you discover that without factoring in the cost of the physical pod itself, JUUL’s just costs a whopping $7.50 per ml. For reference, one could purchase an open pod system such as the SMOK Nord, or the Vaporesso Renova Zero AND a 30ml bottle of salt nicotine liquid for less money than the JUUL starter kit. Yikes. I digress, we’re talking about closed pod systems.

Enter the STLTH. These guys have taken the market by storm, offering up an alternative to the giant that is JUUL for less than half the price. The STLTH Starter Kit sells for $24.99, is available in four different colours, and includes one 2.0ml pod, and replacement packs of three 2.0ml pods can be had for $14.99 for STLTH branded pods, or $15.99 for popular “premium” flavours. Currently we stock ten different flavour options, and that list is growing rapidly. For what it’s worth, if we’re going to play the price per ml game with STLTH, their liquid comes in at one third the price at $2.50 per ml, and the premium flavours at $2.67 per ml. If it’s not already clear where we’re going with this, I’ll continue, because it gets better.

If the STLTH costs so much less, it must be inferior, right? Apparently not, actually the general consensus is that it’s better. The battery life is better, pods are more than twice the size, and (this is my favourite part, by the way) the charging system is NOT proprietary. Yes, you read that right: proprietary. JUUL uses a little USB magnet dock thing to charge their device, sure the device does come with it, but if you lose it, JUUL will gladly sell you a new one for $9.99. The STLTH however, uses the same micro USB universal standard that it seems every other company uses. If you misplace the cable the STLTH comes with, everyone and their grandmother likely has a drawer full of them, or you can just grab a new one at a gas station for $2.

Oh, gas station, here’s another point! Cars! More specifically, CHARGING YOUR DEVICE IN THE CAR. Good luck charging the JUUL in your car’s likely recessed USB port. Or just grab a micro USB cable and charge your STLTH in a way that makes sense. That’s really all there is on that one. Carry on.

Does all of this remind anyone of another company in another industry? Proprietary interfaces, products that are way too expensive for what they are, selling a “culture?” Sounds an awful lot like Apple to me! A lot of parallels can be drawn between the two companies; they are immediately recognizable, and they sell products for way more than what they’re worth.  Neither of the two make “bad” products at all, but the value is just awful, and if you need to replace an accessory you almost always need to buy THEIR accessory for it to work correctly. At the end of the day, if you really want a JUUL “because it’s a JUUL,” you’re probably the same person that bought a MacBook Pro to browse the internet on “because it’s a Mac.” That’s fine, because you’re the master of your destiny, and you can spend your hard earned money on whatever you please.