“An ideal starter kit for smokers that are considering making the move from tobacco to electronic cigarettes“
About the company
Pulse are Europe’s fastest-growing electronic cigarette brand. These guys source all the components for their e cigs themselves with the batteries coming from one of the biggest battery manufacturers in the world, the cartomizers (filters) coming from the second-largest manufacturer of liquid (Hangsen Liquid) and the packaging based upon their own unique design. Then they put all the pieces together themselves and are still able to sell them at an amazing price.
All the components maintain the highest possible quality control standards and are manufactured in a dust-free environment. They are CE, RoHS and SGS accredited and certified.
About the product
The PULSE Electronic Cigarette Starter Kit consists of one battery (the white part), two cartomizers/filters (the orange part) and a USB charger (for recharging the battery).
These are packaged together in a cardboard carton with a polystyrene insert, which has slots in it for each component.
A single Pulse cartomizer provides enough liquid for around 200 puffs, which is the equivalent of around 20 regular cigarettes.
Cartomizers are available in low (11mg nicotine) and medium (16mg nicotine) strengths. As well as tobacco, there are also several other flavours available.
This starter kit costs just £9.99 to buy. A refill pack containing 5 cartomizers (equivalent to around 100 cigarettes) is available for £7.99.
Our review was conducted by a panel of five tobacco smokers and one regular electronic cigarette user (our resident ‘vaper’). At the same time, we also reviewed products from The Electronic Cigarette Company, Totally Wicked, Intellicig, Smoke Relief and Liberro.
The starter kit we used for testing was 16mg strength and tobacco flavoured.
The first thing we liked about Pulse Ecigs was the packaging. It is made from cardboard (with a polystyrene insert) giving it the same look, feel, size and weight as a packet of regular cigarettes. One of our panel commented that this would make them feel more inclined to use them because it would still feel like he was carrying around a pack of fags.
Unfortunately, the strength of the packaging psychologically is also a weakness practically, because it isn’t particularly durable. After a couple of days carrying it around in his jeans pocket, the same panel member reported that the packaging had become squashed and torn and he had resorted to simply carrying the ecig without the packet.
Upon opening the packet, our panel discovered the components of the Pulse Electronic Cigarette Starter Kit. It consisted of (from left to right on the picture above) a USB charger, 2 cartomizers (filters/cartridges) and a battery.
The battery arrived part-charged but we connected it up to the USB charger and waited for it to charge fully. This process is simple, with the battery screwing into the USB charger and then the USB charger being inserted into a computer.
After charging, we connected one of the cartomizers (like the USB charger, they simply screw into the battery). As we had previously tested some other brands that were stronger (18mg), we weren’t sure what to expect from the lower strength (16mg) Pulse e-cigarette.
However, we were pleasantly surprised by the taste and throat-hit we got from our Pulse starter kit – it wasn’t as weak as we were expecting. In fact, we felt it was quite strong and comparable to some of the 18mg products we’d tried. One of our panellists commented that they would love to try an 18mg (or higher) Pulse cigarette, but i do not believe they currently manufacture them in higher strengths.
The end glows red when inhaling, making it even more similar to the action of smoking a regular cigarette, however it is heavier than a regular cigarette, making it difficult to hold in your mouth hands-free. Unfortunately, this is true for every other brand of electronic cigarette we tested and I don’t believe there is a e-cig on the market that is the same weight as a real cigarette.
One of the downsides of the Pulse starter kit is that it only comes with one battery. So, once the battery is flat, the user has to wait for it to charge before they can use it again. For all five of the smokers on our panel, this was a major problem. They didn’t want to have to wait.
Fortunately, the price of just £9.99 for the Pulse Starter Kit means that it is affordable enough to buy two kits (or to get an extra battery for £6.99). When I told the panel how much the starter kit retails for they were slightly taken aback and they all agreed that this was excellent value for money – and one of our smokers said that they were going to order a kit when they got home.
When compared with products from other manufacturers, another downside of the Pulse Starter Kit is that it comes with no method of mobile battery charging. If you’re on a night out, and the battery runs out, you’d be stuck with no way of recharging. Other products we tried from Liberro and Smoke Relief supplied mobile charging units with their kits, however these are much more expensive so I think it is unfair to compare Pulse’s Starter Kit to these brands. In addition, if you get two battery units and make sure they are fully charged before leaving the house, they should last for the evening.
One final thing I’d like to mention about Pulse is that the customer support is brilliant. The guy I spoke with (Simon) was exceedingly helpful, well-informed and completely open about Pulse’s products.
Things we liked about this product:
- Realistic-feel cardboard packet
- Fantastic price
- Great taste & throat-hit
- Friendly and informative customer support
Things we didn’t like about this product:
- Only one battery
- No mobile charging
- Durability of the packet
- Highest strength is 16mg
Overall, our panel thought that Pulse Electronic Cigarettes were a fantastic product at an amazing price and they supply perhaps the best starter kit available for anyone that wants to give electronic cigarettes a try.
The packaging and cigarettes themselves are about as close to mimicking the action of smoking a real cigarette as possible and the taste and throat-hit, although not quite the best, was one of the top performers.
UPDATE 19/03/2013: We just reviewed a similar product from Smoke Relief that offers everything the Pulse Starter Kit provides plus an extra 5 cartomizers (and for a few pence cheaper). Check out the review here.
DISCLAIMER: Electronic cigarettes are NOT a recognised smoking cessation aid (see disclaimer).