“A great tasting ecig with some cool innovations.“
About the company
Starting out as a simple eBay shop in 2008, The Electronic Cigarette Company (TECC)has created a brand identity that is synonymous with quality products and great customer service.
In 2010, for some reason TECC started trading only through their partner company (Totally Wicked). Apparently, this was to “maintain the company’s high standards” but the cynical side of me suspects there may have been some other reasons behind this decision.
Anyhow, that is in the past as from 2011 TECC began trading under their own name again and are selling top quality ecig products from the very best suppliers across the globe.
About the product
The iClear Electronic Cigarette Kit contains a single battery, two clear cartomizers (so that you can see how much eLiquid is left) and a USB battery charger.
The cartomizers are 18mg nicotine strength and are available in tobacco or menthol flavours.
It costs £19.99 and a pack of 5 cartomizers currently costs £7.10, although prices fluctuate quite rapidly on TECC’s website.
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 Smoke Relief, Totally Wicked, Intellicig, Liberro and Pulse.
The starter kit we used for testing was 18mg strength and tobacco flavoured.
After opening the box, we were a little disappointed with the contents. Just one battery, two cartomizers and a USB Charger didn’t seem like a lot for £20 – the Pulse ecig we reviewed provided a similar product for half the price, however at this stage it was perhaps a bit unfair to compare the two products.
Unlike many of the other products we’d looked at, the iClear made no attempt to look like a regular cigarette. For one of our panel, this was very desirable and they said they’d feel much happier to use this kind of design in public because no one would be able to confuse it for a real cigarette. They also said they’d feel quite cool and trendy with a black ecig in their hand. Conversely, another member of our panel said they’d feel a bit silly smoking it in public, so I guess it depends on personal preference.
An impressive feature of the iClear is the transparent cartomizers, allowing the user to keep an eye on how much e-liquid is left. This was something our panel had not seen before and they all felt it was a very nice touch. Other ecigs we tested had the eLiquid contained in opaque cartomizers, which means you never know how much is left in them until they run out!
Another great feature was the innovative magnetic USB charger. To charge the battery, simply place it into the slot on the USB charger, where it will snap together using magnetism and begin charging. This also means that unlike other ecigs, you don’t have to unscrew the cartomizer from the battery in order to charge it.
Like most 2-piece ecigs, the cartomizer simply screws into the battery and, when sucked on, delivers a water/nicotine vapour which is inhaled. The assembled unit is longer and slightly thinner than the other ecigs we tested, giving it a classy, sleek appearance.
All members of our panel rated the taste and throat-hit of the iClear as either very good or good, making it one of the best tasting ecigs that we tested.
However, we did notice that some of the eLiquid can escape from the cartomizer if jostled around, leading to a waste of liquid or, if you fail to notice, a mouthful of foul-tasting juice. This tends to happen when the iClear is jostled around in a handbag or pocket. We would usually put this sort of thing down to a one-off but unfortunately it happened to two of the four cartomizers we had for testing on two separate occasions with two separate users.
Things we liked about this product:
- Innovative USB Charger
- Clear cartridges
- Fantastic taste/throat-hit
Things we didn’t like about this product:
We really liked the iClear Electronic Cigarette Kit. The taste and throat-hit were one of the best and battery and cartomizer life were good, however a it was let down by a couple of things.
Firstly, the leakage problem is an issue that we have raised with TECC and are currently awaiting a response.
Secondly, there are cheaper alternatives available that provide basically the same components, although they are not as innovative as the iClear.
If you like the design of the iClear and are prepared to pay a little extra for it’s unique look, transparent cartomizers and snap-in charging system, then we think it provides great value for money.
DISCLAIMER: Electronic cigarettes are NOT a recognised smoking cessation aid (see disclaimer).