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Heat not Burn UK exclusive – BAT Glo review

bat glo reviewReading Time: 6 minutes

If there’s a bad thing about heated tobacco it’s that the latest products aren’t widely available yet. That’s slowly changing as they roll out across new markets, but when we reviewed iQOS last summer it was only on sale in a handful of countries – and the UK wasn’t one of them. Obviously we were very excited about doing one of the first UK reviews of a product that’s turned out to be a real game changer.

Well, now we’ve done it again. British American Tobacco’s new heated tobacco device called Glo is only available in Japan and South Korea right now, but Heat Not Burn UK have managed to get our hands on one and, as promised, it’s now been through a full review.

You might remember that we did a preliminary review of the Glo a while ago. That was interesting, but it did have some limits. The main ones were that it was a borrowed device, there weren’t many sticks with it, and the person who actually had it was at the other end of a Skype conversation and half way down a bottle of wine. It did give an idea of what Glo was like, but couldn’t match up to actually having one right here to play with and use regularly for a couple of days.

Anyway, on to the review:

Hands-on at last!

Unlike the last time we reviewed a Glo, this one came with the full retail packaging. The lid of the sturdy box comes off to reveal the Glo itself in a plastic tray; lift the tray out and you’ll find another one holding a USB cable, cleaning brush and warranty card.

BAT Glo box unpacked showing contents
Glo, unpacked.

Glo looks and feels very different from the iQOS. Instead of a slim tube about the size of a medium cigar, it’s more similar to a single-18650 box mod. In fact, although I haven’t taken it to bits, I suspect that’s what powers it. The wider edge of its nicely round aluminium body is exactly the right size to hold an 18650.

BAT Glo side view showing buttonThe device feels well-made and solid, without being too heavy – it’s noticeably lighter than a slightly smaller box mod. The end caps are grey plastic, with a glossy finish on the top one. The top cap also has a cover that slides open to reveal the NeoStik holder. On the bottom there’s a micro-USB charging port and a small plastic flap with a ring of tiny holes in the middle. Closed, this allows enough airflow for the device to work; slide it towards its hinge and let it go, and it springs open to allow access for the cleaning brush.

BAT Glo showing bottom opening for cleaning
The bottom cover opens for cleaning.

Apart from that there isn’t a lot to see. Everything is operated by a single metal button on the front of the device, set in an LED-illuminated ring. Well, I say “everything” but there isn’t really much to control except for turning it on.

To use the Glo, all you have to do is slide the top cover back and insert a NeoStik into the hole. Push it down until there’s only about an inch sticking out the top – it sometimes seems to stick a bit near the bottom, but you won’t break it. Then all you have to do is press the button and wait.

Glo seems to heat up slightly faster than iQOS – probably because it only goes to 240°C, instead of 350°C – and you can easily tell when it’s ready. Firstly, the LED ring around the button progressively lights up; when it’s fully illuminated you’re ready to go. Just in case you get distracted the device will vibrate and buzz when it’s at running temperature. Then all you have to do is start puffing.

When the device thinks the stick is done it will vibrate again and turn itself off; just pull out the stick, dispose of it and close the top cover. If you use it the way you’d smoke it runs for long enough to take ten or a dozen puffs – just like a cigarette. The question is, does it deliver the same experience?

Using the Glo

My Glo came with two packs of NeoStiks, one each in Menthol and Bright Tobacco flavour, both carrying the Kent brand. I played with the heated tobacco device for a few days, vaping a menthol stick every couple of hours as a change from my e-cigs – my plan was to keep the regular tobacco sticks for a full-day trial, as I was never a menthol smoker. I also cut one of them up for the last article.

I have to say, though, the menthol sticks were pretty good. The taste and sensation they delivered were exactly like a Consulate or Marlboro menthol, so these sticks are a definite win. If you smoke menthols right now, I think you’re going to like the Glo.

BAT Glo with Neostik inserted
Ready to go!

Anyway, last Friday morning I made sure the Glo was fully charged, put all my e-cigs away in a cupboard for the day, and broke out the bright tobacco sticks. I loaded one into the device, hit the button and waited for it to heat up. Then I vaped it.

Well, it was pretty good. It wasn’t like the high-tar cigarettes I used to like, but if you smoke Marlboro Gold it’s very close to that experience. There’s no shortage of nicotine hit, and the vapour replicates the taste of cigarette smoke very well.

One stick isn’t much of a test though; what I wanted to know was, could I use the Glo all day? Would it be satisfying enough to keep a smoker off the cigarettes? So, after my first stick, there were nineteen more to go. And I got through them all.

It worked, too. At no point did I feel that the sticks weren’t satisfying enough, and I usually sub-ohm 24mg e-liquid. I found myself reaching for the pack of sticks about every 40 minutes through the day. Using it was easy, too, and I didn’t find the short wait for it to heat up all that annoying. Once a stick is finished you can just drop it in the bin – there’s no need for ashtrays, and you won’t get flakes of ash all over the place either.

One thing I did notice was that there’s a distinct tobacco smell. By the end of the day my office smelled as if someone had smoked a couple of cigarettes in it. That was completely gone by next morning, though, with no stale aroma hanging around. Would it become more persistent if you used Glo every day? I don’t know the answer to that one.

Compared to iQOS the Glo isn’t quite as satisfying, probably because of its lower running temperature. To compensate, it’s a lot easier to use because you don’t need to worry about battery life so much.

When we first discussed the Glo, one interesting point was the claimed battery capacity. iQOS needs to be recharged frequently; the larger Glo packs in a lot more power storage, and BAT said a single charge would be enough to vape more than 30 NeoStiks. I admit to being sceptical about this, but it’s true.

After vaping a full pack of twenty sticks, the power indicator – that LED ring around the button again – showed the battery still had half its charge left. That’s pretty impressive, and means a single charge should keep a Glo in action all day.

Our verdict

Does Glo deliver exactly the same experience as smoking? Not quite – but it’s very close. If e-cigarettes don’t quite do it for you this heated tobacco gadget will definitely be worth a try when it starts appearing in your market.



9 thoughts on “Heat not Burn UK exclusive – BAT Glo review

  1. I personally like the IQOS a bit better because it seems like one HEET is fully satisfying much like a combustion cigarette compared to a Neostik. I’m looking forward to the TEEP because I’d like to have something available when I go out camping and there aren’t any handy charging stations available.

  2. Hi, anyone know the session length of GLO? 3 minutes?

    1. 3.5 Minutes

  3. Hi PaulW here
    I purchased a GLO 3 days ago when leaving Romania i have the dark blue Kent sticks and can confirm that it works well also I can confirm Bats review, I used to smoke 2 packs of marlboro gold a day and since using the Glo stik I have been successful and not had to look for a cigareette I am really pleased with the Glo and will continue to use it

  4. Hello, i am usuing Glo since 2 weeks allready. And i can tell, i am more than satisfied with it. The other day, my glo cigarettes finished and i smoked Kent grey (which i was smoking last couple of years) the taste was amazingly bad, taste was discusting, and i was really amazed with myself, how i was smoking it?? I feel better even, as i didnt gave up yet, but it definately harms less, i can tell. I sleep better, i feel better, i cough less. What else a smoker may ask. Regards to BAT. Well done

  5. Hi their i think IQOS is bit better because it seems like one heet is fully satisfying much like a combustion cigarette compared to a neostik. I’m looking forward to the teep because I’d like to have something available when I go out hiking and there aren’t any handy charging stations available.

    1. We will try and get hold of some TEEPS later this year hopefully.

      Oh by the way we removed your URL from your reply, if you would like a link exchange with us then please email us at [email protected] and we can exchange links if you like. 🙂

  6. hello, what do you have to say about cooling parts of iQuos and glo?
    as I remember iQuos has a plastic foil and an aluminium foil in cooling part and I heard many people complaining about throat irritation after longer use. but at glo I could only see carton and paper parts also for cooling area. what do you think?

    1. Hi Florin,

      I’m not too sure about throat irritation after longer use, we’ve never heard of that complaint before and we have a lot of regular customers.

      Please take a read of when we took a HEET apart to do a thorough review here:

      We also did a proper tear-down of the Glo Neostik and that can be found here:

      Hope they help answer your questions! 🙂


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