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Heat not Burn UK Review – The AVBAD

AVBAD overview

Another week, another new Heat not Burn device to play with. I’m really enjoying watching how the technology is developing, and how various companies are starting with the basic concept then bringing in ideas from other products – mostly e-cigs, but with some clever innovations pulled from other places, too.

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I got another interesting package in the mail. This contained an AVBAD device and, as a little bonus, nine packs of Healcier herbal sticks in assorted flavours. I’ll come back to the herbal sticks later on; first let’s look at the device itself.

The Review

AVBAD box opened showing contentsFor some reason I like flat boxes. Maybe that’s because I can slip them into one of the concealed pockets most of my jackets are infested with, rather than having to carry them. Who knows? In any case, the AVBAD comes in a nice flat box. Slide off the protective sleeve and open the lid, and everything’s neatly presented in a single layer of foam. One little nest holds the AVBAD; another, hidden under a flap, has a USB charging cable and a pack of cleaning swabs. There’s also an instruction booklet in several languages, including English (luckily).

The AVBAD is what I can best describe as a funny shape. It’s a sort of rounded-off parallelogram, with the removable HEET holder at one end and a USB charging port on the front edge. How can you tell it’s the front? Well, it has a row of icons printed on it. And that’s where this device gets innovative.

Actually it got annoying at first, because I couldn’t work out how to switch it on. There are no actual buttons on it, just those printed icons. One of them is the usual power icon, which was promising, but poking at it didn’t seem to do anything.

I assumed poking it should have done something, because some of the technology the AVBAD borrows comes from mobile phone touch screens. The reason it has no buttons is that it uses inductive sensors instead – the same technology that tells your phone what bit of the screen your finger is smudging right now.

This is actually a pretty smart idea. If you’ve owned a few e-cig mods you’ll know that the buttons are usually the first thing to fail. The tiny microswitches they use have a fairly high average life in terms of the number of clicks they’re good for, but it is an average. The chances are that out of the three or four buttons on your mod, one or two will go on forever and another will fail in a few months.

Inductive sensors don’t have that problem. Because they have no moving parts they don’t wear out, so as long as you keep the device reasonably clean the sensors should last pretty much forever. Using them on the AVBAD was a smart move, and definitely piqued my interest in the device – but I couldn’t get it to work. Anyway I’ll come back to that too.

In terms of build quality I was more than happy with the AVBAD. The body is plastic, but from the weight there may be some metal structure inside as well. All the parts fit together very nicely, and while it’s a fairly light device it also feels rock solid. Of course, none of that matters much if it’s a terrible vape, so how does it perform?

Vaping the AVBAD

Avbad Heat Not Burn DevicePutting a full charge in the AVBAD takes around an hour and a half. Once that’s done, using it is simple – just slot a HEET into the holder, turn it on and tell it to start heating up.

Oh yes – turning it on. It took me a long time to figure this out. I was holding my finger on the power button, tapping it three times, tapping it five times, tapping it once – no matter what I did, nothing happened. Finally, with some (not much) help from the instructions, I figured it out. To turn it on you have to put your finger on the power button then swipe it down over the other buttons; everything lights up for a few seconds and that’s the AVBAD ready to go.

Powering up the heater is simple once you’ve turned the device on; just tap the power button three times. It will vibrate and buzz to let you know it’s started, then buzz again when it’s warmed up and ready to vape. That takes just under 20 seconds, which is about average.

The AVBAD is a temperature control device with three selectable levels; to choose, you can page through them using the “gear change” button, just below the power button. Illuminated numbers show which mode you’re on. I did try all three, with my usual Bronze HEETs, but found the highest setting was more to my taste.

Yes, the AVBAD delivers a good vape. There’s plenty of vapour and the taste is excellent. It tails off a bit towards the end of a stick, but that’s pretty normal – there’s only so much vapour one HEET can produce. The AVBAD will buzz to warn you after four minutes and ten seconds, or 14 puffs; you then get another 30 seconds or two puffs. Personally I wouldn’t bother with the last two, though – after 14, the HEET is pretty much done.

Healcier herbal sticks

Healcier different flavoursAnyway, that’s the situation with HEETs. Now let’s look at the Healcier herbal sticks that came with the AVBAD. The box they arrived in is boldly marked, “Stay fresh stay non-nicotine”, and the details below that state that they contain no nicotine or tar.

I’ll say right now that I have no problem with nicotine. In the sort of doses people vape it’s not harmful, using it doesn’t cause the social problems associated with most other drugs, and there’s really no reason to stop using it. If you do want to stop, though, herbal sticks are probably as good a way as any.

My package included various flavours of Healcier stick; Regular (tobacco-flavoured), Menthol, Blueberry, Citrus, Grapefruit and Coffee. The manufacturer told us that some flavours are designed for the Asian market, which has different tastes, and my experience certainly reflects that – I really didn’t get on with a few of them.

On the other hand, the sticks deliver plenty of vapour – just as much as a HEET – and it’s warm and satisfying. The menthol sticks were pretty good, and I enjoyed the coffee flavour too. Would I switch from HEETs to Healcier sticks? No; I want my nicotine. However, if you want to be nicotine-free for some reason I’d say these are definitely worth a shot. Get a pack of each flavour, try them out and see which ones work for you. Apart from the absence of any nicotine hit they vape just fine.

To learn more about the Healcier herbal zero nicotine sticks please visit them at https://www.healcier.com/index.html

The Verdict

I was very impressed with the AVBAD. It’s an ingenious little device, well made and effective, and (once I figured out how to switch it on) simple to use. Its battery holds enough power to get through 15 to 18 sticks on a full charge, making it a viable option to carry around all day, and the vape really is pretty good. I have high hopes on the durability front, too – the inductive buttons should never fail. Overall? Yes, I’d happily buy one of these.

For more information about the AVBAD please feel free to visit their website at http://www.avba-d.com

9 thoughts on “Heat not Burn UK Review – The AVBAD

  1. Another nice review, thanks! It’s great to read up on all these alternatives to the Iqos device, but they are nearly all virtually impossible to get hold of here in the UK and Europe. Last year I purchased two ‘HiTaste Wand 2.8’ devices from China. The low wholesale cost I was charged for these made the additional high shipping cost worthwhile. I was very pleased with the device overall – it has adjustable temp control, heats up quickly and can be switched straight back on after a session it you feel an extra few puffs could be squeezed out of a Heet stick. It is of the type which heats a (replaceable) cylinder rather than a central blade or spike and I found this most beneficial for heating the large parts of ‘tobacco’ in a Heet stick left unused after a regular session in the Iqos. In essence, this almost doubles the value of the massively overpriced Heets in the UK – meaning a single pack of 20 can be stretched out to a much more justifiable 40 sessions and effectively bring the cost of Heets down to the same £4 mark Phillip Morris is charging per pack in other EU territories.

    BTW, I also made enquires to the Chinese manufacturer of the ‘herbal’ sticks last year. As these items contain no nicotine or tobacco (the content is actually tea), I considered the retail price of these in the UK could quite easily be a quarter of what PMI is charging for its Heets product (justifying its pricing with the fake excuse of a non-existent tobacco tax content). The company in China were more than happy to send me some samples of their product to try – but unfortunately the quoted shipping cost this time was to far to high to make it worthwhile for such a small amount.

    It’d be great if HeatNotBurn could expand its shop area to include some of these items and bring them to a sorely limited UK customer base.

    1. Hi there Peter.

      Many thanks for your input, you make some very good points.

      The HiTaste Wand 2.8 sounds very interesting, we are seeing a lot of companies go for the spike as opposed to the blade. Both work very well but I am guessing that the spike is easier to implement.

      Anyway as you know we have sent you 5 packs of the Healcier to test, please let us know your thoughts on them Peter.

      Many thanks,

      Tony.

      1. I’ve had a chance to puff my way though the packs of Healcier sticks kindly sent to me by HeatNotBurn…

        The ‘Regular’ ones aren’t too bad and I’d like to think they could be quite palatable with some development of the flavour. They do have similarities with a real cigarette but in a different way to Heets. The addition of nicotine (or the ability for users to add their own) would go a long way to improve the Regular.

        The ‘Menthol’ are a bit overwhelming. I’ve never been a big fan of menthol cigarettes or Heets, but I guess anyone who enjoys the menthol experience might find these to be a highly serviceable (and much cheaper) substitute for the PMI brand.

        The ‘Blueberry’ is a bit weird – but that might be because I don’t usually vape fruity flavours. Anyone who does (and I know a lot of people do) may be wondering what’s the point of these when vaping the same flavour juice would be a lot cheaper and deliver a purer ‘blueberry’ taste experience.

        The ‘Citrus’ has a mildly tangy taste with a lemonadey sweetness. If I didn’t puff exclusively on tobacco flavours I’d probably get along with these… if nothing else was available. I didn’t have any of the Grapefruit flavour to try.

        Thanks again to Tony for sending me these to try. They are definitely going in the right direction and it would be great if there was a competitor to Heets on the market in the UK – especially given the unnecessarily extortionate prices PMI are charging here for their product.

        Puffing the Healciers in the Iqos was a kind-of damp and soft experience which left me wanting a stronger ‘hit’ which Heets provide. Given that it’s common knowledge these days that nicotine is not the killer substance in cigarettes (and is about as dangerous as caffeine is), I’d say the manufacturer of Healcier is pursuing a false marketing strategy by promoting these as ‘healthy’ because they are nicotine-free. If they could produce a stick with a nicotine content which more or less resembled the taste and throat-hit of a real cigarette whilst having an attractive store price, I think Healcier would have a real winner on their hands.

        1. Many thanks Peter for doing this review for us! It’s always great to get a third parties view on things.

          Both Fergus and I agree with you with regards to them working on the flavour, if they can improve that they may well be on to a winner. I personally have to be careful with what I say about HEETS but the main thing is that even though HEETS might be a little on the expensive side crucially they are cheaper than regular cigarettes. They will never be e-liquid style of value but a fair bit more tech goes into making a HEET than it does adding 10ml of e-liquid into a plastic bottle, HnB is never going to be able to compete with vaping price wise but not everyone gets on with vaping.

          Oh if I can find that missing grapefruit one I will send it to you.

          Many thanks again for your input Peter it is really appreciated.

          Tony.

          1. Thanks for your subsequent reply Peter but I can’t approve it. I understand your thoughts on Philip Morris but we (Heat Not Burn UK) have to take a diplomatic stance on this as we are official resellers of their products. The old saying “you don’t shit in your own back garden” comes to mind!!

            Tony.

  2. The doesn’t seem to be any way I can see to find a price or buy this Avbad device and I so want the pink one!
    I saw several different types of device whilst in the Philippines earlier this year and would love to get an alternative to my iqos!
    Any ideas?

    1. Hi there Eva.

      Currently I don’t think this device is being sold in the UK. We take on these reviews with a view to possibly stocking the reviewed device but so far we haven’t been offered a reasonable deal to be able to do this.

      My advice would be to see if you can get it directly from China.

      Many thanks,

      Tony.

  3. Hi there my son purchase your healcier cig with coffee flavour they do taste good. But I’m a bit concerned as I read that smoking herbs are not ver good and can cause serious problems. Can you please tell me what they are made off?
    Thanks
    Claude

    1. Hi there Claude,

      We do not and have never sold Healcier products on our website. It may be better to contact Healcier direct for an answer to your question.

      They will not contain herbs though in the THC sense of the word.

      Their contact email is [email protected]

      Hope this helps,

      Tony.

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