NJOY King Review
Click the link above to view this product at the vendor’s website. At the time of writing, NJOY is offering free samples of the King — just pay $2.99 shipping.
In all the time I’ve been reviewing e-cigarettes, I’ve never seen a product quite like the NJOY King. Starting around August of last year, NJOY kicked the publicity machine into high gear for the King. Since then, I’ve seen interviews, press releases, features in major print publications and at least one pre-release review that read more like an advertisement than an evaluation of the product. Clearly, NJOY really believed it had a killer product up its sleeve, and they wanted the world to know about it.
Unfortunately, the expected release date of the NJOY King came and went, and it wasn’t until just recently that you could finally buy one. During that time, I thought that Safe Cig beat NJOY to the market with the Safe Cig Aurora, another disposable e-cigarette that touted a soft tip design and big vapor from a small package as its major selling points. When I received the NJOY King, though, I realized I was wrong; the NJOY King is even smaller. In fact, it’s the smallest and lightest e-cigarette I’ve ever used.
If I understand NJOY’s pre-release material correctly, they believe that smokers haven’t yet migrated to e-cigarettes en masse because they don’t want the rechargeable and refillable products — they want something they can use and throw away, and they want it to look and feel as much like a real cigarette as possible. NJOY has bundled these aspects with some of the most attractive e-cigarette packaging I’ve ever seen, and now they’re waiting to see if smokers will buy. I think it’s difficult to say; the NJOY King carries a retail price of $8.99, making it more expensive than a pack of cigarettes in many areas. Because it’s so small, I doubt it holds enough nicotine liquid to last a full-time smoker more than a day. At this price, it seems to me that the NJOY King may end up being more of a gateway product than something a smoker switches to permanently.
NJOY King Review
Opening the NJOY King, I was first struck by the cleverness of the packaging; the clear case is shaped like a long Zippo lighter and has the same type of flip-top lid — with the same “click” that Zippo owners love. Inside the case is a small information sheet, folded in the shape of a Zippo’s windscreen. All in all, I have to say that the NJOY King should definitely make a better first impression with smokers than most disposable e-cigarettes would.
Before the NJOY King was released, I read a pre-release review suggesting that it would be a breakthrough in the area of flavor — more realistic than any e-cigarette that had come before. In my opinion, the e-liquid in the NJOY King tastes the same as the tobacco e-liquid that all of the other mainstream e-cigarette vendors who source their e-liquids from China are using. There is one rather significant difference, though: nicotine concentration. The NJOY King is available in tobacco and menthol flavors, with the Bold version containing 45 mg nicotine per ml of liquid and the Gold version having 30 mg. Many companies don’t sell anything at nicotine concentrations higher than 18 mg. So, the King definitely packs some serious punch; more than enough to make up for its tiny size. Although the taste is far from the most realistic tobacco flavor I’ve ever reviewed, it’s very satisfying when combined with the strong throat and lung hit of the nicotine.
Although the NJOY King is a bit smaller than the Safe Cig Aurora, the physical design is similar; the battery and LED are encased with a saturated filler material inside a thin plastic tube that gives a little when squeezed. It’s not as soft as a real cigarette, but it is incredibly light compared to other e-cigarettes. It’s easy to hold in your mouth if that’s how you prefer to smoke.
NJOY King: The Bottom Line
Overall, it’s difficult to say whether the King will be the industry-changing product NJOY is hoping for. They and other companies seem to believe that the majority of smokers haven’t switched to e-cigarettes yet because they don’t want to fiddle with cartridges and battery chargers. I think that could be the case, but it’s also true that e-cigarette companies stand to reap much higher profits if their customers exclusively buy disposable e-cigarettes rather than cartridges and e-liquid bottles. If a smoker cuts his or her nicotine intake enough to make one NJOY King last two days, that’s still a $1,600 per year habit. My e-cigarette usage costs less than half of that.
I’m concerned about the high cost of the NJOY King and the fact that its small size means it has very little room for nicotine liquid. If you switch from cigarettes to the King e-cigarette and use one per day, e-smoking would cost more than cigarette smoking in many areas of the country. So, I find it a bit difficult to imagine many smokers switching to the NJOY King for good and never trying anything else. It’s also a drawback that the King uses Chinese e-liquid and doesn’t give you the ability to explore the vast and enjoyable world of American e-liquids. Setting these issues aside, however, the King is a fun product and one that’s quite different from anything else currently available. If you’ve been curious about the hype, I’d say it’s definitely worth a try.