In all the time we’ve covered e-cigarettes, there has never been anything quite like the NJOY King. Starting around August of 2012, NJOY kicked the publicity machine into high gear for the King, telling the media that they were preparing to release a “next-generation e-cigarette.” After that, there was a steady stream of interviews, press releases, features in major print publications and at least one pre-release review on a well-known website that read more like an “advertorial” than an objective evaluation of the product. Clearly, NJOY really believed it had a killer product up its sleeve, and they had a nearly bottomless budget for letting people know about it.
Price: $8.99 in stores, quantity discounts available online
Includes: NJOY King disposable e-cigarette, instruction pamphlet
Unfortunately, the expected release date of the NJOY King came and went, and it wasn’t until early 2013 that you could finally buy one. Upon its release, though, some thought the hype was justified. Many people praised the taste of the NJOY King — and nobody could think of an e-cigarette that weighed less.
NJOY’s public statements have alluded to the fact that they believe 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 we’ve ever seen, and now they’re waiting to see if smokers will buy. After close to two years on the market, it’s still hard to say; the NJOY King carries a retail price of $8.99, making it more expensive than a pack of cigarettes in many areas. However, the online price is much lower.
The NJOY King is certainly an excellent introduction to e-cigarettes. The thin and light design has yet to be adequately copied by another e-cigarette company, thanks to NJOY’s strict protection of its intellectual property. Although a smaller e-cigarette means a smaller atomizer and therefore less vapor production, the NJOY King produces more nicotine per puff than most of the small e-cigarettes on the market thanks to the high nicotine concentration of its e-liquid. Whether it would actually be worthwhile to use the NJOY King full-time, though, depends on whether you find a single King per day sufficient to satisfy your needs. If you buy online and use one King per day, you will definitely save money compared to smoking.
NJOY King Review
Opening the NJOY King, we were 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, the NJOY King should definitely make a better first impression with smokers than most disposable e-cigarettes would. Since the release of the King, NJOY has guarded this design closely; in 2013, the company filed suit against Victory for using a similar design.
Before the NJOY King was released, a pre-release review suggested that it would be a breakthrough in the area of flavor — more realistic than any e-cigarette that had come before. In our opinion, the NJOY King actually tastes similar to most other e-cigarettes with Chinese-sourced e-liquids. 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 the punch to make up for its tiny size. Although the taste is far from the most realistic tobacco flavor available, it’s very satisfying when combined with the strong throat and lung hit of the nicotine.
Although some elements of the design have since been copied by many e-cigarette companies, the NJOY King was entirely unique at the time of its release. 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. Very, very few other e-cigarettes can be held comfortably in the mouth.
NJOY King: The Bottom Line
Overall, it’s difficult to say whether the King has been the industry-changing product NJOY has hoped 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. Although that may well be true, 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. Nevertheless, the NJOY King is a nice product and a great introduction to e-cigarettes. If you are a smoker and haven’t tried your first e-cigarette yet, the NJOY King would be an excellent choice.
NJOY Kings Review: The Last Word
- Extremely small and light
- Creative packaging with a satisfying “click” when opened and closed
- High nicotine content helps to make up for small size
The Not So Good
- Price per unit is high compared to rechargeable e-cigarettes