I am going to rate both flat iron on each of the features that list below and find out which one is the winner. Rating ranges from 0 to 5, and 0 is the worst while 5 is the best.
First of all, there is a big difference between these two flat irons on the temperature settings. The CHI Original sticks on the only temperature - 370 degrees as the Solia features temperature settings ranging from 140 to 450 degrees.
So, any benefit on various temperature settings? Well, temperature settings vary for hair type. Researches showed that the CHI's set temperature of 370 degrees may prove a bit weak for coarser hair types, but with the highest temperature on Solia, you can flatten and style even the thickest mane.
CHI - 2, Solia - 5
In terms of materials, tourmaline is obviously the difference between CHI and Solia. Both irons use ceramic plate technology which is non-damaging to hair, and provides even, moist heat and negative ions. But beyond that, Solia also uses the special ingredient, tourmaline, to improve upon professional flat irons. Tourmaline, a mineral, also considered a semi-precious stone, generates high levels of negative ions which enhance hair and produce far-infrared heat to dry hair from the inside out. This ensures even less damage and faster styling, even when hair is styled damp.
As a conclusion, Solia edges out the win for using tourmaline.
CHI - 3, Solia - 4
The CHI Original weighs in at 2 lbs while Solia is only at 1 lb. The use of ceramic technology means both irons heat quickly and maintain even heat throughout styling. Yet, Solia offers the Dynamic Alignment System, with the plates self-adjusting to provide perfect coverage of hair eliminating damage and pressure points. As of now, CHI lacks a comparable feature. Score another point for Solia - lighter weight and flexibility.
CHI - 3.5, Solia-5
Cost, Value and Warranty
Both CHI and Solia are higher end professional brands so neither of these flat irons comes cheap.
The list price of a CHI Original is around $100-190, but a quick Google search found a variety of lower prices all ranging between $70-80. Some of the retailers included Amazon, Folica and Misikko. Also, CHI irons only work in the USA and Canada due to 110 voltage, and cannot be used in foreign countries even with converters.
According to the CHI website, there is no warranty policy on flat irons purchased through the Internet, only a 1 year warranty for products bought in professional salons. Some sites offer up to a 1 year warranty on CHI products.
The Solia list price is $140, but is currently available for around $85 from Amazon and Folica. Unlike the CHI, the Solia flat iron has variable voltage (110-120) and can be used in a variety of locations.
Meanwhile, Solia just extended their warranty to 2 years on all products purchased on or after October 3, 2008. Good deal!
Originally I was going to give this round to CHI for being less expensive and more widely available for purchase, but the lack of a warranty on such an expensive item makes me a bit nervous. Solia wins again; a two year warranty is peace of mind for any customer.
Let's go over the customer reviews to see what people are saying about the CHI Original and Solia Tourmaline Ceramic. Folica lists 1492 reviews by July 17th, for CHI Original, while Solia showed 3607 at the same time. In general, the CHI receives a rating of 4.07 out of 5 stars, and the Solia has 4.44 out of 5 stars.
For CHI - having read the most of reviews on Folica, it seems that most CHI users really like their product. Well, it seems most liked it - until it started having troubles, like failing to turn on or heating up. The other main complaint of CHI users is the lack of temperature control; some found the iron too strong for finer hair and felt it caused hair damage.
For Solia, most customers seem to be ex-CHI users. The 10 pages of reviews for the Solia seem more positive and enthusiastic for the product than the CHI reviews. In fact, there didn't seem to be any general negative comments about Solia. Then again, over 64% of the reviews rate Solia as 5 out of 5 stars or "The Best".
CHI - 4, Solia - 4.5
After we added up all scores. Solia got 23.5, and CHI got 15.5.
And the winner is...surely you know the answer, Solia!