Samsung says its UV sterilizer can effectively kill up to 99 per cent bacteria and germs including E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans.

Samsung UV Sterilizer unboxed: why your smartphone probably needs one right now

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October 29, 2020 12:08 PM

Studies have shown your mobile phone devices may be dirtier than a toilet seat.

Samsung’s UV sterilizer costs Rs 3,599 in India. (Photo credit: Saurabh Singh/Financial Express)

Earlier this year, Apple updated its “How to clean your Apple products” website letting Mac, iPad, iPhone, and iPod users know it was okay to clean their devices with disinfectant wipes. Google lets you do that with its Pixel smartphones. Samsung does not have an explicit cleaning guideline in place, but it’s safe to assume you can wipe most of its Galaxy smartphones clean with a damp, lint-free cloth. And by extension, you can do this with any other smartphone to some or the other degree, since all of them have a glass screen with an oleophobic coating — some have glass backs, some offer water resistance too.

This is not without its flaws though. Your smartphone may not be water resistant. You may have applied a screen guard on it that may be prone to damage. Then there’s basic human error, that’s in addition to it being a manual process, at a time when most people would be wary of having one more — but one that’s very essential — thing to be mindful about. Safe to say, while it is effective when it is done right, it’s also not a full proof solution to ensure your smartphone is one hundred percent free of germs most of the time. Given a chance, and if you can afford it, a UV sterilizer is the safer option.

The thing looks and feels no bigger than a lunch box. (Photo credit: Saurabh Singh/Financial Express)

UV sterilizers come in different shapes and sizes — and price points. The one that we’re unboxing today is a portable box — no pun intended — from Samsung designed for disinfecting your smartphone on the go. Portability in fact is one of its main highlights. The thing looks and feels no bigger than a lunch box, which means that you can carry it around easily. At the same time, it is not cheap or flimsy. It is well put together.

Its slim and light form factor does come at a cost. It’s easy to crowd this thing up in case you have a big smartphone like the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. Even though you can disinfect accessories and other essential items inside it, it’s impossible to disinfect multiple items together unless you can somehow manage and squeeze your way through the tight fit — or if you have a smaller phone.

Samsung’s UV sterilizer is a single button affair. (Photo credit: Saurabh Singh/Financial Express)

But it’s not a deal breaker. The whole disinfecting process is fast and takes only 10 minutes to complete, so chances are you might not feel the urge to have a bigger device.

Setting it up is also easy since Samsung’s UV sterilizer is a single button affair. There’s a USB Type-C port at the back from where you connect it to your power source. Samsung bundles just the cable in the box, so you’ll have to use your existing adapter. The sterilizer is smart enough to automatically switch off after 10 minutes, which is how long it would take to disinfect your phone or other essentials. During this period, it uses dual UV lights to sterilize both the top and bottom surface of items that are placed inside.

It can also double as a portable 10W wireless charger. (Photo credit: Saurabh Singh/Financial Express)

Citing tests conducted by two independent certification institutes, Intertek and SGS, Samsung says its UV sterilizer can effectively kill up to 99 per cent bacteria and germs including E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans. There’s been a growing demand for such disinfectant devices in the wake of the novel coronavirus outbreak. There’s no conclusive proof whether UV light has any effect on the coronavirus, but, the collective need of the hour is to maintain strict personal hygiene and that includes taking due care of all your personal belongings as well.

Studies have shown your mobile phone devices may be dirtier than a toilet seat which means that they are a hot bed for germs and viruses, some that may transmit the common cold or flu. Your best bet right now is being as diligent as possible, and having a UV sterilizer around is one way you can do that. We’re still learning about the coronavirus and hopefully a cure will be out soon, but for now, every effort counts. But that does not mean you should buy the Samsung UV sterilizer although I think that you should, if it fits your requirement and budget. As mentioned earlier, UV sterilizers come in different shapes and sizes, so choosing one will depend on what you’re looking to do with it.

There’s been a growing demand for such disinfectant devices in the wake of the novel coronavirus outbreak. (Photo credit: Saurabh Singh/Financial Express)

Samsung’s UV sterilizer costs Rs 3,599 in India. Now there are two ways to look at it. It offers remarkable portability and is very easy to use. There’s also the brand value and recall that many would like to consider. But on the other side, you can’t disinfect large things or too many things at the same time, inside it. So that’s also something to keep in mind. As for whether or not it’s worth it, it is, no doubt. The price may seem like on the higher side but Samsung’s UV sterilizer can also double as a portable 10W wireless charger to wirelessly charge compatible devices using the Qi standard, so there’s more to it than just the disinfecting angle.

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