I get it. You saw the headline and you immediately had questions. To answer the first question, no, the Samsung Qi Wireless Charger and UV Sanitizer is not certified to kill COVID-19. However, just because it doesn’t kill COVID-19, doesn’t mean it’s not useful. Ultraviolet light has been shown to effectively kill up to 99% of harmful germs and bacteria, such as E. Coli, Staphylococcus, and Candida albicans. 

During the past year, we’ve all become obsessive about disinfecting and killing germs, bacteria, and viruses. Not only are we sanitizing our hands at an alarming rate, but we’re also looking for convenient ways to disinfect items we’re constantly touching. And I’m sure if you’re anything like me, your smartphone ranks as one of the most touched items you own.

Design

The Samsung Qi Wireless Charger and UV Sanitizer resembles a cellphone tanning bed. It has a clean white design that wouldn’t look out of place in a lab or on a random counter in your house. On the back is a USB-C port used for connecting it to a power source. Unfortunately, there is no power brick included, so you’re going to have to supply your own.

There is a solitary button on the front which is used to turn on the UV light for 10 minutes at a time. The lid uses a strong magnet to keep it closed during cleanings, and can be a little difficult to open. It would have been nice if there was a button to help release the magnet making it easier to open up.

Inside there are ridges on the bottom to help elevate your phone or device, with the UV lights positioned on the left and right sides. The inside dimensions are deep enough to allow for objects such as a phone, keys, glasses, earbuds, and perhaps your wallet.

However, I wish it was a little deeper. I wasn’t able to fit the charging case for my earbuds in there, nor was I able to fit my smartwatch with the wristband stretched out.

User Experience

What’s there to say? The Samsung Qi Wireless Charger and UV Sanitizer is as simple to use as pressing a button. The light will only come on if the lid is closed, and the lights will turn off for safety reasons if you open the lid in the middle of sanitizing.

How can you tell if the lights actually come on? I’m glad you asked. If you’re in a dark room you can see the lights through the white casing. You can also try what I did, and place your phone in while taking a video to ensure the lights come on and stay on the entire 10 minutes, spoiler alert, they did.

The manual suggests that you place the phone in for 10 minutes with the display facing up and for 10 minutes with the display facing down. Even though it has some ridges at the bottom to lift your device up, the light coverage will be much more even on the top than it will on the underside. However, wireless charging will only work reliably if the phone is placed inside with the display facing up.

Speaking of wireless charging, the Samsung Qi Wireless Charger and UV Sanitizer supports fast-charging. As I mentioned above though, you’re going to have to supply your own power brick, and it will need to be fast-charged enabled for this to work. While the UV lights won’t come on unless the lid is closed, you can charge your phone with the lid opened or closed.

How well does it work?

It’s hard for me to say just how well the Samsung Qi Wireless Charger and UV Sanitizer disinfects smartphones or other items. I lack the equipment and expertise to test this. Samsung says it has been “tested by world-leading inspection and testing companies, Intertek and SGS” though, and with Samsung’s reputation, I’m willing to put a little faith in them.

Besides, this is a preventative measure, and it’s not the only cleaning method I’m relying on to ensure my phone and other devices stay clean.

Final Thoughts

While it’s difficult to say just how effective ultraviolet light sanitizers like this are, it gives me some peace of mind after the roller coaster of a year the pandemic has put us through. In 2020, I’ve become much more active in keeping my house and frequently touched items clean and disinfected.

Disinfectant wipes are fantastic for cleaning most everyday items, but they can also damage the protective coating on your phone’s display. For that reason, I was looking for a safer way to sanitize my phone, and even though it’s not proven to kill COVID-19, it can’t hurt to be proactive and UV light has been proven to kill other germs and bacteria. At the very least it might help prevent me from catching some other sickness and it’ll keep my phone charged up.

The Samsung Qi Wireless Charger and UV Sanitizer retails for $49.99, but at times it can found on sale for as low as $39.99.

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