Ultraviolet (UV) box sanitisers offer a safe and convenient way to sanitise your smartphones and other gadgets. Here are three models that its makers say to have been tested by third-party laboratories and proven to kill 99.9% of known germs and bacteria.
Do note that at this point, we do not know if these UV box sanitisers are effective against the novel coronavirus that is causing the Covid-19 pandemic.
In addition, UV light, especially UV-C light, is very harmful to the human body. So, take extra care when using these devices to avoid exposing yourself and others to the UV light from the device. Follow strictly the safety instructions that come with these devices.
Momax Q.Power UV-Box
The all-white Momax Q.Power UV-Box sanitiser has a USB-C charging port at its rear and a lid with a button.
Open the lid and you will find two UV lamps at each end of the interior. Place your smartphone there, close the lid and press the button. One press will start a 18-minute sterilisation session, while a double-press will start a 30-min sterilisation session.
The device will give a loud beep when the session is completed.
There is an aroma diffuser inlet inside for you to add a droplet of aroma liquid, to add fragrance to your smartphone while sanitising it.
If someone calls while your phone is being sterilised, just open the lid and the UV lights will turn off for you to pick up the phone.
However, its capacity is quite limited. It can only fit one smartphone up to the size of a Samsung Galaxy Note10+. An Apple Watch with straps attached won't fit.
The lid doubles up as a wireless charging pad, with up to 7.5W (iOS) and 10W (Android) of wireless charging power. While this means you can't charge your smartphone during sterilisation, it can be convenient as you can use the wireless charging pad anytime without having to open the lid.
Casetify UV Sanitizer
US$120 ($171), available from Casetify
Smartphone case maker Casetify's UV Sanitizer comes in an almost all-white finish, with a USB-C power port on its left side and a lid with a button.
Its interior has a black rubber pad that doubles up as a wireless charging pad. Six UV lamps do the job of disinfecting your smartphone or other gadgets that can fit inside.
Open the lid, place your smartphone inside, close the lid and the sterilisation process - which takes just three minutes - will start automatically. The lid button's circular indicator will stop flashing when the sanitisation process is done.
To charge your smartphone wirelessly during the sterilisation process, press the lid button once before placing your smartphone inside.
Double press the button to turn off wireless charging if you are sterilising other items like glasses or cutlery.
A big plus is its really spacious interior - big enough to accomodate an Apple AirPods Pro charging case and an iPhone 11 at the same time for sterilisation.
While this might be the most expensive UV sanitiser in this roundup, there is a worthwhile reason to get it.
Casetify says all sales proceeds from the sale of its UV sanitisers will go to GlobalGiving - the largest global crowdfunding community - and its Coronavirus Relief Fund to help send essential supplies to hospitals and clinics.
The Lexuma XGerm comes in two colours - black and white. Unlike the landscape-orientation of the other two models in this roundup, it has a portrait orientation. In other words, its lid opens from one of its shorter sides.
There are two buttons on the box's front with four LED indicators sandwiched between them. One button is for starting sterilisation and the other is for both sterilisation and aromatherapy. A micro-USB port at its rear is for powering the device.
There are two UV lamps - one on each side of the interior. An aroma diffuser inlet at the base of the interior lets you add a droplet of fragrance liquid.
Put your smartphone inside, close the lid and press the sterilisation button to start the sterilisation process, which takes around 10 minutes. To apply both sterilisation and aromatherapy, add your frangrance liquid and press just the aromatherapy button.
XGerm also doubles up as a wireless charger for smartphones during the sterilisation process.
Unlike the other two models, you can see the progress of the sterilisation, via its LED indicators. The process is completed when all four indicators are lit.
Its interior is big enough to accommodate an Apple AirPods Pro charging case. It should also be able to fit an Apple Watch along with a set of car or home keys.