2-underscored samsung uv sanitizer
CNN  — 

Editors Note: As we note below, it’s still unknown whether or not UV Sanitizers and UV-C can kill Covid-19, and the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) recently released an advisory confirming this. They also note that direct contact with UV-C or looking into the light can cause injury. The UV Sanitizers below feature lids with a locking mechanism or the light is only activated when the cover is confirmed to be closed. You can see the full advisory from the FDA here and further analysis from CNN Business here.

As people become more aware that their beloved tech devices may be swarming with germs, we have yet another entry into the UV sanitizing space with Samsung launching its UV Sanitizer With Wireless Charging for $49.99.

We’ve been testing it for about a week, and it meets the basic goals of a UV sanitizer. In our testing, we saw that the UV lights do successfully turn on and off. Better yet, they don’t cause unnecessary heat around the device you’re sanitizing. There’s also a wireless charging functionality, and for the most part it’s a pretty nice build.

So how does it compare with the sanitizing boxes we’ve already reviewed, like those from PhoneSoap and Casetify? Let’s dive into what we like about Samsung’s UV Sanitizer.

A simple design

1-underscored samsung uv sanitizer

In the box, Samsung includes the UV sanitizer itself, a short USB-C to USB-A cable and a brief paper manual. Sadly, no power brick or wall plug is included, so you’ll need to supply your own. For the nearly $50 price point, we were expecting one in the box. The UV sanitizer is available in just one color, a cream white on the outside that opens up to a light gray as the main color for the inside.

Once you wrangle a wall plug, plug this UV sanitizer in and flip the lid open. You may need to use a little force, as Samsung uses magnets in the device to keep it shut. With it open, you’ll notice a wireless charger in the center to juice up your phone inside.

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The charger itself is Qi-enabled and should work with most devices that support this standard. We tested the UV Sanitizer with the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, an S20 Ultra, a Pixel 4, an iPhone 11 and an iPhone 11 Pro Max and had no problems.

The left and right sides of the UV sanitizer feature the ultraviolet lamps. There appear to be six core tubes, three on each side, built into a reflective material so that light can reflect off and onto the device it is sanitizing, which is different from Casetify’s approach of using small circular LEDs on its sanitizers. The Samsung Sanitizer has small rubber bumps inside, which lift up the device being cleaned a bit from the bottom of the inside tray.

Let’s talk cleaning

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With your phone inside, you can close the lid and wait about two seconds before turning the cleaning process on. You’ll do so via the circular button on the front left of the UV sanitizer. Upon pressing it, you’ll hear a single beep and a green light will start glowing next to the button. The cleaning session takes a full 10 minutes, and the unit will beep twice letting you know it’s done. Opening the lid in the middle of the cleaning session will stop the process, which is a handy safety precaution. Of course, once the cleaning is wrapped, you’re safe to open the lid.

Samsung says the UV Sanitizer kills up to 99% of bacteria and does not list specific viruses it can kill. UV or UV-C light has not been proven to kill the coronavirus, which our colleagues over at CNN Business have looked into. But UV and UV-C have been proven to kill bacteria by going after the DNA, which disables them from spreading. Studies have backed this up for many years.

We’re including our full test video shot through the front-facing camera below to show that the UV lights do run for a full 10 minutes during the sanitization.

Let’s recap

The wireless charging was a really nice touch along with the sleek minimalist design. Running your devices through a UV sanitizer can provide peace of mind. And at $49.99, Samsung’s UV Sanitizer With Wireless Charging doesn’t break the bank. Samsung’s UV Sanitizer should soon be available for purchase in the United States again; keep checking back for the latest on availability.

Note: The prices above reflect the retailer’s listed price at the time of publication.