Launching in September at Samsung.com/ca, Best Buy, Costco, & The Source for $69.99 CND.

We put down our phones, we wash our hands, and then we pick up our phones again and given how easily touchscreens can collect smudges and fingerprints it’s only natural to wonder if our mobile addictions might be undoing all the care we’re taking to avoid transmitting disease by touch during this pandemic.

Samsung’s new UV Sanitizer speaks to that concern, a mobile case that promises to eliminate 99% of the germs and bacteria on your phone using UV-C, a concentrated form of ultraviolet light. 

UV-C is not to be confused with the regular ultraviolet light used in flashlights and party lamps. Those you can safely shine on yourself, but UV-C, which is used by hospitals and airports to sterilize their high-traffic areas, can harm human skin. Samsung has designed their case so the UV-C lamps will only turn on when the lid is magnetically closed for an airtight seal.

Yes, if you start the sanitation process and suddenly need to get to your phone you can safely open the lid and the lamps will instantly power off. The process only takes ten minutes, so hopefully you can wait until it’s done.

Does it actually work? Is it effective against Covid-19?

I can tell you that after the case completes the sanitation process and you open the lid you’ll detect a slight toasting smell. Something in the air is being cooked. Without the benefit of a microbiological lab, I used the case on my toothbrush to see if it would effect the bacteria from my mouth and the change in my toothbrush was noticeable after being sterilized. I feel it does have an effect.

Independent tests from microbiological labs on UV-C lighting confirm that it’s effective against known pathogens including E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans. Hospitals in China, England, Italy, and France list UV-C as part of their COVID-19 prevention strategy. 

Ridges within the casing prevent any object placed inside from sitting flat against the bottom, creating space for the UV-C light to reach the underside. The UV-C lamps are housed with mirrored and prismatic backings. I placed a small camera inside to see that the UV-C lighting does scatter to reach every inch of the object being sterilized.

Can it be used for more than just phones?

Like many phone accessories, the sterilizer is powered by USB cable, either connected to a computer or to an adapter with a wall receptacle. This means that in addition to sterilizing, it can also charge your phone if your phones supports wireless charging, in fact it can do both at the same time.

Samsung says the UV Sanitizer is rated for use on objects made of metal, plastic, glass, and leather. It’s large enough that you can use it to sanitize eyeglasses, earbuds, house keys, and even some TV or video game remotes, 

Is it worth buying?

With hospitals and airports using UV-C to sterilize their spaces, it makes sense that a portable version that you can setup at home, near your front door, is a worthy precaution. I like the safety features built into the magnetic lid and that the interior is large enough for a wide range of personal belongings or work instruments while the case itself is light enough to be tucked into a hand bag or satchel to take on trips.

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