Tech Corner: UV sanitise your phone while its charging 5 months ago

Tech Corner: UV sanitise your phone while its charging

In the germ conscious time we live in, it’s an interesting device.

Welcome to the party, you’re reading the third instalment of Tech Corner. Be sure to read why I no longer microwave my coffee and also why printers for smartphones are underrated.

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It’s safe to say that disinfecting products are in high demand and have been for the past year. Even facemasks, which were DIY for much of last year, have seen many brands now embrace them as part of their clothing lines.

Another form of technology is also being utilised, although it can hardly be called new. Ultraviolet light is being used in disinfection with many devices available on the market to sanitise your phone, keys and other small items that you frequently use.

A company has brought out a version of this which is also a wireless phone charger so I’ve been using Lexon’s Oblio wireless charger and UV cleaner to see what all the fuss is about.

It’s shaped like a vase that you can drop your phone into and as soon as it detects the phone, the sanitising cycle begins and takes around 20 minutes to complete, all while the phone charges wirelessly.

UV light can be harmful to the skin and the eyes among other things but the vase shape ensures the light is focused downward and not a danger to the user.

All in all, it's a pretty stylish way to get to clean up your phone. It's not a question of whether the method works;  the science backs up the claim that UV light kills bacteria and some viruses. The real question must be whether it translates into a tangible health benefit?

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While some studies suggest that viruses like coronavirus can survive on surfaces like phones and keyboards, it's not a common method of transmission. But while an old alcohol wipe method might work just as well, the idea of it cleaning your phone while you literally do nothing is appealing. Plus your phone could probably do with a good aul clean so get a wet wipe and do it now if you're at nothing.

It's an innovative product and many, including myself, will love the idea of having an exceptionally clean smartphone, but you do have to remember that it’s mostly the UV light you’re buying it for because the 10W wireless charging falls into the trap of nearly all wireless chargers at this point, it’s just not very quick.

But as someone who puts their phone down in the evenings deliberately as part of switching off, I found it a handy place to stash my phone with the added bonus of cleaning off the dirts of the world.

The price of the Lexon Oblio wireless charger and UV cleaner varies wildly online from €79.99 on the Lexon website to, at the time of writing, around the €40 mark on Amazon.