TechTalk: Violight UV Cell Phone Sanitizer

TechTalk: Violight UV Cell Phone Sanitizer

Posted by tbg | March 24, 2013 | TBG Wired Blog

We work in close quarters here at TBG (the price we happily pay for a beautiful home as an office environment) and sniffles and coughs tend to spread quickly amongst us. Imagine our joy when we decided to review the Violight UV Cell Phone Sanitizer and its ability to zap away germs for our March edition of TechTalk.

As much as our society is obsessed with cell phones, it seems like there are no standard ways to clean them. A recent study found that the typical smart phone has between 2,700 and 4,200 units of bacteria swimming on it. (If you want to get a rough estimate your phone, the Oatmeal actually has a quiz to test how germy it is.)

Violight promised us a good solution to clean our bacteria-ridden phones with its “germicidal UV rays” that attack all the nooks and crannies of phones, earbuds and anything else you can fit inside its small holder.

Testing this product was perfect timing, as I’m recovering from sickness and am ready to sanitize everything in sight. As soon as I set up the device and took the case off my phone, I ran into my first disappointment: it takes three AA batteries. Sure, it’s written plain as day in the information pamphlet and I should have known, but in this day and age isn’t everything plugged into an outlet or a computer?

After I begrudgingly made a battery run, I set my phone in the canister and snapped the lid on. A pretty blue light came on, signifying it was cleaning. After our obligatory “Ooooohs”, we settled in to see what happened next. And then we waited.

There was no noise, no movement. Nothing. To be honest, the whole cleaning process was a little anti-climactic.

After a four-minute cycle, the light silently went off and I assumed my phone was bacteria-free. I have no way of knowing, really, but I’ll take their word for it. Now I'm wondering what else I can fit inside to clean – credit cards, jewelry, maybe even my car keys.

A word to the wise – the system just zaps away microscopic bacteria. Much to our disappointment, it doesn’t remove finger smudges, makeup marks or any other unbecoming gunk spots on a device.

Pros:

  • Quiet.
  • Doesn’t take up a lot of space.
  • It looks sleek and pretty.

Cons:

  • Can’t tell for sure if it works!
  • Battery-operated.
  • While we tested it with an iPhone and a HTC Evo in our office, we can’t promise it will fit every generation, and it doesn’t fit flip phones.