UV sanitisers are set to be among the biggest growth products of the year. If you’re not familiar with them, you can check out our guide, which has the lowdown on what they are and how they work.
The quick explanation is that they’re boxes into which you put your phone, keys, earbuds and more. Your kit is then bathed in UV-C light, which damages and thus kills off the bacteria and viruses that may be lurking on their surfaces.
We’re taking a look at QDOS’s product, which also doubles as a wireless charger.
Design & use
The QDOS’s appearance is characteristic of UV sanitisers. It’s a white, hinged box, in this case made of recycled ABS plastic. It’s rectangular, with rounded corners and rubber, non-slip feet. It’s not really a design-led product, nor is it the kind of thing you’d be embarrassed to have on your desk. It’s simple and functional.
It’s a little smaller than a bento box (20 x 12.5 x 5.5cm) and it weighs 355g. That’s less than my wallet and phone combined, which means it’s perfectly portable. But as the lid only closes and doesn’t clip shut, there’s a chance it’ll flap open in your bag, so you’d probably want to secure it to stop it from being damaged.
At the back are two ports: a USB-C to attach to the mains and a USB-A port to charge additional tech, which is a nice add-on. The QDOS is not a battery-powered device, so you’ll need to plug it in when you want to use it.
Some UV sanitisers have mirrored interiors to bounce the light around and ensure that all sides of whatever you’re cleaning will get access to its sterilising power. The QDOS device doesn’t but its interior is shiny, which may have a similar effect.
And, if you place your phone inside, it’ll be held up on the raised dots that stud the floor of the box, allowing the light to reach underneath your device.
But this won’t work as well with items such as keys, earbuds, a watch or pens, so you might want to turn them over after an initial cleaning cycle and give them another go.
Features & performance
The QDOS has two cleaning cycles: a three-minute rapid cycle and a ten-minute intensive cycle. Single click the button on the top of the case for the former and the sanitiser will respond with a glowing green light. Double click for the intensive cycle and the light will illuminate in blue. The light will go out when the cycle is complete.
It’s easy to see what’s happening and it’s easy to use, but it prompts some questions. If the rapid cycle works, then why have an intensive setting? Or to put it another way: are we sacrificing complete sanitisation if we opt for the three-minute clean?
And this is where we have to add a disclaimer. We can’t vouch for the technical capabilities of the QDOS device. The manufacturer claims that it removes 99.99% of bacteria on the surface of tech and what we can say is that UV-C light is capable of doing just that.
However, we’d advise that if you use this, or any other sterilising unit, you consider them simply one in a number of layers of protection you use. Make sure you keep washing your hands and cleaning your devices as you normally would.
UV sanitisers often double as Qi wireless chargers, and the QDOS is no exception. It has rapid 5, 7.5 and 10W max charging. Most phones can take up to 10W of charge, which means they’ll recharge in approximately 3 hours.
It works just like a charging mat. Stick your wireless-compatible phone on the lid of the device and it’ll begin charging immediately. The additional functionality here gives you a solid reason to keep it on your desk or bring it with you when you travel.
The QDOS has a relatively spacious interior, width-wise at least. Bear in mind that, to make the most of its cleaning power, you’ll want to put in as few things as possible at a time. It comfortably fits a phone, or a watch and pens, or two pairs of flat, thin-framed glasses.
However, the interior height of the box is only 2.5 cm high. This meant that the lid wouldn’t close over most of the pairs of sunglasses I tried. Or my wallet.
If the lid doesn’t close, the light won’t come on: this is an important safety feature of the QDOS. You shouldn’t tamper with it as UV-C light is dangerous to your skin.
Price & availability
At the time of writing, Amazon UK is selling the QDOS UV sanitiser for £50.80. You can also buy it from the QDOS website at its RRP of £59.99.
You can get UV sterilising units from about £11 on Amazon, although we doubt you’d really get anything effective at that price. Most come in at about £30, which means the QDOS is a little more expensive than average.
For its price point, the QDOS sanitising unit is a decent buy. It’s straightforward and functional, rather than beautiful but it’s nicely made and feels robust. It’s also spacious enough to fit most of the bits and pieces you carry around with you, although you’ll still have to clean your oversize shades by hand.
The Qi wireless charging and extra port for another device mean you can do away with your charging mat in favour of a dual-use piece of kit. It would also come in handy when you travel, although we’d suggest putting it in a case to hold it closed and protect it from scuffs.
Want more options? Have a look at our review of the Moshi Deep Purple, which is a foldable, portable – and, let’s face it – pricey, deluxe UV sanitiser.
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