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Lifewire / Andrew Hayward
Cheaper than competition
Cool light-up design
Can charge phone while sanitizing
Fits other small items and gadgets
Can't visibly see the benefits
Larger than some rival devices
No conclusive evidence of testing
LEDMEI's Smartphone Sanitizer is a budget option for cleaning your cell phone, but we're not convinced of its efficacy in destroying bacteria.
If you're anything like us, your smartphone is in and out of your hands all day long, constantly picking up dirt, grime, and bacteria. Scrubbing with a microfiber cloth will only remove the visible smudges and fingerprints, but an array of smartphone sanitizing stations are now available to do the necessary dirty work of blasting away harmful contaminants.
LEDMEI's LM-PS-00 1Smartphone Sanitizer is one such option, and it's definitely cheaper than some of the UV-based devices while offering a distinctive design. It uses ozone (O3, or activated oxygen) to slay bacteria like E. coli and salmonella. We put it to the test to see how well it cleans up.
The LEDMEI LM-PS-001 has a decidedly unique aesthetic amongst smartphone sanitizers, with a nearly 8-inch tall cylinder that you stick your phone into from the top. Thanks to the partially-translucent tube, you can still see your phone inside while it's being blasted with ozone. Better yet, you can illuminate the chamber with one of several colors, including blue or red. With a blue or green shade equipped, the sanitizer takes on an ethereal, almost sci-fi appearance.
It's a cool look, and one that almost gives the LM-PS-001 a scientific allure. However, it makes this smartphone sanitizer a lot more conspicuous than some notable rivals, such as the short, almost laptop-esque PhoneSoap 3. It's your call whether you like the look or not.
Thanks to a USB port inside the chamber, you can also put in a charging cable and top up your phone while it's being sanitized.
According to the packaging, the device accommodates phones with up to a 6-inch screen—but we tried the 6.5-inch Apple iPhone XS Max and it fit just fine. Same for the 6.4-inch Samsung Galaxy Note 9. You can also stuff in other kinds of small items, such as smartwatches, keys, toys, jewelry, and Bluetooth earbuds. The box also says you can put in underwear and socks, but we don't think the LM-PS-001 will do as thorough a job as a washing machine.
Thanks to a USB port inside the chamber, you can also put in a charging cable and top up your phone while it's being sanitized. The cleaning process takes about six minutes, beginning when you press the left button atop the lid and automatically stopping when complete. The middle button turns on a plain white light, while the right button cycles through colored lighting options.
Setup is super straightforward. Simply plug the micro USB end of the included cable into the back of the device, and the USB-A end into a charging brick. The LM-PS-001 doesn't come with its own wall adapter, but a smartphone charger should do the trick. Just note that the device is only rated to work with 5W chargers (like Apple's tiny iPhone one), and that higher-voltage adapters (like fast-charging ones) could fry the cable or device. We don't recommend trying it.
Ozone is commonly used as a disinfectant for medical devices, such as CPAP machines, and some air purifiers. LEDMEI claims that it's more effective than UV light sanitization, killing 99.99 percent of bacteria. It's also said to be better at killing odors, and the lack of a fully flat surface in the chamber (unlike some rival devices) means that more of your phone will get cleaned in a single session.
The science behind the cleaning method certainly seems sound, but there's no easy way to know whether or not the device is actually doing anything.
Unfortunately, there's no way to tell just by looking at your phone when it comes out. Phone sanitizers like this don't actually clean off fingerprints and smudges, just the microscopic bacteria and germs. And unlike the PhoneSoap, there haven't been significant independent tests shared to prove how this specific device fares against dirty smartphones. Unless you plan to perform your own lab testing, you'll have to take LEDMEI's word on it.
We've seen the LEDMEI LM-PS-001 Cell Phone Sanitizer for around $30 on Amazon, and at that price, it's definitely on the lower end of the scale for smartphone sanitizers. There are UV-based sanitizers around this price, however, if you're looking for something else that is affordable.
PhoneSoap is the big brand name in this space, known for pioneering these kinds of peripherals and bringing them into the mainstream. The PhoneSoap 3 is the current base model, using ultraviolet light to zap the myriad bacteria that may invisibly haunt your handset. It has a flat, almost laptop-esque fold-up design, while still being sizable enough to hold large phones.
Even with the differing technique, the PhoneSoap 3 suffers from the same problem of not being able to show its results to the naked eye, although the post-session scent certainly suggests that progress was made. At $60, however, it's twice as expensive as the LEDMEI LM-PS-001. It might provide more peace of mind given that it comes from a better-known brand.
PhoneSoap's products have the benefits of high-profile independent testing, not to mention a bigger brand name with plenty of positive customer reviews online. Meanwhile, the LEDMEI packaging with broken English and Hotmail support email address are certainly less reassuring, on top of the lack of lab testing. You could argue that buying any of these requires a leap of faith, but that definitely seems more true with LEDMEI's device.
Doesn't have the same impact.
The LEDMEI LM-PS-001 has the same key benefit and drawback of any other smartphone sanitizer—the science behind the cleaning method certainly seems sound, but there's no easy way to know whether or not the device is actually doing anything. That makes it a bit of a gamble. Luckily, it's a cheaper gamble than some of the competition making worthwhile as an impulse buy.
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