Is This Air Purifier Worth The Premium?


The worst may be behind us but that doesn’t mean we are safe from the pandemic. Covid-19 made us realize the risks of improper hygiene and the contagiousness of airborne diseases. So, most of us have started taking preventive measures to protect ourselves and our near ones. One such measure is using air purifiers so that we get to breathe cleaner air. Now, there are plenty of air purifiers in the market from different brands and with different features and frills. interestingly, the titular product we have with us has ‘cure’ in its name and claims to clean up to 99 per cent of SAR-COV-2 and other harmful elements in indoor air. It may be equipped to fight the Covid spread with novel PHI-Cell technology, but we have to take the brand’s word for it. Why? You may ask?

Well, for one, the tech under the hood is patented and hence there is no alternative to compare it with. Secondly, there is no mechanism for us to replicate the lab-controlled tests conducted by the company and there is no built-in indicator to gauge its real-time performance.

Still, we took it out for a spin and so upon using it for a couple of weeks now, we believe this O2 Cure purifier justifies its Plug and Play moniker. But, whether it justifies the hefty price tag depends on whether you have that much money to spare. 

O2 Cure Plug And Play: What’s in the box?

The O2 Cure Plug and Play’s unboxing experience is rather simple. Unpack the box and inside, you’ll find the following:

  • The Purifier, of course.
  • User Guide 
  • Power Cable

Key Specifications at a glance

  • Colours: White and Grey
  • Material of Construction: Galvanized Iron / Aluminium
  • Dimensions and Weight: 14.6 x 11 x 31 Centimeters; 3.22 Kilograms
  • Power Source: Corded Electric (detachable)
  • Coverage Area: 500 square feet
  • Filter: Electrostatic (Washable)
  • PHI Cell Life: 25,000-30,000 hours/ Replacement after 3 years
  • Ozone release: within the 0.01 ppm range (considered safe)
  • Noise (Low Speed):
  • Rated Power: 220V/50Hz

O2 Cure Plug And Play Review: Build and Design

O2 Cure Plug and Play

So, the first thing I noticed upon getting my hands on the O2 Cure air purifier is that it is compact and lightweight in design. You can easily lift it with one hand. The thing has a metallic chassis that seems hollow yet sturdy enough. Thanks to this build, the better part is that you can mount it on any nail in the wall or just lay it horizontally on a table/desk. It won’t take much space and you could even forget that it’s even there. 

You can choose the Plug and Play purifier in two colourways: Grey and White, the latter being the colour of our review unit. There is O2 Cure, Plug & Play branding on the front. But even without those logos, you could spot this from a distance due to its unique look.

It is shaped like a trapezoid and kind of looks like a big milk carton. 

On the right side, there is an on/off switch which is the sole control option. It is flanked by a 2-pin socket. There are air outlets on both the right and left sides. On the bottom side, there is the inlet grille. There is a mounting hole on the back of the device along with important Plug & Play specs. 

Overall, the device has a different aesthetic but because of its small form factor, you won’t face any trouble in finding space for it in a home or office setting.

Let’s now open up the purifier and see what’s under the hood.

O2 Cure Plug And Play Review: Filters And Features Inside

O2 Cure Plug and Play

The innards of the Plug & Play comprise a — 

  • Photohydroionization Cell (PHI Cell)
  • Suction fan
  • Power adapter 
  • Control board

Among the four, it is the PHI Cell technology (patented by RGF Environmental Group, USA) that requires a definition. It is said to release “friendly oxidizers” like Hydro-peroxide, Hydroxides, and Super Oxide Ions that remove harmful pollutants, VOCs, chemical gases, odour, and microbes from indoor air. The company claims this technology is “tested by Indian (CCMB-CSIR) and American (Innovative Bioanalysis) Virology Lab” for neutralizing even the Coronavirus (SARS-COV-2) up to 99.67-percent. 

Beneath the PHI Cell, there is a suction fan that sucks polluted air in, which in turn comes through an Electrostatic filter below the fan. This filter has to be cleaned by washing every 30 days. 

O2 Cure Plug and Play

Apart from that, there are no other filters like a HEPA or Carbon filter, but that’s what differentiates it from the common kind of air purifiers on the market. We’ll see how well it fares in the next section.

Something else that’s not present here is an Air Quality Indicator (AQI). The company claims the particles this device cleans are too small for an indicator to analyze. This made reviewing the thing a tough task. We did try something to gauge it on our own. 

O2 Cure Plug And Play Review: Performance

O2 Cure Plug and Play

The way it works is simple. You power on the purifier, it lights up indicating it’s ready to eliminate some pollutants. The fan draws in the air, and the filter sifts out bigger particles, while the PHI Cell takes care of oxidizing and eradicating smaller and more toxic substances. The control board coordinates all these functions.

We have used it for a couple of weeks only and so, didn’t feel the need to clean the electrostatic filter, as recommended on the box. Also, there’s no point comparing it with the usual air purifiers (with HEPA or carbon filters) out there as while they tackle the particulate matter, this one is tasked to cleanse microbes, gases, odour, and viruses like the Coronavirus. Its role comes in preventing the viruses from cross-contamination. The company did share its test results with us upon signing an NDA. However, we couldn’t replicate the tests conducted by the brand. 

As for the real-world scenarios, since there was no case of Covid-19 (fortunately!) in my family, I can’t tell you how effective it is in what it claims. But, as for its air freshening capability, we did put it to the test and found it succeeds to some extent, but not always. 

O2 Cure Plug and Play

We tested it in different environments like home, the office, and an old unused store room. For objective analysis, we used a Kaiterra Sensedge Air Quality monitor. Here are our findings:

  • At my home, before turning on the purifier, the Sensedge showed a reading of — 73 PM 2.5, 704 CO2, and 17 TVOC. After running the purifier for about 45 minutes, the results were 71 PM 2.5 level, 794 CO2, and 83 TVOC. 
  • At the office, before running the purifier, the Senseedge showed a reading of — 50 PM 2.5, 605 CO2, and 101 TVOC. Meanwhile, after running the purifier on for about an hour, the figures were 37 PM 2.5, 493 CO2, and 179 TVOC. 

Coming to the odour, while cooking chicken or fish at home, the device was able to quell the smell considerably. We tested it with the smell of an incense stick and even kept it in an old musty storage room. Now, how well it works, depends on the type and intensity of the odour. It doesn’t fully get rid of all the odour but let’s just say, it does a pretty decent job. 

The question, however, is, whether this pretty decent offering is worth the premium it asks? The answer is that it depends on what your requirements are. 

So…

Who Should Buy O2 Cure Plug And Play?

O2 Cure Plug and Play

If you want a run-of-the-mill air purifier with HEPA or carbon filters, then this is not for you. It has a different value proposition. It is not for cleaning particulate matter. But, rather it is to purify the air from microbes, VOCs, and viruses like the Coronavirus. So, obviously, you can’t measure its performance using typical metrics like CADR or AQI figures. For that, the brand has other products in its portfolio. Thus this is for those who are concerned about protection against airborne viral diseases, especially preventing cross-infection, and keeping foul smells at bay.

It is very easy to carry around and hang/lay anywhere in your house/office. The device isn’t the most beautiful out there but is small enough to not bother you. What might concern you is the price though. But, we leave that decision to you.

As for other newsreviewsfeature storiesbuying guides, and everything else tech-related, keep reading Digit.in.



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