Your phone screen is covered in disgusting germs. Kill them with the $64 PhoneSoap 3
Normally $80, this UV sanitizing gadget might be an especially smart buy for students. Plus: a four-pack of Wi-Fi smart plugs for $24.
Rick BroidaSenior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
I have mixed feelings about today's deal, but it's one of those things that's in the "you decide" category. Because while I'm not convinced phone germs are a real problem, I strongly believe in "better safe than sorry." So let me start with the deal, then explain my thinking.
For a limited time, and while supplies last, Amazon has the PhoneSoap 3 UV Cell Phone Sanitizer for $63.90 when you clip the on-page 20%-off coupon. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page.
The coupon should apply to nearly all the available colors, but here's something I just noticed: If you choose Gold or Sand, you'll see a price of just $48.99! Now, that's from third-party seller On the Go Shops, and both colors show "in stock on Aug. 25." That's a pretty big price difference, and in the past I've seen a few folks get burned by third-party Amazon sellers with too-good-to-be-true pricing. That said, you're protected by Amazon, so why not go for the better deal? Update: Those colors are no longer available.
In case you never saw the PhoneSoap Shark Tank episode or just haven't heard of the product, it's a little UV oven that promises to kill 99.99% of the bacteria on your phone (and similarly small objects: earbuds, keys and so on). It's clinically proven to work as advertised, and takes all of 10 minutes to do its thing.
OK, but, do you need it? That's where I struggle. You've probably heard the reports about phone screens being veritable bacteria magnets, with way more germs on average than even a public toilet. But for years I've heard the same thing about my computer keyboard. With all this bacteria out there that we're constantly touching, why aren't we all sick all the time?
The counter-argument, of course, is that maybe we'd be less sick overall if we wiped our keyboards and UV-zapped our phones. Like I said: Better safe than sorry? For students in particular, who live in the petri-dish worlds of classrooms and dorm rooms, and who grope their phones pretty much 24/7, a PhoneSoap might be a wise investment.
For what it's worth, the gizmo has a 4.4-star average rating from nearly 1,000 buyers.
Your thoughts on this? (I know you have some.)
Bonus deal: Get a 4-pack of Wi-Fi smart plugs for $24
Every time I write about a smart-plug deal, it sells out quickly -- which makes me realize how much everyone is into smart-plug deals. So, here you go: For a limited time, and while supplies last, the Gosund WP5 Wi-Fi smart plug four-pack is just $23.99 when you clip the on-page 5%-off coupon and apply promo code GOSUNDWP5 at checkout.
That's only $6 off the regular price, but it still works out to a pretty compelling $6 per plug. Typically you'll see one for around $10 and two for $18.
Though it's hard to tell for sure, the WP5 looks compact enough that you can plug it into an outlet without blocking the other outlet. It's compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant and IFTTT -- no hub required -- though it does require a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi network. If yours can operate only at 5GHz, look elsewhere.
The plugs have a 4.2-star average rating from nearly 800 buyers, and Gosund backs them with an impressive two-year warranty.