A Week Without Samsung’s Latest Air Purifier Has Made My Apartment Feel Stuffy

A Week Without Samsung’s Latest Air Purifier Has Made My Apartment Feel Stuffy

In my two-bedroom apartment lives two cats and their two humans. We were living with the Samsung Versatile Plus AX46 air purifier for about two months and between the four of us, we’ve got some thoughts.

The apartment is relatively new, built in the last five years, at least, and as is the case with all inner-city Sydney apartments that have been built in the last five years, there are no windows and the floor-to-ceiling glass that expands to one big opening, despite being nice and bright, has no fly screen. Both cats are indoor cats, both cats are not allowed outside. Therefore, as you may have guessed, there is absolutely no fresh air circulating through this place. As a consolation, the apartment has a ventilation system, controlled only by an on/off switch. It sounds like a bathroom vent, just a bit duller, and you can’t isolate it to just the living areas, for example. That ventilation system is all we’ve had to stop this place from smelling like one giant litter tray. Until Samsung offered up the Versatile Plus AX46 air purifier for review.

Now that I have successfully grossed you out, allow me to introduce what became our (no over-exaggeration) saviour, the Samsung AX46 air purifier.

Samsung Versatile Plus AX46 Air Purifier Review
Image: Asha Barbaschow/Gizmodo Australia

Samsung Versatile Plus AX46 air purifier

The Samsung Versatile Plus AX46 air purifier promises to keep the air pure using “a multi-layered high-efficiency purification system”. What that means is there are a number of parts – a pre-filter for the larger dust particles, a “carbon deodorisation” filter for capturing gases, and a fine dust-collecting filter that’s touted as removing up to 99.97 per cent of ultrafine dust.

A graphic from Samsung of how that looks:

Image: Samsung

And one from me:

Samsung Versatile Plus AX46 Air Purifier Review
Image: Asha Barbaschow/Gizmodo Australia

Samsung promises to cover a space of around 60 square metres, which was perfect for my apartment, even with a few hallways that go only to bedrooms/bathroom there was no obvious change in air quality, meaning it covered the space quite well.

Initially, I thought it was so bloody loud, until I realised I had it up full, and that I could reduce the level without compromising the result.

There’s a lot going on

To get the most out of any Samsung gadget/appliance, you’ll need to download and install the company’s Smart Things app. Once you’ve unpacked the box, taken the protective tape off, inserted the filter, and powered the air purifier up, you just move your phone that’s signed into Smart Things near it to add to the app. Pretty straightforward setup, no complaints.

Image: Samsung/Gizmodo Australia

Within the app you can remotely control the air purifier (which I did from the lounge, a mere two metres away, because I’m lazy). You can also set a schedule for when you want the purification to start/stop. You can also, of course, check the air quality, and get notifications when something isn’t right, such as if the air quality worsens. As the Samsung air purifier was near a door to the outside that stays shut 24/7, I got a notification that there was a high amount of dust – gardeners outside were leaf-blowing and super fine dust had clearly made its way into the apartment.

While you can get a lot out of the app, you don’t need it, as the display on the Samsung Versatile Plus AX46 air purifier gives you the majority of information you’d need. There’s a air quality indicator, which will show red through blue (with blue being great and red being very bad), a gas indicator that uses the same colour scheme, and a fine dust indicator that also moves through blue, green, yellow, and red to show just how much fine dust is being collected through the air purifier’s sensors. Even if you don’t understand the numbers being served up to you, you get to appreciate looking over and seeing everything is blue and knowing you can just continue on.

Image: Asha Barbaschow/Gizmodo Australia

As you can see on the image above, you can turn the Versatile Plus AX46 air purifier on/off, set the mode, send it into sleep mode (allowing a much less aggressive circulation of air so you can sleep/hear the TV), set a timer, reset the filter, and lock the air quality to a specified range.

But, it actually works

I’ve said this before about air purifiers, and it seems I forgot everything I learned when I unpacked the box from Samsung. I didn’t actually think I needed one, as I had the exhaust-like vent and I didn’t notice the air being, well, bad. But it was, and now Samsung has collected the AX46, it’s really noticeable.

While using the air purifier, the best way to describe how it felt was that it made the air feel less …wet. It didn’t feel heavy, or clunky, but rather fresh. And as the air was, well, purified, the room felt cold – I didn’t actually realise beforehand part of the reason our apartment didn’t get too cold was because of the moisture in the air. Since it has been gone, it’s actually missed. Whether it’s just because I’m acutely aware of the air now, I can’t help but feel I’m more sensitive to the smell of litter wafting out of the cat’s bathroom, or the fact it’s harder to get a fulfilling deep breath when getting sleepy of a night time.

Image: Asha Barbaschow/Gizmodo Australia

Should you buy the Samsung Versatile Plus AX46 air purifier?

I’ve been sceptical of air purifiers, thinking surely opening your windows and staying on top of cleaning would be sufficient. Even without windows, I thought the exhaust vent or the fact my ceilings were around 3 metres high would be enough to circulate the air or at the very least stop it from being terrible. While the Samsung air purifier is big (only 783mm x 360 mm x 318 mm, but my apartment is small) and the space it was sat looks a lot less cluttered now it’s gone, I genuinely miss it. I haven’t tested enough air purifiers to know that the Samsung one is worth the $699, or if a cheaper one will suffice, but I do know the air felt much better, the ease of use through the app was definitely appreciated, and it seems a breeze to clean and maintain.

Samsung does appliances properly, and the Versatile Plus AX46 air purifier is no exception. I don’t like how hyperaware I am of the air feeling sticky or full of cat dander now it’s gone, and perhaps it’s a case of ‘ignorance is bliss’ but I’m starting to come around to the fact an air purifier would be a good investment, even without any underlying health concerns such as asthma, or the presence of mould. Air quality experts say that purifiers, if powerful enough and equipped with a filter, can effectively filter virus particles out of the air, and I don’t have a good enough reason to dispute them. I reckon it all comes down to aesthetics and that whole cost-to-quality ratio thing.

Where to buy the Samsung Versatile Plus AX46 air purifier

Bing Lee $498 | Harvey Norman $549 | Samsung Australia $699 | The Good Guys $699

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