First there was pollution. Then there is Coronavirus. And somewhere in the midst of all this is stuff like H1N1. If ever there is a debate about whether you need an air purifier at home or not, I would always err on the side of saying that running the air you breathe through a set of filters is always better than not doing that. Filters can never really harm, and better to have the same cleaning the otherwise unseen pollutants in the air around you. To verify, take the filters out of the purifier once every month and look at the state of the filters—all that is better stuck in the filters than in your lungs. That neatly brings us to air purifiers. For your home, and the different room sizes that entails, you probably need different purifiers that work. In essence, a small purifier in a large room won’t do much and a purifier too powerful in a smaller room will be an overkill. If the former is what you are looking at, a smaller room, Philips has the new 800 Series air purifier for you. This has a sticker price of Rs 8,995 but if you play your credit and debit cards right, the discounts and deals could bring the price down to around Rs 6,000.

Let us look at the headline specs first. The Philips 800 Series air purifier is meant for up to 527 sq. ft rooms according to the spec sheet—in the real world, this would be ideal for bedrooms, study rooms and even certain living rooms. This has a Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) of 190 m3/hour which can completely purify the room’s air in 16 minutes. Those are pretty powerful stats for a purifier as compact as this. In terms of the dimensions, it measures 250mm x 250mm x 367mm. It weighs 2.4kg, that’s roughly the weight of two laptops. Philips confirms that the 800 Series air purifier can filter out particles as small as 0.3µm, or 0.3 microns, which includes the H1N1 virus. It could also filter some of the larger Coronavirus particles, since they tend to be attached with droplets that emerge from the human body when people cough or sneeze. The New England Journal of Medicine released a report recently which suggested that scientists were at a consensus that the diameter of the 2019-nCoV particles varied from about 60 to 140 nm—that means as small as 0.06 microns all the way to 0.14 microns. The virus particles had quite distinctive spikes, about 9 to 12 nm, and gave virions the appearance of a solar corona. The research was done on Coronavirus patients in China and funded by the National Key Research and Development Program of China and the National Major Project for Control and Prevention of Infectious Disease in China.

Scientists are at a consensus that the diameter of the 2019-nCoV particles varies from about 60 to 140 nm, which means as small as 0.06 microns all the way to 0.14 microns

Simplicity is at the very core of the Philips 800 Series air purifier. And that is perhaps best defined by the single button operation—you have one touch key at the top, nestling in the middle of the clean air vent, that allows you to switch between Auto, Turbo and Sleep purification operation modes. The design itself is circular, which means this can take in air from all 360-degrees. That is great, because we don’t always place a purifier optimally in our homes owing to space restrictions, and this will still seek out the dirty air with greater ease than typical box-type purifier designs. It is pretty silent operation in the Auto and Sleep modes, though you only slightly hear the fan even in the more powerful Turbo mode. Since the Philips 800 Series air purifier is meant for smaller spaces, this silent operations means this doesn’t shatter the peace. You can continue reading without any distractions.

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All round cleaning

The 360-degree filter inside does a good job of maintaining the air quality. As tested and verified by the trust old Laser Egg air quality monitor. In the bedroom, this cleaned the air from an unhealthy 119μg/m3 to 28μg/m3 in 10 minutes, in auto mode. The fan never became noisy or too loud in the process either, even though the fan speed was regulated according to the detected air quality in the room. After that, it even kept the room’s AQI in single digits if I didn’t open the doors regularly—that is absolutely fantastic performance from a compact air purifier that is quite affordable too. A lot of that brilliance comes from the high-quality HEPA filter and carbon layer that is working overtime to capture the unseen and sometimes seen pollutants and dust particles.

Whenever I took this 360-degree filter out for cleaning at periodic intervals, the larger particles including dust and strands of hair were always securely attached to the pre-filter layer. This means the larger particles will get securely eliminated at this stage and not clog the HEPA layer sooner than you would expect—this is good to retain the performance for longer, and yet these same particles are securely captured with almost nil chances of them wriggling free.

Size does not have to mean a compromise, and it doesn’t

The clean air vent is large, and that helps spread the clean air quicker across the room. For instance, the Eureka Forbes SCPR 300 (around Rs 13,990) has this slim tower design with the clean air vent at the front and comparatively is not able to clean the room’s air quality as quickly as the Philips 800 Series air purifier—this is just an overall observation on the design aspects, and how this may work in different home layouts may differ. Yet at the same time, the Xiaomi Mi Air Purifier 2C puts the SCPR 300 to even more shame with very good performance too, basically proving that a small sized purifier doesn’t have to offer a compromise.

Philips 800 Series air purifier really has just one competitor at that price, the Xiaomi Mi Air Purifier 2C

Admittedly, the Philips 800 Series will struggle to deliver the same sort of performance in larger rooms, also because it is not meant to clean that sort of space. But if you still feel the need to, this managed to keep a living room’s air stable at 34μg/m3, but that would spike if there was movement and take a bit of time to subside again. But still, it is punching above its weight to get the job done in this scenario too.

The Last Word: Ideal for Your Child’s room, study or bedroom

If there is a bedroom, child’s room or a study room that you need to blanket with clean air, the Philips 800 Series air purifier is exactly what you need. Don’t spend more on a purifier that might be an overkill for that room size, and also perhaps take up more space. Mind you, this purifier works best in smaller room sizes, and you must not make it punch above its weight as that will reduce the efficiency. The compact size and the consistent performance of the Philips 800 Series air purifier really has just one competitor—the Xiaomi Mi Air Purifier 2C which is priced at Rs 6499 and has almost the same ingredients—the 360-degree filter, the clean air vent at the top and good coverage for bedrooms and similar sized rooms.