Air purifiers have become an integral part of our lives, especially in the last four-five years. The good thing is, compared to 2019, the air pollution levels in several Indian cities have dropped drastically in 2020 and it’s due to the coronavirus led nationwide lockdown that suspended industrial production across sectors and halted vehicular movement. Now that lockdown has been lifted and life has normalised the air quality index is bound to get worse from good. Also Read - Xiaomi Mi Air Purifier 3 Review: Best in its segment
If you live in Delhi NCR, having a purifier at home is a crucial. For my everyday usage, I use Xiaomi’s Mi Air purifier 3, currently available at a price of Rs 10,999 in India. This one looks good, matches the decor of my room and is smart. With smart I mean, the purifier can be controlled using the Mi Home app available on Google Play store as well as Apple App store. Also Read - Philips 800 Series Air Purifiers now available in India for Rs 8,995
For nearly a week, I moved to US based tech company Molekule’s Air Mini, sent to BGR India for review, that’s worth Rs 37,999 and available for purchase on Amazon.in. The purifier is currently available with discount and can be purchased at Rs 31,999 on the e-commerce website exclusively. Given the hefty price tag, I initially expected this one to be much (read: a lot) better than Xiaomi’s air purifier but unfortunately Molekule misses out on a lot. It has some goods too. Also Read - Havells Freshia range of air-purifiers with up to 9-stage filtration launched in India
I have been using the air purifier for a week and here’s what I think about the Molekule Air Mini.
Molekule Air Mini design, build and portability
Starting with the design, this one looks more like a water purifier than an air purifier. Yes, you read that right. I mean, the purifier looks decent but for the expensive price tag it comes for, I expected it to have a fresh, innovative design. In the similar price range, there are purifiers from Dyson and they look fascinating. Molekule Air Mini, unfortunately looks more like a basic air purifier.
Coming to the build quality, I find the device to be sturdy enough to take a beating or two. While setting it up in the office cabin I, mistakenly, banged it against the desk and the good thing is that the purifier didn’t register a single scratch.
The Molekule Air Mini includes a fan-like design at the top and the filter inside. It is extremely easy to take out the filter at any time and can also be changed whenever required. Sadly, there’s no way to get alerts on the condition of the filter and when to change it. I wish the Molekule app supported this feature and was able to alert when the filter needs to be changed. Even my cheaper Mi air purifier alerts me about the condition of the filter via the Mi home app. Sorry Molekule, you can have done better there.
The purifier includes a touch button at the top and that’s the only button to control the speed of the filter. The button worked perfectly for me, it was responsive at all times, but I do wish there was a separate power button. A single tap speeds up the filter, while a long press on the touch button will put the device on standby. I also wish there was an option to reduce the speed levels.
Molekule refers this one to be a table air purifier but I feel the device is too big for a table purifier. It also feels extremely heavy in the hands. I must credit Molekule here for adding that extra holding band, which makes it easier to carry the purifier from one place to another.
The purifier is available only in one white colour, which gets pretty dirty. You will need to wipe it frequently with a clean cloth. I do wish there were few more colour options available. Overall, the minimalist design of the Molekule Air Mini is just about decent.
Molekule Air Mini: What about the setup?
The purifier is very easy to set up. In fact, the set up process is no-brainer and is one of the easiest I have seen in an air purifier. The packaging is also pretty good in my opinion with the user manual in it that highlights all the guidelines.
To set up, all you need to do is take the device parts out of the box, place the filter on the purifier and lock the top cover as instructed in the user manual. Once that is done, you will need to plug in the device and turn on the power. The setting up process is that easy and simple.
There’s a Molekule app available on Google Play store and Apple App store but I faced compatibility issues in my usage. The app failed to connect to the device even with stable internet connection. I tried this for five-six times but unfortunately, the purifier never connected to the app. This I believe is because the Molekule app is buggy and needs a lot of work. In fact, users have given only two stars rating on the Play store.
Molekule Air Mini: How does it work?
The US based air purification technology company, founded by Dr. D. Yogi Goswami, a Non-Resident Indian (NRI), has powered the Molekule Air Mini by the company’s own Photo Electrochemical Oxidation (PECO) technology. The company claims that PECO destroys the widest range of tiny pollutants, including VOCs, mold, bacteria, viruses, and allergens at the molecular level.
Molekule also claims that PECO doesn’t just collect pollutants but also destroys them when compared to conventional air purifiers. The tech company also says that PECO destroys pollutants 1000 times smaller than those tested in HEPA standard tests. Now that’s a big claim to make.
On paper, the Molekule Air Mini looks attracting when it comes to purifying the air but in practical usage I wish there was a way to find out the air quality. The purifier doesn’t show the air quality or even displays colours like green, orange and red that provides an overall view on the air quality inside of a room. This is the biggest drawback as even my cheaper Mi air purifier offers this feature and shows the air quality level inside my bedroom.
Is Molekule Air Mini worth it?
Well, there are no double thoughts about it. At Rs 37,999 the Molekule air purifier is not one of the best options you will get in the market today. If you have a budget as high as Rs 40,000 there are several other options available from brands like Dyson, Havells, Phillips, among others.