FocusAiry Leader G1 Air Purifer/Qi Charger Review

Like this article? Please help by Liking, +1'ing, Tweeting or Pinning. Thank you!
The FocusAiry Leader G1 is a combination HEPA Air Purifier and Qi Charger that allows you to charge your phone simply by placing it on the charger. It's designed for small rooms such as offices and has some really cool features. It combines two functions that are nice to have in a small office so it only takes up one power outlet and little desk space. Continue reading for my full review.

Design

The Leader G1 Air Purifer/Phone Charger definitely looks cool with it's shiny black exterior and glowing LEDs. It also has some neat features. It's a fairly compact air purifier measuring only 7.3" W x 7.3" D x 6.1" high. It fits nicely on a desk or nightstand providing you with clean air as well as a convenient way to charge your phone.


There are two touch buttons on the front of the G1. The one on the left turns the purifier on or off and the one on the right switches between low and high speed. The charger will operate whether the fan is on or off.Underneath the buttons are the vents where air exits the purifier.


When you turn the fan on it will be on low and the blue indicator lights will illuminate the base of the air purifier. Touch the fan button to increase the fan speed. The indicator lights will switch to white.


The power plug is unlike any I've ever seen. It's magnetic. When you place the plug over the power port on the back of the G1 it will pull itself into the socket and hold it there. It seems about as secure as standard power plugs that are held in with friction.

Energy Use

One of the best features of the FocusAiry Leader G1 is how energy efficient it is. On the high fan setting, the air purifier only consumes 4.2 watts of electricity. Keeping it on 24 hours a day would only add about $0.40 a month to my electric bill. On low the air purifier consumes 3.7 watts.

When the fan is off and I have my phone on the Qi charging pad the unit consumes 10.3 watts of electricity. When the phone is done charging the energy consumption drops to about 2 watts. While the fan is running on low and the phone is charging it will consume about 13.1 watts but I have seen it vary.

Qi Charging Pad


For phones that support it, wireless charging is very convenient. Especially on my phone because it has a cover over the power port to keep the phone water proof.

The Qi charging pad is located on the top of the FocusAiry Leader G1. Simply place your phone on the pad and it will begin charging. A LED indicator on the charging pad will light up to let you know it's charging.

The charging pad on the G1 is large but only the center of the pad will charge the phone. Correct placement of the phone on the pad is important. I used a Kill-A-Watt power meter to position the phone where I saw the highest wattage used. If you don't have a power meter you can use an app that measures the charging current to find the best way to position your phone on the pad. Each phone will vary a bit so it's worth figuring out the sweet spot. Once you spend the time once to do that, in the future you can just get it close. For Android Battery Monitor Widget works very well.

With proper placement I can get the charging current to average a little over 400 mA using the G1's Qi charger. It will go as high as 590 mA from my phone but will jump a round a bit. When placing the phone on the charger close to the optimal location I can still get 360 - 390 mA of charging current.

In comparison, when using a standard wall charger average charging current is about 800 mA and using a USB charger connected to my computer the charging current maxes out to about 250 mA but it really jumps around a lot. Never realized how poorly charging through a computer works. No wonder leaving my phone plugged into my computer doesn't seem to do much.

While not as fast as charging plugged into a wall outlet, it does charge almost twice as fast than using a USB cable connected to my computer which was the primary way I charged my phone while at my desk.

Proper placement is key and it's important to look at your phone's screen to make sure it's actually charging. I did have one night where I left my phone on the charging pad, saw the white LED light up but woke up to find my phone didn't charge at all.

Air Purifier Performance

I don't have any tools to measure actual performance but I've used the FocusAiry G1 in rooms where I spend a lot of time and use air purifiers. I have pets and I can subjectively tell the difference between when I'm using an purifier or not. The FocusAiry Leader G1 works and to be honest I was coming in a bit skeptical.

The specs indicate that it can be used in a 108 square foot room but fan is only listed as 35 cubic feet per minute (CFM).

If you have allergies you ideally want to change the air in the room 4 times an hour or every 15 minutes. For a 108 sq ft room with 8 foot ceilings a 35 CFM fan will only cycle the air every 25 minutes or a little more than 2 times an hour.

To get 4 air changes an hour with a 35 CFM fan the maximum size room would be about 66 square foot. That's about 8' x 8' so it could work well in an office or very small bedroom.

However, since the addition of the Qi charger means you'll likely have the Leader G1 within a couple of feet of where you are sitting or sleeping, you may not notice a difference in slightly larger rooms. I'm currently using it mainly in an 110 square foot office and it's working fine for me but I do not suffer from allergies.

Air Filters

The HEPA filter is accessed by removing the Qi charging pad. No tools are needed. The charging pad is held in place with magnets. Just lift it off.


Use the tabs on the filter to pull it out when you need to replace it. According to the manufacturer, a filter should last about 2-3 months but like all air purifier filters, depending on the environment it's in, it may need more frequent replacement.


The filter cartridge is what you would typically expect in a HEPA filter. On the top it has a particulate trapping medium and on the bottom you can see the activated carbon which reduces odors. Around the perimeter of the bottom is a foam rubber gasket that helps block air from bypassing the filter.

There are some sooty streaks on the filter housing. This may indicate that some air is bypassing the filter. The filter is getting darker over time so it is working. It's hard to tell what could have caused the streaks. It may have just been from improperly inserting it into the purifier since I was constantly moving it an and out for testing and photos or it may be that some of the charcoal had spilled out of the filter.

Filter Replacement Cost

Please Note: After reading my review I was told that FocusAiry will try to increase the value of the filters by providing 4-6 filters per pack. When that happens the Leader G1 will be a better value and the information below may not apply. I'll try to update it if I notice any changes.

Replacement filters currently cost $12.99 with free Amazon Prime 2 day shipping. While that's about the same amount as typical replacement HEPA filters, these filters are very small. When it comes to HEPA filters, bigger is better. With larger filters there is more filter media to trap dirt before the filters clog and there is more room for activated carbon so you get more odor elimination over a longer period of time.

The FocusAiry FLT-001 filter is about 1/6th the size of the filters used in another air purifier I use and those filters are actually a few dollars cheaper. The HEPA filter for my bagless vacuum is about twice the size of the FLT-001 filter and costs a little less but it is washable and will last for up to a year before needing replacement.

While it would have been nicer to have a larger filter, replacing filters is quick and easy but filters would cost between $51.96 to $155.88 a year or more depending how often you need to replace them.

I think to be price competitive with other air purifier filters on the market it would be better if there were at least 6 FLT-001 filters sold in a package for the same price. I don't think that's unreasonable consider a big part of the cost is going to be packaging, shipping and handling. As it is currently the filters aren't a very good value which hurts the overall value of this air purifier since you can't find alternative filters elsewhere.

Fan Noise

Under the HEPA filter you'll find the small plastic 35 CFM fan which moves the air.


Having a quiet environment is important for me while I work which is why I spent a bit extra when building my last PC to make sure I used quiet fans. The fan is relatively quite, 40db according to the manual, which is important since you'll have the Leader G1 within arms distance to use the Qi charger.

The sound the fan makes isn't very pleasant. It sounds a bit rattley like a cheap PC fan. It's not overly annoying but it was noticeable to me at first. After some time using it I did get used to it and tuned it out. Tried it in both my office as well as bedroom and the noise didn't cause me any problems even though the unit was only a couple of feet away from my ears. I found it better to have it located behind me rather than in front or to the side.

Summary

The FocusAiry Leader G1 combines two items that are great to have in your office. A HEPA air purifier to clean the air you breath and a Qi wireless charger to easily keep your phone's battery charged without having to plug it in each time you leave and come back.

It looks very sharp, especially if you like shiny things that glow. And let's be honest.. Who doesn't like shiny things that glow?!?! If using it in a bedroom the lights may be bothersome to some people but others may like having it as a night light.

It's meant for small rooms. The rated 108 square foot will give you a little more than 2 air changes per hour but if you have severe allergies you probably want to use it in a smaller room of about 66 square feet.

The FocusAiry Leader G1 is currently selling for $99.99 on Amazon which I think is a reasonable price compared to buying a separate charger and small room HEPA purifier. The replacement filter costs however seem unreasonable considering how small they are.  The filter replacement costs really kill the value of this air purifier. If they were sold 6 to a pack for the same price I think it would be more reasonable and comparative to similar filter media from other manufacturers. FocusAiry did indicate they will try to sell packs of filters for a better value so keep an eye out for that.

It's a shame because this is a pretty neat unit that saves desk space and outlet space. It's also uses very little energy, about $0.40 a month for me, and does a decent job of cleaning the air. If filter prices come down as I was told then this is a really neat gadget to have in your office.

Note: I received this product free of charge in order to write my review.

3 comments :

  1. FYI, as of June 2016, neither the unit nor the replacement filters are available on Amazon, and there's no information as to when they're expected. That means that anyone who bought one of these (like me) may now have an obsolete piece of equipment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the update. That really sucks. I don't think they came out with cheaper filters either. The charger still works at least.

      Delete