Half a decade ago, air purifiers were considered a niche product—almost a luxury, and while they are still one of the least sought after home appliances, the use case has only risen thanks to the air pollution ordeal that North India faces—with the onset of every winter.
Havells is a brand that is synonymous with household appliances in India, and with Havells Meditate air purifier, the brand has forayed into the ‘premium’ air purifier category. Yes, its expensive at Rs 49,999 (MSRP Rs 64,999), and it does have its fair share of cons. But as a whole, the Havells Meditate is a good attempt at creating a functionally sound air purifier.
Havells Meditate has brought much needed relief to my life
First things first—the Havells Meditate is brilliant at what it is meant to do—air purification. Over the course of my testing, I’ve kept Meditate in my personal work space/studio—a room in my house that I spend at least half a day in, on a daily basis.
Right off the bat, I could notice a reduction in my sneezing, and more importantly, pet fur and dust buildup, of which the latter is a particularly major annoyance in the desert state of Rajasthan. There’s significantly less dust buildup on top of my desk, and every other horizontal surface I can feel and touch in my room.
I also have three pets—two Persian cats and a Pug to be precise, and boy, they do shed a lot. The Havells Meditate was magically able to pull all the hair, and fur, leaving me happy.
But of course, just reducing the amount of dust and pet fur isn’t enough. While most dust falls in the PM 10 and PM 1 categories of pollutants, it is the most harmful pollutants—organic matter, metals and combustion particles, falling into the PM 2.5 category—that cause more harm, and being able to enter your lungs deeper.
Havells Meditate does a good job of bringing down the AQI quickly, while not sounding loud. Every morning before going to the toilet—I switch on the air purifer, only to get paranoid after seeing it display AQI of more than 300. And by the time I’m ready to sit at my desk for my day job—which roughly takes an hour, the AQI drops to around 50, and goes lower in the following hours.
Is Havells Meditate ‘premium’ enough for Rs 49,999?
TL;DR: No, after seeing competitive Dyson products, the Havells Meditate’s design and build quality doesn’t do justice to its Rs 49,999 price tag.
But here’s the long answer: Havells sought to create a premium air purifier for the Indian market, and yes, any individual who can afford an air purifier worth half a lakh would expect it to look rather premium, and from a quick glance, the Meditate does look good, but it is only when you spend a considerable amount of time with it that you learn about its flaws.
I wouldn’t be complaining if the air purifier retailed for let’s say, within the 25-35K INR price bracket, but since it demands big-bucks, the choice of plastics is questionable, with the noticeable sound of creaking every time you adjust its position. Plus, the sole silver colour option doesn’t speak ‘premium’ to me at all.
And that brings me to the single biggest flaw of this air purifier—the remote
Before I tell you about the rather oddly shaped remote, Meditate does have a wireless charger built-in—on the top—used for charging the remote, and smartphones with wireless charging, or perhaps, most QI wireless charging compatible devices.
When it comes to the remote—firstly, the size defeats the purpose of having a ‘remote.’ It is unnecessarily big for what it does. And yes, it doesn’t do much apart from—showing the AQI, PM 2.5, PM 10, PM 1, remaining filter life and more. An LED light adorns the sides to indicate the AQI level, which I do personally like.
As a whole, the remote is mostly useless, occupying space as big as a mini Bluetooth speaker would; With an occasional loud sound as it turns off automatically. So, I mostly skip using it altogether.
Havells Sync app redeems the product
As bad as the remote is, Havells Sync app redeems the product for me, and while it too has bugs, the overall sign-up experience and being able to access Meditate remotely is a massive plus. The app UI is good, with three main sections to help you. The information tab displays the AQI and filter life and gives you the option to turn the air purifier on/off.
The speed section, too, is intuitively designed, with three toggles for turbo, auto and night mode. The response is instantaneous, provided you are connected to the same 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi. The third section—toggle, lets you set the number of hours—post which, your Meditate purifier will turn off automatically.
You can also create automations—setting start time, end time, and the exact days you want the air purifier to function.
Verdict: Solid on the inside, but not a looker
For Rs 49,999, Havells Meditate does have stiff competition from the likes of Dyson, but as a whole, the product does an impressive job functionally, with mediocre aesthetics, and a bad remote implementation to go along with.
While the aesthetics are subjective, and a certain group of people might prefer the cylindrical shape and silver plastics, the unit does bring the AQI levels down rather quickly, and has helped me manage pet fur and dust to a large extent, but that begs the question, is it enough for you to choose Havells Meditate over the competition? Personally, for me, I’d like Havells to offer the product at a lower price.
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