Braun 3080s Review: Business as Usual

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ShaverCheck Rating:

Braun Series 3 3080s

4 out of 5 stars

Detailed rating:

Value for money:

Features:

Performance:

The good: comfortable and close shaves, excellent for daily use, wet & dry operation, very good build quality, hard travel case, good battery life, charging stand, stylish looks, inexpensive replacement head, quiet, good long hair trimmer

The bad: no travel lock, has some trouble with flat lying hairs, can feel underpowered, precision lock mechanism is not of much use, more expensive than other Series 3 shavers, mostly a visual makeover of the older model

The Braun Series 3 3080s (or 3080 as it’s sometimes referred to) is the direct successor of the popular 380s-4.

With the new Series 3 being mostly a visual update of the older generation, the 3080s retains all the good traits of its predecessor and further improves things in the ergonomics and aesthetic departments.

In this Braun 3080s review we’ll thoroughly test the razor to see just how well it performs and how it stacks up against other shavers from Braun and from the competition.

Features overview

The 3080 includes some the common features found throughout the Series 3 and also a few of its own.

Let’s take a look at the most important ones.

Three blade cutting head.

Apart from the chrome finish around the bottom part, the shaving head is basically the same part found on other Series 3 shavers.

It features a middle cutter surrounded by a microcomb that should channel longer, flat lying hairs into the trimmer. The two outer micro-foils are used for catching and cutting the short stubble close to the skin.

Integrated long hair trimmer.

The 3080s is fitted with a useful long hair trimmer that slides forward. We’ll see how good it actually is in the performance section.

Precision lock mechanism.

The bottom micro-foil can be lowered and locked into place by a switch located just below the shaving head. This feature should make the razor more nimble and maneuverable when shaving difficult areas.

Wet & dry use.

The 3080s is IPX7 certified and completely waterproof, thus making it suitable to be used in the shower or with shaving cream.

Other noteworthy features are: 3-level LED battery charge indicator, 5 minute quick charge option, charging stand, travel case.

Overall, the 3080s offers a very compelling package for an entry level shaver.

Build quality and ergonomics

The 3080s is very similar to other Series 3 razors I’ve tested before, particularly the 3040s.

It feels well balanced in the hand and it’s pretty lightweight despite its girth and chunky looks. The build quality is very solid with no visible gaps or cracking noises when held tight.

The textured rubber material that surrounds a large part of the body ensures excellent grip even when it’s wet. The large rubberized ON/OFF switch can also be used as a rest place for your thumb during the shave.

As far as visuals go, the 3080s looks the best of all Series 3 razors. The mostly black color scheme, along with the aqua blue accents and the chrome finish make it look more stylish and more expensive than it really is.

I’m not sure however just how well will the chrome part hold up or if it will begin to tarnish in time (especially if you use shaving cream or foam).

Another plus in the ergonomics department goes to the long hair trimmer. Its positioning is far better than on most electric shavers. It also slides forward beyond the shaving head so that you can actually see what you’re doing.

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The precision lock switch is only found on two shavers from the refreshed Series 3: the 3080s in our review and the 3090cc. When engaged, it retracts the front micro-foil and locks it into place. According to Braun, this feature makes the shaving head slimmer and more maneuverable, allowing you to only use the top foil for shaving tricky areas, like under your nose.

In my opinion this feature is not of much use as the Series 3 has a very basic and already compact shaving head that doesn’t tilt or pivot; therefore, a locking mechanism doesn’t make much of a difference.

As far as negatives go, the 3080s doesn’t have a travel lock. The 3040s for example comes with a plastic cap that also covers the ON/OFF switch. As we’ve seen in the direct comparison of the two, the 3080s doesn’t come with a protective cap. Instead, Braun has included a hard travel case.

I don’t think this is a huge issue when traveling as the ON/OFF switch must be pressed very hard, so it’s unlikely to be turned on by accident. There is also an additional protection layer offered by the travel case. However, I do find it odd that Braun decided to skimp on including a basic plastic cap.

Battery life and charging

The Series 3 3080s is fitted with a Ni-MH battery and can only be operated cordless. Unlike the dry only shavers from the series, it can’t be used while plugged in as a safety precaution.

With a fully charged battery, it should provide around 45 minutes worth of shaving time. And in real life use it pretty much does.

Charging the 3080 takes around 60 minutes and can be done by plugging the cord directly into the razor or by using the included charging stand. This accessory is specific to the 3080s and no other  razor from the Series 3 has it.

There’s also a 5 minute quick charge option that will give you enough power for a 3 minute shaving session.

The LED display has 3 levels to indicate the remaining battery charge. When it’s almost drained the remaining bar will turn red to warn you that you need to charge the razor.

The 3080s will also warn you to replace the shaving head (cassette) after 18 months. The warning light is located just below the Braun logo and can be reset by a long press on the ON/OFF switch.

Cleaning and maintenance

The Braun Series 3 3080s doesn’t come with a cleaning & charging station, so a manual clean is the only option. Other shavers from this line – the ones ending in cc – do come with one, but they’re only suitable for dry shaving. An example is the 3050cc I reviewed here.

In the case of the 3080s in this review, you can pop out the shaving head and gently tap it on your counter-top to remove the bulk of the hairs. Then you use the included brush to remove the hairs from the inner housing of the shaver. Do not use the brush directly on the foils as they can be easily damaged.

Since the 3080s is fully waterproof, you can also rinse the shaver and the shaving head under warm tap water, then let them air dry before putting it back together.

From time to time it’s recommended to use a bit of liquid soap for a more thorough clean. Pour a few drops on the foils, then let it run for 10-15 seconds under tap water. Remove the head and rinse it until all the foam has been removed.

Braun shavers are usually more difficult to clean than other foil shavers (Panasonic for example) since the blades and the foils can’t be individually removed. Therefore, you must be more thorough to ensure a proper cleaning.

Make sure to also lubricate the shaver two times a week if you regularly use liquid soap for cleaning.

Shaving performance

After testing quite a few Series 3 in the past, the shaving performance of the Braun 3080s wasn’t much of a surprise for me.

I can safely say that it is on par with the 3040s and the older 380s-4 it replaces.

What does that mean? Well, it works very well for daily shaving, whether you use it dry or with shaving cream. It can even yield good results for shaving every other day. The comfort is excellent and the closeness is also quite good.

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However, using it for shaving longer stubble will show its limitations. The biggest drawback of the 3080s (and of any other razor from the Series 3) lies in how it deals with longer, flat lying hairs. Here is where the difference between it and a more advanced razor (like the Series 7 799cc) is obvious.

Despite having a middle trimmer with the specially designed microcomb, it just can’t shave effectively longer hairs that lie flat on the skin, especially on the neck.

If these hairs grow in different directions too, you’ll have to work even harder and do more passes for a clean shave and even then some stray hairs may be left behind.

Being an entry level razor, its motor is not as powerful as the one fitted on the more advanced Series 5 or 7 and can feel slow at times.

The long hair trimmer is excellent from an ergonomic point of view as it’s very easy to use. However, it doesn’t seem to actually cut the hairs as good and you often have to go over an area a few times in order to get all the hairs.

The 3080s is reasonably quiet during use, especially for a foil shaver as they tend to be significantly louder compared to rotary razors.

Included accessories

The Series 3 3080s comes bundled with the following accessories:

  • Travel case
  • Charging stand
  • Charging cord
  • Cleaning brush

Sadly, Braun decided to not include a protective cap or a small bottle of lubricant.

Replacement parts availability

This is where the Series 3 excels. The 3080s uses the 32s/32b shaving head (cassette), also compatible with the older models from the Series 3, like the 340s-4 or the 380s-4.

The recommended interval for replacing the part is 18 months, significantly more than the usual 12 months. Moreover, the shaving head is also very reasonably priced, meaning that the running costs for the 3080s will be lower.

The shaving head can be bought from Amazon.com: Braun Series 3 Replacement Head 32S.

Wrapup – Who should buy it?

To summarize, the 3080s works great as long as you use it relatively often (daily or every other day). If you need a robust and efficient razor to be used in these conditions, the 3080 should do just fine.

>> Check the price on Amazon.com <<

If you have coarse facial hair or shave every two days or even more, then I highly recommend to go for a more advanced razor as the 3080s will feel under-powered and completing a shave will take a long time.

The 3080s can be a great choice for beginners too as it’s very easy to use and the replacement shaving cassettes are inexpensive.

The excellent comfort during and after the shave means that the 3080s is a suitable budget friendly option for men with sensitive skin.

Alternative shavers

Braun Series 3 3040s. This razor is the first obvious alternative. In fact, I highly recommend checking it out before buying the 3080s.

While their performance is identical and the only differences are related to accessories, aesthetics and the (redundant) locking mechanism, their prices can vary greatly, with the 3040s costing even as low as half the price of the 3080s. In this case, the 3040s is clearly the better option.

In my opinion choosing one or the other should mainly come down to the price.

Panasonic ES8103SPanasonic ES8103S Arc3. In this price category we also have the Series 3’s direct competitor, the Arc3 line from Panasonic. For example, the ES8103S is an older, reasonably priced model that is still very relevant today in the entry level segment.

In fact, I personally find the Arc3 from Panasonic to shave faster and marginally closer than the Series 3. They’re also easier to clean manually. At the same time, the Panasonics aren’t as comfortable, their blades are more expensive and don’t seem to last as much. Both have their pros and cons and it’s up to you to choose the one that seems to better suit your needs.

Braun Series 3 380s-4Finally, there’s the older Series 3 380s-4. While not as sleek as the 3080 in this review, the shaving performance is identical.

Moreover, being an older model its price is likely to go down, so it can be a very attractive alternative. And since it uses the same shaving head as the newer razors from the Series 3, compatible parts will still be available even if it gets discontinued.

2 comments on “Braun 3080s Review: Business as Usual

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  1. francis mcconnon

    I own a braun s3 wet&dry 3080s shaver Ihave it about 2 years .Trouble is the battery will no longer hold charge can I replace battery.

    Reply
    1. Ovidiu Nicolae Post author

      The battery is not user-replaceable, it can only be replaced in an authorized service center. Theoretically, you could take the shaver apart and replace the batteries with identical ones if you have the necessary skills. However, I don’t think the risks and the trouble are worth it.

      Reply

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