The good: extremely comfortable and close shaves, suitable for sensitive skin, wet and dry operation, excellent cleaning & charging station, reasonably priced replacement parts, solid build quality, quiet (for a foil shaver), great value for money when compared to other high-end razors from the competition
The bad: can’t be used while charging (due to safety precautions)
Table of Contents
The Braun Series 7 799cc comes to address what may be the only serious drawback of its predecessor (the 790cc) — the ability to be used for wet shaving. And considering that the old Series 7 was one of the most popular and praised razors on the market, the 799cc has to be pretty special in order to be a worthy successor. Let’s find out how it performed.
The new 799cc is entirely based on the 790cc and apart from the fact that its internals are completely sealed and waterproof, it is an (almost) identical product — we’ll get to the almost part in the next section. It comes as no surprise that we’ll find the same technologies used here as well. And considering that the performance of the old razor was stellar, that’s not a bad thing at all. Let’s take a quick look at the most important ones.
By using micro-vibrations, almost 10 000 per minute according to Braun, the head of the shaver will oscillate and capture hair more efficiently. This, along with the specially designed foil, makes the Series 7 one of the best in business when it comes to catching stray hairs, the Achilles heel of almost all electric razors.
Another common problem arises when having to deal with hairs that grow parallel to the surface of the skin and tend to lie flat. The 799cc, just like the old model, features a middle trimmer that is basically a slit foil that moves sideways, lifts the hairs and cuts them to size. After that the two OptiFoil cutters can easily intercept them and cut them close to the surface of the skin.
This is the name that Braun uses for the perforated foil of its shavers. It features hexagonal holes and, at least in theory, should be superior to one that has round holes by minimizing the space between these perforations. A pattern comprised of hexagonal shapes definitely uses the available space more efficiently.
Flexible shaving system with 3 individual cutting elements
The cutting head of the Series 7 is actually pretty basic when compared to other 4 or even 5 blade razors. Again, that’s not necessarily a bad thing as they provide more than enough cutting power and together with the other technologies they perform flawlessly. The cutting system uses two foil cutters and one middle trimmer. They can move independently, while whole assembly can pivot back and forth but not side to side. It can also be locked in place when you need more control.
3 personalization modes
You can choose between Intensive, Extra Sensitive and Normal modes by pressing the two buttons located on the sides of the ON/OFF switch. The three settings are pretty self-explanatory and can be useful in certain situations.
Build quality and ergonomics
Braun shavers have arguably the best build quality of any shavers. The Series 7 799cc lives up to the expectations with rock solid construction, high quality materials and visually pleasing aesthetics.
The shaver itself has a pretty hefty size, but it’s very comfortable to hold. Also, due to the fact that it only has 3 cutting elements, the shaving unit is not bulky and it’s extremely easy to maneuver while having excellent control. The rubber from the sides and back provides a very secure grip.
The finish of the silver plastic is glossy as opposed to the matte one found on the 790cc. This would be the only visual difference between the two. Overall, the 799cc impresses with its construction and understated design — as opposed to the more futuristic look of high-end Panasonic shavers.
On the bottom of the shaver there’s an LCD display that lets you know how much battery life is left and also the hygiene status. The pop-up trimmer is located on the front of the shaver and it’s good enough for general grooming like trimming the sideburns.
Battery life and charging
The razor comes equipped with a Li-Ion battery that requires approximately one hour to be fully charged and provides enough power for 50 minutes worth of shaving. You also have the option of a 5 minutes quick charge.
Charging can be carried out by placing the razor in the charging dock or simply by plugging the cord directly into the shaver; this is very convenient for traveling as you won’t have to carry the (rather large) station with you.
As outlined earlier, due to the fact that the Series 7 799cc is suitable for wet & dry shaving, it cannot be used while plugged in due to safety concerns.
Cleaning and maintenance
Braun’s Clean & Renew Systems are among the best and this one is no exception. And there are a few reasons why Braun is a few steps ahead of the competition.
First, the cleaning cartridges use alcohol as opposed to detergent/soap (like the ones used by Panasonic for example). Alcohol does a better job at cleaning and sanitizing the razor.
Second, a cleaning cycle is short (around 30 minutes) and the whole process is relatively quiet. This is partly due to the fact that after the cleaning phase it uses induction heat to dry the shaver (as opposed to running a fan for an hour as it’s the case with other cleaning docks). The station will automatically select the appropriate cleaning program (short, normal or intensive) depending on the shaver’s hygiene status.
Third, you’ll end up every time with a squeaky clean razor that has a nice citrusy smell, is fully charged and ready to rock.
The cartridges themselves are a bit pricey (depending on the number of refills in the pack), each one lasting for about 30 cycles. You can save some money by opting for a manual cleaning of the shaver every once in a while, but it is somewhat difficult due to the fact that Braun uses a cassette that is comprised of both foil and cutters and they cannot be taken apart for a thorough cleaning.
An important aspect to keep in mind is that alcohol will evaporate in time, so if you’re not going to use the cleaning dock for a longer period it’s a good idea to remove the cartridge from the base and put back the cap. You can even go as far as covering the container after every use.
Another helpful cleaning tip is to simply remove the foil and cutter assembly and use the included brush to remove most of the hair prior to using the Clean & Renew System. This simple action will make the cleaning cartridge last even longer.
Braun also includes a small bottle of lubricating oil for the foil and cutters and you should definitely use it in order to maintain your razor in top working condition.
Since the 799cc is pretty much the same razor as its predecessor, the dry shaving experience is virtually the same. And that’s not a bad thing at all since the 790cc is one of the best in business. Apart from the closeness, what really sets the Series 7 799cc apart from the competition is just how comfortable and irritation-free the shaving experience is.
It performs excellent when used for daily shaving as well as for two or even three days of growth. It’s also very effective at catching stray hairs or the ones that lie flat to the surface of the skin. It often feels more like you’re getting a massage than shaving; the only thing that lets you know it’s working is the reassuring sound of the hair being cut.
What probably interests you in particular about this shaver is its wet shaving performance. After all, if you’re only interested in using it as a dry shaver you’re only paying extra for a feature you don’t need; the old 790cc is absolutely identical as far as performance goes and significantly cheaper.
Like I said on multiple occasions, I am a big proponent of wet electric shaving and this has always been my main gripe with Braun’s Series 7: the lack of wet shaving capabilities. It’s also the single reason why I sticked to Panasonics over the years.
Luckily, Braun finally came out with a worthy successor of the 790cc and added the benefit of wet shaving.
Generally, including a quality shaving cream results in a closer and more comfortable shave. How significant will be this improvement really depends on the individual and the particularities of his skin and facial hair. The only way to find out is to actually try it. Men with very sensitive skin should definitely consider it.
So how does the 799cc perform in this regard? Quite simply brilliant. With the addition of a shaving cream, it just glides effortlessly on the skin and mows through the stubble; the result is one of the most comfortable and close shave you’ll get with any electric shaver. And with the excellent clean and renew system you don’t have to worry about the cleaning either; you just have to drop the razor into the dock and it’ll take care of it.
Overall, it more than lived up to the expectations regarding the wet shaving performance.
Braun is usually one of the more generous manufacturers when it comes to including stuff in the package. Here’s what you’ll be getting:
- Series 7 799cc razor
- Clean & Renew System
- One Clean & Renew cartridge
- Electric cord
- Cleaning brush
- One small bottle of lubricating oil
- Faux leather travel case
Replacement parts availability
The foil and cutters assembly (called a cassette) must be replaced once every 18 months; this is a very reasonable period and you can even go as far as two years with one cassette; it greatly depends on the frequency of use.
Moreover, Braun’s replacement cassette is much more reasonably priced when compared to other manufacturers. For example, you generally have to spend double the money for a Panasonic foil and blade set; moreover, the one from Braun will probably last longer.
The clean and renew refills can be bought in sets of 2, 3, 4 or 8 pieces. Both the cassette and cleaning cartridges are available on Amazon.com:
Wrapup – Who should buy it?
If the Braun Series 7 799cc fits within your budget and you want the absolute best in comfort and closeness then look no further.
If you have sensitive skin, suffer from ingrown hairs or your skin is prone to breakouts you should also consider it.
It’s probably a solid upgrade from any other electric shaver that struggles with longer or coarse hair for example. If you tend to shave every other day or even every couple of days, the 799cc will most likely handle the job easily.
Sporting a bald head? No problem; just apply your favorite shaving cream and start shaving.
Considering the performance, quality, running costs, the excellent cleaning system and Braun’s reputation for reliable products that will last for years, the 799cc actually offers great value for money — despite what the price tag may initially suggest.
Braun Series 7 790cc
The old Series 7 790cc is mentioned quite a few times throughout this review. And there’s a reason for that, as it’s a great alternative if you’re only going to dry shave. Actually it’s a better alternative since it’s significantly cheaper and the performance is identical. There is absolutely no reason to buy the 799cc if you are not planning to use it for wet shaving. You can read our review of the Series 7 790cc here.
Another electric razor that the 799cc is often compared to is Panasonic ES-LV81. It features a massive 5-blade cutting system, is powered by a very fast 14 000 CPM motor and also comes with a cleaning and charging station. So what does it have over the 799cc? It will shave faster and cover large areas with ease; it’s probably a better option if you’re also planning on using it to shave your head. Regarding the closeness of the shave, this is really a subjective matter and it’s safe to say that both of these products will provide pretty much the closest shave you can expect from an electric razor. But the pros of the Panasonic over the Series 7 799cc end here; the ES-LV81 is more expensive, its running costs are higher (cutters and blades are expensive and will not last as much) and the cleaning station is nowhere near as good as the one from Braun. This Panasonic is still a top of the line shaver, but the 799cc is better in almost every way.