The good: close and comfortable shave, great for shaving the head, very practical pop-up trimmer, can be used while charging, light and comfortable to handle, quiet
The bad: charging takes a lot of time, can’t be used for wet shaving with gels or creams, build quality doesn’t feel very premium
Table of Contents
Philips promises a real close shave with its new PowerTouch series of electric shavers. The Norelco 3500 (formerly PT730 PowerTouch) is one of the best selling models and aims for balance between performance and price. Find out what’s our take on it.
Philips Norelco 3500 packs a lot of features for an electric razor that costs less than $50. Here’s a summary:
- DualPecision shaving heads — effectively cut both long hairs and short stubble. Philips managed to achieve this by using slots for cutting long hairs and holes to shave the shortest stubbles
- Super Lift & Cut — one blade is used to lift the hair and a second one practically cuts it below skin level. This ensures a comfortable and close shave
- Flex & Float System — flexing heads follow the contours of your face and neck to ensure contact with the surface of your skin
- Pop-up precision trimmer
- Fully washable
- Cordless and corded use
- Up to 45 minutes of cordless shaving
- 3-Minute Quick Charge
- LED indicator for battery full, battery low and charging
Build quality and ergonomics
Due to its ergonomic profile and reduced weight, this razor feels very comfortable in hand. It also features a non-slip rubberized area in the front for a very secure grip.
If I were to find anything wrong with the built quality I would have to say that it just doesn’t feel as upmarket as you would expect from a Norelco shaver. It is a bit too plasticky. But then again I might be too picky since this is one of the least expensive razors.
Overall, its design and construction should be good enough for most people.
Battery life and charging
The Norelco 3500 offers the very convenient feature of corded/cordless operation.
This is a very good thing considering that you’ll have to wait 8 hours for a full recharge. That should give you enough power for one or two weeks of cordless shaving, depending on your style.
You do have the option to quick charge it for 3 minutes if a power outlet is not within your reach.
Also, being a Li-Ion battery means that it won’t overcharge and affect battery life in the long run.
Cleaning and maintenance
This razor is one of the easiest to clean: just pop the shaver head open and rinse it under running water. That’s it.
If you want to clean it more thoroughly you can use the included brush.
The Philips Norelco 3500 will provide a close and comfortable shaving experience for most men. It’s also great for shaving your head if you’re looking for a razor that needs to be good at that.
The trimmer is also extremely well designed. The positioning and the fact that it’s long and not too wide means that you can actually see what you’re doing and the shaving head won’t get in your way.
As with all shavers, not everything is perfect and this one has some minor drawbacks.
First of all, the motor is not as powerful as on older Norelco shavers and some may find that it takes a little longer to shave.
This shouldn’t be a problem at all if you’re a daily shaver since it can deal with short stubble without any problems.
Where it might struggle a little is with long or very tough beards. If you shave every 2 to 3 days or more you can experience some pulling. In this case, the Norelco 3500 may not be the most suitable for you.
- Protective cap for the shaving assembly
- Power cord
- Cleaning brush
You won’t find any travel pouch though.
Replacement parts availability
This razor is cheap to buy and “cheap to run”.
Philips recommends changing the shaving head every year, but they seem to last much longer than that and still provide a close and smooth shave.
The replacement part is Philips HQ8 and can be found on Amazon at a very reasonable price.
Wrap-up. Who should buy it?
Overall, the Philips Norelco 3500 Shaver is a very good, simple, effective and reasonable priced shaver.
I would recommend it to the daily shaver or to anyone getting into electric shaving. This can be a great first shaver as it’s comfortable and simple to use.
You can currently buy it at an excellent price and you’ll get a lot of shaver for your buck.
For just a marginal difference in price, you can opt for the Philips Norelco 4100 (AT810). It’s basically the same shaver, but with wet shaving capabilities and it can be fully charged in just one hour.