The Braun Series 7 is one of the most popular electric shavers of the past decade.
After years of incremental and minor updates, in January 2020, Braun finally (and suddenly) released a brand new Series 7 line, called the Series 7 70.
But unlike the previous iterations, this one really is a new product from the ground up.
The new line is a complete departure in terms of design and ergonomics from Braun’s current electric razors.
But what really interests us is whether the new Braun Series 7 70 is actually better than the original, tried and tested Series 7 and whether it’s worth buying.
I have been using both generations side by side for a couple of weeks and in this article, I will share everything you need to know in order to decide which one would be best for you.
This will be an in-depth comparison of the new Series 7 vs the original Series 7 version, presenting the key differences and the pros and cons of both generations in a useful and easy to grasp manner.
Let’s dive right in.
Table of Contents
The new Braun Series 7: Same name, different shaver
As mentioned in the beginning, Braun launched the new Series 7 in early 2020.
The notorious Series 7 name stuck, although the new models have nothing to do with the original ones.
The updated shavers are only available in the USA, at least for the time being. There’s no official information yet, but my guess is that they won’t be released outside the USA.
In order to differentiate them from the original Series 7, the new model names all start with 70 (hence the Series 7 70): 7085cc, 7075cc, 7071cc, 7027cs, 7020s.
The older generation razors have either a 3 digit name (followed by cc or s), like 790cc or 740s or they start with 78, like 7865cc or 7893s.
Here’s a table that summarizes the main differences between the new Series 7 70 models.
|Series 7 7085cc (black)||Cleaning station, beard trimmer (5 combs), stubble trimmer (4 combs)||See on Amazon|
|Series 7 7075cc (black)||Cleaning station, beard trimmer (5 combs)||See on Amazon|
|Series 7 7071cc (silver)||Cleaning station, beard trimmer (no combs)||See on Amazon|
|Series 7 7020s (silver)||Beard trimmer (no combs)||See on Amazon|
|Series 7 7027cs (silver)||Charge stand, beard trimmer (5 combs)||See on Amazon|
Image credits: Braun USA
As usual, the models ending in cc come with an automatic cleaning & charging station, while the ones ending in s do not.
The novelty of the Series 7 70 is the cs model that comes with a basic charging stand instead of the cleaning center.
As shown in the table above, the differences only consist of color and accessories.
While all the models include a common set of accessories (charging cord, travel case, cleaning brush, beard trimmer attachment), there are some accessories specific to certain models.
These are mainly different size combs that you can attach to the trimmer so you can achieve the desired beard length. We will take a close look at them later on.
Let’s now get back to what interests us the most — the main differences between the new versus the OG Series 7.
Braun Series 7 70 vs Original Series 7 Comparison
1. Design, build quality and ergonomics
The old Series 7, while still a very capable and relevant electric shaver after all these years, was getting a bit long in the tooth.
At least from a design perspective, it seemed a bit dull and outdated.
The new 2020 Series 7 looks more modern and more in line with the current offerings from the competition.
The design language is also completely different from the likes of Braun’s other current lines of electric razors (like the Series 9, 8 or 5).
That same design approach trickled down to the rest of Braun’s USA-only releases from 2020, precisely the Series 6 and 5.
The body of the Series 7 70 is thinner and sculpted to allow for a better grip. The shaver is also lighter than the original S7 by approximately 30 grams.
Just like its predecessor, the new shaver is also made in Germany.
The old Series 7 had a thick, shorter, chunky body that despite its substantial girth, still ensured excellent ergonomics, mainly thanks to the very generous and grippy rubberized surface that covered most of the body.
On the new Series 7, the top half of the shaver’s back and the sides feature a dimpled rubber surface, while a rubberized thumb rest area on the front further enhances the grip.
In my experience, both are perfectly adequate in this regard.
Another important area that saw a massive overhaul is the shaving head.
While the new Series 7 70 still comes with a familiar 3 blade shaving system, with two foils and one middle trimmer, the similarities end there.
The old Series 7 had a very slim and nimble shaving head that could only swivel up and down.
However, despite the very basic flexing capabilities, it was one of the best and most ergonomic implementations and made the razor extremely easy and enjoyable to use.
The large range of motion of the shaving head, along with the very slim head and the independently moving shaving elements, made the old Series 7 one of the best foil shavers for maintaining contact with the skin with minimal effort.
Even beginners could use it and it worked perfectly fine for men with more prominent facial features.
Upon a first look, the new Series 7 appears to have an advantage thanks to a more complex shaving head.
Called 360 Flex, the head can also swivel from left to right in addition to the up and down motion.
However, I didn’t find this new system particularly useful in practice.
First of all, the up and down range of motion is quite limited (compared to the original Series 7). And the new left to right movement is even more limited.
Secondly, while not that obvious from the photos, the head of the new Series 7 is wider and thus not as nimble, especially when shaving below the jawline or around the sideburns.
Thirdly, the three shaving elements don’t move as easily as the ones of the older Series 7.
Again, these differences may not be obvious from the images, but they are noticeable when you actually use the shavers side by side.
The shaving head was actually the first thing that caught my attention when I first saw the official product photos of the Series 7 70 (and not necessarily in a good way).
While on the old Series 7 there was a release button on the side of the allowing you to easily remove the head, there’s no such feature on the new S7.
Precisely, on the Series 7 70, the shaving unit (called cassette) is friction fitted and you must simply use brute force to remove it.
The Series 7 70 uses a new shaving head, called 73s (silver) or 73b (black).
You have to grab it by the scalloped edges of the frame between your thumb and pointing finger and pull it straight from the shaver.
And sometimes it’s a real fuss to remove it, requiring a lot of force and there’s not much leverage or grip. If your hands are wet or covered in foam/lather, that’s even worse.
Ditching the release button is a cost-cutting decision in my opinion.
Another cost-cutting measure is the use of plastic for the foil frames instead of metal.
I am referring strictly to the parts surrounding the individual cutting elements.
On the older Series 7, the foils are held in stainless steel frames, which is definitely more difficult and more expensive to manufacture than injecting plastic into a mold.
The quality of the older cassette is also reflected in the way the three shaving elements move so easily and smoothly.
On the new 73s/73b cassettes, the motion is jerkier and requires more force.
The new and older cassettes are not interchangeable, so you cannot use the older one on the new shavers and vice-versa.
Finally, the special setup that allows the so-called 360 Flex must be very sturdy and reliable.
The head is suspended on two slanted mounts (the outer ones in the image below), while the one in the middle houses the shaft that drives the blades.
The two struts that allow the actual flexing of the head appear to be made of metal.
At this point, it is premature to say how well it will last in time when subjected to daily use.
All in all, I personally prefer the simple, more useful and more user-friendly approach of the original Series 7.
That one also had a head locking mechanism that prevented the head from moving.
It was a poorly implemented system though as the mechanism would simply break if you tried to move the head from the locked position. But at least it was there if you needed it.
Still related to ergonomics, the 2020 S7 finally has a travel lock that you can activate by pressing and holding the power button for 3 seconds.
The original Series 7 never got this feature, quite common on mid-range to high-end razors.
The battery level indicator on the S7 70 is also clearer and more useful, but still far from the excellent percentage display on some Panasonic shavers for example.
Overall, the build quality is similar in my opinion, with the older Series 7 feeling just a bit sturdier, but nothing dramatically better.
However, I feel like the old cassette is definitely a step up in quality and craftsmanship.
I will update the post as I continue to use the new shaver and report any reliability issues if that will be the case.
2. Cleaning station
When comparing the new Braun Series 7 vs the old one, we cannot leave out the cleaning stations as those have also been modified radically.
And again, in my opinion this isn’t necessarily a good change.
The new Braun Series 70 cleaning station is now called a SmartCare Center (type 5434) and if we place it next to the old Series 7 station, the main difference it’s pretty obvious.
On the redesigned station there’s now a protruding arm that holds the shaver in place.
It’s the exact same system as the one on the entry-level Series 3 cleaning stations. That’s not really a good sign if you ask me.
Moreover, while on the original Series 7 station you could just charge the shaver without cleaning it, on the new one you can’t.
Basically, just placing the shaver in the station won’t do anything since the charging is done via the port at the bottom of the shaver (it lacks the two contact pins of the old Series 7).
You must press the button on the top of the arm that essentially locks the shaver and physically connects it to the station, while also starting the cleaning cycle.
The original Series 7 razors conveniently connect to the station via the pair of metal studs on the back.
There are also no buttons or indicators on the S70 station.
So from the get-go, the new station seems less practical. The striking similarities to the old Series 3 station are (again) an indication of some cost reduction measures.
The station of the original Series 7 was among the best out there. And still is to some degree.
While the first S7 stations (now discontinued, part number 81365080) came with a quick clean option and an inductive drying system, the current stations don’t anymore.
However, they’re still pretty good.
With the 2020 Series 7 stations, gone are also the 3 cleaning modes (Short, Normal, and Intensive) that the station would select automatically.
There’s only one standard cleaning setting.
In my opinion, the new 2020 station is a step back from the original one.
And also from a practical point of view, the SmartCare center is more difficult to store and to travel with because of that long protruding arm.
On the bright side, the station is still really good at cleaning and lubricating the shaver. It uses the same CCR cartridges and the cleaning process lasts less than 3 minutes.
The new solo Series 7 models (7020s, 7027cs) will also work with the new cleaning center.
So you can purchase one later on (in case Braun will make the stations available separately) or use the one of an existing Series 7 70 cc shaver.
It’s the same situation with the old Series 7 solo models — they will also work with a compatible station.
The old Series 7 shavers will obviously not work with new centers (and vice-versa).
3. Included accessories
Apart from the usual goodies included with both Series 7 generations (like cleaning brushes, chargers and travel cases), the 2020 models bring yet another major change.
All the Series 7 70 come with a separate beard trimmer and various other comb attachments (depending on the model).
While the old Series 7 featured a retractable pop-up trimmer, the new one ditched it completely in favor of this trimmer attachment that Braun calls EasyClick.
But to be perfectly honest, after using the trimmer of my new Series 7 unit, easy is not the first word that comes to mind. Fiddly is more suitable for the whole experience.
I personally prefer built-in slide-out or pop-up trimmers.
They’re always there when needed, you can’t lose them or forget to pack them and you don’t have to constantly yank out the shaving head and snap the trimmer in its place.
I guess I wouldn’t nitpick on it if Braun would have fitted a release button like on the old S7.
But getting back to the attachment themselves, all the new S7 70 models come with the beard trimmer (called a Precision trimmer) and up to 5 combs.
The trimmer simply snaps in place instead of the cassette.
My Series 7 is the 7071cc model which doesn’t include any combs, just the trimmer itself.
The 7085cc is sort of the range-topping model as it comes with the most accessories and also includes a stubble trimmer and 4 special combs for it (on top of the standard 5).
Please refer to the table above for a complete overview of these accessories.
As for performance and how useful are these new attachments, that really depends on the user’s needs.
For example, I shave pretty often and I don’t have a beard, so in my case, a click-on beard trimmer doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
I do need a trimmer to shape and tweak my sideburns, but for that, I would rather use a pop-up trimmer like the one on the previous Series 7 models.
For some light grooming and touch-ups, I found them a lot easier to use and more convenient since I don’t have to swap shaving heads.
So I would actually prefer the old S7 with the built-in hair trimmer.
However, if let’s say you shave less often and you need to pre-trim your beard or maintain a goatee, these attachments will work a lot better.
Depending on your needs, you should opt for a model that also includes more combs or even the stubble trimmer (specific to the 7085cc version).
So far these accessories aren’t available to purchase separately, but they might be in the future (like in the case of the Series 3 BT).
Also worth mentioning is that the 2020 Series 7 comes with a similar textile hard travel case as the old ones.
It’s quite useful, well-built and it will actually accommodate both the shaver and the trimmer (props to Allan for the heads-up).
There’s no room for the charging cord though, so you will have to pack it separately.
The new versus the old Series 7 comparison really comes down to shaving performance.
Other aspects are important as well, but if you plan on buying a new Series 7 or you’re wondering whether you should upgrade your old Series 7, performance is probably what interests you the most.
Since it’s a rather complex topic, I will break it down into several chunks.
Closeness of the shave
The Series 7 and Braun shavers in general aren’t quite the best out there when it comes to closeness (although most users will find it perfectly adequate).
So it was only reasonable to expect some improvements from a brand new Series 7.
Well, I personally haven’t noticed any with regards to closeness throughout my tests.
I even shaved half my face with the old Series 7 and the other half with the new one and I honestly couldn’t find any significant differences.
The result is not surprising at all to me given all the hints about the new S7 70 mentioned above.
It’s not by any means a bad shaver, on the contrary, I think the closeness will be good enough for most men.
But again, if you were hoping for a closer shave from the new Braun Series 7, that’s not going to happen.
In fact, on certain areas where my facial hair is very dense and thick (like below the nose), the old one was maybe even slightly better.
My 7865cc that I’ve owned and used constantly for the past 2 years appeared to get a bit closer and give a smoother shave.
It could also be due to the slimmer head and the higher quality cutting elements.
So in terms of closeness, I’d say they are on par, with maybe the original Series having the edge in several situations (for example, when shaving a coarser beard).
The Braun Series 7 was for many years the benchmark when it came to comfort.
It was just in a class of its own and the razors from Philips and Panasonic just couldn’t match it.
Only the more expensive and newer Series 9 managed to be marginally better, so beating the Series 7 at its own game will be a challenge for the 2020 Series 7 generation.
And while it’s definitely a comfortable and gentle shaver, the old one is still ahead in my opinion.
This is particularly obvious when shaving very sensitive areas.
In my case, that would the neck.
With my old Series 7, I was able to shave dry with minimal to no discomfort, even in the high power speed setting which shouldn’t be used for shaving sensitive areas.
The foils never got hot even after a long shave.
I’ve been using this particular shaver for almost 2 years, so there’s definitely some wear on the foils and blades which normally could cause them to get hot. But that was never the case.
The new Series 7 was perfectly comfortable on the cheeks, chin, and jawline, but occasionally not quite as smooth on the neck.
This happened especially when I used faster strokes, causing some stinging and pinching. But interestingly, this almost never happened with my previous Series 7.
I was able to reduce the discomfort by using slower, more controlled strokes on the neck, but the takeaway is that the older shaver was just more forgiving.
And while it didn’t cause me serious discomfort, the foils of the new shaver got noticeably warmer during use.
All in all, the new generation is clearly suitable for sensitive skin as well, but again, it couldn’t outperform the old Series 7.
Shaving longer, flat-lying hairs
One of the key advantages of the Series 7 (apart from comfort) was its ability to cut longer, flat-lying hairs.
It was surprisingly good for a foil shaver and clearly better than anything from the competition.
That middle trimmer with its unique design and wide slits was the main reason for this.
The Series 7 70 appears to have a similar system, but on closer inspection, we can see some interesting details.
The middle trimmer appears to have significantly smaller slits.
And again, it looks almost identical to the one on the Series 3.
Moreover, it uses the same plastic guide micro-comb that surrounds the trimmer and supposedly feeds the hairs to the cutters.
To put it bluntly, the trimmer appears to be taken straight from the S3. Here’s a side by side image of the two (the Series 7 cassette on top):
But most importantly, in real-life use, it again failed to match the performance of the original Braun Series 7.
Long and flat hairs on the neck required more strokes in order to get a clean shave, while the old shaver managed to cut them a lot faster.
In the case of short and relatively straight hairs, the differences are negligible, but if you shave less often and have patches where the hair grows parallel to the skin and in different directions, I think the old Series 7 is still the better option.
Basically, we’re simply interested in how long it takes to complete a shave using one versus the other S7.
And there’s really no nuance to this comparison — the old Series 7 is just better.
It sounds and feels (and essentially is) faster.
Besides the actual motor output (Braun doesn’t provide the specs, so I can only assume this), there are other factors that contribute to a faster shave in the case of the original Braun Series 7.
The most important one is in my opinion the design of the shaving head.
Despite the new one looking very impressive with its flexing capabilities, in practice, the old one just seems to work better.
The head tapers towards the foils which stick out more and you can actually see them touching the skin during use, allowing for greater control and precision.
On the new Series 7, they aren’t as tall and the wide chrome-plated foil frame surrounding them gets in the way and sometimes you can’t really see the foils.
Also, for some reason, the new shaving head just doesn’t glide as easily over the skin. It tends to get a bit stuck even when there’s minimal moisture and the stroke is jerkier.
My guess is that the plastic surrounding the middle trimmer and foils is the culprit as plastic tends to drag more on the skin than metal.
The wide head, along with the (presumably slower motor) and the smaller range of motion of the head and of the actual shaving elements, prevent the updated Series 7 to be faster (and more enjoyable to use) than the original one.
This was constantly my experience after comparing both Series 7 generation over a couple of weeks.
Again, I am not trying to bash the new one or to imply that it’s not a good shaver. It’s just not better than the current one.
AutoSense versus Speed settings
The very first Series 7 shavers (circa 2007) didn’t have any beard density sensors or speed settings — just a good old fashioned power button, as basic as it gets.
With the next iterations, Braun fitted the Series 7 with either 3 or 5 speed settings (in the case of the later 78xx models).
Basically, you could adjust the power output of the motor via two buttons from Low to High-intensity depending on the area you’re about to shave.
In practice, since the original Series 7 was already very gentle and comfortable, the lower speed settings didn’t make much sense for most users.
For example, I always use my Series 7 in the highest power setting, even when I shave my neck and it’s still perfectly smooth and gentle.
The lower settings just make the shaver slower.
Braun ditched these speed settings in favor of a beard density sensor for the 2020 Series 7 models called AutoSense Technology.
Instead of manually adjusting the power of the shaver, it is now done automatically. Or so it should.
I never really noticed the sensor at work whenever I used the new Series 7.
Maybe the adjustments were just so small that I wasn’t able to detect them. Either way, to me it always seemed like the shaver was running at full speed.
Which again is fine as the new Series 7 70 is also very comfortable for most of the time.
The takeaway is that both approaches are rather gimmicky and you shouldn’t pay too much attention to either.
The Series 7 would probably perform just as well with no sensors or speed settings.
The new Braun Series 7 is objectively quieter than the old one (running in the highest setting) by a few decibels.
The noise it makes during use has a lower frequency and it’s raspier, while the old one has a higher pitch.
This is consistent with my assumption that the original Series 7 has a faster and torquier motor.
So the Series 7 70 is reasonably good in this regard for a foil shaver, but don’t expect anything groundbreaking. It still makes a lot of noise, especially when cutting the actual hairs.
The S9 remains in my opinion Braun’s quietest electric shaver.
5. Availability and value for money
Since the 2020 Series 7 is a USA exclusive release, things aren’t looking great from an availability point of view.
If you live outside the USA, getting one could be more difficult.
You can of course import it, but it won’t be as easy as simply buying the shaver locally. There are freight charges, possible customs fees and so on.
The new Series 7 is only listed on the Braun USA website, again a clear indicator that Braun only intends to sell the Series 7 70 in the USA.
Interestingly, the original Series 7 models (78xx) were removed from Braun’s USA website and only the new ones are now listed.
So far both generations can be bought in the USA from various retailers, but we shall see if that changes in the future.
As for costs, the new Series 7 shavers are priced lower than the ongoing models.
And they really should be given the previously mentioned cost reduction measures (particularly the cleaning centers and the shaving heads/cassettes).
So the buying price could be an argument for getting the new Series 7 instead of one of the original models.
The cost of ownership should be lower as well; I’m mainly referring to the replacement shaving heads (cassettes) since the SmartCare stations use the same cartridge refills.
The new cassettes used by the Series 7 70 (73s and 73b) aren’t yet available, so we can only speculate with regards to their price.
But given the cost of the shaver and by comparing the new heads to the older ones, I think they will be cheaper as well.
In my opinion the production costs are lower (no cassette release button, plastic instead of metal), so that should be reflected in the shelf price as well.
I will update the article once the new cassettes become available.
The old Braun Series 7, as well as the cassettes (70s and 70b) are widely available and can be easily bought pretty much anywhere in the world.
Braun Series 7 70s cassette
And my guess is that they will continue so for many years to come.
Conclusion — Which Series 7 (old or new) should you buy?
I think we can all agree that the Braun Series 7 70 from 2020 is a completely new line that has nothing to do with the original Series 7 (apart from using the same name).
It feels like a line of shavers in its own right that could (and should) live alongside the old Series 7.
In my opinion, naming this new family of shavers Series 7 wasn’t the right decision (from a user perspective) because it doesn’t make much sense.
Calling it something like Series 6 for example would have been more appropriate.
The price is lower and performance isn’t quite as good compared to the original generation.
The Series 7 name does however have a lot of brand equity and it will nevertheless give the 2020 models a boost.
But getting back to which one should you actually get, I think it depends on the use case.
Current Series 7 owners (the original models) should probably stick to their shaver.
Strictly from a performance perspective, getting the new Series 7 isn’t justified.
I found my older Series 7 to be consistently faster, more comfortable, more enjoyable and easier to use.
Objectively speaking and strictly with regards to shaving performance, the old Braun Series 7 is the better razor.
So at least in my experience, getting the Series 7 70 will not really be an upgrade.
The same goes for potential buyers outside the USA that think about getting the new Series 70 instead of the readily available original Series 7.
I don’t think it’s worth the hassle, again since the performance wasn’t actually improved.
Moreover, the final cost (with shipping, taxes) will probably be similar, so the price advantage of the new Series 7 will be pretty much gone.
Finally, for someone living in the USA the newer models could be a very compelling option.
The price is right and they’re really good shavers overall.
As for which one I would personally choose, the older Series 7 is the more suitable option in my case.
The better shaving performance, more practical cleaning station and the integrated pop-up trimmer definitely tip the scale in its favor.
I would gladly pay more for these, considering that I’ll be using the shaver for many years (as I did with many of my Series 7 razors).
As for which models from each generation to get, well, that comes down to your needs and budget.
If you won’t be needing to trim your beard, I would go for one of the cheaper Series 7 70 with fewer accessories like the 7071cc or even a solo model like the 7020s.
Braun Series 7 7071cc
Again, I’m not too fond of the new station with its fewer features and that protruding arm.
So while I would normally recommend a cc Series 7, a solo Series 7 70 is a good option too.
From the original Series 7, you can’t go wrong with the 790cc.
Braun Series 7 790cc
It comes with that excellent cleaning station, it works cordless and corded and it’s usually available in many countries.
As an alternative, the 7865cc is just as good, although it will only operate cordless since it’s a wet/dry model.
If the cleaning station is not a must-have, some of the solo models like the 7893s can be found at a lower price.
And the cost should always be a decisive factor, so make sure to do some research before pulling the trigger.
The performance throughout a series is the same, so get the cheaper one if it meets your requirements (wet/dry use, cleaning station, accessories, etc.).
Hopefully this post will clear some of the confusion regarding the new Series 7 vs the current generation and help you make the right decision.
If you have other questions, make sure to post them in the comments below.