The Philips Norelco 9300 vs 9700 is the battle of the ultimate electric razors in Norelco’s high-end range.
They incorporate the most advanced technologies that the company currently has to offer, resulting in what are arguably two of the best performing rotary shavers you can buy today.
And that inevitably begs the question: should you choose the Philips Norelco 9300 or the 9700?
Philips has probably the most confusing naming schemes of all manufacturers for its various shavers.
Add to that the constant re-branding of older models, the release of new products, inconsistent model numbers (9800 is inferior to the 9700 for example) and you’ll probably have a hard time making a choice.
In this Head to head edition, we’ll take a close look at the differences between the Philips Norelco 9300 and 9700 and find out which one represents a better option.
A short overview of the Philips Norelco Series 9000
The 9300 and 9700 are part of the Series 9000, representing Philips Norelco’s line of high-end electric shavers.
Both feature an advanced shaving head with excellent contour following capabilities, very good build quality, and great wet/dry shaving performance.
The 9300 and 9700 come with the SmartClean cleaning system which automatically cleans, dries, lubricates, and charges the razor.
Unlike the majority of shavers that feature an integrated pop-up trimmer, Norelco offers a click-on trimmer for the 9300 and 9700 that can be attached to the shaver, very handy for grooming and touch-ups.
We’ll discuss all the important aspects regarding the 9300 and 9700 in greater detail below.
Philips Norelco 9300 vs 9700: what are the differences?
Upon a brief inspection, the 9300 and 9700 appear to be very similar in many regards.
They look almost the same and they use the same shaving heads (SH90). Both also feature three-speed settings (Slow, Medium, Fast) that should better fit your skin and hair type.
The differences are therefore quite subtle. Here they are:
The first visual difference is the color surrounding the display on the front of the shavers.
The plastic on the 9300 has a lighter shade of silver, while the 9700 uses a darker, gunmetal color.
Remaining battery display
The second difference between the actual shavers is how the remaining battery is displayed. The Norelco 9300 uses 5 bars, each representing 20% of the remaining charge:
The Norelco 9700 shows the exact percentage of the remaining battery:
The one used on the 9700 is probably better, being more precise, but it’s still a minor detail that shouldn’t be a decisive factor when choosing between the two.
SmartClean station display
The Norelco 9300 and 9700 come with automatic cleaning and charging stations called SmartClean.
This system will clean, dry, lubricate and charge the razor. It uses detergent cartridges and works pretty much as advertised.
The cost of ownership implied by the cleaning cartridges is quite reasonable when compared to Braun’s original cartridges for example.
Moreover, since Norelco’s cartridges don’t use alcohol, they will last longer (an alcohol-based solution evaporates pretty fast).
The stations use induction heating to dry the shavers after the cleaning cycle has completed.
The main benefit of this implementation is a completely silent operation. The downside is that it takes a lot of time — around 4 hours according to Philips — compared to a station that uses a fan.
In real world use though, two hours will be enough to dry the shaving head completely.
The SmartClean systems that come with the 9300 and 9700 are the same and use the same cartridges.
The only difference is that the one included with the Norelco 9700 has an updated display, with a progress bar that spans across the top part of the station and fills up as the cleaning process advances.
The 9300 has a more basic display, with an indicator that only shows the operation currently taking place (like cleaning, drying, etc.).
If you don’t want the cleaning station, you can opt for the Philips Norelco 9800 which is basically a 9700 without the cleaning station.
But considering that it’s similar in price to the 9300 and identical in performance, I don’t think the 9800 is worth buying.
By this point it should be pretty obvious that the Norelco 9700 is basically a 9300 fitted with fancier displays.
However, the price of these two models can vary quite a lot as of 2021.
Philips Norelco 9700
The 9300 usually offers better value for money and it is identical in terms of shaving performance.
And this is actually the only thing you should consider when trying to decide between the Philips 9300 and 9700 — the price.
Philips Norelco 9300
However, the 9300 is getting very difficult to find, which makes the 9700 pretty much the only option.
To sum it up:
- The Norelco 9300 has a slightly different color scheme and uses a more basic display for the remaining battery percentage;
- The station that comes with the Norelco 9700 features an additional progress bar (not anymore as of 2016);
- The 9300 offers an identical shaving performance, but it’s usually more reasonably priced.
Philips Norelco 9300 vs 9700: which one should you buy?
The conclusion of this Norelco 9300 vs 9700 debate is actually a lot simpler than in the case of other shavers we’ve compared in the past.
We can summarize it in the following statement: there isn’t a single compelling reason to justify the price difference between the Norelco 9300 and 9700.
And that should make your decision pretty straight forward: just buy the one that is cheaper (usually the 9300).
Apart from a few minor and mostly visual differences, the 9300 is identical in terms of performance to the 9700 and, at least at the moment of writing, it costs less.
Unless you can find the Philips Norelco 9700 at a similar price, the 9300 is the winner and the more sensible choice.
37 thoughts on “Philips Norelco 9300 vs 9700: Which One Should You Buy?”Leave a comment
You ar probably not correct on the difference between the 9300 and 970 cleaning system.
I have a Philips 9711/31 for a couple of days and it also has the cleaning system without progress bar display. This particular version is also described in the manual.
However, if I look in a 2014 manual of the Philips 9700, it also has the progress display bar.
So it seems since somewhere 2016, for all 9000 types, the cleaning station progress bar version changed to a non-progress bar version.
Thank you for the heads-up, I wasn’t aware of this change made to the 9700. I will update the post accordingly.
Great reviews on this site. It appears as thought the price difference between the two on Amazon now is merely $30. So if the fancier display and gunmetal color scheme is something people really want, it’s a similar purchase now monetarily.
thank you for your comment. That is correct, at this moment the price difference is not significant and either of the two represents a very good option. However, this price difference seems to fluctuate quite a bit and it’s always a good idea to do a bit of research before pulling the trigger.
Norelco 9300 or 9700 are the same best rotary shavers for men. So for saving budget we can go to 9300. Sure if we want hight end tech, 9700 is a better opt.
Can these cleaning stations be used with SW6700 or SW9700?
As far as I know, only the SW9700 can be used with the compatible SmartClean stations (part no CP9060).
Norelco told me that the battery last longer and charges faster in the 9700.
Both need approximately one hour for a full charge. The battery on the 9700 should provide an extra 10 minutes worth of shaving time, but in reality they seem to be very similar in this regard.
Is the 9300 good for shaving your head? I need a new electric shaver for my head.
Yes, it should be very good at shaving your head as well.
Does the charger for the cleaning station of the norelco 9300 included inside the box?or have to buy separately?
Yes, the charger is included as well.
Just checked price on both on Amazon. Unfortunately now prices are identical. The bonus is a facial brush with the 9700.
The price varies quite a lot and I’ve even seen the 9700 costing less. So it’s worth checking before buying either of them.
What is the difference between the 9200 (found at Costco on sale for $99 as of December 2019) and the 9300?
The color, 3 level battery level indicator instead of 5, no cleaning station.
I currently use a norelc0 S8950 with a cleaning station. Will the 9300 and 9700 use my station, or do I have to use the newer one; if it is new?
The stations are extremely similar, but as far as I know, the old one will not work with the 9300 or 9700.
Is the product suitable for shaving the entire body, such as the bikini area and all parts of the body?
Electric shavers are designed to shave short, dense, coarse facial hair, so they’re really not suitable to be used below the neck. I would strongly recommend you to consider a body groomer — Philips has quite a few models available. You can check some of my reviews here.
Any views on the Norelco 9450 razor? Will they work good on coarse thick facial hair and sensitive skin?
It’s basically identical to the 9300 and 9700 performance-wise. It’s definitely adequate for coarse hair, but not ideal for sensitive skin. I would consider the S9000 Prestige if you want an advanced rotary that’s suitable for sensitive skin.
I purchased the S 9531/27 model wet/dry Philips razor today.
Please advise how to open shaver head for cleaning using the dry method. I can’t find any instructions in the manual that accompanied the shaver?
With the shaver switched off, you simply pull the shaving head off the shaving unit and use a tiny brush to remove the hair clippings. In my opinion it’s not an ideal method and simply rinsing it under the tap would be more efficient. You can refer to the user manual here for more info (page 23).
Thank you for the article.
Is there any option for refilling cartridges with a homemade cheat product? I read an article about Broun razor fluid. Alcohol is used there. I have doubts – will alcohol harm the Philips station?
I highly recommend using a detergent-based cleaning solution. The alcohol can harm the station/shaver in the long run and the station may not even run on an alcohol solution. I haven’t tried any DIY solutions for Philips shavers, but I think the safest option would be to buy a bottle of Philips JetClean solution and refill your cartridge — it’s usually much more convenient than buying new cartridges.
Does the Jet Clean solution also work in the Quick Clean Pod?
Yes, definitely. You can also try the solution from Shaver Shebang (must be diluted with water), it’s usually a lot cheaper.
Except for the Quick Clean Pod coming with the Philips Norelco 9500, is there any difference between the 9500 and the 9400?
There are a few other differences as well. The 9500 has a better OLED display and a ring below the head that lights up depending on how much pressure you apply. The latter is more of a gimmick to be honest. If you can find the 9400 for a much better price, I think that’s the one to get. Both shave exactly the same.
Would the SH98 Heads be compatible with the 9300 Shaver? I’d like the best shaving experience but I also want the cleaning/charging station. Thanks
Yes, the SH98 will work just fine with it.
I have Norelco S9733 that I bought at Costco in early 2018. The unit manual indicates the SH90 replacement head. However, I found SH91 on sale at Bestbuy with half price ($32 instead of $64). Can I use SH91 for S9733 model?
Thank you in advance. Please respond at your early convenience because the price sale will expire soon.
You can definitely use the SH91, it will fit just fine. Hope you’ll be able to still get the deal.
Thank you very much, Ovidiu! I really didn’t know your reply until now but I already purchased the SH91. Also, I really like the useful information on your website and revisit more often. Best wishes.
You are very welcome, Ken, glad I could be of help.