New Philips Norelco S9000 Prestige Review: Better Than Ever?

Review Summary

Pros: very comfortable and close shaves, powerful, suitable for sensitive skin, great for shaving less often, excellent battery life, good ergonomics, IPX7 waterproof, easy to clean

Cons: pricey, poor trimmer attachment, some quirks with the Qi charging models

Our Rating:

[4.5 out of 5 stars]

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Almost 5 years after the introduction of the original S9000 Prestige, Philips released the next generation, informally referred to as the NEW Prestige.

Being essentially a more premium version of the Series 9000, the S9000 Prestige is the most advanced (and expensive) Philips rotary shaver.

And at least in theory, it should also be the best.

The new S9000 Prestige is now available worldwide in several variations, with different accessories and in different colors.

I finally managed to buy one and in this review, I will share everything you need to know about the new Philips S9000 Prestige after testing it extensively for almost a month.

Testing the new Philips Prestige.

Since I also own the original Prestige and Philips’ latest Series 9000 (the vanilla, non-Prestige series), I will also compare them and let you know whether it’s worth the upgrade and the extra money.

My review unit is the Philips Norelco S9000 Prestige SP9872/86.

This is a USA model that comes with a Qi induction charging pad but without the Quick Clean Pod.

Other variations include a cleaning pod (SP9841/84, SP9840/31) or both the pod and the Qi pad (SP9886/89).

However, the shaving performance of all new Philips Prestige models (including the European ones) is identical, so the review will still be relevant.

With that out of the way, let’s see what the new S9000 Prestige is all about.

Features overview

I normally avoid listing specs from the product page but here I think it’s necessary to dissect some of the marketing copy as some of it can be confusing or misleading.

1. The 3-blade shaving head

Close-up with the 3-blade shaving head of the new Philips Prestige.

Just like most other Philips rotary razors, the S9000 Prestige features 3 cutting heads.

Each head has two rows of rotary blades that spin behind a metal guard (or comb).

For the S9000 Prestige (and the latest Series 9000), Philips went with wide slots on the outer track and small holes on the inner one.

This arrangement should capture both longer, flat-lying hairs and short stubble.

On the manufacturer’s site, you’ll see that they claim to use a Lift&Cut system that supposedly allows the blades to first lift and then cut the hair for a skin-level closeness.

Philips Lift&Cut system in action.
The Lift&Cut system in action. Image credit:

For this, they actually use two blade edges: the first one would lift the hair and the second one would do the actual cutting.

Here’s a closeup image I took. If you look carefully you will see the two overlayed blade edges.

SH91 Lift&Cut blades closeup.

This Lift&Cut system appears to be a refinement of the old Super Lift&Cut which Philips dropped in favor of more comfortable single-blade designs for most of their current shavers.

However, they brought it back for the new Series 9000 and the new Prestige.

Interestingly, the old S9000 Prestige used a single-blade edge, so at least in theory, the new one should have a slight advantage in terms of closeness.

But there’s also the risk of making the shave less comfortable since these double-edge blades have a tendency to constantly tug the hairs.

It’s one of the reasons why I liked the old Prestige as it was very gentle and forgiving.

So we’ll see how the comfort is later on, but I know from shaving with the new non-Prestige Series 9000 (same blades) that they somehow still managed to preserve the comfort.

Important: A single or double blade edge is not to be confused with the number of blade rows or tracks (two in the case of the Series 9000 and S9000 Prestige).

The two concentric blade rows.
The two concentric blade rows/tracks.

The three cutters are covered with what Philips calls a Hydro SkinGlide Coating. It should make them glide effortlessly over the skin.

At first, I thought they meant the plastic holders in which the actual cutters sit. But no, this refers to the surface of the metal guards.

So it’s not specific to the Prestige line, but rather to the SH91 cutters, also present on the regular Series 9000 (like the Shaver 9500 or 9800).

2. New pentagonal heads

The angular heads of the new Philips Norelco Prestige.

The biggest difference between the new Prestige compared to the old one has to be the shape of the three cutting heads.

With the new Prestige, Philips switched to its new angular heads that made their way from the lower-end models (like the new Series 5000 or 7000) to the range-topping S9000.

The old Prestige used the more conventional round design which I personally think was better from an ergonomic perspective.

The new and old Prestige heads.
The new and old Prestige heads.

The new angular heads are needed in order to make the Prestige compatible with Quick Clean Pod, Philips’ new solution for an automatic cleaner (more on that later on).

But the new heads are larger and thicker; most users aren’t bothered by them, but I also wouldn’t say it’s an improvement.

3. Flexing

Close-up of the independently flexing shaving heads of the Philips S9000 Prestige.

Rotary shavers often use at least one flexing system to ensure optimum contact with the skin.

The new Prestige is identical in that regard to the previous one, using independently flexing shaving head holders plus a flexible head unit.

The three holders can tilt inward independently; on lower-end rotaries like the Series 3000 the three cradles are interlinked and can’t flex independently.

Philips calls this an Ultraflex Suspension System.

In addition to that, the head unit is mounted on a flexible strut.

The Prestige Flexible head unit.
The Prestige Flexible head unit.

The entire shaving head can tilt freely in any direction, but the range of motion is rather limited and I don’t think it’s that useful in real life.

4. Hair density sensor

The hair density sensor in action.

The new Prestige is fitted with a so-called Power Adapt Sensor that modulates the power output of the motor in accordance with the beard density.

It supposedly evaluates the density 500 times a second. I don’t recall seeing any specs for the previous generation, so I can’t say if it’s the same.

But in practice, I never noticed any variation in motor speed except when I shaved with shaving cream.

What does indeed modify the speed is the rocker located below the power button, allowing you to choose between 3 power settings (called Personal Comfort Settings).

The Personal Comfort Settings button on the new Philips Norelco Prestige.

I will talk more about its use and effectiveness in the performance section.

5. Cordless, wet/dry operation

The Philips S9000 Prestige can only be used cordless.

Just like the previous generation, the new Philips Prestige shavers will only work cordless.

The Li-ion battery provides up to 60 minutes of use.

Philips says that the battery (and motor) has a 7-year lifetime which is really impressive. It does not however imply a 7-year warranty for those parts.

Normally, the stated lifetime for a rechargeable battery is 3 years (Panasonic mentions it explicitly, even though in practice the battery lasts way past that).

Being IPX7 waterproof, all the Prestige shavers are suitable for dry or wet shaving, including in the shower.

But the most important benefit is that you can simply rinse the shaver clean after using it.

6. Warranty

The new Philips S9000 Prestige comes with a standard 2-year warranty.

If you register the product within 90 days of purchase you will get an extra 6 months which is not a lot, to be honest.

Braun usually offers one year extra after registering the product or, in the case of the Series 9 PRO+, 3 years of extended warranty for a total of 5 years (this Braun promotion is country-specific).

Included accessories

As mentioned earlier, the kit will be different for the various models in this latest S9000 Prestige series.

Here’s what came with my SP9872/86:

  • Qi wireless charging pad
  • USB-A charger (for the pad)
  • Hair trimmer attachment
  • Cleaning brush
  • Premium travel case
  • User manual and leaflet
Phillips S9000 Prestige SP9872 accessories.

The models that don’t feature wireless charging will come with a standard Philips charger.

None of them however includes a protective cover for the shaving head.

The reason behind this is probably that the travel case is thought to provide enough protection against mechanical shocks.

As a side note, the premium case is the same one included with the old Prestige generation.

I still think a cover would have been useful. Unfortunately, now Philips only ships them with entry-level razors from the Series 1000/2000 and 3000.

The case looks and feels nice and there’s enough room inside for the shaver, trimmer, brush and maybe a couple of travel-size toiletries.

The Premium travel case.

With the non-wireless Prestige shavers, you could squeeze in the rather compact Philips wired charger as well.

The downside of having this generous volume is that the case is quite bulky, a lot larger than the hard fabric case of the non-Prestige Series 9000.

Build quality and ergonomics

The Prestige line of shavers from Philips was intended to be a posh, premium Series 9000.

The first generation was a massive jump in build quality, materials and overall feel when compared to the Series 9000 of that time.

When I first saw the official renders of this new Prestige, it looked stunning.

The original (left) and new (right) Philips S9000 Prestige.
The original (left) and new (right) Philips S9000 Prestige.

And it appeared to be rather a refinement or an evolution of the old one, which wasn’t at all a bad thing.

My old Prestige is still one of the nicest electric razors I’ve ever held in hand.

Its brushed metal body is probably the one thing that contributes the most to the premium feel of the razor.

But when I first took my new Prestige SP9872/86 out of the box, something was different.

The S9000 Prestige shaver held in hand.

Metal has a very distinct cool feel to it and I immediately noticed that this shaver didn’t have it.

And that’s because it now comes with a plastic body instead of metal.

It has a nice texture and feels and looks like good-quality plastic, but it’s still a downgrade in my book.

Metal (light silver) vs plastic body (dark grey).
Metal (old Prestige, light silver) vs plastic body (new Prestige, dark grey).

The official images of the new Prestige had me convinced that it would still feature a metal build.

But to my surprise, it doesn’t.

The only metal part on my shaver carried over from the old Prestige seems to be that piece of trim right below the shaving head with the very nice knurling.

Metal trim on the new Philips Prestige.

Everything else is plastic.

So it’s a bit disappointing as the metal body really made the old Prestige feel a cut above all other Philips models.

In fact, only Panasonic’s metal Arc 5 models (like the ES-LV9Q or ES-CV70) could compete with it.

One would argue that because the Prestige I got uses inductive charging (which doesn’t work through metal), Philips had no other solution but to use plastic.

However, that’s not the case.

The old Prestige (SP9860) that also charged wirelessly came with a metal body.

Only the back of the shaver that actually comes into contact with the pad needs to be made out of a different material for the charging to work.

Side view of the new Prestige.

So the decision to use plastic on the new Prestige was likely about cutting costs.

However, it doesn’t feel or look cheap, it’s just not as luxurious as the old one.

The plastic used for the body has a matte, powdery finish which feels nice to the touch, but doesn’t offer a lot of grip.

UPDATE: After some initial info suggested that some models in the new Prestige series do come with a metal body, it appears it was not accurate.

All models in the new lineup have a plastic body, including the fully specced SP9883/35 and SP9886/89.

Thanks to Miki for the info.

The Philips S9000 Prestige SP9872 held in hand.

We have the same soft plastic/rubber-like inserts on the sides and back which do help and make holding the shaver very secure.

The shaving head of the new Prestige is the biggest change compared to the old generation.

Precisely, instead of the rounded heads, we now get these slab-like angular heads which are wider, thicker and don’t taper toward the edge.

The head of the new Philips Norelco Prestige.

I personally found it a bit more cumbersome to use.

With the old one, I could always tell exactly where the metal guard was when shaving a certain area, but now it is obscured by the larger pentagonal holder.

Closeup of the Prestige angular heads.

I will get into more detail on how this affected my shave in the performance section of the review.

But I will say that Philips made the switch to this head (which made its way into the lower-end series as well) in order to make the new Prestige compatible with the Quick Clean pods.

And it probably helps with production costs since the same design is used on other series as well.

At the center of this head, you’ll notice a tiny metal piece that spins when the shaver is switched on.

Closeup of the new Philips Prestige shaving head.

That is actually what makes the cleaning pod work — this metal piece splines to a tiny shaft inside the pod which turns an impaler and pushes the cleaning fluid from the cartridge into the cleaning chamber of the pod.

The front side of the new Prestige is basically unchanged from the previous models.

The Prestige active travel lock.

The power button has good tactile feedback and doubles as a travel lock.

You can activate it by pressing and holding it for 3 seconds. A padlock icon will appear on the display and confirm that the power button is now locked.

Pressing and holding it again for 3 seconds will unlock the shaver.

Right below we have the Prestige Comfort settings.

There are 3 shaving modes you can select via the -/+ rocker: Comfort, Dynamic, and Efficiency.

Again I will cover this feature and its effectiveness in the performance section.

The display of the new Philips Prestige seems to be unchanged from the previous generation.

Philips Prestige display.

While the backlighting is stronger, the edges of the text and graphics are still a bit fuzzy.

The new non-Prestige Series 9000 for example with its OLED display has sharper text.

That said, it is pretty useful, displaying the battery charge in 1% increments.

The back of the shaver is completely barren, with no integrated hair trimmer.

With the Prestige, we still get the separate trimmer attachment that must be fitted in place of the rotary head unit.

The new Prestige with the trimmer attachment in place.

On the bottom of the shaver there’s the typical Philips charging port.

The models that don’t have wireless charging will have the port exposed, while the ones that come with the Qi pad (like my SP9872/86) will have it covered by a round flap that can be removed.

Philips Prestige charging port.

But as you’ll see later on, there’s an issue with that.

The ergonomics of the new Philips Norelco Prestige are quite good, especially thanks to the shape of the shaver’s body.

Holding it is very comfortable and natural and feels more secure compared to the large, boxy body of the new standard Series 9000.

Holding the Prestige in hand feels very comfortable and secure.

But I personally still prefer the old Prestige from an ergonomic standpoint — the smaller size of the heads makes it nimbler and easier to use.

My new Prestige is a bit heavier than the old one (198g vs 189g) despite the body being made of plastic instead of metal.

However, that’s likely because of the extra hardware needed for the wireless charging feature.

It’s still a surprisingly light shaver, definitely lighter than the high-end models from the competition.

Finally, apart from the move from metal to plastic, there’s another feature that seems to be missing in the new Prestige generation.

My old Prestige had this lift-to-wake feature (like you get on some smartphones) — basically, the display would show the battery level when I lifted the shaver without turning it on.

The Lift to wake feature on the Phillisp Prestige.
Lift-to-wake on the old model.

It was extremely sensitive and would be triggered by the slightest movement. Even touching the desk with the shaver sitting on it would cause the display to light up.

Again this feature seems to only be available with the full option Prestige versions.

For example, the SP9872/86 I’m using doesn’t have it.

Apparently, Philips disabled it because it caused significant battery drain by keeping the display active (but oddly they still kept it on a few models).

Again we can think of this feature as the always-on display on some smartphones, even though in this case it wasn’t always on.

This was particularly a problem when traveling as the constant moving would cause the display to light up.

However, at least on my old Prestige unit, the lift-to-wake feature seems to be disabled after a period of inactivity.

UPDATE: The Lift-to-wake feature is only present on the new S9000 Prestige models that include a Quick Clean Pod. As we’ll see in the cleaning section, this actually makes sense.

Overall, the build quality of the new Prestige is quite good, the materials feel nice and the fit is very good.

However, it probably won’t wow you like the old generation used to.

Battery life and charging

Philips electric razors are in my experience among the best when it comes to battery life and battery lifespan.

For the new S9000 Prestige, they even go as far as promising a 7-year lifetime.

Only time will tell if that’s true, but what I can confirm is that the Prestige battery life on a single charge is excellent.

Philips says 60 minutes of cordless operation and it definitely lives up to that claim.

My Prestige loses around 8% battery per shave, so I will get at least 10 shaves from a single charge which is excellent.

The low battery icon being displayed.

When the charge drops below 10% you will see a red battery icon on the display prompting you to charge the razor.

So battery life and the expected reliability for the new Philips Prestige are class-leading.

The problem is with charging the shaver.

The SP9872 that I got, as well as the other models that come with a Qi pad apparently can only be charged wireless.

Charging the shaver via the wireless QI pad.

And that takes just under 3 hours which is quite a lot compared to the standard 1-hour wired charging.

You also get a fast charging function, but for the Qi models that takes 18 minutes which isn’t exactly fast.

With a normal charger that would be 5 minutes or less.

So it can be an inconvenience if you’re caught off guard and the battery is completely depleted.

With most devices fitted with inductive charging, you usually get a fallback wired charging option.

And in theory, you have that with the new Prestige as well.

At the bottom of the shaver there’s normally a two-prong Philips charging port.

On my unit this port is hidden behind a removable cover.

You can simply pop it out using a tiny flat screwdriver or a paperclip which must be inserted in the cutout and gently pressed down.

Removing the battery cover.

Once removed, you will see the charging port.

I grabbed a standard Philips charger, plugged it into a wall socket and connected the wire to the shaver.

And at first, it started charging normally and everything worked as expected.

I even managed to snap a photo:

Charging the shaver with a wired Philips charger.

But to my surprise, after around 2 minutes, the charging simply stopped. It just wouldn’t work anymore.

I tried disconnecting and connecting the cord again, I tried several different Philips chargers, both European and USA models, but nothing worked anymore.

The display would remain black and the shaver would even turn on when pressing the power button — just like the charger wasn’t even connected.

So apparently the new wireless Prestige models cannot be charged with a wired charger.

This is a massive disappointment and I honestly can’t understand why Philips would deliberately disable it.

It’s a really petty move that basically forces the user to always depend on a slow-charging wireless pad.

I know most of us will simply put the shaver on the pad and leave it there all the time, so the battery will always be full.

But in some cases being able to quickly charge the shaver using a wired connection is really useful.

For example if you’re on vacation and don’t want to bring along the large pad or when you want to quickly get some power into the battery for a quick shave.

The Philips Qi charging pad.

A smartphone that can only be charged wirelessly for example is not the most practical.

Philips says you must only use the provided pad to charge the shaver. However, I tried using a third-party Qi charger and it worked just fine.

Charging the Philips Prestige with a generic Qi pad.
Charging the Philips Prestige with a generic Qi pad.

I also tried charging other devices on the Philips pad and it works, so there’s no proprietary limitation of some sort.

If you don’t care for the wireless charging feature there are variations of the Philips Prestige that come with standard wired charging like the SP9841/84.

The pad can be appealing to users with various set-ups and space on the countertop.

But if that’s not something you can take advantage of, then getting a wired charging Prestige model (for less money) is probably a better option.

Shaving performance

How an electric razor shaves is what matters the most and will ultimately be the decisive buying factor.

I’ve tested the new Philips Norelco Prestige for several weeks on various beard lengths and I almost always switched back and forth between it and the old model.

I also threw in the new Series 9000 9500 as I think these three can easily compete against each other and are more similar than different.

Since all of them are still available and the price differences between the standard S9000 and the Prestige series can be significant, the comparison should be useful for someone looking to buy a very capable (Philips) rotary.

With that out of the way, let’s see how good the new Prestige really is.

Comfort of the shave

For me personally, the thing that impressed me the most about this shaver was the comfort.

The new Philips S9000 Prestige is a very gentle and forgiving rotary shaver that managed to consistently provide a comfortable, irritation-free shave for most of the time.

I have very sensitive, dry skin on my neck which is the reason why I didn’t get along too well with the rotaries of the past.

When Philips dropped the Super Lift&Cut blades for the high-end Prestige line, I called the old generation a game changer.

The same can be said about the new Prestige — it is the most comfortable rotary shaver I’ve ever used, just as good as the old one.

And that is despite the fact that the blades of the new Prestige use double-edge Lift&Cut blades, but they somehow managed to keep them just as comfortable.

In fact, I’d say it’s a perfectly suitable choice for men with very sensitive skin. And before the Prestige I would be very reluctant to recommend a rotary in this case.

The SH91 cutters that are fitted to the new S9000 Prestige are now the most advanced in Philips’ lineup and in my opinion the best.

They’re identical (performance-wise) to the discontinued SH98 of the old Prestige and are also backward compatible (in case you already own the old one).

Another aspect that made the new Prestige so enjoyable and comfortable is the way it glides over the skin.

Rotaries, especially the ones with large heads can be very jittery when you move them over the skin, even more so if it’s a bit damp.

But somehow they managed to overcome this and it was a real joy shaving with it.

In fact, the Prestige glided easier than my Shaver 9500 which uses an apparently identical head unit and the same SH91 cutters.

The Series 9000 (9500) and the S9000 Prestige use the same shaving unit.
The Series 9000 (9500) and the S9000 Prestige.

So the outer surface/coating of the three plastic holders could be the reason why the new Prestige just glides easier on the skin.

It was even better when I used a pre-shave lotion and that made the shave even more comfortable and pleasant.

I only had one minor issue when shaving my neck with the new Philips Prestige.

If I moved the head too fast, occasionally one or two hairs would get pulled a bit before getting cut which did result in some stinging or a very tiny nick.

But this was a rare occurrence and again, it wasn’t a problem provided my technique wasn’t sloppy and I used a controlled and slower motion.

I could even get away with applying a bit more pressure.

With some of the old Norelcos like the Series 9000 (with the aggressive SH90 cutters), that would have resulted in major discomfort and some bleeding.

Let’s now see what’s the deal with the Personal Comfort Settings.

In addition to the Power Adapt Sensor that adjusts the motor speed automatically, Philips fitted the Prestige line with some user-adjustable settings.

Precisely, you can choose between 3 modes depending on your preferences: Comfort, Dynamic, and Efficiency.

The Personal comfort settings on the new S9000 Prestige.

These will actually alter the power of the shaver’s motor and you can feel and hear it.

The lowest power mode (Comfort) is supposed to make the shaver suitable for very sensitive skin and you would choose it by pressing the Minus side of the rocker once or twice until that mode is selected on the display.

And while it did seem to make it a tad gentler during a faster stroke, this slow-power comfort mode just ended up increasing the time it took me to complete my shave.

The same happened with the middle (Dynamic) setting, only to a lesser degree.

So my setting of choice was actually the high power mode (Efficiency) in which the shaver was still very comfortable and the performance was the best.

As a side note, my review reflects the performance of the Prestige in that high-power mode — I just didn’t find a compelling reason to use the other two.

Also, the shaver will always select the mode you last used when turning it on which is in my opinion the right way of handling this.

In conclusion, I think for most users the comfort settings are of little to no use and you should just stick to the high-power mode to get the best performance out of the new Prestige.

It stays perfectly comfortable and having the motor at full power makes a big difference to the shaver’s effectiveness and it’s just more enjoyable to use.

I have to mention again that adding a good pre-shave lotion will likely be beneficial.

My favorite one is from a brand called Speick, but you can of course use whichever works best for you.


Philips set up some high expectations regarding the closeness of its premium shavers.

For the S9000 Prestige, the product page says Up to 0.00mm skin-level closeness with our Lift & Cut System.

As we now know, that Lift&Cut thing is a refinement of the old double-edge blades (Super Lift&Cut).

The lift and cut system from Philips.
The old Super Lift & Cut system from Philips. Image credit:

Basically, the first blade would pull and raise the hair shaft while the second would actually cut it.

But from what I can tell, the gap between the two blades is now smaller than in the past, so the first blade doesn’t yank the hair as much and it’s one of the reasons why the comfort is excellent.

Here’s a macro shot I took of the old SH90 (Super Lift&Cut) and the new SH91 (Lift&Cut) of the S9000 Prestige:

SH90 vs SH91.

I always considered comfort a limiting factor in achieving a very close shave for the old double-edge blades.

But since the ones on the new Prestige are a lot more comfortable, I personally am able to get a closer shave than before.

That may not always be the case for seasoned rotary users who had no issue shaving with the more aggressive Norelcos of the past.

But for me (and I think for most men), the new ones are better.

Philips Norelco S9000 Prestige (SP9841/84)

See the price on Amazon

The new Prestige is currently the closest shaving Philips razor, but I would say it’s still on par with the previous generation (no double-edge Lift&Cut) and the new Series 9000.

I would maybe give the new Prestige a slight advantage, but it could very well be the result of my Prestige being brand new with unworn blades, whereas I’ve been using the other one for a while.

The closeness on the cheeks and even on my neck was excellent, on par with a Braun Series 9/9 Pro for example.

But on the chin and below the nose it could have been better.

Based on how the skin looks and if there are any rough patches when I run my hand against the hair grain, I would say that it’s not quite at the same level as other high-end shavers like the Panasonic Arc 5/Arc 6 or the Braun Series 9 (any variation).

The Braun S9 PRO+, Panasonic Arc 6 and Philips S9000 Prestige.
The Braun S9 PRO+, Panasonic Arc 6 and Philips S9000 Prestige.

Again, I am referring strictly to the chin and the area above the upper lip and those are always tricky for me as the hair is very thick and dense and I have to put in more effort for a smooth shave.

I would rate the new Prestige the highest for closeness from a rotary, but I think most users will get a closer shave with the aforementioned high-end foil shavers.

I also wouldn’t say it’s a noticeable improvement over the old generation or the Series 9000.

It has other pros compared to those but strictly with regards to closeness, it’s quite similar.

I am always skeptical about 0.00mm claims because there are a lot of variables when using a shaver in the real world vs a test bench.

Braun for example says its latest Series 9 PRO+ will cut the hairs at 0.05mm and at least in my case, it actually shaves a bit closer than the new Prestige.

The takeaway is that while the new Philips Prestige shaves close enough and it’s quite impressive for a rotary that is this comfortable, I didn’t find it to be much better than the current high-end Philips models.

If you’ve used rotaries before and you were happy with the closeness, I think you will be at least as happy with the Prestige.

Shaving longer hairs

If you prefer to shave less often, like twice a week, rotaries are generally a good option, as most foil razors struggle with longer stubble.

As expected, the new Prestige is just stellar with this type of hair.

Philips says it can shave a 7-day beard and I think it’s borderline reasonable (depending also on how fast the hair grows).

The most I’ve gone was 4 days and the shave was really good even with the completely flat-lying hairs on the neck.

This didn’t come as a surprise given the excellent performance of the old Prestige and the current Series 9000 (which uses the same heads).

However, I would say I liked the new Prestige a bit more because the head just floats on the skin with minimal friction and you can execute all the circular and straight strokes in perfect control.

I find it quite a bit more enjoyable than let’s say the Shaver 9500/9800 which uses the same head, but it feels bulkier because it’s larger and heavier.

And for some reason, the head is a bit draggier on the skin.

It only takes a few swirls with the Prestige to capture most of those difficult flat-lying hairs and even if they grow in different directions the shaver is still very efficient at catching them.

And it never yanked or snagged any hairs which can happen when shaving a long beard (4 days or more).

The new Philips Norelco Prestige is without a doubt one of the more capable out there when shaving longer stubble, easily at the same level as a Braun Series 9 Pro/PRO+.

It will work fine on short beards as well, but so will a much more reasonably priced foil shaver which is why I think the Prestige is particularly well-suited for users who shave less often.

Otherwise the price difference is not really justified in my opinion.

Even though I’m still not a fan of the larger angular heads of the new Prestige vs the old one, I didn’t have any major issues with it and I got used to the proportions.

Wet shaving

Generally, Philips rotaries work great with shaving cream or gel.

In the case of some shavers, the extra prep work and cleaning is not always worth it, but with the new Prestige, I think it is.

I tried it with my favorite shaving cream from Speick and I got a fantastic shave every time.

The new Philips Norelco Prestige works great with shaving cream.

It just makes everything a bit better, from comfort to closeness to how long it takes me to complete the shave — not including the prep with warm water, lathering and cleaning — those do take time.

But because shaving cream will soften the beard and provide a slick surface for the large head to glide on, shaving was a breeze.

It worked effortlessly and I could barely notice the hairs getting cut — it felt more like a gentle massage.

Interestingly, this was the only time when I actually noticed the beard density sensor doing its thing.

My guess is that the lather simply confused it and made the sensor crank up the speed. The sound got a bit more metallic and louder compared to when I shaved dry.

Overall, wet shaving with the new Philips Prestige was a great experience and I would highly recommend it.

You should give it a try or simply shave this way when you need an extra close shave, like prior to an event.

But it is absolutely vital to use a shaving cream or gel that is very slick and keep it well hydrated throughout the shave.

Otherwise, the shaving head can get stuck.

A rotary is more prone to doing that than a foil shaver since the surface of the head is larger with those three plastic slabs.


The new Philips S9000 Prestige is one of the quietest electric razors I’ve used so far.

The motor has a higher-pitched whirring sound compared to the Series 9000 but it is a bit quieter overall, even in the highest speed setting.

It also sounds a bit more refined and less rattly.

When you turn the S9000 Prestige on, it will always make this short, sudden screeching sound as the motor starts turning.

Don’t worry, there’s nothing wrong with it and the old generation did the same thing.

It clearly has a lot of torque, you even feel the shaver twitching a bit right when you press the power button.

Subjectively, I think the Prestige probably has the most powerful and quietest Philips motor right now.

Hair trimmer

The Prestige hair trimmer attachment..

So far the shaving performance of the new Philips Norelco Prestige has been really good.

I can’t however say the same about the hair trimmer attachment.

It’s just not good enough and feels like an afterthought.

First of all, you will need to constantly swap between it and the rotary head unit.

You just pull one out and press the other one in, but this constant swapping may take a toll on that plastic fitting.

Philips Prestige detached head unit.

I think it’s perfectly robust and sturdy for occasional swapping, but I would not be totally at ease doing it all the time.

And then there’s the trimmer head itself.

It’s very bulky, you can see how unnecessarily thick the plastic edge is and it’s wonky and cumbersome to use for precision stuff like edging and tweaking sideburns.

Top view of the Prestige trimmer attachment.

And the blade isn’t that effective and requires many passes to cut the hairs and it just can’t cut them close enough to the skin.

I prefer an integrated solution like a pop-up trimmer, but for the Prestige and its design compatible with the Qi pad, that probably wasn’t an option.

The Prestige with the trimmer attachment held in hand.

But even Philips integrated trimmers are mediocre at best.

I personally use these trimmers a lot for my sideburns and the one that comes with the Prestige is just poor.

Panasonic makes by far the best integrated trimmers, there’s really no comparison.

I actually used the trimmer of an Arc 5 while reviewing the Prestige because I just couldn’t get it done with its attachment.

It will however be pretty good at pre-trimming the entire beard if you haven’t shaved in a long while.

Not as good as a dedicated beard trimmer of course, but more suitable than a pop-up trimmer.

Also, some models like the S9000 Prestige SP9883/35 come with an upgraded trimmer that has an adjustable comb if you just want to trim down your beard to a certain length.

But the rest of the negatives mentioned above are still there.

Replacement parts availability

The new Philips Prestige shavers use the SH91 replacement shaving heads.

These cutters are now the most advanced Philips rotary cutters and replace the discontinued SH98 of the old Prestige.

Philips SH91 Replacement Heads


See the price on Amazon

However, the performance is very similar and the SH91 are also backward compatible with the first Prestige series.

According to Philips, they should be replaced every two years.

In practice, rotary cutters tend to be quite durable and sometimes they can outlast the two years timeframe.

But this will also depend on several factors (shaving frequency, coarseness of the beard, cleaning, and so on).

Func fact: on the USA Philips Norelco website, the recommended changing interval is one year, while on the European page that’s bumped to two years.

From past experience, two years is a realistic timeframe.

The SH91 heads are pricey but in line with the replacement parts of other high-end shavers from Braun or Panasonic.

The good part is that they will likely outlast those, that’s one of the pros of using a rotary.

Cleaning and maintenance

When it comes to cleaning, there are two ways you can go about it in the case of the new S9000 Prestige.

We have of course the usual manual cleaning which is generally straightforward and quick.

But we also have the option of automatic cleaning with the Quick Clean Pod.

My unit didn’t come with a pod, but I already had a couple at hand from other Philips razors, so I was able to try one with my shaver.

And it didn’t go as smoothly as I thought it would, but we’ll get to that as well.

Let’s first quickly check out how to clean the shaver manually.

Manual cleaning

All Philips Prestige models are IPX7 waterproof, so we can safely rinse the shaver clean after each use.

Once I finish my shave, I turn off the shaver, pop open the head, and rinse everything generously with warm tap water.

Rinsing the head with tap water.

Having a flip-open hinged head is very handy. With the old generation, you would pry off the top part of the shaving head with your fingernails.

Performing this simple routine after every shave should remove most of the clipped hairs from a dry shave.

If you use shaving cream or gel to shave, I would strongly recommend cleaning the shaving head with a bit of liquid soap as well.

After rinsing the head as described above, close the head unit, pour some liquid hand soap on the outside of the cutters then turn the shaver on.

Cleaning the Philips Prestige with water and soap.

Use your finger to evenly spread the soap over the three cutters and let it run for around 20 seconds.

Rinse the shaving head with warm water (while the shaver is still running).

Rinsing the soap off the shaving head.

After that, turn it off, open the head unit again and give everything one final rinse under the tap.

Gently shake off the excess water and let the shaver air dry with the head open.

If you only shave dry, rinsing the shaving head with just water (no soap) should suffice.

In time, some grime and dirt might build up inside the three cutters and in that case you would need to remove and clean each guard and blade individually.

It’s very important not to intermix the guards and blades because they are matching pairs.

Mixing them will likely affect the cutting performance and it will take a while until it’s restored. The lifespan of the blades can also decrease, so again it’s best not to mix them.

The best way to prevent that from happening is to clean the three cutters one by one.

First, remove the hinged cutting unit by pulling it straight off the shaver.

The detached hinged head unit.

It should come out easily.

Next, remove the blue locking ring of a cutter by twisting it counterclockwise. It should pop right out.

You can now remove the blade and guard pair and clean it.

Removing each cutter (one at a time).

Rinse both with warm tap water and if there’s still some hardened grime you can very gently use a wooden toothpick to remove it.

Rinsing the guard with water.

Once everything is clean, put the guard and blade back in the holder and lock the ring in place by pressing and turning it clockwise.

You should hear a click as it snaps in place and locks the cutter.

Repeat the process for the other two cutters.

Normally this deep cleaning shouldn’t be necessary if you do the simple cleaning routine above after each shave.

It also should never be needed if you clean your Prestige with the Quick Clean Pod.

So let’s see what that is like.

Automatic cleaning: the Quick Clean Pod

Philips first introduced the Quick Clean Pod with the new Series 7000 and it marked a shift in their approach to automatic cleaning systems.

Precisely, they dropped the old, full-fledged stations (called SmartClean).

Those were completely automatic systems that charged, cleaned and dried the shaver.

The new Quick Clean Pod is a very basic device that doesn’t run on electricity, doesn’t charge the shaver and has no electronic logic built in.

The Philips Quick Clean Pod.
The Philips Quick Clean Pod.

Instead, it actually uses power from the shaver to do its thing.

The pod is essentially a plastic container with a cleaning cartridge inside.

The cartridge contains a detergent solution which cleans and lubricates the cutting heads.

The Quick clean pod with the lid off.
The Quick clean pod with the lid off.

Once the cartridge is placed inside the tub, you can put the pod lid on and twist it clockwise to secure it.

The cartridge inside the quick clean pod.

The pod lid is a key component of the system as it’s fitted with an impeller that spins inside a protruding tube and draws liquid from the cartridge.

This impeller is mounted on a shaft that splines into that tiny metal piece in the center of the shaver.

Top view of the pod.
Top view of the pod. You can see the small shaft at the center.

When the shaver is on, that piece will spin and turn the impeller, causing the fluid to be sucked from the cartridge and flushed into the cleaning chamber where the shaving head sits.

It’s a simple and quite smart system, its portability and compact form being the main pros of the new cleaning pod.

But it does have some limitations.

First of all, it will not charge or dry the shaver (since it’s not electrically powered).

Secondly, the cartridge doesn’t have a filter, so any clipped hairs from a previous cleaning can get sucked from the cartridge.

I would often find some on the shaving head which isn’t something you’d expect after an automatic cleaning that should do a better job than me.

But let’s see how it actually works.

Once the cartridge is inside and the pod lid is in place, you would place the shaver with the front facing you and press the power button.

The Philips Norelco Prestige inside the Quick Clean Pod.

Now, with the Prestige models that include the pod (like the SP9841/84), doing this will cause the shavers to enter a cleaning mode.

The shaver knows it’s placed inside the pod and instead of running continuously, it would turn itself on and off during the cycle.

After one minute the shaver will turn off completely by itself.

But how does the shaver know when it’s placed inside the Pod since it doesn’t have any electronics built-in whatsoever?

Well, the new Prestige (and other Philips shavers that include a Pod) are fitted with an accelerometer. (Props to Allan for the explanation).

This accelerometer detects when the shaver is upside down and still, assuming that it must be placed inside the Pod.

As a result, when you press the power button it would automatically enter the cleaning mode (even if the shaver is not inside the Pod and you just hold it still, upside-down).

Side note: the accelerometer also detects when you grab the shaver, so that’s why the Lift-to-wake feature only works on the Prestige models that came with a pod.

During the cleaning mode, the fluid will be pushed through the shaving head and will clean it quite effectively, despite the occasional hair clippings.

There will be quite a bit of foam, especially on the inside of the shaving head, so you will definitely need to let it air dry after that (with the head flipped open).

The detergent based solution can foam after a cleaning cycle.

My shaver didn’t come with a cleaning Pod, but I expected it would be fully compatible with one.

And why wouldn’t it be — after all, it even came with that tiny metal piece that’s made specifically for the pod.

However, this was the second unpleasant surprise with this new Prestige model (alongside the charging issue).

For some reason, Philips did not include an accelerometer and my shaver doesn’t enter the cleaning mode when placed inside a Pod.

When I pressed the power button, the shaver would just run continuously.

So you will need to turn it off yourself after around 1 minute.

Here’s a video I took that shows this behavior:

Cleaning a half-compatible Philips S9000 Prestige with the Quick Clean Pod

The cleaning still works though — the fluid is still being pushed through the shaving head and seems to be just as effective.

But it’s again a very petty move to deliberately skimp on including a basic accelerometer with the Prestige models that don’t come with a Pod.

For comparison, here’s how the cleaning cycle goes for a fully compatible shaver (in this case my Series 9000 Shaver 9500):

Cleaning a fully compatible shaver with the Quick Clean Pod

To my surprise, the cleaning solution didn’t foam too much. I thought it would be a lot worse since the shaver runs continuously, but it wasn’t.

So if you choose to buy a Philips Prestige without a pod — maybe you already have one or decide to get one later on — it will still work.

But it won’t be fully compatible, in the sense that it will run continuously inside the pod and you will need to turn it off yourself.

The cleaning fluid lasts a lot, especially if you remove the cartridge and put the screw lid back on.

The Quick Clean Pod cartridge.

Since the pod is a very basic device, it can’t signal an empty cartridge or an over-contaminated solution, so you will have to decide for yourself when it’s time for a new one.

I personally wouldn’t use it for more than 3 months though (for hygiene considerations).

You can buy a new pod cartridge or use some Philips JetClean fluid which is the same stuff.

I still have a bottle from back in the day so I simply empty the cartridge, give it a quick rinse and fill it with some JetClean solution.

I think this can be a more economical solution. You can also buy third-party solutions like the one from Shaver Shebang.

Overall, I’d say the Quick Clean Pod is a decent solution if you don’t want to clean the shaver manually.

I would however suggest removing the hair clippings from the shaver’s head unit (using the small brush) before cleaning it in the pod.

As already mentioned, it doesn’t have a mesh filter so you definitely don’t want all of those clipped hairs ending up in the cartridge.

The pod is clearly not as capable as a full-fledged station, but it’s practical, compact and economical.

The cleaning solution is very effective and if you use the pod regularly you shouldn’t have any issues with dirt buildups.

I wouldn’t say the Quick Clean Pod is a must-have for the new Prestige but it’s a decent solution if we factor in its effectiveness, costs and ease of use.

I personally would get it (paired with a fully compatible Prestige model) over the wireless charging feature.

Wrap-up — Should you buy the new Philips Prestige?

I have to admit that I did not expect to enjoy shaving with the new Philips Prestige this much.

In fact, given my previous experience with the rather bulky Series 9000 which uses the same head unit, I thought it would only be a more expensive, nicer Series 9000.

But all the extra little things add up to a very capable and impressive machine.

The very refined and torquey motor, along with the ergonomic body and the effortless gliding of the head make a noticeable difference.

Overall, the new Philips S9000 Prestige is a very comfortable, effective and close shaving razor.

Philips Norelco S9000 Prestige (SP9841/84)

Philips Norelco S9000 Prestige (SP9841/84)

See the price on Amazon

It’s arguably the most gentle rotary I’ve ever used and its effectiveness on longer, flat-lying hairs is among the very best.

For sheer closeness and power, I think most users should still consider a foil shaver like the Panasonic Arc 5 or Arc 6.

But as far as rotaries go, this one is a safe bet for anyone if the budget is not a problem.

I am a bit let down by a few aspects which are mostly specific to the Qi wireless model I got.

Precisely, the limited compatibility with the cleaning pods and the disabled wired charging port.

Those could have easily been rectified by the manufacturer.

And then there’s the price — the new Philips Norelco Prestige costs a premium, especially in Europe.

So in terms of value for money, I don’t think it fares as well as let’s say the Philips Series 9000 (Shaver 9500/9800) or an older Panasonic Arc 5 (ES-LV65, ES-LV67).

So let’s check out a few alternatives, starting with a couple of shavers in Philips’ very own lineup.


Philips Norelco new vs old Prestige vs Series 9000

The Philips Series 9000, old S9000 Prestige and new S9000 Prestige.
The Philips Series 9000, old S9000 Prestige and new S9000 Prestige.

If you’re looking to buy a high-end Philips rotary, you will most likely have to choose between the old or new Prestige models.

The old one is still available and oftentimes it costs significantly less than the new one, making it a very appealing option.

Philips S9000 Prestige (old model)

Philips Norelco Series 9000 Prestige SP9820

See the price on Amazon

So let’s settle that first — old vs new Philips Norelco Prestige comparison.

New vs old Philips Prestige.

Here’s a short, on-point summary of the truly important aspects.

  • Both have very similar shaving performance; they have the same motor with the same comfort settings and the shape and ergonomics of the handle are identical.
  • I find the comfort and closeness to be on the same level, although some users might find the new one to shave a bit closer (thanks to the double-edge blades). You can also upgrade the old Prestige to the double-edge blades (SH91).
  • The new Prestige comes with the larger angular heads, which make it a bit more cumbersome to use when shaving below the nose or around the sideburns.
  • The head of the new Prestige however seems to glide on the skin easier which sort of makes up for the larger size.
  • The new Prestige series comes with a flip-open head which is more practical.
  • The old model on the other hand has a premium brushed aluminum body, while the new one comes in plastic.
  • The wired charging is disabled on the new Prestige models that come with the Qi charging pad. With the old generation, you had the option of wired charging.
  • Both are compatible with the SH91 heads, so you can safely buy the old model if you feel like it’s a good match and you get a great deal on it.
  • The old models can usually be bought for less money.

If you already own the previous generation, I don’t think there are enough pros to call the new one a significant upgrade.

In fact, it manages to one-up the new Prestige in several ways (metal body, wireless+wired charging, better value for money).

I think you’d be better off just upgrading the cutters to the SH91 when it’s time to replace them.

If you’re on the fence about which one to buy, both are really good options for a high-end, capable rotary.

So it just comes down to what matters most to you from the above list of pros and cons.

I left the Series 9000 out as that one is in a different price range.

Compared to the two Prestige models, the Series 9000 (Shaver 9400, 9500 or 9800) has a more reasonable price, but doesn’t feel quite as refined.

The Philips Norelco 9500.
The Philips Norelco Series 9000 (Shaver 9500)

Despite the even more impressive looks (it gives out a very futuristic, high-tech vibe), it just feels slightly below the Prestige sub-series.

The motor is more rattly, but the biggest drawback is in my opinion the large, bulky body which along with the same angular heads make it feel a bit wonky during use.

The Series 9000 motor is also slightly less powerful, running at 2100 RPM vs the Prestige’s 2300 RPM (in the high power Efficiency mode).

But the actual performance isn’t much different if you can put up with its quirks — it’s still powerful, comfortable and shaves close (it comes with the same SH91 heads).

Moreover, it has an integrated trimmer (although it’s not that great), a feature-rich OLED display and a companion smartphone app (which to some is just a gimmick, myself included).

But again, the biggest pros of the Series 9000 over the Prestige sub-series are the price and value for money.

If the Prestige (new or old) is out of your budget, the Series 9000 can be a perfectly fine alternative. You’re just giving up on some of the nice extras — refinement and ergonomics.

Foil shavers

If you’ve never used a rotary, but would like a shaver that is gentle and can handle longer hair, the Braun Series 9 would be a safe choice for most men.

I think the basic Series 9 is easily good enough and you don’t need to spend more on the Pro or PRO+ models.

The new Series 9 in Graphite (left) and in matte Silver (right).

You can if you just want the newer shaver, but it won’t be significantly better. You can read my review of the Series 9 Pro and Series 9 PRO+ for all the details and buying options.

The 5 or 6-blade Panasonic models are also worth considering but keep in mind that those will mainly work best on short stubble, so they’re probably not a perfect match for someone who was considering a rotary like the Prestige.

But if you shave regularly (daily or up to every two days), a 5-blade Arc 5 Panasonic would be a great pick.

The ES-LV65-S is a very capable electric shaver that can deliver a really close shave.

For most users, it will provide a closer shave than the Philips Prestige or any other rotary.

The older Arc 5 generation in particular can often be bought at a great price. For example, the ES-LV65 or ES-LV67.

The Arc 6 is somewhat more comfortable than the Arc 5, but also costs a lot more, which is why I think the latter will be a better buy.

And that pretty much concludes my evaluation of the latest Philips (Norelco) Prestige.

If you have any questions or you’d like to share your experience with it, please leave a comment below.

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Hey. I’m Ovidiu, the founder and editor of ShaverCheck. I independently buy and test electric shavers and I’ve been sharing my findings on this site for more than 10 years, hopefully helping others choose a suitable shaver.

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153 thoughts on “New Philips Norelco S9000 Prestige Review: Better Than Ever?”

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  1. Thank you so much for this very descriptive and informative review.
    As always, you went the extra mile to mention even the tiniest details, which most other reviewers will definitely miss.

    Regarding the shaver itself: It’s a real bummer that Philips basically simply switched the shaving head and went for plastic instead of Metal to reduce costs. The new Prestige doesn’t even come with the much better OLED display of the regular 9000 Series and it seems petty that they’ve disabled wired charging and cleaning pod detection.

    I always wanted to buy the old Prestige back in the days, but was always hesitant. And with the bulky Shaving heads of the newer models, I guess I’ll wait until Philips rectifies them and introduces a newer generation in a few years.

    • Nico,

      Thank you so much for the comment and feedback.

      I totally agree, as a shaving machine it’s really good but one can’t overlook the aspects you’ve mentioned.

      I think it’ll be a while until wee see a major shift, Philips seems to be all in with the new heads and the cleaning pods.


      • Hi Amir,

        For the area right under the chin I find the Panasonic Arc 5 and Arc 6 to work really well. But on the neck they are effective only if the stubble is short and grows relatively straight. Otherwise a Braun Series 9 or 9 Pro would be a better option, even though the closeness won’t be quite as good as in the case of the Panasonic shavers.

        The S9000 Prestige in this review also works remarkably well on the neck even if the hairs are longer and stay flat on the skin, but unless you’ve used a rotary before (with good results) the aforementioned foil shavers would be a safer choice.


  2. By the way: Some models, like the SP9883/35, come with a nicer trimmer that even has a guard with different length settings. It seems to be the same trimmer that was sold back in the day with some models of the old Series 9000 shaver.

    But all Prestige models lack the charging dock that the regular S9000 offers, which is another bummer. It’s like Philips is taking one step forward (more comfortable shave with smooth gliding) and many steps backward (no proper Clean Pod support with Qi model, no wired charging with Qi model, no charging dock in general, less premium materials than old Prestige, no OLED screen) with this new product.

    And that’s too bad, because it’s a nice looking shaver that easily could be a great product if Philips didn’t cut corners and put more effort in it. But to me, it seems like the same lazy upgrade Braun recently did with the Series 9 Pro+.

    • That’s correct, some do come with a trimmer fitted with an adjustable comb. It is to my knowledge only available with a few non-USA models.

      They really did skimp on some things that should come standard with a shaver in this price range.


  3. Hi Ovidiu,

    Excellent review as always.

    I own SP9883/35 model (in Australia) which comes with a cleaning pod. It works perfectly fine and it switches off after 1 min. It also has raise feature when you pick up the shaver the screen comes on.

    Another thing – it is made from metal like the old prestige and looks fantastic in champagne gold.

    I do know that some prestige models are made from plastic but it seems that top end model that comes with the cleaning pod is still made from metal.

    Hope this helps.

    • Hi Miki,

      Thanks so much for the feedback and info — that’s really interesting. Philips never offered any explicit info regarding the metal and plastic models, but from what I can tell the fully specced ones (that come with the Qi pad and the Pod) also have a metal body and the lift to wake feature. But I will need to look more into this.

      Again, I really appreciate you took the time to share this. Hope you’re enjoying your new Prestige.


      • Hi Ovidiu,

        Can you try something? When you put your shaver into a cleaning pod and switch it on, move the handle towards you while the cleaning is still going. At one point the shaver may detect the cleaning cycle (you will see a blue icon on the handle).

        I just heard that Philips had a bad batch of prestige shavers and cleaning mode sensor was not working as intended.

        If yours goes into a cleaning mode after you adjust the handle by pulling it and holding it towards you then you may have a defective unit and therefore should get a replacement.

        Hope this makes sense and is helpful.

        • Hi Miki,

          Many thanks for the heads up (again).

          I tried it and fiddled with it but to no avail. Even when I cleaned it for the first time I did something similar assuming that maybe the shaver just doesn’t sit right and can’t detect the pod.

          Can I ask where you got the info regarding the possible faulty units? I did try to search for a press release or something but couldn’t find anything.


          • Hi Ovidiu,

            Apologies for the delayed response.

            I received this information form Philips Australia after having an issue with a battery not holding charge on SP9883/35 unit I bought. The customer service told me that due to supply shortages there was a temporary supply from a different supplier causing bad batteries to be installed in some units. They also had some issues with the accelerometer not installed properly causing a cleaning mode not to be detected correctly. Not sure if the problem is that wide spread to warrant a recall which is why there may not be any press releases.

            For my defective unit Philips ran out of SP9883 model and offered me SP9886 (space grade steel – blue colour which looks fantastic). Upon receiving the new unit it was obvious that it was made fully of plastic. I enquired with Philips and confirmed that SP9883 is also made of plastic but because of it’s shiny (rather than matte) finish it looks more like metal. The feel was also smoother than the matte SP9886.

            Sincere apologies for disinformation in my previous post.

    • We here in US has a model called 9883/83, not sure if that is the same as yours. It does come with cleaning pod and Qi charger. And not sure if it is metal body. How can I find that out?

  4. Ovidiu: another great review and a very accurate and fair one at that. I marvel at the depth and thoroughness to which you go in your assessment. I feel myself privileged to have found this site. I’ve nothing really to add to what you wrote other than to agree with pretty much every statement. Thanks for taking the time to do this.

    • Wayne,

      Thank you so much, it means a lot. It’s always reassuring knowing that these reviews are genuinely useful to the reader. Thank you again for taking the time to leave a comment.


  5. Hi Ovidiu! Great rundown as usual – I’m now in receipt of the SP9886/89 “Space-Grade Steel” Prestige model, which the Philips North America website says is “no longer available” although it’s the latest model to hit US shores (an observation on this later).

    Some initial thoughts (haven’t shaved with it yet) that essentially mirror yours. It’s a very attractive shaver, in sort of a dark royal blue with light bronze/champagne accents. Very nice on the eyes. It’s also a QI model, and one improvement in my opinion is that the black plastic part of the charger is now a matte finish, unlike the old glossy piano black, so should show fingerprints and scratches less. It came with a Quick Clean Pod, which I haven’t tried, but I like the convenience on my other 9000 series shavers, and I assume will work the same (the Pod + QI is only available with the premium priced “Space-Grade Steel” in the US). The Quick Clean Pod in this model is different than the Pods for my other 9000 series, with a slightly larger opening and a slight elevation in the back, so rounding back to the “unavailable” note from Philips (it IS available on Amazon), the Pod itself doesn’t appear to have any replacements. Anywhere. The pod cartridges fit both styles, but the other style of Pod (with the flat top) is pretty much available anywhere. Not this one, and the shaver does NOT fit the standard Pod that fits my 9000 series or 7000 series shavers for example, so if damaged I’m out of luck for a replacement, at least currently.

    I can also confirm the plastic body, and like you regard it as a step down from the earlier premium metal Prestige. They both feel similar in the hand, essentially the same weight (6.9 oz for the new model, 6.8 oz for the old), I have both the QI and cord charging versions of previous Prestige models and both charge fine with a metal case, so no real apparent advantage to plastic other than manufacturing costs for Philips. Looks nice, but not as premium for feel and look as the old metal case of the previous Prestige. As an additional observation even the cheaper 9000/7000 series models have metal cladding on the outside.

    I can also confirm “lift to wake” works for this model. Nice to have some consistency. Same detachable trimmer as you observed, and I actually like this feature – it works well enough for me, and is a lot easier to replace than an integrated trimmer if it breaks (which it has done on a variety of shavers of mine over the years, including Panasonic and Braun) – just throw it away and pop on the replacement (about $10 US). Wear on the head removing and replacing remains to be seen as you also commented, and it’s a pretty tight attachment on the new shaver, but TBD.

    The head appears identical to the other 9000 series models, so the shave should be identical (which is excellent as you report). It seems to be a quieter shaver than any I’ve used to date, from any manufacturer. I think I’m going to like it, pluses and minuses together, but for the premium price Philips could have done better, so as a value for money proposition not as good as the earlier Prestige or the 9000 series IMO.

  6. Almost an “Aha!” moment! Reading through the posts, since the Quick Clean Pod appears to be different for the Prestige and the other 9000/7000 series shavers, I thought the Pod shape might have something to do with the shaver not initiating the timer. Short answer – no. Doing a little experimenting, the new Prestige DOES fit in the “old” style Quick Clean Pods (just not as stable or solidly). So good news if I lose or break the new Pod – the old one can be used in a pinch. Not so good news for trying to get the no-Pod-included Prestige models to work normally, the shaver(s) purchased with the Pod perform the quick 1 minute run in both style Pods – the Pod shape makes no difference. Back to the drawing board.

    • Hi Allan,

      Thank you so much for the excellent rundown — I was looking forward to your thoughts on the SP9886/89. I did contemplate getting that one as well, but it’s really getting out of hand. 🙂

      To me the most surprising thing is that the SP9886/89 also comes with a plastic body. And that also busts the idea that all the range-topping models (with both the Pod and the QI pad) have a metal body. So they might be region-specific after all (available in Australia, maybe Europe).

      I did notice that my shaver wobbled a bit inside the Pod (I only have the Pods included with my Series 7000 and 9000, so no hump on the back of the shavers). But that middle piece was definitely spinning the Pod shaft and the fluid was being pumped. And since the Pod doesn’t have any electronics in it, the shaver can’t just refuse to pair with one and the size of the opening doesn’t make a difference. So I definitely agree with you, the cleaning mode is disabled altogether on the models like my SP9872 (no Pod included).

      But the shave is nevertheless great and I hope you’ll enjoy shaving with your new Prestige. 🙂


  7. Thanks Ovidiu!

    Quick observations after the shakedown cruise this morning – probably the best, most comfortable shave I’ve had from a rotary shaver (maybe to include foils as well). As far as fit for purpose/function, Philips has produced a winner here from my perspective. Better than the standard Prestige or 9000 series from a shaving standpoint, looks or design aside, and worth the price of admission for what it’s primarily designed to do – deliver a quick, close, comfortable shave, superior to the competition (internal and external). The flip-top and cleaning station are added bonuses. Overall a great effort, and I think it’s now my top shaver, although one swallow does not a summer make. 🙂

    That aside, I remain curious as to why the timer function for cleaning only works with the models which include the Quick Clean Pods. And I think I have an answer – the lack of a “lift to wake” function in the non-Pod shavers was a clue. Back in my dim Jurassic past, I was once a once a modestly capable programmer, among many things. Based on that, I believe all of the new Prestige models have basically the same firmware/software integral to the shaver. Too complicated and expensive to design them differently. That would include a timer and lift-to-wake function, built-in. Philips didn’t disable them. What they DID, was leave out a simple accelerometer in the non-Pod shavers. I tested this by just holding the shaver motionless, upside-down, and turning it on. The cleaning timer initiated, because the shaver “thought” it was in a cleaning pod. That requires an accelerometer for the shaver to “know” its orientation. That’s missing in the non-Pod shavers, although I’m almost certain there’s a spot for one on the circuit board – it would make no sense to design a different board for the same case. A commercial mini-accelerometer for a board costs about $10, or less. Philips probably gets them discounted. The only way for the timer to work is for it to be activated by the accelerometer when the power button is pressed and the shaver detects that it’s inverted – same for activating the percent charge display when lifted.

    So that’s my educated guess, right or wrong. I’m not privy to Philips’ marketing strategy, but I expect the idea was that people who wanted a cleaning pod would pay extra for the bundled kit, and people who didn’t wouldn’t buy one. I think they missed out on the opportunity to sell aftermarket pods (and cartridges) for their considerable markup, potentially sell more shavers and more than make up the difference, but I’m not in the business. For a premium price, they certainly wouldn’t be hurt either way, but c’est la vie. It IS a great shaver in any iteration, and I’m fortunate to have one.

    • Allan, you are THE man. That’s it — that’s the explanation. I even tried it with my Series 7000 which comes with a Pod and also has the Lift to Wake thing — and lo and behold, it simply enters the Cleaning mode when inverted. It doesn’t even matter if I press the power button before or after holding it upside down. And that also explains why the cleaning mode just stops when you lift it from the pod (during the cleaning cycle), the accelerometer just detects the motion and any slight tilting will stop it.

      This was the missing part of the puzzle, so thank you so much for sharing it with the community. And I agree 100%, it is a missed opportunity to sell more Pods. And I know from numerous past discussions that some users simply decide to buy a cleaning station later on. Maybe they changed their mind regarding the merit of such a device or didn’t have the budget for the full option model at that time. But Philips’ decision just doesn’t feel quite right. And I don’t think it benefits them or the users.

      PS: I did suspect you’ll love shaving with the new model, so I’m glad to have the confirmation as well.


  8. I’ve been a part of the wet shaving community for more than five decades – certainly long before there was an “Internet!” 🙂 And I’ve amassed a considerable “collection” of razors, both electric and blade. So I’ve seen first-hand the progress in shaving devices – most notably the electric variety (a straight razor today is indistinguishable from those used by Napoleon, and conceptually the same as those used by Julius Caesar. Cartridges have come and gone, and come again, and the SE and DE have evolved from the late 1800s, but a blade is basically a blade). And having reviewed a few, I know the research and work involved, so I’d like to take the opportunity to thank you for this site and for your considerable efforts in supporting the electric shaving community. Blade users have resources aplenty, everywhere, but an in-depth, comprehensive electric site is a rara avis. Data shows that cartridge/disposable users are the majority of shavers – in the US – but a close second are electric razors, and actually #1 in older demographics. Your reviews are accurate, thorough and unbiased, very useful for “comparison shopping” and actual user input is invaluable for hands-on opinion. Thank you again for such a great site!

    • You’re too kind, Allan. Thank you so much for the support, you made my day.

      You are absolutely right — the content related to wet shaving is abundant, with wonderful forums, subreddits and sites. I’ve been reading them ever since I was 15 years old and trying to do something about my shaving issues.

      When I decided to try an electric shaver and learn more about the topic, there was a stark contrast: only a few sites with thin content written by people who probably never used an electric shaver. So I pretty much had to rely on trial and error and for the next 10 years or so I bought and used various shavers and I learned (the hard way) a lot. And at one point, approximately 11 years ago, I thought it might be useful to others as well, so the natural thing to do was to create a website.

      Interacting and talking to other users in the community offers some invaluable perspectives and information. I think the user comments on this site are at least as useful as the content I posted over the years and I’m constantly humbled by the support and insightful feedback I get.

      So thank you for your contribution and for sticking around. 🙂


  9. Hi Ovidiu,

    Can you please tell me what is top of the range rotary shaver from Philips that can be charged with the charger. I am not interested in the wireless models. You recommend Prestige model 2023 or previous model aluminium build
    Is this the one? SP9841/84
    I am looking to buy it in UK, but I can’t find it.
    At the moment I am using Panasonic ES -EV65.
    Many thanks,

    • Hi Mace,

      I actually recommend both, but you should choose the one that makes more sense to you. For example, if you can get a great deal on the older one, it might just be a better buy. Or maybe you care more about some features of the new one like the flip-open head. Towards the end of the review above I go into more details regarding these differences between the new and the old one.

      The SP9841/84 is a USA model, so you will not find it in the UK. You should consider any UK models that do NOT come with the QI wireless pad because those can 100% be charged with a wired charger. A few such models are the SP9840/31 (new model) or the SP9820/18 (old model).

      Out of curiosity, is there any particular reason you’re not happy with the ES-LV65? Also, have you used a rotary before? I just want to make sure that the Prestige (which is an expensive shaver) will actually have a good chance of providing a better shave.


  10. I have an odd question, but it’s been a while since I’ve last used a Rotary Shaver and I’m curious:

    How good are they at shaving around a beard, let’s say a Goatee or Henriquatre, for instance? Of course a foil shaver will always be better at shaving straight lines, but would it be possible at all to get good/satisfactory results with a Rotary Shaver when shaving around a beard?

    The only way I could think of how that would be possible is by using a finger as a sort of “breakpoint”, so it’s impossible to shave into the beard.

    Do you have any experience with that, Ovidiu?

    • Hi Ovidiu, thanks for getting back to me. I am happy with the Panasonic ES-LV65 but I find annoying the battery life. I get only around 3 shavings from a full battery. I was thinking to replace the battery to see if it makes a difference but haven’t done it yet. Anyway I know that it lasts only 45 minutes where the Prestige new or old is 60 minutes.
      Also on the Panasonic I have the new ES9040 foils and they work great but they don’t seem to be as efficient as when I first installed them. That was February this year.
      I feel that the Phillips rotary is a more comfortable shaver for my skin and it will blades will last longer. Used to have a HQ8270 and it was fantastic, I used it for 8 years but now I want to upgrade to the best rotary. I was thinking to import from USA, but since there is no difference between the USA and UK model i may buy it from here.

      • You are very welcome.

        I agree, the battery is the one thing where the high-end Panasonic shavers lag behind Philips and Braun. Even the latest Arc 5 models come with the same battery as the first generation. Replacing it is an option and can be done fairly easy. I go into more details on that in this comment.

        After 9 months of constant use you will notice a performance drop with the current set of foils and blades but they probably can still provide a decent shave for a while. I would highly recommend the use of a lubricating spray like the Andis CoolCare Plus, it seems to revive partially worn out blades.

        Given your previous experience with the HQ8270, the latest Prestige is a valid option. I would definitely consider getting a local UK model, there’s really no point in importing one from the USA. The battery is significantly better compared to the one in your current shaver and the blades should last longer as well.


    • Hi Nico,

      The short answer is that they won’t be ideal, especially the ones with these new larger heads. A foil shaver with a decent integrated trimmer is in my opinion the best compromise to achieve this without the need of a second device for edging/trimming. You will need to be a lot more careful with a rotary and be more progressive as you can mess up a straight edge more easily.

      I mention the trimmer because the hairs at the very edge of the goatee will need to be short when you want to clean the area with a shaver (rotary or foil). So you would first use the trimmer which is a lot better at edging and then follow up with the shaver to clean the remaining stubble and use the breakpoint technique you mentioned.


      • Hi Ovidiu,

        Thank you for your reply and your insights, they confirm what I suspected. And of course, trimming before shaving is a must – I didn’t mention it in my comment before, because that should go without saying. Otherwise, it’s impossible to get straight lines and a clean look, regardless of what type of shaver one is using.

        Thanks again, I appreciate it!

        Best regards,

  11. Hi Ovidiu,

    Thank you for a very informative review. I purchased one of these as find a rotary shaver suits my skin type the best. I have tried foil in the past and always had stray hairs that just did not get removed so ended up scraping a normal razor across my face and exasperating my sensative skin issue so defeated the object.
    Anyway, I digress. One thing that no one ever mentions in reviews of this razor is the water that always seem to leak from the bottom drain hole.
    I always shave wet with shaving gel and run the head under the hot tap before I start, No matter how much I shake the razor, water always seems to drip from the bottom wetting whatever top I am wearing at the time. Am I doing something wrong?
    I really don’t understand why the drain hole is there, surely can’t Philips make the whole unit water tight so any stray water could just be wiped off the exterior.

    • Hi Steve,

      Many thanks for the comment and feedback.

      I personally have only noticed this when rinsing the shaver with tap water (after I finish shaving). Other models from other brands also exhibit this quirk.

      But getting back to shaving wet, I almost never rinse the shaving head under the tap regardless if I’m using a rotary or foil. Doing so will really “saturate” the shaving head with water which in turn will make the lather on my face way too watery and foil shavers also splash water a lot since the blades move so much faster. And lastly, there’s the problem you mentioned with water dripping on my shirt.

      Instead, I hydrate the lather on my face as needed using my free hand. If I do rinse the shaving head under the tap, I do it very briefly so there wouldn’t be any water passing through the shaver and dripping from the bottom. The only purpose of that is to remove excess lather from the outside of the shaving head (which isn’t much in my case since I only use a thin layer of watery lather).

      Other manufacturers use this design as well so there wouldn’t be any water trapped inside the shaving head.


    • I shave wet, and rinse the head fairly frequently. Between the large area of the head and the body of the shaver, it does retain a fair amount of water. The drain hole was designed to reduce this, and IS effective – the trick is not to shake it, but to hold the razor head-down a bit to remove most of the water from the head, then hold it vertically (head up) and just let gravity take over until most of the water leaves (a matter if a few seconds). Each razor has its particular quirks, and this one is not new to Philips – the new Prestige in fact seems to drain faster than the earlier (round head plastic body) 9000 series. Only impacts wet shavers, so probably not an issue with 90+ percent of users.

  12. Do you know that if 9883/83 is metal body or plastic, cannot find anywhere has the info. I’m in US and debating this with old version because I really like the metal feel.

    • Hi Calvin,

      I’m afraid I also couldn’t find any reliable info on that. I only know from another reader of the site that the SP9883/35 which is the model sold in the UK and Australia does in fact come with a metal body. But I don’t know anything for sure about the USA SP9883/83. That said, from all the USA models, this one is more likely to come with a metal body. But again, I do not know this for a fact.


  13. Hi Ovidiu, I sent you a few photos hopefully these arrived.

    I just noticed another interesting thing – the non-compatible models with pod have a different cleaning symbol. For example, in the photo in your review under the section 5. Cordless, wet/dry operation, the symbol for cleaning is a little tap/faucet. This is the same as original Prestige.

    On the new Prestige models that come with the pod the cleaning symbol is three droplets positioned in a circle (similar symbol to S9000). These droplets flash 2x in white colour when cleaning is required and then disappear. During the cleaning cycle these droplets flash blue. Once cleaned, the droplets again flash 2x in white colour and then disappear.

    Hopefully this makes sense and helps.

    • Hi Tony,

      Thanks for the comment — do you happen to have it or know from a reliable source? In the images it does look like metal, but so do some of the others that turned out to be plastic.


  14. Amazon reviews indicate the SP9841 is plastic, and from photos it certainly appears to be no different than the other variants. Not a significant negative IMO, other than cosmetic, but perceived build quality is a step back from the original.

  15. Hey Ovidiu,

    Great review, as always.

    I had one question I didn’t see addressed… On some sights I see cutting numbers for the SP9841/84 of 165,000 cpm (vs 150,000 for other non SP models). Does this mean the motor is spinning faster (I assume as both models list 72 blades) Is that a prestige vs regular 9000 distinction? I’m assuming that increases shave effectiveness?

    I haven’t used a rotary in decades (currently using an ES-LV61 which still does a great job) so SP9841/84 is inbound. Hopefully it’ll be quieter than my ES-LV61 – which is kinda jarring first thing in the morning – and nearly as effective.

    I did read one of the earlier comments that I think was spot on (and might be a point in your future reviews…) Electric razors are nice (preferred? essential?) for us older folks. My first razor was a Norelco from 1972. Very quickly moved on to disposable, then eventually, in my 30s to double edge, then in my late 40s to straight razor shaving. Now in my late 60s I’m back to electric. As eyesight and miter control decreased it just seemed a necessity move.

    Take care my friend


    • Hi Ken,

      Thank you so much for the comment.

      Those two specs, 165 000 and 150 000 respectively, refer to what Philips calls cutting actions per minute, not CPM which is a more standardized metric that stands for Cycles Per Minute. CPM is more often used in the context of foil shavers where the rotation of the motor shaft is converted into an oscillation (linear movement). I think Braun actually came up with the cutting actions per minute thing in an attempt to one up Panasonic in the specs sheet (in reality Panasonic still has the faster motors).

      The cutting actions per minute numbers are obtained by multiplying an actual motor spec (number of rotations or oscillations) with the number of cutting elements in the case of foil shavers (usually 1 to 6) or the total number of individual tiny blades in the case of Philips rotaries.

      Both the Prestige and the regular Series 9000 use the same SH91 cutters, so the difference stems (as you’ve correctly pointed out) from the higher motor speed in the case of the Prestige, very likely in the high speed setting.

      And having used both, I can tell that the motor is different and even sounds different. The one in the Prestige is quieter and sounds more refined. It also seems to have more torque.

      It will absolutely be quieter compared to your LV61. The performance is top notch for a rotary, but it will be quite different using it vs the LV61. But I hope you’ll get a good shave.

      Your observation regarding the progression from one type of razor to another is spot on. My path was extremely similar, the only difference being that I didn’t start shaving with an electric razor, but went straight to a cartridge Gillette. The DE razors era was nice and I educated myself a lot, but I would still get bumps on my neck and I would often slice a couple of moles. I was always intrigued by electric shavers and being able to shave without a blade edge touching the skin. And I was hooked from my very first shaver even though it was a horrible Braun double-foil model. 🙂


      • Appreciate the clarification. I guess I fell in the CPM/CAPM hole of confusion, haha. Oh well… Even so, kinda pointing at the same sort of data and useful for comparing in cases like this.

        I’ll do your double foil Braun one better. In my 20s, working offshore, I carried a Braun travel razor. AA powered. Flip over foil guard. For what it was it actually did an okay job.

        High hopes the 9841 is “okay”



        • Hi Kenneth,

          Philips SP RPMs are as follows:
          Slow = 1,900
          Medium = 2,100
          Fast = 2,300

          SH91 head has 72 blades so if you multiply 2,300×72 you get just over 165,000 CPM.

          Non-Prestige model works on 2,100 RPMs flat (i.e. there is no modifier like on Prestige) so if you do math above 2,100×72 you get just over 150,000 CPM.

          Hope this clarifies.

  16. My old Norelco Quadra Action finally broke. It appears the power button is broken.

    What are some of the best Norelco shavers from say the last 20 years?

    • I’d say the 8240XL or other similar models with the HQ9 heads. I doubt you’ll be able to find a new one though, they have been discontinued for quite some time. From the readily available Norelcos I would pick the Prestige because it shaves close while still being adequately comfortable (at least for me). The standard Series 9000 costs less but it’s not quite as powerful or refined and the body is a bit too large and wonky.

      If you’re on a tight budget the one that offers the very best value for money would be the Shaver 2500 from the base Series 3000; it works corded and cordless and shaves well for a rotary in that price range.

      Hope this helps.


  17. I wrote this in another post for the Prestige and it would be a partial answer to your question:
    If I were to rate the Norelcos I’ve owned in terms of shaving performance, this would be my rating of the top four Norelcos over the past 20 years: 1) Norelco 1280 Sensotouch (simply the best); 2) Norelco S9721 fitted with the SH98 blades; 3) Sensotec HQ8894 fondly referred to as the James Bond shaver (I wish I still had it but I sold it years ago on ebay). 4) the Prestige 9820 fitted with the Sh98 heads. I currently have the Prestige SP9841/84 and love it for its ergonomic quality, its flip-up head for cleaning and the closeness and comfort of the shave it provides. The cleaning pod is adequate but not as great as the cleaning station that came with the 1280 Sensotouch. The 1280 just had it all: flip-top head for ease of cleaning, integrated trimmer, excellent cleaning station and rounded heads. In my view, Philips dropped the ball design-wise over the past few years. Unfortunately picking up a 1280 on ebay would not be the answer given that Philips no longer make the replacement blades. If money is not a concern, I’d go with the Prestige Sp9841/84 with cleaning pod.

    • Great suggestions, Wayne. I owned a 1250x for a while and I can see why seasoned users loved that series. I personally would pick any rotary with the SH98 or SH91 heads despite the shortcomings of the current Philips models. It’s not like we have much of a choice anyway.


      • Totally agree, Ovidiu, and I well remember the 1250 and the 1290 (the electronic button on the 1290 scared me off from purchasing one since they had connection issues). BTW… whereas I’m a confirmed rotary user (as you know from my past rants…haha), I also have three great foil shavers (old style Braun Series 7, second edition of the Braun Series 9 and the Panasonic Arc 5 older model). I will occasionally switch out my rotary shavers for the foils simply for a different shaving experience. My problem is that over a prolonged time, foil shavers end up causing my whiskers to become ingrown (i.e. bumps) so I won’t use them over an extended period (i.e. about a week of daily usage). But I will admit that they all give great shaves, particularly the Penny.

        • Absolutely, foil razors can do that. I also get some bumps from time to time, but only on my neck and I sometimes switch to a milder shaver just to avoid that. For example, I would use a Braun Series 9 as that one doesn’t cut the hair quite as close as an Arc 5 and also works better with the flat and swirly hairs on my neck. In my case a pre-shave lotion also helps as it seems to make the hair looser inside the follicle and easier to cut in fewer passes.


  18. Hi so what is the latest Norelco Razor Out there? I have the SP9820 S9000 prestige? Amnd how much bwetter is it than the one I have in terms of close shave?

    Thank you!!

    • Hi Steven,

      The latest would be the 2023 S9000 Prestige like the one in the review above. Yours is the original Prestige from 5 years ago. The closeness is quite similar, the new one being marginally better. Also, if your shaver is still in good shape, I recommend only replacing the cutters with the SH91 of the new Prestige.


  19. Hi Ovidiu,

    I recently received my SP9841 and it just looks like metal but is still plastic. I found on the Philips official website that they advertise SP9841: “With up to 165,000 cutting actions per minute, the Dual Steel Precision blades deliver extremely close results at skin level.” But, the package I received showed: “150,000 cutting actions per minute”. This is the same as S9500&9800. Is this fraudulent advertising?


    • Hi Tony,

      All new Prestige models have 150,000 cutting actions per minute written on the box. The discrepancy stems from the fact that the 165,000 cutting actions are obtained only when the speed setting is in the highest position. So they considered the middle position for the text on the package and the highest setting for the website copy. So it’s just an inconsistency that can cause some legitimate concern.

      Miki posted a great breakdown of the cutting speed/actions in this comment right above.

      Hope this helps.


    • I got that model, Tony. Absolutely loving it. When I first moved from DE to electric (for reasons I won’t go into here) the thing I most wanted to replicate was the closeness. I went with a Braun 9 and it worked “okay”. Shave felt fine immediately after but within a few hours I’d feel way more stubble than I ever felt with a DE. 5 or so years later I switched to an Ark 5 as many reviews said it was closer (if more “harsh”) than the Braun. I did find the shave to be a bit better and was never bothered by any irritation. Even so, neither quite met the goal I had and both were just annoyingly loud. This SP9841/84 addresses all the issues I’d had (especially when paired with Lab Series electric preshave, which had never helped either of those foil shavers all that much) Morning shave is fun again!! Haven’t experienced this, really, since giving up my straight razor quite some time ago. Everything from then til now, was just “getting it over with”. This thing checks ALL my boxes. Study, quality build with a strong but VERY quiet motor. Almost too efficient and fabulous results. Couldn’t be happier!

  20. I finally bit the bullet and bought this shaver a few weeks ago. I got the model SP9840/31 which comes in black, and I like this shaver more than I should: The shave is very comfortable and really close, closer than my Braun Series 9 Pro. Especially, areas under the neck and chin are easier to shave as well. And the whole shave is faster as well. Great!

    Only small annoyance: I use this shaver in the high power mode, but sometimes it reverts to Dynamic when turning it on the next time I want to shave. I’m not sure, why this is happening, but this is something I can live with.

    Fun fact: I also bought a universal shaver stand on Amazon and a protection cap for the shaver, since Philips was too cheap to put both in the box.

    • Nico, that’s awesome. I don’t think I’ve ever noticed that behavior with my unit but the high power mode is only one button press away.

      Thanks for the feedback and enjoy your Prestige.


  21. The new Norelco Shavers are a step back. Their low end like the 3500 take forever to get anywhere near a close shave, I guess because of the heads not having as many cutters and the high end models have the rediculous square heads that make shaving difficult, I ended up getting a 6000 series with the round heads but paid to much and when the original sh60 heads wear out, then what, I think the new sh60/72 are not as good. Norelco is getting worse every year and I hope they fix it. My old aquatec with the hq8 heads where better than anything they have on the market now.

    • Hi Rick,

      Thank you for the comment.

      I totally get your position and I do agree with most of what you said.

      We are pretty much out of options. I tried rotaries from other brands and those were really bad, even when compared to a basic Norelco Series 3000. So it comes down to choosing the best out of the current ones. Which aren’t as capable as some of the old ones.

      PS: You can buy the SH91 heads, they will fit your S6000 perfectly.


  22. I’m late to the discussion relating to the metal vs plastic surround on current Prestige shavers. I had always assumed mine was metal so I took a long look and feel and then asked my wife what she thought. She agreed that it looked and felt like a thin covering of metal. It’s cold to the touch, unlike my other Norelco shavers but I suppose that’s inconclusive. I did not buy this through Amazon but rather direct from Philips USA. Are there other ways besides appearance and touch that would help determine what its make is? I know that some metals are not magnetic so I suppose that would be inconclusive. Any ideas, not that it’s important, but just out of interest?

    • Hi Wayne,

      The magnet test would indeed be inconclusive. I simply did a continuity test with this very basic multimeter I have. Metal (aluminum, stainless steel) is electrically conductive and the multimeter should beep continuously. It should also display a readout when doing a resistance measurement. Just place the probes like one inch apart on the surface you’re testing. So in the case of my old Prestige I got a continuous beep (ie it conducts electricity, hence it is metal) while with the new Prestige I didn’t get any. The round trim right below the head (with the knurling) is however metal.

      In my opinion this would be the easiest and most accurate way to determine if something is metal or plastic.


  23. Your reviews are exactly what I needed to read in order to make up my mind about which shaver to buy – thank you for including such in-depth explanations of the differences between the class leaders here.

    Four years ago, after spending most of my adult years using a Philishave, I plumped for a Braun Series 9 to see whether a foil razor could shave closer. I wish I hadn’t for two reasons: the first is that I had got into a routine with Philips shavers and had to learn how to get the best out of the Braun. However, to this day, it takes me longer to shave than it ever did with a Philips. Second is that the power button on the Braun started to wobble on its mount about 6 months ago and is now in danger of falling off completely. I have unclipped it and cannot see which little tab that secures it has broken, but something has. I noticed that, in your other reviews, you discounted a comment about this. Unfortunately, it is only too true. I discovered loads of disgruntled Braun Series 9 users on various forums complaining of this common fault.

    Anyway, just a couple of points about the Philips 9000 series that I’ve discovered after reading your reviews. The QI charging system is, I suspect, a method of treating the battery more gently. If you read up on the Apple forums (and instructions) about charging iPhones and Macbooks, it is clear that slow charging up to about 80% maintains 99% battery health over years of use. I wouldn’t be surprised if the QI charging system maintains the Philips battery health along the same lines.

    I use a timer with a QI pad to charge my iPhone and, after over a year of use, battery health is still showing 99%. With my new Philips 9000 series I plan on setting the timer for an hour or two each morning so that it will come on after shaving and cleaning.

    Actually, after reading all your 9000 series reviews, I decided I preferred the older SP9820 design over the new sharp angle heads. The rounded heads seem to me to be more able to reach into corners. Also your comment on build quality of the body is telling. Plus I could pick up a Prestige 9820 ‘open box’ model for less than a 2023 standard 9000 model.

    Looking forward to getting back into the Philips shaving routine and thanks again for helping my buying decision.

    • Hi Peter,

      Thanks so much for the comment, glad you found the info helpful.

      That is true, slow charging any battery to 80-90% will allow you to get the most out of it. That said, the problem with charging a battery fast is mainly related to heat. The wired chargers shipped with Philips shavers have a low power output and are far from being fast. They are faster than a wireless charger, but that’s isn’t saying much. The wear caused by charging a shaver with a wired charger vs wireless will be minimal. But again, for maximum lifespan and performance, a slower charge without topping off the battery does work.

      Regarding the Series 9 power button, I’ve seen comments with similar issues from Panasonic and Philips users as well, so it isn’t necessarily specific to the Series 9. And these things are very much real and do happen, I never said they’re not true. It’s not right when it happens, but it’s also not something that affects a large percentage of the shavers as it was the case with the cassette of the original Series 9 for example. So it makes sense to say that it’s unlikely to experience a power button issue with the Series 9. I’ve called out Braun on many things and I’ll continue to do so.

      I own 5 Series 9 shavers and the oldest of them was bought almost 8 years ago. No issues so far, but assessing reliability is tricky and takes time and the outcome is sometimes different for different users.

      Hope you’ll enjoy getting back to rotaries and shaving with your Prestige.


    • There was a time that I over-thought the charging of devices (i.e. MacBook, iPhone, Prestige shaver and so forth). But in speaking with tech support from all of these companies I was assured that there was really no reason for my concern. Just charge them whenever it’s convenient and don’t worry about over-charging. In addition, the truth is that I generally dump my shavers (and other devices) after a four year period anyway and go with the latest, giving my used devices to Goodwill for others to enjoy. So really, there is no problem with worrying about putting our shavers on timers or leaving our MacBooks overnight to charge. Just enjoy and don’t sweat it.

  24. Hi there
    Great site. I had a Philips 7000 upgraded to the SH91 blades but it did feel underpowered. I had a problem with the cleaning program and basically it didn’t recognise the pod and would not go into a cycle. Not a biggie but after a few online chats with Philips they said send it in and they will replace it. It’s not in stock so they offered me a refund. I’m going to upgrade to the 9000 prestige probably. Do you think the extra power is noticeable? I do take quite a while to shave. Also do you know if you can use a regular (smaller) Qi charging pad. I could take one traveling and use for both phone and shave, the Philips one is just too bulky.

    • Hi David,

      Thank you for the feedback, I appreciate it.

      In the high speed setting I’d say there is a noticeable plus for the Prestige. And currently it’s the most powerful rotary you can buy, so there aren’t really other options.

      I did try my charging mine using this very tiny pad I have and it worked, so I think you can do that while traveling.


      • Thanks Nicolae
        So Philips have given me a refund on the 7000 now. So for virtually the same price I can get a SP9962/14 (old prestige with round heads, charge pad, trimmer and brush) or the SP9871/22 (new triangular head, charge pad, trimmer and nose hair trimmer). So I have a set of SH91 cutters I have for my 7000 so which one ? I’m leaning towards the old style circular head that you mention is easier to move around. I can’t get one with a cleaning pod on sale at the moment.

        • If you have the older cleaning station (not pod) and an older Norelco 9000 series shaver, you can pop off the round heads section on the SP9962 and place them on the older 9000 series shaver for cleaning in the station. On the other hand, if you lack an older 9000 series shaver “but” a cleaning device is still important to you, then go with the SP9871 and buy the cleaning pod separately from Philips (it runs around $30 US). I currently have the newer style Prestige with triangular heads and I love it. Granted, it took a bit of time to get used to shaving under the nose by turning the shaver but after a few shaves it was an automatic gesture and frankly, the new shaver is great. I find little to no difference between the shaves with the round headed vs the triangular headed bracket; they’re both great since they both use the SP91 cutters.

          • Agree 100%. I hear so many folks denigrating the new head shape, but, as you say, it took literally one shave to figure out the right orientation. Loving my SP9841/84. This is the one, as far as I’m concerned.

        • You are very welcome. Both are great shavers and the performance is very similar. The new one already comes with the SH91 heads, while the old one uses the discontinued (but very similar) SH98. The SH91 will fit perfectly as well. Check out my comparison above for all the details between these two so you can lean more toward one or the other.


  25. Great and very through review Ovidiu I stuck it out to the very end and glad I found your take on the Prestige models (new and old)

    I was stuck between a rock and a hard place in making a decision between a 9500 series and new Prestige but think the older Prestige may just be that sweet spot I am looking for. I appreciate the time and effort you’ve taken to help blokes like me make an informed decision, especially as I haven’t used a rotary shaver since my Philips Nivea Wet and Dry shaver from 20 years ago.

    I’ve been a Gillette Pro Fusion shaver over the past 20 years now with recent foil shaving as I found a foil attachment to my Remington Trimmer in which I enjoyed a different shaving experience. I did try a Braun series 7 about 4 years ago but quickly moved that on as it was so loud and caused irritation to my neck.

    Anyway again thanks for your input as it has now given me a sense of direction to try a rotary shaver once again as I usually shave once or twice a week with some slight tiding up under the neck and higher cheek bone areas.

    I will now begin my search for an online bargain of an original prestige for the full benefits of both wired and wireless options. Have a good one!

    • David,

      Thank you so much for the comment and feedback. The old Prestige is still an excellent option especially if you manage to find a great deal on it. I think it’ll be a good match for you given your previous experience with rotaries and it’s noticeably quieter than a Series 7.

      On a side note, there seem to be some mixed opinions regarding the wired and wireless charging of the old version. Some users report that the wired charging function doesn’t work. Unfortunately I don’t have a wireless Prestige from the old generation, so I can’t confirm this. Just something to keep in mind when deciding over which model (wired or wireless) to get.


  26. Hi all

    I ended up going with the new prestige with a cleaning pod and no charging pad. I do wonder if that works with a QI charger. I will find out soon once its delivered.

    • As Ovidiu says, the new wired shaver will not work with the QI charger. But in my view, unless you have very specific reasons for wanting the QI charger, I think it’s a plus to go the wired route. Most don’t want our shavers to sit on the counter all the time. Once it’s charged (in a few hours) the shaver can be moved to a drawer and out of the way for other things (i.e. waterpik, toothbrush) or simply a nice empty counter. I generally charge my shaver on a Saturday morning after shaving. After breakfast I unplug the shaver and put the charging cord away for another week and the shaver goes back into its case until the following morning. The counter is clean. Besides, I would not want to lug that QI charger when I travel and the case for the wired Prestige is considerably smaller than the Prestige with QI charger. It’s just a better configuration all the way round.

      • Well the new 9000 prestige arrived and its soo much more powerful and quiet than the 7000. I am really pleased and yes it doesnt work with a QI pad but it works with a non oem USB charge cable I got from Amazon for the 7000 so perfect for travelling. Seems to shave great. Pleased with my choice.

  27. Nice review Ovidiu but I would really like to know how easily you can shave around your sideburns ?. It seems that those extra large angular heads would make it hard to see just where the cutting edges are in relation to your side burns, or for that matter moustache etc.

    • Hi Peter,

      Thank you for the comment.

      For someone who is more comfortable with foil shavers, it is not as easy, especially since I like a crisp, straight edge on my sideburns. But compared to other 3-blade non-angular heads of other rotaries it’s not a lot more difficult. If you rotate the shaver 90 degrees it is a bit easier to get closer to something, be it the sideburn edge or the nose. The distance between the very edge of the angular head and the actual cutter is smaller that way, so you can get closer and shave with somewhat greater precision.

      One thing that does help regardless if I’m shaving with a foil or a rotary razor is to use the hair trimmer (the separate attachment or an integrated pop-up trimmer) to give a rough shape to the sideburn. In particular, the bottom edge. I also trim the hair right below the sideburns and this makes it a lot easier to follow up with the shaver and clean up without messing the sideburns too much. I hope this makes sense.


    • It’s all about trade-offs, Peter. Initially, my Brauns (7 & 9) and my older style Panasonic Arc5 provide a shave equally as good as my Norelco Prestige (new style). They’re all close and comfortable with the exception of the noise level on the Panasonic. However, my mid-afternoon the Braun and Panasonic shavers are beginning to fail whereas the Norelco shave remains close right up to bedtime. So, like Ovidiu mentioned, if I want closeness under my nose and sideburns, I simply rotate the shaver’s head. A super straight edge under the sideburns requires the trimmer attachment but in truth, I never bother with it; the line I get is close enough.

      • Please forgive all the horrible grammar and spelling errors. I couldn’t go back to correct them but I think you can figure out my mistakes. Sorry.

  28. It is a pity that the new Philips comes with a charging pad. Makes it uncomfortable when you travel and you have to carry all this stuff rather than a simple charging cable.
    I prefer the Philips to the Brown (I have both)
    -Better and closer shave
    -No need for pre electric shaving lotion
    -Manual cleaning pod better, too many electronics make it complicated. My older Brown cleaning station malfunctioned as the chip on the shaver gave up. When buying the Brown Pro I bought the one without cleaning station.
    -Braun only keeps coming up with new heads, so I just upgraded the heads till the moment the razor took the initiative to switch on at will, sometimes in the middle of the night.
    -I prefer Philips!

    • Hi George,

      Thank you for the comment.

      As mentioned in the review, there are also Philips Prestige variations that come with a standard wired charger instead of the pad. The quality of the shave vs a Series 9 Pro really varies from one user to another, but in this case the rotary Philips clearly seems to work better. I agree that the simplicity of the pod is one of its strengths.


  29. Mentioned before, but for those who prefer a charging stand on their bathroom counter for the wired Prestige versions, HoytDesign (not the archery guys) makes a stand for the Prestige that utilizes the charging cord. It works, but adds some height to the whole assembly, although it does prevent having to leave the shaver just lying around, or remembering to recharge it. A caveat – no idea what continuous charging does to the battery life of the wired Prestige, and keeping a Li-ion battery continuously charged to 100% generally causes some degredation over time, but I suspect there are built-in protections preventing overcharging since the shaver was designed to be plugged in and charged unattended.

    • Hi Allan,

      Thanks again for the info and link. It does have overcharging protection. As for the battery degradation, yes, there will be some, but considering the practical side of things and how useful such a stand can be for some users, I think it’s a compromise worth making (just like we leave our phones to charge overnight).


  30. Hi Ovidiu

    I find with my new Prestige. I can more easily shave every day without much or any irritation. With my former Prestige, also with the angular heads, I needed to shave every other day.

    I wonder if it has anything to do with the Quick Clean pod lubricating the shaver after each use?

      • Hi Jay,

        I wouldn’t necessarily say the Pod is the direct or the only reason for this. Could also be more of a correlation vs causation situation. But if you use the Pod regularly you will 100% have a properly clean and lubricated shaver. That said, even without a Pod, the performance should remain more or less the same unless for example you don’t clean the shaver. As I mentioned in a previous comment, there could be some other (minor) factors at play the will have a cumulative effect on the quality of your shave.

        From what I can tell, getting the one with the Pod was the right decision, so I’m glad it’s working great for you.


        • A new shaver will always provide a superior shave to an older shaver unless that older shaver has been properly maintained AND provided with new blades. When I fit new blades with my older 9700 Norelco, the shave it gives is just as good “if not better” than my relatively new Prestige with 10 month old blades. Knowing this, I’ve just ordered new SH91 blades for my Prestige which will soon be one year old. Even given the recommendation from Philips that these blades are meant to last from 18-24 months, I’d rather pull the plug on them after 12 months and go with brand new blades. I know the new blades will turn this year old Prestige into a brand new shaver merely for the price of the blades. Why spend $300 when $60 will do almost the same thing? And by the way: I got the new blades for $45 with discounts direct from Philips USA. They arrive tomorrow and I’m already smiling! 🙂

  31. I have only one question on review was nothing about it. Head mounting bracket is also backwards compatibility with sp9860 ? From the photos I can assume accessories are the same for both old and new.

    • Hi Adrian,

      The head units of the old and new model appear to be interchangeable — I was able to swap them, but fitting them in place requires a lot more force. The length of the mounting fixture is different (longer on the new Prestige) but the shape and notches are the same. If by accessories you refer to chargers and trimmers, then yes, they are the same.


  32. Hi Ovidiu

    I am having a bit of trouble and I have questions about my routine and potions and my new shaver.

    Here is my routine. I shave when I wake up, clean the shaver with the pod, then shower, then apply post shave product (Lab Series Razor Burn Relief Balm).

    The following morning when I shave again, my Prestige drags a bit. Is there something wrong with my routine? Should I use a pre shave first?

    • Hi Jay,

      Nothing wrong with the routine. The shaver dragging a bit is probably the result of shaving daily and it happens with any shaver, but with rotaries and large foil shavers (4 blades or more) is a bit more noticeable.

      I do notice it myself sometimes and the reason is that when you shave daily, some of the hairs are still very short, so the skin will be more exposed and parts of the shaving head will rest directly on the skin instead of a patch/layer of hair. And it can feel like the shaver drags a bit. I hope this makes sense. An oilier pre-shave like the Lab Series or Lectric Shave can help, but if you don’t find this dragging to be a major inconvenience or you don’t get along with pre-shaves, you should just carry on with your routine as it is.


  33. I’m considering buying the latest philips s9000 shaver (non prestige) but i’m worried that because of its thick angular (none circle) head design it will not be able to shave the hair in the nose line or in other tight spot, like in the ear line. Should i be worried? I prefer the circle design but i don’t want to buy the old prestige because its expensive and dated.

    • Hi Amir,

      After being very reluctant to the new design myself, I don’t think it’s a big deal anymore. The new S9000 is not a lot worse vs a rotary with the traditional rounded heads. If you rotate the shaver 90 degrees you can get pretty close to the base of the nose and I don’t find it to be troublesome. If that’s the only concern, there’s a good chance you’ll actually like the shaver.


  34. Hi Jay. Sorry to hear about the “drag” on. your shaver. The problem with giving advice on one’s routine is that our skin is not the same and the oiliness is often different. However, I’ll share my thoughts such as they are.

    I don’t use a pre-shave even though I have the Lab Series. I just don’t like the feel of pre-shaves on my skin and frankly, I don’t need anything. As for after shave, I occasionally use Duke Cannon balm but more often than not I will use an aftershave (not a balm) because my wife likes the smell OR I’ll use nothing at all.

    Routine: get up and shave, shower, toss on some aftershave (or balm or nothing) and I’m on my way.

    Is there drag on my shaver? Not really. Light to moderate pressure… circular motions… ending with straight strokes every which way.

    Key: try not to over-think this, Jay. Just shave and think about something else. Is my shave perfect? No… but I honestly don’t care that much. It’s reasonably quick (five to six minutes) and it’s done and I’m on to something else. I like my shaver and I don’t look for problems with it. It’s not perfect but so what… I’m not perfect either (haha).

    I think you’re going to have to experiment with different things trying to find what works best for you. I wish you luck and happy shaving ahead with your awesome new shaver. 🙂

    • Wayne


      All day yesterday including when I woke up, my face had a greasy feeling. I will see how I do without pre or out shave.

      • Hi Ovidiu

        When I use a post shave solution (Lab Series razor Burn Ultra Balm), which I sometimes like to do, can I also avoid pre rinsing the shaver before placing it in the pod?

        • Hi Ovidiu

          This all is getting to complicated for me. There are days when it is humid that I might want to use the Lab Series Pre Shave. There are days when I will use the Lab Series Post Shave Balm. I would hope that I can just put the Shaver into the Quick Clean Pop and not worry about the extra steps. It might not be perfect.. what do you think?

          • Hi Jay,

            You can put directly the shaver into the Pod and clean it without any worries. It is not necessary to rinse it — I never do it, not even with my other shavers that have fully automatic cleaning stations. Been doing it for years and never had any issues whatsoever.


          • It’s getting complicated, Jay, because you’re over-thinking it. Relax, Jay. Just shave and put the shaver in the pod. Later in the day, if you think about it, take it out and let it air-dry. If you forget, it’s no big deal. No one can really advise you on using a pre or post shave because it depends upon “your” skin. You need to experiment and find out what works for you instead of asking what might work. Try “nothing”. Most of the time, I can’t be bothered with anything. I shave with no pre shave. I pop the shaver into the pod and shower. And that, my friend, is the end of it. As I mentioned earlier, I will come into the bathroom later in the morning (when I remember) and remove the shaver to air-dry on the window sill. If I forget to do this, it’s still fine the next day… maybe a little damp but not biggie. Jay, you are making it complicated because you’re over-thinking this thing. It should be the easiest thing in the world. That’s one of the reasons you bought the new Prestige: to have the pod make your cleaning/lubricating easy. So… let it.

        • Ovidiu

          Sometimes when it is humid I will need to use my Lab Series Pre Shave. I will also be using the Lab Series Post Shave Balm. To make things simple for me, can I just put the shaver in the QC pod and not worry?

    • I work from home, so on most days waiting would not be an issue. I am thinking of going back to every other day because of sensitive skin and razor burn.

      • Hi Jay,

        Generally it’s better to wait a bit after taking a shower (like half an hour) and not shave right after. But in some cases shaving right after doesn’t seem to make any difference at all. So just try it and see how it goes. It’s perfectly fine to skip a day if that helps (in my case it does and I almost always shave every other day — unless I really have to shave the next day).


      • I’ll chime in here, Jay, since Ovidiu might be busy. He can correct me later. haha

        If you shower after you shave, make certain your window is open to draw out the moisture in the air. Otherwise, you’re going to experience drag on your shaver. Personally, if you’re unwilling to wait until later in the morning after your shower, I’d shave beforehand since you will not have washed off the oil from your skin when you first awaken. Shaving after a shower is going to be somewhat problematic in terms of a dragging shaver.

        I’m sorry to hear that you’re already experiencing razor burn. I thought you have mentioned how smooth the new shaver was shaving you. It sounds to me, like you might be pressing the shaver too hard or that you’re “over-shaving” (i.e. shaving too long) to produce that “burn”. I wish you had counter room so you could try a Braun. Is it possible that a foil shaver might be a bit more gentle on your skin? Some Brauns can just be rinsed under the tap and left to dry. It’s a consideration given that your new shaver might still be returnable.

        • Thanks Wayne

          When I had a different bathroom sink with more counter space, I had tried a Braun several times. Never was able to capture neck hair. Also the power button fell off on several. It was never good for me. Lastly the shave heads only lasted less than six months. I also tried Panasonic. Overall my best results have been with a Norelco.

          • If it works for you, Jay, then go for it. I have the pre shave but it doesn’t seem to make any real difference so I don’t use it. But hey, we’re all different. There are times that I get shaves that are absolutely awesome and other times that the shaves could have been a lot better (today is one of those “off” days with my Prestige). I can say the same thing for both my Braun and the Panasonic shavers although I will admit to this: the Panasonic almost always gives the closest shave so you’d think that I would stick with it, right? Nope. For some reason, I just don’t like the shaver. There is something about the Panasonic that I don’t like (the noise? the plasticky feel? the lack of the cleaning station?) so I seldom use it. I can say that going forward I’ll stick with Braun and Norelco but for the time being, I’m happy with what I have so there are no new shavers on my horizon… yet. I’m glad you’ve got the cleaning pod and the new Prestige. I want it to work for you. Fingers crossed.

    • So… I have an incredibly thick beard — with incredibly thick individual hairs. And I have sensitive skin.

      Not a good combo.

      I’ve tried many different shavers, techniques, lotions, and processes over the years.

      When I have the time and the patience… my very best shaves are based on this process.

      -Shower first
      -Put conditioner on my beard in the shower, and arrange your shower to let the conditioner stay on the beard for the maximum amount of time. The beard hairs absorb more water and cut easier and cleaner.
      -Get out of shower, put on a pre-shave lotion.

      I know… this sounds like quite an ordeal to some.

      But once I only shaved using this process (COVID mandated telework), I now notably notice the shaving process and results degredation when I don’t do the full process.

      Using this process, my shave is easier, closer, and has less irritation.

      And for me, the Philips Prestige is the best electric.

  35. Hi Ovidiu

    I ordered the Speick pre shave. The Lab Series was just too oily. More importantly, the bottle drips after you put the cap back on and creates an oily film on my shelf. Lastly, a major ingredient is Silicone, which is hardly natural.

    Regarding the Speick, does the fragrance wash off in the shower? I am really not fond of the fragrance, so I am hoping it washes off.

    I wish there was a fragrance free product in a plastic bottle that did not leak.

    • Hi Jay,

      What I do is rinse my face with cold water after the shave and I can barely catch a whiff of it. But I also got very used to the scent since I’ve been suing Speick products for many years. I also didn’t love the fragrance, but also didn’t hate it, and since my shaves are consistently better, I just carried on using it.

      Lab Series is as far as I know the only one with no added perfume.


  36. Something else occurred to me this morning. If you are experiencing some razor burn, have you lowered the speed on your shaver? You might want to try a slower speed setting to see if that helps.

  37. Have you ever tried the Lab Series post shave product? I am now using it and like it. I think it’s called Razor Burn Relief Balm. I find it the easiest to appt on my neck.

      • It is a bit sticky and has a scent even though they say it does not. I really like the Clinique Shaver soother that I recommend to you. My dermatologist encouraged that. It is a bit thin, but on balance very good.

        I have been shaving every day Ovidiu and using the pod daily. Should I change the pod after a month? I can feel the effects of the lubrication. Shave is smoother

        • Hi Jay,

          Glad to to hear it, I also enjoy the Clinique aftershave a lot, thanks again for the tip.

          Regarding the pod, you could change it after a month or you can stretch it a bit more if the cartridge isn’t overly contaminated with clipped hairs.


          • Thanks. I get hairs in the bottom part (black under part) of the shaver head. Perhaps it’s time to change?

        • After about 30 cycles with the pod, I am getting more hair debris in my shaver after the pod. Is it time to change the pod?

    • Pacific Shaving Company put out a caffeinated aftershave balm that has no scent. I will use this on occasion if my skin is feeling dry and/or there is some irritation. The thing is, I generally don’t use anything (pre or post shave products) because I don’t need them. But when I do, it’s either the above Pacific Shaving Company products containing antioxidants and aloe and/or the Duke Cannon mentioned previously. I’m glad your Lab Series seems to be helpful.

  38. Hi Ovidiu. The liquid was very cloudy so I replaced the cartridge. Not a lot of hairs, but consistent each time. Thanks.

  39. Ovidiu

    I have a question. When I change out the cartridge in the QC pod, should I rinse the bottom part of the pod before putting in a new cartridge?

    • Hi Jay,

      If there’s some residue from the fluid spiling over the cartridge you can certainly give it a quick rinse and a wipe down before putting in the new cartridge. The pod is essentially a plastic container so you can safely rinse it, there’s nothing that can break.


  40. Hi Ovidiu

    There is something strange about my new Norelco. It does not seem to hold the speed setting from one shave to the next. As per your recommendation I always set the shaver to maximum. This is easy to do with just pressing the bar. It always held the setting.

    Now when I turn the shaver on, and start to shave, it is at a lower setting. It is as if there is some type of auto sensing going on.

    Could this have anything to do with the accelerometer and the pod? It’s mildly annoying but not a deal breaker. What do you think?

      • Hi Jay,

        That’s interesting, but it doesn’t have to do anything with the pod or the accelerometer. The speed settings are the same for the non-pod versions of the new Prestige as well. I don’t recall ever seeing mine defaulting to the middle setting.

        If you turn it on soon after turning it off, does it still start in the lower setting? Or it only happens after a few days of idling?


        • Ovidiu

          I turned it on after a few hours of idle to air dry. Got the middle setting. Set it to the high setting. Turned it off. Turned it back on. Kept the high setting. Don’t know what to make of it.

        • I can’t comment about the idling as I shave every day now. It was idle for a few hours though. Turned it on. Setting was middle. Set it to high. Turned it off. Turned it on again. Kept the high setting.

          • I can’t replicate the issue on my unit, Jay. But I don’t think it’s anything to worry about. There’s no mention on the behavior in the user manual. You could reach out to Philips support and ask them, although I doubt they’ll be able to give you a proper answer. I think you can even request a replacement if the issue is bothersome. Again, I’m inclined to think it should always remember the last speed setting.


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