Pros: Very comfortable, decent closeness, wet & dry use, good build quality, integrated pop-up trimmer, lots of included accessories, automatic cleaning pod, excellent battery life, mobile app
Cons: Bulky shaving head, not ideal for beginners, shaving longer & flat-lying hairs requires more effort
The Philips Norelco Shaver 7700 from the updated Series 7000 family is one of the most exciting (and intriguing) rotary shavers I’ve seen in a while.
With a fresh new design, some very interesting features and a new approach to automatic cleaning systems, this shaver appears to be a winner. But is it really?
I have been waiting eagerly for a chance to try it and see if it really stands up to the hype.
Well, I finally managed to test the Philips Norelco Shaver 7700 (S7782/85) and in this review, I will share my thoughts on this razor, with all its pros and cons and I’ll also mention a couple of alternative options.
Side note: There is also another USA model in this new Series 7000 called the Philips Norelco Shaver 7100 (S7788/82). It does not include the cleaning system and accessories, but other than that, it’s identical performance-wise to the Shaver 7700, so the conclusions of the review will still apply.
The UK/European versions are the Philips Series 7000 S7788/55 and S7788/59. The latter also includes a separate beard trimmer attachment with 5 length settings.
All the shavers use the same shaving heads and the performance is the same throughout the range.
Table of Contents
- Features overview
- Included accessories
- Build quality and ergonomics
- Battery life and charging
- Shaving performance
- Cleaning and maintenance
- Replacement parts availability
- Wrap-up—who should buy the Philips Norelco Shaver 7700?
- Alternative shavers
Here’s a quick look at the most important features and what those marketing terms really mean.
1. Shaving heads with ComfortGlide rings
Apart from travel razors, all Philips rotary models come with three individual cutting heads.
The Shaver 7700 (S7782/85) follows suit and features a three-blade cutting system.
But unlike the previous Series 7000, the new rings that hold the actual shaving heads have this distinctive pentagonal shape and are coated with a special film that should protect the skin from irritation and make the shaving head glide easy on the skin.
The rotary blades are also new and are supposed to cut the hair closer to the skin and with less irritation.
Philips mentions 90 000 cutting actions per minute, but that’s not really important. All the manufacturers, including Braun and Panasonic, have their own methodology of coming up with these numbers that look impressive on paper.
My guess is that since there are 15 blades on each rotary cutter, we have a total of 45 and they multiply that by 2000 which is probably the maximum rotational speed of the cutters.
So the number of cutting actions is not really that relevant as there’s not a standardized methodology of calculating them.
By the way, did you notice that tiny metal thing at the very center of the shaving head? It’s quite important and we’ll get to it later on.
2. Flexing shaving head and blades
The whole shaving unit can pivot in all directions, while the 3 shaving heads can tilt inwards to maintain contact with the skin.
This isn’t really something new as pretty much all Philips models from the Series 5000 upwards feature a similar system.
3. SenseIQ technology
That term encompasses three features present on the Philips Norelco Shaver 7700:
- The ComfortGlide rings
- A Motion control sensor
- A Smart hair sensor
We already saw what the ComfortGlide rings are supposed to do, so let’s quickly go over the other two.
The Motion control sensor should detect the way you move the shaver during use and help you improve your technique. It does that via a smartphone app that I’ll cover in detail later in the review.
As for the Smart hair sensor, that’s just another one of those beard density detection systems that are supposed to modulate the power depending on the characteristics of the hair.
We’ll see how well this really works in the performance section.
4. Quick clean pod
This is in my opinion the party piece of the Norelco S7782/85 and the one feature that got me particularly excited about this shaver.
And that’s because it has the potential of changing automatic cleaning for the better.
The idea of a very compact, portable, practical cleaning system that requires no power from the mains sound extremely appealing to me.
And that’s just what this cleaning pod promises, so again I will cover it in great detail later on.
5. Cordless, wet & dry use
The Philips Norelco 7700 (S7782/85) can only be operated cordlessly and it’s fitted with a rechargeable Li-ion battery that will provide enough juice for up to 60 minutes of use.
That is more than the typical 45 to 50 minutes we get with most shavers and the included charger takes between 100 and 240 volts, so you can use it while traveling abroad as well.
The shaver is waterproof and can be used wet or dry and also cleaned with water.
6. Companion mobile app
Finally, the shaver can connect via Bluetooth to your smartphone and provide some information that can help you track and improve your shaves, at least according to Philips.
Here’s what you’ll be getting in case you opt for the Shaver 7700 (S7782/85) model:
- Electric shaver
- Quick clean pod
- One cleaning cartridge
- Charging stand
- Hard travel case
- Cleaning brush
- User instructions and leaflet
I think anyone would agree that it’s quite an impressive bundle and I’m glad they didn’t skimp on including a brush (like Braun does lately with some of their shavers).
The travel case is particularly nice and has this smooth cloth finish, but it’s still sturdy enough and offers adequate protection.
I would have liked to see a protective cap as well (you do get one with the Shaver 7100).
Build quality and ergonomics
Philips is on a roll with the latest releases and has really upped its game in terms of design and even build quality.
We’ve seen that direction clearly with the recent Series 2000 and 6000 and it’s the same with the new Series 7000.
The Philips Norelco Shaver 7700 (S7782/85) is a very sleek-looking razor and it really stands out.
It comes in a deep metallic blue color that I think compliments the shaver very well and features both matte and glossy treatments.
Compared to the previous Series 7000, the materials look and feel more expensive while the fit, panel gaps and quality are all on point.
Even the printed text is so sharp and nicely done compared to the older models.
And speaking of crisp text, the display on the Shaver 7700 is way better than anything I’ve seen from Philips, including the Prestige.
It used to be blurry, with poor and uneven backlight and it just looked cheap, even on the premium shavers.
I’m glad they finally addressed that and the new display is a vast improvement.
Philips also moved away from the round, sculpted profile of the body and went with this square-ish design that looks very stylish and just adds to the premium feel.
However, that new shape of the body does have a slight impact on the ergonomics as it doesn’t allow your hand to wrap around it as snugly as before.
The sides of the razor are covered in this rubber-like plastic that helps with the grip. Unfortunately, it doesn’t extend to the back of the shaver as well.
But even so, most users shouldn’t have any serious issues during use, especially since the shaver seems perfectly balanced and quite lightweight at 200 grams (7 oz).
Another plus that I think deserves mentioning is that all the different materials seem to deal really well with smudges, even that glossy blue panel towards the top.
The power button on the front also doubles as a travel lock and it can be activated and disabled by pressing and holding it for 3 seconds.
While in the case of most medium to high-end Philips models you would pry the shaving unit off using your fingers, they fitted the one on the Series 7000 with a quick-release button that is genuinely practical and useful.
You just press it to pop open the shaving unit for easy cleaning.
I’m also glad that they went with an integrated pop-up trimmer instead of a separate attachment.
Oddly, Philips only used to put these trimmers on entry-level shavers, like the Series 2000 and 3000.
The more expensive ones were shipped with separate trimmer attachments you would use in place of the shaving head like the one in the picture below.
But that’s beginning to change now with the Series 7000 and the new 9000.
The trimmer sits towards the very top of the shaver’s back and can be deployed by sliding down a switch.
The charging port is located at the bottom and it’s still the typical Philips two-prong connector. A USB-C port would have been the icing on the cake, but we’re not there just yet.
Overall, I think the Norelco Shaver 7700 represents a significant improvement over the previous generation in terms of design and build quality.
Battery life and charging
The wet&dry Philips Norelco Shaver 7700 (S7782/85) is fitted with a rechargeable Li-ion battery and will only operate cordlessly.
So you won’t be able to shave while it’s connected to a power outlet.
That’s the case with the vast majority of today’s electric shavers, but if cordless & corded operation is a must, you can check out my guide on that topic.
The manufacturer claims the battery will be able to provide enough power for 60 minutes of use. In my experience with Philips razors over the past few years, almost all of them have surpassed the official numbers.
Out of the big three, Philips is on top in this regard, followed by Braun and finally Panasonic which usually lags behind when it comes to battery life.
With the new Series 7000, Philips continues that trend and the battery life of this thing is very solid.
While my tracking wasn’t the most scrutinous, I could definitely get at least an hour of use from a fully charged battery.
There’s also a quick charge function baked in. When the battery is completely drained, you can charge the shaver for approximately 5 minutes.
The display will actually show that the quick charge mode is active by lighting up the three indicators one after the other in sequence. When the bottom bar flashes, there’s enough charge to complete one shave.
If you leave the razor plugged in, each of the 3 bars will blink and then light up continuously as the charging progresses. It takes under one hour to go from 0 to 100%.
I would have liked to see a 5-level battery indicator in this price range though, but other than that, I can’t really complain.
On the flip side, this new Series 7000 also comes with that lift-to-wake feature that I think was first introduced with the Prestige line. Basically, when you grab and lift the shaver, the display will show the battery level without you turning on the shaver.
I personally find this a rather neat and useful feature.
You can charge the Norelco S7782/85 by plugging the cord directly into the shaver or with the included stand.
The Quick clean pod doesn’t connect to the mains, so it won’t charge the shaver like a typical automatic cleaning station, but we’ll get to that later on.
Since this is a USA product, it comes with a USA power plug, but it can be used anywhere in the world with a simple plug adapter.
The UK/European Series 7000 will have different plugs depending on where you’re buying them from.
Let’s now get to the part that matters the most in any review, the actual performance.
I have been using my Philips Norelco Shaver 7700 for almost three weeks and there are a lot of things that I want to share about what it’s like to own and to use it on a regular basis.
This shaver proved to be such an eclectic mix of pros and cons, so definitely keep reading to find out if it’s the right choice for you.
Comfort and closeness
The best (and most surprising) part about the Norelco Shaver 7700 (S7782/85) is without a doubt the comfort.
This has to be one of the most comfortable rotary razors I’ve used in years and yes, it’s as good in that regard as the S9000 Prestige, currently Philips Norelco’s flagship model.
All of the usual pinches, nicks, or hair pulling that I would normally get with other rotaries were pretty much non-existent.
I have really sensitive skin on my neck and regardless if I shaved dry or wet with the Philips Norelco 7700, the comfort was always adequate.
Even when I intentionally moved the shaving head faster on the skin I didn’t experience any hairs getting yanked, which can often be the case with razors of this type.
Most users will probably shave dry, maybe with a pre-shave lotion and I can safely say that it’s a forgiving and gentle razor.
There was no post-shave itching, again something that I would get quite often with other rotary models.
The closeness on the other hand was nothing out of the ordinary — in fact, it was quite average compared to even a decent entry-level foil shaver like the Panasonic Arc 3, but on par with other rotary razors in this price range.
So it probably won’t wow you in that regard, but it’s definitely decent.
In my case, it could have been better under my chin and above the upper lip where the hairs are thicker.
On the cheeks it was very good, but so are most electric razors as that’s probably the least challenging area.
If you want a closer shaving rotary shaver, you should probably look at the Series 9000 (Prestige).
But users that aren’t very concerned about getting a really close shave will probably be satisfied with the Series 7000 as well.
Also, if you have a lighter beard, the results should again be good enough.
The angular shaving head: yay or nay?
So far things are looking quite good for the Philips Norelco Shaver 7700. It’s very comfortable and the closeness is adequate.
Unfortunately, there’s a caveat, at least in my experience with it.
Even though it feels very torquey, especially compared to lower-end Philips rotary models, my experience wasn’t the best despite the 7700 being a really comfortable shaver as I previously mentioned.
After trying various techniques and tweaks, I think my underwhelming experience is tied to this new design of the shaving head.
Precisely, the pentagonal shape of the shaving head holders, along with their larger size and an overall thicker shaving unit, make the Philips Norelco 7700 a bit cumbersome to use.
Shaving half of my face with another rotary with a more conventional, rounded design of the heads like the Series 6000 feels instantly more natural and easier to use.
Also, because of the larger surface of the shaving head holders that seem unnecessarily bulky, the head doesn’t always glide easily on the skin.
I noticed this while shaving dry (with or without a pre-shave lotion) and I always made sure there was no moisture on my skin.
As a result, the circular strokes were sometimes jerky, with the head skipping over the skin and requiring multiple passes over an area in order to get all the hairs.
Taking extra care to only use the slightest pressure, with only the metal guards touching the skin, did make a difference.
But in the end, all of these things made shaving more tedious and time-consuming and at least during my tests, the Philips Shaver 7700 wasn’t as enjoyable to use because of that.
In my opinion, this is a case of function follows form where the manufacturer overcomplicates things unnecessarily.
I think that going with a more conventional, tried and tested design of the shaving head, would have been a better approach.
Even though Philips explicitly mentions the new comfort rings that should glide smoothly on the skin, that just doesn’t always happen while shaving dry.
And it may not seem like a big deal, but this can actually impact your shave and it can get frustrating.
This behavior was quite surprising to me as Philips usually nails the gliding part with most shavers.
SenseIQ technology — does it work?
Philips also makes a big deal out of the shaving sensor that reads the beard density and adjusts the torque accordingly.
I honestly can’t tell if it’s working or not as the noise and speed of the motor always seemed the same regardless of the area I was shaving.
I am yet to see this type of technology actually improving the shave in any way, but so far it just looks good in the specs sheet.
In the case of the Philips Norelco 7700, it doesn’t affect the performance in any negative way, but also doesn’t seem to improve it.
Shaving longer facial hair
Things aren’t exactly great when shaving a 3-day beard either.
Partly because of the previously mentioned problems, the Shaver 7700 (S7782/85) has quite a hard time catching and shaving longer facial hairs, especially the ones that stay flat on the skin.
This is unusual as rotary shavers, especially the more advanced ones, are quite good at dealing with this type of hair.
To my surprise, the new SH71 cutters that come with the Shaver 7700 and the rest of the models in the Series 7000 only feature a single row of blades.
That’s usually something we see on lower-end models, while the more advanced razors have a second concentric track of blades and the guard features specially designed slits for catching longer, flat-lying hairs (or short stubble, depending on the model).
Even the old Series 7000 (now discontinued) had two rows of blades.
This could be the reason for the rather underwhelming performance of the Philips Norelco 7700 (S7782/85) when shaving longer facial hair.
The problem isn’t as serious when using shaving cream, but the majority of users will probably shave dry, so it’s something to keep in mind if you tend to shave irregularly and the hairs stay flat on the skin.
Using this razor with shaving cream on the other hand was a delight.
The comfort is excellent, even better compared to a dry shave.
And if you use a quality shaving cream and plenty of warm water, the head will glide effortlessly on the skin.
This pretty much eliminates the head sticking to the skin issue and it’s also easier to shave a 3-day beard.
I used the Beard Lube shaving balm from Jack Black which works great as it’s very slick and transparent when applied to the face, so it’s easy to see any patches of hair.
Unfortunately, as I mentioned previously, only a small percentage of users will actually be shaving wet, so I don’t know how much the wet shaving performance will matter in the end.
The Philips Norelco Shaver 7700 (S7782/85) comes with an integrated pop-up trimmer which is a welcome change from the previous Series 7000 and I very much prefer it to the separate attachments.
It is located on the back of the shaver towards the top and it’s deployed by a dedicated switch.
The trimmer itself is one of the largest I’ve seen of this type, very wide and sticks out a lot, allowing you to see what you’re doing.
Unfortunately, it is plagued by the same issue as the other integrated Philips trimmers: it just doesn’t cut so well at skin level and takes a lot of work to get all the hairs.
This is not an issue if you’re pre-trimming the entire beard prior to shaving, but it will be if you only want to shape your sideburns for example or to clean your neckline.
Also, the spring that holds the trimmer upright is very weak, so it will fall back easily during an upstroke.
I’ve said it on numerous reviews, but Panasonic absolutely nails it with their pop-up trimmers and I can’t help to compare them to the other brands.
Unfortunately, there’s no comparison here.
That said, I would rather have a mediocre trimmer like this one than no trimmer at all.
In this Internet of Things era, connecting pretty much any device to your smartphone isn’t anything new anymore.
And it’s been the case with other personal care items from Philips like the Sonicare toothbrushes, but I think this is their first shaver that pairs with a mobile app.
The app in question is called Philips GroomTribe and it’s available on Apple’s Appstore and on Google Play.
Once you install the app and go through a quick setup process, you can connect the shaver by turning it on and following the instructions on your phone (you will need to have your Bluetooth on).
The pairing is quick and smooth, but surprisingly, my shaver, which is the S7782/85 model, wasn’t on the list.
So I just selected the closest model, in this case, the S7786/55 which is also a wet/dry Series 7000 that comes with a Quick Clean Pod and it worked just fine.
The app offers quite a lot of information (including the exact battery charge) and tutorials on beard styles, how to clean and use your shaver etc. so that you’ll eventually get the most out of it.
The most interesting feature is the one where it shows you in real-time if you’re using the razor right. However, I think it’ll be of little to no practical use to solely rely on it.
And that’s because you’ll be in the green only if you stick to perfectly circular, short movements and in real life that’s just not how shaving works.
And it’s particularly the case with the Shaver 7700 which requires more work, more changing of direction and even some straight strokes in order to get a clean shave.
For example, it would often show me an orange swirl icon on the razor’s display, meaning that I should use a strict form with my circular strokes.
But doing that with the Norelco S7782/85 would only leave me with patches of hair.
So the app rating my performance as sub-par was really the result of me struggling to get a decent shave.
Overall, I’d say the app is interesting, but hardly necessary or genuinely useful. At least for me it got old pretty quickly.
Cleaning and maintenance
One of the reasons why I was so eager to test the Philips Norelco Shaver 7700 (S7782/85) was that new Quick Clean Pod.
Your typical cleaning station is somewhat bulky, needs a charger in order to work and the whole package usually comes with a higher purchase price.
And at first sight, this cleaning pod seems to address most of those shortcomings.
The idea of having this very compact, practical and simple device was really appealing to me.
So let’s start by seeing how well it works in practice and I’ve even recorded the automatic cleaning process from start to finish so you can see it in action.
The Quick Clean Pod is basically a cylindrical hollow tub with a special lid where you place the razor head down in order to get cleaned.
You can remove the lid that incorporates the whole cleaning mechanism (more on that later) with a short twist counterclockwise.
The second component of this cleaning system is the pod cartridge that contains the actual cleaning fluid. From what I can tell, it’s the same detergent-based solution that Philips uses with the rest of their conventional cleaning systems.
The Quick Clean Pod Cartridge must be placed inside the tub. You first remove the screw-down lid and there’s a tiny plastic handle that you can extend so you can easily grab it and place it inside the pod.
It’s actually quite useful as the cartridge is filled to the brim and you can’t really grab it by the edges.
After that, carefully place the pod lid back, with that nozzle into the cartridge opening and secure it by twisting it clockwise.
Make sure it sits on a flat surface and do not tilt it as it will get messy.
All there’s left to do now is to place the shaver into the pod with the front part facing the tiny led lamp on the pod and press the power button.
Once you press the button, the shaver will detect that it is placed into the cleaning pod and will start running a special cleaning mode.
Remember that tiny metal thing at the center of the shaving head? That actually spins and drives a shaft that in turn rotates a tiny impeller, causing the fluid to go up from the cartridge and into the shaving heads, removing dirt and hairs, and then flows back into the cartridge.
So in the case of the Philips Quick Clean Pod, the shaver itself powers it since it doesn’t connect to a power outlet like a conventional cleaning station. Obviously, the shaver won’t charge when it sits in the pod.
A cleaning icon will show up on the razor’s display and a blue strip will flash throughout the entire process that lasts just under one minute.
You can see it in the video below:
So far this system looks like a winner. But upon further inspection, not everything is great.
First of all, the pod cartridge doesn’t have a mesh filter like the ones used by the full-fledged cleaning stations.
These filters are supposed to prevent hair clippings and dirt from being pumped again through the shaving head.
Since we don’t have one, the fluid that’s being flushed through the head isn’t being filtered in any way and as a result, there were quite a bit of hair clippings inside the cutters and around the holders:
That’s not something I would want to see after an automatic cleaning cycle that is supposed to do a better job than me.
Secondly, the cleaning fluid foams up a lot and it can overflow the cartridge when it’s brand new and filled to the top.
Moreover, the shaving head is dripping wet and full of foam, so you may want to pat it dry before letting it air dry with the shaving unit open.
Finally, these pod refills aren’t exactly cheap since they cost pretty much the same as the normal Philips cartridges.
However, those have two distinct openings, one for the filtered fluid that gets pumped into the shaving head and one for draining the dirty fluid.
The Quick Clean Pod cartridges only have a single orifice, hence the problem with the hairs that can end up in the shaving heads.
But even so, it does work; a detergent solution will effectively clean any oils, gunk, dirt and so on and lubricate the blades; it’s just that they had to keep it simple, so there’s no filter to prevent the hairs from getting sucked in again.
A 2.0 version of this Quick Clean Pod, with separate flows for the clean and dirty fluid would be ideal, but I’m not sure it can be done.
On the other hand, I like that the cartridge comes with a screw-down lid, so you can take it out of the pod, put the lid back on and store it for future use.
A tiny annoyance is that everything seems to be drenched in cleaning fluid, so I had to let the pod dry with the top part removed before putting it back together.
It was less of an issue later on when the fluid level dropped and it didn’t overflow the cartridge anymore.
So if you can get past these negatives, it still is a practical cleaning system and you can even consider using it when traveling.
I honestly don’t know how many cleanings you can get out of a cartridge as I haven’t been using it for that long. Philips says 30, but we’ll see about that.
Also, I am yet to discover how the pod determines that the cartridge is empty and what powers the LED that signals an empty cartridge.
The pod is not connected to the mains and the shaver definitely doesn’t provide electric power to it (the pod shaft is made out of plastic).
UPDATE: The LED is in fact just a small window/viewfinder (unpowered) that looks white when the pod cartridge is empty or black when it’s full. Props to Allan in the comments for the heads-up.
Interestingly, if I place the shaver into the pod with no cartridge inside and turn the shaver on, it will actually enter the cleaning mode and go through the entire cleaning process.
My guess is that turning the shaft of the pod puts some extra stress on the motor and that’s how the shaver determines that it sits inside the pod and it should run the cleaning program.
Personally, I got a bit too tired of the quick pod fuss and mainly cleaned my Philips Shaver 7700 manually.
And it’s pretty easy and straightforward for most of the time.
Here’s how I would normally do it.
Once my shave is completed, I turn the shaver off, pop open the shaving unit and gently shake off the hairs trapped inside.
The Philips Norelco S7782/85 does a really good job of catching most of the hairs, so very few will end up on your shirt and forearm.
After that, I thoroughly rinse everything with warm tap water, shake off the excess and let it air dry overnight with the head open.
That’s how the manual cleaning will look like most of the time.
From time to time I also like to use a bit of liquid soap on the outside of the cutters, then add a bit of water and turn the shaver on for 10 to 20 seconds to lather the soap. After that, I rinse it thoroughly inside out and let it dry.
If you don’t use the pod regularly, then once a month it is recommended to clean each of the cutter and guard pairs individually.
In order to do that, you must first remove the top part of the head to get better access. Just grab it gently and pull it straight off.
The 3 cutter and guard pairs are held in place by 3 retaining rings that must be unlocked.
It’s very important to do this operation one head at a time so you won’t intermix the guards and blades. They are matching pairs and doing so will affect the performance of the shaver.
You can unlock a ring by twisting it counterclockwise. After that, simply lift the blade and guard from the holder and give them a thorough wash.
I highly recommend putting the pair back in place and securing the ring before moving on to the next one. Again, it is very important not to mix them.
The ring is locked by turning it clockwise. The exact same steps are to be used when it’s time to change the shaving heads, only that you’ll be replacing them with new ones.
As for lubrication, the cleaning solution also acts as a lubricant, so if you clean the shaver with the pod, you’re all set.
Otherwise, you can use a cleaning and lubricating spray or even a light lubricant like clipper oil, especially if you use soap (more details on how to do that here).
Replacement parts availability
As mentioned previously in the review, this updated Series 7000 range comes with brand new shaving heads, called SH71.
Interestingly, the new Series 5000 that also features this angular design of the holders uses the same SH71 cutters.
I can’t say with certainty that the performance of the two series will also be the same as the 5000 could actually come with a slower motor, but you could consider it a cheaper alternative.
But getting back to the Philips Norelco Shaver 7700, the switch from the previous SH70 heads to the SH71 that have a single row of blades is a bit odd.
These new cutters are definitely very comfortable, but don’t seem as efficient when shaving more difficult facial hair.
On the plus side, the cutters are already available and the price seems pretty reasonable as well.
Philips Norelco SH71 replacement shaving heads
Philips Norelco recommends changing the blades every 12 months. Interestingly, in Europe, the same blades are supposed to be changed every 2 years.
It’s unclear why this disparity exists as again we’re talking about the same SH71 blades, but with proper cleaning and lubrication, I think you can expect decent performance for 2 years.
It’s way too early to draw any conclusions regarding their durability, but I will update the post as I continue using my unit and signal any potential problems.
TIP: You can actually upgrade to the better shaving heads used by the new angular Philips Norelco Series 9000 — SH91 or even to the Prestige’s SH98. They will fit the Series 7000 perfectly (I’ve tried them both).
The SH91 blades will improve the performance with longer, flat-lying hairs while still remaining comfortable.
Wrap-up—who should buy the Philips Norelco Shaver 7700?
Despite the shaver’s strengths, particularly regarding the build quality, ergonomics and remarkable comfort during use, I can’t really recommend it to everyone.
The Norelco Shaver 7700 (S7782/85) feels a bit bulky and sometimes required a lot of effort on my part in order to cut the more difficult facial hair.
On top of that, the shaving head sometimes sticks to the skin and it can be difficult to shave using a fluid, smooth motion. Some areas with flat-lying hairs also require more passes.
This increased the time it took me to complete a shave and the whole experience wasn’t the most enjoyable.
For this reason, I don’t think it’ll be a great option for a beginner or for someone that has never used a rotary razor before.
I am a bit surprised by my personal experience with the Shaver 7700 as I honestly thought the new Series 7000 would be a fantastic performer, especially when considering the excellent results I’ve had with some of the new (and cheaper) Philips models, like the Series 6000 or even the 2000.
Oddly, other users seem to be getting great results shaving with it, so the Series 7000 might just not be for me.
But even so, I just don’t feel confident enough in recommending it to everyone. If you think you can live with the cons I’ve mentioned throughout the review, then by all means you should get it.
Also, if you’ll be shaving wet most of the time and everything else seems to fit your needs, it’s definitely worth considering.
That said, here are a few alternatives to the Philips Norelco Shaver 7700 (S7782/85).
I’ve mentioned it quite a lot throughout this post, but the new Series 6000 is in my opinion one of the most compelling rotary razors that Philips currently makes and one that punches way above its price.
Alternatively, you can also get it at Walmart.
So why should you buy it instead of the Series 7000?
Well, because it’s a similar shaver performance-wise that comes without some of the specific drawbacks of the Norelco Shaver 7700.
It’s very comfortable, it shaves close, the head usually glides smoothly on the skin, it deals well with longer, flat-lying hairs and it’s a lot cheaper.
No, it doesn’t come with a cleaning pod, but I honestly don’t miss it and I don’t think you will either.
It doesn’t feel quite as powerful as the 7700, but the closeness I got was still very similar.
Even though it’s in theory only a basic, entry-level family of shavers, the new Series 3000 is in my opinion a perfectly fine alternative to the Series 7000.
Models like the Shaver 3500 or 3800 cost less, are easier to use thanks to the more conventional rounded heads, are just as comfortable and the closeness is similar as well.
There’s no cleaning pod, but cleaning is easy most of the time.
Finally, even if it doesn’t make much sense to recommend a foil shaver as an alternative, I just can’t help doing that considering the performance and price of the second generation Panasonic Arc 5.
Precisely, I’m talking about the ES-LV65 and ES-LV67 models that cost less and in terms of performance, they just blow this Philips out of the water.
The closeness is outstanding, they’re adequately comfortable and very powerful, capable of shaving even very coarse facial hair with ease.
There’s no cleaning station included, but cleaning these razors manually is a breeze. If however you absolutely want it, there are variations available that come with a station.
Panasonic electric razors perform best when used on shorter facial hair, so you will get the best results if you shave more often.
This pretty much concludes my test and I hope you’ll find the information useful when deciding whether the Philips Norelco Shaver 7700 would be a good choice for your needs.
If you have any other questions or you’d like to share your experience with this razor, make sure to leave a comment below.
75 thoughts on “Philips Norelco Shaver 7700 Review: Should You Buy It?”Leave a comment
A great informative review, as always! Great job, Ovidiu!!! Glad I didn’t buy it.
Thank you so much, Vasyl. I think that was for the better considering the shaver’s overall performance — and there are also better options for the money.
Excellent review as always Ovidiu! I actually really like the shaver, and like you find it gives me the most comfortable shave of any electric I’ve used, which includes the Prestige and Series 9000 in the Philips lineup. That said, I shave almost exclusively with soap and a brush, as I do with my DE razors, so haven’t tried it dry yet (which I occasionally do traveling) . Rotaries in general seem to treat my face better among electrics, because any of the foil shavers eventually result in a crop of ingrowns, although I can tolerate them for a few weeks. This one just seems to provide the best mix of comfort, closeness and convenience among any electrics I’ve tried. I have used the S7940, which is also Bluetooth-enabled, and the form factor of the rounded heads on this shaver (7940) are indeed easier to maneuver, although not as comfortable. I’ve gotten used to the angled heads (and actually the angled heads are closer to the cutters in one dimension across the guard rings than the rounded heads of other Philips shavers (I think 4mm compared to 5mm), allowing a closer approach to corners of the face – ear and nose for example – but the conventional round shape doesn’t need any accommodation or practice.
I also wondered at the “angled head” design of the 7700 shavers, and thought they were just cosmetic, but have since come to the conclusion they were designed to keep the shaver more stable in the cleaning station, since rounded heads wouldn’t provide as positive a lock placed head-down. For whatever reason, I agree they are harder to manipulate with rotary motions around your face – which like you, I observe results in a lower “score” on the app (I generally get in the 90th percentile for rotary motion with the 7940), but the app in general has limited utility as you observe. I do like the timer and the fact it records my shave time, which gives me a goal to improve!
As far as the cleaning station, I think Braun’s is the gold standard for cleaning and sanitizing an electric, with Philips’ SmartClean station a close second. This one (the Quick Clean system) seems more geared for portability, although it seems to do a decent job if you rinse the shaver head thoroughly before cleaning. It does use some shaver power (looks like about 1% or less), and they do leak out on the inside, but again as you observe, could actually be used for travel because of the size, lack of a need for a power source, and sealable containers of solution. The “empty” window I discovered, BTW, is just a simple (unpowered) shutter that closes when the fluid level is too low or a Pod is not inserted, making the window opaque white (you can test this by inserting a full Pod (the window goes black) and leaving the Quick Clean station empty (the window is white). Not as visible as an LED, but effective enough for purpose. Overall I agree with you – not for everyone, but if you’re a wet shaver and like rotaries, this one is up at the top for comfort and convenience, at least for me, and priced very well among high end rotaries for included features.
Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience with this shaver — it’s always a pleasure reading your mini-reviews. If you get the chance to shave dry with the 7700, I would be really interested in knowing your thoughts. I’m wondering if I’m just an edge case as it seems to be getting really good feedback from most other users.
From the time I posted the review, I continued using the pod and began suspecting that the so-called indicator is merely a viewfinder, but it’s great to have another confirmation as well, so I really appreciate it.
As a side note, there’s a new Series 9000 in Europe with the same angled heads (S9987/55, S9987/59) and new blades (called SH91). Really expensive models, but look very promising and I hope I’ll be able to get one pretty soon.
Allan, thanks for your insight and input. I just bought the 7700 and I agree, when dry shaving the razor seemed to be “juddering” across my face, and because of this I modified my technique to use less pressure, and just let the razor do the work. Can’t wait to try it with some high quality shaving cream. Take care, and thanks again,
From experience, being away from a rotary shaver and someone who’s been using a foil shaver over the past 8 years, I found it quite difficult to return to a rotary shaver! No matter how a good performer a rotary shaver could be.
I personally tried Philips 9000 Prestige once it came out and it didn’t impress me at all, worth mentioning it left quite a lot of patches on my face and made it like a sand paper!
So reading through your review on the new 7000, I pretty much can say I walk on the same path as you!
My experience was pretty similar to you yours and while I did get some good results with a couple of rotaries in recent years, I would definitely pick a decent foil shaver over any rotary. For me they just work better and I think for most users a foil shaver would be a safer choice.
Thanks Ovidiu! Really look forward to your reviews, and would be very interested in your thoughts on the S9987 – from what I saw, other than dual-cutter heads, it looked very similar to the 7700 series, for double the price. It looked like Philips was headed in that direction (Bluetooth enabled, portable cleaning stations, squared-off heads), so it will be interesting to see if they offer alternative models. Their previous designs were actually pretty good, so I’m not sure this is the right move for more traditionally oriented loyal users, but time will tell. Thanks again for all the effort and excellent detail you put into your reviews!
I have the 5588 which has the same head as this. It also has that little small hole in the center of the shaving heads… how would that work with my shaver ? Have you heard anything about the 5588?
If you’re asking whether the quick cleaning pod would work with your shaver, I’m afraid I cannot answer that as I haven’t tested the Series 5000 yet. The fact that it has the metal nut in the center of the shaving unit is a hint that it may be compatible. There’s still the question about the shaver’s ability to detect that it sits in the pod (and then start the cleaning mode).
Okay thanks. I also see where you mention this 7700 might have a more powerful motor than the 5588. Is that confirmed ?
It’s just my personal opinion based on past experience with older models from Philips and from other brands as well. The 5588 uses exact same cutters as the 7700 (SH71), has the same design of the shaving head and it is cheaper. So the superior 7700 would need to have a differentiating feature to justify the higher price. Also, my Series 6000 seems to run a bit slower compared to the 7700, so it would make sense for the Series 5000 to follow suit.
Hello, thank you for the deep review.
I have never used a electrical shaver before, 25 years with blade razors. I am guessing in buy a S6900 (S6810/82), but recently found the same price for the S7782/85. What would you recommend me? I have sensitive skin. Reviewing the both blades, I consider a better blade the SH60 that comes with the S6900, but not sure. Additional to that, I would like to know if could be possible to use the head or even just the blades SH90 for the S6900.
I really apprecite your help to take a desition.
Thank you for your comment, much appreciated. Between the S6810/82 and the S7782/85, the latter seems more comfortable which would be recommended if you have sensitive skin. It also seems slightly more powerful than the Series 6000. However, as I said in the review, it only has a single row of blades per cutter, unlike the SH60 heads of the S6900 that have two. So the S7782/85 won’t be as good at catching longer, flat-lying hairs. As for the SH90 blades, the whole shaving head of a model that uses SH90 will likely work on the S6900. I wouldn’t be so sure about using just the blades though.
However, since you’ve never used an electric shaver before, my first option wouldn’t be a rotary razor, but rather a decent foil shaver suitable for sensitive skin like the ones I mentioned in this guide. Also, check out this post as well where I mention a few other foil options for beginners.
Thank you so much! I will take your recommendation.
Just received my S9987/59 yesterday, and first (wet) shave today. Form factor compared to the Series 7700 is virtually identical – slightly different ribbing on the rubber sides, dark silver instead of dark blue or silver body, looks like slightly less than 1/2″ longer (I assume to accommodate the lighted area underneath the head), and grey rather than blue ComfortGlide rings, but aside from these an identical appearance (same flip-top head and trimmer), and actually balance. Dual-cutter rings in the head (SH91/50), similar to the Prestige or S7940 shavers, and they do seem to cut closer and trim longer hairs more easily, but shave feel and comfort are virtually the same to me as the 7785. As far as the lighted area under the head – claims to alert you if press too hard or not enough (and there are settings in the GroomTribe app to change this), but in practical use I just shaved, and it was just as comfortable as the S7785 and felt virtually the same, regardless of what the lights showed (cool light show though!). The longer body wasn’t really a plus or a minus, and I find I actually like the more squared body compared to Philips’ more traditional cylinder-shaped shavers – it gives you the orientation of the shaver by feel. Same maneuverability issues with the angled head, so if you’re not a fan this will not improve, but I’ve actually gotten accustomed to it and find really doesn’t hinder – or improve – my shave compared to Philips’ traditional round heads.
The Quick Clean station and pods are identical to the 7700 shavers, well covered here. The charging base is slightly different (but same 5.4w output for charging, same Philips connector), with a lighted base that has a circulating white ring light on the bottom while the shaver is charging, and lights solid once charged – it stays on quite a while (10+ minutes) and is as bright as a night light. The shaver’s front LED screen has an extra button that scrolls through battery charge (with an actual percentage), rotation, lock and BT connect icons, some that you can activate with a long press which saves some LED real-estate, and it does a little light dance when you put it on the charger, so a plus for the cool factor, but not sure it’s more practical than the 7700 screen. The “rotation” feature measured in the app doesn’t seem any more accurate or useful than the 7700, and as noted rotating the head continually isn’t always the best technique, and you get one more statistic in the app, the percent of time you used “correct” pressure.
Overall, a very nice razor, with some added bells & whistles to the basic Series 7700, and certainly sharp looking (one of the nicest looking electrics today, to my eye), but value is in the eye of the beholder, and this one is more than double the price of its little sisters. It does have the more effective (IMO) dual cutting rings, but considering almost all of Philips’ combs are a standard 20mm, you could just swap them out on any (recent) Philips rotary you like. Not orders-of-magnitude improvements over either the Series 7700 or the old Series 9000 in my opinion, but adds several gee-whiz features (like the 7700, it does eliminate the pop-off head and trimmer of the 9000, which some dislike), and looks like a trend in new Philips shavers (I wouldn’t call it an “update” to the venerable Series 9000, but like the Prestige, “another,” and very different Series 9000). I actually really like the shave as far as comfort and closeness, but many might not see the value for cost (the /59 does include a detachable beard trimmer). If money is no object, it’s a great shaver if you like the concept and idea of a BT connected shave and like the 7700/7500 shavers (I do), and want a little more dazzle and a slightly closer shave. Looking forward to your definitive review Ovidiu!
Allan, I once again have to tip my hat to you — this is fantastic, so many thanks for taking the time to share your experience with us. I haven’t bought mine yet as I still have some other posts/reviews in the works, but I do have some particular expectations about this new Series 9000. And your review basically confirms them. I’m just curious about its perfromance compared to the 7700 in my case. I’m pretty certain that it’ll be very similar in terms of comfort, but I expect it to be quite a bit better in other areas where the 7700 didn’t excel.
Which will be the best for a new electrical shaver user, this S7782/85 or the S6900 (S6810/82)? Thank you.
Strictly between these two, the S6900 will be more user-friendly and easier to use.
Thank you Ovidiu and look forward to your assessment! I’d be interested in your take on the pressure indicator feature on the 9987 – I actually did an experiment and tried to keep the green light indicator on while shaving (score was 69%), and in my opinion this will virtually guarantee you a good case of razor burn with this shaver. I can’t imagine what it would take to make the red “overpressure” light come on – perhaps imbedding the razor in your face. I’m not sure what Philips was thinking (and the feature is not adjustable), but the indicator seems not to reflect the way most users would shave – in most cases the blue “underpressure” light is more than adequate for shaving if you have normal skin IMO, so another app feature that seems to be at best redundant. Thank you again for the great site and great reviews!
And an addendum – there actually IS a pressure adjustment setting in the app, it’s just hidden in Philips’ arcane Q&A for settings – eventually you get to “Normal,” “Close” and “Very Close” for your desired shave, and the indicator lights adjust according to your preferences and the pressure applied (and I suspect the speed is adjusted as well), and you can adjust the lights on the front LED while the shaver is on – to all indicators, just overpressure or off. Interestingly, Philips has added an “Adjusted Mode” setting for colorblind users – presumable just bright, dim and off. So back on topic to your review of the S7785/82, the S9987 adds dual cutter heads, a pressure indicator light, and a more detailed (% battery and others) LED panel to the features of the S7785/82. Useful, depending on what you want from your shaver, and at what cost.
That is really interesting to know, Allan, especially for new users that might follow the app suggestions to a T and get a rash. I will explicitly mention this aspect when I finally get the new Series 9, so many thanks for the info.
Oh and putting the pressure adjustment setting under the Q&A was probably not the best decision, hopefully they’ll fix it in a future update.
I’m going to add my own experience here, Ovidiu, if I might. I have been shaving with rotary shavers for many decades now and whereas I also have some foil shavers (and always have had one or two kicking around), I’m found that foil shavers inevitably give me ingrown hairs and ultimately razor burn. Like Allan, rotaries are a much better fit for my skin. But it would seem that Allan and I differ on our experience regarding the pressure lights, particularly the “green” light which Philips suggests as the recommended pressure. For my face, the green light is ideal and in general I manage to hit that level of pressure about 90% of the time. I have never experienced any irritation on my neck, chin, upper lip or cheeks with this razor using the green setting. In fact, there are a few occasions in which I’ve managed to light up the orange (too much pressure indicator light) but still did not experience burn or irritation. It “seemed to me” that the orange light was more prone to coming on when I did “not” use circular motions (which is rare for my shaving technique) but that could just be my feeling as opposed to actual fact.
Thank you, Wayne, much appreciated. The new 9000 seems like a great match. With all these new shavers with companion apps, Philips seems to be pretty strict regarding the recommended technique/form (circular motions), so any less conventional strokes could cause the sensor to protest.
Update and opinion of the S9987 after several weeks of use. Aside from the shave, which is pretty good, but not orders of magnitude better than the S7700 shavers, a couple of issues, which may just be random or may be reflective overall. The front LED screen would become randomly scrambled, and need to be placed on the base to reset. The pressure indicator lights on the shaver itself would periodically go to the “no lights” setting, and could not be changed by the button on the shaver, so would also need a reset by placing on the base (which didn’t always work). The lighted charging ring on the base would periodically go out, and require unplugging and re-plugging. Mostly just cosmetic and not functional (the pressure indicator turned out not to be very useful anyway), but this shaver costs 3x or more than the S7700 shavers. It is longer, more bulky, and the shave with the dual cutters turned out to be not quite as comfortable (if a bit closer). My personal recommendation would be to skip this version, and if you were interested in the dual cutters to just purchase the SH91/50 heads, which should fit (but don’t represent that much of an improvement).
That’s really interesting Allan, thanks for the follow-up. You could also consider sending it back for a replacement or repair, in my opinion it definitely qualifies for that, even though you can still shave with it just fine. Totally agree with your last recommendation.
I haven’t got the chance to try it as I’m currently reviewing the 2021 Arc 5 (should be posted really soon) and hopefully the Arc 6 as well.
Thanks Ovidiu! Great review on the ARC 5 BTW. I suspect the S9987 is just a little too complex (and new) for its own good, so not worth returning – maybe there will eventually be a Mark II. It’s actually a nice shaver so no complaints there, and the technology actually works – when it does, and connectivity seems better. The motor does sound more refined and quieter (and probably more powerful) than the 7700 series, so they have apparently put some work into it. The dual cutters do provide a closer shave, and probably a little better than the older S9000, so swapping them out on an S7700 should provide the best of both worlds without the (really unnecessary) gadgetry.
First, let me say I should have looked up your review first. It would have saved me money.
I’m very disappointed with the 7700. I’ve shaved with Braun razors for many years, and am generally satisfied. Most recently I use the Series 8. (I know it is a rebranded 5, but didn’t know that when I bought it.) It works fine, except for a part of my face that has a small scar I got as a teenager. Now that area is a source for ingrown hairs. My old rotary is the best answer for the ingrown hairs.
I saw an ad for the 7700 and thought it sounded fine. Amazon had pretty good reviews, so I bought one.
Shaving dry- my preference – leads to a lot of “grabbing” and the feeling that I’m missing hairs. So I have to go over the same area many times. (Don’t know how anyone shaves in 3 minutes!) I tried wet shaving, and while it is more comfortable, the results are about the same as dry. Under my chin, the chin, and under my lip are not close enough. The other areas are fine.
The app is ok, but not really needed. My shaving motion is still poor, as I don’t see how to consistently get the right motion. The shaver seems to fight me, and in order to feel I’m getting to all hairs, I have to broaden the strokes, and abandon small circular strokes.
Phillips says to give it 3 weeks, but I just don’t feel it is getting any better after about 10 days.
I will probably return it under the money back guarantee offer. Sort of sad, as I was looking for something different than my Braun. Perhaps I will upgrade to the new 7.
Sorry about the disappointing experience, I understand exactly your gripes with the 7700. You could hold on to it a bit more (not past the return window, of course), but I also doubt that you’ll get significantly better results. After all, this isn’t the first rotary shaver you’ve had.
Yes, I try a rotary every so often. I have an older one. I always return to a Braun.
Another question: Do you have any opinion of the Freelette Pre Shave lotion? I didn’t see it mentioned in your link concerning pre-shaves.
I do, I actually still have a bottle of Freelette in my cabinet. It’s a decent pre-shave, nice and inoffensive fragrance (although a bit too potent for my liking) and it works as an aftershave as well. I didn’t continue using it as it seemed a bit too oily and has a thicker consistency compared to the typical pre-shave lotion/splash. It’s basically a pre-shave balm, so not ideal if it’s really hot or you tend to sweat a lot. In my experience, Speick and Tabac are still the most effective pre-shaves.
Norelco makes so many electric shavers. Sells them through all kinds of outlets.
I have one given not me as a gift purchased from Target. Some of the parts are missing. Spent half a dat talking to msg many people. No body was helpful. They transfer you from one location to another eventually ending with the first number you called. totally useless exercise!
Sorry to hear about that, Sam. I haven’t had much experience with their customer support. The quality could also vary (a lot) depending on the country/region. I would try to have it replaced at Target since it came with missing parts — normally that should be very straightforward.
First off, I think that your website is great and really got some good information. For that reason, I want to give my impressions of the Norelco S7788 that I bought 6 weeks ago. My previous razor was a Braun 7 Series that never impressed me. Shaving took too long and just wasn’t close. I never got razor burn, but I never got a good shave. Out of desperation, I tried a completely different razor– a rotary–the Norelco S7788. This razor really does a good job for me. I caught on quickly to using the circular motions that the rotary razors require and got impressively close shaves. They are the best shaves that I’ve gotten with an electric razor. But, here are my observations:
1. The Norelco takes a long time to give you a good shave. (At least I am getting a good shave though).
2. My skin is not sensitive, and I find that the process invigorates my skin. This is probably where I differ from most people whose skin would be irritated.
3. The batteries are not impressive. I need to recharge once a week compared to once every 2 weeks for my Braun.
Here’s what I learned from your website that would have been helpful for me to decide on a shaver. I would have benefitted from selecting Norelco with more aggressive cutting heads to shorten my shaving time. Maybe next year, I’ll buy the top-of-the-line Norelco. One more thing that I learned is that a pre-shave lotion –I use Speick–really helps with a Braun shaver. I bought the lotion after seeing it on your site. I tried it with the Norelco, and it didn’t make a difference. So, I decided to use my Braun 7 again but with the Speick PreShave. I was very impressed. My Braun had never impressed me before. It still wasn’t as close as my Norelco, but it was very good. I just wanted to give you feedback on all of those things since I learned so much from your website. Thanks again for the great information and community of contributors.
Jay, thank you so much for the kind words and for taking the time to share your impressions of this shaver.
From what I can tell, a rotary is just right for you and that’s not actually that common among users that use electric shavers. If you’ll also be able to reduce the time it takes you to complete a shave, I really don’t see any other major shortcomings. The cutters should also last more compared to pretty much any foil shaver.
You can put series 9000 blades there, I bought SH91/50 set and replaced those SH71/50 with them, works good!
Awesome, many thanks for taking the time to share this.
So you can add SH91/50 to S7782/85 ? Is that confirmed?
Are they working better than the SH 71/50?
I got the SH91 and I can confirm that they fit perfectly. The shave is similar with regards to comfort, but a bit faster and slightly closer. At least that’s what I got from switching the SH71 with the SH91.
So you can add SH91/50 to S7782/85 ? Is that confirmed?
Are they working better than the SH 71/50?
Yes, that is confirmed. As I mentioned in the previous reply, the comfort seems the same to me, but the closeness is marginally better and overall it took me less time to complete the shave.
Ovidiu thank you for all your time to asnwet my questions.
I read you review about the 7786 where you did not recommend this shaver but for several reasons I decided to buy it.
The first day wanted to return it. Now I love it. So… I shave my head for 15 years and I have tried everything except Braun foils. Last 6-7 years was with Philips 5580 which was doing the job and I was ok with it except 2 things… Cleaning process not very easy and shave time around 10min which is not bad but for me was not the best think also.
With the 7786 the shaving time dropped to literally 4min.. less than 5 for sure. Something that made me huge impression is how much I enjoy the saving as it is really really less noisy than the 5580.I can talk on the phone.. speak to other people or shave in the morning without waking up anyone. Very big difference. The cleaning process way way easier. The comfort much much better.. huge difference… Especially when you rinse it under the sink for a while it glides so comfortable. Battery is good not great (5580 was better) but it’s not a problem for me.. it can provide 7-8 shavings of 4-5min easily and then you need to charge it again. The only problem I have is the closeness which I wanted to marginally shave closer… It’s ok don’t get me wrong but I would prefer just a little bit more (5580 shaves a little closer).But with your previous message you confirmed that there is a solution… By using the SH91/50 I guess that I will get the closeness I want and then that shaver becomes exactly what I was looking for and the best shaver I have used so far(Braun/Panasonic foils excluded as I have never used them).One more interestin thing… I shaved my head after 4 days… Maybe my hair does not grows fast but it was such a comfortable experience… It gave me the impression that I will be easily shave my self in 5-6 days hair growth if not more. Again maybe it’s my hair but in the 4 days it was cutting so easy and smooth I could not believe it and that was different that the experience I had with the 55800 which after the 4 days I had to use the trimmer first and then the foil otherwise it wasn’t going to be a pleasant shave.
You are very welcome. That’s awesome, it seems like you got a winner. I hope the SH91 heads will make it even better, at least that was my experience when using it as a regular shaver (on my face). These newer rotaries are quite good with shaving longer hair, so it’s not a total surprise that they can handle 5 or 6 days of growth.
I have just upgraded mine to SH91 blades and the results are much better. I prefer it now to my Arc5 which doesn’t work well on the neck. It feels just as close and is quicker with the new heads. Needs a preshave though and the Boots one works great for this shaver whereas Freelette works better on the Arc.
Awesome, glad it was a worthy upgrade. I’ve only heard good things about the Boots pre-shave, unfortunately I cannot get it where I live, so I won’t be trying it anytime soon.
Does anyone know if you can have multiple apps with the same razor? My partner and I use the same face razor. Will I be able to pair it with my phone and him with his phone and switch between depending on who is using it?
I’m afraid I haven’t tried it with another phone, so I cannot say. I do suspect you won’t be able to connect it while it’s already paired with another device.
Great review. I’m thinking of a norelco 6000 style razor. I don’t need right away. In fact I might wait closer to Father’s Day to get one. Do You know if a newer model will be released this year ?
Thank you, Brian. Since the Series 6000 was only released last year, I’d say it’s unlikely for a new model to come out this year.
Just to share that I have switched from Panasonic Arc 5 to this new 9000 series (s9985/50) with new sh91 heads.
You have to consider to review this new top class razor.
It is definitely more gentle and soft on sensitive skin.
No more irritated skin and uncut hairs, in particular on my neck.
Not so close in terms of shaving compared to Panasonic but much more soft on skin!
In my opinion is the perfect balance between close shave and care for my skin!
Give it a try and a review!
I am curious about your feedback based on your experience
Many thanks for the comment, glad you’re happy with the shaver. I do plan on reviewing the new 9000, just haven’t got to it yet.
Regarding cleaning the shaver – I own the Philips Prestige, SP9820/87, shaver. I like it very much because it is comfortable to use it gives a close shave. I use it “dry” with Lectric Shave pre-shave lotion. The Prestige can only be cleaned “manually”. I have often wondered why Philips would design cleaning stations and pods for their lower priced shavers but not the top of the line unit. I have asked them but no real answer. As you say it is not that difficult to rinse the shaver out with water and a little bit of soap.
I completely agree — the Prestige should include a station at that price point. Other oddities are the pop-up trimmer and the hinged shaving unit (that pops open with the press of a button). You’ll even find them on cheap models like the Series 2000, but not on high-end shavers like the Prestige or the Series 9000.
Another great review. The shape of the heads discourages me from going for the 7700 or the newer 9800 series. I think shaving under the nose could be problematic. I don’t agree that the Panasonic Arc 5 (or any foil shaver for that matter) is a good alternative for rotary shavers like myself. I think “most of us” shave with rotary shavers because they work better on our beards and skin (fewer shaving bumps) and are quieter. Along with the Series 6000, the series 8000 would also make a better alternative, but that’s just my opinion. I get the feeling that most foils shaving guys just don’t “get” us rotary shavers.
Thank you for the comment, James, much appreciated.
I’m also not a fan of the new heads, mainly because they’re too thick and aren’t as easy to use as the older round heads that taper down at the edge.
I think choosing between rotary and foil comes down to several factors — skin and hair type, technique and even what you’re familiar with. I also get lots of comments from users that switched to foil shaver after many years of Norelco only shaving and they’re thrilled with the results. Then again it could be the exact opposite, so the best shaver is the one that works for you.
I would consider an older Series 9000 (like the 9700) or the new Series 6000 which I particularly like as it’s one of the most comfortable rotaries I’ve ever used.
Hi, Ovidiu. I was going to follow-up in the s9000 Prestige thread but it seemed more logical to follow-up here. I returned the Prestige after having it for two weeks for a few reasons and re-ordered the 9500 series Norelco (9985/84) shaver. First off, the Prestige was a full hundred US dollars more expensive than the s9985 and did not provide a closer or more comfortable shave. Secondly, the Prestige not only did not come with a cleaning module, but it failed to even have a charging stand forcing me to set it on its side on the counter (not an elegant solution). Lastly, the Prestige left my neck slightly irritated compared to no irritation with the 9985 whatsoever. As for the less than ergonomic handle on the 9985, I discovered after a week and a half shaving with it that I began to adapt to its shape and it has become a non-issue. The only hold-back that “some” might find with this shaver is the unorthodox shaving head. However, I also discovered that shaving next to the ear and under the nose are very simply done by simply turning the shaver on its side where the distance from edge to cutter is reduced and voila – it shaves just as close and easily as any other Norelco. All in all… I’m loving my new shaver. It does exactly what I want – provide a close and comfortable shave and for one hundred dollars less than the Prestige and providing both a charging stand and a cleaning module.
Thank you for taking the time to follow up, much appreciated. Glad you are able to take advantage of the money-back guarantee and settle on the shaver that checks most of the boxes. It ultimately seems like 9500 is the one. Happy shaving!
Very nice review. The most accurate and accurately detailed review of a Norelco shaver I have ever seen.
I have been using Norelco razors for 40 years and definitely consider myself to be an expert. I currently have three models.
The oldest is the Spectra 8 (Macy’s version). How the battery keeps working is beyond me….even the on/off button has worn off and I use a small wooden stick to turn it on and off. It still gives a very good shave. The next model is a Series 7 model that is the most comfortable razor of the three. That said, it is also the least efficient as I have to spend the most time shaving with it….so much time that I find it inconvenient. Recently I bought a Series 9000 Shaver 9400, and that brings me to your review. This is the one for me. Fast, efficient and close, it brings the best of the Spectra and Series 7 together. It is the one that overcomes most of the shortcomings of 7700 you are reviewing. It has the RPMs of the highest end model and glide of comfortable 7700. I really am impressed. If there is any advice I can offer your readers it is this. Read the specs. Realize the lower RPM models are the most comfortable but take a longer time shaving to get the best results. The higher RPM models do the job faster and are a bit closer. One odd tip: I hold these razors upside down, with handle pointing up. My thumb and fingers gripping the handle near the cutters….by far more comfortable and efficient for my tastes. I don’t shave in front of a mirror (except when using the trimmers). I like to walk around or sit in the sun, or catch the tv news or anything aside from standing in front of a mirror.
Many thanks for the kind words and for taking the time to share your experience with these shavers. The older models were outstanding in terms of reliability, unfortunately the current models (and this applies to other brands as well) can’t really match their durability. The performance on the other hand is superior.
Your technique is really interesting — I’ve only used it with some foil shavers that have the head tilted aggressively toward the front and holding it upside down makes it easier to shave certain areas. But I’ve never used a rotary in that manner. I’ll definitely try it.
Thanks for the review, Frank.
I am trying to decide on a new Norelco shaver.
On paper, I think the 7100 looks ok. However, I am not convinced of the large pentagon heads are good.
Your review of the 9400 is helpful. But it has the large pentagon heads.
Can you please tell me whether the RQ12+ heads would fit to this shaver? Of course I mean the entire head assembly, not just the blades, which are obviously different. Thank you in advance for your help.
Yes, the whole RQ12+ head should fit this shaver (and lots of other models) since the mounting seems to be the same across multiple series.
Very good to know: the NEWEST is NOT ALL-WAYS BEST.
Absolutely — thank you for the comment, Donald.
Thank you for all the shaver reviewing work you do, I appreciate it.
Most of my life I have used double edged razors, but I always struggled with getting a clean shave on my neck. It was either stubbly, or I ended up with razor burn and nicks. I got tired of it and tried out a braun series 8 that was on sale from Costco. I have used it for the past two years or so, but it never did a great job. In order to get what I felt was an adequate shave would take many, many passes, resulting in skin irritation and still never really get my neck well shaved. I would need to resort to a safety razor to get things perfect if I needed a good shave.
But I recently picked up a 5581, and I am much happier with it than the Braun. I can do my whole face in essentially two passes, and it’s smooth. Not as good as a careful job with a double edge razor, but more than sufficient for 99% of my shaving requirements. However, my face feels like it’s been rubbed down in sandpaper after. Not immediately, but within about 15 to 20 minutes my face starts to hurt and feel dried out.
I am not super interested in spending more money buying another razor, but if the older 6000 series or newer 7000 or 9000 series will help with this then I will consider it. I have to coat my face with skin cream or it’s very uncomfortable for quite a while afterwards.
Many thanks for the comment, glad you found the reviews helpful.
It seems to me that a rotary is better suited for your facial hair and shaving style. They can however be more aggressive. Pressing too hard will usually cause some late onset razor burn compared to shaving with a mild foil razor like your Series 8.
Apart from making sure you’re not pressing too hard, I would recommend using a pre-electric shave lotion. My favorite is the one from Speick, but if you can’t get it, the Williams Lectric Shave is widely available and reasonably priced. Many users with similar issues benefit from using a pre-shave, and I think it’s definitely worth giving it a shot.
The older Series 6000 is gentler, at least in my experience, but I don’t think you can get it anymore. The replacement heads are being phased out as well. The most comfortable Norelco shaver is the Prestige (original, with the round heads), but it costs a lot of money. So I think it’s worth trying a pre-shave, it’s cheap and takes only seconds to apply. I wrote a guide on that topic here if you want to check it out.
I took a rather circuitous route to acquiring my Philips S9987 that included returning a Braun Series 9 Pro that I just didn’t get on with, then buying a previous model Philips 9000 that developed a fault and then having to accept this latest model as a replacement. I was put off by reviews that criticised the new pentagonal heads and raised doubts over the new shape of the main body. The s9987 is, however, the best shaver I have ever used, it gives me a simply excellent wet shave and a good dry shave using a pre-lotion. The new body gives a better grip and you no longer keep turning the shaver off by mistake, a traditional design weakness in earlier models. You do have to use the shaving head with some care to get the best out of it, and target those difficult under-the-nose and sideburn areas with the narrowest edge of the cutters as shown in the manual. After a little practice this becomes second nature and the results are really very good. I tried wet shaving with a Mach 3 as a comparison and the Philips does a better job which is surprising. The shaver has lighting that changes colour to encourage the correct pressure in use, keeping it in the green requires a very light touch which surprised me but is very effective. The Quick Clean pod works well but I use it only once per week for lubricating the heads. Daily under the tap cleaning works a treat and after the first month I took the heads apart for a deep clean but it all looked like new, no hairs, no grunge just super clean. I hope this model will soon be reviewed here so we can compare notes but at last I am very happy with my daily shave.
Thanks so much for taking the time to share this, Paul, excellent summary. I will be reviewing the new S9000 soon hopefully as I have a few reviews and guides already in the making. But I will definitely get to it. Enjoy yours, it seems like you picked a winner.
I have shaved with Norelcos since the 1990s and have owned five or six of them, including the 5300 for the past year. The 5300 shares the same heads, cutters, and molding as the 7700, but the 5300 lacks the bells and whistles of the higher end model. The 5300 does not even come with a case, but it is about 60% of the price of the 7700. No cleaning station on the 5300 but that really doesn’t matter as I rinse it after each use. I find the using the faucet in the shower provides a better rinse and clean up (taking a shower) is way easier than blowing water and whiskers into a sink/counter. My general advice for Norelcos is to buy the lowest end shaver you can that uses the same heads as higher end models. All you really need is a case, charger, brush, and a shaver that can be rinsed with water.
The 7700 is the most comfortable Norelco shaver I have used. No irritation, nicks, or cuts. It is a very smooth shave. That being said, it doesn’t shave as close as my 20 year-old Quadra Action Model. The angular heads are a pain when shaving under your nose and when shaving just below your sideburns. The 5300 and 7700 only have slots on the cutting heads. My old Quadra Action has holes and slots. Of course holes and slots do not effect closeness as the width of the combs is what matters, but I do think sometimes the 5300 misses more hairs than the old Quadra and I wonder if holes and slots are slightly more efficient than just slots?
About 15 years ago Norelco was using holes, slots, and two-three rings of cutters on their middle level and higher shavers. Now these features are only available on the S9000 that is around $300 USD.
…sorry for the above typo, I mean to write, “The 5300 is the most comfortable Norelco shaver I have used.” I have not shaved with the 7700.
Excellent write-up, thank you for taking the time to share it. I fully agree and I always recommend lower-end shavers, not just Norelcos, if you’re getting pretty much the same shaving performance.
I personally prefer slots and combs on the cutting heads, but if I were to choose only one, I would have to go with the slots. Those seem more effective to me when I shave my neck where the hairs stay flat on the skin.
Thank you for this site, it is very helpful! I am not even a man and I find it very enjoyable to read lol. So, I am shopping for a shaver as gift for my husband..he tells me he would like either Philips series 7000, series 9000, or series 9000 Prestige. He tells me that the things he cares most about are comfort, noise, closeness and cleanliness (meaning hair clippings being trapped in the unit instead of falling on shirt, etc.). I see that you are not too enthusiastic about series 7000. Is series 9000 better in terms of these 4 criteria (closeness, comfort, noise and cleanliness)?
Also, right now the Prestige is much more expensive than the series 9000…about $290 vs $190 US dollars. Is Prestige superior to the point of justifying this higher price? My instinct is to say not. For example, it might shave closer slightly, but not $100 closer…similarly it probably is not $100 quieter, $100 cleaner, or $100 more comfortable. Plus it lacks cleaning station which is weird for a $300 shaver. Actually, I see that the accoutrements to the series 9000 are generally better than for the Prestige (it has cleaning pod, app, etc.). This all makes me lean more in favor of series 9000 for him. It’s $190, while series 7000 is $160, so not huge difference there. I will love to hear your thoughts on all this. Thank you!
Thank you so much for the comment.
I fully agree — considering the price, performance and what your husband needs from a shaver, the Series 9000 definitely is the better deal. The Prestige is slightly better, however the price difference can’t be justified. All rotaries are similar in the way that they trap the hairs inside a lot better than foil shavers and are also quieter. The Prestige is slightly noisier actually than the Series 9000 and also makes a specific squeal right after you turn it on. The Prestige blades are also compatible with the Series 9000, but the differences between them are again marginal.
In conclusion, I would also pick the Series 9000.
Thank you! Actually today he came to me and said he also likes the Braun series 9000 or 9000 Pro. I wish he told me this before! I see that these shavers are foil, instead of rotary. How do these compare to Philips series 9000 in terms of the different factors? I’m sorry if this question is not possible to answer, as I understand that maybe it’s difficult to directly compare foils and rotaries.
You are very welcome. There are a lot of aspects to consider when choosing between a foil vs a rotary shaver and I covered everything in this post if you want to check it out. You should get a better idea of the type of shaver that would be more suitable for your husband’s needs.