Shaving is one of those things that can be a fun thing to do but if you don't have the right tools it will be something really annoying. Just a few weeks ago I saw a new discussion here on Geekzone with people discussing shavers. This is not the first time this kind of discussion appeared. Over the years we have seen discussions about gel vs oils, blades and razors, shaving in the shower or not and so on.
What brought this specific discussion to my attention was the timing. Just a few minutes before the discussion was created I had received an email from Philips with a release about their new Philip Series 9000 wet and dry shavers.
I asked Philips for a review and later on the same day I had a Philips Series 9000 model S9111/12 here.
Fist thing to strike me was how different it looks from the old shavers or even Philips own's Series 3000 models. The Philips Series 9000 is sleek and very light. The contour makes it very easy to hold it and the rubber surface is perfect for wet use.
I put the shaver to charge and the display came up with a three level battery indicator, which is very intuitive. Other icons are also the travel lock and cleaning indicator. In all a very easy to understand display.
The most interesting aspect of this Series 9000 model is the wet and dry shave. I have been shaving in the shower for over 30 years now. I was quite happy to see the Series 9000 is a fully waterproof shaver and can be used under the shower or in bath. In my own use I decided to try with Nivea shaving cream. You will notice how quiet this shaver is, with almost no noise heard over the running water, only a sligh vibration. It glides really well over the foam and the "Contour Detect Technology" (the all sides moving/rotating head) really feels like a massage being applied to your face.
The result is a comfortable and very close save. If you apply cold water afterwards to clean your face you will feel it soft and smooth - the way you'd have it after a close razor shave.
Maintenance is pretty easy seeing this is a waterproof device. You can just wash it, and remove the head by pulling it out. You can then wash the heads and simply click everything back in place. You are supposed to replace the head every two years or so - obviously I haven't reached this stage yet.
Philips instructions say you skin may need up to two weeks to adapt to a different shaving method, but I was happy to see no side effects on my facial/neck skin even after the first shave. I have been using it for two weeks now on a daily basis and I can see it cut (no pun intended) my shaving time by half compared to my daily oil/razor shaving routine.
A handy lock feature is available: push the power button for a few seconds and a countdown (using the power indicator LEDs) will start to lock and unlock the shaver. This is specially useful to prevent kids playing with it or to stow away during travel. For travellers, you also get a hard shell carry case to store your shaver on trips.
A 60 minute charge provides up to 50 minutes of use, which can be handy when going on short trips and you worry about carrying the charger. For safety reason the shaver won't start if the charger is plugged in either.
About twenty years ago I tried a Philips Philishave (the old brand name used by Philips) but it was not a succesful experience. It was a dry shave and my skin didn't agree with that. The Philips Series 9000 experience was completely different from the start.