Face-On With Philips Norelco’s New Self-Cleaning Electric Razor

I enjoy shaving, and until this point I used a razor that I thought gave me a decent shave. Wary about electric razors, I tried Philips Norelco‘s 9700 last night and it gave me the closest shave I’ve ever had.

Celebrating its 75th anniversary in male grooming, Norelco announced several new additions including a new body groomer and a laser-guided beard trimmer.

The Norelco 9700, which is waterproof, has three new features that distinguishes it from other shavers. The reason you can get a really close shave with it is because it uses v-shaped blades that cut up to 30 percent closer to the skin (so Norelco says). The 9700’s new contour detect technology allows it to get to those hard to reach places as it has three shaving heads moving in eight different directions, hitting 20 percent more hairs.

The third feature is that the shaver comes with the SmartClean System PRO that cleans, dries and lubricates the shaver by just pressing one button. The cleaning phase takes about 10 minutes, but the drying phase takes up to 4 hours.

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Although the cleaning process takes quite a while, it wasn’t difficult to use. The only problem I had with it is that the cleaning solution cartridge leaks everywhere when you move around the SmartClean stand, which seems more like a design failure than anything else. As long as you don’t move it around you should be fine.

Personally, this is one thing that puts me off about this system — buying this cleaning solution when it depletes. It’s an extra step and hassle that I’m not too fond of.

The kit comes with a beard trimmer, which you can replace by pulling off the top part of the shaver. The SmartClean System comes with a charger, but you can also charge the shaver by itself.

Philips is also planning to release an app in the fall that lets users test different beard types on their face. The app includes information about different beard styles curated by barbers around the world, and it will also try to match a beard with your personality.

The Philips Norelco Shaver 9700 will be available October 1 at retailers such as Target and Wal-Mart. You can preorder the shaver with the cleaning stand, beard trimmer and case at Amazon for $292.53.