The Braun M90 Mobile Shaver is the follow up to the much-loved M60vb. This bargain shaver packs an incredible number of features into its portable size.
But is the M90 the affordable electric shaver you have been waiting for or does the price instead reflect a lack of quality?
Find out in our detailed review!
With the introduction out of the way, it’s time for the fun bit. Playing with the M90 shaver.
The Braun M90 Mobile Shaver
Behold, the contents of the M90 box:
- Braun m90 mobile shaver
- Instruction manual
- Two AA batteries
As always, Brauns instruction manual is poorly set out. This is true of their flagship shaver (the Braun Series 9 ) so it is unsurprising to see they have put just as little effort into their economy model.
The instruction manual is very light on detail and confusingly covers 3 different shavers (M-90, M-60, and M-30).
But I have to hand it to Braun for including the batteries in the box. There is nothing worse than seeing this written on the side of the box:
Batteries not included
Braun has saved me from having to steal batteries from the TV remote (a habit my wife hates).
Now, let’s take a closer look at the shaver:
Despite being decked out in an unflattering plastic, the Braun M90 isn’t actually that bad looking.
The first thing that you will notice is the large silver guard that makes up half the shaver.
If you fiddle around with the guard you will notice that it moves:
The guard can spin clockwise or anticlockwise:
The guard actually serves two purposes:
- Protect the foil head from being damaged
- Prevent the power button from accidentally being pushed
You see, Braun has cleverly designed the Mobile Shaver so that the on button can only be toggled when the guard is down:
But also functions as an effective travel lock.
I was pretty impressed by this since. The last thing you want is your electric shaver turning on while at the bottom of your bag, draining the batteries.
With the guard down you can now see the shaver in its full glory:
Let’s take a closer look at the shaver head…
I was surprised to see that the M90 uses the same foil guard that is found on Braun’s much more expensive Series 1 Mobile shaver (190s-1).
Let’s compare them side by side:
On the left, you will see the M90 Mobile Shaver and on the Right, you will see the Series 1 smart control.
Now those of you who have read my Braun Series 1 Smart Control (190s-1) Review will know that I gave it an absolute roasting.
Now you may be wondering how the M90 could possibly be any different if it has the same foil guard and razor blades.
Well, here is the difference:
The Braun Series 1 (190s-1)is designed (and priced) to be a standalone, everyday electric shaver.
The M90 Mobile Shave is used as a touch up shaver, to slay your 5 o’clock shadow the moment it starts to pop up.
The M90 is to be used in addition to your everyday electric shaver. Not replace it.
While the Series 1 (190s-1) could do touch ups just fine, anything longer than a day or two of growth required many passes, so many in fact that it just was not practical to use.
To put it simply, the Series 1 (190s-1) is an overpriced M90 with fewer features.
If you remove the foil guard from the shaver you can see that the razor blades are actually a series of sharpened metal discs.
From my experience, this style of razor blade does not often see out more than 6 months of frequent use.
But for the price, this is hardly an issue.
The foil guard head pivots left and right when pushed against the skin:
But this is largely a gimmick. The pivoting head does not help with shaving your jawline or other contoured areas in the slightest.
Because if you are pressing down hard enough to get the shaving head to pivot then you are pushing down hard enough to get the foil guard to bend.
And it bends easily:
The foil guard bends and twists with minimal effort. As you can imagine, bent foil does not do the best job at cutting beard hairs. .
It is for this exact reason that you should keep the guard on when the electric shaver is not in use.
Since the curved foil guard is responsible for the shaver gliding smoothly over your face. If you bend or tear the foil guard then you are going to cut yourself when shaving.
If this happens you are going to have to throw out the entire shaver. It may seem wasteful but at this price point, it just isn’t worth buying replacement parts.
If you flip the shaver over you will notice a little trimmer head recessed into the rear.
But you can’t use the trimmer like this!
Sliding your finger horizontally across trimmer will cause it to pop out:
While the trimmer definitely won’t be up to the task of mowing down your entire beard, it is great for detailing, or slaying that stray monster hair that you missed earlier in the day.
I used the trimmer with much success on my sideburns and expect it to do just as well on a mustache or goatee. I was surprised with the performance given it’s small size.
Just don’t use the trimmer as the batteries start to die, it will pull hairs. I learned that the hard way.
It is worth mentioning that the trimmer is quite difficult to slide back to it’s original position, especially if your hands are wet.
But the trimmer isn’t the only thing hidden away in the M90. If you take a closer look at the base of the trimmer you will see a cleaning brushed neatly stowed away.
Although you do have to slide the brush to the right to remove it, I found it came out a little too easily.
I would often remove the M90 from the bottom of my bag to discover the brush had fallen out.
Still, it is a nice added feature that makes removing hair clippings from behind the foil guard a much simpler task.
I think that just about covers all the basics of this shaver. The only thing left is to do is take him for a test drive.
But first, we are going to have to squeeze some batteries inside.
To unlock the battery compartment you are going to have to give the base a twist.
The base twists 90 degrees anti-clockwise to become a handle.
By giving the handle a tug, the battery compartment pops right open.
Simply slide the batteries inside and you are good to go.
Braun has also included a rubber seal on the battery compartment to keep water out when you rinse the shaving head. A nice touch.
The instruction manual claims that you can get 60 minutes of shaving time from a pair of AA batteries. I found this number to be closer to 55 minutes but still, not bad for a portable electric shaver.
So how well does Braun’s M90 Shave?
It holds up okay, under certain conditions. But you have to remember that the M90 is best used in addition to your everyday shaver, rather than replacing it.
This is largely because the shaver does best on short hairs. The type that appear in your 5’oclock shadow. Anything more than a 1 day growth and many of you are going to start to run into issues with this shaver.
Because the shaver really struggles on longer hairs, hairs that lay flat and hairs that grow in all different directions.
When these hairs are short, their growth direction is not so noticeable and are easily cut down when not in use.
A major concern I have is with the quality of the shave. The razor blades were exceptional through the two months use but quickly began to dull, even with a proper cleaning routine.
This seems to be a problem with cutting thicker, coarser hairs. If you have medium to fine hair then you will likely see the shaver last a lot longer.
A warning to those of you with sensitive skin: The foil guard is rather coarse. If your skin flairs up in red patches then the m90 can be a very painful experience.
Braun’s m90 is fairly simple to clean, simply lather it up with hand soap, turn the shave on and rinse it under running water.
If no running water is available, you can use the included cleaning brush to sweep off any hair clippings. This is an absolute chore and should only be used as a last resort.
Removing all the cut hairs with the brush alone is nigh on impossible and I definitely recommend you use running water to rinse the shaver where possible.
Braun recommends that you coat the blades in light machine oil every now and again if you frequently wash under water. A small application of household oil is all that is required.
My major gripe of the cleaning process is that it is impossible to wash the shaver with water without getting the trimmer wet. I noticed small rust marks appear on the trimmer head after a months use.
You definitely get what you pay for. While the Braun M90 Mobile Shaver is packed full of features, it is far from being the perfect shaver.
If you are looking for a shaver to slash away at your 5’oclock shadow then this will definitely do the trick, but it simply won’t replace your everyday electric shaver.
At this price point, I would treat the M90 as a disposable electric shaver. If you treat this purchase as a handy temporary solution to shaving then you won’t be disappointed.