Philips Norelco 7300 and 7700 Electric Shaver Review

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The 7300 and 7700 make up Philips 7000 Series of electric shavers. While it is supposed to be a mid-tier electric shaver, bridging the gap between the 9000 Series and 6000 Series, it is much closer to the high-end shaver than the lower.

The 7300 is the best rotary shaver you will get at this price and despite some quirks, it holds up to the competition well.

Philips Norelco 7700 vs. 7300

Disclaimer: This review is of the Philips Norelco 7300, which is IDENTICAL to the 7700 with the exception of three INCREDIBLY MINOR differences. We feel these differences do not justify the extra cash spent. The three differences:

1. Color:

  • 7300 – Blue/White/Gray/Black Color scheme
  • 7700 – Blue/White/Gray/black/brown color scheme

2. Battery indicator:

  • 7300 – 1 battery indicator
  • 7700 – 3 battery indicators

3. Trimmer:

  • 7300 – One trimming length
  • 7700 – 5 trimming length settings

If you have the extra cash to drop you are better off jumping up to the 9000 Series than from the 7300 to 7700.

Phillips 7000 Series 7300 Electric Shaver

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What’s in the box

We were pleased to see that Philips attention to detail when it came to packaging was not only found on their highest model shavers ( the 9300 and 9700)

If you are worried that your brand new electric shaver is going to get damaged in delivery then don’t. Philips has gone to such an extent to protect your shaver that it could survive even the roughest of delivery drivers.

Once you open up your box, you will find your new 7000 series shaver and a whole bunch of other accessories:

Philips Norelco 7300 electric shaver (7000 series) and accessories that come in the box

Let’s break down the contents of the box piece by piece.

Starting with: The instruction manual.

Philips Norelco 7300 electric shaver (7000 series) instruction manual

After being forced to read through Braun’s confusing and poorly written instruction manuals, coming back to Philips was like a breath of fresh air.

Everything set out in a logical and easy to follow manner. I know it seems basic, but Braun has managed to mess this up time and time again.

Also included in the manual is a replacement parts guide and a note prompting you to register your shaver to extend the warranty period (awesome) and discounts on related Philips products (meh).

Next up is the star of the box, the shaver itself:

Philips Norelco 7300 electric shaver (7000 series) side photo

I will examine the shaver in much greater detail further down the guide, as soon as I have finished exploring the contents of the box.

When the time comes to trim or detail hairs, the shaving head can be swapped out for a trimmer:

Philips Norelco 7300 electric shaver (7000 series) beard trimmer head

The trimmer is for those of you that don’t want to shave everything.

Whetheryour are cropping your sideburns, styling your mustache or detailing your goatee, the trimmer head will help you get up close and personal with these fiddly areas.

A travel case is included to keep your shaver safe from harm when not in use:

Philips Norelco 7300 electric shaver (7000 series) travel case

The case is identical to that of the 9000 series and will definitely offer enough protection from accidental falls.

Along the “hinge” of the case is a mesh vent. The vent allows air to circulate throughout the case even when zipped-up.

The mesh vent is definitely a love it or hate it feature.

On the plus side; if you are in a hurry and your shaver has not yet fully dried, it will not go moldy in the case and instead continue to dry.

But the vents also allow small bits of fluff and dirt through to the inside of the case. You will forever be picking white bits from the lining.

With careful positioning, you can fit both the shaver and the trimmer attachment inside the travel case.

Next up is a rather large and plastic object:

Philips Norelco 7300 electric shaver (7000 series) cleaning and charging unit

Your shaver’s cleaning unit. At the touch of a button, the cleaning unit will charge and remove all the hair clippings from your shaver. Without any effort from you!

The cleaning unit runs off detergent cartridges:

Philips Norelco 7300 electric shaver (7000 series) cleaning cartridge

Each cartridge contains a detergent solution that is flushed through your shaver by the cleaning unit, resulting in a more efficient clean than using water alone.

Finally, there is the charging cable:

Philips Norelco 7300 electric shaver (7000 series) charging cable and plug 100-240v ac

Because without it your 7300 and 7700 are little more than doorstops.

With the contents of the box explored it’s time to take a closer look at the shaver.

The Philips 7000 Series shaver (7300 and 7700)

The first thing that strikes you about the 7300 (and 7700) is it’s unusual color design.

Of course looks are always subjective but I found the color choice to be a bit off. The pastel blue and white almost seems feminine. Not that there is anything wrong with that but come on, this is an electric shaver targeted at men.

Philips Norelco 7300 electric shaver (7000 series) front photo

Unless Philips has suddenly decided that bearded ladies are a lucrative market, the color choice just comes odd and as you may have noticed; I don’t like it.

The 7300 (like the 7700) has just a single button on the front:

Philips Norelco 7300 electric shaver (7000 series) power button and indicator screen

The button is pretty self-explanatory. It turns your electric shaver on and off.

Pressing the power button for three seconds activates the travel lock; a handy feature for those of you who travel frequently and take your shaver with you.

With the travel lock activated, your electric shaver will be unable to accidentally turn on inside your luggage, draining the battery.

It also frees you up from having to explain what that strange vibrating sound coming from your bag is.

Philips have done a great job at seamlessly incorporating the power button into the body of the shaver. If you were to slide your finger over it with your eyes closed you wouldn’t even be able to tell it’s there.

The button gives a satisfying click sound when pressed. If anything, there is not enough give on the button (the amount the button moves down when pressed) but this is an extremely minor complaint.

At first glance, there does not seem to be anything else of interest on the front of the shaver.

But if you look closely…

Philips Norelco 7300 electric shaver (7000 series) close up of shaving indicators

You will be able to make out small symbols on the metallic blue surface. These are your shaving indicators.

When the shaver is in use, these indicators will light, providing you with warnings such as travel lock being activated or battery status.

With the front covered it’s time to flip the shaver over and check out it’s booty…

Philips Norelco 7300 electric shaver (7000 series) rear photo

Not that attractive. This is probably why you will only ever see the front of the 7000 Series shavers in Philips’ advertising.

Fortunately, the rear is mostly covered by your hand during shaving so you won’t notice it too much.

Running your fingers over the rear of the shaver reveals that Philips has decided to go with a hard rubber . Rubber is always a good choice for wet/dry shavers since it is easy to grip, even when wet.

If you look closer you will notice the neck of the shaver has a textured grip:

Philips Norelco 7300 electric shaver (7000 series) rubber grip behind neck of shaver

Now the idea of this is to offer a little more friction, making it more difficult for the shaver to fall from your hand.

I’ll level with you, it isn’t all that great. Unlike the amazing grip on the 9000 Series, Philips appears to have half-heartedly cut notches in the rubber and considered it good enough.

For whatever reason, Philips considers a proper rubber grip a “premium feature” and if you want to see a rubber grip done right you will have to buy the high-end model (the 9300 or 9700). While the rubber grip could be considered “good enough” Philips Norelco obviously know how to do it better.

Moving down the rear of the shaver you will see that Philips has printed a whole bunch of information:

Philips Norelco 7300 electric shaver (7000 series) specifications printed on rear of body

I like that Philips includes the part numbers of replacement parts on the rear of the shaver. If you are anything like me you will lose your instruction manual in no time, and this makes for a handy reference.

Like most higher end shavers, the 7300 and 7700 are not made in China. Philips has opted to have the 7000 Series manufactured in the Netherlands.

At the very bottom of the shaver, hidden from view is the charging socket:

Philips Norelco 7300 electric shaver (7000 series) charging socket

When the battery runs flat simply hook up the charging cable to this socket and get that juice flowing!

How does the shaver feel in the hand?

Philips Norelco 7300 electric shaver (7000 series) held in hand

Incredibly comfortable. In my opinion, the 7000 Series are even more comfortable to grip than the more expensive 9000 Series.

This is largely due to the handle of the 7000 Series being slightly thicker and the neck of the shaver having a more gradual slope.

Philips engineers actually did their premium model shaver a disservice by changing the shape of the handle.

While the shaver is quite light, the weight is very nicely distributed and does not feel top heavy at all (a problem with the Panasonic shavers). The shaver has a premium feel when held in the hand.

Now while this is all well and good, the key selling point is the shaving head. So what does Philips offer you for your hard earned cash?

Now Philips is actually pretty darn good at making rotary shavers (their foil shavers suck) and it’s no surprise to see a rotary shaver sit on top of the 7300 and 7700.

But what’s this?

Philips Norelco 7300 electric shaver (7000 series) shaving head close up

Does that look familiar to you?

It should, the 7300 and 7700 shaving heads are identical to the 9300 and 9700. Check it out:

Philips Norelco S9311/84 9300 electric shaver (9000 series) Shaving head close up

So much so that Philips had to get it’s marketing team to describe the blades differently. I am not kidding, check it out:

9000 Series

Philips Norelco 9700 and 9300 precision razor blades

The newly designed V-Track Precision Blades collect hair in the optimal cutting position, resulting in a more comfortable shave that’s 30 percent closer. The blades also self-sharpen to ensure a premium shave day after day

7000 Series

Philips Norelco 7700 and 7300 gentle electric razor blades

The specially-designed Gentle precision blades comfortably guide hair to the most optimal cutting position, reducing irritation caused by tugging and pulling.

 

Now be honest with me. Reading above you would assume that each razor has two different razor blades, right? Heck, they even use different pictures to get the point across.

I’m going to be blunt with you. This is crap. Both blades are exactly the same.

How do I know?

I have taken both shaver heads apart and compared them:

philips norelco series 9000 vs series 7000 compared side by side in pieces

While Philips doesn’t outright say that they are not the same blade, it is heavily implied. Which is pretty deceptive.

But for those of you who are considering either a 7300 or 7700 shaver, you should be happy to note that you are actually getting the best blades that Philips currently has to offer.

There are only three differences between the two shaving units and I will get to those in a minute. First, lets take a closer look at the shaving unit itself:

Philips Norelco 7300 electric shaver (7000 series) shaving head unit

This is the shaving unit. And it is made up of 3 shaving heads. Each shaving head is made up of two pieces, a razor blade disc and a guard.

If you look closely you will notice two distinct circular patterns on the guards. One around the rim of each shaving head and one towards the center of the disc. Each of these circular patterns is called a “track”.

The outer track is designed for cutting longer hair while the track on the inner portion of the disc not only cuts shorter hairs but helps lift hairs that lay flat against the skin (such as those on the neck).

As you glide the shaver across the surface of your skin, hairs will stick up through these slots and is cut by the spinning blade behind.

If you are having a hard time picturing this, here’s a diagram of a hair poking through the guard just about to be trimmed by the blade:

Philips Norelco 7300 electric shaver (7000 series) diagram of hair being cut through guard

Now you definitely did not miss the blue rings that boarder the shaving heads:

Philips Norelco 7300 electric shaver (7000 series) comfort rings on shaving head

It’s here we come across the first difference between the 7000 and 9000 Series shavers. These rings are pretty much the only thing that make this shaver “sensitive”. The rings are almost frictionless and effortlessly glide across your face.

I was very impressed with them. There is a very noticeable difference between the coarse gradient of the 9000 Series rings and the impossibly smooth rings of the 7000 Series.

The result is definitely a comfortable shave with less irritation.</p

BUT… That comes at a cost.

You see, I found that the coarse rings on the 9000 series actually help lift hairs that lay flat, preparing them to be cut when the guard passes over. The smooth curved surface of the 7000 series seemed to push them down.

The next difference comes in how the shaving heads contour. The 9000 series shaving heads bend and flex (in 8 different directions) perfectly against your face allowing you to shave tricky areas like your jawline with ease.

The 7000 series only flexes in 5 different directions (three less). To be honest, unless I shaved my jawline, the 5 directions less was not immediately apparent.

Since the shaver heads are obviously made from the same mold, the removal of 3 directions of movement is deliberate. After all, it is in their best interest for you to buy the most expensive model.

By pulling gently upwards, you can split the shaving unit in half:

Philips Norelco 7300 electric shaver (7000 series) shaving head split in half removed from body

This is the method you will use when the time comes to change the blades on your series 7000 shaver.

Flipping the shaving unit over reveals that the blades are locked into position by orange retaining rings.

Philips Norelco 7300 electric shaver (7000 series) rear of shaving heads

The rings can be undone by twisting in the opposite direction of the arrows.

Unfortunately, this is an incredibly fiddly to do with your fingers alone. While I was attempting to undo them, it quickly became apparent why the 9000 series includes a plastic tool to assist with the removal.

The lack of the tool was sorely missed. If you read my review of the series 9000 you will know that the retaining ring system was probably my most hated feature of the shaver. And I was not too impressed to see it on the 7000 Series as well.

Philips Norelco 7300 electric shaver (7000 series) with single shaving head and blade disc removed

With the retaining ring removed, the shaver head simply lifts up out of the shaving unit.

Since the blades will dull over time; Philips recommends you use this method to change your shaving heads once a year. The shaving heads can be purchased directly from Philips (part number SH70).

From experience only daily shavers should need to change the shaving heads yearly. If you shave only a couple of times a week or less then you will see the blades last much longer.

The main thing I hate about the retaining ring system is the rings themselves. They are cheaply made. If you have read my Series 9000 review then this rant is a near mirror image of that, so you can skip over this next bit if you like:

Philips Norelco 7300 electric shaver (7000 series) retaining ring tag

In the above image, you may notice that the tag is somewhat sheared. This happened when I attempted to return the shaver head to it’s original position.

You have to be REALLY careful that you have the retaining ring in the correct location before twisting it back to it’s locked position, otherwise, this tag scrapes along the wall of the shaver head and could potentially shear right off (it is flimsy plastic after all).

My suggestion would be to pay attention to how the retaining ring locks into place before you start removing each individual shaver head.

Because if you slice off these little tags you will need to replace the entire shaving unit, which isn’t exactly cheap.

Since this is also the same way that Philips expects you to “advance clean” your shaver heads, this system seems incredibly poorly designed.

The retaining ring system is by far my least favorite thing about this shaver. Everything else about the shaver is so well engineered, yet it feels like the retaining ring system was implemented without much thought as to usability.

Moving on…

If you pull upwards with a little force you will be able to completely remove the shaving unit from the handle/body of the shaver

Philips Norelco 7300 electric shaver (7000 series) with single shaving head removed from body

Philips calls this quick action release “SmartClick”. No fiddling around with buttons, a simple pull and the whole unit comes straight off.

While not a whole lot of force is required to pull the unit off, it held strong shave after shave. It seems surprisingly well designed.

With the shaving head removed you are now free to attach the trimming head:

Philips Norelco 7300 electric shaver (7000 series) with beard trimming attachment clipped in

Unlike the Panasonic Arc 5 or Braun Series 9 (which include pop-up trimmers attached to the shaver) Philips has decided to include the beard trimmer as a separate accessory entirely.

The shaver will not replace your everyday beard trimmer. While it works fine at detailing (goatee, sideburns, mustache Etc.) it is far from the best when it comes to thick and bushy sections of beard hair.

I’ll be honest, the trimmer seems like an afterthought. It quickly gets annoying swapping out the attachments and is just one more plastic object waiting for you to lose.

It is also worth mentioning that this is the first difference you will come across between the 7700 and the 7300. The beard trimmer on the 7700 has an adjustable guard, so that you can set the length of the trim.

I think that covers just about everything on the shaver. Now it’s time to charge this bad boy up and take it for a test drive!

Philips Norelco 7300 electric shaver (7000 series) on charge with flashing light

Plugging in the charging cable will cause the battery indicator to flash white.

Annoyingly, the 7300 only has a single indicator light for the battery. It flashes orange when it is running low.

Philips considers knowing how full your battery is a “premium feature” and adds an extra two indicators to the 7700 model (each indicator representing approximately 33.3% charge).

Considering similarly priced (and cheaper) Panasonic and Braun shavers display the battery capacity much better, This is an area Philips really needs to work on.

Philips claims the Lithium-ion battery of the 7300 and 7700 shavers offers 50 minutes of shaving after a 1 hour charge. I found this to be fairly accurate.

If the battery dies, a 5 minute charge is all it takes for 3 minutes of shaving. If you don’t mess around, that’s plenty of time for a good shave.

The charger itself runs on any voltage that falls between 100-240V AC.

Philips Norelco 7300 electric shaver (7000 series) charging cable and plug 100-240v ac

Yep, you can use this shaver just about anywhere in the world. The only thing you will need is an adapter plug to fit the odd shaped power outlets you will come across during your travels.

When the shaver is fully charged, the battery indicator light will turn off. It’s time to get shaving!

The shave

So now for the million dollar question:

How well does it shave?

Pretty darn good. If you enjoy shaving with a rotary shaver then this is only beaten out by Philips highest-grade shaver, the 9000 Series

If you have annoying hairs that shoot off in all directions then the circular motions coupled with the shaving head placement will perform rather well at slaying them.

The bigger holes in the guard also seemed to perform much better on thicker coarser hairs that foil shavers often struggle with.

But to achieve the perfect shave there is a learning curve that needs to be overcome. Admittedly my first shave was not all that great, which lead me to read up on proper shaving technique.

I must point out that not a whole lot of pressure is needed for an effective shave. This is largely thanks to the head pivoting in various directions as it crosses the contours of your face.

Unfortunately, the 3 missing directions of movement that appear on the Series 9000 did make shaving the jawline a little more time consuming, but it still shaved satisfactorily.

Pressing down too hard or leaving the shaver stationary for too long (especially on the neck) will reward you with a nasty razor burn. A delicate touch is required which again requires practice.

Overall I was happy with how close the shave was. Not as close as a foil shaver, there was a very light stubble left, but this is offset by one of the most comfortable shaves you will experience by a rotary shaver.

Who knew 3 small blue rings is all it takes to make a rotary shaver glide across your face, even when dry! I have to commend Philips on this, but I do have to question why it is missing on all their other shavers. It is likely it does effect the closeness of the shave.

Now many experts say that rotary shavers have a habit of yanking out your hairs because of the circular motion used. While this is true of cheaper shavers, we found that this shaver would not pull at all (unless you let your beard hairs get too long. Trim those suckers first).

The shaver works just as well dry as it does wet. If you are looking for the most comfortable rotary shave you will ever experience then I highly recommend going wet. The extra lubrication coupled with the “sensitive head” really worked wonders.

Because of the head, I did have trouble at first shaving under my nose and near my sideburns.

Eventually, I got the hang of using a single shaving head on these areas, but it did take a lot of practice before I was satisfied with the result.

Conclusion

There is just something about the 7300 and 7700 that is hard to describe. It’s not that it isn’t a good shaver. For its price, you won’t get a better rotary shaver.

It’s more how it appears to have been born. If I had to guess how the 7000 series came into existence I would have said something like this:

Engineer: We have just created the amazing 9000 series. It makes all our other rotary trimmers look like crap.

Marketing team: Awesome. Now take away some of the features so we can have more than just one shaver in our line up.

You see, the 7300 and 7700 feel like they are deliberately designed to make you skip over them, and buy the more expensive Series 9000. That’s right, the whole purpose of this shaver is to make you consider another one.

Philips seems to have attempted to fix this somewhat by labeling it as a model designed for sensitive skin.

But really that is just marketing trying to add imaginary value to a product that just doesn’t seem to be able to find it’s place in the shaver world.

At the end of the day, this is still an expensive shaver. With the price difference between the 7300 and the much more impressive 9300 only $70 MSRP more (and as low as $30 difference when on sale), you should definitely think twice if considering this shaver.

If this is where your price point caps out then you will likely be very happy with this shaver. But for those of you who can stretch your budget just a little further, you won’t regret skipping over this model.