Philips Norelco 3200
The 3200 is one of three different modes that make up the Philips Norelco 3000 Series Nose Hair Trimmers range.
- 3100: Base Model, black design
- 3200: Reviewed model, silver/black design + Eyebrow comb
- 3300: Same as 3200 but with 2 eyebrow combs
As you can see there is no major difference between the models. All have the same motor and trimming head. Arguably you could also include the Philips Norelco 5100 but despite being the same base trimmer, it includes many other personal grooming attachments.
So is this modern looking nose hair trimmer any good and should you buy it? Let’s examine this trimmer closer so that I can answer just that.
The 3200 NoseTrimmer comes completely sealed in a plastic hang pack…
…That is impossible to open with your bare hands. Out of all the different nose hair trimmers tested, this one gave me the most grief trying to get to it. Whatever plastic Philips uses in it’s packaging, it sure stands up to a beating.
It wasn’t until I pulled out my trusty retractable knife that I was able to hack our way though the packaging, and even then it was no easy task:
If you love to wrestle with your product prior to using it then you may actually enjoy this packaging. But for those of you that want to go from buying a trimmer to slaying nose hairs ASAP, the difficult packaging will only frustrate you.
So now that I have freed the NoseTrimmer 3000 from it’s plastic prison I can show you all the bits and pieces that come inside.
The box contains 4 pieces:
- Nose hair trimmer
- Trimmer head cover
- Eyebrow comb
- AA battery
Philips included a battery in the box. Gold star for them. I have a whole lot of instant-love for any battery operated product that includes batteries in the box.
So while I lost time struggling to open the packaging, I gained time not having to rummage through cabinets and drawers to find batteries (only to end up stealing batteries from the TV remote). Fair trade, I guess.
The cover neatly slides over the head of the trimmer when not in use:
Since you are going to be sticking this nose hair trimmer inside you (well, inside your ears and nose at least) you are going to want to keep the trimmer hygienic when not in use. The cover allows you to throw the nose hair trimmer in the bottom of your bag without worrying that crumbs and grime will come into contact with the cutting head.
The cap clipped on securely and would not come off without a good tug. Tight enough so that it will not come off by accident.
Also included in the box is an eyebrow comb:
Like the cap, the comb slides over the head of the trimmer and clicks into place.
In theory the eyebrow comb should allow you to run the trimmer over your brow, trimming any monster hairs without shaving your eyebrow clean off.
I will be examining just how well this works in practice further down this review.
If you have been looking closely at the pictures you will have noticed that the head of this nose hair trimmer seems a little… odd.
Let’s take a closer look:
While the Philips marketing team chose to call this trimmer head:
Advanced ProtecTube technology
The reality is that this is little more than a foil guard trimmer (like the type you find on an electric shaver) shrunk down to a size that is small enough to fit inside your nose.
So how does a foil guard work?
The foil guard has small slots in it, jut wide enough to let hair through yet narrow enough that wont catch your skin (resulting in those nicks and cuts you love so much). The guard has been designed so that it helps lift any hairs laying flat against the skin, something rotary trimmers often struggle with.
Underneath the foil guard a blade pulses rapidly back and forth, trimming any hairs that fall through these slots, slicing them clean off.
Moving down the trimmer we come to the rubber grip:
What can I say, it’s rubber and it definitely stops your fingers from slipping. I liked how Philips seamlessly incorporated the rubber grip into the nose hair trimmers design. Definitely makes the nose hair trimmer feel premium in the hand.
Before we can move on to testing out this nose hair trimmer, we have to put a battery inside.
Everything you want to do with this nose hair trimmer is controlled by twisting the base, lining up the downward pointing triangle with one of three shapes:
- Verticle line – On
- Circle – Off
- Triangle – Open battery compartment.
To put it super simply: Twist left for on. Twist right to open the trimmer.
I am not a big fan of this design. Accidentally twisting in the wrong direction sees you undo the trimmer rather than turning it on. This is also a huge problem with Remington nose hair trimmers.
Twisting the trimmer on and off is hardly enjoyable. The movement is quite stiff and fights against itself. While it may not be immediately noticeable, when compared to 18 other nose hair trimmers we tested the Philips Norelco 3200 was definitely frustrating to turn on.
With the battery slotted neatly inside it’s time to take this bad boy for a spin.
So just how well does the foil guard trimmer work when it comes to bushy nose hairs?
While we have to applaud Philips for trying something different, the trimming head simply does not work as well as what you would find on a rotary trimmer (like the Panasonic ER-GN30-K Vortex).
While I was eventually able to get the trimmer to snip all my dangling nose hairs, I had to pass over the same areas so many times that I lost count.
The problem seems to stem from the slots in the guard having trouble catching hairs as they hang.
The trimmer head worked better when run horizontally across the skin, whether the foil guard could properly lift flat hairs. You know, like edging and detailing. Although bushy coarse areas still needed multiple pass overs.
Just like with rotary nose hair trimmers, Philips foil guard head left stubble behind. Not a problem for your ears and nose.
But if you are trimming hair on your face then the stubble can often be more noticeable than the hair you were trying to trim. This is especially a problem for those of you with thick black hairs.
One more thing…
The eyebrow comb was useless. While it did stop the trimmer from sheering my eyebrows clean off, it was also unable to catch all but the longest of stray hairs.
It seems like Philips tried to create a nose hair trimmer that can double as a do-it-all personal groomer. Unfortunately, this leads the trimmer to be average at multiple jobs rather than being great at just one.
The Philips 3000 Series nose hair trimmers are definitely louder than any of the rotary trimmer heads that we tested.
Philips definitely should not be recommending that you use this nose hair trimmer on your ear hairs.
This thing is loud.
Jumbo Jet taking off loud.
I was rewarded with a lovely ringing in my ears for 10 minutes after I used this hair trimmer on my ears. I highly recommend you look elsewhere if you want a trimmer to tame those fluffy whites that poke out of your ear canal.
The Nose hair trimmer is water resistant. While the device watertight, Philips states that trimming hair “under wet conditions” (seriously Philips, just say showering) will see many hairs missed.
I put this to the test and Philips are right. The trimmer absolutely sucks at trimming wet hairs.
Rather than cut the hairs the trimmer appears to give each hair a delicate little kiss before moving on to the next.
For the most part, cleaning this nose hair trimmer is incredibly simple. Simply hold the head of the trimmer under warm running water should wash away most of the gunk. Because the nose hair trimmer is watertight; you don’t even have to remove the trimmer head to rinse it.
If you really need to, the head of the nose hair trimmer can be removed for a more serious scrub if you are having difficulty removing build up.
Unfortunately if you forget to clean your trimmer after you have used it something awful happens:
The hair and grime build up hardens to the point where it blocks the trimming head.
The only way you will notice this is if you go to turn on nose hair trimmer and it doesn’t start. This tricked me into thinking the battery died, when really the head just needed a darn good cleaning.
If this happens you will wish Philips decided to include a cleaning brush in the box. Fortunately an old toothbrush can also be used to scrub the blockage clear.
Philips tried something new with their incredibly narrow foil guard cutting head. As someone who will run out and buy a new and exciting product the day it is released, I am all for innovative and new.
When it works.
If you need a small and portable trim-it-all solution then you may be happy with this nose trimmer. While it does trim everything, it just doesn’t do as good a job as a device dedicated to each hair type (trimmer, shave, detailer etc.)