Philips Sonicare 2 Series Plaque Control Tested and Reviewed

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The 2 Series Plaque Control is one of Philips Sonicare’s most popular rechargeable electric toothbrushes. While it may have one of the worst names in the history of electric toothbrushes, it offers great value for money.

Read our detailed review on the 2 Series to find out if this is the right electric toothbrush for you!


The 2 Series Plaque control is available in three different models. The only difference between each model is the color:

Different models of the Philips Sonicare 2 Series gum control compared side by side

From left tor right:

  1. HX6211/04 – Blue/White
  2. HX6211/28 – Coral/White
  3. HX6211/07– Black

For the purpose of this review we have decided to stick with the most popular model of the 2 Series Plaque Control, the HX6211/04.

Philips Sonicare 2 Series Plaque Control

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Unboxing the Philips Sonicare 2 Series Plaque Control

If you were to tear open the box of your 2 Series Plaque Control, this is what would be waiting for you insider:

Philips Sonicare 2 Series Plaque Control and accessories that come in the box

Let’s break it down

  • 2 Series Plaque Control handle
  • Plaque Control brush head
  • Brush head cover
  • Charging stand
  • Instruction manual

You will also find some discount coupons for brush heads and related Philips Sonicare products, as well as a warranty card. By following the instructions on the warranty card you can extend the warranty period by 6 months for a total of 2.5 years of cover.

Examining 2 Series Plaque Control handle

Picking up the 2 Series Plaque Control you will notice that the handle not only much nicer than the Sonicare Essence (review here), but easier to hold too. Surprisingly, there is only a $10 difference between the two sonic toothbrushes.

Below you can see a side by side comparison of the Sonicare Essence and the 2 Series:

Philips Sonicare 2 Series Plaque Control compared to Essence side by side

The difference between the two handles is especially noticeable when you hold them in your hand. Where the Essence feels unusually sized and quite heavy, the 2 Series is evenly weighted and it’s rounded shape is easier to grip.

Philips Sonicare 2 Series Plaque Control front of handle

Compared to the higher end models like the feature packed Flexcare Platinum, the 2 Series is quite plain.

While the plain plastic casing with baby blue highlights is not going to win any design awards, it is definitely far from ugly.

Located about a third of the way down the face of the handle is a green rubber button:

Philips Sonicare 2 Series Plaque Control close up on power button

This is the power button. Gently pressing down on the power button turns the electric toothbrush on. Pressing it again turns it off. Pretty basic stuff.

Surrounding the power button is a round piece of baby blue plastic. When I was looking at pictures of the 2 Series Plaque Control, I assumed this was a rubber grip; just like on the Sonicare Essence. But this wasn’t the case, the surrounding blue is just for looks and nothing more.

Towards the base of the handle is a small battery shaped indicator lamp. When the power is turned on the indicator light changes color based on the amount of charge left.

If you look underneath base of the handle, this what you will see:

Philips Sonicare 2 Series Plaque Control base of handle

At the center is a empty hole. This hole slides over the charging stand and prevents the handle from falling off.

If you look closely here you can also make out the country of manufacture. Just like all the other Sonicare models, Philips has chosen to manufacture the 2 Series in China.

Don’t let that put you off the Sonicare range though. Having compared the entire Oral-B range that is made in Germany, we can safely say the build quality is just as good. In some instances it was better, particularly in the case of the poor molding we found on the Pro 5000.

Curiously, printed on the base of the handle is the model number HX6250-01, yet on the box it clearly states:

Model HX6211/04

It is possible Philips has recently rebranded the packaging but is still using the same model of toothbrush (this happens a lot). Whatever the reason, do not be alarmed that they do not match. We reached out to Philips customer service and they confirmed that the two part numbers are the same.

If you thought the front was plain, wait until you see the rear:

Philips Sonicare 2 Series Plaque Control rear of electric toothbrush handle

The only thing of note are the small raised bumps that in the center of the handle. These bumps provide you some much needed grip so that the 2 Series doesn’t slip through your fingers while you brush your teeth.

A small metal shaft sticks out the very top of the handle:

Philips Sonicare 2 Series Plaque Control electric toothbrush metal shaft sticking out top of handle

This is the part of the handle holds the brush head. The brush head simply slides over the shaft and snaps into place. A gentle tug is all that is needed to remove the brush head again.

Philips Sonicare 2 Series Plaque Control Brush Head

The 2 Series is the lowest entry point in the Sonicare range of toothbrushes to be compatible with snap-on heads. snap-on heads are much easier to install and remove and are available in a much wider range than the screw on brush heads found on the Sonicare Essence.

The brush head is where the 2 Series gets the name Plaque Control from. A single brush head is included in the box:

Philips Sonicare 2 Series Plaque Control electric toothbrush brush head

The Plaque control brush head has firm bristles. While it is very effective at removing plaque, some of you will find it too aggressive for your gum line, particularly if you have sensitive teeth.

Fortunately, you can choose from any of the other 9 brush heads from Sonicares snap-on head range (sold separately). From sensitive options to brush heads for smaller mouths, there is a lot to choose from. For full details, be sure to check out our complete guide to Philips Sonicare brush heads.

A great feature of Sonicare brush heads is the protective cap:

Philips Sonicare 2 Series Plaque Control brush head with plastic protective cover

There is nothing worse than brushing your teeth only to discover that your toothbrush tastes of hairspray or deodorant. If you store your toothbrush out in the open then the bristles are going to get coated in anything that floats through the air; from dust to deodorant.

The brush head cover protects your bristles from sprays and dust, keeping brush head hygienic for the next time you use it. Don’t worry if you lose it, every replacement pack comes with brush head covers inside.

Just like a regular toothbrush you are going to have to swap out your brush head once every three months. To help you remember this, the brush head features dark blue indicator bristles.

With constant use, these indicator bristles will fade and turn clear at around three months of use, reminding you to change your brush head.

Charging the Philips Sonicare 2 Series Plaque Control

The Philips Sonicare 2 Series Plaque Control comes with a rechargeable battery. In order to charge the battery you will need to use the charging stand that comes in the box.

The same charger stand is found on every model of Sonicare toothbrush from the 2 Series and up (with the exception of the high end Sonicare DiamondClean.

This is good news for families that have more than one Sonicare toothbrush. Sharing a charger is much easier than having to plug in a separate charger for each toothbrush.

Philips Sonicare 2 Series Plaque Control electric toothbrush battery charger stand

The charger itself is little more than a lump of plastic with a rod sticking out the top. The rod slides into the hole on the base of the 2 Series handle, holding it in place while charging.

If you flip the charger over you will see three rubber feet to help stop the charger sliding around on your slippery bathroom counter. Printed in the middle of the base is some good new for those of you who love to travel.

Philips Sonicare 2 Series Plaque Control electric toothbrush underneath battery charger

The charger works on any voltage that falls between 100-240V (also known as dual voltage or multi-voltage). That’s nearly any country in the world. From America to Australia and everywhere in between, you will be able to charge the battery of your 2 Series Plaque Control anywhere on earth.

The NiMH battery of the 2 Series will begin to charge wirelessly the moment you place it down on the charger. Like all electric toobrushes, Sonicares charge wirelessly. Simply place the handle on the charger and walk away. It doesn’t get any easier than that.

Philips Sonicare 2 Series Plaque Control electric toothbrush sitting on charger

You will be able to tell that the 2 Series is charging because the indicator will light will begin to flash green. The Light will stop flashing once your shaver has fully charged.

The indicator light gives you a rough indication of how much charge is remaining in the 2 Series Battery. When in use, a green light means the electric toothbrush is fully charged and a yellow light means the battery is about to die. The light simply turns off when it is between high and low charge.

It’s not the easiest battery indicator to read but it is better than nothing.

It can take up to 48 hours to fully charge the battery. Fortunately you will be able to use the toothbrush before it has fully charged. The 2 Series has been designed to be placed back on charge when not in use, so that the battery is always full when it is needed.

We were able to get 14 days brushing (2 minutes morning and night) out of the 2 series before the battery would finally die on us.

Testing the Philips Sonicare 2 Series Plaque Control

When the time came for testing I called in some extra help. Four additional testers and myself tested the Sonicare 2 Series. The following contains summaries of our experience using the toothbrush.

Philips Sonicare 2 Series Plaque Control electric toothbrush held in right hand

The first thing you will notice when you pick up the 2 Series Plaque Control is just how nicely weighted it is, not too heavy not too light. The shape of the handle made it easy to hold regardless of whether you favor your left or right hand.

Pressing down on the power button sees the toothbrush burst into life. The sound is best described as a high pitched hum. While it’s definitely not as noisy as your blow dryer or electric shaver, it is still loud enough to wake someone sleeping in the next room.

Unlike the higher models of Sonicare elelctric toothbrushes, the 2 Series only has one brushing mode (clean). This is the same standard mode that is found on all Sonicare toothbrushes.

If you only need one brushing mode then we can tell you right now that with proper technique the 2 Series brushes just as well as the top-of-the-line Sonicare DiamondClean.

Hidden inside the handle are three different features that come into play when the power is turned on. Let’s take a closer look at them.

Note: The following features are also found on the higher models in the Philips Sonicare range of electric toothbrushes

1. Easy-Start

Some people find the rapid vibrations given off by Sonicare Toothbrushes take a while to get used to. Brushing with the toothbrush for the first time can cause a slightly unpleasant ticklish feeling in some people. After repeated brushing sessions your mouth will begin to desensitize to this new sensation.

To make the transition simpler, the 2 Series features an Easy-Start mode. Over the first 14 brushes the toothbrush will slowly increase in power until it is brushing at the full 31,000 brush strokes per minute, easing you into the full powered sensation.

Easy-Start is only in operation for the first 14 brushing sessions.

Now I must mention that all testers including myself have previously used Sonicare electric toothbrushes. So already being used to the sensation we chose to disable the Easy-Start feature following the instructions set out in the user manual.

But I do remember my first time using a Sonicare (the Essence) and I was very appreciative of this feature. I initially found the vibrations much too ticklish and jarring. The Easy-Start was a great help in getting used to the sensations and without it I probably wouldn’t have persisted with the Sonicare toothbrush.

All testers agreed that if the vibrations don’t affect you (and for many of you they won’t) then you are better off simply disabling it.

2. QuadPacer

It’s no secret that dentists recommend that you brush your teeth for a minimum of two minutes. But when it comes down to it, reaching two minutes of brushing feels like it takes forever and many of you will give up long before this time.

The 2 Series has a handy feature that with proper use not only guarentees you will brush for the full two minutes, but clean every part of your mouth as well.

The QuadPacer is a built in timer that causes the 2 Series to briefly pause and sound a tone each time 30 seconds has passed. The timer gets it’s name from the way in which Philips Sonicare suggests you brush your teeth.

If you split your mouth into quarters and spend 30 seconds brushing each, then you will have effectively brushed your entire mouth for the recommended two minutes.

I split my mouth into the following quarters:

  1. Brush left half of top teeth for 30 seconds
  2. Brush right half of top teeth for 30 seconds
  3. Brush left half of bottom teeth for 30 seconds
  4. Brush right half of bottom teeth for 30 seconds

By focusing on a small section of your mouth for 30 seconds you can really give each section a really good clean before the QuadPacer alerts you to move on to the next.

While testers agreed that this brushing style took some time to get used to, the QuadPacer was a great tool to ensure you brushed your entire mouth.

3. SmarTimer

The SmarTimer is a built in timer that automatically turns the 2 Series off after two minutes. If you want to brush longer you will need to press the power button again to turn the toothbrush back on.

This feature was the one that our testers simply couldn’t agree upon.

One tester commented:

SmarTimer? More like DumbTimer. I prefer to brush longer than two minuses since this allows me time to focus on my dental restoration, an area that catches plaque and is tricky to clean. Turning the toothbrush back on after two minutes got old real quick.

However other testers loved it. One tester remarked:

Two minutes of teeth brushing seems to take forever and is plenty of timeto clean my whole mouth. I am excited when the toothbrush finally turns off on it’s own.

Whether you love it or hate it, the SmarTimer is a feature that is found on all Sonicare models and cannot be disabled.

But how does it brush?

Those of you who currently use a Sonicare toothbrush will be instantly familiar with the standard 31,000 brush strokes per minute offered ins tandard clean.

For those who are new to the world of sonic toothbrushes I will quickly cover the technique, which many beginners find a little unusual at first.

Simply load up the brush head with your regular toothpaste, wet as usual and place the bristles against a section of your teeth at a slight angle (roughly 45 degrees), pressing with slight pressure.

Press the power button and gently move the toothbrush back and forth the rapid vibrations will help remove the plaque not only from the center of the teeth but also along the gum line and between the teeth (remember to floss after for best results).

The trick is to let the toothbrush do most of the work. While this may take some time for you to get used to, especially if you are swapping over from a manual toothbrush, but before long you will be using the correct technique without thinking about it.

The clean is exceptional. Far greater than you could get from that of a manual toothbrush.

With proper technique plaque is effortlessly removed from your teeth and along your gumline. I enjoy licking my smooth teeth after each brush, it honestly feels like you have just gotten your teeth cleaned at the dentist.

The only downside to the 2 Series is it’s lack of a Sensitive mode that is found on the 3 Series Gum Health (The next model up) and higher. However, a sensitive brush head goes a long way in providing a gentler brushing experience.

Final Thoughts

The 2 Series Plaque Control is the Sonicare electric toothbrush that we recommend the most. It hits the perfect sweet spot between price and features. Not to mention it is the entry into Philips Sonicares snap-on brush head range which are much easier to use and clean than the older screw-on style.

All that and it provides the same 31,000 brush strokes per minute as the Sonicare brushes that cost twice it’s price. If you are not tempted by the fancy features of higher models (travel cases and the like) then you will love the 2 Series Plaque Control.

The only people we recommend skipping over this model is those of you who want the most gentle toothbrush possible. The lack of a sensitive brushing mode will be missed by some of you. Fortunately it is only an extra $10 investment to jump up to the next model that has it.

Highly recommended.