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Arguably the world’s most famous electric toothbrush, the Sonicare is definitely one of the elite brands available anywhere, and it’s with good reason. Let’s explore the reasons why!
For a high-end premium product like the 9300 DiamondClean brush, I was expecting something a little more luxurious from the packaging, though I do understand that the packaging itself means squat! It was however, just recycled, rough, dried paper pulp with a big triangle on it (aka recycling symbol). It could well be that Philips was looking to present itself as an environmentally-conscious leader. I’ll go with that!!
Once I pulled the dry pulp materials from the box, here’s what it looked like;
Recycled, cheap, dried pulpy cardboard was the packaging used, though as I said, I’ll go with the idea that it was a well thought and strategized decision on the part of Philips to be environmentally sound.
Here are the components you find inside;
Let’s break it down:
- Sonicare DiamondClean handle
- Three DiamondClean brush heads (1 – W3 Premium White and 1 – G3 Premium Gum Care and 1 – C3 Premium Plaque Control)
- Brush head bristle covers
- Gorgeous-looking travel case
- Power cable attached to Wireless Charging Stand
- Wireless Charging stand
- Rinsing glass/display stand
- Smartphone app instruction guide (download and use instructions)
- Owners/Users Manual
We really like the plain design of the handle. Now when I say plain, I don’t mean ugly. Because the DiamondClean definitely isn’t that. The design is sleek and minimalist and is perhaps the best looking electric toothbrush available (With perhaps the exception of the Foreo ISSA).
The entire handle is coated in a seamless white non-slip material, and it works great. Despite not having any bumps or rubber strips, the smooth surface of the DiamondClean is incredibly easy to grasp, even with wet hands.
The only break in the white casing is two function buttons:
Like its predecessors, the Sonicare DiamondClean Smart brush’s power and mode select buttons are recessed into the handle like two indentations or divots.
The top button is of course, the power button. The lower button is the cleaning mode selection button which cycles through the 4 cleaning modes. However, the lower button only cycles through the modes when the brush power is turned off. Once the power is turned on, the lower button serves as a selection switch between 3 intensities available in each of the 4 modes. If you want to sound like you have an impressive brush, you could effectively say there are 12 different settings to finesse your brushing experience! We’ll get into those a bit later.
The bottom of the handle is a great-looking polished steel finish, which also has a small acrylic/plastic ring around the perimeter which serves as a light that illuminates briefly when you place the handle in the charger, as well as when you’re brushing too hard! By the way, you’ll notice there’s no LARGE hole in the base. Most Sonicare models have a large hole that is meant to sit on top of the charger, but this model is quite different.
Believe it or not, this base allows you to charge your DiamondCare wirelessly. No plugging in cables or messy wires. Just place the handle in the glass charger and the battery will begin to fill as if by magic.
All Sonicare toothbrushes, even the higher model, are manufactured in China. This does not seem to have any effect on build quality with Sonicare models lasting as long or longer than the models of Oral-B electric toothbrushes made in Germany. That’s a difference noticed by more than a few as Germany is historically known as one of the highest quality manufacturing countries in the world, while China is known as the country that makes the world’s cheapest and poorest-quality products. However, if your quality controls are up to scratch, you can manufacture a quality product in any country, and Sonicare proves just that.
If you flip the handle over you will see…
…A big, fat NOTHING!
The smooth white exterior continues around the handle from front to back without any breaks, adding to the premium feel of the toothbrush.
At the top of the handle you will find a metal Shaft:
The shafts hold the various Sonicare brush heads. The brush heads simply slide over the shaft and lock into place. A quick tug is all that is required to remove the brush head from the shaft. Pretty simple and the whole process takes less than 5 seconds.
DiamondClean Brush Heads
Included are the;
C3 Premium Plaque Control
This brush is designed to get up to 10x better plaque removal when compared to a manual brush. The flexible sides absorb extra pressure and enable more surface contact by the brush. A power tip allows access to hard-to-reach areas and it has BrushSync Technology (this is a very cool feature!)
By the way, I have to explain BrushSync! See the little wireless connection symbol at the bottom of each brush. Ya, it’s that circle with the 2 curved lines under it. That means that when you install the brush on the handle, the handle will automatically set the mode to the brush that you installed. The brush was specifically manufactured for a specific mode. Wow, how much more precise, engineered and finessed can you get?!
G3 Premium Gum Care
This brush was designed to 7x healthier gums in 2 weeks (as opposed to manual brush) according to Philips. The outer brushes on the edge of the head, give your gums a gentler clean than other brush heads. Otherwise, the other qualities are the same as the plaque control. That is, flexible sides that absorb pressure and enable more tooth surface contact, and BrushSync Technology.
W3 Premium White
This brush was made specifically to get up to 100% fewer stains in 3 days! Wow, that’s a bold claim! The only difference between this brush and the other brushes is that it has more densely-packed brush clusters in the center of the brush to remove stains. It also has the BrushSync Technology and the flexible sides to absorb excess pressure.
Maintenance of Brush Heads
Just like Oral-B, Sonicare’s brush heads feature blue indicator bristles. Over time the bristles will begin to fade and turn see-through, alerting you that it is time to replace your brush head.
Yep, just like a regular toothbrush, it is recommended that you change the brush head of your Sonicare once every three months. By doing so you will be able to enjoy the same effective clean that older frayed brush heads just can’t provide.
All three brush heads come with a protective cap: Here’s the rub though – the caps on this model of Sonicare are not nearly as effective as other Sonicare brush head covers which cover the entire head and are applied from the top down. These hard, clear plastic covers are applied from the front and “sort of” clip onto the neck of the brush head. The problem is that they don’t fit very securely and are prone to falling off when you really don’t want them to fall off. The other style will NEVER fall off until you deliberately pull them off. Furthermore, these caps or covers don’t cover the BACK of the brush head, so any airborne hairspray and/or dust will have an easy target. YUCK!
Sonicare 9300 DiamondClean Smart Travel Case (for the HX9903/01 model)
Unlike other Sonicare travel cases, the case for the HX9903/01 does not have the ability to charge via a USB port – or any method for that matter. It figures, this is the model we purchased! The only way to charge this unit is by placing it in the glass cup which sits atop the chrome charging base. It is not possible to even place the brush on the charging base without the glass cup, so be sure to NEVER BREAK THE GLASS! Otherwise, the brush will not stand by itself on the chrome charging base.
Oh, hey, funny story – and true! As I was reviewing this brush, my 7-year old came into the room and saw me setting up this photo (above) and said, “hey, the brush is in the glass! Can I use the glass to drink from?” As obvious as it sounds, I didn’t even catch that. I thought the glass was just for a polished, high-end posh look. I never considered using the cup, but of course, that’s what it is ACTUALLY for! 🙂
Okay, back to the travel case.
It’s a great-looking case, and overall it’s quite functional and works well. The only complaint I have is that Sonicare did not build into it, the charging capability of most other travel cases. It’s just an extra chunk of steel to carry with you if you need to actually travel with this brush. The travel case is a bit of what I call an “accidental deception”. I mean that while the case looks sleek, minimal and compact, you actually have to bring the chrome charging base AND (yes, AND) the dangerously heavy (not to mention NON-travel friendly) glass cup if you plan on charging your brush while on your travels.
This Section’s Takeaway
If you plan on traveling lots, we strongly suggest buying the Oral-B Genius instead. While the Sonicare HX9332 has 3 different charging options, this UPDATED version of the Sonicare (HX9903/01) has only ONE! Tsk! Tsk!
Last Word on the Charger
Much like most electric brushes, you need only place your brush onto or into a charger without actually “plugging” it in. As far as the Sonicare goes (or the Oral-B for that matter) you could just as easily put them back in/on their charge stations after each brush so they will be operating at full capacity each time. That means the battery capacity specifications (ie. 12 days of brushing twice a day for 2 minutes on one charge, etc.) are largely irrelevant. By leaving the brush on the charger you will be topping up the battery every time you place the toothbrush back down onto the charging base.
If you flip the charging base over you will find 5 rubber feet to prevent the base from slipping and sliding all over your bathroom countertop.
In the middle of the base are the words 100-240V. If you wanted to, you could charge your DiamondClean anywhere in the world using this base (some refer to this as dual voltage). While this is a nice addition, with the amazing USB charger built into the travel case, it is unlikely you would choose to pack this bulkier charger on your world travels.
Testing the Brush
We employed 3 different testers to give us their opinion on this brush, and all of them had similar experiences. They all liked the brush in general and reported very clean-feeling teeth. However, there were a few items worth noting. One tester said that while he loved the feel of the handle, it was actually prone to slipping from his hand with the smooth matte finish and no gripping aids like soft rubber bumps or ridges or alternating materials, etc. Another reviewer felt that the app’s assessment of the condition of his teeth (ie. needed way more brushing after the first 2 minutes expired!) was incorrect. He felt he brushed thoroughly and even re-did areas several times before the timer was up.
Here are the brushing modes presented in the order that you cycle through them.
1. Clean – The standard mode and is identical to the brushing mode found on all Sonicare models capable of brushing at 31,000 brush strokes/minute. It lasts for a two-minute duration. Clean mode is your toothbrush’s workhorse mode. At 31,000 brush strokes per minute, it removes plaque with superior efficiency in a two-minute program. The Clean mode is the base setting on every Sonicare toothbrush. If you’re going to stick to one mode, make it this one.
2. White – Alternates between the standard and pulsing vibrations. In White mode, your toothbrush works a bit harder to remove surface stains caused by things like coffee and tea. After the standard two-minute program is completed, you’ll get an extra forty seconds to focus on polishing your front teeth, so you get a healthy smile that really shines. It was a 2 minute and 40-second duration.
3. Gum Health – The Gum Health mode adds an extra minute and 20 seconds of reduced power brushing to the end of the standard two-minute program. Use it to gently massage your gums for a better circulation and ultimately better gum health. 3:20 length.
4. Deep Clean – Sometimes you just want your teeth cleaner than clean. For those moments, there’s the Deep Clean mode. The unique motion of the brush head in this two-minute mode is more powerful than any other mode, making it the ideal choice for when you want to pay extra attention to trouble spots. The official word on the Philips website is that this mode lasts 3 minutes, but ours lasted an exact 120 seconds.
You can watch a real-time run-through of a Clean cycle here:
You might be wondering how on earth you’ll know what modes to use! If in doubt, stick to CLEAN. It’s really the only one I use. Here’s a chart to help you determine a schedule! Hey, why not?!
During and after brushing, there will be various indicators or warnings that pop up. Here are some of the technologies that allow for a 21st Century brushing experience!
1 – Smart sensor technology
Pressure Sensor – Alerts you when you brush too hard
Location Sensor – This tracks and improves your coverage
Scrubbing Sensor – Tells you when you’re scrubbing or moving the brush too hard or fast
3D Mouth Map – This feature highlights trouble areas that need further attention
TouchUp – Tells (shows) you the spots you missed
The Smartimer is a feature that you will either love or hate. After each brushing mode has been used for the designated duration listed above, the toothbrush handle automatically turns off.
If you wanted to continue brushing for longer you will need to manually turn the toothbrush back on.
Testers were conflicted on the Smartimer. Most agreed that 2 minutes was more than enough to clean your teeth and were almost relieved when the Diamondclean turned off, allowing them to stop brushing.
But one tester who had dental work (a bridge) would have liked more time to focus on cleaning this troublesome area and found the process of turning the toothbrush on again to be an unnecessary step.
The Smartimer feature is found on all models of Sonicare and cannot be disabled.
Dentists recommend that you brush your teeth for a minimum of two minutes. But brushing your teeth is boring and while the time may feel like it drags on, a sad fact is that many of us do not come close to the recommended two minutes of brushing.
The DiamondClean has a handy feature to make sure that you spend the recommended 2 minutes brushing your teeth every single time. And that feature is the Quad Pacer.
The QuadPacer is a built-in timer that causes the DiamondClean to momentarily pause each time 30 seconds has passed. It gets its name from the way Philips Sonicare recommends you brush your teeth.
If you split your mouth into quadrants (quarters) and spend 30 seconds brushing each then you will have effectively brushed your entire mouth for the recommended 2 minutes.
My brushing routine is as follows:
- Brush left half of the top teeth for 30 seconds
- Brush right half of top teeth for 30 seconds
- Brush left half of the bottom teeth for 30 seconds
- 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. Keep in mind that you can visually follow the pacer’s recommendations on the app while you brush. This allows you to track your progress visually. However, if you choose not to use your phone every time you brush, you won’t get the recommendation of where to re-brush on areas you may have missed. I love this feature, but I’m not really sure how it knows if I have brushed inadequately. The only factor it can use is pressure sensors which certainly don’t tell the whole story.
Okay, so to answer my own question, this video from a trade show in Germany explains the 9300, the app, and how the app knows things!!
But How Does It Clean?
Those of you who are new to sonic brushing will find the technique used 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.
Now there is no doubt that the Diamondclean is the best looking and feeling (in the hand) electric toothbrush we have ever had the pleasure of testing. With proper brushing technique, the DiamondClean leaves your teeth with that smooth teeth feeling that will have will see your tongue constantly licking them.
But it does come at a price. The DiamondClean is Philips Sonicare’s most expensive electric toothbrush.
Here’s a pretty-looking video from Philips, so you know it’s biased, but it can help you see some of the advantages of the app;
Philips has obviously put a lot of thought into the DiamondClean, and it shows. Not only does it look great but also excels at brushing your teeth. Form and function at a price.
The only downside (2 actually) to this brush worth noting (other than the premium price) is the fact that it has only one charging option (the included chrome base and big heavy water glass), and the fact that the travel case cannot be used to charge the brush, so you must travel with the heavy water glass (which is not practical at all).
For those of you who want to brush with a touch of class or simply want an electric toothbrush that looks great on display, this is what you have been waiting for.
Highly recommended if you can justify the price.