In the electric shaver industry, Panasonic is one of the three leading companies along with Braun and Philips Norelco. Competitiveness in the high-end electric shavers segment is fierce and these three companies have been offering some really advanced and incredible products over the years
With Braun’s topline including the series 9, Philips Norelco has its Series 9000 Prestige to compete in the market. Panasonic wants to ensure that it’s Arc 5 shaver series is on the top and becomes the market leader.
Let’s talk about the Arc 5 series, it was launched in 2009, it is currently at the third generation. However, earlier models are also widely available in the market.
With that said, we will be reviewing the Panasonic ES-LV9Q from the Arc 5 series this time. We will try to cover the important aspects of this shaver and compare it to some of its Arc 5 variations.
So, without further ado, let’s get started!
Table of Contents
Panasonic ES-LV9Q Review – What New It Has To Offer
Design and construction
Panasonic ES-LV9Q and other Arc 5 variants have a stunning design. In my opinion, Panasonic Arc 5 third generation, which this shaver is part of, has one of the most beautiful designs and build quality.
Panasonic ES-LV9Q looks elegant in the black and silver color scheme and has a very contemporary design. Metallic finish and gold accents around the shaving heads give it a very premium look. It is definitely a thumbs up, design-wise.
On the front of the shaver, we can see a fairly large-sized power button and underneath there is an LED display. The LED has a 10-stage multifunction display with useful information. Battery capacity, shaving sensor notification, shaving duration, blades replacement warning, travel lock, and charging status are some of the indicators.
Being a 5–blade shaver and having a metal body, Panasonic ES-LV9Q is surprisingly lightweight, weighing 7.5 ounces only. Despite having a big shaving head, it is nicely balanced and ensures a good grip.
Talking about the head of the Panasonic ES-LV9Q, being a part of the Arc 5 family, it has defining characteristics like the arched profile of the foils and five-blade shaving head. It is worth mentioning that in foil shavers, Arc 5 is currently the only line with five cutting elements.
Let me briefly tell you about the five cutting elements. The two blades are responsible for cutting short stubble hair that is close to your skin. The other two blades lift and cut the hair growing parallel to your skin. While the middle blade is designed to capture longer hair. We will check the actual performance later on.
The sides of the shaver are slightly textured and have a grippy material that extends to the back. Even in wet conditions or being covered in foam, it ensures a secure grip.
The back of the Panasonic ES-LV9Q is different than most of the shavers. It has a pop-up trimmer and along with that, you will find a switch. You must be wondering what it does, right?
The switch has three positions. The first one allows the head to move freely, while the second position locks the head. It is used to control the shaving head while using it in tight spots as it prevents flexing. Finally, the trimmer pops up in the third position.
Shaving Performance of Panasonic ES-LV9Q
Now, let's get on to the important part that really matters. We will see how the Panasonic ES-LV9Q performs.
I have been an Arc 5 user and using Panasonic ES-LV9Q was not any different as its performance was quite reasonable. The results were not a surprise to me as I was expecting a great shave which one would expect from an Arc 5.
I will cut down the factors which men want from an electric shaver. The closeness of the shave is mostly the priority. Panasonic ES-LV9Q is particularly good for a close shave.
Powerful motor producing 14,000 cycles per minute (CPM), sharp blades, and high-quality shaving head are some of the features which allow it to perform well and ensure a close shave.
Further talking about the speed factor, Panasonic ES-LV9Q has a powerful motor enabling it to be a fast shaver. Particularly, shaving a shorter beard takes less time compared to other shavers.
While using certain shavers, I would sometimes notice the change in sound and feel that the razor is struggling. However, that was not the case with this shaver, even shaving very coarse facial hair, it was fast and effortless.
Speaking of sound, Panasonic ES-LV9Q is satisfactorily quiet for a foil shaver. Despite being fitted with such a powerful motor it is quieter than most of the foil shavers. It is nowhere near to a rotary shaver for sure but still is acceptable.
Comfort of Shave
When it comes to comfort, Panasonic shavers are not always the best bet. Usually, Panasonic has a competitive edge in terms of power and closeness regardless of the shave’s series. However, things are different with regard to comfort.
Panasonic ES-LV9Q and other Arc 5 variants are a bit aggressive due to its close shave capability. This would often be a problem for sensitive skin. Previously, I had experienced with Arc 4 models. The foils would get really hot after a few minutes of use. But, it pleasantly surprised me that in spite of having a similar shaving system, the Panasonic ES-LV9Q remained reasonably cool.
If you don’t have sensitive skin then it should be fine to use. Just make sure not to put a lot of pressure while shaving. I would also recommend using a pre-shave lotion.
However, one major difference between second-generation Arc 5 and third-generation models is the addition of smooth sliders. These are two gold-colored rollers that reduce skin drag and this results in less pressure on the skin.
Panasonic ES-LV9Q is suitable for wet and dry use. It's 100% waterproof so you can use it in the shower as well with shaving cream or gel. This feature might cater to the problem of sensitive skin users. They can have a wet shave for more comfort.
I reckon most of the users will choose dry shave after wet as it saves time from the prep work and cleaning. Nevertheless, it’s a useful feature if you have sensitive skin.
Electric shavers mostly have struggled with long, flat-lying hair. Panasonic ES-LV9Q being a high-end model deals well with longer hair. However, it requires a lot of repeated strokes on flat-lying hair.
Although it has specially designed blades to cater to this problem. Still, it is not as good as some other shavers like Braun series 7 or 9 when shaving longer hair growing parallel to your skin.
If you shave regularly then this won’t be such a problem. But it would require some effort if you shave after 3 days or more.
One of the most intriguing features of Panasonic ES-LV9Q is it's shaving sensor. The intelligent sensor detects the density of the beard and adjusts its power accordingly.
The shaver automatically runs on sensor mode when you turn on by simply pressing the power button. This is something you can also see on the LED display.
With the shaver turned on in sensor mode, pressing the power button again will result in deactivating the sensor. The indicator on the LED will turn off once you have deactivated it. As a result, the shaver will run on full throttle mode.
The sensor works well, you can hear the shaver adjusting. But, in terms of closeness or comfort, there is not much difference.
I would suggest using normal mode instead of the sensor. I think having that full power for the shave would be beneficial.
Speaking of sensors, the Panasonic ES-LV9Q has another novelty feature in its arsenal. The main body of the shaver has an integrated smart lock function. When you hold the shaver it automatically detects and unlocks the shaver, you can simply turn on and shave. Quite engineering!
Other shavers have the conventional travel lock physical button. So Panasonic uses advanced technology in its high-end shaver series.
Panasonic ES-LV9Q comes with a pop-up trimmer. It is very useful for touch-ups, light grooming, and mustache.
The position of the trimmer is quite well, despite the large 5 blade head. The head is actually not that tall so the trimmer is perpendicular to the skin at a nice angle to work with.
Again, the trimmer is useful for styling or shaping your sideburns, so it’s not optimal for the entire beard. It is sharp and wide, effectively cuts hair without any pulling or pinching.
Battery Life and Charging
With a built-in rechargeable Li-ion battery, the Panasonic ES-LV9Q provides around 45 minutes of shaving time. I would say that the battery life is pretty average. Compared to its competitors it gives 50 and even 60 minutes of runtime.
Another impressive feature of the shaver is its constant power even at low levels of the battery. Therefore, there is no significant drop in performance, even when the battery is depleted.
It takes around one hour to completely charge the battery from 0 to 100%. The LV9Q has a 3-minute quick charge feature, which gives you enough power for a shave.
Like any other Arc 5, Panasonic ES-LV9Q has a universal voltage converter (100-240 volts) that enables you to use the shaver anywhere in the world without worrying.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Panasonic ES-LV9Q comes with a cleaning and charge station. The station is very compact and slick. It lubricates, cleans, charges, and dry the blades.
Panasonic cleaning stations are economical when it comes to cleaning solutions. Using a detergent-based solution, it lasts longer than Braun's cleaning fluid.
Manually cleaning the Panasonic ES-LV9Q is also not that difficult, you just need to rinse it under running water. The design of the shaving heads allows the water to clean the foils on the inside.
Apart from the Panasonic ES-LV9Q shaver, the package includes the following items:
- One Cleaning and charging station
- One protective cap
- Cleaning brush
- Travel case
- A charging cord
- A small Cleaning lubricant bottle
- User manual
The Panasonic ES-LV9Q is one of the highest-rated electric shavers in the market and it is for a good reason. It lives up to the Arc 5 performance standards and reputation.
Having said that, the LV9Q is an expensive option as it is a high-end shaver. With an incremental improvement in performance and a newer design, it comes at a greater cost.
If you have very coarse facial hair and want a powerful shaver for an extremely close shave then you should consider the Panasonic ES-LV9Q.
Contrary to this, if you shave after three days or so and have sensitive skin, then the LV9Q is not the best option. Consider Braun series 7 or 9, which are still the best good option for sensitive skin.