Rotary shavers have some important advantages over foil shavers. No other types of shaver that can handle the contours of your face and neck with the same precision. So if you have a rotary shaver, you won’t have to worry about unshaved patches of facial hair around your nose and mouth.
The Philips Norelco Electric Shaver 9700 is one of the most popular rotary shavers out there. But what makes it so special? And how does it compare to other popular electric shavers?
Starting with the Basics
You can learn more about this Norelco 9700 if you google Philips Norelco S9721/89, a current model in the 9700 series. But I know that poring over specs pages can be overwhelming. So to save you some time, I have prepared an overview of the most important features this shaver has to offer.
Let’s start this Philips Norelco 9700 review with the shaver’s strengths and weaknesses.
Is This the Shaver You’re Looking for?
Is the Philips Norelco 9700 right for you?
First, you should know that there are similar Norelco products that you can get at a lower price range. If you go for the Norelco 9700, you can expect top quality and comfort.
This shaver works on both wet and dry skin. It can handle extended use. The Norelco 9700 is made in the Netherlands and comes with some great extra equipment.
What’s in the Box?
What exactly do you get when you order this shaver?
In addition to the Norelco 9700, you get a detachable precision trimmer. The trimmer lets you shape your facial hair according to your taste. There is also a sleek travel case and a power cord.
This shaver also comes with SmartClean Pro and a cleaning cartridge. SmartClean Pro cleans, lubricates and dries your shaver.
You also get a SmartClick cleansing brush. This rotates slowly and cleans your face. But if using a cleansing brush is very important to you, you might want to buy a different one.
So what can this shaver give you that other shavers can’t? How does it make shaving easier and more efficient?
Achieve Smoothness with V-Track PRO Blades
The Philips Norelco Electric Shaver 9700 uses the V-Track Precision Blades PRO. These blades capture hair of any length. You can use this shaver after one day or even after three days of not shaving.
The V-Track PRO blades cut 30% closer to the skin than the older Philips SensoTouch blades.
While the shaver is very durable, you might need a replacement head eventually. You can use any Norelco series 9000 replacement head. The whole 9xxx series uses V-Track PRO blades.
Speed Things Up with Contour Detection
The shaver comes with eight-directional contour detection. This means it recognizes the lines of your face and neck.
Personalize Your Settings
Electric shavers can be annoying if they don’t match your own shaving pace. But the Philips Norelco 9700 has three different speed settings.
For routine, everyday shaves, you should choose the Normal setting. If you’re late for work or you’re just touching up before a date, the Fast setting might be better.
But what if you’ve got particularly sensitive skin? Choosing the Sensitive setting guarantees a gentler shave. You should also choose this option if you want to be even more thorough than usual.
Keep It Trimmed
The detachable trimmer is a great way to keep mustaches or sideburns neat. It’s designed with sensitive skin in mind. If you care about modeling your facial hair with great precision, this trimmer is going to be a lot of help.
As I mentioned above, the trimmer isn’t built-in. You have to remove the shaving head whenever you want to use it. Although this is easy to do, it can be irritating to do it every time you want a trim.
The trimmer also doesn’t fit in the travel case. You should take care not to leave it behind when you’re traveling.
An Extra Perk for Beard Enthusiasts
Are you willing to pay extra for accessories? If so, look into the Norelco SmartClick Beard Styler attachment.
Like with the trimmer, you have to remove the shaving head before you can use the beard styler. This attachment comes with five different length settings. And once again, you can use it even if you have sensitive skin.
Style Is Everything
If you’re going to invest in a shaver like the Philips Norelco 9700, it’s reasonable to expect it to look good. Norelco’s 9xxx series has an award-winning futuristic design.
The digital interface adds to the impressive visuals. On contact, the display lights up and gives you important information, including:
- Remaining battery power in percentages
- A low battery symbol
- A travel lock indicator
- Replacement head indicator
- Cleaning alert
The Philips travel case looks professional and stylish as well.
Maintain Your Shaver with the SmartClean PLUS
When you’re done shaving, it’s time to remove the hair and shaving cream from your shaver. The SmartClean PLUS system does this for you when you press the power button.
How does it work?
The system is equipped with dual filters. The cartridges come with a skin-friendly cleaning formula. This cleans your blades without damaging them in any way.
To reduce friction on the blades, this system also lubricates the shaving heads. Additionally, it charges your shaver for you. There’s a display that makes it clear whether the system is cleaning or charging your shaver.
As I said, there are other Philips Norelco products that work just as well. Which Philips shavers are similar to this one? And what about other manufacturers’?
To help you make the best decision, I’ve prepared some quick comparisons.
1. Philips Norelco 9700 vs 9300: Same Books, Different Covers
When you look up the Philips Norelco Electric Shaver 9300, you’ll find that it looks almost exactly the same as the Norelco 9700.
But the similarities are more than superficial. The Norelco 9300 uses the exact same 8-directional shaving heads. Just like the Norelco 9700, this shaver works for both wet and dry shave.
Additionally, it’s just as easy to use as the Norelco 9700. It also has three-speed settings to choose from. It comes with a SmartClean system, which similarly cleans and lubricates the shaving heads.
2. Philips Norelco 9700 vs 9800: To Clean or Not to Clean?
Here is another Philips Norelco product. Is the 9800 a higher series than the Norelco 9700?
These shavers are nearly identical. The displays match, and so do all the functions. So what are the differences?
The Norelco 9800 can only last 50 minutes between charges. But the main difference is that the Norelco doesn’t 9800 come with a cleaning system. You’ll have to take care of the maintenance yourself.
You can always change your mind later and buy a SmartClean system separately. But this might be more expensive than just going for a Philips Norelco Electric Shaver 9700 from the start.
3. Philips Norelco 9700 vs Braun Series 9: Dutch or German Excellence?
Philips Norelco 9700
Braun Series 9 9290cc
Clean & Charge Dock
What if you decide to go for a foil razor instead of a rotary one? The Braun 9290 Electric Shaver is one of the most popular high-end foil razors out there. So is it better than the Norelco 9700?
The answer depends on your shaving style. Using a foil razor makes it trickier to cover the areas around your nose. If you’re not used to it, I recommend sticking with the Norelco 9700.
However, the Braun 9290 is an extremely efficient shaver. This German-made shaver works for a wet and dry shave, just like the Norelco 9700.
It can also handle three-day beards very easily. This shaver offers a different kind of contour adaptation, in ten directions. Unlike the Norelco 9700, it has built-in trimmers.
But you should also consider the difference in prices. The Braun 9290 is generally more expensive, even though its battery life is shorter.
The Norelco 9700 is both efficient and easy to use and clean. It also has a longer battery life than many electric shavers, and it charges in just 1 hour.
You may be able to get very close performance from a much cheaper Chinese-made Philips Norelco, but it won’t come close to the prestige, build quality and reliability of the Dutch-made Philips Norelco Electric Shaver 9700.