Have you ever surfed for hours on end, comparing products, reading all the reviews, and trying to figure which shaver suits you the most? Well, I sure have.
Of course, you can always go out and buy the most expensive product, but even that doesn’t guarantee you’ll end up with the perfect shaver. We’re all different and we all have specific needs.
Long story short, I’ve recently tried the Philips Norelco OneBlade, and I must say I’m pretty thrilled to have found my new favorite gadget. Want to find out more? Well, let me break it all down for you.
Table of Contents
The Quick Facts
First things first, the name of the product pretty much describes what’s it meant for. Philips OneBlade products combine versatility and simplicity in one product. This time around, you get an electric shaver and beard trimmer, all in one gadget, all work done by a singular blade.
The first logical question is – can it shave and trim equally well? You should always be careful when purchasing hybrid/combo products. Due to the very nature of their respective features, they can’t always be perfect at everything they do.
Especially considering the fact that Philips OneBlade is a very reasonably priced product.
Philips OneBlade can be used for dry or wet shaving. This means that you can simply turn it on and start shaving or trimming your beard, or you can use shaving cream for a much more comfortable shaving experience.
As it is completely water-resistant, you can shave while taking a shower. This is a highly convenient feature.
The blade itself is somewhat small when compared to the size of the handle, but it is a very precise little triumph of industrial design. Unlike most electric shavers, it cuts your hair when moving both back and forth.
The shaver can be used for making the most precise mustache edges and it also comes with three different stubble-on trimming combs.
The shaving head needs to be replaced every 4 to 6 months, which is a convenient feature in terms of ergonomics and design, but it doesn’t fit well with the overall affordability image of the product as these replacement parts don’t come cheap.
Charging the Philips Norelco OneBlade electric shaver is really a very simple operation. It comes with a universal, multi-voltage charger that can be used anywhere in the world, but the charging process itself takes eight long hours.
Once the battery is fully charged, it will give you enough juice for 45 minutes of operation. This should be enough for all your facial hair magic to shine through, but yet again I couldn’t help but think that it would’ve been very neat to have some sort of quick charge option as well.
Who Is It For?
As shown by this Philips Norelco OneBlade review, this is an innovative product with a lot of potentials. It will not break the bank but do keep in mind that the replacement shaving heads are fairly expensive and they need to be changed every 4 to 6 months.
Also, if you have a really thick beard, you might struggle with the Philips OneBlade QP2520/70 at times, as it may come off as slightly underpowered and a bit too precise to deal with your hairs.
Other than this, it is a mighty fine product, highly recommended for any guy who'd like to try out innovative and interesting new products.
The Key Features
Inside the Philips Norelco OneBlade QP2520/70 boxes you will find, apart from the handle and replaceable blade a few stubble combs which come in three different hair-trimming lengths – 3/64 inch, 1/8 inch, and 3/16 inch. A battery charger adapter and an instruction manual round out this list.
It's when you put the actual shaver to work that you start noticing its unique features.
Traditional Design Made New
The OneBlade shaver from Philips actually looks like a regular wet shaver, only made electric. Characterized by a highly contrasting lime color against the ordinary gloss black and silver, it sure does look promising.
Overall, it's a modern and sleek design that should appeal to most people. The power button is integrated seamlessly into the handle and once you press it, you get rewarded by a very satisfying click. As the edges around the button are slightly recessed, you can't really press it by mistake.
At the lower end of the handle is the indicator light, and right below is the charger socket. All around the handle, there is the lime green rubber wrap which provides a very firm grip, even when you try grabbing it with your arms wet or covered in shaving foam.
Since the Philips OneBlade shaver is completely waterproof, the best place to test the grip provided by the lime green rubber wrap is under the shower.
Once you turn around to the other side, there isn't much to see besides the basic specifications and its origins. The main attraction here is the shaving head, of course.
Hair Chomping Teeth
The shaving head is an impressive little piece of engineering. Along the top and the bottom of the blades it has green-tipped "teeth". These move 200 times per second to protect the skin from the sharp blades and also to make sure that even the longest hairs get cut.
The hairs fall between the teeth and the blades so they don't get pulled out. Also, an important feat is that such assembly is found on both sides of the blade, so you can shave by moving both back and forth.
Needless, to say, these are all made from hypo-allergenic materials to avoid any skin irritation or similar allergic reactions.
Between the blades is a metal plate with a cross-hatch pattern that provides an extremely smooth shaving experience.
The OneBlade QP2520 shaving head is disposable and it sits neatly on little plastic holders which makes it quite flexible in movement. Thanks to it, the shaver can follow the contours of your face.
Now, the disposable heads are commonly OK, but they're not OK when you have to change them every 4-6 months, and they are not really cheap. This might turn you away from purchasing this product, but if you're into new and innovative stuff, I don't think that will be the case.
The Devil is in the Detailing
OneBlade Philips shaver isn't very quiet when turned on, but the buzzing it produces is quite common in this price range. It's meant to be used to shave all hairs to skin level, trim the beard with three provided combs, and precisely edge your mustache, goatee, or sideburns. Yes, you can even use it for the underarm area and private parts.
When it comes down to shaving, it does the job well, but it's far away from perfect. It can't really help but leave a little length, but on the other side, it also makes for a rather comfortable shaving experience.
If you have fair to medium hair, you won't be having any issues with the Philips Norelco OneBlade. Those with a thick and strong beard may need to press harder. To them, this shaver will probably come off as a little underpowered.
As mentioned earlier, you can use the Philips OneBlade QP2520 for trimming your beard by using the three accompanying combs which come in three different lengths - 3/64 inch, 1/8 inch, and 3/16 inch.
The comb gets easily attached to the shaving head, but it cannot use the main advantage of the one-blade shaving head – the back and forth shaving.
As is the case with the shaving process, the trimming does go well only if you have fine to medium hair. Anything coarser than that will not go that smooth. Also, the combs also tend to get clogged by hair very easily, so you need to keep removing the hair.
When it comes to detailing and edging facial hair, Philips OneBlade is a fine performer. Remember, you can use both edges of the shaving head, so it provides much more options than your run-of-the-mill electric razor.
Waiting All Night
Charging the Philips Norelco OneBlade is really as simple as it gets. It comes with an international, multi-voltage charger so you can use it virtually anywhere in the world. Just take the charger and plug it in the base located at the bottom of the handle.
The battery itself is NiMH and the bad news is that it takes EIGHT hours to fully charge it. This means that it's best to put it overnight to charge so that you can use it in the morning. Once fully charged, it will give you enough juice for about 45 minutes of good shaving.
When the battery is being charged, the indicator will light up. That same indicator will keep blinking to warn you when the battery is close to running out of juice.
Philips Norelco OneBlade is fully waterproof, so it is very easy to clean and maintain. Once you're finished shaving or trimming your beard, you simply rinse it under running hot water. The same goes for trimming combs.
Short-Term Shaving Heads
The disposable head needs to be replaced every 4 to 6 months, depending on how often you shave. This really is the most annoying issue with the shaver. Two replacement heads basically add up to the price of a whole new gadget.
Despite all the cool features it has, though, it kind of makes you think if it is really worth that much.
The act of replacing the blades is also somewhat tricky to a certain extent. The blade needs to be ejected by pressing the green button directly underneath it. The button feels kind of flimsy under your thumb, and you really need to be careful not to launch the one blade shaving head across the room.
So, make sure you hold the one blade shaving head with one hand and press the release button with the other.
Does Anything Else Do it Better?
Among other products on the market, one really stands out as an alternative, even if it's a bit pricey - the Philips Norelco OneBlade QP6520/70, which also features the innovative OneBlade system.
It can also be used for shaving, trimming, and dealing with the fine edges of your facial hair. Compared to the QP2520 review in this article, its bigger, more advanced brother does offer a lot more, but at approximately double the price.
The first thing you notice is a different design with an intelligent display that shows how much more juice you have in your battery. Speaking of which, the battery is very powerful. It can last for up to 90 minutes on one full charge, and it only requires 60 minutes to be fully charged.
On the other hand, it doesn't really come cheap, and you have to replace the expensive shaving heads every 4 to 6 months. If you don't really care about the price tag, then this might be the perfect electric shaver for you. Still, I'd rather recommend the one I'm reviewing here, at half the price.
When all is said and done, Philips Norelco OneBlade is one cool gadget. It is one of the more fun and innovative shavers out there, especially thanks to the shaving head.
If your beard is not really coarse, you won't have any trouble shaving or trimming, especially considering the accompanying trimming combs. But even if you like to sport an untamed beard, it should still manage, albeit with more effort on your part.
The only issues I've had with it are the long battery charging and the rather high price of the replacement shaving heads. If you don't have a problem with that and are willing to invest in a rather innovative gadget then this is the right electric razor for you.