When it comes to electric shaves, Philips has an unparalleled reputation in the marketplace. Philips specializes in rotary shavers and over the years they have introduced many class-leading shaving products.
They release their shavers in varying series like 3000, 5000, 6000 and 9000. Amongst them, some are popular for their power and strength whereas some renowned for their closeness.
Particularly, keeping the 3000 series in view, Philips has introduced a new model in this series with the name of Philips Norelco Shaver 3800 (S3311/85).
Given its reasonable price and appealing features, this shaver appears to be punching above its weight resulting in enormous appeal among buyers.
Norelco 3800 has already made its place in the market. it’s time to review its features individually in order to assess it critically.
Table of Contents
Philips Norelco Shaver 3800, S3311/85 Review - What You Need To Consider Before Buying?
Design and Construction:
Talking about the design, Philips Norelco Shaver 3800, S3311/85, has an ergonomic handle with anti-slip rubber. This ensures a strong and easy-grip even in wet conditions.
By physically holding the shaver in my hand, I can feel that it is not exactly very premium. However, the quality of the material is quite impressive in the price range. The finishing and construction are of good quality and overall the feel of the shaver is also good.
Philips Norelco Shaver 3800, S3311/85 comes in a space grey and black color scheme. These give it understand looks and a nice overall feel. The branding on the main body is done nicely with 3000 series on the lower end and wet and dry brandings at the top. On the head of the shaver, 5D branding can be seen.
On the front side, we can see a large power button and battery indicators underneath it. The power button is very thoughtfully placed. This prevents any accidental presses which were quite usual with the older Philips 3000 series models. However, unfortunately, there is no travel lock feature included. Right below the head, there is a small release button for the opening of the shaver’s head for cleaning.
On the backside of the shaver, we can see that it has a pop-up trimmer which is very handy when you want to trim and shape your sideburns or to have a goatee.
The trimmer placement is at a nice angle and being spring-loaded it snaps into a perpendicular position to your face. It is nice to see that this feature is included in the Philips Norelco Shaver 3800 as this is not usually included in the entry-level shavers.
Speaking of 5D, the Philips Norelco Shaver 3800, S3311/85 has 5D pivot and flex heads. This feature allows the shaver to follow the face’s contour in a 5-directional pivot and flex movement. It creates an ideal angle and adjusts according to the curves of your face and neck. This results in a smooth and comfortable shave.
Shaving performance of Philips Norelco Shaver 3800, S3311/85
Coming to the most vital part of the review, let us dive in and see how the Philips Norelco Shaver 3800, S3311/85 performs.
I used the shaver for a couple of weeks, shaving almost every other day. I even used it on two and three-day beards as well. Mostly, I use some pre-shave lotion as I have sensitive skin and the dry and wet use of the shaver allowed me to use it with the lotion.
Talking about the closeness of the shave, it is not the best certainly as it did manage well on my cheeks, but the neck had some rough patches of hair. I would have liked a more clean and close shave on the neck part.
It is worth mentioning that I would not advise putting pressure while trying to get the hard areas. This can lead to rashes on your skin.
I am not implying that the Philips Norelco Shaver 3800, S3311/85 performed badly. I would say it performs as par with other rotary shavers in the market. Overall, the closeness of the shave was satisfactory.
With that said, again if you have sensitive skin it’s always better to use some lotion. This is because it might leave some razor burn on the neck when using dry. This is a slight issue with most of the electric shavers. Apart from this, I didn’t have any problem with the 3800.
It is worth mentioning that the shaving heads stayed cool, even though I had used it for a longer shaving session.
Now, if we talk about shaving longer hair, inherently rotary shavers perform better than most of the foil shavers.
Daily shavers may not feel much difference. However, a two or three days’ beard can be a problem for foil shavers, particularly some entry-level foil shavers.
The S3311/85 essentially did perform well in this regard. I would say I was impressed by how smooth the shave was on a two-to-three-day beard.
Comparing it with the premium Phillips Norelco shavers like series 9000, it was not that good but still, it did a pretty good job.
The pop-up trimmer on Norelco 3800 is a very handy add-on. It is an adequate size and a position with the shaving head not getting in the way. The trimmer is very useful for shaping the side hair. You can even use it for styling the beard if you want a goatee or something.
Battery Life and Charging
Philips Norelco S3311/85 has good battery life. I would say this is one of the biggest upgrades from the older 3000 series. With its powerful Li-ion battery, it gives you 60 minutes of shaving time which is equivalent to 20 shaves. It takes approximately one hour to completely charge the shaver from 0 to 100%.
Moreover, it has a 5-minute quick charge feature which is enough for one shave. This essentially is a good attribute to have in a shaver. This is because if you are ever short on time, this will give you some battery at full power to get the work done. But, unfortunately, this shaver does not work cordless. This means that you cannot shave while charging, this honestly is a letdown.
S3311/85 has a three-level battery indicator to let the users know about the remaining charge. The battery levels are shown in three stages to let you know when to charge your shaver. When plugged in, you can see the lights blinking and once it’s fully charged the lights become stable.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Cleaning of the Philips Norelco Shaver 3800, S3311/85 is pretty easy and straightforward. To avoid any dirt and hair building up in the razor’s head, I would say you should clean it after every use.
When you are done shaving, turn the shaver off and press the release button to pop open the head and rinse it under hot running tap water. Make sure to clean it thoroughly inside out.
After you are done with that, shake off the excess water from the head and ensure that it is completely dry before closing it.
Therefore, the advice is that you should clean each shaving head separately by removing it from the rest. I would say thorough cleaning should be according to your usage, but three or four weeks max should be an ideal timeframe.
Moreover, a cleaning spray is also suggested for the cleaning of Philips Norelco Shaver 3800, S3311/85. This will lubricate the cutter which reduces the friction and ensures a longer life for the shaver.
The package will include the following items:
- One Philips Norelco Shaver 3800, S3311/85
- A charging cord
- A charging stand
- One travel pouch
- User’s manual
Concisely concluding my review, I would say that if someone has a limited budget and preference of a rotary shaver, the Philips Norelco Shaver 3800, S3311/85 is a viable option. In short, it would not disappoint you as it is comfortable and quite efficient.
Having 5D Pivot and Flex movement and ComfortCut heads, the Norelco 3800 ensures a smooth wet and dry shave without irritating the skin of the user.
With the users having light to medium facial hair, Norelco 3800 can prove to be a reasonably fair choice with it giving closeness in the shave.
However, it should be kept in mind that with a dense beard, coarse facial hair and hair on hard areas, this shaver won’t fulfill your expectations if you are particularly interested in a close shave.
Unlike other budget rotary shavers, it is not underpowered and can be used to shave your head as well. I would say having a pop-up trimmer and a charging stand, Norelco 3800 is a complete shaving station.
With that said, it’s shaving heads are readily available in the market therefore getting replacement parts would not prove to be an issue. Also, their reasonable price with easy availability makes it a good buying option.