Whether or not you want the subscription, this is a great value sonic toothbrush
- Slick and comfortable design
- Impressive cleaning
- Good battery life
- Optional subscription makes things easy
- No pressure sensor
- Subscription won’t be for everyone
There are two major brands in the electric toothbrush market, with Philips and its Sonicare brushes going up against a vast array of toothbrushes from Oral-B. You can still find the odd Colgate or Omron model and Amazon sells a wide range of Chinese-made toothbrushes from various smaller brands, but credible alternatives to Philips and Oral-B are few and far between.
The Ordo Sonic+, though, stood out enough to grab my attention. On first impressions, it looks like yet another Sonicare clone with an unfamiliar logo, but it’s better-designed and better-built than its Chinese rivals. Ordo also has a few interesting ideas up its sleeve. You’ve heard of software, music, movies and games as a service, so how about dental care as a subscription service?
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Ordo Sonic+ review: What you need to know
The Sonic+ is the pricier of two models made by Ordo. It comes in three colours – a dual tone white and silver, rose gold, and charcoal grey – and has a similar design to mid-range Philips Sonicare toothbrushes with a head that vibrates 40,000 times per second.
It has four different brushing modes, a two-minute timer and a Lithium-Ion battery, which should keep you covered for two weeks of brushing. It’s charged via a USB charging cradle, but you’ll need your own USB wall plug as none is bundled in.
You can buy the Sonic+ for £50 and then pick up additional heads when you need them for £5 per pop. Alternatively, if you’re interested in getting your hands on some extras, spending another fiver (£55) gets you a starter kit that includes a shaver socket USB adaptor, toothpaste, mouthwash and 18 interdental brushes.
After this, you can then sign up for one of two refill plans if you like, where you pay a subscription every two or three months. The Basic Refill plan (£10) nets you a new Sonic+ Brush Head plus two tubes of toothpaste (one 80ml and one 25ml for travel). The Recommended Refill Plan (£15) then adds mouthwash concentrate, dental floss and 18 interdental brushes.
Ordo Sonic+ review: Price and competition
Philips makes the nearest alternative to the Sonic+ in the EasyClean HX6511 and ProtectiveClean 4300. The EasyClean is usually around £50 while the ProtectiveClean costs £60 at the time of writing, but you will see some enticing deals on both from time to time
Both are excellent brushes. On the Oral-B side, the Smart 4 4000N is normally between £50 and £60 and also connects to your phone via Bluetooth with an app to track your brushing. Again, it’s a tried and tested design that’s been proven to deliver a good clean.
Ordo Sonic+ review: Design and features
I’ve sampled a handful of brushed from smaller Chinese brands, and the experience usually goes like this: the brush looks good, but there are usually some rough edges in the build quality, the heads feel cheap and there’s just a cable or a very cheap cradle for charging, often using a USB socket as the source.
The actual cleaning doesn’t seem too bad to begin with, but after a week or so your confidence starts to wane. You rub your tongue against your teeth or gums and wonder: is this really looking after my precious gnashers?
This wasn’t my experience with the Sonic+. It’s well-built, with no rough areas, hollow plastic bits or ropey seals, and the slightly rubberized plastic finish feels good in the hand. The brush head fits on tightly and has a silicon polishing element to help remove staining and keep your teeth looking white. The charging cradle feels substantial, and holds the brush in, and even the cable feels well made.
It’s easy to use as well. Press the single button once to turn it on, then press it again if you want to cycle through the modes, indicated by backlit text on the little panel below. The brush remembers the last mode you used and offers a choice of Clean, White, Sensitive and Massage modes.
White ups the pulse frequency for stain removal, while Sensitive is a gentle mode that’s easy on the gums. Massage is a slightly odd rhythmic pulsing that sounds a bit like a sound effect from an old Space Invaders machine. As much as I like that sort of thing, I’m not sure it really did much for my gums or teeth.
Still, in its other modes the Sonic+ works well. It’s much like a mid-range Sonicare brush in terms of feel, and it left my pearly whites feeling nice, smooth and fresh against the tongue. You can time your brushing through the short pauses that kick in every thirty seconds, and there’s an auto-switch off at the two-minute mark, which is really all that most of us need.
The Sonic+ isn’t quite as good at its core job as a higher-end Sonicare like the ExpertClean 7300 or DiamondClean Smart – there’s not quite the same brushing power or intensity – but it’s on a par with similarly-priced brushes in the DailyClean and EasyClean lines. I wouldn’t have any problem using it as my daily toothbrush, switching between the Clean and White modes to keep my teeth looking and feeling healthy. There is one caveat, though; there’s no pressure sensor, so no way of knowing whether you’re too firm or too light in your brushing. That’s frustrating, as it’s one feature that even some budget electric toothbrushes are now packing in.
Ordo Sonic+ review: Battery life
Ordo rates the Lithium-Ion battery in the Sonic+ for three weeks of brushing, which is one week more than Philips specifies for many of its Sonicare brushes. In our tests, though, we found that it could go on a whole lot longer, running for around 147 minutes, which would cover you for a month of brushing.
Ordo Sonic+ review: Verdict
This is an impressive debut for Ordo. The Sonic+ looks, feels and works like a mid-range electric toothbrush while coming in at a very competitive price. Although the lack of any pressure sensors is a mild disappointment, there aren’t any other compromises of the kind that we often see with budget, small-brand toothbrushes.
I’m not wholly convinced by the subscription idea. Most of us have our favoured brands of toothpaste and mouthwash, while some may need particular types of either to cover specific dental health needs. In the end, though, that doesn’t really matter. This is a good toothbrush and a credible option if you like the sonic toothbrush style.