Great cleaning, useful features and superb battery life – this is the best affordable electric toothbrush
- Great, practical design
- Impressive cleaning
- Superb battery life
- Relatively slow to charge
- Quite noisy
Tempting as the cutting-edge toothbrushes in Oral-B’s iO line and Philips’ DiamondClean might be, a lot of people don’t want to splash out £150 or more on an all-singing, all-dancing smart brush; just something that gives their teeth a good twice-daily clean, holds a charge and doesn’t cost the earth. For the last few years the Oral-B Pro 2 2500N has filled this spot, but now we’ve got a new contender. Oral-B’s new Pro 3 3000 brush doesn’t just give you the basics, but a solid brush with useful features. Provided you don’t buy it at its RRP – and you really shouldn’t have to – it’s excellent value.
Oral B Pro 3 3000 review: What do you get for the money?
The Oral-B Pro 3 3000 is the new step-up model in the incredibly convoluted Oral-B line-up, coming in just above the entry-level Pro 2 and Vitality models but below the Smart, Genius and iO lines. It doesn’t have any of the smart features of the older Smart or Genius brushes or the iO motor and display of the top-of-the-range iO models, but it has a slicker, more refined design, excellent battery life and a 360-degree pressure sensor.
The Pro 3 3000 comes in three different colours – Black Onyx, Pink and Alabaster White – and with a choice of Cross Action or Sensitive Heads. You can also find it with or without a bundled travel case at different price points. The RRP starts at £90, but we’ve already found it on sale for £50 or less, and you can expect prices to stick at around this point in the run-up to Christmas. As with any electric toothbrush, you’d be bonkers to buy it at the RRP.
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Oral B Pro 3 3000 review: What’s it like to use?
Oral-B’s design has shifted since the last generation. Out go chunky rubber-feel grips and light-up icons. In comes a smooth, streamlined design in glossy plastics, with a single indicator on the power button and a charging indicator near the base. You might think this makes the Pro 3 3000 less comfortable to use, but it’s light and easy to handle. It also doesn’t trap toothpaste and associated gunk like the old models could, rinsing nice and clean under the tap. We also like the two points that stick out at the back, allowing you to rest the Pro 3 lying down without it rolling off your bathroom shelf.
The button turns the brush on and cycles between its three modes: daily clean, whitening and sensitive. The first is your everyday brushing mode, with the head oscillating back and forth at around 8,800 oscillations per minute, while sensitive drops the speed. Whitening uses a slightly weird pattern where the brush starts slow then ramps up in speed, sounding a bit like a sports car accelerating through the gears.
The old Pro 3 models had a rear pressure-sensor indicator which glowed red if the brush detected you were brushing too hard, but the Pro 3 3000 goes one better with a 360-degree ring, as found on Oral-B’s mid-range and premium brushes. This still glows red if you’re applying too much pressure while the brush reduces power and speed to limit any damage. It’s a small change, but it makes the warning slightly more visible when you’re watching your brushing in the mirror.
Finally, the Pro 3 3000 has the same timer features you might have seen on other brushes, giving you a quick pause every 30 seconds to get you to move to another quadrant of your mouth, along with three pulses when you hit the two-minute mark, to let you know that the job should be done.
Oral B Pro 3 3000 review: How well does it clean?
The Pro 3 3000 delivers an excellent clean. You can easily work the brush head around the back teeth and behind the front teeth, and get the kind of sparkly-clean, straight from the dentist feel you want from an electric brush. Sensitive mode is softer on the gums and easier for those getting used to an electric brush, while Whitening is great for giving your front teeth a more robust polish.
To be frank, there’s little difference in the clean from some of Oral-B’s more expensive models – once you move up the price range, you’re mainly paying for the extra features that help you get the best clean that you can. The worst thing you can say about this brush is that it’s noisy, and even then only the Whitening mode is unusually so. Without moving up to the iO range and its more advanced motor system, you’re not going to get much better.
Oral B Pro 3 3000 review: How long does the battery last?
If we’re impressed with the clean, we’re even more impressed with the battery life. Oral-B promises around two weeks of use between a recharge, but if anything that’s modest. We set the Pro 3 3000 running, standing up, and it was close to 90 minutes before the battery gave up. Even accounting for the effects of friction against the teeth, you should still get a good three weeks or more of use between charges. Just be warned, though, that while the lithium-ion battery means you can be flexible about your charging, you’re still looking at an overnight charge if you want to get it back from empty to full.
Oral B Pro 3 3000 review: Should I buy it?
If you’re not fussed about taking the new-fangled, app-enhanced, smartbrush route, the Pro 3 3000 might be your perfect brush. It’s great at cleaning, easy to handle and has epic stamina. With its Sensitive mode and pressure sensor, it’s a superb option for electric toothbrush newbies or kids stepping up from a children’s brush. It’s a little more expensive than the classic Pro 2 2500N, but the difference is worth it, and a brush that would be good value at £60 is a bargain if you find it for £40 to £50. Meet the new sensibly priced electric toothbrush king.