A beautifully designed battery brush with decent cleaning capabilities, but don’t expect the power of a premium Sonicare toothbrush
- Easy to use
- Slim, lightweight design
- Epic battery life
- Not as effective as premium brushes
- Only one type of brush head
Philips is the leading manufacturer of sonic toothbrushes, with its Sonicare technology still leading the field. Yet the new Philips One Electric Toothbrush is a bit of a departure. It’s a new electric toothbrush that adapts Sonicare tech to a design that’s slimmer, lighter and – crucially – cheaper, with brushes starting at just £30. But does it clean as well as the regular Sonicare brushes, or is this a stylish but inferior brush that falls short of the real deal?
Philips One Electric Toothbrush review: What do you get for the money?
The One Electric Toothbrush arrives in two formats: a battery version that runs from a single AAA battery; and a rechargeable version with a USB charging cable and built-in Lithium ion battery. The latter comes in shadow black and shimmer pink finishes, while the battery version (reviewed) is available in Mango, Miami and Midnight (or yellow, pink and dark blue, if you prefer). Either way, you get the brush, one head and a rather swish slimline travel case that wraps around the brush, with a cover to protect the head.
The brush itself is a slender wand that’s roughly 20cm long and weighs a mere 34g. The design is pretty clever, with a kind of inverse rifling effect around the barrel to offer some grip, a single on/off button, and some tiny nubs on the back that will ensure the brush head stays up if you lay it down on a bathroom shelf. It looks and feels great.
Philips One Electric Toothbrush review: What’s it like to use?
This is a basic brush with zero extra features, but that means it’s nice and easy to use; just put some toothpaste on the brush, stick it in your mouth and turn it on. The handle vibrates while in use, but not to the degree of the larger Sonicare brushes, and the long shaft makes it fairly easy to get the brush head into every corner of your mouth.
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Kids might find the brush head on the large size – it’s no smaller than the standard Sonicare heads – but, otherwise, it’s a great first electric toothbrush and even easier for existing Sonicare users to get used to.
One thing it has over many cheaper battery brushes is a proper timer; it pulses every 30 seconds, with the brush switching off after two minutes.
Philips One Electric Toothbrush review: How well does it clean?
The One doesn’t offer the power of a larger Sonicare brush, so if you’re looking for a more intense clean that really forces the toothpaste foam in-between your pearly whites, then you need to look further up the range.
Having said that, it’s significantly better than most battery-powered brushes, and I’d even put it above the Colgate ProClinical 150 in this regard – our previous pick for the best electric toothbrush of this type. While the 13,000 strokes per minute action doesn’t sound that impressive, with the Colgate hitting 20,000 and Sonicare models dishing out between 30 and 62,000, it still does a great job of cleaning your teeth and leaving them with a shiny, polished feel.
The relatively gentle movement is also good for massaging and cleaning along the gumline, although the bristles may be a little on the firm side for some sensitive users. Replacement heads come in all the available colours but just one style, so you don’t get the full choice you get with a regular Sonicare brush.
Philips One Electric Toothbrush review: How long does the battery last?
Buy the AAA battery model and you can expect a staggering 90 days of brushing without switching out the cell, although your mileage will vary after that depending on the capacity of the battery you use. Given that we’re talking about 360 minutes with a button press every two, it wasn’t really practical to put this to the test. The battery sits in a water-tight compartment in the handle, which unlocks when unscrewed with a coin.
If you opt for the rechargeable version, you’re looking at a shorter battery life of up to 30 days. However, the USB cable makes recharging easier, and Philips claims that it provides better cleaning.
Philips One Electric Toothbrush review: Should I buy it?
The One Electric Toothbrush really scores for two groups of toothbrush users. First, it’s a great option for anyone looking for their first electric toothbrush, who’s wanting something cheap and simple to use. It isn’t crammed with modes or features, and it’s an easy step up from a manual brush or one of the cheaper, disposable battery-powered brushes. Make the leap, and you and your dentist should notice an improvement in the quality of your teeth.
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Second, it’s a brilliant second brush for holidays or business travel. Everyone who’s seen it has commented on how slim and light it is, even in its case, and the epic battery life should really come into its own. It was the ProClinical 150 that stood out in this regard, but I think the Philips One is even better. If you can’t be bothered with bringing your regular brush and charger, the Philips One is a superb travel brush.