The next step up from the Sonicare 2 Series, the Sonicare 3 Series offers a cost-effective brush with multiple intensity settings. The only problem? Uh, bring your earplugs.
Introducing the Philips Sonicare 3 Series Gum Health
With the introduction of the 3 Series, Sonicare has created a welcome bridge between the slim pickings of the entry-level 2 Series and the highly specialized objectives of the HealthyWhite. Despite its stated focus on your gums — for example, it comes with a ProResults brush head designed to encourage gum health — the most appealing facet of the 3 Series is its three intensity settings. Gone are the somewhat archaic setting names that characterized earlier models (Clean and White? Gum Health? What does that even mean?); with the Sonicare 3 Series your intensity setting modes are 1, 2, and 3. It’s intuitive and straightforward and a welcome change for folks who want more control over the strength of their brush.
In terms of functionality, the basics are all there. Smartimer keeps your brushing session to the dentist-recommended two minutes, while Quadpacer helps keep your brushing even by breaking that two-minutes into 30 second allotments for each quadrant of your mouth. Its modern Li-Ion battery should last up to three weeks on a full charge, while its two-colour battery charge indicator keeps you updated on its progress. For those of you on the go, it comes with a travel charger and travel case. Good stuff.
Things to Consider…
- Plug your ears.There have been repeated user reports that, like the Sonicare 2 Series, the 3 Series is louder than some of the line’s higher-end models. Like I’ve said elsewhere, when there’s a tiny motor involved noise comes with the territory, but customer feedback suggests there’s something different going on here than your usual bzz bzz bzz. Given that the same issues don’t seem to be cropping up with the higher-end models, if you’ve got the money and want to avoid the rattling and excess vibration I’d opt for a different brush like the HealthyWhite or the FlexCare.
- Don’t like that brush head? You can change it.As I mentioned earlier, the 3 Series comes bundled with a ProResults Gum Health brush head. Though it has its fans, some users have described the Gum Health brush head as too small for their purposes. That’s okay, though — while the noise and vibration issue has no easy fix, this one does. The 3 Series brush is compatible with all six modern Sonicare snap-on brush heads and they can be ordered separately.
- That darned button.The intensity settings and the on/off functionality are all built into the same button. Turning it on to rinse the bristles after use can accidentally change the intensity level for later. Whoops.
What does everyone else think?
As of right now, you’re looking at a 4.5 out of 5 rating at Amazon.com, with some 897 verified reporting in on their experiences. Not too shabby.
This is one of those toothbrushes where, like the 2 Series, you get what you pay for. It’s cheaper than the more expensive brushes in the Sonicare line and it works and that’s enough for most people. But personally? If you think the noise is going to bother you and you have the money, I’d strongly encourage dropping a little more money on the HealthyWhite or one of its brethren. The better quality brush could well be worth the investment.
And whatever you do, remember to fill out your warranty card and keep your receipts. You’ll thank me later.
Obligatory note on packaging
If you do decide to buy this product on Amazon.com it’s important to understand what “Amazon Frustration-Free” packaging means. You will receive your Sonicare 3 Series in a cardboard Amazon box, with none of the original packaging. This makes it considerably easier to open (and recyclable), but much harder to wrap. If you’re buying this toothbrush as a gift, be sure to select the “Retail” option instead.