Finishing close to the top of the group overall, the Brio SmartClean Sonic is an excellent electric toothbrush. It pairs a solid performance in our cleaning and comfort tests with an absolutely phenomenal battery life. It's fairly convenient and easy to use and even retails at a relatively affordable price. It isn't necessarily the best toothbrush we have seen to date but it's close.
Brio SmartClean Sonic Review
Pros: Exceptional battery life, comfortable
Cons: Not the best at cleaning
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Brio is a particularly good option for someone that travels frequently or if you hate leaving the charger for your toothbrush out on the counter. This brush lasted for months on a single charge in our tests, so you can easily leave the charger behind for most trips and not have to worry about getting caught with a dead toothbrush.
Responsible for 40% of the total score for each electric toothbrush, comfort is our most important metric — even over cleaning performance. We compared and scored how it felt to brush with each toothbrush and how loud it is, as well as if there is a pressure sensor to detect overly vigorous brushing.
Our judges overall scored the Brio very highly when it came to comfort, particularly those that prefer a gentler toothbrush. This model operates at 31,000 movements per minute and comes stock with a soft bristle brush. Its standard cleaning mode is very gentle to begin with and there is even a "Sensitive Mode" if the standard mode is still too aggressive for you.
This was also one of the quietest toothbrushes of the group, measuring in at 60 dBa from 2" away, definitely a product worth considering if you are worried about waking up your roommates or bothering anyone else that you cohabitate with.
This toothbrush weighed in at 3.7 ozs, with a handle diameter of 3.625" and a rather glossy surface finish and a sleek design, making it an attractive addition to the aesthetics of most bathrooms. Unfortunately, this toothbrush does lack a pressure sensor so you have to be careful not to brush too hard.
Moving on to how well the Brio brushes, our cleaning metric is responsible for 30% of its overall score. The SmartClean did quite well in our side-by-side cleaning challenge, scoring close to the top of the group.
We based scores for this metric entirely off of our plaque removal tests, looking at a series of before and after photos from a variety of angles — including photos inside the mouth taken with a 360° camera — to determine how each brush did.
Some members of our panel missed a significant number of spots with this brush, while others did an exceptional job brushing with this model.
It was this mixed performance that led to a slightly lower score. Those top-scoring models had a universally good performance for all of the judges.
Ease of Use
Next, we looked at how easy it is to use the Brio on a day-to-day basis, focusing mainly on how much of a hassle it is to swap between brush modes, how easy it is to clean, if there is a 2-minute timer, and if there is storage on the charging base for extra brush heads. Altogether, these tests account for 20% of the overall score, with the Brio finishing in the middle of the group with its average performance.
We particularly liked the simple interface to change between modes. The Brio has 5 cleaning modes: Clean, White, Polish, Massage, and Sensitive, with a one-button interface to switch between them. Each mode has an LED indicator at the base of the brush, as well as a charge indicator. The brush has an integrated 2-minute timer that is divided into quadrants to improve the pacing and evenness of your brushing. The powered brushing will turn off for a brief moment every 30 seconds, alerting you that it is time to move on to the next section of your mouth. This model gives you five seconds to toggle between modes using this button, and will simply turn the toothbrush off after those five seconds have elapsed.
To test the ease of cleaning each brush, we sprayed each one with a diluted toothpaste solution and looked for problem spots that were difficult to reach. We found that it was a little more difficult to clean around the power button on the Brio, with some leftover "toothpaste gruel" remaining around the button, even after spending some time on it.
This toothbrush is decently stable on its charging base but doesn't provide anywhere to store additional brush heads if you are sharing the Brio SmartClean between multiple people.
This toothbrush had a phenomenal performance in our battery life test, lasting significantly longer than any other model and earning a solid 10 out of 10 for its stellar results in this test, which account for the remaining 10% of the total score.
For this test, we ran each brush twice a day — once in the morning and again in the evening — on its standard cleaning cycle until the battery ran out. While this test did take a little over two months in the case of the Brio, it is the best way to capture both the standby and brushing power draws. This brush lasted for significantly longer than any other brush we tested.
This makes the Brio a particularly great choice for the frequent traveler who doesn't want to be encumbered by an additional charger on their trip.
This toothbrush has great value, being one of the better toothbrushes we have seen to date and having one of the lower list prices, easily holding its own against significantly more expensive products.
The Brio isn't the fanciest toothbrush that you can purchase, but it has all the features that count and remarkable battery life.
— Austin Palmer, David Wise, and Jenna Ammerman