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Brio SmartClean Sonic Review

If you want a solid, all-around toothbrush with an outstanding battery life, then the Brio is the brush for you
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:   $68 List | $68 at Amazon
Pros:  Exceptional battery life, comfortable
Cons:  Not the best at cleaning
Manufacturer:   Brio
By Austin Palmer, David Wise, and Jenna Ammerman  ⋅  Nov 11, 2019
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65
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 14
  • Comfort - 40% 6
  • Cleaning - 30% 7
  • Ease of Use - 20% 5
  • Battery Life - 10% 10

Our Verdict

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.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award    
Price $68 List
$68 at Amazon
$70 List
$39.95 at Amazon
$270 List
$239.95 at Amazon
$70 List
$59.99 at Amazon
$120 List
$80.93 at Amazon
Star Rating
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Pros Exceptional battery life, comfortableVery easy to use, solid battery life, great cleaning powerGreat cleaning power, stylish, solidly comfortableLow list price, lots of colors available, comfortableComfortable, exceptional cleaning power
Cons Not the best at cleaningOnly a single cleaning modeExorbitantly expensiveLimited brushing modes, shorter battery life than other Sonicare modelsLittle less convenient to use, lackluster battery life
Bottom Line If you want a solid, all-around toothbrush with an outstanding battery life, then the Brio is the brush for youThe 4100 is an excellent all-around toothbrush that cleans well and is particularly easy to useThis top-notch toothbrush is packed with smart features but comes at a hefty priceThis budget toothbrush is another great option for those that want a more comfortable brushing experience on a budgetThis brush is a good bet if you want maximum adjustability when it comes to brushing modes
Overall Score Sort Icon
100
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68
100
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Rating Categories Brio SmartClean... Sonicare... Sonicare... Philips Sonicare... Sonicare...
Comfort (40%)
10
0
6
10
0
6
10
0
6
10
0
6
10
0
6
Cleaning (30%)
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
6
10
0
8
Ease Of Use (20%)
10
0
5
10
0
8
10
0
6
10
0
8
10
0
5
Battery Life (10%)
10
0
10
10
0
7
10
0
6
10
0
6
10
0
5
Specs Brio SmartClean... Sonicare... Sonicare... Philips Sonicare... Sonicare...
Charger Info 100 - 240VA
50-60Hz
0.9 - 1.3W
100 - 240V a.c.
50/60Hz
0.4 - 1.4W
100 - 240V
50/60Hz
0.5 - 1.3W
100 - 240V a.c.
50/60Hz
0.4 - 1.4W
100 - 240V a.c.
50/60Hz
0.4 - 1.4W
Estimated annual brush head cost $24 $50 $50 $40 $40
Waterproof/ Resistant Yes, up to 1 meter up to 30 min Can use in shower Can use in shower Can use in shower Can use in shower
# of different brush heads 3 8 11 + tongue brush 11 11
Replacement cost of brush heads (standard head) 2 for $12 4 for $50 2 for $30
4 for $49
3 for $30 3 for $30
Measured Battery Life 70 Days 28 days 24 days 26 days 22 days
# of brushing modes 5 modes: Clean, White, Polish, Massage, Sensitive 1 Clean 9500 & 9700 Series - 3 intensities and 5 Modes: Clean, White+, Gum Health, Deep Clean+, and tongue care
9300 - does not have tongue clean
1 Clean 2 modes: Clean and White
3 Intensities (6 combinations)
Pressure sensor No Yes Yes No No
30 second reminder Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
2 minute alert Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Travel case included No No Yes, Charging Case No Yes
Weight 4.0 oz. 4.3 oz. 5 oz. 4.9 oz. 4.9 oz.
Color(s) White White
Black
9300 & 9500 seriew: White, Black, Pink, Silver
9700: Lunar Blue
Black
Ultra Coral
Sky Blue
White on Guacamole
White on Ultra Coral
White on Steel Blue
Frost White
App No No Yes No No

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.

Performance Comparison


The SmartClean Sonic is an all-around excellent powered toothbrush.
The SmartClean Sonic is an all-around excellent powered toothbrush.

Comfort


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.

Cleaning


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.

The SonicClean got most of the plaque but still missed a few spots.
The SonicClean got most of the plaque but still missed a few spots.

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.

The Brio is a simple toothbrush that is fairly easy to use.
The Brio is a simple toothbrush that is fairly easy to use.

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.

The groove around the power button can take a little extra time to clean.
The groove around the power button can take a little extra time to clean.

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.

We did wish the charging base had some storage for additional brush heads.
We did wish the charging base had some storage for additional brush heads.

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.

The Brio SonicClean's battery life is phenomenal.
The Brio SonicClean's battery life is phenomenal.

Battery Life


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.

Value


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.

Conclusion


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