The Philips Sonicare Series 2 offers solid cleaning performance and a comfortable brushing experience at a great price, also earning it an Editors' Choice Award. This brush is a great value, particularly for those that want a gentler brushing experience than our other Editors' Choice award winner, the Brio SmartClean provides. Additionally, this brush also can go even gentler than the Brio, making it a slightly more attractive option for those with the most sensitive gums. While this model is slightly inferior in some regards to the top-tier Sonicare models it held its own in our most important tests and retails at a fraction of the price.
Philips Sonicare Series 2 Review
Pros: Low list price, lots of colors available, comfortable
Cons: Limited brushing modes, shorter battery life than other Sonicare models
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Sonicare Series 2 finished right at the top of the group — just a few points behind our overall top scorer, the Brio SmartClean and matched the performance of the Sonicare DiamondClean Smart. This is a bit surprising, as the DiamondClean Smart is one of Philips' flagship models and costs almost $200 more. The DiamondClean Smart does clean a bit better but isn't quite as easy to use as the Series 2. The Brio cleans about the same but is just a bit more comfortable for most people and costs about the same as the Series 2. However, the Series 2 was more comfortable for our testers with the most sensitive gums to use.
To find out which brush bested them all, we bought all of the best products around and pitted them head-to-head to see which one came out on top. We ranked and scored each product on its performance in four weighted rating metrics: Ease of Use, Comfort, Battery Life, and Cleaning, with the results of the Sonicare Series 2 and its peers described below.
Our next metric, Comfort, ranked second-most in importance, accounting for 40% of the final score for each product. We based the score for each product on how comfortable it is while brushing, as well as the level of noise generated by each brush while in use and if it had a pressure sensor that warned you if you are brushing too hard. The Sonicare Series 2 again performed above average, earning a 6 out of 10 for its performance. The chart below shows how this stacks up against the rest of the brushes in the bunch.
The Sonicare Series 2, like most side-to-side electric toothbrushes, is quite comfortable to brush with — definitely much more comfortable than the rotation-oscillation types. The action is gentler, making it a definite plus for those with sensitive gums and has an overall smaller profile, making it easier to clean those hard-to-reach places in the back of your mouth, especially if you have a mouth that is more petite.
This toothbrush is about average in terms of noise produced, measuring in at 63 dBa and failing to produce any noise that either a bystander or the person brushing found to be particularly annoying.
Unfortunately, we did have to dock this brush a few points for its lack of pressure sensor. However, we did find the Series 2 to be quite comfortable to hold, with a matte finish and rubberized button.
Comprising 30% of the total score for each brush, our Cleaning metric is based on how well each brush did in our plaque removal text for each of our testers. The Sonicare Series 2 did alright, earning a 6 out of 10. While it didn't quite match the top products, this — and all the other toothbrushes in this review — should clean your teeth well enough to prevent any periodontal issues if used correctly.
To determine how much plaque each brush removed, a tester allowed a decent amount of plaque to accumulate on their teeth, then stained it with a plaque disclosing tablet. We compared before and after photos, with our tester running the brush for the recommended two minutes in the standard cleaning mode.
Additionally, we also took photos inside the mouth to see just how well the Series 2 cleaned in the hardest to reach spaces.
Our panel had mixed results with this brush, with some people totally obliterating all of the stained plaque with the Series 2, while others missed a non-trivial amount. This discrepancy is mainly what led to the Series 2 lower score, whereas our panel almost universally removed all the dyed plaque with the top scoring brushes.
Ease of Use
Responsible for 20% of the total, our Ease of Use metric encompassed almost all of the other aspects of actually using these products. We assessed the interface of each brush, the number of cleaning modes available, the ease of cleaning the handle, and if there is a timer to ensure you brush the recommended amount and to help regulate your pacing. The Sonicare Series 2 did very well in this set of evaluations, earning an 8 out of 10 and comparing quite well with the other toothbrushes we have reviewed.
The brush head installation is quite easy, only requiring you to click it into place — a significant improvement over the Sonicare Essence. The Series 2 only has a single cleaning mode, but it does have a 2-minute timer with quadrant pacing. The button can be a little difficult to press, but the interface is very minimal, as there are no cleaning modes to toggle between. It is also quite easy to clean the Series 2, with the fully encapsulated power button preventing any residual toothpaste build up.
The Sonicare Series 2 is decently stable off of the base, withstanding minor jolts without falling over, but wasn't terribly stable on the charging base.
The base isn't very large, so it can be a little top heavy.
For our final metric, worth the final 10% of the score, we compared the battery life of each toothbrush. We ran each brush for two minutes, twice a day, and scored them on how many days they lasted. The Series 2 earned a 6 out of 10 for its slightly higher than average performance, comparing decently well to the rest of the group.
This product lasted for 26 days of normal use in our test, putting it in the middle to upper portion of the group.
This model does have a battery indicator at the bottom of the brush, which will blink when the battery is starting to deplete, alerting you that you have about six uses left before the battery totally dies.
The Series 2 is a great value, delivering solid results across the board at a price that is significantly more palatable than some of the top models.
All in all, you can't go wrong with the Sonicare Series 2 if you are shopping on a budget and value comfort over cleaning skills. While it can't match the plaque removing prowess of the Oral-B Pro 1000 or other rotation-oscillation brushes, the Sonicare Series 2 is significantly less abrasive to sensitive gums and overall much more comfortable to use.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer