Hands-on Gear Review

Philips Sonicare Series 2 Review

The Philips Sonicare Series 2.
Best Buy Award
Price:   $70 List | $37.20 at Amazon
Pros:  Low list price, lots of colors available, comfortable
Cons:  Limited brushing modes, shorter battery life than other Sonicare models
Bottom line:  This budget toothbrush is a great option for those that want a more comfortable brushing experience on a budget
Editors' Rating:   
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Estimated Annual Cost:  $30 - $40
Waterproof/ Resistant:  Can use in shower
# of Different Brush Heads:  11
Manufacturer:   Philips

Our Verdict

Earning a Best Buy award, the Philips Sonicare Series 2 offers solid cleaning performance and a comfortable brushing experience at a great price. This brush is a great value, particularly for those that want a gentler brushing experience than our other Best Buy award winner, the Oral-B Pro 1000 provides. The Series 2 also uses brush heads that are a much lower profile, making them much less cumbersome to use for those with mouths that are on the smaller side. While this model is slightly inferior in some regards to the top-tier Sonicare models it held its own in our most important tests, like cleaning performance, and it retails at a fraction of the price.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
David Wise and Austin Palmer

Last Updated:
Wednesday
December 27, 2017

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The Sonicare Series 2 finished roughly in the middle of the pack overall, matching the performance of the Oral-B Pro 5000. The Pro 5000 did perform substantially better in the cleaning metric than the Series 2, but it much less comfortable and has a substantially shorter battery life. In addition, it also costs almost double. Surprisingly, the Series 2 did outperform the Sonicare DiamondClean — one of Philips' flagship models. We found the DiamondClean to be inferior to the Series 2 in terms of cleaning performance, though it is easier to use and has a marginally better battery life.

Performance Comparison


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.

Cleaning


Comprising 45% of the total score for each brush, our Cleaning metric rated each brush on two things: plaque cleaning and whitening capabilities. The Sonicare Series 2 did quite well, earning a 7 out of 10 and tying for the third-highest score overall with the Philips Sonicare HealthyWhite+. The chart below shows how the Series 2 compared to the rest of the products that we reviewed.


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.


For the whitening test, we soaked eggshells in coffee until they were suitably stained, then ran each brush for a full cleaning cycle over a small area. The Series 2 did about average — slightly worse than the HealthyWhite+, but better than the DiamondClean.

Comfort


Our next metric, Comfort, ranked second-most in importance, accounting for 30% of the final score for each product. We based the score for each product on how comfortable it is while brushing, as well as how ergonomic it felt to hold and the level of noise generated by each brush while in use. 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 — 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. You can see how this compared to the rest of the pack in the chart below.


The Series 2 is also quite comfortable to hold, with a matte finish and rubberized button.

Ease of Use


Responsible for 15% of the total, our Ease of Use metric encompassed all of the other aspects of actually using these products. We assessed how stable each brush is on and off its charging base, as well as the interface, number of cleaning modes available, the ease of cleaning the handle, and the overall visual appeal of each toothbrush. The Sonicare Series 2 again performed above average, earning another 6 out of 10 for its performance. This compares reasonably favorably with the rest of the group, as shown below.


Right off the bat, this toothbrush earned some points for its appearance, having an overall sleek and clean aesthetic, like the DiamondClean. 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.

Battery Life


For our final metric, worth the final 10% of the score, we compared the battery life of each toothbrush. We ran each brush continuously until it died, as well as noted if there is a battery level indicator to determine scores. Continuing a trend, the Series 2 again earned a 6 out of 10 for its slightly higher than average performance. You can see how this stacks up to the rest of the pack in the chart below.


This product lasted for about 105 minutes, or 26 days of normal use before it died, putting it in the middle of the pack. 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.

Value


Earning the Best Buy award, the Series 2 is a great value, offering across the board solid performance at a price that is significantly more palatable than some of the top models.

Conclusion


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, our other budget pick, the Sonicare Series 2 is significantly less abrasive to sensitive gums and overall much more comfortable to use.
David Wise and Austin Palmer

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