Offering just about everything you'd want from an air fryer, we doubt anyone interested in the art of frying with far less oil will be disappointed in purchasing the Philips HD9641/96. However, if you're looking for a top-notch air fryer, we think the Ninja 1550 Watt fills that niche a bit better while costing considerably less. Not only does the Ninja cook slightly better than the Phillips, it is also a bit easier to clean. If you find the Philips HD9641/96 on a clearance rack somewhere it may be worth the purchase, otherwise we think your money would be much better spent on the Ninja 1550 Watt.
Philips HD9641/96 Avance Review
Pros: Very intuitive, relatively good cooking performance
Cons: Expensive, can sometimes be difficult to clean
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Philips HD9641/96 performed well in all of our tests, putting it in the top half of our overall scoreboard. However, some relative flaws prevented it from rising to the top.
Falling just behind the top scorers in our cooking tests, the HD9641/96 can prepare most foods with aplomb, but does have some noticeable shortcomings.
The HD9641/96 shone in our cooking tests when it came to making onion rings and tater tots. Both delicacies came out with evenly cooked, crunchy, and golden brown exteriors, while the interiors remained moist and lively.
This cooker actually did an admirable job (in a relative sense) when it came to making sweet potato fries as well. While no air fryer that we tested was able to make truly crispy sweet potato fries, the HD9641/96 at least got the outsides nice and brown, and thus more closely approximated the feeling of deep-fried fries than many other models.
The HD9641/96's biggest weakness in our testing came when we made chicken breast. No matter what we did, we couldn't avoid an overly chewy texture that made the chicken less than enjoyable. If you mostly want to air fry meat, we definitely would not recommend this machine (if air fried chicken sounds like your jam, we would suggest checking out the Ninja 1550 Watt).
This cooker also struggled a bit in making doughnuts. It generally overdid the outside, making it a bit too crusty, which completely overpowered the fluffiness of the interior.
The HD9641/96 offers one of the best and most intuitive experiences of all the air fryers we tested, making it great for both new and seasoned air fryers alike.
Dialing in cooking settings with the HD9641/96 couldn't be easier. A smooth turning knob allows you to choose cooking time and temperature, a single button lets you cycle through cooking modes, and a large digital readout lets you know what exactly is being selected.
One of our favorite things about the HD9641/96 is its fry basket design. The design itself isn't revolutionary, just very well engineered. The fry basket easily slides in and out with almost no resistance. This is especially nice for recipes that require you to shake the food partway through cooking, as the smooth action makes it very easy to accomplish this with just one hand.
The HD9641/96 also offers enough adjustment to accommodate almost any recipe with 4 preset functions for specific food items, and 13 different temperature settings ranging from 100˚ to 400˚.
Ease of Cleaning
This is one area where the HD9641/96 falls off from the front of the pack. We wouldn't call it particularly difficult to clean, but there are certainly models that best it in this category (namely the GoWISE USA 3.7 Quart Programmable, and to a lesser extent the Ninja 1550 Watt).
On a good day, cleaning the HD9641/96 is a simple scrub and rinse and you're good to go. However, there are a few potential pitfalls that can make cleaning a downright pain on a bad day. For instance, the fry basket has some bits that are sharp enough to actually scrape you if you're not careful. We also found that the fry baskets holds onto grease easily if it's not washed right away, so sometimes it will likely require a little extra elbow grease in its scrubbing. Finally, we like that the bottom comes out to make cleaning a bit easier, but due to the design this presents the opportunity of the fry basket funneling and shooting water back at you while cleaning (which happened to us more than we'd care to admit).
Here again the HD9641/96 is about average. Top performers like the Ninja 1550 Watt clearly outperform it, but there are other models that are also clearly worse.
In our testing the HD9641/96 ran about 10˚ hot when set to temperatures below 350˚, and 10˚ cold when set above that mark.
The Philips HD9641/96 is one of the most expensive air fryers we tested. Even though it generally sells for well less than its list price, it is still a much more expensive option than the Ninja 1550 Watt, which can make slightly better food and is a bit easier to clean. Therefore we feel the HD9641/96 isn't a particularly good value.
The Philips HD9641/96 is a good overall air fryer, but it falls slightly behind some other models that actually cost a bit less.
— Max Mutter and Michelle Powell