Philips S9000 Prestige Review
Plenty of people favour the rotary shaver. They are great for those with regular to tough skin and thick, coarse facial hair. You won’t be able to achieve as close a shave as with a foil, safety or cutthroat razor, so they are ideal if you want a bit of a stubbly look (especially if you don’t want the fuss of lathering up every few days, keeping your blades continuously sharp, and blotting the inevitable shaving cuts that will result.)
Most often, rotary shavers will have three circular heads, each with a stationary outer guard, and internal cutting blades. Hair and stubble are captured by the guard and its angular grooves cut hair as the rotary shaver’s head is moved over the face’s contours, generally in something of a circular motion. This all combines to make it very easy to shave around the neck and chin without worrying about nicking and cutting your skin.
Today, we’ll be looking at arguably the best rotary electric shaver that money (quite a lot of money, actually…) can buy, in the form of the Philips S9000 Prestige. Hyperbole can go hang – there isn’t too much positivity you can throw at this amazing piece of kit that won’t stick and sound thoroughly appropriate.
It really is something of a space age wonder – so enough of the foreplay… let’s get on with our full Philips S9000 Prestige review.
Philips S9000 Prestige Specs
Firstly, it looks really cool, all elegant curves, black and chrome shine – like it’s been tailor made for an overpriced bachelor pad (in a good way, of course). Its wireless charger is equally swish, so that it looks more like an accessory or statement piece than a humble razor.
Then there is the ridiculous performance and breath-taking array of add-ons and extra features, that really wouldn’t look out of place in Tony Stark’s lab.
I’m going to level with you and say, from the start, that this is all completely superfluous. You don’t need something this well-designed (some might say over-designed) at home just to get a good shave. However, if you want a treat, and if you want to try something that, once used, you won’t be able to do without, it’s well worth a look.
The enhanced performance begins with the blades, as it should with any razor. The Philips S9000 Prestige uses NanoTech blades, which will help you get a closer shave than pretty much any of its competitors – in fact, it can go toe-to-toe with a cut-throat blade with the closeness of shave on offer, which is a big deal for a rotary shaver. The precise nature of this kind of machine will mean that you can achieve this without cutting yourself at all, whilst the blades will seem to glide across your face.
You can choose between a wet and dry shave, depending on your own preference. I personally like to go with super-hot water and have found this works really nicely with the Philips S9000 Prestige. It is completely waterproof, so feel free to use it in the shower or bath.
As well as this, the Philips S9000 Prestige uses Qi wireless charging, as mentioned above, with the pad included.
There are some useful additional pieces of hardware that come with the Philips S9000 Prestige, including an attachable exfoliating brush for cleansing your face, and an excellent beard styler to give you more options than simply cutting back to the skin.
Then there is the BeardAdapt sensor, which checks 15 times per second to make sure you’re getting the right shave, with the Philips S9000 Prestige adapting instantaneously. If you have patchy growth or are wanting to cut back a bit of beard that has grown long, it will differentiate and adjust accordingly.
Using the Philips S9000
The main thing to highlight straight away is that the Philips S9000 Prestige is a genuine treat to use. If you take nothing else away from this review, you should know this for a certainty. It is over-engineered and incredibly expensive for a razor, but my goodness does it work well and feel lovely.
Anyone who has ever used a thirty-pound razor will feel overwhelming joy at using the Philips S9000 Prestige for the first time. Cheaper models can tear at your skin. They can feel more like the blades are pulling your whiskers out rather than scything through them.
Forget everything else with the Philips S9000 Prestige and just enjoy the NanoTech blades for a little while. They allow you to get really close to your skin, without any loss of power, without much sensation at all, and in complete safety. They are surrounded by anti-friction comfort rings which are made from a special material with a special coating that allows the blades to seamlessly glide over your skin, rather than the hard plastic that many cheaper models make do with.
There is far more to the comfort at hand than simply the blade design, however. The BeardAdapt sensor makes a massive difference, which I actually really wasn’t expecting. As above, it checks and recalibrates fifteen times per second to make sure that its settings are optimised for the individual section of beard you’re working on. You don’t really notice this, of course. What you do notice is the effortless shave as it fits itself to every contour and raggedy patch, letting the hair simply fall away.
The fact that it’s fully waterproof is a big plus. Also as I previously stated, I like to shave with really hot water. This means that I often shave in the shower, where the steam opens up my pores and the hot water soothes my skin. Using a machine like the Philips S9000 Prestige in the shower is a rare treat – you come out feeling incredibly fresh (and dapper, to boot), with no worries that you are going to cause damage to your expensive razor or yourself for that matter.
The design is gorgeous, both on the main handset and the charging pad. Wireless charging is also nice – you can charge it in your bathroom itself, without having to worry about finding a plug socket. You also don’t need to think about charging – simply pick it up and get going with full power every time. The Philips S9000 Prestige lasts a full hour based on a three-hour charge, which is more than you will ever need.
The box is quite fun to open, too. The Philips S9000 Prestige comes with the Qi charging pad, a lovely carrying and storage pouch to keep everything together and tidy, the SmartClick facial cleansing brush, and a beard styling attachment. I really like the beard styling attachment, personally – I like to get creative with my beard, rather than simply shaving down to the skin, so having the option to sculpt is very useful.
Finally, the Philips S9000 Prestige is really quiet. Noise isn’t always a deal breaker, but it gives a nice sense of calm to have such a peaceful shave. It’s also a lifesaver if you get up and do your ablutions before others in your household, who don’t want to be woken up by what sounds like a buzzsaw going off in the bathroom.
My main issue, though, is that I don’t think this justifies the price. Yes, it’s much, much better than a cheap, thirty-pound razor, but the Philips S9000 Prestige costs around ten times this! It is incredibly well engineered and built, but the price is eye-watering. My advice would be to not save up for it. If you really want a good razor but don’t have the spare cash to splash out a month’s rent on one, go for a cheaper, more acceptable model.
If you have the cash to burn, however… well, you’re in for a treat. It may just be worth it. Just.
It’s overpriced and over-engineered, but this doesn’t stop the Philips S9000 Prestige from being genuinely wonderful. It is a triumph of design and next-generation technology. One day, this kind of design will be available for everyone – that will be a fine day indeed.
If you don’t need all the bells and whistles, if you don’t need the smoothest ever shave, and, as above, if you cannot readily afford the Philips S9000 Prestige, it probably isn’t worth it. There are plenty of other options. If you spend a third of the price, you will still get fantastic utility out of the right model.
However, if you like the best of the best, if you like something that looks beautiful and leaves you feeling wonderful, and if you have a bit of spare cash knocking about, the Philips S9000 Prestige is a worthy investment. It will make you happy.