Top critical review
Decent But Expensive
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 16 October 2021
The Philips Sonicare 3100 Series is the entry level line of electric toothbrush in the Sonicare lineup, though its priced quite high when considering what you’re getting. It has the core features you need like a pressure sensor, brush head replacement reminder, timer and quad pacer, but there is no bluetooth/app connectivity or different bush modes - which to be honest may be exactly what you’re looking for.
In terms of physical design, the toothbrush feels comfortable to hold and I appreciate its simple clean design. Due to the brushes ‘one button’ design, it’s very easy to use and you can cycle between two different power modes and then switch it off. There is a built in ‘easy start’ program which gradually increases the power over the course of two weeks to help you get used to the ‘sonic vibrations’, which I think is an unnecessary gimmick. The pressure sensor is an excellent feature, as it automatically reduces power if it detects too much force being applied to protect your gums and enamel. For the brush head reminder tracking to work, you need to use the official Philips brush heads as they have a tiny RFID chip built into the brush head that the toothbrush reads and writes how many times it’s been used.
In terms of battery life, Philips say you get 14 days of use which is not too bad, certainly not the longest battery life but more than adequate. What is good is the move to a USB charging base - this just makes a lot more sense and is far better than the awful two prong shaver chargers. It’s using a lithium battery as well, so the battery life should hold true for a good few years of use.
The cleaning performance of this brush is overall very good. The brush head feels surprisingly gentle around the teeth and gums, despite it having a high power and frequency being run through it, it has more of a massaging feeling. However, you have to ensure you are brushing for the full two minutes as a minimum applying proper coverage around all around your teeth and your gum line, as more gentle brush heads remove plaque slower than firmer ones. I’d say that the overall cleaning performance isn’t quite good as the competition, but it cleans much more gently which is more ideal for people suffering from receding gums or periodontal diseases. The problem is the toothbrush makes a lot of noise whilst in use, the sound to best describe it is like a series of layered high pitched frequencies. It isn’t totally deal breaking, but it is kind of annoying and could potentially wake up a partner.
Overall, for the price there are cheaper alternatives available that offer the same feature set, and spending a bit more could get you something more advanced, however as this is a new product I’d expect the price to come down a little over time. For an electric toothbrush the cleaning performance is powerful yet surprisingly gentle on the gums, plus if you prefer the Sonicare sonic vibration cleaning then the choice is easier to make. Thank you for reading my review, if you found it helpful let me know below!