“ Brand: King of Shaves „
There's a strange thing happening in the market for men's shavers at the moment. I noticed it when I was looking over my Christmas gifts and purchases from last year, with the last shaver being a rather disappointing £39-99 Philips PT720 that left me feeling rougher than it should have. Since buying it, I haven't used it much for the reason that it doesn't give a smooth shave to my skin, and depending on my older twin Philips shaver requires more charging now every week, which is a dead give away sign that the shaver is finally on its way out (reviewed here in 2007). Now, with a recession on, Philips shavers do seem to be priced rather too expensively for what a man needs and most shavers these days do come with a pop up trimmer for minimal beard shaving and side burns - but you have to pay extra for the additions of a short recharge time as well as a pop-up trimmer now Not only pay out but put up with an increasing push to consider a beard trimmer that all the major brands have now started to sell alongside shavers and lotions to add to the softening experience. Then a friend recommended to try Argos and to look at the latest Remington "Philips" copy round head dry shavers. You can imagine my delight when I found a Remington 3 head shaver with a pop up trimmer and a claimed "quick recharge" facility and the model being the one of choice looked quite cool in white, known as the "Remington King of Shaves R605," priced at a reasonable £39-99 with a recent £10 off the list price. Now, priced the same as my Philips PT720 and with a very similar look, the bonus to this shaver is that it has all that I require and the kind of features Philips are charging the buyer to pay for at costs of £70 or more.
The Remington King of Shaves Dual Track R605 comes with a fast 5 minute charge time for full usage of 30 mins, two LED charge indicators, washable blades, pop-up trimmer, three "Reflex" copied Philips idea sprung mechanism to mould to the face, rotary blades and a soft black felt drawstring travel case to put the shaver in. A two-pin wavy cord completes the deal. The Argos price seems to be the best on the market at the moment, with other online companies choosing to sell this shaver between £50 and £100!
General Design & Quality
Sadly for Argos, the Remington King of Shaves Dual Track R605 dry shaver is shown in a very cool white colour, as shown here on Dooyoo, which also attracted me to this design and seemed to have what I was looking for. However, out of the box the shaver I received isn't white at all! It is default ribbed black and dark Gunmetal grey with no white inserts and has silver painted sides. Still, it looks professionally designed even if there is no sporty white intentions here. There is a handy push button for the activation in black and two LED lights added to the body of the shaver; one to indicate the battery when it is charging and another LED to show when the shaver will require to be charged - quite handy for the price here, even if the more expensive R655 has a colourful LED line strip gauge.
Where the general design is concerned, the R605 looks pretty hip and modern for what the shaver gives you on features. However, whilst it feels good in the hand, the black ribbed body doesn't feel all that well made and closer examination of the general design isn't as well made as Philips shavers in general. This is more apparent with the flip up pop up trimmer that has to be manually pushed down after use as opposed to the one switch operation I'm used to on my old Philips shavers, where the trimmer just locks back down without any other interaction.
The plastic partition that effectively acts as the handgrip for the main shaver also wobbles about whilst the silver painted sides makes gripping the shaver even harder to accomplish. This aspect wouldn't be much of a problem if the shaver was dry-clean only but the shaver head is washable, thus inferring that due to the slippery feel, caution must be taken incase the shaver should fall out of your hands when cleaning.
Internally once the shaver head is unlocked, it swings back on a permanent hinge that allows you to get access. This is a design aspect that betters Philips, here. Externally, the shaver head has a Philips copied "Reflex" idea built in, whereby all three round shaver heads mould to my face, or more or less move on springs that promise a closer shave. However, when all things are considered, the R605 is made to a budget, which is clear on the way the shaver feels in my hand, slippery and difficult to keep a hold of, whilst it doesn't feel substantial enough to withstand scrapes or abuse should the shaver fall out and hit a hard bathroom floor. The internal holder that keeps the rotary blades in, is also tricky to remove despite helpful arrows shown on how to unlock the carrier.
General Performance & Downsides
Compared to quite a few electric shavers I've had in the last couple of years from my personal favourites like Philips to surprising disappointments like a conventional Braun shaver and then my Philips PT720, the King of Shaves R605 is very comfortable to use thanks to its reflex style blades and heads. However, I found very early on that this shaver is rough to my skin. This is very much in the same way that the Philips PT720 Personal Touch shaver dealt with my stubble initially. The problem with the R605 is that despite the claimed "21" perforations, my moustache line, chin and neck just doesn't get a smooth time of it unless in one use, the shaver is used three to four times going over the same part on my face. The first swipe doesn't bring stubble off cleanly enough, often giving a half-cut sand paper feeling and when going over skin a second time, my face still feels half shaved. Compare this to the quality of Philips "Micro Action," rotary blades where a closer shave with smoother results can be achieved in a far quicker time, and it is clear that Remington still have a lot of work to do in this area if they are going to get anywhere to grab future Philips buyers.
This isn't helped by the reflex action of sprung rotary blades that are supposed to mould to my face with closer precision. Push too much and the plastic on the underside of where the shaver head sits on feels too rough to the skin. Initially I thought it was the plastic that was poor at the time, but it is the actual metal perforations that haven't been smoothened out, thus providing unnecessary resistance to stubble and shaved skin. All the time of course, the user manual does suggest that if you pull your skin taught, you'll get the closest shave performance and this was an aspect I duly performed. The problem I find with the R605 is that it doesn't give a very effective shaving performance when pulling my facial skin tight and the shaver performs better with normal skin not being touched in tandem when the shaver is being used. Whilst the whole process can take long, all the while the blades are quite noisy in operation.
Another issue is the pop up trimmer. It has a bigger angle when it pops up, more than the general 90° angles that most shavers allow. Although it does a good job of cutting hair and side burns, the pop up trimmer isn't stabilised properly to allow give on the actual skin, mostly pushing itself back down into its recess if you happen to trim hair the opposite way, or if the cutter gets caught out with the resistance of the hair it is required to trim off; so unlike the better mechanism Philips make!
Other Accessories & Final Thoughts
In terms of other accessories you get, they consist of a handy soft felt string draw travel pouch that you get with the shaver and a protective snap on lid. The user manual claims that there is a cleaning brush, but I didn't seem to receive one and I'd have liked a small bottle of lubrication oil to seal the deal here as Braun already do this for keeping the mechanism of the side trimmer topped up every couple of months. The only reference to this extra maintenance is a not so helpful tip by Remington to add sewing machine oil to the mechanism to keep it moving.
At the end of the day, I wish I could recommend this shaver because on the face of it, the Remington King of Shaves Dual Track R605 offers a pretty good deal and could so easily outrun its obvious main rival of the likewise designed three rotary blade Philips shaver. Despite the cheap, reduced price at Argos, although the Remington King of Shaves Dual Track R605 looks professional enough and has features that you may pay more for, it doesn't inspire quality long term, and certainly isn't a model I'd recommend if you are looking to replace your existing Philips shaver as I was. If like me, your skin is used to dry shaving with electric units, the Remington will likewise not produce cuts but its actual blade covers and perforations are no match for the smoother and better designed Philips ones that Remington have clearly tried to copy here.
Certainly, the whole appeal of the shaver will appeal to cost saving buyers who are after a bargain and taken in by features instead of actual function. But when it comes to actual performance, the R605 isn't as quick as it claims to be and because of its rough nature, this will not be my usual daily shaver of choice, but rather one to use for occasional use, bearing in mind that it will have to be used a couple of times in one session compared to a far more effective unit that does what it promises quickly, cleanly and efficiently. Sadly, the name of the product isn't very befitting and now it seems about the only justification I have for keeping the R605 is to serve as an "extra" trimmer - proof that eventually I'd have to use more than one appliance for my daily shave! Thanks for reading. ©Nar2 2012.