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For my Christmas this year I didn't ask for very much - not after I had shelled out money on repairs following the destruction of my living room thanks to my neighbour who is putting in a precious marble floor and extending his living room outwards. So, whilst it was lovely to receive little gifts like scented candles to shopping vouchers instead of chocolates or wine to consume from colleagues, I didn't think I needed anything until I went to try out my trusty 6 year old shaver and found that even after it's usual charge, it was no more! Back to wet shaves and more importantly a very little used Gillette M3 manual shaver and despite the auto-vibration set into the design, it takes me longer to get shaved with this type of shaver and a lack of side trimming. I'm very impatient in the mornings when it comes to shaving. I don't like wasting time but then I don't want to live in fear that if I rush too much I'll cut myself, accidentally and I always seem to do it whenever I have a manual wash shaver in my hand!
I've also had a range of electric shavers in the last couple of years though, from another Philips battery operated travel shaver that eats batteries, a Braun shaver that can only use mains power as its own source and doesn't cut as well as any of my Philips products to a couple of cheap Superdrug shavers that were nothing but a hark back to the 1960's in terms of quality, safety and control and for the first time experiencing cuts with an electric shaver! It only seemed natural to go for Philips again thanks to the sterling service my HQ483 has given and a Tracer shaver in the 1980's when I was starting out as a teenager for the same, drama free, safe and precision results of an electric shaver's performance. Oh how times have moved on and so have the prices! To get the same kind of spec as my previous shaver, I'd have to spend between £80 to £120 on the high street just to have a side trimmer added and a shorter charging time. I was completely floored - especially in light of the fact that my previous Philips twin head shaver had initially cost £24-99 back in 2006/7 before dropping down to £19-99! That price won't even get you anything close to Philips' current range now without making some compromise and the model that I wanted - the AT890 - was as usual, out of stock in the whole of Edinburgh. The next best bet then is the PT720 model, priced at £39-99 on average and I found one model left at Edinburgh's large Comet store just out of the city by the airport.
By design you're getting a slightly bulky model here that has the default Philips round head design and harking back to my silver HQ483 that only has two fixed Micro blade cutting blades, it was a lovely delight to see three springy heads on this shaver, with thick white surround recesses and a blue tab at the bottom to highlight manly sportiness! The blades carry the name "Super Lift and Cut," which to my mind and my experience is basically the next stage of their basic "double lift and cut" blades that Philips used to fit before their more expensive "Micro Action," blades. Still, I was of positive mind in giving this product a chance, since I prefer Philips design general and the cutting performance of their blades are better than most that I've experienced. What's more the shaver looks really professional and good value for money!
The main design for this shaver is that it's a cut down version of Philips' basic range for the model years after the 1990's. When at a time in my younger years you could easily buy a 2 headed rechargeable, compact electric shaver, Philips no longer produce the same one I had with a different colour or body unless you buy the power hungry twin AA battery only model. Here, you get three of the round shave heads that sit on independent cushioned seats that move in wards with you, as you gain a closer shave and have a fantastic 360° rotational axis. It retains the familiar "rotary" or "circular" action that Philishave/Philips men's shaving products have stipulated for years by their very design (and certainly it would be wrong of Philips to entre the conventional straight foil strip blades) and it is surrounded by a thick gear stick like feel of the top rubberised body with a thickness that makes it very comfortable to hold. It often reminds me of a professional microphone from the way the whole gadget looks and feels, right down to the totally rubberised feel with a few grips of lines set into it so that it doesn't fall from your hand in use. But it isn't a compact shaver by any means and feels too bulky despite the inclusion of 3 heads - Remington make several models that look like a dead cert for Philips men's shavers these days - but these are elongated and are naturally thinner compared to the stubby and wide shape of the PT720. Good for the price though is the fact that this shaver is washable and has washable blades and internals.
Performance wise it is not as good as my old HQ483 twin head shaver but it is quieter in use and I did realise early on with the change "down" from Micro Cut to the latest basic version that Philips included here, that I may be asking too much from this shaver - it does have one extra head after all, so one would expect a much better performance. But, I find the Philips PT720 isn't particularly quick at shaving or as close on contact, unless you take the user manual's constant suggestions of pulling facial skin tight with one hand whilst using the shaver in the other hand. Not my idea of a modern shaver! Unless I use this shaver for a long usage of time in one shaving session, and just try and get a baby soft skin condition by shaving quickly, the PT720 struggles to keep up - and then you'll find after 30 minutes use per 5 days, the shaver will need to be charged! So much for long life batteries and so much for Philips claim that it can run for 40 minutes before requiring to be charged - and it isn't as if I have thick, monkey like facial hair to shave off!
Despite the shaver coming with the obligatory 2 pin plug and ribbed wire, the batteries on board here are not suitable for long term life, requiring an 8 to 10 hour charge if you want to get the best out of the Philips. The Super Lift and Cut blades seem like they are not close enough to get deep into my face to remove stubble whilst neck hair and beard lines takes ages for a soft, comfortable hair-free feeling. No wonder Philips suggest that you pull the skin tight - it's for a closer contact to lift the stubble off. As a result if I don't pull the skin tight, the claimed "super cut" blades fail to give me baby soft skin, often appearing and feeling too rough and then requires to go over the skin again for a closer shave. When the skin is pulled tight, there's a marked improvement but the whole experience leaves my face feeling sore and red looking and for all the use of those contour suspension-added seats from the triple blades on offer, the outcome should be softer and more caring.
At least washing this product is simpler and there are two options here from the press button release at the bottom of the shaver ring that holds all three blades in. The whole assembly springs up on a delightful hinge that reveals the three pin motors inside and the whole head can be put under a tap to wash the blades and seats. However, you can also take the whole head off if you wish as well as taking out each blade. Frankly I don't have time for that, as I tend to just take off the head and blow the dust out - but for neat and clean freaks, at least the blades and whole top assembly can be put under a tap. After the New Year, I was dismayed to find Philips brought out another new model with a side trimmer added - the price? £42, which, isn't too bad just for the addition of that practical cutter - and I do miss having no side trimmer on this model - but the newer model equipped still suffers from the same kind of blades and charging experience.
In my opinion, Philips are a trusted brand who know how to make good shavers, but in this case the PT720 isn't as reliable or as well executed when it comes to actual performance. For the price here where it doesn't offer a side trimmer as standard and has a difficult running time with a long charge battery, I don't think Philips have done well here in offering what should be a much better shaver with a shorter time chargeable battery at the very least. Their far more expensive PT890 model offers a one-hour charge, which for fast paced lives and those who like convenience will be pushed to pay out more for the privilege. Additionally, those who have been used to straight foil shavers over the years but feel it is time to change to a round shaver blade type may well buy this shaver in the hope that it gives a better performance - but the PT720 is left wanting at the end of the day compared to thinner, more compact and better shavers from other brands - and I feel a little disappointed. Thanks for reading! Another exclusive review for Dooyoo! ©Nar2 2012.
The Philips PowerTouch PT720 Electric Shaver is a conscientious shaver that ensures great results every time. Gently caressing the contours of your face, the shaver provides a superior finish thanks to its Dual Precision Cutting System. This system lifts hairs to painlessly cut below skin level, allowing an impressive shaving experience. The Dynamic Contour Response automatically adjusts to the curves and slopes of your face, whilst Dual Precision Cutting has slots to shave normal hairs and holes for short stubble ensuring a tailored shave. The device is fully water washable with a Quick Rinse system and comes with a cleaning brush for easy maintenance.