“ Brand: Philishave „
My Philips shaver, the "Tracer," is a typical shaver from the early 1980's. My parents bought it for me for my 17th birthday. Like most things from that generation, it's a slim shaver encased in black and has a red stripe from top to toe either side of the unit made entirely of rubber - presumably to aid ease of use and grip when using the product - let me tell you, it may look tacky but it certainly seldom never fell from my hands whenever it was on.
My "Tracer," model was quite advanced at the time. It was rechargeable and it could be used with a mains cord as well as without the cord. It came with a mains cord; a cleaning brush, a soft travel pouch and a funky two stage flip up hard plastic storage box that held everything including the mains adaptor. It also came with Phillips patented "Double Action Lift and Cut" twin blades and a handy pop-up trimmer. The Tracer died however after giving 11 years of faithful service and was replaced by this HQ483 model given as a gift from a very good friend.
Further research for the Philips Rechargeable "Micro Plus," HQ483 reveals that this is no longer available to buy on the high street. From time to time it may pop up on EBay however and buyers looking for a basic no-frills electric shaver would do well to consider this old but trusty model. Back in 2007 by Argos, it cost around £24-99 before it dropped to £19-99. Included with this model is a manual book, a mains two pin plugged cord, soft "luxury" travel pouch, head blade protection snap on hat, cleaning brush and...well that's it.
The "luxury" travel case is nothing more than a thick washable cloth zipped bag which houses just the shaver. However closer inspection reveals a handy sewn in extendable flap that allows the mains cord to be stored as well. It's a pity there isn't an individual compartment for the cleaning brush though...It is everything that my "Tracer," shaver has with one most important difference; "Micro Action Lift and Cut," patented blades from Phillips.
I didn't mind the "Double Action, lift and cut," blades on my old Tracer model, but I find that I have to go over and over the same patch of skin twice to remove any existing fly away stubble. You'll know yourself when you look in the mirror and see a little path of hair looking out at you that you think you know you have shaved - yet it's still there for all to see! You may assume correctly that this could well be the newness of this shaver but when the HQ483 was received as a gift in 2005, three years on now, it still performs admirably and the blades are still a revelation compared to my old Tracer shaver. The "Micro Action," of the blades on the HQ483 beats cutting time by half compared to the "Double Action," blades on my Tracer model; both models are remarkably similar, only consisting of two individual round blades as opposed to the normal standard of three. My skin feels smooth and silky once this shaver has been used but importantly, doesn't need to go over and over unlike the Tracer shaver.
Now in hindsight, a shaver at this price won't have Phillips' newest invention of invariably sprung suspension type blades and blade seats. It won't feature the "Reflex," feature that is available on higher priced models made by Phillips and neither can the model be ever used with water. It would be more expensive for any or all of these features to be included - but as shaver that I think has basic functions and is reasonably priced - and this was a gift to me, remember - you can't really go wrong with these blades at all! The shaver lasts for a 30 minute shaving time though which is fair for the price, I feel and the shaver isn't too noisy in use, with only the side trimmer being noisier when in use.
Like all kinds of Philishave shavers, the round blades offer the standard "up and down," action and principal use that is required with standard cylindrical foil shavers, or moving the shaver in a circular motion gently over the skin. I guess this is why I have favoured Philips shavers to this day -because I have used other electric foil shavers and still, I find Philips circular motion a lot easier and less of a struggle to use; I have only ever cut myself once in the three years I've owned this, which is more than I could say for wet shaving.
There is also a pop up trimmer which is welcomed for side burns or any touch up areas such as moustache or beards. To hair, the blades are very sharp - but it won't damage fingers if you brush a finger past the edge. I'm just saying it's sharp because it removed hair from my side burns much more quickly than my old Tracer does - and the mechanisms on both shavers are identical; a flip up button is located just below at the back of the shaver just below the main blade heads. Slide the green located button up and the trimmer pops-up. Simple, and yet it shows twelve years down the line, Phillips haven't changed a thing in this additional cutter. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!
Most men however prefer wet-shaving because its healthier for the skin, and to avoid the grey look on skin, it is better to wet shave rather than use an electric shaver. I on the other hand am lucky that I can chop and change whenever I want to, but ultimately prefer using my electric shaver if I'm in a hurry or want to feel as if my face is soft as silk. Like my old shaver, this shaver has an automatic voltage selector. It is rated to work at between 100 to 240 volts. The manual states that the shaver has a worldwide voltage selection.
Unlike my Tracer model, the charging light on the shaver just below the main slide up power button (which also has a green button line to push in, to release the button in the first instance) will remain constantly on in it's green colour when charging is taking place and repeatedly flash once charging has completed.
Therefore, cleaning is easy thanks to the flip up head, which comes off as soon as the release button (again like everything else on the shaver, it's a grey button with a green line recess on it) located just below the main head on the front side (remember the back side of the shaver at the top is where the trimmer is).
Push this and the head will come off. Once inside, a handy "S" shape hinge is easy to see. Pick this out by pushing the "S" and the cradle holding the blades will drop out of the main head. Each blade slides out and can be brushed out for any remaining, clogged up hair. The manual states that the heads must be cleaned every 6 months as well as additionally replaced every 2 years.
The manual has the first 14 pages written in English, and there after in German, French, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Turkish and Greek. The only aspect I feel that is totally misleading is the charging information, or more to the point a lack of it. Put simply the manual doesn't give an approximate charge time even if the shaver is used for the first time...All that the manual does say is that the shaver will last for over 30 mins shaving time.
Another downside is the S cradle which houses the 2 cylinders is very fragile, and if it gets bent in any way, it will crack which loosens the lock action of the cylinders, therefore stopping one of the blades monetarily. Philips charge up to £25 for a S cradle replacement so you have to careful with the cleaning brush when taking each cylinder out to clean.
By far the most concern I have though, is the body of the shaver. Whilst it looks good, it doesn't feel good to hold, and this is because no thought has been given to include any grips on the shaver - neither is it ribbed in anyway for a hand to be able to successfully grip it while it's switched on. I have already dropped this shaver on the floor in my bathroom and luckily it fell on a soft mat at the time, but I wonder how many guys will drop this shaver accidentally on a hard floor in their bathroom and wonder how long it will last? The shaver is held together by one identifiable screw head and whilst the shaver looks good, it's lightweight and comparatively cheaper in feel to my old shaver. The problem I find is that the shaver is just too slippery and it's all because of the model's clean, silver/blue smooth appearance. Style over substance? Definitely I think in terms of holding the unit and using it - particularly if you are in a hurry.
As far as a gift is concerned though, I am very thankful to have received it. There are some shavers out there that look very cheap - this one doesn't - and it doesn't give a bad shave. Thanks for reading. ©Nar2 2008
I bought the Philips, Philishave 384 shaver from Argos for £34. The shaver had all the features I was looking for: Rechargeable & mains, 2 shaving heads and trimmer. It is a nice looking shaver and feels right to hold when shaving. The big problem is how long it takes to have a shave. You have to keep shaving the same parts of your face over and over again. Instead of a few minutes shaving each morning it was taking me 10 – 15 minutes to have a clean shave every day. I found myself daydreaming as I was shaving, working out things like how much of my life was going to be taken up with shaving, it worked out to be 2 – 3 full days per year. I had gone for a well known make, from a large high street store and had not selected the cheapest shaver available, but this product really was unusable on a regular basis. In the instructions it stated that it may take some time to get used to using this shaver, but after four months I had to go out and buy a new shaver. I would not recommend this product to anybody else.
A micro action 2-headed shaving system with a micro groove for a closer shave, a lift and cut system, five personal comfort settings and a hygienic hair-collecting chamber