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I've had bad luck with kettles. I can't count how many we have gone through, although I do put them through heavy usage. I not only really love my tea - I also use hot water bottles and believe a bit of bleach and boiling water makes the best disinfectant you can buy, so my kettle gets used quite a bit. I've always had plastic kettles until I absolutely feel in love with a lovely stainless steel kettle which made the best tea I had ever had, but also ended up leaking immediately and I don't care to mix water and electrics. So I decided since a cup of tea is my greatest personal luxury, and I love a good cuppa so much I would treat myself to a good kettle.
This Phillips Energy Saver cost us roughly £30 from Tesco. One of the things that first attracted me to this kettle was the claim to save up to 66% of the energy costs. Since I boil a kettle so often, this could be substantial. It uses 3000 watts of electricity, which appears much the same as any other rapid boil kettle, so I do think the energy saving bit is a bit of a gimmick. The whole claim to saving energy is based on this having a 1 cup line - so you can fill the kettle with just the right amount of water for a single cuppa. If people were to only boil the amount of water they need, it would save electricity.
There are several problems with this though. 1st off, greedy glutton that I am, I usually make at least 2 cups of tea at a time. I often make 2 cups just for myself, and a third for the other half. The second problem is, to fill this to the one cup level is quite difficult without lifting the kettle as you fill because the fill line is hard to see under the handle. I have mobility problems making this difficult - but if I only want one cup - the simple solution is to fill a cup from the sink and dump it into the kettle. This defeats the special energy saving line though - I could do this with any kettle.
As mentioned, the fill line is difficult to read, especially in the daytime, when I couldn't be bothered to turn the kitchen light on just to fill the kettle. Another problem with this kettle is that it is heavy and I can not pour this when full without using both hands, and bracing it against my chest, likely not the safest thing to do. I do have mobility issues though, and I do not believe this would be an issue for most users. It is metal and gets very hot on the outside, but not so hot that I can not touch the metal base. It would not be hot enough to burn a child on the outside, but of course what is inside would so due care must be used. It makes noise, as all kettles must to boil water, but I do not find the noise excessive.
This kettle is very easy to clean. The lid opens up completely allowing me to reach a hand inside to give this a good scrub. It has a solid metal plate at the bottom which is easier to remove limescale from than a coil, and a limescale filter which removes for cleaning, but has never come out of place on it's own. The shiny gloss metal finish does get water spots easily, but they wipe off just as easily with a damp cloth. The black handle does not show dirt or tea stains. The lid also gets water spots if you over fill the kettle, but again they wipe off easily. The cord on this is about 2' which is perfectly adequate for my purposes, and is fitted to a round metal base on which the kettle can be placed in any position. This of course should never be submerged, but does not show dirt easily and is cleaned more for fear of what I can't see then because it looks dirty.
But all of these are secondary features - what really matters is does this kettle make a good cup of tea? I can not say it makes as good a cup as my last kettle which seemed to heat to a higher degree than standard. In fact it took 2 weeks after we had to return the last kettle before the skin grew back on the roof of my mouth. But, barring that kettle and a commercial boiler I once used, or an old fashioned stove top kettle with a tea bag boiling inside of it, this is the best kettle I have ever used. It does produce a lovely cup of tea, and I do think the metal jug makes for a different taste than a plastic one.
This kettle also is honestly a very rapid boil. I have timed this with it's maximum capacity of 1.7 litres ( although I often add a bit more for water bottles). It took 2 minutes and 55 seconds to boil 1.7 litres. I also decided to time this for a single cup and was surprised that the waiting time was only 40 seconds.
I considered knocking a star off this kettle for it's energy saving claims, which I do not believe are accurate. But the truth is I really love this kettle. It makes a good cuppa in a short time period. I dare not offend the vengeful kettle gods by complaining! I have only had this a few months and I really hope this lasts well. It does have a 1 year warranty, but my husband forgot to bring home the receipt! I can only hope this little beauty will be with us for many years to come. I honestly think I'd cry my eyes out if this broke.
UPDATE: I make a habit of updating any appliance review after the appliance gives up the ghost. Sadly. our Phillips kettle is now in the bin. It is almost 2 years since I bought it now - so it is out of warranty, and has lasted longer than many kettles in out house. While it worked - the quality was excellent. It boiled quickly and the water was very hot. I really did love this kettle right up until the day and hour it broke. I went to use today and the lever to turn on fell off leaving bare wires sticking out. I though perhaps we could fix but my husband took one look at the wires, which didn't even look well insulated and said no. He felt the kettle was now unsafe, and in all honesty I expect he is right. I won't argue this one - by beloved Phillips is done for.
I have removed one star because I do feel an appliance like this should last a few years, and this made it less than 2. This seems par for the course now, appliances are made to be cheap but not to last. I would have removed more than one star, but I honestly did love this while it worked and it's life span hasn't been far off from many other kettles I have owned - although this one was more expensive.
I have had this kettle for about two weeks and so far I am very happy with it.
It is well made with a shiny stainless steel finish and matt black handle and base, which means it matches the other small appliances in my kitchen even though they aren't the same make.
The cups measurement is on the side under the handle so suits left or right handers. It goes up to 1.7 litres or over 6 cups and seems to measure accurately.
There is a concealed element and mesh scale filter.
The 'on' light is a modern blue colour which I thought was quite groovy!
It comes to the boil quickly and isn't too noisy.
I like the fact that the lid never gets too hot to touch, for example if you have to refill it straight after using it.
The kettle fits securely on to its base with no twiddling about needed.
A good sized kettle, with a hidden element, that comes to the boil (when full) in around 3 minutes. The filter over the spout is fitted in to the lid surround so it doesn't get knocked off in to the kettle (which has happened to me in the past with kettles that have a spout filter that just clips on to the inside of the spout).
You get 6 mugs of water if you fill the kettle right up to the max and there is an indicator light... which is a neat blue colour instead of that boring old orange light :-) ... to tell you when the water has reached boiling point.
Drawbacks: The powercord to the base unit is too short and the water level indicator, positioned as it is under the handle (and without any kind of coloured ball to sit on top of the water line) is quite difficult to read.
It's quite a sturdy kettle, which is good, but that also makes it quite heavy when full.
(Seeing as Dooyou wouldn't let me ignore the rating category for Picture and Sound quality, I've used these for boiling noise level (Sound) and the water indicator level readability (Picture)).
Short name: Philips HD4656