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on 7 June 2013
Brief background: I've been shaving for twenty years. I have naturally dark, coarse hair with a tendency to in-grow. Shaving difficulties are compounded by the fact that i have very sensitive skin. Have tried dozens of brands of razors over the years along with dozens of shaving foams, gels, lotions, washing, cleansing, exfoliating and aftercare rituals. I have also tried several brands and models of electric shaver, with an emphasis on philips and braun, none of which were very effective. In summary, I am NOT the average man, I am at the awkward end of the shaving spectrum

I recently decided to try an electric shaver again due to my new job's requirement for a smart personal appearance precluding my now normal habit of shaving once in the late evening then not shaving for 2-3 days. My face has been looking like a warzone for the last few weeks from almost daily shaving. The motivation to buy an AT 896 was purely motivated by two factors: a) the package blurb indicating that it could be used as a wet shaver with foam or gel for a more comfortable, closer shave and b) the fact that it was marked down 50% in Tesco from £99.99 to £49.99 combined with several vouchers that I had, meaning I paid only £25 for the product. No research was performed prior to purchase.

The marketing material would indicate that key points of this product are:
-close comfortable wet shaving with foam.
-fast charge time of one hour due to lithium ion battery.
-pop up trimmer.
-easy cleaning by rinsing under tap.

To clarify some of these points and importantly some ambiguity from some of the other reviewers I believe that there has been a previous iteration of this shaver that required an 8 hour charge and that used HQ6 blade heads. To be clear, the latest available model which I have a) charges in one hour and b) has the (superior?) HQ8 blade heads.

So, on to the product: supplied in recyclable packaging - cardboard, some small plastic bags, the product is not over packaged but is well protected. Included are the shaver, a protective cap, a cleaning brush, a charging lead. I am disappointed that no shaving adaptor plug is included but I have not marked the product down for this as it is not common practice.

The shaver itself is lighter than my previous philishaves, while retaining a robust, quality feel. Looks wise the choice of colouring, curves and blend of materials provide a modern, stylish aesthetic. As previously mentioned, the shaver took an hour to charge.

The experience: the way I read the marketing material was that the shaver is optimised for wet use, ie this is a wet shaver that can be used dry, not a dry shaver that can be used wet, which explains other reviewers experience that the wet shave is superior - this is philips's intention. So, I lathered up... In a word: wow. The product provides a superior shave. Extremely comfortable. No blood to be seen. I don't normally feel like I've had a shave unless I've lost a pint of blood. First shave was to remove 18 hour stubble. The shave is extremely close. I would compare it to the quality of shave I would get if I were to allow my stubble to grow for a week, while following a daily cleansing, exfoliating and moisturising regime, then shaving after a loooooong hot shower with a brand new blade, I.e. Putting myself in tip top condition for a shave. It's good. In fact, I could not normally get this close a shave without shaving against the grain, which I only do for special occasions. I achieved these rather astonishing results in five minutes.

Each subsequent shave has been as good. I've been shaving most days, every shave has been as good. I let my stubble grow for three days just to see what it would be like. Just as good. Took a couple of minutes longer but I expect that to be honest.

Battery life does seem to hover around the 45 minute mark if I add it up, so that's on the money, with the one hour charge this is no problem. Probably a weeks worth of shaving?

So would I recommend it? Yes, wholeheartedly.

In summary:
- quality feel, good looks.
- comfortable, close shave.
- fast charge.
- will save a fortune on razor blades as my normal monthly spend on those is around £20

- no uk mains plug adaptor supplied, but to be fair this costs £2.
- no included case, but it is compatible with my previous Philips case
I don't feel the cons warrant any loss of stars.
44 comments130 of 135 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 28 May 2013
I've never used a wet/dry shaver before and this one appears to work well.
I've had it a month and my wet shaves using it are quicker and produce a smoother result than my previous dry shaver.
I would recommend it
0Comment18 of 18 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 4 July 2013
First Philips razor I've used for about 40 years. I've been using Remmington, but the foil razor I have now doesn't shave my neck. Looking at the reports for a Remmington rotary, the same comment was made. This Philips does the job!
0Comment15 of 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 7 July 2013
this is a lovely easy shaver to use. battery life is amazing. Fits easily in your hand.Great to be able to use in shower as well as dry.A wonderful product
0Comment11 of 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
I am very pleased with this shaver, very quiet, very smooth, and gives a really good shave. I would recommend this shaver.
0Comment5 of 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 31 December 2012
Although Philips specs website says this AT896 model and the AT890 model take HQ8 replacement shaver heads, turns out if you examine the picture carefully that this "..6" model comes WITHOUT HQ8 installed, whereas the "..0" model DOES come with HQ8 fitted! Only realised that upon reading the box on receipt. (Not Amazon's fault but Philips do a real POOR job explaining their shaver heads/spares/etc, which is annoying when heads alone are c£30!)
44 comments80 of 91 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 26 November 2012
Bought this a few weeks ago and I have been very impressed. Charges within an hour but will give you a quick charge shave in 5 mins too. Light to hold but sturdy grip make it very easy to use. Simple to clean by running under the tap. Glides over your face and in my case my head too. A great buy all round.
0Comment45 of 51 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 21 August 2013
Good shaver for the money especially since Amazon was half the list price. Like my previous Phillips shavers it gives a good shave but obviously not as close as a wet shave, and is easy to use. Like the pop up trimmer - very useful. In all a good product.
0Comment3 of 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 14 June 2013
This was my first experience of a rotary shaver, I had previously used a Braun foil shaver a few years ago. I usually wet shave with a razor nowadays, but was looking for something to use quickly on a daily basis.
Unfortunately the shaver just didn't come up to expectations.
My first shave was wet with King of Shaves gel. It missed lots of hairs and I ended up with painful razor burn on my neck.
I put it down to my inexperience with this type of shaver. I gave my neck a week to recover, shaved with my razor and then tried again the next day with the shaver. I tried a dry shave, but again it gave me painful razor burn on my neck.
Undeterred, I gave it one more try after my neck recovered again. I tried a wet shave again with Gillette foam. It was no better and again had razor burn.
I have now bought a Braun foil razor and have had no problems.
This razor has many good reviews, but I suppose it comes down to each of our individual faces and skin.
0Comment7 of 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 6 September 2013
Cons - It's nothing special, scratches my neck the same way my old philishave did, even with foam. I still need to shave with a gillette for a clean shave.

Pros - It's easy to clean because it's waterproof and at the moment the blades are still sharp. Charges quickly.

Wouldn't recommend if you are looking for something very good.
0Comment2 of 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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