A much better value cleaning system refill option than the Braun model I recently tried and reviewed. The Philips cleaning unit is easy to use, and neat to keep on the corner of the bedside cabinet for when the shaver needs the thorough cleaning. The starter kit comes with a bottle of special detergent fluid which should last a couple of months. The auto clean mechanism is also quite impressive. It's quite space age robotic in the way it lowers the shaver and goes through the cleaning routine including cycles of lifting it out of the fluid and dipping it back in. All in all a few minutes of the routine but then keeps it there for a couple of hours to allow the head to drip dry. My cat is fascinated by it too, he stands over it and watches the robotic routine in total fascination :D
The Philips system of shaving is one I like anyway and this particular model is one of the best I have used in all my years of shaving my difficult to shift stubble. It doesn't come cheap, but you are getting a lot of high quality kit packed into a light and well designed cordless shaver. The pivot and contour of the shaving head is the best out of all shavers I have owned so far, and the standard dry shaving has produced the best smoothest results too. But the best thing about it has been the wet shave with shaving foam. I have not been anywhere near a blade for years because I cut myself easily, so this Philips unit is awesome for that. I have had the closest shave since my teenage years (that's a long while ago) when it used to be so easy to get a clean face. I am also quite pleased about the separate trimmer head, because it's not just a sideburns trimmer, it's a proper beard/hair trimmer and really good for taking bushiness out of the sideburns and the hairs at back of the neck. Highly recommended.
Although this is an excellent razor, and indeed does suit my sensitive skin, with no razor burn whatsoever, the cleaning element of this product is a purely cosmetic and totally unnecessary addition. A normal rinsing and cleaning of the razor is enough with warm water. This is mere pandering to a developing male vanity. Unless you have OCD, don't buy it. The instructions for using the cleaning element are purely visual, and took me a long time to work out. This was very frustrating for a part of the product that I have discovered I will not be using.
I would pay up to £100 for this razor, and no more. It is not worth the extra money, hence the rating of 3 stars. For the razor alone, without the gizmo I would rate it a 5 star. It feels very good in the hand and gives an excellent shave.
Out of the box my first reaction was really pleasing a well-made, reassuringly weighty and solid razor with all the curves in the right place to make handling it and using it a real effortless joy. It doesn't end there as the box is really quite large hosting a power supply, storage pouch (very useful for business trips) stand, trimmer attachment, head cover, Jet clean system and jet clean solution (an extra cost to keep up to). All of the box contents are of equal high quality and design to the razor. I was a bit concerned by the size of the jet clean unit, it's quite large and I wouldn't have the space to have it left out all the time and I fear once put away it will be forgotten.
Probably a standard feature on most razors now but I found the battery indicator to be of great value, I have an older razor and a set of clippers neither of which have a battery indicator and there's nothing more frustrating than getting half way through a shave and the battery runs out.
In use the three foil heads flex and spring back into place gently and the whole head moves to contours of your face. Wet or dry the cutting motion is smooth without having to go over the same area too many times. It's not as close as a wet razor shave but it's been a few years since I've had a proper wet shave anyway.
Price is an important factor with any purchase, £168 is a lot of money but what you get for this price tag is stunning looking razor complimented by a comprehensive accessory package. If I could get the same razor without the jet clean system in hindsight that would be the perfect purchase for me.
This is one of the most expensive electric shavers Philips makes largely due to the somewhat over-designed blade cleaning system. The shaver head is large which makes it difficult to reach all parts of your face, especially around the jaw bone. As a result repeated shaving of the same areas of skin are required resulting in shaving rash. This is despite Philips using its 2D blade mounting system which is supposed to make the blades more maneuverable.
The cleaning mechanism adds considerably to the cost of the Shafer and has an ongoing cost as you need to buy the cleaning fluid for it. Philips recommend cleaning takes place once a month but this does not seem to extend the life of the blades, which are very costly to replace, and manual day to day cleaning is required as well.I struggle to see merit in the system therefore. Moreover the cleaning unit is bulky and will not be easily accommodated in most bathrooms.
In addition to the Shafer and cleaning kit a travel pouch is provided but this is made of a thin plastic material offering no protection to the shaver. It's just as well that the shaver can be locked in an off position when traveling to prevent it turning itself on in a suitcase as the pouch would not prevent this.
Finally, the picture-based instructions are dire - go to the Philips website for better guidance.
In conclusion this is a fair shaver with a gadget lovers dream of a cleaning system. My rating reflects the price of the kit which is just too high for something which struggles due to its large head to provide a good shave. So three stars.
on 9 November 2014
I'm in two minds about this shaver. On the one hand it's very comfy to use, you can glide all over the face, even sensitive areas like the adams apple with no problems. It's super easy to clean. The trimmer is effective, although it's a nuisance having it separate from the main shaver.
On the other hand, it's pretty sedate and doesn't actually cut hair that well. It slowly erodes my beard away rather than mowing it off. I've used a Braun for about 10 years, that thing would go like the clappers and I'd be done quickly, the Philips feels like the batteries are running out in comparison.
I've used several Philips razors over the years (including the much cheaper Aquatouch, my favourite), but thought I would get something meatier in order to try to reduce the time it takes me to shave.
This razor comes in a very large box, containing the razor itself and a cleaning/charging stand. The idea of the stand is that the razor cleans itself whilst it charges, using special Philips cleaning solution. Whilst you can't argue that the razor is cleaned using this method, you do really have to wonder at how this is any easier than simply rinsing the razor under a tap, which takes a few seconds. In addition, you don't have to buy the Philips cleaning solution to rinse the razor with plain water!
Charging, however, is good, with a full charge obtained in about an hour, which gives (I've found) about an hour's shaving time. So pretty good there.
My main problem, however, is with the quality of the shave. Maybe I'm doing something wrong, or maybe I'm just not capable of contorting my wrists and face in the correct way, but the distance between the rotary heads means that I generally miss bits when shaving - and sometimes quite large strips at that! I've given the razor a fair go over the past few weeks, but have concluded that it takes more time to shave than my old Aquatouch - to which I am returning.
I've given this three stars as I wouldn't say it's a bad, bad razor; but there again it's not a very good one either. It does shave, and perhaps with a bit more patience (ie months of practice rather than weeks), I could work out how to use it without having to go over some parts of my chin again and again.
This seems terribly expensive to me for what it is; but then again a lot of these electric shavers do. The shave you get is close but the I tank the rest of the features are a bit of a gimmick.
Personally, my feeling are much like another reviewers on here: the jet wash feature is pretty useless. I'd rather just rinse it under the tap and I don't like the fact that it nees the stand to be charged. It's not much good as a travel shaver because of that.
The other thing I really don't like are it's looks. Phillips have designed a few of this type of shaver now (with the floating head) and I just think they're ugly. Overpriced in my opinion.
The RQ1197 takes a mid-range place in Philips' offerings, but does that mean it offers average performance?
In truth, I was pleasantly surprised. One of the major problems when switching from a wet (razor) shave to an electric is understanding how to handle the device in the first place. With the former, you are more or less sutured into downstrokes and the occasional rinse, but a rotary shaver requires the same action as the blades themselves - you simply must recreate circular motions on your skin.
Once you get into this habit, the RQ1197 is a very capable product that will, at the very least, form a close shave. But clean? This is near impossible. The GyroFlex 2D head system is a disaster, providing nothing in the way of aid since the spring system cancels any effort to move the shaver heads with precision. You're then left with more irritation because you have to press down harder in order to force the heads into your chosen direction. I can only guess that this was implemented as a marketing gimmick, because in practice, it is simply counter-productive.
The product boasts a now common factor in water sealing, battery indicators and a 'self cleaning' system; the latter doing a worse job than if you simply opened up the heads and rinsed them under hot water. This is then the equivalent of paying for an accessory that you don't necessarily need or want, but Philips are charging a premium for it to be included.
On a basis of quality however, I really can't complain at the longevity of Philips products. The RQ1197 is well presented and formed, but it does little more than weaken the stance of electric shavers.
I'm more of a trimmer guy than a shaver guy, and this unit is good for both. It comes with both heads and I found best results using the trimming head, giving a reasonably tidy stubble, and if the day demanded it, then using the classic shaver head.
If I have the time, I still like to finish off with a very quick wet shave and some good quality skin lotion like Manuka Doctor, this means I can get a couple of days from that shave, rather than just one day. An electric shave is ok if you do it regularly, but it never really feels that smooth to me.
I don't have particularly fast growing hair and am not required to be totally clean shaven at work. I do have quite sensitive skin so shave as little as I can. I find the classic shaver head can leave my skin feeling a little dry and mildly sore or itchy. The lotion fixes this of course.
Two things to note, the trimmer doesn't work as well when the hair is wet, and the shaver head works much better when wet. The ability to rinse the shaver under the tap to clean it is great.
The cleaner unit is excellent too. The cleaner can't be used with the trimmer head though, and I did find the trimmer smelt a little after a while. You fill up the cleaner unit with some special fluid, some is supplied, drop the shaver into it and press the go button. It lowers the shaver head into the fluid, starts and stops the shaver head while it charges, then lifts it out at the end.
The battery lasts for ages and it has a charge indicator, no reason to have your battery run out half way though and be left with a goatee like happened to me the other day using a different trimmer.
Also supplied is a stand, if you're not using the jet cleaner, a head cover and a smart little soft storage pouch.
I have previously reviewed a similar razor in the Philips range, and I wasn't too happy about the shave I got from it against my previous shaver (which was a similar Philips model with a different pattern configuration for the cutting head). I found the heads of both models to be interchangeable.
The newer model is much the same and still does not have a built in trimmer, but it has a separate head that is a very effective trimmer for sideburns and edges. It is also interchanges with the clipper head from my previous model. Despite being an effective trimmer, it is still a faff to change instead of merely flicking the smaller built in trimmer to bring it into play, although the superior cutting ability of the larger interchangeable trimmer goes a long way to excusing this, I still miss the convenience of the little slider.
Removing the product from the box reveals a plastic construction which is a 'washing' machine for the head, fixing the razor into the holder and switching on causes the razor to be drawn into the depths of the unit and 'jet washed'. It does feel as if it is a 'gimmick' since it doesn't disinfect the razor head and as far as I can tell, does no more than a good wash under a tap, which of course doesn't use any 'cleaning fluid'.
My first use of the razor was a disappointment, it seemed to take an age to shave 'properly' and the first few times my gauging device* reported that it was not as clean a shave as I had been getting with my older model. (*I have been married to my gauging device for a long time and it has always given reliable results!). I persevered and tried a 'wet shave' which works well using foam or brushed on soap. I also found that a slightly 'damp' beard, cut easier than a totally dry face. I have now got quite used to the new model and I am pleased to report satisfactory results from the gauging device too. Although I still find it easier - and quicker - to shave 'damp' I have got used to the razor and it has got used to me giving a close, satisfactory shave every time, wet or dry!
This is a very good piece of kit, I am not sure the jet wash is a necessary accessory, but even that is well engineered. I think leaving it out would not detract from the usefulness of the shaver and probably would make the product considerably cheaper, I have 'Jet Washed' with it, but it's now 'back in the box' where it will no doubt stay.