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So far, so good! 6 years on update!!!!
on 25 September 2009
Update June 2015.
6 years since I posted the original review and the most common question is - how long did it last?
Well the answer appears to be 6 years. Issues faced, clear plastic in lid discoloured and started to disintegrate after 5 years, just recently I've noticed slight drips under the kettle. I am assuming this is coming from the clear side wall where it joins the metal - but I can't find the leak, so assume it's only when kettle is boiling and the heat opens a gap. The light in the on/off switch still works but for some reason is much dimmer than it used to be. There has been no change in the noise of the kettle boiling but is still acceptable. Other than that there have been no issues, it still boils fast, no smells or tastes.
Given that this kettle has been used a minimum of 5 times per day (probably nearer to 10 at weekends)over a period of 6 years means that it has performed single cup and full boils flawlessly over 10,000 times easily. I would of course love a kettle that lasted indefinitely but looking at the evidence I am more than happy with what this item has done. In similar terms other kettles have only lasted a fraction of what the Philips HD4671/20 has achieved!
I knocked off a star on the first review because of a few drips of water left in the kettle, in practise this has proven irrelevant, and with the excellent performance I have no hesitation in giving the extra star back again. So I am replacing the kettle again due to the mystery leak, but it's going to be the exact same model again, only pity is that it's still reasonably pricey and no-one seems to be doing any deals! For me this kettle worked, but as I said the last time - you pays your money and takes your chances!
Original review - 2009
I looked at, and tried, lots of the better reviewed kettles before finally buying this one. I previously had a Breville JK115 Lightning, which to be fair was an excellent kettle and lasted almost 5 years before starting to leak (plastic seemed to be disintegrating and it was taking longer to boil!).
The Philips HD4671/20 looks smart (for a kettle) and the handle is quite comfortable when pouring. It's not too heavy, and the lid opens and shuts properly even when boiling (some start to leak steam when hot). The only thing against the Philips HD4671 is that it is difficult to get the last drops of water out of the kettle because of the limescale filter position, in comparison the Breville drained every drop - if it was not for this small issue I would have given the Philips 5 stars.
The Philips boils fast, 4mins 40 seconds for a full kettle with cold water, sounds a long time (especially when you watch it) but is still about a minute faster than most others tried (although a kenwood managed this 10 seconds faster!).
A big advantage is the very low reaching windows on each side of the kettle meaning that you can see very small amounts of water. Enough for a mug (1.5 cups)of cold water boils in 40 seconds which is wayfaster than anything else I have tried. Also, after boiling you CAN fill and go again immediately, some cut out for a few minutes until completely cool, maybe a small point but really frustrating if you want more hot water quickly.
The noise of the kettle is definitely less than many kettles and much less than the previous Breville.
From the moment the large bubbles appear as it starts to boil, time to switch off is 8 seconds, I have read that many consider this too much but I would consider this a rolling boil and I find that this actually makes better tasting tea!
After following the instructions to rinse, fill full and boil and discard (I did this part 3 times)and rinse again - I am completely unaware of any smells or tastes that shouldn't be there (some still smell of plastic or metal) - I do live in a soft water area and filter all drinking water though.
The case is brushed steel, some reviews have said it is difficult to keep clean but so far I have not experienced this - maybe it is a limescale issue and doesn't affect me?
Lastly, but maybe most importantly for me and my family, this kettle pours really well (fast or slow) without any splurting or splashing meaning that the boiling water goes in the cup and not all over the worktop.
It's sad that you have to go to this level of review for a everyday item like a kettle, I was amazed that there are so many kettles available that can't do simple things like boiling and pouring without making the water taste horrible - maybe I expect too much? From trying lots (and that's only the ones getting good reviews) and being thoroughly disappointed I think this one is at the better end of the scale and worth while buying. These are my experiences and I hope it helps someone but - you pays your money and takes your chances!