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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:
Pros
- 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

Cons
- 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.
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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!
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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
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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 comments| 80 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.
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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
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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.
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on 6 February 2013
The shaver itself is great, it charges quickly, is totally water-proof, has high build quality and cleans very easily; however, the shave heads/blades that come on the AT896 proved to be extremely poor. When it does catch the hairs it cuts very close (at least in the dry, the result is not so smooth when wet shaving), although the blades could be sharper and it does pinch quite a lot.

The real problem though, is the fact that the shaver misses most of the hairs it passes over unless I work it vigorously and perform multiple passes - severely irritating my skin and making my shave take 5x as long as it should. It actually refuses to cut some hairs on my neck altogether, at least without me jamming it into my skin to the point that it is left raw and bleeding. This is completely below par for a product with this price tag and I (literally) sorely regret not spending the extra £12 to get the AT890 which comes with the, presumably much better, HQ8 shave heads instead of the terrible ones found on the AT896.

I'd advise against wasting money on this, if you must buy an AT89x, it is probably well worth the extra tenner to get the AT890 for its (hopefully) superior shave heads.
0Comment| 27 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 7 June 2013
I should have bought this years ago instead of trying to carry on with my old unreliable one. It's great, close and doesn't scratch. It's so quiet. I wanted a shaver with a trimmer attached and this is really good. The price is excellent value for money. Why pay double for the same thing? Buy this, you won't be disappointed.
0Comment| 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 1 June 2013
I was intrigued by the "wet" factor.
It gives a good shave dry or with foam.
Then you just wash it under the tap! Brilliant
0Comment| 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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