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on 1 October 2013
I have been using a previous model of this trimmer for the last six or seven years. It was probably the first one with the vacuum functionality. The cutter mechanism was becoming a bit ragged, so I bought this new model to replace it. I should not have bothered.
Nothing has been improved (which I could have lived with, because the old trimmer was very good), but the key features are now worse.

- The vacuum is much less efficient. It spews whiskers everywhere. The old one did not do that. Keeping half the mess inside the trimmer is actually more work, not less, because I have to clean both the trimmer and the sink, now.

- The compartment that collects the trimmings is awkward to empty, and it has a very flimsy lid.

- The new model does not hold its charge any longer than the old one, and the Lithium Ion battery will probably die after two or three years, unlike the old NiMh batteries.

So, sleek new look (because we just love to show off, while we're shaving, don't we boys?), more built-in obsolescence, and worse performance. What's not to like?
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on 28 June 2012
Purchased this razor after owning a remmington £10 argos one and it puts it to shame. Four times more expensive but 10 times better
Have now owned this for over one Month and it is a brilliant piece of kit.
The settings to change the length of the cut is so easy and all you do is use your thumb and slide. Cleaning is very easy to and the parts just slide out to make the clean one easy job.
And the Battery is by far the best reason to purchase this as i havnt even charged the razor since the first time i used it and now its in its 6th/7th use

The reason it hasnt got 5 stars is because the special compartment to keep the trimmings in works but not all the trimmings go in their! And as mentioned in previous reviews saying people can watch TV while in the front room well this is balls as my wife would kill me if she came home and i was there using this because as brilliant as it is some trimmings will always make it out. I would say 75% of the trimmings go in the special razor apartment and the other 25% in the sink or floor
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on 5 November 2013
I'm sure I can think of some positives. Ah yes - this trimmer is relatively cheap, and the way the cutter guard automatically adjusts its angle of attack against your skin is quite pleasing, in an abstract kind of way. Oh and the way it retains (most of) the trimmed stubble is pretty useful. Er, and it's very light. Which is useful if you happen to be on the puny side, I guess.

Now for the negatives.

First, the trimmer struggles to hold a charge. Or to be more accurate, sometimes it goes on forever and gives the impression it will never need charging, while at other times it can't make it through a full trim without needing to get hooked back up to the mains. To say this is inconvenient is putting it mildly: I can't think of any occasions upon which it's appropriate to sport a face that's half-shaved in a vertical plane. Apart from a fancy dress party, perhaps.

Second, the trimming height is easy enough to adjust but the thing is so flimsy that it's much too easy to inadvertently end up with a shorter trim than you want, simply because you've been pressing the trimmer too hard against your face in use. It really isn't on to end up with a haven't-shaved-for-a-day look when you really want to maintain a decent length of beard.

Third, it may well be that I have a modestly large hooter but the design of this trimmer means it won't reach the area immediately underneath said proboscis. My only options are (a) to slip off the cutter guard and attempt to trim this area manually, which invariably results in a bizarre-looking under-nose bald patch, or (b) to plug in my trusty old (corded) Remington and use that instead. This is not ideal as it means I need to maintain two beard trimmers permanently plugged in, in my bedroom: I'm not the hairiest man in the world and this makes me look rather strange.

Fourth, the 'Turbo boost' thing is pointless - why on earth would I choose NOT to select maximum suction whenever using the trimmer? When I'm away from home and particularly want to irritate my host by dropping stubble all over their bathroom floor? It's stupid.

Finally, it just doesn't give a very good quality trim. You have to stand there shaving away for hours if you want to achieve anything like a decent consistent finish, and even then you still have to bugger about with the trim height, and removing the trimmer guard, for those straggly little hairs around the edges.

So in summary: it's flimsily built, doesn't work very well and is totally unreliable. Avoid like the plague, unless you are Lord Voldemort and don't have a nose to shave underneath, or you never go out in public.
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on 30 November 2011
What can be said..

This is my 3rd "face shaver' i've owned - 1st one being a poorly built Philips that slowly changed from slicing hairs from my face, to slowly and painfully pulling/twisting them out.

That was chucked and so came the 2nd, a babyliss stubble... model.
Was alright, kept my gruff under control but the battery eventually went, and so came this Philips.

After a week or so of use, seems great. A HUGE step up from the previous two. The digital display lets me know, to the mm, what length it's cutting at. On colder days i like to go with a nice 5mm, whereas i'm sure in the summer i'll drop to a mere 1/2mm. It goes all the way up to a humongous 18mm. I haven't had chance to try that, i think it would take me a good 2 years to develop that kind of hair on my face.

Another benefit is the vacuum, cleverly hidden somewhere on it. Sucks all that dead hair from your face, thus avoiding your other half complaining you left the sink in a 'terrible state'.

Battery-wise - can't really comment as i've only had it a short time. I charged it 100% initially and i haven't had to recharge since (Use it every 2 days).

All in all, very happy with it. Can't comment on long-term use obviously, but it seems well made and should keep me stubbly-faced for the next 2-3 years.
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on 29 September 2011
I bought the first version of Philips vac.trimmer two or three years ago. When it finally fell apart I was quite happy it was over as the idea in many ways exceeded the performance.The QT4090/32 is a great leap forward compared to its predecessor. It's more quiet, looks a lot better, the digital display prevents dumb mistakes, and the new adjustment function is very much safer. No more unfortunate changing of the cutting level.
It feels and looks very solid, but the biggest improvements are found in battery function of the lithium-ion battery, and last but not least in the "turbo function" where you can chose to enhance the vacuum effect. It does that=)
The extra cutting head for beard trimming comes in handy to.

I like it!
The only reason for a missing star is the little black cotton pouch that comes with it instead of a proper box or something sturdy to prevent damage during travels. At that price level you would expect something better to protect your investment.
But it's a good machine!
~ Widecliff
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on 14 September 2015
A fine piece of kit, it really is the best of its kind I have used.
The vacuum function works well but do keep the hair chute cleaned for best efficiency.
What I am totally bemused by is the price. I paid £40.00 for this precise model in July 2012.
Unless Philips have started making these things out of platinum, how is a price hike like this possibly justified?
I hope mine keeps performing well; the piggy bank won't go to a new one at THREE TIMES the amount I paid.
Additional, February 2016.... I have reduced this from 4 stars to two because the batteries have packed up. They are (deliberately) impossible to replace, so in the interests of the environment, Philips leave me with no choice but to bin it. Chances of me buying another? Clearly nil.
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VINE VOICEon 15 February 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have had a beard, and thus have had beard trimmers, for almost 30 years, so I have some pretty strong ideas about what a trimmer should and should not do. IT SHOULD NOT STAB YOU IN THE FACE! But that is exactly what the new QT4090/41 does.

For years I was wonderfully happy with Philips previous top-of-the-line model, the T980. I love the vacuum feature, the turbo setting cut my tough beard with gusto, and the length adjustment was generally adequate (though the settings were a bit wide apart, so 3 was too long and 2 was too short).

But the engineers at Philips have taken a wonderfully designed T980 trimmer and screwed it up royally. The problem is with the guide comb. On the older T980, the guide comb completely covered the cutting head. But on the new Qt4090/41, the guide comb has tines that extend along the top and front of the cutting head, and END IN SHARP POINTS. So the cutting head sits exposed within a cavity between the ends of the two sets of pointy tines. Yeah, sure, that's what I need to drag across my face all bleery-eyed in the morning - pointed sticks! :-(

The new guide comb's design is woefully stupid for two reasons:

1) The length to which your hairs are cut will VARY depending on the angle with which you hold the trimmer against your skin. If you hold the upper face of the guide comb flat against your skin, you get a longer cut than if you allow your skin to span the gap between the two set of tines. And frankly, you KNOW you can't hold the trimmer at the same angle all over your face! BOTTOM LINE: AN UNEVEN TRIM!

2) Even if you are trying hard to keep the flat top of the guide comb flush against your face, you eventually have to turn a corner, like at your jaw line. I have used this Qt4090/41 about a dozen times now, and each time I have managed to jab myself with those stupid tines somewhere - in the jawline, in the chin, in the lip, etc. I know it's just a matter of time before I (a) break a tine, or (b) draw blood. BOTTOM LINE: A PAINFUL TRIM
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VINE VOICEon 13 November 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
As a male in mid-late 40s I can honestly say I hate shaving with a passion. Wet shaving, while giving a smooth result, always bings me out in a rash no matter how much I prepare & pamper, yet electric razors never give a good close shave. So I've only been hacking the bristles back every few weeks (or less if SWMBO demands it). Up until now I either used the half size sideburn trimmer on my Philips electric, or 'her ladyshave' (also a no-no, funnily enough).
Now the Philips QT4090/32 Pro-Stubble Trimmer with Turbo-Vacuum and Additional Stubble Comb really does everything I need. I can select from 1 to 18mm, tackling from cheek to jowl to eyebrow, and the shave head is a wide enough size that speeds through the 12 o'clock shadow in no time. The best bit? The 'turbo' vacuum, that actually works and means I don't have to cover the sink in newspaper to keep the falling fuzz from clogging up the plug hole.
I now feel confident to keep to a manageble, tidy, stubble by performing a swift once over a couple of times a week (and my other half is pleased that I won't give up on shaving and look like a polar explorer this winter).

>> Update. Found out a small piece of plastic on the guard that allows different height of cut has broken. I only found out when I started trimming my right eyebrow down to its usual uniform 9mm only to see the whole eyebrow *vanish*. Regardless of what the digital readout says, the only cut is down to the skin. So not happy (unlike my other half who thought it was the funniest thing ever).

This trimmer now loses three stars from its initial review. Beware of this potential fault, menfolk.
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on 21 February 2016
... it weren't for the defective closing mechanism for the container of the cut off hair. When the plastic latch breaks the only two ways I've found to keep it closed during usage was to either tape the two parts together or use one hand to hold it shut while trimming. Both methods cause a major inconvenience and defeat the main purpose of having a built in vacuum cleaner. The first time this happened I contacted Philips and got a replacement free of charge, but now the replacement has the exact same problem. The latch mechanism has obviously not been thought through and tested thoroughly
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on 3 February 2014
Very disappointed by this particular beard/stubble trimmer as far as the battery life go's poor is the only description i can think of! ,... stopping just over halfway as i was trimming my beard!!. In my case i charged it up fully as per the manufacturers instructions and barely got eight minutes out of it before the charge ran out!. Secondly i was not impressed with the trim it gave, certainly the manufacturers description i found to be wanting and the usage instructions poor!. Lastly it felt cheap and plasticky, compared with example... the Philips BT 5260 MODEL.
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