Review: Sonicare DiamondClean Smart uses your iPhone and Bluetooth to perfect the electric...

Posted:
in iPhone edited August 26
Philips Sonicare has taken an oft-parodied feature -- Bluetooth -- and baked it into their popular electric toothbrush. To our surprise, it actually added a wealth of features and greatly improved an already fantastic product.






It seems that these days manufacturers are needlessly shoving Bluetooth to everything they can get their hands on. There are even Bluetooth toilets.

Of all the different accessories that have had Bluetooth squeezed inside, one we never expected to appreciate was our toothbrush. Let's uncap the toothpaste and start brushing.

Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart

Sonicare

Sonicare has a long history as being arguably the best electric toothbrush lineup out there, with several different models available at various price points. The lineup is a bit confusing, with only minor differences between each of them.

Sitting squarely at the top of the lineup, however, is the DiamondClean Smart, which happens to be the model we are reviewing here. Specifically the 9300 model. That leaves the 9500 and 9700 series with a few additional features in tow, which we can touch on later.

Brushing prowess

First and foremost, this is a toothbrush. Nothing else matters if it brushes your teeth as well as a finger with toothpaste does.

Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart


Fortunately, that isn't the case, and Sonicare DiamondClean excels in cleaning teeth. It has four different brushing modes -- Clean, Deep Clean+, Gum Health, and white+ -- to help with whatever your primary goal is.

Sonicare toothbrushes vibrate, rather than rotate, and they do so amazingly fast. That tiny motor in there is capable of moving the brush head 62,000 times a minute.

It features the same "QuadPacer" tech we've seen in Sonicare's offerings for years, which automatically pauses every 30 seconds to let you know to start cleaning a different quadrant of your mouth. This helps when not using it with the app to be sure you are spending equal time in all portions of your mouth.

Extra Smarts

Each brush head for the DiamonClean Smart has a tiny chip at the bottom. This is read by the toothbrush when attached, and can help with different aspects such as when the brush head needs to be replaced.

Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart


There are several different types of brush heads, each with a specific purpose. When the brush head is identified by the handle, it will automatically switch the cleaning mode to best optimize your brushing.

For instance, G3 Premium Gum Care brush head will pair with Gum Health mode.

It also is able to tell when you push too hard on your teeth or try to scrub, but which could hurt your enamel.

These are two serious concerns with electric toothbrushes, that (evidently) are all too common. When the brush lights up purple and vibrates the handle, it should help people stop the destructive brushing.

App connectivity

Bluetooth connectivity allows the toothbrush to connect with the corresponding iOS or Android app. It offers several additional features that make it more powerful.

When you first launch the app, you let it know what you are concerned about, and it will give you a cleaning mode and brush head recommendation based on that.




It also provides a 3D mouth view, showing you where you are having issues cleaning. It can show you averages of this cleaning over time, so you can see how you are improving.

This is helpful, especially if there are areas where you are constantly missing.

While brushing, the app guides you through different parts of your mouth, very granularly. It will give you guidance such as as back right exterior, then interior, then front exterior, front interior, and so on.

Once you finish, it offers a "touch up" mode, where you can go back and hit the areas you didn't adequately brush.

If you have a specific problem area that you want to focus on, you can set this within the app. It will then allocate a bit of extra time for it, making sure that it gets the focus it needs, while not neglecting the rest of your mouth.

Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart


Once you've finished brushing, the app gives you a 3D overview of your session, and asks you if you've flossed, rinsed, and scraped your tongue. It then logs all your progress on a calendar.

If you so choose, this can be exported for your dentist so they can see how you've been doing.

Charging

Sonicare DiamonClean's built-in battery will last fourteen days from a full charge, with two brushing sessions each day.

Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart


To charge the toothbrush, it just needs set on the charger, which in this case takes the shape of a small glass. This small glass sits atop an inductive charger, which then charges the toothbrush through the bottom of the cup. It works amazingly well, and looks pretty great sitting on your bathroom counter.

We will say that while it looks great and all, we rarely ever actually wanted to use the cup to drink from. It got a bit dirty after time from placing the toothbrush in it, we instead just relied on it for charging purposes.

Travel

A two-week battery life after a charge should be plenty for most bouts of travel, though if you are going to stay away longer than that, you will have to plan accordingly. DiamondClean does come with a handy travel case, able to fit the toothbrush as well as two brush heads.

Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart


The outside has a nice soft finish that is easily gripped. It is also slim, allowing for an easy fit into our bags.

Not only does this case keep your toothbrush clean, and toothpaste off your clothes, but it prevents the buttons from triggering and turning on in the car or on your flight.

Our 9300 model comes with a plain case, though the 9500 and 9700 both ship with a USB case that will help charge the battery life when on the road.

For frequent travelers, this is a worthy investment.

Different models

There are three different models of the Sonicare DiamondClean Smart. The 9300, which we've reviewed. We already mentioned the 9500 and the 9700.

When comparing, the 9500 has everything the 9300 has, but the charging case also has the built-in wireless charging for on the go. It also has an extra cleaning mode -- TongueCare+ -- and a TongueCare+ brush head also included.

The premium 9700 has everything the 9500 has, but adds the exclusive "lunar blue" color, and comes packed with a year's worth of brush heads. Instead of three brush heads, you get seven.

The best model in our opinion would be the 9500. It isn't hugely more expensive but comes with a better case and the tongue cleaning mode/brush.

Conclusion

Philips isn't the only big player to add Bluetooth to their electric toothbrush. Colgate added it to their model, which is available exclusively in Apple Stores. It, however, offers a far worse experience overall, with the only different feature is the integration with ResearchKit to help improve brushing for everyone.

Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart


Like we said at the onset, Bluetooth was a surprising positive to have in our toothbrush. It legitimately offered useful features that improved our brushing experience. Dental services can be quite expensive which means ponying up the money for a great toothbrush can be an investment that will save you in the long term.

If you already have a Sonicare toothbrush, it is hard to justify spending quite this much just for the addition of Bluetooth -- although it is tempting. If, however, you don't yet have an electric toothbrush, we would without a doubt recommend the Sonicare DiamondClean Smart.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Where to buy

To pick up the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart, you can find them readily available on Amazon. The 9300 will run you $170, while the 9500 will run you $231 and the lofty 9700 in lovely lunar blue will set you back $279.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 30
    dtoubdtoub Posts: 13member
    Truth is, there is no real evidence that anything more than a $50-70 Oral-B or Sonicare basic electric toothbrush is necessary. None of these features in smart toothbrushes amount to better oral health. The only features that are helpful and proven are brushing for two minutes, so the two-minute timers on the basic oral b or Sonicare toothbrushes are all that’s needed and saves folks a lot of money compared with the ones touted here. Yeah BT is often cool and maybe if that motivates someone to brush then great. But no features here are clearly beneficial for most people nor are they cost effective. 
    SpamSandwichviclauyyc
  • Reply 2 of 30
    flydogflydog Posts: 93member
    This is a solution in search of a problem.  Certain things that just don't lend themselves to being part of the "smart" ecosystem, and this is a prime example.
    edited August 19 GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 3 of 30
    nunzynunzy Posts: 662member
    Meh.

    What's next, a smart toilet?
    ols
  • Reply 4 of 30
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,228administrator
    nunzy said:
    Meh.

    What's next, a smart toilet?
    Second paragraph: "It seems that these days manufacturers are needlessly shoving Bluetooth to everything they can get their hands on. There are even Bluetooth toilets."
    king editor the gratenunzywatto_cobraolsGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 5 of 30
    1. "Sonicare has a long history as being arguably the best electric toothbrush lineup out there" I am ok with paid content, but for many ppl a sonic toothbrush may not be the ideal choice, compared to oscillating, mechanical Oral B electric toothbrushes. Please correct this bold statement 2. What do tooth brushes in general have do to with Appleinsider? Now I would also like a review of the - you mentioned in the text - bluetooth-enabled toilet. And in the next years please all other electronic items that include an app connection!
    edited August 19 Alphadork1
  • Reply 6 of 30
    Alphadork1Alphadork1 Posts: 2unconfirmed, member
    (1) So every brush head has a chip in it, making it toxic e-waste when it's time to discard it. Awesome!
    (2) I can literally buy enough regular toothbrushes to last me the rest of my life for the price of one of these things.
    (3) Fuchs - check 'em out. Least environmentally harmful toothbrush your money can buy.
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 7 of 30
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,766member
    But will it give me Blueteeth?
    netroxking editor the gratewatto_cobraols
  • Reply 8 of 30
    Andrew_OSUAndrew_OSU Posts: 161member, editor
    dtoub said:
    Truth is, there is no real evidence that anything more than a $50-70 Oral-B or Sonicare basic electric toothbrush is necessary. None of these features in smart toothbrushes amount to better oral health. The only features that are helpful and proven are brushing for two minutes, so the two-minute timers on the basic oral b or Sonicare toothbrushes are all that’s needed and saves folks a lot of money compared with the ones touted here. Yeah BT is often cool and maybe if that motivates someone to brush then great. But no features here are clearly beneficial for most people nor are they cost effective. 
    There are a few things here. I called around to a few denstists to get opinions for this piece, and the main thing I heard was that the biggest issue with electric toothbrushes is people don’t exactly know how to use them. They continue to scrub, and press. Both of which can really damage teeth. This “smart version” will fix that issue by having those additional sensors in there. 

    Additonally, there are different brush heads that are shaped different for different things. There is certainly evidence that the different shapes are able to excel in different areas.

    lastly, but knowing how much time is spent on each area of the mouth, it can let you know the areas you were too quick with. You can’t know that by yourself without following a stopwatch. Even the QuadPacer tech can’t monitor as closely as thing

    So a lot of these things that make this better than the basic Sonicare are assurances you’re better protecting your teeth. The basic brushing isn’t necessarily different, but all the rest is. 
    sphericcaladanianwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 30
    Andrew_OSUAndrew_OSU Posts: 161member, editor
    SiSander said:
    1. "Sonicare has a long history as being arguably the best electric toothbrush lineup out there" I am ok with paid content, but for many ppl a sonic toothbrush may not be the ideal choice, compared to oscillating, mechanical Oral B electric toothbrushes. Please correct this bold statement 2. What do tooth brushes in general have do to with Appleinsider? Now I would also like a review of the - you mentioned in the text - bluetooth-enabled toilet. And in the next years please all other electronic items that include an app connection!
    It works with the iPhone. We cover all sorts of iPhone-connected accessories. Pianos, cooking devices, etc. 

    As for the intro, the statement stands. I do say “arguably” the best. Philips says they are the number 1 recommended by dentists, Amazon has Sonicare and the number 1 best selling, reviews.com even has Sonicare as the best overall. OralB is great, but again, “arguably” Sonicare is considered tops. 

    Edit: tack on Reader’s Digest and Women’s health giving the vote to Sonicare over OralB. 

    To each his his own though! That’s why there are so many!
    edited August 19 watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 30
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,766member
    dtoub said:
    Truth is, there is no real evidence that anything more than a $50-70 Oral-B or Sonicare basic electric toothbrush is necessary. None of these features in smart toothbrushes amount to better oral health. The only features that are helpful and proven are brushing for two minutes, so the two-minute timers on the basic oral b or Sonicare toothbrushes are all that’s needed and saves folks a lot of money compared with the ones touted here. Yeah BT is often cool and maybe if that motivates someone to brush then great. But no features here are clearly beneficial for most people nor are they cost effective. 
    There are a few things here. I called around to a few denstists to get opinions for this piece, and the main thing I heard was that the biggest issue with electric toothbrushes is people don’t exactly know how to use them. They continue to scrub, and press. Both of which can really damage teeth. This “smart version” will fix that issue by having those additional sensors in there. 

    Additonally, there are different brush heads that are shaped different for different things. There is certainly evidence that the different shapes are able to excel in different areas.

    lastly, but knowing how much time is spent on each area of the mouth, it can let you know the areas you were too quick with. You can’t know that by yourself without following a stopwatch. Even the QuadPacer tech can’t monitor as closely as thing

    So a lot of these things that make this better than the basic Sonicare are assurances you’re better protecting your teeth. The basic brushing isn’t necessarily different, but all the rest is. 
    Looking forward to the day iRobot or a startup robotics company gets into at-home dentistry. There’s theoretically no reason why teeth cleaning and dental services couldn’t eventually be made completely automated (except maybe not the X-ray part), including 3-D printed tooth replacements, for the home.
    edited August 19
  • Reply 11 of 30
    Andrew_OSUAndrew_OSU Posts: 161member, editor
    dtoub said:
    Truth is, there is no real evidence that anything more than a $50-70 Oral-B or Sonicare basic electric toothbrush is necessary. None of these features in smart toothbrushes amount to better oral health. The only features that are helpful and proven are brushing for two minutes, so the two-minute timers on the basic oral b or Sonicare toothbrushes are all that’s needed and saves folks a lot of money compared with the ones touted here. Yeah BT is often cool and maybe if that motivates someone to brush then great. But no features here are clearly beneficial for most people nor are they cost effective. 
    There are a few things here. I called around to a few denstists to get opinions for this piece, and the main thing I heard was that the biggest issue with electric toothbrushes is people don’t exactly know how to use them. They continue to scrub, and press. Both of which can really damage teeth. This “smart version” will fix that issue by having those additional sensors in there. 

    Additonally, there are different brush heads that are shaped different for different things. There is certainly evidence that the different shapes are able to excel in different areas.

    lastly, but knowing how much time is spent on each area of the mouth, it can let you know the areas you were too quick with. You can’t know that by yourself without following a stopwatch. Even the QuadPacer tech can’t monitor as closely as thing

    So a lot of these things that make this better than the basic Sonicare are assurances you’re better protecting your teeth. The basic brushing isn’t necessarily different, but all the rest is. 
    Looking forward to the day iRobot or a startup robotics company gets into at-home dentistry. There’s theoretically no reason why teeth cleaning and dental services couldn’t eventually be made completely automated (except maybe not the X-ray part), including 3-D printed tooth replacements, for the home.
    Just walk into your bathroom and open up! 
    I did see an Instagram ad for the like.. 30 second toothbrush? That does them all at once!! Idk if I trust that!
    berndog
  • Reply 12 of 30
    But will it give me Blueteeth?
    Correct me if I’m wrong. But I believe that has already been trademarked for dentures that inform you via an app on your iOS device when they need cleaning, removed for the night etc. In the advanced models they will communicate from onboard pressure sensors and colorimetric light sensors with your 3D printer and make a custom fit orthotic liner each night while you sleep, for a perfect fit every day.
  • Reply 13 of 30
    roakeroake Posts: 586member
    I have this toothbrush, and it’s a good toothbrush, but I have two beefs with it.

    1. After turning the toothbrush on/off a certain number of times with a particular toothbrush head on it, the toothbrush/app will start hounding you to replace it, even if the toothbrush head is still pristine.

    2. The effing app tracks your brushing habits and sends it to SoniCare.  I called customer support with the goal of confirming this and th experience was surreal; they danced around the question in a scripted manner almost to the point of being offensive.  It wasn’t until I started ignoring their deflections and just kept repeating my question over and over that they finally confirmed it.  “It makes brushing better for everyone.”  I don’t care!  I don’t want my habits tracked.  No way to turn it off.

    I still use the toothbrush, which is very good, but I deleted the app.  Sonicare and their effing tracking of my brushing habits...
    spheric
  • Reply 14 of 30
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,766member
    roake said:
    I have this toothbrush, and it’s a good toothbrush, but I have two beefs with it.

    1. After turning the toothbrush on/off a certain number of times with a particular toothbrush head on it, the toothbrush/app will start hounding you to replace it, even if the toothbrush head is still pristine.

    2. The effing app tracks your brushing habits and sends it to SoniCare.  I called customer support with the goal of confirming this and th experience was surreal; they danced around the question in a scripted manner almost to the point of being offensive.  It wasn’t until I started ignoring their deflections and just kept repeating my question over and over that they finally confirmed it.  “It makes brushing better for everyone.”  I don’t care!  I don’t want my habits tracked.  No way to turn it off.

    I still use the toothbrush, which is very good, but I deleted the app.  Sonicare and their effing tracking of my brushing habits...
    Well, ain't that a kick in the teeth?
    edited August 19
  • Reply 15 of 30
    SiSander said:
    1. "Sonicare has a long history as being arguably the best electric toothbrush lineup out there" I am ok with paid content, but for many ppl a sonic toothbrush may not be the ideal choice, compared to oscillating, mechanical Oral B electric toothbrushes. Please correct this bold statement 2. What do tooth brushes in general have do to with Appleinsider? Now I would also like a review of the - you mentioned in the text - bluetooth-enabled toilet. And in the next years please all other electronic items that include an app connection!
    1. In various studies, Sonicare, ultrasonic toothbrush, do better job than mechanical toothbrush, oral B. It is not about the brand, it is about the technology. Some newer ultrasonic toothbrushes even claim they shake much faster than Sonicare.
    2. You can connect the toothbrush with your Mac Pro?

    this is when when technology, marketing, go too far. 

  • Reply 16 of 30
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,228administrator
    SiSander said:
    1. "Sonicare has a long history as being arguably the best electric toothbrush lineup out there" I am ok with paid content, but for many ppl a sonic toothbrush may not be the ideal choice, compared to oscillating, mechanical Oral B electric toothbrushes. Please correct this bold statement 2. What do tooth brushes in general have do to with Appleinsider? Now I would also like a review of the - you mentioned in the text - bluetooth-enabled toilet. And in the next years please all other electronic items that include an app connection!
    Not paid content, as it is not marked as such. Review the commenting guidelines. No more warnings will be given.

    What does it have to do with AppleInsider? We chose to cover it. If you don't want to read it, that's up to you.
    edited August 19 king editor the grateMacProwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 30
    macguimacgui Posts: 855member
    Sonicare's app phoning home without our knowledge is beyond the pale.

    Apple can't catch everybody, but I thought they had a policy against apps collecting data without our permission. If I had to find this out on my own, I'd certainly drop a line to Apple and put that info in a review.

    If the app has value, I suppose you could enable AirPlane mode, use the app, review it, dump it, and disable AirPlane mode. Too many hoops, and anybody who collects your location and/or data needs to make it clear that they do. An Opt In option would be nice, too.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 30
    A couple of decades ago it was popular for manufacturer's to put a digital clock in everything, even if it made no sense. This decade's version is to add bluetooth. Pass.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 30
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,040member
    So how long has brushing your tongue been a thing?
  • Reply 20 of 30
    Rayz2016 said:
    So how long has brushing your tongue been a thing?
    Actually many dentists have recommended that for a long time, decades I believe.
    SpamSandwich
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