Home

Smart toothbrush at a price

The Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart Sonic HX9924 comes with an app which tells you in real time which section of teeth you are brushing too little, too much, or have yet to brush.
The Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart Sonic HX9924 comes with an app which tells you in real time which section of teeth you are brushing too little, too much, or have yet to brush.

The Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart Sonic HX9924 might look like its predecessor - the Sonic HX9332 electric toothbrush, which I reviewed six years ago. But the smart electric toothbrush has come a long way.

It connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth through the Philips Sonicare app (available for Android and iOS). During brushing, the app tells you - in real time - which section of teeth you are brushing too little, too much, or have yet to brush. It also lets you know if you are brushing with too much pressure. After you are done, it will tell you which spots you have missed.

Like other electric toothbrushes in the DiamondClean family, the Smart Sonic has a minimalistic design which I like.

A brushed metal ring separates the ergonomic handle from the detachable brush head. There are two buttons - one to switch it on and the other to control the intensity and mode of brushing.

Below the two buttons are a series of LED lights that light up to show the different brushing modes - Clean (its standard 2min cleaning mode); White+ (2min 40sec mode for whiter teeth); Gum Health (3min 20sec mode); Deep Clean+ (2min mode); and Tongue Care (20sec mode).

It comes with four smart brush heads - Premium Plaque Defense, Premium Gum Care, Premium White+ and Tongue Care+, each corresponding to a brushing mode. When you mount the smart brush head, the Smart Sonic will automatically recognise its brushing mode.

You can also match a brush head with a different brushing mode by pressing the control button that toggles through the modes.

  • TECH SPECS

    PRICE: $399

    CONNECTIVITY: Bluetooth

    WEIGHT: 143g (toothbrush only)

  • RATING

    DESIGN: 4/5

    PERFORMANCE: 4/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 3/5

    OVERALL: 4/5

A charging glass - in the form of a rinsing glass that sits on top of an inductive charging stand - and a travel case are included. The travel case holds the handle and two brush heads and has a hidden USB cable that charges the handle when it is in the case.

If you use the app during brushing, you get real-time feedback and data. Otherwise, the app will track only how long and how often you have brushed for up to a week.

I find it a hassle to hold up my smartphone while brushing my teeth, especially in the morning when I am rushing to go to work. However, it might be more intuitive to do so when brushing before bed.

But even without the app, the Smart Sonic is smart enough to warn you that you are applying too much pressure by the flashing of the ring of light at the base. Plus, with a slight pause in the handle's vibration, the Smart Sonic prompts you to move to the next section of teeth to brush.

I feel that the standard 2min cleaning process feels much cleaner compared with my own brushing.

I think my teeth also became slightly whiter after a week of using the White+ mode with the Premium White+ smart brush head.

Perhaps the biggest downside is its price tag of $399. Add the cost of replacement brushes ($59 for a package of three) and think of how many manual toothbrushes you can buy.

• Verdict: The Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart Sonic HX9924 is a great smart electric toothbrush with useful data on the app, but you must be willing to pay the price.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 14, 2018, with the headline 'Smart toothbrush at a price'. Print Edition | Subscribe