Philips Sonicare DiamondClean 9000 Review

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The DiamondClean 9000 is a simple, attractively designed electric toothbrush, with a matt handle and shiny brush head. The brushing modes, intensity level and battery monitor are all illuminated in white.

The version I tested was black, with black accessories, and – in this colourway at least – a minimalist aesthetic that’s in sharp contrast to many high-end electric toothbrushes (with the PomaBrush a notable exception). There are two colour options, by the way: black and pink.

It comes with a charging puck that fits a two-pin bathroom socket and, as a nice extra, a charging case with a concealed USB cord. Plug it in, lay the handle in the case and it’ll charge automatically.

The brush is advertised as having a two-week battery life. In my test, it didn’t last quite that long as I often brush my teeth for more than two minutes each time. But if you’re going on a long trip, the USB capabilities in the travel case should make it easy for you to give it an extra charge while you’re away.

Performance

The DiamondClean 9000 has four brushing modes: clean, white+, gum health and deep clean+, to optimise different types of cleaning. The brush itself also has three intensity settings, which you toggle between using a button on the handle.

If you don’t adjust it to your liking, the handle will automatically select the best mode, depending on which brush head you’re using, as there are different brush heads for whitening, plaque removal and more. These aren’t included with the set.

This suggests that, to get the most from the DiamondClean 9000, you might want to invest in different brush heads. I’m not crazy about that as a concept, as when someone is paying this much, suggesting they pay even more for accessories is a bit cheeky. What I can say is that the plaque defence head included in the box is a good all-rounder.

The 9000 is a really powerful brush with excellent cleaning power. In fact, my only reservation would be that it might be a bit too much for some. People with sensitive teeth and gums would be well advised to test out lower intensity settings to find a brushing mode that’s comfortable.

The brush provides some guidance without the app. As you brush, the handle sounds to alert you to move on to the next section of your mouth. At the end of the recommended brushing period, it stops. If you press too hard, an orange warning sign lights up.

Philips makes some claims about plaque and stain removal that are pretty hard to test but what I can say is that my teeth looked and felt extremely clean while using it. In my experience, Sonicare is one of the most effective brands for cleaning and the DiamondClean 9000 is the best Sonicare brush I’ve tried.  

The app

The DiamondClean 9000 is Philips’ newest Sonicare brush, an update to the DiamondClean. As such, the 9000 has much of the same functionality as the DiamondClean but with some upgrades, including the intensity settings, which, when used in conjunction with cleaning modes give you many more brushing options.

The other key difference is that it’s app-connected.

So, if you’re going to spend a bit more and go for the DiamondClean 9000, it’s likely that an app-connected brush is important to you. But what does your money get you?

Sonicare’s app is free to download and use. It’s also simple to navigate. If you have privacy concerns, however, there’s a small catch. You have to enable data sharing with Philips about your brushing habits to unlock its full functionality. If you don’t, there’s really very little you can do with it.

The focus of the app is really on organising your oral care. Some of the information is replicated on the brush handle itself, for example battery life, mode, brush head type and intensity.

If you switch it on while brushing, it’ll tell you how long you have left to brush, when to move on to the next segment of your mouth and if you’re brushing too hard. But you can also get that information via the handle.

The app also tells you how long your brush head will last before it needs to be replaced and gives you the option to click through from the app to the Philips site to buy more, or to set up automatic re-ordering.

A number of companies are going big on automatic re-ordering for their app-connected products. Connected washing machines, for example, that portion out detergent can automatically reorder when the dispenser gets low.

So, is this kind of system good for the company or good for the consumer? In terms of replacement brush heads, there are a couple of key advantages to users. The first is that they won’t wind up using a brushing head that’s too old and splayed to work properly. The second is obviously convenience.

But it’ll likely end up being more expensive, as Amazon and similar sites often have deals on replacement brush heads so, if you shop around, you’ll probably be able to buy at a discount. That won’t happen if you just re-order via the official site. So, it’s a toss-up between cash and convenience.

The app also has a progress section, which shows your weekly brushing schedule, your average brushing time (it should be two minutes per session) and how hard you applied pressure.

So, the app is ideal if you’re lazy or forgetful with your brushing and need help scheduling your cleaning. What it won’t do is help to improve your technique.

People tend to brush their teeth the same way each time. So, there are probably parts of your mouth you neglect, while focusing too much on other spots – which can damage your gums.

Some competitor apps provide more help. Oral-B’s app (compatible with the Genius X) monitors your brushing coverage. Although I haven’t found it be entirely accurate, a bit more feedback can help with technique. Meanwhile, the app for the Colgate E1 is really accurate in monitoring where your brush is and gives very good feedback as to which teeth you’re regularly missing.

Price and availability

The RRP for the DiamondClean 9000 is £340 and that’s what you’ll pay on the Philips site right now. But buying an electric toothbrush is a complicated business as prices fluctuate a lot and there are almost always deals on. Right now, you can buy the same brush from Amazon UK for £169.99.

You also need to factor in the cost of brush replacement heads. If you buy plaque defence heads (Philips’ latest and recommended brushing head) from the Philips site, a pair will set you back £23.99.

But you can buy standard Philips heads and compatible heads for much less if you shop around. This does mean you won’t be able to use the automatic ordering feature on the app or to click through from the app and buy from the Philips site.

Verdict

This is a powerful brush with a huge number of cleaning options. It has great accessories and decent battery life. I would happily keep on using it and I think it would keep my teeth and gums in great shape.

But would I keep on using the app? Probably not.

If you want the best electric toothbrush money can buy, the Sonicare DiamondClean 9000 is a serious contender. If you’re looking for the best app around, I’d keep looking.

If you’d like to see which other brushes we recommend and how the 9000 measures up, have a look at our round-up of the best electric toothbrushes we’ve tested.

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