At SGD 599, the Philips Shaver S9000 Prestige isn’t the cheapest electric shaver in the market. Heck – it doesn’t even have the catchiest name. Launched at the 2018 IFA last August, the Series 9000 Prestige is the latest addition to the company’s line of premium shavers like the 9300 and 9700.
With new shaving heads and an all-new design language, the flagship S9000 Prestige is touted by Philips to be the best shaver they have ever made. We got our hands on the SP9860/13, which is the wireless charging variant with the full monty of accessories – minus the cleansing brush.
While Philips shavers have proven to be robust and well-built on their own, the S9000 Prestige comes in a brushed aluminium finish, complete with a very comfortable soft-touch ergonomic grip section.
This metal build is a world of difference from the plastic bodies on Philips’ other premium shavers, and really exudes the premium feel befitting a shaver of this price. The metal does not extend to cover the back side of the grip section, which is instead constructed of a pleasant soft-touch plastic material that allows better pass-through for the magnetic flux that enables the wireless charging
Being rated at IPX7, the S9000 Prestige excels at wet shaving. In fact, I’d go so far to say that all electric shavers should be certified for wet shaving as it gives a much, much better result especially in humid countries like Singapore where your face turns oily, grimy a split second out of the shower.
The headline feature on the S9000 Prestige is its compatibility with Qi wireless chargers. This might seem superfluous at first glance, but really is especially handy for wet shaving applications. Without the concomitant port at the bottom to handle regular old wired charging, the S9000 Prestige doubles down on potential water ingress points that might be a hazard to you or your shaver.
It also doubles as a perfect addition to any dresser, especially if located sufficiently close to your bedside. I’m a firm believer that you really can’t have too many wireless chargers, especially in a variety of angles. Being completely flat, I found that it was massively helpful for charging my Apple AirPods (2nd Generation) when I got home with a full day of use: the shaver would otherwise be fully charged and I could swap it out.
Shaving And Usage Experience
The Philips Shaver S9000 Prestige, as with most shavers, performs best in a wet shave. I’ve got relatively oily skin, and most days it gets difficult to shave even right after a face wash. Philips had added rings made of a material that would better glide on the skin, but these aren’t all that effective in this scenario.
I found that the recommended shaving tactic that involves round motion works especially well for wet, slick shaves. Clean, dry shaves require more incessant side-to-side motions to get rid of the more stubborn stubble.
The S9000 Prestige has three simple buttons. The power button is easy to reach and operate, but in addition to toggling on/off, the button enables and disables shaver lock with a three-second long press.
The plus (+) and minus (-) buttons increase and decrease shaving power respectively among three power modes, and can be operated even when the shaver is powered off.
The large LCD screen indicates the battery out of a full 100% in large numerals, with the shaver power level above it. Under, icons indicate shaver lock, a reminder to wash the shaving head, and a warning. At the bottom, there’s even a reminder to swap out the shaving head when it’s time.
There’s an included trimming head, but it’s really for rough use. It’s the same one you’ll get with cheaper Philips shavers, but that’s not too big a deal.
Speaking of battery life, the S9000 Prestige lasted me a two-week long trip on a single charge, with about 60% of battery left to spare. I shave daily for around two minutes at the medium power setting.
You’ll want to remove the shaving head regularly for a thorough wash, although I found it every so slightly more inconvenient without the sprung hinge found on other models. Also, it lacks an included washing contraption like the companion SmartClean system for the Series 5000 shavers – I don’t rarely-used, fancy bulky gadgets, but having such an option, or perhaps making it compatible with them, would be a pleasant touch.
As with most things, numbers and specifications only explain a small part of why some things are more enjoyable, more valuable than others.
For the Philips Shaver S9000 Prestige, its high price might deter even the most ardent tech geek or shaving fanatic. However, with its sleek, unified design, luxurious presentation, and convenient usage, the S9000 Prestige is best understood hands-on.
Setting the shaver on its charger produces a pleasant bleep as the battery percentage comes on, and a matching, elegant circular light surrounds the handle to indicate charging status. Bringing the charger up prompts the exact battery percentage to be displayed, not unlike the fancy lift-to-wake feature that makes iPhones feel so user experience-centric.
Or it might be the neat pouch it comes with, giving a finer touch to an already elegant product.
At SGD 599, the Philips Shaver S9000 Prestige might be a meaningful gift for a monumental occasion – a gift that would be used daily, and that would be an enjoyable, pleasurable at the same time.