Braun is no stranger to “Good” shaving products. But you already know that. They nail it when it comes to entry-level and high-end electric razors. Users who’re looking to get a middle ground of sorts, convert to Phillips and Panasonic to get their fill.
Personally, I think Braun has a mid-range maverick of its own. Anyone who has even a tiny bit of experience with the series 5 would say the same. While reviewing every razor belonging to the series is tempting, I’ll restrain myself to Braun Series 5 5190 for this article.
This is not a bad deal if you ask me. You’re getting a “Smooth” foil shaver that bridges the gap between the entry-level, beginner-friendly products and more high-end stuff from the brand. Also, if you’re considering performance, there’s no significant trade-off or downside.
With that said, let’s get into the “Meat” of the article.
Braun Series 5 5190cc Specification
|Features||Braun Series 5 5190cc|
|Wet & Dry||Yes|
|Clean & Charge||Yes|
|Run time||50 min|
What Do You Get as Part of the Package?
With the price hovering between $140 – $160, this is one product that packs the punch when it comes to performance and maintenance. I got the “Full” Braun treatment with the package when it arrived. What I got was, of course, the foil shaver. A piece of art, if I may say so.
Then, there’s the cleaning/charging station. It’s sleek and functional. Don’t worry about the cleaning liquid. There’s a cartridge inside that takes care of the job for a month or so at least (depending on how often you use the stuff). The performance according to me is great as you’ll know soon enough.
If the liquid and the cleaning station aren’t enough, there’s a cleaning brush included as well. This brush is Braun’s way of going the extra mile and taking care of our hair strands.
Of course, there’s a charging cord designed to feed the battery of this sleek shaver. This thing has decent sleeves to ensure there aren’t any electricity leakage and short circuits while the battery is feeding on some juice. “Job neatly done,” I must say.
To round everything up, there’s a protective cap and a manual in place. Braun 5190cc is designed for more “Experienced” people than newbies. Even then, something to show us the ropes is greatly appreciated.
I’d have liked a box of lubricants with this one just to keep the blades in top condition. But… the makers decided against it. To be honest, this is less of a tradeoff and more of a price adjustment.
How Does the Build Quality Stack Up to the Challenge?
As with Series 7 and 9, the series 5 is made in Germany (duh). German Shavers, whether manual or electric, have a reputation of being sleek and sturdy. Braun 5190 is no exception.
Being a mid-range product, this thing comes with a hard-plastic body. You have a sturdy product with a sleek look. I had to choose between Matte and Glossy finishes. I ended up choosing Matte over glossy as it goes well with other shavers that I have in my inventory.
I wouldn’t deny that the black and red color schemes combined look classy. You’ll find a rubberized grip that covers the sides of this product. This is a wet/dry shaver (no surprises there). I expected the boys to compensate with a textured, long grip to complement wet shaving.
As it turns out, Braun didn’t leave any room for complaints.
In fact, the shaver I have is quite lengthy. People with large hands like me would find it rather easy to handle. But there are others who might consider this beefy piece of tech to be overwhelming. In Braun’s defense, the 5190cc is actually smaller than the series 9 products.
One good side about the product in question is that it’s lightweight and doesn’t feel imbalanced when you’re shaving with it.
It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Braun and its products. However, there’s no hiding the fact that the rubber grip will eventually show some remnants of smudges and signs of our fingertips. With regular maintenance, this small inconvenience can be easily dealt with.
How’s the Shaving Head That Braun Used?
This is one area the guys hardly compromise with regardless of any series. You have a head that’s shiny and functional. There’s a lock on one side of the product. This tiny mechanism helps the shaver head to snap quickly into place. You’ll hear a loud “Click” as it locks on.
People can clean this thing manually. You’d need the head to detach quickly for that to happen and it does. Again, there’s a loud “Click” when it pops out.
This is a foil shaver we’re talking about. I have three cutting elements to work with here. Braun 5190cc is known for its maneuverability. I’d go as far as saying, “This thing adapts to your contours better and moves around more swiftly than Panasonic 5.”
I’d keep this one ahead of some of the rotary shavers. Rotary shavers run the risk of pulling on your beard and skin while you go about your shaving routine. That’s because the blades rotate. Foil shaving head vibrates instead. That’s why the motion is more comforting and easier on our faces.
The Technology Behind It All!
Braun 5190cc boasts what the brand names “AutoSensing Motor.” What this does is it “Reads” (that’s how I’d put it) our beards. After you turn it on with a button that is.
Depending on the beard length, the 5190cc dishes out an appropriate treatment. I get a “Close” shave with it (yes, even with a dense “4-day” beard). So, no complaints there.
The Series 5 uses a 10000 CPM motor. Yes, that’s the reason the 5190 is a good choice if you have sensitive skin. It’s forgiving and easy on your skin pores compared to the Panasonic ARC 4. Believe me, faster is not always a better alternative for us who need a bit of care.
Now, to say this motor does it all, would be an understatement. I have to sing praises of the 8-direction movement of the shaving head as well. This aids the product in comforting us while shaving. There ARE no snags or awkward pulling of the beard while it does its job.
There’s a catch to all this.
The motor is noisy while it operates. The noise is not something people will ignore; I can give you this much. However, it’ll not wake your neighbors up early morning or in middle of the night.
A Thing or Two about the Blades
Okay, brace yourselves. This is the point where I give you some numbers and some technical mumbo-jumbo. I’ll do my best to simplify these numbers so that laymen like us have a better view of the situation regarding the blades that do the cutting and trimming for the device.
I already told you guys, “Braun has three cutting elements.” Two of these are SensoFoil blades. The one in the middle is a tiny trimmer. The two blades are curved. These are flexible along with the shaving head. You twist the head and they move inward.
Thanks to this design, the blades utilize 899 apertures while shaving. Layman’s note: the greater the number here, the sharper your blades are.
The level of sharpness isn’t wasted on the blades. People can shave as close as within .058mm distance from their skins. Unless you have super-sensitive hands, you won’t be able to feel a grain of hair when measuring the performance. This is a topic for the latter part of the review.
Trimmers Deserve a Separate Section of Their Own
Yes, this is the section where I rant about the trimmers we get to use. Braun prides itself as it uses ActiLift trimmer (you know, the tiny trimmer sandwiched in the middle of two blades).
This little element captures small hair strands that lay flat on our faces and in diverse, “Hard-to-Reach” locations. However, I needed to tilt the trimmer ever so slightly to get to certain hair strands. This is thanks to the fact that it sits in the middle of two blades.
Besides that, we have a separate trimmer that slides out when you push a button at the back of the machine. Push it again and the curved blade retracts back.
I use this frequently to trim my sideburns and whiskers. There are no major qualms with this attachment. Being the nitpicky guy, I’d have liked this to be a bit wider than it is.
My Experience with the LED Display and Controls
You get what you pay for in case of the 5190cc. The control buttons onboard aren’t fancy. But don’t misjudge them. They do the maximum with minimum buttons. For example, you’d find the on/off switch (or button) on the body. There’s no “Travel Lock” button.
Instead, the makers instructed people to hold the on/off button for three seconds. This activates “Travel Lock.” You get the protection all the same without wasting extra space and ruining your grip.
I’d keep Braun Series 5 (specifically this machine), ahead of the curve when discussing the LED. Yes, the LED display is definite improvement when you compare it with series 7. Well, the LED there was oddly located. Add to the fact that it’s dim. I couldn’t make out the details of what it showed.
Thankfully, Braun reconsidered and went with a brand-new LED attachment with 5190cc. This thing is clearer in terms of intensity. This LED display keeps you updated with the battery life. It flashes whenever the device needs cleaning as well.
My Notes on Power, Battery, and Runtime
Braun 5190cc features a Li-On battery that boasts 50 minutes of cordless runtime. When you compare it to the 5090 (it’s older brother), there’s a 5-minute improvement.
Use the machine well enough and it’ll most probably offer you few extra minutes of shaving beyond the advertised runtime. It certainly did in my case.
Braun telegraphs the message when your device needs charging. Don’t worry. I’m not talking about literal telegraphs (although, that’d be cool as well). The LED display we spoke of earlier, shows three bars to indicate the battery status. The machine comes with a “Low Charge Indicator” as well.
Another thing to note is you can’t use it with the power cord connected to the outlet for charging.
People could use 5090cc while charging. But that thing is for dry shaving only. I got the best of both worlds as the newer model (5190cc) is made for wet and dry shaving. The corded use is one tradeoff I’ll make any time and day of the week.
Also, the power adapter adapts. I mean, users can put it to use while vacationing in any part of the world. This is a dual-voltage charging station we’re talking about. It supports 110v as well as 240v.
Cleaning and Maintenance: How Stuff Works?
Okay, here’s the deal: Braun’s 5190cc comes along with a cleaning/charging station. Thus, one can clean and do maintenance of the razor automatically. If you’re old-school and want to have the total command over machines you use, feel free to go “Manual” on this device.
Going “Manual” and Cleaning the Machine
Be careful when going “Manual” on this machine. I had quite the trouble the first time. Eventually, I got my way. I had to take the shaving head apart and clean the hair strands inside. This takes out most of the strands and you’re left with a few stingy ones. Use the brush to flush them out.
I didn’t use the brush on the foil system blades. Instead, I went for a few drops of soap. The soap drops got inside the blade mechanism. Then, I decided to let the shaver run for a few minutes.
At the very end, I did a bit of rinsing to get the soap-water out of the system. Of course, it took most of the debris with it. Now, be generous about the rinsing. The longer you do the better it is for you.
Speaking from experience, manual cleaning doesn’t do all that good when it comes to Braun Series 5 (cue: the intricate design). There’ll always be some debris left in the system. Over time, it builds up and bears an impact on the motor. It’s best to leave the cleaning to the station.
Going Automatic with the Cleaning
This is where the fun lies, to be honest. There’s a designated, minimalist cleaning station that takes care of the job while we sit back and give it some time. As with any other cleaning docks, you’ll have an alcohol-based solvent that cleanses the machine. All you have to do is press the on/off button.
Do this and the dock will analyze the level of hygiene Braun 5190cc stands at. Just so you know, the status varies depending on the time and level of usage. I’d not say it’s “Super Accurate.” But it does the job. Then, it’ll select the level of cleaning your machine needs.
Braun leaves nothing to chance. Users will be able to see the level of cleaning intensity as well. There’s a “Droplet” sign on your cleaning pod. One droplet lights up for low, two droplets for normal, and three droplets for an intense cleaning session.
After the “Cleaning” part, the liquid lubricates the foil blades. The device dried in three hours after cleaning. Yes, even by Braun’s standards. However, alcohol is flammable. I had to be extra careful while using the cartridge and installing a new variant after the previous cartridge depleted.
Another thing to note is the fact that Alcohol is a fast-drying solvent. Users will have to buy the cartridge frequently to keep the performance to the desired level.
To get the most out of my cleaning liquid, I have a few tips and tricks of my own. What I do is I manually clean the cassette (the alternative name for the shaver head). This saves me some liquid and gets “Most” hair strands out of the system. I buy a new one every two months.
For me, the entire cleaning session takes about 10 minutes. Go completely automatic and it shouldn’t take you more than three minutes. Then again, be prepared to spend some extra cash on the liquid.
Evaluating the “Overall” Performance of the Machine
I’d say Braun Series 5 is good with beards and with sensitive skins. Sure, it lacks the dedicated “Sensitive Skin” mode like that of series 7 or 9. But still, you’ll get a solid performance out of it.
I have a decent beard growth and have a 5-o’clock shadow sooner than most people (probably). Even then, I could shave my “Monday” beard off in a reasonable time. The 5190cc gives me a close-enough shave. I’m not too crazy about getting the “Closest” one possible.
If, you are… go for the upper echelon Braun or Phillips shavers. Sure, there’s Panasonic 4 products… but they’ll demand more from your wallet than this machine does.
I could lock the cassette into several positions. This turned out to be a boon for me. I didn’t have to move the machine too much when shaving right under my nose.
One word of advice: Lock it to position one or five as it’d result in only one foil doing the shaving instead of all three. The trimmer in the middle and one of the foils will retract. This is a big deal. You’ll be able to shave more precisely.
Yes, it’ll take time to shave this way but people won’t feel the grainy texture when they run their fingers against their cheeks, throat or lips.
To make things even sweeter and more comfortable, I use a pre-shave lotion. This doesn’t cause my skin to be lumpy and the shaver to drag over it when I’m going fast.
Things I Liked about the Shaver
- I loved how the guys maintained the level of performance with this as well as the price.
- The LED display is brighter and is more detailed than some of the pricier models of Braun.
- The motor does a good job of sensing our skin patterns and adapting accordingly.
- The cleaning station does a “Reasonable” job at getting the debris out of the system.
- The battery life I got was decent along with superior blades. Foil shavers like this are great at comforting the face as well.
Things I Didn’t Like about the Shaver
- I have my beef with the motor as it’s noisy and vibrates noticeably. Too much for my liking.
- The cleaning fluid runs out pretty quickly and replacing it is a chore if you ask me.
- I’d have liked the trimmer attachment to be a bit straighter rather than being curved.
Let’s Finish the Braun Series 5 5190 Review
To cap it all off, I’d say this device here is the perfect “Mid-Range” product if there ever was one. Yes, Panasonic’s Arc 4 comes close. But then, you have to consider the comfort level Braun offers.
For me, I’d not compromise on comfort for the end of the world. Be as it may with a slower and noisier motor… the 5190cc is the ideal machine that suits my liking. Yes, there’s the issue of a travel cap instead of a pouch. Then again, I don’t move around much.
I’m a fan of how thorough the brand is in terms of foil shavers and the cleaning. Yes, the blades don’t last long (if you shave every other day). Again, the replacements are easy to find and even easier to set up. This is a good deal to have at the price range.
Of course, people have their own preferences when it comes to electric shavers. I’m very much curious to know which one worked for you. Also, do let me know if something ticked you off when using this shaving machine. I’ll be sure to include your takes in my review as well.