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Philips Norelco 9700 vs 9800: Which Electric Shaver Is Better?

Philips has created a lot of impressive shavers and razors throughout the years. If you’ve been grooming your beard for quite a while, you’ve probably considered buying a unit from the brand.

Two of the most popular shavers from Philips are Norelco 9700 and 9800. Belonging to Philips’ 9000 series, these two models have features that make shaving easier and faster.

If you are torn between the two, then this Norelco 9700 vs 9800 comparison review can help you decide.

Here’s a quick look at the two models

FeaturesNorelco 9700
Norelco 9800
CleaningSmartClean PlusSmartClean Plus
Speed Settings33
V-Track Blade Pro
V-Track Blade
Running Time
60 minutes
50 minutes
Charging Time
1 hour
1 hour
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Philips Norelco 9700 Review

Norelco 9700 is deemed as Philip’s most advanced shaver to date. It’s packed with interesting features that can make shaving fast and easy for you.

This model is designed with three shaving heads that work separately. Each of them can move in 8 different directions which enables the shaver to follow the contours of your face. It also allows the shaver to cut 20% more hair in a single pass than most standard electric shavers.

Looking closely, you’ll find V-Track precision blades inside each head. These blades provide a closer and more comfortable shave without pulling or tugging the skin. Also, the blades self-sharpen. They won’t dull up or lose their sharpness easily.

Philips Norelco 9700

Norelco 9700 can be used wet or dry. No matter how you use it, its shave system can capture hair of varying lengths.

Now, even though the shaver can be used wet or in the shower, you won’t need to wash it under running water after use. The unit comes with a SmartClean base that charges, cleans, and lubricates the shaver to ensure that all of its parts are running smoothly.

This base can take up a bit of space in your counter so be prepared to clear out some of your things there. Also, it needs to be placed near an outlet which can limit your options on where to store it.

Once it’s done cleaning, the unit will switch to its active drying mode and will let you know once it’s fully charged.

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To help you keep track of all those processes, the shaver comes with a multi-progress indicator. It’ll let you know which step your shaver is in the process.

Apart from that, the shaver’s digital user interface can also let you see what setting it’s currently on, the level of its battery, and when you need to replace its heads.

Speaking of battery, this model relies on a Lithium-ion battery. Charging it for 1 full hour enables the battery to deliver 60 minutes of shaving. If you are in a hurry, you can plug the unit for 5 minutes and you’ll get enough power for a single full shave.

The shaver has a really nice design. It doesn’t look too flashy or complicated. It has this rubber grip which is great for maneuvering the shaver at different angles. Plus, it makes the unit comfortable to hold as well.

Norelco 9700 comes with its own premium travel bag. It’s a big help for when you need to bring your shaver on a holiday trip or for quick touch-ups before attending an important event.

Apart from keeping your shaver secure, the travel case also has a ventilation chamber which helps dry the unit while you’re on the go. This can save you a lot of time in the morning.

On top of all those features, you’ll also get a SmartClick precision trimmer with this model. This trimmer offers maximum control when grooming your mustache or beard.

Philips Norelco 9800 Review

Norelco 9800 is a powerful shaver packed with features to help you achieve a smooth shave without any nicks or cuts.It’s fitted with an efficient V-track blade system.

Much like Norelco 9700, the blades you get with this model are self-sharpening. They will last for a long time before you need to replace them.

This electric shaver is designed with ContourDetect Technology which enables it to reach and trim every area you focus it on. This ensures a really close and smooth shave.

Norelco 9800 is waterproof so you can use it with a shaving foam or gel. You can use it dry, too.

Philips Norelco 9800

And if you decide to use it while in the user, you won’t have to worry about the device slipping off of your hands. It has a rubber grip and an ergonomic design to keep you in control.

However, like most wet/dry shavers, you can’t use the unit while plugged in. You can think of it as a safety feature of the shaver.

Norelco 9800 comes with different indicators which can let you know the battery level of the unit.  Additionally, it can also let you know the device’s current setting.

Speaking of its settings, there are three options you can choose from- sensitive, normal, and fast. You can select your desired setting by pressing the buttons on the sides.

As for running time, its rechargeable Lithium-ion battery can last for about 50 minutes after being charged for a full hour.

When it comes to cleaning, you might feel a bit disappointed with this one. Unlike the 9700, this model doesn’t come with a cleaning base. It doesn’t even come with a cleaning brush. If you want to clean the unit, you’ll have to wash it under running tap water.

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Norelco 9700 vs 9800: The Similarities

Reading the brief reviews above, you probably noticed several similarities. That’s not really surprising, given that the two products are part of Philip’s 9000 series.

However, in case you missed those similarities, here’s a quick list to guide you:

  • Wet/Dry Shaving

Both Norelco 9700 and 9800 can be used for wet and dry shaving. So, whether you prefer to use shaving creams and lotions, you won’t have issues with the two shavers.

  • Cordless Use

Because Norelco 9800 and 9700 are designed for both wet and dry shaving, they won’t work when plugged in for safety purposes. Their cordless design gives you a lot of freedom when shaving in angles.

  • Digital Display

Both models can show how much battery power is left and they are able to show the exact percentage. Compared with other models which use bars to represent battery life, these two shavers are more precise.

  • Follows the Contours of the Face

Electric shavers that move in a linear motion can make it difficult to get a close shave along the contours of the face. If you are aiming for a really smooth shave, that can be an issue.

Thankfully, Norelco 9700 and 9800 have heads that are capable of moving in different directions. This feature enables both units to effectively shave and trim every area they are focused on.

  • Rubber Grip

The two models feature a rubber grip which is great for two things: secure grip and comfort when in use.

  • Battery Type

Norelco 9700 and 9800 rely on Lithium-ion batteries for power. This battery type is compact and capable of storing a good amount of energy.

  • Carrying case

The two models come with a carrying case which you can use to keep them safe while traveling.

  • Blades

Norelco 9700 and 9800 have self-sharpening blades. You can expect those blades to deliver the same performance even after a few months to a year.

Norelco 9700 vs 9800: The Differences

While Norelco 9800 and 9700 almost have the same set of features, they still have differences that set them apart. Below is a quick list of their differences:

  • Weight

Norelco 9700 weights 43.2 oz while 9800 weighs 30.4 oz. Although their difference in weight isn’t that much, it can still affect your shaving session, particularly if it takes longer than usual.

  • Running Time

Norelco 9800 can work for 50 minutes if charged for a full hour. Norelco 9700, on the other hand, can work for 60 minutes on a single full charge. While the difference isn’t that great, having 10 minutes of extra power allows you to shave more areas on your face.

  • Cleaning Base

This is probably the biggest difference between the two models.

With 9700, you’ll get a cleaning base that can clean, charge, and lubricate your unit. This eliminates the need to manually wash your shaver under running water.

Norelco 9800, on the other hand, doesn’t come with a cleaning base or even a cleaning brush. If you need to clean this shaver, you’ll have to place it under running water.

Conclusion & Recommendation

Deciding between Philips Norelco 9800 and 9700 shouldn’t be that hard. After reading this comparison review, you should be able to come up with a decision.

Philips Norelco 9700 is definitely a better choice.

While 9700 and 9800 aren’t that different in terms of features and performance, 9700’s SmartClean Pro makes it stand out than the other model. It makes cleaning easier and less complicated, particularly for people who don’t have a lot of spare time to manually clean their shavers. Just make sure to check the cleaning fluid inside the cleaner before use.

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