Braun’s world of electric shavers takes some navigating. Its range runs from the affordable Series 1, with 6.5k cuts per minute and a fixed one-foil head, through to the pricey Series 9 Pro, with 40k cuts per minutes and five shaving elements in a 40-degree flexible head.
The Series 9 Pro retails for nearly £259.99/$299.99 if you want it with the power case – and it’s more with the SmartCare Centre as well.
The Series 7 is a bit more affordable, especially now that it’s selling for less than its RRP. It gives you 24k cuts per minute, and three shaving elements in a 360-degree adaptive head system. It’s a popular series as it has good adaptability technology without the expensive bells and whistles.
Within the Series 7 range, you’ll see a number of different model numbers. The difference between them is the accessories they come with – you’ll get the same Series 7 shaver in each one. You can browse them all at Braun.
We’re reviewing the Series 7 70-N7200cc, which comes with the SmartCare Centre, precision trimmer and travel pouch.
In the box, there’s a Series 7 shaver, a black charger with 119cm cable and integral shaver plug, the SmartCare Centre, a Clean & Renew cleaning cartridge, a zip-up moulded travel case, a tiny cleaning brush, a shaver manual, a cleaning station manual, and a precision trimmer attachment.
Design and build
Three flexible blades
Light at 185g
The shaver itself is a nice-looking bit of kit. About 16.5cm long, including the head, it’s black plastic with rubberised sides for grip and a slightly ergonomic curve to the sides and back. The power button pad on the front is also rubberised and fits nicely to the thumb, so there’s good hand hold overall. It’s also light at 185g.
The shaving head unit itself is a substantial 6cm by 3.5cm. It has three flexible blades – one middle trimmer between two sensor foils – and the head itself has a 360-degree “nudge” flexibility of about 5mm, so facial contact, particularly around the chin and jaw, is good.
The foil head comes off by nipping the front and back of the shaver head, and you just click the precision trimmer onto the pins, or vice-versa.
You charge the shaver with the supplied adapter. Be aware, however, that the integral shaver plug will stand about 5cm proud of a shaver power socket and, if you need an adapter to plug it into a typical British three-pin mains socket, it will stand about 9.5cm proud in total.
You also use the supplied adapter to plug in the SmartCare Centre, which is a black plastic cleaning and charging station for the shaver. It’s a substantial unit: 23cm tall with a base diameter of 12cm, a footprint similar to a largish windowsill plant pot.
There’s a big button at the back above the charging socket, which spring releases the base so you can install the Clean & Renew cartridge. The power button is right at the top of the SmartCare Centre’s “stalk”.
You can fit the shaver, the precision trimmer, and the small brush into the travel case, but nothing else.
Features and performance
One hour charging time, quick charge option
50 minutes shaving time
It takes about an hour to fully charge the shaver, and this will give you fifty minutes’ shaving time. You can also “quick charge” for five minutes to give the shaver enough of a boost for a single shave.
An LED screen on the front of the shaver displays the battery level on an illuminated bar, along with indicators to show the travel lock, whether the head needs replacing or the shaver needs cleaning, and whether the shaver is plugged in properly.
The Series 7 can be used wet or dry.
Our first test was a dry shave on 3mm, coarse, slightly curly facial hair. The shave was easy with no nip. Obviously, it wasn’t as close as a wet razor shave, but it was convenient and quick with no mess.
The shaver followed facial contours well, and the 7cm-ish distance between the fingertips and the blades’ contact with the face, along with the 360-degree adaptive head, allowed for a kind of fluidity to the shaving motion that was comfortable on the wrist. In some awkward spots, the user needed to go over the skin twice to pick up odd hairs, mainly just under the jaw.
Overall, the result was as close as we think you can get with an electric shaver. It wasn’t perfectly smooth but there was no visible shadow.
Our second test subject has grey coarse straight facial hair, roughly around 2mm. With a good sixty years of shaving experience, he was impressed with the speed of removal, the agility of motion, and the after-skin feel.
Using the shaver wet took more time to catch all the hairs, probably because wet hair can stick to the skin. Again, the closeness was good, and there were no complaints about the skin finish.
The shaver operational sound, we reckon, was roughly between 70dB to 75 dB – about typical for an electric shaver.
Needs replacement cartridges
Four-minute cleaning time
The SmartCare Centre is an interesting gadget but bear in mind that it’s large and bulky. You’ll need a decent amount of space to store it in your bathroom, which not everyone has.
When the shaver has been submerged and the Centre switched on, it goes through cycles of the cleaning fluid level rising and falling around the shaver head while the shaver starts and stops operating. All in all, the process takes about four minutes.
However, it’s not entirely clear when it’s finished. When we finally removed the shaver, there was a strong, not unpleasant smell of isopropyl alcohol and lemon.
Braun doesn’t specify how many cleans you’ll get from a Clean & Renew cartridge, only that the light around the SmartCare Centre power button will turn yellow when the level is low and red when it needs replacing. If you’re in the UK, the cost of replacement cartridges is currently £14.99 for a pack of three on Amazon. If you’re in the US, it’s $27.19.
Price and range
As we noted, the Series 7 comes with different accessory bundles, which you can check out at Braun. We tested the 70-N7200cc with the precision trimmer attachment (it’s $169.99 in the US).
If you require a beard trimmer attachment or a stubble beard attachment, go for the 70-B7850cc (currently $149.99 in the US); you’ll still get the SmartCare Centre and the zip-up travel case.
One of the bundles is usually on sale, either from Braun or Amazon, so it’s worth having a look at the full range to get the best deal.
It’s also worth noting the Series 7 comes with a two-year warranty and up to ten years’ repair service. You can also buy additional grooming attachments to fit the shaver.
The Braun Series 7 is a terrific electric shaver. Okay, it is still a bit pricey, but there are great deals if you’re willing to shop around.
It charges quickly, shaves effectively, and zips up into a handy and neat travel case that would slip easily into a messenger or overnight bag. It’s easy and reliable for that quick tidy-up, on-the-go situation where you don’t have time to get out your shaving brush and foam up.
We like it.
If you’d like to have a look at more shaving tools, have a look at our round-ups of the best electric shavers and best beard trimmers.
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