The title says it all. I have been using this flagship Panasonic shaver for just over 1 year now.
I have always previously used flagship Braun electric shavers but decided to have a change as my last one suffered yet again from the "memory effect" of its battery which meant it could not hold its charge so the time between charging was getting less and less. This affected my last Braun.
Now just about everything electronic in our house (as well as our cars!) are Japanese and they are so because they are brilliant and reliable etc so when I saw Panasonic did shavers I became interested. Read the reviews on this and other sites and they were certainly positive. Took the plunge and bought from this website (the cheapest price I could find!) and I have not been disappointed.
This is the CLOSEST shave I have ever had. My skin is so smooth to the touch after finishing, it was noticeably better than the previous Braun. Not that noisy; nice to hold and nice charging station.
Is it perfect? Not quite. The shaver head itself is quite large so shaving the moustache area can be quite difficult but you get there in the end. Also my charging station used to clog up after just one clean cycle, so now I rinse the head under a tap first and then clean/charge/dry it in the station. The refill seems to last 6 to 7 months judging by the last time the station indicated for me to change it.
So the Japanese do it once again! Yes its expensive. But it is (probably) the best on the market and quality costs.
I have been using the Braun 9595 with clean and shave for the last several years, but it finally gave up the ghost (the trimmer just snapped off). I have been pretty happy with the 9595 (which is now called the Series-7), enough so that having lost it twice on various trips I've bought replacements for just the shaver from shavers.co.uk (great service, by the way)
I decided it was time for a change, since the new Series-7 is really just the same - and a change is as good as a rest - and with great reviews, the Panasonic looked like a good option.
I've been shaving with it for a week now.
First impressions - the head looks big! The body is slimmer than the Braun, and is nice to hold - but initially I was concerned the head would be too big.
In use, it presents no problem whatsoever and the foil cutters go nicely up to the edge allowing a good amount of control.
On charging - a bright blue light! But once charging is finished, the light goes off, so no worries about being disturbed if shaver lives in the bedroom (as mine does)
Initial shave - some others have commented that it is louder than the braun; I didn't think so at all. It certainly has a slightly higher pitched buzz (because of the faster speed I guess) but I thought volume overall was lower. To me it seems to shave closer than the Braun, and certainly picks up in the more awkward parts of my face (under my chin) more easily than the Braun.
Overall, I think shaving time is reduced and is closer. My foil was about 6 months old on the Braun when it failed, so not a new-to-new comparison but I don't believe it had degraded that much.
The cleaning system is a totally different in concept from the Braun. Instead of a pack containing an alcohol solution (Braun), there is a fairly solid block (which I imagine holds some kind of detergent) and you fill a tank with water. It does not have a fragrance like the Braun, and since it is not alcohol based takes longer to dry. The cleaning system has a fan which dries the shaver. In operation the cleaning is quieter than the Braun, but the whole process (with the drying) takes longer. Manual cleaning on the Panasonic is much easier as it has a high speed mode to assist when running the shaver under water.
Conclusion: There was nothing wrong with my Braun, but so far I think the Panasonic edges it. The cleaner build quality not quite as good maybe but as an overall package I am liking it very much!
This review is very much in two parts -- for the shaver itself it summarises as, wow!, but for the cleaning station the summary is, oh dear! Hence, like the Parson's egg, it is good in parts.
The shaver itself is quite amazing -- very fast, very close and with hardly any irritation. I have used Braun shavers for decades and thought they were the gold standard, but how wrong I was. I had always struggled to cut the straggly bits under my chin and then ended up with skin irritation. My technique with the Panasonic is a quick and up and down on one area and then quickly cover the area again at 90°, and there's virtually nothing left. The cutting head oscillates so fast that there is virtually no drag and the shaver is much quieter than my last Braun which was pretty much the same as their latest model. So this one is the new gold standard for me.
The cleaning station is a real disappointment. If I put my dirty shaver in for a clean and charge it clogs up in one go -- yes, that is one go one cartridge! The recommendation seems to be to clean the shaver before putting it in the cleaning station! Actually, this is really easy to do with a drop of shampoo rubbed over the foils and a wash under running warm water. Except for the electrical socket the shaver is completely waterproof. The shaver itself has an ultra fast running mode for cleaning which seems to work pretty well. The cleaning station then takes about three hours to run its cycle -- the benefits of this seem to be that the cutters are lubricated. The cleaning cycle takes a long time because everything is water-based and only cool air is blown through the shaver to dry it -- good for the environment. So the cleaning station is a handy place to put the shaver into, but otherwise rather ornamental.
Another time, I would just buy the shaver which is fantastic.