Philips Sonicare 3 Series Review

Philips Sonicare 3 Series Review

Editor Rating

Ease of Use:
Battery Life:
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The 3 Series Sonicare by Philips comes equipped with some engaging features as well as a very stylish travel case. This is one of Philips' average priced electric toothbrushes. It will not break your wallet, but it is also not the cheapest available product on the market.


  • 31,000 brush movement per minute
  • Travel case
  • QuadPacer & SmarTimer
  • Good battery life


  • Not the best looking
  • Not the cheapest

Philips Sonicare 3 Series Overview

Unlike the manual toothbrushes, a product such as the 3 Series sonic toothbrush by Philips, offers an effective cleaning action that gently, yet effectively reaches down between each tooth. Hence, offering the type of clean that is easy to feel and see. The sonic technology offers 31,000 brushes per minute and is gentle on teeth, implant material, veneers, dental work, and orthodontics.


What Is Inside The Box?

When unpacking the box of the Philips Sonicare 3 Series Electric Toothbrush you will find:

  • Instruction manual
  • Charging stand
  • The 3 Series toothbrush handle
  • Travel case
  • Brush head
  • Protective cap for the brush head

Sonicare 3 Series Design


The handle of the 3 Series features an easy-grip, ergonomic design with 3 intensity settings. The color of the toothbrush features attractive white, green and blue colors.

The brush-head is a cup-shaped profile designed to deliver an even and gentle clean for the gums and the teeth. The bristles feature a blue reminder that indicates when the time has come to replace your brush head, while the snap-on design makes the process of swapping the heads a breeze.

Read Customer ReviewsThe battery-charge indicators feature 2 colors that will let you know when you will need to recharge the batteries. The sleek design and attractive colors will make sure this toothbrush blends well into almost any bathroom setting. There are, of course, some exceptions, such as gold plated bathroom sinks. But, unless you are Snoop Dog, this probably does not concern you.


Other items in the box include your warranty card and discount coupons for other Sonicare products, as well as the actual brush heads. When registering your 3 Series toothbrush online, you are rewarded with an additional 6 months warranty which extends the warranty to 2 years and 6 months.

You do sign up for some email marketing, but you can quickly opt out of that. 6 extra months of warranty is good, do not miss it!

Philips Sonicare 3 Series Brush Heads


The brush head that comes with the 3 Series is named “Gum Health”. This particular head is the softest out of the brush heads available in the Sonicare range.

The “Gum Health” has the very same brush head shape as the Plaque Control head. However, their bristles differ quite a bit in terms of softness. This head decreases the brushing intensity that results in one of the gentlest ways to brush your teeth.

If you feel like this may not be the right brush head for your needs you can choose from 9 other brush heads in the snap-on range which are all sold separately. These include:

  • Sensitive
  • SimplyClean
  • AdaptiveClean
  • DiamondClean Standard
  • DiamondClean Compact
  • ProResults Gum Health
  • ProResults Plaque Control
  • InterCare Standard
  • InterCare Compact

One great aspect of the Sonicare brush-heads is that each one comes with its very own protective cap. This cap should be utilized after each use. It is especially helpful if you store the brush heads on your bathroom-counter where they are exposed to a variety of smells, moistures, and dust.

Similar to the manual toothbrushes you should be replacing the heads at least every 3 months. To assist you in knowing when to replace the head each brush features indicator bristles in a dark blue color. Over time the indicator bristles fade and will turn clear. This is when the time for a new brush head has come.

Read Customer Reviews

Sonicare 3 Series Travel Case

The Philips Sonicare 3 Series is the very first in this range to provide a handy carry case. Other electric toothbrushes in this price range do not come with a travel case.

This is a great benefit if you prefer to travel with your toothbrush when going to work or when you go on a vacation. The case itself is pretty much plain, while the white color may be prone to marks and scuff, but yet still manages to keep your toothbrush free of grime or dirt.

The interior of the case features a glossy surface which makes keeping the interior clean much easier than the exterior. The case also features 2 vents at the bottom which allow for air circulation when the case is closed. This makes the case useful in the way that it prevents mildew or mold from developing on the damp brush head.

The interior of the case allows enough room for your 3 Series handles along with adequate room for 2 brush heads. Unfortunately, Philips are well-known for their stinginess when it comes to providing brush heads (insert eye rolling emoticon). Therefore, it is no surprise that this model also comes with just the one brush head.


Read Customer Reviews

Sonicare 3 Series Battery Life

The rechargeable battery on the 3 Series is located inside the handle. Whenever you need to charge your toothbrush, you will need to place the handle onto the charging-base supplied with your toothbrush. One of the benefits of the charging base is that it can be used with most of the other Sonicare electric toothbrushes. This means if all your family members use the Sonicare toothbrushes you only need a single charger which frees up space on the counter in your bathroom.

You might think that this is inconvenient, but you only need to charge your brush once every 10 days or so.

On the bottom of the charger are 3 rubber feet which stop the charger from sliding around on the surface that you place it on. You will notice that printed on the bottom is the words 100-240V which means this charger is able to operate on voltages that occur between these ranges. This feature is known as multi-voltage which conveniently means you can probably charge your electric toothbrush in just about any location worldwide.

This is the one feature Oral-B models are yet to catch up on. And it is one of the most useful features available on any Sonicare model. At least, for people who like to travel around the world and bring their brushing companion with them.

The 3 Series features a Lithium-Ion battery and the battery charges wirelessly as soon as you attach the handle to the charger. When the handle is placed on the charge a battery-indicator will start to flash. The green flashing light stops flashing as soon as your battery is fully charged.

While using your brush you will notice a green light, which indicates that the unit is fully charged. This is when the battery is in its optimal state. Yellow light, on the other hand, indicates that the battery is low. You might start noticing that the brush movements become slower and slower. This is because the battery is almost fully exhausted. The light turns off between a low or high charge which may be one of the downfalls of this toothbrush.

Another disadvantage to the 3 Series battery is that it typically takes around 48 hours to charge the battery fully, but you are still able to use the toothbrush before it reaches a fully charged state. Some reviews from customers have stated that they have had issues with the charger not working after a period of 3 months, while others mention that they have had issues with their toothbrush holding a charge.

However, the Lithium-Ion battery runs for much longer when compared to the NiMH batteries featured in the 2 Series. Customers on review sites state that the toothbrush can last for a period of 3 weeks before the battery runs flat.

Read Customer Reviews


Philips Sonicare 3 Series Features

The Gum Health Brush Head For Gentle Gum Line

Designed for a gentle, yet effective cleaning, the Gum Health brush head is great for people with sensitive teeth or gums. It can, however, be a bit too soft for people who are used to hard brushing, or people who have used medium manual toothbrushes. The power-tuft on the top part of the brush cleans in the hard to reach places, while the radial and wavy bristle shape offer a gentle overall clean.

Three Intensity Settings

You get to choose from 3 settings for your comfort level. While the ergonomic design of the handle makes it very easy to hold. The handle and the brush heads feature easy-to-clean materials which mean your toothbrush is free from a build-up of gunk.

Smartimer And QuadPacer

The Sonicare 3 Series comes with 2 convenient timers to help you stay on track. The first feature known as the SmarTimer encourages you into brushing your teeth for 2 minutes which is a recommendation from dental professionals. The QuadPacer will beep every 30 seconds that you can use to break up the four quadrants in your mouth.

These are not unique to Sonicare. As a matter of fact, even though they are convenient and somewhat engaging, these two features should not be a deciding factor. There are much cheaper electric toothbrushes that feature the SmarTimer and QuadPacer.

How Does The 3 Series Really Brush?

The Philips Sonicare 3 Series is given an overall rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 on most review websites. Most of the reviews state that after brushing with this electric toothbrush their mouths feel as clean as it would after a professional clean from a dentist. Others have noted that the brush is powerful yet still very easy on the gum area compared to many other brands of electric toothbrushes on the market today. Reviewers are also impressed by how the toothpaste spreads quickly and plaque is instantly removed from the area of the teeth and the gums.

However, there are also a few negative reviews on the product with some customers stating that the toothbrush vibrates a lot louder when compared to other Sonicare handles as well as not vibrating strongly enough even on the highest setting. Others have gone onto state that the build and design of the toothbrush are inferior when compared to brands such as the Sonicare Easy Clean and that the toothbrush is extremely loud particularly when pressed against the teeth and the gums.

Concluding Thoughts

Based on all the features and information on the 3 Series, it can be concluded that this product caters to regular as well as sensitive brushes. While still offering the same impressive 31,000 brush strokes per minute, this model is also gentle on the gum line. Another definite benefit is that this toothbrush only costs an additional $10 more compared to the entry-level 2 Series. With this, you are offered with a far better Lithium-ion battery which holds a charge for much longer and the choice of 3 brushing speeds. It is safe to say this is a toothbrush worth investing in.

Read Customer Reviews

You also might want to check out our list of top electric toothbrushes.

Author: Peter Mayhew

Peter is a dental hygienist in the city of Chicago, IL. In his free time he likes to write blogs and product reviews on anything dental health related.

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