- 1 cleaning mode
- Long battery life
- Built in timer
- Travel case included
- No pressure sensor to alert you when brushing too hard
- Better value options exist (see other choices)
The 3 BIG Questions about the Philips Sonicare 3 Series
If you are short of time, the answers to the following 3 questions should let you know all you need to about the Sonicare 3 Series. If we have missed something, let us know in the comments.
If you want more detail, you can read our full Philips Sonicare 3 series review further down the page.
|Philips Sonicare 3 Series (HX6631/13)||291 Reviews||£39.98||View on Amazon|
1. Is there anything drastically wrong with this toothbrush?
A fantastic electric toothbrush, there is really little to fault here, what shortcomings there are, are really personal niggles. Sonicare know how to make a great electric toothbrush and the 3 Series is a great example of what is possible.
What features it has are functional with not a lot of unnecessary elements to it.
You do need to be a little bit careful though and make sure you pick this up at a favourable price.
2. Which other brushes should I consider?
I like the 3 Series, but the EasyClean HX6511/50 offers a little less, but is a cheaper option.
The ProtectiveClean 4300 is typically a little more expensive, but it is a newer model with some good features including a pressure sensor and a brush head replacement reminder.
We run through some more options in our toothbrush buyer’s guide.
3. Where is the best place to buy the Sonicare 3 Series?
The availability of the Sonicare 3 Series depends on which of the 3 variants you opt for.
At the time of writing, by quite some distance, the 3 Series is cheapest at Amazon.
You might have a preference to shop elsewhere, this is of course fine, but just be aware you may well be paying a premium.
Why should you listen to us?
Electric Teeth is an independent organisation with a mission to simplify dental health.
Our team is a mixture of consumers and dental professionals.
We strive to create honest, informative content, telling you the facts, good or bad.
We are not sponsored by big brands or healthcare companies. Our site is funded by affiliate revenue and ads, but we only recommend products that we have tested and truly believe to be worth your money.
Why not watch this short video to find out all about us?
And now for a bit more detail….
The Series 3 electric toothbrush from Sonicare builds on 2 Series that comes before it, addresses some potential shortcomings whilst adding some extra value to the package.
A great brush it is, more than capable of meeting the expectations most of us have of an electric toothbrush, but it starts to verge into a dangerous territory of more premium brushes that offer more and in turn have a higher ticket price.
Variants of this brush
It would be simple to sell just one model of the 3 Series, but in the interest of trying to meet buyers demands and needs, Sonicare have 3 different versions of this brush.
Technically, the actual brush handle itself and all the wizardry inside is the same, but the colours and box contents differs.
The 3 versions and their differences are:
- 3 Series Gum Health
- 1 x ProResults gum health standard brush head
- Arctic Mist coloured handle
- Model number HX6631/13
- 3 Series DiamondClean
- 2 x DiamondClean standard brush heads
- Travel case
- Smoke White coloured handle
- Model number HX6632/24
- 3 Series InterCare
- 2 x InterCare standard brush heads
- Travel case
- Air Superiority Blue coloured handle
- Model number HX6632/25
What’s in the box
The brush heads included and the travel cases in the box will vary depending on the variant you opt for.
- Philips Sonicare 3 Series electric toothbrush
- Charging station
- Standard brush head
- Removes up to seven times more plaque than a manual toothbrush
- Sonic technology cleans with up to 31,000 brush strokes per minute
- 3 intensity settings
- Easy-start eases you into the Sonicare experience
- Smartimer and quadpacer
- Up to three weeks of power from one charge
- Two-year warranty
Pros & Cons
What are the benefits and drawbacks of the Sonicare 3 Series electric toothbrush?
- Clean – It offers up a really good clean that can deliver up to 7x more effective plaque removal (subject to brush head) and this is made more enjoyable with the adjustable pressure settings.
- Battery life – With up to 3 weeks battery life it sets the bar high and exceeds almost all other brushes available today.
- Timer – Built in quadpacer and 2 minute timer.
- Features – Automatic power off and the easy-start programme are premium features.
- Travel case – Protect the brush heads and handle when on the move, if you get one with a case.
- Pressure sensor – No pressure sensor to alert you when brushing too hard.
- Price – Variance in pricing, potentially better value options.
Design, Usability, Clean & General Use
Unconventional the design of the Series 3 is not.
It has a very typical, clinical look to it. A cylindrical shaped brush handle with detachable brush head.
Whilst the handle does vary in the colour options available, that too influences the box contents. It is not like you can chose between a White, Black, Pink, Green or Red brush handle.
It is far from a big issue, the colour combinations on offer are fairly universally appealing and inoffensive but it is not the most appealing for the design and fashion conscious. To be fair other models or brands do not offer much more in the way of choice.
The prominent colour is White as you might expect, with the colour accent being the colour of an inset within the front of the brush, in our model the Air Superiority Blue colour or as I call it, Green. Located pretty much halfway down the front of the brush handle, inside this is the power button which is more of a Mint Green and then 3 LED’s that relate to the brushing intensity.
Above the panel is the Philips Sonicare logo in a grey text and below it, the battery indicator bar. The indicator lights up different colours based on the condition. More about this and the 3 week battery life, in the battery section of this review.
The smooth touch White plastic offers a certain level of grip, but the back of the handle does have a series of raised dots to which the fingers naturally fall, offering a good resistance to allow the brush to be gripped, even when wet.
Oral-B’s brushes might be a little bit weaker on the battery front, but the likes of the Pro 2 2000 are a bit slimmer in hand and the rubber grip in my mind, is nice to the touch.
On the bottom of the brush handle is a Grey base plate which accents the White body slightly.
In the centre is a small recess into which the charging prong found on the charging stand fits.
The brush will stand upright when not on the stand.
At the top of the brush handle is the metal shaft that is connected to the motor inside the brush handle. It is to this that the interchangeable brush heads clip onto.
Provided in the box is 1 or 2 brush heads subject to the variant you chose.
There are a range of different brush head styles on offer from Sonicare, you can pick these up in varying pack sizes as well as choosing between standard or compact sized heads.
Compact heads can be particularly useful for children or reaching the very back of the mouth if you are restricted for space.
All the heads offer different benefits, but all provide a better clean normally than a manual brush. You can find out what these differences are by reading our Philips Sonicare Heads: The Ultimate Guide.
Studies have found you can remove up to 7x more plaque at the gumline than a manual brush, when using the ProResults Gum health brush head, which is a significant improvement.
You should replace the brush head every 3 months, for the sake of your teeth and oral health. If you notice that the bristles have frayed or split then you should do it sooner.
It is easy to forget when you changed the brush head last, so to help, the heads themselves have something called indicator bristles. Blue in colour over approximately 3 months the bristles fade to a pale Blue almost White colour. Take a look at these and if they are pale it is likely time to replace that head.
With the brush head fitted, press the single power button to turn the brush on. The button itself has a resistance and its not easily activated, but its not too stiff that the young or old will struggle to use it.
The brush begins in the one and only mode available, ‘Clean’.
As soon as the brush is powered on the handle begins timing the clean.
You know you should brush for 2 minutes, so the handle keeps track of this and will at the end of the 2 minutes automatically turns the brush off for your convenience and to signal the time is up.
As part of this timer though there is a much desired quadpacer.
The quadpacer kicks in at 30 second intervals. A slight pause in the motor causes the bristles to stop moving and the sound of the brush to change. This is an alert to move the brush from one quadrant to another.
There are 4 quadrants to the mouth, top right, top left, bottom right and bottom left. The idea is you spend 30 seconds cleaning each quadrant to give a roughly equal clean around the mouth over a 2 minute time period.
I believe this is massively underrated and can really help you improve how good you are at cleaning your teeth.
The automatic power off is a nice touch and helps conserve battery life, to ensure it can achieve the 2 weeks usage time.
An extra touch on the 3 Series compared to the 2 Series is the addition of intensities.
You can choose from Low, Medium or High.
As you might expect the higher the intensity the more movements per minute the brush head makes.
The Sonicare 3 Series delivery up to 31,000 movements per minute at full power.
If you have sensitive or sore teeth and gums you might find reducing the intensity will be more enjoyable to you. It is not essential to use it on full power because the brush will still help you clean more effectively. However, you should im if you can to operate on full power.
The beauty here is that you have the choice.
Within the Green panel on the front of the brush are 3 LED’s, 1 for each intensity.
Power the brush on and then press the button again to change the intensity. The LED’s will change accordingly. Keep pressing to change the intensity to that you desire. Press and hold to turn the brush off.
The different intensity settings in some respects is like having a different cleaning mode.
Some Oral-B models for example offer a gum health or sensitive mode. These are modes that are less powerful than the standard daily clean mode. A similar effect is achieved here.
So, taking the Pro 2 2000 for example. It has a Daily Clean and a Gum Care mode. You could argue that 3 Series offers equivalent, albeit the different intensities are not advertised as cleaning modes. Set the 3 Series to the lowest intensity and you have your own Gum Care mode.
If you were not already impressed by this feature another innovative touch is Sonicare Easy-start mode. As electric toothbrushes are more powerful than manual brushes they can take some getting used to. Sonicare helps with that.
Essentially, for the first 14 cleans, the speed of the brush motor gradually increases until it reaches full power. This means that in the first few uses where you are not used to the power, you are actually enjoying less movements per minute to ease you in.
It is a small touch but it can make all the difference
The clean offered by the brush is very good, you will notice the difference and I suspect your dentist will too.
One thing that is missing from the brush for me is a pressure sensor. Now to be honest I am being a it picky here, but a common issue is people brushing too hard. Brushing too hard wears away at the soft gum tissue and in time leads to gum recession.
A pressure sensor is tool that can help alert you if you are brushing too hard and help avoid this happening. Sadly the Sonicare 3 Series does not have this.
The handle itself is water-resistant and can withstand toothpaste, saliva etc. It can be rinsed under the tap, get wet in the shower but do avoid submerging the handle.
It is also quieter than Oral-B equivalents. They tend to have a more mechanical sound when running, whilst the 3 Series produces a strong humming sound and vibration in hand. What I like about the Sonicare is that it the better brand to use if you often have to clean your teeth when others are asleep in your home.
In hand the brush feels solid and is testament to the quality you would expect of a Sonicare brush. Peace of mind is achieved via a 2 year warranty that comes with the brush. Register it online after purchase for convenience.
A last and final extra to talk about here is the travel case that is available with 2 of the 3 variants.
White in colour it is a solid plastic shell that has a clip that keeps it closed.
Inside is a space for the brush handle and up to 2 brush heads.
It is fairly robust and will certainly protect the handle and heads when travelling. It is of a better quality than most of the competition at this price.
Practical, it will stop any embarrassing activations of the brush when in the bag and it has vents to allow the heads to dry and breath. You cannot charge the brush in the case like you can with the Sonicare DiamondClean family.
Summary of Design, Usability, Clean & General Use
- Typical design and look to the handle
- Colour option varies between variants which have different box contents
- 1 cleaning mode
- 3 different intensity settings identified by individual LEDs
- 2 minute timer and quadpacer
- Automatic power off
- Interchangeable brush heads
- Cleans well
- EasyStart feature great for first time electric toothbrush users
- No pressure sensor
- Water resistant handle
- Travel case included to protect the handle and 2 heads (variant dependant)
- 3 week battery life
- 2 year warranty
For many of us, the type of battery within the brush handle does not matter all that much as long as it does the job to the standard we expect.
For years, few really questioned it, because manufacturers did not use the technology as a selling point.
However, more recently there has been more focus on promoting the use of Lithium-Ion batteries within models.
Li-ion is the newer and better alternative to Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries that have and still are used in many brushes.
Technically Li-ion are more reliable and do not degrade as quickly.
This 3 Series has the sought after lithium battery and the resulting battery life is an impressive 3 weeks or more.
Particularly good this is, because the brush handle is no bigger than the model before it, the 2 Series.
Having a lithium battery is a bonus, but it should not really be the deciding factor.
My personal view is that a battery within a brush should last at least a week, preferably 2 or more.
The 3 Series wins points here for lasting so long.
My own hands on testing, with the intensity set to high, a fully charged brush managed to achieve 108 minutes of usage time. That equates to 27 days based on 1 user cleaning their teeth twice a day for 2 minutes.
That is a further 6 days over and above the suggested battery life. So it is safe to say 3 weeks is achievable.
I am convinced that the automatic power off feature helps conserve the battery life as power is not wasted post clean.
When the brush does require charging, you can connect the charging stand, that is provided in the box to the socket and leave it to be recharged.
It can take up to 48 hours to charge the brush handle fully, but you can use it sooner.
The handle sits upright on the charging stand, with the prong on the top, fitting nicely into the recess on the base of the brush handle.
The charging stand itself is white in colour has a 2 pin plug suitable for UK bathrooms and works on voltages of 110-220v.
If you want to connect it to a 3 pin socket or use it internationally, all you need is a plug adapter.
The battery indicator on the brush handle lights up different colours to give different feedback on the condition/status of the battery.
Flash green the battery indicator will whilst it is on charge.
When not on the charger if there is a yellow battery level indicator on the brush handle, this means there is a low charge. A green light indicates a high charge.
The battery indicator turns off when the battery is between a high and low charge.
When you hear 3 beeps and the battery indicator flashes yellow, this means the battery level is at 10% and should be recharged. 2 sets of 5 beeps will mean the power is too low and needs to be charged before it can be used.
Summary of Battery Life
- Uses a Lithium-Ion battery
- 108 minutes of usage time or 27 days usage based on 2 cleans a day
- Takes up to 48 hours to charge fully
- A charger included in the box
- Works on 110-220 volts
- Green battery indicator indicates high charge
- Yellow battery indicator indicates low charge
- 3 beeps and flashing yellow light indicates less than 10% power
- 2 sets of 5 beeps, recharge it to use the brush
Manufacturers can suggest a price at which the brush should be sold at. Retailers then have some choice at what price they sell it for.
Sonicare prices tend to remain fairly close to their suggested sale price, discounts are harder to come by.
The RRP for these 3 variants range from £100 to £120.
Most are close to these prices, but it is the most readily available and expensive model HX6631/13, that enjoys some of the biggest discounts.
At the time of writing, 6 retailers were as follows £120, £120, £90, £60, £55 and lastly £50, which was offered by Amazon, the cheapest supplier.
As you can tell that is quite some variance. With not much effort you can get the brush for £60 less or as much as £70 off the full retail price. This has a massive knock on effect to the cost of ownership.
Here at Electric Teeth we like to offer up an approximate cost to own the brush over its lifetime.
Typically an electric toothbrush will last 3-5 years, we price it on the higher side over a 3 year period.
At the cheapest price of £50, if you add in the cost of replacement heads which tend to be somewhere between £5-7.50 each (frequently available for £5) you are looking at a total cost £105 or £0.10 per day.
Pay full price and this cost jumps to £175 or £0.16 per day.
It might sound odd to say this, but this 3 Series, is actually cheaper than the inferior 2 Series from Sonicare.
Our earlier recommendation of the EasyClean works out at £0.08 per day.
As best as possible make comparison and an informed decision of which is best for you and your needs and desires.
Sharing the brush handle (but changing the brush head) will help extend the value from the handle and of course if it lasts for more than 3 years, the cost goes down too.
If you are stuck and need more assistance, just leave a comment and I will get back to you and help as best as I can.
Please note that all costs quoted are approximates and prices will vary based on location, supplier, time of purchase. These figures should not be relied on as hard fact but as a guide, based on real information at the time of writing.
Summary of Price
- Recommended retail price of £100-120
- Often not that heavily discounted.
- HX6631/13 has particularly sporadic pricing up to 50% off
- Brush heads are about £5-7.50 each
- Works out at as little as £0.10 per day or as much as £0.16 over 3 years
Reliability & Long Term Use
Sonicare are manufactured by one of the biggest brands worldwide. Philips tends to fall into most users ‘premium’ brands list.
As a result on the whole you can be assured of a high level of quality, craftsmanship and reliability.
To date we would side with this, as Sonicare models tend to be the more reliable of the brands we have been exposed to.
Of course, being an electrical product things can go wrong, but then again that is what the warranty is for no?
A 2 year/24 month warranty is provided as standard with the brush.
Here at Electric Teeth we go hands on with the brushes and look for possible defects and weaknesses. We are not scientists, product designers or have expensive testing equipment to hand.
Regular individuals like you, we just have the added experience of having handled hundreds of different toothbrushes to come to the conclusions we do.
The 3 Series poses no cause for concern and expect you to have many years of happy brushing from this.
Great, excellent, superb, spot on and terrific are all words I can use to describe this toothbrush. It has the basic electric toothbrush needs covered and then some.
Clean teeth and a fresh healthy mouth are a guaranteed result of regular use of this brush and the adjustable power settings makes it more enjoyable for users of all ages and preferences.
The battery life is stellar and the inclusion of the travel case (variant dependent) is a welcome addition.
However, this comes at a price and herein lies a challenge. What is it really worth and which one do you go for?!
My personal feeling that for anything less than about £70 you are getting a decent brush, but better deals exist.
Our recommendation is the EasyClean HX6511/50. You get a bit less, but it is cheaper to buy outright.
For just a few pounds more you can get the ProtectiveClean 4300, which is newer with some more innovative additions, worthy of the price.
Pay a price you are happy with and if nothing else, hopefully this review has provided enough information to allow you to make an informed purchasing decision.
- Healthier gums from the first clean - improves gum health up to 100% vs manual brushing
- Get a brighter smile, removes up to 6x more plaque compared to manual brushing
- Customise your clean: Choose from three intensity settings
- Meet dentist recommended brushing time with the integrated smartimer
Electric Teeth Rating
- Height (without head) – 19cm
- Height (with head) – 25cm
- Width – 3.2cm
- Thickness – 3.2cm
- Weight (without head) – 127g
- Weight (with head) – 132g
All are approximates
- Is the Sonicare 3 Series an oscillating brush?
- No, it is not.
- What cleaning modes does the 3 Series have?
- It has just 1 cleaning mode, referred to a ‘Clean’, but it does have 3 different brushing intensities available. Find out more about all of Sonicare’s cleaning modes here.
- What brush head does it come with and what alternative ones can be used?
- The brush head supplied with the 3 Series depends on the variant chosen. You can get a variant with 1 x ProResults Gum Health brush head, or 2 x DiamondClean standard or 2 x Intercare standard heads. There are a variety of other head styles you can choose from if you have a preference. The heads are interchangeable.
- Does the 3 Series have a pressure sensor?
- No, it does not.
- Does the 3 Series have Bluetooth?
- No, it does not.
- Does the Sonicare 3 Series come with a warranty & how long is it?
- If purchased new the 3 series will come with a 2 year warranty.
- Does the 3 Series have a built in timer?
- Yes. At the end of a 2 minute cycle, the brush automatically turns off signalling the end of the cleaning time. If you want to extend your clean, you will have to power the brush back on. It does also have a 30 second pacer also referred to as a quadpacer. At 30 second intervals a slight pause in the brushing mode to tell you to change quadrants. There are 4 quadrants to the mouth.
- How long does the battery last?
- The battery lasts up to 84 minutes, which if used on the standard clean mode, this is 21 days based on 2 cleans per day.
- Does it come with a charger?
- Yes, a charging station is included with the Sonicare 3 Series.
- Can this be fixed to a wall?
- The charging station has not been designed to be fixed to a wall.
- Can I use the 3 Series in the shower?
- Yes. The brush is water resistant so if you choose you can use it in the shower.
- Does it come with a travel case?
- It depends on the variant purchased. 2 of the 3 variants available offer a travel case in the box, but you generally pay a premium.
Do you own or have you used the Philips Sonicare 3 Series
Are there certain features that you really like or dislike?
Let us know what you think about this brush and let others who may well be considering purchasing one know your opinions before they do.