- 3 cleaning modes
- Built in timer
- Long battery life
- Pressure sensor – be alerted when brushing to hard
- Better value options exist (see other choices)
The 3 BIG Questions about the Philips Sonicare FlexCare Platinum (HX9111/21)
If you are short of time, the answers to the following 3 questions should let you know all you need to about the Sonicare FlexCare Platinum (HX9111/21) toothbrush. If I have missed something, let us know in the comments.
If you want more detail, you can read our full Sonicare FlexCare Platinum review further down the page.
1. Is there anything drastically wrong with this toothbrush?
No, its a strong performing electric toothbrush that offers a number of cleaning modes and has a solid battery life.
|Philips Sonicare FlexCare Platinum||729 Reviews||£240.00 £189.99||View on Amazon|
2. Which other brushes should I consider?
The most logical alternative to the FlexCare Platinum, is the upgrade to this brush, the FlexCare Platinum Connected.
It comes with Bluetooth connectivity and a UV sanitiser in the box for about the same money.
However, for most people, a newer and better alternative is the ProtectiveClean 4300.
The inclusion of a brush head replacement reminder system and the more attractive price point are 2 compelling reasons to opt for this over the FlexCare or the Platinum Connected variant.
If you are not sold on these, you could consider any of the brushes in our buyer’s guide.
3. Where is the best place to buy the Sonicare FlexCare Platinum?
As a higher mid-range brush this is actually stocked in a few retail stores and online.
Why should you listen to us?
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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.
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And now for a bit more detail….
An upper mid range electric toothbrush, the FlexCare Platinum offers more than your basic toothbrush features, but is not equipped with some options seen on other brushes today.
Most notable is Bluetooth, which is becoming a more widely adopted and desired feature.
It does however offer multiple cleaning cleaning modes and brushing intensities allowing you to find the right setting for you.
There is ultimately a lot of choice available today and you may want to consider other brushes alongside this one, to ensure you are making the best investment.
What’s in the box
- Philips Sonicare FlexCare Platinum electric toothbrush
- Charging station
- 1 x Philips Sonicare AdaptiveClean Standard sonic toothbrush head
- Travel case
- 3 cleaning modes (Clean, White & Deep Clean)
- 3 intensity settings
- Rechargeable battery
- 3 week battery life
- Travel case
- EasyStart feature
- Pressure sensor
Pros & Cons
Here are the key positives and negatives to the Platinum, from Sonicare.
- 3 cleaning modes – Customised cleaning modes with different power settings and running times to suit your needs. Clearly labelled on the brush handle and easily accessed.
- Timed Clean – Built in timer and quadpacer to assist you in brushing for the right amount of time and evenly across the mouth.
- Pressure sensor – Alerts you when you are brushing too hard, to avoid doing damage to your gums.
- Battery life – A decent 3 weeks of battery life make this an ideal brush for those always on the go and not always close to a plug for charging.
- Design – Whilst not the most stylish brush it is well formed and functional with fantastic build quality and easy to use control features.
- Brush head – A larger brush head, the size for some will be too big. SImilar to a manual brush, it feels harder to get to tight sports at the back of the mouth compared to an Oral-B brush.
- Bluetooth connectivity – No support for this modern wireless connectivity option that is becoming more popular with users to track and monitor their brushing habits.
- Cost – It is a little bit more expensive than it needs to be given the other options available today. You get what you pay for in some respects, but you can get more for less.
Design, Usability, Clean & General Use
Modern design language and trends as I see it (I am no guru) is that less is often more.
Minimal design, with a focus on colours and the flow of the brush handle. Just take a look at the Foreo ISSA 2 and the Sonicare DiamondClean to see what I mean.
As lovely as they are, they lack a certain practicality in my mind and for many an electric toothbrush is a tool that helps them within their day. Whilst design might be important it is not the most important feature.
This therefore for many makes FlexCare Platinum particularly appealing as there are several key, bold, functional and easy to use buttons as well as LED’s and labels that just make the brush perfect for hassle free everyday use.
The handle still flows and is curved to the touch with a reassuring weight and quality.
The body of the brush handle is of plastic construction, with the majority being a soft Grey colour as opposed to the more traditional gloss White.
The Grey is complimented by an oval panel that runs down the front of the brush handle that is Silver in colour.
Inside this panel are the main buttons and controls for the brush.
The buttons are finished in the same soft Grey as the rest of the brush handle, offering a continuity in design.
On first glance the buttons look complicated, but they are not really.
At the top of the panel is the Philips Sonicare branding, with a large, clearly labelled power button below that.
Just below the power button sits 3 LEDs in a horizontal configuration.
These LEDs relate to the power intensity of the brush, which is controlled by the button below them.
The Grey button is a rounded rectangle in shape and runs vertically down the handle. It has a + and – icon and looks like a volume control button, but instead it is the intensity control button.
3 settings are available low, medium and high. Each LED illuminates Green as the intensity changes. 1 Green LED and it is set to low, 3 and its on high.
Towards the lower half of the brush handle are the 3 cleaning modes labelled each with an LED above the name. These LEDs illuminate as each mode is selected, all controlled by a simple push button positioned below them. Press the button multiple times to cycle through the modes.
Finally a battery status icon can be found right at the bottom. 3 LEDs again. All light up Green reducing from 3 to 1 illuminated as the power decreases. If a single Yellow LED is shown then it’s time for a recharge.
Solid and well built in hand, the cylindrical body is smooth on the sides, with the rear being covered in lots of small raised dots which the fingertips grip onto and help grip the brush, even when wet.
At the top of the brush handle is the brush head. This is a user removable brush head, that when removed exposes the metal shaft that feeds into the brush motor inside the handle.
1 brush head comes supplied in the box. This is the AdaptiveClean head and it is White in colour which contrasts fairly nicely with the Grey body of the brush handle.
On the very bottom of the brush is a small circular recess, this is where the inductive charging pin of the charging stand gets inserted when the brush is docked on the charging stand provided.
Fixed internally the battery is not user removable.
The components within the brush are protected from water ingression as the brush handle itself is water resistant and will survive rinses under the tap, exposure to saliva and toothpaste.
A tactile and responsive feedback is given by the buttons on the brush handle. They do not feel soft or spongy which is good.
As one of the leading brands within the electric toothbrush space you might suspect a good quality clean from this toothbrush and you would be right.
The provided AdaptiveClean brush head is just one of a number of different styles available from Sonicare.
You can learn more about the full range of Sonicare brush heads by reading our guide.
In most cases all the brush heads work on any Sonicare brush handle on any cleaning mode. This interchangeable approach makes it easy to use and find a head you enjoy brushing with.
The AdaptiveClean head has a soft, flexible rubber sides that absorb excessive pressure you might apply, protecting the soft tissue in your mouth. It too allows the bristles of the brush to adjust to the shape of each tooth’s surface. The result of this is that is can lead to up to 10 times more plaque removal than a manual toothbrush along the gum line and between teeth. Even the hardest to reach areas get a deep clean, that is still gentle on the gums.
It is personal opinion and preference, whilst the brush cleans very well, delivering up to 31,000 strokes per minute, subject to the cleaning mode used, the larger brush head will not be to everyone’s preference.
It can feel harder to reach the very back of the mouth and tight spaces, but each mouth and the space to move is different. In some instances the smaller round heads of Oral-B brushes can be beneficial. That said, Sonicare do offer compact sized heads that may be more suitable for certain users.
Blue bristles on the brush head fade over time. These indicator bristles are designed to act as a visual reminder that you should replace the brush head every 3 months for maximum effectiveness.
With 3 different cleaning modes and 3 different intensities there are essentially 9 different brush settings you can make use of.
The modes are Clean, White and Deep Clean.
Clean is a 2 minute cleaning cycle designed for everyday use and is the default mode. It gives a good overall clean.
The White cleaning modes lasts for 2 minutes and 30 seconds. 2 minutes to remove surface stains and 30 seconds to brighten and polish your front teeth.
Deep Clean lasts 3 minutes and provides an invigorating clean, alternating between cleaning and massaging to deliver an exceptional clean.
Each mode is selected by pressing the cleaning mode button, prior to powering the brush on.
Keep pressing the button until the desired cleaning mode is selected.
During the brushing session you can change the intensity by pressing the + or – button on the brush handle. You will feel the power and intensity of the clean increase or decrease.
Throughout my weeks of testing the clean offered by this brush was very good. I use an Oral-B toothbrush normally and the brushing experience is a little softer feeling and the brush is also quieter in use.
A feature of the HX9111/21 that you do not normally see on Sonicare models is a pressure sensor. If you brush too hard, which can be damaging to the teeth and gums, the brush will offer a change in vibration (and a slight change in sound) to alert you. Relieve the pressure to deactivate the sensor.
Sadly there is no visible pressure sensor (a light) as there is on a lot of other brushes, but it is better than nothing.
Not enabled by default, but easily activated by following a small process explained in the manual, is the Easy-Start feature. Over a period of 14 days the power delivered by the brush slowly increases allowing you to become accustomed to the different brushing approach and power offered by an electric toothbrush compared to a manual, it eases you into the brush, a nice touch.
Built into the handle is a timer that automatically turns the brush off at the end of the cleaning cycle. I like this feature a lot.
Along with this is the quadpacer, which is an interval timer that has a short beep and pause to remind you to brush the 4 sections of your mouth. Depending on the brushing mode you have selected, the quadpacer beeps at different intervals during the brushing cycle. The quadpacer works in all 3 modes and at all 3 intensity levels.
A feature not available on the FlexCare Platinum is Bluetooth.
This is a technology that allows the brush handle to communicate wirelessly with an app on a smartphone and using sensors built into the handle provide real time brushing feedback as well as educational tips on how to brush better.
In fact there is a lot more to the app and what a Bluetooth enabled brush can do, one of the biggest benefits is logging and tracking performance with the aim of achieving better overall oral health.
It does take some learning and habit forming to use such and it will not be for everyone.
The successor to this brush, the FlexCare Platinum Connected, does offer this as well as a UV sanitiser in the box for very similar money. I would strongly recommend considering this, even if you don’t intend to use the Bluetooth. You can read my review of the brush if you like.
There is an extra simplicity to this handle for not offering such. This brush does offer a marginally better battery life too as a result.
In the box with this handle is a travel case for the brush handle and up to 2 brush heads. A fairly simple travel case it is of plastic construction with a White rear half to the case and a smoked clear section on the front to be able to see what is inside.
Hinged on one long edge and locking into place with a clip on the other. Certainly functional it protects the brush handle and heads from accidental damage or activation when in transit.
The case does not offer in the case charging for the brush in the case like the DiamondClean series.
Unlikely that you should need to make use of it, but the HX9111/21 comes with a 24 month (2 year) warranty as standard, should something go wrong.
Summary of Design, Usability, Clean & General Use
- Comfortable brush to hold and use
- Solid with a premium feel
- Easy to use buttons and controls
- 3 cleaning modes
- 3 brushing intensity settings
- 1 AdaptiveClean brush head included
- Alternative brush heads available
- Built in pacer tells you when to change sections of the mouth during brushing
- Automatic power off
- EasyStart mode included
- Pressure sensor built in
- Water resistant handle
- 2 year warranty as standard
Sealed within the brush handle itself and not designed to be user removable is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery.
Sonicare claim a 3 week battery life.
This is more than enough for most people and is equal to 21 days of use between charges.
That is 84 minutes of running time from the brush handle or 42 separate brushing sessions.
As is quite common for the batteries within Sonicare brush handles, my own hands on testing has confirmed that the power available exceeds this 21 days.
I was able to get nearer 4 weeks from the battery.
Whilst I can’t say you will get exactly the same, it is normally safe to say you can eek a little extra from the battery.
Provided in the box is a charging stand.
White in colour, the charging stand has wired into it a cable that is about a meter in length.
This connects to a 2 pin shaver socket found in most bathrooms within the UK.
On the top of that stand is a small prong that marries up with a recess on the bottom of the brush handle. Sit the brush on the prong and connect to power to begin charging. The brush charges via inductive charging. When placed on the charger an audible sound can be heard.
Supporting voltages from 100 to 240V all you need is a plug adapter should you travel with this charging stand. The adapter will allow you to connect the plug to different sockets around the world. You will not need a voltage adapter.
If you wish to connect this to a 3 pin UK mains socket because you do not have a 2 pin option in your bathroom, you will need to purchase an adapter.
Do consider with 3 or more weeks battery life, subject to how long you are travelling for, you may not need to take the stand at all.
At the bottom of the front panel of the brush handle are 3 LEDs that signal the battery life.
When powered on the LEDs will power on to show the power. 3 Green LEDs will mean it is fully charged, whilst a single Yellow LED will mean power is low.
When on the charger, the LEDs will turn Green, lighting up one by one until the brush is fully charged.
It can take 24 hours or more to fully charge the battery if it is flat, but it is perfectly safe to leave it on the charging stand.
Summary of Battery Life
- 21 days, 42 cleans or 84 minutes of usage time based on 2 cleans a day
- Charging stand supplied
- Works on 100- 240 volts
- Can be left on the charger
- Takes 24 hours to charge fully
- 1 Yellow LED indicates a low charge
- 3 Green LEDs indicate a full charge.
The recommended retail price of the Sonicare FlexCare Platinum is a rather impressive £240.
Do not pay this price. Whilst it might be the suggested retail price, it is not the price that this brush is generally sold at, although some outlets do.
You can get even better brushes for the same or less money.
Ensure you spend your money wisely and buy at a more fitting price from a retailer you trust.
The lowest prices available at the time of review were £105-£120, so less than half the recommended retail price.
An electric toothbrush has a typical working life of 3-5 years on average. Therefore as best as possible we like to work out an approximate ownership cost over the lower 3 year period.
Assuming a purchase price of approx £112, when you factor in the cost of replacement brush heads for 3 years at £8 each, the total cost comes out at £200 or 18p per day.
This is on the higher side of average given what it offers.
There is a good chance the brush will last a lot longer than the quoted 3 years and by sharing this brush with another user, interchanging the heads each time, will dramatically reduce the running costs.
However, the previously mentioned Sonicare FlexCare Platinum is also available for £95-£115. The ownership cost here is pretty much the same, but you get the Bluetooth connectivity and a UV sanitiser included, which in my mind is a better value purchase, even if you don’t make use of the Bluetooth connectivity.
If these prices are a little too high for you, then do consider what we think is the overall better buy, the ProtectiveClean 4300.
It offers different features, but is newer with potentially more beneficial elements.
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 £240
- Generally available from £105-120
- Works out at around 18p per day over 3 years
- Share brush handle with another user to extend value
- Brush heads cost £8 to replace
- Consider other brushes to get better value for money
Reliability & Long Term Use
Sonicare are to me a well respected and generally reliable brand.
Although we do not put the brush through rigorous tests, we give them a detailed once over and make comparison to other models we have handled.
Whilst there are no obvious weak parts of the brush, the build quality is good, there are more buttons on the handle than most, increasing failure points.
By the very nature of the product in question faults can occur, but with a 2 year warranty on offer to support the brush, should something go wrong it will be repaired or replaced.
To prolong the life of any brush giving it a rinse and a wipe down to remove grime that builds up is a must.
I like this toothbrush a great deal.
Aside from the quality and comfortable feel in hand, the brush has a level of simplicity and functionality to it. It is not a case of style over function.
The AdaptiveClean brush head provided in the box is great to brush with, even if it can be trickier to get to some of the tighter spots in the mouth.
There a host of smart features built into the brush that make brushing and the whole experience better and more engaging. The timer, the pacer, the automatic power off and the pressure sensor too.
The variety of cleaning modes and control settings and the way in which they are controlled is reassuringly simple and I like this.
Backed up by a solid 3 week battery life what is not to like here?
Well it comes down to price and features for the money.
The ProtectiveClean 4300 is a more cost effective solution whilst Sonicare’s FlexCare Platinum Connected (view on Amazon) offers more for virtually the same price.
- Removes up to 10x more plaque and healthier gums than a manual toothbrush
- Adaptive responsive brush head with pressure sensor for gentle cleaning
- 3 Intensity settings and 3 cleaning modes for 9 customisable brushing modes
- Deep clean setting for intense performance clean. Pressure sensor : Vibrates handle to alert user
- 3 Weeks battery charge and handy travel case. Speed - Up to 62,000 brush movements/min
Electric Teeth Rating
- Is the FlexCare Platinum toothbrush an oscillating brush?
- What is clean mode?
- This is the comprehensive everyday cleaning mode that works with the provided brush head to effectively clean the teeth and remove up to 10% more plaque than a manual brush. This lasts for 2 minutes.
- What is white mode?
- A 2 minute and 40 seconds cleaning cycle A 2 minute cycle that alternates between white and massage with an additional 30 seconds for polishing your front teeth.
- What is deep clean mode?
- An invigorating deep massage designed to deliver an exceptionally clean experience over 3 minutes
- Does it have any other cleaning modes?
- No, it has the 3 cleaning modes, clean, white and deep clean, but it does have 3 different intensity settings that can be selected to alter the cleaning experience.
- What brush head does it come with and what alternative ones can be used?
- Provided with the FlexCare Platinum with an AdaptiveClean brush head. There are a range of different brush heads that can be used with this handle including DiamondClean, InterCare, ProResults and more. Each can be purchased seperately.
- Does the FlexCare Platinum have a pressure sensor?
- Yes, it does.
- Does the Platinum have Bluetooth?
- No, it does not.
- Does the FlexCare Platinum come with a warranty & how long is it?
- Yes, it comes with a 2 year warranty which covers mechanical faults and not user damage.
- Does the Platinum have a built in timer?
- Yes. There are two main timers built in. There is the timer for the length of the clean, which is typically 2 minutes, at the end of the 2 minutes the brush automatically powers off. You then have the pacer which activates at 30 second intervals, typically.
- How long does the battery last?
- The battery lasts 21 days which is equivalent to 42 cleans or 84 minutes. You may eek a few more days from it.
- Does it come with a charger?
- Yes, a charging station is included with the FlexCare Platinum
- What is the Easy-Start mode?
- There is an option to enable the easy-start mode that will over the course of 14 days, gradually increase the power of the brush, providing each clean is a minimum of 1 minute.
- The charger is 2 pin, how can I use it?
- The charger is a 2 pin/prong charger designed to be used on voltages of 100-240 volts. It is a 2 pin charger suitable for connecting to shaver sockets found in many bathrooms in the UK. If you do not have a shaver socket, you can purchase an adapter that will allow the charger to be connected to a standard 3 pin UK mains socket.
- Can this be fixed to a wall?
- No, the charger has not been designed in this way.
- Can I use the Platinum in the shower?
- We would advise avoid it. The brush is water resistant and designed to withstand exposure to water but the prolonged exposure to water in a shower is not ideal for the brush and the manual explicitly states do not use when bathing.
- Does it come with a travel case?
- Yes, a travel case is included in the box.
Do you own or have you used the Philips FlexCare Platinum?
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.