Sexy robot not included.
Philips sent me one of their new moisturising shaver systems to test drive after I told them I'm an old school shaver who has yet to be convinced by any electric on the market. The new moisturising system sounded intriguing, so I was happy to take up the challenge and see if this new option could convince me the minutes saved would be worth the trade off in getting a perfect shave.
After a month of using the Nivea-laced system? I've gone back to the blade. Mostly for less irritation (I have sensitive skin) and partly because I like the ritual of a blade shave and, now I'm well versed in the process, I don't see that much of a time saving from the electric. If you're into the old ways like me, I don't think this is 'the one' to convert you. But if you are all about the electric, this will probably feel smoother than any other out there right now. Definitely the nicest shave I've had with any electric, once I'd gotten used to how to get the gel flowing without just pouring out the back of the shaver and down my wrist. As an option to take on the road when you don't want to take a full shaving kit, this would be the best — but at $299, this isn't a realistic part-time shaver investment.The setup of this shaver is pretty smart, with the stand doubling as the gel injection system. Everytime you replace it into the charger, the pump makes sure the shaver is topped up with juice. A light indicates when you're due to replace the gel pack, and you'll have plenty left in the tank to get you through a few more days before you're back to a dry shave.
This shaver also runs just fine in the shower, for those who like to really keep things as smooth as possible.
The shave heads are also very flexible, so the action glides quite nicely across the skin. It takes some getting used to the system before you get the right flow of gel onto your face, because if you press too hard while pumping the gel seeps out the back of the heads and just makes a mess. You need to spread some lightly around first, then dive into the shave proper.
The problem for me is that it still demands a circular motion to get a close shave, and that means shaving against the grain. They say it takes two weeks for your skin to adjust, but I'm assuming that's because you're essentially toughening up, right? The weeks passing did mean I got better at using this shaver, and my skin did feel better than the first few days, but still not as good as it does when I use a blade. But I also found I had to go back to the blade a few times to clean up hairs that had outpaced the ability of the shaver to capture them (and if I skipped a day at all I had to do a blade shave to get back to an appropriate length for the electric to cope).
For the record, I regularly shave using a Schick FX twin-blade shaver (w/ aloe strips, mmmmm), a badger hair shaving brush with a traditional herbal shaving soap. With all the geekery I mess with every day, it's nice to chill and have some blokey grooming rituals to calm things down for a few minutes.