Tech-based trade shows are weird, simply because there’s way too much variety. A smartphone company may be within proximity or an appliance maker flogging fridges, or a stand covered in fans might be next to one covered in microwaves. IFA 2019 was also home to a furry cushion with a tail, and I don’t even want to know who came up with that idea.
That’s an extreme, because for the most part these things are home to a lot of really mundane stuff. Mundane stuff like electric shavers, and in passing my brain just went, “Okay, why the fuck not?” And that’s how I ended up shaving in the middle of a show floor, surrounded by random people.
Shaving is not my favourite thing in the world, because it tends to eat up a lot of time and chew up my skin. So it’s much easier to be lazy and just not shave for several weeks, and only take care of my facial hair when it starts to either annoy me or look a bit too bedraggled. Even then I never go for the full shaving foam and razor combo; it’s just a pair of clippers that will just sheer everything off as quickly as possible.
Unlike last year, however, Philips was not doing full on demos with men in barber chairs lying back, doing nothing, all while people watch and a Philips rep does all the hard work for them.
— Tom Pritchard (@tepritchard) August 30, 2018
Instead it was a bunch of booths, each with an appliance of some kind that people could then go and try for themselves. Eager to see how well my tooth-brushing skills have improved since MWC, that was the first thing I did. Turns out I have improved a lot, though it helped that I could watch a thing on screen to show me progress in real time.
Then I saw the shaving stuff and I figured, why not? I was sporting a beard, and while it wasn’t due for a trim for a few weeks I might as well put the thing to good use. Sadly the first stand I went to tuned me away, because the beard hair was too long for a rotary shaver. So I was sent off to try the OneBlade hair trimmer first. And this is how I looked.
It doesn’t look like a whole lot, but I did end up making a lot of mess on the stand, as you can see below:
Only about 3/4 of it ended up in the sink, the rest ended up being sprinkled all over the stand and over myself. There’s a reason I usually do this while standing in the shower, because it makes cleanup an awful lot easier.
I’m not going to lie, the OneBlade was actually really quite a nice piece of kit. Not only did it free my face from the shackles of beard hair and make me look about 12 years old, it’s quite a smooth device. The rep told me that it’s been designed to not touch the skin, so unlike other hair trimmers it’s not going to slice at your skin by mistake. And yes this makes it an ideal tool for trimming down hair on… more sensitive areas.
Which Philips isn’t even trying to shy away from. It even sells a special face and body bundle that has two blades – in case you have hangups about shaving your face and other stuff with the same one.
The whole process didn’t take very long, and it the fact the blade was rectangular meant there was room for precision. Not that it stopped me from shaving my sideburns unevenly. No amount of straight shaving lines can stop you from accidentally taking too much off. But here I am in my 12-year old glory.
From there it was off to the original stand to try out the rotary razor, the Shaver 9000 Prestige. It wasn’t nearly as good, if I’m honest.
The downside to the OneBlade was that it doesn’t go all the way down, so you kind of need to top up the process with another razor. The 9000 Prestige got that job done, but it wasn’t nearly as close a shave as you’d get with a manual razor or something similar. Granted I was rushing a bit, because I was bored of shaving while surrounded by strangers, but it wasn’t quite as close a shave as I’d have liked.
It worked for neatening up the work done by the OneBlade, and it didn’t chew up my neck as razors have been known to do, but if I really wanted to go full bald face this isn’t the way I’d do it. But that’s just me, other people have different thoughts and they may love a more hi-tech rotary razor.
But at the end of it I still had a five o’clock shadow – despite having just shaved. So it’s not for me, and that was before I found out it costs Â£300 ($540) for the base-level 9000 razor. The 9000 prestige, which has its own wireless charger, costs Â£350 ($630). So I’m not going anywhere near that one.
And yes, before anyone does their sleuthing, I do know the 9000 has an adjustable speed/power setting. It made a difference, but not that much.
This post originally appeared on Gizmodo UK, which is gobbling up the news in a different timezone.