These days, there’s more to the beard than just connecting with your inner-caveman and letting the follicles go wild. There’s trimming, sculpting and shaving, and the Philips Styleshaver is an attempt to provide a solution for all three.
With bright, fluorescent orange strips offset by the black and silver body of the shaver, this is clearly designed to be a man’s shaver. The bright orange colour continues in the plastic covers for both the shaver and the trimmer end.
The shaver has a comfortable weight in the hand, easy to grip in either direction, whether you’re shaving or trimming. The shaver has dedicated buttons for each function, and both are easy to switch on.
The device works pretty well in either wet or dry shaving conditions. Testing it in both situations, I generally got a better result while trimming in a dry environment, but it wasn’t a significant improvement over wet shaving.
There’s something refreshingly solid about the trimmer element of the StyleShaver. An easy rotating dial adjusts the length of the trimmer, so no matter how long you want your facial hair to be, it’s easy to set the trimmer.
The trimmer glides through facial hair, slicing and dicing follicles with ease. With a constant speed, it’s almost keen to cut your beard.
There’s not a lot of feedback during the trimming, so it’s a matter of constantly working over a spot on your face to ensure you get every hair. It’s not the widest trimmer in the world, but it’s certainly not too narrow to get the job done.
The precision trimmer side is activated by rotating the trimmer head around 180 degrees. It works much the same, but with a much narrower head for being a lot more accurate.
Unlike many of Philips’ current range of shavers, the StyleShaver features a dual-foil shaver rather than a tri-head gyroflex system.
For razor users, it generally takes a few weeks to get used to switching to an electric shaver. But as I’ve found every other time I’ve tried to shift to an electric shaver, it just isn’t up to the task.
Whether it’s missing hairs or just giving terrible shaving rash, after persevering with the shaver for weeks to try and get the beard on my neck to adjust to an electric shave, in the end I simply wasn’t happy with the result.
To be fair, over the past ten years I’ve tried to switch to electric shavers at least three times and always ended up in the same position, so it’s hardly the fault of Philips.
For men who already use an electric shaver to keep their beard nice and neat, the StyleShaver is a perfect partner. Its trimmer function is robust, sharp, easy to use and versatile thanks to the precision trimmer element.
But for men who use a blade to keep their beard in line, the shift to an electric shaver could prove to be too much to ask for. Especially when you’re forking over $120 for a product that will most likely leave you with an unfinished job.
Better to spend the money on a dedicated trimmer and a collection of razor blades.
Nick Broughall is the Australian Editor of TechRadar.com, where he gets to indulge his passion for geekery and the lastest technology. He is also the Editor of EFTM.com.au, where he gets to indulge his passion for manliness, from sampling fine liquor to the joys of growing a beard. It’s a pretty good life, really.