Oral-B Triumph with Smart Guide
I've been a fan of electric toothbrushes for a number of years now, but have been generally let down by the quality of the product, which often fails after a few months. Although not expensive in money terms - the sheer waste gets to me. Each of those (and I won't mention names) probably cost between £10 and £20 - often on special offer.
The Orab-B Triumph is in a different class. Opening the package you'll find inside the toothbrush, rechargining 'station', a 'smart-guide' device that I'll come onto in a moment and two brush heads.
It's a fairly hefty unit compared with cheaper models, but that is no bad thing. The handle provides a good grip and the whole device feels solid to use. The weight comes primarily from the integrated rechargable battery. A full charge is claimed to give around two weeks usage, which seems to be reasonable given my experience. There are two control buttons on the handle and a small LCD display giving you a clear indication of remaining charge.
You are provided with two different brush heads in the package : a 'floss action' head for every day use and a 'ProBright' polishing head for occassional use.
Being full of electronic wizardry, the Triumph has more than a simple on-off control. A second button allows you to select a brushing 'mode'. There are four to choose from :
- Clean - the default standard cleaning mode providing 40,000 pulsations per minute
- Sensitive which just seemed to be a slower speed
- Massage which is ideal for gums. This mode has a start-stop action
- Polish which starts slow - ramps up the speed then repeats
One personal annoyance I found the mode button to be exactly where I rest my thumb and I was forever accidently changing modes!
In use I found the Triumph felt much better than the cheaper devices I had been using and seemd to give more consistent operation. Although a little subjective my teeth did feel better afterwards!
The charging station snaps together easily and the toothbrush sits within a cradle. There are no exposed electrical connections so the charging appears to be via some inductive loop system. This has the advantage of allowing the toothbrush to be a completely sealed unit - no opportunity for water to leak into the internals! You can leave the toothbrush in the holder to maintain charge.
If you plug everything together then you have a charging and storage unit that will hold four brush heads. The charging part is actually separate and can be used in isolation, which is ideal for when you're on your travels. The outer shell of the unit contains no electrical elements is diswasher safe (great idea!). The shell can get messy and can be cleaned, the lack of direct electrical connection with the toothbrush means the shell actually protects the charger from getting messy. The attention to little details like this are always good to find, and shows the designers are actually thinking about the wider issues.
Personally I think this is a bit of a gimmick, but some people will undoubtedly appreciate the functionality. Luckily for those that don't require this part of the package the Triumph can be bought without Smart Guide!
So... what is it. A small LCD panel measuring 11x6x3cm (WxHxD). There are no external buttons of any kind. The display (wait for it) communicates wirelessly with your toothbrush. I really have seen everything now! When not in operation the Smart Guide can show the time if you take the effort to set the time initially, something I have to admit to having not done.
The real purpose of the display is to help you stick to a dentist recommended cleaning regime, which comprises a two minute brushing periond, which you spend 30 seconds on each of the four quadrants of your mouth. In this respect it is actually useful, with hindsight and a busy day I probably seldomely managed a full two minutes.
As soon as you start the brush a time counter starts ticking away the two minutes. Every 30 seconds a quarter of a circle is filled, and the toothbrush gives a 'judder' indicating you should proceed to the next area of your mouth.
As well as timer there are icons to show which of the four modes you're currently using (see above) and a 'pressure' alarm icon. This is backlit and comes on if you are pressing the brush head too hard against your teeth.
The Smart Guide comes complete with a wall mounting bracket and will work with up to two separate brush units (obviously not simulataneously!). Is it a gimmick? I'll leave that up to you to decide, but if you have an opinion then please comment down below!
30 Day Challenge and Performance Gaurantee
The box the Tiumph came in proudly announces a 30-day challenge that allows you to return your Triumph purchase within 30 days if in that time you are not completely satisfied.
Reading the user guide that comes with the product however offers UK residents what appears to be exactly the same gaurantee, but for 2 years. To quote : "Improved oral care does not happen overnight. At Oral-B, we recognize that fact. That's why we offer you 24 months to adjust to the new Oral-B Triumph with Smart Guide..."
This claim doesn't appear on the box, but is worth bearing in mind.
A toothbrush for over £100? Frankly I expected to be disappointed. In fact I've been pleasantly surprised. Despite my doubts about the usefulness of the Smart Guide, the brush itself is actually very good and a huge improvement over the cheaper brushes I've been used in the past.
The good news is that since this brush arrived many places have reduced the price to £68.99 and at that price, assuming it lasts the 24 months of the guarantee, is actually very good value.
For other sceptics of the SmartGuide, you can buy the Triumph toothbrush by itself although you don't save a lot of money. Without Smart Guide then Triumph 9500 is priced at around £54.99.
You'll also have to buy new brush heads periodically. Braun appear to be pushing this brush quite hard at the moment so you can buy a pack of 8 heads for £12.49 (RRP £24.99). Each head should be good for 3 months use at the recommended twice daily 2 minute regime. A pack of 8 will therefore last you two years. Not bad!
You can find more information and details of the various options on the Braun/Oral-B web-site.
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