Ten years ago, I was a keen user of electric shavers, but the quality of the shave kept letting me down. But ten years is a long time in todays world, so I was excited to find out how much Philips has managed to improve their razors over the years.
I have been allowed to test three different Philips shavers, and this review will be featuring the most recent of the three, the AquaTouch AT890.
The Philips AquaTouch AT890 is a stylish shaver. The blue body and the grey and black fitting give it a clean and efficient look. As the name suggests, the AquaTouch series is entirely waterproof and can be used both with shaving cream or without. The AquaTouch can even go into the shower with you.
So basically, the AquaTouch seems like an attempt to attract some of the wet shavers around the World into trying electrical shavers. So for me – as a man who used to shave electric but has since changed into traditional wet shaving – this revisit to the world of rotary blades is interesting.
The AquaTouch series use the HQ8 blades also found in the 2D/3D SensoTouch series. The blades are almost identical to the blades used on my 10 year old HQ6580 apart from a few extra holes in the middle.
I have used the AT890 for a total of 10 shaves on 10 different days. I used it both in the shower, after my shower and even without shower (but with shaving foam).
Shaving in the shower
It sounds easy, and it sounds efficient. But it really isn't. I always end up with large patches of my face unshaven. I would possibly get a better result if I had a large, brightly lit mirror in my shower, but I haven't. 🙂
Shaving after the shower
10-12 years ago I used to sell electric shavers in an electronic shop in Copenhagen. I always told my customers to shave BEFORE the shower, not after. The skin has a tendency to expand slightly from the long term exposure to hot water, and even though this is great for a blade based shave, it's a bad idea when you use an electric shaver.
Based on my experience with the AT890, this is still the case. Do not use an electric shaver right after showering – it will leave you with a 5 o'clock shade even before noon.
Shaving before the shower with shaving gel or foam
This is where I got the best results from the AquaTouch. First I warmed my face using either a hot towel or washing it with hot water. I then applied a nice lather to cover my stubble, and started shaving.
This procedure gave me a very nice and close shave on my cheeks, chin and upper lip. But when it comes to shaving the neck, and in particular the upper part of the neck just below the cheeks, the Philips shaver got itself into trouble. It simply couldn't cope with the shape of my neck and left the stubble more or less untouched.
According to Philips, you should look down when you shave your neck (contrary to stretching your skin when using a blade). This did help a bit for me – but not much.
I like the design of the Philips shavers, even though the AT890 look almost excactly the same as my 10 year old Philips. But the weight, shape and balance make it very easy and comfortable to use. Unfortunately, I must still admin that the shave is average at best. For a quick shave on a busy day it will do fine. But as I have mentioned before (in the article Rotary blade or foil shaver?) everything depends on YOUR face.
Just because it's no good for my weird skin, doesn't mean that it will not work for you.
If you own the AT890, please write your experiences in the comments below.