Users say any one of the Braun Series 7 shavers is a good choice if you like foil shavers. If you don't want to mess with a cleaning station, the Series 7 720s-4 offers an excellent shave, with three levels of adjustment to accommodate any combination of skin and beard types.
You can't please everybody, but this shaver comes close. "This thing shaves just about as close as it gets," writes one Amazon.com user of the Braun Series 7 720s-4. Another says the most intense shaving mode is uncomfortable and tugs at his skin, but most report that the three different shaving modes provide useful customization. In particular, several say that the sensitive-skin mode is particularly gentle.
Other users say the 720s-4 remains powerful while running off a battery charge, and the power levels don't change noticeably when it's plugged into a wall socket. Overall, they say, this shaver is "durable and competent."
Just a few hairs away from perfect. Most users say they like this shaver's design. The pivoting foil head can be locked into place for better control, and reviewers say the pop-up clipper is sturdier than it looks and "a definite improvement over the older models."
However, there are a few quibbles -- chief among them the lack of a plastic cover for the shaver's foil head. The wide foil head also causes some consternation; one user speculates that perhaps the 720s-4 was designed by someone with a large face. Another says he wishes the shaver were just a little thinner in the middle and a touch lighter, which would make it easier to get a good grip.
Another user points out that because the shaver's power cord connects to the back of the shaver instead of the bottom, it can end up in an uncomfortable position on your palm. This isn't a deal-breaker, he says, but it does take some getting used to. Besides, the fact that you can shave while this unit is plugged in is a distinct plus.
No news is -- apparently -- good news. The 720s-4 receives a very good rating for noise in one major test, although it wasn't actually evaluated; it receives that rating by default because of its similarity to the other Braun Series 7 models. Users are mostly mum on the topic of noise, although Steven Leckart, in a review of men's shavers for Wired magazine, says the Series 7 "buzzes like a fridge ... with a chain saw inside." Although Leckart doesn't identify which Series 7 model he tested, it appears to be the 790cc-4.
Great trial period, good cost of ownership. Like other Braun Series 7 shavers, the 720s-4 compensates for its cost with a relatively decent cost of ownership. Because it doesn't come with a cleaning station, you don't need to worry about purchasing cleaning cartridges.
The entire unit is covered by a two-year limited warranty (the foil and cassette are excluded), and it comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee. We found a smattering of the same complaints we see with almost every shaver -- including bad batteries -- but no more than usual. Also, the lack of a cleaning station means one fewer thing that can go wrong.
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The Braun Series 7 720s-4 isn't tested in a series of shaver tests from ConsumerReports.org, but it's deemed so similar to one of the other shavers tested that it receives the same score by default. Fourteen foil and rotary shavers are included in the tests.
Review: Electric Razor Ratings, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, As of June 2012
2. Which? magazine
The editors of Which? magazine, a U.K. publication very similar to ConsumerReports.org, ask a panel of men to test rotary and foil electric shavers, including the Braun Series 7 720s-4. Not all of the shavers this model is compared with are available in the U.S.
Review: Electric Shaver Reviews, Editors of Which?, Not dated
More than 100 users give the Braun Series 7 720s shaver a 4.3-star overall rating on Amazon.com. They have a few quibbles about the design, but mostly they like it and say it provides a great shave.
Review: Braun Series 7-720 Men's Shaver, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of May 2013
An unidentified panel of testers (it's unclear whether the author is included) evaluates four electric shavers, including a Braun Series 7 model. The Series 7 model appears to be the Braun 790cc-4, but the panel's feedback about its sound levels might be useful for the 720s-4 as well.
Review: Blade Runners: 4 Cordless Electric Razors Tested, Steven Leckart, July 26, 2011