The Philips Norelco SensoTouch 3D 1250X rotary wet/dry shaver draws plenty of user praise for its close, quiet shave, and wet/dry performance is an extra bonus. There are a few complaints about the "bulky" and "flimsy" charger, however. This shaver is also sold as the Philips Norelco SensoTouch 1250XCC (Est. $190), which is the same model plus a Jet Clean cleaning station.
Experts love it; users agree for the most part. The Philips Norelco SensoTouch 3D 1250X claims the top spot -- by just a hair -- in an expert test of rotary shavers. It also earns the only unreserved recommendation in a comparative test of four shavers published on Gizmodo.com. "I often found myself using it to clean up after testing the other units -- using it wet or with shaving foam, the SensoTouch consistently shaved trouble spots that the others missed," writes Andrew Tarantola at Gizmodo.com.
A reviewer with Electric-Shaver-Guide.com, who's building an extensive library of text and video reviews, isn't a huge fan of the 1250X because it seems to struggle to get through his thick beard -- but he says a lot of users have written in to recommend it. The user comments we found are mostly positive, too, but more conflicted than the experts'.
Most users agree that the SensoTouch 3D 1250X provides a great shave on the face, although they don't expect any electric shaver to get quite as close as a blade. However, we found complaints that it didn't do so well on the neck, producing irritation or leaving hair behind. Men with coarse hair seem to have more trouble with this shaver than users with fine hair.
Shaver good, charger bad. The 1250X shaver itself "fits perfectly in the hand and has a good feel to it," writes one Amazon.com user. The charging stand that accompanies the 1250X isn't as well regarded; users alternately describe it as bulky, flimsy and fragile. One unhappy reviewer says that it fell off a perfectly flat surface several times when he tried to charge his razor, and nobody likes that you have to take the charging stand -- which won't fit into the shaver's carry pouch -- along when you travel. You can't plug the 1250X directly into the wall with a power cord, as you can with some shavers; it only charges while in the stand.
We found a few comments that a wide plastic border around the cutting heads keeps this shaver from reaching the stubble near a user's nostrils, and others say it tends to spill clippings everywhere.
Users like the Jet Clean stand that comes with the 1250XCC version of this shaver. They say it does a great job of cleaning the shaver, although a few note that the Jet Clean's design makes it easy to spill the cleaning fluid, which is fairly expensive. Unlike the Philips Norelco SensoTouch 3D 1280XCC (Est. $250) , the 1250XCC offers just one cleaning cycle, which starts automatically and takes about two hours to complete.
One of only a few truly quiet shavers. The Philips Norelco SensoTouch 3D 1250X gets a very good rating for its noise level in expert testing, and users agree. "It is so quiet that I never hear him shaving with it," writes a wife posting to Walmart.com about her husband's shaver.
Another user, posting to Amazon.com, relates: "I can't describe how impressive it is to have an electric razor that doesn't sound like a weed whacker. This guy sounds like a cell phone vibrating, very little noise at all. It's like getting a shave and a mini facial massage at the [same] time."
You're taking a leap of faith. The Philips 1250X and 1250XCC are covered by a two-year warranty and a 45-day money-back guarantee. However, we found a fair number of complaints from Amazon.com users that when they had problems with the shaver suddenly not working during the warranty period, Philips's customer service wasn't very helpful. One of the most common issues was the necessary replacement part (often the charging stand) being back-ordered with no estimated time of arrival.
You're supposed to replace the three cutting heads (Est. $50) about once a year. If you have the 1250XCC's Jet Clean stand, expect to pay about $45 for a pack of six Jet Clean cartridges -- each of which the manufacturer estimates should last for about 15 daily cleanings.
The editors of ConsumerReports.org ask a panel of 16 testers to try out 14 foil and rotary shavers, including the Philips Norelco SensoTouch 3D 1250X. The testers take a shaver similar to the one they normally use at home for a week, then return to the laboratory to help evaluate the shavers and their performance for factors including noise and efficiency.
Review: Electric Razor Ratings, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, June 2012
The author tests four electric razors on up to three days' growth of stubble and recommends only one without reservations: the Philips Norelco SensoTouch 3D. He says he frequently found himself using it to clean up trouble spots that other shavers had missed.
Review: The Best Electric Razor, Andrew Tarantola, Jan. 16, 2013
This reviewer creates video and text reviews of many shaver models, sometimes comparing two or more against each other. He recommends the Philips SensoTouch 3D 1250X as the best rotary shaver, although in a previous review he noted that it didn't do so well with his coarse beard. (He awarded it an honorable mention in that previous review, though, because many readers wrote in to recommend it -- presumably for other skin/hair types.)
Review: Finding the Best Electric Shaver... Sounds Like a Job for an Expert, Editors of Electric-Shaver-Guide.com, Not dated
More than 780 Amazon.com reviewers give this version of the Philips SensoTouch 3D 1250X -- without a Jet Clean system -- an overall score of 4.3 out of 5 stars. Although most users say they love this shaver, we found a number of complaints about product durability and Philips customer service.
Review: Philips Norelco 1250X/40 SensoTouch 3D Electric Razor, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of May 2013
More than 350 Amazon.com users review the 1250XCC/42, which comes with a Jet Clean stand and slightly improved display. They give it an overall score of 4.3 out of 5 stars; most say they love the shaver, but we found a number of complaints.
Review: Philips Norelco 1250X/42 SensoTouch 3D Electric Razor, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of May 2013
About four dozen Walmart.com reviewers give this shaver a near-perfect 4.8-star rating, and 100 percent of those who respond say they would recommend it to a friend. The quiet operation is a particularly big hit, but the reviews include a few criticisms of the charging and cleaning stands.
Review: Philips Norelco SensoTouch 3D Electric Shaver with Jet Clean System, 1250X/42, Contributors to Walmart.com, As of May 2013
Almost two dozen Drugstore.com users rate the Philips Norelco 1250X/40 at an average of 4.5 stars. For the most part they say this shaver is a great value and easy to use, although comments here are much briefer than those at other sites.
Review: Philips Norelco SensoTouch 3D Electric Razor 1250X/40, Contributors to Drugstore.com, As of May 2013