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I am a primarily happy user of the Philips Sonicare line of toothbrushes. Approximately 10 years being a strict Philips Sonicare user. However, the longevity of the newer models is something that has been an issue for me. My older Sonicare brushes would have lasted around 3 years. However, with the newer DiamondClean lines, I am lucky to get a year of use without the main vibrating stem becoming loose.
As a result, I wanted to look at other brands that can provide similar results at a lower price and perhaps more product life. Throughout my research, I stumbled upon the uSmile U3 Sonic toothbrush. Here are my thoughts on the U3 and how it compares to the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean.
Why Get A Sonic Wave Toothbrush?
Unlike traditional electric toothbrushes that use a rotary or back and forth motion to clean your teeth, a toothbrush that uses sonic wave technology relies on a high vibrational frequency to create sonic waves that disrupt plaque build-up on teeth. The sonic waves can disrupt plaque without making physical contact with plaque in hard-to-reach areas like between teeth and partially under the gums (to an extent). It will never do as good a job as flossing does, but this is a good backup if you do not floss.
Philips Sonicare’s top-of-the-line model at the time of writing, the DiamondClean, performs 62,000 vibrations per minute! The uSmile U3, in comparison, produces 38,000 vibrations per minute. There is a significant difference in the vibrations per minute between the two brushes, and I could definitely feel it in my mouth the first time I used the U3 after using Philips Sonicare brushes for so long.
uSmile U3 Package Contents
In the box, you get the toothbrush, of course, 2 brush heads and a USB type C charging cable. There is no carrying case for travel, so I would keep the toothbrush box if you do a lot of travel. It isn’t too large.
uSmile U3 Build Quality
I’m very impressed with the build quality of the u3. It is solidly built, and there are no loose parts, play or creaking when I add some tension or attempt to twist the brush handle. I would it on par with the Philips DiamondClean build quality. The brush heads also have no issues and offer a snug fit on the brush’s main vibration stem.
The U3 has an IPX7 rating, which means it can be submerged under 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes. I could not find the IP rating for the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean, but it has no issues being submerged in water either.
uSmile U3 Features
Similar to other electric toothbrushes, the brush lets you change the brushing mode and the intensity of each brushing mode.
You can choose from these 4 brushing modes for the U3 toothbrush:
- Deep cleaning
- Soft mode
The Philips Sonicare DiamondClean has 5 brushing modes:
- Gum Health
- Deep Clean
- Tongue Care
Battery Life – Standout Feature
This is one area where the uSmile U3 beats every electric toothbrush out on the market at the time of writing. It boasts a 6 month or 180 battery life! This is due to the 2500 mAh battery it has. The Philips Sonicare DiamondClean has a 700 mAh battery, so the U3 has approximately 3.6 times more battery life. With the U3, you could potentially just be charging your toothbrush twice a year, highly appealing.
Charging the U3 requires you to open the charging port located at the bottom of the toothbrush. Once opened, the toothbrush can be charged by USB type C. This is a bit more work than charging the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean toothbrush, which only requires that you place it on a charging stand. However, with the outstanding battery life of the U3, charging will likely only need to be done 2 to 3 times a year.
Different models of the Philips toothbrushes may come with one or two different brush heads. The U3 brush head is standard, and it is not designated as a whitening brush head or standard brush head. The Philips line of brush heads offers a much more extensive selection. It is also easy to buy replacement brush heads for Philips toothbrushes since they are readily available from Philips and third-party companies. Currently, I could only find U3 brush heads on the manufacturer’s website.
While the U3 has a lower number of vibrations at 38,000 per minute, compared to the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean at 62,000 vibrations per minute, I was still left with a clean feeling mouth after using the U3. Philips does offer lower-end toothbrush models with 30,000 vibrations per minute, and they also clean very well. If you are used to high vibrations, it may take some time to get used to the lower 38,000 vibrations from the U3. If you want the most vibrations, the Philips is your best choice.
I can highly recommend the uSmile U3 if you do not want to pay over $100 for a toothbrush. Philips models of toothbrushes can range from as low as $40 to as much as $300. The uSmile U3 comes in at under $100 dollars, which is amazing value for what it offers, and how well it compares to my Philips Sonicare DiamondClean.
Keep in mind that I have not used the uSmile U3 for as long as I have used the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean, so only time will tell how its longevity compares. So far, so good.
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