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Philips SensoTouch 3D Review (RQ1290cc)

Philips SensoTouch 3D
Review of: Philips SensoTouch 3D

Reviewed by:
On Jul 30, 2010
Last modified:Feb 10, 2014


Makes shaving a fun experience. It also makes you feel like you are James Bond.

Philips SensoTouch 3D

Philips SensoTouch 3D Review – This is my review on the latest Philips electric shaver, the Philips SensoTouch 3D. There are a few SensoTouch 3D models but their performance & technology are basically the same, apart from missing minor features or aesthetics. I’ll mention about the differences later in this review post.
So does SensoTouch 3D make a difference compared to the previous model, the Philips Arcitec?

Philips SensoTouch 3D Review – Looks

Similar to the previous Arcitec model, the SensoTouch 3D looks like a futuristic space ship’s flight joystick at a glance:


The build quality is really, really good – from the materials up to the finishing touches. The overall design is really slim as an electric shaver and it also has an anti-grip material so it won’t slip out of your hands when you are shaving:


There is also a handy trimmer on the SensoTouch 3D to trim your sideburns.

The SensoTouch 3D that I have is the RQ1290cc that comes with the cleaning system (Jet Clean):


and the package also comes with a nice compact travel pouch:

Travel pouchPouch

Philips SensoTouch 3D Review – model differences (RQ 1250 vs RQ 1260 vs RQ 1280 vs RQ 1290)


Based on the SensoTouch 3D usage information guide I have, here are the differences between the RQ1290, RQ1280, RQ1260, and RQ1250:

The RQ 1280 and 1290 will tell you how much battery left on the LCD display in minutes whereas the RQ 1260 and RQ 1250 will be using some sort of indicator bars.

RQ differences

The RQ1250, RQ1260, and RQ1280 don’t have an automatic lock whereas the RQ1290 has a motion sensor that automatically locks the shaver if it’s on the move for more than 5 minutes, which is cool if you frequently travel and often forget to safely lock the shaver away.

Auto lock

A “CC” simply means that the package includes the Jet Cleaning system.

Philips SensoTouch 3D Review – Closer look at the shaver features

GyroFlex 3DIn case you’ve been wondering what the 3D tag is all about, it actually refers to the GyroFlex 3D feature, with contour following heads. These heads will follow the curve of the skin’s surface nicely, reducing pressure and irritation to the skins. If you had an old electric shaver model, you must have realized that shaving the neck’s area is no trivial task. I still remember a few years back that I even needed to cut some of my neck’s hair off with scissors after shaving with an electric shaver.

Philips SensoTouch 3D UltraTrack Heads
UltraTrack heads3 x 3 UltraTrack heads with combinations of 3 specialized tracks: slots for normal hair, channels for long or flat laying hair, and holes for the shortest stubbles. These 3 UltraTrack heads are the main parts of the SensoTouch 3D responsible for giving the closest shave.

When you clean these heads after you shave, you can clearly see the thickness of these heads’ layers (much thicker than the Arcitec model):

ThicknessHeads opened

Philips SensoTouch 3D Wet or Dry Shave? Up to you.
The SensoTouch 3D technology supports both shaving in dry and wet condition. It even supports using the shaving gel to shave! Now honestly this is the first time I’ve ever heard an electric shaver that can do this (correct me if I’m wrong). During the 2 1/2 weeks test for the review, I shaved 4 times with different conditions: 1 dry, 1 wet, 1 dry, and 1 with shaving gel. All worked really well. If you always get red rashes on your skin using a dry electric shaver, always remember that SensoTouch 3D works well with shaving gel for your sensitive skin. Or you can shower and shave at the same time with SensoTouch 3D. The choice is yours!

Philips SensoTouch 3D Review – Jet Cleaning System

Jet Clean opened

RQ1290ccOn the RQ1008 Jet Clean system (the one that 222I have), you can set the cleaning mode to either AUTO, ECO, or INTENSIVE. The AUTO mode lasts for 2 hours (including cleaning and drying) whereas the ECO lasts for only 1 hour. The INTENSIVE lasts for 2 hours but it adds an extra session of cleaning.

The other alternative, RQ1007, only has one mode which is the AUTO mode.

cleaning methods

Cleaning the SensoTouch 3D shaver heads is very easy. I normally wash the heads under the sink with hot water first and then put the shaver on the Jet Cleaning system.

Philips SensoTouch 3D Review – Impressions and Conclusion

Shaving experience

The Philips SensoTouch 3D is the newest electric shaver from Philips after the Arcitec model and it doesn’t disappoint. The overall looks are really classy, futuristic and elegant, built with high quality materials, and simply…amazing in every little thing you can think of. It’s the kind of gadget that will make every fan trembles with excitement. From the moment you activate the shaver (touch the screen to power up) even until you clean it on the Jet Cleaning system, the team at Philips really want you to enjoy using the shaver as much as the shaving process.


But of course, you don’t buy a shaver because it looks good (although it can be a factor) but because it shaves good. Philips SensoTouch 3D really gives the closest shave ever so far from all the high end shavers I’ve tried (the Philips Arcitec and Braun Pulsonic 7). When I turned it on for the first time, I could already tell from the high pitch spinning sound that the SensoTouch 3D is different than the other shavers I’ve tried.

LockIt shaves well, thanks to the sturdy grip, combined with the GyroFlex 3D feature. Shaving under the nose feels a bit awkward at first with the three heads but somehow hairs got cut off even if I wasn’t so sure that I got the heads at the right places. Shaving the neck area is still a challenge, because you’d tend to miss a few stubborn hairs even with 3 heads spinning and cutting like crazy. Since it’s not exactly clear which parts of the heads you should use to aim for that troublesome spot, you’ll probably end up doing a few random circular motions around the area.

From my experience in shaving with the SensoTouch 3D for four times in 2 1/2 weeks period, both long and short hairs can be cut easily by the SensoTouch 3D UltraTack heads (normally an electric shaver tends to have problems in shaving really long hairs).

Since you can do either a dry or a wet shave with SensoTouch 3D, this really is an all around shaver that works great under different hair conditions.

If you can afford it and you are looking for a new electric shaver, get it, you won’t regret it. If you ever regret in buying the SensoTouch 3D, not to worry because there is a money back guarantee from Philips. But please try to shave with it at least 4-5 times before you decide to return it. It may take some time for your skin to get used to the SensoTouch 3D. I had a few red rashes only on my first shave and it was all great experience afterwards.


+ Looks cool and stylish
+ Shaves the closest among other electrical shavers
+ Plenty of battery life
+ Great cleaning solution
+ Battery and other indicators


– Hard to shave longer hairs

Philips Norelco 1250X/40 SensoTouch 3D Electric Razor (Series 8000) (Health and Beauty)

List Price: $199.99 USD
New From: $179.99 USD In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock

List Price: Price Not Listed
New From: 0 Out of Stock
Used from: Out of Stock

Note: Philips SensoTouch 3D Review unit was sponsored for the review. All opinions are 100% mine


  1. for the 129o can you tell me if the display color is really bright blue or white like the 1280.

    Can you list clearly all the differences between the 1290 and the 1280
    i want to know what i get more if i choose the top of the line philips razor


    • Hi Steve,
      The display color of the text is actually bright white. The photos makes it look like a light blue but it’s actually a pure bright white – which is cool in my opinion, a contrast to the black background screen

      As for the differences, I don’t have the 1280 but according to the guide, it looks like the main difference is only the auto locking system as explained in the post. It’s better if you email Philips or perhaps go to a shaver shop in town and check it yourself? :) Sorry can’t help more than this

  2. Hello,

    Very nice review!
    Do you know the difference between the 3d and the 2d?
    Does it worth the price difference?


  3. Ive just bought and used the RQ1250 model and I’m really disappointed. Yes i didn’t shave for a week so my hair was long, but for 400+ Australian Dollars i thought it would do a hell of allot better than the performance i just had. I had several patches on my cheeks and neck and had to Finnish my shave off with a razor. I’ll be taking this back after a few more tries. But at the moment. its not looking good.

    • Well electric razors are not really designed to shave long hairs so if you can try shaving once every few days, it shouldn’t have any problems.

      Also, try using it as you say, a few more times before you return it. I did get red rashes during my first and hated it. Didn’t experience it in the 2nd and so forth.

      Besides the first shave is probably the “judgmental” phase because you realized you’ve spent a lot on an item :)

  4. Hello again,

    I was asking about the difference between the RQ1250 which id defined on Philips official website as Gyro Flex 3D and the RQ1150 which is Gyro Flex 2D.
    Do you know if the extra dimension worth the extra charge?


    • Ahh. Sorry for my misunderstanding. I’m not sure to be honest apart from the explanation given on the features (from the shaver’s technical specification).

      Perhaps emailing Philips or asking it in a shaver shop helps better?

    • The differences between the 2D and 3D are:

      – 1 vs. 3 blades on each head (like the difference between the HS8060 and the RQ1050)
      – The blades can bend inwards as well as outwards, so the head is more flexible.
      – The design is somewhat different

      Is it worth an extra $100? If you want the best result, it’s worth it.

  5. Is there a big difference between the arcitec range and the sensotouch 3D range that justifies the extra £100?

    • The SensoTouch 3D shaves quicker and a bit closer compared to the Arcitec. The technology is different but you can probably get away with Arcitec and use the £100 for something else :)

      SensoTouch 3D can also shave with shaving gel, Arcitec can’t (as far as I remember)

  6. My husband preferes the old school way of shaving, saying that it helps him bond with other guys in the barber shop but the thing is I hate mornings becauese I’m the one who has to live with the scratchy face, so thanks for the post- he is definitely getting aS Senso Touch this Christmas

  7. Hi,

    May you tell me if the sensotouch brings several plug adapters for use when you’re travelling? If it brings different ones… which are?

    With best regards,


  8. Hi,

    I have bought a sensotouch today and didn’t get everything i was supposed to. I got two trimmers instead of one trimmer and a protection cap. Do they sell the protection caps separately? Or can I just get my money back and get a new sensotouch because they put the wrong item.



  9. Thanks for the review on this shaver. I am looking to replace my current Panasonic shaver, which is almost 3 years old now. I don’t have the model number right now, but they are essentially unchanged in recent years.

    I have used Panasonic for a dozen years or so for one main reason, they have been the only electric shaver that is wet/dry. There have been other models that work with shave cream and can be rinsed clean, but not truly wet/dry. I like to shave in the shower, mostly my head. Actually, I generally dry shave my face and wet shave my head.

    You mentioned not knowing of another electric shaver that is wet/dry. As I state above, Panasonic has had this for many years. I think they have been wet/dry for 15 years or more.

    I saw this shaver in the Costco add, which with a coupon right now is selling for $180 US, I think until Nov 29.

  10. I was going to buy SensoTouch 3D RQ1290CC from a retailer, the price was a bit high $699, searched the internet to get a reasonable price, i couldn’t find any price for SensoTouch 3D RQ1290CC, but there is another product SensoTouch 3D RQ1290x as well, any one can help about the difrence between SensoTouch 3D RQ1290CC and SensoTouch 3D RQ1290x and the price for SensoTouch 3D RQ1290CC?


    • The article mentions the difference. The CC refers to the jet clean system. You do not get this neat cleaning and charging station with the 1290x.

  11. Hi Michael,
    I’m buying an electric shaver, and surfing on the web I’ve read your interesting review.
    My choices are Braun pulsonic 790 or Philips 1280.

    I just wanna ask, in your opinion, which is the best (price for me is not a driver for chioce) considering my bristly beard shaved every day; now i’m using a traditional rasor.

    Sorry for all these answers.

    Thanks in advance

    Teo (italy)

    • Well Philips SensoTouch 3D is much newer than the Braun Pulsonic 7 Series. I’ve used both in the past and at the moment, SensoTouch 3D shaves closer although I’d personally still prefer non-rotary blades because it’s harder to focus on a specific spot (when you see a single long hair still dangling around)

      But if you ask me which to recommend, I’d say the SensoTouch 3D – shaves closer, faster, and looks cooler :)

  12. Hi, do the hair cuttings collect inside, or do they simply fall to the sink? My Phillips Speed-XL 8200 series collects them. I pop the top, and shake when done. My g/f prefers this, no mess. Please let me know, as I read one review saying the hairs fall everywhere.. Thanks.

    • Hi Rick,

      Sorry for the late reply. The hair cuttings are collected inside but in my experience, you do have a few tiny ones slip out and fall to the sink.

    • The cuttings are entirely contained within the heads until you open them (separately) to be cleaned under the tap. There should be no mess on the counter whatsoever.

  13. I just got one of these (the 1280, but without the Jet Clean) as a replacement for my ancient Philishave 775. Quite a difference, let me tell you. If you can get a deal on one I don’t think you’d regret it – it shaved me much closer, much much faster, and quieter – it’s like night and day compared with other electrics I’ve used. NB I’m a pasty Englishman with a light beard, which usually makes for many passes with the razor to catch every flat hair, but this one worked like a charm.

    Quite expensive, but for something I spend five minutes with every single day and plan to have for some years, not too bad.

    All in all, excellent. I’d recommend it to anyone.

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Pete. It would definitely help those hundreds of people who come from Google everyday here to decide whether they should be getting this shaver or not :)

  14. Hi Michael,

    Thanks for the great review. As an owner of the Arcitec shaver I was wondering if the shaving heads are actually interchangeable. Can I just buy a 3d shaving head and fit it on my arcitect shaver or do I have to buy the whole set?


    • No, the driving mechanism (spindle) is entirely different between the Sensotouch and the Arcitec. You would need to purchase a 3d shaving replacement head.

    • actually i was told by someone that owns the arcitec and the 3d that the 3d heads will work on the arcitec

    • there are 2-3 reviews on amazon.com that say it will fit perfectly…i ordered one of the hq12 heads and i am gonna use it on my arcitec…i saw a youtube video where someone took the head off and the driving mechanism looks exactly the same on the sensotouch as it is on the arcitec so to the best of my knowledge it will fit…i will let you know when mine comes in the mail

    • well i’ve tried both heads and to be honest they cut pretty much the same despite what you read on the internet….the only thing the 3d head does better is it cuts faster if your beard is really long (more than 3 days since your last shave)…but if you shave every day or every other day there is basically no difference…they both cut smooth as a razor but it takes going over your face several times and moving your face and neck around…with either head you go over your face and neck once getting most of your beard off and then you have to go back over it to get it super smooth where your face doesn’t feel like sandpaper lol

    • Think twice before you buy the 3D shaving head for your Arcitec. The battery of my 2.5 years old Arcitect recently broke down.

  15. A rash has developed on my face since using the sensortouch around my neck and under my chin. Has anyone else experienced this problem. What is recommended to offset this rash…a cream or powder?

    • Hi John, I had that on my first run with the SensoTouch 3D which worried me a bit.

      The second and the rest were fine though. So perhaps try to shave a few times? Your skin might take some time to get used to it.

      If still persists, might want to use any shaving cream to help out then

    • yeah it irritates mine too…i was using lectric shave and i found out that it was irritating my skin before i even started to shave…so i stopped using it…i’ve only been using it a few weeks so i’m hoping my skin will adjust more…if not i will shave my face with the electric and go back to shaving my neck with the schick hydro 5 razor lol

  16. Hi!
    I decide betweet 1260CC and 1250 which doesn’t have the Jet Clean system. Do you think that the maitenance without Jet Clean is cumbrous. Or is the Jet Clen extra value for extra money?

    • It’s easy to open the shaver’s head up and flush on the tap (which I do anyway before I put it on the Jet Cleaning System).

      I understand your doubts as I had that too when I bought my first Philips Arcitec long ago. I ended up buying the one with the cleaning system though.. It cleans the shaver’s head with alcohol and (I think) lubricate it too.

      At the end of the day..your call.. if you have the money, get it because you want your expensive shaver to stay good and shining (not to mention the head replacement is quite pricey too)!

  17. Hi guys and congratulations on the review Michael is very good and complete. Now I have a doubt, the RQ1290/1280 only comes with this great (big) charger (along with the Clean System) and also has a travel charger (or samll) with the unit?

    Thanks and congratulations again.


    • Hi Rafael,

      No travel charger for the shaver. Depending on where you live (the RQ1290 does NOT come with the cleaning unit in the US only the RQ1280 and the RQ1250 come as a “CC” package, that includes the cleaning system), the RQ 1290 comes either with the stand, which servers at a charger as well, or with the stand and the cleaning unit. If you travel, you have to bring the stand with you to charge the shaver. That said, I bought the RQ1290 recently, and have to say it holds a charge pretty long – unless you travel for more than 10-14 days, you don’t really need to re-charge it while you’re gone. Other than that, I love this device!!! It shaves way closer than the Braun Pulsonic 7, which I used until now. I always had to follow up with my Gilette Fusion shaver to get a smooth shave. Not with this one – I love it!!

  18. Hi,

    I want to buy the RQ1290cc but I can’t find it. I can only find (on Google/eBay/amazon) the 1280cc, or 1290x.
    Is it true that the 1290cc (i.e 1290 with the jet clean) is not sold in the US?
    If so, what would you recommend – 1280cc or the 1290x?


    • Even though officially the 1290cc isn’t available in Canada (I presume the same in the US), I found it locally at a store just last week (see my reply below).

      If you do get the chance to get the 1290cc I’d recommend it over the 1280. I have the 1280 and the 1290 feels a lot nicer and better-built in comparison – in all fairness the 1280 is no slouch either in this regard but the 1290 felt that much better in the hand.

  19. The big difference between the rq1290 and the rq1280 is the 90 has a metal frame and charging stand were the 80 is plastic. other than that the charge time, run time, heads are the same. 1290x in the states however does not come with a jet clean.

    • I have the RQ1280 (without the cleaning station) and love it; also ex-Braun series 7 user. I’m in Canada and I was also curious as to why there’s no mention of the 1290 here in North America until last week I walked into a store called Bed, Bath and Beyond and to my shock they have the 1290cc (with the cleaning station) for $369CAD, and they also had a demo unit and sure enough it’s metal casing making it feel substantially nicer and heftier than my 1280. The store regularly gives out 20% off coupons so it comes to just under 300 bucks.

      It seems the 1290cc is available after all in Canada at least but not officially (no mention of it on Philips.ca’s website).

  20. I am taking the leap from the traditional Norelco (over 25 years) to the Sensotouch. Is there a major difference between the 1250, 1260,1280, 1290 ? I plan to use this as my only method of shaving.

    • No difference in the shave itself. Just the finish on certain models (more metal, digital display, etc.) as well as whether or not it comes with a cleaning station.

  21. I purchased a senso 3D in january(£135 /Amazon) and stopped using it by March. Absolutely rubbish product. The blades wore out by mid feb so much that it was painful to use. Philips kindly offered me a shaving head replacement but refused to refund the product since it was 5 days outside the replacement window.
    And the Dutch are not exactly good at customer care. In short this is a product that you should be staying away from.
    I am back to my Gillette disposables wish i had not fallen for the marketing hype.

  22. Thanks for the nice review. I’ve been considering either the 3D shaver you reviewed or the 920 series from Philips. Tough choice.

  23. I have had a Braun shaver for over 20 years. The Series 3 is the current one I have. After having it for a couple of years, I tried out the 3D and was sold on it. It is much lighter, and quieter than the Braun. It also does not drop so many wiskers on the sink like the Braun. I found you don’t have to press hard to get a close shave. The shave is good but of course not as good as using a Merkur razor with the Art of Shaving cream. However it is one of the best electric shavers I have found on the market. I found it under $150 for the 3D without the rinse unit. Done! At some point I will buy the cleaning liquid to drop in the heads a couple times a year. But if you rinse it under hot water, I don’t see the importance of the cleaning unit. The Braun did not go in hot water so their cleaning solution made a little more sense.

  24. Fine razor, a razor I imported to Brazil

    Your comments helped me choose the rq1290cc
    in my parents only have until rq1280x (not jet clean)
    thank you!

    • Hello. I am interested in RQ1290cc, but I cannot find a store sale this model. I searched on ebay, they only 1290c without jet clean. Do you know where can I buy a rq1290cc?

  25. Hi, I have bought the SensoTouch 3D 1290 model and used it very well for over 6 months. I travel a lot and the battery has lasted even for 3 weeks, even though I shave (wet) every day. When I travel I always use the block which is very practical. When the shaver was charged it even displayed 72 or 76 minutes. However, this past day I am experiencing a problem that I do not know how to deal with. Even though the shaver is charged and cleaned, the screen is bizare and the on/off button does not seem to work. The screen seem to behave more notmally when at base and the cleaning programme works. However once out of the base, the shaver does not respond. Is there someone who knows how to deal with this? Is there a way to re-set somehow the shaver?

  26. I bought a philip electric shaver which costed me about 35$ but it doesnt provide a close shave and i have to go over the same area 5-6 times to get a clean shave.
    I was wondering if the philips sensotouch 3d is worth it and that if I buy this product I wont have to replace it for the next 5 years.
    Also after how many years would I have to replace the head?

  27. My RQ1250 model got a similar problem as Eddy had, the screen shows no light and the on/off button does not respond after 1.x years of use. While each time when the shaver was put back to the charging station, the screen light runs once and stops responding when off the station. I’ve cleaned the head thoroughly and the problem remains. I would consult at a local retailer but not sure if they could fix such technical problem easily.

  28. This is the best shaver I ever had. It shaves really smooth and clean.
    It’s light, well build, it’s just everything you can want from a shaver.

  29. Great product.

    Go to ebay and buy the 1290cc and 1280cc with chrome frames in gold or silver from China. Most are currently going for around £65 0r less !!!

    In the UK they are asking for £150+

    A great steal, and are the genuine article.

    No bullshit.

  30. First purchased Oct 2011;then 8 months later. RQ1290 CC top of the range wouldn’t work: dead. Replaced after 10 days – not very happy. Great wet shave, no red spots like hand held razor. Now 6 months later RQ1290 CC won’t Charge: dead again.. Now 15 months from first purchase into ???? third top of the line electric razor..

    So they replaced the base only, no receipt, so when us warranty due 2 yrs again. I can see a fight looming as have recorded & kept all transactions.

    Phillips – am not impressed: either, I’m very unlucky or u r product has some serious flaws if it can’t last longer than 6-8 months in my experience: maybe Third time lucky..

    Dr. Kevin

    • Ok, so I got a ad batch no RQ1290 in oct, 2011 & bad luck again in aug, 2012. Now going for a third bad batch in Jan 2013. So they regularly have bad batches every 6-8months. Wow then I really do need to keep all my receipts & recording from shop assistants.

      Here’s the real curly question: does the 2 yrs warranty start again with every replaced unit?. Or does the warranty only last from date of purchase and this one better break down before Oct 2013. That 9 months away just outside my current replacement timetable.

      Wow that’s a relief.. Dr Kevin

  31. Hi guys. I haven’t use an electric shaver before. I decided to buy one. Can I ask you which is the latest shaver from senso touch 3D models ?? Also which is from your opinion the best model 1250,1260,1280 or 1290? Thank’s a lot.

  32. Nice review but can you tell me whether the rechargeable battery is replaceable on any of these models?. I have the old arcitec rq1095 and the battery needs to be replaced but I cannot get hold of one. Thanks in advance for any help :-)

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