Braun Oral-B Pre­ci­sion 9000


ORAL-B’S BEEN TOOL­ING AROUND with this ‘smart-tooth­brush’ con­cept for a cou­ple of years now, with many of its mod­els now of­fer­ing built-in Blue­tooth and the abil­ity to con­nect to an app to track brush­ing sta­tis­tics, as well as how of­ten you floss, brush your tongue and/or rinse with mouth­wash. The Ge­nius 9000 is the lat­est flag­ship in this smart range, al­though in terms of ac­tu­ally ‘new’ fea­tures, it’s not par­tic­u­larly am­bi­tious.

It of­fers the same six brush­ing modes (which change the speed and os­cil­la­tions of the head to fo­cus on spe­cific clean­ing tech­niques) along­side the Android and iOS app that times your brush ses­sions and, while it does so, dis­plays weather, news head­lines and cal­en­dar ap­point­ments, pre­sum­ably to keep you en­ter­tained for the two min­utes it takes to clean your teeth.

The head­line new fea­ture is ‘po­si­tion de­tec­tion’ (some­thing that’s proudly touted on the front of the box), but this is ac­tu­ally mostly en­abled by soft­ware — to use it, you need to stick an in­cluded bulky plas­tic phone-holder onto your bath­room mir­ror at head height (a bit like a car wind­screen mount, just with the added ex­cite­ment of po­ten­tially drop­ping your phone in the sink) and then in­sert your phone, with the de­vice’s cam­era pointed at your face while you brush. Oh, and you have to con­firm your cam­era’s po­si­tioned cor­rectly ev­ery time you use Po­si­tion De­tec­tion — and re­frain from mov­ing your head too much while you do so.

In test­ing, more­over, the app’s abil­ity to ac­tu­ally de­tect brush po­si­tion wasn’t great. At best, it was a lit­tle bit laggy to recog­nise when we’d moved the brush — par­tic­u­larly when we were brush­ing the front area — which of­ten led to us hav­ing to brush for pro­longed pe­ri­ods un­til the app ac­tu­ally de­cided we were done.

There’s seem­ingly a good rea­son the de­sign­ers haven’t made this the de­fault mode, then — most peo­ple will find it just too in­con­ve­nient to be use­ful. More­over, it’s ar­guably not a huge im­prove­ment over the reg­u­lar brush­ing timer, which can be paired with a vis­ual aid to prompt you to brush four spe­cific sec­tions for a pro­scribed time pe­riod.

What’s ac­tu­ally more use­ful in this Ge­nius 9000 pack is that the in­cluded carry case, which has its own sec­ondary-bat­tery and dou­bles as a charger, so it’ll re-juice your brush while it’s packed away. That adds to the weight, but if you’re go­ing on a pro­longed trip, it’ll save you from hav­ing to take a charger (al­though that’s ad­mit­tedly quite com­pact).

The short­com­ings we’ve high­lighted don’t make this a bad elec­tric tooth­brush — it’s just not a par­tic­u­larly smart or in­sight­ful one. You’ll need to be a brush­ing ob­ses­sive to bother stick­ing with cer­tain fea­tures, but ei­ther way, it still gives a nicely re­fresh­ing clean. [ DAN GAR­DINER ]

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