Best Shaver For Travelers - Philips Norelco 8900 S8950/90 Review

Posted in Personal Development on April 18, 2018

I chose this Philips Norelco because I wanted a cheap electric razor with self-cleaning function. I got that, plus smoothest shaves I have ever had. If you travel often like I do, you will also enjoy the travel case, the battery duration (I have used this shaver 10 days and the battery was still running great), and the travel lock feature, which is well thought and super simple to use.
This thing is a steal because of the self-cleaning and charging station, which means you are always ready to pack up and hit the road. Click here to see today's prices at Amazon or keep on reading my experience below.

Philips Norelco 8900 S8950/90 Review

I had been using a Philips HQ6070 for almost 10 years before I decided it was time to change it. It was a great unit and its battery was still going strong – this for me was the best aspect because I am a frequently traveler and having the possibility to leave the charger behind has always been a huge benefit.

When I first chose the HQ6070, I searched for the cheapest shaver with the cheapest replacement heads I could find. This time around, however, I wanted a self-cleaning device. Cleaning and maintaining my electric razor has always been the most time-consuming task. So I decided to find a cheap Philips self-cleaning electric shaver, because of my past positive experiences.

Enters the Philips Norelco 8900 S8950/90. It has 3 shaving heads, instead of the 2 my old unit had, and what a difference it makes. I only do dry shaves and I can get a great shave on all the different parts of my face, jawline, upper lip, and neck.

Philips says it can take up to 21 days for the best shaving results, but my face already acclimated with the S8950 on my first shave. I don’t even do the recommended circular motion for shaving – past habit inherited from my previous Braun foil shaver – and I already reap all the benefits from this wonderful machine. So far I have had no issues with hair pulling or skin sensitivity.

You can clean and maintain the 8900 series by simply popping the heads, rinsing them, and air drying them. Every so often – I usually do it once a week on my old unit – you also should remove the ring and the circular heads to individually clean them as well.

Cleaning it manually is super easy, and it is the exact process I wanted to avoid.

Although the cleaning/docking system is large – which means more bathroom counter “real estate” needed, I am now in a place in my life where I have very little spare time and I would rather free up time for family and hobbies than spend it cleaning my razor circular heads.

Plus, the cleaning solution also lubricates the blades, thus increasing their lifespan.

I also don’t worry about having to buy cleaning refills, because it is easy to DIY them – and while I gladly pay for the extra convenience, I am also frugal enough to save money on this front.

While using the Philips, it feels substantial and solid in my hands. There is a 3-light indicator and I have been away from home during a 10-day trip and I had no problem with the battery.

And you can use a simple Travel Lock mode by holding the power button during 3 seconds to activate or deactivate the lock, which stops the shaver from turning on by itself in your bag.

The travel case is good, protects its contents, and is firm enough.

The trimmer attachment has good quality. I used to have a pop-out trimmer in my old Philips, but this one is more powerful. It also has an adjustable comb with a built-in slider, and this slider is removable too.

This guy also has a display indicator for the heads replacement, which is a nice extra. It is sure easy enough to know when your shavings are not as close as they used to be, however I welcome the extra layer of attention Philips put in this product. (Plus, it is in their best interest to sell new replacement heads as often as possible.)


  • Close shaves. Philips has fancy names such as Contour Detect Technology, where each head pivots great, and are super flexible to reach all the angles and curves in your face, V-Track Precision Blades, which pick the optimal cutting position for your face hair, plus self-sharpening blades, which ensure best results every day. In every day terms, this S8950/90 gives you premium shaves for average money.
  • SmartClean system. If you don’t bother cleaning your shaver under the tap, do yourself a favor and save money by choosing a cheaper model. Personally, I chose this one specifically for the simplified maintenance provided by this system. I press a button and my shaver gets cleaned and lubricated. The stand also keeps the battery charged at all times, which is very practical too if you are like me and travel often.
  • Quality trimmer. You can style your beard in 5 built-in lengths – from stubble to a short beard. Tips and comb were thought out to avoid irritating your skin, which reflects how much engineering goes behind this product.
  • LED display. This is where you see battery level, Travel Lock on, and whether or not you need replacement shaving heads.
  • Made in the Netherlands. With so much stuff made using cheap labor these days, it is nice to know some manufacturers still care about building quality over bottom low prices.


Performance for me has been top-notch from the first day, even though Philips says it can take up to 21 days for optimal results. This unit has been as good from the start, just as my old Philips shaver.


Open the box and you will find the instructions manual, the shaver itself with its cleaning and charging station, the beard attachments, and the travel case.


Shipping weight is 3.3 lbs (1.5 kg), and the shaver plus the station weigh 3.22 lbs (1.4 kg). Total dimensions are 8 x 11.1 x 5.7 in (203 x 281 x 144 mm).

Pros and Cons

To be honest, I don't have many words left here. This unit offers all the main benefits I wished for, however it isn't exactly cheap. I am pretty sure I am getting my money's worth, which is why I ended up buying it.

Cost-Benefit Ratio

I was searching for a cheap electric shaver with self-cleaning function. Not only this Philips Norelco delivers it, it is also the closest and smoothest shaves I have ever had.
I have been away from home for 10 days and I had no issues with the battery – the travel lock is simple to use and very convenient as well.
The trimmer head is powerful and has an adjustable guard. I only dry shave, but this unit allows for wet shaving as well.
Click here to buy it now from Amazon