Unlike many of the best beard trimmers on the market, the Philips OneBlade Pro uses a unique interchangeable head that looks more like the standard blades you might find on a Wilkinson Sword or Gillette disposable razor.
This little head, dubbed OneBlade, is designed to last around four months of regular shaves before it’s time to ditch it in favour of a fresh one. But unlike its distinctly analogue cousins, this blade features an integrated, mechanical cutter that moves 200 times a minute for a very clean, snag-free shaving experience.
For longer beards, there’s a removable and adjustable comb that sits atop the OneBlade technology, which can be adjusted in increments from 0.4mm to 10 mm, putting it on par with many other beard trimmers we’ve been blessed to test recently.
That said, the shaving surface is quite small, which makes scything through thick beards a little tricky. It can handle the fuzz but getting an even trim that doesn’t take off too much requires a bit of skill and a deft hand.
Philips OneBlade Pro Review: build quality
Let’s not beat around the bush (wahey!), the Philips OneBlade Pro doesn’t feel like a particularly expensive or robust product. It is small and light, which is a positive thing, but the diminutive OneBlade attachment are really small and the plastic attachments that lock them in place feel flimsy. Got hands like excavator buckets? You might find the blade changing experience infuriating.
The adjustable comb that comes part of this package is a great idea in practice, but it’s absolutely massive when placed on top of the OneBlade technology and sort of defies the point of this agile trimmer. It also feels flimsy and I experienced it sporadically popping off mid-shave a couple of times.
Instead, the unit works much better if you use it like a traditional razor and in that respect it’s great. It is fully waterproof, so you can use it in the shower, and you can also pile on the shaving cream or foam if you suffer from sensitive skin.
But yeah, it’s essentially made of fairly inexpensive, with the only real premium touch being the small digital screen that shows remaining charge time. Philips throws in a cheeky stand, which is useful for charging, as well as a bathroom socket-friendly two-pin charger and a little travel pouch, which is nice
Philips OneBlade Pro Review: battery life & running time
This is largely excellent, as the small unit packs a punchy Lithium-ion battery pack that’s good for at least 90 minutes on a full charge. Plug it in to an outlet and it only takes one hour to get back to fully charged status. This is good news, but it's not ground-breaking in the modern and fiercely competitive beard trimmer world.
But unlike some cheaper chargers that claim to last for hours but actually don’t, the Philips OneBlade Pro genuinely doesn’t need to be charged very often and if you only trim a couple of times a week, it will last the best part of a month before requiring a recharge.
Thinking of travelling with your new trimmer? Make sure you buy a two-pin adaptor, because there's nothing more annoying than arriving at a hotel bathroom that doesn't boast the correct socket. Irksome first world problems.
Philips OneBlade Pro Review: performance
After a week or so of using this Philips OneBlade Pro, I decided it is definitely more of a wet shave replacement device than a full-on beard trimmer. The adjustable comb that’s provided is too bulky and sort of spoils this trimmer’s USP, which is namely that it gives a really nice close shave without a lot of effort, nor the nasty cuts or rash associated with wet shaving.
Now, I’m not one to grow a fully-fledged Tom Hanks-in-Castaway facial adornment but even trimming medium length hair is tricky, as the the comb doesn't follow the contours of the face very well and it feels like it’s going to take more off than you ideally want. For longer beards, there are definitely better trimmers around.
But using the Philips OneBlade Pro as a direct replacement for disposable shaving blades feels like the proper approach, as the blade itself is very good at getting nice and close to the skin without physically scraping or aggravating the surface.
The fact that it is fully waterproof means it is possible to take it in the shower and it plays nicely with light shaving creams and foams for an even slicker experience. That said, it’s probably not good for delicate body parts, as the open blade means it is possible to snag areas of skin that are, let’s say, a bit more contoured than others.
Philips claims the blade technology lasts for four months, based on two full shaves a week, but there have been complaints from owners that they start to dull a bit before this period. They cost around £30 for a pack of three genuine replacements.
Philips OneBlade Pro Review: verdict
Philips offers something genuinely different with the OneBlade Pro, as it diminutive size and light weight make it feel more like a quality disposable razor than some of the unwieldy and overly bulky beard trimmers we have tried in the past.
This does have its downsides though, because it isn’t really suited to properly thick beards and won’t be any good for taming wayward sideburns or freshening up a short back and sides. The adjustable comb simply isn’t good enough and it feels quite flimsy when in place.
Further negatives include swapping the OneBlade itself, which can be fiddly and it feels like it could be easily broken, trampled or lost. But the shaving experience is good and this is the perfect trimmer for those wanting really sharp lines or elaborate beard designs.
The blade easily reaches those tough areas and the small cutting edge is great for producing that clean, “looks like it was drawn on” perma-stubble that’s trendy amongst Love Island contestants and ageing garage MCs.