TheOral-B Pro 7000 Black SmartSeries uses a different technology toPhilips Sonicare DiamondClean reviewed previously, but the results are no less impressive.
The addition of a display showing you where you've cleaned so far, and how long you must continue to scrub the current quarter of your mouth, is also helpful especially if you have kids or a very short attention span yourself. The further addition of Bluetooth and an app is less useful.
TheOral-B Pro 7000 Black SmartSeries is rather less attractive than Philips' device and has slightly worse battery life but other that there's little to choose between them. It's also worth noting that the Oral-B Pro 6500 SmartSeries is all but identical in terms of both pricing and functionality.
Oral-B Pro 7000 Black SmartSeries: cleaning performance
The Oral-B employs a fairly traditional rotating head, albeit with strategically placed bristles to blast away the maximum amount of plaque. It doesn't feel as pleasant as Philips' vibrating head, but it cleans just as well.
As with the Philips, it's not really neccessary to 'brush' your teeth; just place it on the teeth, moving periodically. A handy screen shows a timer (two minutes is the target, with 30 seconds spent on each quarter of your mouth), a graphical representation of where to clean now, and a big smiley face that starts winking at you once you've brushed long enough. Great for kids. And some adults.
Every 30 seconds, the brush gives a long vibrate, telling you to move to the next quarter, and if you press too hard - which is much easier to do than with the Philips, in our experience - it will slow the motor, and flash a red light.
As well as the on button, there's a pair of arrow keys to move you through the various cleaning modes. As with the Philips, we only ever use the basic cleaning one, although the 'tongue cleaning' mode, exclusive to the Pro 7000, is quite handy. Although obviously, you can clean your tongue using any mode, so it's hardly essential.
Oral-B Pro 7000 Black SmartSeries:price
We're not sure why they even bother to put RRPs on electric toothbrushes, as nobody pays any attention to them, and frankly if they did, nobody would buy the products.
The Oral-B Pro 7000 Black SmartSeries is ostensibly £250, but you should expect to pay half of that or less. If it's not currently being discounted, we'd be surprised but don't worry if it's not; the next round of 'special offer' pricing will be along shortly.
There's a huge range of Oral-B heads available, with the recommended ones for this costing £20-£25 for four. You can expect a pack of four to last you for a good nine months or so.
Like Philips Sonicare, a lot of Oral-B's pricier toothbrushes used to have shockingly poor longevity, but as with Philips, that seems to be much less of an issue now. Our current Pro Series brush has been going for well over two years now.
Oral-B Pro 7000 Black SmartSeries:battery life
Battery longevity is variable, but we generally get about five days of twice daily brushing, which is slightly less good than the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean.
Charging is via a little induction base, which is preferable to Philips' false-teeth glass thing. Fully recharging takes about 24 hours, which isn't great, especially if you have one brush that your whole family uses, but for us it's not a deal breaker either.
Oral-B Pro 7000 Black SmartSeries: design
Unlike the slimline Philips Sonicare DiamondClean, the Pro 7000 is something of a beast. It gets very mucky, very quickly, as it seems to be almost designed to encourage toothpaste and spit to flow into it and clag it up. Mmm, lovely.
On the plus side, the buttons for changing cleaning modes are much better, and the wireless timer/display thing is great.
Less great: because it has Bluetooth, you can also use your phone as the display. That's essentially pointless.
Arguably more usefully, the app lets you track your cleaning 'performance' - time spent brushing, times when you've pressed too hard, etc - over the weeks and months.
If you're a fully-functioning adult, we'd question the usefulness of that, but it could be good for making sure your kids are getting enough brushing in, and aren't scrubbing their gums away to nothing.
Oral-B Pro 7000 Black SmartSeries: verdict
Spending over £100 on a toothbrush is an investment, but in this case it's a worthwhile one. You really won't want to go back to manual brushing or a cheapo electric.
We'd say that even more so for Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Sonic, as it looks and feels better in use, and doesn't muddy the field with largely superfluous connectivity.
One final note: Oral-B has a new Genius range of brushes coming out very soon, featuring an allegedly much more sophisticated version of the SmartSeries' Bluetooth brush-tracking tech, involving motion-tracking in the brush and visual tracking via your smartphone's camera (!)
Unfortunately, Oral-B hasn't bothered to send us one yet, so we'll have to withold judgement on that until July 2016.