The Philips BT9000 Prestige promises a lot with its lofty title but thankfully delivers the goods, featuring a chunky steel casing, a robust rotary dial and innovative steel comb, it feels every bit as posh and luxurious as its name would suggest and is a top beard trimmer for even the hairiest faces.
Designed primarily with beard-scaping in mind, it can be adjusted from an ultra-close 0.4mm length to 5mm with an easy twist of a dial, while an included additional plastic guard takes things from 5.4mm to a lengthy 10mm for taming really unkempt fuzz. Although it’s not so good for very long beards, as 10mm could be considered too short for full hipster-spec facial fuzz.
We rated the Philips Series 9000 highly in our best beard trimmer guide, and although the Prestige version of its high-tech sibling doesn’t include a fricken’ laser, unlike the original 9000, it is still capable of producing extremely sharp lines thanks to its precise steel blade construction. And seriously, that laser was really just a gimmick.
Like any good reviewer, I lived with the fancy trimmer for a few weeks, taming everything from facial hair to sideburn and, ahem, beyond, to see how the Philips BT9000 Prestige holds up to regular abuse.
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Philips BT9000 Prestige Review: build quality
Straight out of the box, the Philips BT9000 Prestige feels like a luxury product, eschewing the cheaper plastic bodies of other electric trimmers and replacing it with ultra-chunky steel and a rubberised grip.
It stands nicely on its flat base but there is no charging or storage stand to speak of. This could be down to the fact that there aren’t many accessories, so no real need to have a bespoke holder, but also because a plastic tray might cheapen the overall aesthetic.
The trimmer itself is 100 per cent waterproof, so everything is neatly sealed inside the steel handle, while the ribbed rotary dial is also well integrated so water doesn’t leak into the unit itself. This means it’s possible to shave the face and body in the shower or bath, should your beauty regime take place in watery environments.
Charging the Lithium-ion battery is taken care of by a fairly typical three-pin plug adaptor, which means you can’t use shaver sockets that are found in many domestic and hotel bathrooms. But I chose to charge mine in the bedroom, so it’s not a dealbreaker.
Although easy to live with, the Philips BT9000 Prestige isn’t completely maintenance-free, as you are required to oil the blades a couple of times a week with a provided bottle. That said, the fact the entire steel blade head flips backwards makes it so easy to clean.
There’s no fiddling around with awkward plastic heads in order to re-seat them after cleaning or swapping lengths. It’s a neat piece of design.
Philips BT9000 Prestige Review: battery life & running time
The official figures state that the powerful Lithium-ion batteries used here can manage a whopping 120-minutes of running time, with a mere one hour required for a full top-up. During a solid couple of weeks of use, I only charged the unit once and that wasn’t out of necessity.
The battery life is fantastic and can easily handle a full beard trim with plenty of time left to tidy up your hair-do later on. The 10mm plastic comb is plenty enough to produce a half-decent fade haircut (if you have the skills) and the 0.2mm jump in the rotary dial length is perfect for grading things in gradually.
Philips BT9000 Prestige Review: performance
The BT9000 Prestige features technology Philps refers to as “anti-friction skin follower” on its blades, which essentially sees the steel tips angle perfectly so they follow the contours of your face. It works well, as it’s possible to shave longer hair without awkward nicks or snags.
There’s also a power sensor adaptor that adjusts the speed of the motor depending on how hard it works, meaning it ploughs through longer sections without getting bogged down like cheaper trimmers out there.
As previously mentioned, adjusting the trim length is really simple, with the ability to take things down to 0.4mm. This is short enough to get that fairly clean stubble look, but won’t suit someone looking to get a pristine clean shave. You’ll have to look to something like the Wahl AquaBlade for that, seeing as it has an interchangeable close-shave head.
Battery life is brilliant, with a full charge taking just one hour but emergency beard trim charges taking just five minutes, should you get caught out before work. There’s a three-level battery indicator on the sleek black base of the unit, so you should never really run dry.
Philips BT9000 Prestige Review: verdict
Although not great for extremely long beards, nor perfect for a “baby’s bum” clean shave, the Philips BT9000 Prestige does everything else effortlessly. The blades are sharp and accurate, the battery life fantastic and the shaving experience free of any annoying snags and nicks.
What’s more, it looks fantastic and the chunky steel body ensures it looks far more luxurious and premium than the swathes of plastic-bodied rivals. The fact that steel extends to the precise blades gives the impression this is a trimmer that’s built to last years, so long as you regular oil and clean it.
Ignore the silly laser of the otherwise brilliant 9000 BT9297/13 unit, because this feels like a much better everyday proposition for those with short-to-medium length beards or those who like uniform stubble. Ultimately, this is one of the best beard trimmers you can buy.
Now, if you're looking for a closer shave, try the best electric shaver guide, and if you need to get your dental routine on point, read our guide to the best electric toothbrushes. If you hate body hair, then get rid of it completely with the best IPL machine.