Philips Norelco 8900 Review – Best Beard Shaver

Amidst all the confusing shaver selections there is one product that stands alone. The first impression might be of inferior quality because of reasonable pricing, but the Philips Norelco Series 8900 shaver is anything but inferior.

It can come as a surprise that it has an auto-cleaning base that is extra special if noting the price. In this review, we will look at this shaver that offers many perks beyond affordability.  Read on to find out why.

Product Features

Flexible Shaver Head

This product which is part of the Norelco 8000 Series is a rotary 3-blade shaver.  It is suitable for both wet and dry shaving. Like other rotary shavers, each shaver head operates independently with a pivoting action.  It has the ability to tilt inwards sadly but not outwards.

As with the 9000 Series, it features a V-Track design for a close cut.  Later we will discover how well this shaver cuts. With a special Contour Detecting Technology, it boasts supreme contact with skin no matter what the shaving surface is.  Basic shavers like the Norelco 3100 can perform this task equally as well.

Beard Shaver

Unlike most shavers that boast a pop-up beard shaver, the 8900 Series shaver has a special attachment for this.  The SmartClick beard trimmer can be used by removing the shaver unit and installing it. This is impressive as is the comb attachment that comes with 5 hair length settings.

Auto Clean Station

This feature is optional, as there are two styles, one with this and one without.  My S8950/90 has this feature that charges, lubricates and sanitizes using a special cleaning solution. This is usually a smart choice to select since it saves money and time in the long run.

Bonus Features

Other features include a safety travel lock, a quick 5-minute charge and LED display that has 3 levels.

Quality and Design

8900 SeriesThe Series 8900 is like the more expensive models as the Norelco 9300 and 9700 in design.  The feel and finish of the product however aren’t equal. This is probably why it is less costly.

The finish comes in striking colours of silver, dark grey or dark blue but is made entirely of plastic.  The trimmer and shaver are black, it also has a silver shiny trim.

Compared to the more expensive shavers Norelco makes, it lacks the bells and whistles that the more premium shavers have.  It is simple but very well made.

It offers features of bottom lights for cleaning, head replacement, travel lock, unplug to use, charging and battery indication level. Ergonomically it is comfortable and light in the hand with rubber for easy grip.  When wet it didn’t appear to be slippery and appears to be a good quality product for the price.

What was Included

  • Shaver
  • Cleaning Station
  • Trimmer and Comb
  • Traveling Case
  • User Manual
  • Cleaning Cartridge

It was however missing the cleaning brush and cap which was a little disappointing. This made it seem incomplete but with a good price it can be overlooked. The travel case was a very nice surprise. Many shavers from Panasonic come with cheap cases unless an expensive shaver is chosen.

Battery and Charging

The 8900 Series can only be operated as cordless and comes with a Li-ion battery which charges in an hour. This is typical but has the great feature of a 5-minute charge that offers a quick 1-time shave.

The charging station is compact and doesn’t overcharge.  The 3-level battery indication alright but it would have been nice to have a 5 level.  The indicator will however blink when it has only 5 minutes of charge left which is a nice feature.

Maintenance and Cleaning

It is highly recommended to get the cleaning station to save time and money. This cleaning unit is comparative to more expensive 9000 Series shavers, looking expensive despite simplicity.  The unit isn’t small and can be hard to travel with for this reason. This station doesn’t have metal studs to lock the shaver in like Braun or Panasonic making it a better choice.  The only drawback is there is no cover when the shaver isn’t in the cleaning unit.

The worst aspect of this is the cleaning cycle which can start without a shaver in it. Thankfully it can be stopped as well by pressing the power button. The buttons are a little confusing because they are tactile buttons which can start and stop when unnecessarily. This means cleaning will have to be started at the beginning again, as well as drying.

The quiet cleaning process took under 15 minutes.  The drying process took a couple hours as it wasn’t super-efficient at drying. All in all, the cleaning and charging station are great and a definite perk to this model.  For me the thought of manually cleaning this type of shaver is troublesome and unwanted. I highly recommend the cleaning base.

Overall Performance


I have been using this shaver for a few weeks now and find it to offer a good quality shave for the price. Thankfully the Norelco 8900 didn’t pull as much hair or pinch as much as most rotary shavers do.  During the dry shaves I found it did pull a little on the neck area which did cause a little discomfort. I find this typical of rotary shavers except the Philips S9000 Prestige model.  One thing to remember is to have completely dry skin.


This shaver got very close for a rotary shaver, like the 9300 or 9700 Series.  It did perform best on the neck and cheeks as compared to other face areas. It gave a close feel without causing irritation to certain areas of the face that are troublesome for me.

A Wet Shave

I found shaving cream a necessary item.  This helped it go faster and was less work to perform the job.  I did still have a bit of pulling on the neck area.

Beard Attachment

The fact that I had to fuss with the shaver to use this was a bit annoying, but it cut close with no pulling.  I really liked the 5 lengths I could select; it was a nice perk for an affordable shaver. It isn’t something that I would probably use on a regular basis but more special moments.   This option is a great feature in a shaver.

Is the Norelco 8900 a good buy?

The Norelco 8900 is an excellent buy for the price.  It isn’t the most expensive, detailed or top of the line shaver.  For those who are looking for a decent shave at a reasonable price, they will find that here. Simplicity and durability with a few nice features are what this shaver has to offer.

Ruben Martizano

My Name is Ruben. I been blogging for 10 years now. My interests are air compressors, software, tactical gear and of course shaving. My wife is always on my case , when I dont keep a clean shave. Even the big facial hair trend did not help me... I hope you enjoyed the reviews we put out.

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