Try it for Yourself
So I was typical razor Mach3 shaver for the 20+ years. I decided to try this out because like almost everyone out there.. I hate shaving. So I tried this out. At first I didn't like it because it was different and I felt like it didn't shave close near the neck and other sculpted parts of my face. BUT!, I learned a few things... I found using this every day or every other day makes a big difference. Don't shave your face with it if you have a 4 to 5 day beard as it can pull the hairs a little bit and isn't efficient..at least it wasn't for me.
Now that I use it everyday or every other day, it works perfectly. No complaints, I'm never scruffy anymore and for someone who hated to shave, actually doesn't mind it anymore.
Highly recommended unit, no complaints... I WOULD NOT GIVE UP ON IT AFTER THE FIRST FEW SHAVES, TRY IT AGAIN AND AGAIN... I also found it works great when my facial hair is super dry so I shave right before I shower and it seems to work good.
The cleaning mechanism is great. I first shaved when I had a 5 day beard growing (not recommended because it pulls a little) and the unit cleaned it perfectly. There's an INDICATOR that shows how dirty the unit is (3 levels)... it's pretty accurate.. I put the unit in the charger, it shows how dirty it is, I push the button and I hear it cleaning then it's ready for the next shave. I'm not sure about the refills, some complain about the price of the refills but if you're buying this shaver... a few bucks every few months for a cleaning solution isn't bad... also there's some websites that tell you how to make your own solution for cleaning..up to you and how much time you have on mixing your own solutions and buying materials.
HOW CLOSE DOES IT SHAVE: I don't think it's as close as a regular razor, but it is super close. For me this made sense because when I used a regular razor I would go a few days in between which would make me look scruffy because I hated to shave (and I own my company so it didn't matter) Now with this razor, I look almost clean shaven everyday... and the girls notice.. just kidding.. my wife does though :) it's ok to dream a little right?
BOTTOM LINE: Truly impressed, a local barber shop recommended it and I was super skeptical...but have to say it's great.
Some things are better left unchange
I really like this razor, but it has one specific flaw. I read the reviews prior to purchase and they were mixed, so i went ahead with my purchase. One of the bigger debates was the shavers head (foil). Some said it was the smoothest, quickest shave ever and some said that the holes in the foil are too big and that head doesn't really pull in the hair as is advertised. Well, the foil holes are too big and the current foil design does not allow for a very close shave, at least not on my face. i have an older 7000 series shaver and it shaves better than this very expensive one. Anyway, what do you do with a $200+ shaver even if it doesn't do the best job? You use it. I do hope that Braun reads these and changes their design, or at least sell the thing with 2 different foils so that depending on beard type and face a person could customize their shave. Nobody wants to make a $200 mistake and have to live with it.
Buyer beware- but it's worth it
This is a very good shaver, however there are few things to consider before plunking down hard earned money towards it.
1) The shave is pretty good. 85% of what you'd get using a double edge razor. Good enough for me on a day to day basis, especially because it's fast and you don't cut yourself. I actually like the shave intensity buttons. They are great for me because my neck is prone to getting red from a hot electric razor. This one is really good about avoiding that.
2) The cleaning station is great. I've had Norelco's in the past and the ALL broke. Every single one of them broke. This works consistently and leaves a great smelling razor. Worth the $5 every month and a half.
3) The fast clean option is a waste of money. I regret getting this razor over the less expensive version without the fast clean. For some reason the sterilization level on the razor itself never resets all the way... If you are in a rush than just popping the head off and brushing it is a better idea as it keeps the razor dry.
4) Speaking of sterilization level- pretty gimmicky. Not sure I really like having LCD bars that give sort of random and useless info. Again the razor which is one level down is less expensive and uses a less gimmicky LED.
5) This gets its own line because it's a huge pet peeve of mine. The product I received was clearly a returned product. Much of the plastic wrap was missing, and the standard packaging was not complete... the box itself was sealed with one piece carelessly applied tape. For the record I chose "standard packaging" instead of frustration free packaging. I don't know how long the previous owner used it, if they abused it, etc. It is completely unacceptable to purchase a $200+ item and receive somebody's sloppy seconds. I recommend taking Amazon's price and finding a brick and mortar store that is willing to price match (many do).
In the end I'd buy this razor again. I've owned a lot of Norelcos and a few Brauns. This one is the best I've tried (including the newest Norelco... tried that twice, once the cleaning station broke after a month, the other time the razor was just DOA). To scared to try a Panasonic because of battery QC issues. This is the best I've had so far, but I'd definitely rather buy offline if I had to do it again.
Oone of the few products where it pays to get the best
I've used a large number of shavers over the years... most recently Norelco, Remington, Panasonic, and the Braun 360 complete 8595.... the Series 7 790 is hands down the best of them...
In general the Norelco and Remington I would describe as ordinary. They get the job done with more time, louder, and tend to be rougher on my skin in general.
The Panasonic has a good feel to it and a definite step up from the ordinary brands, but is a little unusual, heavy, and a little cumbersome with the huge head.
When I got the Braun 360 complete, on first use I was very surprised about how it clearly was so far above the rest, zipping through a shave in a smooth way and having a fit and finish that was very high end. The Clean and Renew is no joke and gives a crisp fresh feel every time and is really not very expensive when taken in context.
I dropped my 360 and broke the on off slider, so time for a new shaver... Braun was so much better in the past, how could I not buy it?
I don't believe in spending the extra bucks on luggage, watches, and various other stuff.... but in shavers it pays off... Same thing when getting higher model Brauns... why skimp $30 and give features when you have already committed to getting a great product?
So I got the 7 - 790... I put in the cartridge, charged it and tried it out.. and I have to say, the 790 is clearly a full generation better than the 360, which I didn't think was possible. It shaves in an almost surgical instrument kind of way.
-Clean and renew is expensive: In use the $4 clean and renew cartridges last about 6-8 weeks in 5 day a week use. I've seen crackpot ideas like refilling them with seabreeze (dumb as you aren't putting the right cleaner lubricant on your expensive shaver and it barely saves any money).
- An expensive shaver doesn't stack up to a quality razor. BS, this thing definitely gives a better shave than I ever got with a blade with a lot less mess or time and no cuts ever.
- An expensive shaver doesn't make sense with quality disposables being so cheap. BS also, to get in the ballpark quality wise, you would have to be buying $3 each disposables.... it only takes 4 months of blades to pay for a new shaver and a year of clean and renew packs.
- shave a very dry face, before washing in the morning. your skin expands a lot when moisturized, drawing your beard in and making in inaccessible to the shaver and showing a shadow much quicker as your skin dries out later, forget shaving in or after the shower
- wake up first and shave at least 30 minutes later, not only will you be better at it, faces tend to be somewhat puffy from laying down and result in a poor shave
- after shaving before putting the shaver in the base, pop the foil off and tap it a couple of times in the trash to get most (probably 90%) of the beard out.. it keeps the clean and renew fluid much cleaner and makes it last much longer as the base does a 'thorough' clean much less often.
Reasons I'm glad I broke my 360 complete (if I had known these, I would have just bought the 790 anyway)
- the fit and finish of the 790 is very very high.... like museum watch high.. ultra cool looking and constructed product
- the shave quality is much better than the 360 complete... almost surgical in feel, hard to believe I know because I thought the 360 was about perfect
- the 790, while having the same size head, has a much thinner and easier to hold body, the older Brauns tend to be a little beefy
- it has push button on off.... the older ones had a combo switch / trimmer slider which always was a little awkward to use
- the 790's trimmer juts way out from the shaver allowing a much better view for trimming sideburns etc. a HUGE advantage.
- the 790 has a quick clean feature, so you can start a cleaning cycle without it taking the shaver out of commission for hours.
- the hair lifting bar is very very good now at avoiding in grown hairs... if you have this problem, this shaver is the only one I've ever found that is effective at reducing them.
Comfortable Shave, but Doesn't Last
I have two older Braun shavers, a 5610 and 7505, and got the 790cc-4 for Christmas this year. I'd researched the product and found that it got consistently high reviews, so I expected an improvement over my 7505. Sadly, this model isn't much better in terms of shave quality. The first shave was phenomenal- comfortable and close, with no irritation at all. Unfortunately, it was downhill from there. The shave was still comfortable, but it didn't last any longer than the shave I get from the ten-year-old 7505. This was a big disappointment considering the prices these shavers sell for. The cleaning base, while convenient, is way too loud, especially in the early morning hours. Just like the older models, this shaver had trouble getting the last few hairs on my neck, and the sideburn trimmer is actually a step backward. It's hard to see and awkward to use, so awkward that I only used it once. After two weeks of use, which I feel is more than enough to "adjust", I returned it for a refund. In my opinion, for all the hype this shaver gets and for the prices it sells for, this model is a huge disappointment from Braun. I certainly expected more, but it appears that beyond the cool looks, not much progress has been made in ten years. I can't recommend this one.