If you are looking for a cheap but reliable electric toothbrush that does a good job of cleaning your teeth, then the Elite+ has that box ticked.
It is a bit thick and heavy. You don’t need to spend much more to get a slimmer and lighter model.
That model, is the ProtectiveClean 4300 which boast a better battery life and improved features.
- 1 cleaning mode
- Built-in timer
- Design, sub par with many other models
- Better value options exist (see other choices)
|Sonicare Elite+ - Light Blue||16 Reviews||$ 49.00||View on Amazon|
The 3 BIG questions about the Philips Sonicare Elite+
If you are short of time, the answers to the following 3 questions should let you know all you need to about the Sonicare Elite Plus. If I have missed something, let me know in the comments.
If you want more detail, you can read my full Sonicare Elite+ review further down the page.
1. Is there anything drastically wrong with this toothbrush?
There is far from anything drastically wrong with this electric toothbrush from Sonicare.
But, it is not their best model and although fairly cost effective, for a little bit more you can get what I believe are much better toothbrushes.
The size and weight is a little off putting when you know there are lighter and slimmer handled products available.
2. Which other brushes should I consider?
The most logical alternative, and the one I strongly recommend is the ProtectiveClean 4300 from Sonicare.
It is slimmer. It has more features. It has a pressure sensor. It is a better product.
If you are not brand concious, you could do a lot worse than considering the Oral-B Pro 500.
The 500 is a slimmer handled brush. Admittedly the battery life is not as good, but you do get a travel case in the box and the small round brush head is very good.
Want more choice? Refer to our current recommendation for the best budget electric toothbrush.
3. Where is the best place to buy the Elite+?
Like many other Sonicare products, the Elite+ is available from a number of different retail outlets.
Philips themselves sell the brush from their own online store.
Select variants are available from Amazon, Myer, Harvey Norman and Shaver Store to name just a few.
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And now for a bit more detail….
Every manufacturer has to have a basic or entry level brush within their range.
These tend to be the least feature rich and focus on function for a price. The Elite+ is just such an item.
It has more bells and whistles than some of the basic models from other brands, but the downside is the size and battery technology, but it is more positive than it seems.
Variants of this toothbrush
Within Australia, at the time of review, there are 4 different variants of this brush.
Technically they are the same the difference is the colour of the brush handle and the Philips part number.
The variants are as follows:
- Light Blue – HX3215/03
- Black – HX3215/54
- Pink – HX3215/42
- Fresh Green – HX3225/35
Price and availability may vary depending on retailer.
In this review I am using the light blue variant.
Please note: Images used in this review are for illustration purposes only. Brush head shown is different to that supplied.
What’s in the box?
- 1 x Philips Sonicare Elite+ electric toothbrush
- 1 x C2 Optimal Gum Care brush head
- 1 x Charging stand
- Sonic cleaning action
- 1 cleaning mode
- Built-in rechargeable battery
- 14 day battery life
- 2 minute timer
- 30 second pacer
- Automatic power off
Pro & Cons
Here are what I consider to be the pros and cons of the Elite plus toothbrush.
- Cleaning – 1 cleaning mode, nice and simple, easy to use and cleans well.
- Timer – A much underrated feature, the built-in timer and quadpacer ensure you are brushing for the right amount of time with a degree of equality to different areas of the mouth.
- Price – One of the cheapest Sonicare brushes available from Sonicare.
- Battery life – Claimed 14 day battery life…achieved 39?!
- Design – Larger and heavier than other Sonicare models.
- Battery life – 10 days claimed battery life and uses the less desirable NiMH battery.
Design, usability, clean & general use
You will have seen the images already I suspect, but this electric toothbrush looks pretty much as you might imagine.
It is clinical looking with the gloss white and light blue colour scheme on this particular variant.
The body of the brush is not perfectly circular, with a slight squaring on the right and left edge. This actually helps make it a bit more grippy in hand.
It is on these sides that rubber grips run. Wider at the bottom tapering and thinning towards the upper half of the brush handle.
The front and back of the brush are primarily a gloss white plastic.
Thicker and heavier than most other electric toothbrushes, this is for me not the best example of design and portability.
It is certainly usable and functional and it is not overly heavy, but there are other brushes out there, the Oral-B Pro 500 is just 1 example that feel better in the hand in my opinion.
At the top of the brush handle is the metal shaft that protrudes from the motor inside the handle. This has a slightly different look to most Sonicare models but the range of interchangeable brush heads all fit, no problem at all and the brush cleans just as well.
There is too a slight angle to this, meaning the brush head has tilts more into the mouth rather than being in perfectly straight alignment with the brush handle. Ultimately this helps with the positioning and reach of the brush to the back of the mouth.
On the front of the brush handle is the Philips Sonicare logo towards the top in a light grey font.
Below this is the one and only button on the brush. The convex button is light Blue in colour to match the rubber grips. It has a power symbol on it and is what turns the brush on and off.
The rest of the front panel is all white with the exception of a battery symbol right at the bottom.
There is an LED behind the plastic that shines through at the end of a cleaning session and when on charge.
The rear of the handle is completely free of icons, buttons or grips with the exception at the very bottom a raised piece of rubber that is shaped in such a way that when the brush is laid flat it does not roll.
On the base of the brush is the recess into which the prong on the charging stand fits.
There is a gap between the outer case and this base plate, but seals inside stop water reaching the battery and motor.
Electronics are sealed inside the handle and the brush can quite happily be rinsed and washed off in water but avoid submersion.
The fit and finish on this brush is good but on very detailed inspection things like the gap show how the design and build is perhaps a little more fitting of the price tag.
Press the power button to launch into the one and only cleaning mode which offers up to 31,000 brush strokes (62,000 movements) per minute to the brush head.
I like the simplicity of having just one mode.
As you might expect the performance is good and the brush cleans well.
When running the rush is actually quite quiet, you do get quite a strong vibrate/humming noise and the bristle movement is not as aggressive on the teeth and gums as an Oral-B brush, in my opinion. The overall clean is softer.
I personally prefer the brushing experience of Oral-B but in all the Sonicare models I have tested including this I have not been disappointed by the results.
As the brush is turned on the built-in timer and pacer kicks in.
At 30 second intervals there is a slight pause in the brush head motion which changes the sound emitted from the brush and stops bristle movement, signalling to you to change quadrant of the mouth when cleaning.
There are 4 quadrants in the mouth, upper right, upper left, lower right and lower left. The theory is you send 30 seconds cleaning each to get a relatively even clean across the mouth over the 2 minute cleaning cycle.
When the 2 minutes is complete, the brush automatically powers off, signalling the end of the clean.
Automatic power off is a simple but great touch that conserves battery life and offers convenience.
A great feature for electric toothbrush newbies is the the ‘Easy-Start’ option that is available here.
The Easy-start feature gradually increases the sonic power over the first 14 brushing sessions. Brushing must last at least 1 minute to properly advance through this ramp-up cycle, but it is a great way to more slowly adjust to the increased power of an electric brush compared to the trusty manual.
Provided in the box with this variant is the C2 Optimal Gum Care brush head. It is roughly the size of a manual brush head and is not small and round like Oral-B’s offering.
This is just one of a number of different brush head styles available from Sonicare, all of which are interchangeable with this brush handle. This means you can pick the head you prefer most and fit it to the brush.
The Optimal Gum Care is a good all round brush head that helps deliver a super clean to the teeth and gums.
No doubt you are aware that it is important to replace the brush head regularly. Every 3 months is the general recommendation, sooner if the bristles are worn.
Every head has a set of reminder bristles that fade from a blue to a pale blue/white colour over time. You can use these as a visual reminder as to when you need to replace your brush head if you don’t remember when you last did.
In the box is the charging stand that replenishes the battery inside the handle. More on that in the battery section of this review.
Sadly there is no travel case for the brush. You do get a simple travel cap that fits over the bristles on the brush head to protect it in transit but for the price this si no surprise.
For peace of mind there is a 2 year warranty, should anything go wrong. Despite my concerns about the build, I would not be worried about the reliability.
Summary of design, usability, clean & general use
- Solid, thick and chunky brush handle, slimmer options available
- 1 cleaning mode
- 1 x C2 Optimal Plaque Defence brush head included
- Alternative brush heads available
- Cleans the teeth and gums well
- Built-in quad pacer and timer tells you when to change quadrant and finish brushing
- Easy-Start function
- Lacks a travel case
- Automatic power-off really helps achieve an excellent battery life
- 2 year warranty as standard
Built into this brush handle is a rechargeable battery.
It is not designed to be user removable. Therefore in the box you get a charging stand on which the brush sits to recharge it when required.
The charging stand is white in colour and has a prong on the top of it that fits into the recess on the base of the brush handle.
When sat on the stand whilst the brush could be knocked off, it sits fairly steady.
There is a power cord that is about a meter in length that terminates with a 2 pin plug. .
The charging stand actually has support for voltages of 100-240 volts. This means that if you travel you need only an adapter for the plug and not a voltage adapter.
Sadly going against this brush somewhat is the battery technology used.
The battery inside is a Nickel Metal Hydride battery (NiMH).
This is a tried and tested battery technology, but the preference now is for Lithium-Ion batteries (Li-Ion) which tend to be more reliable and smaller and lighter but deliver the same power.
Larger and heavier than I would like is this brush handle.
NiMH batteries work but they are cheaper and allow this brush to come in at the price it does.
Other brands like Oral-B still use NiMH in select models.
Sonicare claim a battery life of 14 days, or equivalent to 28 x 2 minute cleaning sessions.
I am not sure how or why exactly, but my own hands on testing achieved 78 cleaning sessions of 2 minutes. The is 156 minutes of usage time, 39 days or over 5 weeks in between charges.
How can the claimed battery life and what I actually achieved be so different? Quite often a battery will perform a few days better than manufacturers claim, but this brush went weeks over those claims.
I wish not to suggest that you will get such amazing performance, but I am inclined to believe the battery is a bit better than Sonicare have given credit for on the box and technical specifications.
Ideally, I would like the brush to last 2 weeks without a recharge. I always think it would be nice to go away for 2 weeks without having to worry about charging a toothbrush. You can do this with the Elite+.
If you share the brush handle, you will get the same usage time, but will need to recharge more frequently.
The automatic power-off feature found on this and many other Sonicare brushes is very useful to you and me as users in not only notifying us of the end of the cleaning cycle but conserving power.
To fully recharge the brush will need to be left on the charging stand for up to 24 hours. You need not always fully recharge it and you can always pop it back on the charger when you are done with it. In fact, it is perfectly fine to leave the brush on charge the whole time.
A battery status icon on the handle does indicate the condition of the battery. It is visible once the brush is turned off or automatically powers off.
If it is a solid green colour then the battery condition is good and you have anywhere up to 20 cleaning sessions left in the brush.
If the battery indicator is a flashing orange and you get 3 beeps at the end of the clean, there is enough power for 2-5 cleans in the battery.
If you get the same flashing orange light and 2 sets of 3 beeps you have just 1 clean left in the brush.
If completely out of power the brush will not turn on until there is some charge in the brush.
Summary of battery life
- NiMH battery built-in
- Up to 56 minutes of usage time or 14 days usage based on 2 cleans a day
- Hands-on testing achieved 39 days!
- Takes up to 24 hours to charge fully
- A charger included in the box that works on 110-220v
- Solid green LED means up to 20 cleans left in the brush
- Flashing orange LED and 3 beeps you have up to 5 cleans left in the brush
- Flashing orange LED and 2 sets of 3 beeps you have just 1 clean left in the brush
Price & where to buy
I have included links to buying options here at the start of the review.
In the section below, I discuss the price more generally and in relation to similar products.
Prices of brushes can vary considerably. Much depends on the model, the retailer, the availability and the features.
This Elite+ has one of the lowest recommended retail prices of Sonicare electric toothbrushes at $59.95.
With some brands the actual selling price can be a lot lower than the suggested retail price. Up to as much as 50% lower.
This tends not to be the case so frequently with Sonicare, with actual selling prices being much closer to the price Sonicare recommend.
The Elite plus tends to sell for around $50, so a $10 saving on the recommended retail price.
Here at Electric Teeth we aim to price the brush over a 3 year period to give a gauge as to the cost of ownership and help make comparison to other models.
Factoring in the cost of replacement heads is necessary.
The average cost of a single head is $12.
Replace the head every 3 months and over a 3 year period you will need a further 11 heads in addition to the 1 that comes supplied in the box.
Over a 3 year period then, you are looking at a cost of $182 for the handle and heads. This works out at $0.17 per day.
This is based on getting it at the lower $50 purchase price and does not include cost of water, charging the brush etc.
Oral-B’s Pro 500 costs a similar price to buy. But, the ongoing cost of replacement brush heads are quite a bit cheaper, bringing the daily ownership cost in at $0.12 per day.
The more premium 4300 ProtectiveClean from Sonicare is more expensive to buy, but the brush head price is the same. It works out at $0.20 per day, but offers a bit more for the money.
For me, the biggest benefits you will find with other models are slimmer and lighter brush handles along with some other useful features.
With any brush you can extend the value by sharing the brush handle with another user. Of course, change the brush head and be aware that you will need to recharge more frequently, but this can help keep the cost of ownership down.
When it comes to making the purchase, if this is the brush for you, be sure to shop around and pay the price you are comfortable with and from a retailer you trust.
Please note that all prices quoted are approximates and will vary based on location, supplier and time of purchase. These figures were correct at the time of writing and should not be relied upon as hard fact, but used as a guide during your decision process.
Summary of price & where to buy
- Recommended retail price of $59.95
- Generally available for $50
- Replacement brush heads cost $12 each
- Works out at around $0.17 per day over 3 years
- Share brush handle to extend value
- Better value alternatives exist
Reliability & long term use
Quality and reliability is something I generally associate with Philips and the Sonicare brand.
Their brushes are generally well built, made from strong, quality materials.
For the most part, this is true with the Elite+. However, this is one that if I am being really picky, the quality does not feel quite as good.
It is not bad or poor on any level, just finish to the rubber grips right on the edges isn’t quite as sharp as one might have expected, but I need to bear in mind the price.
Not that price should be a determining factor, but it does have a part to play.
On the base of the brush, the gap between the body and the base cap is greater than I would have imagined. There is likely a good seal inside, so I would not be too worried, but it’s another very small difference between the more cost effective and premium models.
With all this said, the brush is weighty and solid in hand and Sonicare back it up with a 2 year warranty, which in truth is very good.
Only long term tests really tell how well brushes fare and we will be sure to report back is any big issues arise from extended testing.
If you are looking for a cheap but reliable electric toothbrush that does a good job of cleaning your teeth, then the Elite+ has that box ticked.
Offering up to 31,000 strokes per minute it will help you achieve better oral health, particularly if you are switching from a manual brush for the first time.
Sadly for me, whilst it ticks those boxes, the size and weight really leave me wanting something a bit better, even if it means spending a little more.
In fact, you don’t need to spend a lot more to get something that is equivalent, but slimmer, lighter and with additional useful features.
You can do worse than the Elite+, but you would be doing an injustice to yourself if you did not consider the alternatives.
The best of those alternatives is the Sonicare 4300 is my opinion.
- Height (without head) – 17cm
- Height (with head) – 23.2cm
- Width – 3.4cm
- Thickness – 3.5cm
- Weight (without head) – 122g
- Weight (with head) – 130g
All are approximates
- Is the Sonicare Elite+ an oscillating brush?
- No, it is not.
- How many brushing modes does the Sonicare Elite+ have?
- This brush offers 1 cleaning mode only.
- What brush head does it come with and what alternative ones can be used?
- The Elite+ comes provided with 1 x C2 Optimal Plaque Defence brush head.
- Does the Elite+ have a pressure sensor?
- No, it does not.
- Does the Sonicare Elite+ Series have Bluetooth?
- No, it does not.
- Does the Sonicare Elite+ come with a warranty & how long is it?
- Yes, it does. The warranty is 2 years.
- Does the Sonicare Elitee+ have a built–in timer?
- Yes. At the end of a 2 minute cycle, the brush automatically turns off signalling the end of the cleaning time. If you want to extend your clean, you will have to power the brush back on. It does also have a 30 second pacer also referred to as a quadpacer. At 30 second intervals a slight pause in the brushing mode to tell you to change quadrants. There are 4 quadrants to the mouth.
- How long does the battery last?
- Officially the battery lasts up to 56 minutes, which is equivalent to 14 days of usage based on 2 x 2 minute cleans per day.
- Does it come with a charger?
- Yes, a charging station is included with the toothbrush.
- Can this be fixed to a wall?
- The charging station has not been designed to be fixed to a wall.
- Can I use the Sonicare Elite+ in the shower?
- We would advise avoid it. The brush is water resistant and designed to withstand exposure to water but the prolonged exposure to water in a shower is not ideal for the brush.
- Does it come with a travel case?
- No, it does not come with a travel case.
Do you own or have you used the Philips Sonicare Elite+?
Are there certain features that you really like or dislike?
Let us know what you think about this brush and let others who may well be considering purchasing one know your opinions before they do.