A good option, but there’s a better choice
Make no mistake, the 2100 Series is a decent toothbrush.
Slim and lightweight, this well made brush does a good job of cleaning the teeth.
But, it is somewhat lost within the Sonicare range of brushes.
- 2 intensity settings – choose between low and high power
- Slim, stylish handle – easy to keep clean
- USB charging stand makes it more convenient for some
- No pressure sensor
- Cleaning action not as good as premium models – brush motor configured differently
- USB charger makes it less convenient for some
Pick one of these brushes instead
Unless you specifically want a sonic toothbrush, the Oral-B Smart 2000 would be my choice.
It tops our list of electric toothbrushes because it is affordable with the features you need.
That said, the 2100 is a perfectly adequate toothbrush, but you can save a few dollars by opting for the 1100 Series. It is identical, apart from only having 1 brushing intensity, not the 2 of the 2100.
The 4100 Series from Sonicare is more expensive but the motor has been tuned to offer a more intense clean, despite delivering the same number of brush strokes.
|Sonicare 1100 Series||3,098 Reviews||$32.97||View on Amazon|
Design, usability, clean & general use
The 2100 Series comes in typical Sonicare packaging. It isn’t the most snazzy and eye-catching, but it fits in with the Philips theme and does the job it needs to.
It sounds daft, but it is nice that the box actually shows the brush and highlights the key features about it, so you know what you are buying. Believe it or not, many brushes have very little information on the box about what is inside. This is fine if buying online, but not quite so good for the store shelves.
Another nice touch is that the image on the box is colour matched to the handle inside.
Philips is working to improve their sustainability globally. This is a good thing. For quite some time their packaging has been mainly paper based as opposed to lots of plastics and materials like polystyrene.
As I will explain in more detail later, Philips has now even changed their conventional charging stand to reduce plastic use.
So why then, does the brush handle, the brush head and charging stand all come in a plastic sleeve?! It is LDPE 4 plastic, which can technically be recycled, but it is still fairly difficult to do for most people.
I think on the whole Philips strategy is positive, but it seems a bit daft to wrap parts of the package in plastic when they don’t need to be. The brush head, I kind of understand, but the other parts?! It feels like they are missing some of the obvious bits here.
First impressions of the 2100 in hand are great. It is lovely and slim and fairly light too.
It actually shares the same chassis design as the 1100, 3100 and 4100 Series.
It definitely isn’t the most grippy of all the toothbrushes I have used, but the matt coating to the handle means it doesn’t feel slippery to the touch.
There is certainly a feeling of quality when you handle this brush, which is a positive.
Like most toothbrushes, this is made up of 2 key parts, the brush handle and the brush head.
The handle itself is not a perfect cylinder. Although rounded, the edges are very slightly squared off which makes it feel solid and pleasant to hold.
The 2100 Series was introduced to the Sonicare range in late 2021. It technically replaces the DailyClean Series. It is considerably slimmer and lighter than its predecessor.
It has a very typical Sonicare design to the handle, which is clean and practical in its approach. I can’t really fault it.
The 2100 Series is available in just 1 colour option at the time of review.
Model number HX3661/04, the plastics of the handle are white, whilst the brush gets a mint green colour accent via the power/mode button.
It is possible that Sonicare will add different colour options to the range in future, it has been known to do so.
On the front of the handle, just below the metal shaft is the Philips Sonicare logo, in a grey font.
Beneath this within the upper third of the handle is the power come mode button. It appears to have an almost seamless design, despite being rubber, compared to the plastic of the brush handle itself.
It is concave and has a power icon embossed on it. It is mint green in colour. There is a nice clicky feedback to the button. It isn’t very firm, so it’s quite easy to activate. Great for those with limited dexterity.
It is hard to explain, but there is a contouring to the plastic of the handle that creates a long oval shape around the power button. It adds a design cue to the handle and becomes a natural resting place for the thumb.
It is then in the lower third of the handle that you have any extra notable detail on the front of the handle. Here sits the LED and icon for the battery.
The rest of the handle, including the sides and back are smooth to the touch, with no raised elements for grip etc. For some, this is a negative, but despite the lack of gripping points the 2100 doesn’t feel uncomfortable or like it will really slip in the hand. For those who particularly struggle with getting a tight grip, the slimmer handle of the 2100 might not be ideally suited.
A benefit of reduced gripping points is that the brush is easier to keep clean!
The only exception to this smooth design is on the back of the handle, right at the bottom, is a small plastic notch extending from the handle. This is designed to prevent the handle from rolling about when laid on a countertop.
The base of the handle has a recess within it. This is a space into which the charging pin on top of the charging stand fits to provide the wireless charging of the internal battery.
The base has some regulatory information printed on it along with the model number.
The 2100 series does stand upright on a countertop.
The top of the handle tapers very slightly, just before flattening out to give a surface for the brush head to sit over. Extending from the top here is the metal shaft that connects to the brush motor inside the handle.
The provided brush head simply pushes onto and pulls off of this. There is no need to twist or lock any head in place.
Once fitted, if you take a look at the handle from the side, the head sits perfectly vertically. There is no angling of the brush head as is the case with some other models.
This is subject to change, but the brush head supplied with the 2100 series by default is the C1 Simply Clean.
It has been designed to be used everyday. It provides a thorough all round clean of the teeth and has what many call a ‘W’ profile to it. There are slightly longer bristles at the top, bottom and in the middle.
It sounds odd to say this, but it is one of the more basic brush heads within the Sonicare range. It is more than functional and does a good job. But do be aware that Sonicare has a range of different brush heads, which fit to and are compatible with the 2100 Series. Many of these alternative options are considered more premium and more specialized.
To give you an example, some have silicone on the back of the brush head rather than just the plastic you see. This is to make it softer on the gums and cheeks. You will likely pay a price premium for these though.
With others, the length, cut and shape of the bristles are different to achieve different results.
Some are engineered for plaque removal, whilst others are designed for helping the gums or whitening teeth.
The range of heads is confusing. Our ultimate guide to Sonicare brush heads explains each in more detail.
I wish not to get bogged down in the details, but I feel it appropriate to make you aware many Sonicare toothbrushes and brush heads are now enabled with Sonicare BrushSync technology. The main aim of this tech is to remind you to replace your brush head at the correct time.
The 2100 is not BrushSync enabled.
Although brushSync enabled heads still fit to and work with the 2100, you gain none of the benefits.
The BrushSync heads do typically command a price premium, so you are best off sticking with that standard heads if you can.
You should replace your brush head every 3 months on average. Sooner if they show obvious signs of wear. To remind you to do so, built into the brush head are ‘fading indicator bristles’. These are usually blue in colour, but over approximately 3 months they will become much paler, turning white/translucent. This is a visual clue the head needs replacing.
When you do replace them, be sure to recycle your old head.
The 2100 is relatively simple to use.
But, unlike the 1100 on which the 2100 is based, it offers 2 brushing intensities rather than the more typical 1.
You have the choice of a high and low intensity level.
High is the more powerful and effective in my opinion. However, the more gentle low mode is a nice option and can be good for first time electric toothbrush users.
The lower mode is also handy for anyone wanting an effective clean but something less intense on tender or inflamed gum tissue.
The different intensities are controlled via the power button. 1 press turns the brush on. A second press activates the low or high mode, subject to which was last used. A third press turns the brush off.
The 2100 does remember the intensity last used and will default to this each time.
I have been very pleased with the cleaning results available from the 2100, I have no major complaints.
That said, it is important to be aware that this affordable toothbrush, doesn’t offer the ultimate in sonic toothbrush cleaning experiences.
The motor in the 2100 isn’t the same as that used in the more premium Sonicare models.
The 2100 motor does offer up to 31,000 brush strokes, but it doesn’t achieve the 62,000 movements often quoted with the more expensive models. It is configured differently.
As a result, the 2100 does feel less powerful/intense compared to some other Sonicare toothbrushes.
Technically, more power or movements does mean better cleaning results. But, it isn’t quite as simple as this, there are more factors at play.
The lesser power on offer here isn’t immediately obvious. Even for me and I have tested hundreds of brushes. The brushing sensation is slightly different. It is most noticeable if you have used other premium Sonicare toothbrushes before.
The 2100 still does a very good job. My teeth feel clean after each brushing session. It is just a bit of a shame that you are not getting the ultimate Sonicare cleaning experience.
More important than the power of the brush is your toothbrushing technique. To get the maximum benefit from each brushing session, make sure you are holding the toothbrush at 45 degrees to the gumline and moving the brush in the way our dental team advise. Our helpful guide shows you all you need to know.
When you do begin any brushing session on the 2100, it activates the built-in timer and pacer.
As the bristles move the timer count down and once it hits 30 seconds, it pauses the brush motor briefly.
This pause changes the sound and brushing sensation. It is your alert to move from one quadrant of the mouth to another.
This then repeats every 30 seconds, until the brush gets to 120 seconds (2 minutes) at which point it will turn itself off.
If you are not familiar with the concept of quadrant and 30 second intervals, allow me to explain.
Whilst dentists recommend 2 minutes of cleaning twice a day, what this does not help with is ensuring you and I brush our teeth evenly.
The idea is that you break the mouth up into 4 sections:
- upper right
- upper left
- lower right
- lower left
You spend 30 seconds cleaning each section. As you do, you try and give equal attention to the front, back and biting surfaces of the teeth. If you do, come the 120 seconds (2 minutes) of brushing time, you should have achieved an even clean to the teeth and gums.
The pacer acts as an alert to you, to change the quadrant as you brush to encourage this even clean.
When brushing your teeth, the bristles need only really skim the surface of the teeth. You need just a little bit of pressure, not lots. Too much pressure can cause wear on the teeth and gums and in the long term result in irreversible damage.
Unfortunately, the 2100 has no technology built in to help prevent forceful brushing, or at least alert you to it. The Sonicare 3100 Series does.
We feel a pressure sensor is a key feature of a good electric toothbrush, and advise where possible to opt for one that does have this included.
Sealed inside the 2100’s brush handle is all the technology that makes this brush function, which includes the user rechargeable, but not user replaceable lithium-ion battery, which should give 14+ days of use on a full charge.
The handle is water resistant, which means it has been designed to resist the water, toothpaste and saliva that it will inevitably come into contact with. A rinse under the tap to clean it is fine. Sonicare tends not to advise use when bathing, but I know many do brush their teeth whilst in the shower. The important thing here is to avoid full submersion in water.
Sonicare does offer a 2 year warranty that covers any mechanical or workmanship faults, but not user damage.
Summary of design, usability, clean & general use
- Slim and comfortable brush handle
- Only 1 colour option
- Sonic cleaning action isn’t quite as good as more premium Sonicare models – motors configured differently
- 2 brushing intensities
- 1 brush head included
- Various styles of brush heads are available separately
- Built-in timer and 30 second pacer
- No pressure sensor to stop you from brushing too hard
- 2+ week battery life
- Water resistant handle
- 2 year warranty
Sonicare claims a battery life of 14 days from the 2100 Series and in my hands-on testing it comfortably outperformed this.
Having fully charged the brush, I achieved a total of 36 brushing sessions, each 2 minutes long, using the more powerful high intensity mode.
This is equivalent to 18 days of use on a single charge.
That is 4 days more than claimed, which I think is perfectly satisfactory.
It isn’t quite as impressive as the Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 series and some other more premium Sonicare models that tend to last 3+ weeks on a full charge, but the handles of those brushes are not as slim or lightweight.
If you use the lower powered mode available, you might achieve a slightly longer total usage time.
The Lithium-Ion battery is sealed inside the 2100’s handle and is not user replaceable.
Whilst it does vary, feedback I receive, would suggest that the vast majority of users place their toothbrush back on the charging stand when they have finished using it. Therefore long battery life isn’t all that important.
This is of course perfectly fine to do. The toothbrush will stop charging, once the battery has been topped up to prevent overcharging.
But, I do still like brushes to offer reasonable battery life, so that you can use for longer if away from a power source.
Examples of when this will apply is when you are away on vacation. You can save space and weight by not taking the stand.
White in colour, the stand supplied with the 2100 has a circular design. It allows the brush to sit on top of it. A prong in the middle fits into the recess on the base of the handle. The handle can rotate a full 360 degrees whilst on the stand.
There are 3 small rubber feet on the charger to help prevent movement on a countertop.
The cable that extends from the stand is approximately 43.3 inches in length.
However, unlike most toothbrush charging stands that have a 2 pin plug hardwired into it, this has a USB connector.
It is a male, USB Type-A connector. This is designed to fit into a USB port on your computer, laptop, battery bank, USB plug adapter or wall socket if you have one.
No separate USB to 2 pin plug adapter comes included.
So, if you want to charge this toothbrush from a 2 pin wall outlet in Canada you will need to use a USB plug adapter you already have or source one.
Sonicare includes a leaflet in the box that says by dropping out the power adapter, results in reducing plastic use equivalent to 19 million plastic bottles.
I am all for reducing plastic, but I think many will take issue with this.
If you are an existing Sonicare electric toothbrush owner, you might be pleased to know that the 2100 will work/charge from your existing charging stand. With the exception of the charging stand for the DiamondClean Series.
The USB stand potentially makes for a more convenient option for frequent travellers who do need to take their charger with them. USB charging is an international standard. There is no need to worry about voltages and plug adapters in quite the same way.
It supports an input of 4.75-5.25v / 0.3A / 1.5W.
Once placed on the charging stand, the toothbrush can take up to 24 hours to charge fully.
There is a battery status LED on the 2100 to give some feedback on the battery charge level.
The indicator changes color and moves between solid and flashing lights subject to the power remaining.
- A solid green LED means a full battery.
- A flashing green LED means a partially full battery.
- A flashing amber LED and three beeps means a low battery.
- A flashing amber LED and five beeps means it is empty. There are no brushing sessions left, you need to charge the toothbrush.
When on a working charging stand a flashing green LED means it is charging, whilst a solid green LED means it is full. It will turn off after 30 seconds.
Another small but neat touch is the vibration and sound that is emitted when the toothbrush is placed on the charging stand. It provides confirmation that the toothbrush is charging.
Summary of battery life
- Lithium-Ion battery technology
- Sonicare suggest 14 days/2 week battery life
- Achieved 18 days usage based on 2 cleans per days for 2 minutes
- Comes with a USB charging stand
- No 2 pin USB plug adapter provided
- Takes about 24 hours to charge fully
- Battery status indicator on the brush handle
- A solid green LED means a full battery
- A flashing green LED means a partially full battery
- A flashing amber LED and three beeps means a low battery.
- A flashing amber LED and five beeps means no brushing sessions left.
Price & where to buy
Price and what something is worth is always subjective. We all have expectations and values.
I can say though from my experience though, the CDN $45 retail price that Philips asks of the 2100 is pretty competitive. You are getting a very solid toothbrush for your money.
Whilst lower priced models like this do tend to maintain their retail prices better than the top of the line models, it isn’t uncommon to save around 20% on retail. Therefore, it is quite likely that you will be able to buy the 2100 Series for nearer CDN $35-40.
As you can probably tell, the 2100 is geared to be a more affordable option. There is nothing wrong with this, some of the best toothbrushes are the cheaper models.
If possible, try not to let price be the overriding factor in your decision when choosing a brush, it can limit your options. You don’t have to spend a lot more to gain a couple of small improvements.
As much as I like the 2100 and struggle to fault it, when you consider the features and the price, it is noticeable how the 1100 Series is better value. It is perhaps no surprise that it is our pick for the best budget Sonicare electric toothbrush.
The 1100’s retail price is some CDN $15 less than the 2100 and the only difference, aside from the colour of the power button is that it has just 1 brushing intensity compared to the 2 of the 2100.
To give an idea of the longer term ownership costs, here at Electric Teeth we price a brush over 3 years.
Assuming a typical purchase price CDN $40, you need to add on the cost of replacement brush heads.
The 2100 uses the more cost effective heads that don’t have BrushSync technology, so there is a few dollars to be saved.
A replacement head costs on average CDN $10 and you will need 11 of these over a 3 year period.
Add CDN $110 to the $40 purchase price and your total cost is CDN $150.
The 2100 comes in at about $20 less than our top rated electric toothbrush, the Smart 2000.
The 2000 does have the visible pressure sensor the 2100 lacks, so it could be worth considering this.
I have said how the 1100 is a bit cheaper. It works out at $140, so just $10 less.
The more capable 4100 Series is a bit of a price jump at around CDN $230, but you gain the pressure sensor, BrushSync technology and a more intense brushing experience.
Sharing the 2100’s brush handle, but switching heads with other users in your household is one way to help bring the cost down and drive more value from it if you are set on going for this model.
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
- List of buying options included here
- Recommended retail price of CDN $45
- Typically discounted by around 20%
- Expect to pay around CDN $40 for the 2100
- Brush heads typically cost around CDN $10 each
- Works out at around CDN $150 over 3 years
- Oral-B Smart 2000 is slightly more expensive
- Sonicare 1100 Series is a bit cheaper
Reliability & long term use
I am unable to test the 2100 for extended periods of time to really say how well it will fare over months and years of use.
However, from my experience and having analyzed the brush as best as I can, I see no immediate cause for concern.
It uses the same motor and body as many other Sonicare models that have proven themselves well in my testing.
As one of the leading brands within this space, many years of experience have gone into designing the 2100.
Any electrical product is prone to breaking, it isn’t possible to have a 0% failure rate. But, if the worst should happen you do have the 2 year warranty to fall back on.
The 2100 is slim and lightweight in the hand.
It looks stylish and performs well for the price.
It is nice to have the option of 2 different brushing intentisies.
The 2100 is really a very good toothbrush which I struggle to find fault with.
The reality of the situation is that you have choice and you are paying a small premium over the 1100 Series for the benefit of 2 brushing intensities. No other differences exist.
If you are on a budget, the 1100 is a better buy.
Should you be able to spend a bit more, my top overall pick is the Oral-B Smart 2000, if you are fussed about the brand or the cleaning technology used. It has a visible pressure sensor and will in the very long run work out most cost effective.
Or if you would prefer to stick with Sonicare, the 4100 Series is a good choice.
- Height (without head) – 17.3cm/6.8 inches
- Height (with head) – 23.4cm/9.2 inches
- Width – 2.5cm/0.9 inches
- Thickness – 2.7cm/1 inches
- Weight (without head) – 93g/3.3oz
- Weight (with head) – 98g/3.5oz
All are approximates