Which one would we choose?
Our choice: Philips Sonicare 9900 Prestige (view on Amazon)
2nd choice: Oral-B Genius X (view on Amazon)
The 9900 Prestige is my pick when you consider the all round package on offer here.
If you want the best smart electric toothbrush, then this is it.
But, the Genius X is the much better value option and isn’t far behind the Sonicare as an overall package.
Both brushes do a great job of cleaning the teeth.
And both offer more features than you need.
- Cleaning/brushing action
- The Sonicare 9900 Prestige uses sonic cleaning action. The Genius X has an oscillating-rotating cleaning action.
- Handle design/colors
- The Genius X is available in 3 color options (black, white, & orchid purple).
- The Prestige is available in 3 color options (champagne, midnight blue & pink).
- The Oral-B Genius X has cleaning mode icons on the brush handle.
- The Genius X has a button dedicated to changing the cleaning modes.
- The Genius X has an LED light ring that can be lit a number of different colors.
- The Genius X has a large rubber grip on the rear of the handle.
- Cleaning modes
- The Genius X has 6 cleaning modes (daily clean, gum care, sensitive, whitening, pro clean &tongue clean).
- The 9900 comes with 5 cleaning modes (clean, white+, deep clean+, gum health & sensitive).
- The Genius X cleaning modes can be changed from the handle, whereas the 9900’s have to be changed via the app.
- The 9900 offers 3 different intensities to the cleaning modes, low, medium, and high.
- The pacer on the Prestige operates in 6 x 20 seconds intervals compared to the 4 x 30 seconds of the Genius.
- The 9900 turns off at the end of a cleaning cycle.
- Brush heads
- The Genius comes with 3 brush heads (1 x CrossAction, 1 x 3D White & 1 x FlossAction).
- The Prestige comes with 1 brush head (1 x A3 Premium All-in-One).
- The 2 brushes have different shaped brush heads.
- Pressure sensor
- The Prestige has an LED ring on the base of the handle that illuminates purple when too much pressure is applied.
- The Genius has an LED ring at the top of the brush handle that lights up red when too much pressure is applied.
- The 9900 vibrates the brush handle to alert you, the Genius does not.
- Both brushes have a claimed 2 week battery life. The Prestige achieved around 4 weeks in use compared to the 16 days of the Genius.
- The Prestige offers an exact percentage (%) shown within the smartphone app.
- Bluetooth technology
- The Sonicare app feels more comprehensive, educational and useful.
- Other features & technologies
- The Prestige has Brushsync technology that will track how long the brush head has been used. It will illuminate an LED on the brush handle to alert you when it is time to replace it. This is not available on the Genius.
- The Prestige has a scrubbing sensor (deactivated by default) that alerts you if you are moving the brush too much.
- Adaptive intensity technology in the Prestige will adjust the intensity of the cleaning mode if required.
- Travel case
- The 9900’s travel case is slimmer and more stylish than the Genius.
- The Sonicare travel case charges via a USB Type C connector. The Genius X uses a bulky proprietary power adapter.
- The Genius X case has a USB port on it for charging other devices.
- The Genius X case holds 2 brush heads as opposed to the 1 of the Prestige.
- Accessories & box contents
- The Genius X takes up to 12 hours to charge via the charging stand.
- The Prestige takes up to 16 hours to fully charge via the USB charging stand.
- The Genius X has a detachable power cable on the charging stand.
- The Genius retail price is lower at $220 compared to the $399.99 of the Prestige.
These differences are explained at length later in this article. However, you might wish to learn more about each brush being compared. To do so, check out our hands-on reviews:
Please note. Every effort is made to ensure the key differences listed are correct, but these differences are subject to change without notice. Products and the box contents can be changed without notice and different variants can exist.
There are 2 different variants of the Genius X. There is the standard X as well as the X Luxe. There are subtle differences between these 2 models. The standard X is generally our preference and the model we speak about in this comparison.
Detailed comparison: what’s the difference between the Oral-B Genius X and Philips 9900 Prestige?
Here at Electric Teeth, we want you to know as much as you can, before buying a toothbrush. This way you can make a clear, and informed decision on what to buy.
Something not spoken about enough is how you don’t need a premium toothbrush to clean your teeth well.
Both of these electric toothbrushes are very good. Both, will, when used correctly, leave you with very clean teeth.
Both models have the features I consider essential built-in.
However, the Genius X and Prestige have features you don’t need. A smart toothbrush like these are generally not worth it for most people.
You can get excellent brushes for a lot less money. I suggest you take a look at our best electric toothbrush recommendations.
That said, if you want to own the best, then these are amongst the most capable options available today.
Now let me explain in more detail the differences.
The first and arguable most significant difference is the cleaning action.
The Prestige 9900 has a sonic cleaning action. The Genius X has an oscillating and rotating cleaning action.
Both leave the teeth very clean after use. But, the way in which they work is different.
The sonic technology uses 2 methods to clean the teeth. The first is a mechanical side-to-side (sweeping) cleaning motion. The second is a non-contact approach. It uses sonic technology to disrupt plaque beyond the tip of the bristles.
Oral-B’s cleaning is completed via an oscillating-rotating movement. This is aided by pulsations, another form of movement.
Oral-B brushes have a small, round brush head. It moves back and forth (side to side movements) in a circular motion to help remove plaque and dental debris. The movement of the bristles and the head itself scrub the teeth clean. You don’t need to move the bush up and down, back and forth.
Pulsations offer an extra dimension to the clean. They are like a ‘non-contact’ form of brushing to help break up bacteria.
The cleaning action found on the Oral-B is often more highly regarded. But there is little between them. Both do a fantastic job.
Don’t get too worried about which approach is best.
With the cleaning action covered, let’s now talk about the design of these 2 models.
The Genius X measurements are:
- Height (without head) – 8.07 inches (20.5cm)
- Height (with head) – 9.25 inches (23.5cm)
- Width – 1.06 inches (2.7cm)
- Thickness – 1.26 inches (3.2cm)
- Weight (without head) – 4.69oz (133g)
- Weight (with head) – 4.87oz (138g)
The Prestige 9900 measurements are:
- Height (without head) – 17.5cm / 6.9 inches
- Height (with head) – 24cm / 9.4 inches
- Width – 2.7cm / 1.1 inches
- Thickness – 2.8cm / 1.1 inches
- Weight (without head) – 117g/4.1oz
- Weight (with head) – 123g/4.3oz
Both brushes have a typical electric toothbrush form factor. The handle at the bottom and the head at the top. Of course, there are subtle difference between them both.
The written reviews for each brush go into more detail. But the key differences to be aware of I will cover now.
Both the Genius X and Prestige 9900 have a cylindrical shape to the brush handle. The 9900 is the slightly squarer of the 2.
The Prestige as per its namesake looks the more premium of the 2 in my mind.
Yet, there is a very solid argument to say the Genius X is the more practical brush handle.
On the back is a large rubber grip, you don’t get this on the 9900.
The 9900’s handle has a matt finish to the body which is fairly grippy.
The Genius has 2 very clearly marked buttons. One is the power and the other the cleaning mode button. They offer tactile feedback and are coated in a silicone type material.
The Prestige has 2 buttons, but there are pressure sensitive and more awkward to use.
The convex power button is obvious. But, the button for the cleaning intensities is not. You press on the area above the SenseIQ logo to change between the 3 intensity options.
The hands-on images throughout this review show the design differences of each handle.
The Prestige does not have any cleaning mode labels on the brush handle. This is unlike most other models from the brand. This helps with the clean look. Even the intensity setting icons appear to vanish into the handle. Only when backlit do they become obvious.
The Genius X has cleaning mode icons running down the front of the handle.
Only 5 icons are available, despite the 6 modes!
A major aesthetic difference is the light ring around the neck of the handle of the Genius, compared to the 9900.
This translucent panel runs a full 360 degrees around the handle. Via the smartphone app or the handle itself, this can be programmed in different colors.
This smartring also doubles up as a pressure sensor. When too much pressure is applied, the light will turn red to alert you.
The Prestige does have a pressure sensor, but this is around the bottom edge of the handle. It lights up purple when the sensor is activated rather than red. On both brushes, this alert goes away when the pressure is reduced.
When the sensor is activated on the 9900, the handle also vibrates to alert you. This is something that the Genius X does not do and is very useful as it is quite easy to miss the light ring on the handle.
The Prestige will reduce the brushing intensity as well. Called ‘adaptive intensity’ it will reduce the power from high to low if you apply too much pressure for too long.
Utilising this LED ring at the bottom of the Prestige brush handle is too the scrubbing sensor. This is disabled by default. If activated, it will monitor how the brush head is moved as you brush. It will alert you via a yellow light and vibrations if you need to reduce the amount of brush head movement.
The images of each brush within this comparison will help visualise the key design differences.
With both of these toothbrushes, you can get them in a few different colors.
The handle colors do vary between the 2 models.
Sonicare offers the Prestige in 3 colors, midnight blue, champagne and pink. The Genius X is available in black, white and orchid purple. There are also 2 extra colors available with the Luxe variant. They are sakura pink and anthracite black.
Having talked about the design, I want to now cover the cleaning modes that are available.
The Genius X has 6 modes:
- Daily Clean
- Gum Care
- Pro Clean
- Tongue Clean
You won’t see a cleaning mode icon for Daily Clean on the Genius X handle. When this mode is activated, no light is lit.
The Prestige has 5:
- Deep Clean+
- Gum Health
On top of this, the Prestige 9900 has 3 different intensity settings, low, medium and high.
LEDs on the handle light up to reflect the intensity level that has been set.
- 1 light – low intensity
- 2 lights – medium intensity
- 3 lights – high intensity
You could therefore say the Prestige has 15 different possible cleaning configurations. 5 cleaning modes each with 3 intensity setting.
Rarely do you actually need extra modes, but in some instances that can be useful. The sensitive and gum health modes are most useful. They are slower and less powerful, offering a less intense option.
The Genius X has a dedicated cleaning mode button on the handle. You can press this to change the cleaning mode at any time. You do have to have the brush turned on. You can’t change the mode when the brush is off.
It is a bit different with the Prestige though.
With the 9900 the mode has to be changed via the app. It cannot be changed from the brush handle. You can’t switch between clean and white mode without using the smartphone application. There is a method to this madness, even if it is a bit frustrating.
What this means is you will only know which cleaning mode is set on the Prestige by going via the app. Whereas the Genius X has icons on the handle.
Both Oral-B and Sonicare have timers and pacers built into these brush handles. The idea is that these encourage you to brush your teeth evenly and for the recommended amount of time.
The Genius is configured with 30 second pacing. The Prestige is set with 20 second pacing. This is a subtle, but notable difference between the 2 models.
This means during a 2 minute cleaning cycle you have 4 x 30 second periods or 6 x 20 seconds, subject to the toothbrush being used.
So, the areas you brush under 30 second pacing looks like:
- Upper right
- Upper left
- Lower right
- Lower left
When brushing at 20 second pacing:
- Upper right back teeth
- Upper front teeth
- Upper left back teeth
- Lower left back teeth
- Lower front teeth
- Lower right back teeth
At the end of the 20 or 30 seconds, the brush motors pauses. This changes the sound of the brush and the brushing sensation, this is your cue to move to the next section.
At the end of the cleaning cycle, the same thing happens. But, the 9900 has a power off feature, which makes it very clear the cleaning cycle is complete. The Oral-B continues to function, relying on you to turn the brush off.
If you do use the Genius X in real-time with the smartphone application, the pacer and timer will be disabled. This is because you have the visuals on-screen to guide you.
No toothbrush would be complete without a brush head.
The Genius X variant comes with 3 brush heads. They are 1 x CrossAction, 1 x 3D White and 1 x FlossAction.
If you were to pick up the Luxe version, that comes with 7. They are 2 x CrossAction, 1 x 3D White, 2 x Pro GumCare and 2 x FlossAction.
The Sonicare 9900 comes with a single brush head. It is the A3 Premium All-in-One head.
The styles and shapes of the head are different.
The Oral-B head is small and round. This is typical for the brand. Whereas the Prestige comes with a larger ovalish shaped brush head. This larger head is like those found on most manual brushes.
The A3 head in particular is designed to be a do it all brush head. This is to do away with the need for different brush head styles. It removes plaque effectively, promotes healthier gums and helps whiten teeth.
The Genius comes with different heads, all designed to achieve slightly different things.
The CrossAction has been designed to achieve a good overall clean. The FlossAction should give a deeper clean and the 3D White should help whiten the teeth.
With either brush, you can use the brush heads on any of the cleaning modes.
The brush heads themselves fit only to the respective brand’s handles. Both are easy to replace, pulling off and pushing back on. No twisting or locking into place required.
Brush heads should be replaced with either model on average every 3 months.
Both brands allow you to track the brush heads usage via the smartphone application. Yet, Sonicare is much smarter. This is because it has an RFID chip built into the brush head.
The chip is detected up by the handle and tracked. Once used for 3 months, a light on the brush handle is lit orange/amber to alert you. This is clever and very useful for giving that visual reminder to change the brush head. This is part of a technology Sonicare calls BrushSync.
Both brands have fading indicator bristles built into the brush heads. This acts as an extra reminder feature.
Powering both brushes are Lithium-Ion batteries. These are built into the handles and are not user removable.
Both companies claim a battery life of around 2 weeks. This is based on 1 user brushing their teeth twice a day for 2 minutes.
Where the Genius lasts 16 days on a full charge, the 9900 Prestige lasts twice as long. My own hands-on testing achieved over 4 weeks.
Both brushes give a bit of feedback on the remaining battery charge via the battery icon on the brush handle.
The 9900 battery charge light is illuminated as follows:
- A solid white LED means a full battery.
- A flashing white LED means a medium battery.
- A flashing white LED and three beeps mean a low battery.
- A flashing white LED and five beeps mean no brushing sessions left, you need to charge the toothbrush.
The Genius X has 3 bars to the battery.
- 3 white bars means a full battery.
- 2 white bars means the battery has less than 66% charge.
- 1 white bar means the battery is low, less than 33%.
- A flashing red bar means the battery requires recharging. There is less than 20% power remaining.
If you open up the Sonicare app on your phone you actually get the precise percentage (%) shown on the screen. For example 47%. The Genius X does not do this. Given all the tech built-in, it should.
Both toothbrushes come with a charging stand included in the box.
The Genius X charging stand is a little different to most stands provided with Oral-B brushes.
The circular stand holds the brush upright and will charger it in around 12 hours.
It has a detachable 2 pin US power adapter. That power adapter supports 100-240v and is color matched to the brush. It is the same power adapter used with the travel case. More on that in a moment.
The 9900’s charging stand is made up of 2 parts, a base plate and a puck that then sits on top.
It can take up to 16 hours to charge the Prestige.
Unlike the Oral-B the 9900’s charging stand has a USB cable hardwired into it. There is a male USB Type A connector at the end. Couple this with the 2 pin USB power adapter (supporting 100-240v) and you can charge in a bathroom. Or forget the adapter and charge via a USB socket on a laptop, computer, wall socket or battery bank for example.
The charging might be slower with the Prestige, but it feels like a more practical option.
As is common with premium brushes like this, both come with travel cases.
The Prestige case holds the handle and 1 brush head. The Genius X case holds the handle and 2 heads.
The 9900 has a far superior case in my mind.
It is slimmer and far more stylish, having been wrapped in vegan leather. It has a little strap built in to hold onto the case.
The standout feature is the USB charging it offers.
The USB cable is not hardwired into the case, nor is there a place to store it. But, the case itself has a USB Type C connector on it. A very current connection. It is futureproofed and makes charging wherever you are easy.
You can pair up the USB A to Type C cable provided with the included USB plug adapter or use the USB cable on its own.
The case for the Genius X is longer and wider. It too allows the toothbrush to charge whilst inside. But, it requires a bulky proprietary power adapter. You can’t charge it via a USB cable.
It does actually have a USB port on that case. This is for passthrough power only. So you can charge both the toothbrush and another USB powered device at the same time.
The power adapter for the Genius X case does support 100-240V. It is the same adapter as the charging stand. You need to remember to disconnect it and take it with you.
Both cases do the job. But the 9900 Prestige is sleeker and a more practical option for a regular traveler.
As I have already stated, both of these models are considered ‘smart’. They have Bluetooth built-in. They are able to do more than your average electric toothbrush.
The intention behind the technology in both instances is the same. To inform and educate users into taking better care of their teeth and oral health. The implementation is different.
There are lots of bits to each app that I could talk about. They do a very similar job, but there are subtle differences. I am taking a very broad overview in this comparison. Please do refer to the individual reviews for more information.
Both companies provide free applications for Android and iOS.
Both apps have their pros and cons, but I do believe that the Sonicare app is the better.
Each app collates and stores lots of data. I think the Sonicare app presents it in a more intuitive way. Charts use green or orange colors. The green represents good, whilst orange depicts areas for improvement. Visually it works.
The app also offers some extra configuration options that can work well for some people.
To be fair to Oral-B theirs is not bad at all. It is just different. You get an average score which is easily understandable with a quick glance. You can dig into the app a bit more for extra data.
Please note, that the software is regularly updated. Things may change in time.
Both brushes offer real-time position tracking.
Sensors in the brush handle relay information back to the application. This is then displayed on the screen. I do think the tracking is marginally better with the Genius X.
Oral-B allows for a less regimented approach to toothbrushing when used in real-time. It will track you no matter what surface you are brushing.
The Sonicare app on the other hand will only log it if you are brushing the area it stipulates on the screen. So, if it highlights the lower left and you are brushing the lower right, it won’t acknowledge this brushing.
Both have their pros and cons. Perhaps Soncaires app is a bit more restrictive. But, I do think this encourages better habit formation. This is important with oral care.
Does one clean better than the other?
Simply put, no.
The following has more impact on your oral health than either of these particular models:
- Your brushing technique
- Your total brushing time
- The number of times you brush per day
I acknowledge that there is clinical evidence that will side with Sonicare and Oral-B.
When you actually cut through the claims, the reality is there is a limited difference.
The 2 brushes do use a different cleaning action to achieve the same results.
If I had to pick one model, it would be the Genius X.
This is based on the results of an independent study by Cochrane. It suggests that there is evidence that Oral-B is more effective than Sonicare.
Evidence favoured Oral-B. The differences are small and clinically unclear. Further study is required.
Worry less about which brush and worry more about getting your technique right.
I really wish not to make the situation more confusing than it already is. But, it is only right for me to at least mention how some of the smart technology can too have a bearing on things.
The apps or the data have no direct bearing on how well the toothbrush itself cleans the teeth. But they do have a bearing on us as the user of the app.
In both instances, the apps are designed to help educate and inform you and me as the user. We can get insights into our brushing habits. And from this make the necessary corrections to improve our oral health.
So, we could end up brushing our teeth better because of what the app shows and suggests. One app might have a greater impact on us than another. But, this is something that is personal.
Both apps are similarly featured, with real-time tracking and feedback.
The Sonicare app feels better thought out to me. I feel that the way the data is interpreted and presented within the Sonicare app is a little more useful.
Oral-B’s is not far behind at all. It is just different.
Is one better priced than the other?
Yes, if you look at the retail prices alone the Genius X is the more cost effective purchase.
The retail price of the Prestige is $399.99 compared to the $220 of the Genius X. A difference of $80.
There is the Genius X Luxe Edition available for $250. But the standard model is the better value option in my opinion.
However, it isn’t quite as simple as considering the retail price only.
Oral-B models tend to sell on average for 20% less than retail, bringing the cost down to around $175.
Compare this to Sonicare models that often have a discount in the region of 20% and the 9900 comes in at around $320. This makes the premium $145 for the Prestige.
Prices are always subject to change. They can vary significantly from one seller to another.
To give a more accurate cost comparison you need to factor in the cost of replacement brush heads.
There can be a reasonable variance in these prices too. A brush head for the Prestige 9900 should be around $10 compared to the $5 per head cost for the Genius. Quite a saving here at less than half price.
Based on 1 user over a 3 year period you are looking at a daily cost of $0.39 for the 9900 Prestige. The daily cost for the Genius X is $0.20.
At basically half the price the Genius X is the much better value option for sure.
It is your decision. Pay a price you are happy with and can justify, but do so knowing the difference between these models.
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.
I would use either of these 2 toothbrushes on a daily basis.
Both clean the teeth extremely well and have the all important, timer and pacer enabled out of the box.
Both models offer more than what you actually need. And both command a premium greater than you need to pay also.
If you are looking for a more capable toothbrush, then these fulfil that need.
The Genius X is the better value purchase and unless you demand the very best, I suggest you go with this.
That said, if you are looking for the most premium or ultimate of brushes, the Prestige is the brush for you.
As the name implies, the Sonicare 9900 is a more refined offering.
Do you own or have you used the Oral-B Genius X or Sonicare 9900?
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.