The Oral-B iO has been announced, but not yet released for general sale.
It is expected to go on sale to the public in late summer 2020, approximately August.
This comparison has been written to highlight the differences, based on what information we already know.
It will be updated once I have hands-on time with the final production unit.
Which one would we choose?
Our choice: Sonicare DiamondClean Smart
2nd choice: Oral-B iO
2 of the best toothbrushes on the market.
Both clean the teeth really well and both have features that many of us really do not need, but these extra features make for more convenient daily use and can help us achieve healthier teeth and gums.
The iO is a marked upgrade on some of their other products, the DiamondClean Smart, is, in my opinion at least, a more complete and refined package.
- Cleaning/brushing action
- The DiamondClean Smart uses sonic cleaning action and larger brush heads than the oscillating-rotating cleaning action and small round brush heads of the iO.
- Handle design & colors
- Similar, yet different handle designs.
- The DiamondClean Smart is available in black, white, pink and silver.
- The iO is available in black onyx, white and rose quartz.
- An OLED display is built into the handle of the iO to display key data. The display enables easy navigation through the brush features and personalization: welcoming greetings, choice of brushing modes, language settings and reminders to change the brush head. This is not included on the Sonicare.
- Cleaning modes
- The DiamondClean Smart comes with 5 cleaning modes (Clean, White+, Deep Clean+, Gum Health, and Tongue Care).
- The iO has 7 cleaning modes ( (Daily Clean, Sensitive, Super Sensitive, Intense, Whiten, Gum Care and Tongue Clean).
- Cleaning mode intensities
- The DiamondClean Smart offers 3 different intensities to the cleaning modes, low medium and high.
- Cleaning mode labels/icons
- The DiamondClean Smart has names of the cleaning modes on the handle. that are backlit when selected.
- The iO modes are shown on the OLED display.
- Automatic power off
- The DiamondClean Smart turns off automatically at the end of a cleaning cycle.
- The Sonicare DiamondClean Smart gradually increases the power of the brush over the first 14 sessions to help new users get used to the power.
- Brush heads
- The DiamondClean Smart comes with 4 brush heads (1 x Premium Plaque Control, 1 x Premium Gum Care, 1 x Premium White and 1 x TongueCare+ tongue brush).
- Brush heads supplied with the iO are TBC.
- BrushSync technology
- The Smart will alert you when it is time to change a brush head via an LED on the brush handle. This is not available on the iO.
- The DiamondClean will also select the most appropriate cleaning mode based on the brush head attached.
- Pressure sensor
- The DiamondClean Smart has an LED ring on the base of the handle that illuminates purple when too much pressure is applied.
- The iO has an LED ring at the top of the brush handle that lights up red when too much pressure is applied. It also lights up green, when just the right amount of pressure is applied.
- The DiamondClean Smart is quieter than the iO.
- Battery life
- The DiamondClean Smart has a battery life of 3 weeks compared to the 12.5 days of the Oral-B.
- Charging stands
- The DiamondClean Smart uses a more premium looking, but bulky charging glass.
- The iO has a smaller, magnetic charging stand.
- The iO takes 3 hours to charge compared to up to 24 hours of the DiamondClean.
- Bluetooth/smart technology
- The iO uses artificial intelligence (AI) technology to help track your brushing action to rate your overall clean.
- Travel case
- The DiamondClean Smart has a travel case that is finished with leather effect material and allows the brush to be charged in that case thanks to a USB cable hardwired into. It holds the handle and 2 brush heads.
- The iO travel case does not allow the brush to be charged in the case and holds the handle and 1 brush head.
- The DiamondClean Smart is generally more expensive.
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:
- Oral-B iO review – Coming soon
- Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart review
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.
Detailed comparison: what’s the difference between the Sonicare DiamondClean Smart and Oral-B iO?
Given that at the time of writing the iO is not actually available for sale and I have not had any extensive hands-on time, I am not in a position to write a detailed comparison between these 2 models.
The bullet point list should give you a good overview of the differences.
I will update this section of the comparison once I have the additional information and hands-on use to be able to give you the feedback you require.
Does one clean better than the other?
The answer to this question will only be known when I get to go hands-on with the iO later in 2020.
If you asked the respective brands directly, they would each suggest their model does.
Studies have historically shown that Oral-B generally speaking have the edge here.
This is because of the smaller brush head size and the motion it results in greater improvements of users oral health than a Sonicare model.
The cleaning actions are different, with Sonicare using a sonic brushing technology compared to the oscillating-rotating of the iO.
My general preference has been for the cleaning action offered by Oral-B. I generally have the sensation that my teeth are cleaner than they are when having used a Sonicare toothbrush.
The inclusion of OLED screen on the handle of the iO will provide information that has never before been so easily accessible.
What this means that there is a very strong argument that users like you and I will be able to achieve a better clean with the iO as we have more data and information at our fingertips.
Ultimately, whilst different, the results are usually similar.
For most users, more positive effect can be seen and felt from perfecting their brushing technique and routine than picking 1 toothbrush over another.
Is one better priced than the other?
Yes, I expect the iO by Oral-B to be a bit cheaper than the Sonicare DiamondClean Smart, but there will unlikey be a great difference.
The official price of the iO has not been confirmed, but based on historic price information, there is likely to some similarity.
The current flagship, the Genius X 10,000 has a retail price of $220 and $250 for the standard and luxe models.
Often though, Oral-B brushes are discounted by about 20%, so the actual selling price is around $175 of the Genius X currently.
I suspect the iO will command a slight premium being priced somewhere between $250-$300. But, apply the discount and your typical purchase price will potentially be $200.
The DiamondClean Smart (9500 variant) has a suggested retail price of $270.
Like Oral-B, selling prices do tend to be discounted, although not quite as much. Approximately 10% is more typical.
This means the DiamondClean sells for around $240 on average.
Of course, the price of the iO is still to be confirmed, but if my estimates are correct, this will mean that the iO will be around about $40 cheaper to buy.
Over a 3 year period, the DiamondClean can work out much more expensive, especially when you factor in the premium brush heads. As a benchmark, $0.30 per day for the Sonicare compared to as little as $0.20 per day for the Oral-B.
However, I would argue that the DiamondClean is worth the investment as a result of the more premium experience and refinement in the product.
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.
For many years, it has been a contest to some extent between Oral-B and Sonicare.
One companies premium toothbrush has always offered something the other hasn’t and deciding which to buy has never been the simplest of decisions.
Sonicare have always offered the more complete and refined package and this remains true when comparing the Oral-B iO and the Sonicare DiamondClean Smart.
But, Sonicare have too always commanded a slight price premium.
Oral-B have really upped their game with the iO, compared to the previous Genius models.
The iO is sleeker, more refined, with innovative touches. In many ways, it challenges the DiamondClean Smart more than any other toothbrush.
Sadly it still fails to outperform the DiamondClean in terms of battery life and certain convenience features make the Sonicare more appealing.
Based on this, and only a small premium to be paid, the DiamondClean is the brush to go for.
Ultimately, whatever brush you decide upon, it is you who needs to make the decision; but do so based on which is best for your needs or that of the end user.
Only pay the price you are happy with and do not be led into buying something if it is not right.
Hopefully, I have presented the facts and made the whole decision process that little bit easier.
If you found this useful, have any questions, thoughts or opinions, please leave them in the comments below.