Cleans the teeth well, but limited benefits to the Bluetooth connectivity
The Smart 3000 is a slim and grippy toothbrush that has the dentist recommended features.
Bluetooth connectivity adds limited functionality at a cost.
- Slim, grippy handle
- 3 cleaning modes
- Brush head storage compartment
- Bluetooth connectivity for habit tracking
- No cleaning mode labels/icons
- Bluetooth connectivity isn’t essential and adds to the cost
Consider these other brushes
If you have no desire to connect your brush to a smartphone, then the Oral-B Smart 1500 will be a better choice for you.
With many of the same features as the Smart 3000, it claims the title of best electric toothbrush as a result of the superb all round performance and value it offers.
Should you want something with a bit more tech, the iO Series 4 is the newer equivalent to the Smart 3000. It is quieter, with a more refined design. But, replacement brush heads are more expensive, so it works out longer term more expensive.
The iO Series 6, is like the iO4, but with even more features. Notably, real-time tracking so you can take immediate corrective feedback. It is the best value iO model considering the features, but is more than you need.
|Oral-B iO Series 4 - White||753 Reviews||$99.99 $89.00||View on Amazon|
Design, usability, clean & general use
Between brands and even different ranges from the same brand, the design and feel of a brush in hand can differ, however, most have a fairly slim, rounded profile to them.
Oral-B has always done, in my mind, a pretty decent job when it comes to the look and feel of the brushes.
Could they do away with some of the plastic construction? Yes, they probably could. However, I think the look of the Smart 3000 is actually a nice blend of design and everyday practicality, for the price.
I do personally think that Sonicare toothbrushes look a little nicer, but they tend not to be quite as grippy in hand.
The Smart 3000 comes in 2 color options primarily, white and black.
The all white handle of the 3000 can look quite clinical. The black handle stands out a little more, but it might not be to everyone’s taste.
With the black colored unit it is the rubber grip and brush head that are this colour, the remainder of the brush body and the accessories are all white in color.
That rubber grip that runs down the handle is one of the appealing things about this brush, it is easy to hold onto. There are a series of ridges around the power button that help hold and guide you to the controls of the brush. On the back of the handle is a harsher but still practical series of grips. They are raised plastic notches that give the fingers sticking points on the upper half of the handle.
For me, these are small practicalities that make a big difference in everyday life.
In the upper half of the handle in between the contoured grips is the power button that is white in colour with a grey/black power icon on it. The contrasting colour of the icon helps it stand out against all the white body.
You don’t want a button that is too easily activated or too firm, thankfully that is not the case on the 3000. It has a nice resistance when pressed. Not too soft that it can be accidentally activated, but not too firm it is difficult to press. Good even for those with limited dexterity in my opinion.
The lower third of the brush handle has the Bluetooth, Oral-B and Braun logo in grey/black as well as a battery and charging icon below them.
These icons are transparent and have an LED light behind them that illuminate at certain times.
Sealed inside the handle is the battery, that offers 2+ weeks of use and all the other clever technology.
The handle is water resistant and can be rinsed under a tap and used in a shower.
The likelihood is that it would survive, but I strongly advise you avoid submerging the brush below water, for example in a bath or sink. A rinse is fine, but the brush does not need to sink to the bottom of a bowl of water.
If you take a look at the very bottom of the brush handle, there is a recess, into which the pin on the charging stand connects to. A charging stand is provided.
The brush is able to stand upright without the stand.
Right at the top of the brush handle is a metal prong, this is what the brush head connects to and feeds the power from the brush motor.
Just below this metal prong on the rear side of the handle is the pressure sensor.
Are you familiar with a pressure sensor?
If not, in this case, it is a plastic panel that is a red color, it sweeps up over and down the neck of the handle.
When you brush, sensors within the brush detect if you are applying too much force to your teeth. When it detects this, it activates the pressure sensor.
This means that the LED sat behind the panel lights up. You get a bright red light that you won’t fail to notice.
At the same time as the LED pressure sensor illuminates, you should also notice that the speed of the brush head will decrease and the sound of the motor will change. This is nothing to worry about. It is programmed to do this, until such time as the pressure is relieved.
You see, applying too much pressure when brushing is a big issue and it causes more damage than you might think. Excessive pressure can damage the gums and cause wear on your teeth. A brush need only skim the surface of the tooth and gums. So, the brush reduces the power to protect your teeth.
Just relieve the pressure and the light will go out and the motor power up again. Just remember to let the bristles essentially glide across the tooth surfaces.
If you activate it often, don’t worry all that much, over time you will learn and avoid doing lasting damage to your teeth. Just imagine if you didn’t have it…
The Smart 3000 has 3 cleaning modes available. They are:
- Daily Clean
Remember the order of these, you will need to refer to this in a moment.
Each of the 3 cleaning modes work slightly differently, with differing levels of oscillations, rotations and pulsations to achieve different cleaning effects on the teeth.
For example, Sensitive mode reduces the number of movements to be softer on the teeth and gums.
You can find much more detail on each mode and how they compare in our article, Oral-B cleaning modes explained.
To activate each cleaning mode, you have to use the power button on the front of the brush.
Remember the list above, this is the order of the cleaning modes.
Press the power button once to turn it on. Daily Clean mode will launch.
Press it again to change the mode to Sensitive.
Press it a third time to activate Whitening mode.
A fourth time will turn the brush off.
You can press and hold the button for 2 seconds at any point to power it off.
This makes sense, but there are 2 issues in particular that I have with the way in which this has been configured.
The first is that to change to any of the cleaning modes, you first have to power the brush, there is no dedicated button to change the modes. The second is you need to remember the order of the modes, because there are no icons on the handle that illuminate to tell you which mode you have selected.
I suspect over time you will learn this, but wouldn’t some icons or LED’s be helpful to show the mode? The more premium Genius range offers icons to show the mode selected.
Ideally, a way of selecting the mode prior to actually turning the brush on would be good. This is not available, not even on the premium Genius Pro 8000 or Genius X models.
Most Sonicare brushes allow you to do this though.
With the premium Genius X, although you have to power the brush on to change the cleaning mode, if you have changed the mode, it will remember it. Next time you power the brush on, it will begin in that mode. The Oral-B Smart 3000 does not do this.
I understand why though. If it did, there is no way of showing what mode it is on, unless you use the app.
When using the Bluetooth connectivity, the app will show the cleaning mode, plus you have the option of actually changing the order of the modes on your toothbrush too if you like. I will explain the connectivity option in more detail shortly.
Despite the criticisms of the way in which the cleaning modes are presented, I do love the clean that an Oral-B brush offers. I have zero complaints. After each use my teeth feel wonderfully clean.
It is a little harsher/aggressive feeling than a Sonicare or Colgate brush. Whilst this is not exactly the best way of rating a clean of the teeth, it really feels like it has done something.
The handle offers some 2+ weeks of battery life and is lightweight.
When the battery built into the brush begins to deplete, the charging icon will flash red.
You do not get anything more detailed from the handle.
It would be nice if you had a green light to suggest a good amount of remaining charge or yellow for less than 50% for example, but no such luck.
Even better would be a little LED display that showed the exact battery percentage (%). Or in the case of the Smart 3000, the app picked up the information.
The battery icon will flash green when the brush is on charge.
1 brush head is included in the box with the Smart 3000. This is normally a CrossAction head, although it is possible other styles of head could be provided.
The CrossAction heads offers a good all-round clean of the teeth.
Oral-B’s brush heads are interchangeable, so you can fit the likes of a 3D White brush head, Pro GumCare, Precision Clean or FlossAction if you prefer.
To fit or remove the brush head simply align the metal with the hole in the shaft of the brush head and push the two together until you hear and feel them clip into place.
Pull the two apart to release them.
Our guide to Oral-B brush heads explains the difference between them all and which might be better suited to you.
It is important for your oral health to replace your toothbrush head every 3 months or sooner if your bristles are frayed.
Official Oral-B brush heads are recommended and they all have something known as indicator bristles. These are blue coloured bristles that will over a 3 month period gradually discolour.
When they are a very pale blue or white it is time to change. It is a clever reminder system.
Most cleaning modes on this brush run for 2 minutes.
If you did not already know, this is generally the recommended brushing time. 2 minutes, twice a day.
If you didn’t know this or are guilty of not brushing for as long as you should, the Smart 3000 can help in 2 ways.
The first is the built-in timer and quadpacer.
Imagine your mouth broken up into 4 sections. Upper right, upper left, lower right and lower left.
You should spend 30 seconds cleaning each section. The pacer helps you keep an even brushing time on these 4 sections.
At 30 second intervals, the brush will provide an audible warning via a slight pause in the brush motor to tell you to change quadrant. Once the 2 minutes are up 3 brief pauses in the brush motor will be heard and felt.
Brushing for the full 2 minutes is very important, but just as important if not more so is the right technique. Make sure you learn how to clean your teeth properly. You can learn here.
The second was in which it helps is through the more powerful Bluetooth connectivity and smartphone app.
The concept is that the app will help encourage and motivate you to brush better and for longer so you achieve a better standard of oral health.
Via clear, easy to read on screen graphics and instructions you can see the areas of your routine that need improvements.
It is about education for better cleaning rather than telling you that you have got it all wrong.
Do be aware, this brush does not detect the exact position of the toothbrush in the mouth. It can’t and won’t tell you that you forgot to clean the molars at the back of your mouth. It is looking more at brushing time, pressure and frequency.
To take advantage of this, you need an Android or iOS smartphone and Bluetooth 4.0 on your phone.
Download the appropriate app and install it on your phone.
As good as the app is, I feel this may also be one of the negatives as some will not see the point of using it or find it more hassle than it’s worth. You don’t have to if you don’t want to.
If you feel you won’t use it, you may want to consider if the likes of the Pro 1000 are better suited to you as otherwise you will be paying for a feature you won’t necessarily use.
It takes a bit of practice to get in a routine of having your phone with you when brushing. If you forget it or don’t have it to hand, don’t worry. The handle will store the data for the last 20 cleans and sync this to the app, the next time it connects.
It is also worth knowing that the Bluetooth connectivity works only for one user. If you share the brush handle with a partner, this will mess up the data. If you and other family members all want to track with the app, you need your own brush handle.
The Oral-B app is frequently updated, so what I refer to here may change. Prior to the launch of the Smart 3000 has undergone quite a significant redesign.
The latest version has focused more on the graphics and user interface. It has been designed to be simple and user friendly.
Connecting the toothbrush is relatively straightforward, you will be guided on screen how to do this.
Once up and running, you can manage a few elements within the settings menu as well as create or sign into an Oral-B account, so that your data is saved should you move to a new phone etc in the future.
If you begin brushing your teeth with the app in hand, the display will present a timer and a graphic that counts you through the standard 2 minute cycle.
It will show you the cleaning mode selected, alert you if the pressure sensor is activated and the graphics give you a clear indication of when to move from one quadrant to another to achieve that equal clean of the teeth.
Once you have finished brushing the data will be logged and available to review.
Over weeks and months you can build up a bank of data for a more though picture of your oral health routine to better understand the improvements you can make.
It would be nice if you got some sort of smartphone stand in the box with the 3000, but you don’t.
If you want to use the app as you brush, you either need to place the phone somewhere convenient or hold it in your hand.
A simple stand to place on the countertop and keep your phone at an ideal viewing angle would be a nice addition.
Aside from the aforementioned charging stand and 1 brush head, the Smart 3000 comes with a brush head storage compartment included in the box. This is a moulded piece of plastic that clips around the charging stand.
Complete with a lid, it protects up to 4 heads from splashes but allows airflow around them to allow them to dry and stop bacteria buildup.
The way in which this compartment has been moulded is such that it fits perfectly around the charging stand, to create a kind of desktop home if you like for the brush handle and heads.
Given that it holds 4 brush heads, perhaps included more than 1 in the box would have been nice?
You do not get a travel case included either which is a shame, but for the price, perhaps this is fair.
In all honesty, I think a travel case would have been more use than the brush head storage compartment.
In the unlikely event, something goes wrong, there is as standard a 24 month warranty is provided with the 3000. This covers the battery too.
One final thing to be aware of is that there is a 60 day money back guarantee on offer from Oral-B. It is essentially like a trial, whereby you can buy and try the brush. Should you not like it you can return it for a refund. This is particularly useful if you are unsure whether an electric toothbrush is for you. Find out more about it here.
All things considered, the Smart 3000 is a solid electric toothbrush that cleans the teeth well. I can’t really find much to fault with it. The biggest criticism is really the box contents.
Summary of design, usability, clean & general use
- Slim and comfortable brush to hold and use, even if limited hand movement
- 3 cleaning modes – daily clean, sensitive and whitening
- Provides a great clean to the teeth
- Need to switch the brush on to change cleaning modes
- No cleaning mode icons on the handle
- Visible pressure sensor
- 1 brush head included
- Alternative brush heads available
- Built-in quad pacer and 2 minute timer tells you when to change quadrant and finish brushing
- 16 day battery life, but no percentage indicator for clear feedback of remaining power
- Holder for up to 4 brush heads
- Bluetooth connectivity for logging brushing performance
- Not all will find the app useful
- No position detection technology
- No smartphone stand or travel case included
- Water resistant and can be used in the shower
- 2 year warranty as standard
- 60 day money back guarantee
Built into the handle of the Smart 3000 is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) battery.
The Li-Ion is the more desirable battery type over the NiMH batteries Oral-B have previously used in many of their toothbrushes.
The Smart 3000 offers 2+ weeks of battery life, or at least that is the claim Oral-B makes.
In my hands-on testing, it actually performed fairly well.
On a full charge, the Smart 3000 achieved 17 days of usage. This is based on 2 cleans per day, each lasting 2 minutes.
A little more than 14 days, but not quite 3 weeks, it falls in line with the claimed 2+ weeks.
The performance of the battery inside the Smart 3000 is similar to comparable Oral-B brushes.
In fact, this battery life is as good as other Oral-B models twice the price of the3000.
Sadly the 3000 doesn’t quite match the battery life performance on offer from brands like Sonicare. These tend to last for a minimum of 3 weeks and as much as 5, despite using the same battery technology.
Running time from the battery will not be important to everyone. Most of us will place the toothbrush right back on the charging stand when we are don brushing. None-the-less I do think it is important to have at least 2 weeks from a single charge. This is so you can go away on vacation for example knowing you won’t need to take the charging stand with you.
Provided in the box is a charging stand for the 3000.
All white in color the charging dock itself has a small prong on the top which aligns with a recess in the bottom of the brush handle. The power adapter is a 2 pin US configuration and is hardwired into the stand.
If you did travel for an extended period of time, you may need a plug and voltage adapter to use this within the likes of Europe for example. The stand only supports 110-130v.
When the toothbrush is on the stand, the battery will be fully recharged within approximately 15 hours. I tend to leave it on charge overnight.
It is quite safe to leave the brush on the charging station/dock all the time. Technology in the brush should stop the battery from over-charging.
When charging the battery charging icon flashes green. If the battery is completely dead it can take around 30 minutes before it will begin to flash.
When power is remaining in the battery is low, the battery status icon on the front of the handle will flash and you will likely feel the decrease in brush power. You get this warning when there is approximately 20% of the power remaining.
It would be nice if you got a bit more feedback sooner. For example, an amber light when the remaining charge was below 50%, but sadly you do not get this.
Even though this is a smart toothbrush, the battery charge level is not fed into the application.
Summary of battery life
- Claimed 2+ weeks of battery life
- Achieved 68 minutes of usage time or 17 days usage based on 2 cleans a day
- Charging stand included in the box
- Supports 110-130v
- 2 pin US power adapter
- Takes about up to 15 hours to charge fully
- The battery icon on handle flashes green when charging and red when the battery is low
- No battery information fed back to smartphone application
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.
The Smart 3000 has a recommended retail price of $109.99.
However, as is fairly typical with electric toothbrushes, particularly those made by Oral-B, the actual selling price is a bit lower. More often than not that discount is up to 20%.
At the time of writing, Oral-B themselves are selling the brush for $89.99, a discount of $20.
Shopping around online can achieve further discounts. I was able to buy the Smart 3000 for $80, another $10 off. At $80 that is a discount of 27%.
Prices are of course subject to change, varying from 1 retailer to another and even between handle colours.
I think it is fair to say that the average price you can expect to pay is around $85.
I wouldn’t suggest paying anything more than about $90 as you are beginning to creep into the price range of more premium brushes, which may bring additional benefits for little extra spend.
The 2 week battery life, extra cleaning modes and Bluetooth technology do come at a premium of around $30-35 over the Pro 1000.
The 1000 is a perfectly capable brush for the vast majority and is without a doubt a more cost-effective purchase. But for you, the extra might be worth the higher price. Over the life of the brush, it isn’t the most significant premium to pay.
This Smart 3000, like every other, requires replacement brush heads for each user every 3 months. Replacement heads can be purchased in various pack sizes. On average expect to pay around $5 per head.
Using the average cost (based on one user) and ownership over 3 years, the Smart 3000 will cost $140 in total or $0.13 per day to own.
This price does exclude the cost of water, toothpaste and electric to charge it, but you get a rough idea and is one of if not the cheapest decent electric toothbrushes available at the moment.
There is a good chance the brush will last longer than the 3 year period and using the same brush handle but switching heads with other users in your household will only help bring the cost down and drive more value from it.
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
- Check list of retailers here.
- Recommended retail price of $109.99
- A typical selling price of approximately $85
- Replacement brush heads work out at $5 each on average
- Works out at around $0.13 per day over 3 years
Reliability & long term use
Whilst I have tested the Smart 3000 for a few weeks, like I do with all brushes here at Electric Teeth, other Oral-B brushes have been on test with us and thousands of users for many years.
I personally have a brush that is still going fairly strong after 4 years of use between 2 people!
A robust design and construction we can be pretty confident in that if you opt for the Smart 3000 or any other Oral B brush it is quite likely it will still functional 4 or 5 years down the line, with a regular rinse and wipe down.
The weakest point is the battery. After repeated charges and discharges it can fail and should it, they are not easy to replace. Because it is an internal battery, should it fail within 2 years or any other part, unless user damage, it will be covered.
The Smart 3000 is a good lower mid-range toothbrush that cleans the teeth well.
However, in my opinion, it ultimately fails to deliver on the value when you compare it to these other options albeit cheaper or more expensive.
- Height (without head) – 19.5cm
- Height (with head) – 23.5cm
- Width – 2.3cm
- Thickness – 2.9cm
- Weight (without head) – 123g
- Weight (with head) – 129g
All are approximates