The Oral-B Smart 1500 is the best value Oral-B electric toothbrush available today.
The features and performance for the price are excellent.
The 1500 has the essential features you want and not lots of unnecessary extras.
This is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to achieve clean and healthy teeth.
- Timer and pacer encourage brushing for the recommended time
- Visible pressure sensor – alerts you when brushing too hard
- 2 weeks of use on a single charge
- Multiple cleaning modes (if desired)
- American Dental Association (ADA) approved
- No icons on the handle to show which cleaning mode is selected
- Despite the name, it is not a ‘smart’ toothbrush
Consider these other brushes
In most instances, I would recommend considering a better value alternative.
However, the Smart 1500 is that very product.
It is superb. Affordable with the features you need. It is perhaps no surprise that is our number 1 choice for the best electric toothbrush.
Do make sure you use the correct brushing technique to gain maximum benefit from it.
Our guide to taking care of your teeth shows you all of the important things you need to know, irrespective of the toothbrush you use.
Only if you really really need or want a specific feature not available on the 1500 should you consider something else.
Oral-B Smart 1500 in depth review
The Smart 1500 was added to the Oral-B range in 2020.
Despite the name, it does not actually offer what I would typically consider ‘smart’ features. The word smart is normally associated with a toothbrush that can connect to a smartphone via Bluetooth. This can’t.
A lower mid-range electric toothbrush, this actually offers all you need and not lots of unnecessary extras.
It is a very good example of what a toothbrush should be and what most of us actually need.
Variants of this toothbrush
At the time of writing, there are 4 variants of the Oral-B Smart 1500.
The differences between each variant is the color of the handle. There are no technical differences.
Your choices are:
- Light Rose
- Jet White
The main handle of the toothbrush is white in color, the color accent is the oval panel in the upper third of the handle that the power button sits within.
The exception of the black color option, which is all black in colour, including the brush head.
Do be aware there is a model called the Pro 1500 also. This came before the Smart 1500 and has a different design and 1 less cleaning mode.
What’s in the box?
- 1 x Oral-B Smart 1500 electric toothbrush handle
- 1 x CrossAction brush head
- 1 x Charging stand
- Oral-B 3D movement cleaning system (Oscillating-Rotating-Pulsating)
- Rechargeable battery
- 3 cleaning modes (Daily Clean, Sensitive and Whitening)
- Pressure sensor
- 2 minute timer including quadpacer
- 14+ day battery life
Design, usability, clean & general use
Considering the relatively limited box contents, the 1500’s box is a bit larger than you might anticipate, but typical of other Oral-B brushes.
A blue colored outer cardboard box shows a picture of the toothbrush you will be getting inside. Listed on the box are some of the main features of this brush. Interestingly, there is no mention of the cleaning modes available.
It is nice to see that Oral-B have opted for cardboard inside the box rather than polystyrene that they have used in the past. It is better for the environment and recyclable at least.
The handle itself is packaged within a plastic bag, which can apparently be recycled at select drop off locations according to the recycling icons on the bottom of the box.
This is the first time I have seen Oral-B include such logos on the box, trying to demonstrate what can and can’t be recycled with clear icons. This is pleasing to see.
The actual box contents is minimal, supplying just what you need and nothing extra.
This is both a positive and a negative. I like it because it means you and I are not left with items we won’t actually use.
But, the downside is that a little extra added value. I would have welcomed a second brush head or a travel case. I think most of us would make good use of these.
By no means a deal breaker, I think the travel case would have been a particular bonus and clinched this as a must buy for many people. Many of us do spend nights away where we need to take our toothbrush. Without it, we have to buy or find some other solution to protect the head and handle from damage when in our travel bags.
I want to make it clear from the start, that despite being named ‘smart’ there are no smart features to this brush.
Don’t get me wrong there is some valuable technology built-in. But, typically the word ‘smart’ is associated with Bluetooth enabled toothbrushes (as explained here) or those handles that really offer some groundbreaking technology. The 1500 does not.
This is particularly confusing when you consider that the next toothbrush in the range, the Oral-B Smart 3000, does offer Bluetooth technology.
As clever as some of the Bluetooth technology and associated smart features are. You don’t need them. Few actually continue to use them months after getting their new toothbrush.
The 1500 is designed like most other electric toothbrushes, a tall cylindrical handle. Actually, it is not perfectly round, it is actually slightly thicker, than it is wide, but near enough.
On top of the handle is where the brush head sits. Everything is fairly standard. It still feels sold and well built.
Compared to other models, the design is actually a little different. It has a styling that has not been used before.
What stands out is the lack of grips on the handle. Many other Oral-B models have a large rubber grip to help keep a secure hold in hand. Cheaper handles tend to have this on the front, and premium models like the Genius series, on the back.
This is not so with the 1500.
The back of the handle does have a series of small dimples, which do provide a bit of additional grip to the fingertip. They are quite subtle and run the length of the handle. They help, but are not quite as tactile and effective as the raised plastic ridges you get on the Pro 1000 or 3000.
But, there is an oval shaped panel in the upper third of the brush handle that is of a rubber/silicon construction and helps provide some security in hand, it is just a lot less than what I am used to on an Oral-B brush.
This oval shaped panel is the main color accent to the handle too. It is either light rose (pink), navy, jet white or black in color depending on which variant you purchase.
The hands on images show the navy color option.
It contrasts with the gloss white plastic of the rest of the brush handle.
Within this panel is to the power come function button.
There is a concave shape to the button which means it is easy to detect with the fingertip and in hand the thumb naturally falls to this position.
Printed on the button is a power icon, it is white in color and stands out nicely from the blue panel in which it is placed.
There is a real minimal look to this handle overall. But, there is a battery status LED in the lower third of the handle. The battery LED will flash red when the battery inside the handle is low and it flashes green when being recharged.
The rechargeable lithium battery sealed inside the handle, offers 2+ weeks of battery life on a full charge.
Underneath this is an Oral-B and Braun logo that are grey in color.
On the base of the handle is a recess into which the proterbunce on the charging stand fits. Some regulatory information is printed here too.
The handle does stand upright on a flat surface.
Another small thing to note is on the back of the handle towards the bottom are 2 raised dots. They look a bit odd or out of place. But these are quite clever in what they do. If the brush is laid on a worktop, they reduce the change of the brush rolling around, keeping it face up.
At the top of the brush handle, just below where the brush head attaches is a clear plastic ring. It runs around the whole handle. This is the 360 degree visible pressure sensor.
This is the most cost effective model in the Oral-B range to offer a visible pressure sensor.
If you are not familiar with a pressure sensor, what happens is that when brushing, should the handle detect too much force is being used, it will turn on a light, so the ring is lit red.
As we know, red is often used as a warning color.
The size and position of it should catch your attention. That said, the light is strongest on the backside of the ring, where the LED is located. It is not a consistently strong ring of red light as you might expect. I think Oral-B should and could easily fix this. If it is lit red, you need to reduce the pressure.
Brushing too hard can damage the teeth and gums, so it is best avoided. This sensor helps reduce the chances of long term damage happening.
It is more useful than you might think, particularly if you are new to electric toothbrushes.
Most of the time you want to make sure you are not activating this sensor.
When it is activated, in addition to the red light, you should hear the sound of the motor change. This is an audible alert, in case you miss the light.
Until such time as the pressure is reduced, the motor will also reduce the number of movements and pulsations delivered to the brush head, in an effort to limit any potential damage.
As a consequence this changes the brushing sensation, which acts as a third alert mechanism.
Once the pressure is relieved, the light will go out, the motor will return to full power for the cleaning mode selected and the sound the brush makes will have changed too.
Extending from the top of the handle is a metal shaft.
This is connected to the powerful motor inside the handle and is what causes the brush head to oscillate, rotate and pulsate when connected.
Supplied in the box is a single CrossAction brush head.
This pushes onto that metal shaft and pulls off when you want to remove it. No twisting or locking into place required.
The small round head does an excellent job of cleaning the teeth. It is able to reach the back of the mouth and very effectively remove plaque, bacteria and debris off the teeth and from the gumline.
The oscillating and rotating head really does a great job. After every use my teeth felt lovely and clean.
It moves at up to 8,800 oscillations per minute and delivers up to 40,000 pulsations per minute too (subject to brushing mode selected).
📌To make sure you get the maximum benefit when brushing though you should make sure you are using the correct tooth brushing technique and brushing twice a day for 2 minutes each time.
The CrossAction head has bristles angled at 16 degrees, which gives it quite a unique look, but also helps make it very effective.
It is one of a range of small round interchangeable brush heads that Oral-B offer for their electric toothbrushes.
Other styles of brush heads, which are compatible with the 1500 include:
- Precision Clean
- Pro GumCare
- Deep Sweep
- 3D White
CrossAction along with the Pro GumCare/Sensitive are my top recommendations. To find out why and learn more about the differences between each, do take a look at our best Oral-B brush head guide.
A very small point to note is that the CrossAction brush head supplied with the 1500 has what are known as CleanMaximizer bristles.
Basically, this is a new name for fading indicator bristles. They alert you when you need to replace the brush head.
These are the green colored bristle tufts. On most CrossAction heads, without CleanMaximizer bristles, these are blue in color.
If you are not already aware, it is important to replace a brush head every 3 months on average, sooner if the bristles are showing obvious signs of wear.
Whilst some heads will look well used after this time, they can almost look as good as new. But, the tips of the bristles will have become worn during this time as they pass over the teeth and gums.
Using for longer than 3 months can potentially lead to them doing more damage than good and not cleaning the teeth as well.
It is easy to forget when you last replaced the head, so what happens is that over a period of approximately 3 months, the green bristles on the head are dyed yellow to indicate the brush head requires changing. If you see lots of yellow bristles, replace the head.
And if possible recycle your used brush head. In fact, recycle all your oral care items. Oral-B has a recycling scheme you can make use of.
To actually use the Smart 1500 all you need do is press the power button on the brush handle once and it will launch into the ‘Daily Clean’ cleaning mode.
This is one of 3 modes available on the 1500.
The second mode is called ‘Sensitive’ and the third, ‘Whitening’.
In Oral-B’s words (taken from the manual) this is what each mode is designed for:
- Daily Clean – Standard mode for daily cleaning
- Sensitive – Gentle, yet thorough cleaning for sensitive areas
- Whitening – Exceptional polishing for occasional or everyday use
It is up to you which mode you use.
Any can be used on a daily basis, if you wish. All will provide a good clean to the teeth and gums, if the brush is used correctly.
My personal preference is Daily Clean or Sensitive.
Whitening has limited additional benefit in my opinion. Yes, the speed and cleaning pattern is different. But, it is perfectly possible to whiten the teeth with the other cleaning modes
Don’t worry too much about which mode to use, you are best to just pick one and stick with it. Selecting a different mode is not going to fundamentally change the cleaning results you get.
Our Oral-B cleaning modes article explains each mode and how they differ in a little more detail, should you be keen to learn more.
There is only 1 physical button on the Smart 1500. This turns the brush on and off and allows you to change between the cleaning modes.
A single press of the power button will turn the brush on.
When the brush is powered on it will default to the daily clean mode.
To select the sensitive or whitening mode you have to press the button a further one time for sensitive and two times for whitening.
So, one press to turn the brush on and launch daily clean, a second press to change it to sensitive and a third press for whitening.
A fourth press will turn the brush off. Or alternatively press and holding the power button for about 2 seconds will also turn it off.
📌 The brush will always default to the daily clean mode, even if the last mode you used was whitening. You can’t change the cleaning mode before turning the brush on.
Therefore if sensitive mode is your preference, you have to press the power button twice, every time you use it.
I have to admit this is a bit frustrating, but something that is common amongst the mid-range brushes from Oral-B.
This does not tend to be the case with Sonicare brushes.
When either bruising mode is in use, the built-in timer and pacer are activated too.
The timer and pacer are included to help encourage you and I to brush for the dentist recommended 2 minutes.
This has been found to be the optimum amount of time for achieving clean teeth and gums
During a 2 minute clean the idea is that you spend 30 seconds cleaning each section (quadrant) of the mouth.
Those 4 sections are, upper right, upper left, lower right, and lower left.
At the 30 second intervals, the brush will provide an audible warning via a slight pause in the brush motor. You will also notice a change in the brushing sensation too. This is your cue to change quadrant.
Once the 2 minutes are up, 3 brief pauses in the brush motor will be heard and felt. The brush will continue to run at the end of the 2 minutes, you then need to turn it off, it will not do this automatically.
This timer and pacer are what I consider essential to a good electric toothbrush and can make a significant difference to the way we brush and ultimately our long term oral health.
📌 Statistics show that the average American brushes for just 45-70 per day. That is less than half the recommended brushing time.
When it comes to dental advice and information on how to take care of your teeth, the American Dental Association (ADA) are one of the leading bodies.
It is then pretty reassuring to know that the 1500 has achieved their ‘Seal of Acceptance’ which means the brush has met and surpassed certain standards and tests that the independent board put together.
As you might expect, the Smart 1500 toothbrush handle is waterproof.
Whilst Oral-B does not specifically state in the manual not to use it when bathing, it should be fine to use in the shower, but do avoid submerging it in the bath for example. A rinse under the tap etc is fine too.
Do be sure to keep the charging stand away from water.
The Smart 1500 is a really lovely electric toothbrush and it is a great option for both new and experienced electric toothbrush owners. However, it might not be for everyone. And for this reason Oral-B offers a 60 day money back guarantee that you can take advantage of if you are not happy for any reason.
If you keep the brush, which I suspect you will, it is then supported by a 2 year warranty, should something, unfortunately, go wrong.
Summary of design, usability, clean & general use
- All white plastic body
- Not as much grip as some other models
- Small oval rubber panel sound power button provides color accent and in hand grip
- Available in 4 colors (light rose, navy, black & jet white)
- Solid and well built
- 3 cleaning modes (daily clean, sensitive & whitening)
- Does not remember the cleaning mode last used
- Built-in pressure sensor including 360 degree visible sensor
- Built-in 2 minute timer and 30 second pacer
- 1 x CrossAction brush head supplied
- Other brush head styles available seperately
- No smart features despite the name
- Rechargeable battery built-in
- Lithium battery offers 2 weeks of battery life
- No travel case provided
- ADA approved
- 60 day money back guarantee
- 2 year warranty
Sealed inside the handle of the Smart 1500 from Oral-B is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) battery.
This battery is not user-replaceable and is recharged via the supplied charging stand.
Oral-B suggests a usage time of 2+ weeks (14+ days) on a full charge.
The plus (+) makes it a bit vague as to how much above 14 days you will get.
Based on a 2 minute clean, I was able to complete 40 brushing sessions on a full charge. This is equivalent to 20 days of use.
In fairness to Oral-B, this is nearly 3 weeks, a week longer than suggested.
Now, in all honesty, by about day 19 the motor was beginning to slow and the cleaning power was quite weak and noticeably not as good. But it is safe to say that you will get at least 2 weeks out of the brush.
Overall I am pleased with this.
I ran my battery test on the standard daily clean mode. It is possible that an extra day may well be achieved if you use the sensitive mode.
It does not quite perform as well as the likes of the Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100, which is a logical alternative to the 1500. That actually lasts up to 5 weeks on a full charge.
There are no other Oral-B brushes at the time or review that offer better battery life than this.
Your opinion may well be different, but typically I wish for the battery to last at least 2 weeks on a full charge.
This is because it gives the flexibility to go away for a few days or even a couple of weeks on business or for a vacation, without having to worry about taking a charger with you. As you can tell the 1500 allows just this.
Provided in the box with the 1500 is a standard Oral-B charging stand.
The white colored stand is a little thicker and wider than the handle itself and has a protuberance on the top, which aligns with a recess found in the base of the Smart 1500’s handle.
Hardwired into the charging stand is a 2 pin US power adapter. The power cord is approx 3 ft/36 inches in length.
Connect the adapter to the outlet on the wall, sit the 1500 on the stand and it will begin charging.
It can take up to 12 hours to charge the brush fully.
When on the stand, the battery status indicator on the front of the brush handle will flash green.
If the battery is completely flat it can take up to 30 minutes or so for it to begin flashing.
Once fully charged, the light will stop flashing and turn itself out.
Electronic circuits in the charger and toothbrush prevent the battery from being overcharged. So, if the brush is left on the charger for extended periods of time, you don’t need to worry.
When in use, the battery icon will flash red if the battery is getting low.
You should still be able to complete a couple of brushing sessions, even when the battery is low, before it runs out completely. However, as the power decreases the brush head movements may reduce too.
For those who do travel, the provided charging stand supports 110-130v. This means that should you need to take the charging stand with you, you may need a voltage and plug adapter too, subject to where you are traveling. This would be the case if you were going to a European country for example.
Summary of battery life
- Claimed battery life of 2+ weeks
- Achieved a maximum of 20 days in my hands-on testing
- Supplied with a charging stand
- Takes up to 12 hours to charge fully
- Flashing green LED when the battery is charging
- Flashing green LED will stop when the battery is fully recharged
- Flashing red LED when the battery is low
- Can be left on the stand
- Stand support 110-130v
- Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) battery sealed inside
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 recommended retail price of the Smart 1500 is $79.99.
Given what it offers and knowing the other models with which it competes, I do not think this is an unreasonable price to command for it.
However, the reality is that more often than not, electric toothbrushes will be sold at a discount of around 10-20%.
Prices and discounts are always subject to change and they do vary from one seller to another.
Even as I write this, Oral-B themselves are offering it for less than that $80 retail price.
This means that the average or typical selling price will be a bit less. This puts more dollars back in your pocket.
I purchased this as soon as it launched, and paid $70. That is a saving of $10 on the retail price and a discount of 12.5%.
As time goes by and the brush has been available for a little longer, expect this price to drop a little further.
With a 20% discount, the price would work out at $64.
It might well be that on occasion it will drop a little further still, hitting a 25% discount. I certainly would not be surprised if it came down to $59.99.
I believe on average the selling price will likely be around $65.
Here at Electric Teeth, to give a bit of a benchmark on the cost of ownership in comparison to other brushes, we like to price them over a 3 year period.
The Smart 1500 comes with 1 brush head included in the box.
With brush heads ideally needing to be replaced every 3 months, during a 3 year period another 11 heads would need to be purchased. On average an Oral-B brush head will cost $5, or $55 in total in this case.
Add the $55 to the $65 average purchase price and the total cost is $120 or $0.11 per day.
If you paid the full $80 retail price it would cost $135 or $0.12 per day.
This price does exclude the cost of water, toothpaste and electricity to charge it. This price also works on some assumptions, but you get a rough idea.
For the sake of comparison, the highly regarded Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 works out at $0.13 per day.
Oral-B’s Bluetooth enabled Smart 3000 costs $0.13 per day.
The more entry level Pro 1000 works out at just $0.09 per day, but isn’t quite as feature rich as the 1500. It lacks the pressure sensor, 2 week battery life and 2 cleaning modes.
Given the choice of electric toothbrushes available today and based on my own hands-on experience I do believe the Smart 1500 is very competitively priced for what it offers.
Ultimately it is only worth what you are prepared to pay for it. In my opinion it is worth the investment.
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 $79.99
- Typically sells with a 10-20% discount
- Average selling price of around $65
- Replacement brush heads cost $5 each on average
- Works out at $0.11 per day over 3 years
- Comparably priced to the competition
Reliability & long term use
The fundamental technology that Oral-B use to power this toothbrush and provide the great clean is no different to most of the brushes the company offers.
The handle design of the Smart 1500 is slightly different though.
It has the classic cylindrical shape, but the plastic body of the handle and the 360 degree pressure sensor is a new combination.
The 360 degree sensor has been made available on premium Oral-B toothbrushes such as the Genius Pro 8000, but the very minimal handle design is a little different to what has been available previously.
Having used this brush for a couple of weeks and analyzed it, I have no immediate cause for concern.
Oral-B has a good reputation for build and durability and I have little reason to doubt that here.
Should the worst happen and it fails in some way, you have a 2 year manufacturer warranty, on top of the 60 day money back guarantee offered.
Our mission here at Electric Teeth is to show how good oral care does not need to be complicated or expensive and the 1500 demonstrates just this.
It might well be more expensive than a manual toothbrush, but it offers features simply not available from a manual alternative.
Notably these extras (powerful motor, timer, pacer, pressure sensor) are what you need and make the electric brush so compelling. There are no unnecessary extras here.
This is a brush I highly recommend.
Not only does it do a great job of cleaning the teeth, it does so at an affordable price.
This is one of those brushes I just say go and buy, I really don’t think you will regret it.
- Height (without head) – 7.68 inches/19.5cm
- Height (with head) – 9.13 inches/23.2cm
- Width – 0.98 inches/2.5cm
- Thickness – 1.14 inches/2.9cm
- Weight (without head) – 4.2oz/119g
- Weight (with head) – 4.4oz/124g
All are approximates
- Is the Smart 1500 an oscillating brush?
- Yes, with Oral-B 3D motion that oscillates, rotates and pulsates.
- What brushing/cleaning modes are available?
- The Smart 1500 has 3 cleaning modes. They are:
- Daily Clean
- Learn more about Oral-B electric toothbrush cleaning modes.
- The Smart 1500 has 3 cleaning modes. They are:
- What brush head does the Smart 1500 come with and what alternative ones can be used?
- The 1500 comes supplied with a single CrossAction brush head.
- Oral-B primarily offers a total of 6 different brush heads, each of which can be purchased separately and used with this toothbrush. Those options are:
- 3D White
- Pro GumCare
- Sensitive Clean
- Precision Clean
- There are some more specialised brush heads available also. You can find out more about them and the standard Oral-B brush heads here.
- Does the Smart 1500 have a pressure sensor?
- Yes, it does.
- Does the Oral-B 1500 have Bluetooth?
- No, it does not.
- Does it come with a travel case?
- No, a travel case is not included in the box.
- Does it come with a charger?
- Yes, a charging station is included with the Smart 1500. It is a 2 pin US charger that works on 110-130v.
- How long does the battery last?
- The battery lasts up to 80 minutes, which if used on the standard daily clean mode is 20 days based on 2 cleans per day.
- Can I use the Smart 1500 be used in the shower?
- Oral-B does not specifically state that you can or cannot use it in the shower. The handle is waterproof. It should be fine to use in the shower, but avoid bathing with it and submerging it completely in water.
- Does the Smart 1500 come with a warranty & how long is it?
- If purchased new from an approved retailer the brush will come with a 2 year.
- Find out more about the Oral-B warranty.
Do you own or have you used the Oral-B Smart 1500?
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.