It works, but the FlexCare+ does little in my mind to stand out from the crowd of electric toothbrushes on the market and scream buy me!
It lacks a certain wow factor, but perhaps in doing so, it’s understated nature is actually a good thing.
The Sonicare ProtectiveClean is a better buy.
- Multiple cleaning modes
- Built-in timer
- Long battery life
- Brush head storage
- No pressure sensor to alert you when brushing to hard
- Box contents
- Better value options exist (see other choices)
|Philips Sonicare FlexCare+||1,588 Reviews||$149.99 $89.95||View on Amazon|
The 3 BIG questions about the Philips Sonicare FlexCare+
If you are short of time, the answers to the following 3 questions should let you know all you need to about the Sonicare 7 Series FlexCare+ (view on Amazon). If I have missed something, let me know in the comments.
If you want more detail, you can read my full Sonicare FlexCare+ review further down the page.
1. Is there anything drastically wrong with this toothbrush?
Nothing is wrong with this brush. It cleans well, with a number of different cleaning modes on offer. A decent battery life and travel case make it an appealing package.
Including an extra brush head or two would have been great, but not a deal breaker. It would have been nice if this brush had a bit more appeal be that features or impressive design.
2. Which other brushes should I consider?
The FlexCare+ is still considered a ‘current’ model by Philips, but the ProtectiveClean 6100 gets our vote.
It looks better and has some more innovative features which are really useful, most notable is the brush head replacement reminder system.
This is also found on the more premium DiamondClean Smart. If your budget stretches this is a very special toothbrush.
If you would prefer to spend less than that, check out any of the cheaper brushes that we recommend here.
3. Where is the best place to buy the Sonicare FlexCare+?
Like most electric toothbrushes we review there is rarely one best place to purchase.
We generally recommend Amazon as they are quite often the cheapest or at worst competitively priced as a result of their business mentality and desire to offer value.
Coupons are quite often offered and delivery is normally very swift.
We’ve listed a live price comparison below, and it’s always worth checking out eBay for offers.
Why should you listen to us?
Electric Teeth is an independent website with a mission to simplify dental health.
Our team is a mixture of consumers and dental professionals.
We strive to create honest, informative content, telling you the facts, good or bad.
We are not sponsored by big brands or healthcare companies. Our site is funded by affiliate revenue and ads, but we only recommend products that we have tested and truly believe to be worth your money.
Why not watch this short video to find out all about us?
And now for a bit more detail….
When you look at how the Philips Sonicare range the FlexCare+ is an attractive offering.
It is one of only a few brushes to offer the number of cleaning modes that it does, it has a good battery life and a travel case included.
It is far from revolutionary in its design and it does not boast any groundbreaking features but it does the intended job well.
Variants of this brush
Sonicare USA list just one variant of the FlexCare+, that is model number HX6921/04, which keeps things fairly simple.
There are no different packaged versions or even different color options within the USA.
Whilst it is uncommon for it to be referred to as such, the retail packaging actually has 7 Series written on it.
This can complicate matters further.
It is part of Sonicare’s alternative naming structure for brushes.
There is the 1, 2,3 4 Series and so on, but many also go under different names.
What’s in the box
- Philips Sonicare FlexCare+ (7 Series) HX6921/04 electric toothbrush
- Deluxe charging station with brush head storage
- ProResults gum health brush head
- Travel case
- Sonic cleaning action
- 5 different cleaning modes
- Built-in rechargeable battery
- 3 week battery life
- 2 minute timer
- 30 second pacer
- Automatic power off
Pros & Cons
Here are what I consider to be the main plus and minus points for the Sonicare FlexCare+.
- Cleaning modes – Offering 5 modes the FlexCare+ caters for the most demanding of users.
- Brush head storage – A place to store multiple brush heads, ideal if sharing the brush handle
- Battery life – Up to 3 weeks of battery life you can brush with confidence and go away without taking a power cable
- Timer – A much underrated feature, the built-in timer and quadpacer ensure you are brushing for the right amount of time with a degree of equality to different areas of the mouth.
- Added extras – The Easy-start and automatic power off features are small but significant in the way in which you use and come to love the brush.
- Pressure sensor – No pressure sensor included. A great tool for new electric toothbrush users to avoid doing too much damage to their teeth and gums.
- Bluetooth connectivity – Not for everyone, but other brushes from competing brands offer such, are Sonicare behind here?
- Box contents – Reasonable it is, but an extra brush head would not go amiss when paying this price.
Design, usability, clean & general use
Having seen and handled many different electric toothbrushes, the Sonicare FlexCare+ is very average in the way it looks and what it offers on the face of it.
I am being a bit critical when I say it is not particularly appealing, but there is very little that makes me go ‘wow’ about this brush.
Bluetooth connectivity in a toothbrush for some might be a complete waste and I get that. A classy and stylish design might not be what is most important and I get that too.
But Bluetooth and a colorful design are often what grabs your attention and makes things more interesting and may indeed encourage better oral health.
The FlexCare+ is a bit more clinical looking and focused on doing a good job of cleaning the teeth and is not packed with what might be considered unnecessary features.
In hand, like other Sonicare models it feels weighty and solid. Not too heavy, but there is a weight that feels premium rather than really light and cheap plastic.
On the front of the brush just below the neck, the point at which the brush head attaches is a Philips Sonicare logo in a Grey color font. It contrasts nicely against the primarily all White body of the brush.
There is a contrasting panel right on the front of the brush handle that runs almost the full length.
This color is referred to as ‘Copper Frost’ by Sonicare. It’s a Green/Blue/Silver color.
Inside this panel are the control buttons and cleaning modes.
At the top is the power button that is White in color but framed by a Silver ring. When pressed this turns the brush on and off.
Below it sits the mode button which changes the brushing mode to 1 of the 5 modes available when pressed.
A stretched oval shape and Silver in color it is surrounded by a White and then a Silver ring, making it stand out clearly on the handle.
Below these buttons are the names of the 5 cleaning modes available on the brush.
Each one lights up with a White light when the brushing mode is selected.
Below these is a battery indicator made up of 3 bars, each of which has an LED behind.
Right at the base of the brush is a recess into which the charging prong on the provided charging stand sits.
Contrasting the White body of the handle is a slightly less glossy Copper Frost color that runs as a ring around the base of the brush handle, then extends up the back of the brush handle towards the neck, where is sweeps ever so slightly into the side of the handle. It adds a contrast to the normally all White plastic shell of the brush.
Sealed inside the brush handle is the Lithium-Ion battery and the motor. From this runs a metal shaft that pokes out at the top of the brush handle.
To this, the brush head attaches, and the power is transferred from the motor to the bristles to clean the teeth.
Water resistant the handle is perfectly fine to be exposed to water, toothpaste, saliva etc. Ideally, you should rinse it off after use and dry it. Whilst I suspect little harm would come to the brush if used in the shower, Sonicare does suggest not to use it when bathing.
Provided in the box is a single brush head, the Sonicare ProResults Gum Health head.
This is one of a number of different styles of brush heads that can be used on this brush handle. The interchangeable design means that they can be swapped as and when you please.
Some heads work best with certain cleaning modes, but all heads can be used on any mode you chose.
The provided Gum Health brush head works as the name implies to improve your gum health and can remove up to 6 times more plaque than a manual toothbrush. This is very important as plaque buildup along the gumline is often the cause of most people’s tooth and gum problems.
My teeth felt clean and fresh after each use of the FlexCare+ and whilst I do not suffer with gum issues, I am sure that significant benefit will be seen by users if you do.
No doubt you are aware that it is important to replace the brush head regularly. Every 3 months is the general recommendation, sooner if the bristles are worn.
Every head has a set of reminder bristles that fade from a Blue to a pale Blue/White color over time. You can use these as a visual reminder as to when you need to replace your brush head, if you don’t remember when you last did.
It would have been nice if a couple of extra heads were included in the box for a bit of extra value and maximize the cleaning modes.
If you are the first time use of an electric toothbrush, the power that the motor delivers can seem daunting and painful to the teeth and gums.
A great feature for electric toothbrush newbies is the ‘Easy-Start’ option. It helps ease you into using such a powerful electric toothbrush. The Easy-start feature gradually increases the sonic power over the first 14 brushing sessions until it delivers the impressive 31,000 movements per minute.
Brushing must last at least 1 minute to properly advance through this ramp-up cycle.
This is just one example of the finer details Sonicare offer that are often overlooked or misunderstood.
The 5 cleaning modes on this brush are as follows (we also cover them in detail in our post on Sonicare cleaning modes):
- Clean – Complete whole mouth cleaning (2 minutes).
- Gum Care – Complete whole mouth cleaning (2 minutes) plus gentle cleaning for problem areas and along the gumline (1 minute).
- Refresh – Touch-up for a quick clean (1 minute).
- Sensitive – Gentle cleaning for sensitive gums and teeth (2 minutes).
- Massage – Gentle gum stimulation (2 minutes).
To select the mode that you desire, press the mode button an appropriate number of times until the mode is lit on the brush handle.
You need to select the mode before powering the brush on. You cannot toggle between modes when the brush is running.
The brush will continue to run in the selected mode until an alternative is selected.
I like the fact that you select the mode before powering the brush on. So many brushes require the brush to be turned on first and require you to remember home many presses of a button you need. It’s not a great experience in those instances, but it is here on the FlexCare+.
When the brush is running, the internal time and quadpacer begin working too. Designed for those modes that last for 2 minutes the idea behind them is to encourage you and I to give equal attention to the different parts of the mouth and brush for the recommended time.
At 30 second intervals, there is a slight pause in the brush head motion which changes the sound emitted from the brush and stops bristle movement, signaling to you to change quadrant of the mouth when cleaning.
When the 2 minutes are complete, the brush automatically powers off, signaling the end of the clean.
Automatic power off is a simple but great touch that conserves battery life and offers convenience.
A feature that in my opinion is missing, is a pressure sensor.
A pressure sensor is not generally found on Sonicare brushes (DiamondClean Smart and FlexCare Platinum Connected being the exception), but are found on Oral-B handles.
As the name implies if too much pressure is applied during cleaning a light is illuminated to alert you and you can reduce this so as not to do damage to the teeth. You soon learn, and it comes somewhat redundant. It is not essential but would be a nice inclusion that would help new users I think.
This said, brush too hard with the brush and you notice a change in motor sound which should act as a sign to reduce the pressure. The bristles of the brush need only skim the tooth surface.
Bluetooth is another feature that is beginning to creep in at this price point and whilst it is far from required, it is another feature that makes the likes of Oral-B brushes potentially more compelling.
Many more of their brushes have this, but actually Sonicare have implemented it well on the FlexCare Platinum Connected and DiamondClean Smart. It is an innovative and future focused approach to oral healthcare and can really help if you have particular goals in mind
Included in the box is a charging stand that not only allows the brush to sit upright on the stand and be charged but also has a home for up to 2 brush heads.
The charging stand is actually made up of 2 pieces, the main charging stand and a plastic frame that the stand fits within. It is that frame that not only gives a home for the 2 brush heads but also allows for excess power cable to be wrapped away underneath it.
It is the job of 2 small prongs to the rear of the charging stand to hold spare brush heads upright.
Whilst the heads are not covered, I particularly like this as it gives a home to different heads which you may have, if you want to take advantage of different heads for different modes.
This is also useful if you intend to share the brush handle with a partner for example.
Quite common is to have individual brush heads, but share a handle to keep the cost down of ownership lower.
Supporting voltages of 100-220v the plug connects to the US power supply but requires only a plug adapter should you travel with the brush.
The handle does not need charging all that often given the battery can last up to 3 weeks.
LED’s on the brush handle give feedback about the battery status. More on that in the ‘Battery’ section of this review.
Also included in the box is a travel case.
Holding the handle and 2 brush heads (only 1 supplied) the travel case is basic but functional. White in color it protects the brush from damage and accidental activation when in transit.
It is a fairly solid case. It is not the most premium have seen or used and the brush cannot be charged in the case either, like the DiamondClean can be.
However, despite being a fairly basic case it is thicker and sturdier than those provided with many Oral-B models and is a welcome inclusion, particularly if you travel regularly.
Quality is as I mentioned part and parcel of this brush and being a Philips product it is built to a high standard. Should something go wrong, there is a manufacturer supplied warranty that lasts for 2 years.
Summary of design, usability, clean & general use
- Solid well built brush handle
- Looks ok, but not as appealing as some other brushes
- 5 cleaning modes
- Separate power and mode button
- 1 brush head included, an extra would have been nice
- Alternative brush heads available
- Storage for 2 brush heads
- Cleans the teeth and gums well
- Built-in quad pacer and timer tells you when to change quadrant and finish brushing
- Lacks a pressure sensor
- Lacks Bluetooth connectivity
- Travel case included
- Easy-start feature is really compelling
- Automatic power off really helps achieve an excellent battery life
- 2 year warranty as standard
The battery is what powers the brush and delivers the all important movement to the bristles that sweep away the plaque and bacteria.
Built into the sealed handle is a Lithium-Ion battery which is not user removable.
Always setting a strong standard in battery life, Sonicare have equipped the FlexCare+ with a battery capable of up to 3 weeks of usage time.
Based on the average 2 minute clean, twice a day by 1 user, this brush will run for 84 minutes or 42 brushing sessions.
In fact, you might find you eeek a couple of extra days from the battery as our own hands-on testing resulted in up to 27 days from a full charge.
Either way the performance from the battery is very good, considering the overall size and profile of the brush handle.
When you compare the FlexCare to Oral-B brush handles that currently offer a maximum of 12 days life, it is very impressive indeed.
It takes up to 24 hours to charge the battery in the brush fully.
This is a little longer than other brands, but not surprising given the performance.
Included with the brush is a charging stand.
Fixed to the stand is the power cable that connects to the US 2 pin socket.
The stand actually supports 100-220v, so should you travel, particularly internationally, you need only a power adapter rather than a voltage adapter if taking the charger with you.
Unusually the charging stand also offers the ability to wrap excess cable away underneath.
The prong on the top of the stand fits into the recess on the bottom of the brush to hold it upright whilst charging.
The flashing light of the battery gauge indicates that the toothbrush is charging.
1 solid Green LED indicates that the toothbrush is 34-66% charged. 2 solid Green LEDs indicate that the toothbrush is 67-94% charged and 3 solid Green LEDs indicate that the toothbrush is fully charged.
When you hear 3 beeps and 1 of the 3 battery indicator LEDs is flashing Yellow, this will mean the power is too low and needs to be recharged.
Summary of battery life
- Lithium-Ion battery built-in, not user removable
- Up to 3 weeks or 84 minutes of usage time
- Takes up to 24 hours to charge fully
- A charger included in the box that works on 110-220v
- 1 Green LED – 34-66% battery
- 2 Green LED – 67-94% battery
- 3 Green LED – Fully charged battery
- 3 beeps and 1 flashing Yellow LED – Recharge required
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.
What a brush is worth and how much you are prepared to pay for it is personal opinion.
Whilst some are prepared to pay several hundred dollars others want to spend just a few tens of dollars.
The recommended retail price of the FlexCare+ is in keeping with other Sonicare models at $149.99.
Given the cheaper and more expensive brushes within the Sonicare range this price is pretty much spot on.
However, other brands, namely Oral-B, are more often quite a bit cheaper for equivalently featured brushes.
For many years Sonicare have always commanded a premium and to be fair this is reasonable given the battery life, performance and quality of their brushes.
Whilst most toothbrushes are actually sold a little below the suggested retail price, this is one model that is being sold quite close to that. Most retailers have a ticket price of $130 for the FlexCare+. This is a bit of a saving ($20) and is welcomed.
However, it does seem that quite frequently there are coupons available that can be applied at the checkout and without too much effort you can save a bit more money.
The best price I could find from a reputable retailer was $100 when you include the coupon. Now, this is a good price. Few other brushes offer so much for the money.
The difficulty becomes in saying whether the brush is really worth these prices.
In many respects it is, but it lacks some of the ‘wow’ features of other brushes.
Take the Oral-B Pro 3000, typically around $80 that offers Bluetooth connectivity, it is too a slimmer handle and looks to me more appealing. But, the battery life is only 7 days, there are 2 less cleaning modes and no travel case included.
There is then the Genius Pro from Oral-B. This is roughly $150 and has Bluetooth, a pressure sensor, a premium case that allows the brush to be charged inside it, multiple cleaning modes and is appealing to look at. But battery life is only 12 days.
Sonicare offer the DiamondClean Smart, which is certainly visually more appealing as is the box contents. But that is anywhere between $40-90 more expensive.
So, when you really consider it, whilst it lacks some of the headline ‘wow’ that comes from other products, it is actually a fantastic toothbrush that is focused more on providing a good clean and that is to be commended.
On average, the expected life of an electric toothbrush is 3-5 years although many do last longer.
At Electric Teeth, we like to price the models over a 3 year period to get a rough idea of what the total ownership cost is and how they compare to other brushes on the market. This includes factoring in the cost or replacement brush heads, which are about $8 a time with Sonicare.
Take the average $130 purchase price, add the cost of replacement brush heads for 3 years ($88) and the total ownership cost comes out at $218 or $0.20 cents per day.
Manage to get a deal on the brush at $100 and it comes down to $188 or $0.17 per day.
With any brush, you can extend the value by sharing the brush handle with another user. Of course, change the brush head and be aware that you will need to recharge more frequently, but this can help keep the cost of ownership down. The FlexCare+, in particular, is well suited to this given it comes with a stand for the heads too!
When it comes to making the purchase, if this is the brush for you, be sure to shop around and pay the price you are comfortable with and from a retailer you trust.
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
- Recommended retail price of $149.99
- Generally available from $130 but purchased for as little as $100
- Live price comparison here
- Works out at around $0.20 per day over 3 years
- Share brush handle with another user to extend value
Reliability & long term use
Rest easy in knowing that Sonicare products are of the uppermost quality.
As one of the largest electric toothbrush manufacturers, their design and production process has been developed with reliability and performance in mind.
The nature of an electric toothbrush with moving parts and electrical circuits does mean that there is the potential for failure, but that failure rate is extremely low.
Feedback is generally positive for Sonicare, they are solid and well built.
For your peace of mind the brush is backed with a 2 year warranty, should the worst happen.
The FlexCare+ does little in my mind to stand out from the crowd of electric toothbrushes on the market and scream buy me!
It lacks a certain wow factor, but perhaps in doing so, it’s understated nature is actually a good thing.
A toothbrush is not the most exciting product on the planet, but it has significant health benefits for you if used correctly.
The FlexCare+ just works and does so well, but as does the newer ProtectiveClean 6100.
It has the core requirements of an electric toothbrush firmly covered, The standard of clean is good as is the quality of the brush.
Well suited for those who travel and for those who want to get value by sharing a brush handle with another family member.
Despite the lack of the appeal and what some may consider to be gimmicks on other brushes I cannot deny that as electric toothbrushes go this is a strong option.
Electric Teeth Rating
- Is the Sonicare FlexCare+ an oscillating brush?
- No, it is not.
- How many brushing modes does the Sonicare FlexCare+ have?
- This brush offers 5 different cleaning modes, Clean, Gum Care, Refresh, Sensitive and Massage.
- What brush head does it come with and what alternative ones can be used?
- The FlexCare+ comes provided with one ProResults Gum Health brush head. Sonicare do have a range of alternative brush heads that are compatible including, DiamondClean, ProResults, ProResults Gum Health, Sensitive and InterCare.
- Does the Sonicare FlexCare+ have a pressure sensor?
- No, it does not.
- Does the Sonicare FlexCare+ have Bluetooth?
- No, it does not.
- Does the Sonicare FlexCare+ come with a warranty & how long is it?
- Yes, it does. The warranty is 2 years.
- Does the Sonicare FlexCare+ have a built-in timer?
- Yes. At the end of a 2 minute cycle, the brush automatically turns off signaling the end of the cleaning time. If you want to extend your clean, you will have to power the brush back on. It does also have a 30 second pacer also referred to as a quadpacer. At 30 second intervals a slight pause in the brushing mode to tell you to change quadrants. There are 4 quadrants to the mouth.
- How long does the battery last?
- Officially the the battery lasts up to 84 minutes, which is equivalent to 3 weeks or 21 days of usage based on 2 x 2 minute cleans per day.
- Does it come with a charger?
- Yes, a charging station is included with the toothbrush. It works on 100-220v.
- Can this be fixed to a wall?
- The charging station has not been designed to be fixed to a wall.
- Can I use the Sonicare FlexCare+ in the shower?
- We would advise avoid it. The brush is water resistant and designed to withstand exposure to water but the prolonged exposure to water in a shower is not ideal for the brush and the manual explicitly states do not use when bathing.
- Does it come with a travel case?
- Yes, it does.
Do you own or have you used the Philips Sonicare FlexCare+ HX6921/04?
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.