Philips Sonicare Flexcare vs DiamondClean

Which one would we choose?

Our Choice:  Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9500 (view on Amazon)
2nd Choice: Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected with UV Sanitizer (view on Amazon)

These brushes in many respects appeal to different audiences.  The FlexCare Platinum Connected covers all the basics and a fair bit more to be a very capable and compelling brush.

The DiamondClean Smart, however, sets a new bar in the electric toothbrush market.

The product feels rounded, refined, capable and indeed smart.  It makes everyday brushing that bit simpler, that bit more refined.

It comes at a price, but if you want one of the best electric toothbrushes available today, the 9500 is one to opt for.

Our Choice
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9500 Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush, Grey HX9924/41
Philips Sonicare Flexcare Platinum Connected Rechargeable Toothbrush with UV Sanitizer
Brush Name
Sonicare DiamondClean Smart
Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected With UV Santizier
Customer Rating
Electric Teeth Rating
5/5
5/5
Our Review
Price
$239.95
$179.99
Prime
Our Choice
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9500 Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush, Grey HX9924/41
Brush Name
Sonicare DiamondClean Smart
Customer Rating
Electric Teeth Rating
5/5
Our Review
Price
$239.95
Prime
Philips Sonicare Flexcare Platinum Connected Rechargeable Toothbrush with UV Sanitizer
Brush Name
Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected With UV Santizier
Customer Rating
Electric Teeth Rating
5/5
Our Review
Price
$179.99
Prime

Key Differences

  • The DiamondClean Smart is the better looking of the 2 brushes.
  • The FlexCare Platinum Connected with UV Sanitizer comes in White only compared to the White, Black, Pink and Silver color choices of the DiamondClean Smart 9500.
  • The FlexCare Platinum Connected has 3 cleaning modes (Clean, White and Deep Clean) compared to the 5 (Clean, White, Deep Clean, Gum Health and Sensitive) of the DiamondClean Smart 9500.
  • The DiamondClean Smart can be charged within the travel case, which in itself if more premium.
  • The FlexCare Platinum Connected with UV Sanitizer comes with 2 brush heads (1 x AdaptiveClean & 1 x InterCare) compared to the 4 (1 x C3 Premium Plaque Control, 1 x G3 Premium Gum, Care, 1 x W3 Premium White and 1 x TongueCare+ tongue brush) with the DiamondClean Smart.
  • The DiamondClean Smart comes with BrushSync technology that detects brush head wear and selects the appropriate cleaning mode.
  • The motor in the FlexCare Platinum Connected brush handle offers up to 31,000 movements per minute compared to the 62,000 of the DiamondClean Smart.
  • The DiamondClean Smart comes with a charging glass rather than a charging stand.
  • The FlexCare Platinum Connected comes with a UV sanitizer in the box.
  • The DiamondClean Smart has a visible pressure sensor.
  • The FlexCare Platinum Connected is the cheaper of the 2 models.

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.

Confusing model range and product names

Philips Sonicare’s naming convention for their brushes is confusing!

You might think that there is 1 model of the FlexCare and 1 model of the DiamondClean, but sadly not.

The names ‘FlexCare’ and ‘DiamondClean’ are used to describe a particular tier of brushes within Sonicare’s larger range.

But, to make matters more complicated.  Rather than just launching the FlexCare A, FlexCare B, and FlexCare C, 1 of the models within the FlexCare range is called nothing more than ‘FlexCare’.

The same rule applies to the DiamondClean range.

As an overarching and generalized description of the ranges are as follows.

  • FlexCare
    • Mid-range electric toothbrushes.  Offering more than what is essential or key to a good electric toothbrush, the FlexCare range bring more options and premium features at a more affordable price.
  • DiamondClean
    • A premium range of toothbrushes.  Offering the best in features and in box contents.  Examples of the best rushes available today, with features that are far from essential but are designed to enhance the overall user experience with finer attention to detail.

With this in mind, the following lists out the current models/variants within the DiamondClean and FlexCare range, highlighting their key differences.

Sonicare FlexCare

  • FlexCare
    • 4 cleaning modes
    • 21 day battery life
    • Travel case that can charge the brush within, included
    • 4 brush heads included
    • Dual handle package
      • Black – HX6974/76
      • White – HX6964/77
  • FlexCare+ – HX6921/04
    • 5 cleaning modes
    • 21 day battery life
    • Travel case included
    • 1 brush head included
    • Copper Frost colored brush handle
  • FlexCare Platinum Connected – HX9191/02
    • 3 cleaning modes
    • 3 different brushing intensities
    • 14 day battery life
    • Travel cases included
    • 2 brush heads included
    • Bluetooth connectivity
    • Pressure sensor in handle
    • White colored brush handle
  • FlexCare Platinum Connected with UV Sanitizer – HX9192/01
    • 3 cleaning modes
    • 3 different brushing intensities
    • 14 day battery life
    • Travel cases included
    • 2 brush heads included
    • Bluetooth connectivity
    • Pressure sensor in handle
    • UV sanitizer included
    • White colored brush handle
  • FlexCare Platinum Connected Dispense – HX9193/04
    • 3 cleaning modes
    • 3 different brushing intensities
    • 14 day battery life
    • Travel cases included
    • 3  brush heads included
    • Bluetooth connectivity
    • Pressure sensor in handle
    • UV sanitizer included
    • 2oz BreathRX included
    • White colored brush handle
  • FlexCare Platinum Connected Dual Handle – HX9192/30
    • 3 cleaning modes
    • 3 different brushing intensities
    • 14 day battery life
    • 2 x Travel cases included
    • 3  brush heads included
    • Bluetooth connectivity
    • Pressure sensor in handle
    • 2 x White colored brush handles

Sonicare DiamondClean

  • DiamondClean
    • 5 cleaning modes
    • 21 day battery life
    • Travel case that can charge the brush within, included
    • 3 brush heads included
    • Brush handle color variants
      • White – HX9332/10
      • Black – HX9352/10
      • Pink – HX9362/10
      • Rose Gold – HX9392/05
      • Amethyst – HX9372/10
  • DiamondClean Smart 9300
    • 4 cleaning modes
    • 14 days battery life
    • Travel case included
    • 3 brush heads included
    • Bluetooth connectivity
    • BrushSync brush head wear detection
    • BrushSync brush head cleaning mode selection
    • Brush handle color variants
      • White – HX9903/01
      • Black – HX9903/11
      • Pink – HX9903/21
      • Siler – HX9903/41
  • DiamondClean Smart 9500
    • 5 cleaning modes
    • 14 days battery life
    • Travel case that can charge the brush within, included
    • 4 brush heads included
    • Bluetooth connectivity
    • BrushSync brush head wear detection
    • BrushSync brush head cleaning mode selection
    • Brush handle color variants
      • White – HX9985/01
      • Black – HX9985/11
      • Pink – HX9985/21
      • Siler – HX9985/41
  • DiamondClean Smart 9700
    • 5 cleaning modes
    • 14 days battery life
    • Travel case that can charge the brush within, included
    • 8 brush heads included
    • Bluetooth connectivity
    • BrushSync brush head wear detection
    • BrushSync brush head cleaning mode selection
    • Brush handle color variants
      • Lunar Blue – HX9957/51
  • DiamondClean Smart 9700
    • 5 cleaning modes
    • 14 days battery life
    • Travel case that can charge the brush within, included
    • 4 brush heads included
    • Brush head stand
    • Bluetooth connectivity
    • BrushSync brush head wear detection
    • BrushSync brush head cleaning mode selection
    • Brush handle color variants
      • Lunar Blue – HX9954/56

At the time of writing, there are 20 variants of electric toothbrushes here.

It hopefully then becomes clear, as to why, when asked to compare FlexCare to DiamondClean, it is not that simple.

Each brush within the range can be justified as to why Sonicare produces it.

Sonicare probably doesn’t need all these variants, but it gives you and I choice.

Based on my experience, customer feedback and demand I have picked what I consider to be the ‘best’ models from within these ranges, so below I will be comparing:

Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected with UV Sanitizer (HX9192/01) vs Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9500.

We have also created similar comparisons in separate posts:

Detailed comparison: what’s the difference between the Sonicare FlexCare Connected and DiamondClean Smart 9500?

Whilst I try to remain unbiased and present the facts, some bias inevitably creeps in, particularly when looking at and considering the design of these electric toothbrushes.

For me, the DiamondClean Smart is the better looking of the 2 brushes.

Classy, sophisticated and professional are all words that come to mind.

The FlexCare Platinum Connected with UV Sanitizer is much more functional and clinical looking.

White is the only color choice with the FlexCare Platinum Connected.

The front of the brush handle does have a long Silver panel that runs down it, that contains the main controls and cleaning mode icons.

This panel does give it a more premium and sophisticated look, but sadly, it does not compete with the White, Black, Pink and Silver color options of the DiamondClean Smart.

More of a matte color finish on both brushes, there is no abundance of glossy plastics that are quite common on some models.

A point to note here is that the DimaondClean Smart’s brush heads come in White or Black color options.  Most brush heads usually come in White color only. This is a nice touch in my opinion.

Overall form factor between these 2 brushes are inevitably similar, but buttons and notification lights are different.

The FlexCarePlatinum Connected has very clean and easy to use controls on the front of the brush handle.

A Silver power button stands proud on the front of the handle.  Clear and easy to see it gives a good response when pressed.

Below this are 3 LED’s that will light up when the relevant brushing intensity has been chosen using the + and – control button that exits below.

Looking like a volume control button from a remote control, it controls the 3 brushing intensities.  This too provides good feedback.

Sitting further down the handle are 3 LED’s stacked on top of each other with the name of a cleaning mode in between each.

Below this sits a smaller but obvious button that is used to change between the 3 cleaning modes.

A battery icon then sits beneath this.  3 LED’s lined up next to each other give detailed feedback on the battery status.

On the back of the handle are a series of raised dots that offer grip when in hand.

On the base of the brush is the recess for the charging stand.

In comparison, the DiamondClean Smart is much more minimalist.

No obvious grips on the handle, the plastic/paint finish in itself is surprisingly grippy.

Just 2 main buttons exist on the brush handle.

The upper powers the brush on and off, whilst the lower changes the brushing intensity and cleaning mode selected.

The concave design looks smart and acts as a natural place for the thumb to rest when in hand.

White light from inside the handle, lights up the relevant cleaning mode and brushing intensity when the brush is running.  When switched off you can’t even see these cleaning mode names, they disappear into the brush handle.

The intensity icons, 3 of, sit in between the 2 buttons horizontally, whilst the cleaning modes are listed vertically below the lower button.

There is too a battery icon but that is just 1 bar that lights up and gives some feedback.  It is not actually as good as the FlexCare Platinum Connected with UV Sanitizer in what info it provides. I feel like the 3 LEDs on the FlexCare gives more accurate status information.

Unlike the FlexCar Platinum Connected, that has a recess for the charging stand, the base of this brush is flat, as it has a different charging setup. More on that shortly.

Inside the brush handle on both models is the battery and motor that powers the brush and really allows it to do its thing.

Both come with Lithium-Ion batteries that last 14 days minimum (based on 1 user brushing for a total of 4 minutes a day), although you will usually get longer out of the DiamondClean Smart than the FlexCare Platinum Connected.

The motors are different.

The DiamondClean Smart’s is more powerful.

It offers up to 62,000 movements per minute compared to the 31,000 of the FlexCare Platinum Connected.

The amount of movements actually used, depends on the cleaning mode, but theoretically, the DiamondClean’s extra movements could help with cleaning more thoroughly.

The FlexCare Platinum Connected has 3 cleaning modes (Clean, White and Deep Clean) compared to the 5 (Clean, White, Deep Clean, Gum Health and Sensitive) of the DiamondClean Smart 9500.

Different modes make use of the brush motor in different ways, delivering more or less power and different vibration patterns to the brush head to clean the teeth differently and achieve different results.

What mode you wish to use is up to you.   You can switch between modes at any time.

Naturally, a toothbrush comes with a brush head and the FlexCare Platinum Connected comes with 2, 1 x AdaptiveClean and 1 x InterCare.

The DiamondClean Smart 9500, on the other hand, comes with 4. 1 x C3 Premium Plaque Control, 1 x G3 Premium Gum, Care, 1 x W3 Premium White and 1 x TongueCare+ tongue brush.

Each brush head is engineered differently. Bristles are cut to differing lengths and profiles with the aim of achieving different cleaning results.

Some heads have softer bristles whilst others are longer for deeper interdental cleaning.

The brush heads are interchangeable.  They can be used on any Sonicare brush handle on any cleaning mode.

It is about finding the head that you find works well for you and your hygiene goals.

That said, the W3 Premium White brush head works best with the White mode on the DiamondClean Smart for example.

More details on the heads and which modes they work best with can be found in the written reviews available for each of these 2 models (links at the end of this comparison).

Setting the DiamondClean Smart brush heads apart slightly, is the smart technology they have built-in.

Inside the brush head is a microchip that communicates with the brush handle.

This communication is known as ‘BrushSync’ and works in 2 ways.

The first is that it tracks how long a brush head has actually been used for.

A head should be used on average for 3 months, based on 2 cleans per day at 2 minutes in length.

When the brush detects the head has been used for this long, on the DiamondClean Smart only, a notification will light up to alert you that it is recommended to change the brush head.

It would not alert you until 6 months after first use,  if you used that head only once a day for 2 minutes.

A neat feature this is.

Another, small but powerful BrushSync feature found on the 9500 is the cleaning mode selection.

Fit the Premium White brush head to the handle and it will select the White cleaning mode automatically.

Fit the Plaque Control brush head and it will change the mode to Clean.

You can use standard Sonicare brush heads (cheaper) on the DiamondClean Smart, but the brush will not automatically change cleaning modes, it will also not tell you when it is time to change brush head.

Smart brush heads like those provided with the DiamondClean Smart will also not offer any smart functionality on any other brush handle other than the DiamondClean Smart.

When brushing it is important not to brush too hard, doing so can damage the teeth and gums.

Both come with a pressure sensor built in that vibrates the brush handle when it is activated.  Release the pressure to deactivate the sensor.

The 9500 goes one stage further though.  It has a visible pressure sensor.

What this means is that a Purple light from the bottom of the brush handle is emitted when the sensor is activated.  This gives that extra visual clue and stimulus to reduce the pressure.

Despite a pretty reasonable battery life in both models, they will require charging at some point.

Both come with charging stands, but there is a significant difference between them.

The FlexCare Platinum Connected comes with a basic charging stand.

A White plastic unit, it has a prong on the top that fits into the base of the brush handle.  The handle then sits on top of the stand in an upright fashion.

A 2 pin US power adapter is attached and needs to be plugged into the socket for charging.

The DiamondClean comes with a more premium charging glass.

It looks very stylish.  Although it takes up more space, which can be a negative.

The brush sits within the glass at an angle and not upright.

The glass sits on a base plate that has a 2 pin US power adapter that must be connected to charge the brush.

The DiamondClean can also be charged within its travel case.

More robust and stylish than the travel case with the FlexCare Platinum Connected, the brush handle and up to 2 brush heads can be stored and protected within the case.

Pull out the USB cable that is hardwired into the base of the case and the brush can be plugged into a USB socket for charging, rather than being sat in the charging glass.

This solution is great for regular travelers.

Something the FlexCare Platinum Connected comes with, that the DiamondClean Smart 9500 does not, is a UV Sanitizer.

The fairly compact sanitizer can accommodate up to 2 Philips brush heads.

2 little prongs allow the heads to be placed inside and stood upright.

Position so that the bristles face the internal lamp, close the door and press the Green button on the top to begin the cleaning cycle.

Lasting 10 minutes the UV bulb produces rays that kills any lingering bacteria trapped on the brush head.

It seems logical and could help long term to reduce the chance of oral health issues.

Whilst fairly compact it does take up space on the countertop, more than a normal charging stand.  However, it does to provide a home for the brush heads when not in use.

The brush handle of the FlexCare Platinum Connected can also be sat and charged on this unit.

How frequently you run the cycle is up to you.

It does need to be connected to power for it to run and opening the door mid cycle will stop the process.  You can also press the power button again to end this

It quite possibly comes as no surprise that the FlexCare Platinum Connected with UV Sanitizer is the cheaper of the 2 brushes.  Typically there is about $4-50 or so between them.

The brush heads are cheaper too.  More detail on the differing price is given later in the article.

Quite a few differences there are, but there are too a few similarities that I believe are worth listing out.

Those similarities and features they both have are:

  • Water resistant design – Can be rinsed under a tap and washed off
  • 2 year warranty – Covers manufacturing faults and defects
  • 2 minute timer and 30 second pacer built-in – Keeps you brushing for longer and evenly
  • Automatic power off – Brush turns off at the end of the cleaning cycle
  • Interchangeable brush heads – A series of different head styles
  • Bluetooth connectivity – Connect with a smartphone app for real-time tracking and logging of cleaning habits.
  • Easy-Start – Increases the power of the brush motor over 14 cleans
  • Intensity settings – Choose between 3 different power intensities
  • 14 day battery life  – Use for at least 2 weeks between charges

If you need more information on either brush, do take a look at the detailed hands-on reviews we have for both.

Does one clean better than the other?

The answer here is yes, potentially, one could clean better than the other, the DiamondClean Smart being the superior cleaning option.

The FlexCare Platinum Connected with UV Sanitizer comes with a motor that offers 31,000 movements per minute, whilst the DiamondClean Smart 9500 offers up to double this.

Double the number of movements can mean better cleaning performance.

But, it really is not that simple to say or conclusively confirm this.

My own hands-on testing and use has not been conducted in any scientific way that could be able to justify such claims.

I am not aware of Sonicare having themselves made such comparisons either.

Both are going to be help remove more plaque and debris than a manual brush due to the movements they offer, but there are so many variables.

The way the brush is used, how often the mouth is cleaned and the diet all have a bearing to some degree.

Too few brush for the right amount of time.  Just brushing twice a day for 2 minutes can have a massive improvement, far greater than any one toothbrush.

Studies have shown how electric toothbrushes can remove more plaque than a manual brush.

Both of these go above and beyond typical electric toothbrushes in that they offer variable intensity settings and cleaning modes.

But, there does come a point of diminishing returns and I feel the DiamondClean Smart hits that point.

These 2 brushes do to have Bluetooth connectivity, which if made use of can allow the app to better educate you on the brushing technique and routine.

The information the app provides is data those with non-connected models would not know or have and puts those using either of these brushes at an advantage.

Quite quickly, brushing approaches can be improved for the best result.

An additional argument is that that DiamondClean Smarts brush head reminder system and automatic cleaning mode selection could also help maintain and achieve a fantastic routine.

Ultimately though, the real world difference in cleaning effectiveness between these 2 brushes should not be exaggerated.

Of course, the powerful brush motors, do help, but you could gain more in oral health benefit by improving your technique and regularity than investing in either of these.

Is one better priced than the other?

Yes.  There is a reasonable price difference between these 2 models.

This is somewhat to be expected given what the DiamondClean offers.

$220 is the suggested retail price of the FlexCare Platinum Connected with UV Sanitizer, whilst the DiamondClean Smart has a suggested sale price is $270.

That gives a difference of $50 on what really are already, quite expensive brushes.

A good budget/entry level electric toothbrush will cost $40-80.

There are a fair few differences between these models and over a typical 3 year ownership period, the $50 difference is not all that great.

Just an extra $16 each year to own the DiamondClean Smart.

This does exclude the cost of brush heads, which tend to work out for the DiamondClean Smart an extra $2-4 more expensive per head ($12-14 each) than the regular Sonicare heads at $8-10 each, so each year that could be another $16 or so difference for the benefits it brings.

Both models actually sell for a bit less than the suggested retail price.

The FlexCare Platinum Connected with UV Sanitizer sells for about $20 less whilst the DiamondClean sells for about $30 less.

This lower selling price means that the difference between the 2 is now down to just $40 on average.

This makes the DiamondClean Smart justifiable for me.

You are actually getting quite a bit more brush in my opinion, even if you don’t get the UV sanitizer and brush heads will be more expensive.

Don’t stretch yourself.  Buy what you can afford.

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.

Conclusion

For the best of what is available, the DiamondClean Smart 9500 is the answer.

Stylish, sophisticated and capable, it’s the brush all wish to own.

However, it does offer features and in box contents that are not essential and far exceed the needs of most.

You do pay for these and money can be saved by opting for the FlexCare Platinum Connected with UV Sanitizer, which in itself is much better than the most basic of electric toothbrushes.

But the difference in price is not all that great when you consider the benefits of the 9500.

2 solid, electric toothbrushes, neither will really disappoint.

Go for the brush you feel is most suited to you and your needs.

Our Choice
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9500 Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush, Grey HX9924/41
Philips Sonicare Flexcare Platinum Connected Rechargeable Toothbrush with UV Sanitizer
Brush Name
Sonicare DiamondClean Smart
Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected With UV Santizier
Customer Rating
Electric Teeth Rating
5/5
5/5
Our Review
Price
$239.95
$179.99
Prime
Our Choice
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9500 Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush, Grey HX9924/41
Brush Name
Sonicare DiamondClean Smart
Customer Rating
Electric Teeth Rating
5/5
Our Review
Price
$239.95
Prime
Philips Sonicare Flexcare Platinum Connected Rechargeable Toothbrush with UV Sanitizer
Brush Name
Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected With UV Santizier
Customer Rating
Electric Teeth Rating
5/5
Our Review
Price
$179.99
Prime

Your Opinions

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.

Last updated: 2019-12-09 at 15:00 // Source: Amazon Associates

Jon Love

About Jon Love

Jon is a leading voice on electric toothbrushes and has been quoted by mainstream media publications for his opinions and expertise.

Having handled & tested hundreds of products there really is very little he does not know about them.

Passionate about business and helping others, Jon has been involved in various online enterprises since the early 2000s.

After spending 12 years in consumer technology, it was in 2014 that he focused his attention on dental health, having experienced first-hand the challenge of choosing a new toothbrush.

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