If you want a toothbrush powered by user removable AA batteries as opposed to a built-in rechargeable battery, you could do worse than the Sonicare PowerUp.
The clean is good, better than a manual toothbrush and a 2 minute timer with automatic power off is built in.
- 1 cleaning mode
- Removable batteries
- Built-in timer
- Clean not as good as more premium models
- No 30 second pacer built-in
|Philips Sonicare PowerUp Review||1,447 Reviews||$45.90||View on Amazon|
The 3 BIG questions about the Sonicare PowerUp
If you are short of time, the answers to the following 3 questions should let you know all you need to about the Sonicare PowerUp battery toothbrush. If I have missed something, let me know in the comments.
If you want more detail, you can read my full Sonicare PowerUp review further down the page.
1. Is there anything drastically wrong with this toothbrush?
Considering what this brush is and what it is designed for, its pretty reasonable.
You can spend more and get a better built brush and a toothbrush that is better for your overall oral hygiene.
But, as something in between a full blown electric and a manual, this is a pretty good option.
2. Which other brushes should I consider?
Unless you need a toothbrush with removable batteries, it is well worth considering a brush like the ProtectiveClean 4100 that has a battery built-in and offers a few more features to help achieve the best oral health.
If however, you want removable batteries, then you could do worse than considering the TempIR Sonic Wave winner of our best battery toothbrush post.
3. Where’s the best place to buy the Sonicare PowerUp?
There isn’t a ‘best’ place to buy this toothbrush from. Amazon is a particularly popular outlet to buy from because they tend to be the most price competitive and offer quick delivery options nationwide.
Our price comparison table shows some of the cheapest online stores and it’s always worth checking out eBay, too.
Why should you listen to us?
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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…
Let me be clear, this is not what I call a typical electric toothbrush.
Yes, it has a battery and yes it uses electricity to power the brush head.
But, this type of toothbrush with removable AA batteries is a different class.
Whilst it can be compared to those with built-in batteries, the brush appeals to a different audience.
99% of the time, the built-in battery option will be more capable and clean better.
But, the battery powered brushes like this are an improvement on a manual.
They work well for travelers, particularly those away from power supplies and they can too be a good backup option.
Variants of this toothbrush
There are 2 versions of the PowerUp battery toothbrush from Sonicare.
The primary difference is the color, one is Scuba Blue whilst the other is Pink.
However, with the different color comes a different brush head.
Buy the Scuba Blue option and you get the ‘standard’ brush head that has the firmer bristles.
Pick up the Pink brush handle and you get the soft brush head.
Therefore the variants are as follows:
- Scuba Blue – HX3631/06 – 1 x PowerUp standard brush head supplied
- PinK – HX3631/10 – 1 x PowerUp soft brush head supplied.
What’s in the box?
- Sonicare PowerUp battery toothbrush
- 1 x Brush head (soft or standard bristles – subject to variant)
- 2 x AA batteries
- Removable AA batteries
- Replaceable brush head
- 2 minute timer
Pro & Cons
What are the pros and cons to the Sonicare PowerUp?
- Removable batteries – Last for a couple of months and easy to replace.
- Cheap – Very cost effective to buy.
- Clean – Provides a deeper and more thorough clean than a manual toothbrush
- Timer – 2 minute timer with automatic power off built-in.
- Pacer – No 30 second pacer built into the 2 minute timer.
- Power – The motor cannot provide the same sonic cleaning action as more premium brushes.
- Reliability – The design to accommodate the removable battery makes it more prone to wear and tear.
Design, usability, clean & general use
The Sonicare PowerUp is a battery powered toothbrush.
Instead of being powered by a built-in user rechargeable battery, the brush comes provided with 2 x AA batteries.
Because you need to be able to access the battery compartment, this affects the design of the brush.
Ok, so it still looks like most toothbrushes, but rather than a more circular brush handle, it is a bit more oval in shape.
At the top of the brush is the brush head, this is detachable. More on these in a moment.
You then have the main brush handle.
The base or lower half of the brush handle actually comes apart from the top or upper half.
You will see a colored ring, Blue or Pink around the handle, this is the point at which the brush separates.
Pull the 2 sides away from each other to release the base and reveal the compartment that accepts those 2 x AA batteries that were provided.
Pop them in as per the icons suggest and place the cap back on the brush, by aligning and pushing the 2 halves of the brush back together again.
Around the bottom part of the brush handle is a Black colored rubber seal/gasket that disappears inside the upper part of the handle as the brush is put back together.
This forms a seal and a barrier to water and moisture ingress inside the brush.
You do not want water getting in contact with the battery and electronics inside.
It is this seal and the removable cap that is one of the key weaknesses of the brush.
Designed to last, repeated opening and closing can take its toll and may be a reason for the brush to fail in the future.
Our own testing and user feedback suggests the failure rate is low.
The brush will resist splashes and a rinse under the tap, so don’t worry too much.
The brush does come with a 1 year warranty.
Whilst this warranty, offers peace of mind, given the cost to get it returned for repair or replacement, most will get rid of it and buy a new one.
With the batteries inserted, a fresh set will offer on average 120 cleaning sessions or 60 days usage.
The body of the brush is primarily White in color, but there is a large rubber grip that is either Scuba Blue or Pink in color.
These are the 2 color choices you have when buying the brush.
The Blue color is model number HX3631/06 and the Pink is model number HX3631/10.
A textured surface it feels nice to the touch and stretches around the upper half of the brush handle and incorporates the single button on the handle, the power button.
Press the button once to turn the brush on and again if you want to turn it off.
There is just 1 cleaning mode on this brush.
When powered on the cleaning mode lasts for the dentist recommended 2 minutes and will automatically turn itself off after this time.
A great feature, I had not expected it on such a cheap brush.
So silly it might sound, but it is a convenient way not only to alert you to the clean is over, but save battery life too.
Sadly, there is no 30 second pacer built-in.
This can be really useful in helping achieve a balanced clean during those 2 minutes, but sadly it’s not present.
To be fair to Sonicare, I have not seen such included on other brushes of this type.
Provided in the box with the PowerUp is a brush head.
The head slides on and off the metal shaft that protrudes from within the brush handle.
The interchangeable design means you can make use of the different styles of heads available, there are 2 specifically for the PowerUp.
Perhaps frustratingly, when you buy the brush, the provided brush head is depicted by the color.
- Scuba Blue – HX3631/06 – 1 x PowerUp standard brush head supplied
- Pink – HX3631/10 – 1 x PowerUp soft brush head supplied.
You can buy either style of brush head separately and attach to the PowerUp handle though.
A pack of 3 usually sells for $!5, $5 per brush head.
The PowerUp standard head has firmer bristles and provides a good all round cleaning.
The soft brush head as the name implies has softer bristles for a more gentle clean.
HX3013/96 is the part code for the standard heads, whilst HX3023/64 is the official Sonicare part code for the soft bristled heads.
A neat touch built into these brush heads are reminder bristles.
Something you might expect of a more premium brush, Blue bristles within the head, fade over time as the bristles wear, to help you recognize when it is time for a replacement.
Typically this is every 3 months, sooner if you notice particularly heavy wear, splaying or fraying of the bristles.
Considering the lower power of the motor (15,000 movements per minute) in comparison to a lot of other electric brushes (31,000 movements per minute) the clean is pretty good.
The brush heads are larger than Oral-B brush heads and can be a bit more fiddly to reach the very back of the mouth, particularly if your mouth is a bit cramped.
Overall though they clean well and my mouth felt pretty good after each use.
I was pleasantly surprised by the PowerUp and how good it was to use on a day to day basis.
The lack of quad pacer is a shame as is the lack of any form of travel case or battery status icon. But, one must be realistic in what this brush offers for the price and what it is trying to achieve.
With that considered, I praise the PowerUp.
Summary of design, usability, clean & general use
- Available in Scuba Blue or Pink
- Powered by AA batteries
- 2 minute timer built-in
- Automatic power off
- No quad pacer built-in
- 15,000 movements per minute
- Cleans well considering
- Clean not as good as the more powerful brushes
- Brush head is quite large but provides good overall clean
- 2 different brush head styles
- 1 year warranty
Powered by 2 x AA batteries, the Sonicare PowerUp comes provided with 2 when new.
To insert the batteries into the brush, you need to remove the cap/base of the brush and insert one either side of the plastic frame that is exposed upon removing the cap.
Simply remove the cap to keep the batteries securely in place inside the handle.
With a normal brushing routine lasting 2 minutes and an automatic power off feature, little in the way of power is wasted.
Different batteries may lead to slightly different performance, but you can expect on average 60 days use from a set of batteries.
That is 120 brushing sessions or 240 minutes of running time between battery replacement.
It is presumed that you will use removable/disposable AA batteries, but you could choose to use rechargeable AA batteries if you preferred.
Sadly the brush offers no way to tell you how much battery power remains, so it is a bit of a guessing game on your part to know when they will run out.
As the power does run out, you will feel the speed of the motor decrease and the power of the brushing subside. If not replaced, the motor will eventually stop and you will not be able to clean your teeth unless they are.
The benefits of AA batteries is that they are easy to source and you need not be reliant on mains power.
However, you likely need to get in the habit of making sure you have some spares too hand for the times when power is running out.
Summary of battery life
- Requires 2 x AA batteries to run (2 supplied when new)
- Can use rechargeable AA’s if you like
- 120 x 2 minute cleans possible – 60 days usage time
- No battery status indicator
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 suggested retail price that Sonicare offer on the PowerUp is $14.99.
Don’t expect to pay any less than this, there is no room in the product price for discounts.
At the time of writing, all retailers were selling it for $14.99, with a couple actually selling it for a few dollars more.
Considering you are getting the brush, a brush head and a set of AA batteries this is pretty reasonable.
That said, the Oral-B alternative tends to be around about $10.
Replacement brush heads will be required every 3 months.
Sold in packs of 3, the PowerUp brush heads work out on average $5 each.
Here at Electric Teeth we like to work out a rough average cost to purchase and own electric toothbrushes.
An electric toothbrush with a built-in battery has a typical working life of 3-5 years. They tend to come with a 2 year warranty too.
This comes with only 1, so concerns do exist whether the PowerUp would last as long.
However, making the assumption that it will, the cost over a 3 year period will be as follows.
$80 ($15 purchase price + 11 replacement brush heads at $5 each + $10 replacement batteries) or $0.07 per day.
Whilst the actual price of the brush is low, the cost of the replacement batteries can negatively impact the overall ownership cost.
This is cheaper than a brush with a built-in battery, those typically cost from around $25-40 for a budget brush.
Whether you feel it is good value or not is, of course, personal, but I feel it is.
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
- Sold for $15
- Price comparison here
- Brush heads approximately $5 each
- Works out at around 7 cents per day over 3 years
- Good value all things considered
Reliability & long term use
Sonicare are known for the quality products that they produce.
Unlike most other electric toothbrushes where the battery and all the mechanics are sealed within the brush handle, the PowerUp is more vulnerable to damage.
The very nature allows for the base of the brush to be opened and nothing more than a small rubber gasket/seal to form a barrier to water and other grime getting inside the handle and affecting the electronics.
Our hands-on testing is in no way scientific and the brushes have been put through no other durability tests.
We have simply used the brush as you would, the test of everyday life if you like.
Whilst this seal poses as a possible weakness, the construction and fit is very good and really for most it is unlikely that this will pose any issue. Other users have made little in the way of complaint about this.
For peace of mind it comes with a 1 year warranty, should something go wrong. Sadly though, the cost means that if it did, this is more throw away than repair.
There are many electric toothbrushes on the market today.
There are far fewer that have user removable batteries, like the Sonicare PowerUp.
The big question is whether you compare the PowerUp to other brushes that have built-in batteries?!
I think to a point you can, whilst it is unfair to make a direct comparison, consideration must be made for such.
This is not the best electric toothbrush you can buy.
If you want a budget toothbrush and can happily live with built-in batteries, consider the Sonicare Essence+ or 2 Series, you will get better value from these, I am convinced of that.
But, if you want a toothbrush that has user removable and replaceable batteries, then this is a solid brush.
It has a timer built-in.
It powers off at the end of a 2 minute cycle.
And the clean is fairly good, better than a manual toothbrush.
It ultimately sits between the ‘true’ electric toothbrush and a manual, but brings some of the electric toothbrush benefits. Considering that, investing in the PowerUp, has to be a good thing.
Electric Teeth Rating
- What batteries does it take?
- 2 x AA batteries.
- How many cleaning modes does the Sonicare PowerUp have?
- It has just 1 cleaning mode.
- What brush head does it come with and what alternative ones can be used?
- The brush head supplied with the brush depends on which of the 2 variants you buy. Buy the Scuba Blue HX3631/06 and you get 1 x PowerUp standard brush head. Buy the Pink HX3631/10 and you get 1 x PowerUp soft brush head. Both the soft and standard brush heads can be purchased separately and used on either brush handle.
- Does the Sonicare PowerUp have a pressure sensor?
- No, it does not.
- Does the Sonicare PowerUp have Bluetooth?
- No, it does not.
- Does the Sonicare PowerUp come with a warranty & how long is it?
- Yes, it comes with a 1 year warranty.
- Does the Sonicare PowerUp have a built-in timer?
- Yes. It has a 2 minute timer. It begins from when the brush is powered on. At the end of 2 minutes the brush will automatically turn off.
- How long does the battery last?
- The Sonicare PowerUp uses 2 x AA batteries, that should last up to 2 months before they need replacing.
- Does it come with a charger?
- No. It is powered by AA batteries, so no charger/charging stand is provided.
- Can I use the Sonicare PowerUp in the shower?
- If you wish. The brush handle is designed to be water resistant. Use in the shower should be fine. Don’t go submerging the brush in water though.
- Does it come with a travel case?
- No, there is no travel case included.
Do you own or have you used the Sonicare PowerUp battery toothbrush?
Are there certain features that you or your kids really like or dislike?
Let me know what you think about this brush and let others who may well be considering purchasing one know your opinions before they do.