Which one would we choose?
The Smart 4 is technically the more capable toothbrush because of the Bluetooth connectivity.
It might help you get better at taking care of your teeth if you commit to using the app, but it doesn’t provide as many benefits as you might expect.
The Pro 3 can achieve the exact same results, providing you commit to twice daily brushing with the correct technique. It will save you a few pounds too.
- Handle design/colours
- The Smart 4 4000 has a larger rubber grip on the front of the handle that the Pro 3 – 3000 does not have.
- The Pro 3 is available in 4 different colours (alabaster white, pink, electric blue & black onyx) compared to the 2 (white or pink) colours of the Smart 4 4000.
- The grip on the rear of the Pro 3 brush handle comes in the form of lots of dimples compared to the ridges on the Smart 4.
- Brush heads
- The Smart 4 comes with 2 brush heads included, whereas the Pro 3 comes with just 1.
- Pressure sensor
- The Pro 3 – 3000 has a larger and more visible light ring that wraps a full 360 degrees around the top of the brush handle. Whereas the Smart 4’s sensor is positioned towards the back of the brush handle.
- Bluetooth technology
- The Smart 4 4000 comes with Bluetooth connectivity (not real-time tracking). The Pro 3 does not.
- Accessories & box contents
- The Smart 4 4000 comes with a brush head stand to hold 2 brush heads.
- The Pro 3 3000 has a lower retail price of £90 compared to the £120 of the Smart 4000.
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.
Detailed comparison: what’s the difference between the Oral-B Pro 3 3000 and Smart 4 4000?
If you look at the technical specifications of these 2 brushes, there isn’t a great deal between them.
Justifiably the Smart 4 is the more capable, but that doesn’t necessarily tell the whole story.
The first and most obvious difference between these 2 brushes is the handle design. They are similar, but different.
Both have a cylindrical shape to the handle, but the Pro 3 has the much cleaner and more minimal look.
It is designed this way to mimic their top of the line iO Series and does away with the large rubber grip on the front of the handle that you find on the 4000.
The power button on the Pro 3 does provide some texture and grip for the finger. And although the 3000 is now all smooth touch plastic, it isn’t as slippy as you might expect.
The Smart 4000 does feel marginally more secure in hand, but the benefit is that the Pro 3 is easier to keep clean.
With the Smart 4, toothpaste residue and grime can build up on the handle. This isn’t as easy with the Pro 3. It is a bit easier to rinse off and wipe clean.
When you take a look at the back of the brush handles you come across another difference.
The Smart 4 has a series of raised ridges to provide texture and gripping points for the fingers.
With the Pro 3, there are a series of dimples running from the top to the bottom of the handle. These dimples are far more subtle in appearance. They do provide texture onto which the fingertips can grip, but they are not quite as effective as the raised ridges on the 4000.
Handle colour options have changed too.
The Smart 4 is available in 2 colour options, white or pink. The handle body is a gloss white plastic, but there is a large rubber grip that runs down the front of the handle too. This is either white or pink, subject to the variant you opt for.
You don’t have this large grip on the front of the 3000. Instead, the plastic body of the handle is 1 solid colour be that alabaster white, pink, electric blue or black onyx.
An additional design change with the Pro 3, is the introduction of a LED light ring around the neck of the brush handle. It wraps a full 360 degrees.
This is similar to the premium Genius and iO series brushes that Oral-B offers.
The light colour is not customisable, nor does it stay lit the whole time. But, when the built-in pressure sensor is activated, the light ring is lit red.
The Smart 4 does have a visible pressure sensor, but unlike the Pro 3, this is positioned primarily on the back of the handle. It has a red plastic panel compared to the white of the Pro 3. Both light up and are visible, but the extra surface area of the Pro 3’s sensor makes it a slightly more practical implementation.
Design aside, they do the same job. When the sensor is activated they both light up red to alert you that you are brushing too hard. Reduce the pressure and the lights go out.
The most significant difference between these 2 brushes is the fact that the Smart 4 has Bluetooth technology.
You will see the Bluetooth icon on the Smart 4’s brush handle.
Using a free app available for Android and iOS you can connect the 4000 wirelessly to your smartphone.
Some class the connectivity as gimmicky. It is far from essential and you don’t have to use it, but take the time to and you might well benefit.
Do read the full review of the Smart 4 to learn exactly how it works. But, in short, it tracks your brushing frequency, brushing time, and any excess pressure you apply.
It doesn’t track the exact position of the brush in the mouth like the Genius X or iO Series handles. It won’t tell you that you didn’t brush your back teeth for example.
If you use the app at the same time you brush, you will get an on-screen timer.
Because it logs your brushing sessions, it holds you accountable a bit more as you can see when you have, or perhaps have not brushed.
Both brushes have the same cleaning modes available, but the brush heads that come included does differ slightly.
The Pro 3 comes with just 1 brush head in the box, whereas the Smart 4 will come with 2.
These 2 heads are either both CrossAction or 1 x CrossAction and 1 x 3D White.
The Pro 3 comes with either 1 x CrossAction, 1 x 3D White, 1 x Sensi UltraThin or 1 x Charcoal.
A little extra that the Smart 4 comes with is a brush head stand. This is a white plastic module that clips around the charging stand with 2 prongs on, onto which brush heads can be placed.
It is a simple, yet effective accessory that can provide a neat way to store additional brush heads.
Does one clean better than the other?
If you were to use the Daily Clean mode with the CrossAction brush head you will see no difference between these models when it comes to brushing/cleaning results. The performance is identical.
It can be argued that with the Smart 4 you may achieve better long term results because the features of the smartphone app will encourage a better routine than if you used the Pro 3.
This is very subjective and would certainly vary from 1 person to another. If you need more motivation, then the app for the Smart 4, might help.
Providing you brush 2 minutes, twice a day with the correct technique, either will achieve the same results.
Is one better priced than the other?
Due to the extra features of the Smart 4, it commands the premium retail price of £120 compared to the £90 of the Pro 3.
A difference of £30 is pretty reasonable. Many would not feel it is worth the extra spend for the Bluetooth, given that is the key differentiator here.
However, the retail prices don’t tell the whole story.
It is extremely common for the actual selling price of the brushes to be around 50% less. This means the prices reduce to £60 and £45 respectively.
Still a difference of £15 but less of a premium given there is too an extra brush head in the box with the Smart 4 and the brush head stand.
Prices are always subject of course and what value you place on the brush might be different to me.
Technically the Pro 3 is the best value, but the Smart 4 really isn’t much more expensive if you think you will benefit from the Bluetooth.
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.
The Pro 3 – 3000 is the brush to go for.
It cleans the teeth well and has the essential features you need.
The Smart 4 is clever and can potentially help you achieve a better oral care routine. But, it doesn’t have some of the advanced tracking features of other premium Oral-B brushes. As a result, it doesn’t provide as many benefits as it could.
It takes a very committed individual to use the app. If you have that commitment you can still achieve the same results from the Pro 3. But, given the limited price difference, if you want to try a smart toothbrush, then you are not paying over the odds for the Smart 4.
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.