No nonsense value brush but better options exist
The Oral-B Pro 1 680 definitely gets the job done and certainly delivers pretty reasonable value considering a useful travel case is included.
The pressure sensor doesn’t encourage corrective action and the battery life isn’t great.
- Slim & grippy handle
- Easy to use with 1 cleaning mode
- Travel case included
- The pressure sensor isn’t obvious
- Battery life could better
Consider this brush instead
I strongly urge you to opt for the Oral-B Pro 3 3500 over the Pro 1 680.
As good as the 680 is, the Pro 3 addresses some of the shortcomings of the 680.
A visible pressure sensor, more powerful brush motor, longer battery life and additional cleaning modes are all part of the reason it is our top pick from all your options of best electric toothbrushes.
If you are on a budget however and you want something now rather than saving up for our recommended model, the Vitality 100 is the brush to go for.
|Oral-B Pro 3 - 3500||£100.00 £34.99||View on Amazon|
Design, usability, clean & general use
The Pro 680 comes in very typical Oral-B packaging.
The outer box is primarily blue in colour, with the brush inside pictured on the front. In this case it is the Pro 1 680 in pink with the travel case included.
Rather disappointingly, inside the box the items are packaged within a polystyrene tray.
Come on Oral-B, this is 2020, let’s ditch the less environmentally friendly packaging and use paper/card instead.
Given what you receive it is arguably about a third bigger than it needs to be, but it is a universal box design that Oral-B uses to keep things simple when it comes to manufacturing and production.
I have listed above what you get in the box. It is all you need to get up and running.
The handle colour and brush head supplied will depend on the variant chosen. Common choices are white, pink and black.
There are essentially 2 key parts to the toothbrush, the handle and the head.
The handle houses all the electronics. They are sealed inside. It has a pretty nice design overall.
It does not quite have the premium look and feel of some Sonicare toothbrush models, but the overall shape and form factor is very practical, tried, tested and cost effective.
It has a rounded shape although not perfectly cylindrical, it is a little deeper than it is wide, but it does feel relatively slim in hand.
It is the same shape and materials of the handles found on the more premium Pro 2, Pro 3, Smart 4 and Smart 5 models.
This particular model fashions a bold pink coloured rubber grip that runs top to bottom on the handle, but you can also pick this up in white. You may also find a black gripped handle.
This strip of rubber/silicon material not only adds a design touch to the handle but actually plays a pivotal role in allowing you to keep a secure grip of it in hand.
The sides and back of the handle are a gloss white plastic that contrast with the grip.
There is a single button on the front of the brush handle, that stands out because it is white in colour. It has a convex design, and it slightly recessed into the handle. It is not the stiffest button to press, but it is not the softest either. There is a bit of resistance to it.
Above and below this power button are contours in the rubber that drive the eye and the finger/thumb to it.
This is the only mode/function button. It turns the brush on and off. It doesn’t change the cleaning modes, because there is only the 1 mode.
The lower third of the brush handle has the Oral-B and Braun logo embossed into the pink grip.
Below these sits the battery and charging icons.
The charging icon flashes red when the battery is low and requires a recharge.
The battery icon will flash green when the brush is being recharged.
You don’t get this with the Pro 1 680, but ideally I would like to see more feedback from the battery. For example, when the brush is turned off, the battery icon stays lit for 10 seconds, green to show a good amount of power remaining, yellow for medium and red for low, but sadly this is not the case.
As I explain later in the battery life section of this review, sealed inside the handle is a NiMH battery that lasts up to 10 days on a single charge.
The gloss white plastic sides to the brush are smooth, but not too slippery to the touch.
The rear of the handle has a series of ridges that run from the top to about half way down the handle. These act as gripping points for the hand and fingers when in use, these are particularly good if your hands are wet. They are a little harsher to the fingertips than the rubber on the front but they do the job well.
The toothbrush will stand up on a countertop, even though the base of it has a recess into which the prong on the inductive charging stand fits.
A small but neat touch is on the back of the brush handle, right at the bottom is a small plastic notch which looks a bit out of place until you understand that this stops the brush rolling about if laid flat on a countertop.
At the top of the handle is a metal shaft that extends from the motor inside the handle. It is to this that the brush head fits.
The brush head supplied will depend on the variant selected, but it is one of a number of different brush head styles available from Oral-B.
If you would like to learn more about the different types of brush heads, please check out our detailed brush heads article.
All heads push onto and pull off of this meal shaft. There is no need to twist them to lock them in place.
This 3D White brush head is focused on helping buff the teeth to a nice shine and speed up the removal of any surface staining you may have on the exterior surfaces.
I do like the small round brush heads. They are easy to move around the mouth and provide a great clean to the teeth.
The head has a 3D movement made up of oscillations, rotations and pulsations.
What this all means is that it cleans the teeth really well, particularly if you make sure you are using the correct toothbrushing technique.
The Pro 680 can remove more plaque than a manual toothbrush. First time users will be impressed with the clean but may find it a bit powerful. You will get used to it after a few days.
Each brush head should be replaced every 3 months on average, sooner if the bristles are showing obvious signs of wear.
The blue bristles within the head will fade over time to a pale blue/translucent colour. This is a cue for you to change.
Using for longer than 3 months can potentially result in the head not cleaning as well and even doing damage to the teeth and gums.
The Pro 1 680 has just 1 cleaning mode. Called Daily Clean, this is the standard mode found on all Oral-B brushes.
To activate it, a single press on the power button is all that is needed. There are no other modes, so a second press on the power button will turn the brush off.
Unlike some toothbrushes, Oral-B does not automatically turn itself off after the 2 minute cleaning cycle is complete. You will need to do this.
As the brush is powered on, the built-in timer and pacer are activated. The purpose of this is you help you and me brush for the recommended 2 minutes and do so evenly.
You should imagine your mouth broken up into 4 sections. Upper right, upper left, lower right and lower left. The idea is that you spend 30 seconds cleaning each section. The pacer helps you keep an even brushing time on these 4 sections. Together these add up to the 2 minute total.
At the 30 second intervals, the brush will provide an audible warning via a slight pause in the brush motor. This is your cue to change from one quadrant to another. Once the 2 minutes are up 3 brief pauses in the brush motor will be heard and felt. This is your cue that the clean is over.
I really like the clean the brush offers, I have little in the way of complaint here. My teeth and gums felt clean after every use.
Whilst it is by no means essential, a lower powered mode would be nice to have. This is where the Pro 3 3500 from Oral-B comes in. It has this second mode which is a little less intense. This is particularly nice for first time users to use as it helps get you more used to the power of the electric toothbrush, but from time to time even experienced users might enjoy the slightly more gentle brushing.
A small but noteworthy point is that the motor in the Pro 2 series is a little more powerful. What this means is that the head moves a bit more during each clean. It could help produce better results in the long term, but honestly it does not make a significant difference, you still get a great clean from the 680.
Although not heavily promoted by Oral-B or the retailers stocking this brush, it does have a pressure sensor. It is labelled on the box as having such.
Although it exists, it is implemented a little differently to most other Oral-B models.
There is no visible pressure sensor. This means no red light on the handle that lights up to tell you it has been activated.
Instead, if you brush the teeth with too much force, the sound of the brush changes slightly as will the cleaning action. The motor slows down and the pulsations are stopped. It can be quite difficult to notice this change, particularly for new users.
The key here is that the brush will take the steps to try and prevent doing any unnecessary damage. If the pressure is relieved the motor will power back up again.
Just be aware that bristles really only need to skim the teeth. Only a little brushing force is needed. More scrubbing pressure does not equal a better clean.
So whilst it is a useful feature, the fact that it is hard to spot or realise it is even activated is a negative. The Pro 3 3500 has the visible sensor, which is much easier to detect.
The Pro 1 680’s handle is water resistant. This means a rinse under the tap, or even used in the shower should be fine. Just make sure you don’t fully immerse the brush in water.
It is quite rare, in such a cost effective model to have a travel case included, but you do get this with the Pro 1 680.
It is fairly basic, but perfectly functional. It will hold the brush handle and up to 2 brush heads. This protects them from getting damaged or the handle accidentally activated when in transit.
The case is a rounded rectangle shape, hinged on the left side like a book, with a clip on the right side to secure the case closed.
Holes in the white plastic body of the case allow the handle and heads inside to remain ventilated and help dry out any moisture.
With some variants you will get a design printed on the case. This is a leafy pattern and is typically pink or blue in colour. It makes the case stand out a little more and be a little less boring.
The Pro 680 is a solid toothbrush that performs well.
For those wanting to give it a go, I say just do it, because should you not like it for any reason, you can take advantage of their 30 day money back guarantee/test drive programme.
Should you like it and want to keep it, you will benefit from a 2 year warranty, which can be extended to 3 years, simply by going online to register it.
Summary of design, usability, clean & general use
- Slim and comfortable brush to hold and use
- Looks good – different colour options available
- 1 cleaning mode
- Cleans the teeth well
- 1 brush heads included
- Alternative brush heads available
- Built-in quad pacer and 2 minute timer to help you achieve an even clean for the recommended time
- Pressure sensor built-in
- Not a visible sensor so hard to detect when activated
- Up to 10 days battery life
- Limited battery status feedback
- Water resistant and can be used in the shower
- A travel case is included
- 2 year warranty as standard, register online for a free additional year
- Money back guarantee option for 30 days
What you expect in terms of battery life from a toothbrush may be different from what someone else expects.
For me, I generally like to see a brush offering 2 weeks use on a full charge.
I think this is an ideal amount, because it covers the use cases for most people.
You can go away on holiday for a couple of weeks and not have to worry about charging the brush and having to take the stand with you.
In all honesty, for many of us we don’t need this because we are often at home and the charging stand is the natural place to leave the brush when not in use, thus the battery is constantly topped up.
The Pro 1 680 has a claimed life of up to 10 days.
‘Up to’ feels a bit vague. Given that there is only 1 cleaning mode, what changes that it might achieve less? Well the brushing time is usually what causes the variance, but the standard brushing time is 2 minutes, or at least it should be.
My hand’s on time achieved a maximum of 9 days or 18 brushing sessions of use. This is based on brushing twice a day for 2 minutes each time.
Although I managed 9, by day 8 the motor was slowing, the battery indicator flashing and really it needed charging.
I am quite disappointed that the battery did not last a full 10 days.
Then again I am not all that surprised, because as far as I am aware, the Pro 1 680 has the same battery as the original Pro 680 and the Pro 600 brushes, which for as long as I can remember have been advertised with a 1 week battery life.
Yes, they may have surpassed the 7 days, but 10 days was a bit of a stretch.
The rechargeable battery is sealed inside the handle. It is not user removable. It is a Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) battery.
Whilst there is nothing particularly bad with an NiMH battery, Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) tends to be more common and popular now.
The vast majority of other toothbrushes in the Oral-B ranges now offer a 2+ week battery life.
So, the battery life is perfectly sufficient for most, but doesn’t pass my 2 week test. Ultimately it is a little sub par when you consider a brush somewhere between £5-15 more expensive offers a battery life of basically twice that of the Pro 1 680.
When power is low the battery status icon on the front of the brush handle will flash and you will likely feel the decrease in brush power.
In the box when you buy the brush is a fairly basic but functional charging station.
The white charging stand has a 2 pin plug hardwired into it. This 2 pin connector is for use with the 2 pin socket found in many bathrooms in the UK.
If you do not have one, you can purchase an adapter and recharge your brush using the conventional 3 pin mains in the UK.
The small prong on the top marries up with a recess in the bottom of the brush handle and will charge the brush fully in about 8-12 hours. I tend to leave it on charge overnight.
When charging the battery charging icon flashes green and it will stop flashing and go out when the brush is fully charged.
The charging stand itself supports 220-240v.
If you were to take this with you on holiday in Europe, you would need a plug adapter, but not a voltage adapter.
If off to the USA, you would need a voltage and plug adapter to handle the different power supply found here.
Summary of battery life
- Claimed battery life of up to 10 days
- Achieved up to 9 days or 18 brushing sessions
- Really needed recharging by day 8
- A charger included in the box
- Takes about 8-12 hours to charge fully
- Can be left on the charger
- The status icon flashes green when charging and red when the battery is low
- Works on 220-240v.
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 Pro 1 680 is £59.99.
Please do not pay this, it is simply not a good deal at all at this price.
Oral-B toothbrushes in particular are commonly sold with a heavy discount. Believe it or not, this is often around 50%, but it can be greater.
Therefore a more realistic price is £30.
To be fair, based on my experience of other brushes, £30 isn’t a ridiculous price for this brush.It is arguably worth it, particularly as you get a travel case included.
But that said, as I have intimated earlier in the review, there are very similar and better brushes that cost only £5-10 more.
Of course much depends on your needs, wants and opinions. And the actual selling price at the time you are looking to buy has an impact too.
Prices do change and although £30 is a fair average price for the Pro 1 680, it is possible to get it for less.
I paid just £23 for my unit. That is a discount of over 60% on the original retail price.
At £23 I would argue this is almost a no brainer in terms of your decision. I certainly couldn’t ctiricise anyone for paying this, it is a good deal, there is no question about it.
Here at Electric Teeth to try and give a benchmark for comparison, we like to price the brush over a 3 year period.
Based on 1 user, you will require 11 additional brush heads over the 1 supplied in the box. At an average price of £3 per head, this is a further £33 to add to the price.
Therefore, if sold at retail price, the total ownership cost would be £93 or £0.08 per day.
At the more typical £30 selling price, this would be £66 over 3 years or £0.06 per day.
Manage to pick it up like I did at £23 and it will cost you £56 or £0.05 per day over 3 years.
I simply cannot argue with the figures. At 5-6p per day to own (excluding toothpaste, electricity etc) this is a good value brush.
I do still feel that although perhaps now £15 more expensive, the likes of the Pro 3 3500 will work out over the life of the brush a better buy because of the benefits it brings. This works out at £0.07 per day.
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 £59.99
- Generally available with 50% or more off RRP; circa £30.
- Works out at around 6p per day over 3 years
- At times can be sourced for less than £25 and work out as little as 5p per day
- A great value toothbrush
- Possibly worth spending £10-15 more on the Pro 3 3500
Reliability & long term use
I have used and handled many electric toothbrushes, a large number of which have been produced by Oral-B.
I have no immediate concerns about the Pro 1 680 in terms of its reliability and performance.
The handle is based around a design that has been used over and over again and proven itself to be reliable.
With a regular clean, there is no particular reason or cause for concern in regards to the durability of this particular model.
The water resistant handle is designed to last in the environment it finds itself in.
As standard it comes with a 2 year warranty, but it is possible to get a completely free additional 3rd year simply by registering the brush online.
All things considered there is not a lot to dislike about the Pro 1 680.
It does the job it needs to do fairly well and considering what you get for the price it is without doubt a good option for many people.
However, there are just a couple of small things that hold the 680 back from being an outright recommendation.
For just a few pounds more you can get the likes of the Oral-B Pro 3 3500 which offers twice the battery life, a second cleaning mode, visible pressure sensor and a more powerful motor. To me, this just seems the better purchase.
- Height (without head) – 19.5cm
- Height (with head) – 23.5cm
- Width – 2.3cm
- Thickness – 2.9cm
- Weight (without head) – 119g
- Weight (with head) – 125g
All are approximates