Which one would we choose?
Our Choice: Sonicare DiamondClean (view on Amazon)
2nd Choice: Sonicare DiamondClean Smart (view on Amazon)
Every bit of us wants the DiamondClean Smart to be the winner. It is the better brush. The innovation and value added elements are great, but better does not always mean that it is the best or the one to go for.
You see, the DiamondClean Smart is commanding too much of a premium price to really make it be the justifiable recommendation, even if the intention is for the user to have better oral health.
If it was up to £40 more expensive than the regular DiamondClean then it would probably ‘just’ win out.
However, it is a LOT more expensive and is not perfect as it really needs to be for the price.
If you really want Smart features, by all means, consider it, but then go look at Oral-B range, because unless you can genuinely justify paying virtually double the price of any other electric toothbrush on the market today, the DiamondClean Smart is not a viable option.
The DiamondClean is a premium feeling, performing and looking brush with a commendable box contents. It is by no means cheap but you can see what the extra spend over the competition gets you.
- The DiamondClean Smart comes with 5 cleaning modes (Clean, White+, Deep Clean+, Gum Health and Tongue Care) compared to the 5 cleaning modes on the DiamondClean (Clean, White, Sensitive, Gum Care and Deep Clean)
- The DiamondClean Smart offers 3 different intensities to the cleaning modes, low medium and high. This is not offered on the standard DiamondClean
- The DiamondClean Smart comes with 4 brush heads (1 x Premium Plaque Control, 1 x Premium Gum Care, 1 x Premium White and 1 x TongueCare+ tongue brush) compared to the 1 x AdaptiveClean with the DiamondClean.
- When attached each brush head will automatically change the cleaning mode on the Smart, a feature not available on the standard DiamondClean.
- The Smart will alert when it is time to change a brush head, not available on the DiamondClean.
- The DiamondClean Smarts travel case has been slightly redesigned and finished in leather compared to the DiamondClean that was not leather finished as well as a fixed USB cable.
- The DiamondClean comes with a 2 pin USB adapter, the DiamondClean Smart does not.
- The DiamondClean Smart comes with a Glass charging stand compared to the plastic charging stand with the DiamondClean.
- The DiamondClean Smart comes with a bottle of antibacterial spray.
- The DiamondClean Smart has an LED ring that illuminates when too much pressure is used when brushing.
- The DiamondClean Smart has Bluetooth connectivity and an associated app for Android and iOS for real-time tracking and education with facilities like brush head replacement reminder and scrubbing sensors.
- The DiamondClean Smart HX9954/53 comes with a brush head storage compartment.
- The DiamondClean Smart is not available in as many colour options.
Please note, that as of March 2019, Sonicare have added another variant to the DiamondClean Smart range. The 9100 is a more cost effective model than the variants originally launched in 2017. It lacks the tongue cleaning mode, does not have a travel case included, comes with just 1 brush head in the box and no brush head storage compartment. This comparison focuses on the more heavily marketed variants that offer the likes of a travel case and extra box contents.
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 Sonicare DiamondClean and the Sonicare DiamondClean Smart?
The DiamondClean range from Sonicare are amongst the most premium brushes available on the market today. Given both these models are from the same brand and sit within the same range there are quite a few differences between the two; some are more significant than others.
For the sake of clarity, at the time of writing there are 4 versions of the DiamondClean Smart, they are:
- HX9901/14 – DiamondClean Smart 9100 in Black (4 brushing modes, no brush head holder, no travel case and only 1 brush head) – RRP £250
- HX9924/44 – DiamondClean Smart in Silver (no brush head holder) – RRP £360
- HX9924/14 – DiamondClean Smart in Black (no brush head holder) – RRP £360
- HX9954/53 – DiamondClean Smart in Blue (1 x brush head holder included) – RRP £380
As you can see two are the same bar their colour with the third coming with an extra item in the box and a subsequently higher retail price.
The DiamondClean (non Smart) is available in four model options, all with the same box contents, but different coloured handles.
- White – HX9331/32
- Black – HX9351/52
- Pink – HX9361/62
- Rose Gold – HX9391/92
You will notice then that the DiamondClean has more colour choices available to users, with the Pink and Rose Gold options which would typically be more appealing to women. The DiamondClean Smart’s colours are a little more masculine but there styling touches of Gold work well and offer a more universal appeal.
In the box, the items included with the brush handle are a bit different between the two models.
If you purchase the DiamondClean Smart HX9954/53 it comes with a brush head storage compartment capable of holding up to three brush heads, something that is not available with the other DiamondClean Smart or DiamondClean models. It is a smart, if not slightly bulky addition that you have to pay for.
Both models should really come with some form of brush head storage option, particularly the DiamondClean Smart, given the price charged for this model.
The DiamondClean Smart comes with a charging glass compared to the more plastic charging stand with the DiamondClean. Oddly, the charging glass was available with the 2nd generation DiamondClean, but the newer 3rd generation has seen a revised design in favour of a smaller, lighter and cheaper plastic option.
The charging glass looks stylish and is certainly different. It does take up more space, so whilst on one hand it wins from a styling perspective, the clear plastic stand with the DiamondClean is actually more than acceptable. It should be noted that this stand with the DiamondClean is a different design to your typical charging stand and is a differentiator of the DiamondClean when compared to many other models.
Both models come with a travel case. For some time, the case provided with the DiamondClean has been the ‘best’ available, and this has been improved with the Smart.
The Smart comes with a hard case finished in soft touch leather in Black colour. With the DiamondClean 3rd Generation the material is a bit harsher to touch but actually is quite grippy and looked a little unique. The colour also matched the brush handle.
Both connect to a USB port for in the case charging. The 3rd generation DiamondClean has a detachable microUSB to USB cable The negative here is the cable can be mislaid. With the Smart, the cable is now firmly attached to the case on the underside.
A removable panel allows access to the 60cm length of cable which has the USB connection at the other end. It is a smart upgrade and the cable neatly tucks away inside the case.
In favour of the 3rd Generation is the in the box inclusion of a mains adapter that allowed this USB cable to be connected to a 2 pin mains socket. No such adapter is included with the Smart.
Many people have such adapters due to smartphone charger designs, but it would be a nice extra even if it was not relied upon.
A bottle of antibacterial spray comes included with the DiamondClean Smart and this is because of the last box contents difference, the brush heads.
The DiamondClean comes with 1 brush head included in the box whereas the Smart comes with four, one of which is a tongue cleaning head that works with the spray to well, clean the tongue!
The four brush heads supplied with the Smart are all new, they are:
- 1 x Philips HX9044/06 Sonicare C3 Premium Plaque Control Toothbrush Head
- 1 x Philips HX9054/06 Sonicare G3 Premium Gum Care Toothbrush Head
- 1 x Philips HX9064/06 Sonicare W3 Premium White Toothbrush Head
- 1 x Philips Sonicare T1 TongueCare+ Toothbrush Head
If purchasing the newer HX9901/14 variant of the DiamondClean Smart, you get just 1 x Premium White brush head only.
These heads are essentially evolutions of brush heads before them, but they are smarter than before.
Built into the brush head is a little microchip which is detected by the DiamondClean Smart handle.
When detected the brush automatically sets the ideal cleaning mode for that brush head.
So for example. Connect the TongueCare+ head and the Tongue Care cleaning mode is set.
You can manually override these and change the mode, but this is a new feature that the DiamondClean 3rd generation does not have.
However, as clever as this is and yes it does bring that added bit of convenience, the prices of the brush heads at this time are very expensive, almost double that of those the DiamondClean uses.
All brush heads are interchangeable with different brush models and cleaning modes, but the new Smart heads are essentially wasted on a brush that does not have the BrushSync mode pairing.
Those with BrushSync will also alert you when it is time to change the brush head for a new one, as it monitors usage time, brushing habits and more.
As the brush heads are attached, they also change the brushes power intensity, something that cannot be set on the DiamondClean.
There are 3 levels, low medium and high and the higher the intensity, the more powerful the brush motor and number of brush movements.
Lower intensity is good when you have sensitivity in the teeth or gums or are not used to the power of an electric toothbrush.
This is controlled via an extra button on the DiamondClean Smart. When switch on, the button controls the intensity, but when switched off this button changes the cleaning mode. On the DiamondClean 3rd Generation, just one button powered the brush on and changed the cleaning mode.
The cleaning modes have also been renamed and changed slightly.
The DiamondClean Smart comes with 5 cleaning modes:
- Deep Clean+
- Gum Health
- Tongue Care
Sonicare’s HX9901/14 variant of the DiamondClean Smart, does not include the tongue care mode.
The DiamondClean comes with:
- Deep Clean
- Gum Care
From what we can tell, aside from the obvious difference that there is now a specialised tongue cleaning mode instead of the Sensitive mode, the others have been renamed.
There might be a slight difference in the power delivery from the brush motor, but we are not aware of this being the case. If there is, unless compared side by side any differences would be hard to tell.
A feature that has generally lacked on Sonicare models is a pressure sensor.
A pressure sensor will alert the user when too much force is being used to clean the teeth. The Smart now has this.
It works by shining a Purple light from the base of the brush handle. It is a handy addition but is not implemented as well as it could be in our opinion and Oral-B have on the whole done a better job.
The last and of course biggest difference between these two models is the bit that is referred to in the model name ‘Smart’.
Added technology inside the brush handle allows the DiamondClean Smart to connect to an application available for download on Android and iOS mobile devices.
Using Bluetooth the brush communicates with the app to offer a variety of features, most notably realtime cleaning tracking and logging of cleaning.
There are special sensors within the brush handle that can detect the orientation and position of the brush relative to the mouth to give the real time feedback.
The aim of the app is to educate, and monitor cleaning to make every user better and achieve overall better oral health.
It is clever and most certainly one of the better implementations, but unless you want such the benefits are limited.
If you want to know more about this, refer to our DiamondClean Smart review.
Does one clean better than the other?
Not that we can tell.
The newer DiamondClean Smart does have ‘new’ brush heads which offer cleaning benefits that appear to be similar to the equivalent brush heads for the standard DiamondClean.
There are also new cleaning modes.
Sonicare have not boasted any stats to suggest that the Smart cleans better than the regular version, typically all claims are made in comparison to brushing with a manual brush.
During our time with each model we were not able to say one cleaned better than the other and realistically even under laboratory conditions we suspect there would be no discernable differences.
Both brushes have powerful motors it is more likely to be the particular brush head and users individual circumstances that will influence any cleaning results.
Compared to a manual brush you will feel and likely see improvements within weeks if not sooner.
It could be argued that you may have better results when using the DiamondClean Smart because the associated app will encourage and indicate to you how you can clean better.
Real world results are much harder to show or determine, but there is fair reason to believe that on screen prompts with visual indicators will ensure a more consistent overall cleaning habit.
Is one better priced than the other?
Although subject to change, the Smart version is currently £130-£250 more expensive.
Much will depend on the time of purchase and what prices are available at that time.
This comparison is written just after launch of the DiamondClean Smart, where the RRP is £360-£380 compared to the DiamondClean’s £299.
Please note, as of March 2019 a new variant has been launched, the 9100 retails for £250 but forgoes some of the extra box contents of the original DiamondClean Smart models.
A launch offer allows the Smart to be purchased for £100 less (£260).
The standard DiamondClean is around £135 to buy.
Never before have we paid over £200 to purchase an electric toothbrush!
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.
If at the time you are considering these brushes the price is within £40 of each other, then the Smart might well be worth the extra spend, but do consider wisely.
The Smart is clever, it offers neat features that just add to the overall experience. There is a price that has to be paid for innovation and the ‘best’ in terms of features and box contents.
But sadly, the premium price is just too much unless you genuinely have money burning a hole in your pocket and you feel comfortable spending out on the DiamondClean Smart, when you can have something fairly comparable for half the price.
Philips deserve credit for doing what they have, but until these features come at a lesser cost, the DiamondClean (3rd generation) is our brush of choice between these two.
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.