In 2014, Philips Norelco beat every other mens grooming brand in the US to register a record 51.2% market share.

And yet we have this unimaginable stat: the Norelco Sensotouch 2D and 3D have a price multiplication factor of 2, albeit sporting identical features.

The number may sound small. But imagine paying $100 and $200 for identical products – from the same brand!

Here are the possible reasons:

  1. One could be a ‘starter’ model, while the other is as techy as they get
  2. Brands undervalue the price for underperforming models to push their sales up
  3. A totally inexplicable marketing gimmick

I wonder if the immense market success of Philips lies hidden somewhere in this equation.

Whichever way it is, I felt it is important to let you know which will be a better buy – the Norelco 3D or 2D. Here’s the full display.

The names have changed

The Norelco Sensotouch 3D and the Sensotouch 2D are called with different names now. The 3D is now called the Norelco Shaver 8800 (Series 8000) and the 2D is now Norelco Shaver 6100 (Series 6000).

However, for the sake of convenience, we will use both the naming conventions. Many still relate to these shavers as the Sensotouch 3D and Sesotouch 2D and we decided to respect that sensitivity!

Here’s what the Sensotouch 2D and Sensotouch 3D have in common

Number of heads

This one is fairly easy to spot. Both the lines have three distinct shaving heads. There’s great difference in the shaving action though.

Wet/Dry Inconvenience

Wet & Dry convinience

This does not constitute a major similarity between the 2D and the 3D, but it would have been quite an anomaly if this convenience would have been breached.

Almost all modern foil shavers come with wet and dry shaving convenience. You can use both the shavers for a thorough wet shaving inside the shower or a quick dry shave under a spotlight.

Position of the head

As is common with most shavers from Philips, both the lines cater to flexible heads in which the head itself adapts and bends with the contours of the face.

What a flexible head effectively means is a fixed handle when you shave. It is only the head that bends and shifts as you shave. This way, the head of the shaver can keep in better alignment with the face while shaving.

Gyroflex Technology

Gyroflex Technology

This is a special technology by Philips that fins incorporation in both the Norelco 3D and 2D lines. The Gyroflex is actually responsible for the heads moving independently of the handle.

Through the Gyroflex technology, the heads of the shaver flex in an outward direction, while pivoting around in a circular motion. While doing this, the angle of the head is tilted slightly inward.

The Gyroflex technology is instrumental in reducing irritation and friction in both the 2D and the 3D.

Differences between the 2D and 3D

  • Flexibility of shaving heads

Flexible shaving head

The first major yet relatively subtle difference between the two shavers is in the flexibility of the shaving heads. While you will find each Norelco model with three shaving heads, it is only in the Norelco 3D that the head movements are independent of each other.

So if you are saving the area near the chin, the three heads will shape up individually to give you the closest shave in the area.

Unfortunately, you do not get indecently floating heads with the Norelco Sensotouch 3D shaver. While there are three separate heads all right, they pretty much stick together while shaving – rotating and moving in the same direction.

The brevity of this feature is more in application than in writing – you feel it best when experience the three heads of the 3D doing different things on the face!

  • Difference in cutting heads

Cutting heads

Apart from the independently moving heads, the cutting edges or the blades of the 3D and the 2D are also significantly different from one another. The SensoTouch 3D comes with the super-sharp ultra-glide cutting heads.

These ultraglide heads of the 3D are special on two counts. First, there are three groove layers on the surface of the blades. This is significantly different from the ones that have just a couple of grate types.

Secondly, the grates on the blade work in progression. With each level passing the skin, the grate action keeps getting progressively closer. The outer grate is meant for the longer hair, the central layer for shorter hair.

This kind of triple grate action in the 3D is contested by a remarkably weaker “dual precision” action of the 2D. While the cutting action of the 2D is effective in its own right, it is nowhere close to that of the 3D.

  • Variation in battery performance

Battery Performance

Both the Norelco Sensotouch 2D and Sensotouch 3D attain full charge in just an hour, which is a bonus anyway. However, there is a difference in retention.

The 3D retains charge for about 60 minutes, while the 2D retains charge for 40 minutes. Speaking in terms of days, this would mean 20 and 13 days respectively.

But you can always make that up with a 3-minute burst charge option in the 2D. This charges the shaver to deliver enough runtime for a quick shave. So the battery charge does not really make a major difference in scores.

  • Display Preferences

Philips Norelco 3d and 2d Display

Both the devices come with in-built displays. While the one used in the 2D is a simple, two-level battery display, the Sensotouch 3D flaunts a better high-tech display.

The display in the 3D is a lot richer with advanced touch control with a meter displaying exactly the minutes of charge left in the shaver. The display also shows the charge status and cleaning indicator precisely.

The display in the 3D is much better than the one in the 2D. It is up to you to align your preferences with it and decide whether you actually need such a display.

Key features of the Norelco 2D

  • Very smooth and flat surface with Norelco rounding for the edges; this makes shaves extra-close without causing any irritation to the skin.
  • Built-in aquatec seal on the razor makes it very convenient to use even without a shaving cream.
  • Comes with a 40 minute battery life, which lasts for 13 uses approximately; has a 3-minute burst charge option.
  • Automatic voltage adjustment.
  • Shaves both wet and dry.

Key features of the Norelco 3D

  • Contouring is 3-dimensional with each head rotating independently to provide better shaves.
  • Comes with holes to deal with even the shortest stubbles; guarantees super-close shaves each time.
  • Battery shaving time of 60 minutes can last up to 20 days of continuous use.
  • Comes with an integrated multi-level touch control display that with multiple information bits.
  • Wet and dry shaving convenience.
  • Comes with an included precision trimmer for mustache and sideburns.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Question)

  • How effective is the full touch display in the Sensotouch 3D?

It is really up to you to make full use of the touch display of the Sensotouch 3D. The touchscreen display is fairly easy to use and displays just how many minutes of battery are left on the device.

The battery level and the cleaning indicator can also be kept at an arm’s length when the device is in operation. The replacement head indicator also functions whenever you need to make use of it.

You really have to consider whether you need so many features in a single display. We can only say the display remains unfazed in the shower and water splashes will never be a problem.

  • 2D or 3D: Which is a better travel shaver?

Both the Sensotouch 2D and 3D have been designed with travel friendliness in mind. You cannot ignore the compact designs and slim handles on both the models.

In our view, both the models make excellent travel shavers. However, the 3D has a slight edge over the 2D, given it has an additional 20 minutes of charge time to it.

But in the shorter scheme, both the 3D and 2D are evenly matched as travel shavers. Any trip in the less of two weeks will not need a charger for either.

  • Which shaver is friendlier for the skin?

Both the Sensotouch 2D and 3D are worth their salt when it comes to dealing with skin sensitivity. However, it has been noted that the Sensotouch 3D is far better in repaiting damaged skin.

The three dimensional cutting system of the 3D in which the heads float independently, always translates into better adaptation with the contours of the skin.

Also, you may use both the shavers without cream. This is truer again for the 3D, while the 2D does tend to irritate slightly in the absence of a good shaving cream.

And the cake is taken by….

Even after adjusting a healthy price difference, we find the balance heavily shifted in favor of the Norelco 3D. The 3 dimensional independently rotating heads provide you with the best shaving experience in the class.

Even the shortest stubbles are taken away with the help of the holes in the blade alignment. The battery time is a staggering 60 minutes against full charge.

You also get a multilevel display that has just too much information to be gulped down at a go. And it is touch control too.

It brings you wet and dry shaving convenience and comes with an included pop-up trimmer for the mustaches and sideburns.

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