- Editor's Rating -

Philips Norelco 1280X Shaver Review


| October 4, 2013

The Philips Norelco 1280X shaver is at the top of Philips’ Norelco SensoTouch 3D range and highlights just how well innovation is progressing in electric shavers. This shaver has a range of features such as GyroFlex 3D, Skin Glide etc. which might sound like marketing speak but they actually describe components that exist and offer real market value.



The GyroFlex 3D Contour Following system, for instance, supplies more than just a ’50s Space Age appearance. Philips has actually taken on the Holy Grail problem of producing a mass market shaver modified to suit a particular individual. The result is only a little shy of being perfect and is definitely the best attempt yet.

Here, each component moves individually, flexing as it goes to follow the contours of your face. The head can flex and tilt at any angle. At the same time, the specific shaving heads themselves could move towards the face and the shaving head holders can move independently.


“UltraTrack” can easily be dismissed as simply another customer product buzzword. Yet, when we tested it, we found that it actually does work.  Three specialized cutting tracks collaborate to capture every hair: channels cut the lengthy hairs and shorter slots work with the average ones, while gaps look after bristle.

At the same time, something Philips calls Super Lift & Cut – a buzz phrase if I ever heard one – really does exactly what it says. The first of a set of blades lifts the hairs up so the second can whack it off. It operates much like your hand-operated double-blade wet razor.


And, to finish it off, the AquaTec seal lets you make use of the Philips Norelco 1280X in the shower. If you choose wet shaving with a cutting lotion or gel then you could do that very safely.  If you like a completely dry shave normally that’s no problem. The low-friction SkinGlide shaving area makes sure not to give you a nasty dose of shaver burn.


Examining the Philips Norelco 1280X’s controls reveals more high-tec wizardry. One could almost believe that shavers are becoming computers. There’s the digital touch on-off switch. Most people won’t be too impressed with this and I can understand. Yet I’m a sucker for gizmos and I enjoy the way that they can make the power button unnoticeable yet avoid accidental starts or quits.

A very important feature of the Philips Norelco 1280X is the well-illuminated Power Level/Minutes Remaining indication which is located right in the center. The Cleaning Indicator is a little faucet image. Back on the right hand side, there’s a Blocked Shaving Heads indication. Finally, there’s also a Replacement Shaving Unit sign.

One other nice component is the Travel Lock. Fortunately, I have never had difficulty with my Philips Norelco 1280X switching itself on in my suitcase. Some, I suppose, might. Perhaps it’s the way I pack or just high good luck. It needs only a 3-second press and you’re totally safe and secure; likewise a 3-second press opens it.



Looking after the Philips Norelco 1280X should prolong the life of the shaver. The shaver features Philips’ automatic Jet Clean System which serves as a charger too. It includes 3 cleaning programs: an eco program, standard program and a full monty intensive cleaning program. The cleaning cycle takes approximately 5 minutes followed by a 2 hour drying out cycle. The eco program lessens that drying out cycle to 1 hour while the cleansing cycle in the intensive program takes approximately 30 minutes.

The HQ200 Jet Clean solution is a blend of alcohol and oil, so it shouldn’t be too expensive to refill. If you clean your Philips Norelco 1280X every day, expect to fill up the cartridge every 2 to 3 weeks.

You can extend the life of a cartridge by rinsing the shaver out with water after every shave. One of the reasons I like to use it in the bath is for just that function. With a well-sealed appliance like this, washing the heads is also possible with the shaver head off. If you want to clean the Philips Norelco 1280X without solution or water then Philips include a helpful brush for that particular purpose.

Due to the fact that the SensoTouch 3D shavers can effortlessly be cleaned manually, the Jet Clean System is not truly required yet it could come in useful occasionally. It deep-cleans and maintains the heads in a manner that straightforward rinsing simply won’t and it’s certainly much easier compared to scrubbing.



To some users, shaving and charging time may well be irrelevant; others might see them as definitive. It takes about one hour to charge the Philips Norelco 1280X from completely empty to fully charged. The charge will be enough to provide around 60 minutes of shave time or 20 days, according to the official specs.

A problem with the official specs is that it assumes a cutting time of just 3 minutes a day. It’s fantastic if you can shave that fast but when I timed myself I found that I took on average about 5 or 6 mins. Therefore, for me at least, a full charge would last around 10-14 days.

One surprising omission from the list of features is that the design of the Philips Norelco 1280X does not allow for cord-attached shaving. If the battery is lifeless you need to wait until the appliance charges. Luckily, there’s a quick-charge function that gives the battery enough charge for you to have one modest-length shave.

The omission could be a problem for someone who travels extensively because one charge would last for only 14 days. However, the simple solution would be to take the base unit charger with you and charge the Philips Norelco 1280X up on the move. The base unit is not particularly bulky so that would be a minor issue.



A fantastic shaver with lots of features and is lightweight, looks amazing and provides a first class shave. This could well be the very best shaver on the market today.

GOOD POINTS – Features, weight, looks great, and gives a fantastically close shave.

BAD POINTS – Cord attached shaving is not possible.

Filed in: Philips