Braun Series 7 790cc-4 Electric Shaver Review

by | Aug 3, 2017 |

Braun Series 7 790cc-4 Electric Shaver Review

The next shaver we review is the Braun Series 7. It is the bestselling electric shaver in the world and was Braun’s flagship shaver until the release of the Series 9 in late 2015. This review will focus on the Series 7 790cc-4 model. It is still one of the highest rated electric shavers out there despite having been on the market since 2010. But is this shaver as good as everyone claims it to be? Is the Braun Series 7 an electric shaver worth spending the money to buy? We aim to answer these questions and a lot more during this extensive review.

This Review is a rather long one so we’ve divided it into four broad sections. You can click on a topic below to be taken directly to that section of the review. We prefer that you read the review in its entirety but if you are press for time, you can jump straight to a section of your choice.


Box Contents: This is where we take a look at the individual contents inside the box.
The Shaver: This is where we take a closer look at the features of the shaver itself.
Testing: This is where we publish our findings after putting the shaver through its paces.
Cleaning: We take a closer look at the cleaning & charging dock here. We also show you how the shaver is cleaned using the dock.

There are 3 models in the Braun sereis 7 family of shavers. There’s the 790-cc, 760-cc and the 720s. So what are the differences between the three? Let’s take a look.

790cc-4: This is the premium 7 series model. It comes with a cleaning dock.
760cc-4: This is basically the same shaver as the 790cc-4. However, the difference is that the 760cc’s cleaning dock lacks a few features of that of the 790cc. It has no automatic cleaning, quick cleaning function or a hygiene indicator. However, these features are not worth paying the extra money.
720s-4: It is the same shaver as the 760cc-4 but does not come with a cleaning dock. This shouldn’t be a problem as you can easily clean the shaver manually.

In our review of the Braun Series 7, we focus on the 790cc-4.

The Braun Series 7 790cc-4 is 100% waterproof, and we were able to use it to shave in the shower, however, Bruan has not certified it as a “Wet/Dry” shaver. If you choose to use it in the shower, you do so at your own risk. If you are looking for a certified “Wet/Dry” version of the Series 7, then what you need is the Braun Series 7 799cc-6, which is a newer version of the Series 7. It is essentially the same shaver as the 790cc-4 but approved for wet shaving by Braun. According to Braun, the 7 799cc-6 is an improvement on the 7 790cc-4.

Box Contents

The image below shows the contents of the Braun Series 7-790cc-4 box.

Box Contents of Braun series 7 790cc-4 electric shaver

Instruction Manual: The instruction manual that comes with Braun shavers is not our favorite. We find the layout to be not user-friendly. It is laid out in such a way that, you find yourself having to go back and forth between the instructions and the illustrations. All of the illustrations appear on the first few pages of the manual, followed by all the instructions. We believe every illustration should be on the same page as any instruction it references. You may find yourself reading an instruction on page 30, and having to flick back to page 5 to reference an illustration.

Instruction Manual For Braun Series 7 790cc-4 electric shaver

Shaver: Don’t be alarmed when you open the box and don’t see the shaver itself. It is safely tucked away in the travel pouch. Unzip the pouch, and you’ll find the shaver inside.

Braun series 7 790cc 4 electric shaver facing up

Travel Pouch: A travel pouch is supplied to help safely carry the shaver with you when you travel. We loved that it is a hard shell case because this offers maximum protection.

Braun series 7 790cc 4 electric shaver travel pouch

Cleaning Brush: Also included in the box is a small brush for dry cleaning the shaver head. However, we recommend that you shouldn’t use this as your exclusive cleaning method. Using the cleaning dock to clean or rinsing under running water are better ways to clean the shaver.

Braun series 7 790cc 4 elecric shaver cleaning brush

Cleaning Dock: The 790cc comes with a cleaning dock known as the “clean & charge” system. It cleans, charges and dries the shaver.

Braun series 7 790cc 4 cleaning dock

Cleaning Cartridge: Also found in the box is the cleaning solutions cartridge. The cartridge holds the cleaning solution used by the cleaning dock for cleaning the shaver. We talk more about how to use the cleaning dock in the “cleaning section.”

Braun-Series-7-790cc-4-electric-shaver clean pack

Power Adapter: The last item in the box is the power adapter. The power adapter can be plugged directly into the shaver to charge it or used to power the cleaning dock. It is a multi-voltage adapter which means it will work in almost all countries. It has a rather short cord so you’ll have to use it very close to a power outlet.

Braun-Series-7-790cc-4-electric-shaver power adapter

The Shaver – A closer look at the Braun Series 7 790cc-4 Shaver

The body of the shaver is made of plastic and rubber. Even when compared to the latest shavers on the market, it doesn’t look very out of place. But it is also not as sleek looking as its modern counterparts.

Braun-Series-7-790cc-4-electric-shaver-front of the shaver look

The shaver has a matte finish which is good for resisting fingerprints and smudges on the surface of the shaver.

Front of shaver

The power button is centrally located on the front of the shaver. Unlike its Series 9 cousin, the Series 7 does not have a travel lock feature. The travel lock feature prevents the shaver from accidentally being turned on. However, the design of the power button on the Series 7 is such that, it’ll be difficult to press the button by accident. The power button is pictured below.

Power and speed buttons of Braun Series 7 790cc 4 elctric shaver

You’ll have to press the small round button to turn it on. It is not the easiest button to press so those of you with fat fingers might find it a bit annoying to press.

There are two extra buttons located either side of the power button. These buttons are marked with the “+” and “-” icons as pictured above. These two buttons are used to cycle through five preset shaving modes. Braun refers to the buttons as personalization buttons. The shaving modes are essentially five different shaving speeds.

You’ll also find a small reset button, with two arrows pointing to it, beneath the Braun logo on the front of the shaver as shown below.

Reset button of Braun Series 7 790cc 4 elctric shaver

After about 18 months of usage, an icon appears on the display to remind you to change the cutting elements. The reset button can be pressed to get rid of this warning if you don’t feel the need to replace the cutting elements. You also have to press it to get rid of the warning indicator after you replace the cutting elements.

The LCD screen of the Braun Series 7 790cc-4 is located awkwardly at the base of the shaver.

LCD screen of Braun series 7 790cc 4 electric shaver

We don’t know which of their designers thought it would be a cool idea to place it there, but we hated the location. It meant that you have to hold the shaver at an awkward angle to be able to see the LCD screen. It is quite small and poorly lit. It makes it difficult to see the information displayed when you are in a poorly lit environment.

The LCD screen shows battery and hygiene status in an analog format. It simply means that it uses a series of bars to represent the status of the battery and hygiene of the shaver. A low hygiene reading means that you should clean the shaver. We’ll talk more about the battery life when we get to review the 790cc-4 later in the article.

Trimmer attachment

Located on the front of the shaver, right above the power button, is a large button with five bars etched on it. This is the trimmer release button. You push upwards on this button and out pops the attached trimmer as shown below.

Braun Series 7 790CC-4 trimmer attachment

The trimmer does an excellent job of styling sideburns and mustaches but is not good for much else. It is certainly not a replacement for your regular trimmer. But then, it seems to be the case with all trimmers that comes attached to electric shavers.

One issue with have with the trimmer is with the release button. It is made of hard plastic and therefore not grip friendly. We noticed you need a little bit of pressure to push the button upwards, which can be difficult if your fingers are wet or covered in shaving cream. Your fingers will very likely just slip off the button when you try to deploy the trimmer.

Back of Shaver

That about covers the front of the shaver so let’s not turn our focus to the back of the shaver. The back is made mainly with textured grip friendly rubber.

Back view of Braun series 7 790cc 4 electric shaver

Grip-friendly rubber is an excellent choice of material as it ensures a firm, comfortable grip, even when handled with wet or foam covered hands, making it very easy to maneuver the shaver when in use.

There are no buttons located on the back of the shaver. Towards the bottom of the back, you’ll find the power socket. The supplied power adapter plugs into this socket to directly charge the shaver without the cleaning dock.

charging socket of Braun series 7 790cc 4 electric shaver

You’ll also notice what appears to be two small metal balls located towards the top of the back. These are the charging contacts. They align with similar contacts inside the cleaning dock to charge the shaver when it is in the dock.

Shaving head

We now want to, at this time in the Braun Series 7 790cc-4 review, take a closer look at the shaving head of the shaver. The shaving head of the Braun Series 7 is a foil shaving head and has three cutting elements mounted onto it.

Shaving head elements of Braun series 7 790cc 4 electric shaver

Let’s take a look at what each of the three cutting elements does. The two outer cutting elements are known as “OptiFoil” by Braun. These two cutting elements are responsible for cutting short hair to give you that close shave.

The middle cutting element is known as “ActiveLift” trimmer by Braun and capture, lift, and cut long flat lying hair usually located under the chin and around the neck area.

Braun says the Series 7 790cc-4’s cutting blades perform at 10,000 micro-vibrations per minute. The Panasonic Arc 5 does 14,000 micro-vibrations per minute.

As seems to be the norm with modern high-end shavers, the individual cutting elements move and flex to maintain contact with your skin.

The shaving head block itself also pivots to adapt to the contours of your face. When testing, this worked very well. It made the task of shaving much easier and comfortable.

Shaving head locking

There is a button located on the side of the shaving head block. Pressing this locks the shaving head in one position, preventing it from pivoting when shaving. This is great when you need the head to be steady when shaving areas such as under your nose. Although we did not break the head locking mechanism on our shaver, there are one or two reports of people breaking the locking mechanism when they pushed too hard on the shaver while the shaving head block was locked. We recommend that you be gentle on the shaver when in use.

Located on the opposite side of the shaving head lock button is another button. This button is used to separate the cutting elements cartridge from the rest of the shaving head block. From the image below, the cutting elements cartridge is the smaller piece separated from the shaver.

Shaving head separated from Braun series 7 790cc 4 electric shaver

You will have to press the release button a bit harder to release the cutting elements cartridge.

You will remove the cutting elements cartridge when you want to do a manual cleaning under running water or when you want to replace it. To maintain optimum performance, Braun recommends that you replace the cutting elements cartridge every 18 months. However, we’ve come across people who have been using their shaver for years without having to replace the cutting elements, and are still getting excellent shaves from it.

That wraps up our look at the features of the shaver itself. Let’s now move on and put the shaver through its paces.

The Shaving Test

Before using the shaver for the first time, we recommend that you fully charge the battery. We preferred using the power adapter to charge the charger for the first time directly.

The battery takes about one hour to charge fully. A full charge is supposed to give you about 50 minutes of shaving time. For most average users, a full charge should last about two weeks of use before needing to charge again. Our tests proved the above statement to be entirely accurate.

If you happen to run out of battery juice completely and need a quick shave, there’s a quick-charge feature that lets you charge the shaver for 5 minutes and get a quick 3-minute shave.

So we charged the battery fully and proceeded to give ourselves a good shave with the shaver over the course of several weeks. So how good or bad was the Braun Series 7 790cc-4 Shaver at shaving?

To give you a short and straight answer, the shave produced by the 790cc-4 shaver was very impressive. We knew going into this review of the 790cc-4 that it had acquired an excellent reputation for being an excellent shaver with high consumer ranking. And we have to say we were still very impressed with its performance despite what we knew.

With 1 to 3 days stubble, the shaver got most of the hair with a single pass. For hair older than three days,  we needed a couple of passes in different directions to be able to get all the hair.

The shaver also performed very well with flat-lying hair and beard that grew in different directions.

The shave itself felt very comfortable. None of our testers reported any cases of prominent skin irritation when using the shaver. There was no blade burns or redness of the skin. For those of you with sensitive skin, and for those who shave daily, we recommend getting the Braun Series 7 790cc-4.

However, despite the high praise we have for the Braun Series 7, the Braun Series 9 and the Panasonic Arc 5 are superior shavers.

We did not find that any of the preset modes added any benefits to the shaver. When we shaved using different settings, we only noticed subtle changes in the humming of the motors, but no real noticeable changes in performance.

Also, we have to say there wasn’t any difference in wet or dry shaving, and we don’t recommend shaving with shaving foam. The shaver smears the foam all over the face instead of removing it like a straight razor, which makes it difficult to see which areas need a second pass to remove all the hair.

But more importantly, Braun has not approved this shaver to be used with a shaving foam or cream. Wet shaving only means shaving with water or in the shower. If you use the 790cc-4 with shaving cream, it invalidates your warranty.

Overall, the shaving experience with the 790cc-4 was a pleasant one. The shave was comfortable, quick and amazingly very close.

We see why it is the best-selling electric shaver out there at the moment.

Now let’s take a look at the cleaning dock and how to clean the shaver.

Cleaning

The Braun Series 7 790cc-4 model we reviewed comes with a cleaning dock. According to Braun, it cleans, dries, hygienically cleans and lubricates the shaver.

One issue we have with the clean & charge station is that the end of the power adapter cord sticks out the back of the dock when plugged in, which makes it impossible to place very close to a wall. See the image below.

charging adapter sticking out back of cleaning dock

You’ll need to insert the supplied cleaning solution cartridge into the cleaning dock before using it. You’ll find a large button on the side of the cleaning dock. Lift the cleaning dock and press this button to release a hidden compartment located at the base of the dock. You will place the cleaning solution cartridge inside the secret compartment as shown in the image below.

Cleaning cartridge inserted into cleaning dock of braun series 7 790cc 4

Braun officially refers to the cleaning cartridge as “cassettes.” Replacement cartridges are listed as “clean & renew pack.” You can pick up a pack of 12 cassettes for about $69.99 from amazon.com. This pack of 12  should last you about four years of use. The cleaning solution contains alcohol and is therefore supposed to disinfect the shaver head.

But this is also the cause of a common issue with this shaver. Because the cleaning solution is alcohol base, there have been some reports of the paint around the neck of the shaving head peeling after years of cleaning with the solution.

Braun Series 7 790cc 4 shaver inside cleaning dock

Just like the cleaning docks of most electric shavers, the 790cc-4’s cleaning dock immediately begins charging the shaver once you place it in the dock.

This is where you find one of the differences between the dock of the 790cc-4 and the 760cc-4. The cleaning station of the 790cc-4 automatically determines whether the shaver needs cleaning or not, when you insert it into the dock, and automatically selects the appropriate cleaning program. You have to manually choose the program when using the 760cc-4’s cleaning dock. However, this is not a big deal as they both perform equally. It does all this by checking the hygiene status of the shaver.

However, we believe the hygiene status indicator is time-based, so instead of having some smart sensors that determine whether your shaver needs cleaning or not, it simply comes on depending on when you last cleaned the shaver. It is therefore not a real measure of how hygienic your shaver is.

So even when we clean the shaver under running water, the hygiene indicator will stay on until we clean it using the cleaning dock.

Putting aside these little issues we have with the dock, we were very satisfied with the cleaning dock. It thoroughly cleaned and dried the shaver in 40 minutes. It does an excellent job of removing all the hair trapped in the cutting head. The cleaning solution also left our shaver smelling lemon fresh after each clean.

Manual Cleaning

You can also clean the shaver manually without the cleaning dock. To do this, just open the head as we discussed in an earlier paragraph above, place it under running water and gently tap the head against the sink to remove any trapped hair. You can also use the cleaning brush supplied with the shaver to brush away trapped hair.

Manually cleaning Braun series 7 790cc 4 under running water

It is a very effective way to clean the shaver if you don’t have the cleaning dock. However, if you do have the dock, then we recommend that you use it for cleaning. It is the best way to clean it and is more effortless.

One last thing about the cleaning dock. It is a bit noisier than the cleaning dock of the Panasonic and Philips. However, the noise produced is still bearable and shouldn’t be an issue.

Our Verdict

The Braun Series 7 790cc-4 delivers a clean, close and comfortable shave that is comparable to more expensive shavers. If you don’t have the money to buy the more expensive, newer models out there, this is, in every way, a highly capable alternative to the high-end luxury models.

We still regard the Series 7 as one of the best electric shavers on the market today even though it’s been six years since it first came to the market. This review shows that the Braun Series 7 790cc-4 talks the talk and walks the walk.


Our Rating:       4.8 / 5

User Rating:         4.9 / 5

Rank: 1st in Men’s Electric Razors

Pros

  • A smooth and close shaver
  • Comfortable to hold in hand
  • A high quality long lasting shaver
  • Automatically adapts to the thickness of your beard
  • Has an excellent cleaning and charging dock

Cons

  • Vibration is a bit on the loud side
  • Head-lock mechanism a little flimsy

Verdict:

The high-quality build of the Braun Series 7 790cc-4, combined with the excellent shaving performance it offers, has made it a favorite shaver of the people since its launch in 2010. It is the best electric shaver for those looking for a little bit more affordable shaver with high-end performance. This shaver talks the talk and walks the walk

User Reviews

Here is what a couple of people who bought this shaver have had to say about it.

I like everything about this shaver. Best shave I’ve ever had. I tossed my old shaver in the trash. My face is now as smooth as a baby’s butt every time I shave. It’s well worth the money     …Ted Rohr

I’ve had the Braun Series 7 shaver for 6 years now and I still love it. It still shaves great and I’ve only had to replace the foils/cutters two times in the 6 years. It handles my thick beard with ease. Great shaver       …Jonah Smith

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