OralB Io 9s, mini review

The OralB Io 9s does a really good job, and the idea behind the app is great, connecting stinks though, and the case is trash.

Updated 2021-06-04 with a little more on the app, at the bottom app bugs section….

Updated 2021-07-13 with workaround on bug….

 

The idea of the app is fine and the detection of what teeth that have been brushed, and how much works really well.
So an excellent helper in guiding people to an even brushing result, neither brushing too little nor too much.

It also includes tracking of whether you press too hard and for how long.
The brush gives a real time feedback on the pressure by Red in the ring if too much, White if too little and Green if adequate. This works best if you brush your teeth in front of a bathroom mirror. Or in a room with dampened light so the brush lights up things.
Here a screenshot from the app advertisement

I have only tried it trice (yet), but my impression is that it does a really good job with the “ultimate” head provided. It should be quite similar to the classic “CrossAction” head. Personally my favourite classic head is the “FlossAction” head. Something like that is not (currently?) offered for the Io series.
Maybe it is the way I brush, but to get all areas in the app lighting up ‘white’. I do need more like 2½-3 minutes than the standard 2 min.

The charging base is really neat with a magnetic hold, and easy to clean. A bit heavy (160g), but not that bad, and some weight is needed to not have the 140g brush tip over..

Note how they cleverly added three small ‘pins’ on the underside, that is for disassembling the brush for say battery replacement.

Nice little detail. 🙂
(The laser etching at the bottom leaves a rather non-smooth surface, but that is fairly easily remedied with a nail, though at that price range I expected better finish)

The odd looking grey plastic upside down udder is a stand for heads, not currently in use here.

 

 

So much for he roses…. Now for the thorns….

The connection really stinks as it forgets the brush after you close the app, so whenever you open the app to brush your teeth you will need to

  • turn on location,
  • click the power button on the brush
  • accept that, yes, this is still your brush
  • turn off location

and yes you will have to do this every time you want to brush your teeth!!! (unless you keep their app open all the time, and within range, assuming you do not need you phone for any other purposes… )

This is just a case of bad coding! e.g. the Huawei Health app only need location on for the FIRST BT connect, or if you want to add a new device (watch, band, …).
Even the Husqvarna AMC app for my Automower (that is not a good app) does a better job here….

Oh and the app hangs are very slow opening if there are no connection to the internet. Very clever if you are on a holiday in a cabin out in the wild… ADD well it turns out it does not really hang, it just retries for a very very long time, rather than starting by asking the system if connection is available….

They offer a prolonged guarantee to 3 years. 🙂 Obviously(!) that does not work from within the app, but you need to a open a webform, and create an account, that is NOT associated with the one you can create from within the app…. 🙄

Currently they offer 300DKr cashback (roughly £30) until the end of June. Again not available from within the app – you need to cut the case and send by snail mail – yes seriously, in 2021…. Here the Danish pdf. I guess they hope that by making it so cumbersome some of us wont bother….
As the 300DKr is very close to the retail price of a quad-pack of heads, it would have been so much simpler to just send a free quad-pack of heads after registration.

The transport case is extremely bulky, and yet only holds one head. It also doubles as a charger BUT the power is provided by a proprietary plug charger (not USB) you would also have to bring along.
So simply ignore this garbage, and use any cardboard tube or what ever you got that fits, and if you are on a longer trip bring the nice normal charger stand. Still lighter and more compact than the silly case+power.

The classic heads had coloured rings to identify which head was yours, A simple and ingenious solution. They have replaced this with some fixed almost invisible roughly 2×2mm icons. I would never be able to spot that triangle without my glasses in the morning…..

Luckily I do not need to share the brush with others.
There are twelve different miniatures so you would have to take one of the spares with a symbol not used by any other in the family. There must have been an Architect involved in designing such a useless system…. Did they even give it a use test with real people? But I guess they will quickly improve it with less minute symbols. Or you would have to draw or carve in some visible markers….

The Ultimate heads can be delivered in black or white, so that might help for a pair with no kids. The other available head “SensitiveGums” only exists in white – for some reason.

 

Minor app bugs.

The app, to put it kindly, has something left to be desired….
Apart from the above severe connection bug, the brush does not seem to sync an “unguided” brushing for later analyse?? And often completely ignores it not even registering the duration.
This MUST be an app bug, I can hardly imagine in 2021 that the brush does not have the memory needed to save the last few sessions. And it did transfer the duration a few times, so at the least that sometimes work…. 🙄
Update 2021-07-13 I found a workaround. After turning on location and starting the app, Lift/move the brush so something happens in the display and WAIT!. Do NOT start brushing until the ring has flashed blue, this usually takes about 5 sec. If you start brushing the un-synced unguided sessions are just thrown away.

The app can also get confused and register the same brushing as both guided and unguided (see the very first doublet 10:53 below)

A minor confusion on the graph: For each day the sessions are shown in reverse order. (i.e. evening BEFORE morning – did anyone test this app before release?)
And if you stay up a little late and brush after midnight it is placed on the next day. Strictly technically not wrong, but let me be kind and call it unexpected… 🙄
ADD (Been in contact with their technical support, and they say that until 0300 is supposed to be handled as the previous day – does not work though, neither guided nor unguided)

I just tried to connect here Friday around noon, and for neither yesterday evening nor this morning the unguided brushing has been registered.

 

Turn OFF during travels

Though I found nothing in the manual on turning the brush off, it is fairly easy to do. Simply hold the power button for some ten seconds. (press again to turn on)
As the brush is activated/woken by movements, I will recommend to turn it off while travelling longer distances. Especially if your trip is likely to be of a duration that will be pushing the stamina of the brush and you can not easily charge it. (e.g. on several days hike with the brush in a back pack)
No need to bother if you are just away for the weekend, with a few hours travelling, and the Brush is charged.

 

Links to detailed review

For a thorough balanced compare with the Philips competitor check this, that also links to a review.