Braun Series-5 5090cc
Cordless Men’s Razor
Cordless Men’s Razor
The series sits in a pretty tough spot when you think about it. It’s right on the line between the midrange and the high-end. Until the new series-9 razors arrived it was the series-7 units that were the cream of the crop. Which means the series-5 shavers were basically one bump away from being the “best”.
The pricing also makes this awkward. Only a few dollars separate this series-5 razor from the series-3 units. No doubt this is why we see such frequent discounts on the series-3 units, but unless the prices permanently change I have to consider the recommended retail price to be the one used in my decision making. In fact, this does not help the series-5 at all, since from my point of view the series-3 is even better value with a steep discount against a price nearly as much as the series-5. Honestly, Braun has got itself in trouble here, but that’s enough of that. Let’s look at the razor itself.
Red on Black
I’m a fan of combining red and black. So from a color perspective the 5090cc is appealing to me, especially with the well-chosen metallic accents. What I don’t like is the actual shape of the design, which seems somehow outdated; a bit old-timey barbershop. There’s nothing objectively bad about this and, of course, to many people this will be an appealing bonus, but based on looks alone I would probably search elsewhere. Luckily I’m not quite that shallow.
Like the series-3 razor I also review elsewhere on the site, the 5090cc is labeled as the “Official Electric Shaver of the NFL”. I find this curious. Does it mean some people get the lower end models and some get the better ones? If all the Braun shavers are officially endorsed by the NFL I doubt any of the well-heeled players would opt for anything but a series-9. Honestly I don’t understand marketing people sometimes.
The big feature here is the FlexMotionTec (marketing people again) which is basically just a lame way of saying that you can manually set the heat position for specific areas of your face or let the head float freely and adjust itself.
The motor has also received a 20% power bump compared to its predecessor, so Braun says thicker hair is no less of an issue. Like the series-3 that costs just a little less, the 5090cc has three cutting elements, each with their own independent suspension.
Also like the cheaper series-3, there is a system that guides hairs into the right direction and feeds them to the cutting elements. Oh, and there’s a pop-out trimmer. Then again do I even have to say that at for this market segment?
As you’d expect at this section of the range, the 5090cc is completely waterproof. Then again, so is the series-3 right below it. Still not making a case to buy this one over that, Braun.
Finally, here I find the first serious incentive to get this over the little brother – the cleaning station. I first saw this included with the superlative top-end series-9 razor, but the cleaning station is a very cool innovation. When you are done with your shave, you simply put the razor head-first into the cleaning station and it both charges it and cleans it using a proprietary alcohol-based solution from Braun. Of course this means there’s an additional consumable to worry about and for Braun to sell, but this is still one of the best bundled accessories I’ve seen and I really like it. When you also factor in the station, the series-3 looks way less attractive at even half the price.
Filler ‘Er Up
This is a lithium-ion powered unit and you get 45 minutes of shaving off a full charge. That’s an extra two shaves on top of the minimum seven any decent razor should offer. It also only takes one hour to charge fully. I’m pretty stoked by modern razors that can fully charge in so little time. Seriously, needing a whole night to charge fully is just ridiculous at this point. The 5090cc also has a five minute quick charge feature. Five minutes of charging gives you five minutes of shaving. Perfect for an emergency.
It’s also important to note that this razor has automatic international voltage adjustment. You can also use it corded. These sorts of features justify the premium positioning of the 5090cc.
So what do customers have to say? While on paper the 5090cc doesn’t have all that much to differentiate it from the series-3 razors, clearly the actual performance of the product is far better.
With the series-3 I saw many complaints about shaving quality and plenty of little irritations that are polished out in this higher-end model. Everything about the 5090cc is aimed at minimizing your frustration. From cleaning it to charging it to using it, everything works just a bit better than you expect. It accomplishes all of this without coming across as being over-engineered the way the series-9 does. Don’t get me wrong, I love the series-9 flagship, but at triple the price it is pretty hard to recommend it in any way.
I have seen a tiny minority of complaints that people with coarser hair or naturally thick beards can have a really unpleasant time with ripping and tugging. For the most part, however, the response is overwhelmingly positive.
Should I Stay or Should I Go?
I’m pretty convinced that in the entire Braun range and possibly the overall foil-shaver upper-mid range this is the one to go for. It has all the premium features from the series-7 and series-9 products that really matter, with none of the serious negatives from the series-3. The price is very reasonable and look, I’m placing my order right now. You should too.