Test and Review: Foil electric shaver Braun Series 3 3030s

Pros
  • Price-performance ratio
  • A working trimmer
  • Battery and AC power
Cons
  • Badly shaves longer beards and neck
  • Very short power cord
Total rating
3.4/5

If you are looking for a Series 1, stop and think about your decision properly. Series 3 is significantly more advanced, although the price difference between the two series does not suggest it at first glance. The Braun Series 3 3030s is a great entry-level model for those with finer beard types.

Datum poslední aktualizace
Published: 12/31/2017
Datum poslední aktualizace
Last update: 08/01/2022
Table of contents
Braun Series 3 3030s
  • Price-performance ratio
  • A working trimmer
  • Battery and AC power
Rating
3.4/5

In this review, we bring you a look at the upgraded Braun Series 3 3030s, which has been given a new look and really offers a lot with its price tag. What's it all about? Our test will answer your questions. If you're more curious, drop your question in the comments below.

Accessories

Braun Series 3 3030s offers accessories that match its inclusion in the manufacturer's portfolio and its price. Fortunately, not in terms of quality, but in terms of quantity and variety. I will comfort you by saying that the most important equipment elements you expect, you also get. The package includes:

  • Braun Series 3 3030s foil shaver,
  • protective cover,
  • charging cable,
  • plug,
  • user manual.
Braun Series 3 3030s Package Contents
Braun Series 3 3030s Package Contents

Accessories are one area where you'll see differences between the other Series 3 models. Some Series 3 models are offered with a travel case and charging stand. The 3050cc model, as the name suggests, includes a cleaning and charging station, bringing it slightly closer to higher-end models such as the Braun Series 9 9290cc.

Features of the Braun Series 3 3030s shaver

You'll be aware that the 303030s isn't the highlight of the Braun range. But it still surprises with its features. Other versions of the Series 3 even offer a cleaning and charging station.

Three-Element Shaving Head

The days when a razor head contained a single foil are long gone. Today, even lower-end models have sophisticated solutions:

Braun Series 3 3030s Three-Spring Shaver Head
Braun Series 3 3030s Three-Spring Shaver Head
  • Braun Series 3 3030s has two foil shaving elements(which it calls SensoFoil by default). The perforation is hexagonal, as is standard with the Braun brand. This shape captures more beard because it uses the surface of the foil very efficiently (more on perforation and beard capture later in the review).
  • The middle element is used to capture and shave problem beards. That is, those that are too long to be captured by the blade or those that are adhering to the skin. The white plastic edge (MicroComb) is used to better guide the beard directly into the trimmer. This feature is very similar to those seen in train ships (e.g.:HyperLift & Cut, which features Braun Series 9 9290cc)

All three elements of the shaving head are movable in the sense of up, down and also left and right (axis in the middle of each element).

Swivel elements of the shaving head ensure constant contact with the skin
Swivel elements of the shaving head ensure constant contact with the skin

You'll appreciate the flexibility of the shaving head when it comes to shaving the curves of your face. The Series 3 maintained contact and was able to conform to the contours of your face on both the jaw and chin. Considering that the shaver is a foil shaver and also considering the price of the shaver, this is a good result.

The design of the shaving head also prevents you from putting too much pressure on the razor or your face. The risk of the razor burning or otherwise injuring you is minimal.

A closer look at the foil shows that the holes are not identical. Some of the holes are smaller, others larger. Not regular hexagons. Braun claims that this arrangement is ideal in terms of the best possible shave. I don't know how this variety of shapes works. In my opinion, the smaller holes don't catch the whiskers that the larger ones do and vice versa. Ultimately, however, there can be no complaints about the thoroughness of the shave. Interestingly, only the Braun brand uses this irregular pattern on its electric shavers. Philips and Remington, for example, use regular patterns. If irregular is any better, why wouldn't other brands use it? So it's hard to gauge what the real benefit is of this type of pattern, which is also used by the higher end Braun models.

Where to buy Braun Series 3 3030s
Obsah balení Braun Series 3 3030s
Rating
3.4/5

Indication of shaving head replacement

Braun Series 3 3030s activates a timer to indicate the need for head replacement after the first use of the shaver. After 18 months you will be reminded by a subtle light indication on the panel. And how to replace the shaving head? Simply grasp the shaving head at the sides, where it has grooves for this purpose, and pull upwards.

Long press the power button for 5s to restart the timer to indicate a shaving head change. Personally, I would have preferred a travel lock function instead of this feature. However, the off button is quite stiff to press and so there were no accidental switching on during the time I used the razor.

Spare Parts

The replacement shaving head is marked 32B. You can also use the 32S, which is compatible. The only difference between the 32B and 32S is the black and silver colour respectively. These are all the "spare parts" you will need for your shaver. If you need to replace another part, consider using the warranty.

Smart Plug

A feature that will be especially appreciated by travelers. Its charm lies in the fact that the shaver adapter can be connected to all the voltage outlets you will normally encounter in the world. If the output is in the 100 - 240V range the adapter will automatically adjust and you don't have to worry about a thing. However, do not expect a universal plug or reducer.

Quality of workmanship and ergonomics

The Series 3 is sure to impress with its looks. As you might expect with an updated model, it's attractive (but you'll have to answer that question mostly for yourself). The first and most important thing is the grip of the machine. There are many things to learn from the Series 3. The rubberized surface around the perimeter of the shaver gives you a sure grip, even if your hands are covered in shaving foam.

Braun Series 3 3030s Minimalist Front
Braun Series 3 3030s Minimalist Front

The front of the machine isn't complicated, you'll find a single button. Its function? Turn off/on, which probably won't surprise you. However, the button also allows you to restart the timer that alerts you when you need to change the shaving head, as mentioned in the previous part of the review. Below the main button, we find an indicator that gives you an approximate idea of how much energy you have left.

More information about the panel is included later in the review.

The last thing you should pay attention to is the indicator light for changing the shaving head, this is located below the Braun logo and is orange in color. On the bottom you'll find a charging connector where you can connect the cable directly or charge the razor in the stand, depending on your preference. If you flip the machine over you'll see an extendable trimmer that covers almost the entire back of the Series 3. The trimmer extends by pressing the button in the middle and pulling it towards the shaver head.

The feeling of extending the trimmer is more than pleasant, you may catch yourself playing with the trimmer.

When you slide out the trimmer, you will see the certification mark according to the relevant European standards and also the IPX7 standard. It doesn't escape the observant eye that the shaver is made in China, which is typical of Braun's lower model lines. The higher ranges are manufactured in the home country of Germany. Personally I don't see any problem with this, it's mainly a subjective matter.

Where to buy Braun Series 3 3030s
Obsah balení Braun Series 3 3030s
Rating
3.4/5

Battery life and charging

The power cord won't surprise you. In the package, you'll find an identical cable to the Series 5, 7 and 9. The charging adapter can work with voltages from 100 to 240V (AC). Which simply means you can charge the Braun Series 3 3030s anywhere in the world. Provided, of course, that you have a compatible plug or adapter.

As a negative feature, I rate the spiral design of the power cord. The spiral makes the power cord very short. The result is the shortest power cord on the shaver market. For many of you, this won't be a problem. For individuals who have the nearest plug further away from a mirror or "shaving" station, this will be bad news. It's a shame, especially when the shaver allows you to shave while charging.

However, spiral-shaped power cords should no longer be supplied. Be sure and check the packaging before purchasing.

The charging process is indicated by a green LED on the front of the shaver, which flashes until the battery is fully charged. Charging the Ni-MH battery takes approximately 1 hour. Braun specifies a battery life of 45 minutes. How many shaves you can manage in that time depends on the density of your beard, of course, and also on your dexterity. Personally, I managed to shave within 5 minutes, approximately 11 times on a single charge.

The quoted battery life of 45 minutes is realistic!

The front panel with charge indication is represented by three segments representing 33% of the battery. When fully charged, all segments are lit and gradually go out. If the battery is completely depleted, the machine will alert you by changing the colour of the segment from green to red.

If the Braun 3030s has a completely dead battery and you're in a hurry, just plug it into the mains for 5 minutes, giving you 3 minutes of shaving time. I definitely don't recommend this use, but sometimes you don't get to choose. However, the Braun 3030s can be used while charging or plugged in, you won't be as mobile, but it's nice to know you have that option as well.

Shaving

Now it's time to take a fully charged shaver for a proper test run. I tested this razor along with three other colleagues for 3 months. So all observations summarize the collective experience we gained during this time. We have already dedicated a section to ergonomics, however, we all agree that the Braun Series 3 3030s fits beautifully in the palm of the hand. Your fingers naturally hug the curves of the shaver, and your thumb usually falls just above the off button.

Braun bet on years of tried-and-true ergonomics with minimal changes, and it paid off. When you switch on the machine, you're greeted with a beep, as you'd expect from an electric shaver. Thankfully, the sound isn't as loud as, say, the Series 9.

Comfort

With two-day stubble, the clipper glides smoothly over the face, like most electric clippers. Longer beards pose a problem for the Braun 3030s. At best, the machine will just skip longer beards. At worst, it will cause you unpleasant pain by pulling on your beard without trimming it.

Where to buy Braun Series 3 3030s
Obsah balení Braun Series 3 3030s
Rating
3.4/5

If your beard is longer than the stubble, then I strongly suggest you use a trimmer first and trim the beard. This will avoid the pain of shaving.

Once you have shaved your beard to a length that the shaver has no problem with. It makes shaving hassle-free. The cheeks, chin, under nose area and jawline are nothing that the Braun Series 3 has a problem with. The most problematic area for the 3030s is the neck. To achieve a close shave of the neck, it is often necessary to go through the machine several times. After multiple passes, you may also end up with red spots (caused by irritation) on your neck.

The neck is a problematic area, especially because beards often grow in different directions and adhere to the skin on it. However, some individuals have this type of beard in areas other than the neck. And it is this type of beard that the Braun Series 3 can handle with great difficulty.

Multiple shaving in different directions is no guarantee that this type of beard will really be captured by the razor.

So if your beard grows in different directions and clings to your skin, you should avoid this razor.

If you don't have a messy beard, the 3030s shaves you reasonably satisfactorily. It's not the shortest shave you can expect from an electric shaver, but it's the kind of shave that even  more expensive shavers will offer. The competition from Philips is comparable in this price range. Both Philips and Braun roll the competition in the form of the Remington Smart Edge.

  • Are you transitioning from wet shaving? Then you probably won't be dazzled with the thoroughness of your shave.
  • Are you transitioning from an older or cheaper model shaver? Then the Braun Series 3 3030s will make you happy. 

What about wet shaving? Unfortunately you can't use this model with gel or foam. Instead, it can be used with the cord attached. Don't despair though, the Series 3 models with Wet & Dry functionality are generally not at a level that makes for a more thorough shave than dry shaving. The shaver glides better over the skin, but that's where the benefits of using shaving foam end.

Trimmer

The Trimmer aspires to be the best of the Braun range of electric shavers, until you find out why it isn't.

The trimmer is hilarious on the Braun 3030s
The trimmer is hilarious on the Braun 3030s

The trimmer head on the Braun Series 3 3030s is the widest of any model in the lineup. The size of the trimmer allows comfortable trimming of, for example, beards or even hair. However, size is at the expense of precision. If you plan to use the Series 3 to trim detailed areas such as: moustache, beard and sideburns, it will take some practice. The nice thing is that the trimmer protrudes above the shaving head, so you can see the area you're working with. A detail, but a nice one.

While using the trimmer, I felt quite a bit of confidence in trimming the area as I required. However, if you have a trimmer as a standalone device, the one built into the shaver probably won't outperform it.

Where to buy Braun Series 3 3030s
Obsah balení Braun Series 3 3030s
Rating
3.4/5

I was surprised, however, by the good ability to trim close-fitting beards. During the course of the test, there were a few times when using the trimmer that I accidentally inserted the trimmer and it clipped the skin of my palm on the underside of the trimmer. This is a rather painful issue that made me want to dismiss the entire Series 3. But not everything is about the trimmer. If you're careful, you'll learn to live with this one too.

Cleaning and Maintenance

How do I keep my Braun Series 3 3030s in good shape? The lack of a cleaning station won't surprise anyone, the IPX7 certification might. The shaver is waterproof up to 5 meters. Maintenance under running water is therefore a matter of course. But there are more maintenance options, albeit fairly standard ones. Cleaning under water If you clean the shaver with water regularly, I recommend you also lubricate it occasionally. Once a week or every third wash should be fine.

  • Submerge the shaver under hot running water. You can wash the head with non-abrasive soap. After rinsing thoroughly, wait a few seconds.
  • After turning off the shaver, just remove the cartridge and let it dry, or wash the inside as well.

Brush cleaning

  • Turn off the shaver and remove the cartridge. You can "shake it out".
  • Using the supplied brush, get rid of the dirt from the shaving head, but do not try to clean the foil and the inside of the cartridge, due to their complexity you could damage these parts.

Combined Maintenance This is the type of cleaning I personally prefer to do. After cleaning with water and drying the razor, I fine-tune the details with a brush. The maintenance method you choose is of course up to you.

Conclusion - who is the Braun Series 3 3030s for?

Braun Series 3 sets an enticing price tag. It promises a lot, and it delivers on much of its promise. It's not perfect, and it's a far cry from the performance provided by the flagship models of electric shaver manufacturers. However, it is the best foil shaver you can buy in this price range. The differences between the Series 3 and the Series 1 are huge, both in terms of razor features and build quality. However, the price difference between these series is far less than how the devices ultimately perform and what they offer you.

If you are considering purchasing a machine from the Series 1 series, reconsider your decision. The Braun Series 3 3030s is a great entry into the world of electric shavers. If you gift it to your teenage son, he will surely be grateful for a long time.

Braun Series 3 3030s
  • Shave quality
  • Built quality
  • Battery
  • Value
3.4

Ticket to the world of electric shavers

If you are looking for a Series 1, stop and think about your decision properly. Series 3 is significantly more advanced, although the price difference between the two series does not suggest it at first glance. The Braun Series 3 3030s is a great entry-level model for those with finer beard types.

Pros

  • Price-performance ratio
  • A working trimmer
  • Battery and AC power

Cons

  • Badly shaves longer beards and neck
  • Very short power cord
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Test and Review: Foil electric shaver Braun Series 3 3030s
Braun Series 3 3030s
Rating: 3.4/5
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