Oral-B Genius X full review
Oral-B isn’t the first company to claim to have packed artificial intelligence into a toothbrush - and like most of the others, it’s really stretching the term to get away with it - but that doesn’t change the fact that on first impressions the Oral-B Genius X is one of the most impressive smart toothbrushes we’ve seen yet.
The Genius X takes advantage of data recorded from the brushing habits of thousands of people to better recognise brushing habits and techniques and give you surprisingly accurate real-time feedback on where you’re brushing - and how well.
Price and availability
The Genius X doesn’t come out until July, which means there’s a little while to wait, so don’t throw away your current brush just yet.
Pricing hasn’t been confirmed, but we can make an educated guess. The Oral-B Genius 9000 has an RRP of £300, so the Genius X will likely sit at a similar point, if not slightly higher. Bear in mind though that most retailers tend to discount high-end electric brushes heavily, so you probably won’t actually ever need to pay that much. Keep an eye on our round-up of electric toothbrush deals if you want to pick up an older model for cheap.
Smart toothbrushes have been around for a few years, but Oral-B seems to have a fairly good claim to having made the smartest one yet.
The Genius X doesn’t really have proper AI, of course, but instead Oral-B has used machine learning to train the brush - or to be more precise, the accompanying app - on thousands of users’ diverse brushing styles.
The idea is that no matter how you hold the brush, which order you brush in, or how you angle your head, the Genius X will still be able to tell which region of your mouth you’re brushing at any given time, using a combination of internal gyroscopes and the app’s algorithm.
Other brushes can already do this of course, and up until now Oral-B was lagging behind - the previous Genius brushes all required you to prop up your phone to use its camera to monitor your brushing - but none are as accurate and responsive as the Genius X seemed in my first test.
No matter how I moved the brush or my head around, it quickly caught where it was and updated the on-screen graphic. What’s even more impressive is that unlike similar devices from Philips and other rivals, the app doesn’t tell you which part of your mouth to brush when (giving it a helping hand in figuring out where your brush is likely to be), so it’s figuring it out purely thanks to gyroscopic data and machine learning smarts.
At the end of each brushing session you’ll get a score based on how long you brushed for, how consistently you covered every part of your mouth, and whether you used too much pressure, along with tips on how to do better next time.
Elsewhere, the brush is about what you’d expect from a top-end Oral-B brush: there’s a range of colours, fancy customisable lights to let you know when to move to the next section of your mouth, and a range of different brushing modes like whitening or tongue care.
Plus there’s a fancy new travel case which Oral-B says will not only charge the brush, but also has a port to charge other USB devices - like your phone - which could be handy while travelling.
Smart toothbrushes tend to over-promise and under-deliver, so I’m sceptical about heaping too much praise on the Genius X until we’ve tested it more.
But after one brushing session I’m cautiously impressed. Tracking seemed more accurate than any other smart brush so far, with feedback at the end that really seemed like it might be useful - all in the sort of premium package you’d expect from a brush at this level.