Philips Norelco 3500 Review: Electric Shaver S3212/82

The Philips Norelco 3500 (Series 3000) is one of the most popular mid-range electric razors.

Presented as a budget-friendly shaver that provides close and comfortable shaves, the Philips 3500 (S3212/82) appears to be a reliable choice for those seeking a decent rotary shaver at an affordable price.

Nevertheless, like any product, it has its strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, in this Philips Norelco 3500 review, we will thoroughly examine all the crucial aspects to help you in determining whether it suits your preferences and needs.

Philips Norelco Shaver 3500 S3212/82, Storm Gray, 1 Count
  • 5D Pivot & Flex Heads Enjoy a clean shave that follows your face’s contours with 5-directional pivot, flex and floating movements. The head reaches your face at the ideal angle and adjusts to the curves of your face and neck, creating smooth contact with your skin.
  • Get a convenient dry shave or a refreshing wet shave with gel or foam, even in the shower. Wet or dry for a convenient dry or refreshing wet shave
  • ComfortCut Blades engineered to glide smoothly over skin Get a clean shave that’s comfortable on your skin. Rounded blade caps shield 27 self-sharpening blades to gently cut hair just above skin level and help the shaver glide smoothly over your skin.
  • Pop-up trimmer for mustache and sideburns. Finish your look with the built-in trimmer. It’s ideal for maintaining your mustache and trimming your sideburns.
  • 60 minutes of cordless shaving from a 1-hour charge Shave for up to 60 minutes on a 1-hour charge – that’s about 20 shaves – with the powerful Li-ion battery. A 5-minute quick charge gives enough power for one shave. Operates in cordless mode only.

Features overview

ComfortCut Self-sharpening Blades:


All Philips Series 3000 shavers have ComfortCut blades, which are sharp and comfortable for efficient shaving.

These blades have rounded edges to prevent irritation, nicks, and cuts.

However, the new Philips 3500 shaver uses self-sharpening blades, which retain sharpness longer and provide consistent performance. I prefer self-sharpening blades over regular steel blades for this reason.

5-D Pivoting Head:

Philips 3500 5D Pivot & Flex Head

In the new Philips 3500 shaver, the upgraded pivoting head flexes in 5 directions to adapt to contours, offering good flexibility for its price range.

However, compared to premium pivoting heads, it’s not the most flexible option, and the older Series 3000 shavers had a 4-directional head, less adaptive to facial curves, limiting its precision in shaving.

Pop-up trimmer:


Philips Series 3000 shavers come with a built-in pop-up trimmer for precision trimming and detailing.

It’s an useful feature in the shaver to make final touches for accomplished shaves. It’s ideal for maintaining your mustache and trimming your sideburns.

Power Source:

The Philips Norelco 3500 is a cordless shaver with a Lithium-ion rechargeable battery that gives you 60 minutes of cordless shaving time after a 1-hour charge.

It outperforms all previous Series 3000 shavers and matches premium models like the Philips Series 9000 and Series 7000, offering the same 60-minute backup.

Moreover, a 5-minute quick charge provides enough power for a full shave, making it an excellent option for cordless backup.

Fully Waterproof:


The Philips Norelco 3500 is fully waterproof and it allows you to clean with direct running water.

In addition, the new Philips Series 3000 shaver comes with one-touch-open head technology. The one-touch button allows me to open the head housing easily to rinse.

It’s a very new technology in the new generation Philips shavers that is really very useful I found.

Wet & dry Shave:


The Philips Series 3000 shaver 3500 is 100% waterproof, so I can use it while showering, which is quite uncommon for an affordable shaver.

Additionally, it allows both wet & dry shaving, and I had great results using it with shaving gel for refreshing shaves. This means you can have wet shaves with your preferred shaving liquid or opt for quick-dry shaves.

Battery Indicator:

The intuitive indicator shows the remaining charge in 3 stages, allowing you to easily check if the battery is low, charging, or quick charging.

Build quality and ergonomics

The new Philips Norelco 3500 shaver has a storm gray and black color combination, unlike the older versions. It features an anti-slip rubber grip for a comfortable and secure handle, and the built-in soft rubber feels luxurious.

The reliable built quality of the head section accommodates 27 ComfortCut blades and flexible head technology, though not as precise as premium shavers.

The one-click head chamber opening is adorable, making cleaning easier compared to older models. Additionally, the larger battery addresses the previous versions’ battery issues.

The shaver includes a typical popup trimmer and a useful 3-stage LED display showing charging progress, battery power, and quick charge.

Overall, I liked the new Philips Series 3000’s 3500 model for its built quality and affordability.

Battery life and charging

philips 3500 battery indicator

The Philips Norelco 3500 has a Li-ion battery that provides more than 60 minutes of cordless use, which is quite impressive. In real life, the razor’s battery life is solid and should last for around two weeks of cordless shaving, depending on your routine.

If the battery is completely drained and you’re in a hurry, you have the option to quick-charge it for just 5 minutes. Being a Li-ion type, it won’t overcharge and affect its long-term performance, ensuring durability.

Compared to other similar Philips shavers that take 8 hours to charge completely, the 3500 only needs around one hour to charge, which is much faster and convenient.

Cleaning and maintenance

Cleaning this razor is effortless – just pop the shaver head open and rinse it under running water.

You can also use the included brush for cleaning, especially the inside of the head unit and hair chamber, but I find a simple rinse with warm tap water more effective.

Periodically, it’s essential to clean each rotary blade and comb more thoroughly to prevent grime and dirt buildup. For this, you’ll need to take apart the shaving unit, but be sure to follow the user’s manual and only clean one head at a time to avoid mixing the blades and combs.

The blades and combs are matching pairs, and mixing them will affect the shaver’s performance.

Shaving performance

Philips Norelco 3500 Shaver S3212-82

As a wet/dry shaver, I tried the Philips Norelco 3500 both wet and dry to test its shaving efficiency.

In dry conditions, it provided a pretty close shave, but I needed more passes compared to premium shavers to achieve the desired result. The wet shaving performance was equally efficient, which is impressive for its price range.

For 1-2 day beards, this shaver handled them effortlessly, even some premium shavers struggle with longer beards. It worked well for a 3-day beard too, but might not be as effective for longer beards.

Related: Best Beard & Body Hair Trimmer

While it gave irritation-free results, it wasn’t as comfortable as premium comfort ring technology blades.

For regular shaves, it’s comfortable enough, but if you have very sensitive skin, you might want to avoid this shaver.

The popup trimmer performed well for its intended job, but it can’t handle longer hairs to create stubble – that’s not its purpose.

In conclusion, the Philips Series 3000 shaver proved to be pretty efficient in its duty.

Replacement parts

Just as the other models in the Series 3000 range, the Philips 3500 (S3212/82) uses the SH30 shaving heads.

These parts are widely available and quite reasonably priced, especially when compared to the competition.

Philips Norelco Genuine SH30/52 Shaving Heads Compatible with Norelco Shaver Series 1000, 2000, 3000 and 5000X and Rounded
  • Within one year your shaver heads cut 4.5 million hairs on your face
  • Genuine ComfortCut shaving heads made in the Netherlands
  • For maximum shaving performance, it is recommended to replace your shaving head once every 12 months
  • Replacement Heads for Series 3000, 2000, 1000 and Click & Style
  • Includes 3 shaving heads

Philips recommends changing the shaving heads every year, but depending on how you use the shaver you may need to replace them sooner or later than that.

The 3500 also has an indicator that will signal you to replace the heads after approximately one year.

Philips Norelco 3500 FAQs

Q: What are the key features of the Philips Norelco Shaver 3500?

A: The Philips Norelco 3500, part of the Series 3000, is a rechargeable wet & dry electric shaver that comes with a pop-up trimmer and a convenient storage pouch. Its key features include a ComfortCut blade system, 5-directional pivot heads, 60 minutes of cordless shaving with a 1-hour charge, and OneClick open-head technology for easy cleaning.

Q: How do I use the Philips Norelco Shaver 3500?

A: To use the shaver, simply turn it on and glide it smoothly over your skin. You can use it for dry shaving or wet shaving with your favorite shaving gel or foam. The pop-up trimmer is great for precision trimming and detailing. After use, you can easily clean the shaver by opening the head and rinsing it under running water.

Q: What are the benefits of the ComfortCut blade system in this shaver?

A: The ComfortCut blade system with rounded edges ensures a comfortable and irritation-free shaving experience. It delivers close shaves without nicks or cuts, making it suitable for sensitive skin.

Q: Can the Philips Norelco 3500 handle longer beards?

A: Yes, the shaver can handle 1-2 day beards without any hassle and can also shave 3-day beards effectively. However, it might show limitations with longer beards, and multiple passes might be needed.

Q: Is the Philips Norelco 3500 suitable for sensitive skin?

A: While the shaver provides irritation-free results, it might not be as comfortable as premium comfort ring technology blades. For regular shaves, it’s comfortable enough, but if you have very sensitive skin, you might want to consider your options carefully.

Q: Can I quick-charge the shaver if the battery is low and I’m in a hurry?

A: Yes, the shaver features a quick-charge option. A 5-minute quick charge can provide enough power for a single shave, making it convenient for urgent situations.

Q: Is the Philips Norelco Shaver 3500 easy to clean?

A: Absolutely! Cleaning the shaver is a breeze. Simply pop the shaver head open and rinse it under running water. You can also use the included brush for alternate cleaning, but a simple rinse with warm tap water is usually effective.

Q: How does the Philips Norelco 3500 compare to other shavers on the market?

A: The Philips Norelco Shaver 3500 offers a solid shaving performance and comes with several convenient features at an affordable price. While it may not match the precision of some premium shavers, it provides great value for money and is a reliable choice for regular shavers.

Q: Any maintenance tips to ensure the shaver’s longevity?

A: To maintain the shaver’s performance, it’s recommended to clean the shaver head regularly as instructed in the manual. Additionally, follow the manual’s guidance on replacing blades and combs when necessary. This will help keep the shaver in top condition for longer use.

Philips Norelco 3500 Pros & Cons

What we liked

  • Gives comfortable and refreshing shave
  • Wet or dry use
  • A waterproof machine
  • Impressively easy to use
  • 5D Pivot & Flex heads
  • ComfortCut blade system
  • 100% Washable

What didn’t like

  • Very few accessories
  • Not ideal for sensitive skin
  • Doesn’t shave as close as similarly priced foil shavers

Alternative shavers

The Philips 2300 offers a similar shaving experience as the 3500, using the same shaving heads. Despite being marketed as a dry-only shaver, it can still be cleaned with water. It also allows for corded use and is generally more budget-friendly than the 3500.

Philips Norelco Shaver 2300 Rechargeable Electric Shaver with PopUp Trimmer for male, Black, 1 Count, S1211/81
  • ComfortCut Blades, get a clean shave that’s comfortable on your skin. Rounded blade caps shield 27 self-sharpening blades to gently cut hair just above skin level and help the shaver glide smoothly over your skin
  • Experience a convenient, clean shave with heads that flex and float in 4 directions. The head adjusts to the curves of your face, ensuring smooth contact with your skin without a lot of pressure. 4D Flex Heads follow your face’s contours for a clean shave
  • Pop-up trimmer for mustache and sideburns. Finish your look with the built-in trimmer. Ideal for maintaining your mustache and trimming your sideburns.
  • One-touch open for easy cleaning. Experience a convenient clean shave with heads that flex and float in 4 directions. The head adjusts to the curves of your face, ensuring smooth contact with your skin without a lot of pressure.
  • 40 minutes of cordless shaving from an 8-hour charge – that’s about 13 shaves. Or plug it in for instant, continuous power.

However, one drawback is its longer charging time, taking over 6 hours to fully charge the battery. Nevertheless, its corded use capability compensates for this inconvenience.

For those interested in alternatives, a foil shaver like the Braun Series 3 can be a compelling option. It generally provides closer shaves and greater comfort, making it suitable for sensitive skin. Additionally, it’s reasonably priced and its shaving heads are durable.

Braun Electric Series 3 Razor with Precision Trimmer, Rechargeable, Wet & Dry Foil Shaver for Men, Blue/Black, 4 Piece
  • CLOSE, CLEAN SHAVE: 3 blade free floating system follows facial contours for a flawless finish and includes a middle trimmer to cut difficult hairs along with 2x SensoFoil shaving elements for ultimate closeness and skin comfort
  • CAPTURES MORE HAIR: Precision trimmer for accurate moustache and sideburn trimming, includes a specialized MicroComb designed to capture more hair in each stroke *compared to Braun series 3, tested on 3 day beards
  • BUILT TO LAST: Durable cordless electric shaver, lasting up to 7 years and designed for hair removal with water, foam or gel
  • CORDLESS BATTERY POWERED: Rechargable ni-mh battery that gives you 45 minutes of shave time (up to a week of shaves). 5 minute quick charge is enough for one shave
  • WHATS IN THE BOX: Braun Series 3 electric razor, protective cap, smart plug for automatic 100-240 voltage adjustment

Within the Braun Series 3, the 3040s model is often favored due to its balance of price and features.

Keep in mind that the Philips S3560/81 may not be available in Europe. In such cases, you can consider other models from the same Series 3000 line, like the S3580/06 or S3560/11, as their shaving performance will be identical.


While the Philips 3000 Series shaver has some limitations in terms of accessories and features, upgrading to a premium shaver will offer more options. However, the Philips Norelco 3500 is an excellent choice for men seeking an affordable electric shaver with wet/dry shaving and close results.

I found it efficient and well-equipped for its price range. I highly recommend this shaver to those who have had disappointing experiences with other affordable shavers. It’s a solid option that won’t break the bank.

Bradley Martyn

Bradley Martyn is a lead Product tester at Trimmereo. Previously he has been in consumer products industry for 8+ years. His passion for helping people flows through in the expert reviews he provides.