Philips AquaTouch AT890

Ten years ago, I was a keen user of electric shavers, but the quality of the shave kept letting me down. But ten years is a long time in todays world, so I was excited to find out how much Philips has managed to improve their razors over the years.

I have been allowed to test three different Philips shavers, and this review will be featuring the most recent of the three, the AquaTouch AT890.

The Philips AquaTouch AT890 is a stylish shaver. The blue body and the grey and black fitting give it a clean and efficient look. As the name suggests, the AquaTouch series is entirely waterproof and can be used both with shaving cream or without. The AquaTouch can even go into the shower with you.

So basically, the AquaTouch seems like an attempt to attract some of the wet shavers around the World into trying electrical shavers. So for me – as a man who used to shave electric but has since changed into traditional wet shaving – this revisit to the world of rotary blades is interesting.

The AquaTouch series use the HQ8 blades also found in the 2D/3D SensoTouch series. The blades are almost identical to the blades used on my 10 year old HQ6580 apart from a few extra holes in the middle.

I have used the AT890 for a total of 10 shaves on 10 different days. I used it both in the shower, after my shower and even without shower (but with shaving foam).

Shaving in the shower
It sounds easy, and it sounds efficient. But it really isn’t. I always end up with large patches of my face unshaven. I would possibly get a better result if I had a large, brightly lit mirror in my shower, but I haven’t. 🙂

Shaving after the shower
10-12 years ago I used to sell electric shavers in an electronic shop in Copenhagen. I always told my customers to shave BEFORE the shower, not after. The skin has a tendency to expand slightly from the long term exposure to hot water, and even though this is great for a blade based shave, it’s a bad idea when you use an electric shaver.
Based on my experience with the AT890, this is still the case. Do not use an electric shaver right after showering – it will leave you with a 5 o’clock shade even before noon.

Shaving before the shower with shaving gel or foam
This is where I got the best results from the AquaTouch. First I warmed my face using either a hot towel or washing it with hot water. I then applied a nice lather to cover my stubble, and started shaving.
This procedure gave me a very nice and close shave on my cheeks, chin and upper lip. But when it comes to shaving the neck, and in particular the upper part of the neck just below the cheeks, the Philips shaver got itself into trouble. It simply couldn’t cope with the shape of my neck and left the stubble more or less untouched.

According to Philips, you should look down when you shave your neck (contrary to stretching your skin when using a blade). This did help a bit for me – but not much.

The Verdict

I like the design of the Philips shavers, even though the AT890 look almost excactly the same as my 10 year old Philips. But the weight, shape and balance make it very easy and comfortable to use. Unfortunately, I must still admin that the shave is average at best. For a quick shave on a busy day it will do fine. But as I have mentioned before (in the article Rotary blade or foil shaver?) everything depends on YOUR face.

Just because it’s no good for my weird skin, doesn’t mean that it will not work for you.

If you own the AT890, please write your experiences in the comments below.

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    • Quinapalus
    • January 16, 2012

    I appreciate the effort and passion that you are displaying with this blog, but the fact remains that it has been proven time and time again that the best way to shave is with a blade. I’ve tried electrics and all types of Cartridge Razor, but have reverted to DE Safetys and Straights and am getting better shaves than ever. A good facial scrub, a glycerine based pre-treatment, a good quality soap or cream, a Silvertip Badger Brush and a Solingen Blade will always give better results than any imitator.

    1. Thanks Quinapalus! 🙂 That is a fact, yes – and if I deny that anywhere, then I apologize. As I write in the review, I used electrical shavers years ago, and have since converted into DE shaving. And as I state in the review, the shave I got from the electric Philips was average at best.
      I like your term “imitator” and agree with you on all your points. But this website is also for those who consider electrical shavers – and I believe they need to be told the truth. 🙂 Hopefully, some of them will come to this site and be inspired to try out wet shaving as it should be! 😉

  1. This model is not expensive, so I think it´s worth the buy. The shaver is pretty good. Is like the blogger said, it depends on your face, and on your beard. For me I see no diference from blade. It works perfect, using hot water and shaving gel. On dry skin is almost the same thing as any other shaver.

    I use the following technique: remove the excess of beard using the trimmer on dry skin (it´s a little bit difficult at the begining but once you get the hang of it, will be easy) – you may not need to do that it´s just a one-day or so beard. After, wet your face with hot water and use shaving gel. The shaving will go very smooth. To clean your shave, just use running hot water and it´s done! Very easy to clean and fast to use.

  2. This AquaTouch had been an excellent razor, and found it easy to use in the shower soaping my face and neck in preparation. I have chronic atopic eczema and many of the earlier Philips electric razors were painful to use – but not this one. However the battery has just given up after only two years of use. I have been careful to use and recharge it in the way recommended for Li batteries. Under these conditions, the battery should have lasted several years. I have lost the receipt, and, worse still, found out that the battery is not simply replaceable. This isn’t good enough, and Philips should be ashamed. Fortunately, I have a small rechargeable Braun to keep me going while I look at the competition.

    • Martin
    • February 13, 2014

    I purchased the AT890 in Sept. 2012 and really loved the comfortable shave. 3 months later the on/off switch became faulty and the retailer, Tech Retail (via Amazon), took 3 months to replace it.
    7 months later it has developed the same fault and the retailer and Philips don`t want to know about it. I was wondering if anyone else has had the same problem with the switch and is there any remedy.

      • Paul Newbery
      • June 24, 2014

      I have had the same power switch problem. At first, I thought it was the battery dumping its charge, but then after a recharge, the motor ran spontaneously and I couldn’t turn it off, which indicated that the battery was overcharged. So it had to be something else and it’s definitely the switch. now, the switch operates every so often and it is sometimes the work of a minute or two to get the shaver started and then a prolonged effort to turn it off again, usually accompanied by several sharp bangs against the sink!
      I’m minded to think that others who have complained of a dud battery might well be suffering with a faulty switch.
      I contacted Philips support via the European web-site chat facility and discovered that my unit, although 18 months old is still under warranty and they have sent a replacement straight away. I am most impressed!

        • John
        • January 25, 2016

        I’ve had mine for 3yrs and the switch is going. I’ll try to see what they will due because this has been an ongoing issue but I might be S.O.L.

      • jeremy lloyd
      • November 10, 2015

      I have had a AT890 since jan 2013 in this time i have had 4 shavers replaced. one for non charging battery the others all for faulty switches. cannot complain on phillips replacement on warrenty but one would have thought that they would have done a complete product revision and improved. i am now being sent an alternative model hope this is ok

    • Ray bass
    • March 5, 2014

    Bought at890 to replace old Philips razer does not shave as good must go over 6 to 7 times to get good shave leaves wiskers did try to get money back guarantee but 6 months later Philips have not responded with a refund lost my file sent refund instructions never received had last name spelled wrong said would send instruction by e mail not received have spoke to them more than 10 times get a run around and another promise that never happens I am disappointed and will call better business

  3. I find this a pretty good machine

    • Dinesh Sehra
    • July 12, 2014

    This was a very nice review. Now I am not going to buy the electric shaver I was planning for a long time. Just was looking out for some reviews. After having read a lot many, which all seem to be biased, this one really stands out with some clear and unbiased review.

    • Michelle
    • October 2, 2014

    My boyfriend only uses cartridge razors and I have heard him complaining about not being able to trim his goatee evenly (as he has to rush off to work and is also studying part time). I assume an electric razor would be able to solve this issue but have no clue as to what kind would suit him. I buy him the same cartridge every time and don’t know much else about it.

    So this page seemed promising and I thought it would be great until I saw the comments.
    I guess I will search again.
    Does anyone have any other suggestions?
    I would really appreciate it, thank you.

  4. I have used this shaver for at least one year and than i switched to the Braun series electric shaver which are more comfortable compare to Philips aquatouch shaver and more refreshing too.

      • Sara
      • January 15, 2015

      when the charger is connect the blube always automatic green but it remove that goes suddenly red…its not charging… why

    • Nick
    • December 18, 2014

    I find this an excellent shaver. I have had many types, tried sooo many gimmicky rubbish that leave my face looking and feeling like a slash-and-burn jungle clearing area! This one is completely satisfactory. Great value, good engineering, terrific shave. Easy to charge, easy to use.
    I wish Phillips had included the charging stand in the package, its only a bit of plastic (tho’ they charge 24$+ on the WWW for it!) a bit cheapskate on behalf of their marketing department!
    I would definitely recommend this shaver.

    • Naresh
    • June 20, 2015

    Not good for my beard growth, probably good for kids, absolutely ineffective. Regret the purchase.

    • Hung nguyen
    • September 21, 2015

    Can’t you send good one

    • Karl
    • July 9, 2016

    Hello thank you for your review but there seems to be a few phillips shavers that look similar but have different model numbers so do you know the difference between the AT890/16 17 AND 20 versions?



    • DR Anilmahajan
    • September 16, 2016

    Can female use At 890 phillips shaver.

    • J Hampson
    • April 4, 2017

    Hi could you tell me why the 3 led lights are for shaped like the head

    • Meraj
    • December 17, 2018

    when the charger is connect the blube always automatic green but it remove that goes suddenly red…its not charging… why
    Please reply me as soon as possible

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