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Xiaomi Mi Smart Toothbrush
Cool factor 5/5Usability 3½/5Value for money 4½/5
Dentists often recommend electric toothbrushes because they remove plaque efficiently and help prevent gum disease. It was only going to be a matter of time before they evolved into internet of things devices.
Xiaomi’s Mi Smart Electric Toothbrush (T500) pairs with a mobile device using Bluetooth via the Mi Home app. The process to pair it on an iPhone took me less than a minute, and right on cue, it needed a software update.
The T500 comes with a brush head, handle, charging dock, protective covers, interchangeable colour rings and user manual.
The charger is attached to a USB cable, which may not be ideal if you don’t have power outlets near your basin.
The toothbrush has a nonslip grip, weighs 121g and, along with its charging dock, carries an IPX7 waterproof rating. The interchangeable colour rings are meant to differentiate toothbrushes in one household.
It has three settings: standard for a two-minute brush; soft for sensitive gums; and custom. The custom setting lets you add a 10-second antisplash protection for toothpaste, change the duration, select a mode (beginner, gentle, standard, enhanced) and add extra time for whitening, gum care or tongue cleaning.
You spend 30 seconds on each quadrant of your mouth; vibrating pauses briefly when it’s time to move onto the next one.
The toothbrush uses a high-frequency vibrating magnetic levitation motor capable of 31,000 vibrations a minute, with a pressure alert for sensitive gums. The battery indicator flashes when excessive force is applied.
The toothbrush lets you know if you’re brushing correctly, with the use of illustrations. For example, it tells you when to add pressure and where to focus to avoid plaque build-up. It also generates oral health reports.
The toothbrush will sync only once you’ve finished brushing. It didn’t register my reading on two separate occasions — the graphs it generated had gaps for those days. Battery life is about 18 days, and the app displays battery percentage — a nifty feature.
The toothbrush is for those who want feedback on how to improve brushing and ultimately reduce dentist visits.
It costs R733 on geewiz.co.za. At that price you can overlook the software bugs.
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Published by Arena Holdings and distributed with the Financial Mail on the last Thursday of every month except December and January.