The latest electric toothbrush is predominantly the previous model but boasts smart capabilities even without a smartphone.
On the left, the Series 9, on the right, the Series 10.
In 2020, Oral-B introduced a fresh design era for its electric toothbrushes with the iO. Now, the iO Series 10 is available (from £290 at Amazon), but it largely mirrors the previous one.
This isn’t detrimental, as the iO is a splendid toothbrush (click here to test the Series 9), and the oral b io10 refines—though not all—the minor inconveniences. I’ve put it to the test.
More Clarity in the Series
With the iO’s introduction, Oral-B launched several variants: Series 7 to 9 were the inception. It’s consistently the same brush, just with varying delivery scopes and an artificial reduction in functions as Series 7 and 8 have fewer cleaning programmes—a software aspect unrelated to the hardware.
The Series 10 is the pinnacle of the iO line-up. There’s no Series 10.2 or 9.5: all Series 10 toothbrushes share the same functionalities.
However, offers on Amazon range from £290 to £468. These include different brush heads or other accessories, with no significant price advantage compared to individual sales.
Hence, it’s advisable to purchase the £290 version (available in white or black) and buy the brushes separately. The package includes the brush, a brush head, the charging station, a travel case, and a brush head case.
A Single Brush Head and No USB-C
Here, like with the Series 9, arises the first point of criticism: The travel case simultaneously charges the toothbrush. However, one must use the proprietary power cable. Why isn’t there a USB-C port?
The second point of criticism: There are two basic types of cleaning heads: “Ultimate Clean” and “Gentle Clean”. Oral-B should include one of each, allowing users to determine their preference before purchasing in 4 or 8 packs. Given the brush costs £300, this surely would have been feasible. The included brush head case having space for two brush heads only adds insult to injury.
Frustration with Pairing
The toothbrush is already synchronised with the “smart” charging station. One could plug it in and get started immediately. However, to utilise all smart functions, the brush and station must be paired with the smartphone app.
This process was quite vexing for me. Despite following the instructions meticulously, the brush refused to pair with the app (Samsung S22 Ultra, Android 13). It either wasn’t found or briefly found but couldn’t connect. After multiple attempts, reinstalling the app, and more back and forth, it finally worked after 15 minutes.
I’m not alone in this, as evidenced by customer queries on Amazon about the product. There, too, one reads of pairing issues. Additionally, pairing a toothbrush with multiple phones (for those sharing their toothbrush) doesn’t seem to function smoothly, even though Series 10 should support this.
Charging Station with Added Value
Once everything is paired and set up, the charging station connects to the Wi-Fi. It displays the time, synchronised via Wi-Fi, handy for those without a clock in the bathroom. However, it doesn’t display other information like weather reports or similar features. It does show a timer while brushing, indicating the duration.
Also new are the six LEDs on the top of the charging station. These represent the sectors in the mouth: top left, top middle, top right, bottom left, bottom middle, bottom right. While brushing, these LEDs change from dark blue to white, indicating the cleaning of the respective area. If it blinks white, the area is sufficiently cleaned. If the brush is pressed too hard against the teeth, the LEDs turn red.
Mobile App is More Precise
The LED display is less accurate than the mobile app. The app displays not only the six zones but also whether the front, top, and back have been cleaned adequately. The recognition at the station is also less precise. For instance, the app correctly displays a spot as “top middle front”. However, the station’s LED for “top left” blinks.
If one uses the charging station instead of the mobile app (both simultaneously is not possible), one might clean an already clean area and neglect another due to the inaccurate display.
Use the charging station as a reference. Brush to the best of your knowledge and then brush the areas indicated by the charging station a bit longer. Don’t rely on a zone being clean just because the charging station says so. If possible, always brush with the smartphone app as it is accurate and works precisely. However, sometimes, I’m too lazy to bring the smartphone into the bathroom for brushing. In such cases, it’s better to get some additional information from the charging station rather than none. The toothbrush itself doesn’t display any zones on its screen.
The Brushing Experience
Nothing has changed here from the predecessor model, Series 9, as it’s the same brush. It’s comfortable to hold, not overly loud, and leaves a pleasant feeling in the mouth. The teeth feel clean—probably also because one really brushes everywhere with the help of the smartphone app.
The cleaning modes are the same as in Series 9. I mainly use the standard mode and the tongue cleaning mode. Through the app, one can rearrange the order of the modes as they appear on the toothbrush or remove modes entirely. This is handy as one only has what one really needs on the brush and doesn’t have to press around to get to the desired mode.
Speaking of pressing around: Like the Series 9, the Series 10 also has a coloured LED display. It not only indicates excessive pressure (Red) but also insufficient pressure and correct pressure (Green). The LED display runs around the brush so that one can always see it in the mirror.
One issue from the Series 9 persists in Series 10: Due to the sleek design, water and toothpaste flow downwards towards the hand and arm. When I brush thoroughly (which I always do), sometimes the toothpaste runs down to my elbow.
Friendly Toothbrush and Awards
If one has brushed for at least 2 minutes, one is rewarded with a smile on the toothbrush’s display. If it’s less, one gets either a sad face or a sceptical face.
If one uses the app while brushing, the data is transferred to the app. There, one also receives medals for regular brushing or can select specific care goals—like whiter teeth. However, for this, one must then buy special brush heads and toothpaste.
To see the data in the app for brushing sessions without using the smartphone, one must log in with an Oral-B account.
At least Oral-B has improved a minor thing with the Series 10. The toothbrush’s display now correctly shows the battery status and not just in 10-percent steps.
This doesn’t change the battery life. Depending on whether I also clean the tongue, the battery status is between 92 and 94 percent after one brushing session. Assuming normal twice-daily brushing, the battery is depleted after 6 to 7 days.
There’s a Simpsons episode where Homer comments on his half-brother’s inventiveness: “Why didn’t you just take something that already exists and put a clock on it?” This is how the step from Series 9 to Series 10 feels.
The brush itself remains unchanged; only the charging station is new. However, this change isn’t as trivial as it seems: Those who don’t always brush with the smartphone have some guidance via the charging station. Unfortunately, the display is less accurate than the smartphone, so it’s not a full replacement.
Nevertheless, the Series 10 is a magnificent electric toothbrush. Those who don’t have an iO and want the best should go for Series 10 (from £290 at Amazon). The Series 9 is about £50 cheaper, but in this price range, one can consider the premium for the smart charging station. Those who already own a Series 9 don’t need to upgrade to Series 10.#
Search product reviews