Philips Norelco 5500 Review: Great for Multi-Day Growth

by Garrick Dee | Last Updated:
An honest disclosure: Just an F.Y.I., there are maybe be affiliate links in this post. And if you click any of those affiliate links, I’ll earn a commission (A.K.A. money). However, you won’t be charged any more money for this to happen, so it’s a win-win for both of us!

Yes, you heard that right, this electric shaver has a turbo mode.

This feature cranks up the power by 10% to help shave off denser beard areas like facial hair on the chin or mustache.

Philips Norelco 5500 Review

As with most Norelco shavers, this baby has 3 rotary shaving heads, and each of these heads flexes five directions to match whatever contour your face has, so it won’t matter if you have an angular look or a more rounded one, this razor can get it done.

It does not have the cleaning base that the Norelco 9000 series has, but cleaning is straightforward because the head pops open, and you just clean it with running water.

A quick look at the features



What to Expect from the Norelco 5500?

This mid-priced razor does not have a lot of add-ons, but in terms of functionality, it does perform pretty well. Remember that when it comes to rotary shavers, Philips is a market leader and is the equivalent to Braun in the foil shaver niche.

The best feature, in my opinion, is the turbo mode that increases power by 10%. While it helps in terms of giving you a close shave, it won’t match the 9700 in terms of closeness, but remember that the 550 costs only a third of the price.

The 5500 is virtually the same as the 5700 minus the cleaning station. For me, I don’t mind not having the cleaning station because you can easily clean this without one.

Multi-Blade System

Unlike the Braun foil that uses a four-blade system, this Norelco uses only 3 rounded blades. Each of these blades independently flexes in 5 directions and allows it to adjust to the shape of your face.

When you combine that with the Turbo Mode, it does help in giving a close shave, especially in problem areas – the chin and mustache area.

Wet/Dry Shaver

The beauty of wet and dry shavers is the flexibility it gives you. If you prefer to pamper yourself and exfoliate using a shaving brush, then by all means since you can use this to wet shave, but if you’re not used to wet shaving and prefer to dry shave, then this razor allows you to do it.

Just remember to follow principles to give you the best shave possible, which means having a hot shower or at least washing your face to get rid of excess oil and dead skin.

A hot towel also helps soften whiskers, so the blades have an easier time cutting them.

Precision Trimmer Attachment

Unlike other shavers I’ve reviewed so far, the trimmer in this Norelco, and the subsequent models utilize a different approach.


Instead of integrating the trimmer within the body, they’ve made it into a separate piece that you can attach to the shaver body itself.

In essence, it is a separate attachment. I like this because it gives you more freedom of movement since the shaver head is out of the way. You have more room to work with, and you’ll be able to trim your sideburns and goatee better.

The downside is there is a better chance of misplacing this because it does not come with any bag, nor can you store it inside the shaver.

Easy to Clean

You really don’t need the fancy cleaning base to clean the head. Since it pops open easily, you can just rinse this part under running water. Just make sure to dry it thoroughly.

I sure wish they included a cleaning brush so you have a tool to pry loose any hair that may be wedged on nooks and crannies.

LED Display

LEDEven as a mid-priced razor, this has a bright and comfortable to read LED display that shows you how much battery power is left.

Charging and Run Time

It will only take one hour to fully charge this razor, which gives you roughly 45 minutes of shaving. If you’re in a hurry, just plug it in for 5 minutes, and you can get one shave with it.

Product Specifications

ModelNorelco 5500
BatteryLithium Ion
Run time45 minutes
Mustache / Sideburn TrimmerYes
Wet ShavingYes
Dry ShavingYes
Water proofYes
Charging/cleaning standYes
Travel pouchNo
Length9.09 inches
Weight0.98 lbs
Warranty2 years

Consumer Reviews

For the most part, most men who used this shaver liked how it performs. Take note that some of them received a free product in exchange for an honest review so you can take it with a grain of salt though some of the men who’ve given reviews didn’t hold back and were pretty straightforward.

One said that it didn’t give him as close a shave as he’d hoped for. He also said that it didn’t fully shave his trouble spot – the area below the chin area, even with the turbo mode on.

Others had a different take. One African American consumer said that this razor gave him a pretty good shave minus the irritation. Several other men who had sensitive skin also said the same thing.

Another thing mentioned in the reviews is how quiet this razor is, almost too quiet, according to some that it lacked feedback while shaving.

Consumers also shared my concerns about misplacing the very small trimmer since it is a separate attachment.

Unlike trimmers in other brands that are connected, you don’t have to worry about misplacing anything.

Some didn’t like the turbo mode because it didn’t make any sense to them, adding a variable speed feature with a difference of only 10%. They’ve got the point.

Still, a majority of men liked the results of this shaver. Some even went as far as using this on their heads. Whether you like the 5500 or not will boil down to your facial hair type, skin type, and technique. Again, your mileage may vary.

Where can you buy this?

You can buy this rotary electric shaver in Amazon. Please note that if you make a purchase through the link above, I will earn a commission, but at no additional cost to you, so it’s a win-win for both of us.


For a mid-priced electric shaver, Philips Norelco 5500 provides a lot of value for money. It does not have the cleaning station that the 5700, but I think you don’t really need it because you will do an as good job cleaning the head that pops open under running water.

I don’t think the extra $40 would justify the cost of a cleaning station plus the subsequent expenses incurred because of the cartridge refills.

Turbo mode is an excellent addition. It allows you to get a close enough shave even with tough stubble, and some men said that they’d wish that Philips made the Turbo Mode as the default power option because it was effective.

You will also like the trimmer that you can attach separately on the base. This reduces the clutter and allows you to focus on trimming with the shaving head out of the way.

There are a couple of downsides I see – first, you can misplace this since it is such a small piece, and second, if you push too hard, you may knock it out of place and drop it on the floor.

Overall, if you prefer rotary shavers over foil, then why not go with the brand that’s a market leader. This will be a great travel buddy because of the 45 minute run time and quick charge option.