Oral-B iO8 review: a bit of luxury
- Excellent brushing performance
- Color display with timer
- Three hour quick charge
- No USB charging
- Battery life less than two weeks
The iO8 is a fantastic smart brush with a ton of cool features. We wish it had USB charging and slightly better battery life, but it’s still one of the best brushes you can buy. It’s a luxury item but if your budget stretches that far we don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
Price when reviewing
Best Prices Today: Oral-B iO Series 8
With the iO range, Oral-B offers a series of completely redesigned electric toothbrushes, with a modern and ergonomic look, improved brushing performance and a host of new features. Depending on where you are in the world, there are up to eight different iO brushes available, at different price points and with different features.
If you’re looking for a new Oral-B brush, chances are there’s an iO for you. Read this review to find out if the iO8 is for you.
- Color screen to show timer and battery life
- 3 hour quick charge
- Light ring pressure sensor
The iO8 is one of the high-end iO models, only third behind the iO9 and iO10. As such, it has all the key features of the higher-end models, including a three-hour quick charge and a color OLED display.
It is available in three color options: purple, white and black. But remember, since Oral-B only makes black or white toothbrush heads, if you go purple, you’ll get a two-tone brush. In this review we are looking at the black model.
You can further customize your brush by choosing from one of ten bright colors for the light ring around its neck. The light ring will glow in the color of your choice when you start brushing your teeth. It then turns green when you manage the ideal pressure and turns red if you press too hard. It’s a nice form of visual feedback that you will be able to see in the mirror and your peripheral vision.
The iO8 has a color OLED screen. Pick up the brush and you’ll be greeted with a sun icon, a wink or smiley face, and a hello. Luckily, these greetings are screen-only — the day ChatGPT hits electric toothbrushes is the day I start brushing my teeth with a twig.
The screen also has more practical functions. One of the best is that the remaining battery life is clearly displayed whenever you finish brushing. Still, as it’s shown in 10% increments, by the time you’re down to the last tenth, it’s hard to judge if you have a brush left or if it’s going to die on you right away.
Emma Rowley / Foundry
You can also choose your brushing mode and scroll through the settings and once you start brushing the screen will show a timer. Although I initially thought the screen was an overkill add-on, the timer is now one of my favorite features. If I use another brush, I will instinctively seek it out.
I’ve found it also encourages me to brush my teeth for longer, like I’m walking away or it feels like I’ve been brushing my teeth forever, seeing that I only have 30 seconds left pushes me to finish it.
There’s a second timer in the form of brush vibrations, which alert you every 30 seconds to move on to the next section of your mouth, and a longer alert when you reach the two-minute brushing time recommended by the dentist. You can also open the app and use the brush back timer.
All in all, it’s a surprise that with the launch of the iO10, Oral-B has added another timer to the mix – in the form of a light display on its charger. To find out more, take a look at our iO10 review.
Buy the iO8 and in the box you’ll get a magnetic charging puck, a travel case, the brush handle, and two brush heads. The case is a handy addition, but it’s not as well-designed as the one that comes with the competing luxury brush, the Sonicare DiamondClean 9000.
Emma Rowley / Foundry
Buy from the USA and the charging puck has a standard two prong plug. Buy in the UK and you’ll get a razor plug. This is the case with all Oral-B brushes and is my main pet peeve with the brand. For brushes at this price, we’d like to see USB charging.
The iO8, like other more expensive iO models (from the iO6 and up), has a three-hour fast charge via the magnetic puck. It’s a nice feature over the standard 12-hour Oral-B charge, although if you’re used to fast phone charging it’ll still feel like a long time.
A slight issue here is that it’s very easy to knock the brush out of the puck while charging, so make sure it’s in a stable, out-of-the-way place.
- Excellent brushing performance
- Six brushing modes
- Maximum battery life of 2 weeks
The big difference between iO and traditional Oral-B brushes is that traditional Oral-B brushes only oscillate, while iO brushes oscillate and vibrate sonically.
The difference is huge. The iO brushing performance is second to none – and I don’t know of anyone who’s tried it and thinks otherwise.
The iO8 has six brushing modes: Daily Clean, Sensitive, Whitening, Gum Care, Intense, and Super Sensitive. That’s one less than the iO9 and one more than the iO7 – just as you’d expect. I didn’t find the differences between the modes as pronounced as other brushes, but I think there’s enough variety to find a mode that works for you.
The iO8 battery will last a maximum of two weeks. In practice, I found it never lasted that long, but its clear battery display and fast charging mitigated that for me.
- Not designed for sharing
- App functionality will be limited
- Brush heads have symbols to tell them apart
The iO8 can be used as a shared brush, although it doesn’t keep track of your individual brushing record on the app. Oral-B confirmed via a Tweet that although two users with separate phones can being able to use all the features of the application individually thanks to the Bluetooth connection (i.e. as long as the user’s phone is within range and the other is not), this is not not how the iO was designed.
If more than one person uses the same brush, it also means that the brush head replacement reminder in the app will not work properly.
However, if you’re willing to give up some smart features, the iO8 can still be used as a shared brush. It’s easy to change the brushing mode on the handle if you prefer different modes, and the iO heads are marked with little symbols to tell them apart.
Emma Rowley / Foundry
Connected features and application
- Real-time brushing feedback
- Brush head replacement reminders
- Gamification features
The iO8 connects via Bluetooth to the free Oral-B app, available for Apple and Android. In our test, I found it easy to use and quick to connect. The main reason to use the app is the interactive brushing feedback. Watch your phone screen while you brush your teeth and it will follow the coverage as you go.
Real-time brushing feedback from the iO is about as good as it gets. In my experience, this has generally worked well, except I found that to get the perfect result, I brushed for longer than the recommended two minutes. It affects battery life and who knows – it can cause me to brush too much.
One of the reasons you’d pay more for the iO9 and iO10 is their 3D surface AI brushing tracking, but I don’t think that’s much better than the real-time help the iO8 provides . None of them give perfect feedback, but if you need some structure to get your brushing back on track, they can help.
Other than that, the app lets you adjust brush settings, set brushing goals, take “dental care trips” (perhaps to improve your gum health), see past brushing performance, collect badges and get reminders to replace your brush head.
Even though brands are trying to sell us connected features, most aren’t yet adding enough to keep the average user coming back. Unless you really need a strict brushing aid regimen, I guess you’ll give up the majority of the smart features pretty quickly.
Price and availability
The price of the Oral-B iO8 varies depending on where you are.
In the United States, it’s widely available directly from Oral-B and other retailers like Target and Best Buy for around $249.99.
In the UK, the iO8 had a launch price of £450, which we thought was overpriced. However, during regular sale periods, it would drop to its current price.
At the time of writing, it’s widely available for £170, from sites such as Boots, Oral-B and Currys. We think you shouldn’t pay more than that. It’s still not a bargain price, but it’s a luxury item that’s packed with cutting-edge features and we think it’s worth it.
We think the iO8 is one of the best electric toothbrushes on the market. It’s got everything you need to take care of your teeth – a visible pressure sensor, detailed timer, choice of brushing modes and top-notch brushing performance – plus some great features, like a charging fast and clear battery display. In an ideal world, we’d like to see longer battery life, USB charging, and more robust charging support too. But overall it’s a well made brush with lots of extras and a joy to use.
For more electric toothbrush buying options, check out our roundup of the best electric toothbrushes we’ve tested. If you want to see how the iO8 compares to other iO models and other Oral-B brushes in general, take a look at the best Oral-B brushes we’ve tested.
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