REVIEW: Philips Drycare Prestige HP8281 Moisture Protect Hair Dryer

Updated: Jul 29, 2021

Philips is perhaps most well-known for their air fryers. We decided to review their hair dryers instead. Let's find out how the Philips Drycare Prestige hair dryer compare to the competition.


APPEARANCE & BUILD QUALITY

Out of the box, the Philips Drycare Prestige was perhaps the least impressive looking out of the 4 hair dryers we reviewed. Our testers felt that the body looked a little plasticky. It was also the heaviest across all 4 hair dryers that we tested. The Philips Drycare Prestige weighs in at 770g with the cord and 3-pin plug, and at 620g with just the product itself, the cord and 3-pin plug off the scale, the heaviest of all 4 hair dryers that we tested. Like the Braun Satin Hair 7, it similarly felt a little top heavy at the part where the motor and fan is situated compared to the Panasonic EH-NA65 which had a more balanced construction.


Philips Drycare Prestige HP8281 Moisture Protect Hair Dryer
Philips Drycare Prestige HP8281 Moisture Protect Hair Dryer

As with the Braun Satin Hair 7 and the Panasonic EH-NA65, the unit comes with a removable protective filter for the air inlet grill. The mechanism works similarly as the Panasonic EH-NA65 - pressing onto the latch at the bottom of the filter detaches the filter for cleaning. The securing mechanism was however better built than the Panasonic. The filter piece latches in place with a satisfying click, fitting snugly without causing a rattling noise.


Protective cover of the air inlet
Protective cover of the air inlet

COMFORT & USABILITY

We were unable to find the operating temperature of the Philips Drycare Prestige on any official materials. In our review process, we found the highest heat setting to be much closer to the Braun Satin Hair 7's 130°C than SOOCAS H5's 57°C.


We ran the Philips Drycare Prestige on it's hottest setting for 10 minutes and touched the surface of the hairdryer. The temperature of the handle remained cool, while there was a slight increase in the temperature of the head. The increase in temperature, though noticeable, was small enough to still be comfortable enough to touch.


A single purple LED indicator sits on the left side of the unit, facing the user when held in the right hand. The LED lights up only when the moisture protect function is active.



HEAT & SPEED CONTROL

The Philips Drycare Prestige comes with 2 speed and 3 heat settings, in addition to a cool-shot function and a moisture protect switch. The speed and heat settings are controlled by a pair of rocker switches. The cool shot function is triggered with a button above the speed and heat settings.


Controls of the Philips Drycare Prestige
Controls of the Philips Drycare Prestige

We preferred the rocker switches on the Philips Drycare Prestige to the slider switches on some of the other hair dryers that we tested. The switches are easy to use, and provides better tactile feedback compared to the sliders on the Braun Satin Hair 7 and the Panasonic EH-NA65.


The 3 heat settings on the Philips Drycare Prestige are Hot, Thermoprotect and an unnamed black dot (we will call it Gentle for the purpose of this review). The Hot setting felt, well, pretty hot. Although it did not feel as hot as the 130°C of the Braun Satin Hair 7. The Thermoprotect setting was sufficiently warm, at the temperature that is perhaps more suitable for prolonged use, similar in warmth to the highest settings on the Panasonic EH-NA65 and the SOOCAS h5. The Gentle setting was just slightly warmer than the cool shot function.


The cool shot option on the Philips Drycare Prestige works similar to the Panasonic EH-NA65 and the SOOCAS H5, in that it does not actually cool the air, but emits a slightly heated room temperature air. The Braun Satin Hair 7 was the only product we tested where the cool setting actually generates cool air. Another disappointing detail our testers noted is that like the Panasonic EH-NA65, the cool shot button on the Philips Drycare Prestige doesn't actually stay depressed. Hence, you will need to hold on to the button for as long as you intend to use the cool-shot function.


The unique feature of the Philips Drycare Prestige is its infrared MoistureProtect sensor that continually monitors the hair's temperature and adapts the drying temperature to prevent moisture loss and hair damage. A slider switch at the back turns the MoistureProtect on and off.

Moisture protect toggle
Moisture protect toggle

ACCESSORIES

The Philips Drycare Prestige came with 2 standard attachments out of the box, a nozzle and a diffuser. Unfortunately, the translucent pink attachments both look and feel even more plasticky than the hair dryer itself.


Philips Drycare Prestige and attachments
Philips Drycare Prestige and attachments

The hair dryer nozzle is a rather standard accessory that also came with all of the other hair dryers we tested. Use of the nozzle creates a more directed airflow, leading to more precision. This nozzle, however, was in a different shape compared to the flat nozzles that came with the other hair dryers. The Philips Drycare Prestige nozzle measures 1.2cm wide at the 2 narrow ends and 3cm wide at the middle rounded section.


From Left: Panasonic EH-NA65, Braun Satin Hair 7, SOOCAS H5, Philips Drycare Prestige
From Left: Panasonic EH-NA65, Braun Satin Hair 7, SOOCAS H5, Philips Drycare Prestige

The diffuser attachment comes with a total of 24 bristles each averaging around 3cm in length, packing in more bristles than the Braun Satin Hair 7 and the SOOCAS H5.


CONCLUSION

The Philips Drycare Prestige did not impress our testers at the unboxing. All agreed that the materials used looked cheap, and the plasticky attachments did not help change our minds. That said, the pink, white and rose gold colour scheme may appeal to some. Its unique infrared MoistureProtect sensor which monitors and adapts the drying temperature to prevent hair damage, is a feature that none of the other hair dryers we tested had. Moreover, it did a decent job during testing, with a high max heat setting that was almost on par with our BEST OVERALL hair dryer, the Braun Satin Hair 7. At under $100, the Philips Drycare Prestige is perhaps a solid candidate for a budget pick.

The Philips Drycare Prestige is available from online platforms such as Lazada and Shopee for $95 at the time of writing.