One of the surprises of this year's Consumer Electronics Show was a smart toothbrush from Colgate, which, as it turns out, was designed to be an Apple Store exclusive.

The new $100 Colgate Smart Electronic Toothbrush is both Colgate's first smart iPhone-connected brush and the first personal hygiene product you can get right from an Apple Store.

colgate smart toothbrush
Toothbrushes that connect to your iPhone have become a thing over the course of the last couple of years, and you can now get smart brushes from most of the major brands, including Philips and Oral-B. I'm no stranger to smart toothbrushes -- I've previously reviewed the Oral-B SmartSeries, the Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected, and the Sonicare DiamondClean Smart, and for the last couple of weeks, I've been testing the Colgate Smart Electronic Toothbrush.

Colgate's Smart Toothbrush is the simplest smart toothbrush that I've tested so far, but as you'll see in my review below, there are some shortcomings to be aware of if you're considering this brush.

Design and Features

Colgate partnered with Kolibree for the Smart Electronic Toothbrush, and the brush itself appears to be a Kolibree design because it's almost identical to the $129 Kolibree Ara. This Kolibree mirror is the first higher-end toothbrush that Colgate's come out with, so it's different from all other Colgate brushes on the market, which are typically not priced over $10.

Design wise, the brush is made from a lightweight white plastic material, and it consists of two pieces: a removable and replaceable brush head and the vibrating base that the brush head fits on. The brush head pops onto the base of the toothbrush and then twists to lock in place.

colgatebrushfront
There's single button on the base of the Colgate Smart that turns it on or turns it off, and that's the extent of the functionality, too. It's on or it's off. There are no modes or sensitivity levels to switch between, so you can't alter brushing length (it goes for two minutes), brushing intensity, or any other parameter.

That's fine if you just want a simple brushing experience, but if you want a softer brushing experience, a longer brushing experience, pressure detection, or special modes like gum care or whitening, the Colgate Smart can't deliver.

colgatebrushheadandbase
There are also no brush head options. The Colgate Smart has a single brush head, and all replacement brush heads are the same style. Design wise, it's smaller and wider than my Sonicare brush heads, and it's a bit longer than Oral-B brush heads.

It's a stiff brush, but these kinds of electric toothbrushes are often better for your teeth and gums than manual brushing because there's no need to apply pressure or scrub to get your teeth clean. The Colgate Smart is leagues better than a standard manual brush, but compared to my Philips Sonicare, I didn't feel like it worked as well.

colgatebrushheadcloseup
For comparison's sake, the Kolibree brush that the Colgate Smart is modeled after vibrates 15,000 times per minute, while the Sonicare DiamondClean brush vibrates 62,000 times per minute and the Oral-B SmartSeries vibrates 48,000 times per minute. I don't know how much this matters, but I can feel a difference in brushing experience and the cleanliness of my teeth when using the Colgate Smart vs. the Sonicare.

If you're using a manual brush, the Colgate Smart is going to get your teeth cleaner, but if you're already using a higher-end electric toothbrush from Sonicare or Oral-B, the Colgate Smart is going to be something of a downgrade with less vibration, fewer options, and no choice when it comes to brush head.

colgatedesign
Some people will prefer having less choice and fewer options to have to worry about. With just an on/off button and a single kind of brush head, the Colgate Smart has a certain appealing simplicity to it.

The Colgate Smart is much lighter than my other toothbrushes and it doesn't feel as well made, which is to be expected because my DiamondClean is priced over $200 and the Oral-B model I have on hand cost $140. It's still stylish, easy to clean, and ergonomic in the hand, though.

colgatebrushside
Inside of the Colgate Smart, there's an accelerometer that's able to detect the position of the brush in your mouth, which allows it to determine whether or not you're thoroughly brushing your teeth.

colgateonbase
A matching plastic base comes with the Colgate Smart and is used to charge it. Though so light that it barely feels like a battery is inside, the brush can last for two weeks before needing to be recharged.

iPhone Connectivity and App

The Colgate Smart app also appears to be a mirror of the app that the Kolibree smart brushes use. Pairing the toothbrush to the iPhone was a quick and simple process, and while I did see a Bluetooth disconnection or two during my time testing the Colgate Smart, it was always quick to reconnect and I had no glaring connection problems.

There are a few different modes in the Colgate app that are designed to walk you through a thorough brushing experience or encourage you to brush longer. Coach+, for example, displays a 3D model of a set of teeth and it lights up with each area that you need to clean. It has you brush 16 different zones, spending approximately eight seconds on each section.

colgatebrushingguide
The brush itself, as previously mentioned, has an accelerometer so it can tell where you're brushing. Using the accelerometer to detect my brushing was a hit or miss on the left side of my mouth. Despite brushing properly on that side, the app didn't feel like I was holding the brush in the right position, so half of the time, it would tell me that I was in the wrong zone and it wouldn't count it as adequate brushing.

Almost every time I brushed, I had to adjust my grip on and reposition the brush to get it to register, and by the time I did that, it had moved on to a new section. That resulted in a frustrating experience where the app was telling me I hadn't brushed well enough, while also not giving me extra brushing time to make it up at the end. If it's going to tell me I missed a spot, it should add extra brushing time so I can properly cover all of the sections of my mouth.

colgatebrushinginterface
Though the brush uses an accelerometer to determine where it is in your mouth, there is no pressure sensitivity, so it's not going to know when you're pressing too hard. In fact, it doesn't even know when it's touching a tooth since it relies entirely on brush position. It's a system that works well for the most part, but has flaws.

Along with the Coach+ brushing mode, there's also a "Coach" mode that's supposed to be personalized, but over the course of testing the brush, this mode never updated and was the same as the standard brushing mode for me. There are also two games, which are focused on getting you to brush for a full two minutes rather than monitoring where you're brushing, so that's a good alternative for a more relaxed brushing experience or for children.

You don't have to have the Colgate app open when you brush if you don't want to. Even when the app is closed, the brush will track where in your mouth you brushed and for how long, and it will log it the next time your iPhone is nearby.

If you brush offline, the brush will pause four times for each quadrant of your mouth (top left, top right, bottom left, and bottom right) so you're not spending too much time in one area.

The main page of the app has a weekly average featuring the length of your average brushing session, your brushing frequency, and your overall surface coverage, and it will show how much coverage you achieved when you last brushed your teeth. If you swipe to the right, you can also see how you did during past brushing sessions.

colgatemainappscreen
You can also tap the "Duration," "Frequency," and "Surface" readings to see more detailed graphs of your brushing habits over the past week, month, and year.

Other app features include a battery reading, a help section, and access to the Colgate shop where you can purchase additional brush heads. Brush heads need to be replaced every three months and cost $19 for a pack of three.

Bottom Line

The Colgate Smart Electronic Toothbrush is going to improve your brushing habits over a manual toothbrush with its timed brushing to motivate you to spend more time on your teeth and its ability to detect problem areas that aren't getting enough attention, but I didn't find that the brushing experience was as robust as I get with other comparable brushes from Sonicare and Oral-B.

If you already use an electric toothbrush from a company like Sonicare and Oral-B and have good brushing habits, there's no reason to switch to the Colgate Smart Electronic Toothbrush. If you have a manual brush and like the simplicity of it but want to add smart features, that's something the Colgate Smart can deliver.

colgatebrushinhand
Colgate's partnership and rebranding of the Kolibree toothbrush is the company's first foray into the higher-end toothbrush market, and there's still some work to be done. Detection of brush position could use some improvement as it was inaccurate for me at times, and the app itself could use a brushing mode with an option to make up any missed areas to achieve better brushing. On the plus side, the in-app games may encourage better brushing in children.

Because the Colgate Smart is a straightforward electronic toothbrush designed to be as simple as possible, there are no different modes to choose from and there are no brush head options. That's great if you want something easy, but it's not as full-featured or as powerful as similar smart brushes from Philips and Oral-B, and in my opinion, it doesn't quite measure up to brushes that have more to offer.

How to Buy

You can purchase the Colgate Smart Electronic Toothbrush from the online Apple Store for $99.95.

Note: Colgate provided MacRumors with a Colgate Smart Electronich Toothbrush for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received.

Top Rated Comments

Ultramove69 Avatar
46 months ago
I question why everything has to be “smart” these days.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
oneMadRssn Avatar
46 months ago
Of all the things I use, the toothbrush is close to then bottom on the list of things I wish had bluetooth/wifi and a companion app.

Like, I'd rather have a smart towel that tracked how wet/dry it was, provided data of how long it takes to go from wet to dry, and notified me when it was dry or when it had been wet for too long and thus risked mildew. Or, how about a smart bobblehead that detected when i got home and started bobbling on it's own? Or, how about a smart cordless drill? All things higher on the list than toothbrush.

Things lower on the list than toothbrush are: smart napkin holder; smart doorstop; smart tape dispenser.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
barkomatic Avatar
46 months ago
One day it may report I haven't brushed often enough or correctly enough to my insurance company so that they can adjust my rate accordingly.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Norbs12 Avatar
46 months ago
Because they think people are dumb!
They're not far off.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
synergize Avatar
46 months ago
I question why everything has to be “smart” these days.
Because they think people are dumb!
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
justperry Avatar
46 months ago
Next up, smart toilet paper.:rolleyes:
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Flat 2021 MacBook Pro Mockup Feature

Unreleased Apple Macs and Apple Watches Listed in Eurasian Database Ahead of Fall Product Launches

Monday August 2, 2021 9:34 am PDT by
Apple is preparing for a slew of fall product launches according to new filings that showed up today in the Eurasian Economic Commission database. There are listings for new Mac and Apple Watch models, all of which have previously unknown model identifiers that indicate that they're upcoming devices. There are six new Apple Watch identifiers, including A2473, A2474, A2475, A2476, A2477, and...
ifixit iphone12 mini

Apple to Make Space for Larger Batteries in iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks By Adopting Slimmer Peripheral Chips

Monday August 2, 2021 2:12 am PDT by
For future iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks, Apple plans to use smaller internal components in an effort to increase the size of the device's battery, according to DigiTimes. Image Credit: iFixit Specifically, Apple plans to "significantly increase the adoption" of IPDs or integrated passive devices for the peripheral chips in its products. These news chips will be slimmer in size and allow for...
Apple Watch 7 Unreleased Feature

Apple Watch Series 7 to Focus on One Major Upgrade

Wednesday August 4, 2021 2:12 am PDT by
The upcoming Apple Watch Series 7 will focus on one important feature in an attempt to tempt existing Apple Watch users that have an older device to upgrade, according to recent reports. Apple may skip adding new health sensors to this year's Apple Watch Series 7 in favor of improving the device's battery life. The company is said to be adopting new double-sided System in Package (SiP)...
magic keyboard touch id

Apple Makes Magic Keyboard With Touch ID Available for Separate Purchase

Tuesday August 3, 2021 5:22 am PDT by
Apple has made the Magic Keyboard with Touch ID, which previously was only available with the purchase of the new 24-inch iMac, available for purchase individually for $149. Apple also retails the Magic Keyboard with Touch ID and a numeric keypad for $179. A standard Magic Keyboard without Touch ID or a numeric keypad is available for $99, and a new Magic Trackpad for $129. One major...
iPhone 13 Wi Fi 6E feature update

Wi-Fi 6E Explained: What It Could Mean for iPhone 13 and Beyond

Monday August 2, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 is widely expected to come with Wi-Fi 6E capabilities, and while it may seem rather nuanced to the average consumer, with only improved speeds and being "up to date" in the realm of Wi-Fi technology, it's actually a fairly significant improvement, laying the groundwork for much of what we know the future holds. To truly understand Wi-Fi 6E, MacRumors sat down for an exclusive...
applestoredown

Apple's Online Store Temporarily Down [Update: Back Up]

Tuesday August 3, 2021 4:01 pm PDT by
Apple's online Apple Store is down at the current time, and attempting to access it to make a purchase gives the standard "Be Right Back" message. Given that it's a Tuesday night/afternoon in the United States and we're not expecting any new products this week, it's likely that this is a temporary maintenance outage that is not related to a new product release. The Apple Store app is also...
themorningshowcarrell

Apple Decided Not to Buy Reese Witherspoon's 'Hello Sunshine' Media Company

Monday August 2, 2021 2:02 pm PDT by
Reese Witherspoon's media company "Hello Sunshine" recently courted various buyers, and while Apple was one of parties interested in buying Hello Sunshine, the Cupertino company did not end up going through with the purchase. Hello Sunshine was valued at around $900 million thanks to its involvement in popular series like The Morning Show," "Big Little Lies," and "Little Fires Everywhere,"...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Apple Brings China's Luxshare Precision into iPhone 13 Supply Chain to Meet Production Targets

Wednesday August 4, 2021 12:19 am PDT by
Apple is tapping more Chinese suppliers as it seeks to meet ambitious targets for iPhone 13 production, according to a new report by Nikkei Asia. Apple is set to produce between 90 million and 95 million iPhones through January, according to a previous Nikkei report, and China's Luxshare Precision Industry has won 3% of orders away from Taiwanese rivals Foxconn and Pegatron. Luxshare will...
mac pro new graphics

Apple Introduces New High-End Graphics Options for Mac Pro

Tuesday August 3, 2021 7:34 am PDT by
Apple today began offering new high-end graphics upgrade options for both the tower and rack versions of the Mac Pro desktop computer. This comes on the same day that Apple started selling the Magic Keyboard with Touch ID on a standalone basis. As noted by CNN Underscored's Jake Krol, the Mac Pro can now be configured with new AMD Radeon Pro W6800X, W6800X Duo, or W6900X graphics when...
General Apps Messages

Android iMessage Competitor Puts Pressure on Apple

Friday July 30, 2021 3:15 am PDT by
Google and the three major U.S. carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, will all support a new communications protocol on Android smartphones starting in 2022, a move that puts pressure on Apple to adopt a new cross-platform messaging standard and may present a challenge to iMessage. Verizon recently announced that it is planning to adopt Messages by Google as its default messaging...