When did vacuum cleaners get so sexy, and become something we actually look forward to reviewing? It all started with the Dyson V8, with its sleek design and light and cordless power cleaning. Suddenly, vacuum cleaners went from clunky suckers you lug around the house to swishy electronic magic brooms you can breezily flit around with. And now that other electronic brands have hopped onto the cordless bandwagon, consumers who can suck up the higher price tag of a cord-free sucker are never, ever getting back together with a traditional vacuum cleaner.  

We reviewed the new Philips SpeedPro Max Stick Vacuum Cleaner FC6823/61 recently, and let’s just say we didn’t want to give it back. Here’s why.

1. It’s $699, which is cheaper than other cordless vacuums on the market.
Market leader Dyson, which is still the most sought after brand, is selling its V8 model at $799, and the newer Dyson Cyclone V10 at $899 to $1,199. The Bosch Unlimited cordless vacuum is $1,399. We’ve only tried the V8, and while the cleaning power of the V8 and the Philips SpeedPro (it uses the PowerCyclone 8 technology) are comparable, the Speedpro has something the Dyson doesn’t have, which is…

2. An LED nozzle which reveals all your dirty secrets.
Even if you do all your cleaning in the day, in a brightly-lit house, there are still dark and dusty areas, such as the floors under sofas and beds. That’s when the LED lights at the front of the cleaner head come in handy. They literally light up every last speck of dust, dirt and hair, which means bye bye dust mites and other unsavouries. It’s like this vacuum cleaner can see into our souls and suck up all our flaws. And if you have dark coloured floors like us, it’s even more helpful. And hey, some people only find time to clean their house at night — don’t judge.

3. Trigger-free cleaning.
One gripe we had about the Dyson was the grip. You had to press and hold the trigger like a gun to operate the machine. Whether you’re in handheld or stick mode, pressing and holding the trigger can be taxing on your trigger finger, especially since you’re also maneuvering the vacuum cleaner. With the Speedpro max, just pick your speed and it stays on — you can then use your whole hand and all your fingers to grip and control the machine. Though we have to say the Dyson and its trigger feels more intuitive — maybe depressing the trigger only when you’re ready to suck can conserve some battery power, rather than just letting it run even when you’re moving to your next spot.

4. The 360 degree suction nozzle — clean forwards, backwards and sideways. 
The Speedpro claims to offer the fastest cordless cleaning experience with its 360 degree suction nozzle which captures dust and dirt from all sides with every stroke, as opposed to just sucking up dirt that’s right in front of it. Yes, even the backward strokes count, which is really awesome. And it did feel like we were cleaning faster with fewer swipes. We also liked that it’s easy to get the cleaner head to lie down flat, which means it’s easy to reach into low, narrow spaces.

5. More than an hour of bonding time with your sucky friend.
It provides up to 65 minutes of uninterrupted cleaning time with your buddy, five minutes more than the Dyson V10’s 60 minutes on one full charge. No big diff for us, TBH. Half an hour of cleaning, and we need to lie down anyway.

6. Space age-y design.
The Speedpro looks nice, very nice. But maybe it’s the Dyson’s long orange stick or sexy image, ’cos the Dyson still looks more deadly-cool, like it can kill your enemies — and not just dust mites — with pew pew lasers. Still, for its price and power, the Philips Speedpro is a very, very worthy investment.

Available in two models, the Philips SpeedPro Max FC6823/61 ($699) and Philips SpeedPro Max FC6813/61 ($549). From Philips and leading electronics stores, major department stores authorised dealers. More information at www.philips.com.sg.

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