The Philips Azur Performer is a pleasantly designed iron that looks good and is pleasantly lightweight in the hand.
Its steam performance is disappointing though, especially for a high-end iron. And it doesn't have an auto-off function for the times you leave it switched on or, worse still, you get distracted and leave it mid-way through ironing a garment.
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The Philips looks clean and modern, it's white and blue like the Bosch TDA7060GB, but the lighter blue, slimmer design and lighter weight in the hand give it a fresh feel. For no particular reason, it has a rather bling gold button on the body for the anti-calc function – a fairly standard one mechanism where you heat the iron and then unplug it and press the button (over a sink) to flush out any limescale deposits. The box also mentions using anti-calc tablets, but we found no information about this in the instruction manual.
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Elsewhere on the iron there are controls for water spray (a button under your thumb) and 140g/min steam shot (a trigger under your index finger) – these are the wrong way round in our opinion as you'll use steam more often and the thumb button is more comfortable to use. Your thumb also controls the level of steam with a switch that slides between three settings: off, eco and on. And there's a dial on the body of the iron to control temperature.
The power cord attaches via a small ball, so the cord can point in any direction. And a flap opens sideways to reveal a medium-sized fill hole that's just big enough to fill from a tap.
The iron comes up to temperature and starts generating steam promptly. But the steam isn't very powerful on either setting. As an iron it works well. For example, the shape of the soleplate is good and its triangular tip is thin enough to iron under even small buttons well. But you can't rely on there being enough steam to flatten stubborn creases.
There was no sign of an auto-off function, but the steam does stop whenever you stand the iron vertically on its heel. Lay it horizontally again and the steam resumes after around 5 seconds.
As with the power, there seems to be no auto-off for the steam when horizontal. We left it on the heatproof end of the ironing board for a few minutes and it just kept on going, leaving the board drenched and a series of little white dots temporarily.
Using an iron vertically is a good way to get a feel for the power of its steam shot. The Philips' vertical steam was short and sharp, not terrible but not as powerful as we'd expect for an iron at this price.
Packing up is easy: the advantage of the shorter-than-most 2m cord is there's less to wrap around the base of the iron, where it clips neatly in place.
No. It's a nice iron, but the steam performance doesn't cut the mustard at this price. If you're buying a top-of-the-range iron, instead consider the Bosch TDA7060GB or Tefal Ultimate Anti-Calc FV9640 instead. Or if you don't want tonnes of steam, save money and get the Morphy Richards Breeze 300254.
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A good iron but with a mediocre steam performance for the price.