Philips PowerPro Ultimate FC9920 - Stairs, Pet Hair and Verdict

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Philips PowerPro Ultimate FC9920 – Stairs

The Philips PowerPro Ultimate is a bit of lump, and certainly didn’t look comfortable overhanging our fairly standard 9-inch-deep steps. Sit it up on its rear and it looked even less comfortable, looking pretty much ready to leap off. This isn’t a cleaner you want to place one step after another; and its size and weight don’t make for an easy “carry and clean” attack on stairs either.

Thankfully, the 7.6m-long cable meant the cleaner would reach to the very base or the top of our stairs, plus the long hose and handle meant addressing the whole flight in two halves wasn’t a problem either. The tubes tended to make cleaning a little more awkward rather than extending the reach further, particularly on our stairs with a 180-degree turn halfway up. We resorted to attaching the tools directly to the handle.

The main floor-head is ambitiously large for stairs, but is fine as long as you have a straight flight and you need to move it only back and forth. Add in some angles and its freely moving neck and easy-rolling wheels make it a bit of a navigational handful.

It’s better to opt for the upholstery detail brush, although this is exactly the opposite – rather too small and inflexible. Still, the solid suction power on the highest setting and air release cut-outs in the side of this tool mean cleaning is effective, if rather physical and time-consuming.

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Philips PowerPro Ultimate FC9920

Philips PowerPro Ultimate FC9920 – Pet Hair  

The PowerPro Ultimate doesn’t really set out to be a pet-specific cleaner. Without a rotating brush bar, furry fluff and doggy detritus was always going to prove a challenge. On hard floors, the TriActiveMax head did a sterling job of pulling in the tumbleweed, cleaning deep into corners, and didn’t suffer too badly from hairs getting caught in the drop-down bristles.

Carpet proved more of a challenge, but the TriActiveMax head turned in surprisingly good results, cleaning our test patch of mixed dog hairs in around 15-16 seconds. That’s a fair way off what we’d class as a pet-specific cleaner, but it was also a long way from being a complete failure.

For those with smaller animals, perhaps confined to one room, the PowerPro will be fine. For our farmhouse with multiple muddy dogs that appear to moult enough hair to stuff a cushion every day, it struggled.

Which in itself lead us into a price/performance debate. While the PowerPro Ultimate’s cleaning performance is generally excellent, the retail price the wrong side of £300. One could argue that some sort of power-head or at least turbo brush head for pet hair would be pretty much mandatory. I guess it depends on whether or not you have pets.

Should I buy the Philips PowerPro Ultimate FC9920?

Philips has charged back into the UK floor-care market with a superb cleaner, packing in big features, big capacity, and great hard-floor and carpet-cleaning ability. While the weight and lack of rotating brush for pet hairs might put some off, the excellent filtration is ideal for allergy sufferers; and the inspired TriMaxActive head cleans right up to room edges with ease.

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Verdict

A big, powerful and very capable vacuum cleaner with excellent all-round cleaning results. For a price.

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