Top positive review
7500 v. 9700
Reviewed in the United States on September 12, 2017
Very nice Norelco for sensitive skin, and for use with foam or gel. The "Comfort Rings" really are effective at reducing irritation, and reduce friction gliding across your face using shaving creme. It's lighter weight (5.8 oz) than the 9700 (6.1 oz), and slightly shorter and slimmer for smaller hands. The color scheme matches the heads, and (to me) is an attractive change over silver or black, and the white/grey/blue combination shows less (eventually) soap or hard water film than the black body of the 9700 or 9300. About the same noise level running or cleaning. The 7500 is considerably cheaper than the 9700 - about $100 cheaper. Uses the same SmartClean cartridges, a plus, and the cleaning cycle runs about as long in the identical-appearing SmartClean station. The 7500 SmartClean station icons are brighter and easier to read, though fewer of them - on/off, cleaning, charging, finished. Replacement heads are slightly cheaper, and last about the same by report - around a year. The cutters are slightly different in the 7500 - SH70 vs SH90 - and seem to provide a more comfortable shave by comparison, but I can't tell whether the cutters or the Comfort Rings are the major factor in the difference; they just work. The 7500 uses similar accessories as the 9700 (they may even be interchangeable, although the connectors appear slightly different), and individual cutting head replacements are readily available for the 7500 (SH70). Both shavers use Li-Ion batteries, both recharge in about an hour, and both provide about an hour of shaving time. Both are quality built razors, made in the Netherlands.
Now the downside of the cheaper 7500 -
Only one battery icon - it shows a fully charged or a low battery. No real in between, although Norelco describes some sort of blinking code for one shave left, or not. Practically, it just shows you when the battery needs to be recharged. The 9700 shows the actual percentage of charge left, and even its sister shaver the 9300 has 5 diminishing bars so you know approximately how much charge is left. The SmartClean station for the 7500 has no drying function, where the 9700 station dries (in 4 hours) with induction heating, so the 7500 is left to air dry, which could take more than 24 hours, and the stations are not interchangeable. If you shave daily and you shave dry, you may need to manually dry the shaver before use. The 7500 has 5 rotational movements in the head, the 9700 has 8, although to me this was not apparent or significant - if you're pressing the head hard enough to go through the full range of motion on either head, you're likely pressing too hard. Your mileage may vary. The actual cutting ability and closeness of the shave for either shaver was to me very similar or identical, although the cutters on the 7500 do seem to slow down when going through thick gel or foam - if you shave wet you'll need to rinse the head more often. This brings up the last minus - there is no adjustment on the speed of the 7500, unlike the 3-speed adjustment on the 9700. The 7500 is basically on or off.
So there it is, warts and all; I actually really like the shaver, and it's a perceptible and significant improvement in comfort over the 9700/9300. And unfortunately, it doesn't appear you can just take the Comfort Ring head and snap it on the 9700 to get the best of both worlds - at least the 9700 won't fit in the 7500 SmartClean station and vice-versa, and I'm not sure if the gear ratios or speeds for the two shavers would match up. Although lacking some of the information and convenience do-dads of its 9000 Series cousins (1 star off for that to be fair), it's still a great razor and a bargain by comparison, but by no means cheap in the world of high end razors, and I highly recommend it for those with sensitive skin or who want what's probably the most comfortable shave you can get with an electric razor.