Saeco Xelsis Vs Philips 3200: Honest Review Of 2 Intuitive And Potent Espresso Machines After 2 Months Of Testing

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After 2 months of daily brewing, I have decided the winner between Saeco Xelsis vs Philips 3200. For me, Philips 3200 is the winner and is the better value-for-price product.

Philips 3200 is one of the most stable models I have ever tested. Its espresso quality is consistently nutty, robust, and aromatic. I also like its favorable cleaning cycles. On top of that, the milk system can handle microfoam as well. With all these features and a small price tag, this model is suitable for beginners and experienced users.

As for Saeco Xelsis, this machine is not bad at all. In fact, I quite like its espresso and milk quality. However, the brewing time is not very efficient t=since it takes forever to dose and tamp. And, I’m not fond of the shallow drip tray either. I will elaborate further below.

Saeco Xelsis vs Philips 3200: Comparison Chart

Image
THE WINNER (#1)
Philips 3200 Series Fully Automatic Espresso Machine w/ Milk Frother, Black, EP3221/44
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Saeco Xelsis Super Automatic Espresso Machine, Titanium Metal Front, SM7684/04
Model
Philips 3200 EP3221/44
Saeco Xelsis
Dimensions (LxWxH)
9.8 x 17 x 14.6 inches
11.1 x 19.2 x 15.5 inches
Color / Material
Black / Plastic
Black / Titanium and Plastic
Weight / Power / Voltage
16.5 Pounds / 1500W / 120V
25.8 pounds / 120V
Water Tank Capacity
60.85 oz
57 oz
Bean Hopper Size
9.6 oz
12.3 oz
Grind Settings
12 settings
12 settings
Coffee Grinder Type
Ceramic burr grinder
Flat ceramic burr grinder
Milk-based one-touch beverages
Adjustable coffee aroma
Descale alert
Spout Height
3.3 - 5.7 inches
3 - 6 inches
Water tank position
Frontal
Frontal
Programmable Drinks
9 Drinks
15 Drinks
Used Coffee Drawer Capacity
Up to 12 servings
Up to 14 servings
Interface
Touchscreen
Touchscreen
What I Like
Price
$599.00
$1,600.00
THE WINNER (#1)
Image
Philips 3200 Series Fully Automatic Espresso Machine w/ Milk Frother, Black, EP3221/44
Model
Philips 3200 EP3221/44
Dimensions (LxWxH)
9.8 x 17 x 14.6 inches
Color / Material
Black / Plastic
Weight / Power / Voltage
16.5 Pounds / 1500W / 120V
Water Tank Capacity
60.85 oz
Bean Hopper Size
9.6 oz
Grind Settings
12 settings
Coffee Grinder Type
Ceramic burr grinder
Milk-based one-touch beverages
Adjustable coffee aroma
Descale alert
Spout Height
3.3 - 5.7 inches
Water tank position
Frontal
Programmable Drinks
9 Drinks
Used Coffee Drawer Capacity
Up to 12 servings
Interface
Touchscreen
What I Like
Price
$599.00
More Info
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Image
Saeco Xelsis Super Automatic Espresso Machine, Titanium Metal Front, SM7684/04
Model
Saeco Xelsis
Dimensions (LxWxH)
11.1 x 19.2 x 15.5 inches
Color / Material
Black / Titanium and Plastic
Weight / Power / Voltage
25.8 pounds / 120V
Water Tank Capacity
57 oz
Bean Hopper Size
12.3 oz
Grind Settings
12 settings
Coffee Grinder Type
Flat ceramic burr grinder
Milk-based one-touch beverages
Adjustable coffee aroma
Descale alert
Spout Height
3 - 6 inches
Water tank position
Frontal
Programmable Drinks
15 Drinks
Used Coffee Drawer Capacity
Up to 14 servings
Interface
Touchscreen
What I Like
Price
$1,600.00
More Info

Last update on 2022-05-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Saeco Xelsis vs Philips 3200: Differences

Philips 3200 wins 3 – 1 against Saeco Xelsis, all thanks to its delicious espresso, stable and quiet grinder, elaborate cleaning cycles, among other features that I find very attractive for an espresso machine in such a good price range. I will tell you how these espresso makers have worked for me during the 2 months of testing.

Coffee flavor: Tie

+Grinder

Let’s get to know Philips 3200 and Saeco Xelsis’ grinders first. Philips 3200 is equipped with a ceramic conical burr grinder, while Saeco Xelsis comes with a flat ceramic burr grinder. Each type has pros and cons to them.

With Philips 3200, I get a very stable and quiet grinder with 12 settings for various ground textures. The results have been smooth and even, and I don’t see much leftover in the grinder either. In the long run, ceramic and conical is a wonderful combination of designs since it avoids jams and leftover coffee ground in the grinder. 

With Saeco Xelsis, the grinder has been working equally smoothly. The ground results are even, and the operation is silent. I’m satisfied with the overall operation so far. However, I wouldn’t say that the “flat” design is an ideal grinder shape since the shape is more prone to jams and leftovers, resulting in breakage or hectic cleaning sessions. 

Material-wise, ceramic is a wonderful pick for a coffee grinder since it doesn’t heat the coffee beans or coffee ground too much, affecting espressos’ taste. With ceramic grinders, the quality of the beans remains unchanged. 

Nowadays, most espresso makers use ceramic for their grinders. What you need to keep in mind is that ceramic is more fragile than steel. There is no doubt about that. But, if you keep the grinder from suffering external impacts, you can get delicious espressos for years. 

Saeco Xelsis has a smooth grinder
Saeco Xelsis has a smooth grinder

+Dosing + tamping

Philips 3200 easily wins this round because, even though both devices dose and tamp automatically, Saeco Xelsis takes a much longer time to dose and tamp. With Philips 3200, I pick the drink when the water is ready, and it takes 25-30 seconds for the espresso to start dispensing. 

On the contrary, Saeco Xelsis takes me roughly 40-45 seconds for a single espresso to start dispensing. It’s indeed only a few seconds more, and a few seconds don’t sound too bad. But it can get tiresome when you stand next to the machine and wait for it to start extracting when you are in a hurry. 

This is not a major minus point for Xelsis since 45 seconds aren’t much. I just want to throw the info out there so you can compare and consider all aspects. 

+Heating system 

Philips 3200 and Saeco Xelsis use a single boiler to brew their drinks in terms of heating systems. There is a catch here.

Saeco Xelsis does a better job at making hot espressos. The drinks come out steaming, and I take time to sip them to avoid burning my tongue. With Philips 3200, the temperature is definitely for enjoying right away without being scadled, but it’s not too cool either.

Overall, I prefer the temperature performance of Saeco Xelsis because I prefer hot drinks that take time to enjoy.

Milk System: Philips 3200 

Philips 3200 and Saeco Xelsis can froth quality milk foam. I can guarantee that. Dry and airy foam is their specialty. While Philips 3200 directs towards manual control with its steam wand, Saeco Xelsis offers a convenient automatic carafe. 

Why do I pick Philips 3200 as the winner in this particular round? Because, as I have mentioned, it offers more control. I can decide more freely if I want a creamy layer of foam or a drier one with the steam wand. The process is more organic, and I get to play around with the texture.

With Saeco Xelsis, users also have access to the flexible milk texture option, but there are only 4 levels of foam, which range from no foam to dry foam, so there are definitely fewer options.

Utilities: Saeco Xelsis 

Saeco Xelsis: Utilities
Saeco Xelsis: Utilities

Saeco Xelsis wins thanks to its one-touch milk-based beverages like cappuccino, latte, flat white, etc., and its 6 user profiles. This means that 6 different users can save the drinks they like and the settings they have applied to each recipe without affecting other users and vice versa.

If you are a beginner, I still highly recommend Saeco Xelsis because, despite having minor aspects that aren’t as stable as those of 3200, this machine is still straightforward to manage. 

Cleaning & Maintain: Philips 3200 

It’s easy to clean Philips 3200 and Saeco Xelsis since they have many integrated cleaning processes that can execute automatically. From rinsing the milk system to the entire brew path, both machines have unique cycles for each purpose. 

But, Philips 3200 wins the round because it has various warnings on the interface that tells us when to clean, and its drip tray is well designed. On the interface, you will find multiple alerts about descaling or rinsing, depending on the state of the machine itself. 

Saeco Xelsis also has a good cleaning system, but its drip tray has left a wrong impression. If you dump the tray frequently on a daily basis, it won’t be a problem. But, if you wait until the end of the day after many brewing sessions, the tray will appear small, narrow, and ineffective. So cleaning the tray constantly (if you brew many times per day) is crucial.

Design & Material: Philips 3200

This is 100% subjective, but I prefer Philips 3200 since it looks much better on my kitchen stand than Saeco Philips. Don’t get me wrong, both espresso machines have a sleek and modern look to them, but Saeco Xelsis’s dark silver color looks pretty dull and makes the corner dimmed. 

Material-wise, even though Philips is made mainly of plastic while Saeco Xelsis is made almost entirely of titanium, the Xelsis has a flimsier feel to it. At the same time, 3200 appears to be much sturdier. 

Have you seen photos of Philips 3200 and Saeco Xelsis? What do you think?

Philips 3200: Design & Material
Philips 3200: Design & Material

Saeco Xelsis vs Philips 3200: Similarities

There are 2 similar features that Philips 3200 and Saeco Xelsis share that I want to highlight. Both greatly affect the convenience of daily use, so you won’t want to miss it.

Instructions on how to proceed with a cleaning cycle 

Whenever I start a cleaning cycle, like quick rinsing or descaling, Philips 3200 and Saeco Xelsis will show the instructions on the screen to guide me through. They tell me where to pour the cleaning solution, which buttons to press, or how long I should wait before doing the next step. 

I think this is a highly convenient feature, given that not many users are familiar with maintaining espresso machines. The same goes for me. Even though I’m an ex-barista, brewing drinks has always been more accessible than cleaning the devices. A bit of instruction will keep us from asking for help from Google.

Frontal water tank for easy access

There are various water placement designs that I have seen in models from all price ranges, and frontal access is one of the finest designs:

  1. It saves extra backspace.
  2. We don’t have to move the machine around to remove the tank.
  3. It’s easier and more convenient to refill frequently. 

Quick Rundown of Philips 3200

Philips 3200 Series Fully Automatic Espresso Machine w/ Milk Frother, Black, EP3221/44
3,387 Reviews
Philips 3200 Series Fully Automatic Espresso Machine w/ Milk Frother, Black, EP3221/44
  • Enjoy 4 coffees at your fingertips, makes espresso, hot water, coffee, Americano, Espresso Lungo
  • Intuitive touch display, frequency: 60 hertz
  • Adjust aroma strength and quantity
  • 12-step grinder adjustment
  • Aroma seal keep your beans fresh for longer

Last update on 2022-05-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Stable and consistent espresso extraction
  • Good drink temperature, the coffees come out hot
  • Easy and convenient to use with variable options for customization
  • Smart interface with easy control over the brew system
  • Authentic espresso flavor with good crema
  • One-touch Americano
Cons
  • No one-touch milk-based beverage

Quick Rundown of Saeco Xelsis

Sale
Saeco Xelsis Super Automatic Espresso Machine, Titanium Metal Front, SM7684/04
255 Reviews
Saeco Xelsis Super Automatic Espresso Machine, Titanium Metal Front, SM7684/04
  • Premier programming - The xelsis lets you program everything. From milk and espresso volume to dose, temperature, and texture only thing holding back your morning drink is you
  • User profile - And once you have your favorite drinks dialed-in, you can save them to your dedicated profile for easy access
  • Touchscreen control - The xelsis showcases its programming prowess with an accurate 3.5" Touchscreen
  • Hygiesteam system - An upgrade to the steam systems of old, the xelsis Fridge-ready milk carafe packs in texture control and automated purge and clean cycles
  • Double thermo blocks - Dedicated for both brewing and steaming offer accurate temperature controls for every drink in your recipe book

Last update on 2022-05-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Large display screen with responsive touchscreen controls
  • AquaClean filter & HygieSteam cleaning features are amazing
  • Accurate and barista-grade temperature controls
  • Coffee flavor is tasty and fresh
  • Convenient cleaning cycles for minimum manual work
Cons
  • Long dosing and tamping time
  • Drip tray is too shallow

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