Philips 2200 Series Super-Automatic Espresso Machine Review | Fresh Competition in the Entry-Level Category

Is it just my impression, or is Philips having big problems holding their own in the market for super-automatic machines? It could be that due to the superiority of brands like DeLonghi and Melitta, there hasn’t been much to go after in terms of entry-level super-automatics for the former heavyweight lately.

Philips EP2220/10 SensorTouch Kaffeevollautomat Arne

Is it just my impression, or is Philips having big problems holding their own in the market for super-automatic machines? It could be that due to the superiority of brands like DeLonghi and Melitta, there hasn’t been much to go after in terms of entry-level super-automatics for the former heavyweight lately.

While Philips has positioned itself well with its no-tube “LatteGo” milk frothing system, particularly with its 3200 Series, it otherwise remains lacking in profile, stale and without any real intrinsic value. This was particularly visible at the Berlin Consumer Electronics Show (IFA) 2019 .

The brand-new Philips 2200 Series, however, could turn the tide. That’s because this small machine, costing less than 550 USD, rivals a true classic in my Super-Automatic Machine Review:

While already ancient, the DeLonghi Magnifica ECAM 22.110.B is a benchmark for me when it comes to good espresso and milk foam from a cheap plastic shell.

Bringing life to the entry-level category!

Philips 2200 Series

Philips is best for pared-back basics.

Simple and intuitive operation

Decent beverage temperature

Good espresso and milk foam

Great value for money

Relatively large bean container

Pump somewhat loud

Made entirely of plastic

Buy it now
Best Product

The Philips model doesn’t offer anything more than that either. It’s just a little bit newer, a little bit more contemporary and offers a reasonable number of features.

Unfortunately, this video is only available in German.

The “Cheap vs. Cheap” duel has thus begun. You’ll see who ultimately wins the fight in my review report. You can also find out what I have to say about this Philips model in my YouTube video above.

The Philips 2200 Series At A Glace

Plastic, plastic and still more plastic to top it all off: absolutely every square centimeter of the Philips 2200’s surface is made of plastic. Even details that are usually metal, like the drip tray cover, are here only made of  plastic.

CategoryDetails
ManufacturerPhilips
Name2200 Series
TypeSuper-automatic espresso machine
GrinderCeramic flat burr grinder
Grind settings12
Pre-set drinks2
Individual beverage profilesNo
Water tank size 60 oz
Bean container size10 oz
Controls/displayTouch buttons
Adjustable coffee strength Yes
Adjustable temperatureYes
Adjustable fill levelYes
Water filterYes
Milk frothing systemManual milk frothing nozzle
Double cup functionYes
Casing materialPlastic
Weight 16.5 lb
Dimensions14.6 x 9.7 x 17 in

This is clearly characteristic of the price range of course. At least this plastic fantastic doesn’t stink of anything when you unpack it though.

Otherwise, at first glance, the 2200 Series looks like a shrunk down version of the previously mentioned Philips 3200 Series.  Here too, a touch button pad dominates the front panel.

Philips 2200 Series Super-Automatic Operation

Due to the size of both machines, from a distance, the buttons seem as if they are one display. In fact, there’s only some backlighting and a few illuminated scale icons. I do have to admit, however, that such a control pad doesn’t make me miss having a display panel. After all, there isn’t much to adjust and you can see exactly what you are doing.

Instead of an integrated milk frothing system without any tubes, the 300 euro model “only” comes with a manual steam wand. You can also only directly prepare two types of coffee – coffee or espresso – that’s it. The 3200 Series only had four choices though too.

Philips 2200 Series Super-Automatic Milk Frothing

What undoubtedly elevates Philips to the same level as the comparable DeLonghi model is the finely adjustable grinder. The DeLonghi offers 13 grind settings, this Philips one has 12. A conical stainless-steel burr grinder features in the DeLonghi model, whereas the Philips uses a ceramic flat burr. We’ll see if this is noticeable in any way later.

The bean container of the Philips model is a little over-sized for my liking, but apart from that all the components seem to be very well thought out. I find it marvelous that all the important settings for good super-automatic espresso (temperature, fill level, coffee quantity) can be so easily selected. Super-automatic machines, high-quality ones in particular, are usually much more complicated.

Philips 2200 Series Super-Automatic Bean Container

All things considered, it was clear to me from the start that the price-performance ratio for this entry-level Philips model is absolutely spot on. As with the DeLonghi, you dispense with the convenience of an automatic milk frothing system, but the well thought out control panel gives you somewhat more overview – even if you can adjust the espresso settings more finely with the DeLonghi machine.

Setting Up The Philips 2200 Series: A Little Adjustment

For some reason, Philips does its own thing regarding its pre-set reference amount and sets the fill level at much lower than normal. It’s certainly a peculiarity that when setting up a super-automatic machine for the first time, I have to increase the reference amount.

There are only low, medium and high options for setting coffee quantity, although you can still fine-tune the maximum amount. I have no idea why that is. Still, it works – just not without the instruction manual.

In all other respects, setting up the Philips is low-key and user-friendly – one of the most important evaluation points in this price category, I think.

Adjusting The Grinder Settings: Typical Economy Model!

A ceramic flat burr grinder and 12 different grind settings are a real statement – specifically a declaration of war aimed at DeLonghi. The Italians splurge with 13 grind settings across all price categories. Absolutely no one else dares do that.

Similar to DeLonghi however, Philips also founders somewhat at the finest grind settings. That’s why, like with my DeLonghi model, I prefer to leave my Philips 2200 Series set to work at Level 3 of 12.

Philips 2200 Series Super -Automatic Coffee Puck

An “economy model”, like this one here, is very susceptible to blockages, overloaded pumps, etc. and we don’t want to risk that. So we have to be honest too: the large range of grind settings is also a bit of a marketing ploy to entice people familiar with the preparation of coffee to the entry-level machines.

Setting adjustment is made via a push-to-turn knob in the bean container, which you should only adjust during operation – and, of course, only once you’ve filled it with coffee beans.

Adjusting the Espresso Settings: Easy As Pie

I got used to always using the approximate settings for a double espresso during my super-automatic machine reviews, because most models have an excessively high minimum fill level. I wouldn’t have had that problem with the Philips, but for the sake of comparability, I once again settled on a drink of around 40 milliliters.

Philips 2200 Series Super-Automatic Brewing Espresso Shot

In addition, I also cranked up each of the three-step scales, thereby changing the coffee quantity and temperature. The clearly illuminated scale icons make this extremely easy.

Brewing Espresso With The 2200 Series: Successful, But Not Exceptional

I was most impressed by the temperature of the finished espresso, which is at long last well above the lukewarm soup offered by most entry-level super-automatics and even portafilter machines too.

Philips 2200 Series Super-Automatic Espresso Shot Above

My espresso came out rather light in color and couldn’t offer an overly impressive crema either. Since I used a fairly light roast, this is not necessarily a problem with the machine – even if I do think that the coarseness of the grind is much too noticeable.

On a side note, the grinder sounds like it has a bit of a cold and is quite high-pitched, but it hums away at only a medium volume.

The pump makes a much bigger racket by comparison.

Philips 2200 Series Super-Automatic Espresso Shot

This is a well-known entry-level Philips problem. A few years ago, friends of mine got rid of their Philips HD-class machine on account of this. But they were also sensitive in that regard.

Milk Frothing: Uncomplicated, No Expertise Needed

Many flinch at the thought of manual steam wands. But with a decent pitcher, it’s no problem to make proper frothed milk by hand. With the Philips model, you just insert the wand into the milk, press the steam icon, then the start button and simply wait until the jug heats up.

Philips 2200 Series Super-Automatic Milk Foam Almost Finished

Without a whole lot of barista fuss, you get a decent volume of froth of a usable consistency. I could tell you now about tricks for making better milk foam with the super-automatic’s wand, but find that to be useless in this case.

Philips 2200 Series Super-Automatic Milk Foam Finished

That’s because the wand has a very limited radius of action and can also only generate a limited volume of steam. This is an important reason why generating microfoam from an entry-level super-automatic machine can be hit and miss. So don’t make things too complicated, the results will still make most of you happy.

Cleaning: Unspectacularly Sensible

I don’t need to say much at all about the Philips 2200’s basic cleaning and descaling procedure. It’s straightforward and reliable.

Philips 2200 Series Super-Automatic Brew Group Removed

As always, you can clean the brew group by turning off the machine, opening the service hatch, removing the brew group and rinsing it under water. The same also applies to all the other components: the grounds container, drip tray and water tank.

To descale the Philips 2200 Series, follow the operating instructions and the usual information about water hardness. By the way, I recently filmed a video on the subject of descaling – with the rival DeLonghi, no less. But what’s covered there also applies for Philips:

Unfortunately, this video is only available in German.

Philips has earned itself a special prize ribbon for its water tank. That’s because it’s made of a plastic that’s slightly yielding, while at the same time still exceptionally stable.

Philips 2200 Series Super-Automatic Water Tank

This type of plastic ensures that you have a much more secure grip on the tank when removing, cleaning and reinserting it. I also get the impression that this plastic would be forgiving if you ever dropped it. Almost every other water tank is highly susceptible to splintering in this regard.

My Conclusion: Not better, But Just As Enjoyable

I had feared that I’d have to rewrite my recently restored super-automatic review guide and assign the Philips 2200 Series a deserved place as the best super-automatic machine for under 300 euros.

Bringing life to the entry-level category!

Philips 2200 Series

Philips is best for pared-back basics.

Simple and intuitive operation

Decent beverage temperature

Good espresso and milk foam

Great value for money

Relatively large bean container

Pump somewhat loud

Made entirely of plastic

Buy it now
Best Product

However, this crown still belongs to the DeLonghi Magnifica ECAM 22.110.B – but only by the thinnest of margins.

The Philips model is a fraction unrefined when it comes to preparation and setting options. What’s more, it’s somewhat louder and not quite as convincing in terms of beverage results.

That said, it’s much more modern in style and, when sitting in your kitchen, doesn’t look quite so much like the cheap plastic shell that it is. These are merely outward appearances, but many people find them important. Apart from that, I also find that the Philips 2200 Series can be operated more straightforwardly and intuitively.

So decide for yourself: do you prefer user-friendly operation or convincing beverage results? Both the new Philips model and the DeLonghi old-timer offer what you need! Let me know what you think – in the comments section, of course!

I look forward to your comment

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