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Philips 3200 vs 4300 vs 5400: Which Espresso Machine is Best?

If you’re in the market for a new coffee maker, you’ve probably seen a few models from Philips. Perhaps the fully automatic espresso machine lineup has caught your eye.

But how do you choose the perfect one for your brewing needs?

To help you decide, let’s compare the Philips 3200, the Philips 4300, and the Philips 5400. This should help you understand the variations from each series so you can evaluate the features and drawbacks. let the battle begin.

Philips 3200 vs 4300 vs 5400: Overview

Before we dig deep into the comparison, let’s take a look at the product included in each series.

The Philips 3200 Series

Philips 3200 is a notable step up from its predecessor, the 2200. Overall, it’s an excellent entry point into the world of super-automatic espresso machines, but it’s not a single model.

Instead, the series includes two main variations. The first is the iconic LatteGo model, which features the convenient and efficient LatteGo system for automatic milk frothing. Meanwhile, the second is the steam wand version.

Pros

  • 5 beverages on the LatteGo version (4 on the classic wand version)
  • Relatively affordable
  • Shares a lot of the design aspects of the newer versions

Cons

  • Not the most intuitive control panel
  • Limited features and beverage customization options
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PHILIPS 3200 Series Fully Automatic Espresso Machine, Classic Milk Frother, 4 Coffee Varieties, Intuitive Touch Display, 100% Ceramic Grinder, AquaClean Filter, Aroma Seal, Black (EP3221/44)
  • With Philips 3200 Series easily make up to 5 black and milk-based coffee varieties at the touch of a button! Enjoy the delicious taste and aroma of coffee from fresh beans at…
  • Classic Milk Frother System: Dispenses steam, allowing you to easily prepare silky smooth milk froth for your cappuccino
  • Intuitive Touch Display: Select the perfect coffee for your mood with just one touch

The Philips 4300 Series

The 4300 series finds its place as a middle ground between the 3200 and 5400 series. This one comes with more beverage options and a few advanced features for a convenient brewing experience.

Much like the 3200, this series includes two variations: the LatteGo version and the one with the classic milk frother wand.

Pros

  • 8 beverages on the LatteGo version (5 on the classic wand version)
  • TFT display
  • 2 user profiles

Cons

  • No extra shots
PHILIPS 4300 Series Fully Automatic Espresso Machine – LatteGo Milk Frother, 8 Coffee Varieties, Intuitive Touch Display, Black, (EP4347/94)
  • With Philips 4300 Series easily make up to 8 black and milk-based aromatic coffee varieties with the touch of a button! Enjoy the delicious taste and aroma of coffee from…
  • LatteGo Milk System: Top your coffee off with a silky-smooth layer of milk froth
  • Intuitive Touch Display: Select the perfect coffee for your mood with just one touch

The Philips 5400 Series

For those seeking a premium and feature-rich option, the 5400 series is the way to go.

The series features a LatteGo version (available from Williams-Sonoma). However, there’s no variation with the classic wand here.

Pros

  • 12 beverages
  • TFT display
  • Extra shot available
  • 4 user profiles

Cons

  • Hefty price tag
PHILIPS 5400 Fully Automatic Espresso Machine with LatteGo, EP5447/94 (Renewed)
  • Enjoy 12 coffees at your fingertips, including café au lait Every moment has its own kind of coffee to enjoy. From powerful espresso to indulgent cappuccino, your fully…
  • Silky smooth milk froth thanks to high speed LatteGo system Top your coffee off with a silky-smooth layer of milk froth. By using cyclonic frothing technology, LatteGo…
  • Easy selection of your coffee with the intuitive display There’s little standing between you and your next delicious cup of coffee with our easy to use display. In a few steps…

Philips 3200 vs 4300 vs 5400: Head-to-Head Comparison

To even the playing field, we’ll be focusing on the LatteGo versions rather than the ones with the classic milk frothing wand.

At the core, these coffee machines are highly similar, from the detachable elements to the tank capacity. The main differences are the number of one-touch coffee drinks and the advanced features available on the screen.

Fresh coffee in espresso coffee machine

Display and Control Panel Intuitiveness

Speaking of screens, the 4300 and 5400 series models come equipped with a clear TFT (Thin-Film Transistor) display. On the other hand, the 3200 series features a regular touch display, but that shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

The important distinction here is the intuitiveness, and the newer models offer a more user-friendly experience. For one, the menu options and settings are laid out in a scrollable menu, making it easier to navigate and access different functions compared to the 3200 series.

To execute commands on the 3200 series, you may need a specific sequence of actions.

For example, restoring to factory settings on the older version involves turning the machine off, pressing and holding the espresso icon for 3 seconds, waiting for the start/stop light to pulse, confirming the restoration, and then turning the machine back on.

Processes like this can be a bit complicated and may require referring to the user manual more than once to understand all the steps.

In contrast, on the 4300 or 5400 series, restoring to factory settings is a simple process. All you need is to tap on the settings icon, scroll down to “Factory Settings,” and press the OK icon.

Plus, the newer models, the 4300 and 5400 series, offer additional settings that can enhance the user experience. For example, users can switch between measuring units, choosing between milliliters (ml) and ounces (oz), according to their preference.

Verdict

The 3200 has to sit this one out.

While all the Philips fully automatic espresso machines offer neat displays, the 4300 and 5400 stand out with their intuitive and user-friendly controls.

Beverage Variety

The 3200 LatteGo provides five beverage options, including cappuccino, coffee, latte macchiato, Americano (or iced coffee on the EP3241/74 model), and espresso.

Quick note: check out our guide on coffee drinks if you’re not familiar with all the names just yet!

In comparison, the 4300 LatteGo expands the selection to eight drinks by ditching the iced coffee option, opting for the one-touch Americano, and adding café au lait, caffé crema, and ristretto to the mix.

On the other side, the 5400 LatteGo takes it a step further, offering an impressive selection of twelve drinks. It does everything the 4300 model does, plus caffe latte, flat white, and espresso lungo. There’s also a travel mug function in there!

It’s worth mentioning that on the display of the 4300 and 5400 series machines, only six drinks are initially displayed on the screen. To access the remaining drinks, users can click on “More Drinks” and scroll through the extended menu.

Note that all three models can dispense hot water. What sets the 4300 and 5400 series apart is their standalone frothed milk function, which makes it easier to create beverages like matcha lattes or hot chocolate.

It’s still possible to make frothed milk drinks without brewing on the 3200, but you need a bit of a workaround. Some users figured out a pretty neat trick. Just use the “pre-ground coffee” option (without using any coffee) and make a latte to get a cup with just foamed milk.

Verdict 

When it comes to milk-based drinks, the 3200 series falls short compared to the 4300 and 5400 series. 

Aroma Strength

All three automatic coffee machines let you adjust the coffee and milk length in the cup. However, they don’t all have the same aroma extraction controls.

You only get three aroma strength settings on the 3200, while the 4300 offers five levels.

Espresso machine pouring espresso

The 5400 has five aroma strength levels, but you’ll also find a unique sixth level specifically designed for an extra shot. This feature boosts the intensity and adds more flavor to the coffee without increasing the bitterness level.

Verdict

If you like your coffee intense, consider the 5400 the round winner here.

User Profiles

The 4300 LatteGo can store customized drink preferences for up to two users. You’ll know which settings are activated by looking at the profile button, which shifts from green to blue. If it’s not colored, then the machine is running in guest mode.

Guest profile mode allows visitors to create their variations of drinks without interfering with your coffee settings. That’s a handy feature for when you’ve got coffee-crazy friends over.

The Philips 5400 series also has a guest mode, but it takes things to the next level by supporting up to four user profiles. Each profile is assigned a specific color (green, blue, yellow, or pink), making it easy to identify and switch between individual settings.

The 3200 series? It doesn’t provide the option for customizing multiple user profiles.

Verdict

With the ability to store personalized profiles, the machines in the 4300 and 5400 series are a better fit for households with multiple coffee lovers.

Build Quality and Sustainability

All three Philips fully automatic espresso machines feature a similar Italian design and are manufactured in Romania. So, you can expect a consistent level of quality across the models.

You’ll even notice similar design elements, like the adjustable spout and the front access tanks.

That said, the Philips 5400 might just stand out with its chromed front finish, which adds a premium feel to the machine’s appearance.

Moving on to sustainability, we couldn’t find much of a difference. All three products incorporate an ECO setting.

Verdict

For the most part, it’s a tie.

Heating Performance

The three contenders offer three heating settings and maintain the water around 194–208 °F (90–98°C), which is really close to the optimal water temperature range for brewing.

However, it’s worth noting that some people have noticed that the 3200 series may be slightly slower to turn on and heat up.

Verdict

This round also doesn’t have a clear winner, and if there’s any difference in operation speed, it’s not a huge one.

Grinder

No matter which way you go, you’ll end up with a ceramic grinder. That’s not bad news, though.

After all, ceramic grinders are known for their ability to provide a full-bodied taste in brewed coffee compared to their steel counterparts.

Each of these models offers 12 grind settings, allowing you to adjust the coarseness according to your preference and the type of coffee you’re brewing.

Verdict

We couldn’t find a standout in the grinding aspect (from the quality to the noise level). However, we wanted to note that LatteGo systems can feel a bit noisy if you’re not used to them.

Capacity

All three models have a water tank capacity of 1.8 liters, allowing you to brew multiple cups of coffee before needing to refill. Plus, they feature the same size, with a 0.26-liter milk carafe.

For the coffee itself, the machines can hold up to 275 grams. The hoppers are also equipped with an aroma seal, which can help keep the coffee beans fresh for longer. Additionally, all three machines have a pre-ground bypass compartment, in case you want a decaf cup.

Verdict

Once again, we have a tie.

Maintenance and Cleaning

Since the build and design are similar, you can just pop the removable brew group out and rinse it under the tap. Meanwhile, the drip trays and LatteGo systems in the models are both removable and dishwasher-safe, making the cleaning chore a breeze.

Now, things get a little tricky when it comes to descaling.

They’re all equipped with an AquaClean filter, which helps combat limescale build-up and reduces the frequency of descaling. However, the difference lies in the indicator system.

In the new versions, the AquaClean shows you the status as a percentage/rate, which helps you keep track of the maintenance schedule. You’ll also get a reminder to buy a new water filter and another one when it’s time to descale and replace the filter.

On the other hand, the 3200 series has a simpler indicator system. The indicator flashes orange when you need to replace the filter. When it turns blue, you’ll know that the AquaClean is active and good to go.

Verdict

While the maintenance is pretty convenient on all three models, the slight variation in the indicator systems gives the 4300 and 5400 an edge over the 3200.

FAQs

Should I get the LatteGo or the classic milk frother version of the Philips espresso machines?

We’d recommend going for the LatteGo only if you’re a fan of milk-based coffee drinks and don’t have time to froth manually.

Otherwise, the manual steam wand versions can help you save some bucks if you prefer black coffee or want more control over the frothing process.

What is the “Hot Water” setting on the new Philips coffee machines good for?

You can use the “Hot Water” option to prepare non-caffeinated beverages, like tea or hot chocolate. Think of it as a built-in kettle.

Final Scoop

The Philips 3200, 4300, and 5400 offer highly similar features. If money isn’t an issue, then the 5400 would definitely offer a more luxurious experience with its four user profiles, wide one-touch drink varieties, and aroma-strength controls.

However, if you’re not part of a large household or are on a tight budget, the 3200 would still be a great pick, especially if it’s your first fully automatic espresso machine. Just try to use oil-free beans to keep the machines in tip-top shape!

Are all the picks we’ve reviewed here out of your budget? Check out our guide for the best espresso makers under $200 instead.

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