This is my Philips 3200 LatteGo review.
I do not own the machine. I have, however, spent a whole day researching other users’ experiences with this machine online to put together this review.
Let’s get started.
Should I Buy the Philips 3200 LatteGo (Quick Verdict)?
I would recommend buying the Philips 3200 LatteGo if you want a superautomatic espresso machine with an automatic milk frother and do not want to break the bank.
The 3200 is the cheapest super-automatic machine with automatic milk frothing on the market that is also of a high enough quality that I am happy to recommend it.
The value for money that you get from this machine is second to none so, while it is not the absolute best superautomatic available, you are never going to feel short-changed by this purchase.
The Philips 3200 LatteGo is a superautomatic espresso machine.
This means that all you need to do to make a coffee is fill the machine with whole coffee beans and water and press a couple of buttons corresponding to the type of coffee you want.
The machine will grind the coffee, dose out your ground coffee and water, and brew it for you.
The 3200 also has an automatic milk frother. You fill up the milk jug that attaches to the outside of the machine and it will heat and froth the milk for you depending on the type of drink that you select.
Below is a table containing the key features and specifications of the Philips 3200 LatteGo:
|Specification||Philips 3200 LatteGo|
|Dimensions (width x depth x height)||9.7” x 14.6” x 17.0”|
|Maximum cup clearance||5.5 inches|
|Number of black coffee options||3|
|Number of milky coffee options||2|
|Grinder type||Ceramic flat burr grinder|
|Grinder capacity||8.10 oz|
|Water tank capacity||61 oz|
|Used coffee container capacity||12 pucks|
|Milk container capacity||8.8 oz|
|Milk texture settings||1|
|Water filter||Yes – AquaClean filter|
|Removable brew group||Yes|
|Buy on Amazon||Check latest price|
I am now going to assess the Philips 3200 LatteGo across five key criteria. They are:
- Quality of Drinks
- Ease of Use
- Design and Build Quality
- Value for Money
Quality of Drinks
The 3200’s black coffee drinks are decent but nothing to write home about. Their milk-based drinks are better due to the LatteGo milk system’s high performance.
Quality of Black Coffee
Users of the machine say that its espresso is a little flat compared to other superautomatic machines.
The main reason I can find for this is that the 3200 does not brew espresso for long enough.
Espresso should be brewed for about 25 seconds. The Philips 3200 LatteGo brews espresso in about half this time.
This means that the water does not have enough contact time with the coffee grounds, so not enough extraction occurs. The coffee flavor is therefore quite diluted.
Filter coffees and Americanos from the machine suffer from the same problem with filter coffees being particularly weak and far worse than coffee made in a French press or pour-over.
Quality of Milk-Based Coffees
The 3200’s LatteGo system allows you to make better-frothed milk than a novice could with a manual steam wand.
The LatteGo system makes foam with relatively large bubbles. This is perfect for the latte macchiato and cappuccino that the machine makes.
The 3200’s milk frother cannot make finer foam, which I think is why the machine does not allow you to make lattes (these require finer steamed milk).
While the machine cannot steam the milk to the quality of an experienced barista, I think it’s unrealistic to expect it to do this.
The 3200 makes milk drinks in a bit of a strange way.
It dispenses the milk first followed by the coffee.
While this means that you cannot make layered drinks (which, to be fair, is a bit of a letdown since it claims to make cappuccino) the quality of the milk foam still means that it makes a good job for these milk-based drinks.
I would recommend adding an extra shot of espresso to these drinks since the machine’s espresso is a bit on the weak side.
Quality of Coffee Rating: 6/10
While the black coffee this machine makes is not the best, it redeems itself with its milk-based drinks.
Although the Philips 3200 LatteGo does not have a huge number of coffee drinks available, I am impressed by how far it allows you to customise each drink.
Available Coffee Drinks
The table below shows all the drinks that the Philips 3200 LatteGo makes. The descriptions apply to how the machine makes the drinks, rather than how the drinks are traditionally made:
|Name of drink||Description of drink|
|Espresso||One shot of coffee brewed under intense pressure from one dose of ground coffee|
|Coffee||A larger coffee brewed without pressure from one dose of ground coffee|
|Americano||An espresso topped with hot water|
|Cappuccino||An espresso combined with a small amount of foamed milk|
|Latte Macchiato||An espresso combined with a large amount of foamed milk|
The 3200 also has the option of giving you a double portion of all its black coffee drinks.
When you select this double portion it will double both the ground coffee and the water it uses.
This is far better than many other machines (*cough cough* Delonghi) that just give you more water when you select a double portion, meaning that double espressos are very watery.
The inability to make lattes is a glaring omission from the 3200s menu. I think it skips this drink because its milk frother cannot make the fine foam that you want with this drink.
I also wish that the machine gave you the option of dispensing just steamed milk so I could make a double espresso and then top that with milk. Instead, I have to select a cappuccino and then add another espresso if I want to make it stronger.
The table below shows the different ways that the Philips 3200 LatteGo lets you customize your coffee:
|Type of customization||Number of settings|
|Strength (amount of ground coffee used)||3 settings|
|Temperature (affects both coffee and milk)||3 settings|
|Volume of coffee||3 settings|
|Volume of milk||3 settings|
I like how the machine lets you customize each drink individually rather than have to make global changes to how each preset is made.
Many Delonghi machines only let you apply global settings which creates a lot of extra work if there are many people with different preferences using the machine.
The only omission as far as customizations are concerned is that the machine only froths milk to one specific texture.
This is a bit of a cop-out, especially considering that the machine claims to make a latte macchiato which should contain finely steamed and frothed milk. Instead, the 3200 just makes this with frothed milk.
Functionalities Rating: 7/10
The machine has an average selection of coffee presets but redeems itself with how far you can customize each of these drinks.
Ease of Use
The machine’s stripped-back functionalities make it one of the easiest-to-use super automatics available.
Ease of Set Up
The machine is very easy to set up.
All you need to do is fit its AquaClean filter, run a water hardness test (the strip comes with the machine) and have it run a rinse cycle.
Once you do that you are ready to go. You can have the machine brewing coffee within five minutes of opening it.
Ease of Making Drinks
The machine is operated with a button-powered control panel.
Each of the buttons has a photo and name of the corresponding coffee on them, so you can be left in no doubt about which coffee you are selecting.
The machine heats, froths and dispenses your milk for you. All you need to do is fill its milk jug with milk.
The machine heats up in under a minute, so you can go from turning the machine on to having your coffee in under two minutes.
Ease of Cleaning
The Philips 3200 LatteGo is very easy to clean because almost all its parts that come in direct contact with coffee, milk and water are removable so can easily be cleaned in the sink or dishwasher.
The table below shows what parts of the machine are removable and dishwasher safe:
|Milk unit||Yes||Sort of (I’ll explain…)|
Although the machine’s milk unit is declared dishwasher safe by Philips, the tabs that connect its two parts together have a tendency to deteriorate after regularly being in the dishwasher.
Therefore I would not recommend putting the milk unit in the dishwasher.
The fact that the machine’s coffee grinder cannot be removed makes it a pain to clean. It will clog up with coffee over time and needs to be cleaned out with a pipe cleaner when this happens.
I do, however, love the fact that the machine’s brew unit is removable. This makes troubleshooting the machine a lot easier as so many of its technical issues are caused by a dirty or jammed brew unit.
The machine even comes with some lubricant that you can apply to the brew unit if it jams up.
Ease of Descaling
Since the Philips 3200 uses an AquaClean filter in its water tank, it only needs to be descaled once every 5000 drinks that it makes.
Assuming that you make two drinks a day, this means that the machine only needs to be descaled every seven years.
As great as this sounds, it’s worth bearing in mind that the filter itself needs to be changed every three months and each filter costs around $25.
This is more expensive to maintain than a machine that relies on descaling rather than a filter.
You are essentially paying for the privilege of not having to descale as often.
The machine has a descaling mode which makes descaling the machine really easy. All in all, the process takes around 30 minutes.
Ease of Troubleshooting
The machine has five error buttons that warn you when it needs troubleshooting. You can see these below:
Here are the problems that each button corresponds to:
Aqua clean button is illuminated: You need to change the machine’s filter.
Calc/clean button is illuminated: The machine needs to be descaled.
Top right button is illuminated: You need to refill the water tank.
Middle right button is illuminated: You need to empty the used coffee container.
Bottom right button is illuminated: Air is trapped in the machine. You can release this air by pressing the brew button.
Bottom right button is flashing: Brew unit is missing, blocked or loose.
Another error that has been reported on Reddit is when all three warning lights on the right of the machine flash in unison.
According to Redditors, this signifies that the machine’s grinder is blocked. You either need to unclog it with a pipe cleaner (recommended) or unscrew it and empty it (not recommended due to the difficulty of screwing it back in).
Ease of Use Rating: 9/10
The machine is very easy to use, clean and troubleshoot, with only the cleaning of its grinder causing any real headache. A non-removable grinder is standard in superautomatic espresso machines, so they all have this problem.
Design and Build Quality
The machine’s external build quality is not the best, however, its internal build quality is very good, meaning that it will not succumb to too many technical problems.
External Build Quality
The outside of the machine is clearly made out of plastic, even if it does have chrome accents on its control panel.
While I really like the design of the machine’s control panel and find it really intuitive to use, there are quite a few Amazon reviews that say that the machine’s buttons are rather unresponsive. This can become frustrating over time and signifies that the buttons are quite cheaply built.
One part of the machine that feels really cheap and flimsy is its milk jug. The jug is made out of two halves that attach together with plastic tabs.
These tabs are really flimsy and can break if you apply too much force to them. This can easily happen accidentally when trying to attach the two halves of the jug together.
Internal Build Quality
The machine’s fast heat-up time and relatively quiet brewing suggest that it has a high internal build quality.
I am particularly impressed by the excellent quality of the machine’s grinder.
It uses a flat ceramic burr grinder. This is the best type of grinder that you can get for espresso and is a better quality grinder than you will find in much more expensive machines.
The hopper that feeds the grinder is quite poorly designed, however. It is very shallow so it makes it easy for beans to spill out of it and make a mess.
Since Philip’s espresso machines are relatively affordable, I was worried that they might cut costs on their internal mechanisms, however, this does not seem to be the case at all.
Any Known Technical Issues?
In my research, I could find one technical issue that came up repeatedly, and that the machine’s serving sizes reduced over time.
You can find a Reddit thread about this here.
It seems that the most common reason for this is that one of the two “O rings” around the machine’s water pump tears.
These “O rings” can be easily replaced (fortunately) but their propensity to tear is an annoying vulnerability in the machine.
You can find an article that discusses this problem in depth here.
Design and Build Quality Rating: 7/10
The machine has a good, but not great, build quality. Its overall build quality is very good considering its price, however.
Value For Money
The Philips 3200 LatteGo provides excellent value for money.
It’s hard to find a cheaper superautomatic machine that also has automatic milk frothing capabilities.
This machine is far cheaper than the Delonghi machines with similar functionalities, yet only has slightly poorer quality performance (its black coffees aren’t quite as good).
The machine justifies its cost over the cheaper Philips 2200 LatteGo because of its additional coffee types and customizations.
Value For Money Rating: 10/10
What Users Say
As of September 2022, the Philips 3200 LatteGo has been reviewed 4,287 times on Amazon and has an average rating of 4.4 stars out of 5.
Positive reviews of the machine often centre around how easy it is to froth milk with.
Amazon review, June 2022: “The milk frother is stupidly simply to use and clean and makes excellent frothed milk every time”
Negative reviews of the machine often centre around the unresponsiveness of its buttons.
Amazon review, October 2019: “I am concerned the touch buttons will become increasingly problematic. They already are not very responsive.”
Comparison of Philips Superautomatic Espresso Machines
At this point in my reviews, I usually suggest cheaper alternatives to the reviewed product.
However, I could not find any superautomatic espresso machines that were cheaper than Philips’s machines and that were anywhere near as good as them.
What I am therefore going to do is compare the different Philips superautomatic machines and say which ones I would most recommend.
The table below compares these machines across some key criteria:
|Available coffee drinks||3||5||8||12|
|Number of strength settings||3||3||5||5|
|Number of serving size settings (coffee)||3||3||5||5|
|Number of serving size settings (milk)||1||3||5||5|
|Additional shot functionality||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Number of user profiles||None||None||Two||Four|
All these machines have the following:
- Ceramic burr grinder with 12 settings
- Three temperature settings
- LatteGo fully automatic milk frother
- Easy opening service door and removable group head
- Button-operated control panel
- 60 oz removable water tank
- Removable drip tray and used coffee container
If you want to go on the cheaper side of Philips’ offerings, I would recommend the Philips 3200 LatteGo.
The machine’s additional coffee presets justify its additional cost over 2200.
If you want to go on the expensive side of Philips’ offerings, I would recommend the Philips 4300 LatteGo.
There is not much between the 4300 and 5400, so I feel that the 4300 offers better value for money.
I’d recommend buying the Philips 3200 LatteGo.
The machine offers one of the best value for money out of any of the superautomatic espresso machines on the market.
For more information on superautomatic espresso machines, please see my roundup of the best Jura coffee machines.