360 S6 Review: Another Budget Alternative to the Neato BotVac
The 360 S6 gives you another cheap alternative if you don’t want spending more than $500 for a robot vacuum with a laser sensor.
We’ll look closely at this Chinese-made robot in this review and see if it’s worth the $300++ price tag.
In the world of high-end robotic vacuums, Neato and iRobot are top dogs. Dyson tried but still failed to grab market share from these two brands after the flop of the Dyson 360 in the United States.
Both the Neato and Roomba have released their new robots in the United States with the BotVac D7 and Roomba I7.
These machines are the cream of the crop in terms of features, performance and technology but both are very expensive at close to $1,000!
That’s a lot of money. The 360 S6 will give you some of the features of a Neato BotVac D5 but will cost much less.
It uses the same laser distance sensor (or LDS) as the Neato with a motor that’s almost as powerful.
One thing that it has over the BotVac and Xiaomi is the twin side brushes that helps it clean better on the edges.
A quick look at the features
- LDS sensor and SLAM algorithm guide this robot to the most efficient cleaning path
- WiFi and Smartphone app allows remote access
- 1,800 Pa suction (same as the first generation Xiaomi robot vacuum)
- H11 grade, washable HEPA filter will block 99% of allergens from coming back out of the exhaust
- Run time between 90 and 120 minutes
- 4 liter dirt bin capacity
- 1 year warranty
- Cheap alternative to a Neato and iRobot
- Efficient cleaning pattern thanks to the LDS sensor and SLAM
- Has HEPA filtration
- Decent run time of around 2 hours
- Smartphone app allows remote access
- Small dirt bin
- More expensive than a first generation Xiaomi
One of the biggest selling points of the 360 S6 is the Laser Distance Sensor and S.L.A.M. algorithm that makes allows this similar efficiency as a Neato BotVac without having to spend $600 for it.
Let’s dig deep into the features one by one.
Designers opted for a minimalistic, all-white design that looks very modern. One downside though with having a white robot is it stains quickly. But that’s just a cosmetic issue if you don’t find having to clean it from time to time.
At the back part is a disc with the 360 logo on top. This houses the laser distance sensor.
On the front part of the robot are two buttons that gives you access to the auto cleaning and docking function.
The round shape you see in the middle is the dirt bin. It doesn’t hold that much, only around 0.4 liters worth of dry dirt.
Flip the robot over and it’ll reveal something familiar if you follow my blog.
It’s the same layout as the First and second generation Xiaomi robot vacuum. The main difference between these two is the extra side brush that the 360 S6 has.
This feature gives this robot a little better edge cleaning ability because of the extra side brush that extends reach.
The brush design is also the same just with a different color.
Laser Distance Sensor
On top of this robot is a round puck shaped cover that houses the LDS or the Laser Distance Sensor.
This sensor spins around at high speed and draws the shape of the area it is cleaning.
It then feeds this information to the S.L.A.M. algorithm that will calculate the most efficient cleaning path for the robot.
The combination of the LDS and S.L.A.M. (or the Simultaneous localization and mapping) algorithm make this a very efficient robot vacuum. Like the Neato BotVac and S50 RoboRock, this robot will start cleaning the edges of the room before proceeding towards the middle portion.
To get the most out of this robot, you’ll need to download the app as it has additional features like the forbidden zones where it blocks the robot from going into a specific area you set.
The app also lets you know the status of the robot, where it is at during the cleaning cycle and allows you to schedule even multiple times per day.
The dirt bin is right smack in the middle of the body. It’s not very big, only capable of holding only 0.4 liters of dirt.
Inside the bin are three filters – a mesh, foam and lastly the HEPA filter that will block out 99% of allergens.
Since this is a bagless, you will still be exposed to dirt.
Battery and run time
Powering this robot is a 3,200 mAh lithium ion battery that’s actually smaller than the Xiaomi. So run time won’t be as long. This robot will run between 90 and 120 minutes in one full charge.
One good thing about having the S.L.A.M. algorithm is that the robot will actually remember where it last cleaned when it charges. When it goes back out, it’ll go to that exact same area and resume cleaning.
This makes this robot suitable in larger homes.
Aside from being a robot vacuum, this robot also doubles as a mop. It comes with a bracket that you can attach at the bottom of the robot.
The app has a mop only function that shuts off the motor.
To see how S6 functions as a mop, watch this video…
The cleaning pattern in mop mode is the exact same pattern at it has during vacuum mode. Unlike the iRobot Braava that has a truer back and forth moping motion, the S6 just goes in a long back and forth pattern.
It will work when it comes to maintenance cleanups but it will not remove any stains.
The 360 S6 comes with a 1 year warranty.
You can buy this robot vacuum from GearBest for around $350 and there’s free shipping available to the United States.
The 360 S6 is another great alternative to the Neato BotVac or Roomba 980. This robot will provide decent performance at a fraction of the cost of those two other brands.
It is slightly a bit more expensive than the first generation Xiaomi which is a concern for me because these two robots are very similar.
One advantage that this robot has is the extra side brush but the difference will be very negligible in normal cleaning tasks.