Ecovacs N8 Pro Plus Review

Ecovacs N8 Pro Plus Review

Robot vacuums have evolved over the years with significant improvements in navigation and obstacle avoidance.

The Ecovacs N8 Pro+ embodies the latter with front 3D laser sensors.

It’s a vast improvement over the previous T8’s front camera that had more blind spots.

Aside from the improved obstacle avoidance, the N8 Pro provides consumers a cheaper alternative than the T8 should you opt for the auto-empty system.

I’ve put this robot through my usual series of tests to determine how it compares with the older Ecovacs T8 and if it’s a better alternative.

3D Laser Obstacle Avoidance Is Much Better

Ecovacs N8 Pro Plus

Ecovacs N8 Pro+ Review

One significant upgrade with the Ecovacs N8 Pro+ is the front 3D laser sensors that vastly improve its obstacle avoidance capabilities. Using laser provides a more precise measurement since it uses infrared signals and does not rely on light. These signals offer better precision, thus fewer blind spots, and make it better at evading obstacles. I’ve tested it on several objects with mixed results (more on that in the review).

Other than the 3D sensor, everything else remains status quo. The N8 and T8 are similar, using the same brush type, dustbin size, LIDAR navigation, etc. Cleaning performance is also really close with no clear winner.

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Pros

  • Cheaper than the Ecovacs T8 with the auto-empty dock
  • High airflow makes it an above-average vacuuming robot
  • The self-emptying feature takes away one tedious task
  • Efficient navigation thanks to LIDAR
  • Front 3D sensors improve obstacle avoidance over the T8

Cons

  • Subpar deep cleaning performance
  • Expensive compared to other auto-empty robot brands

Introduction to the Ecovacs N8 Pro+

Ecovacs has been ramping up its R&D to keep up with the likes of Roborock, DreameTech, and Roomba.

The N8 Pro+ is their latest release with one significant upgrade – a front 3D sensor that uses three lasers for obstacle detection.

It’s an improvement over the Ecovacs T8 front camera, which had plenty of blind spots.

Let’s look at this technology closely below.

TrueDetect 3D Front Laser Sensors

Ecovacs N8 Pro front 3D sensors

If there’s one reason to opt for the Ecovacs N8 Pro over the T8 is this technology.

Three laser sensors in place of a camera provide a 3D perspective at obstacle detection, hence the terminology.

Using lasers increase its precision and reduces blind spots, decreasing blind spots and increasing the odds of avoiding objects.

I’ve tested it on several obstacle types with mixed results.

Surprisingly, it did well at avoiding wires – coiled and spread out. I even tried placing it at the edge, and the N8 avoided it without getting tangled.

Ecovacs N8 Pro avoids wire on the edge

Also, it did well with fake poop, avoiding it entirely. But I wouldn’t recommend relying on the robot’s AI for avoiding feces as the brush may touch it and spread germs all over.

Ecovacs N8 Pro avoiding fake feces

The N8 did well at avoiding slippers, but it nudged against this red shoe.

Ecovacs N8 Pro nudging against red shoe

I tried placing it at the edge, which would be a more practical test since people tend to store footwear in this area.

Ecovacs N8 Pro avoids shoe on the edge

It did better, altogether avoiding it, so if you leave footwear on the sides, there’s no need to move them.

Unfortunately, it did not avoid this weighing scale as it tried to climb over it on multiple occasions, which is a start contrast to DreameTech that avoided it.

Ecovacs N8 Pro trying to climb weighing scale

One reason could be that the Ecovacs algorithm has a higher threshold to balance crossing over barriers and obstacle avoidance.

Auto-Empty Dock

Ecovacs N8 Pro auto empty dock

Strangely, the Ecovacs N8 Pro+ is cheaper than the T8 AIVI with the base station, at least in Amazon.

It is at a similar price level as the Roomba I7+, but Ecovacs offers more functionality with the mopping bracket and more software features.

This variant utilizes the ramp-style base station with two ports to empty the dustbin’s contents.

Ecovacs N8 Pro ports

I tried how well the auto-empty dock sucks out contents of various debris types – hair, a bin full of quaker oats, and a heap of dust.

It did pretty well in all tests. One drawback is it didn’t get debris sticking on the filter port.

But it did exceptionally well, even with a bin full of quaker oats – sucking nearly everything out of the dustbin.

If you’re a regular on my blog or YouTube channel, you’ll know that my preference is a ramp-style dock because it offers better stability.

Ecovac’s two ports connect to these slots underneath N8’s dustbin.

Design

Ecovacs N8 Pro top

The Ecovacs N8 retains the same design as the T8. Putting the two side-by-side, you wouldn’t notice the difference as both have the same color and interface.

It retains the same top-mounted door, revealing the dustbin underneath. There’s a brush/blade tool for cleaning the brush and untangling hair.

Ecovacs N8 Pro dustbin inside

Upfront, you’ll see the 3D laser sensors. These are laser sensors that fire IR signals in a three-dimensional pattern to minimize blind spots. I’ve discussed in detail how it did, so scroll back up if you didn’t read it yet.

Underneath, the N8 has the same layout with two side brushes flanking a combo brush.

Behind the primary roller is a slot for the mop bracket.

Dustbin Design and Capacity

Ecovacs N8 Pro dustbin

Dirt volume in the Ecovacs N8 remains the same at 420 ml.

One difference between this dustbin and the T8 AIVI (without the auto-empty dock) is there are two ports underneath that connect to the base station.

Emptying by hand is easy if you choose the variant without the auto-empty dock with the rear door.

Water tank

Ecovacs N8 Pro water tank

Behind the robot is a water tank that also doubles as a mop bracket holder.

The N8’s default water tank isn’t the OZMO variety, but it is compatible if you upgrade.

It can hold up to 240 ml of water, and please note you can’t use detergents or risk damaging the internal components.

There are two DEEBOT N8 Pro options – the plus and non-plus versions.

The plus comes with the auto-empty dock (a similar one found in the DEEBOT T8 AIVI).

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09/06/2021 12:14 am GMT

A cheaper alternative is the non-plus version without the auto-empty base station.

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09/06/2021 12:24 am GMT

My preference would be to get the plus version as it offers much more convenience to the table without manually emptying the robot’s dustbin.

How does the Ecovacs N8 Pro+ navigate?

Since it utilizes LIDAR, the N8 Pro+ traverses in straight lines.

LIDAR enables it to move around with efficiency, and its non-reliance on light means you can run this even in pitch black conditions.

It maneuvers around chair legs well – even traversing around this quintuple-legged office chair with rotating wheels without getting wedged.

The front 3D sensors add an obstacle-avoiding aspect you don’t see in most other brands, and it evades most obstacles decently.

But there’s a limit to the obstacle size, and it will not avoid stuff around 2” wide.

Coverage

One recent experiment with robot vacuums is a coverage test, scattering quaker oats in this small room.

I run the robot one two-pass cycle to see how much it picks up and time it from start to finish.

The Ecovacs N8 Pro+ finished the run in about 17 minutes – an excellent time considering it had to navigate around the office chair.

It picked up most of the debris around the room and on the edges. However, the passes weren’t as clean versus a Roborock S7 or Roomba S9+, but still above average.

App Features

Download the Ecovacs app to unlock all the advanced features of this robot. I’ll go through the most useful features in this section.

1. Live map

Ecovacs N8 Pro live map

One of my favorite robot vacuum app features is the live map. It shows users the robot’s location in real-time, along with its cleaning status.

LIDAR-based robot vacuums have trail lines, showing users its progress and the cleaning path.

It’s a helpful feature in case the robot gets lost or stuck.

2. Map saving

Ecovacs N8 Pro map saving

After installing the app, it prompts users to run the robot to create the map. You can’t access the other features without this initial run.

Ecovacs N8 Pro first mapping run

Once the map is created, save it. The Ecovacs app is quite accurate at setting partitions for rooms, but sometimes it doesn’t get it right.

Ecovacs N8 Pro merge

Don’t worry, though; it’s possible to merge and manually set partitions via the app.

Consumers can save up to two map levels with provisions to create rooms, add invisible walls and no-go zones.

Unfortunately, the Ecovacs app doesn’t have a mapping run or a step-by-step guide for creating new maps.

If users want to add a map, they’ll have to move the robot to another level and start another run.

The robot detects a change in scenery and proceeds to create a new map.

3. Map Detect

The Ecovacs app has a map detection feature that loads the correct map level on the initial scan.

It’s a handy feature to have since the app doesn’t permit users to switch maps manually.

4. Invisible wall

Ecovacs N8 Pro invisible wall

Containment is another pro for the Ecovacs app. Consumers can add an invisible wall that blocks the robot from going into areas past it.

The beauty of an invisible wall is the ability to draw diagonal lines, helping a great deal with the zones it can block.

You can add many of these on each map level as needed.

5. No-go zones

Ecovacs N8 Pro no-go zones

If containment lines aren’t sufficient, another option is using no-go zones or containment boxes that block the robot from entering a square or rectangular area.

It’s most helpful in blocking areas where your pets feed or a play area of your child. Instead of adding physical barriers, you can draw virtual boxes in the app.

6. No mop zones

It’s a similar feature to no-go zones, preventing the robot from mopping a boxed zone.

However, I don’t think this feature is necessary since the N8 Pro automatically avoids rugs and carpet if the mopping pad is attached.

7. Edit Map

Ecovacs N8 Pro edit map

While the app will automatically set partitions, these divisions aren’t always accurate, which is where this feature comes into play.

Consumers can merge and manually set partitions after saving the map.

Room naming is also available if you want to identify these areas.

8. Selective Room Cleaning

Ecovacs N8 Pro selective room cleaning

Another benefit of the map saving feature is selective room cleaning, allowing users to choose a specific area they want to be cleaned.

It’s usable with the scheduling feature for busy folks who may forget to run the robot manually.

9. Zoned Cleaning

Ecovacs N8 Pro zoned cleaning

This feature is similar to selective room cleaning in that it enables folks to clean specific areas.

But instead of vacuuming the whole room, it’s possible to zero in on a specific zone.

Unfortunately, you can’t save these zones and draw each time you want to use them.

The only brand I’ve seen so far with a savable zoned cleaning feature is the Roomba.

10. Scheduling

Ecovacs N8 Pro scheduling

Another feature that adds to this robot’s usability is scheduling. Folks can set multiple cleaning times per day on the whole floor level or specified rooms.

Ecovacs N8 Pro scheduling multiple

Combined with this robot’s auto empty ability, you don’t need to touch this robot for weeks (aside from maintenance).

How much power does the Ecovacs N8 Pro Plus have?

Ecovacs says the N8 Pro Plus has up to 2600 Pascals of suction, which is decent but not top-spec. Other brands like DreameTech claim higher numbers (up to 4000 Pa).

However, not all brands use this unit, so I use an anemometer to measure airflow directly at the brush roll for uniformity.

This helps have a reference to compare with other brands that don’t use Pascals.

Here are the results of the Ecovacs N8 Pro+

  • Quiet: 9.33 CFM
  • Medium: 21.94 CFM
  • Max: 21.94 CFM
  • Max+: 22.29 CFM

There isn’t much difference between the T8 AIVI and N8 Pro+. The difference is negligible, to be honest.

What I like with the N8 Pro+ is its usable airflow, even in the medium setting. It’s enough for picking up stuff like sand and dust.

Users can turn on carpet boost to balance run time and cleaning performance as it increases suction when it detects carpet.

Cleaning Test Results

I test all robot vacuums on debris like quaker oats, coffee grounds, pet litter, quinoa, sand, and hair. Here are the overall results.

  • Overall: 90.55%
  • Hard floor: 98.8%
  • Sand on hard floor: 99.5%
  • Carpet (surface): 97.75%
  • Deep cleaning: 66.16%

The Ecovacs N8 Pro+ was slightly better than the T8 AIVI, at least picking up surface debris (98.68% vs. 98.29%), but the latter is better with deep cleaning.

However, the difference between the T8 AIVI and N8 Pro is minimal. Too small to declare an outright winner.

Cleaning performance shouldn’t be a deciding factor between these two variants.

Hard floor results

Ecovacs N8 Pro hard floor results
  • Quaker oats: 99.8%
  • Coffee grounds: 98.8%
  • Quinoa: 98.4%
  • Pet litter: 98.2%

The N8 Pro’s high airflow is seen on the hard floor test, where it picked up a high percentage.

One issue with the twin side brushes is their propensity to scatter debris, which was common with most tests.

Fortunately, it still picked up the scattered debris, but the score could have been higher if the rotation was slower.

Sand on hard floor

Ecovacs N8 Pro sand on hard floor

Another experiment I did on hard floor was on sand – 50 grams of it, to be exact.

The Ecovacs N8 Pro Plus picked up an excellent 99.5% (average for two tests), confirming the high airflow.

It didn’t pick up as cleanly as the Roomba S9+, but it was still excellent given the price difference.

Edge cleaning

Ecovacs N8 Pro edge cleaning

A significant benefit of Ecovac’s twin side brush design is edge cleaning. It picked up most debris in this area.

Not just on the experiment above but also on the coverage test. Pick up on this area was mostly clean with some tidbits of debris left.

It’s a tradeoff you’ll need to consider with the scattering issue I mentioned earlier.

Hair wrap test

  • 5-inch: 70% inside dustbin; 30% on the brush
  • 7-inch: 45% inside dustbin; 55% on the brush

Despite having a combo brush that supposedly works well on hair, Ecovac’s version was only decent for short strands.

This much hair was picked up after the five-inch test.

Ecovacs N8 Pro hair inside dustbin after five-inch test

Unfortunately, this much wrapped on the brush.

Ecovacs N8 Pro hair on brush after five-inch test

It picked up 70% with the five-inch test but a below-average 45% with long seven-inch hair.

Most of it will wrap on the roller and some of it on the axles.

Ecovacs N8 Pro hair on brush after seven-inch test

If you own pets, expect to do a lot of maintenance on the brushes.

Carpet results

I did the same experiments on carpet, both low and mid-pile, where I used 50-grams worth of debris (for each type), weigh the bin empty, and then full to get the scores.

Low pile

Ecovacs N8 Pro low pile results
  • Quaker oats: 99.2%
  • Coffee grounds: 95%
  • Quinoa: 98.8%
  • Pet litter: 97.2%

Again, the Ecovacs N8 Pro did well picking up debris on low pile carpet with a 97.55% average.

The lower coffee grounds picked up dragged down the score a bit. It’s an Achilles Heel of most robot vacuums.

But it’s still an excellent score and at par with its competitors, the Roomba I6+, Shark IQ, and Yeedi Vac Station.

Mid pile

Ecovacs N8 Pro mid pile results
  • Quaker oats: 98.6%
  • Coffee grounds: 94.4%
  • Quinoa: 100%
  • Pet litter: 99%

Surprisingly, the N8 Pro did better on mid-pile carpet, thanks mainly to the higher pick-up on quinoa and pet litter.

I’m not sure why it picked up more. It could be the main brush lining up better on the debris path.

But it’s an encouraging sign and proof that this robot has usable cleaning performance on carpet.

Deep cleaning

Unfortunately, it didn’t do as well in the deep cleaning test, where I rubbed 100 grams of sand on mid-pile carpet.

It picked up an average of 66.16% – slightly lower than the T8 AIVI.

One factor could be the primary brush, which is soft, hindering its agitation.

Mopping Performance

I tested how well the Ecovacs N8 Pro+ mops with dry red wine stains.

Ecovacs N8 Pro mopping test

The results were impressive considering it doesn’t have any vibrating element, cleaning most of the stains after one two-pass cycle.

However, it needed a second run to clean leftover stains. It’s not as good as the Roborock S5 Max, but it’s close.

Ecovacs N8 Pro mopping after second run

After two runs, the N8 Pro cleaned pretty much all the stains.

I’d recommend this for light-duty mopping tasks, to keep floors clean.

Nonetheless, I wouldn’t recommend it on heavy or sugary stains as it will leave a sticky residue.

How noisy is the Shark N8 Pro Plus?

Despite the high airflow, I liked how well Ecovacs kept the noise levels down.

I used a sound meter to check from a few feet away, and here are the results.

  • Quiet: 56.8 dB
  • Medium: 59.6 dB
  • Max: 64.4 dB
  • Max+: 64.4 dB

Not exceeding 65 decibels is impressive considering this robot has 22 CFM, and it’s much quieter than the Roborock S7 and Roborock S9+ that both exceeded 68 decibels.

This variant is an excellent option if low noise output is a top priority.

How long will the Ecovacs N8 Pro Plus run?

Thanks to the mid-level 2900 mAh li-ion battery, the N8 Pro will run for up to 110 minutes – excellent in small to mid-sized homes.

Ecovacs N8 Pro battery

Not Roborock-level range, but for the capacity, it’s still decent.

Recharge and resume help extend the range since it resumes cleaning if it doesn’t complete the cleaning cycle previously.

The good thing about Ecovacs is the usable power, even in the medium setting. You can utilize it on hard surfaces and turn on carpet boost for the best compromise on power and run time.

What comes in the box?

  1. Ecovacs N8 Pro robot (water tank already attached)
  2. Auto empty dock (with plug)
  3. Two side brushes (no extras)
  4. Mopping bracket
  5. One reusable mopping pad
  6. One pack of disposable mopping pads
  7. Manual and quick start guide

Parts Availability

Ecovacs’ popularity has grown over the years, and this bodes well for its parts availability.

The N8 Pro shares many components as the T8 AIVI, so sourcing parts shouldn’t be a concern.

Components such as the side brush, combo brush, bags, and pads should be in abundant supply on stores like Amazon.

Harder to find parts like the battery is also available if it goes bad on you after the warranty period.

Maintenance

A big part of robot vacuum ownership is maintenance. Keeping its components tidy can be the difference between it lasting one year and many years.

I’ll share some tidbits of what parts to clean and replace, plus the intervals below.

  1. Combo brush: This component is the most abused part since its primary task is picking up debris. Clean it once a week to remove any hair and dust that accumulate.
  2. Side brush: Next to the main brush, the side brush takes a lot of punishment. Since it utilizes bristles, more care is needed. Clean it once a week to remove any hair wrapping on the arms or base. Try to tug and pull the strands gently to prevent them from bending.
  3. Dustbin: Even with the auto-empty dock, check the dustbin at least once every two weeks to clean any build-up. Check the filter if it needs cleaning. The high-efficiency filter isn’t washable, but the black foam is, so clean it under running water. Make sure it’s thoroughly dry before putting it back.
  4. Wheels: Dirt will accumulate overtime on the threads. Grab a clean microfiber towel to clean.
  5. Drop sensors: Use a clean, dry microfiber towel to clean the drop sensors underneath the robot. Wipe these regularly to prevent dust and debris from accumulating to avoid error codes from firing and disabling the robot.
  6. Auto empty dock: There’s nothing much here except for replacing the bags if it fills up. Also, keep the two ports free from obstruction that can clog them.
  7. Robot body: Wipe the robot’s body with a clean, dry microfiber towel to remove fingerprints and dust build-up.

Product Specifications

ModelEcovacs N8 Pro+
ManufacturerEcovacs
Battery3200 mAh Li-ion
Run timeUp to 110 mins.
Water Tank Capacity230 ml
Dirt Capacity (dry)420 ml.
Auto empty capacity2.5 liters
Diameter13.7" inches
Height3.51 inches
Smart NavigationYes
Recharge and ResumeYes
HEPA FiltrationYes
Side BrushYes
Extra FilterYes
Manufactured InChina
Warranty1 year
PriceCheck Price

Where can I buy the Ecovacs N8 Pro Plus?

This auto-empty robot is available in online stores like Amazon. Check the links below for the latest pricing.

  • Ecovacs N8 Pro+ on Amazon (with auto-empty dock)
  • Ecovacs N8 Pro on Amazon (w/o auto-empty dock)

Disclaimer: I will earn a commission if you purchase through any of these links, but at no additional cost to you, so it’s a win-win for us!

Is the Ecovacs N8 Pro Plus worth it?

As I’ve said earlier, the Ecovacs N8 Pro+ is a better value-for-money option than the T8 AIVI if you’re buying it with the auto-empty base station.

Strangely this variant is cheaper in Amazon than its older sibling, the T8.

Cleaning performance is decent and at par with its competitors like the Roomba I3 and I6, Yeedi Vac Station, and Shark IQ Auto Empty.

But it’s a notch below the Roomba S9+, 980, and Roborock S7.

It also is below-average with deep cleaning carpet. So it’s a compromise you’ll have to consider between acquiring a more affordable auto empty option that doesn’t deep-clean carpet as well or something more expensive that does.

Factoring in the price and what you’ll get out of the box, it offers a lot of value.

5 Reasons to buy the Ecovacs N8 Pro Plus

  1. One of the cheaper alternatives: This variant is more affordable than the Ecovacs T8 AIVI with the auto-empty dock.
  2. 2-in-1 functionality: It vacuums and mops floors equally well. Not as good as the S5 Max, but it’s close.
  3. Excellent on surface debris: The N8 Pro picked up surface debris well at 98.68% – one of the best scores in its price category.
  4. Auto-empty convenience: It has a self-emptying dock that does an excellent job at picking up contents from the dustbin consistently.
  5. Avoids obstacles well: While the TrueDetect 3D system isn’t perfect, it does the job of avoiding obstacles, even on the edges.

The Verdict: Compelling Auto-Empty Option that Avoids Obstacles Well

This robot is one of a handful of options that combines laser-precision obstacle avoidance and the convenience of a self-empty dock.

If these two features are high-priority, then have a close look at the Ecovacs N8 Pro+.

It’s one of the cheaper alternatives with these technologies packed inside.

While it doesn’t deep clean as well, it cleans surface debris well enough to warrant consideration, especially inside homes with a mix of hard floor and carpet.

3D Laser Precision Obstacle Avoidance + Auto Empty Convenience
  • Navigation - 95%
    95%
  • Surface Cleaning - 98.68%
    99%
  • Deep Cleaning - 66.16%
    66%
  • Quality - 96%
    96%
  • Design - 95%
    95%
  • Value - 96%
    96%
91%

Summary

While this robot is considered a premium option without the discounts, you’ll still get a lot of value from it. The front laser sensor is much more precise than the T8 AIVI’s front camera and thus is better at avoiding obstacles. Add the convenience of the auto-empty dock and mopping feature, it’s a lot of value for what you’ll be spending. It won’t deep clean as well as a Roomba or Roborock, but it’s worth considering if those options are too costly.

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