Neato Botvac Comparison: D3 vs. D4 vs. D5 vs. D6 vs. D7

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Neato Botvac Comparison

A lot has changed in 2020 with the Neato product line.

So I’ve updated this Neato Botvac comparison guide with the latest information about their newest products, namely the D3, D4, D5, D6, and D7.

This article will be an in-depth comparison on how these products are similar and different since there is a significant price difference between the entry-level D3 and the top-spec D7.

Neato Botvac Connected Comparison Overview

Here’s a quick overview of all the latest Neato Botvac options and the product specifications.

* Test was done with 30 grams of sawdust.

** Test was done with 100 grams of sifted sand.

Neato D7

Neato D7
  • Side Brush: Yes
  • Multiple Floor Plans Yes
  • Battery life: 120 mins.
  • Filtration: Ultra performance
  • Dirt Capacity: 700 ml
  • WiFi Connectivity: 2.4 GHz + 5 GHz
  • Deep Cleaning 93% *

Neato D6

Neato D6
  • Side Brush: Yes
  • Multiple Floor Plans No
  • Battery life: 120 mins.
  • Filtration: Ultra performance
  • Dirt Capacity: 700 ml
  • WiFi Connectivity: 2.4 GHz

Neato D5

Neato D5
  • Side Brush: Yes
  • Multiple Floor Plans No
  • Battery life: 90 mins.
  • Filtration: High performance
  • Dirt Capacity: 700 ml
  • WiFi Connectivity: 2.4 GHz

Neato D4

Neato D4
  • Side Brush: No
  • Multiple Floor Plans No
  • Battery life: 75 mins.
  • Filtration: High performance
  • Dirt Capacity: 700 ml
  • WiFi Connectivity: 2.4 GHz
  • Deep Cleaning 79% **

Neato D3

Neato D3
  • Side Brush: No
  • Multiple Floor Plans No
  • Battery life: 60 mins.
  • Filtration: High performance
  • Dirt Capacity: 700 ml
  • WiFi Connectivity: 2.4 GHz
  • Deep Cleaning 76% **

Similarities of the all Neato Botvac robot vacuums: D3 vs D4 vs D5 vs D6 vs D7

The first thing we’ll look at is the similarities of these robot vacuums. You may think that these models are completely different from one another because of the price disparity, but that’s not the case. There are a lot of similarities across their product range, and we’ll go through them one by one.

1. Laser Sensor

Neato Botvac LIDAR
Neato uses LIDAR in all their products.

All Neato Botvac products use a LIDAR laser distance sensor on the rear portion of the robot. This device fires laser signals around its environment to create a map that it then uses to navigate around the home.

One advantage a laser sensor has over a camera is its non-reliance on the light. All Botvac products will function even in total darkness.

So you’ll be able to use any of these options with the lights inside the home turned off.

Other options that use a laser sensor include the Xiaomi Robot Vacuum, Roborock S5, S5 Max, and the newer Ecovacs products such as the DEEBOT OZMO 920.

I believe that the laser sensor in the Neato Botvac is accurate in terms of plotting its exact location and makes it one of the most thorough and efficient robotic vacuums available.

2. Efficient Navigation

Neato Navigation Comparison

Thanks to the laser sensor and the S.L.A.M. algorithm, all Botvac products utilize the same efficient straight-line, back and forth cleaning pattern.

Neato has a mode where it will go over an area up to three times if you need a more thorough clean on carpets.

All have the same types of sensors that help it detect and avoid obstacles as well as prevent it from falling off cliff points such as stairs.

3. Dirt capacity

Neato Botvac Dustbin

Each of the Neato Botvac variants has the same dirt capacity at 0.7 liters, which is almost the same volume as stick vacuums such as the Dyson V10 and V11.

It has one of the largest capacity bins of any robot vacuum, which helps it clean more real estate without you having to empty it as often.

4. Recharge and resume

These robots have the recharge and resume feature where it will automatically recommence cleaning if it does not finish vacuuming an area returning to the same spot it lasted cleaned.

It is perhaps the most significant benefit of using a smart navigating robot over something with standard navigation.

This feature mitigates the shorter battery life of the lower end models, such as the D3, D4, and D5.

5. Excellent Cleaning Performance

Regardless of the model you choose, Neato products are one of the best at picking up dirt irrespective if it’s surface debris or embedded sand in carpets.

When you combine the high airflow, tight seal behind the main brush, and the excellent brush roll design, every Botvac product is excellent at debris pickup, often gobbling up most of the dirt in the first pass.

Not many robots in this price range will come close to the efficiency and thoroughness that Neato brings to the table.

6. WiFi and Smartphone app

Each of these robots has WiFi connectivity, and all have access to the features of the Neato App that include the no-go zones where the user has the option to set up multiple lines that will block the robot’s path from areas it isn’t supposed to go.

All of the latest Botvac products (excluding the Neato Botvac Connected) doesn’t have the scheduling feature on the robot since this functionality is accessible through the app.

7. Compatible with Alexa and Google Play

Another similarity is the compatibility with devices such as Alexa or Google Play.

If you have any of these modern contraptions, the Neato Botvac will work seamlessly with them.

8. No-Go Lines

No-go zones

All Botvac options will have access to the floor planner with no-go lines feature in the Neato app.

This feature was previously only available with the D7, but now even the entry-level D3 has access to it.

The no-go lines work similarly to a virtual wall in that it blocks the robot’s path were on areas you specify on the map.

One thing I like about it is that you can set unlimited no-go lines on the map without having to purchase additional devices.

I like that Neato put this feature across their product range because you don’t have to spend a lot on it.

9. Same Motor

Another similar thing is the motor. These robots have the same motor and will produce roughly the same amount of power.

Sure, there will be discrepancies when it comes to airflow, but the differences are just minimal (between 1 to 4 CFM), so I don’t think it’s that significant.

Take note that airflow plays a vital role in how well a robot vacuum cleans more substantial bits of debris, such as sand.

10. Dimension

All Botvac products have the same dimensions, measuring 13.2″ wide and 3.9″ tall.

It is taller than the Roomba robot vacuum that measures 3.6″ tall.

Differences of Neato Botvac products: D3 vs D4 vs D5 vs D6 vs D7

Next, we’ll look at how these robots differ from one another. This will help consumers make an informed decision on which variant to choose.

1. Battery and Run Time

Neato Botvac Run Time

The most significant difference between these robots is the battery that’s inside it. So the higher end Neato Botvac robots are equipped with, the larger cell Li-Ion battery that will run longer.

The D7 and D6 will run the longest – up to 120 minutes in the lowest setting and 75 to 80 minutes in their high power modes.  While the D5 will run for up to 90 minutes on low power, the D4 will run for up to 75 minutes and the D3 will run for only 60 minutes.

All Botvac robots except for the D3 have the Eco and Turbo modes. The D3 has both the Eco and Turbo mode accessible through the app, but both settings will have the same airflow numbers.

2. Side Brush

Neato Botvac Side Brush

Not all Neato products have side brushes. Out of the five options, only three have this feature – the D5, D6, and D7.

The lack of it doesn’t affect the edge cleaning performance as much because of the size and position of the main brush that spans the entire width of the robot with one side almost touching the edge.

It’s located at the front with the side brush slightly behind it.

Not having a side brush is a more significant issue with round-shaped robots because of the narrower main brush.

3. Brush Roll

Neato Botvac Main Brush

The Neato D3, D4, and D5 utilize the combo brush while the D6 and D7 use a newer designed spiral combo brush that offers better performance, particularly at cleaning carpet.

However, this isn’t a big deal because these brushes are interchangeable across all Botvac options.

If you’re not satisfied with how the combo brush performs, buy the spiral combo brush as a spare to use.

4. Multiple Floor Plans

This feature is most useful in multi-story homes as it saves up to three floor plans. Unfortunately, not all Neato robots have this feature – only the D5, D6, and D7 will have this available.

Neato does recommend buying an extra charging dock if you’re planning on utilizing this feature. So that the robot can remember its location, and there’s no need to move it between floors constantly.

5. Zone Cleaning

Neato Botvac Zone Cleaning

Only the Neato Botvac D7 will have the zone cleaning feature where you can pinpoint the exact location that the robot will clean.

Or single out specific areas such as the expanse under the bed or dining room table.

This feature is more useful inside larger homes with a lot more space, as the robot will most likely need multiple runs to complete an entire level.

Having the zoned cleaning feature will help you schedule cleaning specific areas.

6. Filter

Neato Botvac Filter

Another difference between these robots is filtration. The D3 utilizes the standard filter. The D4 has a high-performance filter, while the D5, D6, and D7 all have the ultra-performance filter.

However, this isn’t an issue as you can purchase these filters separately, and it’ll be compatible with any of the models.

So if you’re planning on purchasing the cheaper D3, buy an extra ultra-performance filter to keep allergens from seeping through the exhaust of the robot.

In-depth Comparison of the All Neato Botvac Options

In this section, we’ll have a close look at each of the Botvac variants, their strengths, weaknesses, and much more.

Neato Botvac D7

Neato D7

The Botvac D7 is Neato’s most expensive option, but it’s also the most feature-rich.

It comes with all nuts and bolts that you’d want from a robot vacuum.

This is the only model that comes with the zoned cleaning feature where you can ask it to clean specific areas inside the house.

It will also run the longest – up to 120 minutes.

What makes this a good option?

  • Is has excellent performance on both hard floors and carpet.
  • Has the zoned cleaning feature not available with the other Neato products.
  • An excellent option for pet owners

Some issues

  • Most expensive option

The D7 doesn’t have as much power as the Roomba S9+, but it makes up for it by having more airflow at the low power setting with 17 CFM (versus 8 CFM of the S9+).

Having this much airflow at the lower power setting helps you conserve battery life without sacrificing too much when it comes to cleaning more massive surface debris.

However, it doesn’t do as well compared to the S9+ with regards to deep cleaning carpet.

There are no official scores for the D7, but the D3 and D4 recorded scores of 76% and 79%, respectively, with deep cleaning sand on medium-pile carpets.

Since the D7 has the same motor as these other two robots, expect a similar score when it comes to cleaning embedded dirt.

Bottom line

The Neato D7 is an excellent option inside larger homes thanks to the lengthier run time. It also has the most app features, most notably the multi-floor plans and zoned cleaning, and that provides users with a lot of conveniences.

Neato D6

Neato D6

A notch below the D7 is the D6.

It’s more than a hundred dollars cheaper so there is a noteworthy price difference between these two.

When it comes to the features, there isn’t much of a difference between the D6 and D7.

What makes this a good option?

  • A less expensive option than the Neato D7
  • Cleans as well as the D7
  • Efficient navigation

Some issues

  • Does not have the zoned cleaning feature of the D7

Both have the same battery and motor, so expect the same cleaning performance.

Each will run for up to 120 minutes and up to 80 minutes on the low setting so that these robots will cover a lot of ground.

One feature lacking in the D6 is the zoned cleaning feature that gives the users an option for the robot to clean a specific area.

I believe that this is a useful feature to have inside larger homes, even with smart navigating robots, as these machines won’t be able to cover an entire level in just a single charge.

But the price difference makes this a more attractive option if you want a robot that will run for up to 2 hours.

Bottom line

If the Neato D7 is too expensive, then the D6 is a good alternative that isn’t as costly. This model has all of the features found in the D7, except for the zone cleaning feature. Hopefully, Neato will give the D6 access to this feature in the future.

Neato D5

Neato D5

The D5 is Neato’s mid-level option and Neato’s least expensive option with the side brush, multiple floor plans, and the ultra-performance filter.

It does have a smaller Li-ion battery, which downgrades the run time to around 90 minutes max.

What makes this a good option?

  • Least expensive option with the HEPA filter and side brush
  • Has a decent run time at 90 minutes
  • Excellent airflow that will perform well on hard floors and carpets

Some issues

  • Lacks the spiral combo brush, and zoned cleaning found in the D6 and D7

This model is an excellent alternative if you live inside a smaller home as the efficient navigation plus the recharge and resume feature will allow it to get good coverage.

Expect the same results with regards to cleaning to the more expensive D6 and D7 since all these robots have the same motor.

Bottom line

Despite being less expensive than the D6 and D7, the Botvac D5 offers the same type of cleaning performance, but with less range than the other two because of the smaller battery. It is a good option inside small to medium-sized homes who don’t want to spend top dollar for a robot.

Neato D4

Neato-D4

Next in the Neato totem pole are the budget versions starting with the D4 that fall below the $350 range.

Unlike options above it, the D4 is more bare-bones. It lacks a side brush and uses the older combo brush that was found in the older generation Neato robots.

What makes this a good option?

  • It is one of the least expensive options available with smart navigation.
  • Above-average at deep cleaning carpet (scores 79% in tests).

Some issues

  • Lacks a side brush, so edge cleaning is compromised.

Other notable downgrades in the D4 on the software side are the multiple floor plans and zone cleaning.

Take note that none of these features affect the D4 when it comes to the way it cleans.

The absence of a side brush does affect it a bit when it comes to edge and corner cleaning.

One advantage of not having any side brush is that there’s less risk of it tangling on power cords.

This variant has as much power as more expensive Roomba robots such as the Roomba I7 and 980, even at the low setting. It produces up to 17 CFM on the highest setting and 15 CFM on the low setting.

So cleaning surface or embedded dirt won’t be an issue with the D4.

Bottom line

The D4 is a good sneaky option for folks who’d want a smart navigating robot without spending over $350. It does not have the bells and whistles as the more expensive D5, D6, or D7, but when it comes to what matters most, which is cleaning floors, it will deliver.

Neato D3

Neato D3

Last on the list is the Botvac D3, Neato’s least expensive option, and their barest robot when it comes to features.

But don’t let the low price fool you the D3 isn’t much of a downgrade versus the other more expensive Botvacs.

When you factor in the software updates that Neato rolled out, it has essential features that any robot vacuum should have.

What makes this a good option?

  • It has excellent airflow at 19 CFM (only one CFM less than the D7).
  • Great at cleaning embedded dirt (76% score in tests).
  • Has the same efficiency as the top-of-the-line D7

Some issues

  • No side brush
  • Lacks a HEPA filter

Some of the features omitted in the D3 include the zone cleaning, multiple floor plans, and side brush.

But I don’t think these features are what you consider essential. These won’t affect how the D3 will clean.

It has the no go lines that I believe is important as it gives users the option to add unlimited “virtual walls” that block the robot from select areas.

This option does not have the ultra-performance filter or the spiral combo brush, but you can purchase these items separately if needed, thanks to its compatibility.

In deep cleaning tests, it scored above average with a 76% score on embedded sand.

It isn’t as good as the Roomba S9, but considering this option is a whole lot cheaper, it is something to look at if you don’t mind not having the bells and whistles.

Bottom line

The D3 is the most basic Neato Botvac option available, but there’s nothing entry-level with its cleaning performance. It lacks the bells and whistles of the D7, but it still brings a lot to the table when it comes to performance and efficiency.

How to Choose the Best Neato Botvac?

Now that you know the similarities and differences of the Neato Botvac let’s look at some tips that will help you select the right model that will fit your needs.

  1. Budget: How much are you willing to spend on a robot vacuum? Sorting this out will give better clarity on which model to choose. Take note that the price difference of the entry-level D3 and the high-end D7 is easily a few hundred dollars, so setting a budget is essential.
  2. Size of the home: Look at how big the area that needs cleaning. If you own a larger home, getting the D6 or D7 might make more sense because these variants will run the longest at up to 120 minutes.
  3. Need for the special features: Some of the features you’ll see are only available with the more expensive options. Ask yourself, do I need these features? One example is the zone cleaning that is only available with the D7. The D6 is the same product as the D7 but without the zone cleaning feature. You can save a lot of money by knowing what’s a need or not.

Maintenance and Running Costs

Like any machine, robot vacuums need regular maintenance to keep it in tip-top shape.

Some items that need regular maintenance include the filter, brushes, battery, and sensors.

  1. Dust cup: Emptying the dust cup after every cleaning cycle is a recommended practice by Neato.
  2. Filter: Neato recommends replacing the filter every one to two months. The frequency will depend on the environment you live in and how dusty it is. You can extend the life of the filter by vacuuming it using a handheld vacuum or a stick vacuum that has a handheld configuration like a Dyson V8 or a Tineco Pure One S12.
  3. Side brush: Regularly check the side brush (maybe once every week) for hair that may wrap around the base. Neato recommends replacing the side brush every six to eight months.
  4. Main brush: Like the side brush, you’ll have to regularly check the main brush for hair or dust that may wrap around it or the axles. Neato does not specify the replacement intervals so that it would be based on the eye test. If you see that the bristles or rubber blades are worn, it’s time to replace them.

Click here for more information about maintaining Neato Botvac products.

One reason why Neato is an excellent option for those looking for a high-quality robot vacuum is the availability of parts.

You can buy most of these parts direct from Neato or Amazon.

The beauty of Neato is that their parts are interchangeable. So, for example, you can buy the D3 and then purchase the ultra-performance filter or the spiral combo brush as a spare and save hundreds of dollars easily.

Ultra Performance Filter

Neato Ultra Performance Filter

Ultra Performance Filter

Neato High Performance-Filter

Between these two options, I would go for the ultra-performance filter because these offer better filtration and keeps finer allergens from seeping through the exhaust.

Spiral Combo Brush

Spiral Combo Brush

Spiral Combo Brush

Neato Combo Brush

You can buy these brushes individually, but a better deal would be purchasing it as a set with the side brush and cleaning tool.

Combo Brush Set

Neato Combo Brush Set

Spiral Combo Brush Set

Neato Spiral Combo Brush Set

The spiral combo brush is the main brush found in the Neato Botvac D6 and D7, while the combo brush is used in the D3, D4, and D5. There isn’t much of a difference between these two when it comes to surface cleaning, but the spiral brush will perform better on carpets.

Li-ion Battery

Neato Botvac Battery

Another vital part that needs to be replaced is the Li-ion battery. All Neato Botvac products come with a lithium-ion battery. This battery is compatible with all the variants listed here.

Do not buy the Ni-Mh batter as these aren’t compatible with the D-series robots.

Wrapping Up: Which Neato Botvac is Best?

There isn’t much of a difference when it comes to the performance of these robots. All variants come with the same motor and will produce roughly the same amount of airflow. When it comes to surface cleaning, I would say all will perform equally well.

The difference between the more costly options would be the add-ons, such as having the larger cell battery, side brush, and spiral combo brush. So the more expensive D6 and D7 will run at least half-an-hour longer than the cheaper D5.

There are also software upgrades found in the higher-end options that aren’t in the entry-level variants.

So know what to prioritize when it comes to the features that you may or may not need.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below, and I’ll answer them as soon as possible.

5 thoughts on “Neato Botvac Comparison: D3 vs. D4 vs. D5 vs. D6 vs. D7”

  1. Should I use the spiral blade brush on the botvac connected or the combo brush? I have both carpet and hard wood flooring in my house

  2. Since the D3 is so cheap but has most of the features of the higher end models, it seems like a no brainer to just buy this and then buy the Spiral Blade Brush separately, as it’s compatible with the D3.

  3. I have hard wood, tile and carpet. I would not be in the home when this is running so I couldn’t change out the type of roller. Can it automatically go from one type of floor to the other without changing the rollers? I would just like a robot vacuum that does this….any suggestions? I look forward to hearing from you.
    Thanks!

  4. Nickel-metal-hydride is not the same as nickel-cadmium. Mostly the lack of the toxic cadmium.

    Neato vacuums have never used nickel-cadmium batteries. The older/lower-spec units use nickel-metal-hydride, the newer ones use lithium-ion.

  5. I still have the xv-11 and although I have repaired the wheel spring connectors as the plastic spring retainers had gotten brittle and broke off as well as a few other minor repairs, This vacuum originally came with a Ni-metal hydride battery but I was able to upgrade to the Li-ion battery (e-bay replacement), replace the filter with the ultra performance as well as replace the brush with the combo brush. I don’t know if all other Neato models are able to be upgraded but I am thankful that those parts are all the same size. Although I only use it probably less than once a week this vacuum just keeps on going.

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