Neato D8 vs. Roborock S7

Neato D8 vs Roborock S7

We’ll have a close look at the Neato D8 and Roborock S7 intelligent robot vacuums in this comparison.

Both products utilize LIDAR and SLAM for navigation, but which option is better?

The Botvac D8 is one of three new Neato products released this year.

The S7 is Roborock’s flagship with the self-emptying feature and new vibrating mopping pad, thus improving mopping performance over traditional mops.

I’ve tested these robots extensively, putting them through various experiments to check their performance in different facets like navigation, cleaning performance, and much more.

An overview of the Neato D8 vs. Roborock S7+

Roborock S7++

Roborock S7 with Auto Empty Dock
  • Airflow: 13.91 CFM
  • Deep cleaning: 78.85%
  • Mopping: Yes
  • Auto empty: Yes
  • Bag capacity: 3-liters
  • Navigation: LIDAR & SLAM
  • Map saving: Yes
  • Number of maps: 4
  • Containment: Yes
  • Selective room cleaning: Yes
  • Recharge & Resume: Yes
  • Dustbin capacity: 420ml
  • Water tank: 300ml
  • Side brush: One
  • Battery: 5200 mAh Li-ion
  • Run time: 180 mins
  • Noise: 69.8 dB

Neato Botvac D8

Neato D8
  • Airflow: 19.74 CFM
  • Deep Cleaning: 85.7%
  • Navigation: LIDAR
  • Self-empty: No
  • Bag capacity: N/A
  • Map saving: Yes
  • Number of maps: 1
  • Containment: Yes
  • Selective Room cleaning: No
  • Recharge & Resume: Yes
  • Brush roll: Combo brush
  • Dustbin capacity: 700ml
  • Mopping: Yes
  • Water tank capacity: N/A
  • Type: N/A
  • Side brush: One
  • Battery: 2100 mAh Li-ion
  • Run time: 100 minutes
  • Noise: 67.9 dB

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Introduction to the Neato D8 and Roborock S7+

Neato D8 vs Roborock S7 Intro

The Neato D8 and Roborock S7 belong to two different robot vacuum eras.

Neato was a pioneer along with iRobot and was the first to utilize a D-shape design and LIDAR.

Roborock is a relative newcomer but with never-before-seen features, like an invisible wall and no-go zones.

It kinda forced Neato and Roomba to adapt and add these features to their products.

While both products utilize LIDAR, there are a lot of variances with how these robots navigate, which we’ll look at later.

Budget Smart Navigating Robot: Neato D8

Neato D8

Pros

  • Budget smart robot option
  • High-end airflow (above 19 CFM)
  • Wide brush roll makes it efficient at debris pick up
  • Large dustbin (0.7 liters)
  • LIDAR navigation

Cons

  • Quirks with navigation
  • The MyNeato app lacks features
  • No self-emptying option

When Neato launched the D8, it was priced above $500, which was a little too high given its limitations.

But it has since gone down to mid-price levels ($300-ish).

One selling point of Neato is its wide brush roll (over 11″), which is the widest in the industry.

No other robot vacuum comes close to it with brush width. The Roomba S9+ is the closest, but it’s two inches narrower.

Neato D8 vs Roomba S9 brush comparison

The wide brush roll makes it more efficient than any robot vacuum, at least on paper.

However, there are issues with this robot that hamper its potential.

And the biggest would be the navigation issues that hamper it severely during my tests.

The high airflow makes it excellent at deep cleaning embedded dirt but lacks a multi-pass run. You’ll have to schedule mitigate this omission.

I like the Neato D8 design. It has a lot of promise, but the navigation issues are something Neato has to fix to compete with other brands.

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12/16/2021 02:12 am GMT

Two-in-One Versatility: Roborock S7+

Roborock S7 auto empty dock

Pros

  • Outstanding cleaning performance, especially on hard floors
  • Excellent mopping agitation
  • A self-emptying feature is available
  • Best-in-class app (in my opinion)
  • Efficient navigation

Cons

  • Expensive option
  • The mopping feature is limited to what it can clean

Roborock has introduced many innovations with their product offers, and the S7+ is no exception.

It’s the first Roborock product with the auto-empty base station, so it empties the dustbin automatically after every run.

Another upgrade Roborock introduced is the upgraded mopping mechanism with a vibrating element they call VibraRise.

It is the first of its kind product I’ve tested with a vibrating pad.

The vibrating element helps it mop stains better and more efficiently.

Roborock S7 mopping test on grape juice and tomato juice stains

However, there’s still a limit to what it can mop since it doesn’t pick up liquid like a floor washing robot (e.g., ILIFE W450 and W400).

Vacuuming performance is excellent despite having below-average airflow. And this brings me to the next upgrade, the bristle-less brush roll.

These rubber blades wrapped around it provide excellent agitation, thus the great pick-up.

Roborock S7 brush

It did well on both surface and embedded dirt, and I’d say a good Roomba alternative, especially on hard floors with the mopping functionality.

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09/13/2021 02:08 am GMT

Similarities between the Neato D8 and Roborock S7+

Next, we’ll look at the similarities between the Neato D8 and Roborock S7.

1. LIDAR Navigation

The LIDAR navigation is the most obvious similarity, as both models rely on a top-mounted laser sensor to track location.

These robots also use SLAM, a similar technology used in self-driving cars. It acts as the control sensor and takes all the data from LIDAR, helping the robot navigate various obstacles.

Using a laser also enables these products to traverse even in pitch-dark conditions, so both are impervious to total darkness.

2. Efficient Navigation

The laser sensor helps it move in straight lines, making it more efficient than a random navigating robot that pinballs around.

This efficiency (along with the wide brush) helps it cover more ground in less time.

3. Recharge and Resume

Another benefit of using LIDAR is it will have recharge and resume, meaning it resumes cleaning if it doesn’t finish the task previously.

This benefits the D8 more with the shorter 100-minute run time since it continues vacuuming after recharging.

The smaller battery won’t affect range.

4. Top-mounted Dustbin

Neato D8 vs Roborock S7 dustbin inside robot

The Neato D8 and Roborock S7 utilize a top-mounted dustbin, but the D8’s version has more capacity at 0.7 liters.

Neato D8 vs Roborock S7 dustbin

The Roborock S7 has a smaller capacity (0.42 liters) and won’t hold as much.

Nonetheless, it has an auto-empty base station, automating the task of emptying it.

5. Containment

The Roborock and MyNeato app enable consumers to draw containment boxes (or no-go zones), blocking the robot from going into off-limit areas.

However, the Roborock app offers better flexibility with its invisible wall feature. So consumers can draw diagonal lines, blocking the robot from going past it.

Differences between the Neato D8 and Roborock S7+

Next, we’ll look at the differences of these robots, and there are plenty, which I’ll enumerate below.

1. Auto-Empty Base Station [Roborock S7 only]

Roborock S7 base station ramp

Only the Roborock S7+ has the self-emptying feature with the auto-empty dock.

You can purchase it as a set (S7+) or buy it separately.

The base station offers a hands-free convenience not available with the D8 since it empties the dustbin after the cleaning cycle.

2. 2-in-1 Versatility [Roborock S7 only]

Roborock S7 with pad attached

The Roborock S7 offers the two-in-one functionality absent with the D8. It can vacuum and mop simultaneously with the pad position at the rear.

It’s a similar design to the S5 Max and S6 MaxV, but with the advantage of the vibrating pad.

3. Number of Passes

Roborock S7 passes

Roborock products like the S7 can go around up to three times through the room and zone tab.

In comparison, the MyNeato app doesn’t have this option and only goes around once.

4. Shape

Neato D8 vs Roborock S7 Shape

All Roborock robot vacuums have a round frame, whereas Neato Botvac products utilize a square frame.

I like the square frame since a wide brush will fit, something not possible with a round body.

5. Brush Roll

Neato D8 vs Roborock S7 brush roll

The brush roll design is another difference between the Neato D8 and Roborock S7.

Neato D8 vs Roborock S7 brush roll comparison

Roborock introduced in the S7 is the new brush roll design without any bristles, while the D8 uses a combo brush.

Both have above-average agitation, but I’d give the edge to the S7 since it scored higher in the cleaning tests.

6. Side Brush

Neato D8 vs Roborock S7 side brush

The shape difference also means a side brush variance with a variance in placement. Roborock’s side brush has a larger diameter to compensate for its position further back, while Neato’s side brush is smaller and slightly behind the primary roller.

7. Crisscross pattern [Roborock S7]

Roborock S7 crisscross pattern

Roborock introduced the crisscross cleaning pattern with the S7. It’s something absent (previously) with their earlier models [S5 Max, S6 Pure, and S6 MaxV]. And this feature is most beneficial with its mopping performance.

But I’m not sure if the crisscross pattern has been implemented with other variants.

8. App Variances

Neato D8 vs Roborock S7 app

The Roborock S7 is compatible with the Roborock app, while the Neato D8 is usable with the MyNeato app.

Using the app will unlock all the features of these robots, but take note that both are only compatible with 2.4 GHz networks, but not with 5G.

I like the Roborock app better since it offers more features and frequent updates. The MyNeato app is quite bare and offers only basic functionality.

App Features

We’ll look at the different app features of these robots and their variances.

Please note that some screenshots you’ll see are from older versions of the Roborock app, but the functionality remains the same.

It’s a good thing since this proves that Roborock updates its app frequently, which isn’t the case with other brands.

1. Live Map [Roborock S7 Only]

Roborock S7 live map

My favorite feature of the Roborock app is the live map. It provides a real-time update of the robot’s location on the map.

You can see the areas it has vacuumed and its location, so it’s easy to track the progress.

The MyNeato app doesn’t have this functionality and only shows a robot graphic.

MyNeato no live map

2. Map Saving

The Roborock app can save (up to) four map levels, while the MyNeato app can only save one.

Roborock S7 map saving

However, a note on the MyNeato app says multi-level map saving will be available soon.

MyNeato may saving

Nonetheless, I think it’s another oversight, and Neato should have implemented this feature upon its release.

3. Containment

Users can draw set containment zones within these maps, blocking the robot from entering off-limit areas.

The Roborock app offers more options: invisible wall, no-go zones, and no-mop zones.

Roborock S7 containment

The latter two are similar in that both block an area. But since the S7 has a mop lift feature, the no-mop zones are redundant and unnecessary.

The red lines are invisible walls and are very helpful in blocking diagonal areas.

In comparison, the MyNeato app is more limited, only having no-go zones.

MyNeato app no-go zone

The older Neato app (for the D3 to D7 variants) has the no-go lines feature, but it’s absent in the newer app.

Neato app no-go lines

4. Map Customizations [Roborock S7 only]

The Roborock app has map customization functions such as merge areas, split areas, and room naming.

Roborock S7 customize

Unfortunately, the MyNeato app lacks this feature, and there’s no way of customizing them.

5. Selective Room Cleaning [Roborock S7]

Roborock S7 selective room cleaning

Another plus of the Roborock app is the selective room cleaning. It allows consumers to choose a specific area to clean.

So it provides a level of control for consumers and is usable with the scheduling feature, adding to its customization options.

6. Zoned Cleaning

Roborock S7 zone cleaning

Another advantage of the Roborock app is zoned cleaning, where users can specify a specific area on the map they want to clean. It’s something lacking in the MyNeato app.

7. Scheduling

Both apps have a scheduling feature, allowing consumers to automate cleaning tasks.

Users can schedule multiple runs per day for both apps, which helps if you want to keep the floors tidy.

The Roborock S7’s self-emptying feature benefits the most since there’s no need to empty the dustbin manually.

Navigation Comparison

Next, we’ll look at how these robots navigate. The Neato D8 and Roborock S7 utilize LIDAR and SLAM, so both have an intelligent algorithm, moving in straight lines.

LIDAR robots start the run, cleaning the edges before going to the middle.

One benefit of using a laser sensor is it will function even in pitch-black conditions. You can run these robots in complete darkness without any issues.

But the Roborock S7 has a better algorithm that’s more efficient and thorough.

The app allows users to increase the number of passes (between one and three) through the room or zoned cleaning tab.

Neato doesn’t have this option and only goes around once, hampering its thoroughness.

Also, the Roborock S7 goes around twice by default, and the excellent agitation makes it efficient.

Coverage Test

Both variants did well in the coverage test.

The Neato D8 was decent, picking up everything, despite the one-pass-only run.

But the Roborock S7 was much better with the crisscross pattern and efficient pick-up. The three-pass run is meticulous and gobbled up every crumb of dirt.

Airflow Comparison

Power setting
Roomba S9+
Power setting
Neato D8
Quiet
8.2 CFM
Eco
13.74 CFM
Balanced
9.68 CFM
Turbo
19.74 CFM
Turbo
11.33 CFM
Max
13.91 CFM

Airflow is another factor to consider in choosing a robot vacuum. Products with high airflow tend to do cleaning better than low airflow options.

Of course, there are exceptions like Roomba products with dirt detect and dual brushes, but it’s the exception.

No other product in the market has those technologies since iRobot owns the patent.

The Neato D8 has the higher airflow at over 19 CFM, while the Roborock S7 only maxes at 13 CFM.

However, the Roborock S7 is better with the redesigned brush roll, even with the low airflow.

Cleaning Performance

Model
Roborock S7+
Neato D8
Overall
93.97%
93.93%
Hard Floor
99.7%
96.6%
Sand on hard floor
99.8%
96.5%
Carpet (Surface Pickup)
98.9%
96.92%
Carpet (Deep Cleaning)
78.85%
85.7%

I test all the robots on debris like quaker oats, quinoa, pet litter, coffee grounds, hair, and sand.

The Roborock S7 was better than the Neato D8 in all the surface tests, which is a testament to the improved agitation from the redesigned brush roll.

It’s not surprising that the Neato D8 was better with embedded sand since it has high airflow.

However, the navigation issues hamper its cleaning potential, and the results are a clear indicator.

Which robot is better on hard floor?

The Roborock S7 is the better option with its more polished and thorough navigation. And the results reflect that observation, picking up a few percentage points better in every category.

One experiment I use as a barometer on this surface is the sand on hard floor test. The S7+ was better, nearly getting a perfect score.

Roborock S7 sand on hard floor

The Neato D8 wasn’t bad, but there were remnants left, even after numerous runs. It didn’t pick up cleanly as I’d hoped.

Neato D8 sand on hard floor

Edge Cleaning Comparison

You’d think that the Neato D8 will better clean this area on paper. But that’s not the case.

Check out the before and after shot for the Neato D8.

Neato D8 edge cleaning

It picked up most of the debris, but it left a chunk close at the edge. Another issue is it didn’t pick up debris on the quarter-inch crevice.

The Roborock S7 was slightly better, picking up debris.

Roborock S7 edge cleaning

Like the D8, it struggled to pick up stuff in the quarter-inch crevice, showing it lacks airflow.

Hair Wrap Comparison

Model
Roborock S7
Neato D8
5-inch strands
75%
94%
7-inch strands
44%
45%

I used five and seven-inch strands for the hair wrap experiment.

The D8’s wider brush roll picked up more five-inch strands (94%) than the S7 (75%).

Hardly anything wrapped on the D8 brush with five-inch hair.

Neato D8 5-inch hair

The Roborock S7 did well but not as good as the D8.

Roboroc S7 new brush design

However, both struggled with longer seven-inch hair.

This much hair is wrapped on the S7 brush.

Roborock S7 hair wrapped around the brush

And this much on the Neato D8 brush.

Neato D8 seven-inch test

Which is better on carpet?

The Neato D8 is better at cleaning embedded dirt with an 85% score, while the S7 is a notch below at around 78%.

But the latter is better with surface pick-up, thanks to its navigation.

The D8’s wide brush does offer better efficiency since it picks up more per pass.

Mopping Comparison

Only the Roborock S7+ has the mopping feature. The Neato D8 doesn’t have it and doesn’t have a mopping robot, unlike the iRobot with their Braava series.

Roborock revamped the mopping design and added a vibrating element, helping it clean stains better than the S5 Max and S6 MaxV.

This feature helps it with efficiency, cleaning the stains in fewer passes.

Roborock S7 mopping test on grape juice and tomato juice stains

It cleaned this considerable mess by the second pass, but there’s a limitation to what it can mop.

Roborock S7 mopping test on grape juice and tomato juice stains

 

Run Time Comparison

Roborock’s large 5200 mAh lithium-ion battery gives the S7 a huge run-time advantage (up to 180 minutes).

The Neato D8’s smaller 2100 mAh battery will only run for 100 minutes (max).

However, having the recharge and resume feature mitigates the D8’s limitation since it will resume cleaning after recharging.

But the limited run time will be an issue with map creation inside larger homes.

Noise Comparison

Power setting
Neato D8
Power setting
Roborock S7
Eco
64.6 dB
Quiet
59.4 dB
Turbo
67.9 dB
Balanced
60.1 dB
Turbo
64.6 dB
Max
69.8 dB

I use a sound meter to check a robot vacuum’s noise levels. Overall, the Roborock S7 is noisier, maxing out at close to 70 decibels (69.8 dB), while the Neato D8 is slightly less noisy at 67.9 dB.

Maintenance

Both robots will require some level of upkeep to function at their peak. I’ll enumerate the components that need cleaning or replacing and the recommended intervals. Maintenance is a critical ownership aspect and when done correctly, will lengthen a robot vacuum’s service life.

  1. Primary brush: The primary brush is the most abused component of any robot vacuum. It’s responsible for debris pick up and needs to be cleaned at least once a week to clean any debris build-up, particularly hair on the axles.
  2. Side brush: Next to the main brush, the next most abused component is the side brush. Check and clean at least once a week for hair wrapping on the arms or base. The Neato D8 side brush pops out easily since it sticks on a magnet. But you’ll need a screwdriver to remove the S7 side brush.
  3. Dustbin and filter: Empty the dustbin after every run and tap the filter on a trash bin to dislodge any dirt sticking on the folds. S7+ owners will not need to empty it manually since the clean base station does it automatically.
  4. Drop sensors: Use a dry, clean microfiber towel to wipe the drop sensors. Do it at least twice a month.
  5. Wheels: Wipe the side and caster wheels to remove any dirt sticking on the surface.
  6. Auto-empty base station [Roborock S7 only]: Dispose the bag when full and clean the filters in the other cylinder. Unfortunately, the Roborock app doesn’t inform users when the bag is full, so you’ll have to check visually. Also, check the port going into the bag and ensure it’s free from any blockages.

Availability of Parts

Neato has a slight advantage over Roborock since it’s been on the market longer. There are more options with third-party components like the battery and filter, but Roborock is coming along as more and more are selling S7 parts.

Product Specifications

Model
Roborock S7
Neato D8
Roborock S7
Neato D8
Width
13.8"
12.71"
Height
3.8"
3.99"
Filter
Washable E11 Rated Air Filter
High-Efficiency
Navigation
Smart Navigation
Smart Navigation
Run time
180 mins.
100 mins.
Recharge and Resume
Yes
Yes
Map Saving
Yes
Yes
Number of Maps
4
1
Dustbin capacity
420 ml
700 ml
Auto empty capacity
3-liters
N/A
Water tank capacity
300 ml
N/A
Airflow
13.91 CFM
19.74 CFM (Max)
Warranty
1-year limited
1-year limited
Price

Where can I buy these robots?

The Roborock S7 and Neato D8 are available in online stores like Amazon. Check the links below for the latest pricing information.

  • Roborock S7+ (robot + dock) on Amazon
  • Roborock S7 (robot only) on Amazon
  • Roborock S7 Auto Empty Dock on Amazon
  • Neato D8 on Amazon

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

Which is the better option, the Roborock S7+ or Neado D8?

While both options offer strengths in specific aspects, the Roborock S7 is the better product overall.

It offers more polished navigation, better app experiment, and versatility with its moping feature.

But the Neato D8 is the much cheaper option and with the D-shape frame, it has a wider brush, so it picks up more debris per pass.

I’ll enumerate reasons you should choose a specific variant below to help you decide.

3 Reasons to choose the Neato D8

  1. Much cheaper: The D8 will cost almost half the Roborock S7 (no auto-empty), and it’s something budget-conscious shoppers should consider.
  2. Wide brush: The wide 11-inch brush enables it to pick up more debris per pass than a round-shaped robot.
  3. Large dustbin: Its 700-ml dustbin capacity is easily the largest of any robot vacuum I’ve tested.

Reasons to choose the Roborock S7

  1. More refined navigation: Roborock’s algorithm is in another league versus Neato. It’s more efficient and thorough, and a reason why it picked up more debris even with less airflow.
  2. Self-emptying feature: The S7+ comes with the auto-empty dock, unlocking a self-emptying aspect absent in any Neato product.
  3. Better versatility: The Roborock S7 doubles as a robot mop, and with its new VibraRise technology, it is the best Roborock product for this task.
  4. More app features: The Roborock app offers better usability than the barebones MyNeato app.

The Verdict: The Roborock S7 is the Better Option But Expensive

I was expecting a lot from the Neato D8, but its lack of features and underwhelming navigation disappoints me.

The Roborock S7 performed better in nearly every test, from cleaning to navigation. It also has better app features, offering more customization options absent in the MyNeato App.

One consolation for the D8 is the lower cost,  but that’s it. I wouldn’t say it’s more efficient than the S7 because of the navigation issues.

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