The explosion of smartphones has changed the way we lived.
Never before has information been so readily available at our fingertips at blazingly fast speeds.
This device has literally shrunk the world we lived in right now. And it has affected the way people lived.
Manufacturers of consumer electronic have noticed them and now have added WiFi connectivity to their products.
Robot vacuums are the latest devices to add WiFi connectivity and these are exciting times to be a consumer.
I’ll be comparing the different features of these cleaners to help you just in case you’re looking for an autonomous cleaner that has this feature. The great thing is you don’t need to spend $500 for such and there are great deals out there.
EcoVacs DEEBOT N79
Xiaomi Robot Vacuum
Eufy RoboVac 11c
Neato BotVac D5
iRobot Roomba 980
|Battery type||Li-Ion||Li-Ion||Li-Ion||Li-Ion||Nickel Cadmium|
|Charging time||5 hrs.||N/A||6 hrs.||N/A||N/A|
|Run time||100 mins.||2.5 hours||100 mins.||90 mins.||2 hrs.|
|Compatible with Alexa|
|Cleaning sessions per week||7||Unlimited||7||7||7|
|Weight||6.7 pounds||8.4 pounds||6.7 pounds||7.5 pounds||8.7 pounds|
|Warranty||1 year||1 year||1 year||1 year||2 years (click here for more details)|
The biggest benefit of WiFi is the ability for you to have access to it even when you’re not physically present at home. It is this convenience that attracts a lot of consumers to robots with such.
Features will vary as well as the apps that come along with it. And this will be the biggest differentiator that along with the price when narrowing down your options.
Let’s go through each point that you should go through in the selection process…
Price – The first thing you need to establish is the amount of money you’re willing to spend for this device. It’s really pointless to look at 10 different products if you can only afford 3 of them.
Performance – Buying a robot vacuum that does not clean well is really a waste of money. And to find out how a particular brand performs check the reviews both in Amazon and on YouTube if you can find it.
App Design – One of the most overlooked features (in my opinion) when selecting a WiFi robot vacuum. You have to check software stability and features. The thing is a feature rich app will be less stable than a simple app so you have to balance these two and know what features you’ll prioritize.
Height – One of the biggest pluses of having a robot cleaning your home would be its ability to clean under furniture. That’s why you won’t see the Dyson 360 Eye in this list because it will not fit under anything below 5 inches.
Yes, there are robotic vacuums with more sophistication. But when you talk about value for money, it’s hard to beat the EcoVacs DEEBOT N79.
In terms of functionality and features this is similar to the Roomba 650 but more furniture friendly.
Unlike the 650 this robot will not bump into furniture hard. But it’ll perform as well. The crazy part is you can buy this for less than $200 in Amazon. A Roomba 650 will cost around $300 and that does not come with any WiFi connectivity.
The EcoVacs app is pretty simple. It has the same functionality as the remote. That means you have access to different cleaning modes, battery status and the ability to control the robot manual through the arrow keys.
You can’t expect much in terms of sophistication. But when you consider the price this is a bargain.
For a sub $200 robot, this product looks pretty good with its gray finish with black accents.
Design is straightforward with a single button at the middle with the branding printed below it.
Flip the robot over and you’ll see two side brushes and a single motorized brush at the middle.
It is the exact same design as you’ll find in an ILIFE A4S. The only difference would be the motorized brush. DeeBot uses a “double-V” type brush that has both a squeegee and bristle.
This model does not have any mop – the newer N80 has it but I’m not a big fan of multi-function robots.
Wet mopping robots still have not caught up with the performance of robot vacuums just yet.
How does this perform?
Even if this robot is cheaper than a Roomba 650 performs is actually great. And a lot of consumers it worked well on bare floor or carpet. It’s pretty quiet and won’t scare any of your pets away if you happen to have any.
Don’t expect this to deep clean carpet but none of the robots right available right now has that capability. Yes even a Dyson 360 Eye can’t.
Bottom line: EcoVacs really has a winner here in the DEEBOT N79. It has features available in robots a few hundred dollars more expensive. You can get this for less than $200 in Amazon and this is a bargain.
A Neato BotVac Connect right now will cost around $700. And that’s a lot of money to pay for a vacuum, let alone a robot vacuum.
What if I told you that you can buy something with similar features for half the price?
Sounds great isn’t it?
Xiaomi is a brainchild of the MI Ecosystem in China. It uses basically the same features as the Neato but with a better app.
Inside the robot are microprocessors that process all the information that this robot gets from the 12 different sensors.
So this robot is as smart as they come.
One of my favorite features of this robot is the app. The MI Home App is one of the most feature-rich apps right now. Check out these screenshots…
Whereas the Neato or iRobot app will only allow you to schedule daily cleaning once, the MI Home app allows unlimited scheduling. That means you can ask this robot to clean your home once, twice, thrice and more.
Aside from that you can motor the robot’s cleaning status in real time. You’ll see the exact location of the robot in relation to the map, battery status and even the size of the area it’s cleaning. All of this is updated real time.
Of its competitors only the Dyson 360 Eye has this feature and this costs less than $300! This robot only costs less than $300(if you use the coupon code “XIAOMIVAC” or “XMIVCHK”) – the same price as the Roomba 650!
Even if this robot is a “Neato-lite” Xiaomi to their credit did not use the same shape. Instead, they opted for a round shape with a single side brush. Color is another difference as this comes in white. What I don’t like about it is that it stains easy. Dirt bin loads from the top.
At the button you’ll see a single side brush with a combo brush. This brush isn’t as wide as a Neato but it still performs well in my tests.
How it performs
This is robot is very efficient when it comes to cleaning thanks to the S.L.A.M. algorithm and laser-guided sensor it’ll clean a small 23 square meter area in just 23 minutes.
Make sure to update the app to get this benefit because out of the box the robot lacks thoroughness.
Watch this video to see how it does…
You’ll see that it’ll go around the room twice – first around the edges then the middle. And it picked up 67 out of the 71 grams of dirt scattered on the floor.
Mind you this isn’t the typical mess that you’ll clean but it’s nice to know that it can handle these types of messes.
Bottom line: At less than $300 (currently) this robot is a bargain for the features you’ll get. It’s basically a round Neato with a better app that’ll clean as well.
Another robot vacuum under the radar would be the Eufy RoboVac 11c. It’s basically the same robot as the RoboVac 11 but with WiFi and Alexa compatibility.
In terms of features this robot is quite similar to our top pick the DEEBOT N79. But this robot costs less than $300 more expensive that’s why it landed the number 3 spot.
If you look closely at the DEEBOT and RoboVac, both have the exact same architecture – from the dirt bin, main beater bar and side brush. I’m guessing these two come from the same factory in China.
Big difference is that this works with Alexa while DEEBOT only has WiFi.
In terms of size and configuration both these robots are similar with a single button at the middle. Power switch on both products are also in the same area at the side of the robot (right side).
If you look at the Eufy and DEEBOT side by side without looking at the label you’d think these two products are the same. I think that these two products have the same motor, side brushes and combo brush but with different branding.
Even the design of the remote is the same.
How does it perform?
To give you a glimpse of how this robot performs, watch this video…
If you look at the amount of dirt it’s a lot. And the RoboVac was able to pick up most it. The side brushes kicked some of the dirt but that’s the only downside I see from the twin brush system. The robot did pick up most of the dirt as it cycled through the room.
It’s not as smart as the Xiaomi and priced the same so it fell to number 3 in our ranking.
Bottom line: Between the Eufy and EcoVacs I’d pick the latter because it’s cheaper. But if you need something that’s compatible with Alexa I wouldn’t discourage you from buying this.
Without a doubt Neato is one of the pioneers in the robot vacuum industry. They were the first to use laser-guided technology with a predictable cleaning pattern more efficient than the Roomba when the early generation robots came out.
The issue with buying a BotVac Connected is price. This top-of-the-line robot will cost $700. Sure it’s cheaper than a Roomba but still a lot to pay for a vacuum that won’t deep clean.
That’s why we’d opted to recommend the BotVac D5 because it’ll have roughly the same performance but costs less than $300.
The BotVac D5’s app is pretty simple – it allows you to schedule and ask it to clean even if you’re not at home. But it lacks the advanced features only found in the flagship BotVac Connected like access to special cleaning modes, Alexa voice commands and real time tracking of the robot.
But remember the BotVac is around $150 more expensive.
Main difference between this and the BotVac Connected design wise is the lack of a screen on the upper right. The screen is for the scheduling feature of the robot but since there is an app that also has this feature the difference is negligible.
When you flip it over, both the BotVac Connected and D5 are pretty much the same. There’s a single side brush and a really wide combo brush that provides an excellent cleaning path.
How does it perform?
When you combine the laser-guided sensor, wide combo brush and single side brush this along with the Xiaomi are the most efficient robots in this list. These two will clean rooms faster than a Roomba, Eufy or EcoVacs.
You’ll see that it moves in a methodical fashion and it will go around the area several times. CNET says that it did not do as well the the BotVac Connected when cleaning pet hair. But if you don’t have no pets or don’t need any of the advanced features, save yourself the $$$ and go with this.
Bottom line: The Neato BotVac D5 is a good alternative to the top-of-the-line Connected because it’s around $150 cheaper. Unfortunately this is not compatible with Alexa. You also won’t get access to any of the advanced features in the BotVac Connected app. It won’t do as well on pet hair, however if these aren’t concerns then go ahead and buy this.
Last on this list is the best performing robot on carpet and one of the top selling robots in Amazon.
A big reason for this would be performance. The counter rotating rubber extractor system does a really good job at pulling dirt trapped on carpet compared to a bristled brush.
One big improvement iRobot made with the Roomba 980 would be how it navigates.
Before the introduction of the 900 series, all Roomba robots used a series on infrared sensors that resulted in a robot that goes in a random direction after it bumped into an object.
The early generation Roomba vacuums had the nasty habit of bumping into objects hard. This resulted into a better cleaning robot but it scuffed furniture. iRobot dialed back this aggressive behavior in the newer 800 series but the cleaning pattern was still inefficient.
When the 900 series came out, it was the first time that iRobot completely changed the navigation. Instead of just relying on IR sensors, they’ve added a top-mounted camera, a microchip and the same software found inside the Google driving car.
Underneath the robot are acoustic sensors that detect the amount of dirt. So this robot will focus on areas with more dirt. This feature makes is one of the reasons why it performs better on carpet than the other robots in this list.
Unlike the Xiaomi and Neato BotVac app that has real time updates on the location of the robot, the iRobot app is pretty simple in terms of features.
You’ll have access to the scheduling and cleaning modes. It also shows the battery status in real time but that’s the only real time update you’ll get. There are not maps or anything fancy inside.
It is compatible with Alexa so this is good news to folks who have this device.
True to form, iRobot retains has the same shape and dimension as older generation Roombas. Main difference would be the layout of the buttons. There’s also a lens on top – that’s the camera that the robot uses for navigation.
It helps the robot pinpoint its location in relation to the room. The downside of using a camera is that it needs light to function. So when you leave it in a pitch black room it may not function as well.
You’ll see clearly that this robot uses a different type of beater bar. Instead of the traditional design that uses bristles, iRobot used two rubber extractors that will literally pull up dirt. When you look closely at the design, these have “teeth” that interlock with each other and provide agitation needed on carpet.
How does this perform?
Watch this video to get a glimpse of how this robot navigates and performs on hardwood…
Out of the 100 grams of fine powder scattered, the Roomba 980 was able to pick up 98 grams. This is impressive.
Another thing you’ll notice in the video – a vast improvement on how a Roomba navigates compared to the older 800 or 600 series.
It has a more predictable pattern that’s much more efficient.
Bottom line: Roomba has come a long way since it first came into the market a few decades back. This top-of-the-line robot has WiFi, a new lithium ion battery, better navigation and now is compatible with Alexa but the app could use some improvement. Not the cheapest but if you want a good performing robot and you don’t mind spending $900 this is a great option.
As proven in the list above, you don’t need to spend $500 to have access to a good performing WiFi-enabled robot vacuum. The EcoVacs DEEBOT N79 got our vote because of the price. It is the cheapest robot vacuum with WiFi that cleans well.
If you want something smarter but still don’t want to because of the price then the Xiaomi robot vacuum is a great option. They’re now offering this great deal for a limited time so if you’re thinking about buying this, now is the time.
It has the best app in my opinion when it comes to features. Not only does it have real time updates, you can schedule it multiple times every day.
Next in line is the Eufy RoboVac 11c. It is the cheapest robot in the list here that’s compatible with Alexa. In terms of product features and performance, this is similar with the EcoVacs. It’s because of the price and if you don’t need the Alexa compatibility then stick to EcoVacs.
I placed the because of the price and Roomba 980 at the last two spots of this list because these robots are expensive. But these two perform as well as any robot vacuum. If you’re willing to spend more than $700 on these two I wouldn’t stop you but the 3 robots above it provide better value for money.
If you have any questions about these robots or suggestions please comment below. I’d love to hear from you.