21 January 2018

REVIEW: Ecovacs Deebot R95 Robot Vacuum Cleaner

It talks, it maps, it cleans.

Our most recent review of a robot vacuum cleaner, the Neato Botvac D3 Connected, left us feeling very positive about the world of automated cleaning robots. However, as smart as that vac was, it lacked a few high-end features... that you'll definitely find in this one. We check out the Ecovacs Deebot R95 Robot Vacuum Cleaner.

The main headlines for this robot vacuum cleaner, and the stats that make it stand out from the crowd, is the ability to fully map the layout of your home, allowing you to 'tell' it exactly where to clean. Also, if there is a problem, it will tell you exactly what is wrong. Like with a voice, and everything.

The Ecovacs Deebot R95 Robot Vacuum Cleaner is circular in shape, which is odd as most modern robot vacuum cleaners tend to have a squarish front these days, allowing them to the get into corners. But, the Deebot R95 counters that issue with twin spinning brushes, plucking dirt and dust from the front corners and flinging it into the path of the underside roller. This means it is slightly smaller than your average robot vac, but it does lack a carry handle.

After fully charging on the included dock (a dock to which it will automatically return once cleaning is completed), and connecting the Ecovacs app via WiFi, you're ready to clean. Here you have a wealth of options, from setting a schedule, to telling it to clean a specific area in your home, right down to a small 'spot' clean. However, to use features such as this you first have to let the Ecovacs Deebot R95 Robot Vacuum Cleaner take a walk. When first activated the robot slowly creeps around your home, mapping it using the laser and IR scanners set into the hub on top. What is cool about this is that you can watch it moving around, live in the app, seeing walls and furniture appear in the map as it goes.

Once fully mapped (you can open the map and check it has caught all areas - which ours did) you can either let it start cleaning, ambling around all the rooms and corridors, or select a specific place. The Ecovacs Deebot R95 Robot Vacuum Cleaner will then make it's way there, and begin cleaning. You can also set virtual walls within the map, to make sure the vac stays in a particular room, to ensure a full clean.

The Ecovacs Deebot R95 Robot Vacuum Cleaner also possesses a female voice. If there is an issue, such as getting stuck, the roller getting tangled in something, or the side brushes becoming jammed, it will tell you. "I'm stuck" etc, will sound throughout your home, which, if we're being honest, gets old quick. Fortunately you can turn the voice off, and just receive alerts via the app on your phone.

Uniquely, the Ecovacs Deebot R95 Robot Vacuum Cleaner can also mop as well as suck. A mopping pad can be attached to the rear underside of the robot, and a special cleaning solution is included in the box. This is great for tiled or hardwood floors, as the mop pad picks up really fine dirt that the vacuum might miss.

On that note, the quality of the clean, be it on carpets or smooth surfaces, was very good. We were initially sceptical as the width of the rolling suction brush is quite narrow - especially when compared to the aforementioned Neato vac. But, those two spinning brushes on either side do a great job at widening the surface area, and it seemed as if the total width of the robot was the area that was covered. That's a big plus.

But... there was particular reason why we quickly tired of that human voice. The Ecovacs Deebot R95 Robot Vacuum Cleaner had a greater tendency to suffer from jammed brushes and rollers than any other robotic cleaner we've ever reviewed. During one clean, which should've taken no more than ten minutes, we received about eight side brush jam notifications. When this happens the vacuum cleaner will stop, and won't continue until you actually turn it over to investigate, or hit the OK button on the app notification. By the way, at no point had any of the side brushes actually become jammed, so we've no idea what was going on there.

Still, when it did manage an event-free clean, the clean was great, and we so completely loved being able to accurately tell it exactly where to clean and when. Having used several robotic vacuum cleaners over the years, we've learnt that you really don't have to do you entire house each night. Being able to programme, or activate live, the Ecovacs Deebot R95 Robot Vacuum Cleaner to clean a certain room or area was brilliant.

So although it was occasionally frustrating to have to deal with phantom jams, the mapping feature is great and adds a whole new level of convenience. The mopping pad is also good, and if you've ever been turned off getting a robot vac because you have different kinds of floor surfaces, this could be the one for you.


Visit www.ecovacs.com

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