I Tell Everyone About This Mopping Robot Vacuum, and It’s on Sale For $699 Right Now

I’d never really thought about robot vacuums until recently when I was asked if I wanted to test one out. The fact I hadn’t heard much about them until then was surprising, as in the last few years robot vacuums have become all the rage in home cleaning. There are now models in every price range and featuring all kinds of extras, including cameras, in-built mops and self-emptying bins.

The robot vacuum I tried was the Deebot N8 Pro by Ecovacs Robots, (normally $999, but a steal at $699 as part of AfterPay Day sales). Launched in Australia in July 2022, the device features mapping technology using laser beams (meaning it won’t bump into things), mopping functionality and 2600Pa of suction power.

So, what did I think of it? Firstly, for context, a little bit about me: I’m not a huge tech person. I like cool gadgets, but I don’t love setting them up and would rather they just be ready to go.

With that in mind, I was happy to find that the vacuum and its docking station were fairly easy to put together. With the help of stickers on the vacuum, as well as an instruction booklet, I was able to easily attach the side brushes and mopping plate, and have the phone app downloaded and set up, all within under 10 minutes. I then charged the vacuum on its docking station, filled up its water tank and it was ready to go.

Deebot N8 Pro by Ecovacs Robots
Image: Ecovacs

I pressed start and the vacuum’s side brushes began spinning before it set off around my home. My first thought was “cute!”. Moving determinedly on its own and wandering into different rooms like a curious, crawling baby, the vacuum seemed to have a personality of its own. It talked, too, which made it even more human-like, saying things like “Off the floor” (if I picked it up), “Locating — please wait” and “Cleaning complete — returning to charging station”.

Related: This Robot Vacuum Mop Will Clean the Specific Room You Tell It to

Related: Are Robot Vacuums Really Worth the Hype? We Investigate

While the idea is that you first set up the vacuum’s mapping technology through your phone, opening all the doors in your home and letting the vacuum roam around as it maps out the area (you can see the map it creates on your phone), I didn’t do this. Instead, I just put the vacuum down to clean the areas in my apartment I wanted it to. While I will eventually set up the mapping, I found that this also worked just fine.

What I thought was really cool was that the vacuum knew when it was on hardwood versus when it was on carpet, and would only mop on the hardwood. The result was sparkly clean floors all ’round. Helpfully, the vacuum was able to fit under my low-to-the-ground bed and clean there, which is something a regular, handheld vacuum wouldn’t have been able to do.

I’d definitely recommend picking small items up off the floor before you use it, though — I hadn’t picked up my iPhone cord and it got tangled in the vacuum’s wheels. Thankfully, I was eventually able to pull it out. When the vacuum’s dust bin was full, I was easily able to empty it and found it extremely satisfying to knock out all the dust it had collected.

So, all that said, is a Deebot N8 Pro by Ecovacs Robots worth it?

Considering some robot vacuums start at about $100 and can get as expensive as $3,000, this vacuum, at $999 (though, right now, it’s $699 on Amazon), sits nicely in the middle, making it a good choice for a first robot vacuum purchase. As I said, I don’t like having to set things up, so I was really impressed by how easy it was to put together and have up and running.

Will it replace my regular mopping and vacuuming? Definitely. I’ll probably still need to clean hard-to-reach areas by hand, but that said, I’ll be using the Deebot for most of my floor cleaning. It’s been so satisfying switching it on, seeing it get to work and then settling into my desk to work with one less chore on my to-do list.

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