Ecovacs Robotics released its latest Deebot OZMO 930 wet and dry robot vacuum cleaner late in 2017 – it is a formidable little vacu-bot in the right circumstances.
Having had experience now with another robot vacuum (Samsung VR9300 review here) I now have a good baseline to compare features.
This review is not a shootout between the two – they are very different devices and suit different needs and house styles.
This Deebot has an OZMO mopping system, interchangeable suction inlets (one rotating brush and without brush), carpet identification mode (increases suction power) and an app that shows the house floor map, where it is and what it has cleaned.
Charge time: three to four hours (tested closer to 4 hours)
Runtime: claimed 110 minutes (in our tests 40 minutes was maximum with a 70/30 timber/carpet floor mix)
Maximum obstruction (door sill) negotiation height: 16mm (no water in the tank) – ambitious!
Minimum clean height under furniture 11cm
Brush size: 15cm plus side ‘whisker’ brushes extending reach out to 30cm (total)
Noise: Claimed 65 dBA max (typical 60dB but can reach 80dB on carpet)
Dustbin capacity: 470ml (.47 litre) with HEPA filter (brush, not wash clean)
Place the docking station adjacent to a power point and next to a wall leaving at least 500mm clear each side.
Charge the Deeboot – four hours from empty
Download the ECOVACS app
Ensure you are connected to a 2.4GHz (not 5GHz) Wi-Fi channel on your router
Turn the Deebot manual switch to on and press Wi-Fi pairing
It appears on your smartphone Wi-Fi list as ECOVACS XXXX – connect
If successful it is ready to go. I made the mistake of using a 5GHz Wi-Fi channel initially.
Press Auto, and it gives a voice indication it is cleaning
It uses a low powered laser as well as a collision bumper and step sensors to map out the floorplan. The floorplan is updated if it subsequently finds new areas. It took three runs to fully map a single level 3-bedroom house.
It starts by backing out of the docking station, turns around 180° and proceeds until it encounters an obstacle. It then turns (left or right) to offset the cleaning area by 30cm and retraces the initial path.
Initially, I set it up on the ‘short’ side, e.g. smallest distance from left to right sides of the house. I realised that it is better to set it up on the long side as it gets a better run – fewer turns.
It avoided steps down (or it would have cascaded down one level).
You cannot expect any robot cleaner just to work!
As a guide lift all chairs off the ground (if you want it to clean under tables); get rid of loose electrical cables; remove clothes/shoes/bags on the floor; build lower gradient ramps if the door sill is over 15mm (if you want it to clean in those areas); close doors to areas you don’t want cleaners, and if necessary set up virtual no-clean boundaries in the floorplan.
It works well on timber (bamboo tested) and tiled floors with and without the spinning brush. The relatively narrow 15cm rotating brush is also fed by a whisker brush on each side. In theory, it cleans up to 30cm width. In practice, it can miss light debris under the whiskers. The whisker brushes are far from perfect for edge cleaning.
It is not so good on carpet. I have a sisal carpet, and it simply would not pick up lint/fluff that tended to stick to the carpet. Also, as it negotiated a door sill, it dumped more lint/fluff on the other side. The small brush easily clogged on the carpet and the ‘no brush’ was better but lacked the raw suction power to pick up all lint. I cannot recommend it for this style of carpet.
You can use the OZMO mop with water distribution set from low to high. The 300ml water reservoir will cover about 20m2. It automatically detects carpet and turns off the mop.
Attach a microfibre pad (2 washable pads supplied), adjust the water flow so as not to leave residue, and mop away.
Be careful that the timber floors will withstand mopping – as it uses cold water it should be fine. There was no mention of using a cleaning agent (detergent like Pine O Cleen), but I suspect you could sparingly use it if it does not leave a residue.
It will not remove scuffs or stains – it’s more a wipe to remove dust.
The 470ml (just bigger than a can of soft drink) is fine for an average three-bedroom home. But it is a bit of a pain to clean as the HEPA filter is not washable.
I was surprised at how little was in the Deebot dustbin after a full house clean. As a test, I ran the Samsung after the Deebot, and it managed to fill its canister, presumably from the carpet areas.
Damian Commane, ECOVACS ROBOTICS Country Manager for Australia and New Zealand, said, “We have been incredibly successful with a 65% share in Mainland China and the No. 1 position in the APAC region with a well-established sales network across the country. We are very optimistic and cannot wait to introduce our broader range of products,” he said.
“Looking to a market more closely aligned to Australia, and sales of the recently introduced DEEBOT OZMO 930 have been particularly strong in the German market. The country has a well-known reputation for early adoption of innovative technologies and given the similarity of household environments between the two countries; we are very positive.”
“We are very hopeful that Australians will embrace the innovation that we are introducing to the market. The DEEBOT OZMO 930 is the ideal solution for people looking to save time on household chores. In the end, all of the research and effort put into creating the advanced features you will find in an Ecovacs Robotics vacuum are ultimately designed to give people time back to do the things they love with the people they love,”
It’s a $1300 wet and dry robot vacuum that does well on timber and tiles – not so good on carpet although that may well just be Sisal construction. The mopping is more a cursory wipe and is not the reason to buy.
It will soon hook up to Google Home (firmware update coming), and that may add more functionality via the app – for example, to clean a nominated named room.
My first review was the Samsung VR9300, and it taught me a lot. At $1999 it is at the top of the heap. I still think that robot vacuum cleaners are an answer to a question no one has asked yet.
Simple setup and good app
Best on regularly shaped areas of timber and tiles
Avoided stairs well
Best used in a schedule mode – daily – although preparation of the house may be more trouble than it is worth
Love the floorplan on the app
15mm door sill height is ambitious
Dumps lint from the brush onto the carpet after negotiating a door sill
Not effective on sisal carpet
Four-hours charge for 40 minutes use – does not meet 110 minutes claim
Mop ineffective on stains, g. coffee, milk etc. More of a light wipe over.
Still need a stick or canister vacuum for edges, stairs, cobwebs etc
Inconsistent identification of areas and loses virtual boundaries if picked up
In comparison to the Samsung VR9300, it cleans a lot more slowly, has a 15cm versus 30cm brush and is not great on carpet. The Samsung picks up way more lint/dust.
A$1299 – apparently exclusive to Harvey Norman.
Overall: 3.6 out of 5
Features: 4 out of 5 – it has a superficial mop function
Value for Money: 3 out of 5 – exclusive to Harvey Norman means no negotiation
Performance: 3 out of 5 – inconsistent outcomes and carpet issues
Ease of Use: 4 out of 5 – idiot proof install and good app
Design: 4 out of 5 – cute with a laser on top and whiskers