Ecovacs Deebot Neo 2.0 Plus review
Image: Chris Button.

Ecovacs Deebot Neo 2.0 Plus review: even better than the original

100% human
8.5

It’s the sequel to the original Aldi bargain robot vacuum cleaner, and the Ecovacs Deebot Neo 2.0 Plus doesn’t disappoint.

For the past couple of years, Ecovacs has cornered the Aldi enthusiast market with its V1 Deebot Neo. A $399 (valued at $799 but always sold for $399) robot vacuum equipped to keep your floors clean, there’s little wonder it became a social media sensation.

When I tested the first iteration last year, I was impressed by how well it vacuumed. It was my entry point to the world of robot vacuums, disproving my previously held view that they were a novelty, like DJ Roomba in Parks and Recreation.

A worthy successor, the Deebot Neo 2.0 Plus makes a few major improvements to the proven formula. Its suction power is nearly double its predecessor, and it’s far less prone to hair and fur tangles. Biggest of all, the V2 robot vacuum now comes with an auto-empty docking station.

If there’s one criticism, it’s that it doesn’t mop to the same level as its more premium counterparts. Which, when you’re paying less than $500, isn’t a big deal.

Priced slightly higher than the device Aldi shoppers fell in love with, the Ecovacs Deebot Neo 2.0 Plus is better in all the ways that count.

Ecovacs Deebot Neo 2.0 Plus review

First impressions

Everything about Ecovacs’ Deebot Neo 2.0 Plus looks and feels fancier than the V1 model. The robot features a sturdier build, replete with a slick black finish, and the auto-empty station is by far the most portable I’ve used.

I’ll be the first to admit that my place is cluttered. Between furniture and random objects strewn across the house – the perks of testing technology for a living, and having a playful cat who leaves her toys everywhere – there’s not much space to comfortably place a robot vacuum station. Fortunately, the station paired with this robot is conveniently petite. Sitting at under 30cm tall, it fits into tight spaces that larger auto-empty stations can’t.

Another point towards the Neo 2.0 is a streamlined setup process. Like other Ecovacs devices, this robot vacuum uses the company’s phone app to get started. Previous robot vacuums I’ve tested have stumbled during the initial pairing process, largely due to a reliance on 2.4GHz Wi-Fi networks.

The Deebot Neo 2.0 Plus supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, so it plays nicer with modern home networks. I didn’t need any convoluted workarounds to connect the robot, nor did I need to disable my phone’s mobile data – it just worked.

As with any robot cleaner, the first run is dedicated to exploring your home to produce a map. Other than a brief attempt at gobbling a shoelace, the Neo 2.0 had no troubles finding its way around. Reflective of its affordable price point, it doesn’t have all the high-end navigation technology, so it took roughly 45 minutes to finish its mapping run. It’s not the quickest I’ve seen, nor was it the slowest.

Ecovacs Deebot Neo 2.0 Plus specifications

Suction powerUp to 5,000Pa
FeaturesVacuum
Mop
Auto-empty station with 5L disposable dustbag
App control
Auto carpet detection
LiDAR navigation
4 anti-drop sensors
Battery5,200mAh
Price (RRP)$999
Sold for $499 at Aldi Australia
Official websiteEcovacs Australia
WarrantyOne year

Vacuuming

Aside from the auto-empty station, suction power is one of the most noticeable differences between the V1 and V2 Neos. This model houses up to 5,000Pa suction power, nearly doubling the 2,600Pa of the original.

In practice, this means the Deebot Neo 2.0 Plus is better at vacuuming carpets. Most robot vacuums handle hard flooring like tiles without trouble. What separates devices across entry-level and mid-range prices is how well they suck up stuff stuck in carpets.

Our house acts as a decent proving ground for robot vacuums. It’s largely thanks to carpets that stubbornly trap hair, fluff, dust, and other particles. Even our stick vacuum struggles to get long strands of my partner’s hair and our cat’s fur out of the carpet.

Ecovacs Deebot Neo 2.0 Plus vacuuming
Image: Chris Button.

So, how does the Deebot Neo 2.0 Plus fare? Impressively well, based on a few trials in our bedroom. It didn’t get absolutely everything out of the floor, but the carpeted surface looked noticeably cleaner after the Deebot breezed through.

Another big improvement is the reduced reliance on manual handling. The included auto-empty station is an obvious benefit, reducing the time spent emptying the robot each time. However, what impressed me the most was the lack of hair tangles. As much as I liked the first Deebot Neo, I had to manually cut hair out of its brushes mid-clean on multiple occasions. The V2 model? Not once.

Instead of hovering over the robot like a helicopter parent, I felt confident leaving the Deebot Neo 2.0 Plus to do its thing. And when it completed a run, it’d saunter back to home base, automatically empty its contents, and charge its batteries ready for next time.

Just brace yourself for when it empties itself – it’s pretty loud. Mercifully, the robot announces when it’s about to do so, giving you time to react.

Smarts

Without the precision of navigation technologies seen in top-end models like the Deebot X2 Omni, the Deebot Neo 2.0 isn’t the most adept at avoiding obstacles. It stumbles around a little bit, gently bumping into things, like someone who’s had too many drinks at the work Christmas party.

Nevertheless, it gets the job done and encourages you to keep floors clutter-free so it can do its cleaning. Once you establish the map via the Ecovacs app, the Neo 2.0 follows its orders reliably. You can tell it to clean specific rooms or avoid certain areas and know it won’t deviate off course.

For example, I set a no-go zone around my cat’s water bowl. My first robot vacuum experience resulted in finding said bowl overturned and water splashed across the floor. It’s an experience I’m yet to replicate, now knowing how no-go zones work. The Deebot Neo 2.0 Plus dutifully kept a wide berth around the water dish, leaving the floor dry and my sanity in check.

Many of the expected smart settings come included, like customisable schedules and inactive hours. I also liked the spot-cleaning function, which doesn’t even need the app at all. Suited to localised messes, you can press a button on the robot, and it will clean a 1.5m by 1.5m area before returning to its station.

Spot-cleaning button
The spot-cleaning button (with the crosshairs symbol) lets you clean a 1.5 x 1.5m area without opening the app. Image: Chris Button.

It’s a handy addition because there are tight spaces no robot vacuum can venture into. I swept a pile of dust and cat fluff out into the open, picked up the robot, placed it near the pile, pressed the button, and walked away. I returned a short while later to a clean floor: mission accomplished.

Mopping

Mopping is the only thing the Deebot Neo 2.0 Plus isn’t good at. It only has a single detachable mop plate, instead of the rotating and vibrating mops of pricier models. This means it doesn’t apply enough pressure to get stubborn stains out of tiles and the like.

As a form of daily maintenance, it’s okay at gently wiping floors with the equivalent of a damp cloth. A little bit of loose dirt and debris will come off, but you’ll need to apply some elbow grease of your own for thicker substances.

In my mind, any sub-$1,000 robot cleaner is primarily a vacuuming machine, with mopping a distant secondary function. It’s not until you spend upwards of $1,500 that you start seeing robots with mops capable of applying decent pressure levels. Then you start benefitting from other features, such as self-cleaning using hot water, seen in models like the T30 Pro Omni.

Priced at $499 as part of Aldi’s Special Buys, there’s not too much to complain about here. Ecovacs values the Deebot Neo 2.0 Plus at $999, putting it on par with last year’s Deebot N10. Realistically though, it’s best to assess this device according to its $499 selling price. Everything else more than compensates for the lack of mopping prowess

Who is the Ecovacs Deebot Neo 2.0 Plus for?

Meaningfully improving on the original, the Ecovacs Deebot Neo 2.0 is another Aldi bargain worth picking up. Better vacuuming power and an auto-empty station more than justify the $100 increase over the V1 Neo.

It’s suited to homes that need help keeping up with regular vacuuming. If you’re too busy or physically struggle with cleaning, this is a great little helper at an equally great price.

As I mentioned before, you need to spend roughly triple the price of the Neo 2.0 to get mopping that stands up closer to what you can do with a separate mop and bucket. At $499, it’s a reasonable concession to make.

Many of you reading this will ultimately want to know: is this worth upgrading from the first Deebot Neo? To which the answer is a resounding yes. The Neo 2.0’s auto-empty station alone is worth the purchase, and the boosted suction efficiency is a bonus.

Ecovacs Deebot Neo 2.0 Plus
A worthy successor to the original Aldi sensation, the Ecovacs Deebot Neo 2.0 Plus is more convenient and more powerful than its predecessor.
Features
8
Value for money
9
Performance
8
Ease of use
9
Design
8.5
Positives
Convenient auto-empty station
More powerful vacuum is less prone to tangles
Easier to set up and use
Negatives
Inefficient mopping
Gently bumps into objects semi-regularly
8.5