Price (RRP): $499
The Ecovacs DEEBOT 710 is at the value end of the DEEBOT range yet it has many premium features including an app, remote control and Google Home or Alexa voice assistant control.
Ecovacs Robotics started in 2006 with the aim of a robot for every family and every year/model it improves on the Ecovacs pedigree, founded on a smart navigation system. DEEBOT 710 is a new value-driven 2019 model.
We reviewed the Ecovacs DEEBOT 930 wet and dry robot vacuum cleaner in February 2018 and to be fair, it was one of the first robot cleaners we experienced. We did not know what to expect and it helped refine those expectations.
Since then, our paradigms have broadened, and expectations decreased regarding robotic vacuum cleaners. In a perfect world, they can be wonderful.
But we all know the world is not perfect, nor are our apartments or homes. Many have steps, different floor levels (sills) between tiles and carpets, a few still have 70s shag pile, and a lot more have hardwood or faux wood/tiles.
In March 2018, we wrote about some research conducted by Ecovacs that portends the future, especially the AI that will be part of later models.
The DEEBOT 710 has a little of that advanced AI in a well-priced package that impresses – if you have the right home.
Review: DEEBOT 710
Global website here (not on Australian website yet)
How GadgetGuy reviews
We have developed quite a lot of paradigms for this category so you will see these as headings throughout the review. But really the only paradigm that counts is will DEEBOT 710 work for you and your circumstances? If you are considering a robot vacuum cleaner make sure that you pay attention to things that might affect you.
In the box
- DEEBOT 710
- Two sets of whiskers
- Spare fabric and sponge filter
- Charge station 240V to 20V/1.8A DC
- Remote control
- Cleaning tools
It is a glass-topped white, 35cm circular device that is about 7cm high. The front half comprises a bumper system to detect (bump into) objects. Whisker brushes protrude slightly to widen the cleaning area.
DEEBOT has a round shape because it is less likely to get stuck in corners than square ones. The downside of that is the rotating, sucking, cleaning brush is 15cm wide, and the front whiskers feed in light detritus to that. When you see it in action and understand the narrow vacuum brush, you understand the need for it to overlap runs.
There is an upwards facing VSLAM (visual simultaneous localisation and mapping) camera to assist with the navigation function and object avoidance.
At the rear is a 520ml pop-out dustbin that quickly fills.
Underneath are infrared sensors to stop it falling down the stairs – they work.
Run time, charge time and base negotiation
In standard mode, it achieves about 90 minutes (claim 110) and in the super mode, about 50 minutes (claim 70). All claims depend on floor surfaces. It is adequate for a typical single-level, three-bedroom, two-bathroom home.
Charging takes about 4.5 hours. It seems slow, but that is the nature of most robotic vacuums.
In every case (six uses over two weeks) it managed to return to the charger base station. It does not auto-resume cleaning after charging.
Learning about the home – not
DEEBOT 710 has Smart Navi 2.0. It turns out that it’s dumber than we expected. You can see what it has cleaned, but it does not build a permanent map of the home nor allow you to define no-clean barriers in the app. More expensive DEEBOTs have this.
So every clean is an adventure (no permanent map). But there is a method to its madness. At first, we called it DUMBOT until we understood how it works. Then the name just stuck.
Its logic depends on the original placement of the recharge base station. You see it backs out of the base station and does a 180° turn. It then starts forward until it hits an object and then rotates clockwise and returns slightly offset back along the same path until it hits an object and repeats that again, and again, and again.
For convenience lets call this a North/South U-shaped pattern.
Now, this is logical if you have a large, regularly shaped open space. But DEEBOT 710 has issues finding offset (East/West) hallways, rooms off hallways etc.
Two things can improve this.
First, take DEEBOT to those rooms and close the doors until it cleaned them. Then open the doors to allow it to continue cleaning.
Second, change the default direction from North/South to East/West. For example, placing it in a hallway ‘side-ways’ where it bumps into either side means it can discover doors off hallways.
Apart from an effective step sensor, it does not have any barrier technology, so you need to place physical barriers where you don’t want it to go. With some robot vacs, you can set an invisible IR or software barrier to stop it cleaning there.
Smart Navi 2.0 – is adequate but having experienced better DEEBOTS that can establish permanent house maps and set no-clean areas you may want to drive a hard bargain on the DEEBOT 900 instead.
It is best on hardwood, faux wood or tiles. It is competent on a short pile or sisal carpet although unlike more expensive models it does not have an automatic carpet identifier to increase suction power.
It does not handle shag pile nor feature rugs with tassels etc.
Preparation for cleaning – a major issue for all robot vacs
You cannot expect any robot cleaner to just to work! As a guide
- Lift all chairs off the ground (if you want it to clean under tables)
- Lift floor rugs with tassels that could get tangled in the brush
- Tie up loose electrical cables from the floor
- Remove clothes/shoes/bags on the floor
- Build lower gradient ramps if the door sill is over 20mm (if you want it to clean in those areas)
- Close doors to areas you don’t want it to clean
It works well on timber (bamboo) and tiled floors. Whiskers on each side feed the relatively narrow 15cm rotating brush. In theory, it cleans up to 30cm width. In practice, it often misses debris under the whiskers. The whisker brushes are far from perfect for edge cleaning even in edge cleaning mode.
In our tests it fills the 520ml dust collector each time, so it is doing some good.
However, we then ran an LG A9 stick vac over the cleaned area, and it filled about half of its dust bin, so our subjective observation is that DEEBOT 710 provides about 50% of the sucking power.
After two weeks of
Maximum obstruction sill height
It seems better than the previous DEEBOT handling sills up to 20mm. But it still attempted larger sills and got stuck. If you are a handyperson, you can build little ramps to help it.
Maximum height under furniture
At 7cm high, it will worm its way under beds etc so make sure there are no obstructions under there. At one stage, we simply could not find it and had to use the app to locate it – doing battle with a sock under a bed.
Error handling (when obstructed, steps, cords, clothing)
It is persistent and will generally figure out how to back away from a sill or obstruction. It will use voice to attract attention if it’s stuck. At worst it will turn off. And I swear it grumbles at me if I call it DUMBOT.
One thing to keep in mind for larger houses is that it has relatively low power 100mW, Wi-Fi 2.4Ghz signal. It cannot clean where Wi-Fi is weak.
In standard mode on the carpet, it is about 55dB and a little less on timber. In power mode, it was 65dB.
A multi-function tool helps to access various parts
- Filter (net, sponge and high-efficiency dust) – clean/wash/dry as applicable after every use
- Side brush whiskers – keep clean and replace when frayed or necessary
- Main brush – clean after every use and replace when necessary
- Wheels and sensors – clean after every use
It sounds a lot of work, but it is just a few minutes to keep it in good shape.
Note you cannot clean the HE Dust filter with water. It needs a good solid tap on the side of a dustbin. I expect it will require replacement at least annually.
The connection is simple – download the app, connect to DEEBOT’s Wi-Fi SSD and then connect it to your home router.
You can schedule cleaning but remember that you must pre-prepare the home for it.
The remote control allows you to start cleaning, spot clean and edge clean.
The app lacks interactive mapping and creation of no-go zones that is something I need – it cannot learn and remember your layout.
It worked well with Google Assistant. We could tell it to start cleaning, go home/go to dock and more but its more of a gimmick than useful at this time.
GadgetGuy’s take – DEEBOT 710 is a competent, lower-cost robot vacuum
It is a <$500 robot vacuum that does well on timber and tiles – not so good on carpet although that may well just be Sisal carpet I have. It will not work on longer pile.
It has excellent battery life, good persistence and is adequate for light cleaning. If it were better at edge cleaning and had software enforceable no-clean barriers, it would rate more highly.
Buy this if you have a regular space in a regular home, preferably with timber or tile floors. You will still need a stick vac to do edges and heavier carpets.
Rating this is hard. If you rate on performance for the price, it is quite good. If you rate it on performance against more expensive and accomplished robot vacuum cleaners, it is average and you will need to spend more to get what you really need.