Robot Vacuum Cleaners Buying Guide
Our buying guide will explain which type of robot vacuum cleaner would suit you most, how much you can expect to pay for one, and which features are worth looking out for.
Infrared sensors for 'cliff protection' will not allow the vac to operate properly on dark floors/ca
Wonderful robot if you have no dark floors or rugs with dark edges. Samsung Australia just confirmed this for me as I was about to buy the VR9300. I had to dig for this information as it is not displayed in a prominent position, e.g., on the product box. Such a pity! This issue may account for some of the vac's mapping confusion.
1 word - Brilliant!
I have 3 dogs (including a giant breed with a thick coat) that shed heavily (despite grooming regularly). They live inside. Unless I vacuumed daily, there were "tumbleweeds" of pet hair around the house. I was sick of always dragging the vacuum out. After much research I invested in the VR9300 PowerBot.
Whilst not perfect, it is an excellent unit and I now only need to vacuum once a week and can let PowerBot do its thing on the other days.
* Buying another virtual guard is proving very difficult . I do not understand why they are not available in retail stores or at least on Samsung's website. Instead you have to go via a "spare parts" service. Very frustrating!
* The battery recharge is a bit slow. The PowerBot can do my house in one charge (on max suction - no point using less). I'd set it up to run twice a day, 5-6 hours apart but found that the bot kept dying on the second run. Unfortunately I can only have it run once a day. That said, 1 run pretty much fills up the "bin" so unless I am there to empty in between, it probably isn't a good idea to run it twice.
* It can get stuck on or under things. Eg I have an upright fan and it gets stuck on the base of the fan. I have to leave something in front of the fan to stop the bot trying to drive over it. (Hence why I need another virtual guard!)
UPDATE 9 months later:
Do not buy this product if you have rugs in your house. We purchased a new rug for the living room and the PowerBot gets stuck on it. The rug is a fairly flat rug, not even 1.5cm high. The Powerbot gets stuck trying to get onto the rug and won't navigate around it. We put something under the edges of the rug to make it higher (raising the edges to about 2.5cm) so the PowerBot would navigate around it, but it only works sometimes. Other times it gets stuck trying to drive onto the rug. We then get home to find that the house hasn't been cleaned as the PowerBot has been stuck on the rug. Given the rug is in the centre of the room, it isn't practical to use virtual guards to get the PowerBot to avoid the rug. [See here for a video of the PowerBot getting stuck on the rug - https://kandlgates.box.com/s/irq4g091kkgzhrl42jwwd6vtqf7ss19s]
Issue 2: When the Powerbot goes up the tiled hallway, it does not "hug" the skirting boards. Instead, it leaves about a 2cm gap. Given this is where most dirt, dog hair etc accumulates, it makes the PowerBot rather pointless as we just have to get the large vacuum out anyway.
Issue 3: One of our virtual guards "died" several months in. It hasn't been dropped or damaged and the batteries have been replaced. Contacting Samsung for a replacement is very difficult!!
So, would I buy this product again? Most likely not.
I replaced an older LG with this model. It was a huge improvement both in suction and covering the room. The old LG used to like hugging the walls. Very happy with how it cleans both the carpet and the hard floor. I have only found two issues. One is the power does not turn off after 30 mins of inactivity like the manual says. I have to use the remote to turn it off each time. Also if you have the dirt tank out for cleaning it does not seem to be aware. In other words it can start operating without the dirt container on board, something the LG would not do.
Overall I give it 4 stars and very happy with my purchase.
Great cleaning power, completely daft mapping system
Picked up this unit during the boxing day sales to replace my old Roboking.
First impressions, fantastic unit! I gave it a run of the bedroom on max power and the carpet came up great! It had that nice "fluffy" feel to it that you only get using a conventional vacuum.
Setup was simple enough and I had it go off a few times around the house without mapping for the "select & go" feature. Again, the unit did an alright job getting about the place but did get a bit lost.
No big deal I thought since I was planning on doing the mapping shortly.
Then, came the day I had some time to sort the house out for the mapping, or "create floorplan" feature.
Moved all the chairs, kids toys and other items from the floor so all the floors were clear.
Once it was ready and fully charged, of I sent it to discover the house.
About an hour or so later, I get a message saying that the floor plan is created. Great!
Open the floor plan and.... what the? The house is literally only half there. It mapped the main living area and a few bedrooms at one end of the house, then decided it had enough and called it a day. The strangest thing was it literally only did half of the room that the base station was in.
So it completely missed half my theater room, the study, half the main hallway and the main bedroom.
I then learned that if it doesn't complete the mapping in one go, you can't "add" to the existing map. It's all in one go or nothing. Or half the house it seems.
I am now on attempt number 3 of mapping the house using a different location for the base station. Previously I had it in the theatre room which was in the middle of the house, but I have now moved it to one end of the house in the hope it will keep going if it's all in one direction.
The other issue as if the battery runs out and it needs to go recharge, tough luck, it starts again after it's recharged. What I really can't understand in regards to this is that while the unit is mapping, it's also vacuuming.
Given that the programmers at Samsung would know the limitation in regards to getting everything done in one battery charge, why on earth would they not disable the vacuuming when the unit is mapping to extend battery life and prevent frustration for their customers?
It can do it when it's looking to recharge, so why not also for mapping?
I'm hoping Samsung does something to address the mapping issues in a future software update as currently, and otherwise brilliant product has a huge flaw.
UPDATE - Attempt 3 and 4
I've now completed attempts 3 and 4. Attempt 3 the vacuum got stuck on the edge of a rug is seemed to go over a good 20 times for no reason. Attempt 4 was "successful" in that a floorplan was created. Who's house it is, I'm not sure.
Gets stuck sometimes. Good suction power, though misses corners.the wifi option is not very useful the app to control it is useless. Comes with a remote allows to guide the machine where you want. Hopefully they will improve the app so it will be easier to manage it. The app does not work on Pixel phones, online Samsung devices (phone or tablet) and it has received very low marks and reviews on playstore
Better than it’s predecessors
The section on this bot is probably the best of any robotic vacuum cleaner and unlike its predecessor, returns to its charging station around 95% of the time.
Having a flat front means that it cleans up to the edge well. I like the fact that it increases suction when it gets to the wall, meaning that all of the dust is collected, even at the lowest suction (there are three settings).
The wifi function is a waste of time with very limited functionality.
Great cleaner, very average intelligence
This robot vacuum has great potential. The problem is that most of the advanced features it offers don't really work.
If you are looking for a robot vacuum that cleans carpet and hard floors well then I can confirm it does this really well. if you are looking at it for the advances AI like the floorplan where you can send it to a room via your phone then you are going to be disappointed.
When I first brought it home I loved the idea of having a floorplan so I can send it just to clean particular rooms that need it more than others. I spent 3 days trying to get the floorplan mapped out though. The problem with this setup is that the vacuum needs to wander around the entire house on one charge to complete the setup. If you have a large house it runs out of battery because it actually sucks whilst it's doing this and it runs out of battery in about 60 minutes. We have a 28square living zone house and it could only do about half and then have to return to charge. When it runs out of battery during the floorplan setup it doesn't keep the data so then you have to start all over again. On top of this, if it gets stuck under a chair or on a corner wall skirting board (yes, this happens!) then it also loses all the data and you have to return it to the charger, wait for it to charge and start all over again. I had to split the front and back of the house into 2 separate floorplans so I could make this feature work. 3 days this took me of run after run trying to get it to complete. I had to put every object up on beds and tables and leave not even rugs on the floor. I ended up following it around for hours to help it if it looked like it would get stuck somewhere so I didn't have to start again. I was so happy when I got both the floor plans finished. A few weeks after this I went on holidays for 4 weeks and when I got back and tried to use the floorplan I got the error 'floorplan not found'! Unbelievable! What a waste of time. Since then I haven't tried to do it again as I'd prefer to waste my time watching paint dry...
The Samsung smart home app is an absolute load of junk. What a joke of an app for such a major tech company. They really should hang their head in shame. You cant leave it running in the background because it times out and loses connection to the server every time you put the phone down for 5 minutes. I setup a schedule so that it would run on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday and I tried choosing a 10am start time. Have a guess what? The app would fault and not let me set a schedule for anytime in the AM. In the last few months it seems to be working now and I can set it to an AM time.
So now I have the schedule working and it starts itself 3 times a week to vacuum the whole house. It has 3 suctions power levels. We use medium as this does our thick carpet well enough even with a dog with long hair. This means it lasts around 45 minutes per battery charge. Only 30 mins if you go full power. The problem is it doesn't consistently clean the whole house. My wife is often working at home and says some days it will do 3 runs to clean the whole house and other days it will do 1, miss more than half the house and not venture out again to finish the job as it must think it's already finished. If it enters a room with 1 door it does the room really well. It gets to all corners and close to the furniture so its excellent in this regard. A room with multiple openings/doors and it can easily miss half of it. We have weeks where it doesn't make it to our bedroom at all and we have to take it there manually.
Another issue we have is that if you have a rug with dark lines through it, it thinks it about to fall off the side of the world and wont go over it. This means our living area and laundry are no go zones and it spends ages trying to clean the room around the lines on the rug. We've had to use the infrared barrier device it comes with to stop it going in the living room. It once got trapped in the middle of the rug and couldn't get out because the lines had it boxed in. Quite humorous to watch actually.
The remote allows you to point and clean which works really well and good for a mess in a particular spot you want it to deal with. It also lets you drive it using the remote which also works well.
The time I spent dealing with their customer service was a waste of time. They couldn't really help and just got me to uninstall everything and start again. I almost couldn't get it to connect again to the smart home app but on the 20th try doing the same thing it connected for some reason.
After only having it a few weeks the roller head destroyed itself and the housing bracket that holds it in (made of thin plastic) so I had to take it back for a warranty repair. It was repaired within 24 hours so was really great service. Pain that it happened at all but if this just happens a once off then not the end of the world.
So in summary, if you are looking for a robot vacuum that still needs some time from you to help it out, it does clean really well. For sure, it's still easier than vacuuming the house yourself. I had moment where I wanted to return it but I come back to this point as this is why I bought it. If you want a super smart device that has great AI functionality, Samsung need to improve the product much more so it's full functionality actually works as advertised.
Needs some improvement
This machine is not too bad on flat surfaces however please don't purchase if you are looking to have carpet cleaned. Can become stuck on certain pieces of furniture, so pick up all chairs or you may find the battery is flat and only a small area cleaned. Not a product that I would purchase again.
My new maid!
The suction is fantastic and cleans the carpet so well .Even the dog fur is sucked up with no problem on both the carpet and the tiles.Not a huge area to vaccum but takes two lots of charging to complete the house, as there is a lot of navigating around too much stuff, as we are waiting to move into our new house. Has a bit of trouble maneuvering around due to too many boxes and furniture in a small space. The bot is fairly quiet and not so heavy that you have trouble picking it up. Easy to empty the bin which fills up quickly with dog fur. It is nice to have a maid to do the work so I can get on with something I would prefer to do. I vaccum the hard- to- get- to corners every now and then.
I purchased the Samsung powerbot VR9000 last year and I'm very disappointed with its performance. I've had to return it to Domayne for repairs 3 times due to it needing a new motherboard or motor and it always getting lost and getting stuck in the bedrooms . I am very disappointed that it doesn't like dark coloured carpets and refuses to go in these areas and I've recently purchased 2 identical rugs for my tiled floors and it has some black abstract designs on it and it now refuses to clean those areas and just jolts in circles to avoid the black designs and won't move on to clean other areas ... For a $1500+ vacuum I thought it would be failsafe .. is there something I wasn't told before purchasing that it doesn't clean dark coloured areas ? I feel very ripped off and I heavily rely on this vac as I've just become a first time mum and I'm really strapped for time
One of our best ever purchases
I highly recommend this unit. Our two toddlers, cat, and dog make daily vacuuming a must. We have run our Powerbot on our hard floor living area (~100sqm) every day since Jan 2016 and it has performed very well. It does not bump into things, is probably less noisy than a Dyson, and the filters are long-lived and easily cleaned. The design and software of the unit seem very efficient. Getting a good robot vacuum like this is like getting a dishwasher - it does almost as good a job as we could do, but saves precious time every day. We only use our barrel vacuum in the living area about once a month to get into the few nooks the robot can't get to. Like all robots, it is less efficient for carpeted areas, but we run our Bosch Athlet through the carpeted rooms while the Powerbot cleans the living area.
A b s o u l u t l e y a m a z i n g ! !
Defiantly the best product I've ever bought!
Works will in all surfaces and defiantly advertised to perfection! Everything you see advertised is exactly how it works! Fantastic product! Recommend to all
Very happy and satisfied with this product. Does really a great job. Great on both hard floors and carpets. Very good end result. Easy to empty rubbish and no or minimal maintenance. I would strongly recommend this product for anyone who finds difficult in finding time For cleaning house. Little bit loud but wouldn't bother much.
This device has saved us a daily chore of having to vacuum up after two shedding hair dogs!
We are amazed at how much dog hair it accumulates in its bagless catcher as well as how easily it is to clean when emptying. Great price on a superceded model. Great product wouldn't be without it again.
Drive motor issue
Has amazing suction in the machine, however it does not do right up against the skirting's and gets stuck all the time. Purchase 18 months ago within 6 months the drive wheel C03 error came up, had to take back to repair, have not used it much since but have just gone to use it again 9 months after the drive wheel error and it has come up with the same problem. Also notice that it does not do the whole house, it seems to get confused all the time, there needs to be an option to be able to re-set the memory on the machine. My work colleague who also has this machine experienced the same drive wheel error within 6 months.
Fantastic gadget! Absolutely Recommend!
I have never seen such an innovative product for a vacuum cleaner until I got this Powerbot! It is amazing and that's no exageration!
When you first see it, it does look a little bulky and big, however after you read up and check out how it works - if you're not amazed and want one on the spot then you're missing out! The display is clear to see from a distance and it is so tech savvy that it comes with an awesome remote control which allows you point and direct whereabouts in your house you want the powerbot to clean! The power charging dock is a little chunky when you sit the powerbot in it so it's not something that you can hide if you want to entertain guests without household items lying around the house!
The powerbot definitely is a powerful little bot! You can tell that it picks up every little speck of dust on my wooden floorboards especially dog hair that is EVERYWHERE in my household and I used to get really frustrated when my old vaccum cleaner couldn't pick up all the dog hairs.. Another option that made me pick the Powerbot over the other brands is that it easy so easy to clean however it could be a little larger as I do find myself emptying it more often then I'd hoped. It comes with a spare filter so you can use that while you're waiting for the main one to dry which is very convenient if you're planning on doing alot of floor cleaning in a short timeframe!
The things that I need to take stars off are battery life, hard to reach places like skirting along walls and if you're not good with technology. The battery doesn't last too long as it is a power hungry bot, so you're unable to really do a huge spotless vacuum without needing to recharge it to ensure that there's enough power to pick up every little speck! It has trouble just like other automated vacuum devices to get close to walls so sometimes I find that I have to pull out my handheld vac to get into the really hard to reach places but that's not often. Lastly if you're not too good with technology it might take a while to fully learn the ropes on how this product works. I didn't have an issue as i'm quite familiar with digitail devices however someone like my mum where english isn't her strongest language would have mega problems trying to get this vacuum to work the way she likes.
Overall it's worth the money to invest and I do have recommended it to my friends and family who really liked the Powerbot after coming over seeing for themselves how it works! They couldn't get over how innovative it is and were willing to listen and ask questions as they truly were interested in purchasing one for themselves!
This is best ever machine
Are you happy with the performance/suction?
I was using it everyday it performance really goo suction
Is it light? Quiet? Easy to maneuver?
You don't need to hold it it's automatic cleaner,selfchange itself.
What type of floors and how big is the area you vacuum?
I have tiles and also carpet
It's so good, can't live without it now.
It has very powerful suction, being my best helper to clean my house. Cleverly automated go every corner. I love it especially to clean my carpet floor, feel so clean. The only down side is it can't clean my staircase and 4cm surrounding wall skirting. And it could be better if has a bigger dust tank so i don't need empty and clear the rubbish in tank so frequent.
Could be more user friendly
Although the cleaning function is awesome, the vacuum is far from user friendly. The Smart Home app keeps saying no connection, you cannot reset it to factory settings if the floor plan doesn't work properly. Battery is only short life though before having to return to the charger.
Having said that pet hair is no match, the floor is nice and clean after wards, even though I have to point it in the right direction to finish places it has missed once it returns to the charger.
Great but Battery life problems.
Only marked down to good due to short life of battery. Purchased in 2015, worked great for a year then battery life became very short 10 to 15mins and 24hr to charge, After a few visits back to Samsung they replaced the battery pack. (they kept saying no fault found for the first 3 visits) good as new after the battery replacement, run time back over an hour. Now one year later almost to the day the same symptoms again. So another battery change coming up last time under warranty so hope this time as well. When working does a great job, surprising how much it collects. Dark carpet confuses it and it just backs up until it the wall and then gives up.
Questions & Answers
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