Ecovacs Robotics now has a brand-new app to control its autonomous vacuums cleaners. Called EcovacsHome, it’s available for download from both the App Store and the Google Play Store. If you are an existing Ecovacs user, the original app will display a pop-up asking you to update to the new one. Head to page 3 of our review to find out more.
While cleaning sucks, vacuuming is one of the worst parts of it. That’s where robot vacuums roll in – and these little droids on wheels have come a long way since they first made an appearance in the late 1990s. No longer do they need you to be around to start them up.
All the latest models come with Wi-Fi connectivity, so control is done through a companion app and you can even set up tasks days ahead and forget all about them.
Admittedly robovacs don’t have the same suction power as standard corded vacuums, and that’s largely due to the limited physical size and the fact that they run off a battery and need to conserve power. Some models, like the Electrolux PUREi9, are however still powerful enough to do a very thorough job.
While there may be power aplenty to perform an efficient clean, most robot vacuums can only tackle half a household’s floor-cleaning requirements, as they can’t mop as well. That’s where the Deebot Ozmo 930 bucks the norm, with the ability to switch between vacuuming and mopping modes. It’s also Ecovacs Robotics’ most intelligent model to date and, as you’d expect, comes packed full of features.
Pricing and availability
The Deebot Ozmo 930 was first launched in a limited market, including the UK and Australia with a price tag of £549 / AU$1,299. However, it’s also now available in the US for about $600 a pop. The other Ecovacs model available in the US is the Deebot N79S, but it lacks the Ozmo’s wet-and-dry functionality.
Compared to the competition, the price of the Ozmo 930 is quite competitive, especially considering it will have you striking out both vacuuming and mopping from your to-do list. For comparison, iRobot’s flagship Roomba 980, which doesn’t have a mopping function, will set you back $900 / £800 / AU$1,499, while the premium Electrolux PUREi9 costs a whopping AU$1,699 (about $1,325 / £954) for a single-function droid.
Design and build
If first impressions count for anything, just opening the Ozmo 930’s outer packaging will be sufficient to bowl you over. The cardboard box is divided into neat compartments, into which all the paraphernalia and the main bot is stored, and each compartment labelled with graphics so you know instantly where to find everything.
That said, the Ozmo 930 itself isn’t much to look at; it’s not ugly by any means, but it sticks with a rather generic round robovac design.
It’s a tough little droid whose front bumper has a little give to absorb the force when knocking into walls and furniture. The back houses a removable clear plastic tank, which you fill with water when you want the Deebot to mop.
The top features a circular protrusion that houses the sensors the Ozmo 930 uses to map its environment. Also on the top is the lid, which covers the power and reset buttons, keeps the cleaning tool from falling out (yes, it comes with its own little cleaner) and protects the bin.
The bin box comes with a handle, so it’s easy to slip out and empty, and the filter is removable and washable as well.
A single button labeled ‘Auto’ begins a clean when pressed and next to this button is a Wi-Fi indicator LED. The dim blue light on both pulses slowly when the droid is charging and brightens when in use.
On the undercarriage you’ll find two detachable circular brushes which are meant to get to the edges and corners of rooms, and are particularly recommended for hard floors. If used on high-pile carpets, the long bristles on these brushes will likely bend, so it’ll be best to remove them — although we found they were fine on low-pile carpets and they’re worth keeping on if you have wall-to-wall carpets.
Also on the bottom is the long bar brush with its own protective, removable grill. There’s also just enough space to slide a mopping plate with an attached microfibre cloth under the water tank.
The reservoir itself has a small pump that allows water to trickle through a pipe and dampen the mop cloth.
Despite all the cleaning paraphernalia, the Deebot is pretty much the same size as most other round robot vacuums, measuring 10.2cm in height and 35.4cm in diameter, and weighing 4.6kg.
The only real downside to the Ozmo 930’s design is that it can only climb thresholds up to 10mm high. The Electrolux PUREi9, on the other hand, can get across obstacles as high as 22mm.
Like all robot vacuums available today, the Deebot Ozmo 930 also comes with a charging dock that you’ll need to place against a wall near a power socket. It’s a simple dock with two charging plates, with cable management hidden behind the front wall that keeps the robovac’s bumper in place.