Looking way, way back to 2015, we reviewed the Neato BotVac Connected, a £500+ robot vacuum cleaner, and despite its hefty price tag we gave it a glowing recommendation if you can stump up the cash. Four years later on, and we’re looking at a similar device, for just £210. How times have changed, but has the quality of the product been reduced along with the asking price? Let’s take a closer look.
- Powerful with multiple brushes
- Relatively quiet
- Scheduling is a dream
- Needs emptying after each clean
First up, I was a little confused. Our rep sent us all the information for the RoboVac R450, but this is, at the time of writing, an offline exclusive available at Selfridges. Even more confusing is the marketing collateral we received made reference to the T2110 and the 11S, as well as the RoboVac R450. Upon further inspection, it seems that the Eufy RoboVac 11S is a previous generation product but is very similar to the RoboVac R450.
Just to add another little complexity in here, eufy, the brains behind this device, is the smart home brand from Anker, so in some places, you’ll see one of the brand names, in others, both.
In Use – RoboVac R450
Now that’s out-of-the-way, let’s actually look at this piece of kit. As somebody who is normally away from home at least one night a week, and out and about a few others, I have little time or inclination to clean when the weekend comes around. Yes, I know that an “Englishman’s home is his castle”, but my particular castle is a little dusty, with some strategically placed cobwebs – sue me! The idea of having a room cleaned for me, but by a robot of all things, really appeals!
Out of the box, the RoboVac R450 (I’m choosing this name to go forward with) is actually quite simple. The manual, which comes along with a cleaning tool, four side brushes (two of which are attached at any one time), filters, remote control and a power adapter and charging base, only has twenty or so pages dedicated to it. That sounds a lot but the majority is just outlining what the features do, how to clean the unit, and any troubleshooting steps. Its glossy black plastic coating isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing material choice, but as you won’t be handling the unit all that much, I suppose it’s forgivable.
The unit has a rather large dust collector box, which the manual suggests emptying after each clean, and that takes up the majority of the rear of the unit. On the top is a solitary power button, which also serves as a battery/charging notification. Along the side is an IR sensor for the included remote control, and that’s about that.
Flip the RoboVac R450 over though and it’s all systems go. At the rear of the unit are the charging contacts which dock into the charging station when cleaning is complete or the unit is sent ‘home’. Nudging further forward is the wheel that allows the unit to change direction, along with two side brushes. Moving towards the front even further is the rolling brush which is very similar to that which you’d find on a normal vacuum, finishing off with an on/off power button and the aforementioned dust collector.
Let’s start moving this thing around! You have a few options when you actually want the RoboVac R450 to start doing its job. The remote control can be used to set the unit to auto clean, spot clean, edge clean or manually control the unit like a little remote control robot! The best mode to use to start with is the Auto mode which will just start the RoboVac R450 moving around your room, sensing walls and obstacles, and cleaning what it needs to. BoostIQ is included also which, in auto mode, changes the suction power and spin of the brushes to optimise the cleaning in hard to clean areas. This can be manually controlled too when using the remote control.
By far my favourite feature is the scheduling aspect. Set the time via the remote control, and set a time you want the cleaning to begin (I set it to 3:30 AM) and the RoboVac R450 will chirp lovingly to let you know it understands and has accepted its schedule and will kick off an auto clean at the scheduled time. I don’t even have to lift a finger, or a leg – just let it get on with it.
Performance is something that is always a bit hit and miss on automated cleaning tools, and robot vacuums are no different. The RoboVac R450 actually does a great job. I didn’t try any synthetic workloads here, I simply let the unit clean up after me when I’d been eating some crisps, a little sock lint from kicking my legs up in the conservatory during a film, and the usual dust and nonsense that lands on our rug. I noticed that the BoostIQ feature ramped up the suction/speed when it hit my rug, and whilst it didn’t pick up everything on the first pass, it certainly did on the second and third, and it slowed down its suction when it moved onto laminate flooring – nice! It doesn’t look like it’s doing anything when it runs and to be frank I thought it was just moving the dirt around, that is, until I opened the dust tray.
At 55 decibel it’s not quite at all, and I did have to crank up my TV volume a few notches when testing this during the day, but the good news is that most of the cleaning can be scheduled for when you’re out, or when you’re asleep, and it didn’t set off our alarm either, which I know is a common worry. A note on this though, if your particular home alarm isn’t pet aware, your mileage might vary here.
There are a few areas I’d like to see included in future versions, but I note most of what I’d like to see is available in devices at a higher price point. A companion application to connect wirelessly to control the unit rather than use a remote control would be nice, and it would allow an easy firmware update conduit too. Equally, the ability to set “no clean zone” boundaries in the mapped room also would be nice. Both of these, kind of, are available in the RoboVac 30C which costs just £60 more. Interestingly though, you can still get the same length of clean from both the R450 and the 30C, with 100 mins before your little device has to go home to charge.
Conclusion – RoboVac R450
Let’s put things in perspective here. The room I’ve decided to have the eufy RoboVac R450 live in is probably the perfect use case for this unit. IT is a square room with a couple of sofas and a coffee table, with largely laminate flooring, as well as a rug. It’s not the easiest room in the house to clean, but it’s far from the most difficult. Even then, the RoboVac R450 took a couple of passes to pick up all dirt from the rug.
If I was manually cleaning the room, I think I’d care more, but the fact I can schedule the cleaning and just ignore the unit completely is perfect for me, and I would suggest for many busy people.
It isn’t going to replace the Dyson V8 Animal to clean the stairs and other rooms, or even a conventional vacuum like a “Henry” for pure suction power, but if you a) want to be a little more geeky in your home, and b) you’re as lazy as me and have a sufficiently light workload for it, the RoboVac R450 not only can be kept in the corner (it’ll dock itself), but it’ll get on with its job without bothering you, leaving you free to make more mess!
For £210 it’s a luxury purchase, but it is the sort of device I’d suggest those with open plan living look at, especially if they value their time. Now, if eufy can come up with a wall-walking duster, as well as an automated worktop washer, I’d be all set!