tech

I Tested This Mopping Robot Vacuum In My Dusty Malaysian House To See If It's Worth It

Robot vacuums aren't meant to replace manual vacuuming or mopping but they do help!

Cover image via SAYS

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Whether you live in a landed property or high-rise in Malaysia, dust collecting in your home is probably inevitable

It can be a pain to constantly spend all your time keeping your home dust-free (unless this actually makes you happy, then go for it!).

But if you're anything like me, you might prefer to spend time doing other things. 

Image via Tenor

Robot vacuums are meant to help reduce the amount of cleaning you need to do on a day-to-day basis, allowing you to relax on the couch or do whatever else you want.

I recently tested out the Ecovacs Deebot N8 Pro, which is a robot vacuum that also functions as a mop, and here's my honest review

Image via SAYS

At first glance, the device looks sleek and sturdy. I actually didn't expect it to feel as heavy-duty as it did. But it's great since it gently knocks into items every day and needs to be able to withstand constant usage.

It's just one of those devices that you buy to help make your life more convenient. And if you end up needing to fix it often because it doesn't last, then it kinda defeats the purpose.

Image via SAYS

The device comes with a charging port, two side brushes, a reusable microfiber cleaning cloth (for mopping), as well as disposable cleaning cloths.

It also comes with a two-pin and three-pin plug point, which is not bad – just for options, ya know?

The dustbin box is located just beneathe the top lid and is easy to remove from the device

All you need to do is lift the handle, remove the box, and press a button to dispose of the dust inside. 

This is a plus point because I've read that it can be quite difficult to remove dustbin boxes in some vacuums and dust just ends up flying everywhere instead.

The water reservoir is on the side of the device and it's also easy to attach and remove

There's a slot where the microfiber cloth hooks on and it's made of a material that can easily stick to the bottom – almost velcro-like. So far, there have been no issues with the cloth and it's quite easy to remove and wash.

Underneath the device, you'll find the vacuum brush area, which is detachable as well.

If you follow the instructions in the manual and app, setting up the device is straightforward

It did, however, take me awhile to figure out how to connect the robot vacuum to the ECOVACS app. Something to take note of: your connected network needs to be a 2.4G or 2.4/5G mixed network.

Once you're connected, you can let it start cleaning.

Through the app, you can customise areas in your house that you want to be cleaned or just let the vacuum do its thing. Optionally, you can schedule it to clean at certain times of the day.

It also has a mapping function, which allows the device to record up to three floor plans. This feature is pretty handy for the long term because it's meant to increase the cleaning efficiency so that it's not aimlessly bouncing around everywhere each time you use it.

I live in a house facing a busy main road so cleaning regularly is needed. It gets really dusty every two days.

Here's an example of the amount of dust it collected with just one usage:

The device is able to mop and vacuum at one go and if it's on the mopping function, it will automatically avoid carpets and rugs. It can detect doorsills and stairs up to 20mm but you're advised to put something to block them off.

Out of curiosity and wanting to test this feature, I didn't block any steps in my house and it was still pretty clever in knowing to avoid them.

But just as a precaution, block them off to avoid mishaps. 

This model comes with an Anti-Collision Bumper and TrueMapping Distance Sensor, allowing it to detect objects from as near as 4.5cm to 30cm.

It's also supposed to slow down in low-light or darker areas so that it doesn't crash into anything – I noticed that it did slow down, especially under my bed and cupboard where it was pretty dark.

If you want more convenience, this model is compatible with the Auto-Empty Station, an additional accessory where it can automatically empty the dustbin once it's full. 

The Deebot N8 Pro costs RM1,599.

Should you get this robot vacuum? Here are some things to take note of:

- Setting up was simple enough but took a few attempts. I think this would probably apply to any new device.
- It worked well to avoid steps and inclinations but you should still set up a boundary just in case.
- Floor maps can be altered if you want.
- Be careful with tassels on rugs and carpets because they might get stuck or dragged by the vacuum. Just fold in any tassels or loose ends on rugs, or place them elsewhere.
- You will need to remove the water reservoir plate if you want it to vacuum a carpet. Otherwise, it will automatically avoid the carpet in mopping mode.
- You can adjust the water flow and vacuum power. And when mopping, you can put it in quiet mode.
- If you have long hair or live with people who do, you might notice that strands collect on the vacuum brush. This was pretty easy to clean but maintenance is just something you should take note of anyway when buying a robot vacuum.  

Hair strands on the vacuum brush.

Image via Tamara Jayne/SAYS

- It's convenient because it can easily clean under beds and cupboards. If your furniture height is too low, it may not be able to fit. I didn't really face issues with this though. And if the device is any slimmer, it might mean needing to sacrifice something else like the dustbin may need to be smaller, for example.
- For its price, keep in mind that you are getting a vacuuming device that also has a mopping function. 

With that said, a robot vacuum is not meant to replace manual vacuuming and mopping, which achieves more thorough results. However, it's still a good purchase if you just need daily cleaning, especially if you have pets or babies.

It may also help to reduce the number of times you need to clean the house. For example, if you usually vacuum and mop twice a week, maybe if you regularly use a robot vacuum, that can be reduced to just once a week or once in two weeks.

You can get this model on Lazada and Shopee.

For more robot vacuum options, check out this list:

If you're looking for a cordless vacuum, here are some suggestions as well:

Check out other practical devices and items for your home:

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