What is worth more? Money or time? It’s a question worth asking when deciding if the Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni is the right robotic vacuum cleaner for your home.
The Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni is the new high-end robot vacuum cleaner. As you’d expect, it offers some of the best suction and cleaning performance available, with excellent self-cleaning features and smart mapping to minimize how often you’ll have to think about cleaning. But is the time saved worth $2,499?
We put the Deebot X1 Omni to the test in a house with a mix of carpet and hard floors, two shaggy cats and an obstacle course of messy teenage boys and computer cables to see just how point it could manage to offer “hands-free” performance.
Details: Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni
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Configuration and mapping
As a user of the old top-end Deebot T9+, the new Deebot X1 Omni was a much easier robotic vacuum to set up and use. The Ecovacs app is an adequate if not great experience, but the new X1 had an easier setup phase and was quickly ready to go to create its map of home.
The mapping system means your Deebot X1 builds a great layout of your home after an initial tour of the house, and the map is refined over time as the cleaner performs its duties. It also has a 3D mapping feature that marks the shape and position of objects in rooms. You can fine-tune and tag these object models through the app, and it’s well worth the effort, as you’ll see below.
In practice, we sometimes found overzealous mapping attempting to register our back porch as another ‘room’ as it could see through patio doors, and mirrored sliding doors in a bedroom also created more privacy. space than there really was. Both make sense for a visual mapping system, but we struggled to remove those extra spaces from the map. But using features that add no-go zones ensured that the robot would stop trying to reach those spaces in future cleaning cycles.
The docking station itself is as sleek as it is large. Sleek and simple compared to many older robotic vacuum docks, there’s good reason for its size, but it will need to find a good place for it in a home.
Double suction and cleaning system
The Deebot X1 Omni excels as a floor cleaner. It’s truly amazing, with excellent dirt extraction and the mop mode scrubs hard floors gently and effectively. Suction power hits 5,000pa at its highest Max+ setting, which you’ll probably never need. By default, you get great results with the vacuum running at standard power on hard floors and automatically adjusting to maximum power when it detects carpets.
The mop in particular is a big upgrade over the T9+, moving from a disposable wiper to spinning mops that are cleaned by the docking station every 15 minutes to ensure a high quality clean.
Vacuuming and mopping combined really delivers a fantastic finish that’s better than anything I’ve seen manually vacuuming floors. Indeed, as humans, we simply don’t have the patience to work as slowly and carefully as your Deebot will.
There are two things that are holding us back from the truly “hands-free” future we so far hope for. The brush tangles very regularly with long hair, requiring manual cleaning after each cleaning to clean hair and fur and maintain high performance. The mops also need to be removed whenever you want carpets to be vacuumed, which means we put the mops on our Deebot X1 once a week to focus on hard floors between general cleaning the rest of the week.
One of the tricks with a robot vacuum is to let it run on a schedule or in “maintenance mode” where it moves around and cleans as it pleases. This means you don’t want to tidy up all the time to keep things safe, so obstacle avoidance is an important part of trusting the robot to do its job well.
The Deebot X1 Omni uses its cameras to capture everything from socks to stray power cables, avoiding an area on the first pass, then returning later to see if it’s clear so it can finish cleaning.
In our experience, the only remaining critical issue is the thin USB-C cables now used on many laptops, which can get caught in the air and dragged around until they get stuck. The vacuum will alert you via the Ecovacs app if it gets stuck in this way and untangling is fairly easy, but it’s a situation you’ll soon learn to be more vigilant of when it comes to leaving it lying around Cables.
In our household, we ran the Deebot X1 on a three-times-a-week schedule rather than full maintenance mode, quickly checking the cables the morning of each scheduled run. It works very well.
This great docking station is all about providing the best self-cleaning system on a robot vacuum yet. The dirt extraction works very well compared to previous models, with a single point of extraction with high suction speed that drags all the mess into a dust bag in the dock that lasts for weeks or even months depending your dust/hair/mess standards.
The mop has a whole new self-cleaning quality for robot vacuums, with clean and dirty water tanks to manage the process incredibly efficiently. Easily lift the water tanks to fill them with clean water or empty them when they get dirty, and the dock does the hard work of keeping those mops sparkling. It also dries mops after a cleaning cycle to ensure they stay tidy and reduce any odors or germs that may build up.
In combination with the pure cleaning performance, the self-cleaning functions make the Deebot X1 Omni an absolute benchmark in the robot vacuum market.
If you’ve become a big fan of sending commands to your smart home devices, the Deebot X1 has you covered with the arrival of the Yiko Assistant. Shout “OK Yiko” and you can then tell your vacuum to perform a wide range of tasks. You can start a cleanup, change the cleanup intensity settings, or even have Yiko follow you somewhere and then clean the area.
If you follow the mapping process and label your rooms and furniture well, you can even tell your Deebot to “clean under the couch in the living room” and it will do just that. Too many voice assistants are thrown around that don’t really improve the usefulness, but the Yiko system has plenty of useful options that are faster than using the app.
We struggled in our household to get the correct “OK Yiko” command. Two members of the house had no problems, while two others had a lot of problems. But eventually we adjusted how we said the command and made it listen.
Safety and security
The Deebot X1 Omni lets you take control of the robot vacuum’s camera system and explore your home from anywhere in the world. It includes two-way audio so you can talk to someone in your home or maybe tell a pet you’ll be home soon. It’s a smart feature that could be useful to many owners.
With such a feature available, it also means that you’ll have to set your passwords carefully, because you don’t want a hacker getting that kind of remote access to your home. Ecovacs has obtained a TÜV Rheinland privacy and security certification for the X1, which is the first of its kind to pursue this type of additional security assurance.
The Deebot X1 Omni is truly worthy of being called a flagship robot vacuum cleaner. The cleaning performance is outstanding, the cleaning system is second to none, and the self-cleaning is second to none. We’ve found the little moments when you need to get your hands dirty – removing the mop, a tangled roller, a quick floor cleanup – are perfectly comfortable and simple compared to doing it all manually ourselves. But as a $2,499 product, the little things could easily be a reason to decide the features aren’t yet “hands-free” enough to aim for the high-end option over the models available for $1,000 from less.
More Ecovacs news and reviews on GadgetGuy
The most complete robot mop and vacuum cleaner you can buy.
Sleek overall aesthetic
Best-in-class cleaning mode and self-cleaning performance
Remote camera mode includes two-way audio
Direct voice commands have real utility
Mop management can be troublesome in mixed-story homes
Hair roller is high maintenance in hairy homes
Listening command ‘OK Yiko’ can be tricky
The most expensive robot vacuum cleaner to date
Very large docking station
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