Robot vacuums

When it comes to a smart home the name of the game is automation, what better thing to automate than cleaning. While we’re still counting down the days till we have a fully self cleaning house robot vacuums are the next best thing available today, these suckers come in many different shapes and sizes, we’re here to break down all you need to know to find the perfect robot companion for you.

Xiaomi

Let’s make this one easy for you, currently it’s simply the best! This well loved brand makes one of the most fantastic series of robot vacuums out there. Trading under both the Xiaomi Mi series and the Roborock brand name they both fall under the same company. Locally however it would be difficult to find any Roborock branded vacuums, so keep an eye out for the Xiaomi Mi branding.

Our personally recommended model for someone looking for something at the higher end would have to be the Mi Mop 2 pro. Coming in around R7000 it features an upgraded battery over is predecessor the Mi Mop pro at 5200mAh over the previous 3200mAh. This realistically translates to a cleaning area of atleast 150 square meters. In addition to a long battery life this product really does suck, specifically with a power of 3000Pa, that’s up from the 2100Pa of the previous model. Featuring 3 mopping modes and 4 suction power settings this versatile little machine will gladly clean a variety of different floor types. As easy as it is to set and forget just remember to capture your roaming pal to move him upstairs, as this robots capable of remembering multiple floor layouts.

Eufy

Dufy RoboVac G30 Hybrid, a competitor coming in around R6000 undercutting the Mi mop 2 pro, yet still difficult to recommend as it’s missing a lot of its very useful features, from lidar mapping, ultrasonic vibration mopping and a considerably lower suction power at only 2000Pa. On paper this little bugger is more similar specced to the Mi Mop 2 lite. For a pro competitor Dufy RoboVac X8 hybrid puts up more of a challenge. Upgrading navigation and mapping to perform more similarly to the Mi Mop 2 pro thanks in part to an upgrade to a lidar sensor. However despite the spec upgrade it’s still considerably more expensive than the Mi Mop pro 2 with a lower overall offering eliminating it as a contender on our list.

Milex

The Milex Intellivac 3 in 1 vacuum is a fairly capable vacuum given its low price at roughly R3k – R4k depending on the specials at the time. Using a much simpler navigation system than beefier lidar based vacuums it relies on proximity and collision sensors to detect objects as it builds out a map of an area, however once the map has been created it generally performs quite reliably at navigating itself provided you’re not one to frequently rearrange your furniture or leave too many obstacles around. With a mere 2600mAh battery it isn’t the best for larger floor spaces, however Milex estimates a work area of 130m2 – 160m2, with support for multi floor mapping.

Hoover

Believe it or not Hoover, the one company that’s earned the credit of standing the test of time, has decided to release their own take on what a robot vacuum cleaner should be, however with what we managed to find available locally the cards don’t seem to be much in their favour. With limited availability and a spec list that doesn’t contend well at its price, it appears the company might just be reliant on brand loyalty to sell this product.



Wyze

One of our personal favourite smart home brands, well known for their excellent smart home cameras, offers a strong option in the robot vacuum space. The Wyze robot vacuum tends to be a bit pricey in South Africa even out doing the Mi Mop pro 2, yet it compares similarly in terms of performance. Featuring lidar and virtual no go zones, the navigation system offers everything you’d expect at such a high price. The sound profile from our test unit was definitely louder than the competitors in its class, which could be particularly annoying if you want to use it at night.

360

Another great brand available locally is 360, with their best variant available here being the S8. It performs shy of the Mi Mop pro 2 with a significantly smaller battery of 3200mAh however it’s still quoted to achieve a cleaning area of 100m2. While a lower suction power of 2700Pa is unfortunate its not far off of the Mi Mop pro 2 and still undercuts it in price with it currently being available at less than R6500.

Bennett read

The last product we investigated was the Alphabot Max, while our expectations weren’t particularly high thanks to the vaguely listed specs given by the manufacturer the unit performed just short of what we expected for a vacuum at just shy of R5000. The lack of lidar left this unit performing similarly to the Milex vacuum, even featuring identical battery life, however coming in at a higher price it would be difficult to recommend this product. It uses the smart life app instead of something custom which may please some and disappoint others. Overall the largest weakness for this product is its competitors.

Mi Mop pro 2R70005200mAh3000Pamop/vacuumlidar
360 S8R65003200mAh2700Pamop/vacuumlidar
Eufy RoboVac X8 HybridR9500unknown2000Pamop/vacuumlidar
Milex Intellivac 3 in 1R40002600mAh2500Pamop/vacuumstandard
Wyze R100003200mAhunknownvacuumlidar
Alphabot MaxR50002600mAhunknownmop/vacuumstandard
Mi Mop 2R600032002700Pamop/vacuumstandard
Mi Mop 2 liteR40002600mAh2200Pamop/vacuumstandard
Dufy RoboVac G30 HybridR6000unknown2000Pamop/vacuumstandard

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