Robotic Vacuums

Botvac D3 Review – What’s to Like About the New D3 Neato

(Last Updated On: November 18, 2016)

Robot vacuums have been on the upward swing in recent years.  Each new robot vacuum would introduce a new feature but would come with a heftier price tag.  So much so that the latest and most high-end robot vacuums have surpassed the $1000 mark, while most of today’s robot vacuums easily cost $700 or more.

This is the reason why the launch of the Neato Botvac D3 Connected Navigating Robot Vacuum is so refreshing.  It packs in the features that we have come to love about Neato Robotics’ older robots, such as the Botvac Connected and the D-Series, but with a much more reasonable price tag

Features of the D3

The Neato Botvac D3 Connected Navigating Robot Vacuum has all the features and attributes that you have loved in the Botvac Connected.

It is very easy to operate; all you need to do is to press the Start button or use the mobile app to schedule your cleaning.

It retains the D shape with the CornerClever technology that cleans the corners of a room.

Mobile App

Neato Botvac D3 Connected connects to a mobile app on your smartphone via Wi-Fi, allowing you to schedule cleanings right from your mobile device.  You can also start or cancel your robot to clean even when you are out of the house.  You will get an alert on your phone when your robot is done cleaning.  You can also check the battery status, as well as get maintenance alerts.

The mobile app also helps you keep your robot vacuum’s software current by allowing a software update without you having to touch the Botvac D3 Connected.  You will also appreciate being able to troubleshoot the robot using only the mobile app.  What’s more, you can access some of the mobile app’s features through a smart watch.

Navigation and Cleaning

The Botvac D3 Connected uses LaserSmart Mapping and Navigation so it knows where to go to effectively clean your floors.  When the lithium-ion battery runs low on power, the robot will find its way back to the charging station.  After charging, it will pick up where it left off.  The Botvac D3 Connected can easily clean up to 1,800 sq. meters of floor area before needing to recharge.

The Botvac D3 Connected also features SpinFlow Power Clean, and multi-room and entire level cleaning.

What’s in the box

  • Wi-Fi Enabled Robot Vacuum
  • Integrated Charge Base
  • Power Cord
  • Combo Brush
  • Standard Filter

Alternatives to the Neato Botvac D3

It seems difficult not to compare the Neato Botvac D3 Connected Navigating Robot Vacuum with the Neato Botvac D5 Connected and the Neato Botvac Connected.  These three models are from the same manufacturer and are the only models with Wi-Fi connectivity.

Not only that, the Botvac D3 Connected was introduced on the same day as the Botvac D5 Connected, both positioned as the cheaper alternative to the company’s Botvac Connected.

The following table shows you a side-by-side comparison between the three:

 

  Botvac D3 Connected Botvac D5 Connected Botvac Connected
Price Check here Check here Check here
Self-charging     X X X
Auto charge & auto resume X X X
LaserSmart mapping X X X
SpinFlow power clean   X X X
Multi-room navigation X X X
Entire level cleaning X X X
Scheduling                         X X X
Main brush X X X
Side brush          X X
Filter used Standard Ultra Performance Ultra Performance
Boundary marker X X
Lithium-ion battery        X High capacity High capacity
One cycle capacity          Up to 1800 sq ft Up to 4500 sq ft Up to 5000 sq ft
App features
Manual drive                     X
Find Me X
Cleaning statistics X
2x Spot Clean X X
Smart Watch Support X X X

Compared to the Botvac Connected, the Botvac D3 Connected is much cheaper, while sharing all the features that people have associated with Neato’s Botvac Connected series: auto charge and resume, LaserSmart Navigation, multi-room cleaning, SpinFlow Power Clean, entire level cleaning, scheduling via the app, smart watch support, and the main brush.

Some of the trade-offs for the lower price include the use of standard filters, the lack of boundary market, the use of lower capacity lithium ion capacity, and the scope or the size of area cleaned on a single cycle.  The Botvac D3 Connected also does not have as many features on its mobile app.

On the other hand, you can do more with the Botvac D5 Connected.  It can clean almost three times the floor area as the D3 Connected in one cycle, has high-capacity lithium-ion batteries, and makes use of ultra performance filters and a side brush.  As far as the mobile app is concerned, the Botvac D5 has 2x spot cleaning, manual driving, find me, and cleaning statistics.

The Botvac D3 Connected, however, delivers about the same level of cleaning as both the Botvac Connected and the Botvac D5 Connected.

Other choices for an alternative to the Neato Botvac D3 Connected Navigating Robot Vacuum include iRobot’s Roomba 960 and 980, both of which have Wi-Fi connectivity.

However, at its price point, the Botvac D3 Connected is more suitably matched with the Roomba 960 (see full review here).

Neato Robotics’ advantage over Roombas has always been the LaserSmart navigation that helps its robot vacuums systematically clean floors as opposed to Roomba’s seemingly random cleaning path.  The Roomba 960, however, uses visual localization that helps it know where it is and where to go next.

Still, the D3 Connected has more suction power and a bigger dirt bin, and it can effectively clean corners better than the Roomba 960.

Both the Roomba 960 and the Botvac D3 Connected feature auto-charging and auto-resume, and multi-room navigation.

What could be better

The Neato Botvac D3 Connected has the combo brush, which gives you sufficient cleaning, cleaning most floor types and getting rid of pet hair.  That said, it does not have the spiral blade brush, which gives you cleaner floors and carpets.  Nor does it have a side brush that offers cleaner wall edges, corners, and baseboards.

It also uses the standard filter, which is enough to keep debris and dirt off your floor.  However, this filter is no match for the ultra performance filter that can get rid of smaller particles of dust and dirt.  The ultra performance filter can easily trap dust as small as 0.3 microns, which makes it ideal for people with allergies or those who want cleaner air.

The Botvac D3 Connected also does not come with boundary markers, which can keep it away from areas you do not want to clean.

All of these are features found in the previous Botvac Connected.  Other features missing in the Botvac D3 Connected are the manual driving using the app and the 2x spot cleaning.

Final Recommendations on the Botvac D3 Connected Robot

The Neato Botvac D3 Connected Navigating Robot Vacuum gives you a chance to own a robot vacuum that you can control on your mobile app without having to pay a hefty price for the feature.  It does its job well in giving you cleaner floors.  With its remote control and scheduling features, you can clean even when you are out of the house.

This particular robot vacuum is just perfect for smaller rooms as it can only cover up to 1,800 sq. ft. of space.  However, that is hardly a problem if you have a bigger house because it automatically finds its way back to the charging station.

If you are more interested in the novelty of using the mobile app that comes with the robot vacuum, or if you have bigger spaces to clean, then check out the Botvac D5 Connected.  Nevertheless, if you are only interested in getting your house clean, you can certainly save more with the Neato Botvac D3 Connected.

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Botvac D3 Connected
Author Rating
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About the author

Patrick Sinclair

Patrick Sinclair is a geek; make no mistake about that. He runs All Home Robotics in his spare time so he doesn't have to think about his depressing cubicle and it gives him an excuse to buy expensive gadgets to review!

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