Neato Botvac D5 Review – Evaluating the New Botvac D5

In September 2016, Neato Robotics announced the entry of two new connected robot vacuums: the Botvac D3 Connected and the Botvac D5 Connected.

Both of these vacuums join the Neato Botvac Connected, which was released earlier, and enter an increasingly crowded segment of robot vacuums that you can control with your smartphone.

Among these connected robot vacuums already in the market are two Roombas: the Roomba 980 and its more affordable cousin, the Roomba 960.

Bottom Line Up Front: I really liked the D5. It’s my favorite Botvac so far, and a better value than the Botvac Connected. Right now, the D5 is available here for 30% off, which is a record low.

Features of the Botvac D5

The Neato Botvac D5 Connected Navigating Robot Vacuum comes with a wide variety of features that set it apart from other connected robot vacuums. Neato Robotics has also included all the best features of its previous robot vacuums into the Botvac D5 Connected.

  • D-Shaped Design: The Botvac D5 sports the same D-shape design as its predecessors. The flat sides of this robot vacuum allow it to get closer to the edges of walls and room corners in a way that circular-shaped robot vacuums never could.
  • Corner Cleaning Tech: Couple this unique design with CornerClever Technology. The Botvac D5 Connected can clean within 14 millimeters of the walls. The side brushes also help make sure that your baseboards, edges and corners are extra clean.
  • Smarter Navigation: The Neato Botvac D5 Connected Navigating Robot Vacuum uses LaserSmart Mapping & Navigation, a laser technology that enables your vacuum to scan your floors and plan the most efficient cleaning path, making sure that it can clean your house or room in as less time as possible without missing a spot. This also helps the Botvac D5 Connected avoid obstacles, such as stairs, and move around furniture.

Battery and automatic charging

The Neato Botvac D5 Connected Navigating Robot Vacuum uses a high-capacity lithium-ion battery that allows it to clean up to 4500 sq. ft. of floor area on a single charge.

A fully charged battery can give your Botvac D5 up to 90 minutes of cleaning. 

If you have a bigger room or if the battery runs low, the vacuum will automatically find its charging base to recharge. After recharging, the robot vacuum resumes its cleaning, picking up where it left off and efficiently finishing the job.


Aside from its D shape, the Neato Botvac D5 Connected Navigating Robot Vacuum is able to clean efficiently because of its SpinFlow Power Clean technology. It uses a combo brush that allows it to easily pick up hair on carpeted areas.

This combo brush can easily pick up pet hair as well. So if you have pet dogs or pet cats, the Botvac D5 is a good choice.

Additionally, if you want a more thorough clean, you can use the spiral blade brush. The Botvac D5 Connected also has a huge dirt bin that uses an ultra performance filter that can help you get rid of dust and dirt as tiny as 0.3 microns.

The Botvac D5 Connected vacuum can also navigate through multiple rooms and can easily clean an entire floor. It also has a boundary marker that keeps it out of areas you do not want it to go.

Smart watch support

If you have an Apple Watch or an Android Wear device, you can use it to access some features of the Botvac D5 and have it start cleaning.

Mobile app

The mobile is where the Neato Botvac D5 Connected Navigating Robot Vacuum really shines. 

Using the mobile app, you can schedule your Botvac D5 Connected to run automatically at certain times. You can also access other features such as the Find Me, which helps you locate your robot vacuum at any time.

You can also tell your robot vacuum to give your floor twice the spot cleaning if you think that it is dirtier than usual. Moreover, you can see useful cleaning statistics using the mobile app.

The following table shows you the features accessible on the Neato mobile app for the Botvac D5 Connected, the D3 Connected and the Botvac Connected.

  Botvac D5 Connected Botvac D3 Connected Botvac Connected
Manual drive X
Find Me feature X
Cleaning statistics X
2x spot clean X X
Smart watch support X X X

What’s in the box

  • Wi-Fi Enabled Robot Vacuum
  • Integrated Charge Base
  • Power Cord
  • Combo Brush
  • Ultra Performance Filter
  • Side Brush
  • Boundary Markers
  • Brush and Filter Cleaning Tool

What you would like about the Neato Botvac D5 Connected Navigating Robot Vacuum

The Neato Botvac D5 Connected Navigating Robot Vacuum delivers a more “spotless” clean than the Botvac D3 Connected. Its main brush spans the width of the robot vacuum, allowing it to have a wider sweep.

The side brush, the D-Shape and the CornerClever technology all help keep the corners and edges clean.

The Botvac D5 Connected cleans your room strategically and not just in a random manner. You can easily see how it follows a logical cleaning path as it avoids any obstacle in its way. The superior battery life is enough to clean 4,500 sq. ft. of your floor.

Plus, it allows you to take advantage of more features when you are using the mobile app.

Alternatives to the Neato Botvac D5 Connected Navigating Robot Vacuum

Basing on its price point and its Wi-Fi connectivity feature, the Neato Botvac D5 Connected is competing against two other Neato robot vacuums, as well as against Roomba 960.

But first, let us look at the Botvac D5 Connected as it compares with the Botvac D3 Connected and the Botvac Connected.

Side-by-Side comparison of the three Neato Botvac Connected robot vacuums


  Botvac D5 Connected Botvac D3 Connected Botvac Connected
Price Check here Check here Check here
Auto charge & resume, and Self-charging X X X
LaserSmart mapping & navigation 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 Ultra Performance Standard Ultra Performance
Boundary marker X X
Lithium-ion battery        High capacity X High capacity
One cycle capacity          Up to 4500 sq ft Up to 1800 sq ft Up to 5000 sq ft

The Botvac D5 Connected is pricier than the Botvac D3 Connected but it has better features. 

For one, the D5 has a side brush that allows for better cleaning at wall edges or corners. It also uses ultra performance filters that traps smaller dirt and dust particles and works with boundary markers.

Furthermore, the D5 has a high-capacity lithium ion battery.

The D3 Connected, on the other hand, has no side brushes and no support for boundary markers. It also uses the standard filter and regular low capacity lithium-ion battery. What’s more, the Botvac D5 can cover 2.5 times more floor area on a single charge compared to the D3.

It is also worth noting that the Botvac D5 Connected has the same features as the older and more expensive Botvac Connected.

Both robot vacuums have the LaserSmart Mapping and Navigation technology, SpinFlow Power Clean, multi-room navigation, entire level cleaning, ultra-performance filter, and high capacity lithium ion batteries.

However, the older Botvac Connected robot vacuum can cover 400 sq. ft. more floor area than the Botvac D5 connected. The Connected version also has “Eco” and “Turbo” mode (Eco can extend the battery life up to 2 full hours).

Comparison with Roomba 980 and 960

The Roomba 980 (see review here) and Roomba 960 (review here) are both pricier than the Botvac D5. However, both Roombas have an on-board camera that helps with navigation while the Botvac D5 Connected relies on lasers.

Nevertheless, the Botvac D5 Connected delivers practically the same level of cleaning as these two Roomba models.

When it comes to cleaning carpets, though, the Roomba 980 wins out slightly because of its carpet boost mode.

What could be better with the D5

There are two things that do not make sense with the mobile app features for the Botvac D5.

First, it seems that it lacks the ability to manually drive the robot vacuum using the mobile app. Having the option to manually tell your robot vacuum where to go could help you get better cleaning especially for visibly dirtier areas.

Second is the Find Me feature. While it is true that the Botvac D5 Connected does not return to its base when you stop a cleaning cycle and just stops wherever it is, you can still use the mobile app to tell it to go back to its charging dock.

Creating a separate feature for lost robot vacuum seems more of a gimmick rather than incorporating a useful feature.

Final recommendations

The Neato Botvac D5 Connected Navigating Robot Vacuum is a Wi-Fi connected robot vacuum that performs its functions really well. It delivers a great cleaning job and will help you keep a spotless house, even if you have pets indoors.

For people who are intrigued by the Wi-Fi connectivity feature, the Neato Botvac D5 Connected Navigating Robot Vacuum will not disappoint. It also allows you to do more with its mobile app, except drive it around.