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When most people think of smart robot vacuums, more than likely that first name that comes to mind is Roomba. As a matter of fact, Roomba has almost become synonymous with the idea of robot vacuums, much in the same way that Kleenex is for facial tissue and Band-Aid for adhesive bandages.
Of course, Roomba isn’t the only manufacturer of smart home robot vacuums. Dyson, Samsung, and many other high-profile companies have their own lineups on the market. However, the second largest name in the world of robot vacuums is actually Neato. The Neato line of Botvacs is known for being reliable and high-quality.
With the Botvac D6 and the Roomba 690, you’re getting a choice between two robot vacuums that provide excellent performance and thorough cleanings. Let’s take a look at how these two devices compare with one another.
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As a well-known smart robot vacuum manufacturer, Neato is always expanding on its already growing lineup of robot vacuum cleaners. While the Neato Botvac D6 is a step down from the Neato flagship D7 Connected, it is still a quality robot vacuum that will provide the features and abilities users have come to expect from a Botvac.
The Botvac D6 features a brand-new brush bar, multiple floor plan capabilities, and virtual no-go areas, which means this robot vacuum is a fully-packed device that won’t disappoint.
Neato robot vacuums are well-known for their distinctive D-shape, and the D6 is no exception. With this design, the D6 can get into the corners and hard to reach areas of each room. The D6 is roughly the same size as the D7 connected, measuring 319mm x 316mm x 100mm.
This short but wide device can easily slide under lower sitting furniture like chairs and couches. However, with its wide body, the device does have a hard time navigating tight gaps, like vacuuming the area between the legs of a dining chair.
Of course, using any robot vacuum cleaner will require you to move some furniture every once in a while so your device can clean as much of your floors as possible.
On the underside of the Botvac D6, you’ll find its core brush. This brush is larger than the one used in older Botvac models, which means it can pick up more dirt, debris, and pet hair as it cleans.
You can easily pop out the brush when it needs to be cleaned, and Neato goes the extra mile in providing a tool with the device that helps cut away any hair that’s wrapped around the brush. The device’s side brush pulls in dirt and debris from the side, which helps to clean corners and edges throughout your home.
If you open the flap on top of the D6, you’ll have access to the dustbin. Neato keeps things simple by putting the pin in the same spot as the handle, which means all you have to do is open the compartment rather than messing with picking up the robot.
With its Ultra Performance filter, the D6 captures dust, pollen, and other allergens as it cleans your home. You’ll want to replace it every few months, however, the mobile application will remind you so you don’t have to worry about remembering.
Just like other Neato Botvac D6 has one button on top. Pressing the button once instructs the robot vacuum to clean your entire home, which it will do unless it runs into obstacles the prevent it from going any further.
Pressing the button twice kicks of spot-cleaning mode. In spot cleaning mode, the D6 will clean a seven square foot area. This is especially handy if you need the robot vacuum to clean up the spaghetti that your three-year-old just dropped onto the floor.
The Botvac D6 is wifi compatible, and once you have it connected to your home network, you’ll begin to realize the full potential of the vacuum. Connecting the robot to your network is simple and straightforward, and if you have more than one robot vacuum, you can set them all up in your Neato smartphone application.
Prior to cleaning, you’ll want to have a floor map of your home created. This isn’t an actual clean, as the purpose of the expedition is for the D6 to map out the area of your home so it has an idea of what to expect when it does begin to clean. The D6 will support up to three maps, although you must have the robot begin from the charging dock for each one.
Once you have your map created, you then have the ability to make off areas you don’t want your robot vacuum to enter. The no-go lines are accurate enough that you can keep the D6 from entering a specific room, but isn’t granular enough to keep it from cleaning a delicate rug. If you need something that detailed, Botvac provides tape with the device that it will recognize as a virtual boundary.
Keep in mind that no-go areas will only work if you go through the mobile application to start a clean while the robot is on its charging dock. If the D6 is unable to find itself, then it will ignore both the no-go areas and your floor map. It will simply go out on a clean, then continue doing so until it can no longer progress any further.
The D6 offers two cleaning modes through the smartphone application: Turbo and Eco. With Eco mode turned on, you’ll get a quieter cleaning experience. This is especially nice if you need to work or take phone calls while your robot vacuum is cleaning. With Turbo enabled, the vacuum becomes quite a bit louder, however, you’ll get a stronger suction which leads to a more thorough clean.
One last feature that may or may not be handy based on when you want your robot vacuum to clean is the laser navigation included with the D6. If you don’t mind the noise, or you work nights, the D6 can move about throughout your home in the dark if need be.
With its powerful suction and smart navigation features, the Botvac D6 provides a high-quality clean on all types of flooring, including carpet and hardwood. It cleans edges and corners very well, picking up spills and dirt with ease and leaving areas clean.
The Neato Botvac D6 will keep your home feeling clean although you may still have to use your upright every once in a while. Regardless, it still beats having to pull it out every week to manually vacuum your entire house.
In Eco mode, you’ll get nearly two hours of battery life, which is plenty of juice to vacuum most good-sized homes. The two hours of battery is nice, however, if the robot does run low, it can always return to its dock to top off, then pick up right where it left off.
A complete charge can take nearly two and a half hours, however, if you begin a cleaning cycle using the floor map feature, the D6 will calculate how much battery it needs to finish cleaning and head back out once it reaches that point.
The Neato Botvac D6 does support Amazon Alexa, which means you can use your voice to have the robot start cleaning, stop cleaning, or head back to its dock. If you happen to have multiple robot vacuums going at once, you’ll be asked which device you want the command to apply to.
Google Assistant is also supported, but keep in mind that you’ll use the Google Assistant application rather than Google Home. You’ll be able to control the D6 through Google just like you would with Alexa.
One area in which Neato stands out above other robot vacuums is in its support of IFTTT (If This Then That). This gives you much more control over the robot vacuum. For instance, you can have the robot begin cleaning when you leave the house via geofencing capabilities, or you can have it pause when you receive a call.
Thanks to the floor map feature, navigation on the D6 is fantastic. As we mentioned in the previous section, the Botvac D6 uses laser technology for navigation, which means it can move about in the dark. When navigating in the dark, the D6 can be less than delicate, so it helps if you turn on the gentle navigation.
The low-profile of the D6 helps it to get under low sitting furniture, however, it struggles with anything that isn’t wide enough to let it through. For instance, you might have to move your dining room chairs out of the way if you want the D6 to clean under your kitchen table.
As mentioned, the Botvac D6 has not trouble with rugs or floor mats, climbing up on them and cleaning them without issue. Additionally, the drop sensor works very well as the robot recognizes when it nears a ledge or the edge of a stair.
Pros and Cons
All devices have their pros and cons. Here are some to consider with the Botvac D6 robot vacuum.
- No-go boundary areas
- High-quality cleaning on hardwood floors and carpeting
- Fantastic navigation
- Laser navigation provides cleaning in the dark
- Integration with Amazon Alexa and Google Home
- Trouble navigating certain spaces
- Can have some difficulty cleaning in the dark unless in gentle mode
The Botvac D6 is a great robot vacuum if you are looking for a solid and reliable device that will get your home looking clean. With great features like multiple cleaning modes, floorplan mapping, and better overall cleaning capabilities, the D6 gives you plenty of reasons to make it your robot vacuum of choice.
Chances are that when you hear or think about robot vacuums, the word “Roomba” comes to mind. It’s no secret that the high-end models offered by the company are impressive devices, however, Roomba offers several entry-level vacuums as well. The Roomba 690, for instance, is a great robot vacuum at an affordable price.
Like the Botvac D6, the Roomba 690 offers wifi connectivity, a smartphone application, and voice control commands with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. The Roomba 690 is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a solid robot vacuum that won’t break the bank.
Where the Botvac D6 sticks with Neato’s standard D-shape, the Roomba 690 is true to its predecessors with its circular shape. The robot vacuum is the iconic silver-and-black color users have come to expect and is short enough that it can clean under most of your furniture without an issue.
Located atop the 690 is a large silver button labeled “Clean.” This button starts, ends and pauses your cleaning sessions. Below the Clean button is a home icon that tells the robot vacuum to return to its base station.
Above the home icon you’ll find a spot cleaning icon, and near that is a panel that is backlit. On this panel, you can see the battery status and wifi connectivity of the device, along with any errors that occur.
In the back of the Roomba 690, you’ll find a removable dustbin, and in the front, you’ll discover the RCON sensor and bumper. Beneath the robot vacuum resides charging contacts, a front roller, two main wheels, a pair of roller brushes, cliff sensors, and a side brush.
Included with the Roomba 690 are a dual-mode virtual wall beacon and a charging dock. Also included is a pair of AA batteries you’ll use for the virtual walls. The virtual wall is a square, slim tower that has a switch located on its back that lets you switch between its two modes.
Sliding the switch up puts up a 10-foot barrier that serves to keep your Roomba 690 out of areas and rooms you don’t want it entering. Sliding the switch down establishes a four-foot halo barrier. This type of wall is especially handy if you have certain spots you don’t want the 690 to clean or to avoid completely.
Mobile application and setup
Setting up your Roomba 690 is easy and simple. Plug the dock into the outlet, turn the device over, and pull out the yellow tab. Once you’ve done that, put the 690 on the dock until it gets a full charge. Typically, first time to a full battery takes around three hours.
While you’re waiting for your robot vacuum to charge, take the time to download and install the iRobot application. You can find it on both the Google Play or Apple App store. Once you have it installed, follow the guide to create an account and connect the robot to your wifi network. Keep in mind, though, that it only supports 2.4GHz, so if you have a 5GHz only router, it won’t connect to it.
The mobile application itself is intuitive and easy-to-use. You’ll find only a button labeled “Clean” on the home screen. Clicking on it will activate your Roomba, which will work even if you’re not on the same wifi network. This is handy if you want to have your robot vacuum clean while you’re at work or away on vacation.
The top right corner of the application provides a battery life indicator while the bottom of the app offers three additional menu options Weekly Schedule, Lifetime Performance Log, and More.
Weekly Schedule is simple and self-explanatory. Choose the day and time you want your robot vacuum to clean, save it, and now your Roomba 690 will run right on schedule. This is especially nice if you don’t have a set home schedule and want your vacuum to run regularly.
In the Lifetime Performance Log, you’ll have a record of every time your Roomba has cleaned. You can view stats like total duration and number of jobs along with individual stats for each cleaning.
Lastly, the More section offers the ability to use the Locate Roomba button. If you click on the button, your 690 will play a song to help you locate it. Also in the More section if where you’ll find FAQs, help videos, care instructions, and additional settings.
The suction on the Roomba 690 is plenty powerful enough to get your floors clean. It has no problem sucking up the hair, dirt, and dust embedded in your carpet and rugs. However, it does have a little trouble getting on top of rugs, even if they’re low pile. You might receive notifications from your robot telling you it’s near a ledge when in actuality it’s simply near a rug.
This may happen frequently if you have dark rugs or flooring as the 690 may interpret dark colors as the edge of a stair or a ledge. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do in this type of situation other than move it to a different location.
You’ll get a good amount of cleaning done on a single charge as the Roomba 690 lasts around 70 minutes. This is plenty enough to clean a good part of your home before the robot needs to return to its dock to charge up again.
The Roomba 690 can be controlled via voice commands with both Amazon Alexa and Google Home. Once you set up your voice command capabilities and get the device connected, you can have it start, stop, pause, or head back to its base station. You can also request a status update and ask where the vacuum is located through your smart assistant.
The voice commands are intuitive and easy to use so if you just don’t feel like pulling your smartphone out of your pocket, just tell Alexa or Google to communicate with your 690. This technology isn’t perfect yet, so you might run into a few quirks, but overall it’s nice to have the ability to tell your robot vacuum to start cleaning whenever you want.
Pros and Cons
The Roomba 690 has its share of benefits an drawbacks. Here are just a few of each that stand out.
- Mobile application for iOS and Android
- Works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
- Strong suction
- Confuses dark flooring with ledges
- Occassionally has trouble finding its dock
If you’re in the market for a smart robot vacuum you can control with your phone, can connect to wifi, and is easy to set up and use, then you might want to consider the Roomba 690. This robot vacuum offers an intuitive mobile application, strong suction power, and voice control capabilities with Google or Amazon smart assistants.
Both the Botvac D6 and the Roomba 690 offer great robot vacuum options at affordable prices. Each has plenty of features that make it a good choice. Let’s take a quick look at how these two devices compare side-by-side.
|Botvac D6||Roomba 690|
|Carpet Boost Mode||N||N|
|Smart Assistant Integration||Amazon Alexa/Google Home/IFTTT||Amazon Alexa/Google Home|
|Entire Level Cleaning||Y||Y|
|Full bin indicator||N||N|
These two devices are both great options if you’re on the hunt for a smart robot vacuum. Both offer strong suction power, mobile applications, and integration with smart assistants like Google and Alexa. Additionally, both are wifi capable and are affordable options if you don’t want to shell out a whole lot of money on a smart vacuum.
No matter which one you select, you know you’re getting a quality, reliable device from a company that is well-known for providing excellent products. The nice thing about both of these robot vacuums is that you’ll get plenty of features for the amount of money you’ll spend.
That being said, when it comes to choosing between the two, you might be better off with the Botvac D6. It offers multiple cleaning modes, which the 690 doesn’t have, and integrates with IFTTT. The 690 isn’t a bad vacuum, however, when comparing the two, the Botvac D6 has fewer issues and more to offer than the Roomba 690.
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!