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As society becomes more and more accustomed to smart devices, the novelty and uniqueness they provide starts to wear off. This could be said for robot vacuums as well.
Even though they are no longer a novelty, their contribution to smart homes cannot be overlooked. Robot vacuums are trending up with new vacuums offering new features and additional benefits.
At or near the top of the robot vacuum industry sits Neato. Its line or Botvac robot vacuums pack in features where other smart vacuums may be lacking.
Quick Deal Update: The D3 is currently significantly discounted at this listing. Be sure to check this out before buying.
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As mentioned previously, the D3 is the elder statesman of these two vacuums, but that by no means it’s not worth considering for your robot vacuum needs. It has plenty of features and is more than sufficient for the vacuuming needs of most homes. Let’s take a look at the Neato Botvac D3 and some of the features it offers.
If you have any experience with Neato’s Botvac line, then you already know that the robot vacuums it produces comes in a “D” shaped design. The D3 like the D7 does not offer a display of any sort. It has one button, labeled “start,” and a pair of LED indicators. One indicator is for your battery status, and the other is for general information.
The Botvac D3 is a wonderful vacuum robot and cleans efficiently and effectively. It has a plan of action for each area and methodically goes about its chore until every inch is clean. Unlike other robot vacuums that seem to move around a room at random, the Botvac D3 leaves its dock and begins using its laser navigation to scan the area that needs cleaning.
Once an area is scanned, the D3 heads for the edges, which it cleans first. Then it will begin to cross the center of the room in a methodical fashion, zig-zagging throughout the area in an effort to address the entire room. You don’t have to worry about any missed dirt or debris, as the D3 performs multiple passes through the room. It accomplishes this with both vertical and horizontal movements.
The Botvac D3 does an excellent job of identifying obstacles and objects and avoiding them instead of bouncing off of them. When all is said and done, and the room is thoroughly cleaned, the D3 will return to its dock and begin recharging.
Another cool feature the D3 offers is the ability to vacuum multiple rooms in one cleaning. The Botvac D3 determines where doorways are located throughout your home and remember where they are during its cleaning. When it has completed one room, it moves on to the next area marked off by its initial run. The only real limitation during this type of cleaning is the D3’s battery life and capacity for holding debris.
Fortunately, the D3 knows to return to its base when it’s time to charge up its batteries. Once it’s ready to go again, it will pick up right where it left off. The D3 is capable of performing three cleaning runs interrupted only by its need to recharge. This allows the D3 to clean an entire level of up to eighteen hundred square feet.
Since the Botvac D3 doesn’t have very many buttons, the company provides a robust and fully functional mobile application. You can find the app on both the Android and iOS marketplaces. It is easy to use, is clean, and the interface is user-friendly. Connecting your mobile device to the D3 is simple, especially when using an Android smartphone.
The Botvac Android application will automatically use your current wifi network, asking you to enter your password so it can connect. If you’re using the iOS app, you’ll have to find and enter your home network information manually. It’s only one extra step, but it interrupts what is otherwise a pleasant user experience.
You can use the mobile application to tell the Botvac D3 to clean an entire floor, focus on one room, or pay particular attention to a specific area. You can also use the app to check the D3’s batty level, and program scheduled cleaning times. The scheduling is useful for those that have specific times during the day when they are not home. Tell the D3 what day of the week and what time to clean and you’ll come back to a nice clean floor.
If you find the need to own more than one Botvac robot vacuum, the Neato mobile application supports multiple vacuums. You can control them from anywhere so long as you have an internet connection. So if you’re lying on the beach and remember you need to vacuum, just open the app and tell your D3s to do so.
Really the only feature lacking in the Botvac D3 is a technology that is becoming more and more common for robot vacuums. The D3 offers support for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. You can also create recipes for it with If This Then That (IFTTT), as well as use the Neato Chatbot if needed.
Though the D3 is a solid robot vacuum, it appears to require more time to clean than the D7. It moves slower and does not offer a “turbo” mode often found on other Botvac robot vacuums. From a power perspective, the D3 simply does not perform as well as its counterpart.
When vacuuming, the D3 does a fine job and picks up nearly every piece of dirt and debris no matter what surface it is cleaning. Whether it was low or high-pile carpets, tile, or wood floors, the D3 picks up almost everything in its path.
If you’re looking for a solid robot vacuum at an affordable price, you could do much worse than a Botvac D3. With its ability to map and navigate a room while avoiding obstacles, you’re getting a vacuum with many of the same technologies that today’s vacuums offer. With the added feature of the ability to communicate with it via a mobile application, the D3 becomes even more difficult to resist.
The Botvac D3 is a reliable vacuum. However, it does have a few drawbacks. It does not work with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, and its smaller battery means it takes longer for regular cleaning to get done. Still, if you’re in the market for a good vacuum that offers a decent amount of features, the D3 might be right up your alley.
Neato’s Botvac D7 is a robot vacuum that is smarter than its counterparts. It offers laser navigation, just like the D3, and also integrates with other smart home services and devices. The D7 has an intuitive mobile application and a long lasting battery that will make you wonder why you waited so long to get one.
Botvac’s D7 looks similar to the other robot vacuums in the Neato line, including the D3. The “D” shape design was chosen specifically to allow the vacuums to get into tight corners and spaces. The most noticeable difference between the D3 and the D7 is the metallic finish which the D7 sports. This new finish is more resistant to scratches and dust than those of previous models.
The D7 comes with four buttons which indicate feedback and communication during cleanings. With these four LED indicators, you can see cleaning modes, wifi status, and battery levels. Botvac’s D7 is a little taller than its predecessors, but that’s mainly due to the circular turret that sits on top of the D7. This turret houses the navigation system within the D7 and provides a three hundred sixty degree view.
Located in the top is the vacuum’s dustbin, which is smaller than expected, and not as easy to take out and put back as it could be. On the bottom of the device, you’ll see two main rollers, a pair of small wheels, along with a couple of cleaning brushes.
The D7 comes with a fair amount of accessories as well. It has its charging dock, an array of filters, and brushes, and also includes a magnetic strip that you can use to set physical boundaries throughout. The strip is somewhat superfluous since you can set up boundaries in the mobile application as well.
Setup of the D7 is simple and straightforward. It doesn’t require attaching any brushes or parts since it comes assembled out of the box. The only thing needed is downloading the mobile application from either the iOS or Android marketplaces. The Neato application will walk you through the setup process and pair the robot vacuum with your wifi network. From a technology standpoint, the D7 supports both 5GHz and 2.4GHz wifi protocols.
As mentioned, the mobile application is clear and intuitive, which makes it very user-friendly. On the main screen, you can see your primary vacuum and its status. In the bottom left corner, you’ll see a battery indicator, which allows you to view the amount of power your D7 has remaining. Beneath the battery icon is the start button, which starts a session, and to the right is an icon which allows you to view detailed cleaning history of your D7.
You will also find a button which provides cleaning options. You can choose between Manual, Spot, and Housecleaning modes. If you want the Housecleaning mode, you’ll see additional options labeled as Turbo and Eco. The latter offers a longer cleaning, and is much quieter, while the former is louder but more powerful. If you choose the spot mode option, you can determine a specific cleaning area.
Additionally, while on the main screen, you can select the three-bar icon located in the upper left corner to view a new ability labeled My Floor Plan, or consider your scheduling options. Even though the previously mentioned boundary tape comes with the D7, there is little need for it since you can set up boundaries with the No Go lines in the mobile application. Once the D7 has mapped your home, you can save the floor plan and draw lines over areas you do not want the vacuum to go.
Just like the D3, when the D7 is in Home mode, it moves back and forth across the room in a methodical behavior while avoiding obstacles and obstructions. The Botvac D7 handles dirt and debris on any surface with ease. Whether cleaning tile, wood, or carpet, the robot vacuum had no issues. One neat feature that comes with the D7 is the ability to maneuver the vacuum with the mobile application, much in the same way you would use a controller to drive an RC car.
For cleaning power, the Botvac D7 is able to successfully clean up hair, dirt, and other types of debris with no problems. It’s not the most powerful robot vacuum on the market, but it will handle nearly any kind of cleaning thrown its way. You can expect around a two hour cleaning time, which includes multiple passes. The biggest drawback is the dustbin, which may have to be emptied multiple times during a large cleaning.
Not only does the Botvac D7 support Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, but it also works well with If This Then That (IFTTT). Additionally, you can control the device from your wrist if you have an Apple Watch.
While the D7 is pricier than its counterpart, it comes with significant upgrades. Not only can you use Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa, but you can also build IFTTT recipes for it. The D7 also provides a longer battery life and the ability to create No Go zones within the application. Phone steering is also a nice feature to use, as is the ability to use multiple cleaning methods. If you don’t mind spending the money on additional features, the Botvac D7 is a good robot vacuum for the price.
Below is a table that provides a high-level overview of how the Botvac D3 and D7 robot vacuums stack up against one another:
|Coverage||1800 square feet||5000 square feet|
|Runtime||60 minutes||120 minutes|
|Auto-charge and Resume||Yes||Yes|
|Smart Home Integration||Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, IFTTT, Neato Chatbot||Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, IFTTT, Neato Chatbot|
|Battery||Lithium-Ion||High Capacity Lithium-Ion|
|Floor Types||Carpet, tile, hardwood, ceramic, laminate||Carpet, tile, hardwood, ceramic, laminate|
As you can see, whether you decide to go with the Botvac D3, or the D7, you’ll be getting a quality robot vacuum. While the D7 has upgraded features and capabilities, you’ll pay for those. So you have to make the determination of whether or not it’s worth it to save a few extra bucks and not have those features.
Both robot vacuums are good quality, reliable devices. You have the ability to use voice control through Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant with both, and you’ll never have to worry about being home to clean, since you can start a cleaning from anywhere you have internet connectivity. Neato has created two solid robot vacuums, and no matter what your choice, you’ll be satisfied with your purchase.
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!