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Robot vacuums have been around for quite some time now and innovations or improvements have focused more on the cleaning technology involved, the brushes used, and other advanced cleaning features.
Nothing really groundbreaking was introduced of late, until the addition of a camera and the ability to be able to remotely control a robot vacuum.
Two models with these new features are the Roomba 980 and the Dyson 360 Eye.
Bottom Line Up Front:
- Dyson 360: If you have a fairly simple floor plan but require heavy-duty suction, go with the Dyson 360 here.
- Roomba 980: Otherwise, a better well-rounded (and more smartly automated) less expensive Roomba 980 available here is the better option.
Special Deal Update: The Roomba 980 is on sale right now for a LIMITED time for 22% off. That’s a $200 savings and the LOWEST price it has ever been (no kidding!). Take advantage of this deal here for a limited time.
Contents (Jump to)
Dyson 360 Eye
- Pricing: When Dyson 360 Eye first came out in the market, it was the company’s most expensive robot vacuum cleaner (check the pricing here) and many reviews called it the company’s best.
- OnBoard Camera: The Dyson 360 Eye has an onboard camera that can literally help it see the room it has to clean. The 360-degree camera takes a photo of the room and then maps it on a grid, taking note of furniture and other room fixtures. The robot will move around methodically using this grid.
- Premium Performance: This robot vacuum uses carbon fiber bristles. The full-width brush ensures that the 360 Eye gives the room a wide sweep at every run. The manufacturer had boasted that the 360 Eye’s suction is around 100 times stronger than previous models made by its competitors and is rated at 78,000 revolutions per minute.
- Mobile WiFi App: It comes with a mobile app that allows you to stop, start, or pause a cleaning session using your Wi-Fi or cellular data connection. You can also easily set up a schedule and see the cleaning route that was followed by the robot. All you have to do is to download the Dyson Link mobile app to your phone and then create an account. The app will automatically find the robot vacuum and will prompt you to input your Wi-Fi security key. Once connected to your Wi-Fi network, you can put the robot on the charging dock, which will activate its Wi-Fi system. Once it is paired, you can go to the home screen to start, pause or stop a running cycle. The mobile app will notify you when the robot has finished cleaning, and you can also use it to schedule a cleaning.
iRobot Roomba 980
Same Roomba Look: While the Dyson 360 Eye looks different from earlier robot vacuums released by the company because it is taller, the Roomba 980 looks very similar to all other Roombas. The Roomba 980 has a camera, but it is not that noticeable. From the bottom, you would see the same AeroForce extractors that you have seen in the Roomba 800 series, particularly the Roomba 880. It still has the big dust bin and the HEPA filters.
- A Bit Heavier: It is, however, heavier than most other Roombas because of the camera and other additional hardware.
- New Visual Mapping Tech: The Roomba 980 uses vSLAM technology, which stands for visual simultaneous localization and mapping. This combines the floor sensors and the new camera to “see” where it has been in your home and to avoid walls and other obstacles.
- More Quiet: Compared with earlier Roombas, the 980 is noticeably quieter.
- NEW Carpet Boost: It can also clean better, turning on CarpetBoost when it senses that it is on your carpet and turning the feature off when it is on flat floors.
- WiFi App Control: Like the Dyson 360 Eye, the Roomba 980 has a mobile app and can connect to your Wi-Fi network. Aside from scheduling, stopping and starting cleaning runs, you can also access a log of past cleaning jobs to see whether your Roomba worked while you were out of the house.
Side by side comparison: Dyson 360 Eye and iRobot Roomba 980
Before you start comparing the two, it is best to see the specifications for both the Dyson 360 Eye and the Roomba 980:
|iRobot Roomba 980||Dyson 360 Eye|
|Price||Check here for latest||Check here for latest|
|Lithium ion battery?||X||X|
|Running Time||120 minutes||45 minutes|
|Charging Time||Up to 180 minutes||165 minutes|
|Mapping & Navigation||iAdapt 2.0 with Visual Localization||360 Degree Vision System|
|Dust Bin||0.6 liters||0.33 liters|
|Cleaning Path||Parallel Lines||Grid Pattern|
|Side Brush||X||Full-width brush bar|
|Weight||8.7 pounds||5.4 pounds|
|Size||13.8” diameter, 3.6” height||9” diameter, 4.72” height|
|Color||Black, Gray, Brown||Nickel and Blue, Nickel and Fuchsia|
Comparing Dyson 360 Eye and Roomba 980
Camera Mapping Comparison: The Dyson 360 Eye makes use of its camera to create a grid that it uses to clean the room, while the Roomba 980 uses a parallel path to clean the room. Both systems do a good job at covering and cleaning floors and each one makes use of different technologies to do its job.
Single Charge Cleaning Time: The Roomba 980 cleans more than 2.6 times longer on a single charge, compared with the Dyson 360 Eye. However, it does need 180 minutes to recharge while the 360 Eye needs only 165 minutes. That means that in seven hours of cleaning, the Roomba 980 would have cleaned for four hours while charging for three hours, and the Dyson 360 Eye would have cleaned for only 1.5 hours for 5.5 hours of charging time. If you have big rooms or a lot of rooms to clean, prepare to wait longer with the Dyson 360 Eye.
Logistical Concerns: The Dyson 360 Eye does not use an HEPA filter, which is a standard among higher-priced Roombas. It also has a dust bin with only nearly half the capacity of the 980’s bin. The Dyson bin is also not as accessible as the Roomba 980’s bin. Additionally, the Dyson 360 Eye is taller than the Roomba by a little more than an inch, which means that it has more difficulty going under furniture and cannot clean areas with very low vertical space.
So where does the Dyson 360 Eye win over the Roomba 980?
Dimensions: The 360 Eye is much lighter than a Roomba 980 and is close to 5 inches smaller in diameter, thus allowing it to clean within tighter spaces. It also offers more lively color choices: blue or fuschia, fused with elegant nickel.
Tank Treads: Another Dyson 360 Eye feature worth mentioning is the treaded wheels that are able to go over bigger obstacles such as a thicker power cord that would trip and trap a Roomba. It can also move from carpets to hardwood with ease.
A Better App? Furthermore, it is easier to work with the Dyson Link mobile app than it is to control your Roomba with the iRobot Home app. For one, there is a delay when you press the Clean button on your Home app. A good 10 seconds would pass before the Roomba 980 would start to move, sometimes even longer. If you have problems with your connectivity, you may end up with repetitive cleaning jobs.
Concluding – The Final Word
There is no question that both the Dyson 360 Eye and Roomba 980 can get the job done.
The Dyson 360 Eye can deliver an impressive cleaning especially when you compare it with older robot vacuums. It has a very powerful suction and can leave your floors cleaner. So much so that you might be disgusted to see what you have in the dust bin. Its cleaning path is not haphazardly laid out and you can see this on the mobile app.
The mobile app is pretty straightforward without the bells and whistles. Everything is kept simple, so do not expect to use the mobile app to remotely control the robot. Instead, you get a clean interface that allows you to do the basics: stop, pause, start and schedule a cleaning.
That said, the Dyson 360 Eye might not be a good fit for homes that have low hanging furniture because it stands higher than most robot vacuums. It will also not be a good idea for larger homes as it has a very small dust bin that fills up easily.
Meanwhile, the Roomba 980 does deliver the same degree of cleaning as the Dyson 360 Eye. But if you are more interested in being able to remotely control your robot from outside the house, then it will somewhat disappoint. Still, it is about $100 cheaper as of this writing than the 360 Eye, while delivering a faster cleaning job.
As far as cleaning technology and how thorough each one cleans, there is no clear winner. While the Dyson 360 Eye has a stronger suction, the Roomba 980 has a three-stage cleaning system that more than makes up for its weaker suction power. Also, while the 360 Eye has a shorter battery life, it needs only one pass to clean as much as the Roomba’s multiple passes.
Both the Dyson 360 Eye and the Roomba 980 can easily find their way back to the charging station and recharge themselves when their batteries run out. That means that if you are just going to schedule it to clean by itself, by the time you get home both would have done the job right.
Both have cameras that help them plan their respective cleaning paths and help the vacuums clean more thoroughly. Furthermore, these vacuums bring you a very exciting development that could mean more features and functionalities in the near future.
Bottom Line: Who is Each Best For?
- Get the Dyson 360 Eye here if you have a relatively simple floor plan and need powerful single run suction (no time for multiple passes).
- Get the Roomba 980 if you want to get UNDER furniture, a larger (more complex) floor plan, don’t mind persistent passes (maybe you are out during the day when it cleans), and want to save a little bit of money.
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!