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Neato Botvac D7 Connected
The Neato Botvac D7 Connected is widely considered as the Roomba 980 killer. The latest model from Neato Robotics has everything you liked about earlier Neato models – the D-shape, the Wi-Fi connectivity, the superior cleaning capacity – and then added some great features to make it stand out.
Neato Botvac D7 Connected has all the right technologies. For one, the design itself helps the robot vacuum get closer to the walls and edges. The D shape has three flat surfaces, allowing the Botvac D7 to clean corners and hard-to-reach areas. It can get as close as 0.5 inch within the edge of your wall, just enough to sweep dirt, dust, and debris up with the rotating side brushes.
The D shape also allows Neato to include a wider brush. The Botvac D7 Connected uses a 10.9-inch main spiral combo brush that allows it to sweep up a wider area with a single pass, helping it finish the job faster. The spiral brush is perfect for every floor type as it can pick up even the most stubborn dirt.
On top of the main brush and the side brush, the Botvac D7 Connected also uses a powerful suction motor that sends the dirt and dust straight to the 0.5-liter dustbin. All of that dirt and dust are kept inside the dustbin because of the ultra-performance filter that the robot vacuum uses.
If you have dirtier floors, you can turn on the Turbo mode. Think of this as the carpet boost feature on the Roomba 980. In normal mode, the Neato Botvac D7 Connected can pick up just about anything on bare hardwood floors. In turbo mode, it can make sure that your carpets and floors are extra clean.
Aside from the Turbo mode, the Neato Botvac D7 Connected also has the eco mode. Using this mode, the robot vacuum can work quietly and for a longer time.
However, all of these technologies would be useless if the Neato Botvac D7 Connected misses spots. How does the Botvac D7 ensure complete coverage of your floors? With the LaserSmart Mapping Navigation technology, of course!
What happens when you start cleaning? The Neato Botvac D7 Connected will use laser technology and scans your floor. Scanning will help the robot vacuum create a floor plan. It will then use this map to come up with the most efficient route. With a virtual map, the Neato Botvac D7 can go to every nook and cranny. And with the mobile app, you can also see a cleaning map that details where the robot vacuum has been, which areas of your floors have already been cleaned, and where it needs to go.
Having a virtual map also allows the robot vacuum to know where it is, and enables it to resume cleaning after a trip to the charging dock. And because it uses lasers and not a camera, the Botvac D7 does not need to be in a well-lit room in order to create a virtual map.
Furthermore, this virtual map allows you to create no-go zones with the smartphone app. If you do not want the Botvac D7 to enter a particular room or area, you can just use your fingers to draw a line on the virtual map. Once this is done, the Botvac D7 will not cross the red lines you drew on the map.
Other features of the Neato Botvac D7 Connected that you should know about include:
- Being able to clean an entire level of your home without needing your intervention: The Botvac D7 can find its way to the charging dock when its battery runs low. Once charged, it will push off and continue to clean where it left off. This means that it can keep on cleaning and recharging by itself, allowing it to clean an entire level of your home. And because of its extra wide brush and side brush, it can cover a bigger area with a single pass, making cleaning a lot less time-consuming.
- Upholds Neato’s reputation for pet hair pickup: The Botvac D7 Connected is like its older brothers and sisters: it picks up pet hair with no problem!
- Different ways to interact with your robot vacuum: The Neato Botvac D7 Connected comes with a companion mobile app that you can use to control your robot. It also works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant so that you can use voice commands to start, stop, or pause cleaning. Other ways to operate your robot vacuum includes the Neato Chatbot on Facebook and using IFTTT recipes.
Neato Botvac D7 Connected: Why you should buy it
The Neato Botvac D7 Connected is a very efficient robot vacuum that delivers the most thorough clean on your floors. It has the best technologies that you could find on any Neato robot vacuum, including the Spinflow cleaning technology and the LaserSmart mapping technology. With its updated mobile app, you can even see where it has cleaned and create no-go zones for your robot vacuum.
If you have pets, then you would love how this robot vacuum is able to pick up more of their hair than any other robot vacuum can.
What’s more, the Botvac D7 costs $799, which is just about the same price as the older Roomba 980. It may be expensive, but with the set of features and functionalities that it offers, that price tag is justified.
iLIFE’s A series robot vacuum cleaners are the company’s carpet experts. The Chinese company is also known for its low-priced robot vacuums that do not sacrifice features. For instance, the iLIFE A8 costs $300 on Amazon but has some features that are comparable to the Neato Botvac D7 Connected.
iLIFE A8 technologies that are similar to Neato Botvac D7
- Panoview navigation: If the Botvac D7 has the LaserSmart mapping technology, iLIFE A8 has the PanoView navigation technology that scans the room in order to create a virtual floor plan. But while Neato uses laser for its mapping capabilities, iLIFE A8 uses a 360-degree vision camera to do its work.
- Three-stage cleaning: iLIFE A8 also uses a main brush, side brushes, and a powerful suction to clean your floors, just like the Botvac D7. However, iLIFE’s robot vacuum uses two side brushes instead of one, and you can swap out the main brush. iLIFE A8 has two brushes included in the package. There is the bristle brush, which is great for all floor types, and there’s the rubber brush, which picks up more pet hair without tangling.
- Auto charging and auto resume: iLIFE A8 can also find its way back to its charging dock when the battery runs low. After charging, it can resume cleaning where it left off.
What the iLIFE A8 does better
The filter on the Botvac D7 Connected does a good job of keeping dirt and dust inside the dustbin, but iLIFE uses a three-part filtering system that involves a high performance filter, a sponge layer, and a secondary filter to help make sure that the air that is recirculated is clean.
iLIFE A8 also has the voice report feature, where it tells you if there are problems that you need to solve, or just to tell you what it is doing.
Where the iLIFE A8 pales in comparison
The iLIFE A8 has a smaller dustbin than the Neato Botvac D7 Connected. Also, while both robot vacuums use lithium ion batteries, iLIFE A8’s battery only lasts up to 90 minutes at single charge. Neato Botvac D7 can give you up to 130 minutes of operation.
iLIFE A8 is not Wi-Fi connected. It does not work with Amazon Alexa, and it does not have a mobile app you can use to start, stop or pause cleaning. It does not have cleaning histories that you can check. Meanwhile, the Botvac D7 Connected works on two Wi-Fi bands, and has an awesome redesigned mobile app that allows you to operate your robot vacuum, while also allowing you to set no-go zones and to view cleaning maps.
Scheduling on iLIFE A8 is also rather limited, allowing you to set one schedule that tells the robot vacuum to start cleaning at the same time every day.
But the biggest problem with iLIFE A8 is that even with its camera-based mapping technology and the ability to create maps that it could follow, this robot vacuum does a poor job as far as coverage is concerned. The iLIFE A8 can pick up dirt and dust with no problems, but it would miss a good part of your floors.
At only $300, the iLIFE A8 certainly boasts a long list of great technologies that you can expect only from more expensive robots. This is a good robot vacuum cleaner if you want to save money. But that savings does come with some setbacks: you can’t control it with a mobile app and coverage is largely hit and miss. What good is a robot vacuum that does not guarantee that it will completely clean your floors? This could have been remedied if iLIFE included a way to specify two cleaning passes, allowing you to direct the robot to clean the room twice. But even then, complete coverage would still not be guaranteed.
Instead of gambling on this budget robot and waiting for its AI to kick in to give you better coverage, invest on the Neato Botvac D7 Connected instead. The Botvac D7 can easily give the Roomba 980 a run for its money and is among the best robot vacuums out there.
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!