Robotic Vacuums

Which Robot Vacuum is Best? The Roomba 690 vs Roomba 890

(Last Updated On: November 15, 2017)

The Roomba 890 are the two cheapest of only four Roomba models that are currently being offered by iRobot on its website.

If you are interested in robot vacuums priced at less than $500, then you should read on as we pit the Roomba 890 against the Roomba 690 on a feature-by-feature basis!

Bottom Line Up Front: Here’s my high level take…

iAdapt navigation technology

Both the Roomba 690 and the Roomba 890 use the iAdapt navigation technology as their floor guide.  Using iRobot’s proprietary software and algorithm, the robot vacuums can easily map out your floors to ensure that they cover the entire area and not miss any spot.

With iAdapt, the Roomba 890 and 690 are able to go around any room, avoid steep falls, go along wall edges, go around or under furniture, and know whether they are vacuuming carpets, hardwood, tiles, and other floor types.

Winner: Tie, because the Roomba 890 and 690 both use the same navigation technology.

Dirt Detection

All Roomba robots have some sort of dirt detection sensors that allow them to find dirtier areas on your floor and to focus more on these areas for a more thorough clean.  The Roomba 690 has acoustic sensors that allow it to
detect dirt.

The Roomba 890 has the same acoustic sensors plus a range of optical sensors, making it better at dirt detection.

Winner: Roomba 890 is able to detect and clean dirt more efficiently.

AeroForce vs. AeroVac vacuuming technology

While both the Roomba 690 and 890 use a three-stage cleaning system that involves a combination of a main brush or a debris extractor, side brushes, and a powerful motor to suck in all that dirt, there is quite a difference between the two robot vacuums.

The Roomba 690 uses a main brush, and it has the AeroVac vacuuming technology.  AeroVac pulls off the hair, dust, dirt, and grime off the counter rotating brushes and puts all these into the dust bin.  It also uses AeroVac filters, which are enough to filter in dust, pet hair, and carpet fuzz.

The Roomba 890, on the other hand, makes use of the debris extractor.  This is brushless, which means that, unlike the counter-rotating brushes that need to be cleaned periodically lest all the hair caught in their bristles affect their efficiency, there would be much lesser need to clean it from tangles.

The Roomba 890 also has a more powerful motor that provides stronger suction.  In fact, suction is five times stronger in the Roomba 890 than in the Roomba 690.  The Roomba 890 also uses AeroForce High Efficiency filters, which is more effective in keeping the air clean than AeroVac filters do.

The AeroForce filters are guaranteed to trap 99% of the particles, pollen and allergens, as well as any dust that is less than 10 microns in size, into
the dustbin.

Winner:  Roomba 890 cleans more efficiently and needs less maintenance.

Entire level cleaning

Both the Roomba 690 and Roomba 890 are able to go back to their docks to recharge when their batteries run low.  However, neither one of them is able to resume cleaning automatically after recharging.

Other features that you would miss from both the Roomba 690 and 890:

  • Carpet boost: Get more suction power when your Roomba cleans a carpet.  This feature is only available on Roomba 980, and delivers 10x the suctioning power found in Roomba Series 600 models.
  • Edge cleaning: A dedicated cleaning mode that ensure that the edges of your walls and the area around your furniture are thoroughly cleaned. With edge cleaning feature turned on, your robot vacuum will first go through its normal round of cleaning and then goes towards the edges of walls and furniture, giving it another go and leaving them cleaner than it was.
  • Cleaning passes control: This feature allows you to specify that the robot vacuum cleans the same area twice.

Winner: Tie.

Wi-Fi support, Amazon Alexa compatibility and mobile app

The Roomba 690 and Roomba 890 are able to connect to your Wi-Fi network.  This allows you to use the Home mobile app installed on your smartphone to:

  • Operate your robot vacuum, including starting, stopping, or pausing a cleaning job.
  • Create your desired cleaning schedule easily.

Because of its compatibility with Amazon Alexa, you can also use voice commands to operate your robot vacuum.  Neither the Roomba 890 nor Roomba 690 can deliver Clean Map Reports.

Winner: Tie.  Both the Roomba 690 and Roomba 890 give you the same Wi-Fi connectivity options.

Full dustbin indicator

When it comes to a full dustbin, you will appreciate that the Roomba 890 alerts you when it is time to empty its dustbin.  With the Roomba 690, you are left wondering whether the dustbin is already full.

As a result, you would find that it is necessary to empty the Roomba 690’s dustbin after every cleaning to make sure that all the collected dust and dirt do not overflow and circulate back into the air.

Take note, however, that the Roomba 890 only lets you know when the dustbin is already full.  Even when the dustbin is filled to the brim, the Roomba 890 will still continue vacuuming until the job is finished.

With the Series 900 robots, though, you can choose between letting them finish the cleaning session first or letting them stop immediately so you could empty the dustbin first before they resume the cleaning job.

Winner: Roomba 890.

Spot cleaning

When you spill something on the floor, or when you can see that a particular area is dirtier compared to the rest, you can put the Roomba 890 or the Roomba 690 on spot cleaning mode.  In this mode, the robot vacuum goes on a spiral pattern over a small area, giving it a much thorough clean.

Winner: Tie.  Both the Roomba 890 and Roomba 690 offer spot cleaning.

Battery life and running time

Both the Roomba 690 and the Roomba 890 use lithium ion batteries that allow them to deliver a run time of one hour.

Winner: Tie

Design

One thing that you could say about the Roomba robot vacuums is that they are distinctive and immediately recognizable.  In other words, once you see a Roomba robot vacuum, you would know that it is a Roomba, regardless of what model it is.

iRobot has not made any noticeable changes to its iconic design.  Over the years, the Roomba has always been circular in shape.

There are, however, certain differences between the Roomba 690’s and the Roomba 890’s looks.  With the Roomba 690, iRobot has chosen to give it a silver finish.  Meanwhile, the Roomba 890 has the darker armadillo color.

The Roomba 690 also has a diameter of 13 inches and a height of 3.7 inches, making it narrower and slightly taller than the Roomba 890, which sports a 13.9-inch diameter and a 3.6-inch height.  What’s more, the Roomba 690 is 0.6 pounds lighter than the Roomba 890.

Winner: Roomba 890.  With the wider diameter and shorter profile, the Roomba 890 can cover a wider area when it cleans and can go under furniture with little less clearance than the Roomba 690 can.

Price

The Roomba 690 is sold by iRobot for only $374.99 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here).  The Roomba 890, meanwhile, is available for $499.99 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here).

Winner: Roomba 690.  It is $125 cheaper compared to the Roomba 890.

Side by side comparison: Roomba 690 vs. Roomba 890

  Roomba 690 Roomba 890
Manufacturer’s price $374.99  (For the latest prices and discounts, check here) $499.99  (For the latest prices and discounts, check here)
Navigation iAdapt iAdapt
AeroForce vacuuming technology No Yes
Entire level cleaning No No
Wi-Fi connectivity Yes Yes
AeroForce High Efficiency Filter No Yes
Carpet boost No No
Edge cleaning No No
Full bin indicator No Yes
Full bin action control No No
Onboard camera No No
Debris extractor No Yes
Scheduling Yes Yes
Cleaning passes control No No
Auto recharge Yes Yes
Manual docking Yes Yes
Spot cleaning Yes Yes
Lithium ion battery Yes Yes
Running times (minutes) 60 60
Remote control using app Yes Yes
Carrying handle Yes Yes
Dimensions (d x h, inches) 13.0 x 3.7 13.9 x 3.6
Weight (lbs.) 7.8 8.4

Final recommendations on the Roomba 690 and the Roomba 890

If you are in the market for an efficient yet affordable robot vacuum, then the Roomba 690 will not disappoint.  It delivers top-notch cleaning with advanced Wi-Fi connectivity features, control via the HOME mobile app, and voice command with Amazon Alexa devices.

However, for only $125 more, you get all of these connected features plus a better cleaning system.  The Roomba 890 might be more expensive but it cleans a lot better than the Roomba 690.

The more efficient cleaning plus the small conveniences offered by its features, such as having less hassles involved with the debris extractor and a full bin indicator notifying you that it is time to empty the dustbin, is a good reason for you to shell out a little more money for the 890.

About the author

Patrick Sinclair

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!

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