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If you are shopping for a robot vacuum, you’ve likely heard of Roomba. iRobot manufactures high-quality vacuums with the best performance and the latest features. The Roomba e5 and the Roomba 690 are just two in a long line of robot vacuums you have to choose from.
They offer much of the latest technology with the extra features you need in a robot vacuum without the high price of some of the others on the market. Let’s take a look at the features and how they compare.
Contents (Jump to)
- 1 Roomba e5
- 2 Roomba e5 Verdict
- 3 Roomba 690
- 4 Roomba 690 Verdict
- 5 Comparison Chart
- 6 Conclusion
The strong performance of the Roomba e5 combined with the features it offers give you an affordable robot vacuum that you can count on to do the job. It doesn’t have some of the advanced features that other robot vacuums have, but it is a solid performer and has just enough for the price.
The e5’s design is in line with all other Roomba vacuums. It is circular and sports the same color pattern as most of the vacuums in iRobot’s lineup. On the top of the unit, you see a Clean button, a Home button, and a Spot Clean button.
The Clean button turns the vacuum on and off. You can also use it to start and stop a cleaning. The Home button sends the unit to its docking station, where it will charge until you start your next clean. Spot Clean initiates a thorough cleaning cycle focused on a small area.
The bottom of the e5 has two brush rolls, three wheels, a spinning brush, a battery, and the dustbin. It is roughly the same size as other Roomba vacuums at 3.6 inches tall, 13.3 inches in diameter, and 7.2 pounds.
Parts and Accessories
Included in the Roomba e5 box are a virtual wall and the charging station. The charging base looks much like other Roomba charging bases. When the vacuum battery needs charging, it automatically returns to the charging station until it is full.
The virtual wall included with the e5 allows you to block off certain areas so your robot vacuum can’t enter or clean them. The linear line extends to ten feet while the radial line makes a circle four feet in diameter.
Most people find that scheduling cleans and controlling their vacuum from the smartphone app are the features they use the most. While the e5 may not have a lot of bells and whistles, it does come equipped to do these two things.
With the scheduling feature, you can set schedules to clean on a daily or weekly basis. If you set up your vacuum to clean after lunch every day, at the scheduled time, the robot will begin cleaning whether you are at home or away.
You can also schedule one-time cleanings if you know friends are coming over this Saturday night. You can schedule your cleaning for right before your friends arrive, so you don’t forget to tidy up.
Using the smartphone app allows you to control the e5 with your phone. Installing the app on your phone and then connecting your vacuum to it gives you the ability to control your vacuum from your phone, no matter where you are. You can start cleaning cycles while you’re at work or send the unit back to its base if you head home early and don’t want it in the way.
Using the Roomba e5 is straightforward and simple. It is easy to set up and use. It doesn’t involve any complex procedures once you take it out of the box. Once you unpackage it, set up the charging station and let it charge first. Then press Clean, and you’re on your way.
If you prefer to use your phone, download the app right away, connect it, and then begin cleaning at the tap of your finger. Everything you need to set up your new vacuum comes in the box. As long as you let it charge for the recommended two hours before using it, you won’t have any problems.
Once you press the Clean button, your vacuum will explore your home, picking up debris, dirt, and hair along its way. With this type of hands-free cleaning, you can do other chores or take a break.
Roomba e5 Pros:
- Wi-Fi connectivity
- Control vacuum through the smartphone application
- Powerful cleaning performance
- Easy to use and set up
- Create daily or weekly schedules
Roomba e5 Cons:
- Cannot recharge and resume current clean
- No onboard camera to create a map of your home
Roomba e5 Verdict
The Roomba e5 is a relatively new model, so it contains the latest in powerful suction and performance. It includes Wi-Fi connectivity, and the price tag is one that won’t hurt your wallet like other robot vacuums on the market.
The software makes it worth the cost to anyone who wants a robot vacuum but doesn’t want to spring for the more expensive models. It’s perfect for apartments or small homes without stairs. It is a reliable and robust vacuum from a well-known and quality manufacturer.
Roomba offers many different high-end models, and when you think of Roomba, you may think of a hefty price tag. However, they do offer middle-of-the-road models like the Roomba 690. It comes with Wi-Fi capabilities, a smartphone app, and voice commands via Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
Once again, the Roomba 690 comes in a circular shape with the silver and black color scheme of most other Roomba robot vacuums. It is short enough to squeeze under most of your furniture.
On the top of the unit is a large Clean button. This button can start, stop, or pause a cleaning cycle. Under the large Clean button is a Home icon. This one tells your vacuum to return to its docking station.
Above the Clean button is a backlit panel with icons indicating your battery status, Wi-Fi connectivity, and any other errors you might encounter. At a glance, you can see your vacuums health and address any issues that might alter performance. This is a nice feature that makes you feel like you’re getting more for the price, and adds to the aesthetics of the unit.
The back of the Roomba 690 contains a dustbin. The front of the 690 has an RCON sensor and a bumper. Underneath the unit are charging contacts, two wheels, a front roller, two roller brushes, a side brush, and cliff sensors.
Both a virtual wall and a charging station come with the Roomba 690. The slim and attractive square tower is the virtual wall that you can set up as a ten-foot straight line barrier or a circular boundary that is four feet in diameter.
Mobile Application and Setup
Set up is straightforward and easy out of the box. All you have to do is plug in the dock, pull the yellow tab out of the bottom, and set the unit on its base for charging. Charging it for the first time will take up to three hours.
Use this charging time to download the smartphone application through the Apple App store or the Google Play store. It will guide you through connecting your vacuum to Wi-Fi. It only supports a 2.4GHz network, so you can’t connect it to a 5GHz router.
The application is easy to use and intuitive. The button on the home screen is labeled Clean just like the button on top of the vacuum. You can tap it to activate the 690 from any location. You don’t have to be connected to the same network. You can even start a clean while you’re on vacation.
There is also a battery life indicator and extra menu options like Lifetime Performance Log, Weekly Schedule, and More.
Setting up a weekly schedule allows you to choose the time and day of your weekly clean and the 690 will run at the appointed time every week. This is a useful tool if you need light cleaning done on a regular basis.
The Lifetime Performance Log shows you a history of all of the Roomba 690 cleaning cycles. It includes things like the number of jobs, total duration, and individual statistics for each cycle.
Checking the More menu lets you Locate Roomba if you can’t find it. You can also find helpful tools like FAQs, care instructions, help videos, and advanced settings.
The Roomba 690’s suction is powerful enough to clean any floor. It will pick up dirt, dust, debris, and hair in carpets and on bare floors. It may have trouble climbing onto a rug from a bare floor. It may notify you that the unit is close to a ledge when it is near the carpet.
If you have dark carpet or flooring, the 690 may notify you quite a bit because it sees dark colors as edges, which can be frustrating. Currently, there is no solution for this problem, so you may find yourself having to move it manually when that happens.
A single charge lasts seventy minutes, so you’ll get plenty of cleaning done before it needs to be charged. This all depends on the size of your home, but a seventy-minute runtime is enough to clean at least a couple of rooms.
You can control the Roomba 690 with your voice if you connect it to your Google Home or Amazon Alexa. Just connect the device to your smart home assistant and then use your voice to start and stop cleanings, pause then, or send the unit back to its base. Google Home and Amazon Alexa can also give you status updates and tell you where your unit is if you lose it.
These voice commands are reasonably intuitive, so it won’t take long for you to get the hang of using it. This is a nice feature to have when your phone is across the room, or you don’t want to pull it out of your pocket.
Roomba 690 Pros:
- Mobile application for iOS and Android
- Works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
- Strong suction
Roomba 690 Cons:
- Confuses dark flooring with ledges
- Occasionally has trouble finding its dock
Roomba 690 Verdict
If you want a robot vacuum that you can control with your voice, your phone, or while you’re away, then take a look at the Roomba 690. You can connect it to Wi-Fi, and set up is easy. With the intuitive application, reliable performance, and many other features, it’s a robust tool. While it doesn’t offer an on-board camera or mapping technology, it can still offer a thorough clean with the technology you want to make it easy to operate from anywhere.
|Roomba e5||Roomba 690|
|Smart assistant integration||N||Amazon Alexa/Google Home|
|Entire level cleaning||N||Y|
Both the Roomba e5 and the 690 have Wi-Fi connectivity, a virtual wall, scheduling, a mobile application, and powerful suction. However, the 690 is compatible with your smart home assistant and includes ledge detection, so it won’t fall down the stairs.
These extra features come at a price, so while the 690 isn’t the most expensive vacuum on the market, it is more pricey than the e5. If you don’t need the extra voice command or ledge detection features, the e5 is a perfect choice. It still has all of the technology you need for an apartment or a home without stairs.
If you like the ability to control your vacuum with your voice, or you have stairs in your home, the 690 is a better option because you’ll find that it won’t get damaged by a fall if it ventures into dangerous territory.
Both vacuums provide superior cleaning technology at a reasonable price for the features they include, so the choice is yours. You know what suits your home and your lifestyle the best. Either way, you’re purchasing a quality unit from a reliable manufacturer.
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!