If we’re being truthful with ourselves then we have to admit that advances in modern technology make us lazy. Remote controls let us stay in our comfy seats without the need to get up and change what we’re watching.
Smart apps let us turn the lights on or off, adjust the temperature, or warm-up the oven, all at the touch of a button. Of course, robot vacuums make us lazy too. We no longer have to pull our uprights out of the closet, unwind the cord, and plug it in.
Some of the smarter robot vacuums on the market make it so that we don’t even have to worry about emptying the dirt bin every time the unit cleans the floors.
One such device is the Shark IQ robot vacuum. Like the Roomba i7+, the Shark IQ robot vacuum has an auto-empty feature that removes the dirt in the bin without you needing to mess with it every time it cleans.
It also offers many other features that we’ll dig into as we review this new robot vacuum. So let’s find out exactly what the Shark IQ has to offer.
Contents (Jump to)
- 1 Design and Setup
- 2 Additional Features
- 3 A Little on the Noisy Side
- 4 Learns as It Goes
- 5 Shark IQ Frequently Asked Questions
- 6 Should You Get a Shark IQ
- 7 What Do We Think?
Design and Setup
At first glance, the Shark IQ doesn’t look all the much different than other offerings in the Shark robot vacuum lineup. It’s round and black, and when you first take it out of the box, it comes with the wheels, brush roll, and main pieces already installed.
If you want to finish putting your robot together, the only thing you have to do is simply snap the two front brushes into place. It’s quick and easy, which is nice to have with any smart device.
Along with the unit itself, you’ll get the base, which is where the vacuum empties its contents. It’s also the charging dock for the Shark IQ. Additionally, the robot vacuum comes with a mat. This is for those who keep their units stored on a carpeted surface.
Setting up the Shark IQ is relatively simple. It only requires a few minutes of your time and isn’t at all complicated. You’ll want to be sure you completely charge the robot vacuum before you use it the first time.
While it’s charging, take a few minutes to download the Shark mobile app. It’s available on both iOS and Android and it will give you the ability to control your unit via Alexa voice controls.
Did We Mention It Empties Itself?
Yes, we know, it’s not the first robot vacuum to market to perform such a trick, but it still sounds glorious when you listen to the dirt and debris being removed from the device and into the canister.
The canister doesn’t require a bag, so you don’t have to mess with buying replacement bags. Plus, it’s better for the environment.
With the self-emptying feature, you don’t have to remove the bin from the vacuum every time it cleans. You can let it go for roughly one month, then simply pick up the canister, push a button, and release the dirt and dust into your trash receptacle.
One of the biggest challenges with Shark ION robot vacuums has been mapping and navigation technologies. The Shark IQ comes with a smart navigation sensor. This aids it in avoiding obstacles and objects that lie around your house.
Additionally, it’s not going to repeatedly clean the same area multiple times, something that was an issue with previous iterations of Shark’s robot vacuums. The IQ establishes a map of your floorplan and uploads it to the mobile app, so you can see it right from your smartphone.
This type of technology allows the Shark IQ to clean only specific areas in your home. You can use the mobile app to define exactly where the unit can go. So if you only want to clean your living room, just tell the Shark IQ, and that’s the only place it’ll go.
Impressive Suction Power
The Shark IQ has incredible suction power. It’s not a stretch to say that it might be as powerful as many of the uprights available on the market. After it cleans, your floors will be clear of debris, dust, and pet hair that has gathered throughout your home.
However, what will really impress you about the Shark IQ robot vacuum is its ability to pick up larger dirt and debris. If you have a lot of trees near your home, or your kids tend to track in a lot of dirt, the Shark IQ will take care of both.
If you aren’t a fan of using your smartphone to keep your robot vacuum out of certain areas, then Shark provides magnetic strips you can set up to restrict specific areas. There are eight-foot long strips that tell your Shark IQ where it can and cannot go.
For example, if you have pets in your home, then you might want to use the strips to create a barrier around their food area. The magnetic strips are also useful if you have areas with a lot of cables and cords and you don’t want the vacuum to go over them.
As a result, you don’t have to mess with moving anything out of the way before your robot vacuum sets out on its cleaning cycle. Just sit back, and let the Shark IQ take care of cleaning your floors.
The Shark IQ isn’t just a one-trick pony though. It will do more than clean your floors and empty itself into a canister. For example, you can set your Shark IQ on a cleaning schedule, so it will clean when you need it to.
Sometimes this type of feature isn’t all that beneficial since you have to remember to empty the bin when you get home. However, with the ability to empty itself into its canister, you can let the unit run on a schedule for up to a month before you have to worry about dumping it out.
As a result, you’re getting a robot vacuum that provides a truly automated experience for its users.
Not only does the Shark IQ have a 90-minute lifespan, but it also offers a recharge and resume feature. That means if it runs out of juice while it’s in the middle of a cleaning cycle, it’ll head back to its dock to recharge.
Once it’s ready to go again, it will pick up right where it left off, so no areas or rooms are missed.
The Shark IQ will also talk to you. If it’s experiencing any troubles or difficulties, it will let you know. Additionally, Shark has a “find my robot” option in the mobile app that helps you locate your robot vacuum if it gets stuck in a closet or under a piece of furniture.
Lastly, you can control your Shark IQ with your voice. It’s compatible with Google Home and Amazon Alexa, so when you want it to start a cleaning cycle, all you have to do is tell your smart assistant.
A Little on the Noisy Side
The Shark IQ is pretty noisy when compared with other robot vacuums. It’s not too bad when it’s cleaning your floors, however, it’s extremely loud as it empties dirt from its bin into its canister. Don’t be surprised if it startles you or your pets the first few times it happens.
Of course, if you run your robot vacuum when you’re not at home, then you don’t have to worry about how loud it is. But if you spend the majority of your time at home, then you should be aware that the Shark IQ makes quite a bit of noise.
Learns as It Goes
It only takes the Shark IQ about a week to learn the layout of your home and create a complete floorplan. During this time, the only way to keep the robot vacuum out of certain areas is to use the magnetic strips. Once the floorplan is finished, you can use the smartphone app to tell your Shark IQ where it can and cannot go.
Another problem you might encounter while the Shark IQ learns about your home is the unit’s ability to find its dock. It may take a few minutes, but if the vacuum can’t find the dock, it will tell you that it needs help. Simply place the device on the dock manually to help it learn.
It won’t take long, but eventually, the Shark IQ will know exactly where it needs to go every time it cleans.
Shark IQ Frequently Asked Questions
People always have questions when researching new products. Here are some of the things you may be curious about.
What’s the difference between the Shark ION and the Shark IQ?
The Shark IQ rings up at a slightly higher price point than most of the Shark ION robot vacuums because it contains more advanced technology. The primary difference you’ll find in the Shark IQ is that it has true navigation, allowing it to map your home and know exactly where it is.
That means it can clean more efficiently and preserve the battery. If the battery does die during a cleaning cycle, it can go to the dock for recharging and then resume the cleaning cycle where it left off.
You’ll also enjoy the luxury of a self-emptying dustbin with the Shark IQ, which doesn’t come as an available feature on any of the Shark ION models. However, the Shark ION robot vacuums are still an excellent value for the features they include.
Is the self-emptying dustbin worth it?
This is a question you’ll have to answer for yourself. Every robot vacuum gives you the added convenience of hands-free vacuuming. Some come with Wi-Fi capabilities so you can control them with the app from wherever you are.
However, the Shark IQ is the only robot vacuum from Shark that has a self-emptying dustbin with a view window and bagless design. As you’ve already discovered, that means you have to do even less work emptying the dustbin. You may have to empty it every thirty times your vacuum works instead of every time.
It’s effortless and easy, but so is emptying the dustbin on the unit. It doesn’t take much time at all to open the dustbin on the unit, remove it, empty it, rinse it, and reinsert it. However, remember that if you want the advanced technology of the Shark IQ, the self-emptying dustbin comes with it.
Is the Shark IQ robot vacuum worth the price?
Ultimately, this is another question you have to answer for yourself. However, for the technology it includes, the price point is extremely reasonable. Other robot vacuums with this same technology cost almost double.
The Shark IQ features durable construction, a great design, and powerful suction. You won’t be disappointed. You won’t find a better value on the market than this robot vacuum, if the advanced technology at an affordable price is what you want.
Should You Get a Shark IQ
If you’re in the market for a robot vacuum, you’ll be hard-pressed to find one that offers the features for the price. It will get your floors clean and you don’t have to mess with dumping the bin for nearly a month. What could be better than that?
If it were up to us, everyone would have one of these amazing robot vacuums in their homes.
- Camera-based navigation.
- Wifi and mobile application support.
- Google Home and Amazon Alexa voice controls.
- Schedule cleanings by room.
- 90-minute battery life.
- Recharge and resume.
- Virtual walls with magnetic strips.
What Do We Think?
We really like the Shark IQ robot vacuum. It’s powerful and practical and solves a lot of the issues people tend to run into when purchasing a robot vacuum.
Of course, it’s not perfect. It’s loud when it cleans and empties its contents into the canister, and it does take some time to learn the layout of your home. Aside from those two drawbacks, it’s really hard to find fault with the unit.
It offers wifi capabilities, a mobile application, scheduling, recharge and resume, and of course, it empties itself. If you’re looking for more in a robot vacuum at this point and time, you’re going to have trouble finding it.
If you’re in the market for a quality, affordable robot vacuum, the Shark IQ is a great choice.
Justin obtained his MBA at Baker University. He loves learning and writing about smart home technology and has a passion for its application. Justin brings a wealth of writing experience to the All Home Robotics team and enjoys discovering new and creative ways to implement smart home technologies into his own home (and sharing his findings here)!