Neato’s ever-expanding range of Botvac systems may leave you wondering which one is best. From modern design to connected functionality, each one has its strengths. Let’s take a look at them and then you can decide for yourself.
Neato Botvac D3
The Neato Botvac D3 has features like a navigation system operated by a smart laser and Wi-Fi connectability. The shape of the vacuum means that not only can it do open spaces well, but it can also navigate into corners and small spaces better than a traditional circle shape.
With one rounded half and one square half, the Botvac D3 offers a unique design from a lot of the other robot vacuum manufacturers, allowing it to navigate crevices and corners. It’s attractive in sleek matte gray with simple controls at the back, and the easily visible LED light gives notifications and alerts.
The unique way it backs into its docking station allows for it to get right to work the next time it starts a cleaning cycle. The roller brush on the front is the first thing to come in contact with dirt and debris instead of the last, meaning it’s more effective at sweeping.
The camera on the front gives it a clear view of the room and all obstacles so it can clean efficiently. The handle and dustbin on top make it easy for you to pick it up and empty it when it gets full.
The Botvac D3 weighs about eight pounds and is 12.7” x 13.2” x 3.9”. It’s a little taller than some other robot vacuums meaning cleaning under low furniture could be a problem.
How to Operate
Before cleaning, you should connect your Botvac D3 to Wi-Fi and pair it with your smart device with the Neato app. You can control your Botvac D3 from the app including starting and stopping cleaning cycles and scheduling them.
You can set how you want to receive alerts or notifications with status updates. You can always run cleaning cycles via the start button on the top, but connecting to the app enables more flexibility and control.
The Botvac D3 uses infrared lights to navigate each room. The bumpers that surround the robot allow it to bump gently along walls, furniture, and other edges without damaging them. Sensors on the front prevent it from falling down stairs.
The rolling brushes guide dirt, debris, and dust into the path of the suction, so the suction is more effective. The shape of the Botvac D3 eliminates the need for spinning brushes on the sides that collect dirt around edges.
The Botvac D3 cleans fifteen-foot square inches at a time using the left side for thorough edge-cleaning, which is where the rolling brush is located. The robot will return to the dock for charging if the battery gets low and then resume the cycle where it left off.
The Botvac D3 performs best on hardwood, tile, and other bare floors. The performance decreases on both low and high pile carpet. The rolling brush can cause debris to stick to the carpet in which case it doesn’t get sucked up.
While the buttons aren’t as intuitive as they could be, with the manual in hand, you can figure out how to use it fairly easily. Once you know how to use it, it’s easy to do. Connecting to Wi-Fi is easy, and once you get it set up, you shouldn’t have any problems.
If you have a smart home assistant like Alexa, Google, or Facebook Chatbot, you can start cleaning cycles with your voice and adjust the settings from a device other than the vacuum itself.
Maintenance of the Botvac D3 is easy and quick. Removing tangles from the rolling brush and emptying the dustbin are the only things you need to do on a regular basis.
Underneath the dustbin, a sticker displays recommended parts and replacement times for things like the brush, the battery, and the filter. The frequency with which you run your vacuum will determine how often you need to do this type of maintenance.
On average, the Botvac D3 costs more than a lot of other robot vacuums on the market, so it can get quite expensive if you run it often, which is its biggest drawback.
Battery and Run Time
The Botvac D3’s 2100 MAh lithium-ion battery charges in roughly five hours and gives you sixty minutes of runtime. It breaks up a 180-minute cleaning cycle into three 60-minute sessions. It should have an overall life of one to two years.
The Botvac D3 provides an excellent overall clean, but the price is a little high for the functionality. However, it does include a one-year limited warranty with a thirty-day return policy on Amazon. While the Botvac D3 isn’t a bad vacuum, it struggles with smaller particles like sugar.
Why Buy the Botvac D3
The Botvac D3 offers hands-free cleaning and a bagless dustbin system. It’s a modern robot vacuum with Wi-Fi capabilities and an application for your smart devices. You can schedule cleanings or start it manually.
If you are looking for a robot vacuum that is built with a circle and square combination design that can effectively clean corners and crevices, the Botvac D3 is one of the best options. It can clean corners that many others can’t. It’s also a great choice if you need a Wi-Fi enabled vacuum that you can control from anywhere.
The D3 Verdict
With the combined infrared navigation, unique design, and connectivity, the Botvac D3 is an excellent choice.
- Smartphone app
- Connects to Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Facebook Chatbot
- Taller than other smart vacuums
- Small battery
Neato Botvac D6
If you haven’t already figured it out, the Neato Botvac D6 series vacuums have a distinctive D-shaped design, and the Botvac D6 is no different. With many of the same features and some upgrades from the D3, the D6 has a lot to offer.
The same D-shaped design packs a lot of power in the corners, just like the D3. It’s short, but wide stature means it can get under furniture but may have trouble with tighter spaces like chair legs.
The Botvac D6’s brush is bigger than previous models, so it can pick up more dirt, especially pet hair. You can remove the brush to clean it, and it even comes with a tool to cut anything that gets wrapped around it.
The side brush sweeps dirt in from the side, pulling dust from the edges and corners for a more thorough clean. With an Ultra Performance Filter, the Botvac D6 picks up allergens along with the dirt. The app tells you when it’s time to replace this filter, which is a nice feature for those with severe allergies.
How to Operate
With one press of the power button on top of the Botvac D6, you can clean your entire house, avoiding obstacles and stairs along the way. However, with the D6, double tapping the button initiates the spot-clean mode, focusing on a seven-foot-square. This comes in handy when you want to clean a specific spot, like after cooking in the kitchen.
Hooking your Botvac D6 to Wi-Fi unlocks the true power behind this robot vacuum. Connecting it to Wi-Fi is easy, and you can even connect more than one robot vacuum to the Neato application.
Before cleaning, you should create floor maps. You can do this by allowing your robot vacuum to explore. The D6 will leave its docking station and map the room it is in. While you can save up to three maps at a time, you have to save them by starting from the docking station, so that means you have to move the docking station around.
After you save the map, mark any areas that are off-limits for the robot, and it won’t ever clean those areas. While you can specify rooms you don’t want the robot to enter, it’s more difficult to prevent it from cleaning a rug in the map area. For that, you need to use the magnetic tape included in your box, giving your robot a virtual boundary.
These off-limits areas will only work if you use the ap to start a cleaning cycle and the vacuum is docked. If you want to use a different map, you need to move the docking station back where it was when you created that map.
If the vacuum has trouble locating itself, it will ignore all maps and off-limits areas and venture out on its own, avoiding obstacles, and cleaning what’s in its path. Because the Botvac D6 uses lasers for its navigation, it has no problem working in the dark.
The Botvac D6 is equipped with two cleaning modes. The Turbo cleaning mode uses suction power and a higher brush speed to eliminate stubborn spills. The Eco mode is quiet, but less efficient, best used for routine cleanings.
You can always schedule your routine cleanings to take place while you’re away, so you don’t have to be bothered by a robot vacuum under your feet. You can also start and stop cleanings from the app, meaning you can do that from anywhere outside of your regular schedule.
Bare floor and carpet performance with the Botvac D6 are both excellent. Edge and corner cleaning are superb. The Botvac D6 will clean up any mess, even small particles like flour or sprinkles.
Many people won’t deal with these kinds of spills on a daily basis, so routine cleanings are no problem for the Botvac D6, but it is nice to know that it will be there for you to do the tough jobs when you need it.
The Botvac D6 supports Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT. You can use your voice with Alexa or Google to start or stop a clean. If you have multiple Neato vacuums connected, simply tell it which one you want to obey the command, and it will.
Using IFTTT with your Botvac D6 increases your functionality considerably. You can trigger your vacuum to do specific tasks based on an action you take, a time of day, or a particular calendar event.
If you want your robot to clean when you leave the house, set an IFTTT event. If you want it to pause when your phone rings, set up an event. If you want your vacuum to return to its dock when you come home, no matter where it is in its cleaning cycle, set up an event for that, too.
The floor mapping navigation is excellent with the Botvac D6. The laser navigation can see in the dark, and you can use the Gentle Navigation if you find that it has trouble running into obstacles sometimes.
It’s low profile enough to get under a couch or chair, but it may have trouble with a kitchen table because of all of the chair and table legs. Sometimes you need to pull out the chairs to give it some room to do its job.
It can climbs from bare floors to carpeted areas and back with little trouble, and the drop sensor prevents it from falling down the stairs.
Maintenance once again depends on how often you use your vacuum, but Neato has recommendations on your product to give suggested parts and replacement intervals. The primary difference is in the extra side brush and the air filter that may need to be changed more often to accommodate pet hair and allergens.
Battery and Run Time
The battery lasts up to 120 minutes in the Eco mode, but if it does run low, it returns to the dock by itself and picks up where it left off when it’s full again. Charging only takes 150 minutes, which is considerably faster than the D3.
Increased functionality make the Botvac D6 an attractive option. It’s pricey, but not overly so, and you get what you pay for in this model in terms of features and cleaning power. It’s worth the price you pay for an easy to operate robot vacuum.
Why But the Botvac D6
With the added floor plans and an increased number of cleaning modes, the D6 has everything you need to get a thorough clean in between using a traditional vacuum or mop. There would seem to be little reason for buying an older model unless you don’t need the added functionality.
The Botvac D6 gives you the connectivity you need with the features you want and provides a great clean without having to lift a finger.
The D6 Verdict
The Botvac D6 provides a powerful and flexible clean with everything you want from a robot vacuum. Connectivity, mapping, navigation, and ease of use make the D6 an excellent buy.
- Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT connectivity
- Smartphone app
- Laser navigation for night vision
- Save up to three maps
- Mark off limits areas
- To use maps, docking station needs to be where the map was created
- May have trouble with some obstacles
- Could be too tall for some low profile furniture
It would seem at first glance that the Botvac D6 is the logical choice. As far as overall value goes, that may be true. But the D3 is worth a second look because it is cheaper than the D6 and offers the connectivity and convenience you need in a hands-free system.
The D6 offers a lot more, and if you’re looking for something with smart mapping and navigation, it is definitely worth the larger price tag. The decision is yours, and no matter what you decide to go with, you’re getting a quality product supported by an excellent manufacturer.