Decent run time. Quiet. Picks up hair and small debris well with rotating beater brush and front-side sweeps. Handles room transitions and differing terrain very well. Both remote control and wifi app control
Does not map room or learn. Takes a long time to find its base. Customer Service Stinks. Prone to 'dying'
If you're not going to overtax the device and you want to keep things clean and don't want to be disturbed while you do it, this is likely our best pick for entry-priced robot vacuums.Buy on Amazon
Strong Entry Level Robot Vacuum
The final lower-priced product that we looked at is the Deebot N79. This product has a lot of fans, but slightly more detractors than we'd be really happy with. 78% of the reviewers really love the product with 78% of the reviewers giving the vacuum 4 or 5 star reviews. We do have a little issue with the fact that 10% of reviewers gave the product a 1-star review. This is a little concerning to us.
As with any technology product in the low-end of price for the category, you're going to likely give up something in exchange for the price. In this case, the frequency of device failure is a little troubling. Most of the customers that experienced that were able to get a replacement from the manufacturer - once you got in touch with customer service, which seems to be a problem. The company is very honest with the fact that failure does in fact happen and the nonchalant response from them was a bit strange, but I do like the honesty of the company.
This is the only low-priced product that has a phone based app as its remote, so you will need decent wifi to connect to the vacuum to control it. Fortunately, the complaints with wifi issues weren't really evident on this one, unlike the Neato D7. The battery life is a little on the short side, rated at 100 minutes. Depending on your home or the area you'll use this in, this could be okay, but a few stories of finding a dead vac in the middle of the floor did pop up now and again.
Most of these robot vacuums will do what it is that is expected of them, which is pick up dust, dirt, pet hair and some stray objects laying around. The N79 is no different. There were a few customers that did side-by-side tests against iRobot products and were surprised at how close the amount picked up was, in some cases the N79 winning out against more expensive products. A fairly consistent compliment on the product is that the unit, in comparison to the iRobots is quiet. Several owners told us that they were unable to get on the phone with their Roomba but with the Deebot not only can they use the phone, they'd be willing to jump on a conference call it's so quiet.
There were a ton of people that love how simple life can be without the cleaning monkey on their back. Being able to constantly keep the floor clean is a real draw to the product category and the early reviewers of this product has those feelings and shout them from the rooftop. The big question is longevity. Fortunately, the N79 either dies really quick or there were no complaints about not working in a couple of months, so while living with a short vacuum life may be a reality in the robot vacuum category, this one may not break your heart.
We did mention that there are a lot of reservations regarding the high rate of product failure associated with both the N79 and the iLife products. If you're not going to overtax the device and you want to keep things clean and don't want to be disturbed while you do it, this is likely our best pick for entry-priced robot vacuums. The caveat is that you have to be pretty persistent with customer service as they do understand that there are issues with some of their vacuums.