What is the difference between a cheap robot vacuum cleaner and an expensive one? Why is it worth overpaying for more expensive models and what are their advantages? In total, there are 5 main differences:
Building a map
And this is the first thing to think about before buying your first robotic vacuum cleaner. Most budget vacuum cleaners are not equipped with positioning systems and such devices move randomly, trying to imitate zigzags or cleaning the perimeter of the room. The main problem with such vacuum cleaners is the presence of several rooms in the apartment, which will put the vacuum cleaner into a stupor and certainly will not allow it to return to the base station. If you live in a studio apartment, then there will be no such problems.
Robot vacuum cleaners of the middle and premium segment are already equipped with laser navigation, gyroscope, SLAM and VSLAM cartography. The most accurate and advanced navigation can be considered laser lidar, which allows you to obtain information about space and obstacles using a high-precision laser. Such vacuum cleaners are not afraid of complexly furnished apartments, as they can build a map and move to any of the marked rooms. When buying your first robot vacuum cleaner, I recommend choosing from popular lidar models on the market. For example, Deboot N8 from my last review.
More thorough floor cleaning
At the heart of any robot vacuum cleaner is a pair of side shes and a turbo sh. More budget devices can only be equipped with side shes, which negatively affects the quality of cleaning. Therefore, when choosing the first robot vacuum cleaner, you should pay attention to the presence of a turbo sh. Now you will not surprise anyone with the presence of additional wet cleaning, so you should not concentrate on this.
The main difference between budget models and more expensive ones is not just the presence of a different design, but the ability to use their capabilities. So modern robotic vacuum cleaners can recognize carpets, perform hybrid cleaning (dry + wet) and automatically increase suction power in difficult areas. For those who think that wet cleaning is not worth the overpayment, I recommend walking around with white socks throughout the apartment for a week. The result will be visible even to the naked eye. More expensive models can be equipped with a vibrating motor that allows you to perform translational movements with a napkin when washing floors to simulate a mop. Well, do not forget about the suction power, which is measured in kPa. The logic is simple: the larger the value represented, the better.
Availability of consumables
When choosing a robot vacuum cleaner, you should pay attention to consumables. So, cheap models can be discontinued after a couple of months and it will not be possible to find spare parts, while devices of the middle price and premium segment will continue to fill the market with consumables for a long time. If you think that once you buy a robot vacuum cleaner, you will not need consumables, then you are deeply mistaken. Filters, side shes and turbo sh, all this becomes unusable after a while.
By purchasing a more expensive robot vacuum cleaner, you get the opportunity to update the software. Such actions can improve cleaning algorithms and optimize battery life. Budget devices can get banal software bugs that will have to be left alone, while expensive devices receive regular updates and smart home integrations. The latter allows you to monitor the status of consumables, remotely clean the premises and control the process. Budget models are launched “here and now” and only some devices receive a control panel with at least some launch settings. For example, as it is used in the Atvel R80 vacuum cleaner with gyroscope-based navigation.
This option is the prerogative of more expensive models of robotic vacuum cleaners, which allows less frequent maintenance of the device. During normal operation, I have to empty the garbage container every 2-3 cleanings, while the self-cleaning station can independently remove garbage up to 7-10 times. Moreover, garbage collection occurs by placing it in a special bag without the need to manually clean the container.
My first acquaintance with robotic vacuum cleaners happened back in 2018, when the Midea VCR12 budget device fell into my hands. After a short operation, I realized that cleaning without laser navigation does not suit me and I switched to the average price budget represented by Alfawise V10 Max. As compensation for the price, I received buggy software and almost no consumables. So after a while I upgraded to the next level and purchased ECOVACS DEEBOT N8. This robot vacuum cleaner is easy to learn, adequately builds a map of the premises (it can store up to 2 maps in memory), can recognize carpets and performs high-quality 2-in-1 cleaning at the same time. At the moment, DEEBOT N8 is sold at a good discount in the Smart Life store , which I talked about in a recent post about fulfilling Aliexpress warranty obligations.
I deliberately did not mention the issue of cost, since if you wish, you can find slightly outdated, but still relevant robot vacuum cleaners at an attractive price.
If you still have questions or you think that I missed some difference, please move to the comments.