Ecovacs Debot X1 Omni Update 1 (week 2 and all is well with this smart robovac/mop)

Ecovacs Debot X1 Omni Update 1 is part of a series exploring the robovac/mop in detail and devising devilishly clever tests to trick it up. The damn thing is so intelligent that so far, it is Ecovacs ‘1’ and reviewers ‘none’. Next week we will try it ‘commando’ – no house prep and lots of obstacles (evil laugh).

And as it is now in the market, we can stop using the pre-release test 2.1.5 firmware. The new version 2.2.2 cured a few bugs – not that we saw any.

We have now completed two vacuum runs and one vacuum/mop run with the Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni robovac/mop is like the best pizza with the lot (first look). We will test the unit for a few more weeks and update the review for final judging and scoring. It is looking pretty close to a high 9/10.

Initial observations

The hardest thing for potential buyers to grasp is that this is potentially fully automatic vacuuming and mopping – no human effort required. They need to know that this is the class leader – by a long shot.

It is not entirely perfect, but it is damned close. Ecovacs can and will issue firmware updates to fine-tune user experience.

Great

  • Cleaning speed is about 1m per minute
  • It is logical and intelligent – you can almost hear it think
  • Vacuum efficiency on hard and soft floors is excellent – it picked up 100% of particles up to a grain of rice
  • Mopping results are superior due to the rotating pads – no dragging an increasingly dirty static microfibre plate around
  • It is a stickler for cleaning the mopping pads – every 15 minutes, it returns to the station and takes about 2 minutes to clean before resuming cleaning. The dirty water shows what a good job it does.
  • Edge cleaning is better than any other robovac tested (two side-whiskers but also moves closer to the edge), but you still need a stick vac to do the edges and stairs
  • X1 is thorough. It knows if it has missed a spot (mapping is that accurate) and will go back
  • It has a very gentle touch and will patiently work its way around chair legs, obstacles and more without forcibly bumping into the object
  • Battery life is exceptional – 15 minutes vac/mop uses about 5% (total nearly 300 minutes)
  • No need to customise defaults – they are perfect, and it automatically increases suction when it needs to
  • Quick Map to set up the first Map is fast and accurate. As it vacuums and mops, it updates the Map and adds furniture names too
  • Editing the Map is easy – you can set areas to vacuum/mop or mop only
  • Video (using the forward camera) is fun, but we need to explore its use further (Home Patrol moves from room to room and does a 360° video in each), Video call (voice and video) and Arrival on command.

Working on it

  • 20mm ‘vertical’ sills can defeat it (such as where you may have laid floating wooden flooring over the existing floor). If you want genuinely reliable automated cleaning, you must address this by fixing the ramp angle. This may involve a different moulding, or Ecovacs may be able to change the firmware.
  • Carpet sensor prevents it from mopping carpet but also prevents it from entering hard floor areas off carpeted areas, e.g., a tiled bathroom off a carpeted bedroom. In some respects, the carpet sensor means you don’t have to set virtual barriers on carpeted rooms
  • OK, Yiko (voice) is still a work in progress. For example, ‘Follow my voice’ should be continuous to take it to a room, but it requires you to stand still until it finds you – no more than 2 metres away. And pronouncing it YI-KO won’t work. It is more ICK-O.

Is it worth $2500?

This is the question we will try to answer in the final review! Sure, there are better, dedicated, rovbovacs (Neato D10 at $1499 is probably the best robovac). The $599 Hobot Legee 7 (about to be replaced by a $799 Legee D7 robovac/mop) is pretty good. There are several cheaper generic Chinese self-cleaning robovac/mops too.

But the unmatched automated action of the Deebot X1 sets it apart. Like we said in the first look, it is a pizza with the lot made by a master pizza maker, and once you crave the best, it is hard to go back.

In fact, the only real competition is the Dyson V15 Detect vacuum – sees dust you can’t (review) and the Kärcher FC 7 cordless mop for a super effortless clean (review). The pair will set you back $2300, but they require manual labour to do the job.

On with cleaning – I am impressed (and that is not easy).

Debot X1 Omni Update 1



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