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Ecovacs Robotics makes it clear in its name what the company is all about and, since launch in 2006, they have established themselves among the most innovative robotic vacuum cleaner manufacturers around – and big sellers with it. The China-based company competes with the likes of ILIFE for market share, targeting a slightly lower price point and market segment than the likes of iRobot with the Roomba. The Ecovacs Robotics Deebot N79S ranks as their most popular current model, designed to boast a versatile clean at a price that shouldn’t put off too many buyers. It immediately pulls ahead of some competing robot vacuums at this price point thanks to excellent connectivity and a mobile app, but there is always much more to a robot vacuum and our opinion of it than connectivity – and we expect a great clean too. The key features and takeaways, together with our overall rating, are revealed below.
- Excellent connectivity including mobile app and connectivity to Amazon’s Alexa
- Scheduled cleaning to ensure a thorough, regular clean across entire floors
- Four cleaning modes including power boost on particularly dirty spots
- Impressive runtime at this price point – cleans for 100 minutes on a single charge
- Effective anti-drop sensor to clean upstairs and with open external doors without issue
- Two side brushes to ensure thorough cleaning in corners and along edges
It seems to be a collective decision among Chinese robotic vacuum cleaners to target a mainstream market with a low price point, without compromising too much on features. We saw it recently on the ILIFE V3S Pro, which is potentially the Ecovacs Robotics Deebot N79S’s closest competitor, and this model is very similar.
Upon opening up the package, buyers will be greeted by a familiar sight, primarily if they have owned a robot vacuum cleaner at this price point previously. The Deebot N79S is black and circular, a description that could be applied to over 90% of the robot vacuums out there today.
Joining the robot in the box are a remote control and a couple of spare brushes. We have mentioned in the past that we do like it when these connected robot vacuums come with a remote control too. At relatively little cost, they ensure that those that do not use smartphones or prefer not to use an app can still get a lot out of the unit without the need to turn it on manually each time. The standard warranty on this model stands at 12 months, which is what we would expect from any robot vacuum, and then we have the charging base.
When you remove the vacuum from the packaging, you’ll be struck by just how robust it feels. Weight plays a part for us, as whether you need to take it up and down the stairs or empty it; lighter tends to be better. A lightweight robot vacuum this is not. At 4.3 kg, you’ll either be in the camp that considers is reassuringly sturdy, or far too heavy to move around too often. The closest competitor, the ILIFE V3S Pro, comes in at 2 kg and even the notoriously heavy iRobot Roombas are lighter – the iconic Roomba 981 packs in far more tech than this device and still manages to come in slightly lighter at 3.94 kg.
We’ll get the connectivity out of the way early as it is as good as can be expected for the price. The Ecovacs Robotics Deebot N79S is compatible with Amazon Echo devices and Google Home for voice-activated cleaning, and the mobile app works with your Wi-Fi for remote activation. There are options here too. You can start a clean from anywhere in the world as long as you have an internet connection, but if you would rather take the pressure off, you can set a schedule through the app or remote for a regular clean. Just remember to empty the robot vacuum regularly too so as not to compromise the cleaning potential.
What makes regular emptying even more pertinent is the relatively small dust box on this unit. At 0.45 litres, it falls a little short of our standard expectations, which stand at an average of 0.6 litres. However, scheduled cleaning does mean that there should not be too much to pick up each time. Once you have done a couple of thorough cleans to get things started, the Deebot N79S should be comfortable being left alone for a few days on the schedule.
The battery life of this model enhances the feeling of this being a mostly independent cleaner too. It can clean for 100 minutes on a single charge, which should be sufficient for even larger homes. As always, when it feels the job is done or it runs out of battery life, it will automatically return to base and commence recharging.
We don’t put too much stock in charge times, as it is unlikely that you’ll require more than 100 minutes of cleaning before you allow the robovac to recharge fully, but at 4 hours for that full recharge, we can have few complaints.
With great connectivity and an excellent battery, there was bound to be a compromise somewhere, and that comes in the overall cleaning capabilities. On paper, this is a relatively weak robovac with 1,000 Pa of suction. That is not unusual at this price point – the ILIFE V3s Pro mentioned previously clocks in at just 850 Pa – but you do not need to spend too much more for a significantly superior clean. For another £50 or so, you can introduce the highly-rated Eufy RoboVac 15C into your home, and the 2,000 Pa suction it brings with it.
Nevertheless, a core goal when you buy a robot vacuum at this price point is that it is good enough. You know from the retail figure alone that there are better robot vacuums out there, but we must admit that the Ecovacs Robotics Deebot N79S strikes an excellent balance. The manufacturer knows what it is doing with well over a decade of experience, and this model was clearly designed to appeal to as wide a range of potential customers as possible.
Ecovacs Robotics Deebot N79S – Pros and Cons
- Good cleaning across most surfaces, including hard floors and low-pile carpets
- Impeccable connectivity for the price, including app and separate remote control
- Excellent battery life at this price point
- Relatively loud compared to other robovacs at 65 dB when in operation
- Unsuitable for thicker carpets and rugs
- Not the most powerful robot vacuum at the price point with 1,000 Pa of suction
Ecovacs Robotics Deebot N79S – The Verdict
Among the features you will not find on the Ecovacs Robotics Deebot N79S are return and recharge, where the robot vacuum will head back to base when the battery is low before automatically continuing, and any form of mapping. The device incorporates plenty of sensors for potential drops and obstacles, but there is no particular pattern it follows for cleaning. If you wish to overcome this, you’ll have to extend your budget quite a bit further, and you’ll find reassurance in the fact that even significantly more expensive models like the Eufy Robovacs and even the iRobot Roomba 671 do not boast such functionality. There are no virtual walls here either, and if you wish to limit cleaning to individual rooms for any reason, you’ll have to go with the old-fashioned way of closing doors.
Ecovacs Robotics Deebot N79S Review
The Ecovacs Robotics Deebot N79S shines for those that want the connectivity it offers. Apps and voice activation are still hit or miss at this price point, but the N79S delivers in style. Echo and Google Home devices are limited in what they can do for any model, and you will not achieve much more than starting and stopping the clean using this device. However, we get the impression that this device is designed to be future proof and as more options become available, you’ll have no issues with taking full advantage of them using this robot. If that connectivity is not a priority, then you may be better off using your budget on more suction power, a lighter form-factor and quieter operation, as found on the likes of the Bagotte BG600. That model comes with a remote control, but no apps or Wi-Fi and sits around the same price as this one. However, if you have already romanticised the idea of starting a clean as you leave work to get home to a pristine floor, then the Ecovacs Robotics Deebot N79S performs well enough in every other area to be worth the price.
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