As with all previous Roomba⣹s there are things to like and things that I don⣹t enjoy. It ⣹s going to be challenging for me to not gift a few Roomba 980⣹s this year.
At the bottom, I⣹ll suggest a number of choices and make an overall recommendation.
Essential Attributes ⤙ What⣹s New with the Roomba 980
The following are some of the new, upgraded, and noteworthy attributes on the 980:
More Battery Charge Life: The Roomba 980 is capable of running fro a full 2 hours before needed to recharge. That is a personal best for Roomba. It⣹s still not Lithium-ion (for people who enjoy that), but it really is an improvement.
iRobot HOME Program: For me, this really is the game changer. I⣹ve been waiting for robot vacuums to become fully integrated into the house experience that is bright. iRobot is the first robot vacuum firm ⤙ to my knowledge ⤙ that's an app like this. You'll be able to press on ⢹Clean⣙ from everywhere and the 980 will start/stop as desired. This can be perfect for individuals who are on the go (like me). If I⣹m at work or out of your house, I will get while I⣹m away things started. The app is simple enough to use and essentially functions as an innovative remote control. On the Roomba⣹s that is older you could have a pre-determined schedule to run every day, but not instant control like this!
New Navigation System: It⣹s actually more of an upgrade. In addition to the traditional ⢹fender⣙ sensors, the Roomba 980 now features the ⢹VSLAM⣙ (Visual Simultaneous, Localization, and Mapping) technology. This is a big deal. Essentially it enables the visual localization enables the Roomba to ⢹look⣙ out and up to help navigate and map the room. This can be the kind of ground-breaking improvement that greatly enhances the 980 over previous versions. What does this mean almost? Bumping into things at random and a more organized ⤙ and efficient ⤙ cleaning route.
Matters I like and Things I Don⣹t
It means everything to me: It⣹s reasonably easy and straightforward, although the App is Wonderful. Being able to control my robot from my phone means the Roomba is currently part of my smart home family. Picking up on where tools like Ecobee smart thermostats and the Nest have left off, iRobot has really provided on a smart, net-joined, roomba vacuum. I considering the options for future integration with controllers and my various smart home programs.
Program Helps Monitor Maintenance: There's a very trendy ⢹diagnostics⣙ portion of the app that tracks different parts of the Roomba and uses straightforward bars to let you know when things have to be altered or serviced (think emptying the bin, altering extractors, filters, etc⤹). Additionally, it tells you precisely how you can perform the desired care demand.
Better on Carpets: Robots vacuums always often perform better on hardwood floors and hard floor alternatives (tile, etc⤹). Now, the recently redesigned motor is particularly good at adapting to carpeting surfaces as well. Once detected, a little more muscle wills engage to completely clean carpets the manner they should be cleaned. In a side by side test with my Roomba 880 (and a bunch of spilled crushed cheerios), both ⢹appeared⣙ to clean the same at a distance, but the 980 really could pick up more of the crumbs that had filtered down to the underparts of the the carpet. It was a subtle difference, challenging t tell from standing up but an important difference however.
The new app, the battery that is stronger and the automatic recharging/resume attribute makes the Roomba 980 more hands free than both previous models and the contest. Slowly but surely, home robotics is living up to it⣹s assurance. If you hate vacuuming physically or ⤙ cannot do it this is the alternative that is outsourced that is quintessential. Short of hiring cleaning help, the Roomba 980 is the best option out there.
Navigation is Apparently Enhanced: I will scarcely tell the difference and Sometimes new attributes are added. For cleaning in a randomized, haphazard pattern previously, Roomba⣹s have had the knock. While the end result was clean floors, how it occurred wasn⣹t pretty. Nevertheless, it was also a bit inefficient. It was among the comparisons I enjoyed about most Neato models. The 980 is efficient, methodical, and considerably more organized.
It bumps into matters to gain its bearings, particularly in rooms with lots of furniture. Merely not nearly to the amount it did in the past. On careful observation it will not keep doing it with exactly the same wild abandon and appears the 980 will recall these ⢹bumps⣙ for future cleans.
Smarter Algorithm: This robot is actually smarter than it⣹s forerunners and the competitors.
Generally, I found the 980 spent much less time than both my 880 and Botvac⣹s (contained the new Linked Botvac) pausing and calculating as it creates the map of the room.
Strong Secondary Components Marketplace: Unlike other robot businesses, the Roomba has a deluge of after market companies specializing in creating better replacement accessories and parts. For instance, I⣹ve been able to locate replacement batteries that are not worse than the factory default ones.
Excellent Customer Service: iRobot is still the leader when it comes to customers service. This more of a general ⢹ace⣙ and particular to the model, but worth noting. They've been also not bad at walking you through diagnosing difficulties.
Better Suction Total: My two quasi scientific ways of measuring this are that A) I can sense a lot more wind/air coming from the device and B) those larger particles of grit that only high powered vacs have a tendency to get are being captured in the dust bin.
App Could be More: because I⣹m thrilled with the new program This isn⣹t actually a legit gripe. It⣹s more of a wish. Like to completely integrate my Roomba with the rest of my smart home I⣹d. It'd be pleasant in order to handle everything from one program (and one control like the SmartThings Hub and others). It probably wouldn⣹t be hard to do and it may be something iRobot plans to do anyway.
Not ⢹Perfect⣙: It⣹s a definite progress, but it⣹s still not perfect. Power cords occasionally confused it and can have trouble with sizable brinks. Once in a while it will get stuck, but once you find out the issue areas, it⣹s not difficult to ⢹Roomba proof⣙ your house. It⣹s not quite like a person⤹.yet.
Competition on the Way? Both the Dyson Eye and the Neato Botvac Joined are rumored to be coming out ⢹ soon. How soon? I can⣹t actually tell. The Botvac Joined (which features similar program controls) will likely be out occasionally this year, but no firm release date has been set. I haven⣹t heard much recently about an anticipated release date, although the Dyson Eye has been rumored to be in the works for years. It could still be 6-12 months away. What this means is that the Roomba 980 could have some harder competition on the horizon. Right now, the 980 is the greatest robot out there, but that could change. Especially if the price points are more affordable, Roomba could be severely undercut. UPDATE: The Dyson 360 Eye has recently been released. In general, it has a vacuum that is more powerful, but less room that is capable -to-room navigation. You'll be able to read my complete review for more details.
Doesn⣹t Work in Complete Darkness: As long as there is some light i.e. you can see your way around, the 980 should work fine. However, for pitch black rooms you may necessarily get an error code. My simple solution is to keep night lights on in every room that needs it.
It worth noting, although carpet Boost is Loud: It picks up more dirt, so I⣹m a happy customer. Don⣹t plan on sleeping in the exact same room.
Other Roomba 980 Options to Consider
If the price is too much of a sticking point, not to worry. There are other great vacuums with contemplating.
Occasionally last years model is the best value. Sure, it⣹s not the latest and greatest, but it nonetheless can offer many of the same advantages. Until the 980 was released the Roomba 880 WAS the cream of the crop. At some time, it was the best robot vacuum money could buy. The AeroForce cleaning system that is patented is 50% more successful at cleaning up debris compared to the 700 series. This, combined with a a remote control, an improved battery, and a larger dust bin made it the most hands free apparatus at the time. Now it ⣹s the 2 nd best. It doesn⣹t have the use that is groundbreaking, but it has all the other key characteristics for a real runner up. Most of all, it⣹s a total cheaper compared to the 980 (check this listing for even steeper discounts). Still expensive, but a lot less so.
I wasn⣹t overly impressed with the initial Botvac release, but the new ⢹D⣙ chain has made some advancements that are helpful. Notably, they⣹ve repaired a problem with the brush (by changing a bearing) to ensure it is less susceptible to getting tangled (particularly with person and pet hair, within my experience). The Botvac D80 doesn⣹t only seem better, it also performs better than preceding Neato models. The suction power is the greatest yet and arguably comparable to the new Roomba 980. It⣹s still relatively easy to schedule and use, although still, you won⣹t get the program managements. The patented laser navigation technology means more courses that are organized and it generally works quite well. You can see this listing here, where it generally sells for less in relation to the top line Roomba⣹s.
It⣹s been around for some time, but it⣹s not still false. It⣹s also MUCH less expensive. You are able to read my full take here. If budget is the top concern, attempt the 650 out if it⣹s good enough on your needs to see. Yes, it⣹s missing a bunch of pleasant ⢹extras⣙ but the center cleaning technology is till there. The 650 is ideal for people who have small dwellings, flats, or merely a small area they desire regularly cleaned. It will not come with the standard HEPA filter (great for those with allergies and pet owners) like the 880 and 980, but the AeroVac filter does a good enough job. On the whole, this is a terrific robot for those just getting started, interested to see if the technology works for their needs. Best of all, you are able to find the 650 for an extremely affordable price at this listing.
Believing Cleaner Faceplate
I was a little skeptical of this ⢹work-around⣙ at first, but it really works reasonably well. Presuming Cleanser was the outcome of a successful Kickstarter campaign. It functionally adds WiFi ability to any Roomba 500 or 600 series robot. Skeptical? I was too. Basically, you attach a ⢹faceplate⣙ that changes your Roomba. It⣹s simple enough to attach. It is possible to do most of the same functions in intuitive manner and a polished⣙, merely as the Roomba 980 WiFi. If you have to locate your lost Roomba the program is quite strong and will let you schedule slightly, alarm you when your Roomba needs help and even plays a song. It⣹s accessible just for a fraction of the price of a Roomba that is new here.
I⣹ll caveat by saying that 1) it⣹s still ⢹laggy⣙ 2) reduces typical run time by about 10-15% and 3) it⣹s not native to iRobot (third party program). Thinking Cleanser is working on a brand new faceplate for the 700/800 series, but as of yet it only exists as a Kickstarter endeavor here.
Who is this a great option for? 1) Existing owners of a 500 or 600 series Roomba. 2) Prospective buyers who need WiFi ability, but can⣹t afford/don⣹t desire to spend too much on the 980. For example, by purchasing a fresh Roomba 650 and Believing Cleaner Faceplate, you will be run .
As I mentioned previously, the rumored Dyson Eye is formally under development. Who knows when it'll be released. They have but only at that stage it'll be unlikely to strike before the 2015 Holiday season. The new attributes on the Roomba 980 may actually cause them to delay release until the core features can be matched by them.
The option that is fascinating is the the Neato Botvac ⢹Connected⣙ robot which plans to add similar WiFi ability to the Roomba 980. You can read more here. It would seem sensible about them to release it prior to the 2015 Holiday season, but they⣹ll have to get it done shortly to capitalize entirely.
UPDATE: See my full review.
Roomba 980 vs Botvac Linked
I⣹ll be writing a complete comparison up soon, but I desired to touch on this briefly because I⣹ve been getting a lot of questions about it.
The Roomba 980 and Botvac Linked feature WiFi enabled control. This is undoubtedly the headline feature for both. I personally prefer the Roomba program better, but both are similar in terms of characteristics/use.
What are the Crucial Differences? 1) The Botvac Connected is significantly more affordable (generally about $200 less), but see this listing for up to date info. 2) The Botvac now has ⢹Eco⣙ and ⢹Turbo⣙ mode. 3) The Roomba 980 has ⢹carpet boost⣙ and the Botvac doesn⣹t.
UPGRADE: You'll be able to read my full comparison (recently completed) right here.
Final Call ⤙ Is the Roomba 980 Worth it?
The brief reply: Yes! The longer reply? This is arguably the best robot vacuum cleaner on the market, if you've got the money. At the minimum, it⣹s surely the best roomba version to date.
But if you've got a little flat, the 980 becomes an extravagance. One caveat: it doesn⣹t matter if you're a geek like me. This is a MUST own!
If you've got a larger house or office/company that must be cleaned regularly, the 980 is the greatest robot for the job. It recharge on it⣹s own as needed and can cover the ground. If you need a vacuuming job that strongly resembles a conventional upright vacuum clean, the 980 has the most electricity/suction and the finest cleaning tech of any robot.