Wyze Robot Vacuum
“The Wyze Robot Vacuum provides efficient cleaning at an affordable price.”
- Efficient cleaning
- Intelligent mapping and navigation
- Easy setup and operation
- Able to setup virtual walls
- Lacks smart assistant integration
- Frequently catches cables
Wyze is well-known for affordable products that meet the same quality standards as much higher-priced options. The company’s security cameras compete against bigger names without breaking the bank, and the new Wyze Robot Vacuum is no exception. While it doesn’t have as many features as something like the iRobot Roomba i3+, the Wyze Robot Vacuum provides efficient cleaning at an affordable price.
The Wyze Robot Vacuum is just the latest in a series of new additions to the robot vacuum market. The space has become increasingly competitive, especially toward the lower end. Companies like iRobot and Roborock dominate the high-end market, but the mid-range and budget markets are flooded with third-party companies and more affordable options from major companies. That said, Wyze has a reputation for quality at a low price, and that reputation (combined with the functionality of this vacuum) makes it stand out in a sea of different vacuums.
For just $250, it packs a lot of features into the box. It comes with two spare brushes, the charging stand, an instruction manual, and a quick-start guide. Setup is equally as easy. Just plug the charging stand in and allow for at least 1.5 feet to either side of the vacuum and 4.5 feet minimum in front of it. There is also a brush cleaner and small knife inside the top panel of the vacuum itself, used for cutting string from around the main brush.
It will need to charge for around two hours before you run it. Once fully charged, download the app and follow the on-screen instructions. From this point, it should take less than five minutes before the vacuum is up and running. The included quick-start guide lays out these steps in an incredibly easy-to-understand fashion. Once it’s set up, you can let it begin cleaning your floor.
A solid choice for a first robot vacuum
The Wyze Robot Vacuum is somewhat barebones in terms of features, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Operating the Wyze Robot Vacuum is straightforward and simple, making it an excellent choice for someone’s first robot vacuum.
It has three separate cleaning modes, defined by suction level: Quiet, Standard, and Strong. Quiet is self-explanatory; it is quieter than all of the other modes, but also provides the least amount of suction. This mode is ideal for hardwood or linoleum surfaces but doesn’t perform as well on carpet. Standard is louder than Quiet mode but has more powerful suction, while Strong is the loudest of all three. Strong is also the most efficient and resulted in the deepest, most thorough clean of any mode. It took longer than the other modes, but the difference was visible — the carpet looked and felt cleaner.
Few robot vacuums at this price point have lidar capabilities.
Cleaning is done only through the app. You can set schedules so it will clean automatically or tell it to start a run manually, but there is not yet voice control available for the Wyze Robot Vacuum. That said, Alexa compatibility is due to arrive in the first half of 2021, along with other features like spot cleaning.
There are a few downsides, though. While the vacuum did a great job with the actual cleaning, it picked up and carried cables worse than any other vacuum I’ve ever worked with. This isn’t an isolated problem, but the Wyze Robot Vacuum grabbed everything it came across. I had to pause it and rescue four different cords — three power cables and an Ethernet cord — before it finished a run. It also ran into the leg of the couch and became stuck due to something interfering with its lidar signal, the laser signal used for mapping the environment.
Smart navigation and mapping
The Wyze Robot Vacuum navigates through a room using lidar technology, creating a smart map as it does. You can view this map on your phone to know exactly where the vacuum is at any given time. You can also use it to create virtual walls or split the map into different zones. This is important because few robot vacuums offer lidar at this price.
To the bottom-right of the map is a small icon shaped like a box. When you tap it, you can edit the map. You can create a virtual wall to close off specific areas; for instance, if you want the Wyze Robot Vacuum to clean your bedroom, but not the attached bathroom, you create a virtual wall at the bathroom door. You can also split the map into different rooms, even within the same space. An example of this would be a large living room divided into a den and a dining area. You can make the den one room, the dining area a second.
Once the rooms are divided, you can tap one of them to tell the Wyze to clean only that specific room. If the map contains multiple rooms, you can select as many as you want to clean in one go. If you don’t select any room and just tap Clean, it will vacuum the entire space.
One notable trait of the Wyze is the accuracy of its navigation. If picked up and moved, it will learn its new location and reposition within the smart map in only a few seconds. It also stops short of most obstacles. At one point during a test run, the vacuum was headed straight for the side panel of a PC that sat on the floor. The vacuum stopped within an eighth of an inch of the panel, turned, and continued on its way. It used its lidar reading rather than the bump sensor, although it does use the bump sensors when navigating along walls. It can also vacuum close to the edge of a stair without tumbling over. Sensors on the bottom of the vacuum guarantee it doesn’t move over the edge.
Usage and accessory tracking
The settings menu of the Wyze Robot Vacuum provides a wealth of valuable information in addition to the settings. You can use this menu to set up specific clean schedules, change suction levels, and turn notifications on and off. You can also access clean records to measure when the last run was, how long it took, and the amount of space it covered. The map editor can also be accessed from this menu.
However, the standout option is the Accessories menu. It lists the Main brush, the Edge brush, and the HEPA filter, as well as the amount of time remaining on each of these parts before they need to be replaced. If you replace it, you can update the time by tapping the accessory and choosing “I replaced it.” It also gives you the option to purchase another part. The main brush is rated for 300 hours of use, the Edge brush for 200 hours of use, and the HEPA filter for 150 hours of use.
In addition to the basic settings unique to the Wyze Robot Vacuum, you can set up rules that allow it to interact with other Wyze devices, Shortcuts that run actions from the home screen, and Schedules that specify controls at specific times of day.
The Wyze Robot Vacuum is not a bad investment by any means. While it lacks some of the bells and whistles that other robot vacuums have, it does a good job of cleaning a space provided you have the right suction level selected — a couple of runs over carpet in Quiet mode left debris on the floor. That said, the mapping and navigation are on par with much more expensive models, and once more features are added that allow it to interact with smart assistants and perform spot cleaning, it will be quite the competitor.
Is there a better alternative?
At the $250 price point, there are few robot vacuums that can compete. If you invest just $50 more, you could get an, a robot vacuum that excels at picking up pet hair and comes with all of the advanced features that iRobot offers.
On the premium end, the iRobot Roomba s9 Plus offers tremendous cleaning functionality and a slew of features you won’t find elsewhere. Of course, that comes with a premium price of around $1,100. There’s no doubt that iRobot is king of the hill, but you don’t need to sell an arm and a leg to pick up a robot vacuum that provides excellent cleaning.
If even $250 is too much, there are budget options like the Eufy Robovac 11S is $30 less at $220. It lacks the efficiency of better vacuums, but it will clean your floor so that you don’t have to.
How long will it last?
The Wyze Robot Vacuum is designed to last for quite a while, going solely by the estimated lifespan of the accessories. That said, the vacuum can also operate between 32 degrees and 104 degrees Fahrenheit (although temperatures lower or higher than that inside a home speak to a range of other problems.) With proper care and maintenance, the Wyze Robot Vacuum will last for years to come. There’s a one-year limited warranty that protects it from defects.
Should I buy it?
Short answer: Yes, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly robot vacuum. Few robot vacuums at this price point have lidar capabilities, and though the Wyze Robot Vacuum doesn’t yet have voice control or spot cleaning, those features are on the way. It will clean your floor quickly and efficiently and will only get better with time.
This srticle was first published on Digital Trends