With their slightly enhance Botvac “D being recently released by competitor Neato ” set, it was supposed that iRobot might be following suit. Nonetheless, it has been a relatively long time since the Roomba 880 and 870 debuted. I really didn’t understand what to expect. Clearly, iRobot is not thinking about ceding any market share to rivals, and rightfully so.
As with all preceding Roomba’s there are things that I don’t enjoy and things to like. Regardless, it ’s going to be tough for me to not gift a couple of Roomba 980’s this year.
At the bottom, I’ll suggest several choices and make an overall recommendation.
Key Features – What’s New with the Roomba 980
The following are noteworthy features on the 980, and some of the new, upgraded:
More Battery Charge Life: The Roomba 980 is now capable of running fro a full 2 hours before needed to recharge. It’s still not Lithium ion (for individuals who like that), but it’s an advancement. Like the 800 series robots, the 980 will automatically return to the docking station base, but it’ll recharge, then resume cleaning where it left off.
iRobot HOME App: For me, this really is the game changer. I’ve been waiting for robot vacuums to become more completely incorporated into the smart house experience. iRobot is the first robot vacuum company – to my knowledge – that has a program similar to this. It’s possible for you to press on “Clean” from anyplace and the 980 will start/stop as wanted. That is perfect for people who are on the go (like me). If I’m at work or from the home, I can get things started while I’m away. The app is simple enough basically functions as an innovative remote control and to use. On the Roomba’s that is older you could have a predetermined schedule to run each day, but not instantaneous control in this way!
It’s actually more of an upgrade. This really is a big deal. Basically it enables the visual localization enables the Roomba to “look” up and out to help navigate and map the room. This really is the type of groundbreaking enhancement that significantly improves the 980 over previous versions. What does this mean practically? Less bumping into things at random and a more organized efficient and – – cleaning course.
More Suction Power: Mercifully, iRobot wasn’t content with just a few new attributes. They also upped their game in the power section. The AeroForce cleaning system is per cleaning cycle the same base technology, but 2 times more efficient at picking up debris. It also has “carpet boost” which optimizes air power when it discovers a carpet or rug beneath. The end result is a more extensive clean, duplicating a greater standard traditional vacuum.
Improved Virtual Wall Lighthouse: The 980 has stepped up lighthouse game is ’sed by it. They truly are now smaller and take AA batteries (in contrast to the hulking “D” batteries for previous set). This really is a fine advancement because who has extra “D” batteries lying around?
Pros and Cons – Things I like and Things I Don’t
The Program is Wonderful: It’s fairly simple and straightforward, but it means everything to me. Being able to control my robot from my telephone means the Roomba is now part of my dwelling family that is smart. Picking up on where tools like Ecobee smart thermostats and the Nest have left off, iRobot has really delivered on a smart, web-joined, roomba vacuum. I’m already eagerly thinking about the possibilities for future integration with controls and my various smart dwelling apps.
App Helps Monitor Care: There’s a really cool “diagnostics” part 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, shifting extractors, filters, etc…). It also tells you exactly how to perform the care requirement that is desired.
Better on Carpeting: Robots vacuums consistently have a tendency to perform better on hardwood floors and tough flooring alternatives (tile, etc…). The recently redesigned motor is particularly good at adapting to carpet surfaces too. After discovered, the 980 will engage a little more muscle to thoroughly clean carpets the manner they should be cleaned. It was a subtle difference, an important difference nonetheless, although t that is challenging tell from standing up even.
The new app, the stronger battery and the automatic recharging/resume feature makes the Roomba 980 more hands free than the contest and both previous models. Slowly but certainly, home robotics is living up to it’s assurance. If you hate vacuuming physically or – cannot do it anymore – this is the alternative that is outsourced that is quintessential. Short of hiring cleaning help, the Roomba 980 is the smartest choice out there.
Navigation is Apparently Enhanced: I can scarcely tell the difference and Sometimes new attributes are added. Not so with the new navigation technology. In the past, Roomba’s have had the knock. While the end result was clean floors, how it occurred wasn’t pretty. However, it was also a little wasteful. It was among the contrasts I liked about most Neato models. The 980 is much more organized, methodical, and efficient.
It bumps into matters to gain its impacts, especially in rooms with tons of furniture. Only not nearly to the amount it did previously. On careful observation it WOn’t keep doing it with the same wild abandon and even seems the 980 will recall these “bumps” for future cleans.
Smarter Algorithm: This robot is actually smarter than it’s the competition and predecessors.
Generally speaking, I detected that the 980 spent much less time than both my 880 and Botvac’s (contained the new Joined Botvac) pausing and calculating as it creates the map of the room.
Outstanding Customer Service: iRobot remains the leader when it comes to customers service. This more of a general “ace” and particular to the model, but still worth noting. Every time I’ve needed to replace a Roomba, I’ve had no problems. They truly are also not bad at walking you through diagnosing problems.
Powerful Secondary Components Market: As a longtime Roomba owner, I understand that it’s merely a matter of time before I have to replace a battery, brush, or filter (among other items). Unlike other robot businesses, the Roomba has a deluge of after market businesses specializing in creating parts and better replacement accessories. For instance, I’ve been able to locate replacement batteries that are better in relation to the factory default ones. This can be only somewhat true for companies like Neato (smaller market share) and this market is almost non existent for the other small players.
Better Suction Complete: My two quasi scientific means of quantifying this are that A) I can feel a lot more wind/atmosphere coming from the device and B) those larger particles of determination that only high powered vacs tend to get are being captured in the dust bin. This really is an upgrade over the Roomba 880 which I was comparing it too as my baseline.
App Could be More: This isn’t actually a legit gripe, because I’m thrilled with the new app. It’s more of a wish. Like to completely integrate my Roomba with the rest of my dwelling that is smart I’d. It’d be nice to be able to handle everything from one app (and one controller like the SmartThings Hub and others). It probably wouldn’t be challenging to do and it may be something iRobot already plans to do anyhow.
Not “Perfect”: It’s a definite improvement, but it not perfect. Power cords sometimes confused it and can have problem with thresholds that were substantial. Once in a while it’ll get stuck, but once you determine the problem areas, it’s simple to “Roomba proof” your house. It’s not quite like a human….yet.
Competition on the Way? Both the Neato Botvac Joined and the Dyson Eye are rumored to be coming out “ soon”. How? I can’t actually tell. The Botvac Connected (which features similar program controls) will likely be out occasionally this year, but no firm release date continues to be set. I haven’t heard much lately about an anticipated release date, although the Dyson Eye was rumored to be in the works for years. It could be 6-12 months away. What this means is that the Roomba 980 could have some harder competition on the horizon. At this time, the 980 is the greatest robot out there, but that could change. Particularly if the price points are more affordable, Roomba could be seriously undercut. UPGRADE: The Dyson 360 Eye has recently been released. Generally, it’s a vacuum that is more powerful, but less room that is capable -to-room navigation. You are able to read my full 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. Nonetheless, for pitch black rooms you’ll inevitably get an error code. My simple solution is to keep night lights on in every room that wants it.
Carpet Boost is Loud: It picks up more dirt, so I’m a happy customer, but it worth noting.
Just Accessible in One Area: So far as is frequently true for new releases – the Roomba 980 is ONLY available via the iRobot shop here. This really is likely because they want to control pricing as long as possible. As soon as it’s released like Amazon and carton retailers to other markets, I’ll be sure to update this post. UPGRADE 10/8#158/15: It’s just been released to Amazon (see here for the listing)!
Price: As always, iRobot is the cost leader. All their robots usually are somewhat to moderately more expensive than the competition. The 980 is no distinct. Actually, it’s not fairly darn cheap! At RM 4850 per unit, that is probably not something that’s not difficult to spring for. You can check out this listing for more detailed pricing info. In this instance, you do get what you pay for. Many features that were important really HAVE enhanced. Hands down, this really is the best robot vacuum now available. Still, if this really is your first robot, you may want to look into some less pricey – but still qualified – choices (see below)
Other Roomba 980 Options to Consider
If the price is too much of a sticking point, not to stress. There are other great vacuums with considering.
Sometimes last years version is the best value around. You can check out my review of it here. At time, it was the best robot vacuum cash could purchase. The patented AeroForce cleaning system is 50% more successful at cleaning up debris than the 700 series. This, joined with a a better battery, a larger dust bin, and a remote control made it the most hands free apparatus at the time. It doesn’t have the app that is ground-breaking, but it has all the other crucial characteristics for a true runner up. Most significantly, it’s a full cheaper compared to 980 (check this listing for even steeper reductions). Still pricey, but a lot less so.
The new “D” string has made some progress that are helpful, although I wasn’t overly impressed with the initial Botvac release. Notably, they’ve repaired a problem with the brush (by altering a bearing) to make it less susceptible to getting tangled (especially with human and pet hair, in my own experience). The Botvac D80 doesn’t merely seem better, it also performs better than previous Neato models. The suction power is the best yet and comparable to the new Roomba 980. However, you won’t get the program controls, but it’s still relatively simple use and to schedule. The patented laser navigation technology means more routes that are organized and it usually works quite nicely. Where it usually retails for less compared to the top line Roomba’s, you can see this listing here.
It’s been around for some time, but it’s still trusted. It MUCH less expensive. Attempt the 650 out if it enough for your needs to see if budget can be your top concern. Yes, it’s missing a bunch of nice “extras” but the center cleaning technology is till there. The 650 is ideal for people who have small houses, flats, or only a small space they want frequently cleaned. I still have mine running to this day after 3 years (and a couple of replacement batteries). Best of all, you are able to locate the 650 for an extremely affordable price at this listing.
As I mentioned previously, the long rumored Dyson Eye is officially under development. Who knows when it will be released. They have but at this stage it will not be likely to strike before the 2015 Holiday season. The new attributes on the Roomba 980 may really lead them to delay release until they’re able to fit the core features.
UPDATE: See my full review.
The more interesting possibility is the the Neato Botvac “Connected” robot which plans to add similar WiFi ability to the Roomba 980. It’s possible for you to read more here. They’ll have to get it done shortly to capitalize entirely, although it’d seem sensible for them to release it prior to the 2015 Holiday season.
Believing Cleaner Faceplate
I was a bit skeptical of this “work around” at first, but it actually works fairly well. Presuming Cleaner was the outcome of a successful Kickstarter campaign. It adds WiFi capacity to any Roomba 500 or 600 series robot. Disbelieving? I was too. Essentially, you attach a “faceplate” that modifies your Roomba. It’s easy enough to attach. It is possible to do most of precisely the same functions in intuitive manner and a polished”, only as the Roomba 980 WiFi. The app is fairly stable and will let you schedule slightly, alarm you when your Roomba wants help and even plays a tune if you have to locate your lost Roomba. It’s available just for a fraction of the price of a new Roomba here.
Who’s this a great option for? 2) Prospective buyers who desire WiFi capability, but can’t manage/don’t need to spend $899 on the 980. As an example, by buying a brand new Roomba 650 and Thinking Cleaner Faceplate, you will be run no more than $500 total.
Presuming Cleanser is working on a brand new faceplate for the 700/800 chain, but as of yet it only as a Kickstarter job here.
Roomba 980 vs Botvac Joined
I needed to touch on this briefly because I’ve been getting lots of questions about it, although I’ll be writing up a complete comparison soon.
What are the Key Differences? 1) The Botvac Joined is significantly more affordable (usually about $200 less), but see this listing for up to date advice. 2) The Botvac now has “Eco” and “Turbo” mode. 3) The Roomba 980 has “carpet boost” and the Botvac doesn’t.
Both Roomba 980 and Botvac Linked feature WiFi enabled control. This is certainly the headline attribute for both. I personally prefer the Roomba app but both are similar when it comes to features/utilization.
UPGRADE: It is possible to read my complete comparison (recently completed) right here.
Ultimate Call – Is the Roomba 980 Worth it?
The short answer: Yes! The longer response? This really is arguably the best robot vacuum cleaner on the market if you have the money. At the minimum, it’s surely the greatest roomba version to date.
However, if you might have a little flat, the 980 becomes an extravagance. One caveat: it doesn’t matter If you are a geek like me. This can be a MUST own!
The 980 is the greatest robot for the occupation, if you’ve a larger home or office/company that needs to be cleaned frequently. It can cover the ground and recharge on it’s own as needed. If you’ll need a vacuuming occupation that strongly resembles a traditional upright vacuum clean, the 980 has the most power/suction and the finest cleaning tech of any robot.