What is worth more? money or time? This question is worth asking when trying to decide if the Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni is the right robot vacuum for your home.
The Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni is the new top-of-the-line robotic vacuum cleaner. As you’d expect, it offers some of the best suction and mopping available, with excellent self-cleaning capabilities and intelligent mapping to minimize how often you have to think about cleaning. But is the time saving worth $2,499?
We tested the Deebot X1 Omni in a household with mixed carpet and hard floors, two long-haired cats, and an obstacle course of teenage clutter and computer cords to see how successful it could be in providing “hands-free” performance.
Details: Ecovac’s Deebot X1 Omni
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Setup and Assignment
As a user of the previous top-end Deebot T9+, the new Deebot X1 Omni was a much easier robot vacuum to get up and running. The Ecovacs app is an adequate, if not outstanding, experience, but the new X1 had an easier set-up phase and was quickly ready to hit the road creating its map of the house.
The map system means that after a first run around the house your Deebot X1 will create an excellent layout of your home, and the map will be refined over time as the cleaner does its jobs. It also has a 3D mapping feature that marks the shape and position of objects in rooms. You can refine and tag these object models through the app, and it’s well worth it, as you’ll see below.
In practice, we sometimes found overzealous mapping trying to register our back porch as a different “room” because it could see through the French doors, and sliding mirrored doors in one bedroom also created more space than was really there. Both make sense for a visual mapping system, but we struggled to remove those extra spaces from the map. However, using features that add no-go areas helped the robot stop reaching those areas on future cleaning runs.
The docking station itself is as sleek as it is large. Stylish and simple compared to many previous robotic vacuum docks, its size is for a reason, but it needs to find a good spot for it in a home.
Dual suction and mopping system
The Deebot X1 Omni excels as a floor cleaner. It really is incredible, with excellent dirt suction and the mopping mode gently and effectively scrubs hard floors. The vacuum power reaches 5000 Pa at the highest Max+ setting, which you will probably never need. By default, you’ll get great results by running the vacuum on hard floors at standard power and automatically setting itself to maximum power when it detects carpets.
Mopping in particular is a big upgrade over the T9+, which moves up from a single-use wipe to rotating floor mops that are cleaned by the docking station every 15 minutes to ensure a quality clean.
The combined vacuuming and mopping really gives a fantastic finish, better than anything I’ve seen manually vacuuming floors. That’s because we humans just don’t have the patience to work as slowly and carefully as your Deebot does.
There are two elements that still don’t get us into the truly “hands-free” future that we’re hoping for. The brush gets tangled up with long hair very regularly and needs manual tidying up after each cleaning to remove hair and fur and keep performance high. The mops also need to be removed whenever the vacuum is to go on carpets, which means we put the mops on our Deebot X1 once a week to focus on the hard floors for the rest of the week in between general cleaning.
One of the tricks of the trade with a robot vacuum is to run it on a schedule, or in “maintenance mode,” where it just walks around and cleans as it pleases. That means you don’t want to be cleaning up all the time to keep things safe, so avoiding obstacles is an important part of trusting the robot to do its job well.
The Deebot X1 Omni uses its cameras to capture everything from socks to stray power cords, avoiding an area on the first pass and returning later to see if it’s clear so it can finish cleaning.
In our experience, the flimsy USB-C cables now used on many laptops are a critical issue that can get caught in the vacuum and dragged along until it binds. The vacuum will alert you via the Ecovacs app if it gets stuck this way, and untangling is easy enough, but it’s a situation where you’ll quickly learn to be more vigilant when it comes to leaving cords lying around .
In our household we ran the Deebot X1 three times a week on a schedule rather than in full maintenance mode and did a quick check for cables in the morning of each scheduled run. It works very well.
This large docking station is all about delivering the best self-cleaning system for a robot vacuum yet. The dirt suction works very well compared to previous models, with a single suction point with high suction speed that draws all the dirt into a dust bag in the dock that will last for weeks or even months depending on your dust/hair/dirt standards.
The mop has a whole new way of self-cleaning for robot vacuums, with clean and dirty water tanks to manage the process incredibly effectively. Simply lift out the water tanks to fill them up with clean water or empty them when they’re dirty, and the dock does the hard work of keeping these mops sparkling. It also dries the mops after a cleaning cycle to ensure they stay clean and reduces any odor or germs that could build up.
In combination with the pure cleaning performance, the self-cleaning functions make the Deebot X1 Omni an absolute highlight on the vacuum robot market.
If you’ve become a big fan of issuing commands to your smart home devices, the Deebot X1 has you covered with the arrival of the Yiko assistant. Shout “OK Yiko” and you can tell your vacuum cleaner to perform a variety of tasks. You can start a cleaning, change cleaning intensity settings, or even ask Yiko to follow you somewhere and then spot clean the area.
If you go through the mapping process and label your rooms and furniture well, you can even tell your Deebot to “clean under the living room couch” and it will do just that. It launches too many voice assistants that don’t really improve its utility, but the Yiko system has many helpful options that are faster than using the app.
We’ve had some trouble in our household getting the “OK Yiko” command right. Two members of the house had no problems at all, while two others had major problems. But eventually we adjusted how we said the command and got him to listen.
safety and security
With the Deebot X1 Omni you can control the vacuum robot’s camera system and explore your home from anywhere in the world. It includes two-way audio so you can talk to someone in your home, or maybe tell a pet that you’re coming home soon. It’s a clever feature that many homeowners could find useful.
Having such a feature available also means that you should set your passwords carefully as you don’t want a hacker to get this kind of remote access to your house. Ecovacs has received a data protection and security certification from TÜV Rheinland for the X1, which is the first of its kind to aim for this type of additional security guarantee.
The Deebot X1 Omni is truly worthy of being called the flagship robot vacuum cleaner. The cleaning performance is outstanding, the wiping system is second to none and the self-cleaning is unsurpassed. We found those little moments when you need to lend a hand — removing a mop, a tangled roller, a quick floor cleanup — to be perfectly convenient and easy compared to doing it all manually. But as a $2,499 product, the little things could easily be a reason to decide that the features aren’t quite “hands-free” enough to shoot for the top-of-the-line option compared to models available for $1,000 less .
More Ecovacs news and reviews on GadgetGuy
The most complete mopping and vacuuming robot you can buy.
Elegant overall aesthetics
The performance in mopping mode and the self-cleaning are the best in their class
Remote camera mode includes two-way audio
Direct voice commands have real utility
Mop management can be a nuisance in mixed-story homes
The brush roller needs a lot of maintenance in hairy houses
The listening command “OK Yiko” can be finicky
The most expensive vacuum robot to date
Very large docking station