Ecovacs Deebot 900 Ozmo: Full, in-depth review
- Integrated mopping
- Voice controls
- Can struggle with carpets
- Not great for kitchen tiles
If the goal is to pitch a more affordable cleaning robot than can slot right into homes as they embrace smart assistants like the Google Assistant, this is a pretty solid effort.
Price$ 999.00 (AUD)
Consumer robotics products like Ecovacs new Deebot Ozmo 900 aren’t exactly brand new. They’ve been around for a while now. It’s not exactly hard to find one at your local JB Hi-Fi or Harvey-Norman and easier still when you look online. However, tracking down robot vacuum cleaners that costs less than $1000 and don’t suck? That’s a slightly more difficult task.
Not to proselytize too much, but Ecovacs' Deebot products are pitched as being a turning point for the category. Where previously, these kinds of smart appliances were relegated to luxury by the premium price-tag alone, Ecovacs are positioning themselves as the purveyors of what comes next. As the technology itself becomes better and homes become smarter through the adoption of things like Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant, they’re betting that more people will look to embrace this brand of consumer robotics.
And if you’re looking to buy your first cleaning robot, why spend more for less when you could spend less and get more?
Height: 10.2 cm
Diameter: 35.4 cm
Max Door Sill Crossing: 1.6 cm
Dust Bin Capacity: 470 ml
Charging Time: Approx. 4 hours
Box contents: 1x Floor cleaning robot DEEBOT OZMO 930, 1x OZMO water tank, 2x Washable and reusable microfiber cleaning cloths, 4x Side brushes, 2x Dust filter, 1x Direct suction attachment, 1x Manual, 1x Cleaning tools, 1x Charging dock
Compared to previous models, the Ozmo 900 doesn’t break from the mold too much. It’s sort-of clock-like in form-factor. There’s central vacuum on the underside alongside a matching pair of swiveling brushes.
When you think robot vacuum cleaner, this is probably pretty close to product you’re likely imagining.
However, there are three things that set it apart from a lot of other cheap robot vacuums you could be buying.
The first is that, in addition to the above-mentioned vacuuming and brushing, the Deebot 900 series also comes with the capability to mop. At least, to a limited degree. The tail-end of the unit features a sponge-like mopping pad and, once the water tank inside the Deebot has been filled, it’ll automatically incorporate mopping into its ordinary cleaning cycle.
Of course, if you absolutely don’t want your Deebot mopping, that’s an option too - as the mop component of the unit is entirely detachable.
The second thing that sets the Deebot apart from other bargain-basement Roombas is that it comes able to be integrated with both the Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa.
Once integrated with either, you can remotely control while away or at-home the Deebot using your voice. There isn’t a huge amount of depth or breadth to the functionality here. You’re limited to just telling it to start and stop cleaning or telling it to return to its charging bay. Still, if you’re intent is to slot it into your voice-led automation ecosystem, that's easy enough to do.
The final edge that the Deebot 900 has is slightly less visible. Ecovacs are pitching the Deebot as the smarter option for automated vacuums. And it feels like this promise to be smarter is really the lynchpin upon which the strengths of the Deebot Ozmo 900 rests.
It’s always going to be easier to fake any sort of smarts than it is achieve the real thing. In the past, consumer robotics have usually been about vendors faking it until they make it. And I wouldn’t say that the Deebot is much of an exception here. This thing isn’t The Harbinger Of The Singularity.
That said, the Osmo 900 does feel and act smarter in ways that do, genuinely, make for a better product and end user experience.
Rather than just work its way through your home on mindless attrition, the Deebot 900 first works its way around the fringes - generating a 2D map of the space and then fills in the gaps in the most efficient manner. If it runs low on battery during this cleaning process, it’ll automatically make its way back to the charger, recharge and then seamlessly continue where it left off.
Setup & Performance
Unfortunately, during the setup for the Deebot Ozmo 900, I did encounter some minor confusion.
Some Ecovacs products use the Ecovacs app while others use the similarly-named Ecovacs Home app. You can probably guess what went wrong. Thankfully, you don’t have to fully connect the Deebot using the app to use it normally. You simply set it down, connect it to the charging bay and hit the big, glowing button and it’ll whir into action.
Apps aside, I was mostly happy with the experience that Deebot offered. Like it says on the box, it’s a minimal-hassle, voice-controlled, cleaning robot. Most of time, it got the job done.
Unfortunately, I did definitely came across a few glaring weaknesses as well. For one, any stray cabling often saw the Deebot tripped up. Then, when it came to carpets, the robot had a decidedly mixed track-record. Half the time it would glide right over them, the other half it would get caught up on them. The latter might not sound like a massive issue but did infrequently throw off the mapping process - leaving the Deebot unable to find its way back to the charger when it needed to.
And while the Deebot 900 was really effective at providing a comprehensive clean for the hardwood floors of my living room, the results were much less-impressive when it came to carpeted environments and even worse when it came to the kitchen. With the former, the Deebot missed a lot of stray dust and the like - even when set to its most powerful vacuum settings. Meanwhile, the latter saw the Deebot fail to mop up even fresh stains and missed a lot of stray crumbs and other detritus that I expected it to be able to clean up.
In action, the Deebot Ozmo 900 was also noisier than I would have liked. This quickly put a damper on my initial plan to turn it on and do some work in the background. It might well be less noisy than its predecessors and some of its competitors, but it’s still far too noisy for my liking.
The Bottom Line
Don’t get me wrong - I really like what Ecovacs are selling with the Deebot 900 - but I can’t help see the areas where it lacks.
If the goal is to pitch a more affordable cleaning robot than can slot right into homes as they embrace smart assistants like the Google Assistant, this is a pretty solid effort. And if that’s what you’re expecting, you’ll probably be pretty happy with this.
However, despite all the value-adds and smarter mapping tech inside the Deebot, it still feels like the product has one too many irksome qualities. Shave down those edges, and you’d have the drop-dead-easy robotics experience that pretty much any mainstream user would want to embrace.
Ecovacs aren’t off in their predictions that consumer robotics edging closer and closer to the mainstream. That breakthrough moment is definitely coming. I’m just unconvinced and skeptical that the Deebot 900 Ozmo is the product that gets there.
It might take us there in the long run. But in the short term, it's just more of the same.
The DEEBOT OZMO 900 is be at Godfreys and Appliances Online.
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