Eufy RoboVac X8 Hybrid robot vacuum review
The X8 Hybrid ($1299) is the flagship robot vacuum of the Eufy range. It boasts “innovative laser navigation” and “twin turbine technology”, but how does it perform in the real world?
- Mops as well as vacuums
- Can store up to five separate maps
- Easy empty dust-collection bin
- Clear and easy to use app
- Questionable mopping performance
- Have to move dock to map separate floors or areas
- Average battery run time
- Can’t add room to existing map
- No bin full alert
The hybrid part of the X8’s name relates to its ability to mop as well as vacuum, a feature that’s becoming common in mid- to high-end robot vacuums.
The X8 is a mapping robot, which uses “iPath” laser navigation to create a map of your home in the “Eufy Clean” smartphone app. This is a LIDAR system (standing for light detection and ranging), which a lot of bots use and usually creates accurate maps.
Despite being Eufy’s top-of-the-range model, the X8 doesn’t come with an auto-empty dock for the bot to unload its dust into, just a charging dock.
Like most models in this price range, it can be fully integrated with smart home systems, such as Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, so you can use voice commands to control your cleaning.
Set up and design
Out of the box, little assembly is required – you just need to remember to install the mop unit if you’re planning on doing any mopping. Also in the box were some spare mop pads and a spare side “swisher” brush. (Props to Eufy for supplying a spare!)
The X8 Hybrid is a nicely designed unit, with a subtle carbon-fibre-effect bumper and not-so-subtle gold blingy stripes on the top. The shiny top also highlights fingerprint marks and dust.
There was a manufacturing defect in our unit, where the foam strip around the edge wasn’t seated properly – Eufy’s quality control department must have been short staffed that day.
The dock is a small lightweight black block, designed to sit on top of a clear plastic sheet, which protects your floor from getting damp if you’re using the mopping unit.
The easily removed bin unit is made of a clear blue plastic, which I initially thought was the water tank due to the colour! There’s a small cleaning tool on top of the bin – comprising a cutter for hair that gets tangled around the roller brush and a small dusting brush – a nice touch!
When you turn on the unit after its initial charge of a few hours, you’ll be greeted with a cacophonously annoying startup sound (a feature many robot vac manufacturers seem to deem necessary).
Once you’ve recovered, connecting to the Eufy Clean app is easy, as the app clearly guides you through the process. We named our X8 “Eufymisum” – then it was ready to start its first mapping run.
Sending the bot out on an auto clean will create the first map of your house. Our bot stopped after 20 seconds to perform a firmware update, which took a few minutes to complete.
While this was happening, our cat decided to take a closer look and sidled over to the X8. The bot then announced “mop installed” – startling both me and the cat. I hadn’t realised the X8 was a hybrid-cat vacuum, but the surface area of our moggy would probably make a good mopping pad!
Once the update was completed, the X8 continued its exploration of our house. It mapped rooms in sections, but eventually covered all the rooms completely.
The resulting map was easy to edit – dividing up and naming rooms is intuitive, and a nice feature is the ability to rotate the whole map in 90-degree increments.
Adding rooms to an existing map
With every mapping robot we test, we check how easy it is to add a room to an existing map. Say you left a door shut during the initial map and subsequently want to add that room: how easy is it to do?
Well, for the X8 Hybrid, it’s not.
If you send the bot out to clean, it will detect and show the extra space on the map. But you can’t then add the space as an extra room or join it to an existing space using the app’s tools.
You can do a zone clean of this new space, but that seems unnecessarily complex.
The only option if you want the extra space to be part of the main map, is to delete the current map and remap the whole floor again. That’s not ideal if you’ve already spent time setting up rooms and no-go zones.
Our advice is to make sure all your rooms are accessible and free of floor junk before you do the initial mapping.
The Eufy Clean app is nicely presented and easy to use. At the bottom of the screen there are four cleaning options:
- Auto, where the X8 will head out and clean every room (battery life permitting)
- Room, which will clean one or multiple rooms in the order you choose
- Zone, which allows you to draw a rectangular area anywhere on the map to send the bot to clean (you need to click on the small rectangle icon in the bottom-right corner to draw the initial area, but you can add multiple zones with each click, which is a nice feature)
- Spot, where you can set a target cleaning point for the X8 to head to and do a localised clean (useful if someone in your household is a particularly messy eater!).
There is also a button for changing suction power – Pure (basically low), Power, Turbo and Max – along with a “BoostIQ” switch, which increases suction power when the bot detects it’s on carpet.
If you want to clean rooms more than once, then there is a small button that lets you specify one, two or three cleans. For each clean, the route taken will be at right angles to the previous clean, which I think provides better coverage.
Up in the top-right corner of the app’s screen is the settings button. This takes you to a menu with, amongst other things, a setting for making a cleaning schedule (to send the bot out at the same times each week to do a specified clean) and manual controls (which allow you to drive the robot around using a keypad). There is also a user manual, quick-start guide and video tutorials.
The useful “accessory services” setting tells you how much life is left in replaceable parts of the vac, such as its brushes, rollers and filters, and also when sensors need to be cleaned. Clicking on any of these items gives you handy guides for replacing or cleaning them.
Vacuuming and mopping
The X8 Hybrid has been put through its paces in our test lab, so if you like numbers and want to compare it to other models then head over there.
Our robot vacs are tested in a similar way to standard and stick vacs – that’s quite a tough test when you consider that standard and stick vacs can have over five times the suction power of a robot model.
The reality is that if your carpets look clean and have lines on them showing the bot has done its job, then you are likely going to be happy anyway. You should probably do an occasional deeper clean with a standard vacuum, though, to remove any extra dust.
After our bot’s first outing, I decided to check its dust collector and found it was pretty full – so, I felt quite happy with its performance. The dust collector itself is a clever clamshell design that’s easy to open and empty – highly necessary when there’s no auto-empty dock and you’ll be emptying your bot regularly. There’s also no alert when the bin is full, so vigilance will be required.
The X8 is fairly noisy when you’re running the suction on the Max setting. Even then, it’s still quieter than a lot of standard vacuum cleaners.
While cleaning the lounge, the bot got tangled up with a power cable under the sofa. After its rescue, the robot tried to locate itself again – it took several goes and manual relocations before it realised where it was.
I also noticed that the bot sometimes had trouble docking correctly. It would get in the vicinity of the dock, then would do multiple unnecessary manoeuvres before finally docking, rather like a learner driver trying to parallel park.
The dock itself is lightweight, so it was very easy for the X8 to knock it out of position while trying to dock. It would be wise to fix it down, if possible, or make sure it’s up against a wall.
Battery life isn’t one of the X8’s strong points either, achieving a run time of a little over an hour in our testing. If you have large areas to clean, you may find the bot has to return to its dock to recharge before it has finished cleaning – especially if you have the unit set to Max suction power and have decided to clean some areas more than once.
There was also an odd map-related issue with the room cleaning. If I specified the hallway to be cleaned, the bot would do a small lap of half of the lounge before heading to the hallway. This was a little bizarre, but not really a major issue.
To mop with the X8 you need to firstly fill the mop unit with water, then install it.
When cleaning, the robot detects if it’s on hard floor. However, it’s not obvious that it’s actually mopping – the water flow is so low that the floors don’t get very wet compared to other mopping bots we’ve trialled.
My understanding is that the mop unit on the X8 doesn’t oscillate like some other mopping vacs do, it just drags the mop head around. There are also no settings to adjust water flow, which is a shame.
We don’t currently test mopping performance, so can’t tell if the unit is doing a good job or not. Suffice to say, don’t be too concerned about the robot crossing carpets with the mop head attached, as it doesn’t get particularly wet and is unlikely to make your carpets sodden.
If you live in a multi-storey home, or have two or more unconnected areas that need cleaning, then the X8 can create up to five separate maps. You’ll need to turn on the “save multiple maps” toggle in the “Map management” menu – otherwise you’ll confuse the robot, or worse overwrite your current map.
My first attempt at mapping our downstairs level failed. The robot didn’t twig that I wanted to create a new map and couldn’t find its bearings. Other multi-map robots tend to have a quick look around, realise they don’t recognise their surroundings, and start creating a new map. Not the Eufy X8!
A quick look online revealed that multiple maps won’t work with the Eufy X8 unless you take the dock to the new level as well. It would have been nice if this was mentioned when you toggle the “save multiple maps” option in the app!
Once the dock was re-homed, the second map was successfully created. However, having to move the dock each time you map is a real pain, and you can’t currently buy a spare dock from Eufy either.
The Eufy RoboVac X8 Hybrid has most of the features you would expect from a robot at this price point. But there are a few issues with it that might make you look elsewhere – especially if you have a multi-storey home, or a lot of hard floors that you want to mop.