Does Samsung's Powerbot robot vacuum provide a good clean? We trialled it to find out.
I hate doing chores. So when I was offered a trial of Samsung’s new robot vacuum cleaner I jumped at the chance.
The first thing I noticed when unboxing the unit was how big (roughly the size of a couch cushion) and heavy (over 4kg) it was. Underneath are two big wheels that push the robot over small bumps, such as where carpet meets tiles or up on to rugs.
The flat front of the robot contains sensors that guide it, and a big rotating brush. I discovered how powerful this brush was when I found the robot had gone under my bed and was trying to eat one of my sneakers. Thankfully, it was easy to free.
Given the poor results robot vacuums usually get in Consumer testing, I was shocked at how well it cleaned my floor. I have carpet and vinyl flooring, and the robot handled both surfaces with ease. I have a cat, so the vac’s collection chamber filled up quickly with fur in its initial run. It doesn’t have the suction power or collection capacity of a full-sized vacuum cleaner, but this shows it removes a decent amount of pet hair.
Its flat front means the robot can get up to the edge of a wall or furniture, and clean into the corners. It also has a small blade that extends when it reaches an edge to scrape dirt away from the corner and into its “mouth”.
You can set the robot to do a single sweep or repeating sweeps and also set it to run on a timer, so you can escape the noise. If you want to drive the robot to a particular spot, you can with the remote or using the Samsung SmartThings app (on iOS and Android).
It automatically returns to its charging station when it’s low on battery. It runs for about 15 to 20 minutes at full power. It will also return when the collection chamber is full. The problem is all robot vacuums have small bins and they can’t empty themselves. When they can, these little robots may be the best time-savers ever.
We affectionately named the robot “Noisy”, due to how loud it was. The Cyclone suction system isn’t as loud as my normal vacuum cleaner but you’d be hard-pressed to have a conversation in the same room. Even its “quiet” mode was far from silent, and less suction means poorer cleaning ability. I generally let it burble around the house while I was doing other chores. Because I was concerned it would try and eat more things it wasn’t supposed to, I had to tidy up before vacuuming.
I loved this robot vacuum. It was great for doing a light clean of the house. It is noisy (my cat hated it) and takes up a large chunk of space, but these were minor issues compared with how handy I found it. Now if only Samsung would release the Star Wars version of it of it here.
Full model name: VR20M7070WS/SA
Dimensions (WxHxD): 479x171x497mm
Cleaning speed: 0.32m per second
Max power: 130W
Dust bin capacity: 0.3L
Recharging time: 160 minutes
2018 test results for our latest batch of robot vacuum cleaners are available here.
First Looks are trials of new and interesting products from the perspective of our product experts. Our lab-based tests offer truly objective product comparisons. The Samsung robot vacuum cleaner was loaned to the writer by Samsung.