Pros / Having the option of using the remote or phone app for control was nice.
Cons / This tied for the shortest run time.
Verdict / The Ecovacs Deebot N79S offers strong suction and very quiet operation, all at a reasonable price.
The Ecovacs Deebot N79S has strong suction and a collection of features that make it easy to use. One of the most noticeable things about this robotic vacuum is its quiet operation. There were only a couple of other machines even in the same ballpark in terms of quiet operation and both had weaker suction scores. This one cleans floors efficiently and does so without being a disturbance.
The N79S did a great job on the hardwood floors in our laboratory. It left just two Cheerios behind for a nearly-perfect score. It was almost as good on the kitty litter. We spread 50 grams on our test floor for each vacuum and this one removed 46.33 grams, leaving just a little bit in the extreme edges of the test area. The N79S was less impressive on the dog hair test but it still did a respectable job. It removed almost all of it from the flooring. There was a fair amount wrapped around its wheels and caught in the brush at the end, though. That is not as good as the ones that got the hair into their dustbins.
This Deebot was good but not great at maneuvering around the test home. It struggled to get up and over some of the taller flooring transitions. It also got stuck once in a corner and required help to get out. It was mostly able to get from hardwood flooring onto rugs smoothly and it was not confused by a couch’s dust ruffle. The low-profile machine went right under the couches and kept cleaning. It also cleaned under a low-slung wooden chest that others avoided.
The N79S can be controlled in lots of different ways, including through Amazon Echo and your smartphone. The easiest way is with the included remote. It can even do basic cleaning without any remote access. Just push the button on the top. The phone app won't be especially useful with this one since it needs some help getting unstuck from time to time, which you can't really do from your desk at work. It's nice to have the option, though, especially if you find out you have company coming. It may get pretty far on its own if your home has few obstacles. We like that there are so many ways to control this robot. That adds to its ease of use.
The N79S is missing some features. There is no screen to tell you whether the robot needs its bin emptied or needs recharging. There is no handle for easily taking it upstairs or to another room. There are no boundary markers or virtual walls to keep it out of areas it is sure to get stuck, like that corner with all the cords or the toy room. This one does a decent job of avoiding obstacles on its own, but the ones with some way to section off certain areas do better. It does at least know how to avoid falling down stairs with its anti-drop sensors.
This one has a relatively short run time and a relatively long recharge time – the worst combination – but that won’t be a worry for smaller rooms. It will be able to complete cleaning before recharging.
The Ecovacs Deebot N79S was not perfect at anything but it was pretty good at everything. It cleaned well, was pretty easy to use although it got stuck a few times. The price is relatively low and we liked how quiet it was.