Even at full price, the Deebot Neo is an impressive robot vacuum.
Ecovacs Deebot Neo robot vacuum review
Deebot Neo Price
The Deebot Neo regularly retails for $799, which is about mid-range for the robot vacuums we’ve tested. But, starting 1 March, Aldi will be offering the Neo at 50% off for $399. Previous Aldi sales saw the Deebot Neo sell out, so you’ll want to be quick if you intend to nab it at half price. If you miss the sale, though, $799 still compares well to other robot vacs on the market.
Deebot Neo features
The Deebot Neo vacuums and mops simultaneously, and is compatible with the Ecovacs Auto-Empty Station. The station will set you back $408, but if you manage to grab the Neo during Aldi’s 50% off sale, you’re still looking at adding self-cleaning functionality to an already great robot vacuum at just over $800.
You can control the Neo through the Ecovacs Home app, which allows you to customise your cleaning schedule, set different times for different rooms of your house and set the vacuum’s power level and water usage level.
The Neo also connects to smart home devices like Google Nest and Amazon Echo, in case you felt like adding a layer of middle management to the cleaning process. I found it easiest to control everything through the Ecovacs app, but some people might like the idea of voice commanding their vacuum into action.
The Neo’s navigation is its standout feature. On its first run, it creates a map of the area it’s vacuuming. You might feel a twinge of pity as the poor little fella gropes about, bumping into obstacles over and over, gamely wedging itself between chair legs. Don’t worry. On its next run, the Neo will prove itself surprisingly competent, dodging and weaving like its namesake from The Matrix.
At one point, the plucky robot ventured under my couch. I was aghast, as I know that the floor under my couch is a terrifying no-man’s land of lost toys and abandoned left shoes. Who knows what Eldritch horrors it would meet? I wrote it off as lost, and began mentally composing an apology letter to the fine people at Ecovacs who’d loaned me the unit.
Much to my surprise, the Deebot Neo returned unscathed, and even managed to push a few lost shoes out with it. I can tell you with complete confidence that the floor under my couch is now the cleanest it’s been in years.
This doesn’t mean the Neo will never get itself in a jam, but in my time with the vacuum, I’ve only had to rescue it once. Considering the multitude of obstacles it has to negotiate in my house, that’s pretty impressive.
Deebot Neo Performance
The Neo is much more powerful than I anticipated. We have, admittedly, far too many pets in my house, and they seem to be in a competition to see who can eject the most fur from their bodies and onto my carpets and tile. The Neo completely removed all traces of the fluffy little jerks from hard surfaces, and was able to clean up all but the most embedded pet hair from my rugs.
The Neo also adjusts its power based on the surface it’s vacuuming. So, if it detects carpet, it’ll amp itself up to maximum power for a deeper clean.
The Ecovacs app gives you even more control over vacuuming. You can set virtual boundaries to keep the vacuum out of certain areas. Handy if you have shag rugs, a corner full of power cables or a particularly sentimental pile of dirt.
One caveat is that I don’t think the Neo will ever entirely replace my upright vacuum. I still needed to lay down a base of cleanliness to give it a head start. But, with that deep clean in place, the Neo kept my floors remarkably spotless throughout the week.
You’ll also want to pick up any loose cords or larger bits of clutter before setting the Neo on its tasks. As I said, it has a surprising amount of suction power (2600Pa, to be exact), and it managed to pick up some cast-off toys that I would have assumed were far too large for it to handle.
The Neo mops as it vacuums, and has the added benefit of detecting when it hits carpet. On hard floors, it will automatically enter mopping mode. You don’t need to instruct the Neo to mop. If you fill the water reservoir and attach the mopping plate to the vacuum, it will begin mopping of its own accord. You have to admire its zeal.
Again, the Neo isn’t going to completely eliminate the need to mop by hand. It won’t be able to tackle the toughest bits of caked-on grime. But, if you apply some initial elbow grease and give it a reasonably clean base to work with, it’ll keep your floors sparkling.
The Deebot Neo should get just under two hours out of a full charge, but I found that hard to measure as it completed its daily cleaning tasks well shy of that mark. I have a two-bedroom house which is on the smallish side, and the Neo had no trouble tackling it on a single charge. Even with heavy use, I never had the Neo require a charge before it had finished vacuuming.
Should you buy the Deebot Neo?
Even at full price, the Deebot Neo is an impressive robot vacuum. It navigates tricky areas well, rarely gets itself stuck and it does a remarkable job cleaning. The Ecovacs Home app makes it easy to control and customise, and it has more than enough battery life to handle an smaller-sized home in one go. With Aldi running its 50% off promotion, it’s pretty certain you won’t find a better robot vacuum cleaner for the price.