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Dyson 360 Vis Nav review: Power isn’t enough

It does come in GameCube purple, however. 

Dyson 360 Vis Nav
Dyson 360 Vis Nav
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
Suction
65AW
Mopping
No
Auto Empty Bin
No
Alex Choros
Nov 24, 2023
Icon Time To Read3 min read
Quick verdict: Dyson 360 Vis Nav

The Dyson 360 Vis Nav is very powerful for a robot vacuum, but that comes with trade-offs like short battery and more noise than you might want. It's also missing some of the smarts and extras you get in cheaper alternatives, which hurt when you consider the $2,399 price-tag. 

pro
Pros
pro Powerful suction
pro Cute and functional design
pro Clever support app
con
Cons
con Loud
con Short battery
con Can't avoid small objects

My first impression of the Dyson 360 Vis Nav was disappointing. While it was doing a solid job of cleaning my floors, the 360 Vis Nav was acting dumber than a doorknob. It was struggling to return to its dock. These escapades ranged from simply screwing up the approach and trying time and time again until it finally got it, to ending up in a different room entirely.

Needless to say, I wasn't impressed. Returning to a dock is a core competency of any robot vacuum cleaner, let alone one that retails for $2,399.

Thankfully, the 360 Vis Nav is smarter than it first appeared. A Dyson rep took me through a neat troubleshooting process to diagnose the issue. The review unit has come from another journalist, and the rep suspected the sensors may have been dirty. Using a web app that accessed my phone's camera, he was able to point me to what I needed to clean. It's a neat process, and one that's available to anyone who buys a 360 Vis Nav.

After wiping the sensors down with a microfibre cloth, the 360 Vis Nav was finally able to properly dock itself to charge, and in my time testing the vacuum, the issue didn't reoccur.

Dyson 360 Vis Nav

At the same time, Dyson's offering still isn't quite as smart as other options on the market. The 360 Vis Nav had a tendency to brute force itself under my TV cabinet, and then not be able to get back out. Object detection isn't perfect either. it isn't able to avoid smaller objects, like animal poop, for example, which many competitors have now solved.

These issues can both be addressed. You can adjust your home maps to stop the 360 Vis Nav from going places it shouldn't, and you can clear any presents your pet has left for you before starting a vacuum. (This could limit your ability to use the scheduling tool, however.) Every robot vacuum I've tested has needed some babysitting, but the Dyson 360 Vis Nav has easily required the most.

This is a real shame, because Dyson has delivered on its promise of a stupid powerful robot vacuum. It's the same kind of motor used in Dyson's stick vacs, and a has a full-length brush bar, that's, once again, similar to a stick vac. The design also helps - instead of being a traditional circular shape, the 360 Vis Nav has a D design that lets it nestle into corners and get right up against walls. While you're still going to need to break out the old stick vac every now and again, the 360 Vis Nav does a great job of cleaning the areas it can get to, and is less prone to getting clogged.

Dyson 360 Vis Nav

This power does have some trade-offs, however. The 360 Vis Nav is louder than most robot vacuums, roughly equivalent to a stick vac. That's not exactly surprising, given that Dyson used the motor from one of its stick vacs for it. This does mean it's loud enough to be distracting if you're working from home, and not the kind of device you want shuffling around the house if you're asleep.

It also means the battery is on the shorter side. The 360 Vis Nav needs to recharge twice before it can clean my entire house, both of which take around an hour - and my house is pretty small. While this is a hands-off issue, it can be annoying if you've put in the effort to re-arrange your home to let the 360 Vis Nav clean. Putting chairs up on the dining table, for example.

There's also the matter of cost. As aforementioned, the Dyson retails for $2,399. Most competing robot vacuums max out around $1,500, and those tend to have all the bells and whistles. Mopping attachments, auto-empty stations, the works. The 360 Vis Nav has none of those. It doesn't mop, and you need to empty it yourself.

Is the Dyson 360 Vis Nav worth it?

Dyson 360 Vis Nav

The Dyson 360 Vis Nav sits between a rock and a hard place. Powerful suction on a robot vacuum is undeniably a good thing, but that comes with trade-offs like a shorter battery and more noise. If the 360 Vis Nav was just that little bit smarter or more versatile, those compromises could be worth it, but it's a tough sell as it is.

No robot vacuum on the market is going to clean your house itself. There are always going to be spots it misses or times it will need rescuing. That's also true with the 360 Vis Nav, but is harder to accept when the asking price is so high. You can buy a top-of-the-line Dyson stick vacuum for that kind of money, and have change for a medium-tier robot vacuum left over.

There's a certain charm to the 360 Vis Nav - I adore the GameCube aesthetic it's got going on - but I was hoping for more given how strong the competition in the space is. That being said, I'm very excited to see what Dyson does next. It's got the suction figured it, and if it can balance that out with better brains, a few more practicalities, and or a more palatable price tag, Dyson could have a genuine winner on its hands.

How much does the Dyson 360 Vis Nav cost?

The Dyson 360 Vis Nav has a recommended retail price of $2,399. We have however seen it price as low as $1,599 during sales. 

Robot vacuum cleaners compared

Australia has a bunch of robot vacuum cleaners available on the market, starting as low as $300 if you can get a good deal. We have reviewed and rated more than 20 units over the past few years. Here are how the most recent robovacs compare.
Alex Choros
Written by
Alex Choros
Alex Choros is the Group Reviews Editor for Clearlink Australia's local websites - Reviews.org, Safewise, and WhistleOut - and the Managing Editor for WhistleOut Australia. He's been writing about consumer technology for over eight years and is an expert on the Australian telco sector, to the point where he knows far too many phone and internet plans by heart. He also contributes to Gizmodo and Lifehacker, and makes regular appearances on 2GB. Outside of tech, Alex loves long hikes, red wine, and death metal.

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