During the test cleaning, the iRobot Roomba 896 moved around the room in a completely wild way, was not afraid of any obstacles and sucked everything in its path with incredible power. However, the whole cleaning process took him quite a long time, which is explained by his chaotic navigation. However, the combination of an extensive list of equipment and excellent controls provide this model with good final scores and a place in the middle of our rating of robot vacuum cleaners.
high suction power
handles cables and small parts well
many programmable functions
Voice alerts are only available in English
iRobot Roomba 896 test results
- Price-quality ratio
- Place in the overall ranking
6 out of 14
- Value for money: 70
- Navigation (40%): 67.7
- Cleaning quality (35%): 81.6
- Equipment and convenience (25%): 89.5
Just goes to clean up
Communicative, smart, simple — that’s how iRobot describes the new vacuum cleaner from the Roomba family. And this is true — controlling a robot can hardly be easier. For example, to send the robot to vacuum, a short press on the corresponding button is enough.
Alternatively, you can set a cleaning schedule in the free Android or iOS app by setting Roomba’s daily and hourly schedule. The robot supports WLAN, which means you can control it directly from the office. In addition, Roomba 896 recognizes voice control using Amazon Alexa.
A report on how the cleaning process is progressing, as well as information about emerging problems, can be obtained through the application or using voice alerts directly on the device. The only drawback: they are displayed only in English — at least during testing, we did not find settings that change the language of the robot. Manual control in this price category is not provided.
Unlike a logical and orderly application, the Roomba 896 itself is completely unpredictable. When cleaning, he does not build his way, but simply goes straight through the room. As soon as the ultrasonic sensors detect an obstacle or the supplied light barrier, the robot changes its direction. And so it continues as long as the vacuum cleaner has enough battery power. Discharged to a dangerously low level, it goes to the charging station on its own.
In this chaotic navigation, one can only hope that eventually Roomba will pass over every surface at least once. During testing, he succeeded, and the robot almost completely cleaned the room. The disadvantage of this uneven navigation is the long distances that the robot has to cover: it takes Roomba 896 almost an hour to clean one room, while devices with a more logical approach to navigation cope with the same area in just 20 minutes. Therefore, this model is not suitable for cleaning several rooms at once.
We were pleasantly surprised by how iRobot handles cables and obstacles in its path. He confidently bypasses all obstacles, does not get confused in the wires and continues his movement again and again. The vacuum cleaner easily copes with door sills, the height of which does not exceed 17 mm. The Lego Roomba 896 cubes scattered by us are either “eaten up” or completely ignored — this is a good result, because it is on this test that many (and even expensive) models of robotic vacuum cleaners stumble.
Better than related model
In terms of cleaning performance, the tested model proved to be as powerful as all the famous Roomba vacuum cleaners. Of the 220 grams of quartz sand we scattered around the test room, the Roomba 896 collected 44 percent — not impressive, but very respectable, surpassing most of the competition. Crucially, the Roomba 896 outperforms its sister iRobot Roomba 980, which costs twice as much but was only able to collect 42 percent of the sand.
The device is equipped with rubberized “main” rollers and integrated pollution sensors. They automatically recognize especially dusty places, and the vacuum cleaner intensively cleans them in Spot mode.
While iRobot was running, we measured a noise level of 0.7 sone — it’s not loud, but it’s clearly audible. Our tip: Program your robot to clean while you’re away. Then neither the noise of his motor, nor the long duration of cleaning will prevent you from putting things in order.
You will find all tested robotic vacuum cleaners in our big rating.
Neato Robotics Botvac D3 Connected
The fact that cleaning can be logical says Neato Botvac D3 Connected, which evenly distributes its efforts across the room. This vacuum cleaner moves systematically, has high suction power and picks up most of the debris. It has some trouble climbing obstacles, but it’s still way ahead of the Roomba 896.
iRobot Roomba 681
If you want to spend as little money on a robot vacuum as possible, check out the Roomba 896’s “little brother” — a model called the iRobot Roomba 681. It also uses chaotic navigation, but offers even higher suction power and a lower price. This vacuum cleaner is much louder than its sister model and does not come with a smartphone app.
Features and test results of iRobot Roomba 896
|Battery life (according to the manufacturer)|
|Dust container volume|
|Dust container full sensor|
|Switch-on time programming|
|Switching day programming|
|App activation programming|
|Return to base station|
|Force of collision with obstacles|
|Navigation in the dark|
|Building a room map|
|Cleaning line width (without side brush)|
|Quiz: room cleaning time|
|Test: quality of dust removal|
|Test: hull strength|
|Test: the quality of cleaning corners from dust|
|Test: the number of collected wool fibers|
|Overcoming obstacles: the maximum height of the threshold|
|Overcoming Obstacles: Dangling Cables|
|Overcoming obstacles: thin carpet|
|Overcoming obstacles: socks|
|Overcoming obstacles: Lego constructor|
|Overcoming Obstacles: Fringed Carpeting|
|Overcoming obstacles: chair legs|
Photo: manufacturing companies