Cleaning is a chore that I am sure no one enjoys, especially when it comes to floor cleaning. It is hard, physically taxing, and almost impossible to clean perfectly. While you can use handheld vacuum cleaners, it still means you will have to do physical cleaning.
And if you are someone who rarely stays at home, then it can be very hard to clean off work hours or it can be very expensive to have a maid. This is where robot vacuum cleaners come in, they are automatic machines that can clean your home whenever you schedule them to.
|Xiaomi Mi Robot Vacuum||Neato BotVac Connected|
|Cleaning sessions per week||Unlimited||7|
|Run Time||150 minutes||Eco-mode: 120 minutesTurbo mode: 90 minutes|
|Containment||Magnetic tape||Magnetic tape|
|Warranty||1 year||1 year|
So, imagine leaving your home in a dirty state, only to come back and see it all clean, that would be neat, won’t it? And if you are someone looking for a robot vacuum, you would have surely heard about Xiaomi and Neato, so I am comparing them head to head, to see which one comes out on top. This is a comparison between the Xiaomi Mi Robot Vacuum and the Neato BotVac Connected Vacuum.
Xiaomi vs Neato
While the overall design of robot vacuum cleaners doesn’t matter much, they are still going to be an integral part of your home and so aesthetics might matter. The topside design dictates how convenient it can be to take the bin out, and the bottom side can impact cleaning performance. So let’s take a look at both sides of the Xiaomi Mi Robot Vacuum and Neato BotVac Connected.
Both robot vacuums have distinct designs, so there will be fans and haters for both. I prefer the Xiaomi Mi Robot Vacuum’s design as it is minimalistic, simple, and round. As far as looks go, the Mi Robot Vacuum is the better one in my opinion, from the matte white finish to simple logo placement to the round design, everything is just elegant.
But I feel like Xiaomi went for form over function, while Neato went for the opposite. They designed the BotVac Connected to be functional rather than to look good. The D-shaped design is what Neato has used in all of their products and it has very little to do with function. Their inclusion of an LCD screen that displays the status and the schedule of the robot is very useful. They have placed the dirt bin in the middle for easy access. And the LDS sensor has the “Neato” logo on it, which I am not a fan of as it is huge. And Neato has gone with a dark color, so that makes cleaning easy too.
On the other hand, the Mi Robot Vacuum is contrasting with a white design, simple small logo on top of the LDS sensor, and is circular. There is no LCD screen on the Mi Robot Vacuum, which is a bummer. And finally, the dirt bin is accessible by opening a door, placed alongside the home, and clean buttons.
It is as though both manufacturers decided to make sure their robots looked nothing like the other. I prefer the Mi Robot Vacuum’s look, but the BotVac Connected is more functional and convenient.
The differences don’t just end there, flipping over the robots, you’ll find more contrasting design choices.
The Mi Robot Vacuum has a much smaller motorized brush compared to the BotVac Connected. The Mi Robot Vacuum’s brush is between its wheels and is just 6.5 inches in length while the BotVac has its motorized brush placed at the end of the device measuring 10 inches.
This larger brush area will help the BotVac Connected to have better cleaning performance and efficiency thanks to a wider cleaning path. The brushes on both robot vacuums are similar as they are a combination of a bristle and a squeegee. And these do the bulk of the cleaning.
Both vacuums also feature a second-side brush. These brushes are present to clean the edges and corners of your floor. This time Xiaomi has the bigger side brush over the Neato but it won’t have any advantage over the Neato when it comes to cleaning performance.
The navigation of robot vacuums has come a long way, they have got better thanks to the inclusion of Laser Distance Sensors (LDS) and algorithms for efficient cleaning.
Both the Mi Robot Vacuum and the BotVac Connected Vacuum use an LDS and SLAM algorithm, this means that both vacuum cleaners will have a similar navigation pattern. The SLAM algorithm works like this, the vacuum cleaner starts cleaning at the perimeter of the room and cleans towards the center of the room and then back to where it started.
Navigation of Mi Robot Vacuum
The Mi Robot Vacuum starts with a quick 360° scan of its surroundings and then starts to clean along with the perimeter of the room. After the edges, it cleans towards the center of the room.
When you get a new Mi Robot Vacuum, it will only clean and do this routine once, but through the app, you can set it to clean two times.
Navigation of the Neato BotVac Connected
Older Neato robot vacuum had a different navigation path compared to the newer ones. While the older navigation paths made them efficient, they were not through with the cleaning performance.
The BotVac Connected goes around the wall multiple times and then cleans the insides of a room in rows and columns. This makes the cleaning through and so it doesn’t miss any dirt on its first round of cleaning. So Neato has traded cleaning performance for efficiency this time out.
Both robot vacuums in this comparison are smart products as they can be controlled using apps on your smartphone from pretty much anywhere in the world. The only requirement is that you have a router at home that is always connected to your app and the robot.
Xiaomi Mi Home App
The Mi Home app when connected to the Mi Robot Vacuum can work very well thanks to tons of features but the setup process of the Mi Home app can be a chore.
Once you have the app downloaded, you have to select “Mainland China” as your default location if you want to access all the features. Then you need to register for a new account if you don’t have one and log in to the same.
Now tap on the My Devices option and tap on the + button at the bottom of the screen. Select the MI Robot Vacuum icon from here, and the app will try to detect and connect to it. The app will ask for your Wi-Fi router’s username and password so that it can add the Mi Robot Vacuum on it as a device.
Once you have done all this, you have all the features of the app connectivity unlocked for your Mi Robot Vacuum. These are some of the features that you can take advantages of,
Scheduling – The Mi Home app lets you schedule multiple cleaning sessions every day while the Neato App can only schedule for once a day. And the Mi Home app also allows you to schedule at different times so that you can let it operate when it is convenient for you.
Notifications – You will get notifications when the Mi Robot Vacuum is starting a cleaning session and when a session ends too.
Cleaning History – The Mi Home app stores details of the last 10 cleaning sessions on your phone, details like the size of the room, cleaning time, and more are recorded to your phone.
Care Section – The Mi Home app has a care section for the Mi Robot Vacuum which provides you with the status of the filter, side brush, main brush along with information on when you can replace these. The care section also tells you when to clean the sensors.
Map – The Mi Home app will display the map of the area the robot is cleaning. This map will update in real-time along with stats like room size, cleaning time, and more.
Voice Control – The Mi Robot Vacuum can be told to clean using voice commands, initially this feature was limited only to Chinese but Xiaomi has added support for more languages.
Do Not Disturb (DND) Mode – You can set the Mi Robot Vacuum to DND mode so that it won’t play any sounds or voice prompts.
Remote Control – You can control the Mi Robot Vacuum from the Mi Home app. You can use joysticks or arrow keys on your smartphone and use it as the remote control to control the movement of the Mi Robot Vacuum cleaner.
Unlike the Mi Home app, connecting to the Neato app is simple and easy but you are losing out on a lot of the features too. To connect the BotVac Connected Vacuum to the app, just tether the app and the vacuum to your home’s Wi-Fi and it will ask for a name.
The Neato app can provide notifications, let you set schedules (but only once a day), and you can use your smartphone as a remote control. The remote control feature is also not as polished as the one found on the Mi Home app. You can use the app to switch between two power modes, normal and turbo.
There is no map feature and so you have to rely on the LCD screen on the vacuum itself for status and if there is a problem. There is also a lack of battery status, cleaning log, and more, all of which can be found on the Mi Home app. The Neato app is good but lacks a lot of features and is not as robust as the Mi Home app.
Cleaning performance is the reason you are buying these vacuums, if they fail here, they are essentially useless products. So let’s see which vacuum cleaner is better at cleaning,
Mi Robot Vacuum
The cleaning performance of the Mi Robot Vacuum is excellent when it comes to hard floors. The same cannot be said for its cleaning performance on carpets. Cleaning on black areas can also be problematic because of how the sensor works, this is the same for Neato and other similar vacuum cleaners.
The Mi Robot Vacuum especially after firmware upgrades cleans very well because it cleans twice instead of one time. Overall, I was pleased with the performance the Mi Robot Vacuum offered since it also costs less.
BotVac Connected Vacuum
The cleaning performance of the BotVac Connected is very similar to that of the Mi Robot Vacuum since they use similar technology. It excels on hard floors and falters on carpets.
While carpet cleaning performance is decent, it is not the best with just 50 percent cleaning performance. It managed to clean more than 90 percent of all the rice, pet hair, and sand on the hard floor. And like the Mi Robot Vacuum, it struggled when it comes to cleaning on black surfaces.
So if you are someone that requires a lot of carpet cleaning to be done, then get a handheld vacuum cleaner as they will perform better.
Both the Mi Robot Vacuum and the BotVac Connected Vacuum are very good products. When it comes to design, the Mi Robot Vacuum looks better but is not as functional as the BotVac Connected Vacuum. Navigation and performance-wise, both vacuum cleaners are similarly matched, though I feel like the BotVac Connected is just a tad bit better thanks to its larger brush.
When it comes to app connectivity, Xiaomi knocks it out of the park with more features and better-implemented ones too. Battery life goes to Mi Robot Vacuum too as it can run and clean for longer. But these features are secondary and are nice to have but don’t matter much in real-life performance.
Overall, I would say they closely matched products but only if the price is close. The Xiaomi has a lower price tag making it the most obvious choice. But get the one that is cheaper if you find it on sale.
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