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Vacuuming the house is not a fun job, so you should be more than happy to hand over that job to someone else. Even better, if it’s a robot because you can have complete control over their working.
While having a robotic vacuum cleaner feels like a dream come true, in reality, it’s not always the case, because many models tend to have more focus on intelligent programming than a clean vacuuming system. In other words, these robotic vacuum cleaners can process your commands fast and efficiently, but the same can’t be said about cleaning.
There are a few companies though that are trying to change this trend, so the robotic vacuum cleaners, also called robovac, can score well on both the areas.
One such company is iRobot that has released many best-selling robovacs and has a good reputation for creating quality products. Two products that top their list are Roomba 690 and Roomba 890.
Let’s compare these two products to understand which of the two is better.
Roomba 690 vs Roomba 890
Both the models are well-known for their good cleaning performance, aesthetic looks and smart features. Let’s explore the differences between them to understand which is better.
Roomba 690 has silver and black aesthetic with green accents for special features. This two-layered tone adds a touch of class to the product while the green accents are used to highlight the carrying handle and the dust-bin release. These accents are particularly helpful for those who are using this product for the first time and are not too comfortable with its working.
The design of Roomba 890, on the other hand, has dark grey and black instead of silver and black on Roomba 690. There are also no brightly coloured accents in this model, as the design itself is intuitive and doesn’t need accents to tell users about different operations.
In both the models, the central panel has a “CLEAN” button. When you press this button, the auto clean cycle starts automatically. The working of both these products can be controlled with the iRobot smartphone app or by using voice assistants like Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
Also, these models come with four basic activities, such as:
- Auto clean settings
- Dustbin release
There is no clear winner in terms of design because both these models offer their own advantages. The green accents on Roomba 690 make it easier for users while the cohesive colour combination in Roomba 890 makes it more attractive. In terms of usability though, there is no difference and this is why both the models score well on the design factor.
2. Size and Dimensions
Roomba 690 is 13″ in diameter and 3.6″ in height. This size is fairly average in the world of robotic vacuum cleaners and is of a decent size to get under furniture or reaching to the tight corners.
Roomba 890 also comes with similar dimensions. Its diameter is 13.9″ while the height is 3.6″, so there is not much difference here. This is also a fairly standard size and should be able to go under most pieces of furniture and tight spots.
Obviously, there is no winner here too because both the models have a similar size and dimension, and both are good in manoeuvring around.
This is one of the most critical aspects of the vacuum cleaner, and this is also the area where many other similar brands fail.
Roomba 690 cleans with a spinning side brush, central bristle brush roll and a strong vacuum suction. Together, these three do a fantastic job of cleaning the place for you.
The side brushes push the dirt from the edges and corners to the central brush roll. This roll, in turn, gathers all the dust while the vacuum suction does an effective job of cleaning the entire area that it can cover.
Roomba 890 also has a similar three-pronged strategy to give you the most perfect clean. The added advantage is that the central brush roll is more advanced than the one Roomba 690 uses. Unlike the 690, it has dual brush rolls called debris extractors that gather all possible dirt and dust including small hairs. This is why Roomba 890 is ideal in homes that have pets or people with long hairs.
Many reviewers have tested both these products across different floors and kinds of debris. On hardwood floors, Roomba 690 collected 99% of rice, 100% of cereal, 96% of cat litter and 95% of sugar whereas Roomba 890 collected 100% of rice, 100% of cereal, 92% of cat litter and 100% of sugar respectively.
In low pile carpet tests, Roomba 690 gathered 100% of rice and cereal, 98% of cat litter and 72% if sugar while Roomba 890 gathered 100% of rice, cereal and litter, but only 65% of sugar. The exact reason for this difference is hard to point out to any feature.
On high pile carpets, Roomba 690 gathered 99% of rice, cereal and cat litter, and 66% of sugar. Roomba 890, on the other hand, gathered 100% of rice, cereal and cat litter, while it collected 50% of sugar.
In these tests, Roomba 890 performed better in cleaning all debris except sugar. Though Roomba 690 also did a great job, the 890 model just out did it.
The final verdict – both the products do a good cleaning job, but Roomba 890 is definitely better, especially if you want to clean hair and other tiny particles often.
Both the models use iRobot proprietary algorithm called iAdapt to navigate their way through the floor plan. With this technology, the robovacs can understand the kind of floor they are working on, sense walls and edges and avoid falls.
Though both the models are equal on this front, yet their navigation performance varies because of the presence or absence of other features.
The edge sensors present along the front side of Roomba 690 have a drop detection technology, so it prevents the device from falling over stairs or lofted spaces. Yet, Roomba 690’s navigation is a little suspect because it does not come with a memory mapping feature. This is why complicated floor plans or those with multi-levels are not ideal for Roomba’s 690.
On the other hand, Roomba 890 comes with a memory mapping feature, which means, it can understand even the most complicated floor plans and navigate through them. This memory mapping feature uses infrared to identify obstacles and layouts, and the same is stored in memory so that the device can remember it the next time.
Also, this feature increases the efficiency of Roomba 890 as it does not waste time and energy bumping into obstacles again and again. The edge sensors, however, are present in the same place as that of Roomba 690, but the presence of memory mapping technology greatly enhances its navigation.
So, the final verdict is that Roomba 890 scores big time on this feature. Its navigation and efficiency are clearly much better than Roomba 690.
6. Dirt Detection
Both the models use advanced technologies and acoustic sensors for dirt detection, which means, they can identify the dirtier areas and spend more time cleaning them.
In addition, Roomba 890 has a range of optical sensors that make it better at identifying dirt and cleaning them.
So, if you think you’re going to end up with dirtier floors often, Roomba 890 is your choice.
7. Filtration System
Roomba 690 uses AeroVac filtration system to filter out all the dust particles and debris. The filter that this model uses is called AeroVac. The main job of this filter is to pull all the hair, dirt and grime off the brushes and move them to the dustbin. The AeroVac filters do a reasonable job in filtering dust, carpet fuzz, dirt and pet hair, but sometimes the fuzz and hair could get tangled in the filters.
Also, the filter is fairly large and takes up substantial space in the dustbin, but it is quite effective. The problem, though, is that there is not much space in the dustbin for debris. This could prove to be a problem when you have to remove considerable debris from any place.
Roomba 890, on the other hand, uses a HEPA filtration system called AeroForce. These are high-efficiency filters that are known to trap more than 99% of all dust, allergens, pollen and anything else that is 10 microns or less. This pretty much means almost every bit of dust in your house, including your pet’s hair, carpet fuzz, pencil shavings, dust and so much more.
This filter is much smaller when compared to that of Roomba 690, and this means, there is more space to hold debris. As a result, it is more effective in cleaning large areas of debris.
In addition, this is a brushless system, so the brushes do not have to be cleaned periodically like the 690 model. The motor of 890 is more powerful and so, provides a stronger suction force. In fact, the suction force is five times more in 890 when compared to 690.
The winner of this category is definitely Roomba 890 as its filtering system is much more effective when compared to 690. In fact, iRobot has rectified the mistakes made in 690 in this model, especially with respect to the filtering system.
Both the vacuum cleaners are “smart” and connect to your home Wi-Fi system. The obvious advantage is you can control them from your smartphone app. You can even schedule the cleaning time, preferably when no one is at home, and the devices will clean the entire house for you. So, a clean home will welcome you back from work.
In terms of comfort and convenience, cleaning your house is just a breeze. You can even send voice commands over Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa to get the job done.
However, neither of these devices can deliver what’s called the Clean Map report to give you an idea of how much area it has cleaned, how much dust it has collected, the date and time of cleaning and more.
In comparison, both the devices offer the same amount of connectivity and features. But, they can offer more, especially considering that they have the capability built into them.
9. Parts and Accessories
Roomba 690 comes with four accessories while Roomba 890 comes with three accessories. The common accessories that come with both the products are:
- Virtual wall barrier
- Charging station
Roomba 690 comes with its AeroVac filter while Roomba 890 comes with its AeroForce filter. In addition to these three, Roomba 690 comes with an additional cleaning tool that doesn’t come as a part of Roomba 890.
So, if you’re particular about the extra cleaning tool, then Roomba 690 is the clear winner in this category. Otherwise, both the products seem to have the same parts and accessories.
10. Setup and Usability
Roomba 690 scores high in terms of usability. Its user interface is simple and intuitive and can be handled by anyone. The setup process is also easy as all you have to do is unbox it, install the brush, charge and use. It doesn’t really get easier than this. There is also a document that comes with the product to help you understand different parts, and remove any of it, in case you need it in the future.
Roomba 890 is also quite comparable to Roomba 690’s usability. The setup process is also the same.
Both the products connect to iRobot smartphone app that has an aesthetically appealing design and a clean user interface. Navigation is easy and you can find whatever you want on the app. Setting up is easy as well. Install the app, register by entering your details and you’re all set. It takes only a few minutes for the entire setup process.
Since there is no difference at all in terms of usability and setup, there is no winner here. In fact, we can even say that both the products are winners because they have one of the best usability in the robotic vacuum cleaner market today.
11. Dustbin Indicator
One minor feature that can make life a little bit easy for you is the dustbin indicator. Roomba 890 has an alert sound that tells you when the dust bin is almost full. SO, you can empty it and maybe even clean the filters.
With Roomba 690, there is no such indication, so you’re left wondering if the dust bin is full and needs to clean. Though this is a small feature, it adds greatly to convenience and this is why the Roomba 890 model scores over 690.
Maintenance is a critical aspect in vacuum cleaning. You sure don’t have to have an elaborate and expensive maintenance process on your hands, as that negates the very idea of having an automated cleaner in the first place.
Thankfully, Roomba models are consistent in maintenance and are fairly easy as well.
In Roomba 690, you have to empty the dust bin and clean the filters often to ensure that you have a good clean every time and to help the parts and accessories have a longer life. Also, the bristle-style brush will entail more maintenance when compared to the brush roll of the Roomba 890 model, especially if you have pets because the hair will get tangled in the brush often.
The maintenance costs for Roomba 690 comes to about $33 a year. Here is a split up of the costs associated with it.
Battery18 to 36 months$20
|Name of the part||Frequency||Cost per replacement|
|Spinning brush||6 months||$1.25|
|Front wheel||12 months||$8|
|Brush roll||12 months||$5|
|Battery||18 to 36 months||$20|
When it comes to Roomba 890, the cost and effort is fairly similar. You’ll have to clean the dustbin and filters often to extend the life of the device.
One area where the 890 model scores over 690 is the maintenance of the brush roll. In this model, the roll is rubberized to prevent hair tangles and this is why it is easier to maintain when compared to the traditional bristle-style brush.
But, in terms of cost, Roomba 890 costs a little more as the average maintenance cost for each year comes to around $36. Here is a split up of the costs.
Battery18 to 36 months$20
|Name of the part||Frequency||Cost per replacement|
|Spinning brush||6 months||$1.25|
|Front wheel||12 months||$11|
|Debris extractor||12 months||$14|
|Battery||18 to 36 months||$24|
In terms of battery, both use lithium-ion batteries and they deliver a run time of one hour.
So, which of the two is better in terms of maintenance? Roomba 890 again because you don’t have to clean the bristle-style brush that can sometimes be a painful thing to do. Otherwise, the rest are same and the maintenance cost is also pretty much the same.
Most traditional vacuum cleaners tend to be noisy, but Roomba models are different. A sound test was conducted where the noise was measured three inches away from where the vacuum was running, and the noise level was 68 dB (Decibel). To give you an idea, your hair dryer has a decibel value of 90 while the city traffic averages around 70. The sound of a crying baby can range anywhere from 99 to 120 dB. So, comparatively, the Roomba is silent!
Both the models have the same noise level, so you can choose either one on this front.
14. Roomba 690 vs Roomba 890: Pros and Cons
Let’s briefly look through the pros and cons of each product.
Roomba 690 Pros
The pros of Roomba 690 are:
- The cost is highly competitive. Though, it’s a good price for a robotic vacuum cleaner of this quality.
- Comes with Wi-Fi connectivity.
- Since you can control it with voice, it greatly enhances usability.
Roomba 690 Cons
The cons of Roomba 690 are:
- Not the best choices for homes with complicated floor plans because its memory mapping is fairly basic.
- The bristle style of brush rolls is hard to maintain, especially if your home tends to have a lot of debris and hair.
Roomba 890 Pros
The pros of Roomba 890 are:
- Memory mapping feature makes navigation easy and works well across all kinds of floor plans.
- Comes with advanced dual brush rolls that make it ideal for cleaning hair and other kinds of debris.
Roomba 890 Cons
The cons of Roomba 890 are:
- Can be a little expensive, though the additional features justify this price.
- The cleaning is good, but when you compare it with Roomba 690, the difference is not substantial. However, if you have pets or people with long hairs, then Roomba 890 makes a difference.
Roomba 690 vs Roomba 890: Final Verdict
When you compare Roomba 690 with Roomba 890, clearly the latter is better. Though it costs $150 more, Roomba 890 has many additional features that increase its overall performance and usability. In fact, it is the ideal one in homes with pets or long-haired people as the advanced brush roll can remove all of these for you.
On the other hand, if you’re on a tight budget, then Roomba 690 is still a good choice. But, if you can afford the extra cost, go for Roomba 890 as it is one of the best models available today.
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