With technology advances, people are purchasing gadgets to automate some of the most time-consuming housework. In response to consumer interest, companies are continually advancing smart home products, such as robotic vacuums. Although the first generation models were fairly rudimentary, smart floor cleaners are now sufficiently advanced that the task of vacuuming really can be automated.
Today, there are numerous manufacturers vying for space in the robotic vacuum sector. With all these companies claiming that their products are the best, how can we know which smart floor cleaner to choose?
Unfortunately, not every manufacturer is entirely trustworthy and the reality doesn't live up to the hype of their adverts. There are only a few companies that actually manufacture top-notch, reliable and quality robotic vacuums.
Two of those trusted brands are Neato and iRobot. These companies have been around for a long time and we can even say that they've revolutionised their industries by creating some of the best vacuum cleaners.
As already mentioned, the first generations of smart floor cleaners weren't ideal and they had a lot of flaws.
Luckily, it's a bit different now. Both Neato and iRobot have advanced as companies and created two amazing smart cleaners: the Neato Botvac and the Roomba 980.
So now we'll start our review of two of the most popular robotic vacuums on the market, that have changed lives of many, revolutionised the industry and continue to amaze thousands of people.
Table of Contents
- Neato Botvac vs Roomba 980: Pros & Cons and Verdict
- 1. Set Up Process
- 2. Design
- 3. Performance
- 4. Features
- 5. Cleaning Capabilities
- 6. Advantages and Disadvantages
- 7. Mobile Applications
- 8. Support
- Comparison Chart: Neato Botvac vs Roomba 980
- The Bottom Line
Neato Botvac vs Roomba 980: Pros & Cons and Verdict
Before we start comparing Neato Botvac and Roomba 980, let's say a few words about smart home cleaners generally.
Firstly, investing in a smart home cleaner can be a great move. Floor-cleaning robots can eliminate some tedious and time-consuming household chores.
1. Set Up Process
The first thing we should write about is the setup process of Neato Botvac and Roomba 980.
Setting up Neato Botvac is pretty easy and I won't waste your time presenting a step-by-step guide. I'll drop a detailed video that perfectly explains the whole process.
If you somehow get lost in the process and somehow manage to mess things up, you can either start over and follow the instructions (a written guide will be included in the pack) or just reach out to the support team at Neato's website and they'll gladly assist you with anything you need.
iRobot is widely known as the manufacturer of the most easy-to-set-up smart cleaners. So it's not surprising that Roomba 980 is the easiest robotic vacuum to set up. Setting up Roomba 980 is intuitive and I'm 100% sure you'll have a fully functional Roomba 980 in 7-10 minutes.
Just for your interest, take a look a the video posted above, which demonstrates just how easy it is to set up the Roomba 980.
Okay, who doesn't love gadgets that do cool stuff and also look really attractive? I think everyone knows that today's smart home shopper seek out products that are not only functional but which also look amazing.
So let's rate the designs of Roomba 980 and Neato Botvac and decide which of them looks better.
The shape and the dimensions of these products, as well as contributing to ‘the look', also play a big role in the effectiveness of Botvac and Roomba 980 – simply because if they're too big or small, they'll have problems cleaning certain places.
Neato Botvac is a robotic vacuum that looks really good. Unlike Roomba 980, which has a round shape, Neato Botvac has a ‘D' shape. Neato chose this shape solely to make its robot more flexible. The dimensions of Neato Botvac are 3.9 by 12.7 by 13.2 (HWD) inches, which makes it slightly bigger than Roomba 980.
If you take a closer look at Neato Botvac, it's a quite attractive and alluring smart floor cleaner.
Roomba 980's design is quite similar to its predecessors. iRobot hasn't changed much in design and they've mostly focused on improving the floor cleaner's capabilities.
Visually, as we've said above, Roomba 980 has a circular shape that makes it flexible and able to clean places that aren't reachable for many smart floor cleaners.
Just take a look at Roomba 980's looks. It's attractive, desirable, quality-made and shiny. It's true that we can't say if Roomba 980 or Neato Botvac looks better because choosing between them is simply based on personal preferences.
If I had to make the choice, I'd surely go for the Roomba 980. It's more attractive, shiny and futuristic-looking. Plus, I love the circular design.
The most important aspect of our comparison article is discussing the performance abilities of our smart floor cleaners. Let's face it, both Roomba 980 and Neato Botvac are quite pricey and it's really, really important to know their capabilities and whether buying these smart floor cleaners are actually worth the investment.
Neato Botvac has identical methods of cleaning your home as the previous models had. Neato Botvac is a smart floor cleaner that can determine its own location and use this information to make sure your room is being cleaned throughout.
For example, if Neato Botvac approaches the edges of your room, Neato Botvac will use its laser sensors to navigate itself to sweep back and forth across the centre of the room.
When Botvac finishes its work, it'll return to its docking station for a recharge. Below you'll find an illustration that shows how Botvac navigates and finds its way.
As for the cleaning itself, Neato Botvac can remove almost any kind of dirt. For example, Botvac can easily remove things like pet hair, dust, stains from spilt milk, etc.
The cool part about Botvac's performance is that it's quieter than Roomba 980. It is a bit noisy but it's not something that could annoy you. When I tested my Neato Botvac, the toughest mission was to clean the dust underneath my TV stand. Botvac had some problems doing so since that area was thick with dust and fluff; but despite the obstacles Botvac faced, it managed to clean the place perfectly.
Shortly, Botvac managed to clean my apartment, which consists of a bathroom, 2 bedrooms, kitchen, hall, and a living room, in 70-75 minutes. To activate Neato Botvac to start cleaning, you should just press the Play button on Botvac's mobile app or the Home button on Botvac itself.
Suggested Read: iRobot Roomba 650 vs 770: Pros & Cons and Verdict
Neato Botvac has two cleaning modes: turbo-mode (it's louder) and eco-mode (it's quieter and saves a lot of energy). So if you don't want to be bothered by loud noise, and if you'd like to save energy, eco-mode is a perfect feature to use.
Roomba 980 has better capabilities than its predecessors. Roomba 980 now has a better lithium-ion battery that makes the device work longer. Plus, Roomba 980 now has a built-in camera and enhanced sensors that help the smart floor cleaner to better know its whereabouts.
If you take a look at the picture above, you'll notice the unique style of Roomba 980. Now it focuses more on places that need more attention and it makes sure nothing gets left out. Unlike the previous models, which had a random style of cleaning (leaving some places completely untouched), the Roomba 980 navigates a lot smarter and ensures every bit of your floors get cleaned.
So it was a smart move to change the cleaning process to a more intelligent routine. With all of those newly added things, Roomba 980 pretty much became the complete smart floor cleaner on the market. Roomba 980 is now able to work continuously for at least 2 hours and cover several rooms in one run before recharge.
NB. The battery life may vary since different floor textures require different levels of energy. For example, if we enable the carpet boost feature, Roomba 980's battery life will be consumed more quickly.
What I love about Roomba 980 the most is the “block” feature it has. For instance, if you have a pet and there are some food or water bowls on the floor, it'll be caught up in the cleaning process and can turn into a huge mess.
However, with Roomba 980's newest “block-off” feature, you restrict Roomba 980 from cleaning certain places. This way, you can stay safe and be sure that those restricted areas won't be touched.
The next thing we need to talk about is the features of Roomba 980 and Neato Botvac. For this reason, we've created a handy chart that shows the features of both of these robotic vacuums.
As you see, both Neato Botvac and Roomba 980 have some really strong features. For instance, Botvac's Laser-Guided Technology and Roomba's 10x Power are so advanced they're “off the chart” compared to 99% of robotic vacuums.
In other words, Roomba 980 and Neato Botvac are the top-notch, industry-leading smart floor cleaners. So if you decide to purchase either of them, I'm quite sure Botvac and Roomba 980 will exceed your expectations.
5. Cleaning Capabilities
The next thing we should talk about is the cleaning capability of Roomba 980 and Neato Botvac – which is, after all, the primary reason why people buy robotic vacuums. So it's important to know how well these robotic vacuums can handle the job.
The cleaning abilities of Neato Botvac are good but it has a flaw. Botvac's dustbin is small and it sometimes gets filled before getting the job done.
So it's quite of an issue because if your home needs some serious cleaning, you'll have to be around to supervise the dustbin. Once the bin is full, the Botvac won't have the capacity to pick up more dirt until it's emptied again.
As for the actual cleaning process, Botvac works gently with furniture and it's very good for cleaning pet hair and dirt. Additionally, Botvac works perfectly with rugs and different surfaces like hard wood.
Lastly, Botvac has a good battery life and, as we've mentioned above, most probably Botvac will clean your home without needing a single recharge. If your home is big and Botvac does need a recharge, it'll automatically return to its docking station and, when recharged, it'll resume its work until completely done.
The carpet mode is really loud! It's as loud as Neato's, and the performance and cleaning capabilities of Roomba 980 in the carpet mode is amazing. Some people claim that Roomba 980's performance rate is worse than Roomba 880's. Fortunately, that's not true – Roomba 980 is far more effective than any other smart floor cleaner.
We've tested Roomba 980 on hard floors and carpets, and we were amazed how well Roomba 980 handled the job.
Roomba 980 was able to take up huge sand-like particles without any problem and continued working at an optimum level without falter.
If you start cleaning in carpet mode and your home is quite large, it's highly possible that Roomba 980 will need a recharge (since carpet mode requires a fair amount more energy). Don't worry about this: as soon as it goes into the low-battery mode, Roomba 980 will automatically go to its docking station for a recharge, and, once fully recharged, Roomba will resume its work.
We've tested Botvac and Roomba 980 on different types of floors. For example, mid-pile & low-pile carpet and hardwood floor. For each floor-surface texture/scenario, we made Roomba and Botvac clean up a variety of debris, and, in every case, the Roomba 980 came out as a winner.
Both the Roomba 980 and the Botvac struggled to pick up the sand, and both of them left some on the floor. Still, Roomba 980 had better results than Neato Botvac.
6. Advantages and Disadvantages
We've discussed a lot of things and rated some of the most important features of Roomba 980 and Neato Botvac. Now, to make this easier for the potential buyers, we'll create a small chart which will include the pros and cons of both of these smart floor cleaners.
With this garnering of the strong and weak points of these robotic vacuums, you can surf through our charts and make sure you're buying the right product.
|Boost & Eco Modes||Battery Weakens Over Time|
|Laser-Guided Navigation||Small Dustbin|
|Flexible Mobile App|
|Good Sensing Abilities|
|Works Well on Any Surface|
|Smart Schedules||It's Loud|
|10x Stronger Power||Pricey|
|Flexible Mobile App|
|Recharge & Resume|
That's pretty much everything about the advantages and disadvantages of Roomba 980 and Neato Botvac. If you take a look a the pros and cons we've listed, Roomba 980 is the obvious winner here.
We've got some interesting topics left to discuss, so don't stop reading here.
7. Mobile Applications
Today, we live in a world where mobile phones play important roles in our lives. Let's face it, everyone has a smartphone and most people would like to navigate their smart gadgets using their mobile phones.
So both Roomba and Neato have released mobile applications (pretty good ones) that can help you with navigating your robotic vacuums. That said, we should write a little about how good these mobile apps are and if they are truly helpful.
Besides the feature that lets you activate or deactivate your Neato Botvac, the company added a control button that enables you to navigate your smart floor cleaner. For example, if Botvac leaves a place uncleaned, you can access the app through your phone and navigate your robotic vacuum to the place you'd like to clean.
Yes, having this feature isn't mandatory for a robotic vacuum but it's cool to have something like this. Frankly, Botvac has a flexible mobile application that never lags and crashes. It's clean-looking, easy-to-use and works like a charm. Plus, it has some important features and gives you a lot of freedom.
In addition, you can switch modes from Neato's mobile app, you can name your robotic vacuum, send commands and do some other cool things.
Roomba's mobile app is available for download on iOS and Android devices. Setting up iRobot's mobile app is pretty basic and it only takes 3-5 minutes.
Navigating Roomba 980's mobile app is quite easy and it has some nice features. For example, you can activate your Roomba 980 from your phone, there's an option for setting schedules and some other cool stuff.
Roomba 980's mobile app is nice but it has a lot of room for improvement. Unlike Neato Botvac's app, Roomba lacks features that could've helped you with the navigation process.
The truth is that we're paying a nice amount of cash to purchase quality robotic vacuums and we might need some help while setting them up or understanding the basics. The solution is reaching out to the support team.
Both iRobot and Neato have amazing support teams that are always online and are ready to answer even the most newbie questions. I've talked with them several times, have always been given professional answers, and the person I talked to was eager to help me out.
So, in short, both of these companies have superb support teams. So don't worry if you get stuck. You can always reach out to them and be sure to get professional answers and tips.
Comparison Chart: Neato Botvac vs Roomba 980
Before we conclude, here is a chart to provide a direct comparison of our smart floor cleaners.
As you see, both of these robotic vacuums have their pros and cons. They're similar in some ways but differ in others. They have some unique specifications and handle the cleaning job differently.
What these two have in common is the quality and the trusted names they have on the market. Roomba 980 and Botvac are highly-trusted gadgets and can be called the best on the market.
Since this is a comparison article, we need to choose a winner so that the buyers can get a clear opinion on what product they should purchase.
It's a tough choice to make but Roomba 980 is the clear winner here. Neato Botvac is a promising floor cleaner with awesome features, cleaning capabilities and an outstanding mobile app but is still far away from the level of Roomba 980.
Roomba 980 is the highest-rated robotic vacuum on Amazon and 99% of reviewers speak highly of this gadget. I've heard that iRobot is planning a partnership with Nest in the nearest future. That would be a real breakthrough in terms of further possibilities.
The Bottom Line
We've written about the pros and cons of Neato Botvac and Roomba 980, rated their designs, capabilities and features, created some interesting charts and talked about their mobile apps.
The one thing you should know is that both of these smart floor cleaners are quality-made, trusted and highly-acclaimed products. They have thousands of satisfied customers and the numbers are still rising.
If you want to purchase an industry-leading smart floor cleaner, you should go for the Roomba 980. But if you think that Neato Botvac is a better fit for you, go for it. It's a top-notch product that'll leave you surprised and definitely exceed your expectations.
If you still need some convincing and you haven't made your final decision, you can jump to Amazon and read some reviews written by other buyers. There's some valuable information out there and I'm sure it'll be crucial for making your final call.