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Hands-on review: Ecovacs Deebot N8 Pro

Ecovacs' Deebot N8 Pro has wormed its way into my affections. I was initially unaware of a transformation gradually occurring, but by the end of the review, my heart had been won over. I had always thought it would take a shiny new computer or gaming system, but this humble robotic cleaner took me by surprise.

Unpacking and setting up the Deebot N8 Pro proved to be a breeze. Once I downloaded the App to my iPhone, all that remained was to place it on our home network and away it went.

Deebot's website informs me that suction is up by 73% on previous models. This extra suck is due to the placement of the suction motor right next to the floor. Looking at the job it has already done on our tiled floors and carpet, my new friends at Ecovacs will be delighted to read that the Deebot N8 Pro really sucks. It has even managed to remove what we thought would be a permanent mark on the carpet.

With each pass of the Deebot, it has got fainter as more of what congealed into our carpet is sucked up. With its built-in HEPA filtering system, the Deebot N8 Pro ensures that small particles are filtered and not blown back into the air. My asthmatic lungs and sensitive sinuses appreciate that.

The N8 Pro will run for 110 minutes between charges. Charging takes around 4 hours according to the website. If the battery level gets low, the Deebot will return to the charging station to recharge before resuming cleaning duties.

One nifty feature is the mop function which uses the OZMO mopping system. Ecovacs reports that “the DEEBOT N8 PRO can simultaneously vacuum and mop.

The innovative technology allows you to set four moisture levels for different needs and floor types, such as laminate, wooden floors or tiles – conveniently via the App. The water tank is designed for large areas so that you do not have to interrupt the cleaning process to keep on refilling it with water. 

It was a delight to give my back a rest from swabbing the decks. Our tiles have come up a treat. Manual washing often leaves streaks, but Deebot somehow avoids this. I stood in the bathroom for hours, admiring the stunning reflection leering back at me. You can alter the rate of water use, but I kept it at the minimum setting, and the results were brilliant.

Deebot's website reports that “Thanks to its carpet detection function, the DEEBOT N8 PRO immediately identifies carpets and reacts accordingly by increasing the suction and avoiding this area when mopping.”  However, if you leave boxes of review products scattered on the floor, don't be surprised if it wets the floor and asks for your help.

The Auto-empty station is an optional accessory that is really worth considering, especially if you want a totally hands-off cleaning experience.

It has a disposable dust bag with a 2.5l capacity, and you replace it every 30 days. It will add $400 to the purchase price of $899, but you will then be left with a no-hassle cleaning solution. The only task you will have to slave over is filling up the water receptacle when mopping.

As a serial clutterer, I have learned that decluttering the floors allows the Deebot to map our home systematically. Too much stuff in the way, and you may end up with the Deebot to-ing and fro-ing a little too much.

You can schedule your cleaning and then forget about it. If the battery level drops during cleaning, Deeboot will return to the charging station and then recommence cleaning from where it left off. It may not negotiate stairs, but it will recognise them and stop itself from toppling. Ecovac's App is simple to use and in no time you'll be doing housework even when you're out and about.

You will find that Deebot vacuums more slowly (and thoroughly) than a manually operated vacuum cleaner. Our carpet's pile feels rejuvenated, with more body and bounce. Examining the dust receptacle revealed a lot of very fine stuff, which I assume is what has been worn into our pile. Every clean seems to bring the carpet up a little more.

Looking through the house, our carpet seemed to lose a few years of age and return to its original beige which had become a kind of grey-beige since I took over vacuuming duties in our domus. Looking at some videos from one of the listed resellers, they pointed out that there are no tubes, and that the suction motor is right down on the ground, meaning more suck than your ordinary hand-held vacuum.

My gorgeous wife has tended to ignore my waxing lyrical on the items I review. After years of pointedly ignoring my excitement, she finally brought tears of joy to my eyes when she said, “Let's get one!”

Those of you with larger homes may well want to look at Ecovac's other models, some of which offer longer running times between charges. The Deebot N8 PRO is ideal for our three-bedroomed home, the 110-minute battery life ensuring complete coverage, providing you keep your floors clutter-free.

The Deebot N8 Pro will be ideal for medium-sized households where time is a precious commodity, and clean floors are a must. I can say that Ecovacs have made me a much better (and tidier) person while allowing me to do the cleaning no matter where in the world I may be. This is one product that won my heart and also significantly my wife's, and she is much harder to impress.

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