Top positive review
The best model to get for under $300
July 21, 2019
I have spent weeks researching robotic vacuums. After comparing and contrasting different models from big-name brands like iRobot, iLife, Eufy, etc, I figured this would be a good budget vacuum. I bought this a few weeks ago and have been using it. Here are my thoughts.
Build/Physique: This is a very sturdy unit. It has the classic round shape other robotic vacuums have. It weighs a few pounds but isn't too heavy. It's big enough where it can suck up a good amount of dirt, but not so big where it can't get underneath things like tables, but chairs can be a bit of a different story.
Setup: Setup is easy. I just followed the instructions and put everything together as described/shown.
Controls: What’s nice about this vacuum is that you can control it with a physical remote (that comes with it) or the Eufy app on your smartphone. The app has slightly more functionality than the remote, but it’s trivial depending on your needs (see below). I don't personally need the app, but I can see why it would be convenient. Some folks may want to run the vacuum while they're away from their house.
Maintenance: Remember, the only robotic part about the vacuum is its ability to scour your house and suck up dirt and muck. It is not a self-maintaining machine. That being said, emptying the dustbin is simple -- you just press a button, release the bin, unfold it, and dump it out. The filter is also easy to pop in and out. If I'm not mistaken, there are one or two filters that are washable, along with some disposable ones. Cleaning the roller brush and the side brushes is also very easy, and there are extra side brushes that come with the unit. If you need more, you can order individual parts or a kit that (I believe) 8 side brushes, one or two roller brushes, and some filters (sorry, I don't know the quantities).
Performance: This is where the fun begins. If you're not familiar with how robotic vacuums operate, here's a quick breakdown -- models like this one and many of the lower-end machines just blindly roam around and pick up whatever they find. More expensive units have navigational systems that allow them to map your house and create a floor plan so it knows where it is, where it's been, and where it hasn't been. Both WILL vacuum well, but the higher-end vacuums perform more efficiently. This vacuum roams around blindly, and it can be very frustrating to watch it move sporadically around your house. I also own an iRobot Roomba 980 which does have the mapping capabilities, so it covers the same amount of space in far less time. All this being said, however, it does have great suction and picks up things very well, including dog hair. I have a medium-sized yellow lab that sheds profusely, and it manages to suck up the hair very well off of hardwood floors. It also manages low-pile carpets well, too. Don't get this vacuum (or any robotic vacuum for that matter) if you're planning on vacuuming deep carpets, especially if you're trying to get dog hair out.
Make sure that you pick up loose wires or any obstructions on the floor. These vacuums need as little interference from objects as much as possible. If you do forget to pick up a wire off of the floor, the vacuum has a feature where if it accidentally sucks it up, it will recognize it is a wire and drop it after a few seconds and move on. My Roomba 980 doesn't do that (to my knowledge). In general, it does well with not getting itself stuck. I have a pretty large divider that separates my kitchen floor from my dining room floor (about 3/4 of an inch), and it manages to get over the hump easily. Another nifty feature the vacuum has is cliff detection, so if it approaches stairs, it will not fall down them and get damaged; however, there's a drawback to this. If the vacuum encounters carpeting that is dark, the it might think it's seeing black and not continue to clean that area, so it'll move away. Stray away from dark-colored carpets if you can.
It may bump into things from time to time, but there won't be any scratches on the unit. It has a bumper on it that will receive the impact of any collisions it has with objects it finds.
There are three suction power settings, escalating in power from 1 to 3. You can adjust with the remote and I would assume the app. It even beeps the number correlating to the suction power when you press the button, so 1 beep for suction power 1 (or the lowest setting), 2 beeps for suction power 2 (or the medium setting), etc.
If something goes wrong, it will beep in patterns, and you can check what error message is being denoted. I also like this feature, and the beeps are pretty loud, too.
The unit is fairly quiet. You can clearly hear when it's on, but it makes a fraction of the noise a regular vacuum makes. This would be good for people who work from home but want to run the vacuum.
Other vacuums (including Eufy's 30C) has a feature known as boundary strips or virtual walls. These are devices, or magnetic strips in Eufy's case, that send out a signal that prevent the vacuum from crossing a certain point/line. If you didn't want the vacuum to enter a certain area of your living room, you'd just have to put down one of the strips/set one of the walls at that area to prevent it from entering that area. The 15C Max does NOT have this feature, which I personally enjoy and would prefer to have, but, like having a regular vacuum, you're going to have be tidier if you want the vacuum to run without any problems/hiccups.
You can also schedule the vacuum to run at certain times, which can only be done through the app. This feature is meant for folks I mentioned earlier that want to run the vacuum while they're not home. The app also shows you the current state of the vacuum: whether it's in standby mode (which just means it's docked and turned on), cleaning, and offline.
Battery Life: At a full charge, I managed to get about an hour and a half (90 minutes) worth of a cleaning cycle out of it at the highest suction power. Eufy claims you can get up to 100 minutes at a full charge, so I'd say this checks out. The extremely convenient feature of this vacuum is that it is self-docking, which means if you press the power/home button on the remote or app (or if the unit's battery is low), it will stop cleaning and return to the charging base all on its own. It does behave strangely if the base isn't in a clear location/up against a strong-walled surface. So, make sure you don't have anything blocking the path for the vacuum to get to the base, and ensure that the base is firmly against a wall. This is easily one of my favorite things about this unit.
The Bottom line: For $280, this vacuum rocks. You won't find a more powerful machine. It has some great features like painless setup, automatic self-docking charging, auditory suction power and error codes, cliff detection, compact size, a great battery life, powerful suction, flexible control devices (remote/app), easy maintenance, scheduling/automation, and cheap replacement components for order.
There are certainly some drawbacks like darker carpets interfering with cliff detection, randomized roaming that doesn't make sense, and no boundary strips, but again, consider an iRobot Roomba 980 whose price is currently $900 as of 07/21/2019. It does have mapping and virtual boundaries, but you need to consider the significant price hike comparing these two particular models. Is it worth three times what this unit costs to pay for a machine that does have those features? This is in no way an insult to iRobot, but not everybody can just drop nearly a grand on most things, especially a vacuum. Take it from me who has a machine capable of efficient navigation. I'm glad I got both and was able to test them out. Watching the 15C Max after using the Roomba 980 is painful. But again, three times the price. The Eufy is still very powerful and picks up dirt/hair great.
The Eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 15C Max performs very well and has plenty of awesome features with just a few drawbacks, and I truly believe you won't find a better robotic vacuum for under $300.