The Black and Decker Robotic Vacuum is a another great vacuum that offers customizable LED lighting which looks interesting to watch scoot around compared to your average Roomba.
Though it’s not good at traversing floor types and taller to go under low-profile furniture, it has impressive battery life and great suction capabilities.
It can be controlled by a well-designed app, but the Bluetooth range is limited. If you are not impressed by the rainbow lighting, better choose the iRobot Roomba 690.
Black and Decker Robotic Vacuum (HRV425BL) Review
Let’s discuss the Black and Decker Robotic Vacuum (HRV425BL) Review in details.
Design and Accessories
Well, to be honest with you, RGB lighting suits a gaming keyboard, not on a robot vacuum cleaner. However, this gimmick allows the vacuum to stand out from the fairly staid pack. Using the app you can customize the color and brightness of the light (more on this later).
Otherwise, the HRV 425BL is a typical top-loading, robot vacuum cleaner having 13.9 inches diameter and 4.3 inches tall making it ill-suited for low-profile tables, couches, or TV stands.
There’s a top-loading dustbin at the top of the vacuum. With a single push of a button, it pops up so you can empty it out. Above the dirt bin is a start/stop button and sensor or signal emitter the helps bot navigate around. The bumper at the front houses an infrared sensor, and underneath there are two side brushes, a 9-inch beater bar, drop sensors, two main wheels and a front wheel.
In the accessories, there’s a cleaning tool, a charging dock, a spare filter, and two spare side brushes (and a screwdriver). It lacks virtual walls so vacuum will move around without any restrictions.
Setup and App
The vacuum is ready to use right out of the box, the only thing it requires is plugin the dock and charge the robot and it takes around three hours to fully charge.
After this, simply download the mobile app from the Apple App Store or Google Play and create an account. Then open the app, press and hold the start/stop button to pair the robot. But using the robot doesn’t require to pair it (physical button can be used to start/stop), but if you want to schedule cleans, switch cleaning modes, change colors, or steer the bot, it’s not possible without pairing.
The Bluetooth connection has a range of 33 feet. So it’s good for small homes or apartments, but you can’t interact with the vacuum remotely. Connecting with Bluetooth can be troublesome if there are a lot of Bluetooth devices around. Sometimes the wireless interference can result in connection drop to the robot.
This user-friendly app allows you to see the name of your robot, connectivity status, cleaning status and battery level. There are three tabs: Cleaning Modes, Manual Steering, and Scheduling.
There are three different cleaning modes in the Cleaning tab: Auto Clean, Quick Clean, and Spot Clean. Similarly, the Manual steering screen has a direction pad that allows you to steer the vacuum according to your needs. Finally, the Scheduling tab allows to schedule the bot to clean for certain days and time in a week and times the robot cleans.
Then, there’s a settings icon located at the upper right corner, which includes Color Select menu allowing you to customize color settings for robots LED. Pick any colour, slide the brightness from low to max or vice versa from a range of pastels.
The lights are attractive, but you cannot program lighting effects. You will also see a cool rainbow pattern only when the bot wakes up and you cannot replicate that.
You will get a yellow light indication when the robot is stuck. You can also use light notifications for different things like red flash for low battery indication, pink flash when something is stuck in the roller and so on.
The HRV 425BL is a solid vacuum that follows random cleaning pattern, same is the Eufy RoboVac 11 but this cleaning pattern struggles to navigate different floor types.
Similarly, it struggles with raised flooring and sometimes gets stuck and would need a little push to move.
Unlike other expensive or less expensive vacuums, it works efficiently on darker flooring. As many robot vacuums suffer if they are operated on a black border and darkly colored geometric patterns. Like iRobot Roomba 690, would stop on dark flooring getting that as a cliff by its sensor.
However, Black and Decker will continue cleaning with minimal effort on these kinds of rugs.
The vacuum lacks remote control but the app works well until you are in the range.
It’s impressive suction power can pick up the good amount of dust, dirt, and hairs without high-power settings. The top-loading dustbin is easy to remove and easy to empty and holds a greater capacity compared to the Bissell SmartClean 1974 and the popular Samsung Powerbot R7070. Ultimately, you can complete several cleaning sessions without having to empty it.
The impressive battery life of 85-90 minutes allows the vacuum to clean most of your home’s area in a single charge. As for noise, it’s not the quiet vacuum and the Eufy Robovac 11 maintains it’s spot for the quietest robot vacuum and has an impressive battery life of 100 minutes and outlasts many expensive models like Dyson 360 Eye.
Docking itself is not an issue but it will take some lengthy detours before returning back.
At price under $400 it remains in the list of budget robot vacuums. However, there’s nothing the separates this bot to its competition except the LEd lighting. It does clean well, has an impressive battery life, runs well on dark flooring. But has limited Bluetooth range, struggles with raised flooring, cannot get under low-profile furniture. While a much less-expensive robot Roomba 690 under $300 offers some advanced features like Wi-FI, voice commands. But if you want all these features more less-expensive vacuum and prioritize savings over connectivity, then the Eufy RoboVac 11 is worth investing that handles different floor types and costs you nothing.
Overall, the Black and Decker Robot vacuum with LED and Smartech is an excellent machine with flashy desgin, it struggles with connectivity but delivers nice results in testing.