Where everyone cannot afford to spend hundreds of dollars on high-end robot vacuums like Neato or Dyson 360 eye, But iRobot has changed the wind of expensive models and have introduced this affordable and entry-level Roomba 690 that offers a lot of value for about half the price.
Though it’s not affordable as Eufy RoboVac 11 it offers advanced features like Wi-Fi connectivity, app control, and voice commands via Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. After Eufy if there’s any robotic cleaner we can recommend is Roomba 690.
Let’s see the detailed iRobot Roomba 690 Review.
iRobot Roomba 690 Review
This iRobot Roomba 690 review covers everything from design, features, and performance to Pros and Cons.
The Roomba 690 comes in a black-silver body and a circular shape with 13.0-inches in diameter and 3.7-inches tall. That’s just about the same size as the Bissell SmartClean 1974 with 3.4-inches height. The shortest of all robots is Eufy Robovac 11, which is 3.0 inches taller.
That said, the Roomba 690 won’t be able to get under low-profile furniture, but can manage to clean under most furniture except couches and cabinets.
It weighs about 7.4 pounds, where SmartClean and Robovac are much lighter respectively.
At the top, there’s a large silver Clean button that is used to start, pause, and end sessions. Below this button, there’s a home icon that is used to returns the machine back to the charging station or docking stand. Above it is a spot cleaning icon and above that a backlit panel which indicates the battery level, Wi-Fi connection, and errors.
The front bumper contains RCON sensor and at the back, there’s a removable dustbin. Flip over the bot and you will see a side brush, charging contacts, two roller brushes, two main wheels, and cliff sensors.
But that’s not all, the Roomba 690 brings it’s charging dock and a dual-model virtual wall beacon. The virtual wall requires two AAA batteries to run, included in the box. This virtual wall is way smaller but intuitive than BobSweep’s big block.
It’s a slim, squarish tower that contains a toggle switch at the back allowing you to shift between two modes.
If you slide it up, a 10-foot digital barrier begins stopping the vacuum from the spaces of room you don’t want the vacuum to cover.
If you slide it down, then a circular “halo” barrier is created of four-foot diameter which is perfect for pet owners and can be placed near pet’s food and water bowls to mark the area as No-Go for the bot to avoid bumps with these objects.
Setup and App
There’s nothing difficult in getting the bot ready. Once you’ve plugged in the dock, just flip over the vacuum and pull out the yellow plastic table sticking out from the battery.
Then leave it to get it fully charge-about three hours.
The only thing you need to do is get the app from Apple App store or Google Play and keep following the on-screen prompts to create an account and pair the bot with Wi-Fi but with the 2.4GHz band, not the 5GHz band.
This streamlined app has one button on the main screen: Clean. This button activates the machine even if you are not on the same Wi-Fi network.
In the top right corner of the app, you can check the battery life. At the bottom there are three menus: Lifetime performance Log (records of all cleanings including duration, sessions, and number of jobs Plus how many times it turned on the DirtDetect feature), Weekly schedule (allows you to schedule cleanings on certain days and time), and More (A button to find where to Roomba is at the current time, FAQs, videos, manuals and settings) .
In the app, there’s a connected Home menu select it and then pick any device to enable voice control. Most common are Amazon Voice Alexa commands and Amazon Echo Dot.
In this simple process, you need to open the Amazon Alexa app, go to the skill menu, select iRobot home, and press the enable button.
Soon after you press, you can start or stop the Roomba or sent it back to its dock, ask for updates, and ask the bot where it is, all through Alexa device.
Voice commands are very simple and work very well. But there can be a trouble for commands out of order.
The iRobot Roomba 690 is powerful enough that it can suck up dust, pet hairs, dirt on any floor except area rugs (struggles getting on top of the low-pile rug).
The bot sends notifications on the app saying that the Roomba got stuck by a cliff.
But sometimes issues are raised by dark flooring as the infrared sensors do not work on dark flooring, So if you have Georgia O’Keefe-inspired geometric patterns rug the bot is going to struggle.
Sometimes the cliff sensors of the bot can confuse dark colors with an edge or stair. Except for changing the location to clean, they’re not other solution. But this problem is not only with this machine, but many popular vacuums like Bobsweep PetHair and Bissell SmartClean also suffer from this.
But the best-selling Eufy Robovac 11 can safely trawl near the cables without tangling, that’s not the case with Roomba. Roomba won’t hesitate to eat the charging cords coming its way. With this problem you won’t even receive a notification, so better remove the cables from the way.
Furthermore, the bot might push objects around like stray shoes or shopping bags and end up in different rooms taking them along for a ride. Though the virtual wall helps cordon off specific areas, but do your homework to clear the floor.
If we compare the battery with expensive models like Dyson 360 Eye, Roomba lasts much longer being cheaper by providing juice for 70 minutes allowing you to clean living room, kitchen, hallway or other parts of your room.
But it hits a snag when it comes to the docking station. It struggles to return back to the home. While you can tell the bot to return to the dock in three ways: smartphone app, with Alexa or through the button on the bot itself.
And if you do not guide it will end up going in circles or bumping into walls looking for a home.
Similarly, app-based steering controls are also the disappointment. As instead of giving it a hand you could just steer it using the app to get to the dock.
Another drawback that draws our attention is the noise. While the vacuum is running around you won’t be able to take phone calls. In a nutshell, it’s louder than many traditional standing vacuums.