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Better than it must be at this price

Wyze has made a name for itself in the United States by offering competent smart home equipment for startlingly small money – $ 20 for a camera, $ 50 for a smart thermostat and so on. The $ 250 Wyze Robot Vacuum is the most expensive product, but it is still cheap compared to the competition. This device has full 3D mapping, scheduling, and it has an app that is not terrible. Most importantly, it does a very good job of cleaning, provided you don̵

7;t mind a little noise. Unfortunately, you can not control this device with Google Assistant, but it is one of the few drawbacks.

Design, hardware, what’s in the box

If you’ve seen a robot vacuum cleaner, you’ve seen them all. There is nothing that visually distinguishes Wyze Vacuum from hundreds of other vacuum cleaners. I would actually bet that the hardware was produced for Wyze by someone established in the industry. Wyze Vacuum is a black plastic puck that rolls around your house, and the shiny surface shows every dust or strand of hair that comes on it. The small buttons on the top can start cleaning cycles or send the robot back to charge without opening the app.

The top is opened to reveal the dust container and the small cleaning brush / razor. The dust container snaps in well, and dust does not leak everywhere when you take it to the rubbish. The underside has all sensors, vacuum components, wheels and edge brush. The wheels are larger than those I have seen on many other vacuum cleaners, and they have a deep tread to help the robot negotiate thick carpet. Like all robotic vacuum cleaners, the Wyze has sensors that tell it when to fall off a ledge or when it hits a wall. These all work as expected, but it is an absolute minimum for a robotic vacuum cleaner. The Wyze offer is more impressive when you appear in the mentioned survey. It has a LIDAR sensor on top, so it can know where walls and objects are, a feature usually reserved for more expensive devices. The map it generated for me was accurate, even with what I would consider a moderate amount of clutter.

Many robot vacuum cleaners have difficult charging stations, which leads to accidents when the robot tries to return after a cleaning cycle. The Wyze dock is not particularly prone to disaster – it has two resilient metal contacts that touch the corresponding metal panels on the back of the robot. I have been using Wyze Vacuum for about a month, and only need help to get back on the charger once, and that was because the dock’s cable was wound into the wheel – Wyze has not solved the small annoyance.

The robot comes almost completely together in the box. All you have to do is connect a few brushes and the dust container to get started. You get an extra filter and edge brush, which will probably be the first things to wear out. The app will alert you when it’s time to change them (see below).

App, battery and cleaning

Setting up the vacuum is relatively painless, and rely entirely on the Wyze app – it’s the same app that controls Wyze cameras, sensors and other smart devices. Compared to other home security apps, Wyze has some work to do. However, it is very good compared to many of the smart vacuum apps I have used. It’s a low bar, but Wyze Herring earns some points here. When my vacuum was updated with the latest firmware, it appeared in the app and connected mostly without incident. I had to try to connect to Wi-Fi twice, but it’s common for 2.4 GHz smart home gadgets on mesh networks.

The mapping is very accurate. The star-shaped object in the middle is my chair.

I’m glad the app is usable because there is no assistant support right now. It’s a bummer as I prefer to just call my house to make things happen whenever possible. Wyze supports Assistant on other products, so I can only hope that the vacuum will soon enter Google’s smart home ecosystem. The same limitation applies if you are an Alexa person – Wyze does not support it, and I can not tell you when or if it will.

The first time you run the vacuum cleaner, it uses the LIDAR sensor to map your room and assign room names. I do not often agree with what it decides to call a “room”, and manual editor is buggy. In the end, I got it set up the way I wanted.

The map allows Wyze Vacuum to intelligently plan the cleaning routine, which you can see in real time via the app. Watching guided robot vacuum cleaners accidentally bump into the walls in the hope that they will eventually hit every nook and cranny is a surprisingly frustrating experience, so I’m very happy to see a vacuum with laser mapping at such a low price. You usually have to pay a few hundred more for this type of show.

I tested the robot on a mostly carpet floor in my house that measured about 350 square meters. I walked around and ate a Nature’s Valley granola bar before testing, which means that about half of the bar ended up on the floor (I’m pretty sure conditions are accepted). In suction mode, the Wyze vacuum had enough power to complete the job with 15-20% left in the tank. This mode gathered all the surface crumbs and even fluffed up the carpet a bit as it pulled out deeper dirt. During normal suction, the robot got all visible debris from the carpet, but it did not look like “clean” afterwards. I still prefer to run the vacuum cleaner in strong mode despite the noise – I do not care because I expect a vacuum cleaner to be loud, and it is not the case that I even have to be in the room when Wyze-bot does its thing.

I have used robotic vacuum cleaners that seem to need a helping hand every time I turn around – they can end up squeezed under a shelf or trapped in a corner, an LED flashes red when it asks for rescue. It only happened with Wyze Vacuum once. These beefy wheels seem to be able to pull it out of almost any tough spot. I can leave the room with the Wyze bot running, reasonably confident that I will return to a charging robot and a clean floor. It even manages to pull itself up on high carpets that smaller robots will mark as a wall.

Are you going to buy it?

Yes. Wyze Robot may be more expensive than other Wyze products, but it is a great value in the world of autonomous vacuum cleaners. The app is capable, despite some minor annoyances, and the installation process was tolerable. This is above average for smart home appliances. And that’s really the worst I can say about it. The robot cleans well enough that I look like a productive adult, and the mapping functions work as intended. I can only think of twice I had to physically intervene to help the robot, which is better than the other robot vacuum cleaners I have used.

The best thing about Wyze Robot Vacuum is that you only pay $ 250. You won’t see features like 3D mapping on vacuum cleaners with similar prices from other manufacturers like Roomba and Ecovacs, who want $ 100-200 more for LIDAR sensor-equipped vacuum cleaners.

Buy it if …

  • You prefer to have a robot clean the floors, even if it is not as efficient as doing it yourself.
  • You already use other Wyze smart home stuff.

Do not buy it if …

  • Most of your home is not carpeted, in which case you should get a robot that can mop.
  • Your room is often too cluttered for a robot to navigate efficiently.

Where to buy

One month later

I have been using Wyze Vacuum regularly for the past few weeks and I still like almost everything about it. It cleans as well as any robot vacuum cleaner I have ever used, and the battery lasts long enough to clean an entire floor in the house – about 340 square meters in total. I also understand that the robot voice is less grating than the Ecovacs unit I had here before. It has also been better with route planning and has not missed areas after an update after the launch.

One of the main advantages of LIDAR-equipped robots is that they are less likely to get stuck. In fact, Wyze Vacuum completed most cleaning cycles without incident. It got stuck once in a corner off the road, though (see below).

As you can see, it really stuck in there. The bottom of that base is just high enough to avoid the sensor rod, and LIDAR probably would not see it as a solid object. I added a virtual wall to prevent this from happening again.

I have also noticed some problems charging the robot. It’s fine nine times out of ten, but placing the charging station on the carpet can leave it slightly tilted in some way. If it is not level, the robot’s contacts may not be correct and will not charge. If you have a thick blanket, this will be more worrying, and you may need to help the robot find the charger sometimes.

None of this is surprising, and I’m still happy with the device. In fact, I would probably buy more for the house if not for a sharp omission: there is still no assistant support. The Wyze app is not bad, but I prefer to be able to control the vacuum with my voice and in the Home app where I manage all my other smart home things. It’s not necessarily a deal-breaker, and I can still buy more of these. I just really want assistant assistance.

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