Samsung Powerbot R7070 Robot Vacuum Cleaner Review
Our tests show that this robot vacuum makes more of a mess than it cleans up
At CES 2017, we got excited about the Samsung Powerbot R7070 (MSRP $699).
On paper, this robot vacuum has everything going for it: Amazon Alexa integration, smart connectivity, powerful suction, better navigation, and proprietary edge cleaning technology. But after spending a week testing it, we think the Powerbot R7070 is more of a tough sell.
While this Samsung is a pretty good vacuum, it's not a very good robot. In fact, it couldn't make it through our test obstacle course until we removed the area rug it kept getting stuck on, and it hit furniture so hard that it injured itself. No amount of Alexa integration will make up for that.
Other vacuums from Neato and iRobot work with Alexa, and you can get better cleaning performance for less money from other robot vacuums. If you're still interested, read on. We tested every major feature on the R7070, and not everything is as it appears to be.
If you judge the Powerbot by its spec sheet, it's one of the most advanced robot vacuums on the market. It even has features you'd normally find on a full-sized vacuum. Here are the highlights:
• Edge Clean Master: when the R7070 detects that it's cleaning up against a wall, it extends a shutter that can pull dirt away from a baseboard.
• Self-cleaning brush: Pet owners will enjoy the fact that the brushroll has a set of scrapers that shred pet hair, keeping it from tangling up.
• Remote control app: When it works, the Powerbot's app is impressive. You can have all the functionality of the remote and all the reach of the Internet. After a cycle is complete, you can even see a display of everywhere the Powerbot has been.
• Optical and infrared navigation: This Samsung uses inferred beams and a forward-mounted camera to find its way around rooms. This allows the 7070 to deal with a wider range of situations, like dark furniture that can absorb inferred light.
• Automatically adjusting suction: The R7070 is able to determine the type of surface its on, and adjust suction accordingly.
• Alexa / SmartThings compatible: You can start and stop the R7070 with the sound of your voice alone if you own an Alexa or SmartThings hub.
What to expect
During our extensive testing, we found that the R7070 picked up an average of 11.1 grams of dirt per run—as much as the best robot vacuums on the market. If you set it to clean daily, that means this robot vacuum can clean as much dirt as a full-sized machine over the span of a week.
Scheduling this robot to run everyday is simple. You can do it from the remote or from the app. All you need to do is set a time and it'll run everyday at the appointed hour.
Unfortunately, its powerful suction turned out to be a hindrance when it came to throw rugs. Its automatically adjusting suction didn't keep the Powerbot from picking up a throw rug and dragging it around the room, like Linus and his blanket. After the third time this happened, we had to remove the throw rug from our test course in order to complete cleaning tests.
Also, the R7070 is much larger than other robot vacuum models, tipping the scales at 9.5 pounds. Its bulky design prevents it from fitting into tight spaces, and its sheer mass gave it enough oomph to ram furniture with above average force.
The only way to prevent this is to cordon the 7070 off with the included magnetic strip, which you place on the floor. The problem is that it's only long enough to cover a single doorway.
This is doubly distressing because the 7070 got stuck more than once. A few times it got tripped up by the fringes of our throw rug. Another time, its front edge rammed one of our wooden risers hard enough to dislodge the bumper, requiring repair.
Unless Samsung sends out some software updates, we can't recommend the latest Powerbot. While its list of features sure sounds impressive, our tests show that this robot vacuum can't get your house clean without making an even bigger mess.
If you are interested in an Alexa-enabled robot vacuum, check out the Neato D3 Connected, which is cheaper and able to deal with throw rugs. Or if you're interested in a robot vacuum that picks up more dirt, the inexpensive Eufy RoboVac 11 or iLife A4s are good deals.
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