Neato Botvac D7 Robotic Vacuum Review

Neato Botvac D7

The Neato Botvac D7 Connected is Neato’s answer to the Roomba 980.

It’s just as pricey, but you get plenty of awesome features in return.

It comes with all the premium features you’d expect from a $800 robot vacuum.

These include WiFi connectivity, smart navigation, mobile app control and smart home integration.

It also includes a couple of features that give it an edge over the Roomba 980.

Overall it’s a very capable robot vacuum. It sucks up pet hair with ease, cleans all kinds of floors and the battery lasts an impressive 120 minutes.

The only minor downsides are the somewhat noisy motor and its relatively small bin size.  

Our Impression – Neato Botvac D7 Robot Vacuum Cleaner
4.4

Summary

The Neato D7 is one of the most feature-filled wifi connected robot vacuums you can buy. It’s also one of the very few that works as advertised. It provides fast, thorough and frustration-free cleaning. Especially good for homes with pets.

Great for:
• Low and medium-pile carpets
• Vinyl
• Hardwood
• Tile
• Linoleum
• Homes with Pets

Avoid if:
Budget is your top concern. This one isn’t cheap.

Neato Botvac D7 Robotic


Overall Impression

Together with the iRobot Roomba 980, the Neato Botvac D7 Connected is one of the most expensive robot vacuums in the market.

But: is it worth it?

In my opinion, yes it is.

And it’s clear from the hundreds of other positive customer reviews online that many other agree.

The D7 is a high-tech cleaning monster you can control using your smartphone or Alexa. 

But the best thing about the D7 is not all of the features – but that they ALL work well.

Most pricey robot vacuums load up on advanced features, some of which always end up causing headaches.

A good example is the Dyson 360 Eye, a powerful robot vacuum with relatively poor customer feedback.

With the Neato D7, everything works smoothly & without frustration. Even the app is clean and easy to use.

Neato has gone above and beyond to make your experience frustration-free.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t some things that could be improved. It can be a bit loud, for example – and the bin is kinda small.

But you quickly get used to the noise – and the smallish bin is not an issue for most people.

For those with large homes / apartments who own pets, this is one of the best robot vacuums you can get.


Cleaning Ability

Neato Botvac D7

When it comes to cleaning performance, the D7 is one of the best robot vacuum cleaners selling today.

Its D-shape design, which is present in all Neato Botvacs, makes it better at cleaning flat wall edges and corners.

But what sets it apart is the powerful suction that sucks up every bit of debris and dirt from the floor. Even pet hair is no problem.

If the debris is stuck on the floor or hiding in corners, the D7 uses its two brushes – a side brush and the main spiral combo brush – to get it out.

The side brush is ideal when the robot is cleaning along the wall and in corners.

The main brush spans almost the entire front of the robot, giving it a broad sweep. This allows the robot to clean a large area in less time. It also has a specialized spiral design that makes it better at picking pet hair from carpeted floors.

The D7 comes fitted with an ultra-performance filter which captures everything from pet hair to fine dust. It’s great if you or anyone else in the house has allergies.

The bin is kinda small so expect it to fill up fast. When it’s full, it’s easy to remove and clean the filters.

Overall, the Botvac cleans excellently. I’d say even better than the Roomba 980. Its laser-based navigation system is smarter and allows for faster and more thorough vacuuming. The D-shape design is also a big plus.

It has no problem going under chairs, navigating around obstacles and getting to dirt hiding in deep corners.

With the app, auto-scheduling, multiple cleaning modes and no-go lines you have complete control over where, how and when the robot cleans.


Cleaning Modes

Neato Botvac D7

The BotVac D7 comes with several cleaning modes that you can choose depending on your cleaning needs.

Two main performance modes vary how much suction power the D7 is producing.

The Turbo mode is the most powerful. It’s the default mode.

In Turbo mode the brush and suction are set at their maximum to provide a more thorough clean. It’s ideal for a really dirty floor or a carpet.

The downside is that the D7 gets quite loud when in this mode. It will wake the baby or scare the cats the first few times you switch it on.

If you want the robot to work more quietly and the battery to last longer switch to the Eco mode.

In this mode, the robot vacuum produces less suction power. It still cleans hard floors well, but it’s not ideal for carpeted floors.

In addition to the Turbo and Eco performance modes, there are two cleaning modes.

The House Cleaning mode is ideal when you want to clean an entire level. The robot will move from room to room until it’s finished. If the battery runs down the robot will automatically go back to base, recharge and then resume cleaning from where it left off.

The Spot Cleaning mode is for when you need to clean a small area of concentrated dirt.

There is also an extra mode called Extra Care Navigation. Use it when you don’t want the Neato robot to bump into anything fragile or valuable. In this mode, the robot will move more slowly and give obstacles a wider berth. Note that this mode may affect the ability of the robot to go under furniture.

Note: Only the House Cleaning and Spot Cleaning modes can be activated from the robot itself. For the others, you need to use the app.


Navigation

Neato Botvac D7

Most robotic vacuums, including Roomba, use infrared sensors to map out a room and sense obstacles.

Infrared has several limitations including an inability to sense dark floors.

The Botvac D7 uses a laser system, which is another reason it has the edge over the Roomba 980.

For like a minute after switch it on, the D7 maps out the room using lasers. It determines how big it is, what furniture is there and the best cleaning strategy.

It then starts cleaning in sections, methodically moving from one area to another. When it finishes one room, it looks for the doorway and moves to the other room.

Don’t worry if it seems to have left the room without cleaning some areas. It will come back to finish.

Remember it can take auto recharge and resume if you have set it to clean a very large area. If you want it to clean quickly on a single charge, switch to the Eco mode.

The Botvac D7 has no trouble moving around obstacles and avoiding the stairs. It can also climb over the edge of the carpet and thresholds easily.

With its low profile design, it easily ducks under furniture and floor cabinets to clean any dust and pet hair hiding there.

Maps and Virtual Boundaries

Through the app, the Botvac D7 lets you access the maps it creates as it cleans your home. You can see exactly where it cleaned.

You can also tell the bot not to go to certain areas by creating no-go lines in the app.

You’ll need to create a floor plan first. Go to MyFloorPlan in the app’s menu and follow the instructions for creating one.

The robot will do an initial cleaning run, moving in an out of every room as it maps out the entire level.

Once the floor plan is ready, you need to draw a line beyond where you don’t want the D7 to go.

If for instance, you don’t want it to go to the kitchen, draw a line across the kitchen entrance. You can also cut off access to your work desk, the children’s play area or the pet’s feeding area.

If the no-go area is in the middle of the room, draw four lines around it. It’s really simple and very intuitive.

Note: The robot will only respect the no-go lines if you start cleaning from the app. You should not move the charging base after creating the floor plan. If you do, you’ll have to create a new one.


Automation and Scheduling

Neato Botvac D7

The Neato Botvac D7 comes with 2.4GHz and 5GHz WiFi connectivity.

It also has a companion app through which you can start, pause, or stop the robot and access various other settings and features that are not available on the Robot.

You can certainly use the Botvac without the app, but you’ll be severely limited regarding what you can do. There is only one button, the start button, with which you can switch the robot on or off and switch between House Cleaning and Spot Cleaning modes.

With the app you can choose the other modes, set an auto-cleaning schedule, access cleaning reports, create a floor plan, set virtual no-go lines and notifications.

The app also has manual controls, something you don’t get with the Roomba 980. If you want the robot to clean a specific area switch to manual controls in the app and use the directional arrows to direct the robot where you want it to clean.

You can also connect the D7 to your Amazon Echo or Google Home speaker and control it via voice commands. It’s also compatible with IFTTT.

Some features are also available on Apple and Android Wear smartwatches.


What It Misses

The Neato Botvac D7 is an all-around great robot vacuum. It cleans well, is easy to use and maintenance is a breeze.

That said, there are a couple of issues you should know about.

One is the noise.

As most customers have pointed out the D7 is quite loud. It’s hard to watch TV in the same room it’s cleaning. It might also wake the baby or scare your pets.

But it’s not unbearable, and you get used to it pretty quickly. For quieter operation, switch to Eco mode.

The other issue is the bin size.

It’s a bit small compared to other robot vacuums in the same price range. But it’s not a big problem unless you have pets that shed a lot. In that case, you might have to empty the bin midway through the cleaning.


Maintenance

Neato Botvac D7

The D7’s maintenance routine is essentially similar to that of any other robot vacuum.

Remove and empty the bin after every cleaning. Wipe the filters and airways to get rid of any debris, hair or dust that may have gotten stuck on these parts.

Use a brush-cleaning tool to get any tangled hairs out of the main and side brushes. Then use a soft cloth to wipe the top of the robot and cotton swabs to clean the sensors at the bottom.

The filter needs to be replaced every couple of months. Replace the brushes too as soon as they start to wear out.


Pros

  • Excellent cleaning.
  • Easy-to-use app with plenty of functions and modes.
  • No-go lines that are easy to setup – no need to buy extra beacons or magnetic strips.
  • Smart navigation that ensures thorough room-to-room cleaning.
  • Long lasting battery – great for large homes.
  • Auto-recharge and resume.

Cons

  • A bit loud.
  • Fairly small bin.
  • Pricey.

Specifications

Dimensions: 12.5 x 13.2 x 3.9 inches

Weight: 7.7lbs

Running time: 120 minutes

Remote control: no

Auto-recharge and resume: yes

Scheduling: yes

Multi-room navigation: yes

Entire level cleaning: yes

WiFi: yes

App control: yes

Alexa/Google Assistant compatibility: yes

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