The ECOVACS DEEBOT N79 is, one of the least expensive WiFi-connected robotic vacuum cleaners you can buy today.
You can control it using the ECOVACS app from anywhere, or the included remote control. Unfortunately, it cannot be operated via voice control through Google Home or Amazon Alexa, like Roomba’s latest models do.
The DEEBOT N79 has an extra-long run time of 1.7 hours, enough to clean multiple rooms in a single cycle. It uses a V-shaped rolling brush to pick up debris on tiled floors, hardwood floors, and low-pile carpets. The strong-suction brushless motor easily vacuums up the dirt.
A variety of sensors including anti-drop sensors safely navigate the vacuum across your floors and keep it from falling down stairs accidentally.
Our Impression: Ecovacs DeeBot N79 Robotic Vacuum Cleaner
These days, you no longer have to spend $300-500 dollars to get a decent robotic vacuum cleaner.
Even high-tech vacuums with WiFi and voice control are getting cheaper.
The ECOVACS DEEBOT N79 is one of the best-value robot vacuums we’ve reviewed.
The WiFi connectivity may seem like a gimmick, but it has useful applications. You can monitor the vacuum’s battery life, schedule a cleaning, choose a cleaning mode and check the robot’s status via a mobile app.
It’s great at cleaning, too – sometimes too good, as one user discovered when their unit finished cleaning inside and wandered outside to continue its work.
The D79’s brush and suction systems work well together to leave your floors spotless.
This cleaner does have trouble cleaning high-pile carpets and cannot provide a proper deep vacuum for shags. So don’t throw out your upright vacuum just yet. But for most everyday cleaning needs, the DEEBOT N79 is really good – and the price is extremely low.
Keep reading for our full 2-minute review of the ECOVACSDEEBOT N79.
If you want more options, see our full buying guide with the best robot cleaners compared.
Comparing the DEEBOT N79 with a comparable Roomba on cleaning ability, the DEEBOT easily holds its own.
As most owners note in online reviews, it not the most advanced robot – but it’s one of the most thorough cleaners.
The D79 uses three cleaning components: the main brush, the side brushes, and the suction system.
The main brush is V-shaped, which allows it to pick more dirt as it rolls on the floor. It is especially effective on carpets where crumbs, cereal, pet hair and dirt stick tighter to the piles. But it only works well on low-pile carpets. It will not clean shag carpets and could get stuck.
The side brushes increase the reach of the main brush to the sides of the vacuum, sweeping dirt and debris onto the path of the main rolling brush which then picks it up. The side brushes also come in handy when the robot is cleaning the wall edges and corners where the main brush cannot reach.
The suction system is powerful enough to lift both large and small pieces of debris. A high-efficiency filter traps dust, dust mites, and other allergens.
One downside is the dust bin – it is fairly small (0.3 liters), so you’ll need to empty it after every cleaning.
There are 4 cleaning modes you can select from the remote control.
- Auto cleaning mode – this is the default cleaning mode. The robot will clean in a straight line until it meets an obstacle and changes direction. It’s inefficient and takes longer to finish cleaning, but it’s through. Press the AUTO button on the vacuum or the remote to activate this mode.
- Spot cleaning mode –if you just need to clean a specific spot, use the spot cleaning mode. It runs for three minutes or less depending on the size of the dirty spot. It will go round in a spiral pattern until the area is clean. Press the spot cleaning button on the remote to activate this mode.
- Edge cleaning mode –engage this mode when you want the robot to clean along the edges and at the corners. Press the edge cleaning button on the remote to activate this mode.
- Single room mode –normally, the DEEBOT moves from room to room as it cleans. In the single room mode, it focuses on one room only. There are no virtual wall beacons so make sure you close the door. Press the single room button on the remote to activate this mode.
Regarding intelligence, the DEEBOT N79 is somewhere in the middle of most cleaners today.
It doesn’t use sophisticated mapping sensors and algorithms that more expensive Roombas do, but it’s more intelligent than the most basic robot vacuum cleaner.
The DEEBOT doesn’t map the room. It simply starts moving in a straight line until it encounters an obstacle, and then changes direction. This is an inefficient, but thorough way to clean a room.
The D79 robot navigates using infrared anti-collision sensors and anti-drop sensors. The anti-collision sensors warn the robot to change direction when it encounters an obstacle such as a chair leg or a wall. The anti-drop sensor keeps the robot away from dangerous drop-offs such as the stairway.
There is also a bumper rail which acts as a backup defense. If the sensors do not detect the obstacle ahead – which sometimes happens if the obstacle is too dark colored –the bumper rail makes soft contact with the obstacle, and the robot stops immediately.
So you never have to worry that the vacuum will get damaged bumping into furniture or drop off the stairs.
The DEEBOT cleans for about 100 minutes before the battery gets low. It will automatically navigate itself back to the charging dock.
Note that you can return the robot vacuum to its charging dock at any time using the remote control. Just press the Return to Charger Mode button on the top left corner of the remote.
In fact, you can navigate the robot yourself when you want more control over where it cleans. Just press the direction buttons while pointing the remote towards the vacuum.
As with most robotic vacuum cleaners, it is good practice to clear the floor before letting the DEEBOT N79 clean.
While it can stay clear of furniture and appliances, it can easily get tangled in a pile of clothes or a pile of toys.
Clearing the floor helps it clean faster and reduces the chances of you having to rescue it.
Automation and Scheduling
It’s a bit surprising that the DEEBOT N79 lacks a more flexible scheduling feature considering it is WiFi connected and comes with an app.
You can only schedule it to clean at a specific time of the day, but you cannot set weekly schedules such as cleaning every other day or twice a week.
Instead, it cleans at the set time every day until you turn off the scheduling.
Before you set the schedule, you need to set the clock to your local time. Press the clock button on the remote and then use the arrows to set the correct hour and minutes. Press the play/pause button at the center of the remote to confirm the time setting.
With the correct time set, press the scheduling button while making sure the remote is pointed to the vacuum, which should be on. Use the up/down and right/left arrows to set the desired cleaning time. The robot will start cleaning at that time every day even when you are not around.
Press the play/pause button to confirm the schedule. Make sure the robot beeps.
To cancel the schedule, press the scheduling button for 3 seconds. The robot will beep to confirm the cancellation.
You can also schedule cleaning time through the app. It’s much easier and faster.
You can use this ECOVACS DEEBOT robot vacuum without WiFi. So if setting up the WiFi connection terrifies you, skip it. However, you won’t be able to use the app.
But connecting your router to the vacuum isn’t so hard. Just make sure your router is the single band (2.4GHz) or dual-band (2.4/5GHz). The DEEBOT doesn’t work on the 5GHz frequency band.
Refer to the manual when you get stuck or call customer support. Many customers say Ecovacs’ customer service is exceptional.
Once you have everything setup, you can control the vacuum using the remote control or the app. This includes switching it on and off, selecting the cleaning mode, navigating it and setting a schedule. On the app, you’ll even receive reminders to change the filters and brushes.
What it Misses
The one major feature I wish it had is a virtual boundary.
As it is, you have to close the door to restrict the vacuum to a specific room. This means you cannot use it in an open area. It would be convenient if you can keep it away from the pet feeding area or stairs using just virtual wall beacons.
I also hoped to see more flexible scheduling especially, considering that it is WiFi connected and has an app. Right now, it has the same level of scheduling capability as other non-WiFi vacuum robots.
The navigation is not perfect. Many customers say they’ve had to rescue the vacuum several times. So it’s not a guarantee that you will find your home cleaned when you schedule a cleaning during the day when you are at work. You might find it stuck in a corner or behind the chair.
But it works as expected, most of the time.
The DEEBOT manual has a handy maintenance guide. Refer to it for more details on maintaining your robotic vacuum.
After every cleaning, it recommends that you empty the dustbin and rinse it under running water. Also, remove the sponge and high-efficiency filters and pat them to remove trapped debris. Rinse only the sponge filter. Do not rinse the high-efficiency filter.
Clean the side brushes once every two weeks and replace them every 3 to 6 months depending on how often you use the vacuum. Clean the main brush once every week and replace it once or twice a year depending on usage. Replace the filters every 4 to 6 months.
Also, remember to wipe clean the sensors using a soft dry cloth once a week.
Dimensions: 13 x 13 x 3.1 inches
Auto-charge and resume: no
Voice control: no
Multi-room cleaning: yes
Room mapping sensors: no
Cleaning modes: yes
High-efficiency filter: yes
Running time: 100 minutes
High-pile carpet cleaning: no
Dual side brushes: yes
Remote control: yes
Virtual wall: no