At a time when robotic vacuums are getting more and more complicated by adding features like WiFi connectivity and smart voice control, the Koios I3 represents a return to the basics.
You may not be able to control it from the office or talk to it through your Amazon Echo, but you can depend on it to keep your floors clean.
Oh, yeah – it costs a lot less, too.
Our Impression: Koios I3 Robot Vacuum Cleaner
An affordable, high-performing robot vacuum that offers a lot of value for your money. It lacks many of the advanced features of pricier robot vacuums but delivers almost-perfect and frustration-free cleaning.
• Low-pile carpets
You are looking for a smart robot vacuum cleaner that connects to WiFi and you can control remotely with your phone.
The Koios I3 is all about the basics.
This robot vacuum provides only the features required to clean your home quickly and efficiently.
The Koios I3 has impressive suction power, plenty enough for all kinds of hard floors and low-pile carpets.
Its 2,600 mAH battery is good for up to 2 hours of cleaning, and it will return to home and self-charge when the battery runs low.
You are also going to love the oversized dustbin (you don’t have to empty it as often), the scheduling and timing feature, manual controls, its low-profile design for ducking under furniture and its ease of maintenance.
For several hundred dollars less than a Roomba, the Koios I3 is worth looking at.
For people on a budget, this is one of the best robotic vacuum cleaners you can buy.
As far as raw cleaning power and ability, the Koios I3 is as good as most Roombas.
If you think I’m overstating, then read its customer reviews on Amazon.
One of the features that make the Koios a winner on the floor is its high suction power. Koios claims the I3 has 80% more suction power than comparable robot vacuum cleaners. While it’s hard to prove this, most customers say it can pick up every bit of dirt from the floor.
As it navigates around the room, two side brushes and one main rolling brush pick up dust, food crumbs and other bits of dirt from the floor.
When it reaches a carpeted area, the Koios I3 activates a power boost feature to provide more suction. That said, this vacuum is designed only for thin carpets. Shag and thick-pile will stop it in its track (like most other robotic vacuums).
This vacuum tackles pet hair without a problem, too. An integrated HEPA filter grabs pet fur & dander from the floor and under furniture. It is a great vacuum cleaner for pet owners.
In addition to the HEPA filter, the robot also includes a sponge filter for finer particles and a net filter for larger debris.
Because it works so hard and reaches into areas you old upright vacuum has been missing for years, the bin tends to fill up quickly. Thankfully, it’s big enough that you don’t need to pause midway through to empty it.
The Koios I3 is surprisingly quiet, much quieter than a traditional upright vacuum. It produces less than 60dB of noise, which is quieter than a normal conversation.
So you can keep talking, reading or watching as it cleans. It won’t wake your baby or spook your pet.
The one area it struggles a bit is in cleaning corners. Like many other round robot vacs, it cannot reach deep into corners.
The Koios I3 has four cleaning modes:
- Auto mode – This is the default mode. The robot uses its navigation system to determine the most efficient path around the floor without missing any spots.
- Spot mode – The robot focuses on a single spot. Ideal for cleaning concentrated dirt around one area.
- Edge mode – The robot moves along the wall using its side brushes to clean dirt and dust that has accumulated along the edges.
- Single room mode – This mode optimizes the robot for cleaning just one room. Note that it doesn’t come with virtual or magnetic barriers. So close the door to keep the vacuum from getting out of the room.
You can select any of these modes using the included remote control.
The navigation system on the Koios is not as advanced as a Roomba, but it works fine. This robot uses an intelligent nav system so it doesn’t waste too much cleaning time dealing with furniture or wandering around aimlessly.
The I3 vacuum uses two sensors to navigate your floor. There is an infrared sensor to detect obstacles and either slow down or change direction. There is also a cliff sensor at the bottom of the vacuum to keep it from falling down stairs.
The cliff sensor constantly measures the distance between the floor and the robot. If the distance suddenly increases, it’s an indication of a steep drop off such as the top of the stairs. The robot immediately stops and reverses.
This robot vacuum’s large wheels easily roll over carpet edges and door thresholds.
The I3 doesn’t have advanced scanning and mapping, a feature you find in most Roombas. So it takes a bit longer to clean the room.
But as long as the job gets done…right?
However it does have one feature you won’t find in any Roomba: manual control. The remote control has navigational buttons for forward, reverse, right and left. There is also a start/stop button.
Using manual controls, you can direct the I3 to clean exactly where you want. This is a surprisingly useful feature that will come in handy more often than you think. For example, instead of having the robot clean the entire room, you can direct it to clean just the high traffic area that keeps getting dirty. You can also use the remote for spot cleaning.
One of the ‘Roomba features’ this Koios does come with is auto-recharge. If the battery gets low when it’s cleaning, it will stop and find its way back to the charging dock to recharge.
Many robot vacuums have an auto-recharge feature, too – but it’s often useless. Rarely does the robot ever manage to get back to the dock without losing its way.
But the Koios I3’s return-home and recharge mode works almost perfectly.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t have recharge and resume. You’ll have to restart it manually if you want it to continue cleaning after recharging.
Automation and Scheduling
This robot vacuum does not connect to WiFi.
Which means you cannot control it using a smartphone app or a smart home assistant like Alexa.
So as far as automation goes, it’s very basic.
But this unit does include a scheduling feature that lets you to set it to clean at a specific time every day. For example, you can set the robot to clean every morning at 8 am.
Even if you spend a lot of time at home, this feature will save you the trouble of having to start the vacuum every morning.
What It Misses
So far, I’ve praised the Koios I3 quite a bit. It really deserves that praise, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have flaws and limitations.
For one, it lacks a lot of features and functions in pricier robots. This is completely expected for a $200 robot, but it would still have been nice to be able to control the robot remotely with my phone. If I have unexpected guests coming, I can tell the robot to quickly clean the living room from wherever I am.
Other features I would have liked to see include recharge and resume, room scanning and mapping (to remember the best cleaning path) and multi-room cleaning. This unit is really only good for single-room cleaning.
There are a couple of other areas where the Koios could use improvement, too.
One of them is corner cleaning. Because of the vacuum’s round shape, it doesn’t really reach deep enough into corners. So you still have to do some minor vacuuming after it’s done.
This is a problem most round robot vacuums have, however. The only exception I know of is the Neato robotic vacuum, which has a D-shape that can reach deeper into corners and along the wall edges.
Another common complaint is how easy it is for the brushes to get tangled. Before starting the vacuum, make sure you clear away anything bigger than pet hair, string, wire or long threads which can easily get tangled.
Especially smartphone power cords, which can wrap so tightly around the robot’s spindle that the only solution is to cut them. One customer says she lost 2 iPad charging cables after she left them in the way of the vacuum.
Another complaint is the user manual. It’s easy enough to read, but can be kinda vague in some sections. This is probably because it has been translated from Chinese.
Some phrases and words get mixed up in translation.
The Koios I3 is surprisingly easy to clean and maintain.
The dustbin has an anti-spill design that lets you to remove it without spilling the collected dirt quickly.
As for maintenance, you need to clean the brushes every once in a while and wipe the sensors to prevent any blockage.
Every month or so, it’s a good idea to open the robot for a more thorough cleaning.
Check the manual for instructions re. when to replace the wheels and filters.
- Powerful suction that easily picks up dirt and pet hair
- Manual controls
- Good at edge cleaning
- Low profile design cleans under furniture without getting stuck
- Auto-recharge function
- Not good at cleaning corners
- No recharge and resume
- Poorly written user manual
- No WiFi, smartphone or smart home connectivity.
Dimensions: 12.95 x 12.95 x 2.95 inches
Running time: 120 minutes
Recharge time: 3-5 hours
Remote control: yes
Recharge and resume: no
Multi-room navigation: no
Entire level cleaning: no