The Shark ION 720 robot vacuum cleaner by SharkNinja is perfect if you want a robot vacuum cleaner that will keep your house spotlessly clean but you don’t care much about features like WiFi and smart assistant compatibility. It does come with a remote, however.
For about $279.99, the ION 720 costs less than half the price of a Roomba with comparable cleaning ability.
Sure, you won’t be able to control it from your phone or use voice commands.
But when it comes to cleaning and ease of use, the Shark ION 720 performs as well as any Roomba – for a lot less dough.
Our Impression – Shark ION 720 Robotic Vacuum Cleaner
An affordable, simple high-performance robotic vacuum cleaner that provides excellent value for your money. If you don’t need wifi connectivity, a smartphone app or lots of scheduling features, then skip the Roomba and buy this one instead.
• Low-pile carpets
• Large homes
You need to control & schedule cleaning using your phone or smart speaker.
I love Roombas. They are the best, most capable and most technologically advanced robot vacuum cleaners sold today.
But I know that not everyone cares about the extra high-tech features that make Roomba models more expensive than most other brands – stuff like WiFi connectivity, Alexa compatibility, mobile app controls and so on.
If you don’t really see the need for these features, then there is really no reason to buy a pricey Roomba.
What you need is a more basic robot vacuum cleaner that is just as good when it comes to cleaning.
Which brings me to the Shark ION 720.
No WiFi, no recharge and resume, no Alexa or Google Home, no cleaning reports and no app control.
But it’s still one of the best-rated robot vacuums on Amazon with over 80% 4 and 5-star reviews. It is also Amazon’s Choice robot cleaner right now, which means it has a low return rate and excellent customer feedback.
Where it lacks in advanced features, it makes up for in raw cleaning power.
Whether you have a450 sq. ft. apartment or a 2,600 sq. ft. area on one level, the ION 720 is up to the task.
Whether you just need some light dusting three times a week or need help cleaning up never-ending amounts of pet hair, again, the ION 720 is more than capable.
With its powerful suction, high-performance brushes and smart navigational skills, it leaves your home spotless.
It’s also straightforward to use, especially since you don’t have to set up WiFi or download an app. Operating the 720 is a beeeze – just start the robot, set an auto- cleaning schedule or select a cleaning mode.
It also comes with a handy remote control with which you can use to operate it from a distance.
For those looking for an affordable robot vacuum cleaner that cleans well and is easy to setup and use, the Shark ION 720 is one of the best.
The Shark ION 720 is easily one of the best robot vacuum cleaners when it comes to cleaning ability. It’s just as capable as a Roomba and in some areas, slightly better.
Let’s start with where expensive robot vacuums such as the Roomba 980 and RoboVac D7 excel most; smart mapping and navigation.
These premium models can scan a room and create detailed maps that help them plan an optimal cleaning path.
The ION 720 is not that advanced. It has a smart sensor to help it navigate around the floor and proximity sensors to keep it away from obstacles.
But its movements are less refined and calculated compared to a Roomba. As many users noted, it moves in a semi-random way, sometimes going over the same spot twice or leaving the room before finishing cleaning and then coming back later.
But despite the seemingly random movements, it can clean a large area within an hour or so without missing any spots.
It has three brushes that help get dust and pet hair off the floor and carpet.
The main brushroll captures pet hair as well as allergens, dust, and dander. It is self-cleaning, so you don’t have to spend long untangling long hairs from the tassels after cleaning.
There are also two side brushes that sweep in dust and debris from the sides and onto the path of the vacuum. They are especially useful when the robot is moving alongside the wall and near corners.
The powerful suction can collect every bit of hair and debris on hard floors and low-pile carpeting.
The bin is fairly large and can hold quite a lot of debris. There is a full-bin alert that tells when it’s time to empty it.
One thing that users noted is that the ION 720 is incredibly quiet; much quieter than a Roomba. You can comfortably watch TV as it cleans and you don’t have to worry about waking the baby or scaring the pets.
Overall, the Shark ION 720 does an impressive job, especially for its price. Though you still need to keep your old stick vacuum handy (for thick carpets and tough-to-reach areas), the ION 720 is good enough for everyday cleaning.
The remote control included with the ION 720 has buttons for selecting one of the two cleaning modes.
The default mode is the auto mode. The robot cleaner will automatically select the best cleaning mode and settings depending on the situation. For instance, it might increase suction when it detects a soft carpeted surface.
The other mode is spot mode. When you activate it, the robot will focus on one area, cleaning around it in a spiral pattern. This mode is ideal for cleaning a spot with concentrated dirt.
As I’ve already explained, the ION’s navigation is not as refined or as precise as that of an expensive Roomba or Botvac robot.
Its mapping and scanning are not as advanced, so it tends to clean in more random patterns than other more expensive robot vacuums.
It does much better when it comes to weaving its way between obstacles and under furniture.
Proximity sensors detect obstacles with ease and direct the robot around them. So you don’t have to move your furniture when it’s cleaning.
Its extra-low profile (2.6” high) allows it to clean under the couch and cabinets without getting stuck quickly.
But if you are afraid it’s going to get stuck under a particularly low couch or there is a place you don’t want it to go, use the included bit boundary strips.
These magnetic strips come in a 9ft roll that you can easily cut to length depending on how big an area you want cut off. The minimum length you should cut from the roll is 18 inches.
The strips work great for areas where the robot could get easily stuck such as the kids’ play area or your work desk where there are cables.
The robot also has cliff sensors to keep it from tumbling down the stairs.
The Shark ION 720 cleans for about an hour before the battery gets too low. Then it will automatically find its way back to the charging dock.
Unlike most robot cleaners, it rarely gets lost when trying to find the charging base.
You can also send it back to the dock by pressing a button on the remote control.
Note that it doesn’t automatically resume cleaning. If it hadn’t finished cleaning an area, you have to restart it manually.
Automation and Scheduling
The Shark ION 720 is a bit lacking when it comes to automation. There’s no WiFi connectivity which means you cannot control it remotely via an app or connect it to a smart speaker.
The only automated feature it has is the ability to go back to the charging dock when the battery gets low on power.
But scheduling is not a problem.
You have to set the correct date and time on the remote control before setting a schedule. After that, you can set the robot to clean on any day at a particular time. You can choose different cleaning times for each day.
You can also use the remote to view the current cleaning schedule.
What It Misses
The ION 720 has a couple of minor issues.
The first is the mapping feature. It could be better. Considering that it only has an hour before the battery gets low, cleaning the same areas more than once wastes time and energy.
But it’s not that bad. Most users say that within that hour it still manages to clean a large area. But if you have a very large home, you might have to restart it again when it finishes recharging or set it to clean different areas of the house every day.
The other issue also has to do with navigation. While it does a fairly good job avoiding obstacles, it sometimes bumps into them. But this is common in many robot vacuums. It’s very gentle, so it’s unlikely to cause any damage.
The ION 720 is a grand bargain, but you’ll miss out on several features such as WiFi, smart home integration and app control. As I said, not everyone cares much about these features. If you don’t, then the lack of these intelligent features is not a big deal.
But if you’d like to control the robot from the app or use voice commands, consider getting a smart WiFi robot cleaner. Some good options include the premium Roomba 980 or Neato Botvac D7, the midrange Roomba 690 or the low-cost Neato Botvac D3.
Maintaining the Shark ION 720 is easy, and the manual has clear instructions to guide you.
After every cleaning, session removes the bin and empty it. Clean it before sliding it back into the robot.
Also, remove the filters and clean them. The brushes need cleaning too especially if you have pets. Remove any hair that has stuck in the bushes.
Using a soft dry cloth wipe the sensors under the robot as well as the charging pads.
Once in a while remove the front wheel (see manual for instructions) and clean it.
It’s a good idea to check all components of the robot cleaner regularly for any problem. Perhaps something might have gotten stuck, or a part has come loose.
Keep an eye out for worn out or damaged brushes. See the manual for advice on when and how to replace the brushes, filters, and battery.
- Excellent cleaning ability.
- Easy to use and maintain.
- Easy scheduling.
- Mapping and navigation are not very precise.
- No WiFi connectivity.
Dimensions: 12.6 x 12.6 x 2.6 inches
Running time: 60 minutes
Recharge time: 3 hours
Remote control: yes
Recharge and resume: no
Multi-room navigation: yes
Entire level cleaning: yes