Budget Robot Vacuum for Hardwoods
Amarey A980The Amarey A980 is a compact, budget friendly robot vacuum that performs well on hardwood floors. It comes with advanced navigation technology and other bells-and-whistles, like remote control and a long 110-mintue run time. Overall, it performed well, scoring an 80% on our cleaning tests. It was impressive on hardwoods, okay on high carpets, and not great on low carpets. It’s not the bleeding edge tech, but it’s solid enough for the price point (especially if you have mostly hard surfaces).Check Price
- Variety of cleaning modes and auto adjust suction
- Long run time, up to 110 minutes
- Larger 500 mL dustbin capacity
- Performance was lacking on carpeted floors
- Spat out some of the debris on hardwood floor, especially when the dust bin is on the full side
Amarey A980 Design
The design of the Amarey A980 robot vacuum has a simple all-black aesthetic with simple controls and a modern feel.
On top of the vacuum, there is a power button and a recessed on-board camera for better navigation.
Scheduled cleaning cycles or changing cleaning modes has to be done using the remote control or the smartphone app.
What’s on the underside?
On the underside of the Amarey includes the:
- Contact sensors: comes in contact with pins on the base and makes sure that the vacuum charges correctly
- Central brushroll: combination brushroll made of spiral bristles and a rubberized sweeper
- Dual spinning brushes: install in opposing sides of the vacuum and helps to capture debris from edges and corners
- Wheels: 2 large wheels are on each side of the brushroll and help to navigate different floor types, while a smaller wheel at the front helps to steer and direct the vacuum.
The brushroll on the Amarey vacuum uses a dual-system of spiral bristles and a rubberized sweeper edge. These two materials working together helps to prevent tangles and pulls debris into the path of the dust bin.
Of course, this design isn’t flawless. Tangles and knots may still occur.
For the best performance, keep an eye on the brushroll after each cleaning cycle. If tangles occurs, you can use scissors to cut hair of debris away from the brushroll so it can rotate freely.
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Size & Dimensions
The Amarey A980 robot vacuum is pretty average in size compared to other models. It’s relatively lightweight and easy to clean under low-profile furniture.
Exact dimensions are:
- Diameter: 12.7″
- Height: 3″
- Weight: 9.6 lbs.
The size of the Amarey A980 is slightly taller than the A900 (read our full A900 review here), which does allow for a larger dustbin. (500mL on the A980 and only 400 mL on the A900).
Accessories & Parts
What’s in the box?
- Amarey A980
- Side spinning brush (x4, 2 to use and 2 extra)
- HEPA filter (x2, 1 to use and 1 extra)
- Remote control
- Boundary strip
- Cleaning tool
Both of the spinning brushes and single HEPA filter are required for standard use of the robot vacuum. The remote control and boundary tape are used for better usability and navigation.
For maintenance, the cleaning tool can be used to dislodge debris or smaller particles from the brushroll, HEPA filter, or other small areas on the vacuum.
What can you do with the remote control?
The remote control on the Amarey A980 is a nice accessory if you don’t want to need the app for wireless controls.
The remote allows you to:
- Turn auto mode on / off
- Start / stop a cleaning cycle
- Manually direct the robot
- Spot clean
- Boost mode
- Edge cleaning
- Send back to the charger
- Wifi connectivity
How does the Amarey navigate?
There is an on-board camera which the Amarey uses to navigate around any space. Sensors on the vacuum can “see” up to 145° around any given room. The view angle is able to take the information about a space and turn it into a digital map, which the A980 references as it cleans.
You can set it to Auto Mode and let the vacuum change settings as needed, or you can turn on a custom cleaning mode and get to work.
The vacuum can navigate automatically as well or you can “drive” it to a specific spot using manual directional buttons on the remote control.
Zig Zag vs. Straight Lines
The Amarey A980 has an improved navigation technology, compared to the A900, called SLAM.
The first time the A980 navigates a new space, it will take the classic “zig zag approach” as it bounces around and figures out its bearings.
But the next time you run a cycle, the vacuum will be able to reference it’s digital map of the space and instead of following erratic diagonal paths, it will navigate in straighter lines that are logical for the space.
This tends to result in more efficiency and shorter cleaning run times, compared to the Amarey A900.
To fully assess the cleaning performance of the Amarey A980 robot vacuum, we put it to the test in our home-based testing lab, where we used 3 different floor types and 4 different debris types.
The results of these tests are shown below.
Overall, performance was decent, although it struggled with finer debris particles and with cleaning low pile carpet in general.
Performance was good on hardwoods, decent on high pile carpet, and pretty poor on low pile carpet.
When cleaning hardwood floors, the Amarey A980 sufficiently cleaned the area. It only missed a small amount of debris in the corners.
That being said, when we sat the vacuum down on the floor, it spat out debris. It was our conclusion that not all of the debris collected was fully sucked into the dust bin
Overall, it did a good job though as the A980 collected 95% of all debris from the hardwoods flooring.
Low Pile Carpet Cleaning
On low pile carpet, there were significantly more issues. Primarily, suction seemed to be lacking here. It basically missed all of the sugar and a good amount of the kitty litter as well.
Larger debris like cereal and rice were not as big of a problem and the A980 was able to collected mostly all of that debris.
The Amarey only collected 65% of all debris from the low pile carpet.
It seems that the auto suction didn’t view the low pile carpet as worthy of increased suction. As a result, it just didn’t have enough power to remove the finer debris.
High Pile Carpet Cleaning
To our surprise, the performance on high carpet was actually much better than performance on low carpet. Most of the debris that was missed pares down to sugar with only a small amount of kitty litter.
The A980 collected 81% of all debris from the high pile carpet.
The Amarey A980 is easy to use and setup.
It has convenient features, like:
- Anti-drop sensor: helps to keep the A980 from tumbling down the stairs
- On-board camera: allows the vacuum to navigate and better avoid obstacles
- Auto cleaning mode: automatically changes settings for the best cleaning performance as it cleans
- Intelligent suction: adjusts suction power based on floor type
- Smartphone app: with WiFi enabled, you can control the vacuum with your smartphone to customize cleaning modes, schedule a cleaning, or view the digital map of where the A980 has cleaned
- Remote control: offers many of the settings from the app, but in a physical remote control
- Voice control: available with WiFi and requires an Amazon Alexa device; allows you to start or stop a cycle and other simple controls with voice commands
- Long run time: can run for up to 110 minutes
- Large dust bin: larger dust bin can hold up to 500 mL of debris, which may mean it doesn’t need to be empties as often.
- Scheduled cleanings: schedule a cleanings at any time, any day of the week directly from your smartphone
One aspect of the A980 that feels a little awkward is the boundary tape. So many robot vacuums now have infrared boundary markers or digital in-app boundaries.
To have to lay out physical boundary tape feels a little dated for any smart robot vacuum in 2020.
Setting Up the Amarey
Right out of the box, the Amarey A980 is basically ready to go.
- Unbox the vacuum and remove all original packaging.
- Snap on 2 spinning brushes.
- Make sure the HEPA filter is installed.
- Charge the vacuum.
- Press Start.
How to maintain the Amarey A900?
Keeping the A980 running at its best performance involves a couple simple steps.
- Empty the dust bin.
- Check the brushroll for clogs and tangles.
- Clean filters regularly; replace as needed.
- Replace battery as needed.
Is the Amarey A980 a good value?
So we’ve looked at specs, features, performance, and other upgrades that stand out on the Amarey A980. All things considered, is the A980 a good value?
I’d say it depends.
On the positive side it has a long run time, digital mapping and advanced navigation, good performance on hardwoods, and a large dust bin.
However, cleaning performance on carpet leaves much to be desired. It just doesn’t seem to have enough suction power to clean fine debris within carpet fibers.
Amarey A980 Specifications
Below is a table showing the full list of specifications of the Amarey robot vacuum:
|Floor Type||All (indoor)|
|Run Time||~110 mins|
|Dust Bin Capacity||~0.5 L|
|Washable Filter||Yes; pre-filter only|
|Returns||Yes (usually), Varies by retailer|
Who Should Buy the Amarey A980?
I would recommend the Amarey A980 if you’re looking for the following features in a robot vacuum:
- Long run time: The Amarey A980 is a good choice who need longer cleaning cycles. This vacuum can run for up to 110 minutes without stopping. Unlike newer Roomba models, the Amarey does not have Recharge & Resume technology.
- Smarter navigation: The on-board camera and SLAM navigation technology really enhance the navigation on the Amarey A980. It is able to remember familiar obstacles and navigate in straighter, more logical cleaning paths.
- Good performance on hardwoods: For areas that are primarily hardwoods, the Amarey A980 could be a good option. The suction struggles on carpet, but for hardwoods, you don’t need as much raw suction power so, in turn, performance is better.
Budget-Friendly, Good on Hardwoods
The Amarey 980 is a bit of mixed bag. It has many of the features we look for and good performance on hardwoods, but wasn’t great vacuuming carpet. It is wifi-enabled and comes with a remote control or physical boundary tape for custom navigation. There is an on-board camera and it is equipped with the technology to clean in straighter, more logical paths.