Robot Vacuum Review
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So you like the idea of a robot vacuum, but you have no idea which brand is the right one for you. Well then the Samsung POWERbot may be a good place to start your search. Throughout this review we will highlight the pros, cons, and overall performance of this robot vacuum.
- The “edge master” tool works well and is a plus for those who need more frequent edge cleanings.
- The POWERbot has a strong degree of suction on all indoor surfaces.
- The battery life of the Samsung POWERbot is short.
- This robot vacuum spends a lot of time trying to clean the edges.
The Bottom Line
The Samsung POWERbot is a well-rounded robot vacuum cleaner and offers strong performance considering the price. The “edge master tool” allows the POWERbot to handle edges with great proficiency. Additionally, the Samsung POWERbot handles most floor and debris types with ease, but does struggle with very fine particles.
The Samsung POWERbot offers a sleek design with modern aesthetics and easy to understand robot features. The face of the POWERbot contains two crystal clear plastic casings, which cover the cyclonic filter and the camera. Directly below both of these components are three small LED light fixtures and three small buttons.
The three buttons shown on the face of this Samsung robot vacuum are the spot cleaning, auto cleaning, and charging buttons. The LED lights located above these buttons indicate the mode in which the vacuum currently sits, as well as the battery life of the POWERbot robot vacuum.
Aesthetically speaking, the Samsung POWERBot offers an all-white color scheme on top. The two clear plastic casings are also located on the top of the vacuum, helping to break up the white and provide a nice, clean aesthetic to the vacuum as a whole.
- Cleaning mode buttons
- Dust bin
- On-board camera
How It Cleans
The Samsung POWERbot robot vacuum runs on a cyclonic suction system. By using this method of cleaning, dirt and debris are sucked into an outer chamber, separating the two to maintain a strong degree of suction and power. Built with a wide brush, the POWERbot is also able to reach a wider span of dirt and debris.
As you move into specific cleaning modes, this Samsung robot vacuum changes the way it moves by mapping out a room, detecting edges, driving over large obstacles, changing the suction power based on surface types, and simply auto cleaning. Each of these different attributes allow the POWERbot to move in a certain way, helping the vacuum to clean up messes with more authority.
Each of the main cleaning features are broken down below:
- Auto cleaning – The POWERbot will drive around a room, or multiple rooms, and clean up dirt and debris while avoiding obstacles.
- Edge detection – Once the vacuum notices an edge, it will drop a shutter down. The shutter will then extend out and sweep dirt and debris away from the wall and into the dust bin.
- Spot cleaning – As the Samsung POWERbot moves into spot cleaning mode, it will move in a pattern to clean a specific spot in a room.
Another pro of the Samsung POWERbot is its ability to change suction power based on surface types. Most robot vacuums need to be told when to change suction power, if this feature is even available.
Edge Master Tool
A small red rubber blade drops down when the vacuum recognizes a wall. The vacuum then goes into reverse and sweeps dirt and debris into the suction path.
Size & Dimensions
This robot vacuum has a bit of a unique shape. Similar to the Neato D3 Botvac robot vacuum, the Samsung POWERbot is built mostly in a circle, but does contain an end that is squared off. Due to this shape, the size of the vacuum is 13.7″ long x 13.4″ wide x 3.8″ tall. Additionally, this vacuum cleaner weighs 8.8 pounds, which is among the heaviest of the robot vacuums we have tested to date.
Accessories & Parts
The Samsung POWERbot robot vacuum that we are testing does not come with any extra parts and accessories, aside from the power base and charging cord for that base. As a lower end model of the POWERbot line, Samsung did not include the accessories that some of its mid and higher tier vacuums include, such as the remote or extra filter.
- Charging base
- Power cord
The following vacuum cleaner tests are designed to show how the Samsung POWERbot performs on different surfaces, picking up a variety of debris types. We test on three different floor types, including hardwood floors, low pile carpet, and high pile carpet. For each floor type we test the vacuum cleaner against:
- Rice – 3 ounces
- Dry Cereal – 1 ounce
- Kitty Litter – 3 ounces
- Sugar – 3 ounces
Each of the aforementioned debris types was spread across our testing lane. The base surface of our testing lane is an engineered hardwood floor. For our carpet tests, we slide in a low pile and high pile carpet insert on top of the hardwood floor.
Our vacuum cleaning process strives to be as consistent, fair, and true to real world use as possible. Our tests utilize the following procedure:
- Measure the weight of the testing debris and the weight of the empty vacuum debris container.
- Spread the respective debris type evenly across the central portion of the testing lane.
- Run the vacuum cleaner over the testing lane.
- Measure the weight of the now filled container and take notes on the cleaning performance.
After testing the Samsung POWERbot on the hardwood floors, I noticed a couple of things; the vacuum really focused on the edges, and some debris seemed to drag along with the vacuum, leaving streaks. For example, the sugar test was a tough one for the POWERbot. Instead of sucking up all of the sugar, there were times when the wheels dragged sugar across the floor, which was then never cleaned up.
That said, all debris types were cleaned up to a level of 94% or higher, so this Samsung vacuum certainly passed the hardwood floor tests.
- Hardwood – Rice 99%
- Hardwood – Cereal 96%
- Hardwood – Kitty Litter 95%
- Hardwood – Sugar 94%
Low Pile Carpet
Low pile carpet was still a success for the POWERbot in most areas, but it did struggle with sugar. Cereal, rice, and kitty litter all received scores of 90% or higher, while sugar only scored a 46%. Therefore, there was still more than half of the sugar residing within the pile of the carpet.
- Low Carpet – Rice 96%
- Low Carpet – Cereal 99%
- Low Carpet – Kitty Litter 90%
- Low Carpet – Sugar 46%
High Pile Carpet
The high pile carpet actually proved to be more of a success for the Samsung POWERbot. Both rice and cereal recorded cleaning levels of 100%, which were the best scores we saw from all of our tests. Kitty litter dropped ever so slightly, being cleaned up to 88%.
Last but not least came the sugar test. Unlike most, the POWERbot did better cleaning the sugar on a high pile carpet than it did on the low pile. There was still 45% of the sugar left in the carpet, but it increased almost 10% from the low pile carpet test.
- High Carpet – Rice 100%
- High Carpet – Cereal 100%
- High Carpet – Kitty Litter 88%
- High Carpet – Sugar 55%
Setting up and using the Samsung POWERbot is a simple task. When setting up, pull everything out of the packaging, place the vacuum on its charging base, let it charge, and voila- you’re POWERbot should be ready to use! As you move on to actually using this Samsung robot vacuum, the difficulty level does not increase. Select one of the three cleaning modes available and your job is complete.
Each cleaning mode (spot and auto) has its own button located on the top of the unit. In addition to these two buttons is the “home” button, which will send the POWERbot back to its home base for immediate re-charging. While there is not a remote included with the purchase of this vacuum, the interface on the top of the vacuum is labeled clearly enough for the everyday user to understand.
Filter & Camera
The on-board camera and filter can be seen through the clear casings on top of the vacuum.
Maneuvering around is certainly a strong suit of the Samsung POWERbot robot vacuum. Built to turn 360°, this vacuum cleaner has the ability to tightly wrap itself around obstacles, cleaning all sides of the obstacle in one pass. To that end, having one squared end of this robot vacuum allows it to drive completely flat up against a wall. Unlike most other robot vacuums, the POWERbot’s ability to get flush up against a wall gives it an advantage with regard to maneuvering around your home.
The speed of this robot vacuum is something that caught me by surprise. For the most part, the robot vacuums we have tested thus far seem to travel at a fairly consistent pace. After testing this Samsung, it seemed as if the vacuum was able to move quicker, until it detected an obstacle or wall’s edge. Once this occurred, the vacuum slowed down immensely, gently bumped up against the object in order to get a full clean, then turned around and carried on with the rest of the cleaning cycle.
Helping to create this high degree of maneuverability is the visionary mapping created by the on-board camera and nine sensors. The combination of these two features allow the Samsung POWERbot to map out your floors, including major obstacles that could affect the route by which it cleans.
All things considered, the POWERbot vacuum does a great job of maneuvering around.
The following table indicates the frequency at which you will likely want to replace the various parts and components of the vacuum. The following replacement frequencies are what the manufacturer recommends. However, your individual experiences may vary.
In cases where the manufacturer did not make a recommendation we have provided our best estimate.
|Accessory / Part||Replacement Frequency||Replacement Cost|
|Filter||6 months||$20 / per - Buy|
|Rolling brush||1 year||$30 / per - Buy|
Maintaining the Samsung POWERbot robot vacuum is not a ton of work, but it is important to pay attention to. There are a few main areas that should not be ignored: the filter and rolling brush. The filter included with this vacuum is washable, therefore you can, and should, remove the filter and wash it every 4-6 uses. The rolling brush should simply be cleared of any tangles. This may be an area you want to keep a closer eye on, as the suction will not be as strong if the brush contains tangles.
The other areas to pay attention to are the sensors and camera. While you do not have to replace these, they should be cleaned every now and then to ensure proper functionality. Cleaning the sensors and camera means taking a soft cloth and wiping them down. Samsung does not recommend using water or cleaning solutions when cleaning these areas on the vacuum.
Annually, it costs around $50 (excluding the battery) to maintain this Samsung vacuum cleaner. Unfortunately, we were not able to locate a replacement battery for the Samsung POWERbot. Therefore, the cost of the battery could not be factored into our annual maintenance costs.
All vacuum cleaner reviews on Modern Castle are put through our standard noise test. For this test, we use a sound meter to measure noise in terms of decibel level approximately 3′ away from the vacuum.
All robot vacuum reviews on Modern Castle are put through a standard assessment of battery size, run time, life, and replacement cost.
|Charging Time||2-3 hours|
|Run Time||60 minutes|
Although we were not able to find the price of a replacement battery, Samsung does state the following about its battery:
The battery warranty period is 6 months from the date of purchase.
Therefore, I would assume the battery lasts 6-12 months.
While we were trying to find a place to purchase a replacement battery we came across a Samsung moderator on the official Samsung.com forum, who said the following regarding the battery:
“Unfortunately, they aren’t available for sale. An authorized service center would need to replace the battery.”
Needless to say, not being able to easily purchase a replacement battery (especially when the original battery only includes a 6 month warranty) is extremely concerning.
The value of this Samsung POWERbot robot vacuum is about average, but it could be argued that it falls below the curve. Priced at $230, this robot vacuum did not perform at a level comparable to other vacuums within this same price range. Both the Eufy Robovac 11 and Ecovacs Deebot N79 performed at a higher level and both cost less than this Samsung vacuum cleaner.
That said, if you’re looking for a vacuum that can clean your edges, this is a solid choice. When compared to other robot vacuums, this is the first we have seen that has what could be considered a drop down broom, which sweeps dirt and debris away from the edges or your walls.
In terms of warranty and returns, this unit comes with a 1-year warranty and 30-day return policy. The warranty is maintained by Samsung, whereas this specific return period works via Amazon.
Below is a complete list of important specifications and features included on the Samsung POWERbot:
|Floor Type||All (indoor)|
|Dust Bin Capacity||0.3 L|
|Returns||30 days via Amazon. Varies by retailer|
The Samsung POWERbot is a modern looking robot vacuum. Although the look of the vacuum is quite nice, the performance was a little less impressive. That said, this is Samsung’s base model robot vacuum, therefore I would expect to see leaps and bounds in performance as the models increase in price.
I would recommend the Samsung POWERbot if you’re looking for the following features in a robot vacuum.
- Modern aesthetics – The Samsung POWERbot is among the most modern looking robot vacuums we have seen to date. The clear plastic casings, all white aesthetic, and sharp edges help round out this vacuum and create a sleek appeal overall.
- Want strong suction power – This robot vacuum has a strong degree of suction power, allowing it to dig deeply into low and high pile carpets, as well as household rugs and mats.
- Don’t mind the battery – The POWERbot’s battery is only under warranty for 6 months. Additionally, to replace the battery you’ll have to find an authorized service center.
- Don’t need a ton of extra features – While this vacuum cleaner may look like it has a ton of features, it is actually quite simple. There is no remote and no wifi. Two cleaning mode buttons and a charge button are the only options users have to select a cleaning mode. Samsung’s more advanced POWERbot vacuums offer some of these extra bells and whistles, but that does mean a higher price tag.
For more information on the Samsung POWERbot robot vacuum visit Amazon.com.
Modern Aesthetic, Struggles with Fine Debris
The Samsung POWERbot robot vacuum is one of the most modern looking robot vacuums we have tested to date. The performance and quality of this vacuum are above average, and the price-point is not outrageous either. Although this is the base model for Samsung’s POWERbot line of robot vacuums, they did a nice job of including some higher end features, but they also held back on some areas of the vacuum. Overall, if you’re in the market for a robot vacuum, this Samsung may be a good option to explore.
Derek Hales is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of ModernCastle.com. He is a passionate perfectionist when it comes to testing and reviewing products for the home. When he is not testing new products, Derek enjoys golf, tennis, and PC gaming. Derek lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife, Samantha, and poodle, Tibbers.