Ecovacs Deebot X1 Plus review

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8.3Expert Score
Ecovacs Deebot X1 Plus review: A solid vacuum with an abundance of features

With strong suction and intelligent mapping, the Ecovacs Deebot X1 Plus is an impressive robot vacuum, with some design challenges.

Design
8
Performance
8.5
Pros
  • Stylish design will fit any home
  • Good vacuum performance
  • Good obstacle avoidance and mapping
Cons
  • Need to swap between mop and vacuum to clean carpets
  • "Okay Yiko" voice activation struggles with Aussie accent
  • Ongoing costs for replacement bags

Ecovacs has been carving out a real position of excellence within the robot vacuum market. With the Ecovacs Deebot X1 Plus, the company is delivering some of its premium features at a mid-range price point. The end result is pretty great.

While the Deebot X1 Omni is widely regarded as one of the best robot vacuum cleaners you can buy, its price tag isn’t exactly what you would describe as accessible.

By removing the twin spinning mop heads and replacing them with a more traditional mopping base, the X1 Plus manages to carve hundreds from the price of the X1 Omni. But it still retains the advanced voice control and mapping features that make the X1 Omni excel.

Design

The Ecovacs Deebot X1 Plus robot vacuum on a rug

The Ecovacs marketing materials highlights the fact that the Deebot X1 Plus has a customised design from Jacob Jensen design.

And when you compare the X1 Plus to the likes of the Deebot N8, you can see the more refined style. The colours are more stylish, reminiscent of high-end technology, and the body feels a bit more premium.

Even the base station is somewhat elegant to behold, with smooth curves and a compact design.

But there’s no disputing this is an Ecovacs robot vacuum. It is still a circular cylinder with another smaller circle popping out of the top. At the front there are two brush arms that spin around pushing dirt and debris into the path of the underside brush.

It has a 0.4L dustbin inside, which is enough to get around my home roughly twice before it needs emptying (though with the base station that is somewhat redundant).

Ecovacs Deebot X1 Plus vacuum on the base station for the review

Because this is from the X1 family of robot vacuums, there is a big camera in the front of the main vacuum body. This camera helps with obstacle avoidance and mapping, as well as offering a bunch of connected video features that will be of particular interest to pet owners.

The X1 Plus comes with two rear attachments. One is the mop attachment, while the other includes the Ecovacs air freshener compartment and is exclusively for vacuuming.

The flaw in the design

The mop attachment looks like a traditional robot vacuum mop, with a water reservoir and a simple, washable cloth that it uses to wipe the floor. It also comes with disposable mopping pads if you can’t be bothered with washing.

Ecovacs has improved the performance of the mop function though, leveraging what it calls the “OZMO Pro 3.0 Oscillating Mopping System”. Basically the X1 Plus will grind the mop across sections of the floor to provide a more realistic mopping action to scrub off dirt, though it still only uses water to clean.

Ecovacs Deebot X1 Plus review - close up with the mop attachment connected

The catch with this mop attachment is that it won’t vacuum your carpets or rugged areas with it attached. You have to swap the rear sections in order to keep your carpet clean.

Additionally, because of this two-part design, you are going to have to find somewhere to store whichever rear compartment you aren’t using. The base station does include some storage space, but it’s not big enough to house these sections of the vacuum.

On the subject of the base station, it is certainly among the nicer looking we’ve seen. It’s fairly discreet, and doesn’t take up too much space.

Looking inside the base station at the dust bag of the Deebot X1 Plus

Inside there is a 3.2 Litre dust bag, which should be large enough that you only need replace it every 60 days or so (depending on how often you vacuum).

The fact that you don’t need to manually intervene every couple of vacuums is great, though it is worth flagging that it does introduce a new ongoing expense in the form of the dust bags. It’s not a huge expense – they currently retail for about $10 each on the Ecovacs store – but you will need to factor it in if you plan on buying this vacuum.

Performance

Ecovacs Deebot X1 Plus review a closer look at the front cameras

The first time you set up the X1 Plus, it uses that big camera on the front of its body and zooms around your home to create a quick map. Then as it works through its first proper vacuum, it compiles a much more detailed view of your home.

This forms the foundation of every clean. You can head into the Ecovacs app to customise the map, including the ability to add furniture and room descriptions.

This detailed map comes in handy when you start to use the X1 Plus’ voice controls. Being able to tell a robot to “vacuum under the dining table” and have it done is a pretty awesome experience. It’s like living in the future promised to us by cartoons like The Jetsons.

Vacuuming

Ecovacs Deebot X1 Plus review - the robot vacuuming

At the core of the Deebot X1 Plus is its ability to vacuum. There are four different suction settings: Quiet, Standard, Max and Max+.

The quiet setting wasn’t as quiet as I expected it to be. It wasn’t actually the suction that was loud though – the quieter vacuuming highlighted the noise made by the spinning front arms and the main brush underneath.

I also found that the Standard setting had a bit of difficulty cleaning up bigger scraps of dirt or rubbish. A pea, fallen to the floor from my daughter’s plate, needed to be sucked up my the Max setting at a minimum.

The 5,000Pa suction power in the specs definitely does a great job when you set vacuum to Max+ suction, but it’s also remarkably loud and drains the battery much faster.

On the whole though, the key benefit of a robot vacuum is regular automated cleaning. Unless there was a bigger mess, it did a good job of maintaining cleanliness on the Standard setting.

One of the key strengths of the X1 Plus compared to other, cheaper models is the object avoidance features. That big camera on the front is designed to help prevent the vacuum getting stuck or caught.

And it does a really good job. While I watched the X1 Plus ram up against bigger, movable items like shoes, I also watched it avoid cables lying on the floor, which has long been a problem with my Deebot N8.

It also managed to get itself out from between the legs of my dining chairs, which is something the N8 has never really been able to do.

Mopping

Ecovacs Deebot X1 Plus review - Vacuum with the two attachments - one for mopping, one for vacuuming carpets

The fact that you have to swap the mopping component in and out of the X1 Plus is a pain. But once you get past that, the X1 Plus does a decent job at mopping.

Unlike other models that just streak water across the floor behind it as it vacuums, watching the X1 Plus shows that it is actually trying to clean the floor. The vacuum slows down, moves back and forth over the same spot, grinding the ground with the mop cloth using the oscillating functionality.

Thanks to its mapping skills, the vacuum expertly avoided the carpets and rugs around my home, but moved in an awkward, rotating crabwalk to ensure it mopped as close as possible to the edges. It was impressive to watch.

That said, I simply don’t feel that the mop function is strong enough to warrant constant use. The fact it only cleans with water, and requires the mopping section to be removed in order to vacuum your carpets means that this whole section of the mop would likely sit in storage at my home.

The video functions

Ecovacs Deebot X1 Plus review - a photo taken during the home patrol mode.

Because the X1 Plus is connected to the internet and has a pretty good camera on its front, Ecovacs has a bunch of functions included that don’t have much of anything to do with cleaning.

The first is Home Patrol. Activate this mode and the Deebot will drive around your home, little arms spinning and camera on. You can watch it on your phone as it moves around, giving you some peace of mind while you’re out, particularly if you have pets at home alone.

You can set a schedule for this patrol to happen too if you wanted to make sure your home was safe or you were a Bond villain.

The second is “Arrival on command”. This lets you send the vacuum to any spot in your home.

During either of these actions, you can connect a voice call. This means you could arguably confuse your puppy dog by talking to it through a robot vacuum cleaner. Or you could startle some thieves before they decide to pick up your robot vacuum and take it with them.

I tested these functions and they did what was expected, working well enough in a controlled testing environment. But I don’t think I would ever really use them on a regular basis.

Voice control

Ecovacs Deebot X1 Plus review The view from underneath the robot

Like the X1 Omni, this Deebot features Ecovacs’ own voice control function, in addition to Google Assistant and Alexa.

It’s an interesting approach, and definitely makes sense from the perspective that the vacuum cleaner is unlikely to get confused and set a timer or alarm when you ask it to vacuum a room.

I did have a fair amount of trouble getting the keyword to activate though. Whether it was my long Australian drawl or my inability to pronounce it just right, the only way I could ever get the voice controls to work was to channel the speaking energy of a Japanese schoolgirl. “Okay Yiko” in my normal pronunciation of that would just not work.

Fortunately, once I overcame that challenge, the voice controls didn’t seem to have any trouble understanding me. It would vacuum a room or location at my command, regardless of accent.

Verdict

Ecovacs Deebot X1 Plus review - in the base station ready to go

The Deebot X1 Plus is a great robot vacuum. It does its main job – vacuuming – well, avoiding objects well and keeping your home clean. It has a huge range of features at a mid-range price point, offering a premium, flagship feel for a more reasonable price.

But there are a few sacrifices along the way you need to be willing to make. Having to change the mop and vacuum attachments doesn’t impact performance, but it does make the product less versatile.

Some of the features may not offer any meaningful benefit to you, but you will still be paying for them. Things like home patrol sound good, but do you really need a robot vacuum to roll around your home?

That said, this is a solid offering that strikes a fine balance between budget and premium.

Buy the Ecovacs Deebot X1 Plus online

AU $1,299.00
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AU $1,299.00
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Mydeal.com.au
AU $1,299.00
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Thegoodguys.com.au
AU $1,306.81
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as of 24 May 2024 6:06 pm
Amazon.com.au
AU $1,899.00
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Godfreys.com.au
* Delivery cost shown at checkout.
Product disclosure

Ecovacs supplied the product for this review to BTTR.

Author

  • Nick Broughall

    Nick is the founder and editor of BTTR. He is an award winning product reviewer, who has spent the last 20 years writing, editing and publishing technology and consumer content for brands like Finder, Gizmodo and TechRadar.

    View all posts
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