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Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 review: Mop, vaccum, and scrub like a pro
Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8
What we like
What we don't like
The Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 with oscillating mop bracket aspires to be the creme de la creme of robot vacuums. Buying both the robot and the Ozmo Pro mop bracket isn’t cheap, but if you do you’ll never see vacuuming – or robot mopping – the same way again. This is the Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 review.
Update, February 2021: Added a section about the auto-empty station and provided more detail about the ongoing costs associated with it and the Ozmo Pro accessory.
Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 vs Ozmo T8 AIVI
The Deebot Ozmo T8 is the latest in the T8 series of combination vacuum and mopping robots from Ecovacs. The model naming is a little confusing, but the T8 is actually a newer model than the T8 AIVI which came out a couple of months earlier.
What’s the difference? The Ozmo T8 is very similar to the T8 AIVI, with the same basic cleaning functionality. The T8 just uses a different object detection system, swapping out the T8 AIVI’s camera for a new TrueDetect 3D system. This is great if you don’t particularly need a live video feed or are a bit wary of having a camera in your vacuum cleaner.
Choosing between the $649 T8 and $799 T8 AIVI comes down to price and whether you actually want a camera on your robovac.
The T8 is $150 cheaper than the T8 AIVI but promises an equally sensitive mapping and object avoidance experience. TrueDetect 3D can identify objects as thin as 1mm but this doesn’t necessarily mean it will avoid charging cables or socks. Rather, TrueDetect’s 1mm sensitivity is more about mapping accuracy than object avoidance. TrueDetect 3D’s improved spatial awareness also helps the T8 avoid getting stuck.
All other aspects of the two robots are the same: same-sized battery, same-sized dustbin and water tank, same noise level (67dB), same size, and same cleaning functionality.
Choosing between the T8 ($649) and T8 AIVI ($799) comes down to price and whether you want or need a camera on your robot vacuum. Both work with the auto-emptying charging station ($250) and Ozmo Pro oscillating mop bracket ($99). The Ozmo Pro scrubs your floors by oscillating 480 times per minute rather than just being dragged around like the regular mop bracket.
Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 review: Quick specs
- Battery: 5,200mAh
- Runtime: Up to 3 hours
- Dustbin capacity: 420ml
- Water tank capacity: 240ml
- Coverage: 3,200 square feet (300m²)
- Sensors: LiDAR, TrueDetect 3D, TrueMapping DToF
- Max suction: 1,500Pa
How to set up Deebot T8
The base model Deebot T8 comes with everything you need to mop and vacuum. The Deebot Ozmo T8+ is a bundle that includes the auto-emptying base station. The T8 box includes the robovac, charging dock, dustbin, water tank, mop bracket and washable mop cloth, disposable mop cloths, four side brushes, and a spare filter. The Ozmo Pro oscillating scrubber is an optional extra.
Set up the Deebot Ozmo T8 in 10 easy steps:
- Take the T8 out of the box and remove the plastic film. Remove the cardboard insert under the flap, and the rubber spacers in the front bumper too.
- Place the T8 upside down and attach the color-coded side brushes to the matching slots on the T8. Press down until you hear them click into position.
- Flip the T8 right side up.
- Align the mopping bracket with the water tank, snap into place, and slide the water tank into the T8.
- Remove the plastic film from the charging dock and connect it to a power source away from any obstacles.
- Place the T8 on the charging dock (or auto-empty station).
- Lift the top flap and ensure the dustbin is fitted properly – the handle functions like a lock.
- Flip the red power switch under the flap to the “I” position.
- Install the Ecovacs Home app on your Android phone or iPhone.
- Follow the in-app prompts to connect to your phone to the T8.
Once set up, you can activate the T8 with the power button on the top of the vacuum, with the app, or by using voice commands through Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.
The Deebot T8 takes about six and a half hours to charge fully.
How long does the Deebot T8 battery last?
As an all-in-one robot, the Deebot T8 vacuums and mops simultaneously, meaning you get a total clean with one pass. Ecovacs claims up to three hours of runtime on normal settings and up to 300 square meters (3,230 square feet) of coverage. In my experience, these figures are slightly optimistic, but real-life usage rarely matches up to optimized lab conditions. Still, the 5,200mAh battery life is competitive.
I have a 650-square-foot two-story apartment with around 30 square meters (325 square feet) of cleanable floor space per level. The T8 takes around 60 minutes to clean both floors on the default settings. Double that figure if you set the T8 to do a duplicate clean in the app. This can be handy if your floors get particularly dirty or you have a spill.
If the T8 runs out of battery mid-clean, it just returns to the dock and picks up where it left off once recharged (just make sure continuous cleaning is enabled in the settings). If your home has large uninterrupted spaces you’ll likely get slightly better runtime and coverage than I did.
My apartment is mostly parquetry and tiles, so keep in mind that carpeted floors demand more battery life than hardwood or tiled floors. The T8 automatically stops mopping when it detects carpet and increases suction power. You can control suction power manually too, but the more powerful you go the shorter the battery life. The T8’s max suction is only 1,500Pa so be warned if you have pets or lots of carpet in your home. The upside is that it’s quiet when vacuuming.
The Ozmo T8's 5,200mAh battery will provide more than enough power to clean most homes.
Cleaning time, fortunately, decreases as the T8 learns about your environment. For example, the first time the T8 mapped my downstairs area it took 35 minutes. Once the area was fully mapped, subsequent cleans took 22-25 minutes.
Attaching the Ozmo Pro oscillating mop bracket will deplete the T8’s battery faster than the regular mop, but it’s totally worth it. You can choose a regular zig-zag cleaning pattern or a “deep scrubbing” pattern. Deep scrubbing means the T8 goes a back-and-forth so it covers the same areas twice for double the cleaning action.
With the Ozmo Pro bracket installed on Deep Scrubbing mode with a double clean selected in the app, the T8 took just under an hour to clean one 325-square-foot floor of my apartment, meaning I could max out all settings on the T8 and still clean both floors of my apartment with battery to spare. The 5,200mAh battery will provide more than enough power to clean most homes.
How does the Deebot Ozmo T8 work?
The T8 integrates direct time of flight (DToF) TrueMapping sensors alongside LiDAR to extend and improve its 3D mapping capabilities.
The addition of TrueDetect 3D to the Deebot T8’s navigation promises double the coverage and four times the accuracy of previous Deebot robovacs that only use laser navigation. TrueDetect 3D is apparently 10 times more sensitive than infrared systems.
The T8 integrates direct time of flight (DToF) TrueMapping sensors alongside LiDAR.
When you first power up the T8, it makes its way around the entirety of your home, carefully mapping out each space and separating them into zones. Once an area has been mapped, the T8 will then zig-zag clean the zone before moving on to the next area.
Don’t be surprised if some small areas get overlooked on the first go-round. The T8 will come back and pick them up later. You might have to create, forget, and recreate maps several times to get it right. Robot vacuums are great but you do need to invest a little time to get them set up properly. The same is definitely true here.
After experiencing some initial mapping issues at the start of this Ozmo T8 review, things improved. At one point I rearranged all my downstairs furniture and the T8 successfully identified changes and created a new floor map on the first try. You might get lucky with mapping right from the get-go, but if you do experience any mapping issues, just stick with it.
If you purchase the auto-emptying station, the T8 will return to it at the end of a clean or whenever the battery runs low (you will have replaced the dustbin in the T8 when you set the auto-empty station up). When it docks, the spring-mounted flaps open and the dust and debris is suctioned into a hypoallergenic dustbag in the base station. The major upshot here is that emptying the robot vacuum is therefore dust-free.
What does Advanced Mode do?
If you only have one story and don’t want to create multiple maps or use any of the T8’s more advanced features, you can leave Advanced mode off (which it is by default). Advanced mode includes multi-level mapping, virtual boundaries, and area or custom cleaning.
All other basic features like auto-boost suction, continuous cleaning, and obstacle avoidance can be turned on or off in the settings.
Enabling Advanced mode is essential if you have multiple floors in your home. Once mapped, the T8 will automatically recognize which level it is on and know where the dock is. You can rename maps to make voice commands for Home or Alexa easier and modify auto-created zones to your liking. The T8 will sometimes unnecessarily split a large room into two zones, for example.
The fine-grained control of zones, floors, and settings provides increased flexibility with regards to on-demand cleaning later. For example, you can set different cleaning profiles for each room to adjust vacuum strength or water flow as required. Or you can send the T8 to clean a spill in a specific area using zone cleaning or send it out to clean one room in particular.
You can also create a cleaning order for your rooms. The T8 can start in the kitchen and finish in the bedroom, for example. I like this feature because I always put hot water in the tank and I like the T8 to start in the kitchen where the hot water makes short work of anything sticky on the floor.
As mentioned above, you can set the T8 to do a double clean in the app, which can be helpful if the first pass misses anything. If things are really grubby, use the Deep Scrubbing option on the Ozmo Pro at the same time. With this aggressive cleaning setup, I got about an hour of cleaning out of a full water tank. I just had to refill before taking the T8 upstairs.
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What does the Ecovacs Home app do?
Ecovacs Home is the companion app for the Deebot Ozmo T8. Its main screen provides an overview of the area the T8 has mapped out and shows where it is in that space. Ecovacs Home affords you a ton of control over what the robot vacuum does and how it does it via an extensive settings menu.
You can create cleaning schedules (for auto mode or zone cleaning), set do not disturb times, get reminders for when to clean the mop cloth or replace parts like filters or brushes, set virtual barriers, merge or divide zones, return the T8 to the dock, rename your robot, and check your cleaning logs.
You can adjust the volume of the voice or turn it off entirely. While you may be inclined to mute the T8, it can be handy to have verbal reminders. This is especially helpful when, say, the drop sensors need cleaning and the T8 just stops mid-clean. You can also “find my robot” using the icon in the top right of the settings menu in the Ecovacs Home app and it will call out “I’m here.”
I wouldn’t say Ecovacs Home is the most straightforward smart vacuum app I’ve ever used but it’s easily the most advanced. I really appreciated being able to control practically everything about the T8 or just set it and forget it. There’s definitely a bit of a learning curve involved and it’s not the most intuitive app around. Just be prepared to invest some time figuring it all out to get the most out of the T8.
How well does the Ozmo T8 clean?
I had no complaints where cleaning was concerned during this Ozmo T8 review, with top-notch mopping and vacuuming. With the included mop cloth I found the Ozmo T8 cleaned about as well as other similarly priced combo-vacs like the Roborock S6 MaxV. The T8 definitely had better flow control and tended to output more water even at lower settings than the S6 MaxV, but both clean to a similar standard.
If you switch to the Ozmo Pro oscillating mop bracket, however, the Ozmo T8 takes the crown easily. In the past, I’ve often resorted to running a robovac in the kitchen twice to ensure a proper mopping job. This is already an option on the T8 with the regular mop, but with the Ozmo Pro mop bracket I never needed a second run.
I had no complaints where cleaning was concerned: the Ozmo T8 provides top-notch mopping and vacuuming.
If you’re already willing to spend $649 on a robovac I can’t recommend enough that you also pick up the Ozmo Pro mop bracket. I found myself alternating cleans with either the regular mop bracket or the Ozmo Pro bracket attached. The combination of daily mops with the occasional deeper scrub kept the floors free of ever getting too grubby.
Just be aware that the Ozmo Pro uses disposable mop cloths so there’s an ongoing cost associated with using it. There are 25 included with the Ozmo Pro. If I’m honest, I used each several times before disposing of them. I ran the Ozmo Pro about two or three times a week and went through four cloths in a month, so I shouldn’t need to restock for six months. You can buy a pack of 50 from Amazon for $40 which, if you reuse them a few times like me, should last a year.
Is the auto-empty station worth it?
This is a tricky question – after all, if you’ve just dropped $649 on a robovac, “worth it” is relative. If you have the money, I would say yes, it is worth dropping an extra $250 on the auto-empty base station (though the expense doesn’t end there). If you’re a little more concerned about finances, you can absolutely live without it. Let me explain why.
Reasons to buy the Ecovacs auto-empty station:
The auto-empty station is a great addition to the Ozmo T8 because it means you can avoid emptying the T8’s dustbin for weeks on end. Ecovacs claims 30 days for the 2.5-liter dust bag, but that amount of time may be longer or shorter depending on how often you vacuum and how dirty your home gets. Doing the math, the bag will get you six full dustbin empties before needing emptying itself.
Because my dustbin only filled up around once per week, I regularly managed a full six weeks before needing to empty the base station. But if you have a very large home or pets that shed profusely you will need to replace the dust bags more often. For someone in my situation – in an average-sized apartment with no pets – it’s perfect. I love the idea of only having to empty the dustbin manually 10-12 times a year. If you find yourself filling the dustbin every day though, the bag is only going to last you a week if you run the T8 every day.
I love the idea of only having to empty the dustbin manually 10-12 times a year. But it comes at a price.
Reasons not to buy the auto-empty station
Beyond the price, which is absolutely a decent reason to just say no, you’re still going to have to touch your robot vacuum pretty regularly even with the auto-empty station. That’s because the T8 mops as well, meaning you’ll still have to fill the water tank up every time you mop. You also need to regularly clean the side brushes and main roller as well as wash the cleaning cloth or swap out the disposable cloths if you have the Ozmo Pro bracket. If you’re already bending over regularly to take the water tank out, is it really that big of a deal to empty the dustbin while you’re at it?
If you mop and vacuum every time you run the T8 like I do (about twice a week), the auto-empty base station is probably a less tempting option. If, however, you run the vacuum cleaner every day and only mop, say, once a week, then the auto-empty station can save you a lot of hands-on dustbin-emptying time. It all kind of comes down to your personal cleaning habits and the volume of dust we’re talking about.
Also keep in mind that, like with the disposable mop cloths for the Ozmo Pro bracket, there is an ongoing expense with the auto-empty station. Obviously, you’ll have to replace the large-capacity dustbags in the base station. These are available in a pack of three via Ecovacs’ site or Amazon for $19.99. That is…a lot of money for three dust bags.
It’s not so bad for someone with relatively light cleaning needs like me (I could envision only having to buy three of these three-packs per year) but if you empty the station more regularly the ongoing cost is far too exorbitant. Consider this: after spending $1,000 on the T8, Ozmo Pro, and auto-empty base station, even with my light usage I’d still need to spend an extra $100 per year on disposable mop cloths and dust bags. If your cleaning requirements are heavier than mine, the ongoing costs could easily be $200 per year, every single year.
Besides good cleaning, I was impressed by the T8’s maneuverability. I often have issues with robovacs getting stuck on the top step of my upstairs area because there’s a small lip where it meets the main floor and there’s very little space for maneuvering. I usually resort to creating a virtual barrier to avoid this problem. But after testing the T8 with and without the barrier in place, I realized the T8 never got stuck and just deleted it.
I also noticed the T8 was less inclined to climb onto the flat part of the U-shaped legs of my dining table as some other robovacs I’ve used. Despite being able to climb onto objects 2cms in height, the T8 cleaned around the flat part rather than trying to mount the metal strip and potentially getting stuck.
What’s not so good?
TrueDetect 3D helps avoid larger obstacles but it's not great with smaller objects like cables, earbuds or keys.
I haven’t used the T8 AIVI so I can’t comment on how well its camera navigates keys, socks, or cables and whether it’s worth the extra $150. One robovac I have used that I can recommend for excellent object detection and avoidance is the Roborock S6 MaxV ($750), which also has an on-board camera like the T8 AIVI. If your floor is generally clear of small objects a camera might not be necessary, but if small object identification and avoidance is needed, the T8 AIVI might be worth checking out.
I also have some concerns about the ongoing expense of the accessories. The Ozmo Pro does a great job and you can get away with reusing the disposable cloths so it’s not too bad. But as good as the auto-emptying base station is, dropping $20 on three dust bags every couple months is crazy. The point being: you should only buy into Ecovacs’ accessories if money is not tight.
What’s the competition like?
The Roborock S5 Max ($599) is perhaps the T8’s most obvious combi-vac competitor. It has an equally-sized battery, larger dustbin and water tank, and a $100-cheaper price tag. If you’re willing to spend a little more, the Roborock S6 MaxV or Ecovacs’ own Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI are worth checking out. In my experience, the Deebot mops slightly better due mostly to superior water flow control but the Roborock has better software and object avoidance.
Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 review: The verdict
The Deebot Ozmo T8 is an excellent mop-and-vacuum robot. It cleans very well, offers smart mapping and good navigation, and has tons of advanced features. It also provides granular control over everything it does, which I love. It’s one of the most fully-featured robot vacuums I’ve used.
The Deebot Ozmo T8 is an excellent mop-and-vacuum robot and an easy recommendation.
On the downside, the software is the T8’s Achilles’ Heel. If you’re not very tech-savvy, there are more straightforward robot vacuums available. If, however, you don’t mind investing a little extra time to learn its ins and outs, the T8 is an easy recommendation, as is the optional Ozmo Pro bracket.