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Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni
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What we don't like
Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni
The dream of robot vacuums (and mops) has always been a product that cleans a whole floor with minimal maintenance. Many cleaning robots do enough but still fall short of the ideal. The Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni is part of a new generation of products that promise to get as close to that dream as possible, combining vacuuming and mopping with an auto-emptying dock. Does it live up to the hype? Find out in Android Authority‘s Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni review.
What you need to know about the Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni
- Deebot X1 Omni: $1,549 / €1,499 / £1,499
The core component of the X1 Omni is of course its vacuum, which Ecovacs claims is one of the most powerful on the market, delivering up to 5,000Pa of suction when you maximize settings. It’s helped by camera- and laser-based mapping and navigation, as well as spinning side brushes you attach during setup.
The robot is also a mop, though, and accordingly, it’s equipped with internal tanks and two attachable mopping pads. You don’t have to use the mopping functions at all, but if you do, the Omni can clean any hard surface while avoiding your rugs and carpet. You’ll have to remove the pads to switch back to vacuum mode.
Check out: The best smart home devices you can buy
The biggest differentiator versus most robot vacuums is the Omni’s dock, called the Omni Station. The Station automatically washes and dries the mopping pads, empties debris into a disposable dust bag, and/or extracts dirty water to replace it with clean fluid as needed. Pads are dried using hot air over a period of two to four hours (based on your settings). Ecovacs says that the dust bag should last up to 60 days, and sure enough, I didn’t come close to filling it during my month-long test period.
The biggest differentiator versus the competition is the Omni's dock, called the Omni Station.
If you’re mopping, you have to periodically empty the Station’s dirty water tank and fill its fresh one with a mixture of water and cleaning solution. Time between these changes varies based on your cleaning area, and whether you’ve chosen Low, Medium, or High water flow. Using High flow, I exhausted a half-tank of the mixture within about a week of daily cleaning. This was on a floor perhaps 300 square feet in size, mostly tile except for welcome mats and a living room rug.
The X1 Omni is equipped with an array of other “smart” features as well. The most notable is Yiko, a built-in voice assistant — no need for Alexa or Google Assistant, at least in theory (more on this later). Among other things, you can ask the vacuum to change settings, start automatic cleaning, or target specific furniture you label in the Ecovacs app for Android and iOS.
The app lets you customize many cleaning functions. I’ll talk about a few of them more when I get to other sections — but suffice it to say that you can mix and match varying power levels, and set up detailed maps and schedules. You can even move the vacuum between floors, although there’s a limit of three maps total.
Something I spent relatively little time testing is the Omni’s video features. Because there’s an onboard camera, you can use the robot to patrol your house, record photos and clips, and even make phone-to-robot video calls. Image quality isn’t terribly sharp, however, and the camera is low to the ground, so video is only useful in niche scenarios. That said, it’s got some potential utility as a backup home security guard if that’s something you want in your home. You can thankfully set a passcode to deter unauthorized snooping, and data is encrypted online. Ecovacs notes that the robot has a TÜV Rheinland privacy and security certification.
You can buy the Omni online, whether direct from Ecovacs or through third-party retailers like Amazon. It’s available in a single color: black.
How does setup and cleaning work on the Deebot X1 Omni?
First-time setup involves several steps, but is relatively straightforward. After you’ve peeled away the packaging, you attach the brushes and/or mopping pads to the robot, and plug the Omni Station into a wall outlet. You need to clear 0.5m (about 1.6ft) on either side of the Station and 1.5m (5ft) in front of it, so the X1 Omni may not be the best option for cluttered homes.
To pair the vacuum with the Ecovacs app and your Wi-Fi network, you remove its cover, flip a power switch, and scan a QR code. You’re not quite ready to start cleaning, though — you need to hit a recall button on the Omni Station to complete charging, then run a “Quick Mapping” cycle so the vacuum has a preliminary home layout to work with. When this is complete, the app will automatically identify what it considers rooms and furniture for later selection. If you check the app while cleaning is in progress, you can see the vacuum’s location in real time.
If you’re not bothered about settings and schedules, you can hit “Auto Cleaning” in the Ecovacs app and the robot will start cleaning whatever floor it’s on as completely as possible (based on whether you’re in vacuum or mopping mode). At least occasionally, however, you’ll want to tap “Enter Smart Cleaning” and swipe up the card at the bottom of the screen to access cleaning preferences.
Basic settings include four vacuum power levels (Quiet, Standard, Max, and Max Plus), three water flow levels (Low, Medium, High), and an option to do one or two runs every time a cleaning session begins. Two is probably unnecessary but may help with stubborn messes. On top of this, there are options like Auto-Empty Frequency, and Auto-Boost Suction, the latter of which maximizes vacuum power whenever the robot senses carpet.
If you check the app while cleaning is in progress, you can see the vacuum's location in real time.
The Cleaning Schedule menu can be used to create one or more routines. During testing, for example, I eventually settled on a 2 AM Auto cleaning every Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. You can alternately have a schedule target one or more specific areas, such as your kitchen or dining room.
You can also perform targeted cleaning on the fly. If you tap the “3D” button in the Smart Cleaning view, there’s even an option to clean around specific pieces of furniture, like your couch or dining table. If you really want to get into the weeds you can edit map details such as flooring material — but while Ecovacs’ automatic furniture and room labeling didn’t match my house exactly, in practice it didn’t impact cleaning efficiency much, if at all.
How well does the Deebot X1 Omni clean?
To put the X1 Omni through its paces, I spent several days using the product in vacuum mode exclusively, followed by several more in mopping mode before returning to vacuuming. The Ecovacs app lets you dictate the order in which rooms are cleaned, but you don’t have to choose this, and I stuck with automatic selection.
Vacuum performance was good, only not as good as I was expecting for a top-of-the-line product. For background, my wife and I have a four-year-old son who regularly drops Cheerios and bits of spaghetti on the floor. On Max power, the X1 Omni sucked up most of this and even made our living room rug look a little fresher, but occasionally left debris between our couch and coffee table despite obviously having room to fit there. Ironically, one of Neato’s cheaper, defunct D7 vacuums that we have doesn’t seem to have this problem, even with less advanced sensors and “gentle” navigation on (meaning it avoids hard collisions).
As a general rule, you can count on the Omni to clean your home successfully, but it doesn't always reach places you'd expect it to.
Similar things can be said about mopping. While our tile floor was indeed cleaner after each session, even the High flow mode was unable to remove a few gunk spots. To be fair, the sort of spots we get typically require hard scrubbing if you clean by hand, but I was hoping for better from something intended to be the best robot on the market.
There were also a couple of incidents when, during overnight cleaning, the Omni stopped in the middle of the floor for no apparent reason. There was nothing caught in its brushes, and error messages in the app’s activity log stated only that the robot “failed to return to the station.” At first, I speculated that it might be running out of power or having difficulty navigating in low light, but since it was successful in identical conditions both before and after, I was left scratching my head.
As a rule, you can count on the Omni to clean your home successfully. But like many such robots, you may have to cope with the occasional glitch or blindspot.
Yes, but not in a way that’s a dealbreaker. The X1 Omni detects when the mopping pads are attached or removed, and switches modes accordingly without further action. Since the pads are washed and dried after each use, you don’t even have to worry about getting your hands wet or dirty. The only real hassle is periodically emptying the dirty water tank at the Omni Station and mixing up cleaning solution for the fresh tank, but something similar is going to happen with any mopping robot — and usually more frequently.
Is the Deebot X1 Omni’s Yiko voice assistant useful?
Not at all, in my experience. Ecovacs’ bespoke assistant rarely understood me when I tried the “OK Yiko” wake word, never mind issuing commands. In fact, it was more often triggered accidentally, whether by conversation or my TV. I’d strongly recommend disabling Yiko and relying on the Ecovacs app and Omni Station buttons (see below), but the lack of Assistant, Alexa, or Siri support is a real sore point.
- Control buttons on the Omni Station: Auto-emptying docks are rare enough, but it’s especially nice for one to have basic controls for starting the robot, recalling the vacuum, or running the dock’s auto-emptying process. You can even hold down two of the buttons to toggle a child lock, which stops preschoolers like mine from wreaking havoc.
- Lack of buttons on the vacuum: There’s only one touch-sensitive button on the outside of the vacuum itself, and it’s marked as an on/off control when it’s really meant to start and stop operation. There’s a separate switch under the cover that toggles power. You’ll rarely need to use either, but this is mildly confusing.
- Ease of changing the dust bag and tanks: Ecovacs clearly put thought into simplifying the Omni Station’s dust bag and water tanks. The bag is easily accessed from a front drawer, and the tanks can be pulled out by opening the top lid and grabbing their handles. When you’re done, you just drop the tanks back in, no locking or twisting required. Note that you’ll probably have to buy more dust bags from Ecovacs unless you’re willing to reuse the bundled one.
- Mid-session mop cleaning: If you’re wondering whether the Omni Station will clean mops mid-session for larger floor plans, we’re not sure. There’s no specific setting for it, and the test area was too small for this to really matter. There is a “Continuous Cleaning” setting in the Ecovacs app which will force the Omni to resume unfinished tasks after recharging, but this seems oriented towards low battery issues, not mops becoming too dirty.
Value and competition
When it comes to cleaning performance, the X1 Omni is comparable to other high-end rivals — generally good if imperfect, in other words. I’d probably choose something like the far more affordable Roborock S7 if I cared more about mopping, yet the X1 Omni is at least adequate in that area, and plenty powerful when it comes to vacuuming — so long as it doesn’t mysteriously miss some areas or shut down, of course. Those incidents were rare enough that I can’t complain too much.
Let’s not mince words, however. At over $1,500 MSRP, the Omni is fantastically expensive, and what you’re really paying for is the Omni Station. You can go weeks or even months without emptying anything, to the point that, except for loud whirring sounds, you might forget the robot is there. Yes, you’ll probably have to swap pads in and out more frequently than that if you want to mop, but that’s acceptable for a product that requires so little effort otherwise.
People who understandably value money over convenience may want to get something like the aforementioned Roborock S7 ($649) or less expensive Deebot models, such as the Deebot Ozmo T8 ($649). If money is no object and you still want a robot with something like the Omni Station, Roborock has the excellent and equally pricey S7 MaxV Ultra ($1,400), which is paired with an optional Empty Wash Fill Dock.
Those who like the idea of an auto-emptying station but only care about vacuuming might want to check out the iRobot Roomba S9 Plus ($999). Its price feels like a bargain next to the Omni.
Deebot X1 Omni review: The verdict
The Deebot X1 Omni succeeds in its main goal, which is offering a do-it-all cleaning machine that minimizes the amount of time you spend on maintenance. You will need to change out mops and tanks every now and then, not to mention buy and replace dust bags. But for the people who can afford it, the Omni — or rather, the Omni Station — reduces this work as much as possible. I think most people would rather deal with large containers every month or two than small containers every few days.
In terms of cleaning, the Omni does well, just not with the perfection and reliability you might be hoping for from something priced over $1,500. But as with most robots, you should expect to break out a handheld mop or vac occasionally to finish spots the Omni misses.
The X1 Omni succeeds in its main goal, which is offering a do-it-all cleaning machine that minimizes the amount of time you spend on maintenance.
If there’s one real disappointment, it’s Yiko. The voice assistant just doesn’t work for me, so I would’ve much rather Ecovacs spent time on Alexa and Google Assistant integration than start from scratch on technology others have spent years refining. Mobile apps are typically a better control option for vacuums anyway, but this should’ve been an easy win.
Roborock’s S7 MaxV Ultra, meanwhile, is the elephant in the room. The Omni is better in some ways — hot-drying mopping is far better than the Ultra’s air drying — but the Ultra is on par are ahead of Ecovacs’s product in crucial areas, all while costing $150 less. That’s money that could be put towards a robot’s replenishables, like dust bags or cleaning liquid.
The Deebot X1 Omni is clearly aimed at wealthier shoppers who want maximum convenience, and don’t mind a high price tag. They’ll be bothered by Yiko and a few cleaning quirks, but those are things they can probably overlook. For everyone else, the robot is beautiful overkill.