Until recently, owning a voice-controlled robot vacuum seemed like a luxury not many of us frugal shoppers could afford. Thankfully, we have put that in the past now.
Guess who made that happen?
Yes, Neato Robotics.
This botvac maker not only helped introduce affordable robot vacuums to the market but has also caught the giants such as Roomba and Bissel off guard by introducing the D-shaped advantage.
Neato offers an array of vacuum cleaners for all sorts of neat freaks out there. And the one with the most budget-friendly price tag is the Neato D3 Connected.
This is a smart vacuum cleaner that can be paired with a free app in your phone or smartwatch and can easily be controlled using Amazon Echo or Google Home. All this comes under $400.
Sounds too good to be true?
We thought so as well. That’s why we decided to bring the D3 connected to our studio and see for ourselves whether or not this is a worthy purchase.
So let’s take a ride through this all-inclusive Neato Botvac D3 review.
A Quick Look at the Neato D3
|Neato Botvac D3 Connected Laser Guided Robot Vacuum |
Surface: Hard floor, Carpet
Controller: Amazon Alexa, Google Home
01. App operation
02. LaserSmart navigation
03. Eco/Turbo cleaning modes
04. Ergonomic design
05. 60 minutes run time
Design and Dimensions
If you are used to seeing circular robot vacuums, you are in for a surprise. Neato botvacs are D-shaped.
The front is flat, while the rear is semi-circular, making the device look like a bow. According to Neato D3 reviews, this allows the vacuum to reach the 90° corners of your apartment. This is something circular robot vacuums can’t do. That’s smart design right there.
Unlike its pricier Neato siblings, the D3 does not have any screen or a cluster of buttons around the control panel. The bot only has 1 power button and 2 LED indicators- one for the battery status and the other for generic info.
We like this minimalist approach. Since the unit is app operated, the botvac doesn’t need to have a bunch of buttons in the first place.
The front of the unit has the camera and the brush. Many robot vacuum cleaners have their brushes at the rear end, meaning that the brush is the last thing to come in contact with your floor when the robot sweeps over it.
In Neato D3, the brush is the first point of contact with your floor. This somehow plays a role in increasing the efficiency of the robot.
The middle portion of D3 houses the dust bin, while the rear end contains the handle, the indicators, and the button.
The Neato D3 has a dimension of 12.7×13.2×3.9 inches and weighs about 8 pounds. This means that the unit is a bit taller, wider, and bulkier than most robot vacuums in the market. This is a downside of this smart bot as it may struggle to get underneath low furniture.
Apart from this, we couldn’t find anything else to worry about. On the contrary, we loved the overall demeanor of the product.
Another interesting feature of the D3 is that it docks at its rear end, unlike most botvacs that enter the docking station head first. Ergo, when the robot is done charging up, it just drives forward from the docking station, off to work.
Overall, when it comes to design, we appreciate the out-of-the-box thinking of the makers.
Features and Accessories
Since the D3 is a budget buy, we didn’t expect it to come with extra attachments. The robot came with just the tools necessary to get the cleaning done.
Here’s what our Neato D3 Package looked like:
- A WiFi Enabled Robot Vacuum
- A Standard Filter and a Combo Brush
- An Integrated Charging Base with a Power Cord
The D3 may not have a list of accessories to boast about, but the makers have made it up to the users by packing it with a handful of smart and intuitive features.
Here are the ones we liked:
Neato Robotics Botvac D3 can be commanded using Amazon Echo, Google Home, or Facebook Chatbot. This unit comes paired with a free app that you can install on your mobile device including phones and tabs.
You can use this app to schedule cleaning sessions. You can also avoid tight spots when friends suddenly decide to call you up to tell you that they are coming over.
You aren’t home?
Tell your Neato to get the cleaning done before you or the guests arrive.
A purchase of Neato D3 also entitles you to regular software upgrades. Your robot vacuum gets new features and continues to get better at its job every passing day.
Laser Smart Technology:
The D3 botvac uses infrared laser technology to scan the perimeter before it starts cleaning. This helps it to create a clear outline of your space and identify heavily littered spots. The botvac sets up a plan and gets to work accordingly.
This is so much better than randomly hovering around the room.
When the D3 robot vacuum does its perimeter scan, it tries to identify doorways. Once the bot is done cleaning one room, it makes its way to the adjacent room. This is a bonus especially if you factor in the price of this unit.
The only hitch during multi-room cleaning is the limited battery life. We’ll talk more about this soon.
Navigation and Maneuverability
The Infrared laser technology is the prime feature of D3’s navigation system. Instead of bouncing around randomly, the Neato D3 Connected lays down a plan and sweeps your floor methodically.
It begins with the edges of the room and then finds its way to the center. If you find your botvac missing a spot, the makers recommend that you don’t lift it up in the middle of cleaning. The botvac will soon cover the spot you thought it has missed.
The device also runs over one spot several times in horizontal and vertical zigzag patterns. This is D3’s way of making sure that a thorough cleaning has been done.
At the corners, this robot successfully fills the 90° edges between walls, thanks to the D-shape advantage. The device can also do a full 360° rotation. Although this may struggle in tighter corners.
When it comes to obstacles, this botvac isn’t the most sensitive. It can bump into walls and furniture, but we don’t think this is a big issue. This robot walks slowly, so whenever it bumps into something, the hits aren’t that impactful.
The Neato D3 can spot ledges, so rest assured, it won’t fall down the stairs.
Battery and Run Time
The battery life is the only weak link of Neato D3 connected. The unit comes with a 2100 mAh Lithium-ion battery that takes 5-6 hours to juice up.
Each cleaning cycle has a maximum run time of 60 minutes. After this, the bot returns to the doc to get recharged.
The good news is, your D3 robot can remember what it was up to. So once it’s done charging, it can resume from where it left off.
Your botvac will retain this memory for 3 consecutive cleaning cycles, giving you a sum total of 180 minutes of cleaning time. We think this is enough, even for a spacious home.
Noise and Nuisance
According to our observation as well as a handful of Neato D3 Connected reviews, this machine hums at around 64 dB. This noise level is neither too loud nor too quiet.
The average noise level of robot vacuum cleaners is between 60-70 dB. So, D3 makes moderate noise.
What we can tell you is that this is quiet enough not to scare your pets, but loud enough to let you know that it’s at work.
When it comes to judging the D3 for nuisance, we couldn’t find anything to complain about. The device does not scatter around dust and debris and does not knock things off the table.
Usability and Maintenance
Neato Botvac D3 Connected comes fully assembled. Understanding the basic setup process is uncomplicated. The manual helps loads to figure things out.
But who needs a manual if you have a handy tutorial directly from the makers, right?
Here, have a look:
Once you are done setting the D3 up, using it is a cakewalk. You can directly adjust the cleaning mode on the bot or can use the app to do everything.
While we found the D3 really convenient to set up and use, few Neato Botvac D3 Connected reviews have raised concerns about connectivity problems. Your phone may fail to maintain persistent connections and you may need to reconnect every time you use the bot. But this is all a ‘maybe’.
The maintenance of Neato vacuum cleaners is also fairly straightforward. All you need to do is empty the dust bin and occasionally untangle the rolling brush. Sometimes deep cleaning your robot vacuum helps to maximize its longevity. Here’s a handy guide on how to do that.
Some parts of the D3 need to be replaced once in a while. We made a list of them including when you should order a replacement.
We tested the D3 on a low pile and high pile carpet and vinyl flooring. We used cereals as coarse debris, rice and oatmeal as medium particles, and flour as fine debris. We also scattered human hair around and our cat sheds generously.
In shallow carpet, the D3 picked up 20% of the flour, about 40% of hair, and 100% of the medium particles in a single sweep. The suction scuffled with the larger cereals though.
In high pile carpets, D3 struggled. It picked up 10% of the flour, about 20% hair, and even left some medium particles behind. It barely picked up the coarser debris.
We don’t blame this little robot though. Cleaning a shag rug isn’t only a botvacs job.
On bare flooring, the Neato D3 worked marvelously. It picked up 100% of coarse particles, more than 40% of flour, and about 60% of hair in a single sweep and came back for more.
Neato D3 vs. D3 Pro: What’s the Difference?
According to Neato D3 Pro reviews, there isn’t much of a distinction between these two variants. The D3 Pro is equipped with an improved filter and the device also has a tad improved outlook. D3 Pro also comes in black.
However, if you are worried about the drawbacks of the D3 variants such as limited runtime and barebone accessories, you can check out the Neato botvac D7 Connected. You might need to up the budget a little bit, but you are guaranteed great value for money.
Time for the Verdict
Enough chit-chat! It’s time for our verdict on Neato Botvac D3 Connected Laser Guided Robot Vacuum.
Pros of Neato D3:
- A smart robot with state of the art connectivity
- Excellent room navigation system
- Good at dealing with pet hair
- Efficient and durable
- Great value for money
Cons of Neato D3:
- Limited battery life
- No side brushes
- Can get stuck in corners
- Not the most premium robot in the market
The Score Board:
- Design 9/10
- Features 8.5/10
- Performance 7/10
- Navigation 9.5/10
- Usability 9/10
- Battery Life 6/10
- Value for Money 9/10
- Final Score 8.3/10
Although there are certain limitations, this budget botvac by Neato does exceed expectations. Hats off to the ergonomic and minimalist design- the Neato Botvac D3 Connected is a no-nonsense device built to get the job done.
Ergo, we highly recommend the D3 for the cautious buyers who like to get things done without breaking the bank.